September 30, 2009

Looking to What is Next

Each year I have my calendar day.
Remember last year?
Well today was the day.
On my desk are my new 2010 calendars.
Oh there is so much to look forward to.
Yet so much to enjoy today
For this is the day the Lord has made!
I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.

Is It Still Fall?

I was going to name this post, "More Fall Time Fun" but thought you might think I am strange since this pictures doesn't look anything like a typical fall/autumn time picture. But it is still fall here in Fairbanks, at least our kind of fall. It isn't in the negative temperatures yet. 0-32 degrees Fahrenheit is more spring and fall temperatures around here!
~
Anyway, back to the picture. Josh and Kevin headed off grouse hunting this past weekend. Thankfully I was able to stay in bed when Josh got up at 4:30am on a Saturday to go out and wander in the woods.
They didn't end up getting anything to add to the freezer but they had a good time. Sometimes that is all that matters.

Follow Up

Last week I left you hanging with this post on how I was going to preserve more tomatoes from our plants in our living room. Well Sunday night I was busy making my first ever moose pot roast for the crockpot and decided that I had time in the kitchen to finish those tomatoes. I poured the blended tomatoes into canning jars with a little lemon juice and canned them in a hot water bath.
The results were great with all seven jars sealing on the first try. These will be great to use in chili and soups this winter! Soon you will see how I have changed my pantry to make room for all of my additional canned goods.

September 29, 2009

Webcast Training

I am on an EPA webcast training program for three hours this morning. I can't believe I forgot my knitting, sigh.

Best Part of My Day

Capital One Credit Card has had an offer for quite awhile now where you can put your own picture on your Visa card. Well I have been ignoring the prompts for all this time until just the other day. I finally decided to put a picture on my credit card and I chose the following picture.
Well the card arrived yesterday and I am so excited. The picture is so bright and green. Yes we are standing in the middle of a rain storm but it does make a great credit card image! Josh isn't a huge fan but I let him know that we can change our picture and get new credit cards again in 30 days, he seemed good with that. And as our friend Mike said, "You won't need a photo id any more." What a fun thing to pull out of my wallet now.

The Last of the Harvest

With all of the cold temperatures we have been having our potato plants have been slowly dieing. Friday before the snow we decided it was time to harvest our last vegetables.
Since the potatoes were in buckets it made it pretty easy to find each and every treasure.
We didn't end up with the number we were hoping for but many of the ones we grew were big!
It is so much fun to have fresh veges we have labored with since spring!
Josh and I are already planning our growing season for next summer! But now it is winter, time to rest, well maybe. I guess it is just now to get back to interior work on the house.

September 28, 2009

White Means It Is Time To Go

On Friday Night it snowed. Mother was having one last sleep over at our house and it was super fun to wake her up to see our little white world. After living in Texas for the past few years she has been "missing out" on the entire winter season.
This renewed experience with snow lead to a fun snowball fight where mother might have missed just a few times and then ended up with a snowball hitting her shoulder and filling her ear with snow!
But not only did we play on Saturday but we packed. I stayed with mother and as she sorted her life from the past 4 months I packed the piles into her luggage.
And then we had to say good-bye. Four months moves much too fast!
But Lord willing, we will see each other again before we know!

September 25, 2009

Hanging out in the Jungle

Zeke has really taken to hanging out in the jungle that is our living room.
Yup, 9 foot tall tomatoes plants must feel more at home than couches and carpet. So Zeke, enjoy eating the leaves now while you can. Looks like the growing season is almost done and you will be back to only having table legs to hide under.

9 Months Later

Do you remember this post? It was Josh's last day working for Alaska Assay Labs. From that day our family worked to adapt to this unexpected change! There has been a lot of prayers, frustration, expectation, uncertainty and changes over the past 9 months since Josh received that white letter.

But I am happy to tell you that today Josh is finishing up the second week of his new job as a chemist for an environmental company here in Fairbanks. Most all of our family and friends heard the good news the day Josh signed his contract but then I realized I had forgotten to share this great news with the blogging world.

Thank you so much to each and everyone of you who has prayed for us, encouraged us and supported us through these past nine months. I can't even begin to express how happy we are that not only does Josh have a great new job that but that he really loves his new job. His time at the lab and then at the short term jobs he had the last few months have been very discouraging. It is so wonderful that he has a job now that challenges him, lets him work in the field and office, is with great co-workers and is something that Josh enjoys.

So today, lets rejoice!
God is good all the time,
All the time, God is good.

My Fall Time Joy

I know that by this time you are all probably completely sick of seeing pictures of my tomatoes. But I have to admit that I just love them. I take so many more than I ever share here. I just love how red then are, how plump they get, how wonderful they smell and that they come from our plants.
Since it takes so long to get enough red tomatoes to can them whole, like I did in this post, I decided to try something else last night. So I cut up the tomatoes and put them in the blender (and took the time to smell almost every single one).
Once they were all blended I was going to freeze these containers but at the last minute changed my mind.
I will finish this project this weekend. If you like, tune in next week to see just where these tomatoes end up! Can you guess where? (don't think too hard, I am not that creative)

September 24, 2009

End of Summer Birthday Bonfire

This weekend we had a, hopefully not the last, fall time bonfire.
It was a chilly night, perfect for laughter around a fire. Heather and I conducted a hat swap finding that with my short hair and Heather's long hair things just fit better on someone else sometimes.
Of course we were all together to celebrate Kevin and his birthday, even if it was a few weeks late...
Just proving that if the timing is right, I am eating meat off an on as the mood hits. Still gluten free, aka no bun.
It was so much fun that hopefully we will be able to squeeze one more time around the fire pit before the snow comes to stay.

September 23, 2009

Snow

Yup, it snowed last night.
This morning it was crystal white all around our house.
It is September 23rd.
Hopefully this isn't really to stay just yet....

Beautiful Vistas

Fall is coming to a close here in Alaska.
On equinox day mother and I took a little drive to take in the last of the colors.
Way up high on Ester Dome we viewed all of Goldstream valley
And as the arctic air started to blow we gave our farewell to the long days we have had and the beginning of the dark days ahead.

September 22, 2009

Putting By

This past weekend I tried something new.
I figured out how to can our homegrown tomatoes
It has been so fun watching each plump tomato turn red on the vine
And it certainly is satisfying to see them preserved for an upcoming winter day.
I love trying to do something new. Today date I have canned:
Apple Pie Filling
Mango Peach Salsa
High-Bush Cranberry Jelly
High-Bush Cranberry Syrup
Raspberry Jam
Rhubarb Sauce
Whole Tomatoes in their own juice

September 21, 2009

State of Alaska

Working for the State means I work for the people of Alaska.
Sometimes that fact is both really scary and funny.

Best By Far

This blog post written by my friend Amy Adcox is one of my all time favorites.
Check it out yourself and I am sure you will agree.

Harvesting

Yesterday mother and I headed to our community garden plot to harvest our carrots.
It was so satisfying to pull each one up and see how big they were.
Of course we followed our long tradition of scrapping the dirt off and eating the first one right there in the garden plot. Although doing it in New York where the soil was sandier is a much more pleasant memory than the muddy tasting carrots we had from my garden. But tradition is tradition and we don't ever dare to eat the first carrot washed!

Do you have any harvest memories or traditions??

September 18, 2009

Ideal Dream Home

There is this house in Homer, AK that I love.
It is small and almost all windows, random but seem to go together so well windows, with various roof lines.
And right outside the front door there is the beach
And this view.
No it isn't mine, but we all can have dreams, right?

September 17, 2009

15 Years Later

So I know that those who know me would read my last post and wonder why in the world I am excited about bear and moose meat in my freezer. You see 15 years ago in September of 1994 I stopped eating red meat. The following February I stopped eating pork. Well, Sunday night I did something new. I attempted bear meat. It wasn't a big piece.
But I cut it into 5 pieces to try, lots of anticipation.
Humm, it was good.
Yup, I think I will eat more again soon.
No I won't be choosing red meat at restaurants but I am willing to cook it and eat it at home now. Wow, 15 years can change all with one bite!

September 16, 2009

Home From The Hunt

The boys arrived home safely from their big hunt last Friday.
The final count was 3 moose, 2 black bears and several birds
In addition the boys being home, the "toys" arrived too.
Sunday afternoon before we took Josh's brother to the airport we had fun going out on the trails around our house on dad's 4-wheelers. Oh yeah, Josh wants one for himself. I keep pushing for AFTER the house is done!
And our freezer is filling up with meat for the winter.
We should finally finish the meat processing tonight.

September 15, 2009

North to the Arctic

Yesterday mother and I took yet another one of our great adventures.
This time we headed north to the arctic circle
It was a beautiful day of viewing all the different topographies of the north, spruce and birch trees giving way to massive expanses to rocky hills.
Along the way you don't see many other people besides the huge trucks racing up and down the 500 miles of the Dalton Hightway bringing supplies to the North Slope and back.
But work was the farthest things from our minds on this day.
We just laughed
Gathered memories
And worked at making it north to the actual arctic circle.
In a week and a half mother will be following the migratory birds south.
But for now we are thankful she is here
and for fun adventures together.

Tree Disaster of 2017

We had quite the tree drama this year.  After years and years of real trees from the woods I was done with the needles.  DONE.  Last year A...