Monday, May 23, 2011

It’s a North Slope thing…..

Just got back from the gas station.

I think my credit card actually whimpered on its way to the little slider thing.

Sad, sad day.

The end.

The end of all that is right and makes sense for heavens sake!

It makes me grumpy.

And when I get grumpy about gas prices, then I get grumpy about where we get the majority of our oil from and then I get mad about ANWR and then, well then…I thought about my blog. I know…try and keep up.

On my blog I try really hard to be neutral about politics and other such stuff that might run the risk of garnering rude comments. I cannot handle rejection AT ALL. Total rejection pansy.

But today….for one brief blog—that's going to change. I need to speak my mind on this. So buckle up—it might get a little bumpy. (Just kidding, rejection pansy, remember????)


My husband works as an Electrician in the oilfields of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Specifically, Kuparuk. Right now he works 2 weeks on (up at the Slope) and 2 weeks off (at home with us) but there have been 6 weeks on and 1 week off, 3 and 3, and once—a 10 and 1! So we are very happy with 2 and 2.

Phil took most of these pictures. You can’t just visit Prudhoe Bay. You have to work there. They have a lottery every year that you can enter and if you win you can have a few relatives over the age of 14 fly up a and take a little tour. My 2 oldest daughters have done that, so a few of the photographs are theirs.

Most of the buildings look a lot like this one-

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And the area around the buildings look a lot like this---without snow--

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And this –with snow----I don’t have too many with snow because its so cold you can’t easily take any pictures…

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And since it is the head of THE Pipeline there are pipes everywhere…..

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He sleeps in a building that looks a lot like this one….they have a room with a bed and a bathroom—much like a dorm room. He has the same room each time he goes up. Then another guy stays in it for the 2 weeks that he is home with us.

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While he is up there they feed him 3 meals a day plus there is a snack bar open all the time. They clean their bedding for them too. All he has to do is his own laundry. It is a rough life for these guys up there. They have a movie theater and a racquet ball court---everything!

phil work

But even with all the buildings and such going on—they are very careful of the environment. The workers cannot go very far from the camps and yet my husband was still able to get this picture of a mama and her babies. The animals are not threatened or harmed in any way.

phil work 2 Just because there is an oil field doesn’t mean you won’t have wildlife. “For example, the Central Arctic caribou herd at Prudhoe Bay has grown from 3,000 to as high as 23,400 during the last 20 years.”—Making the Case for ANWR

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They use a lot of cutting edge technology up there. My husband volunteers for a group (MAD) that practices/drills during their off time--- during the times of year without ice—to learn how to clean up oil spills in these boats….

Mad drill_08 04 09_0008He’s the incredibly handsome one in the sunglasses and white hat… who in this picture is the pilot taking out the local and federal authorities to demonstrate their skills to make sure they are following all guidelines……

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The US imports over 65% of the nations needed petroleum.

It is projected that there is 3-9 billion barrels of recoverable oil beneath ANWR.

Only 1/2 of 1% of the 19 million acres of ANWR is allowed to be considered for exploration.

ANWR lies in the top northeast corner of Alaska.

The entire refuge lies north of the Arctic Circle and 1,300 miles south of the North Pole.

It is completely flat and barren with no trees, hills, or mountains.

Nine months of the year is covered with snow and ice and practically void of life.

Three of the months are in total 24 hour darkness.


It’s not about my husband having a job—there is enough oil in Prudhoe to see him through to retirement.

It is about not understanding why our government chooses to rely so heavily on overseas petroleum when we could be getting it right here at home.

And why do I just keep paying $4 gallon at the pump and just say I’ll worry about it tomorrow?

Just some info and thoughts that keep running around in my brain—thought I would share/vent—

How do you all feel about the oil crisis in this country? (Did you see how brave I was there? Opening myself up to rejection?? Ack! Be gentle!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wherein Angel Bean turns 12 and I tell a story……….

Yes, this is a birthday tribute but if you flee now, you’ll miss a really great story.

The story of how a certain Miss Angelina Destiny became Angel Bean Queen of the Wood Frijoles Marie Boyce Bishop.

Not necessarily in that order or on the same day.

In fact, it all started once upon a time in the year 1999 when a little girl was born and her parents (my brother and his 1st wife) named her Angelina Destiny. She was a born in Alaska and was the cutest little Eskimo the world has ever seen!



Sadly, in 2001 they lost their parental rights and asked us if we would adopt Angelina into our family.

After a lot of prayer and family discussions….

In March of 2002 my husband brought her home from Alaska with him and she became a legal member of our family!  She fit in so quickly to our lives and hearts that it was like our family had not been complete before she came and we didn’t even know it…….

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She became a part of our forever family in March of 2009-

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When we adopted her we changed her name to Angel Marie Bishop but one day when Tae came home from school she said, “Where is my Bean?” and it just stuck! We have called her Angel Bean or Bean or Beanie etc ever since. Then my husband got in on the act and started calling her Angel Bean Queen of the Wood Frijoles Bishop. Poor Bean, if you asked her what her name was she would try valiantly to get through all that. It got to the point where she was writing Beanie Bishop or just Angel Bean on her papers at school. It was a long summer getting that all worked out!85062_24Oh those cheeks……..

85068_16and that belly………

we have just loved every bit of her from the very start! She has been my easiest child. She eats what I put in front of her, cleans up what I ask her to  when I ask her to and is just all around good company. She will do anything—just don’t leave her behind……..ohana…

85069_18OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           I just love this one of her posing like a true Bishop………..


and this one just because…..

beans dance recital020She has grown in beauty and in grace on the outside and the inside…

She LOVES to dance and takes 3 different dance classes…. 

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She is a ray of sunshine in our home that I know was meant to be. I’m not not sure of all the why’s and how’s but I am so grateful that it happened and that I have 4 daughters to call my own. 

Bean has definitely made our family better—I love you Angel Bean Queen of the Wood Frijoles  Bishop!!!

Happy Belated 12th Birthday!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Its a Spring thing…..


Wow, that is a bad title-- but I just could not, for the life of me, crank out anything else.

Obviously I cannot crank out any correct sentence structure or grammar either…but whose noticing, right?


Spring has finally sprung a little in our corner of the world! I was so excited I almost took my chubby self outside and did me an Indian Welcome Sun Dance all over my front yard….

….but my loincloth was at the dry cleaners.

The dry cleaners saves my dignity again……


Some of you might remember that I moved into a new house in September. There was quite a bit of landscaping done by the original owners. I have been excited for Spring to get here so that I could see just exactly what was going to bloom and grow!

Guess what?!

I have popcorn trees!


I have waited my whole life to have a popcorn tree. I feel completed. At least as far as foliage goes.

I also have vast amounts of rhubarb in very odd places.

Like they thought it was some kind of sacred shrubbery or something.

Well, we do NOT worship the rhubarb in this house, so I have been trying to get rid of it by giving it the evil eye. I haven’t had a lot of luck yet but I’m expecting it to pop out of the ground, pull up its leaves, and high tail it out of here at any minute.

Yes, I AM a Master Gardener, why do you ask?

Which brings me to pictures. I, of course, am NOT a Master Gardner but I would love to be one some day. I just have not had the time or space to devote to it yet. I’m hoping that here in this new house that will change. Since my blog feels naked without pictures, I thought I would include some pictures from last year when I still lived on my mountain with a garage door on my ceiling….

IMG_4854 copyI had a bit of a rough start..the deer mistook my little garden for a crosswalk…..


But we did alright in spite our all our 4 legged critter visitors. I tried the square foot method and LOVED it!

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Some lovely flowers…..

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This year I have actually started all my OWN little growies and they’re coming up and we are just waiting for the last frost to pay us a visit and then we will get outside and plant. For a plant nerd like me, its awfully exciting! Maybe we just need one of those Indian Welcome Sun Dances……

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Wherein I boost your Mother’s Day/Humanity to infinity and beyond-----again…….

This is a re-post from last year. I thought this was a particularly fine piece of journalism {{{snort}}} so thought I would post it real quick before Mothers Day was over. Hope all the women who pass by this blog have had themselves a great day!


Mothers Day.

I’m sure that the original intent of those who created this holiday were pure.

Forcing children everywhere to honor their mother or carry the guilt forever—that is pure is it not?

Obviously, my Mother and I are still working out our relationship but I have been blessed to have 5 children call me Mom (to be honest—some days they say it like MU-THERRR) and I have friends who are from both camps. Some love being a Mom, or celebrate their own Mom or look forward with joy to when they will become a Mom. Others DREAD the day. Some because of their not so flowers and a nice card relationship with their Mom or the struggle to believe they will ever have a chance to be a Mother or they feel they have failed miserably at being a Mother .

I will leave the psychosis of all this to more qualified folks. The intent of my blog today is to boost your “Mothering/human being” self worth through the utter lack of my “Mothering/human being” skillz--- with the visual records I have kept. I’m sure I should probably address the -- what kind of Mother does or allows these “things” to happen to her children and then takes photos and shares them on her blog question that will plague you as you scroll through these photos.

But……….I got nothin’.

Just remember that no matter which government agency you call to report me too—they will never find me here in my garage, in the woods, in the middle of nowhere Montana.

Exhibit A:

By all means perch the baby on the top of that fence overlooking that giant ravine. I know she was dying for that up close and personal view. Quick, let me record the moment with my camera.

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Exhibit B:

Too be fair—this was taken by my husband. I didn’t know about it till I went and picked up the pictures from our vacation. Bad mother award for thinking I could allow her father to watch her without my supervision.


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Exhibit C:

This is what happens when your Mother has to say “Stop fighting!” 562 times. {Why yes, those are teenage mutant ninja turtles on the ends of those horns, thank you for asking.}

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Exhibit D:

I force teach my children to work hard. I have found that it works best to have them out into the workforce while they are still in diapers. Then they just don’t ever remember it being any different.

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Exhibit E:

My girls inform me that putting them in these beautiful, ruffle-lace explosion get ups was pretty much a crime against all mother nature. Wha? Just wait till they become Mothers and experience the “thrill of the frill”. It’s hypnotic I tell you! Also, I would like to point out that silver tooth jutting out there in front. Example #298 of my attentive parenting.


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Exhibit F:

Ah, the classic—always dress your child in Halloween costumes that they hate- and don’t forget to capture the “I hate you” on camera. All the good mother points you may have earned for making the costume, go right out the window. Good memories.

 milan 1997

Exhibit G:

This is an example of what I like to refer to as….Courageous Mothering. [I’m not the least bit interested in what you think it is.] In case you can’t see them, this child has the chicken pox. Then the poor dear fell off a swing and broke her little arm. I felt so bad for her that I went out and bought her some roller blades. And because I am that safety aware, I threw in the helmet and pads too. Safety first. Always.


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And it wouldn’t be a Mothers Day tribute without….

Exhibit H:

This could be entitled, “Redneck Playground”. What I wanted to point out though, was my stellar abilities of caring not only for my children, but my friends also. Only one of these hooligans is mine, and I’m pretty sure she couldn’t have come up with this little rodeo all by herself. These other hooligans belong to my friend who has 13 children. (Late breaking editorial--imagine my friend's surprise when she saw that she had 13 children and could only find 11--thankfully she isn't going to sue for libel) She is the “chillest” Mom I know. That's why I can post this—she will just laugh. Like I did. And then of course I made them come in and stop all this nonsense. Because I’m all about safety. Always.



Please feel free to share this with your friends and unknown neighbors. Everyone deserves to realize just how great a mother/parent they are! And don’t forget—it’s all about safety…….always.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Nat and the #22

It was Natty (my #2’s birthday) in March and in the spirit of denial that I so fully embrace—I am just getting around to doing that beloved Fiddler on The Roof’s “Sunrise, Sunset”tribute thingie I had wanted to do.

All I know is that when I go through these pics…..

…. and realize that in less than a month this child will be leaving me for 18 months….

…. with no way to contact her except snail mail and emails….

…. it makes my heart kind of feel like someone is pinching it real hard and then shaking it around and then throwing it down to my toes.

Have you ever felt like that???


Like you are walking around with a smooshed up heart in your toes??!!

1990 nat posed danceShe was born an original drama queen…

(imagine sappy, mother tribute birthday music in background)


..and beauty queen…..nat12 B0000206

A warrior princess…..32996_06

(music comes to screeching halt)

Not sure what to call these next few and the skillz they employ…..



I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of these two—no really, I have no words……blown_away__FROM_NATTY

Thanx for 22 fabulous years Natty Gahn. I LOVE YOU! You are my heart and hero---go forth and conquer!!!



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

“Excuse me, is that a doorknob on your shoulders?”………

My #2 graduated from hair academy a few months back.

She is now my EXCLUSIVE stylist.

She foiled and cut my hair this weekend.

Then she promptly went downstairs to the computer and typed on Facebook (for all the world to see) that she had bought the wrong color and her Mother now looked like………………………. a doorknob.

I can honestly say that I didn’t see that one coming.

Imagine me also, on Sunday morning as I sat in church, and a lady that I speak to maybe once or twice a month comes up to me, stares at me for an extra long minute and then pronounces that she doesn’t think that I look like a doorknob at all. And then walks quickly off.

I can honestly say I didn’t see that one coming either.

Its a good thing I have such a high self esteem so that I didn’t have to sit there the rest of the church meeting wondering who was looking at me weighing in on whether or not I had crossed over to doorknob status or not.

Thank you Nat---for the gift that just keeps on giving.


My #4 and only son has gone and gotten himself old enough to get a restricted use drivers license.

Now you see why we were dyeing my hair, right? We had some serious grey to cover up!

Pro:I now have someone who is excited to go run errands for me again!

Con: I now have someone who wants to go run errands for me roughly every 2 . 5 minutes.

Pro:He can drive his own self to all of his activities!

Con:He is pretty sure he has an activity every 2.5 minutes.

Pro:Having someone to drive ME places so I can enjoy the scenery!

Con: Not being able to see the scenery because we make it from point A to point B in 2 . 5 minutes.

It’s a whole new world people… sure and wave hi if you see me…I’ll be the white faced, white knuckled, “doorknob” plastered to the window of a red Tahoe--- and it probably won’t be “hi” I’m yelling. Just sayin’………


This next part is a early Mother’s Day tribute to myself.

Because sometimes I amaze even myself.

Yesterday was #5’s birthday.Beanb&w5x7

She is 12 years old!

I will get into the—I cannot EVEN believe that she is already that old in one of those birthday tributes everyone loves to hate another day.

But I can’t.

Believe it.

We went out to dinner and then took a cake over to Grandma and Grandpa’s so they could be a part of the fun.

Being the fine example of motherhood that I am—I forgot the candles.

So, Bean turned 43 yesterday. (All my Mom had was those number kind of candles) Time is FLYING, I’ll tell you what.

She was her usual gracious, no big deal self and just blew out the candles and was happy, happy, happy!

Have I mentioned how much I love this child??!


I was going to share how we didn’t dye Easter eggs or do baskets this year and a list of a myriad of other things I’ve let slip by the way side but I can only handle feeling just so good about myself. They say that less is more and right now we have more MORE going on than anyone I know!


There you go—the great doorknob of randomness has spoken…….hope everyone has a happy visual now—you’re welcome!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Beware The Easter Platypus


Last year I put one of those punching bag  thingies in Bean’s Easter basket.

In the package it was all deflated and it said that when we blew it up it would be a bunny.


I think they were lying. But the bow on the ear was a nice touch…………………………………………………………





I am pretty sure we somehow mistakenly got the lesser known but equally pink, Easter Platypus.



I think the poor thing has hemorrhoids.





It scared me a little….okay a lot------ and my kids took exceptional glee in chasing me around the house with it. I had NIGTHMARES PEOPLE…..





Who makes these things??!!IMG_2543



Just thought I would give you a little heads up as you were heading out to do your Easter basket shopping. I’m all about community service…..