Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March Hiking

Hiking summary for March:

March 18th - East Glacier Trail, 3 miles, 400 foot elevation gain, sunshine, scrambled past the "closed" portion of the trail where fallen trees demolished the staircase.

March 20th - Nugget Falls hike, 5 miles, ~10 foot elevation gain, breaking in new boots

March 26-27 - John Muir Cabin (Auke Nu Trail), 7 miles, 1550 foot elevation gain, snow, winds gusting to 50mph, rain forest and muskeg. Enjoyed the propane heater, popcorn and testing out sleeping bags.

March 29 - Seward's Day! - Thunder Mtn Trail, 4 miles, 2000 foot elevation gain, sunshine, postholing at top, turned around after 75 minutes for lack of snow gear.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Favorite: Marketplace


Used to be that 6:30 just meant that the Wheel of Fortune was the show on tv. Blah. When our tv signal disappeared about two years ago, I had no idea what to expect; we went from 1 channel to 0. Over time, I found myself leaving the radio on after the end of Alaska News Nightly, washing dishes and listening to Marketplace from American Public Media. Eventually, I was hooked on their "dinner party topic" pieces, the crazy guy that goes to all the trade shows and asks really bizarre questions, as well as Kai Ryssdal, the show's host.

I assure you, I'm not the only person who needs a Marketplace fix - just google Kai Risdal. Oh, yeah, and Mr. X totally approves; he openly encourages it.

(Truth be known we have a number of NPR favorites: CarTalk; Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me; Left, Right and Center; All Things Considered)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Project: Chilkoot Trail

Trail Pass Reservations: Parks Canada limits the number of hikers crossing the pass to 50 per day; we made our reservations on January 7th to be certain we could hike on our chosen dates. When we arrive in Skagway, we will pick-up our trail permits and go through customs at the trail center.

When making the trail pass reservations, I provided our hiking itinerary including campsites. We will be starting on a Tuesday, camping in Sheep Camp, Happy Camp and Bare Loon Lake, hiking out to Bennett on Friday morning to meet the train at 1 pm.

Ferry Schedule and Reservations: We can't just drive to the trailhead in Skagway; we've needed to coordinate our hike days with the ferry schedule.

While getting to Skagway isn’t a huge challenge, it is a 6h30m ferry ride with limited vehicle space. I tried to convince Mr. X that we should drive the Golden Circle (Skagway-Whitehorse-Haines Junction-Haines), but that's not going to happen, so we’ll be going to Skagway on a Monday and returning to Juneau on a Saturday; no road trip for me.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just when you thought...

I was normal, I go and make Pac-Man cookies for the Seminary Class.

On Monday, we celebrated being 3/4 of the way through the Book of Mormon. Last week I asked the class for requests of how to celebrate. The only suggestion I received was Pac-Man cookies. Weird, I know, but they really are 3/4 of a cookie. Mr. X gets all the credit; it was his suggestion.

I finished the treats off with two scriptures: 2 Nephi 31:20 and 2 Nephi 32:3.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Financial Musings

A few months ago my Relief Society held a meeting about managing resources and staying out of debt. One member of the presidency had prepared a fantastic slideshow and presented beautifully the basics of financial planning. Following the meeting, I left the room with a friend who said to me, "Did you learn anything? I hate thinking about money and investments - I leave that to 'Joe' to figure out."

I was electrified. The hair on my arms actually stood on end. But in true Sarah fashion, I smiled and nodded, muttering something about "it's not for everyone".

Februaray's Visiting Teaching message is on managing resources and I loved this quote:

What skills do we need to help us become self-reliant? . . . In the early days of the Church, Brigham Young pled with the sisters to learn to prevent illness in families, establish home industries, and learn accounting and bookkeeping and other practical skills. Those principles still apply today. Education continues to be vitally important. . . .
"I asked several bishops what self-reliance skills the sisters in their wards needed most, and they said budgeting. Women need to understand the implications of buying on credit and not living within a budget."2Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president.

A middle aged widow bore her testimony in church a few months ago. She was so nervous to do it that she read it. She pled with the congregation to please cross-train with their spouses. She expressed her frustration with learning how to use a snowblower, performing basic maintenance on her vehicles and home, and managing money.

This is a concept that I have tried to explain to Mr. X several times. There is absolutely nothing wrong with specializing in an area as long as the other partner has the skills and knowlege to complete the task on their own. In one of my college courses the instructor labeled such specialization as being co-equal rather than being co-dependent.

A wife who is financially co-dependent leaves all financial decisions up to her husband and accepts her household allowance without question or knowledge of the larger financial picture. Her husband doesn't believe she has the skills or ability to manage the family budget and so "protects" her from it. A wife who is co-equal, on the other hand, understands the financial situation, supplies input and another perspective to her husband, but may leave the day to day execution of financial planning to her husband.

Similarly, a husband who is co-dependent may be incapable of preparing a healthy meal. His wife believes he can't even put cereal in a bowl on his own. A co-equal husband knows how to prepare a meal to feed himself and other family members, but - depending on the division of labor - he may generally leave the management of the meal preparation to his wife.

Please don't leave all your financial decisions "to Joe to figure out", but counsel together to determine the best course of action for your family.