Currently living/working: We’ve been consistently full with contract work all of March. And actually, we’re trying to stay ahead—or at least on top of it—since we know we’ll be traveling most of April. With that being said, we’ve also been getting out to play during our longer and snowy days. So win-win for work-life balance this past month!
Current mood: All is swell. Well, we are getting ready to leave Alaska for a few weeks, which makes me equally sad, happy & anxious, but whatevs. March was a good month for many reasons.
Currently excited about: After nearly 16 months, Justin & I will see our families in April! Yeah for vaccinations! I am heading to NJ/CT to see my family for 10 days, while Justin goes straight to Denver. I’ll meet up with him there later in April.
Currently not excited about: I’m sure most of you would admit your social skills atrophied during the pandemic. I mean, here in Alaska, I believe that happens every spring when we come out of winter hibernation. But I know I’m going to have a hard time knowing how to act in an airport among crowds, and even more so in the big cities of the lower 48. Justin & I have been so paranoid of the virus, and even though we are fully vaccinated, we are still not taking it lightly and know we’ll be pretty anxious during our upcoming travels.
Currently amazed by: Gaining daylight SO FAST!! It’s been fascinating to be in Alaska for a year straight and watch the sun’s cycle. Not only do we notice daylight still lingering around 9pm on March 31, but now the fiery ball of sun (when out) almost makes an entire orbit around our cabin and we are currently up to nearly 13.5 hours of daylight. March is a delightful month, as long-term Alaskans have always boasted.
Current confession: I have mixed feelings about saying goodbye to winter. When we leave next week, the Alaskan landscape will still be snow-covered, and I want to believe we’ll be missing the undesirable time when things melt and it’s so muddy. But boy do we love winter (and Alaska). The weather patterns were much different compared with last year, as in it was warmer (a good thing) and had less snow until Feb/March (a bad thing for overall fire risk). But we did so much XC skiing & snowshoeing in Feb & March, and it was fantastic to get out so much. I think we accumulated over 50 miles of skiing in just those 2 months!
Currently worried about: Melting snow!!!The snow is still falling here (as I type this), but once it fully starts melting, leaks and drainage create new homeowner woes. Last year, we had a few roof leaks and Justin patched the spots where he guessed they were and we put up gutters, hoping to fix some of the drainage problems. We’ve moved snow off our roof this week, but everything in Alaska is wait, see and learn, and unfortunately, we won’t be here this season to observe what new problems arise.
Currently thankful for: We spent an exorbitant amount of time trying to navigate an insurance change to Justin’s bi-monthly infusion treatment. In the end, it all worked out. But we couldn’t have done it without the incredible dedication from his medical team in Denver and in Fairbanks. We stressed about whether we should pay the big bucks to stay on Cobra, and I’m already counting my blessings we did so that we maintain care with both CO & AK. Plus, now there’s apparently a Cobra relief piece of the newest stimulus bill, so I feel even more validated for making that decision (still need to figure out the details to this).
Currently proud of: Podcasts galore! If there’s one thing that makes me squirm more than spiders and centipedes, it’s talking about myself. But I’ve been doing it, especially for the sake of keeping the momentum going for my book. If you are a podcast fan, and if you want to hear me babble, here are a few new ones to check out, wherever you get your podcasts. More to come!
Far From Home – Episode 12 – This is a short and sweet episode with both Justin and I boasting about the hospitality of Kiwis.
Journeys Through Art – Season 2, Episode 5 – Rose is such a sweetheart, and we talk a little bit about life in Alaska, hiking in New Zealand and the process of book publishing.
The Hike Podcast – Episode 27 – Lori really dives into more specifics about hiking Te Araroa, like how many rivers we crossed and what that was like.
Currently regretting: I would say I haven’t connected the best to my teenage niece & nephew. This is hard to do with teenagers in this day and age! And especially when I haven’t seen them in 16 months. But I am hoping my visit to NJ/CT will reconnect us.
Current guilty pleasure: Paying someone to do our taxes! Our taxes were insanely complicated this year, and as I reviewed the paperwork, I not-so-fondly remembered a time when we prepared them ourselves. Quite a few years ago, I decided we should not be doing our own taxes, and every year I am grateful. And for the first time probably in 10 years, we are getting a tax refund, something that I never would have figured out on my own!
Currently watching on Netflix/Hulu/Apple TV: We’re finished Season 2 of “Outlander” on Netflix. We like it still, but we’re taking a break since this is a LONG-running series and we do sort of tire of it after each season. We did move onto and blow through the first 2 seasons of “The Servant,” which is an AppleTV series (we got a year free when Justin got his phone in December). Now we have to wait for Season 3 on that one. We’ll probably take a break from watching anything as we’ll be apart for 10 days, which is the perfect time for Justin to watch all the music documentaries he wants (he recently watched the Beastie Boys one on Apple TV and can’t stop raving about it).
Currently reading: I have discovered Alaska’s Digital Library and the fact that I can check out e-books with my library card. Who knew???? So I finally read Tara Westover’s Educated after hearing about it from so many others! I was floored by her hardships under a Mormon family who suffered unknowingly from mental illness. I was reading a fiction piece because so much of what she went through seemed inconceivable. Furthermore, she overcame so much, and even thrived in life! Amazing.
Now I am reading Rhythm of the Wild: A Life Inspired by Alaska’s Denali National Park by Kim Heacox, and really enjoying it. I mean, it is about my backyard, so not hard to fall in cadence with the prose.