Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Loving Kodiak!

I has been almost 3 years since we moved to Kodiak and it is still one of the best decisions we have made.  Yes, it's very remote and far away from EVERYTHING but that's what is also so great about it.  You get to know just about everyone here rather quickly being such a small community and that can be good and bad.  If you find someone you don't click with, unfortunately you WILL run into them just about everywhere.  But most of the locals are truly wonderful and full of helpful hearts.  With the Coast Guard base and a Navy training base here, every spring there is a huge turnover with transfer season that brings tons of new faces and a change in dynamics that is both inspiring and sad at the same time.  It's starting over with friends, neighbors, volunteers, etc. that can make it bittersweet.

There seems to be more to do here than anywhere we have ever lived and so many great experiences for kids.  We have been busy with 4-H, community art classes, gardening and just enjoying the beauty of Kodiak with tons of hiking, fishing and beach combing.  There are very active church groups of several denominations, other kid groups like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and FFA, also an active gardening group, actors guild with some pretty impressive productions. There really is no other place like it!!  That's why we have called it HOME for almost 3 years and not sure when we are moving off the rock.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Kodiak, AK

Yes, I fell off the blog-bandwagon... after a crazy, whirlwind of a move to Alaska, we've been spending every waking moment enjoying our new environment.  I can't even begin to explain how beautiful it is here...even on a gloomy day!  The island has not only met our expectations but truly exceeded them in the 7 months we've been here.  We knew we loved Alaska when we vacationed in Juneau several years ago but really did not comprehend how much we would instantly love it as a home.  Here are just a sampling of pictures of the scenery...

During a hike on Near Island...
 Cloud break after several days of rain, it was nice to see the sun peeking thru, shot this at Deadman's Curve...
 Another pretty shot of the sun burning off the clouds after a morning rain shower and blessed us with a beautiful rainbow...this picture doesn't quite capture the colors but still beautiful!!
 Anther Near Island picture when we ventured around the float plane area.  Just gorgeous and these guys are flying all around the island as long as the weather is ok.  They are sooo picturesque!
So there is a sampling of where we have moved and started our new adventures...Kodiak, Alaska.  We hope some family and friends visit soon!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Menu and To-Do Board project

View IMAG0724.jpg in slide show

I have to start off by saying... I LOVE PINTEREST!  There are so many great ideas and pictures that really get your creative side flowing!  I looked at several ideas for a menu board and then came up with this variation for our family.  I found a plain cork board at Savers for super cheap.  Touched up the black frame with some black paint (it had a few dings and scratches).  Then mapped out what I wanted on it.  I used a ruler and permanent marker to draw out the grid and then wrote in my titles.

In the top left corner I put 'The HAGEN family' then 'Menu' and 'To-Do'. Down the left side are the days of the week and at the bottom 'Reminders'.  I had a cute basket that I mounted to the right to hold my laminated slips of paper to use along with some dry-erase markers.  I found some cute push pins, a cute sign and greenery to hang up on the top and project is done!  I LOVE IT!!


So, the latest and greatest is that my hubby Larry interviewed for a job last week and it'll be in Kodiak, AK.  Now, I have a LOT of mixed feelings about this new turn of events.  He rec'd a call yesterday that he is a top contender and they are checking his references.  That means we should know something by the end of the week.

There are a lot of pros and cons about this possible move!  First of all, I am very close to my family (even though we don't live that close currently) and it would be even harder for me to get home (Rapid City, SD) and almost impossible for them to visit in the future.  (I do have family also in MI and MN but I was born and raised in SD.)  My husband isn't as close to his family so it's not much of an issue for him.  All of our parents have some health issue of one thing or another plus, I still have a grandmother alive and an older aunt that I am close to.  I really don't get to see them that much now but it does cross my mind on how much longer they will be around.

It is a given that moving is a pain in the butt, but besides the family issue, there really is nothing else stopping us from going.  We love the outdoors, we have been to Alaska before and LOVED it.  My hubby loves to fish and we'll be right near a Coast Guard base that is huge so there will be plenty of amenities and opportunities for us.  I love that there is only 11 or so miles of roads on the island and you can only get there by plane or ferry.  And besides, it can't be THAT remote if there is a Wal-Mart there!  LOL  Everything I have read and the pictures I have seen (both summer and winter) have made me excited for this new adventure.  This week could be a huge turning point in our lives...I'll keep you posted on what happens!! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bell's Palsy...

Well, I was diagnosed with this annoying disease about 3 weeks ago and I must say it's been frustrating!  The scary part was that the initial symptoms are similar to a stroke so the first day I had any symptoms, I was tired, my left eye kept going out of focus and later in the day, I went to brush my teeth and it was very hard to spit.  I looked in the mirror and the left side of my face was not responsive to anything I was trying to make it do.  When my hubby got home, I had him look at it and said we need to go to the urgent care and see what they say.  30 minutes after that, I was in the ER for more testing to be sure it wasn't a stroke.  I guess the initial test they have you do is see if you can raise your eyebrows...if you can only raise one, then it's probably  Bell's Palsy, if they both raise, then it's possibly a stroke.  It has something to do with the 7th nerve and where it runs and what it operates.  There is a much better description from the Mayo Clinic, check it out here

So since this is supposed to be temporary in most people, recovery time anywhere from a few days to a few months, and then the severity of it can vary as well.  I can sleep at night ok, my eye for the most part shuts but it does get drier and tired from not being able to close fully when I am awake.  I bought some real tears eye drops that help with that.  Trying to put makeup on this eye is interesting putting it on a different person since I don't have all the feeling there.  My mouth feels like I went to the dentist and got some drilling done minus the pain of a filling or whatever else.  It's easier for me to drink from a straw, I cannot whistle very good, spitting after brushing is about impossible eating anything big like a juicy burger is almost out of the question and some pronunciation of words can be tricky (esp. words with f or p sounds).  I read to my daughter almost every night and at first this was difficult.  For the first few weeks, I had an aching pain in my cheek, beside my eye and along my jaw.  It got severe enough a few nights that I had to go to the dr. to be sure it wasn't anything else...he just gave me some good pain killers so I could sleep and after a few days it mostly went away.  Almost like a ghost ache or something.

My droop is not really noticeable if I keep my face expressionless.  As soon as I talk, smile, smirk or whatever, then it's noticeable.  I am hoping it will go away soon, my hubby says that it seems my mouth is moving a little better.  I think it may be that I am learning to annunciate and move my mouth differently to get the words out more clearly.  Who knows...I would rather him be right but I really don't see any changes in the mirror so that's what I'm basing my observation on. 

Another thing I figured out after diagnosed is that this is not that uncommon.  I never have heard of it or heard of anyone having it but as soon as I spread the word to my family and friends, the stories were coming out the woodwork.  I found that it is common to happen to mother's during child birth and can go away just about as fast as it started.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my days are numbered and the end is near...I never realized how much I miss my smile until this!  And I like to smile a lot!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!!

2013 is here and I think I am ready to make some changes!
Resolutions aside, here is my 'hopeful' list for this year!
1) Eat healthier
2) Exercise more!!!
3) Try to get the family 'unplugged' for 2 days a week
4) Spend more learning time with Morgan
5) Do more activites outside like camping, hiking, fishing, gardening, etc.
6) Keep my blog updated more!  LOL
7) Finish organizing the house for more optimal use (desk, craft and exercise areas)
8) Do more crafts, make more cards, and listen to my creative urges!  :-)

What are your resolutions or hopes for this year?  Please share!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Holiday Letters

I can't believe it's been a year since I signed into my blog!  How life can take over and change your direction is amazing at the very least!  So, what drove me back to my blog is a need to get a thought out into the world.  Here's the question:

Should I write a Holiday Letter or not? 

With the growing popularity of online social sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, etc.)...have these continuous contact sites made us too exposed to our family friends so a letter for the Holidays ends up being just a bunch of repetative information?  I am torn!  I LOVE writing our yearly letter, not only for our friends and family but I always keep a copy to add to our scrapbook so I can look back and see what we did as a family.  I always include at least one photo (some years I have put multiple pics on the letter) which makes it even more capturing of the moments in time.  I know there are a select few people in my life that are not on the computer (grandparents & the older generation mostly), so maybe I should go ahead and write a letter, send it out to those not connected online and then just post it online for everyone else to see if they wish.  This would be a much cheaper option than in the past!!  Hmmm...

If anyone is out there with the same issue or struggle, please comment and let me know what you think or if you have another plan of action for the holiday communications!