Monday, October 25, 2010

Save for Retirement Week - delayed

Last week was Save for Retirement Week. I bet you all thought I forgot.

Mr. X and I happened to get our quarterly statements on Saturday, and we spent a few minutes together calculating our returns and reevaluating our approach for 2011.

Some people like to remind you to do your self-exam - I like to remind you to check your retirement accounts and see what's what, and really, it doesn't matter what week you do it.

Personal finance is just that, personal, so take some time to learn how to make your goals a reality whether it's reading a book, logging on to your online account statement or writing down a financial goal for the next year - go do it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

You might be Alaskan...

Me:, D and M went to a U-pick place and--

Mr. X: A Yup'ik place?

Me: Uh, no, U-pick, they got potatoes, onions and tomatoes.

Mr. X: Oh, I was thinking spears and salmon.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The New John Muir Cabin

September in Juneau was unusually warm and dry. The result is that instead of the leaves turning grey, falling from the trees and molding on ground, we have beautiful color everywhere. Yellows and reds, oranges and evergreen. Simply gorgeous I say - Boston in the Fall sings Mr. X.

Friday night we met some friends for an overnight trip to the John Muir cabin. We had been told that the cabin underwent extensive renovations this summer so we were excited to see what we could see.

The hike up was good until night fell. Then the rain came in earnest, and we really tromped through the mud. Hiking in front, Mr. X found a missing plank on the boardwalk and sunk to his knee. A short time later I found a "leg breaker" board and also sunk to my knee.

At the cabin we discovered that it now has an iron spiral staircase to the second floor which was enclosed and shut with a storm door. The table, benches, counter, cupboards, sleeping platforms, roof, and outhouse are all brand new.

In the morning, while everyone else snored, I grabbed the camera and headed out to capture the colors. I couldn't believe the neon orange grasses - they looked like they'd been sprinked with powdered cheese. I loved the red leaves of the bunchberry plants.

On my way, I ran into (what ended up being) two early morning hikers who asked if they could start a fire in the pit in front of the cabin. Since the rest of the mountain is a bog, I agreed and they very quietly cooked their breakfast.* We had a quick breakfast of oatmeal and blueberry muffins, then packed up and invited the hikers in for a chat since a heavy rain had started falling. They were career Coasties working in HR and PR - interesting guys.

We then took a few pictures and headed back to the trailhead. At Conference on Sunday, I asked our friends if they were ready to go again. The husband said absolutely. The wife...not so much.

*the US forest service cabins are warming shelters between 10am and 5 pm after which the cabin and the immediate area belongs to renters; it was 8 am so I could have told them to scram, but I didn't.

Our last John Muir Trip here.

Food Storage Fun

Every September in honor of preparedness month, the Juneau stake holds a food fair. It's a really great event full of fun information, tasty food and interesting demonstrations.

This year, I had ordered some snow tires and had just 25 minutes to browse the displays before I had to go to Les Schwab to pick up the wheels. I had eaten brownies for breakfast and couldn't bear to eat anything else - even though the soups, stews, bean dips, cheesecake, and cinnamon rolls looked delicious.

Really, the only thing I did was play the "name the bean" game. I wrote down my guesses to 20 different beans including mung, anasazi, yellow lentil and put my slip of paper in the box. The missionaries came up and quized me on the beans, teasing me along the way. I teased them back and said that now that I had given them the answers they better put their guesses in the box too.

So, well, yesterday I was surpised to get a call from our ever efficient Stake Food Storage Coordinator. "Sarah, you were the winner of the name the bean game. For your prize you can pick any #10 can that Walton sells."

Sweet!! I chose milk. Probably should have chosen something fancy like dehydrated strawberries though. What would you have picked?