Monday, February 28, 2011

1-27 Sunrise

Lovely sunrises abound in the winter months. Maybe they abound in the summer too, but I'm not willing to get up at 4AM to see!
And the light is just lovely too!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cutting Back

 C and I mutually agreed in January that we need to stop spending frivolously and focus on saving money for the next several months. I think we do pretty well with being frugal, but there is definitely lots of room for improvement.

No more spending money until needed. We each get $50 to spend each month, and that usually takes the form of cash. I try to keep most of mine in my camera fund, but it's nice to replenish my cash when I run low. The cash you see above is all I've had since December, and all I still have. I usually use it to go out for coffee with friends, or grab a quick bite of takeout at a restaurant C doesn't like to patronize. Or I used it to buy books at the thrift store. That has stopped. I haven't really missed it, just the cash I send to my fund.

Eating out: We try not to eat out a lot, but there are many restaurants we like in town, and we enjoy it. It's great for dates, which I really look forward to. This is especially hard in the summer when tons of restaurants open seasonally, and we like to try them all and hit up our old favorites. So far we've done good with this one. I've also been trying to not spend as much at the grocery store and instead use some of the food we have stockpiled.

Window shopping: I am notorious for going to the thrift store and the local True Value store and coming away with something. Not always, but I would go frequently enough for entertainment purposes that it was a bad, bad thing. was my nemesis at times. All of that miscellaneous shopping has come to a standstill. I am set to buy a heating pad on Amazon and it has been sitting in my cart for over a month and a half because I have nothing else I need to get that meets the free shipping requirement.

Entertainment: I really, really wanted to go see a local movie at the theatre, and the new Narnia movie when it was here. We declined both :( We'll wait till it comes out on DVD and we can rent it with our punchcard at the video store. I also stopped buying cheap mp3 albums from Amazon. I miss having new music, but $5 here and there adds up.

Clothes: Neither of us needs anymore clothes. It was amazing how I would randomly come home with clothes when I would make a Walmart run, and they never were worth any quality. This one is not hard to cut out.

Gifts: This one hurts. I love giving gifts to family. We spent a ton on Christmas last year, and I spread it out through the year. I changed the budget to make sure we would save more money through the year for gifts, but we cut that out for the near future. Less expensive gifts for everyone! C's birthday was a bit depressing because of that. Last year didn't help because we had two weddings to attend, and we like to be generous to our dear friends.

Gas: Gas prices are always high here. Last I checked, we had $3.84 a gallon. I've been trying to be more conservative in my trips to town lately. That doesn't impact my running off for the sunset, but I am trying to ensure that the gas used will be worth my while.

This shopping "ban" hurts a little, but I know it will be worth it in the long run. We aren't restricting any of that absolutely, but in general, if we don't need it, it's not necessary. This will go on indefinitely, and hopefully we can continue these habits for the long run. February has ended with more money in the bank than we would have had normally, so it's been a success so far!

Have any of you cut back a lot recently? How did you handle it?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Slippers!

Must be a footwear weekend! These are my moose slippers! They are slowly getting worn out and I figured it was time to document their existence before they meet an too soon demise :(

I wear my slippers all the time around the house. As soon as I take my shoes off, these are on. I usually go through a cheap pair in 6 months or a little more, and decided that it might be better to buy an actual nice pair before I spend all our money on them :) But I haven't made up my mind yet.

 Any of you have adorable slippers you want to share?

Purple Ice

I love when the sky is lit up, all the way across the sky.
Print available.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I love my boots!

I had a pair of boots I bought on a BOGO sale at Payless a few years back. They were cute, but really did not keep me warm, which I quickly discovered after trying to shoot in 15F weather for an hour at a time! I insisted to C that I needed to find some boots, but I didn't want to order any online without trying them on. So, we went out to the local sports store, which has outrageous prices, but they were selling boots for 20% off. I got a pair of Columbia ones for $72 plus tax!

Since then, I have been incredibly impressed. They are supposed to stay warm until -25F. I have been using them as cold as 10F and they have been wonderful. I haven't had cold feet since.

My next task is to find warm enough gloves. I do the layer thing, but nothing seems to keep me warm enough for long enough, even at 30F. Any suggestions?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Redoubt and Snow

Another shot of Mt. Redoubt. This was taken from a moving vehicle, off the snow covered trees and the volcano.

I gave in yesterday and joined the Formspring fad. It's a cool resource to network with and answer people's questions, and it can be a lot of fun too, I figured, why not? Ask me anything :P

Beluga Lake Brilliance

An amazing sunrise over frozen Beluga Lake

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eagles at the Dump

It's a depressing fact here, but the eagles like to congregate at the dump...
Young one.
It's a shame, but nice for photographers sometimes!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Self Portraits Again

It was snowing the other day and I decided to put on some winter gear and run out for a self portrait shoot. It didn't go as well as I wanted, but it was still fun :P
Unfortunately, self portraits are hard to do sometimes :)
I finally insisted C take a photo of me that would actually look decent, and he eventually relented :)

Frozen Footsteps

Beluga Lake has taken a real beating this winter. Melting and then refreezing. These footprints are frozen in least till it warms up again.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Moose Whisperer

I stepped outside for a minute and saw this guy a few weeks back. I snapped a couple pics, then ran inside. I got on skype and talked to a friend of mine from the Lower 48. I started the webcam as the moose wandered into the backyard and let my friend watch the moose paw through the snow for grass.
She took a webcam pic of me, when I was tapping on the glass to get him to react (he didn't), so she dubbed me the "Moose whisperer" :P

It was fun to get to show my friend the moose in real time :D I think it was the highlight of her day!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Message From Hong Kong

C was shipped a TV cord for something, and it came from Hong Kong. Here is the silly message :)

Last night, we were getting ready to fall asleep when we heard something bump up against the wall under our window. And then there was lots of snow crunching. We assumed it was a moose, but the frantic way it was acting from the sounds of it concerned us. Shortly after this started, a dog started barking and the creature ran off noisily. Pretty soon it came back, and so did the dog. I went to the window to find the dog about 10 feet away from the wall, barking and prancing around. But I couldn't see the animal. Finally, the dog aggravated it enough that he/she came out of hiding. It was a moose. Poor thing ran off again and then came back shortly later and I assume spent the night there. We finally fell asleep after 1AM. The sounds were just a bit strange sounding out there...snow crunching, a big moose brushing up against the house and making the walls shake, etc.

I'm glad it's daylight again! :P

Sunrise on the Dock

A brilliant sunrise in January over Beluga Lake.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Frozen Bay Again

I adore the bay when it is this color!
Fun splash!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Birthday Portrait

Taken on C's birthday in January. My photos were too dark and I insisted we move in front of the door. Grabbed a chair and we were set! I like this one :)

Ending Brilliance

It's always disappointing to me when the sunrise colors give way to a dull orange and then fade away. I was hoping the light orange clouds would turn more striking in color after this, but they did not.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hoarfrost 2

I love hoarfrost. We don't get it enough here. I found some at the beach, all over the driftwood and rocks and just had to bring my macro lens for a look!
There are some amazingly intricate patterns sometimes!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Poot's Panda

Poot's Peak has a friendly face that comes to visit in the wintertime. See the panda in the trees/snow?

Hiding Shells

The clam shells were continually overwhelmed with the waves, but they stayed in one spot for me :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Augustine 3

As you can probably tell, I try to take many, many photos of the mountains when the horizon is clear. Now if only I could have gotten shots like this when they were erupting!

Valentine's Day. Ugh. Working in the retail industry means VDay is less than fun at times. I spent the last 4 days at work making and selling boxes of chocolate. People are insane.

Last night, we stayed open 35 extra minutes, and I missed a school meeting because of it. But it was a zoo. An absolute zoo yesterday, and Saturday was the same. I have never understood why people wait so long, or forget until 5:30 at night. We locked the doors and and people were still driving in the parking lot.

I had a woman come in looking for a box for her son's male teacher. She didn't want any with hearts on it, but she ended up buying a $40 box of chocolate. First of all, did she have her eye on this guy? Was she trying to get brownie points for her kid? I know a lot of guys that like chocolate, but that one didn't really seem to be the best gift for a man. C would take a year to finish the thing, if I got it for him.

I figured out that Valentine's is my least favorite time of the year at my job. Christmas is obnoxious, so is summer. Easter is annoying too, but Vday takes the cake. It gets old really fast trying to help men figure out what their wives like. And I have to tie bows on bags....which I still have not perfected after 5 years.

C and I are going to celebrate on Thursday, I believe. The excitement will have died down by then, and we won't need a reservation to go out for a meal!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Mt. Illiamna as viewed from the landfill.

Clam Shells and the Tide

I always try to find interesting things to put in my foreground. Clam shells will do just the trick!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Backlit Trees

I have been dying to take some photos of snow covered trees since before winter. I finally got to a few weeks back. Better yet, they were beautifully backlit by the sunshine!
Some of it was more likely hoarfrost, but some was definitely snow.
Isn't it lovely?!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Our national bird is not the most delicate of eaters sometimes.
Roadkill is one of the eagle's specialties....



Friday, February 11, 2011

Lesson Learned

Ignore the awful photo of myself. Focus on the pajama pants. I bought these pants at Walmart on clearance. They were girls XL and I held them up to myself and figured it would fine. They fit....I suppose. It's very obvious that girls clothes are not meant to be worn by adults. It's hard to explain exactly, but they just don't fit in the right spots, I suppose. I think they are meant for a girl with shorter legs and a bigger rear end or something. I never thought I would have a problem with pajama pants, but I have been proven wrong and will not make this mistake again!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Reindeer Noodle Soup

 Isn't this fun?! I bought this chicken noodle soup mix recently and just had to make it.
The pasta noodles are in the shape of jumping reindeer and reindeer heads. I didn't take any photos of the soup, but I should have. It was very tasty! Here's the website for the Pasta Shoppe if you are interested!

A Ray on the Slush

Kachemak Bay attempting to freeze in January again. It was snowing this day, and the waves were freezing the slush on the beach. The sun kept trying to peek out every little bit, and the ocean was the fantastic sea foam color again.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

First Beams

 I love sunstars, especially on frost covered beaches!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

More Augustine

Another sunrise shot when the horizon was clear for a shot at Augustine!

Freezing Bay

Taken a little before sunset, but a good view of the ice forming on the left side of the Spit. The right side is freezing too, just in a different way.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Continuation of yesterday's post....amazing hoarfrost on a lookout spot. I did get to shoot a bit of the sunset, but it was already dark and I had no tripod. *sigh*

I was a bit bummed this past weekend to miss the northern lights here. I'd been watching the twitter comments from photographers and how it looked like it would be good. I recently discovered the aurora webcam and it's such a cool resource. Friday night, the lights were on at about 6:50 pm in Fairbanks, and I was so jealous :P I looked outside many times that evening and saw nothing, and it turns out that after I went to bed (12) then they showed up here in town. So disappointed! Saturday night we might have been able to see them, but it was cloudy :(

Hopefully I use today to do a ton of homework. I am feeling motivated to do so, so I hope it happens!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Almost Missed It

Sometimes I manage to be somewhere at the right time. Other times, I completely miss it, whether from another obligation, or a shopping trip. I walked out of Walmart, knowing it was sunset and was greeted with this.
And then this happened. Ahhhh. Why was I not at the beach for this one?!

Hoarfrost Complexity

I was ecstatic to find hoarfrost at the beach in January. This was a particularly intricate specimen on a piece of driftwood.