Sunday, April 9, 2017

Pesach Preparations Began in Y'srael This Year!

Fine Dining on Agrippa Street
With Pesach nearly upon us, I find myself scrambling to make our final preparations for our feast.  The time of Purim is my usual signal that it's time to get ready for Pesach but this year we celebrated Purim in the Land of Y'srael. We managed to get our lamb and matza on our last trip to Fairbanks.  The rest of the meal isn't so hard to put together from our regular grocery trips.  

I know some of you are still waiting to see pictures of our month-long respite from our winter weather.  Our time enjoying the winter "cold" of Y'srael was amazing.  Alaska managed to save some bitter cold for our return home to complicate things.  It looks like winter is finally losing it's grip here.  

The biggest problem is our internet access hasn't been working very well and uploading pictures is nearly impossible so I've stalled out on posting anything. Hopefully these things will find a way of working themselves out and we pray your Pesach celebration works out as well.  

Blessings,

SueJean & DannyLee

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Where Oh Where Did January GO?

SNOW FALLS, BLOWS, and DRIFTS!!!

January 31st, 2017
So, what does one do with oneself when there's no where to go and basically, no way to get there?  

For me, quilting keeps me sane as DannyLee sings and writes songs.  

Here are two more "Draftbuster" door quilts I made for the arctic entryway doors.  

 I make these quilts "free-style" from the measurements needed to cover the doorway generously and combining different styles until I've got something I like. This has a variety of "log cabin" style blocks and "3-D boxy stars" all cobbled together with bits of sashing. 

The "cow face" was from a "pillow print" and all of the fabric came from the thrift store including the heavy backing fabric that I used. 

The curtain rods swing the quilts out of the way when we want to use the door and I'll simply unclip them during the summer and put them in the linen closet. 

 I used a wool blanket in one of these, but it made the quilt way too heavy so I used plain batting in the second one. 

There's a rope threaded across the top of the quilt for the clips to grab onto and a stuffed door stopper at the bottom to hold the quilt against the bottom of the door and keep out any drafts. I made it from old socks on one and a bit of an old curtain stuffed with scraps and trimmings on the other. 

"Trip Around the World" in the snow!
 This is my latest quilt for the month that I started in December. The pattern is called "Trip Around the World" and all of the fabric is again scraps from the thrift store. 

It looks hard, but the technique is actually quite fast and easy as it uses strip piecing, nested seams, and goes together very fast. 

I was in love from the beginning and if I can get to it before the cat, this one's mine.  Unfortunately, she likes it too!
This is the back of the quilt that I pieced using all of the leftover fabric from the top and a few more odd blocks and scraps thrown in for good measure.

I made the binding from the same pile of scraps and it's too bad it doesn't show up in the pictures. It worked out great as it harmonizes with the top of the quilt and adds to the color on top. 

I've still got a couple more UFO's to work on before spring comes and we're back to lumberjacking! 



Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy Hanukkah and Good-bye (GOOD RIDDANCE?) 2016


The Eighth Night of Hanukkah 2016
 The last night of Hanukkah is always the brightest and in a way, the saddest as we watch those last nine candles "race to the base" and contemplate the fate of those leftover candles we have every year.  I wonder how many years we have to keep Hanukkah before we don't have to buy a box of candles, but with the world in the state it is today, I'm too lazy to do the math or consider we might even have that much time left in the world. 

I have to laugh as I confess we had "American latkes" this year for our celebration.  DannyLee was confused when I told him about how I was going to circumvent any effort to make real latkes by simply baking some of my favorite tater tots instead.  

Bottom line: I hate frying anything and my latkes never come out that great and I love tater tots.  Oh, and yes, we had a couple of donuts for Hanukkah this year, but not fried and not homemade either.  (I know...I know!)  

Other news: We got nearly a foot of snow on the night of December 30th which was a strange kind of blessing.  In that one night we went from burning three bins of wood every 24 hours to burning 1 1/2 and feeling warmer to boot.  The truth is we don't have enough insulation in the attic and that "blanket" on the roof really helps. 

DannyLee is still working on this music and recently did some cool songs about Alaska. He's put together a special Alaskan CD just for friends so if you're interested....

I'm still quilting and here's my first completed quilt of 2017: 

"Quay-ze Quilt" - 2017
It's a jelly roll race done in Hawaiian prints for my Mom's BFF as a "cheering her up" gift.  My Mom said she likes lots of color and I didn't have anything more colorful than this pile of pieces I bought off of eBay.  The purple fabric is a felt-type to keep this lap quilt from sliding off onto the floor. 

That's all our news for now!

Blessings, 

SueJean & DannyLee


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Happy Sukkot!!


We pray that all of you are enjoying the Fall Feasts!

One of my personal goals this year was to perfect my crown challah. This one was made for Yom Teruah or Feast of Trumpets.  I'm getting better!  It tasted even better than it looked!


We celebrated Yom Teruah twice as we traveled to North Pole to fellowship with some new friends on Saturday and then enjoyed our own celebration at home on Sunday.  


Our neighbor reported the sound of shofars as we happily blasted away thinking we were all alone out here in the bush.  


As DannyLee was studying the Torah portions and celebrating his 70th birthday, he realized that not only is his birth Torah portion Ha-zinu (spelling?) or the Song of Moshe, but he was actually born on Yom Teruah!  How's that for a revelation!!  


We enjoyed a very quiet Yom Kippur or Feast of Atonement here at home as we reflected on how far we've come in the years that Torah has been a part of our lives.  


As King David so eloquently put it in Psalms 119, the Torah is a delight to us and has changed our understanding of YHVH Elohim and our King and Redeemer Yeshua in so many ways.  


Our hearts break daily as we consider how so many around us have rejected HIM in our present day. I'd hate to think of where I'd be without HIM and HIS Torah to guide me through the troubles of our world today.  


Now as we stand on the brink of SUKKOT!!!, we're amazed to report that we've not yet had a single flake of snow here in Dot Lake!!


I know that's hard to believe and even though I look outside multiple times during the day AND the night, NO SNOW!


It's very cold at night and is slipping down into the thirties now during the day.  We've had several hard frosts and the ground is freezing but not a drop of moisture is coming from the clear blue skies each day. The northern lights are putting on some spectacular shows at night and the stars are bright.  


Yesterday a couple of flocks of Trumpeter Swans flew over just as the sun fell behind the ridge.  They shown with golden light in the blue sky as they flew over.  My camera was too far from hand to even try to capture their image.  


The good news is that we've been able to continue cutting wood every day and we're at peak levels though we've been burning wood since we got the woodstove in place.  DannyLee's graduated from a maul to a splitting axe.  He's wondering why he didn't do that long ago as it's much quicker.  


On a final note, I convinced DannyLee we needed a new bench for Sukkot so he "built" me a "Whittle" bench.  We'll be able to spend our Sukkot next to our campfire outside our fancy "Rolling Sukka" as Mike C. likes to joke about.  


P.S.  You wouldn't think it was so little if you had to lift this thing.  I nearly killed myself lifting the big log to an upright position.  It took both of us to lift it onto the "feet".  


Here's our fancy Sukkot kitchen/dining area:  



Our "Whittle Bench"
On a final note, please remember the words of Yeshua:  

"Where two or more are gathered, I AM there with you."  

No matter how small your "fellowship" group may be, it only takes two to draw HIS presence into your life.  Don't let the enemy steal your joy or make you stumble over being alone.  YOU're NOT!!


Monday, August 29, 2016

Where Oh Where Did My Summer Go?

My 2016 Summer Project


There's a funny thing about "summer projects" here in Alaska....they always seem to be about making it easier to get through the long winter!  

This summer, our secondary project to refilling the woodshed was to install a new wood stove that wouldn't require us to stay up all night tending a fire OR getting up to a freezing cold house the next morning.  

This is our "new" wood stove built for us by Chris and his crew at Tok Welding.  Chris has a cool website for his wood stove business at http://www.alaskanstoves.com.  He's been building stoves for many, many years and when we learned about him, we wanted one of his stoves to replace the old, temperamental stove we inherited with our house.  

The problem was that we couldn't just poke a new stove in the old spot without making some effort to make it look WAY better.  So, here's our version of "way better" with rocks from all over the world plastered to the walls.  

As I promised, I would post a picture when the job was complete.   The walls took days and days.  The floor I did in a few hours.  I didn't actually have a "plan".  This is just the way the "vision" in my head manifested through the work of my hands.                                 



Friday, June 17, 2016

Shavuot - A Double Portion

Signs of Summer on the Road to Tok

After 7 complete weeks of counting the omer, comes the Feast of Shavuot.  This is the final feast of the spring feasts and closes out the Feasts that were fulfilled by the first coming of Yeshua Hamashiach, our Savior and King.  At this feast, we proclaim our allegiance to our King Yeshua.  

On this day, in the time of Moshe, the Israelites, (native born and the alien/sojourner among them, according to Moshe) gathered at Mount Sinai to receive the Torah.  Our King gave us HIS Laws, Statutes and Ordinances to teach us how we are to live and to give us time to practice and learn how to live in HIS Kingdom. Anyone that doesn't wish to follow HIS Laws will have to find somewhere else to live.  

Also on this day, about two thousand years later, the Israelites gathered in the Upper Room as they were instructed by Yeshua as HE prepared to ascend to HIS Father.  There they received a powerful outpouring of the Ruach HaChodesh that changed everything.  On that day, three thousand souls were added to the Kingdom.  

DannyLee waving the barley loaf!

We were doubly blessed this year to have two Shavuots.  

Our first was spent in North Pole with some fellow believers.  We got to enjoy tabbouleh for the first time.  It was fun to have a chance to make our proclamations of faith with others present.  This was our deepest prayer this year as we felt very strongly that it was important this year more so than ever before to keep this feast to the best of our ability. We've heard echoes of that feeling from many directions.

We can only hope that we'll get to spend some time with these kind folks again some day.  

SueJean waving the barley loaf.

Our second was spent at home where we again made our proclamations of faith and blew our shofars.  We had a lovely supper of hummus, turkey salad and barley bread.  I was amused to find a 'fish' somehow managed to 'rise up' in the middle of my barley loaf.  Too funny!