"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Messes, Meltdowns, and Miscellany

You might have noticed I've been a little absent lately from this blog. That's because I'm smack in the middle of a huge meltdown, trying to get EVERYTHING done before I leave next Monday on my trip to China and another country-that-shall-not-be-named.

By "everything," I mean all the normal outdoor fall chores to prepare the place for winter, plus all the pre-trip stuff, AND all the projects I should have been working on all summer instead of spending days picking up litter over 56 miles of highway (and totaling 504 bags).

Those are my excuses.

Now, to catch up on a few things:

What do you think:

Over Achievers?

Which brings me to announcing that Rilly is the winner by one vote on the "Name That 'Shroom" contest. Second was Dark Sculptures, and Beth was third.

Rilly will be receiving this set of note cards, reproductions of paintings made by the Seward High School art class. Each one portrays a familiar scene in Seward.

This fish below is a spawning sockeye salmon. They are not good to eat when they turn red.

Here are two of them in a small pond a couple hundred yards from my home.

And here's what happens after they spawn. Fins up--and not the dorsal fin, either

Some autumn colors for your enjoyment:

Across the highway from my home.

In my yard.

Kenai River.

Out my front windows. The colors don't show up well because the camera's meter is in the house looking at a backlit scene, and all that photographic mumbo-jumbo. As if I knew what I was talking about.

Fireweed in fall colors.

Fireweed blossoms gone to seed.

See the tiny seed with their cottony wings? They're waiting for a nice stiff breeze to send them flying. Then they get into everything--especially your nose. Seriously, try walking through a field of them when they're like this. You have to hold your hands over your face to cover your nose. And keep your mouth shut.

Foggy morning at Tern Lake.

Foggy morning at Lower Summit Lake.

One more thing about the Alaska State Fair. I SO-O-O-O-O wanted to do this, but I couldn't find them. I suspect someone couldn't keep the chopper inside the circle, and maybe it's on the North Slope by now.

In my pre-trip meltdown, I have been spending quality hours and hours and hours with this thing:

I used it to grind off all the six layers of Behr Rawhide sealer/finish that had failed on the log cabin siding on my home. This morning I got the last of it off--the three top logs. The rest already has three coats of a new sealer/finish on it.

The "clear" color of the new stuff obviously isn't the color of the old stuff--you can see a piece of the other wall on the left side. I suppose I'll have to do the whole bloomin' house now.

Distance from ground to soffit? Twenty-one feet.

And last, a sunset at Tern Lake. I had to darken the image to get the reflection of the pink sky in the water.

I am officially wigging out now. Four days to go....


  1. Looking forward to all your trip photos, have a great time...you deserve it. I'm going to love the note cards, I already recognize a couple of places and I have a large frame that needs a nice collage. Bon Voyage!

  2. Have a wonderful trip and we'll hear from you when you get back. Thanks for the lovely pictures - they will have to hold us until your return!

  3. Where the heck have I been. How did I miss this? CHINA!?!? Woohoo doesn't begin to cover it. I can hardly wait for the words and pictures. Have a blast!

  4. Beautiful pictures! And good Lord -- the TOP of the ladder? I get nosebleeds if I stand on a chair.

    Very impressive. I expect to see pics of you with a trowel repairing cracks in the Great Wall. Bon voyage!

  5. Love the fall colors! Sealing a log house is one of the necessary evils in life, right?

    Have a wonderful time in China. I'm looking forward to pictures of your trip! :)