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June 2009
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July 2009

Ain't No Sunshine...

...when she's gone. It's not warm when she's away.

It's become like the unspoken omen around here. No one wants to say it. Everyone is still hanging on to the anticipation that summer is not quite over... We turn away from the fireweeds that are slowly lingering away or the leaves that are starting to turn. And even if we have come to terms with the "end" of what was a beautiful summer. We are all quite content to have had a summer at all.

So, while like the rest of the world is experiencing a "heat wave", our sunshine has left the building, more like the entire state!  I have seen nothin' but clouds, grey, and rain and that oh so "dreary" (aka, let's stay in our PJ's unless we have to go out, feeling).  It's not very invigorating or uplifting, but it is what it is.

Izzy has been sick for a few days...not fun.

The boys have been... quite good, honestly. (Maybe it's because daddys back home from his short TDY to Maryland).

And me... well I've been:

  • taking it easy, my body felt weak after several nights of staying up with Izzy and her coughing
  • enjoying McDonald's vanilla cones with Ethan, 2 for $1.00, why would I just buy one?
  • taking a break from reading (see below)
  • more in a scrapbooking mood
  • ...and Supernatural-watching mood, I am already on Season 4 (hanging my head down, I know, once I get started on something, I gotta keep going)
  • enjoying way too much Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, and Suite Life...(lovin the new episodes on Fridays, did you all catch the 4 part saga to "Vampires in Waverly Place.. hilarious)
  • back to school shopping, with three kids who happen to have a mind of their own and apparently their own sense of style, makes this more challenging! My "high-schooler" just has to have American Eagle or Nike Stuff, evidently he is so over, the "Skater" look, which he claims was so middle school'ish.


Back to scrappin', I've been working on finishing up an album of photos from when my in laws were in town. Glad to say, it is almost done! But also have been creating some layouts for the store.

Using the Basic Grey June Bug



Once A Month...

  • I feel a little more annoyed than normal.
  • My sense of "sight" is heightened. All of sudden the things that normally go unnoticed, like those little dust bunnies in the corners of the house or the stains along the steps on the carpet irritate the heck out of me, to the point where I'm practically fuming.
  • I can go from 0-60 in two seconds. I'm happy, then sad, then extremely mad, and happy again.
  • Everyone tip toes around me, all not knowing what to expect.
  • I feel extremely FAT bloated.
  • I whine, usually to the hubby. "Can I get a hug? No, right now, please... you can use the bathroom after you give me a hug.. wahhhh"
  • I just can't be bothered. Don't ask me to do anything, cause I'll say no just to spite you.
  • If my kids (or hubby) don't do as I say, steer clear, I just might "throw" things around in a hissy-fit!
  • I try, really hard to not let all these little things get to me, but they just do.

So this is what my weekend's been like, in a nutshell. I'm just a walking "irritating-annoyed-quick tempered and bloated" time bomb ready to blow at any moments notice. I'm not very proud of it, but this is me... at the moment, and only once a month...


This weekend it has been raining, cloudy, and just plain dreary. In fact the entire week has been like this! It's enough to put a damper in anyone's mood, mines especially. We had plans to go to Kenai this weekend, to do more fishing. But we knew the weather would put a "rain on our parade". So we opted to hang out at home and watch, Harry Potter. We all enjoyed it! Unlike, my hubby, I have never read the series but after seeing this movie, I am anxious to see what happens, so I'll be reading the last book, Deathly Hallows for sure!

We also started some Back To School Shopping, mainly just checking out the sales.  Shopping for 3 kids is time consuming and expensive!

And with all the indoor time we had this weekend, I dusted off my scrapbook supplies, and did a little scrappin.


Tomorrow starts a new week, and I'm gonna face it straight on... starting it off at the gym ;)


Okay seriously, today was an "odd" day, I'm not sure if I was wearing a shirt that said "Hey Weirdo, I'm over here!" or if I was releasing an "idiot" pheromone that seemed to attract.. weirdos.

Case #1

It's 9:45 am. Mind you the store technically does not open till 10 am.. I see the UPS truck pull in.. I'm thinking, "This is early!" Out jumps this guy in a brown uniform, that is practically my height, (uhm, have you met me, I'm a shortie) and he's got an envelope that needs to be signed.  He hands me that giant Fed Ex gadget, I begin to sign it and I accidentally press a button and the signature page disappears.  So I turn to look straight at him (cause he's my size and all) and say "Oh, I think I must've pressed something... " and his response, "Uh-Oh, what did you do?  while fixing the screen "Looks, you did something bad, looks like I'm gonna have to punish you..."  and he laughed...alone.

(blank) I glanced at him (with one eyebrow raised and my forehead scrunched) as if my eyes just said, "What the frick did you just say?"  I was both shocked, horrified, and basically threw up in my own mouth! Was this guy, trying to hit on me or scare me? I'm not sure.

He hands over the envelope, glances at it, and says, "So are you... Tonya?" I think he was hoping I was gonna say yes so he could get my name.. (which, to think about it I should've).. I turned my head (cause he was my size) and said "No!" He waited a bit, to see if I was gonna fork over my name. But I was too busy, gagging from the throw up taste in my mouth! I turned around and shut the door. (And we all know what happened the last time I gave my name away to the drunken man that visited me at the store one fine winter's day... "Can I call you Ronnie..") 

Case #2

I pull into my driveway coming home from the gym. I glance over at the neighbors who have all these movers boxing up their stuff in their garage. And you know that feeling, like someone is staring at you.. yeah well, I guess I had a radar or a big arrow pointing over my head with neon lights...

This guy young thud had a shirt with bold prints of the moving company he was working for, hat to the side, and pants sagging . He catches my attention as I'm dragging out my exercise bag and handbag and the kids hopping one by one out of the truck, yelling "mommy, can we play outside!"  and says, "So... when are you guys moving?" Mind you he said this in a very slow, dragged out way... So it took him like 5 minutes to actually spit out the question. And at end of his question, he reminded me of Vanilla Ice at the end of his song, when he said "Now Word To Your Mutha.." and he did that side smirk thing while bobbing his head...

I look over and said "maybe next year," as I shut my truck door, turning around, ready to walk away. He says, while he's pulling his shirt straight out and pointing at his "Moving Company's Name" with that same Vanilla Ice Smirk, "Well, you know who to call.. we'll help y'all move!" And I did that exact same, eyebrow lift and forehead scrunch, and said "Oh, okay.. " And walked away...

Get Into The Groove..

It is now 4:46 pm, dinner is done (Steak Fajitas), kids are playing with their friends, house is quiet and clean, laundry is folded and put away.  There is a different vibe in the house, a more calming and relaxed aura. One that stems from the head of household, (that would be me), who woke up with the right attitude and challenged herself to tackle her day straight on and basically made the most of it. 

I challenged myself to get back into my exercise regime, and I thought, what better way to give me that push, than to take part in my favorite Wednesday Spin Class. I headed to the gym early, to return to my first love, running. I warmed up by running the track then headed straight to spinning. Heather, my instructor, is amazing. She really kicked up this routine, probably because the class was filled with Airmen, looking for a good workout. Naturally, I pushed, probably to hard, but that's my personality, an all or nothing, kind of gal.  And it felt invigorating! I finished off with weight lifting.

And that is what I needed to get me off of this slump that I have dug myself in. Now I am ready to get into the groove.


Did these layouts a while ago:



Lovin the circles at the moment, can you tell? Gotta love digital, I added the map from to my layout.. how cool is that!

About a Week

since my last entry... and the longer I wait to blog, the harder it is to get a post out of me.  This time, I have no excuse not to blog.  I mean there are days when I sit here with my laptop open, doing 5 facebook quizzes in a row or on, reading the latest news about the celebs. 

Maybe the problem is I have nothing to say. Well I always have something to say, but maybe none worth putting down. My blog is undergoing a "dry-spell" much like the mood I've been in for over a week now. There are days, I could literally sit on this sofa and watch 4 episodes (in a row) of my new favorite show, Supernatural. This past week, Erica came over to hang out, and we sat, and sat, and sat some more.. doing absolutely NOTHING! I can't even tell you, how much energy it took for both of us to get up and take a walk to the shopette! Granted, we were both "husband-less" but it was no excuse to play our part in the 7 deadly sins, of being "slothful" (sorry, been watching way too much Supernatural). 

However my sluggish mood has sent me over the edge on my "work outs".  I waste more energy trying to convince myself, "one more rest day" won't hurt.. Till I realize I've had 5 straight days of so called "rest". Then I sit there with my guilty self and try to reassure myself that I deserve all this "rest" and remind myself that I haven't gained any weight, those 3 weeks my in laws were in town.  Then I remembered that first run I had with the hubby after they left, oh how I struggled to do 3 miles...  And much like this blog, the longer I wait to get back on track, the harder it is to get going...


On the home front...

  • hubby is in Maryland for a class
  • the kids have become "cling-ons" (even my 13 year old wants to sit on my lap!)
  • I've been doing good at using what we have in the cupboards for dinners and not eating out... not sure why I'm not that creative when hubby is home.
  • laundry is kept up (again, not sure why I turn into superwoman when hubby is not here)
  • sleepless nights
  • sleeping with Izzy
  • weather is "dreary"
  • mood is "somber"
  • less than a month till the kids go back to school, both bummed and excited at the same time.

The Barut Expedition, Chapter 3.

The tall tale of the Russian River and The Grizzly Bear...

Midnight fell upon them, as they lay restfully in their cabin, weary from traveling and their first dip net fishing odyssey. But, with the sun still hanging on, they continue their fishing voyage with another run to the Kasilof River for round two of this sport.
Picture 1
(midnight at the Kasilof River)

The men gather their colossal size nets, put their fishing gear on, and head for the water.  The wind blew around turning adding a chill into this tranquil night. We watched as our men joined all the other fisherman joined in on the hunt..


It didn't take long for Logan to catch a fish which fueled the fire of the fisherman nearby who have been there for hours. Then Logan's luck only multiplied when he raked in two fishes in one catch!!!  Meanwhile, Rodel struggled to catch just one!  Several hours later, with 10 salmon under Logan's belt, and 2 for Rodel, we decided to pack up and head home, to take a nap before our fishing expedition to the Russian River.

Little did we know, we were on the brink of danger...


6 am  (Ring, Ring) Well more like Nickelback's "Gotta Be Somebody"  I rolled over and ignored it, too tired... 

We finally make it to the Russian River where it reeked of fish, both alive and dead, in and along the river. We cross the bank and set up camp amongst the hundreds of fisherman who are standing "pole to pole". As Erica instructs Rodel and Dad in Fly Fishing 101, Logan and I set up camp above the river bank with our lawn chairs, the sandwiches packed, and his Salmon Spread.. mmmm. Oh yeah, we were ready to fish, spectator-style...





As we sat, we saw people reeling in the fish only to lose them back in the water.. Bummer. Hence, Logan's theory, "why use a pole, when you can scoop them up with one quick scoop? and sometimes you can scoop two at once!"  True... so true.

While they fished, we opened up that salmon spread, it hit the spot, and not to mention, quite fitting, fishing for salmon and eating salmon.. As I bit into my sandwich, I thought of that sign right before we boarded the boat to cross the river : WARNING: Bears are attracted to strong scents, keep your food covered.


Just then (it happened so quick),  I hear a man saying: "Bear!" in a tone that was quite calm but bold and loud  enough to notify us that it was indeed, right there, a giant, grizzly bear, with a curious face, trying to walk below to the river bank, just 20 feet (Erica and I are sticking to 15ft) from us! Surprisingly, I did not react the way I thought I would (you know, run ramped through the river, yelling and shrieking so loud my eyes would pop out of my head). I remained somewhat calm.  All those tv shows and information on what to do when you see a bear, suddenly sunk in my head, and I walked towards the river bank. All of a sudden it was like there was a sense of camaraderie. We all huddled closer together at the edge of the river, as the people across the river, were yelling "Don't go up, he's still there..." As we stood at the bottom of the river, we could not see where the bear was. I was literally paralyzed with fear! Initially, I was shocked, but like a light switch that was turned on, it was starting to sink in, that a giant, grizzly bear, was right there..  But our fellow comrades on the opposite end of the river, kept us informed by yelling out the bear's whereabouts, "It's right above the guy with the red sweater, now it's by that log..." Nonetheless, the "inner photographer" in me, kept asking my husband to walk up and get my backpack, so I could take a snapshot of this bear, that could literally manhandle us and chew us into pieces! But as much as my hubby loves me, apparently, he was not ready to leave me a widow! I guess I don't blame him, but I wish I could have taken a photo of his reaction, priceless.. Finally, the bear strolled along, but none of us returned to the top of the river bank.. Especially with this delicious Salmon Spread...

All those times I said, "Man I wanna see a bear..." Yeah, no more.. I'm good now!


The other night, we watched 3 movies back to back... I guess it was a movie kinda afternoon/night... We've been so busy going here and there and sitting out in the sun, that we all just felt like hanging around our living room watching movies!

We started the night with Push. The boys really like this one.. in fact we all did!! 

The next movie was Knowing starring Nicolas Cage.
This movie was okay.. actually I enjoyed the beginning, middle, and then not so much the end... I've noticed movies depicting the end of the world, are never really good, except Independence Day.. there was that one with Tom Cruise, War of the Worlds or Keanu Reeve's, The Day the Earth Stood, those were just mediocre for me.. But this movie was quite entertaining.

The last movie, the kids bailed on us, was Defiance.
It was about three brothers who are hiding out in the forest in Belorussia (WWII) for survival when they escape the slaughter after the Nazis invade Poland in 1939. Women, men, children, the elderly are all hiding in makeshift homes in the darkest times...  I enjoyed this one as well, after all the sci-fi in one day, this was a nice break, and I love movies that are based on actual events..

Clearly it was a Blockbuster kind of night for all of us...

And am I the only one that has a Netflixx membership but still goes to the local video store and rents movies anyway because your to impatient to wait for the other movies to come in? 

I cannot...

for the love of me, sit and blog...  Not sure why, really. Perhaps it's the constant "updating" of my status on Facebook that makes me feel like I'm just reiterating on what's been going on. But then again, we've had the in laws visiting for 3 weeks and we were always on the go. Not to mention, summer! Nuff said on that one. Then the weather has been utterly GORGEOUS! So we've been outside more than in. I've started up on exercising again, and feeling Oh, so good!  Oh and one minor thing, the BDB series that I'm almost finished with... I'm on Book 6 and with more to go! (I'm a total "Vishous" girl.. ) Yummmy!!!

That pretty much sums up these past few weeks.  Looking foward to this week, the boys start Basketball Camp, which will be nice to keep them busy and out of the house all day!  It will stop the bickering between the sister vs. two brothers for a while. And maybe, just maybe, Izzy and I will enjoy some "girl" time. Then the hubby heads to Maryland just for a week. (Insert Boo!) But the minute he gets home, we are heading back to Kenai for more fishing! (Insert Yea!!)  We are totally enjoying this summer!  I can't believe how quickly is coming to a close though.  I already see "school supplies" on sale at the stores!!!

Until then.. I'm gonna head back outside, put my feet up, open my book... and soak up all the sun ;)


The Barut Expedition, Chapter 2

Chapter 2: The Art of Dip Netting.

An amazing phenomenon occurs for a short time each summer in the Last Frontier as thousands of Alaskan residents, gather their long pole contraptions with large nets attached to them, strapped to their cars, trucks, campers, and RV, driving along the Seward Highway to venture on this fishing tradition.


As long as we’ve lived here, I’m ashamed to say this is the first time we’ve ever tried fishing. Well, there was that one time we went to the lake, rented a boat off Ft. Rich, and soaked up the sun. But no fish was actually caught,  but we sure "looked" like fishermen! But this time, this was the "real deal", I mean we came out of there reeking of fish!

This adventure, Dip Net Fishing,  is a privilege to the residents. It’s a time we fill up our freezers with Salmon, with the intention of filling it up, at the cap of 65 salmon for my household of 5. We ventured out into the Kenai River not knowing what to expect, but so excited for this once in a lifetime kind of adventure.

How does one dip net?
One must acquire a huge net, apparently, the bigger the better… we purchased what seemed to be a huge net for us, turned out to be a tiny net. Luckily, our good friends, The Newbys were there to get us the right gear!

We are outfitted with chest waders that will keep us warm and dry.

Holding your dip net straight out in front of you into the current, you wait….

Waiting may prove to be the hardest part, but on this day, we didn’t have to wait for long, to feel that tug in our net. Then you give that net a quick twist so the salmon can’t escape and walk backwards pulling the net behind and empty your fish to the shore.

 Once the fish is ashore, you may want to designate someone to be the official “Bonk The Salmon On The Head” or “Tear it’s Gills Out” position.
Then you clean that fish out (guts and all) and feed them to the birds!
Then, there you have it, your catch of the day!!!  And repeat the process... that day we caught 5 in just a few hours...
While the hubby fished... we sat in the sand, hung out, and most of all, loved on "Rhage"...
Stay tuned for Chapter 3, Fly Fishing and The Grizzly...

Blog to Book...

So Tonya (my boss and friend) came to work this afternoon to show me her latest creation... and I could barely pick my jaw up off the floor having those "Why didn't I think of this" kind of moment... As an avid "blogger" who pondered the very thought the night before, now that my posts have became few and far between, realizing that it does take "time" to blog. There are days I have a lot to share and on those days, I wondered how I would treasure these moments besides being on the world wide web. I have always "copy and pasted" my ideas and scrapped them, which is the reasoning for the birth of this blog in the first place. But after seeing how she turned her blog into a hard bound book about her life, I imagined several volumes in my bookshelf.

So this is what I'm doing tonight. Found a program on Blurb. It's uploading my entries as we speak. And in a few days, all that late night heartfelt writing from my soul to those not so abstract, will sit before me, just like a story book, to share with this family for years to come..

I've decided to do these books by years... I started in 2006, so here I go, down memory lane....

Picture 3