Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Birthday Flowers!

Brian sent these beautiful flowers to my office for my birthday. How nice!

Friday, February 22, 2008

What happens at 40-below?

Did you know that if you throw a cup of boiling water into the air at 40 degrees below zero, it will vaporize before hitting the ground? Cool stuff! These photos were taken at the university. Not great photos of me, but an interesting experiment worth publishing. Brrrr..... These were taken last week...it has warmed up to 30 above since then.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Thesis

One of the reasons why I am so late updating this blog has been my thesis work. I'm attempting to graduate with my M.A. in May (in Professional Communication) and am having to put in a lot of time to complete the degree. A thesis in general is a lot of work, but I think that the comprehensive exams I had to take in January were much worse. Comprehensive exams involve being tested on classes I've taken since starting the program in 2003 over the course of two full days. Lots of studying, but I managed to pass all of them. Phew! I am currently conducting research for my thesis (titled Self-Identity and Weight Loss in Women) and hope to have a draft done by the end of the month. We will see...Brian has been ever so patient with me.

The cold has finally broken!

It has been extremely cold here in North Pole the last month or so...30 to 50 below zero. The past few days have finally warmed up to above zero temperature (yippee), so the dogs and I have had some very nice walks this weekend. They've had some terrible cabin fever, but I think I've finally tired them out...they're both snoozing up here with me in the loft.
Dawson loves the snow. We call him our "mole" because he constantly burrows under the snow rather than walking through it. You can tell he does this because his face is always covered in snow. I suppose it doesn't help that the snow comes up to about his shoulders, but he would spend the entire day outside if his paws didn't get quite so cold. Poor pup!

Mattie isn't quite so keen on the white stuff, but she loves racing Dawson through the snow. She's ready for the ice to thaw so she can be back swimming and retrieving. I suppose it's nice that we have one dog that like summer and another who prefers winter. I think that Dawson got the better end of the deal with us living in Alaska.

Connecting with old friends

One of the best moments of being back on the East Coast was seeing some best friends that I hadn't seen in a long time- Sandy and Marlena. What a joy to catch up!!

Lael and Mark's Wedding

After putting Brian on a plane bound for Alaska, I headed back north for just an extra day to attend the wedding of a UAF co-worker, Lael Croteau. She married an excellent guy and the wedding was wonderful. Here are just a few photos. The wedding took place in an apply orchard and was just lovely.

Here's the bride a groom.

Some of the extraordinary food.

And the tables.
Congratulations Mark and Lael!

Christmas in New England: Part 4

Our final stop before Brian had to head back to Alaska (a few days before me) was Jeff and Laura's house in Boston. We did a lot of fun things...in addition to some great Cranium games.

We went and visited Waldon Pond- where Henry Thoreau lived from July 1845 to September 1847. His experience at Walden provided the material for the book Walden. This is a place I've always wanted to go, but never had the opportunity. It was a snowy, but warm day, so we enjoyed the short walk around the pond.

Here's Brian meeting Thoreau...not a very tall man...

Waldon Pond turned out to not be very big at all...here's a photo of the pond in its entirity.

We also stopped at a little park where lots of kids were sledding. Brian and Jeff decided to check out the slides. There was a heated race...

but Brian seemed to have too much friction to become grand champion.

Maybe next time.

Visiting with Jeff and Laura's cats- Bean and Brie is always fun too. They seemed to (more or less) accept the fact that Brian and I were staying at their house. Before too long there will be a little Bicklet around, so having houseguests around is probably good practice.

Can't wait to meet the new addition!!!

Christmas in New England: Part 3

After visiting with all the grandparents, we traveled north to see Becky and Noah and their four kids- Lily, David, Megan and Michael. We had lots and lots of fun (and ate a lot of Dunkin Donuts and drank a lot of Dunkin Donuts coffee).

Lily is growing up fast! She has hair just like her mom.

David always smiles and is very helpful.

Michael...is hard to get a good photo of...
he's always on the move.

And Megan is a little bit shy, but beautiful!

I loved how their Christmas tree was decorated...everything just out of reach of little hands. I helped Becky take the tree down the day after Christmas...just like our mother used to do.

The boys got haircuts while we were there. Becky is very talented at haircuts, especially when they involve a squirming child.
We all took a bit of time before we left to do some sledding, but Becky was the one who had the most fun. She was a sledding ANIMAL.

We stayed at a very nice Bed & Breakfast down the road from Becky and Noah's house called Stonewall Farms. We were greeted by three labradors when we arrived. What a nice surprise! It made us miss Mattie and Dawson a bit.

The bathroom was especially quaint.

We were sad to leave! Can't wait to come back!

Christmas in New England: Part 2

After spending some time with the Platts, we then had some wonderful times with the Ouillettes. It was so nice catching up!

We played some great games of Parcheesi...turns out that Grandpa is a Parcheesi shark.

Brian won some money at the casino...and as it turns out, you're not allowed to take photos in the casino. We got scolded, but managed to keep the shot! And...Grandpa let us stop at Aremonie's on the way home for pasteries and coffee. Yum!!!

We inspected some of Grandpa's new stonewalls (which are very, very impressive)...

It was too cold to play horseshoes, but we wished that we could...

And, of course, stayed in the Beer Room.

What a lovely B&B- Thank you! Can't wait to come back!

Oh yeah...and we made a new squirrel friend :)

Christmas in New England: Part 1

It has been a long time since we've found the time to update our blog, so there's lots to tell. For the Christmas holiday Brian and I traveled to the East Coast. We had great fun hanging out with my family along with Jeff and Laura. It was good to be "home"!

I helped Grandma trim the Christmas tree. (What a treat!)...

Did some excellent bird watching from the kitchen window...

Attended Christmas Eve service at the Abington Congregation Church...

Enjoyed the holiday colors at the Platt homestead...

And spent some much-needed quality time with Grandma and Grandpa Platt!

Oh yea, and the food was EXCELLENT!