Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pooped Pups

The dogs are having a lazy day today. They were at the kennel for the weekend, so Brian and I thought it would be nice to take them for a walk yesterday. The temperatures were in the upper 80s with a cool breeze. Brian and I were fine, but the pups didn't fare so well. The heat really took a toll. In fact, Dawson just stopped and laid down on the side of the road after about two miles. He was done. You know when a lab won't continue on a walk that something is wrong. Mattie would have carried on until she died of heat exhaustion, I'm sure. She's not a dog who quits! Anyway, Brian ran (literally...go Brian!) back to the house for some water and to get the truck while I found some shade for Mattie and Dawson. When Brian returned they had a cold drink and then we hauled them home and turned on the air conditioning. They panted for a while, but recovered. Poor Alaskan pups!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Bird update

Our swallow friends have been learning to fly this week. They're almost too big for the nest. They probably won't be around too much longer, which is nice. They're making a horrible mess on the front step and we're eager to take the nest down. They're pretty cute, though. There are five total (you can only see four in this shot taken last night when we got home from the bonfire).

The Baylor Family Bonfire

This weekend Brian and I made the 6-hour trek to Illinois for the annual Baylor Bonfire. (Brian's Mom's family.) We had a great time and we so glad that we were able to go (originally Brian had to work the weekend, but miraculously got it off at the last minute).

We had the first really good corn of the season, cooked to perfection in the fire!
And played plenty of games. Here's Grandma Baylor-- champion of the bean-bag throw!
Some wild turkey chicks crashed the party...
Brian's cousin Jeff and his girlfriend Maria.
Here's a nice shot of all the Baylors!
We camped for the night in the backyard (because of all the guests staying at Phil and Sue's house (Brian's aunt and uncle)). That's our tent on the left and Mark and April's (cousins) on the right.
Here's Brian checking out his headlamp once the sun went down. There were tunes by the bonfire after dark (here's Brian and Mark), and of course, S'mores!
In the morning we were fed excellent waffles and bid our farewells (until next year).
On the way home we ate a Olive Garden (our Alaskan readers will appreciate this). Yumm!!
We also did some antiquing (Brian found a new beer stein), and stopped by the movie set from "Field of Dreams" (which, of course is in Iowa). There was a thunderstorm going on when we got there, so we didn't walk around, but it sure is cool to see the baseball diamond and house!

Overall an excellent weekend. We can't wait until next year!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This one goes out to Ryan and Louise...

Our good friend Ryan (in Denver, CO) is taking his law school bar exam next week. He's studying a LOT and his awesome (and beautiful) wife Louise is holding down the fort while he studies. We thought we would write them a little song. Ryan is brilliant, so he's not going to have any problems, but thought he could use a bit of support. If you question the recording location...acoustics are always best in the bathroom. This is our debut song together...and we're hoping that Neal Diamond's lawyers won't come after us. Ryan, can you help us out if they do?

Good luck! We're pulling for you!!!!!

Corn update

By the way, the corn around our house is beautiful! Here's a happy, sunny shot.

Don and Pasty came to visit

Brian's folks- Don and Patsy came to visit for a few days earlier this week (they actually left this morning to head north to Wisconsin). There were some worm issues that Brian and Don had to work out. My black walnut tree is down a few leaves, but I think it'll be okay. Patsy and I did a bit of exploring in Fort Dodge and found a very cute restaurant called Tea Thyme. We had a very nice lunch with excellent conversation.

And, of course, we had to take Don to Rustix Restaurant for the second-best pork tenderloin sandwich in Iowa, of which Don approved. Brian gave it a thumbs-up, once again.

A flying puffin in Iowa?

Grandma and Grandpa Platt sent me a wonderful puffin that they found during their recent trip to Alaska. He resides on our back deck and makes me very happy! Fly, puffin, fly!

Flea market finds!

Last Saturday Brian and I went to our first Flea Market here in Iowa. It was held at the local fairgounds. We each found a "treasure." For me- a big yellow bowl like my Mom's and for Brian- a new beer stein (which he only paid $5 for, but it sells on ebay for $15). Oh yeah...that a sunburn for each of us. We had lots of fun!

Farewell Playset!

Brian and our friendly neighbor Ken did some work last weekend taking the enormous playset down in the backyard (you may remember the playset from an earlier post). Ken is going to set it up in his yard for his granddaughters. At first they thought this would be a 15 minute project, but it turned into 2 hours because of the large posts that were cemented into the ground. Luckily Brian brought his 4-wheeler to Iowa and they were able to pull out the posts...with some digging and lots of effort.
Here are a couple of videos...the first is an attempt, the 2nd show success. Go Brian!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Pup photos

Today we took Mattie (black) and Dawson (chocolate) for a walk/swim at a pond close to our house. They were very happy pups to have the opportunity to cool off in the water and stretch their legs.Mattie's a great retreiver...Dawson doesn't quite have the knack...although he's pretty smart. We'll throw a stick into the middle of the pond, Mattie will swim out to fetch it, and Dawson will wait in the shallow water until Mattie's most of the way back and then he'll steal it and bring it to us...like he had done all the work. We also can't get Dawson to jump up in the back of the truck (see photo). He much prefers being lifted up. He's totally capable of getting in himself, but again, it seems like a lot of work (apparently). Here's video of Brian attemping to encourage Dawson to jump. Notice how easy Mattie "loads up." Dawson did eventually get in by himself...when he was ready.

Camels and pork sandwiches

Brian and I were exploring the local fairgrounds this past Saturday (someone had told us there was a fleamarket there), and ran into these camels. No fleamarket, but they were setting up for the circus. We had a fun weekend, overall. Originally we thought we'd head to Des Moines to celebrate our anniversary, but got caught up putting our new bedroom set together instead. The furniture store delivered all the pieces without problems (dresser, nightstand, bureau, mirror) until we got to the bed frame and mattress set. Turns out a sleigh bed headboard won't fit up our staircase to the second floor...and neither will a queen box spring. We exchanged the box spring for a split one and ended up taking out the door frame to fit the headboard (and a part of one of the steps, but lets not talk about that...there were not photos taken of the ordeal). We were going to take the door door frame out eventually anyway because it seemed silly, though we were thinking a year down the road, not yesterday. Anyway, all is well and we have the bedroom set complete. Here's the headboard and dresser with mirror.
After all that we decided a long drive to Des Moines wasn't in the cards, but we did manage to find the historic Rustix Restuarant in Humboldt, IA which boasts the second best pork tenderloin sandwiches in the state. Brian's a huge fan of pork tenderloin sandwiches, so we took the short drive for dinner. When Brian ordered a new beer they had on tap (a summer wheat) the waitress asked if he wanted the "little" or "big" beer. Being that his manliness was on the line, Brian ordered the big beer. It was nothing to laugh at...surely a meal in itself! The pork tenderloin was just the same- big. Brian said it was very tasty. We also sat next to one of the oldest stone walls (to Brian's left in these photos) in the town. Bragging rights for sure.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two years

Today marks our two-year anniversary. Time goes so quickly. We'll be celebrating this weekend with a trip to Des Moines. In the meantime, I can't resist posting some wedding photos.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Back to Alaska and Jen's Wedding!

I'm not sure where to start with this blog post. I traveled back to Fairbanks this past week for my sister Jennifer's wedding. She married an very nice guy named David Gehrke. Brian wasn't able to come because of his work schedule. I missed him a lot, but was very happy to be able to get back north to be with the family. I stayed on campus in an apartment (thanks, Nate) with Becky and Lily who arrived on Tuesday (I flew in on Monday). Mom, Dad, Grandma and Grandpa Platt drove up on Thursday. Mom and Dad from Valdez and Grandma and Grandpa with an RV from Anchorage (after flying from CT).

Becky and Lily were up really, really early every morning (time change from NH, I guess), so there was usually a morning walk. Here are some photos of Becky and Lily I took on one of those walks. The weather was spectacular and the mountains were visible all week.
Becky and Lily head down the trail to the UAF Agricultural Farm. The Alaska Range could be seen all week! The weather was just great. Becky and Lily pose from the scenic viewpoint on campus.
Jen, Becky, Lily and I made sure to get some kettle corn at the Farmers' Market.
Not a cloud in the sky. Jen (the bride-to-be!), Becky, and Lily.
We all toured Jen and Dave's house, which Dave is building himself. There's still some finishing work to be done, but it is an adorable house on a wonderful wooded lot. I didn't go up the ladder to get any shots, so these are all of the first level. Upstairs are two bathrooms and two bedrooms.

The outside. Kitchen. Kitchen. Dining area. Living room and ladder to go upstairs. Jen's herb garden on the back deck.

Becky, Lily, and I did find some time to do sight-seeing.
Posing in front to the Chena River at the Riverboat Discovery. Becky and Lily at Pioneer Park. Riding the king salmon!

The rehersal and rehersal dinner were on Thursday (Friday was the 4th of July). Grandma and Grandpa arrived right on time with the camper.

Before the rehersal:
Lily, Becky, Mom, and Grandma Platt. The bride with Grandma and Grandpa (and their RV). The groom!

The rehersal (there was some downtime to take photos...as you can see) held at the Lutheran Church on Farmer's Loop Road in Fairbanks.
The bride and groom practice their vows. David said he was wearing a pair of extra socks. Becky takes such a nice picture. Tammy and me (self-portrait). Nathan and me (another self-portrait). Lily and Bethany (the flower-girl).
The rehersal dinner was held at the Cookie Jar Restaurant in Fairbanks.
Bride with nephew William. All smiles!

Nathan steals the spotlight.Mom and Dad. The soon-to-be-all-former Platt girls! The bride and groom after dinner.

There was a day off between the rehersal dinner and the day of the wedding because of the 4th of July. To celebrate we had a BBQ at Nate and Tammy's house, complete with David's family. We had a lot of fun!
Nathan was the grill-master. Fresh red salmon plank-grilled. And, of course, Jen had to ceremoniously open the juicer...she is now the sixth owner. This is a wedding gift that has been handed down as a re-gifted wedding gift since 1998 when Nathan and Tammy got married. Because Jen is the last one to get married...she's stuck with it (unless she wants to hand it down to nieces and nephews someday). William gets a kiss from his great-grandma.

The Day of the Wedding (Saturday), some of the Gehrke girls and I took Jen out to breakfast at the Cookie Jar, then Jen had her nails done, and then came back to the University apartment where Becky and I were staying for lunch and a champagne toast.
Tammy, Jen, me, Kari Gehrke, and Becca Gehrke
(very fun in-laws for Jen to have, by the way).

I don't have any photos of the actual wedding ceremony (I was on duty as the wedding coordinator), so if anyone wants to send me any to post (hint, hint), please do. Here are a few snapshots after the ceremony (which was lovely, by the way). Jen was a stunning bride!

Bride, groom, and flower-girl. Bride, groom, flower-girl, and flower-girl's little brother in a tuxedo.
Jen attempts to get in her car after the ceremony without getting her dress dirty.

The reception was held at the Silver Gulch Brewery in Fox, Alaska. The food was incredible and there was plenty of dancing for all. The hall was a bit warm, but everyone still had a great time.

Mom and Dad celebrate having their last child married! Grandma and Grandpa saw all five of us get married...three of us in Alaska!Lily being as cute as always. The cake. Jen did me the honor of displaying the wedding cake topper she gave Brian who used it on his groom's cake. I think it is more appropriate for Jen than me. :)

A wedding guest scroll from Seth and Michelle in Japan. An excellent idea!! Missed you guys. Becky rocked the limbo contest! (Her hidden talent, she says) The newly weds. Mom and Dad. Nathan and Tammy. Grandma and Grandpa.

Congratulations Jen and Dave! May you live happily ever after!!!