November 10, 2013

Oh, what a diference a month makes!

We went through October astonished by the beautiful weather and lack of snow.  As November neared, and a record of having no snow, we were thankful for the prolonged fall weather.

 A month and 10 days later, it seems as though winter has arrived. Oh joy.

September 15, 2013

Oh, What a Summer it Was!

Now that we are rolling into fall, I think back to pretty much the best summer weather-wise, I've seen since moving back to Alaska 7 years ago. SEVEN YEARS AGO- yikes!

Here is a look back at a few of my favorite moments of this summer:

The Girls.
The Girls are doing great! I have enjoyed them more than one could ever think they'd enjoy chickens. They are quirky, smart, and have become a great addition to my little family.

The Garden.
Gardening takes a lot of work and even more patience. Waiting for things to grow, questioning why things aren't growing, and then wondering what the heck you're going to do with all the veggies!  I can't wait for next year, the year of the epic garden!

Graduation. Graduation BBQ. Mom's Visit.
15 years of school. I should be a doctor, two times over. But alas, I am not.. I received my Bachelor's degree in Human Services and I am SO glad I'm done with it!  Aside from the degree, I also received a visit from my momma and a great graduation party filled with friends and family. 

Fun Things.
Fishing the Russian River.

Jessie and I camping with friends.

Hiking in Hatcher Pass.

Kayaking Eklutna Lake with Amia.

Fishing the Kenai River @ Matt's house.

Gold panning.
Fishing, camping, hiking, kayaking, more fishing, gold panning.. add to that berry picking, weekends at the lake, playing softball, and building stuff. Good times.

This summer was filled with friends.  I spent a lot of time fishing with my buddy Matt down on the Kenai and Russian. I also had the opportunity to meet and spend time with his amazing parents.
Marleanna and I have known each other through work
Mark and gold panning.

Marleanna and I hiking Rabbit Lake.

Gene and I camping.

Greg on our last camping trip in AK.

Tara and I camping in Hope.
Matt rowing us down the Kenai.
for the past 4 years, but we have become really great friends this year. I spent time up at her cabin in Willow, playing softball, and going on a few hikes.
Greg left Alaska this year for Denver and it's been sad without him here.  I hardly did any real camping because it's just not as easy to camp with other people.  I miss that guy.
Tara and her husband came up from Washington to visit and fish this summer and it was great to catch up. I hadn't seen her in almost 10 years. We met playing soccer while we were in high school and have remained in touch throughout the years.  I was her Maid of Honor in her wedding and now she has 3 kids! Crazy!

  End of Summer. 
With summer coming to an end, I can only be thankful for the time and experiences I've had.  Having been unemployed through the course of the last year and a half, I will be heading back to work soon.  I will miss the time off, but I won't miss being poor. 
Luckily I had this time to spend with my friends and family, and I can look back at this ever-so-trying time to see some rays of sunshine.

August 13, 2013

It's that time of year again!!

What time you say? Canning time!

I happened to be in possession of 20lbs of pickling cucumbers and I am itching to get them pickled and canned.
Rather than use the same recipe I concocted last year, I've decided to try a few trial recipes.  I looked up 4 new recipes and made one jar of each to determine which one I liked best. 
The differences in the three aren't drastic, but the ratio of water/vinegar/salt is different, and one recipe called for apple cider vinegar rather than regular white vinegar.  One called for peppercorns and another one uses spices from a pickling packet (thanks Mom!).
I didn't can them so they are refrigerator pickles which means I'll be able to taste test them in the next week or so... stay tuned!

It's too bad that my pickle connoisseur friend Greg isn't here to help judge.

July 22, 2013

Fish On!!

This past week has included tons of driving, lots of casts and a few Advil-- but it sure has been worth it! My buddy Matt invited me down to float the Kenai and fish at his parent's house.  I was hesitant to go at first because the last time I fished with Matt, we almost got eaten by bears.. but I decided to go anyway.

The first day, Matt took myself and two of his friends, Chuck and his wife Andy, down the Kenai in a boat (rowed by Matt).  We stopped to fish unsuccessfully a few times but the views and wildlife kept us intrigued.

Then we got back to the house to enjoy more fishing and a few catches.
The house backs up to the blue water of the Kenai River with a large patio area, fire pit and gazebo for shade.  The place was filled with people from California to Virginia who were enjoying this epic summer we're having here in Alaska.  I left with a cooler full of fish and a great experience under my belt.

Fast forward three days and my brother and I decide to try our luck at fishing.  Matt said to come on down and did!  We made the 2.75 hour drive in about 3 hours because of the ridiculous amount of traffic, but showed up to a beautiful day on the river.  We didn't catch much (Mike=2, Beth=0) but my time was spent making dinner and soaking up the sun.  The drive home was a horrible way to end an amazing week of fishing- cars backed up 2 hours south of Anchorage going 5-10mph almost the whole way home.  Add in being tired and having drank too much water and it was not a pleasant drive home!  
Either way, totally worth it.

June 20, 2013

Our Last Hurrah.

It's been 4 years since Greg and I first camped together, and now after several amazing trips our journey together in Alaska is over.  He is heading to Denver, leaving me with no camping partner. Here's a look back at 4 amazing years:
Greg attempting to cross a river along the Denali Hwy. It was freezing cold; we didn't make it across.
Greg on Byron Glacier
Portage Glacier hike
Gull Rock.  The best camping spot EVER!
Halloween. We were Vigilantes from, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"
Greg, Jeff & I on our way to McCarthy
Pirate Party @ Darwins with the crew.

Spring hike @ Hatcher's Pass
I sure am going to miss that guy.  I guess I'm going to have to find another camping/hiking/biking/backpacking partner soon or I might go through withdrawals.  OR I just might have to make my way down to Colorado and continue where we left off here.  :)

June 15, 2013

House of Broads

My household is all females so I was thinking of witty titles for this post and came up with House of Broads.  The thing is, being deemed a broad isn’t so flattering.

Urban Dictionary defines the word broad in several ways:
1)    Word for a woman. Less respectable than lady but much more respectable than bitch.
2)    A term originated in the 1930's meaning woman; derived from the fact that the most defining characteristic of all females are their hips, which are proportionally wider than the hips of their male counterparts.
3)    A woman who is very difficult to respect. Usually wears very tacky clothing (fake fur, sequence dresses...etc) and reaks of cheap perfume. Widely known for being easy in the sack.

As I pondered each of these definitions I think I could easily fit into all 3. Let me explain:
1)    I am a woman.  I would definitively say I’m in the middle of being a lady and a bitch.  I can lean one way or the other depending on the situation, but generally I’m in the middle.
2)    I do have hips; of which are probably wider than most men’s. I wouldn’t really know though because I’ve never actually thought about it or measured it.
3)    I wouldn’t say I’m difficult to respect.  There are times that I wouldn’t respect me.. ie: any soccer or softball game where the ump/ref makes a bad call.  I may get a little vocal. Although in my own defense, I’ve gotten MUCH better and haven’t been 86’d from a game in years.  I suppose I can be known to wear tacky clothes.  I sit here typing this in shorts with paint splatters all over them, and a tank top that has something that resembles chicken poop on it.  Side note: my perfume is not cheap and I will not even mention whether or not I’m easy in the sack.   Define easy.. wait, just kidding. 

ANYWAY, I digress..   This whole post was to introduce you to the new additions to my brood so here they are!

Blanche- Friendliest of the bunch,  always willing to come say hello.
Sophia- Friendly, but likes her space.
Dorothy- Very independent and likes to do her own thing.
Rose- The baby of the family at 2/12 months old.

Stan the Rooster- He isn't mine, but he sure comes over a lot!

I sure am enjoying these gals (Stan not-so-much) and love going out and getting the eggs every day.  They usually lay late in the morning, and I am getting 2-3 eggs per day which is plenty!! 

June 7, 2013

Epic Summer? I think so!

It isn't often I can wander around barefooted in my yard and be in fear of getting a sun burn.  But I can now, and I did! Although it took it's sweet time to get here, summer has been amazing so far, and not just the weather either!  I've endeavored to be a green thumb in the past and it hasn't worked out so well, so this summer, it's ON! 

I live in the heart of midtown in a tiny cabin with a nice big yard. My garden plot is underlaid with tree roots which has prohibited me to garden there in the past; but not this year!  With shovel and axe in hand, I took to tearing up the plot.  After digging out an area of about 3' x 5' I determined that was plenty big to plant my potatoes.  In all actuality, my back was killing me, my feet will never be clean again, and my karma is not looking good after all the earth worm and tree sapling killing I did. 

Here are a few pictures of my mad gardening skills in action. Don't forget, you can click on them to enlarge them.  

Front of the house has: chamomile, lavender, basil, radishes
My radishes are growing like crazy. Oddly enough, I'm not a huge fan.
Sorry it's sideways! My green onions, chives and garlic are doing great!
Growing lots of beets for pickling!
Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, and zuchinni. I am most excited about the brussel sprouts!

Zinnia, catnip and some pots with something in it. I can't remember!
In the foreground (blue box), carrots, and peas. Orange pots have herbs.  Long raised bed has pickling cucumbers. Ugly piece of white picket fence has beans in front of it.   My HUGE garden has potatoes, beets, and more cucumbers.

and lots of rhubarb.  Pie, pie, me oh my!

 Ok, let's cut to it. The garden is great and all, but what is even BETTER is that I am going to be getting some chickens.. this Sunday hopefully!  With the help of a friend I built a coop and it's ready to be inhabited by some chickens!  I cannot wait to collect eggs every day!

Seriously.. I can't wait!!