News from The North!
It has been this way for years; yes, once again, I am a seasonal blogger. And that’s ok, right? I’m getting an earlier start this year – so that is a good thing. I will see if I can keep it going.
For the first time in our relationship, I am “trying a winter” in Homer, with Maria. If you remember, last winter was a little rocky – living in the Ice Castle and Minnesota. And folks in MN insist that this winter is MUCH worse – so my decision was the right one. This is my attempt at being flexible and spontaneous – and I’m finding that I am enjoying this more than I thought. Thankfully, my job is flexible. All I need is internet – and I can do my job from anywhere in the world. There is no longer any interruption in my work, or my income – since I went to work for Betterhelp and it’s sister sites as an online therapist. Would you believe that the wintertime temperature here averages around 30 degrees? Sometimes it is 25 and sometime it is 45 but generally speaking, it is hovering around the freezing mark. We haven’t had much snow. The worst we get is some freezing rain. I hit the guard rail going down the hill one day, with my boat in tow. That was interesting!
When I am not working, and at home being with Maria – my newfound passion has been trapping in Alaska. Indeed, my “bucket list” has been to do as many new things in Alaska as I can, before I croak (as my dad would say). So – the first order of business was to catch a wolverine – and with some extremely hard work, I got that done. Next, it will be to catch a wolf. Then, I’m going to do battle with a Brown Bear this spring – if all goes well. I know – that sounds crazy, but that is the way I think! I will keep you posted.
As I sit here writing – we are having one of the more nasty days I’ve seen in the two months I’ve been here. The wind is blowing 45 mph, and the snow is blowing sideways. It is so windy out that some moose have moved in – trying to use the house as a windbreak. Brody and Blue, our two Australian Shepherds, are patrolling diligently to keep them away. The moose push back. It appears to be a stalemate on the hillside, amongst the spruce trees. This has been going on all day. Guests who have been here in the past will attest to us having moose in our yard on nearly a daily basis. This does not change in the winter!
I WAS going to check my traps today – but the ocean is too treacherous and dangerous (my traps are across the bay in the state park). So, the blog begins.
Maria is “out” as they call it – when Alaskans go to the lower 48 in the winter. She is busy visiting family, and working her doTerra business. She comes home in two days, and I am excited for that as it has been lonely around here with just me and the three mutts. Yes – Sam Elliott is here too, and doing fine. He drives me nuts with his OCD nature regarding retrieving, and he usually goes with me on the trapline too.
I have new additions to the boat to report! Last year, it was a brand new Suzuki 200 HP for our guests and I to enjoy as we explore the bay. This year – it’s a brand-new custom made top; it’s tall enough to stand up in. It offers complete protection from the front, top, and sides. The side windows are removable for the photo safari. The rear is open for fishing. And the whole things folds down or comes off rather easily for the “open air feel” and freedom, which is my favorite way to roll, but I’m not gonna lie – when it is ugly or rainy and you still want to go out, the protection is great! This yeas guests are gonna enjoy this.
I have also completely rebuilt the boat trailer and wiring. I”m working on replacing all of the pedestals and seats on the main deck. There are “extra seats” in the bow and stern. And more diamond plate too, for easy of cleaning off all that fish goo when we get slimed!
I’m also really excited about a new purchase I just made – a new handgun and holster that will serve as bear protection when I am out amongst them. I know – bear attacks are rare overall, but they are becoming more and more common all the time, as man and bear are forced together. Just a couple weeks ago, a couple of snowmobilers here in Homer were attacked by a 9.5 foot Brown Bear! During winter! See? You just never know. I want to be prepared! I think Maria wants me prepared too, don’t you honey?
Otherwise – Maria has been busy with renters. We have been fortunate to have the entire cabin and the “Bears Den” rented for the entire winter. Moose manor has been “here and there.” Blueberry and Rose and Cottonwood have had some short term rentals as well. All of it helps to pay the mortgage.
Other good news? Maria is updating and printing the next edition of her cookbook! I talked her into making it full color. I insisted that everyone would be willing to pay extra to have that. Well, the recipes and the photos will be awesome – just wait and see! Look for your copy when you come to visit. I imagine Maria would also ship one to you if you ask.
I know Maria is already planning to start “stocking the shelves” for supplies on her way home from Anchorage on Monday. It takes a lot of supplies to run a busy B and B for five months!
I’m not all together sure what is going to happen with the staff, but we do have some changes coming that we are excited about. I will write about that when I know more.
Over Christmas, Maria had her four sons home, and they moved the monstrous cactus from the kitchen to the living room. For those of you who have been here, you know the cactus I speak of! For those of you who don’t, I will see if I can add a photo. This thing has been with Maria since 1983. Who thinks of cactus in Alaska? Right. But this thing grew so large it ran out of room at the ceiling – which is why it had to go into the living room. I would have liked to be here for Christmas, but I was glad I missed out on moving the cactus 🙂 The sons did a fine job.
Maria has also been doing lots of painting – which is one of her true loves. In fact, she is doing originals, matting and framing them – and they will be displayed for sale here at the B and B – so guests can have a “unique one of a kind” painting of Maria’s as a keepsake of their stay at Majestic View, and Homer, Alaska. Look for them when you come to visit!