December 24, 2012

Winter Wonderland

The other day I was driving to yet another Christmas party when I entered a mystical, foggy abyss.  My first thought was that a moose was surely to be lost in the fog and would end up standing in front of my fast moving car.  Fortunately, that was not the case.. whew.  

Although it was -9 outside and I was wearing inappropriate attire for traipsing through the snow, I had to get out and take a few pictures of the fog across the river. AMAZING.  If I had been warmer, and not out of breath from running to and from my car (cold air really hurts the ol' lungs), I could have stayed out there and just stared at it....and pondered life for a bit. Instead, I took these in about 3 minutes, ran back to my car, and away I went.

(don't forget, you can click on pics to enlarge)

Here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a spectacular New Year!

December 12, 2012

Let it Snow, Let it Snow??

I get it.
 I live in Alaska.
  It snows here. 
But over a foot of snow in the blink of an eye?  
No Comprendo!!

The snow does have it's benefits:
- It's pretty
- It's fun to play in
- It's not as cold out when it snows
- It makes my house look even cuter (really, it does!)
- It requires me to get outside and work off a few calories

.. other than that, snow sucks.

November 5, 2012

Ode to Zoe

 For those of you who have known me at any time in the past 12 years, you know Zoe.  
Next month she will turn 12 years young.
She has traveled with me from state to state, through another country, house to house and has been my constant companion.  Some of you have children, I have a cat. Don't judge.
If you don't know Zoe, here are a few facts about her:
  • She sheds at least 20 hairs a second.
  • She doesn't drink out of a water dish; always the sink or someone's glass.
  • She sleeps on me at all times.  (and snores)
  • She has no front claws but is efficient at catching critters.
  • When she was a kitten, I also had a cockatiel.. and they were friends.
  • She likes to sleep under the covers.
  • Sits in the bathroom when I shower and while I get ready in the morning.
  • Doesn't eat people food, with the exception of doritos.
  • Gets super frisky at night and is in "attack" mode.
  • Will let me hold her in any position.
  • Loves to be brushed.
  • She is mildly obese.
So in celebration of her upcoming 12th birthday, 
please enjoy this slideshow of my favorite, furry feline.. Zoe Louise.

October 15, 2012

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers...

A peck? 
Well if you must know, a peck is equivalent to 2 gallons or 8 dry quarts or 16 dry pints. Two pecks make a kenning, and four pecks make a bushel.

Now that we've got our lesson out of the way, I have some exciting news!! 

I made pickles! 

I had been waiting and waiting to find small cucumbers to pickle but couldn't find them. Lo and behold, I found them at Costco!  Granted, I think I spent more on cucumbers than I would have if I had bought 4 quarts of pickles but who cares!!

I added a bit of garlic to my dill brine and let me tell you-- they are delicious!!  I can't believe I've waited this long to make them.  Next year, I am growing cucumbers and making pickles again. Yum!


September 22, 2012

So I'm a bit overzealous.....

I had big plans this year to plant a bountiful garden with herbs and veggies.  Unfortunately a little thing called Life had other plans and I ended up planting too late.  Although it was fun to see things grow, it isn't so fun to realize they aren't ever going to grow the actual veggies. Case in point: nice beet greens- no beets.  
  One thing that did/is/trying to survive the late planting, cold temperatures and tons of rain is my carrots.  As I walk by them everyday and wonder how they're doing, I get excited for the harvest. 
Unfortunately, I got a little too excited yesterday and thought, "I'll just pull one up to see how big they are!"  One led to two.. three.. four.. twelve.  I couldn't stop! Then I told myself I was just giving the other ones space to grow so the pulling continued.  I was so excited about my mini carrots that I ran over to my Polish neighbors to show them my bounty.  Instead of ooh's and awe's I got laughs and giggles. Fair enough.. Fair enough.  

  BUT-- Those little one bite nibblers were pretty tasty!

September 18, 2012

Foodie Penpal Delivery!

As you know per my recent post, I am a Foodie Penpal.  I received my package from Julie in Nooksack, WA today and it's wonderful!

September 17, 2012

Fabulous Fall Furlough

The Hank Snow song, "I've been everywhere" constantly plays in my head when I talk to people about my adventures in and out of Alaska.  As a matter of fact, you may want to Hit Play now while I recount the tale of my last journey... it begins years ago...

I started my job teaching about mining (among other things) and I loved being able to tell people I had been lucky enough to tour every large scale mine and project in the state of Alaska.  Every now and then someone would ask me if I had been out to Kennecott Mine and I would hang my head in shame and whisper a sheepish No. For some reason, Kennecott had evaded me and my constant travels throughout Alaska.  The reason could have been one of many things:
-Length of time it takes to get out there (7 hours)?
-Who really needs to see a dilapidated mine?
-Who would I want to spend that much time in a car with?
-Would I camp?
-Where would I camp?

The trip would come up every year when my friend Greg and I would discuss our backpacking/camping trips and we would always get excited about the idea of going out there.  Then one day this summer, Greg calls to inform me his boss has property in McCarthy along with a converted bus that we can stay in.  The property also had a wood-fired hot tub, four wheelers, and acres of woods to explore.  It sounded like McCarthy/Kennecott just might happen... but it didn't.

FINALLY, the stars aligned and the trip was planned for mid-September.  Greg's friend Jeff was up from Denver and we were ready to make the trip. Unfortunately, I had just returned from another vacation and only had about 4 hours to plan, pack and cook food (unless I wanted to eat hotdogs the whole time).  We were heading out on Sunday and coming back late Tuesday and I was ecstatic to finally be making the journey.
Hours.. and hours.. and hours... later we arrived to see Gladys the Bus waiting for us.  A fire was made, beers were cracked, and our exploring began!
The next day we drove to the footbridge outside of town and made the mile-long walk into McCarthy.  We explored the quaint little town, bought our tickets for the shuttle up to the mine and waited while taking in the local scenery (sights and people).

Once we got to the mine we had lunch at the lodge and were amazed by the view of the glacial moraine.  It seems unimaginable that the valley could have been filled by a glacier just over 100 years ago. We walked along the abandoned buildings and hiked up and behind the mine for a better view.
The trip was absolutely amazing, the weather was perfect, the company entertaining. Nights were filled with sitting around the fire being astounded by the stars, and days were consumed by taking in the beautiful fall colors and blue skies.  Fall was the perfect time to go because of the colors, the lack of tourists and mosquitoes and the brisk chill in the air. Overall, a perfect trip.

To see more pictures click HERE and use the password: pictures1

Kennecott Facts:
-Named after Robert Kennicott, a naturalist who explored Alaska in the mid 1800's.  The name of the mine was misspelled on documents which is why you will see Kennecott and Kennicott throughout the town and mine.
-The mine was open from 1908-1938 with a two year closure.  During that time 4.6 million tons of ore was mined.
-The Copper River and Northwestern Railway (see pics) took the 1st load of ore from Kennecott to Cordova in 1911.
-The glacial moraine that runs in front of the mine comes from the Kennicott Glacier.
-You reach the mine by taking the Edgerton Highway to Chitina where you take the 60 mile long dirt McCarthy Rd to a footbridge. There, you must walk (or shuttle every hour) into McCarthy where you can reach the mine 5 miles away by foot or by the shuttle.
-Kennecott had five mines: Bonanza, Jumbo, Mother Lode, Erie and Glacier.

September 6, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again!

I love finding new blogs (especially if they are about quilting or food) and I came across a really cool blog with a really cool feature; Foodie Penpals!  You sign up, and every month you find out who you are sending to, and who is sending to you.  You send them something from your area, something homemade (if you so choose) and something that they will like (obviously).  
August was my first month as a Foodie Penpal and I sent some Alaskan stuff to Nebraska and received some rather odd vegan food from Massachusetts like seaweed snacks.. yuck..  but it was something new and kinda cool!

  Another point of the Foodie Penpals is to learn about other people's blogs so I thought I better keep up with mine now so that there is something up to date for people to read.  
Until next time, maybe you should sign up to be a Foodie Penpal!!