Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I haven't felt very festive this year. Maybe it's because I didn't go to tuba christmas. Maybe cause I didn't put up a tree. Maybe it's because there has been a lot of stuff that has happened in the last couple weeks that has made me stressed out. I'm voting on the latter. I know Christmas means more than just a tree, stockings, gifts, etc., it's a time for remembering the birth of Christ and being thankful. (And I'm trying to be thankful). It's just been a rough couple of weeks.
To start things off my job is giving me fits. I've made it through half the year and part of me wants to stop teaching. The kids are great (for the most part) but there are other things that are making it difficult. To the point of either I'm teaching at another school or I'm not teaching next year. There were a few days I was angry about all of this and then I talked to the union and talked to Bryan and just decided that they were winning if I was angry.
The next little fun surprise was that Bryan became unemployed. I'm still trying not to be angry about this one. I realize that it's not my job but I don't think he was treated fairly. That's the part that angers me. Hello people grow up and be adults.
And finally, it looks like we will be going to court. So I have to take time off (unpaid) from work. Ugh. Oh well.
Enough with the bad things.
We had a very snowy November and then December has been kinda bipolar. We have had "warm" windy weather (like 80mph wind gusts) that has melted snow and caused ice. Then we've had a good bit of snow. Monday the 12th school was closed for a snow day. We just got like 9 inches of snow in a 6 hour period and no one was ready for it. Thankfully all the big snow this week has been while winter break has happened. Thursday it snowed all day and we got about 5-6 inches and then it really snowed that night and we got an additional 12 inches. That was fun to shovel. Thankfully the neighbor across the street came and helped out with his snow blower. It was particularly nice since the plows left a huge berm at the end of my driveway. *Random side note: The plows are never here right after if snows, we usually have to wait a couple days for them to do our street. It was a big surprise for them to be out right after it snowed.* Well last night it started snowing again and we have probably about 4 or so inches of additional snow. At some point today I'll get out and shovel the driveway since I have to go to the airport tonight. I'm flying to Illinois to see my family for a few days. One last snow comment. We have shoveled so much snow that we have a snow pile in between our driveway and the neighbors that it's taller than I am (by quite a bit).
This week has been a lot of cleaning and organizing. My friend Carol moved into the 3rd bedroom about a month ago so almost everything in there got moved into the living room so that it could be sorted and have the appropriate thing done with it whether labeled and stored or thrown away. It has been a slow process and it's not quite done yet. I've also reorganized my room.
Bryan has cleaned the kitchen and his room and has been very helpful with all the other projects. Although it's a struggle to have him unemployed, I have really enjoyed the time I've gotten to spend with him. When he was working 60+ hours in the week and I only saw him a couple hours on the weekends, it made it really difficult to be happy with our relationship. My frustration was mostly with his work. Although I never have felt that they treated him the best there. It's been nice to talk and sit on the couch and watch a movie or cook together. Heck it's been fun to shovel the driveway together. This whole thing has really made me appreciate him and our relationship a lot more. I know that it will be rough for us financially for a little while but we'll make it. He's been looking for work and working on finding money to go to school and finish his IT program.
On this past Wednesday, a new teacher at school (Kevin) and I drove down to Portage so he could see some glaciers and on the way back there was a Dall sheep about 10 feet from the side of the road. As we continued down the road there was at least half a dozen more viewable (not all that close to the road but a lot closer than usual). He came over for dinner too and I made indian tacos. They were tasty, as they always are. Of course I'm kinda a fan of fry bread.
Speaking of food, I'm making prime rib for today and it smells so good right now. Well I guess I better be productive.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I can't believe school has been in session for a little over a month. Things are going so well. I have 104 beginning band students. It's not 104 of them at one time. I have it broken down into 3 classes, 49, 14, and 43. It's not too bad. I'm also taking a class in Love and Logic. It makes for really long days. I've also added community band to the list. I'm also attending a training at the end of the month for a week that is an all day thing (with 3 hours of class afterward).
The kids are sounding good. I'm enjoying this year a lot more than last year but there are times things are still rough. It's getting better.
The kitchen still isn't finished. It's a sore subject at my house. Oh well. I'll get it done. I can't believe I've been in my house almost a year. It's crazy how time flies.

This is the weekend that I get to drive back on the road into Denali. I'm pretty excited. It should be awesome. I'll probably take a ton of pictures. I'm still not totally ready but it won't take me long to get everything in order.

Well, life goes on and that's the way I know it.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

It's that time again

Even though I've been back at work since last Wednesday, the kids come back on Tuesday. It's going to be a busy week. As usual inservice with the music teachers was awesome. It's great to see everyone, even though I don't really know many of them. One more day of inservice and then students. I'm kinda excited. We'll see how it all goes. I need to finish some copying and some planning but otherwise I feel pretty good.
In other news the kitchen is still in about same state as it has been for a week. All my staining last weekend made me really sore. My low back bothered me for several day. I guess 6 hours of staining isn't the best thing for your back. I still have 14 doors to stain and I'll get to them. The flooring is about half done. I'll be glad when this project is done. I think I'm going to paint the hallways a light seafoam greenish color. I'm thinking of a yellow for the living room wall. We'll see though.
I really need to do some cleaning and I know life is going to start getting busier. Well I better get on to doing something productive.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My crazy kitchen project

Anyone that knows me knows that sometimes things get a little out of hand when I start with a project. I joke with my family that my kitchen project is like the bathroom project I did years ago at my parents house, which started as I was going to repaint the ceiling and instead I remodeled the bathroom. What can I say.
When I moved into my house I noticed that the water dispenser didn't work on the fridge, having grown up as a tap water drinker it didn't really bother me. Bryan moved in and wanted to see why the dispenser wasn't working. We forgot about it for a while and finally at the beginning of June we decided to look at it. Well the fridge was wedged into it's place but looking behind the fridge with a flashlight it looked like we might have mold. We decided to get the fridge out. Easier said than done. It was wedged pretty tightly in there. I ripped out the two cabinets next to the fridge, one base cabinet and one wall cabinet. The wall cabinet came down in one piece; however, the base cabinet was pretty much obliterated. Well there's one cabinet to replace. We pulled out the fridge and there was mold, a whole big section of it and to top it all of the flooring under the fridge was starting to peel up. At that point we decided we were going to replace the floor. The more we talked about it, the more the project grew. Bryan knew I wanted to extend the kitchen out a little farther and possibly get rid of the bar in the kitchen. As we decided on flooring we talked about how to put down the flooring and deal with the cabinets. Needless to say one day Bryan came home from work and I'd taken almost all of the wall cabinets down. Once again I jumped into a project head first at full speed. The next day I had all the base cabinets torn out. In this time I had also replaced the section of moldy wall. My friend Cathy helped me get the first load of cabinets. I debated on whether or not to keep the duct work, after a trip to Sears and some drooling over a very nice cooktop/oven, I decided to rip it out and patch up the hole in the wall. (On a side note we looked at a downward draft oven that pulls all the stuff that your range hood pulls up down instead. We like the model that has a gas cooktop and an electric oven). I finished getting the rest of the cabinets we needed for the project, a grand total of 16. After the drywall work finished drying I primed the wall and we hung all the wall cabinets and started to put down the base cabinets but ran into a flooring snag. We then decided that we were going to rip up the carpet in the dining room and put down the same hardwood laminate that we had gotten for the kitchen in the dining room. After putting down some plywood, which was the flooring snag from the carpet, we finished the base cabinets on that side. I left town for a couple days. When I got back we took out the cabinets on the sink side, painted the kitchen and dining room one one side a lovely shade of blue and put up cabinets. Now we are working on the flooring and staining the cabinets. We have put temporary countertops on until we have the money in the budget for the new ones. When we put in the final counters, we'll replace the sink. We have gained tons of cabinet space, the cabinets go into the dining room but it flows nicely and it looks good. Bryan has about 1/3 of the floor done and I'm slowly staining the cabinets. We got the fridge back into place finally instead of in the middle of the floor, it's not totally set since we need to connect the water line (which we replaced the old lines cause they were leaking, hence the mold and the non functioning dispenser). The stove is still in the middle of the floor but Bryan will have the flooring under the stove done soon so that can go back. (As a side note, he works about a zillion hours so the process takes a bit longer but all the work he's done looks great.) Like I said, I've been slow staining the cabinets, I'm not sure if it's the smell that bothers me or if I'm unmotivated. Bryan's mom is going to help me stain the cabinets this weekend.
This project has been insane but the end is in sight. Even without being done I can tell you that the results are amazing. I've appreciated all of the help. Bryan has been wonderful in being patient with me and going along with my crazy idea. He even picked out the shade of blue that we painted in the kitchen and dining room. I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful man. And we're already started planning next summer's project. I will post pictures of the finished project along with some of the process. It's been quite the transformation but it is so much more functional for two people who enjoy cooking.

A bit of catch-up

It's 4AM on a Saturday morning, I haven't been to bed yet and I'm not really tired. I was reading the last book in the Hunger Games series, called Mockingjay. I started it yesterday evening and I finished all 400 pages of it about 45 minutes ago. It was hard to put down. The whole series was that way though. I like/hate books like that. I like them because they keep you interested, but I hate them cause there is more to life than spending countless hours (in one day) reading. It's a nice distraction from my projects; however, it's not really a good distraction from sleep.
There are only a few weeks of summer break left and time has yet again gone by so quickly. I don't know if it's because I spent some time traveling or if it's been because I've been buried under a huge project, but time has flown by.
As I look back on my blog (a bit ashamed for lack of posting) I realize there is a lot to update. The end of the school year went pretty well. My parents came up to visit and were here for the spring concert. It's the first concert they've seen of mine since I've been teaching. 3,000 miles does make it hard to be here. I biked to work on the last day, partially because it was bike to work day and partially because I must be insane. It's only 6 miles. Backing up just a little bit we got new neighbors. It turns out that they were neighbors at the apartment too. It was hilarious when we figured it out. They're pretty cool. Jumping forward again into May. I took the train to Fairbanks with an overnight in Talkeetna, it was awesome. Bryan and I went to a movie and then to dinner on his birthday (right after he got off of work), we came home and were going to go out again but apparently the front stairs had a different idea cause we spent the evening in Urgent Care because Bryan miss-stepped on the stairs. He was home from work for two weeks. He joked that the only way he could get vacation was to injure himself. It wasn't truly time off though cause he did go in several times to do paperwork and such. We did get to take a train ride together though.
We also started to remodel our kitchen. I think I might make a whole new post for that one since this one is getting involved.
We've spent a great deal of time remodeling. I've got a fish tank now with a billion fish in it, ok really only 26. 13 of those I bought, the other 13 came as a surprise.
I've spent a little time traveling making my way down to Ketchikan, Metlakatla, and Wrangell. I fly to Illionis Tuesday to visit my family and some friends. I arrive there 8AM on Wednesday morning since I'm on a red eye flight. On the upside, I get to fly first class.
Well I think I'll wrap this one up and give the kitchen the post it deserves. In 10 hours I have to pick up Bryan's dad from the airport and about 4 hours later pick up his mom. We have his parents in town for the weekend. I guess I'll probably do some cleaning today as well, and maybe get some sleep.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time just seems to fly

I can't believe that March is over already. The school year has flown by and I know the next month and a half will fly by too. There is just so much to do before the school year ends. We still have 3 performances left, the area band festival, the spring concert, and sonic boom. On top of that my parents are coming to town for the spring concert. It's the first time they've every seen a performance with me as the conductor. Having all of my teaching jobs in Alaska, it's been difficult for them to see the performances live. It'll be fun to have them there.
In other news...two weeks ago my furnace went out. It was quite the adventure to have it fixed but thankfully we were only without the furnace for a few days. Saturday is not the best day of the week to have the furnace go out. Thank goodness for space heaters and lots of blankets.
We got a little bit of snow last night/this morning. It's not a lot but it's a change from the great weather we've had for several days now.
Time to get ready for work.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

It has brought snow. I looked out the door this morning after Bryan had made a comment about it snowing while he was tying his shoes. Yep, it's snowing. I guess that means I need to break out the snow shovel again. It's not a lot of snow so it'll be easy to shovel.
Well I know it's been a little bit since I wrote on my blog (I'm sorry). Spring break came and went. I still got up early and went to bed (for the most part) when I usually do. I finished my bathroom project. It looks good. (I still need to figure out why the tub is draining slowly though). I'm glad to have it done. Sadly I didn't accomplish too much else over break. I did manage to get out of town for a couple of hours driving down to the peninsula with Seth (Maz was in NY and Bryan was at work). Of course we did our driving while the paint was drying.
There are still boxes in my kitchen that need to be unpacked but first I need to find a place to put them. I guess that's one of the problems when you take two people who have lived on their own for several years and both enjoy cooking, and then put them in one kitchen. We have a lot of baking pans. I'm not complaining, I guess I'll just have to do some more baking. Those are a little less hard to find places for than the additional box of canned goods. I also need to figure out where we are going to put the other Kitchen Aid.
In more exciting news, I got Blue Man Group tickets for when they come to Anchorage in May. I got them in the mail on Tuesday. :) It'll be fun to see them.
Work is work. I'm preparing students for several more performances. We have area festival in April, along with our spring concert, and then Sonic Boom in May. We have just over 9 weeks of school left and we have testing starting at the end of the month. I have a feeling this quarter will fly by. There is still a lot to do before the performances. It should be great though.
I'm looking at finding summer work just so that I can be money ahead. I'm thinking that maybe I'll drive a bus. We'll see. I also need to finish my things for grad school, geez I haven't worked enough on that.
Well it's that magical time where I need to get ready for work and shovel my driveway.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lots of stuff and not enough sleep

As I sit on my couch, I see a pile of boxes. I'm not complaining about the pile of boxes, it just means I really do have a roommate and I'm not imagining it. This weekend was spent moving stuff and I haven't really recovered. Of course I have been tired for longer than that. I really just need more sleep. I've tried but my seems to think that 5AM is a wonderful time to wake me up regardless of when I went to bed. Of course last night I fell asleep on the couch for a little bit.
In other news. Spring break starts this week but it feels like this week is going to drag. Last night I thought it was Tuesday. I think it's the being tired. I have so much to do too. But thankfully next week I can do my stuff and get some sleep.
If I could actually get my brain to work then I'm sure I'd have more to put on here but right now it's not working.
Till next time.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

something like life

There are times in life when you can’t seem to get it right, but of course you can’t explain why you can’t get it right. There seems to be far too much of that in my life. Of course there seems to be a lot of times when I wonder what in the world is going on. There are also those moments when it feels like the enitre world is stacked against me and no matter what I do, it just puts me farther behind. Oh well, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, or just harder to live with. I really can be ornery. There isn’t much that I can do about that.

My bathroom project still isn’t done yet but I’ve been so busy or so tired that it’s hard to finish that. I need to get it done before I have a roommate taking over my bathroom. I have the Durock up around the tub. I just need to hang the green board (well and mud and tape it), put up the tub surround, and paint. It’s not hard, it just takes time.

This weekend I’ll be in Illinois. I need a new phone, an eye exam, and a haircut. Oh, and I need to buy some new clothes and something more formal looking for concerts. Lots to do on my four day weekend. Yesterday and today have been parent-teacher conferences. I haven’t had as many parents as last time but I’ve still seen a good amount. I am however looking forward to getting on the plane tonight.

Well since I started this, I had a whole slew of parents come in. Still not as many as first conference but it's alright.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Things are a bit of a mess....literally.

Just as I thought I was getting everything more in place, I started making a big mess again. While my parents were visiting my dad noticed that the grout didn't look right. I acknowledged that and decided I'd deal with it after they left. As a person who has had tiles fall into the bathtub while showering, I can tell you it isn't a very pleasant experience. So I decided to find out what was going on. I removed the grout from around a tile and pried up the tile. Mold!!! Needless to say I'm in the process of ripping the tile down. Seth and Maz came over for dinner yesterday and Seth helped me take down tiles. It's almost done. They weren't put up there very well either. Oh well. After I get it all down, the wall cleaned up, and the mold taken care of I will put up a tub surround and paint. It wasn't exactly the way I wanted to spend yesterday but that's life.
In other news my Winter concert is in a week and a half. Friday I had 3 of my classes play in the atrium at the school (it's a big open area when you walk inside.) They did pretty well. The concert should be really good.
I've had a few weird phone problems lately. Sorry to anyone that it has affected. I think it's all back to normal.
There are times I feel like my life is a bit of a mess. I have no regrets for the way things have turned out but sometimes I wish I had a clearer picture (personally and professionally). I've done a lot of great things in my life, I have a degree, a job, a house, great family, and great friends but sometimes I feel a little incomplete. I also tend to be a bit confused at times, but there's nothing new with that. Other than that everything is great (or at least I'm going to believe it is).
It's been pretty cold here for a few days, the temperature hasn't gotten above zero but thankfully that should be ending. There is talk of snow this week, we'll see what happens.
Till next time. :)