Weekly Love #5

A week of gratitudes, one per day

Saturday

I’m grateful for my friend Hannah, for the chance to catch up over the phone lines and across the digital world.  She’s pretty great.  I appreciate her for cutting off my march in endless circles by asking a few important questions, breaking up the muddiness and letting in some light.

She really good at this..it’s kind of what she does.

 Sunday

How fun, it was our friend Jessyka’s 30th birthday!

Birthday Jessyka

Birthday Jessyka

If you want to hear more details or see more photos, she wrote a lovely post on her blog, Let’s Talk About Beer! 

I’m glad the rain held off just one more day so we could shake it up a bit and have a get together down the river.  I appreciate our great crew of friends here, who could happily entertain themselves all day long on the sandy river’s edge  and in the water.

By the Campfire

By the Campfire

Monday

It’s  been a people week I guess!  Monday we got a surprise visit from one of our more adventurous friends, Scott Peters, who had just finished taking a group rafting down the Copper River with the St Elias Guides  (One of the calmer things he’s done recently.)  You can read more about him finishing the  Alaska Wilderness Classic  and his frost bit toes on his blog, Atalkata.  Or see him here at 18,000 feet at Everest Base Camp

photo courtesy of Scott Peters at http://www.atalkata.com/

photo courtesy of Scott Peters

We met up for a drink and it was nice to check in and see what the last year had brought for all of us.  His stories are pretty inspiring!

Tuesday

I had a patient today that is doing so well, their worries, their symptoms, their discomfort,  all resolving and their life distinctly better for it.  I’m grateful to have an opportunity to influence that outcome for a person.  Acupuncture is sometimes great medicine.

Wednesday

I was very excited about our unusual job of picking Wesley up from daycare while his mom worked late.  It was a fun reminder of how very un-childproof our house is and that it is much easier to put rain boots on a kid then try to prevent them from jumping in puddles.

I also appreciate how great Heath is with all of our little friends.  Him & Wesley have a pretty good time.

Heath & Wesley Playing

Heath & Wesley Playing

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Heath & Wesley Walking

I’m sure this is Wesley’s preferred position for travel.

Thursday

Oh Yeah, Day Off for the 4th of July!  That was pretty great in itself.  I ended up working on Snow Capped Yarns all day and finished winding a new batch of yarn.  I delivered 61 skeins of yarn to the Net Loft where Dotty & I had a power session, photographing and plotting for the next release.

I can’t show you the brand new yarn yet, but does is suffice to say that I LOVE it. We’re deciding on a release day, but I think it might be as soon as this weekend so you won’t have to wait long.  To tide you over here’s a skein of cashmere silk fingering weight dyed in Alpenglow that’s headed for the website!

Snow Capped Yarns

Snow Capped Yarns

Friday

So that brings us to today, which has really just begun for me.  It’s 8:53 am and I’ve been writing this post since I woke up.  I’m terribly grateful to have a project day…maybe put that second coat of paint on the ceiling and put away the laundry.  I’ve still been listening to The Desire Map, and loving it, so that will make dishwashing actually enjoyable! It’s been such a full week, I can handle another stormy day.

If you want to join in this exercise of gratitude and pause, I would LOVE it, please do! Instructions are right here and I tell you more about it on my very first Weekly Gratitude .

Weekly Love #3

A week of gratitudes, one per day

Icelandic Poppies & a Shooting Star

Icelandic Poppies & a Shooting Star

I’ve noticed that being busy is not exactly conducive to being grateful.  It’s been a full week, with my mom visiting and us trying to tackle some big projects.  Overall I am extremely grateful for her help, for her willingness to travel across the continent and spend her free time lending me a hand,  I’m grateful for the ability to take a little time off of work and focus on our house and for some good weather to work outside.  But when I try to pause and reflect on individual moments, much of the week feels like a blur.  Case in point, three of us just spent a good 15 minutes trying to recall what we even did on Monday after work.  Maybe next week I can move a little slower and take a little more time to pause and be grateful in the moment.

But better late than never..here is my week of gratitudes, a little blurry in reflection but there, none the less:

Wild Iris in the Garden

Wild Iris in the Garden

Saturday

Saturday night found my mom and myself volunteering at a community fundraising dinner along with some friends and other community members.  It’s a big bash to raise money for the Prince William Sound Science Center.  It was a full night that kept us on our toes, but it felt good to be able to help out in a way that is useful and needed.

Copper River Nouveau Registration

Copper River Nouveau Registration

Sunday

We attacked the lawn.  What once was our strip of lawn is now the beginnings of a perennial flower bed.  I’ve never cared much about flowers in the past, but this year it has hit me like a sickness.  I am constantly doting over our pots and baskets of flowers and sprouts seeing if they grown an inch or if the bud is starting to open, even if I just looked at it 10 minutes prior.  And for whatever reason MORE seems better, so I’ve overindulged in annuals and I decided I wanted some perennials to increase my flower potential….what, they come back every year!

So, with the help of my mom, we ripped up the grass, leveled the dirt, tiered it with stones and planted some flowers.  One thing that really tickled me about the process was that we picked up the stones from someone in town who was only too happy for us to take them off their hands.  And then once we had dug up the sod, a friend of ours picked up the squares of grass to patch their yard.  It’s really neat when one person’s trash really is another person’s treasure…or at least exactly what they need at that moment.

It’s still in progress, here’s a glimpse of where we’ve got to so far:

Garden Beginnings

Garden Beginnings

Monday

Grateful for a good summer read.  I finished Still Points North, by Leigh Newman, an engrossing memoir about her Alaskan childhood, her family breaking and an honest look at how she made sense of it all.  It’s the second book I’ve read recently that is written largely from the perspective of a young child.  Hers was an uplifting story of her circuitous search for finding a peaceful place in herself. (By the way, my other recent read was The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondatje, also excellent!)

Tuesday

I just have to mention the glorious weather we’ve been having…our town had a record breaking heat wave..hitting 90 degrees!  This has resulted in collective excitement and town wide summertime fun..you can see some more photos here on Cordova Buzz.  Apparently most of the state was enjoying the sun, a very rare thing for stormy Alaska.  NASA captured this image of nearly the entire state…cloud free!

Rare Cloud Free Alaska

Rare Cloud Free Alaska

Wednesday

I was grateful to get into the lake. Of course this was probably the coolest night yet, but a friend and I still got in for a swim, so refreshing…baptism by water.  I love swimming in fresh water in the summer and to be honest it just doesn’t happen that much when the temperature hovers in the 50’s.  But I hope to take advantage of these warmer temps this summer and come home with a wet towel more often.

This little lake excursion was followed by a lovely evening with my mom, we enjoyed dinner out and some crafting time at  The Net Loft, a well earned break after all that digging and planting.

Thursday

I’m grateful for wildflowers and enough wild space that we could harvest some for the garden.  Now we have irises and chocolate lilies!

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Friday

So that brings us to today:

I’m grateful for a good night of sleep, a morning spent working on new design details for Snow Capped Yarns, a slow afternoon helping my mom pick out new yarn at The Net Loft and some quiet time at home…a little more restful compared with the past week.  And…I got a new table cloth…oh yes in case you were wondering, it does have flowers all over it:  bright orange-red poppies amidst some turquoise, white and yellow blooms.  It sure adds a little color and bright to our dining room…and brings more flowers inside.

Dwarf Dogwood transplanted into the Garden

Dwarf Dogwood transplanted into the Garden

If you want to join in this exercise of gratitude and pause, please do! Instructions are right here.

Sushi Success

This past Friday, the Science Club rolled nearly 500 rolls of sushi and sold them to nearly 200 members of the community.

Sushi Rolls Ready to be Cut

Just a Few of the Sushi Rolls Ready to be Cut

I didn’t know if it could be done, the most sushi I’d ever rolled at one time was maybe 20 rolls, and that was quite an endeavor.  20 to 470 is an exponential jump.

The day before the fundraiser, seeds of doubt began to take root as I started wondering if we could pull it off.  A very wise woman told me, “don’t say I hope we can do it” say that, “we will.”

I had to harness my inner Yoda, and my inner Martha Stewart… keeping 8 high schoolers focused on rolling sushi for 9 hours and then getting 170 orders right, requires some  serious organization.  But working together, we pulled it off…with hardly 5 minutes to spare.

some cut & still rolling

some cut & still rolling

At 5 o’clock we were ready and people started pouring in to pick up their boxed sushi.  We all worked really hard and  felt good about making some unique, delicious food (bacon mushroom sushi anyone?)

And we raised quite a bit of money for the club.  We’ve got high hopes of a trip to Iceland next summer….so I think this is only the first of many fundraisers.  I hope that they are all as successful as this one.

After all that hustle I indulged in some quiet time at my house, and that’s largely where I spent the weekend, recharging my batteries and resting my feet.

All About August

This is August:

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This is his mom and dad:

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Remember them from here?

Well now they’ve got August.

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Isn’t he precious!

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Here he is sporting the baby coat I made for him out of Jamieson’s Shetland Chunky Wool.

Looks like it might fit him for the next…umm…2 years!

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And since it didn’t fit quite yet I had to make him something else, something for this winter.

After several fitful attempts we ended up with this little green sweater.

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You can’t see too much of it…but it’s knit with simultnaeous set in sleeves.  A technique I learned from the brilliantly talented  Gudrun Johnston this October at Squam.

Here I am with the dashing young August:

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It’s a simple stockinette pullover with seed stitch cuffs, hem and collar.

I see more of this construction method in my future, what a great way to set in a sleeve!

Oops better get back to the subject at hand.

This is supposed to be all about August.

Here’s one more with his mom:

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And then just one to highlight the wonderful effect that gravity has on his little cheeks:

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What a sweet, gentle little boy.

Welcome to the world little August, I hope to see you again soon!

Spoiled Rotten

We just had a visit from a dear friend, and living so far away from…well everything… makes each visit that much more rare and that much more special.  And while this place is drop dead gorgeous…it doesn’t always appear that way when cloaked in a downpour.  For those who don’t know, Cordova’s weather doesn’t generally aim to please, it aims to make you cold and wet and completely flummoxed about what outdoor gear to wear and what possible recreation to indulge in.

Now my visiting friend is particularly partial to sun, and being late in November I had already vouched for the fact that the days weren’t that short!  Once daylight savings time hit earlier in the month, I began rethinking the wisdom of my response as I walked  to and from work in the pitch black.  On top of the increasingly shortening days I spent the last three weeks fretting over the undulating weather patterns.  Snow, cold, clear, clouds, warm, rain, fog, clear, cold, snow… and then somehow, by some magic, the dice finally landed on clear and cold with a few inches of snow solidly adhered to the ground in town.  And the forecast stuck.  We’ve had 6 straight days of bluebird skies…and counting!

And we made the most of it:

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A morning hike up Mt Eyak to get the birds eye view of town, the inlet and the surrounding peaks.

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It’s a good place to get your bearings.

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 It’s such an amazing feeling to step across the shadow of a winter morning and in to the first rays of sun, just peaking across the Heney Range.

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It felt pretty good up there.

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Looking out towards the Copper River Delta, reminded that there’s much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

We spent the evening with friends & food, entertained or entertaining our littlest of friends:

Playing with Wesley!

Friday found us out on the Delta, with a quick foray to Flag Point, just to feel the force of the wind, like a freight train, speeding down the Copper River.  The winds were so cold and harsh it made my teeth hurt, I wouldn’t have wanted to drive out on this bridge, it felt like the wind could just send you over the guard rails and into the icy river.

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Braced against the wind  and looking like they’ve stumbled upon a whole other world…Image

Safely huddled inside the truck we made our way back towards the trailhead for a nice protected hike out to Saddlebag Glacier.  We brought along our skates, and took bets an whether we’d find clear ice or a snow covered lake.  Turns out we were all wrong.  We came out of the woods to find a wide open, unfrozen, gorgeously calm lake.

Saddlebag Lake

So much for skating!  But we found a few friends on our way in, and so though there was no ice, we all basked in the sun for some mid-day lunch.

Kate, Liz & Bert soaking up the sun

Morgan, quite pleased with the lunch spot

Kate playing with the “ice exhibit” before heading out

the one photo with both of us with our eyes open

So that was a pretty spectacular day, and yet Morgan’s luck still did not run out.  After dinner we were bundling up for some star gazing only to be called by an excited friend letting us know that the Northern Lights were going off!  I didn’t bring my camera and in fact we only saw about 5 amazing minutes of color followed by an hour and half of standing around and hoping the green would return…but alas it did not.  A photographer in town, David Little, did manage to capture this great shot:

It’s too bad we didn’t have a camera to document my amazing attire!  I was wearing not only my large pink puffy coat but also Heath’s gigantic parka over top of pink puff.  I think I measured at least 2 feet thick from front to back with small arms sticking out of my sides.  I’m sure I was quite the sight to behold, maybe I should be thankful that the camera was safely at home.

Saturday we woke to more sun, and though nearly discouraged by a flat tire, we managed to get the tube replaced, the studded tires on and get ourselves out to Sheridan Glacier for some ice biking, a first for both of us:

We came home from this outing with nearly 300 photos!  Dont’ worry I whittled them down to less than a dozen but that landscape is so captivating.  It was hard to stay on my bike, every few minutes I’d have to pause for a photo…or 10!

Ice Biking

he looks miserable doesn’t he?

On the Ice

Ice bergs in the frozen lake

silhouetted against Sheridan Glacier

Bike Shadows

the blue room was still standing

Me standing inside…pure color therapy

Looking out

a slippery perch

heading out with the sun

Every day it seemed we were lucky enough to watch the moon rise after a terrific sunset, this day was no exception!

the end of another great day

Are you still with me?  I swear that was the most picture heavy day.  We got a little snow that night and some clouds in the morning, giving us an excuse not to head out the door as soon as we finished breakfast.  We made it out for an afternoon walk down Power Creek Rd…but even that was phenomenal, talk about Eagle Central:

How many eagles can you see?

We came upon one tree with at least 10 bald eagles perched in in…too bad we didn’t get any clear shots when they took off..but we did get this one!

In flight

Baldy in Profile

Trumpeter Swans on Eyak Lake

yet another moonrise

followed by a moonbite

Almost Full

With one day left to go, we spent it exploring, eventually getting out on a hike and finally even got our skate in!

Morgan skating on McKinley Lake

Skating

We didn’t take the camera out for the bulk of our skate and thus sacrificed getting those pictures that make the frozen lake look like it had been sprinkled with white fairy glitter.  The dusting of snow reflecting in the low angled sun was quite a sight to behold…but you’ll have to trust me on that.  All I’ve got are these dark shadowy pictures from the end of the day.

It was so fun to put skates on, to glide and explore and equally fun to hike through the meadows of Pipeline to get there.

Cheers to good friends, who remind you who you are and what you love and help you see the magic in your own home!

Delinquent

I’ve been remiss at making time for this blog.  But fear not, I have still been knitting and dying and will have more pictures to post soon.  Yarn is still heavily on the brain and we have a few new colors from Snow Capped Yarns that will hit the shelves on Saturday.  Here’s a sneak peek at one of our new colors:

Drying in the Sun

It’s all skeined up and ready to go:

Bloom!

And I just have to include these from our friend’s baby: Wesley.

Learning to love yarn young.

Gotta have it!

p.s. see all that bright stuff in the background…that’s the new yarn, ready for release!

From Fillet to Finished

Fillets curing on the counter

We haven’t quite mastered the use of the settings on the new camera thus the picture is a little dark.  However here are some of the fillets curing next to a fan.  This is after they’ve been cut  into strips or in this case, smaller fillets.  They’ve also been brined in a salt solution and rinsed prior to this step.

The next morning, into the smoker they  went.  We tried the last batch in an actual smokehouse but found we had better luck in our barrel smoker.  Tending the smoker in rainy weather proved to be an all day affair.  Luckily knitting and smoking salmon are perfectly complementary activities.  I finally got past the ribbing on a new sweater.

And even got a few inches in to the repeating pattern

Anyhow back to the salmon.

Next it went into the jars that had been cleaned and heated.  This was some of the strips of salmon from the previous batch, I guess no one photographed the second batch.  I don’t think there’s really a need to weigh it but I was trying to calculate how much meat we were getting off of each fish  Also it was interesting to see that we were getting about 5oz into each half pint jar and 13oz into the pint jars.

It feels pretty satisfying to see the salmon all stripped up and smoked and neatly nestled into jars.  So much cleaner looking than while filleting it and surely tamer than the fish fighting on the end of the line.

Into the pressure canner for 90minutes at 10 lbs of pressure.

And voila!  Stable at room temperature for tasty winter meals.

Here’s one more fun one of the collars from 4 of the salmon.

All in all, lots of good fun, I hope we can get one more batch in before the silver season ends.  Though it seems Fall is upon us and I’m not sure how much longer the fishing will last.  I scraped ice off  the windshield of the truck this morning on my way to work, the thermometer said 36 degrees and the sun didn’t wake up until after 7:30.

For the next couple months we’ll lose five to six minutes of daylight a day.  Today we are at 11hrs and 56 minutes of daylight, by November 27th we’ll be at 6hrs and 36 minutes.  Winter’s coming!

But not quite yet, I think we’re all happy to enjoy a little clear Autumn sunshine.  I’ll leave with a few fun pictures from our friend Kris’ visit.

Kris in the Lagoon

Friends

Kris & The Glacier