Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Blueberry pie...

Berry season will be here again soon! Time to use up all of last year's!

Alaskan blueberries have so much liquid that I put half a cup of flour and a quarter cup of cornstarch in the berry mixture, and it was STILL full of liquid! Oh well, it was great with ice cream!

This is how tough the dogs' lives are.

Indoor floppage:

Outdoor floppage:


Do you think Cricket is comfy?

I sure hope she is comfy!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Spring things

1) First use of shrimp from Alaska Marine Conservation Council subscription: Over past with asparagus and tomatoes:

2) Behbeh moxen at LARS:

Yearling mox flop:

3) Calypso orchids, from the patch very unpicturesquely located beside our driveway:

4) Bluebell buds:

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Spring continues...

...Despite a frost and snow forecast!

My rhubarb has appeared. I have the latest-appearing rhubarb of anyone I know!

I almost forgot to photograph halibut use #1. I put chopped garlic, lemon slices, freshly ground pepper, and dried parsley on it. Then I was about to sprinkle on some olive oil and decided not to be ultra-healthy for once and tried butter instead. It came out pretty tasty, although no more tasty than olive oil, so I think I will switch back to olive oil next time:

Cricket likes belly rubs!

Believe it or not, this is pre-morning run:

They pretend to be all lounge-y and relax-y, but they are like coiled springs. The second I touch my shoes, they are at the door howling. They howl and paw at me while I tie my shoes. Deceptive beasts!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Good eats and snuggles

After over a year, I finally got to the top of a waiting list and got a coveted slot on the Alaska Marine Conservation Council's list to purchase freshly and sustainably caught seafood. It is processed, packaged, and flash-frozen on the docks, and offered in limited quantities in flash sales to people on the list. When I got my first email, I was so excited and purchased my maximum--5 pounds of halibut ("Our Gulf of Alaska halibut is harvested on longline gear by Matt Alward and Malcolm Milne of Homer"), 5 pounds of Alaskan spot prawns ("These pot-caught ocean gems are harvested from of the cleanest wild shrimp fisheries in the world. Fishermen Eric Fleming, Richard Person and Bill Bondietti are all Alaska residents and veterans of their trade."), and a package of a processed product called "DearNorth Salmon Bites" ("created by an Alaskan native-owned company based in Juneau and most recently a winner of the 2017 Alaska Symphony of Seafood!"). I busted out my credit card and said to my monitor, "Hook me up, Alaska Marine Conservation Council".

A cool five days later, I went to the parking lot of Beaver Sports at the arranged time for the pickup of the package. I told DL I had prepaid via credit card and did not, in fact, have a suitcase of cash with me. I was really impressed with how nicely and conveniently it was packaged--all gutted and clean and sliced and shrinkwrapped!

The freezer is pretty full, so I guess we're having baked halibut tonight, halibut tacos tomorrow, and some blueberry pie, which will use up a quart of blueberries. In anticipation of this event, I'd already cleared out my bag of chicken carcasses and made stock for soup... Chicken carcasses take up a lot of precious freezer space! Who knew that eating chicken noodle soup was important prepwork for ordering seafood?

Here are some photos of the ladies snuggling.

Starbuck flops while Cricket does lookout duty:

Cricket flops while Starbuck does lookout duty:

Both half flop while simultaneously watching the humans!

High four!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Late spring evening photos

Double rainbow!



I hope I don't jinx anything by mentioning it, but the weather of the past few seasons has felt like the "good old days"... when winters were cold, snowy, crystalline, and still; and spring and summer had sunny warmth interspersed with rain... Enough to tamp down the dust, lessen fire danger, and give rainbows!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

OMG Brand-new behbeh moosage!!

I literally L'ed OL at that one comment: "i seen a girl leaving the bar last night walking like that baby moose" He *does* look like a young lady learning to walk in heels! :~D

Monday, May 15, 2017

Um What?

I'm not super sensitive to racism (I happily moved from CA to AK, where I went from dominant culture to minority) but both of these supposedly heartwarming videos of Fairbanks life are off-putting.

Almost all of the people working, playing, demonstrating local daily life are white. Almost all of the Asian and black people are visitors. And the only AK Natives are there on display: Drumming, dancing, doing artwork in costume... It's like they only exist for the entertainment of white people. White people can go look at them and then check off their "learning cultural heritage" box.

"So where are you from?"

San Francisco.

"I mean, where are you FROM?"

San Francisco.

"I mean, what nationality are you?"


"I mean, where are YOUR PEOPLE from?... Ohhh, lovely! I love the Chinese! The Chinese are so smart and hard-working! And the kids are so cute!"


Snuggle photo!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Murphy Dome

It's tough hiking nowadays. Most of our trails are either still covered with soft, slushy snow, into which you sink up to your thighs; or, if fully thawed, covered in deep puddles and mud, into which you sink up to your ankles. I thought Murphy Dome might be dry enough. I was mostly right... the highest elevations still had post-holey snow on the trail, but we could bushwhack through the tundra very easily. I wore Muck Boots, and the ladies leapt and bounded all over the tundra in a dance as old as happiness.

Unpassable snow at the top:

Starbuckeroo was soooo happy to see snow:

A tiny tree, the last below treeline:

Starbuck looking wolfie:

As we descended the North side, we again encountered punchy, post-holey snow:

I tottered around it until we hit standing water:

Then said, "no, thanks" and turned around. The ladies ran to lead the way back to the little hill of tors:

We have clear line of sight to the met tower, wind turbine, and long range radar station where we had left the car. We just set a course for it, and off we go:

"Bushwhacking" above treeline is hardly so. And bushwhacking in the Alaskan Interior involves no snakes, scorpions, ticks, or poison oak! You can pretty much go wherever you please:

The ladies take in the scenery while I stop for a tea break:

Tiny Starbuck!

Tiny Cricket!

Frozen, thawed, and fermented blueberries and cranberries were still around from last fall. I enjoyed a few. The dogs looked like they had walked through a murder scene:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Miscellaneous photo dump

Couch shot!

Cricket paws!

Roo paws!

We had to celebrate Chinese Easter a week behind schedule, since we were in Colorado for Chinese Easter. When we got home, it was then two weeks past Proper Easter, and hams were still half price! Yeeeeeah!

We got a whole ham, hosted nine people and five dogs (maintaining a proper Fairbanks human:dog ratio), and still had absurd amounts of ham! We packed ham home with the guests, ate ham omelettes and sandwiches for a week, made a pot of ham and bean soup, and still have two more gallon ziplocs of ham in the freezer.

I think Cricket likes little people!

The ham! Oh god, the ham!

Here are some photos of the Tanana from my drive to Delta Junction a few weeks ago. One of DL's photography magazines said that bad weather makes beautiful photos. I have to agree!