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 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


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 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