Flower power

This is day two of a lull in business, which is just fine by me. I’ve cleaned out the office, organized for my Mac class that starts next week, caught up on emails, and actually went outside and took some photos.

Today it’s overcast and sort of rainy, which means high contrast!

First, some sort of bee on a fireweed flower. Fuzzy!
I have no idea what this is, but it's bright and pretty!
Time to invade the flower's personal space. There are so many details that get missed on first glance.
Details like finding out this plant's sexual organs have bugs crawling all over them.
Another flower for a plant I don't know. I'm a font of useful information!
A fireweed leaf. Soon, this will be vibrant red. And then the snows arrive.
A fully bloomed fireweed flower reflected in a water drop on a fireweed flower bud. Foreshadowing!

Our adventure so far

I’m approaching the end of my second year here in Alaska, and I’ve been thinking about all we’ve been through since moving up here. So much, some of it is starting to get fuzzy. I’m going to do a little time-line here, so we can all grasp just how much has happened since 2008.

January, 2008: Skippy accepts a job working for Libby Riddles as a sled dog handler. We start planning our move to Alaska.

March, 2008: Skippy and Ashlee dog fly to Alaska and start working with sled dogs. I stay behind to finish up my degree work and find my replacement at the School of Journalism.

May, 2008: Skippy’s mom visits her in Alaska. The following week, I fly up and see our future home for the first time.

June, 2008: Skippy gets a job in town to supplement her sled dog income so she can eat more than once a day.

July, 2008: Skippy gets fired by one boss (apparently everyone does with this one), unfired by another, and then quits.

Kim, Mary and Jamie visit Skippy.

August, 2008: In three days I: graduate, pick up Skippy at the Indy airport, sell/give away everything we don’t want to take, eat our way around Bloomington and Indianapolis with our friends and family, pack up the car and Macgee dog and drive north. And west. Mostly west at first. 12 days later, we arrive in Alaska. (Move=1)

September, 2008: Skippy burns out on being a handler and gets a job in town. I take over handling duties while founding Bigwoofs Technology.

I attend a meeting of the local Mac User Group.

November, 2008: Liam visits!

We enjoy our first Thanksgiving away from home at Gregg and Sarah’s glorious banquet of smoked turkey and other delicious foods. We form the Foodie Family with Gregg, Sarah, and Jules.

Winter, 2008: Snow, wind, manual labor. Repeat.

February, 2009: I burn out on being a handler, and we make preparations to move.

I start selling photos to the Homer Tribune.

April, 2009: We move into a vacant house owned by a former coworker of Skippy’s while trying to find a more permanent place (Move=2). It seems all the rental houses don’t like pets. We have 2 cats and 2 dogs. Some of the property managers laugh at us when they find out.

I start working at the Homer Tribune, doing layout, web design and computer work.

May, 2009: Faced with a very limited rental market, we opt to buy a house. Also, a wildfire starts a short distance (fire-wise, at least) from the sled dog yard and other friends out that way.

We find and attempt to buy a house, with plans to rent it for one month before closing. 3 days before moving in, the house fails its inspection (rotting foundation) and we lose financing.

I’m elected to an officer position in the Mac User Group.

June, 2009: Somehow we find and rent a pet friendly house in 3 days. (Move=3)

July, 2009: We take our first trip across Kachemak Bay to do a 3-day hike up and down a mountain. It is awesome, but destroys my knee.

August, 2009: I interview Jewel.

September, 2009: Ashlee dog gets a faceful of porcupine quills.

Skippy accepts a job caretaking a dog-sitting business for the winter. It includes housing, so we prepare to move again.

October, 2009: I get hired by the Homer Public Library to teach monthly “Computer Basics” courses, which are offered for free to the public.

November, 2009: We move up to the dog-sitting house on Skyline Drive (Move=4) and restart our life of being outnumbered by dogs.

January, 2010: Bigwoofs Technology takes off big-time, and I reduce my hours at the Tribune to one day a week. It’s so busy, I neglect to make a single post to the blog for several months.

March, 2010: Skippy takes a job at Era Aviation in Homer, facilitating an early exit from the dog-sitting job. We start looking for another place to buy.

I rent office space for Bigwoofs Technology, next to the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies.

After planning a much-needed vacation to Puerto Rico, along comes a blizzard the very weekend we’re supposed to leave, stranding us not only in Alaska, but in our house for 3 days. We made to the airport for the last flight out, but it was canceled due to snow and wind.

After finding another house we want to buy, we are denied financing because of my crappy wage while working as a sled dog handler ($250/month plus a place to live) and unimpressive salary while at the Tribune. We scramble to find another rental.

April, 2010: While searching, we move into the temporary staff housing that Coastal Studies maintains above my office space. (Move=5)

I’m appointed to seat on the South Peninsula Hospital Service Area Board

I fully separate from the Tribune, as there is more than enough work with Bigwoofs.

Eventually, we find the only viable rental, a 3 bedroom house in town. (Move=6)

With the extra space, we decide to rent out part of it for the summer. Through Craigslist, we find a couple from St. Louis who have jobs up here for the summer.

May, 2010: We go halibut fishing for the first time. Also, the summer roommates arrive.

I obtain financing for expanding Bigwoofs Technology, and begin creating a technology training facility in my office space.

June, 2010: Tyra visits!

July, 2010: After planning a trip to Indiana for Skippy’s high school reunion and to visit family and friends, all flights out of Anchorage overbook and we’re stranded in Alaska again.

I’m hired to do another monthly technology class at the library. I also complete my training space and open registration for the first set of classes.

August, 2010: We are here.

…Did I call that a “little” time-line?