new year's eve

another year almost over. for 2008, my biggest goal is to have a transplant. sky and pella on our morning walk today getting ready for the big night out.


Package from Ca for Christmas

who is Ca?
Ca (nickname from Jessica Jordan Champagne) is my best friend from high school who flew out to UW Hospital(2006) to visit, and knitted this hat for me. Ca and Todd own their own organic vegetable business in California. Her business is called www.happygirlkitchen. com.
check out the video too!

i received my Christmas package from Ca and Todd and pictures of their 2nd child Jaya. Now she is making homemade face cleansers and lotion using herbs from her garden. Ry(5 years old), their older son, helps Todd selling goods at the local farmers market. the Champagnes are a true inspiration to me, they are wildly adventurous, one key i believe to living a full life. at their wedding they grew all the vegetables to feed the wedding party, they really believe in growing the food you eat(including pickling everything to eat all winter). who knows what their next big family adventure will be?


one more from hatcher

jen and brad, my tele ski instructor friends in CO, are cringing as they critique this horrible form, but i did get down without a fall. ben has the scenery shots on his blog later tonight.

Hatcher Pass Christmas

i hope this post finds everyone in good health for the holidays. i am sooo lucky we were able to do this ski Christmas day, as dialysis has been making me extremely tired and almost not leaving the bed three days a week.
ben and i had a great trip to Hatcher Pass. Here is the view from our cabin and the peak we decided to tele ski Christmas day. we were the only ones there and the guy that owns the small a frame lodge made us whatever we wanted for breakfast.

walking to the lodge from our cabin for breakfast. he was so accommodating and had coffee's ready and stoked the coal fired stove for us.

leaving the cabin to ski the nearest peak. notice the fog rolling in on the right.

almost to the top.
taking the skins off for the decent. we dug a snow pit and the snow was amazingly stable, so we were able to ski a really steep pitch.
ben and his rockin tele turns. the fog was so dense, but the snow was awesome. ben probably has some more pics, but he is back to work today. i am home after another very tiring dialysis.


Happy Winter Solstice

martin, stac, sarah, greg and ben out watching the fireworks. our shortest day of the year over.
we all headed out to the winter solstice festival downtown. there is Stac turned backwards. here we are watching the fireworks on the bridge over the Chena River
ben caught this firework over the river, it was only 10 below, so everyone was out and about.
they also had a treasure hunt for kids and grownups. here is the map, Sarah pushed hard for us to finish gathering clues on the walk and we all got prizes like my 2006 Yukon Quest pin. what a fun night hanging out in downtown Fairbanks.


i walked to meet Sarah for lunch today, 33 below zero, no wind. i was happy to see our good old Fairbanks weather back, it is supposed to stay this cold for weeks according to Ed the weather forecaster. High of 40below tomorrow. it was so quiet and pretty out with the sunset sun today. it may be one cold ski into tolovana over new years.


Martini Mixer

Ed, Trevor and I planned a martini party last night and it was a blast. Since I don't really drink anything, I have become a good bartender. Trev and I made the martini's.
Here are a few of the martini drinkers, the fancy martini's were a hit. We made fresh blueberry, mango lime, vanilla lemon lime, straight up and one virgin tolietini for Jackson.
we danced the night away and that was the best part. here is Brown gettin' down. i also learned that she is an expert knitter, she teaches it! we made plans knit. it has been a bit stressful lately with transplant scheduled for Feb. 8th (fingers crossed)!!! this was the perfect night of good friends and lots of dancing. i am sure there will many more pictures on the other blogs.


cold skijor at creamers

Audrey and I went for our last skijor together for awhile. she is moving to Seattle to finish up her thesis. the temps are dropping to 30 below by Monday, our normal Fairbanks weather.
pella (with Ben) chased sky today and Audrey skied with no dog and kept up, very impressive.

they rearranged dialysis so i have Christmas Eve and Day off! Ben and I are excited and we are headed to the Talkeetna Mountains to stay in a cabin and back country tele ski.


dialysis has been kicking my butt lately. even so, i could not resist getting out to ski this weekend, we have had a warm winter and now finally more snow. here is ben with my goofy hat.
we are still hoping for a transplant in January, but we have been this far before. i did have three more friends get tested to see if they have less of a cross match, so for that i am grateful.
very quickly i am becoming what Sara calls a "a yarn snob", she gave me another skein of yarn from local yarn shop Inua's wool. i learned to rib and cable tonight, how exciting!


We had a lot to celebrate last night at the Fox Brewery:
1) Julie is headed to Antarctica today.
2) Audrey shot a caribou Sat.
3) Patrick successfully defended his thesis.
Julie 's new scarf that i knit her for Christmas.Ben excited about the tea Julie made for him. we did our gift exchange early because she will not be around for Christmas. I received some some great yarn from local yarn shop Inua's.


ben shot this video without knowing it today on our cold skijor at creamer's field.
he thought he was taking a still shot with my camera. no volume.


real time simpson lab blog 14:46

near real time blog today at 14:46 11/29/07. i am a nerd. working on the IC, DOAS.


another fun night of knitting. i tried out my new web cam on my laptop for this shot! my friends are so talented at all these crafts and i am starting to learn. the face is a little puffy, i guess my good friend dialysis didn't remove all the fluid today. i am so grateful for all these Alaskan girls showing me their stuff. though grad school is a big part of my life, it is not everything. there is way more to living in Fairbanks then UAF. that is about as deep as it gets for me, but if you want to really dive in..check out ben's photo blog entry.


skijor with caz and sky side by side. i don't know, i think this year caz will be faster.


Lisa and Trevor's Bday party

happy birthday to Lisa and Trevor!
we headed out to Lisa and Dan's to celebrate Lisa and Trevor's birthday. these are the sweet cold ski mittens Lisa received as a present. the hole on the bottom is to fit your ski pole into, perfect for those 40 below hut trips.

Lisa introduced us to this New Zealand game of cutting the chocolate. every time you roll a six you have to dress up in this winter gear and try and cut the chocolate, very strange and fun. here is Ben really getting into it.

i started out making Trevor these sophisticated lime raspberry martinis, but as always with this crowd things headed south. i believe it was Lisa who invented this "toilet 'tini", before you get too grossed out it, it is only fondue chocolate. i think you had to be there, but this was the funniest thing. i have not laughed so hard in a long time. i have to thank Trevor and Lisa for such a memorable night. yuck.



ben and i on our now annual thanksgiving day ski on the dog musher hall trails behind creamers.
we headed to Rebecca and Malcom's thanksgiving party and it was a great time. typical Fairbanks cabin party; out in the middle of nowwhere, dogs running wild inside and out, game meat and a big fire. we left early, but it was pretty wild when we left and i am sure the night was crazy. this is Rebecca belting out Gillian Welch. we had to drag pella out of there after she was fed deer and salmon, this was her favorite party this year. Malcom is a chef so the food was top notch, all that cooking and no running water, it is pretty impressive.


finishing up the field work....for now

this is part of the dirt road out to the site, Fairbanks winter can be so beautiful. this is sunrise around 10am, not too bad yet.
and sunset a few hours later. today was our last day/night running at the field site. so this is maybe the last blog picture of all this excitement. though our science hut on skis is pretty cool, we are tearing it down tomorrow....maybe my blog posts will get more exciting?
julie and i were able to get on the goldstream valley trails and took the dogs out. it was very warm night for this time of year.
pella was having a good old time being drug around by these two.


tis the preseason party

julie made this excellent torte for a pre- season party since she will be in Anarctica soon. we also did a taste test with this box wine, because i swore i could tell the difference and would not like box wine. both ben and i, with conviction, choose the box wine thinking it was the nice bottle we bought. ha ha! who would of known?
some of the party goers enjoying the torte. my close friends have also been very supportive as we ride this crazy roller coaster trying to have a transplant. now the numbers are good, but Mayo still may not do the transplant! some more complicated stuff. for now, more waiting.
just a random great sunset out at the Quist farm the other night.


way to go, way cool husband!

we just found out ben received the Rasmuson Grant, a highly regarded artist grant! this is to pursue his work on the Dalton project, way up north. this is so exciting, it is a lot of money to do what he loves...how cool is that? check out the link and the other winners. this is sooo big for ben's photography and i am so happy for him. here he is back in the cabin days of 40 below and going to the outhouse. he also had a 16x20 print going up in a New York gallery, what a month for ben!



i have not had too much time to get out with our field research going on. we bundled up in our warm ski clothes and headed out for a classic ski late tonight at creamers. patrick and i sent in blood samples this morning to mayo and we should hear something by the end of the week.

also check out Ed's post on their trip into the now infamous "into the wild" bus. one crazy adventure after another, this coming weekend ben and i will join them on a tamer trip into Tolovana hot springs.


at only -3 we have inversions here in Fairbanks and they trap all the pollution near the ground. by the time is -20 the CO levels from cold starting vehicles is really high and we violate clean air levels. time to start plugging in the car. still working all weekend at our field site, we are collecting data and that is good.


We are finally up and running at our field site!

stacia stopped by out on a ride with her dogs yesterday. I was surprised to see someone riding up to the site. there are great trails in the cripple creek area, we hope to meet up for a ski soon.


knit 1

i have this little nervous/anxious new habit, i pull my hair at the end of dialysis! Yuck. So, Audrey taught me how to knit this weekend so both of my hands are busy. so far, so good.
the rest of the weekend i spent at the field site. i am closer to getting this met tower logging correctly. ben rode his bike to pioneer park last night and met up with friends to watch" gates of the arctic". i don't have the link handy, but he said it was a great film.


on my way home from our field site last night i stopped by julie's place for hot buttered rum halloween drinks. notice i am wearing my big down parka inside because she ran out of fuel!

luckily we had plenty of warm clothes from audrey's patagonia sponsorship, we all got some nice stuff. this picture is supposed to be of the "EE" on the old monitor heater in julie's cabin. she will have to get even more used to the cold, she is headed to Antarctica in a few weeks!


Arctic Yo-Yo Brunch and Hut07

we wrapped up the weekend at Martin and Tawna's for brunch. there was great food, from eggs and salmon to french toast and berries. lots of good food this weekend that started at Kristen and Ned's for moose spaghetti. this picture is Martin showing us how the arctic yo-yo is played.

i gave it a try, but i was only good for a laugh.
i spent the weekend out at the field site. here is the met tower ben helped me install. only this was the wrong one, we took it down and installed another one that has two different wind speed and temp levels. ben says he wants on the payroll as an assistant to the Simpson lab, but participating in all this science should be payment enough :-)