Tuesday, March 30, 2010

It is Important to Remember . . .

. . . . that at times like right now, when yet another ground blizzard is howling just on the other side of a window, shooting wet snow sideways at 70 MPH, burying the cars, drifting in the driveway, and in an ironic act of vengeance burying the new snowblower . . . .

. . . . that snow is intrinsically beautiful. I need to clear my mind of worry - how will I get to work in the morning, how will I get Goldfish to work, how will I respond if there is an ambulance or fire call tonight in the midst of the madness . . . .

. . . . and I need to look ahead to when the wind dies down, the sun comes out, and the eagles take baths in the river. I need to stop trying to control and shape my environment, just for one night, and to relax and do my best. I need to bundle up and walk the dog then snuggle in for the night, filled with wonder at nature's violence. Tomorrow is another day, a beautiful day, and things are going to be okay . . . .

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cooking for Goldfish

For my next cooking session out of The Pioneer Woman Cooks I tried the meatloaf and the twice baked potatoes recipes. You can tell by the way the meatloaf is blanketed in bacon that this is not a low calorie pairing . . . .

And the potatoes?? Two sticks of butter - I kid you not - this is Paula Deen style cooking . . . .

We loved the potatoes, they were just perfect. The meatloaf, although it looked spectacular, was a bit bland. It made great sandwiches for a week's worth of lunches though!

I have to say that no matter how the recipe turns out, this is a really fun project. I'm already planning what I should try this weekend . . . .

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Specials at the Grand

Just a quick post to remind folks on the island to always check out the new specials at the Grand! Goldfish and I headed over there a couple weeks ago when we heard about these babies - on the left are Philly Cheese Steak Spring Rolls, and on the right are some amazing Lobster Ravioli made in-house from North Atlantic lobster, three cheeses, basil, cream sauce and tomato concasse - every bit as good as they sound.

For the main course I had the Alaskan Bouillabaisse - a big ol' bowl of cod, salmon, shrimp, scallops, mussels and clams in a tomato saffron fennel stew. Goldfish had one of the salads, can't remember which one, they are all good! We were celebrating just making it through the week, we had been battling some real interesting weather conditions . . . .

Friday, March 19, 2010

Touching Base

I have lots to blog about - we tried the amazing new specials at the Grand, I cooked for Goldfish again, eagle photos, photos around town, my upcoming date with a bald head and how you can help. It's almost midnight, so tonight isn't going to be the night to catch up, and with lots of company coming over dinner, tomorrow isn't looking so hot either, but I just wanted to jump on and say hello, I'm glad you are here, and I promise to be a better blogger soon! Night all, cheers from Alaska . . . .

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Aftermath . . .

Goldfish had Sunday afternoon off from work and took a few photos of the house and yard for your viewing pleasure. Sunday was the "eye" of a massive storm front; the howling North wind died away to nothing, the sun came out, and the island looked spectacular. Above, you can see what swirling 80 MPH wind combined with an unlimited supply of snow will sculpt on a front porch, right in front of the door.

The snow was sculpted in amazing shapes like albino sandstone formed by a very talented artist. This wall of wind carved snow is right next to the house on the North side.

View looking towards the south. This is our dog walking area and the snowshoeing conditions are just primo now!

Because of the wind direction, the backside and south side of the house is where the snow really piled up, right up to the roof line. Tonight I was sitting in the recliner and saw foxes walking by right next to the house - through the skylights over the dining room table!

Amazing what the wind can do, just gorgeous.

This photo in hindsight should have provided a warning; Chico is clearly hatching some sort of plan. Just a few hours after this was taken Goldfish and I would spend the entire evening chasing Chico all over the valley, while Chico chased foxes to the point of exhaustion and eventual collapse. I snowshoed up the valley and located him not moving. After a massage to get his blood moving and some work on his paws, I slowly led him out in the darkness to a very relieved Goldfish and after carrying him into the house around 11 PM I collapsed myself. He and I were both a bit stiff this morning but no long-term harm was done.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Winter, Sweet Winter . . .

Remember how pretty everything looks when the brown landscape is covered in a fresh coat of white?

Remember the first few feet of the fluffy white stuff, and how beautiful it made everything?

Remember how weeks of unrelenting blizzards, howling caldrons of madness, slowly and surely buried the house with hard packed drifts from 80 MPH winds?

How the snow level rose even above the high windows in the master bedroom?

How it was WAY above the windows in the spare bedroom?

How eventually it filled in the whole backside of the house to the roof level and started gobbling up the shed? Ahhh, winter, sweet winter . . . . good times . . . . I'm not complaining, mind you, with all the insulation burying the house you can heat the place with a candle and there is not a cozier nest on the island. My brother called me at work today and wanted a visual of what has been happening out here as all the island webcams are just showing zero visibility for the most part, so here you go Bro, the pics are for you!

Tonight after work I tunneled 10 feet down to uncover the shed door and get my snowshoes. Pure genius on my part - my motorcycle is trapped outside the shed, and my snowshoes were trapped inside the shed. The snowshoes will really help negotiate the 3 foot drifts in the driveway on the way to the car. It's an interesting dilemma - the house and yard are gradually disappearing, and with the ever-present ground blizzard, there is really nothing I can do about it. It is humbling, exciting, and challenging . . . off to bed for me, with the end of Daylight Savings the alarm will come early tomorrow.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Survival Mode

I took this photo of Little Priest Rock just a month ago, when we were starting to get a bit of light in the evenings and the mild weather carried a whiff of a far away spring. Goldfish and I left "the baby" back at the house and we were walking along by the beach looking for driftwood for a craft project I had in mind.

Such a contrast to this past week when one blizzard after another has been pounding the island, disrupting freight, causing accidents, and rubbing psyches raw. Endless blowing snow packed into the engine bay of my old truck, disabling it until I can get it warmed up and dry. Shoveling is an endless activity; morning, noon and night with the snow quickly erasing any progress. The drifts around the house are as high as the roof. The joints ache, tempers flare, and yet the weather calls for another week of the same. I drive home at noon in total whiteout conditions, wondering if I am going to die on the road this day for the sake of a dog's bladder. Wanting nothing more than to just hunker down and wait it out, work continues 7 days a week, the hungry maw of the world awaits the ocean's bounty and so we continue.

Bright spots for the week include the basketball tournament (Go Raiders!), meeting all those folks from REAL bush communities who are completely unfazed by our blizzards, and act like they are in a big city - as a parent who used to travel the state to see my son compete in athletic competitions, I find a lot to talk about when these folks come up to my office looking to buy some crab to bring home. Also, the landscape has been completely transformed by the storms, I need to get out and about tomorrow with a camera and enjoy the changes! Cheers and good night!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Goldfish!

It was Goldfish's birthday last week, she is the big three-seven. I've known her since she was 22, and honestly she has stayed the same sweet, level-headed girl the whole time. Let it be known that in Goldfish's circle of friends and family, birthdays are a very big deal. HUGE. Which never fails to freak me out a bit because in my family and circle of friends, birthdays are almost a non-issue. Some of my family - and almost always both sons - give me a call on my birthday. Some send cards. As you can see from the stash above, Goldfish celebrates a bit differently . . . .

Goldfish had two requests from me on her birthday - that I cook for her (which I did, Chicken Spaghetti from "the cookbook"), and that I wouldn't respond to any ambulance or fire runs unless they REALLY needed more help (which I didn't, even to that interesting sounding one out at OSI that was very capably handled without me).

The Chicken Spaghetti was a real basic casserole - what I liked about it was you put the onions and green peppers in raw before baking so they still had a crunch when served, and the heat from the cayenne pepper. Goldfish had a cold so with the two cups of chicken stock, I thought it was a good comfort food for her to enjoy.

We had lots of leftovers and just finished it off last night. I liked it best warmed up with a layer of crab meat on it - pretty much anything tastes better when you throw a bunch of crab meat on it!

And finally, I picked up a little cake at the store that turned out to be basically inedible - seriously. We laughed about it then and we're still laughing about it . . . . Chico and I did sing "Happy Birthday" though.

Sorry about the lack of posts, it's the dang Olympics. I don't watch television as a rule, too many other things to do, but we do love the Olympics, especially Winter! We've been having some pretty good storms this past week with some frigid temperatures, at least by island standards. This next one which is just getting warmed up is supposed to be a doozy! Okay, cheers everyone, I'm heading under a stack of blankets where the sound of the howling wind outside can sing me to sleep.