Monday, October 27, 2008

Summer is over...Fall is over...WINTER is here!

Well, we had a great summer here in Alaska. Although it was short, cold and wet, it was still 'Summer in Alaska' and with that we had great fishing and friends and food! The last time I posted it was KING SALMON season here in Alaska. That was in June. Now it is October 27th, my daughter's 20th birthday and it is 7 degrees this morning. The leaves are all gone and a few inches of snow covers the ground. Last night there were NO clouds and the stars were so bright it was incredible to view.



This year I am trying to embrace the change of seasons here in Alaska. In doing so, I hope to be able to accept the bitter winter air and enjoy each step of the process. We are about 3 weeks away from the 'darkness' (our word for the time of year when the sun stops hitting our house) and 13 weeks away from the 'light' when once again the sun shines on our home! Once that day hits...fishing season is just around the corner! LOL That is the way I am going to look at it this year.

We did buy a 'SAD' light to see if that might help our energy levels this winter. We haven't started using it (feel like it might be giving in once we do) so it is sitting near our kitchen table waiting for one of us to open the box and set it up! There is quite a sigma with that light. Once we start using it we have given in to winter and we are admitting we need its assistance! So, today I am hoping to embrace the cold, dark morning...pull out the SAD light and begin the winter process here.


During the summer my business blossomed even though the real estate market is slowing here in Alaska. I am so grateful to the Lord and to amazing customers and clients. It has been a tremendous 1st year as a Realtor and I look forward to growing my business and client relationships this next year. Part of that growing process was receiving two awards last week. The first award was a Top Producer award. I was one of the top ten producers in our Wasilla Prudential Office. I was thrilled and surprised with the award. But, a few days later I received a much more important award. That award was directly given to me by my clients. I received the Prudential Wasilla Customer Service award. This award comes from comment sheets filled out by my satisfied clients. It is the most important award I feel I could receive and I am humbled and so thankful for wonderful clients who were so gracious to me with their comments!

October has been a great month for my business! I look forward to a wonderful winter in the real estate business.

Ralph took an adventure trip of a lifetime! He and his cousin headed to Afognak Island (which is attached to Kodiak Island) in search of some elk and deer. They took the boat from Homer, across the BIG WATER of the Cook Inlet and hunted and fished for a week. The returned home with no game, but plenty of ocean King Salmon and Halibut! He had an incredible time and I was really glad when he drove up the driveway! It was just a little too adventurous for me being out there with the Kodiak Brown Bears. They did not see bear but did see bear tracks. That would be too much for me! LOL

Beth turns 20 today! How can that be? Seems impossible that 20 years ago Ralph, Curtis and I were in Okinawa awaiting the birth of our daughter! We had a great surprise party for her on Saturday night and presented her with a cello! She has wanted to learn the cello for a long time, but always thought she couldn't find the time to learn. Well, now she owns a beautiful cello and we hope to get some lessons started soon. The sound is so beautiful and we can't wait for her to learn to play. She was so happy and is doing so well here in Alaska.

Kyle is studying hard this year hoping to be able to go ahead to Mat-Su College for his senior year of high school. He is learning the piano and doing amazingly well. He is still working on Tang Soo Do, but has slowed down his reach for Black Belt. If all goes well he may test in April for his Black Belt.

Curtis and Elizabeth are extremely busy in MN. Liz is working on her CPA at St. Thomas College and Curtis is teach again at Crown College along with leading the music at a church in Eden Prairie. Ralph and I travel to MN for Christmas at Crown College and then Curtis and Liz will be traveling here for Christmas! I can't wait to have my family all together again! I am already counting down the days!


So, that is an update on our lives since King Salmon seasons. Here are some pictures of our summer! Enjoy!


Kyle's mother manage to hook him in the face while they were silver salmon fishing! I know...I don't want to hear it!

Some fishing at Jim Creek! Silver Season was short this year, but we managed to fish on the 'good days' and had plenty of silver for the freezer!









I did plenty of fish grilling this summer. Take a look at this grill...three different kinds of salmon: King, Silver and Red. We had quite a feast this night!





Silver success! This is Ralph's brother and his friend Bill. They, along with Ralph's nephew came up for silver season. We had a great time and caught many fish!






The annual 'gathering of the wood' for our heat!



Our annual trip to the Kenai River to dip net! It is so much work, but more fun than you can imagine! Ralph and I went this year and came home with 26 fish. 1 King, 1 Pink and 24 Red salmon.

Ralph and I took a halibut charter out of Whittier, Alaska this summer. We were supposed to catch halibut! Although there were no halibut to be found, we did limit the boat out on ling cod. Here is one of the huge fish we caught. My goodness they are delicious. I had no idea. And they are so ugly you would think they would be horrible. It is quite a treat up here to have a freezer full of ling cod.

There are more pictures I would like to add, but I must head to work at this point! Hopefully I will get another quiet morning soon and be able to add a bit more. For now, have a wonderful October and stay warm!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Kings keep coming!


Well Ralph and I decided to try a couple of new fishing holes last weekend. We arrived at Montana Creek thinking we might be able to catch a fish. The creek was so packed with people trying to fish a very small area that we ended up leaving not even putting our lines in the water. We decided this year's trip to the north fishing creeks would just be our experiment and we would at least see how they fished and where. But, after leaving Montana Creek we decided to stop a Sheep Creek and I am so glad we did. It was a short hike down to the river and there weren't many people fishing. That is what we like to see. After being there a short time we saw two kings caught so we decided to jump in the line and see what would happen. In about an hour Ralph hooked into this 29 pound King Salmon! 20 minutes later I caught this 21 pound King. The people were great, the crowd was few, the Kings were plentiful and it was hard for us to leave. You see here in Alaska you get one of these fish a day, 5 total for the season, so once we caught our fish we couldn't fish anymore. But we did just hang out with the folks there and watched numerous other fish caught. It was a wonderful end to a beautiful day. Neither Ralph nor I expected to catch Kings and we just kept smiling and reliving the day together on the way home. I asked Ralph one simple question...'Will we ever leave Alaska?' His answer...a big smile!

Tuesday of next week we are going with a friend of ours on a fishing charter boat out of Whittier, AK for a halibut excursion! I hope to catch halibut, rock fish, ling cod and anything else that I can! We are of course praying for light seas and good weather and plentiful fish. I will update when we get home.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

WE ARE HERE and WE ARE FISHING!!!



Wow! What a different life I live now. I have been so busy starting my business that just having anytime at all to post to this blog has been impossible. Between having lots of clients (which I wasn't expecting so soon but am so grateful for) and the learning curve of being a new Realtor, I have been just keeping my head above water. I am so sorry about not blogging here. It certainly isn't for lack of things to blog about in this amazing state!


So, today I am attempting to resurrect this blog about Alaska. I hope to have time to post something here at least once a week, or when there is something wonderful to blog about.


For now...it is KING SALMON season in Alaska. The run has been very small this year. The Deshka River has been closed to all salmon fishing and the weir counts have been very small even as of today. The Kenai River is similar to last year and the Russian River is already full of salmon AND BEARS! I won't be fishing there this year. For Ralph and I, the proximaty of the Eklutna Tailrace is hard to beat. We can be there in about 10 minutes, it is just off the main road with parking and a port-a-potty! So, Ralph took last week off from work because traditionally the Kings are in the tailrace around the 15th of June. Well, because the run is late and little, it hasn't been as productive as we all thought it would be BUT...on June 19th (if you go back and read my blog from the last two June 19ths you will see this is a GOOD day for Salmon for me! LOL) Ralph caught his first King Salmon! It was a good day at the tailrace with about 30 fish being caught. I was so busy working I was unable to fish that day (can you believe it???) but Ralph kept the family tradition alive by catching a King on that day. The following day I was able to get out there (after lying in bed most of the night just waiting to head out there) and was fishing by 4:30am and caught my King at 5:30am! It was pretty funny. Had my fish, was back at home, cleaned the fish, vacuum sealed it and showered and was on my way to work by 7:30! LOL It was a great day! I rode on the adrenaline all day, even through an 8 hour class I had to attend! LOL


So, here are some photos of our King Salmon so far this year. The nets for the commercial fishermen in the inlet were lifted last night so there is still hope that in the next few days another great run of Kings will come through the tailrace! If so, we may end up with another few Kings in our freezer. Let me tell you...the taste of these fish are incredible. Ralph grilled some of his King last Friday night! Melt in your mouth freshness! Come on up and visit, and enjoy some of what we get to LIVE among! What an incredible place to 'grow up'! LOL

Thursday, December 27, 2007

We have a WINNER!!!

Well, after much debate (with my husband) and prayer, Ralph and I have chosen a slogan that we think fits ME as a Realtor. As most of you know, I am a pretty down to earth person who likes to tell it like it is. So, my slogan couldn't be something that is just all positive and cute! Just doesn't fit me! LOL We chose the following slogan:

'Knows the realities...Finds the dreams' sent in by Becca in Co!

We chose this for numerous reasons. Life is hard. I know it and so will my clients. Life is especially hard here in Alaska with lots of extra challenges, even the challenges of finding a home that fits your needs and your dreams. So, I wanted to be honest, but let others know that there are dreams available here in the amazing state of Alaska. This slogan just seemed to FIT ME! I don't know if it will be successful or not. Only a trial run and time will tell, but I hope it will be.

I have my first listing already and I am just loving this job! I have so much peace about what the Lord is doing in my life right now. I have no anxiety about getting the next listing because I know the Lord will provide the right person at the right time. I am just working hard to do my job to the best of my ability and trusting Him to provide the rest.

So, thank you friends and family for the ideas to help make my business a success. I want to give a few honorable or 'dishonorable' mentions to some other favorites! There are a few of them I will be using on some pages of my website, including the Military link I am working on.

Here are the slogans or thoughts I will be using, followed by the slogan ideas that were just too funny to NOT let you all in on:

First honorable mention goes to Corrine in TX. She wrote that she would have something like this on her military page if she were in my shoes. I completely agree!

'A military family always has longings to plant roots in their dream home and community one day...let me help you realize that dream in one of the most caring and intimate communities I have found in my 20 years of travel as a military spouse: beautiful Palmer and Wasilla, nestled amongst majestic mountain peaks, rushing salmon-filled streams and a warm, small-town feel where everyone 'belongs.'

Second honorable mention goes to Vonnie in MN. She sent this wonderful little tidbit that I will also be using on my Military page:

'Whatever your mission, there's always good fishin'~ Alaska

Third honorable mention was from Karen in Alaska. I almost used this one Karen, but decided to go a different direction. If my first choice doesn't work, I may come back to this one! LOL

'No slogans, just results!'

Now for the rejects...ummm...I mean those that didn't win but just had to be shared! LOL

Dody can carry your loady
Don't get treated like dooty get Dody
Dial Dody for Deals!
Your Dream home is Dody's Duty
Dody...it's not just a job, it's and adventure!

And my favorite 'reject' of all: Give me your money and I will sell your house

So Becca sweetie! You are the winner of a $50 gas card. Please email me privately at rfkettler@gmail.com so Ralph and I can get that to you asap!

Blessings my friends!
Dody
"Knows the realities...Finds the dreams"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Many more slogan possibilities...

Well, I have received some pretty good slogan possibilities. Ralph and I are working this week to get my real estate blog and website set up and will make a final decision on the slogan contest. If you have been holding out on sending in your idea, this would be a great time to do so. We have typed them all up and are going to make a final decision by Jan 2nd! We will then announce the winner of the gas card.

Thanks to all of you who have sent in ideas, thoughts, compliments and encouragement. Many went to the blog comment section and I have received so many private emails of encouragement. Thanks for your prayers as Ralph and I develop this business. It is going to take lots of prayer and work to make a go of this, but I believe the Lord continues to open the doors for this so I will proceed, walking in faith!

May this Christmas day be a taste of what the Lord has to offer you in your lives. May you feel His presence today and each day of this new year!

Blessings~~
Dody and Ralph, Beth, Kyle, Jonas and the NEW puppy, Hatcher!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Slogans???

Well I received lots of emails and comments as to the perfect slogan! Some were down right hilarious! One that sticks out (thanks Dan and Barb) is 'Let Dody carry the Loady' LOL

I thought about all the entries, but nothing just stuck out as the perfect slogan for me. There are a few insights and thoughts that may lead me to my slogan and of course those are all still in the running. I am going to keep the contest open for a week or so and see if I can get a few more ideas or actual 3-5 word slogans. At that point I will really work to make something from the ideas and thoughts that came in during all of this.

So, no winner of the gas card YET, but I am still hopeful and will send it out as soon as the perfect slogan hits! Come on everyone, I just know someone out there has the PERFECT slogan for me!

Thank you all for your time and care. It is so appreciated and your kind words were very humbling to this stay-at-home-mom moving into the career world!

Blessings~~
Dody

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I NEED YOUR HELP!

As of yesterday, I began a new career in real estate, working for Prudential Jack White/Vista here in Wasilla, Alaska. There is much involved in starting a new career in real estate and I am a bit curious as to how it will all come about, but so very excited to experience it as it unfolds.

Here is where I need your help. My family and my friends are the people who know me the best. You know my personality, good and bad, and you know my likes and dislikes, etc. Because of this I am coming to each of you to ask you to help me come up with a SLOGAN for my business!

What I would LOVE for each of you to do is to either add a comment on the bottom of this post or email me privately with either a slogan idea or something you think may help me figure out a slogan, something about me, my life here in Alaska, etc that might spur me on to think of that perfect slogan. IF I CHOOSE your idea or slogan, you will received a $50 gas card!! I need to move pretty quickly on this, so you only have a few days to get your ideas or slogans to me. I have to have an idea before Monday morning training. You have until 9pm EST on Sunday, December 2nd to submit your ideas either in the comment box here or to my private email at rfkettler@gmail.com

Remember, I live in Alaska, I have been 'military' for 20 years as of yesterday so I do feel I can concentrate on helping military relocate here in Alaska, I love to fish and fishing is HUGE in Alaska, I am a Christian and I love music and organizing THINGS!

SO, if you have a little time to help me in this matter I would greatly appreciate it!
Thanks and may the best slogan win!
Blessings~~
Dody

Friday, November 2, 2007

Okay, ready for the bears!!!

After searching for bears in the park, we finally realized that we could locate the grizzly bears by looking at the snow and following the footprints. These prints were a little too close for comfort, but did eventually lead to this bear!
Wowza!
Here he is sitting by a tree!
Here he is scratching his back on a tree! These are REAL photos friends and family! I was amazed!!
So, I decided to be a little artistic. I believe this photo may be included in my Christmas Cards this year! Enjoy!

More animals...

These are caribou but they were very far away. In fact, these were the only 2 caribou we saw the whole day I believe.
Dan and Sherry attempting to share the binos to watch the dall sheep.
The first bears! Triple cubs and a mom but so very far away that you can barely make them out. Click on the picture and you will be able to find them. Don't worry though! The coming photos of bear in Denali will make you cheer!
A nice, medium-sized bull moose walking pretty near the road. We were pretty excited about this moose and thought it would be the only moose we got to see! We were wrong!

Dall sheep and more dall sheep...

Isn't this one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen? This is one of the 56 Dall sheep we were able to see inside Denali.
There are some BIG rams. They were pretty far away so the picture isn't great, but you can see the curls in their horns really well if you click on the picture.
More female sheep. These were on the side of a hill just above the road. TONS of cars were pulled off to get pictures of them. We were so close, the rocks that were falling due to them walking about, were hitting the cars that were pulled over (including ours!)

Driving to Denali and just inside the park

Beth is taking a black and white photography class at the college so she was having a blast taking pictures on this trip. I think she took 3 rolls of film.
My dear brother. Please don't ask what he was doing?
Weren't the colors just amazing?
The first animals to greet us just after entering Denali were three moose, a mom and two babies. This is one of the babies. Notice the hair on it's back is standing up. It was getting pretty nervous with all the car stopping to look at it, so we quickly moved on down the road.
Here are all three of them from our car.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

My brother's visit...

What an amazing summer we had. Our final visitors were my brother Dan and his wife, Sherry. I can't tell you what a great time we had. It was two weeks of wonderful Alaskan fun and fellowship. If you don't know my brother and his wife you wouldn't understand, but they are just so fun and loving and YOUNG for their ages that you can't help but have a great time with them. Our visit started before Ralph returned home. In fact, just after we picked them up from the airport (well, the next morning) we headed straight up to Denali for the driving lottery. I was blessed by a wonderful lady in Anchorage with a driving lottery ticket and was able to share that experience with Dan and Sherry and Beth and Kyle. As you will quickly see, it was an experience of a lifetime! Here is just a sampling of things we were able to see on our trip!


Here they are arriving at the Ted Steven's International Airport in Anchorage!
Our first view of Denali on the drive up to the park.
A beautiful Ptarmigan changing over from summer brown to winter white.

The boys!

What a difference a year makes. This picture was taken at Kyle's baptism in Sept, 2006. These are his best buddies.
This is one year later. Although they couldn't remember where they were standing for the baptism picture, this is them one year later, still best buds and still working hard to become black belts in Tang Soo Do. I think they have each grown 4 inches this year.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Blog updates?

Where are they? Well...Did I tell you all that Ralph just got home 2 weeks ago?? LOL

Actually, the computer that is holding all of my pictures for my 365 days and our trip to Denali will not stay connected to the Internet. I have tried to figure out what is wrong, but can't seem to find the exact problem. So, I can post to the blog from this computer, but have no pictures to upload and because I am NOT a writer I would suspect each of you would find it rather boring to read about my trip without pictures. Pray I can figure out what is going on so I can upload absolutely amazing pictures of our last trip to Denali and some beautiful photos of our EXTENDED Fall season here in Alaska, although it is 23 degrees as I type this and the leaves are dropping 2 or 3 at a time as the sun hits them and they thaw from their very hard freeze last night. I suspect the trees will be bare soon. The fire place is roaring and the brisk air is refreshing. Winter is so very near here in Alaska.

Hopefully we will get this blog updated very soon.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

THREE and holding...


Well, this is our THREE countdown. We should have put up TWO today but Ralph's flight has been delayed a day so we are sitting here on THREE and holding!
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Sunday, September 16, 2007