It occurred to the authors of this blog that the local surroundings have been neglected in its pages as of late.
On the way home from work
today yesterday, Carrie was trying to save the $6 cab fare by walking straight into very strong winds across a lagoon. Carrie was trying to be very tough (because Carrie is tough you know) and was trying to keep warm with her balaclava and snow suit (and bright orange reflector vest). Carrie hadn’t gotten far across the lagoon when the moment the thought popped in her head “if someone offered me a ride right now, I would sure take it” exactly then, Carrie heard the familiar sound of a vehicle slowing down.
Sure enough, it was strangers in a shiny new truck offering a ride.
Carrie hopped in.
This is life in Barrow.
This is the view out our back door. Not our other back door, which looks over the Arctic Ocean, but our interior back door, the one we use when we want the mud and snow from our boots to get tracked all over the hallways and not our living room.
This is a counter-top dishwasher. You can buy them on amazon. Why there has been a counter-top dishwasher sitting in the hallway outside our door for over a month is just a piece of information we haven’t been made privy to.
Speaking of hallway, this is what our hallway looks like.
Sometimes we feel like we live in a giant dorm.
Other times we feel like we live on another planet.
Carrie often imagines that this is what Antarctica looks like.
This is what passes for a garbage can in our apartment.
For years, Carrie has resisted the idea of buying garbage bags. (Why buy something that you are going to throw away?)
This is Carrie’s current Shrine to Tiny Things. Above are Carrie’s collection of condiments and spoons and forks. Carrie is her mother’s daughter.
Orange cat says hello.
This is how many words we have not solved on our World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle.
This is our Tapas Fund.
Carrie has been using the phrase “Tapas Fund” for several months now, in a very abstract sense. Carrie has been wanting to have mechanisms in place so that we don’t get too comfortable with the high income we temporarily are experiencing (while we live in a very high cost of living area). Additionally, we are hoping to move to Spain and while there expect to be on a drastically reduced income. “On a budget” as we like to say. We talk about any ideas that help us be frugal and save money or be creative and bring in extra money as going to the “Tapas Fund.”
The Tapas Fund, until recently did not actually exist.
Now it exists, albeit with the money from Fairbanks-opoly.
Carrie was inspired to action by this lovely post by this lovely blogging family currently based in England.
We have not quite decided if we are going to convert the Fairbanks-opoly money to real money at the end (the end will be the day we leave Barrow) or not, and if we do, if we will use the money in a different fashion than we normally, carefully use our money. Mostly at this point it is just exciting to the little kid inside Carrie to get to put in $6 for every time she walked to or from work instead of taking a cab. And she anticipates using it when traveling, especially through airports, because flying makes Carrie incredibly hungry and airports often convince her that she needs to purchase large amounts of airport food.
This is one of the many items we acquired for “free” from a used bookstore in Anchorage from which Carrie has the unfortunate misconception that even she can learn Spanish.
This is the magazine from New Zealand that just published one of Alain’s photographs. They even paid him! (In New Zealand dollars…)
This is also Alain’s to-do list. You can see that every item is crossed out. This is because Alain is a good boy. He always does everything on his to-do list.
This is our calendar. Yes, it is a cat calendar. The cat is composed of cards; each side contains one month. Each month has a unique cat!
At the time of photographing (yesterday) these bananas were the only fresh produce in our place.
At the time of writing (today) these bananas are all gone. They were delicious.
You can sure tell what we’re interested in by looking at our fridge…
Bibs is from Portland.
We bought Bibs from a lady at the Portland Saturday market. The lady who rescued Bibs and turned Bibs into a Cat Bag was very glad that Bibs was going to a good home.
We treasure Bibs.
Bibs looks out. Something white is out there.
Can she play with it? Bibs runs out to see.
Is it good to eat? Bibs wants to find out. (No, it is not good to eat).
Now look! Bibs looks funny. The something white is on Bibs!
(Our own cats have become very familiar with the mysterious Something White.)
Here are the Cats’ baby pictures hanging on the wall.
Yes, Carrie still decorates with her signature blue tape.
This shot is a work of irony. Bitty is giving his mommy a peanut butter cup.
This is a work of irony because Carrie has worked hard to break Alain of the habit of constantly desiring to give her food rewards. (Eg, you had a hard day at work? have a peanut butter cup! You accomplished xyz? have a big peanut butter cup!)
Kitty’s adopted homeland.
These are some of Carrie’s bandages. Some of them turned a little pink when they got washed with Carrie’s Evil Red Dress (that also turned Alain’s undershirts, socks, jeans, and best dress shirt pink). We learned our lesson about Ross Dress for Less.
If Bitty’s photograph is a work of irony, this is a work of avant-garde art.
And these, yours truly, are the humans who help the cats write all these blog posts.
We are taking bets: how many more months do you think that the dishwasher will sit in the hallway of our apartment building?