cold snap

we just started a big cold snap here in Fairbanks, with a high of 35 below zero and lows to 50 and 60 below zero for the next 10 days. so instead of hunkering down, we go outside and make dance videos. this one was last night for Lisa and Dan's wedding in New Zealand. i have only posted a few snap shots not the video link because all the participants were to embarrassed. it was modeled after Beyonce's single ladies, i start out as Beyonce....then my back dancers enter....and it goes on from there, soo funny.
ben is in the cowboy hat with two squirt guns. we had to do it in one 2min shot right in front of Ed's house because it was so cold.


Merry Christmas

Ben doing the Polish tradition of breaking of the bread and wishing for a happy and healthy upcoming year with Pella - "I hope you learn to come when you are called, stay out of the culverts and not get any frostbite in this coming year!" i think she understood. we also did this tradition on Christmas Day at Ed's and everyone enjoyed it.

We made Frosty's Going Down martini's, danced a lot of Polka, I didn't even bring any, it was just by chance it was a Polish themed Christmas!Polka!
a little white elephant gift exchange. Ted picked this great photo of Tbone dressed all suave and, believe it or not, it was stolen, hot item!


earlier in the week Ed, Ben and I skied the UAF trails because Pella is not able to ski yet. i was testing out my new windproof layer after our Tolovana experience. it was only 20 below at smith lake so i was plenty warm.
the rest of the week was pretty tough. this access is not working as it should yet. i have lots of swelling and bruising from each of the two to three needles from 3 days a week of dialysis and it making my arm a mess. i guess they say this is the "norm" for a new access, let me tell you it is no fun! i am hoping it gets better over the Holidays. in better news, my scarf is coming along, it wraps around now and is almost long enough!



My good friend from college Jana's baby girl Jordyn. I get a ton of cute pictures from Jana on their camping adventures. Here is Jordyn playing with the rock climbing gear in Moab. Too cute! I can't wait to see all my friends babies back in CO when I can travel again.


Lena and Mike's cocktail party

they dressed up their cute cabin in Christmas lights, very festive.
Jackson, Dan and Ed, the clean shot.
i took over the bar tending duties because i am the sober one and i really "move the product" as Jackson says.
Lena, Kristen and i all dressed for the party, a rare occasion in Fairbanks.

Pella's Frostbite

poor Pella ended up getting frostbite on her belly from our trip out of Tolovana. The vet cut off the dead skin and stitched her up. Here she is later that day on Ed's luv sac and on pain killers. She is feeling no pain in this picture.


Tolovana Hot Springs

We made it! We hiked, skied and snowshoe into Tolovana Hot Springs this weekend with a great big group of friends. This is Kristen, Brown and I just getting there, we hiked the entire 10mile trail in the dark. Little did we know this would be the easy hike. Ed was already at the cabin because he skiis so fast and then lights the fire, fetches water and has hot water ready for us when we arrive. Check out Ed's blog for very nice post of the way out, when we had waist deep snow drifts and 50 below wind chills!

Here we are hanging out at the Cabin, the hotsprings are about 1/4 mile hike up the hill, a very chilly run back to the cabin with those wind chills!Shortly after we arrived on Friday a blizzard came in bringing blowing snow and very windy conditions. Here are Brown and Cob leaving on Saturday, heading out into those crazy conditions. We also had Jackson, Dana, Ann and Libby arrive on Saturday night. Then later that night Heather arrived and did the hike alone, that is pretty burly to go over Tolovana Dome in that weather!
Sunday morning Ben and I headed out early and the wind had not stopped, but the snow storm had. This is leaving the cabin, before we discovered the next 9 miles were covered with snow drifts! Ben carried my sled and his backpack, he is my love sherpa :-) It was a long 7 hours out, it was pretty tough hike for me this year and I am home with a cold today. I am glad everyone made it out safe and it was a great weekend!
The start of the snow drifts that are the trail.
Ben getting ready to climb a snow drift. We call this slogging along.


Big Day on Dialysis

I don't talk about dialysis much, well, because it sucks. That being said, it is does keep me alive so that is cool. After 8 weeks, my access finally matured enough and today was they day the nurse stuck it. I have been dreading these huge dialysis needles for over 2 years now. I did have Lidocaine needles first. All the dialysis people made fun of me in a good spirited peer pressure way to not use the Lidocaine, why get stuck 4 times instead of two? It was worth it, the needle are so huge to accommodate that large blood flow and very long too. I have to watch it come out so I can put pressure on the site and hold it for 10 minutes. This is part of the new routine. The catheter comes out next week and although this is an adjustment, it is much safer. So as I was leaving, my dialysis neighbor Kathy said...."Welcome to the big needle club!". No one may get this post, but having it go so smoothly was cause for a celebration. Ben and I went out for gyros and then I had a nice long chat with Audrey and Jules in Seattle(sure do miss those gals!).
Pella girl, just cause.


we don't seem to get far from the frozen Chena River or the Noyes Slough since we can ski them from our Condo door. it is pretty fun to ski around the city of Fairbanks on the Rivers during the slim daylight...

or at night with Ann who also moved into town near the slough.

thanksgiving at Ann's was just great. here is Mike, he brought grizzly bear! that was a treat, this was one of the infamous salcha bears that was getting into trouble down there, Mike works for fish and game.
pic of us and Kat and part of Ed. after dinner we all did a slide show of some favorite pics. we had quite the range from AK Austria, Uzbekistan and even Buton Island.


ben and i were able to get out of town for the day Sunday and tele ski Cleary Summit. There was some crusty snow, but we had a great time on the skin up. the day ended with yes, more knitting at Browns. all of my projects are coming along and maybe i'll have some pics soon! ben's tele turns are looking good these days, especially in this crud!

Kristen and I stopped by to use the yarn baller. Pretty cool.


update on Dan's cabin. i was thinking about him tonight because it is 30 below right now and still he has no electricity or monitor heat. two large windows in the front are not in yet..yikes.
Cobb and Ben sharing some scotch this past weekend at our Friday night dinner and knitting.

just pella. she was staring at me all night like this, i guess because i am on the computer and busy. so cute.


great girl's night last night.


My good friend Audrey donated her kidney last week to a friend. The kidney transplant was a success and she truly saved a life. What an awesome thing she did. I am glad Julie lives near Seattle to be with her and I can't wait till she is back in Fairbanks for more knitting and skiing!


smith lake

great weekend of skiing for Ben and I. trying to get in some miles before our trip to Tolovana in a few weeks.


ben drove to Deadhorse this weekend on the Haul Road, way way north of the Arctic Circle and as far north as you can drive until you hit the Arctic Ocean. He is continuing his ongoing Haul Road photo project with the large format camera. These are a few digital snapshots of the trip. 16 musk ox, how cool is that?in Coldfoot Camp he went dog mushing with an 8 dog team and had a great ride. we are headed out to an election party at Ed's, of course we voted (early this year)!


skate skiing at Creamer's, the trails are groomed and temps were warm. this morning it was 20 below, though. this was the last day out before this horrible cold/flu thing took over.
i recuperated all weekend, but i did make it out for an hour to the Annual Potato and Turkey fry and to Kat's fortieth B-day bash. who could miss that? here she is with Pink boa instead of the over the hill theme.
Kristen and Ed, I am not sure what theme Ed was dressed up for.


we had a dinner party at Ed's Friday, he is back from Uzbekistan on vacation. his favorite part is a video by dj smash. ben bought these funny martini glasses as a joke, so we used them, perfect amount for someone on dialysis less than one ounce.
Trevor trying out a tiny martini.
dinner at Brown at Cobbs so we could knit the night away. here is Brown trying on a skirt she knit and a few dj smash moves i was showing her.

knitting, pizza and photobooks, now that is a night.

Ben and i headed out for a ski at UAF. it was so fun, the snow is good. i am still using one arm, so it was a little slow...it will be 4 more weeks before the artery vein connection is healed, can't have that pull apart. we are headed to Birch tomorrow for some skate ski technique skiing, no poles or arms. perfect.
more knitting, but today it was about the chocolate, muffins and girl chat!


weekend of knitting

such a great snowy weekend in Fairbanks, hanging with my girlfriends, they all rock. we started out knitting at Kat's. here is Kat and Audrey relaxing in the sunshine. Audrey and I are both trying to knit a lace pattern fancy scarf together. we ended the day out to Bobby's for a gyro, my favorite.

Kristen and I started the morning out with Huff latte's, the best. then we took the dogs for a walk at Creamer's. the skiing is going to be awesome this year, we have a lot of snow already, i can't ski for 4-6 weeks waiting for this fistula to mature enough for dialysis. then the catheter comes out and then ski , hike and bike time!

headed off to Coffee Roasters for some more knitting and once again Brown took control, straightened out my knitting and got me on the right track. thanks Brown! Ben was also the star husband this weekend installing our new handicap shower thing for me and fixing a DPFE sensor on the truck and the check engine light went out.he also took the truck up to the white mountains and shot some photos. it might not be typical big ski pictures, which are coming, but equally as enjoyable.