Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blog Hijacked!

Just this once. Vik arrived tired but safe with family in the lower 48. It was snowing there in the desert, and has cleared nicely here... hmmm. Salt Lake City was so fond of her that they delayed her flight and kept her around an extra couple of hours. The dogsitting marathon is done, I have three weeks of clean laundry and single frozen tupperware meals laid up, and I'm putting a dent in the cookies left over from the gift packs she sent out. She asked a few days ago (sorry) if I'd put a gingerbread moose pic (special significance?)on the desktop so she could add it to the blog. As to the child with the child that's been haunting her, I finally talked to the shelter managment. After the usual runaround, I was told that they do remember the girl (not many infants) from just before Thanksgiving, that her stay was short, and they cannot share any personal information or where she might have gone. End of story, I suppose. I don't know if Vikki will blog from down south, but check back in a few weeks when she returns all tanned and refreshed from the desert. Thank you all for your concern. K

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm off!

I know it's corny, but this is my all-time second favorite Christmas song.

Happy Holidays Everyone! I love you, Karl. ;0) Muaaahhhh!!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Amanda, you are extraordinary!

(Because I would never want you to feel left out)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

We'll see...

Today I went to the grocery store and our local Box-Mart. I was on a mission. I got a nice ham, and a young turkey, along with several single use personal items. Someone's face still haunts me. I can't really see her mother's face but I see her's clearly. I may be wrong; this face could belong to a sweet little boy, but I just had a gut feeling. I haven't thought of much else for a couple weeks; save going to visit the kids and cleaning up dog poo (but that's another post altogether!)

So tomorrow we make the drive to The Brother Francis Emergency Shelter and The Bean's Cafe located in Anchorage. I don't even know what I'll do when we get there; or if what I'm thinking will even come to fruition, but I know that I can't simply do nothing. When I go to sleep at night it's the last image in my mind's eye; and when I find my thoughts drifting during daily tasks, they turn in that direction.

So we'll see...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How can I sleep at night?

I know I promised to earn the award that Saiorse shared with me earlier this week. I've been tending to various things and letting stuff pile up. I really wanted to get some items to the food bank this week; and as per usual, I should've gotten this done sooner. So, tonite K. drove me to the local soup kitchen in Anchorage. The Beans Cafe.
This was my first time to this facility. It's adjacent to the home-less shelter.


The home-less shelter.

In Anchorage, Alaska. Think about it.

Home-less in Alaska. How f***ed-up is that???!!!! It's butt-assed COLD here! 11!!! If you've got a better word for it; let me know.

I have donated food every year to the needy for the last 9 years; sometimes three or four times a year. This is the first time that I left out the middle-man and went straight to the place that would be making the meal that feeds the folks that need it most.

Wanna know the thing that haunts me the most? The young woman crossing the drive-way as we pulled in---carrying a 6-9 month-old infant. I'm guessing it was about 22%outside at the time.

I have a lot to be thankful for. I can't imagine being home-less, let alone in this God-forsaken place! I'll never complain about my one-butt kitchen again!

How can I convince K. that we should go back there and persuade this young mother to come live with us until she can gain a foothold? I still have the baby stuff from when Judith was here with her Mommie and Auntie and Uncle this summer. I'll bet she won't mind if we let someone else use it for a while.


I've gotta get my shit in order. I don't deserve the life I lead.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Food Again?

I guess you can tell by now that I love food! Who knew? Anyway, I'm only blogging about this because my Amanda told me to.

I sent some of my home-made quiche with K. to work (too much, of course!) As is his custom, sharing commenced. Sometime that afternoon, he asked me how much I had in the recipe. Not quite understanding the question, I began to rattle off a generic laundry-list of the ingredients. He stopped me with," No,no. I mean cost wise; what do you have in it?" "I don't know; more than $5.00/less than $10.00. Why?"

He proceeded to inform me that a co-worker had requested that if I had time, she would like one for her family for a post-Thanksgiving Day breakfast. I said that was no problem. I heard her in the background telling him something, and K. relayed that she would only accept it if she could pay for it...$20.00! Wow! That's my first order! That really excited me; but not as much as when he called later and asked if it would be alright if she added a vegetarian version as well, at $20.00 each. That's the easiest $40.00 ever!

Now the crew wants breakfast burritos for Sunday. I'm just gonna make those for K. to bring and if anyone wants to pitch in for the cost of ingredients, that would be great.

Gotta go get the kitchen ready. I'm gonna be busy for the next couple of days!
Have a good Saturday!

(P.S. Saoirse Daily2 , I have finally figured out how to properly use the links thingy! TA-DAH! I'll now be able to earn the Award you bestowed on me earlier this week. Look for that to be completed by the end of Monday.)

Thanks, Michele. Mmuah!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What up?

Hey! I know that life is hectic at times; but I have a youngest daughter who hasn't posted on her blog in a while! I am Amanda-Deprived! OBTW pics would be nice, too!

I know: nag, nag....;0)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thanks, Keith.

Love belongs to everyone.

'Nuff said.

h/t to Father Geoff Farrow. http://fathergeofffarrow.blogspot.com/

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Just do it!

Okay already! I guess the only way to break free of blogger's block is to just dive in. Since I'm in the process of letting the dough rise for some rosemary bread, and must tip-toe around the kitchen; writing will at least keep me relatively still. Don't want to kill the yeast. I haven't baked bread in a while, but in a round about way I have Brave Sir Robin http://sirrobinridesaway.blogspot.com/2008/03/happy-easter.html to thank for sparking my baking interest. When I saw those beautiful loaves of Oatmeal Bread representing a recipe from Homesick Texan, http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2008/01/oatmeal-bread-and-case-of-januaries.html I was a goner!

Hey! I've gotta go punch down the dough and separate it into loaves to start the final stage of rising. I'm so excited!

Soon the whole house will smell so lovely and homey! Mmm-mmm!

Go on; give it a try! I bet you'll be a goner, too!

(Sorry, you'll have to highlight my links because I STILL can't figure it out! AURGHHHH!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

We have it...

This was good for 1988; and it applies now in 2008.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Assignment Complete

Here's a picture of our refrigerator. Voila!!! This is in response to D-Cup's tag for this fun meme. I'm sure everyone has a similar mess as the fridge seems to be the go-to spot replacing the bulletin board in every home that I know. I'll try to shed some light on some of our most treasured items on display here:

1. There are several advert magnets for various businesses around Anchorage ripped from the covers of our six(yes, 6)phone books dumped on our doorstep all in the span of one week; weighing 15 lbs. Whew!

2. Photos of my best friend's niece and nephew. Gawd; they've grown so fast. There is also a photo of Bev and Les; every one's surrogate grandparents and a lot of fun. They've worked hard all their lives and never lost that wonderful sense of humor, no matter what.

3. There is the announcement of the birth of my first grandchild. You all know how I feel about her.

4. A mosaic painted pony holds a recipe that I plan to spring on K.(when he least expects it, of course!)

5. Two of my favorite magnets are the growling grizzly bear and the one with King Kong climbing the Empire State Building. My youngest gave that to me as a souvenir when she returned from a choir trip to New York.

6. My fortune cookie message revealing my "lucky" lotto numbers is being held in place by a magnet declaring free pizza delivery from a ristaurante whose location is roughly 2000 miles away. I wonder if it's guaranteed to still be warm when said pizza arrives?

7. Speaking of pizza; there are at least five ads for pizza places, including one for Mike's Pizza Palace in Valdez, AK. They are no longer in operation. Good pizza: dirty kitchen. Eeewww!

8. Did I mention that I like pizza? I do but not as much evidenced by the appearance of our fridge-scape! LOL!

9. At the top right is an add for FREE ESTIMATES from a local paving company. Our driveway is one of two or three in the neighborhood made of concrete. Concrete heaves and buckles in 15 degree below temperatures. Ours is in need of repair. Just a subtle reminder to K. that I'd like that deathtrap of a driveway with about a 12% grade remedied. It would be nice before winter gets here...

10. Last, we have our collection of old match books from all over the country. I must confess, we did not collect all of these on our own. I bought a bunch of them at antique store in Aztec, New Mexico. An amusing fellow from Durango, Colorado was the proprietor. We enjoyed our visits with him.

That wraps it up from here. If I were to tag someone, perhaps it should be http://madnessinwomen.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

A lot about nothin'

So; for the last two days I have been doing a bunch of little projects around the casita while K. is up north for training(you mean even further north?) Yes; further north! Anyway, I've gotten quite a lot accomplished, yet managed to completely avoid the pile-o-crap I really should address on my dining room table(bills, get well cards, insurance and EOB forms, and whatnot.) Stuff that I wish my clone would handle, but she is above all that! I moved all of my herb plants indoors, as they were just beginning to get established because of the lack of sunshine this "summer"(or what is loosely termed as such around here.) They are already perking up this evening and I look forward to using fresh herbs in my food preparation this winter; though not too thrilled about winter. There is termination dust already on the mountains behind our house, and the overnight temperatures are in the mid to low 30's. I have a fire burning in the wood stove as we speak(so to speak!) The other thing I've not done is shower, as I have actually been that busy! I'm sure if anyone was around, they'd surely point that bit of unpleasantness out. Phew! I will definitely get to that tomorrow, as I'm sure to notice myself reeking after all this busy-work I'm doing so as not to notice how even more empty the house is right now. I'm sure K. will want to re-arrange a few things, and that's fine. I've hung a few paintings and moved some furniture, so if he wants to tweak it a bit; I don't mind. My goal was to stay busy and not think of political or finance news at all(oops; looks like it's creeping in.) Did I mention that I'm sick of rain. Ah, the Pacific North West. Is Alaska a part of that region? I'm not even sure. I just know that I could probably count the sunny days that Anchorage residents experienced this "summer" on less than ten fingers. Yup; great. Oh well, enough about MY day; hope all of you folks had a good one. I'm gonna watch some non-sensical television, all the while trying to ignore those Burger King and Quaker Oats ad-spots (creepy) and call it a night. Night!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lighten up

Let's take a little break, shall we?
Smashing Pumkins' Rocket

Saturday, September 13, 2008

And if you ever wanted to know what Sarah and Todd

would have named you if you were one of their offspring....

I am wait for it(drumroll PULEEZE!)

Icepick Motor Palin.

Has quite a ring to it, no? No.

More Food For Thought

For anyone who wants an Alaskan-in-the-Know point of view, here ya go.

What else?

I just talked to my friend Patti. Sis is experiencing swelling in her legs and feet, and is en route to hospital. I don't know much else, but I hope everyone out there has a few good thoughts still left in light of this week's happenings elsewhere. I'll update when I have more info.

Love, V.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What happens when we're done here?

I've been thinking about death a lot lately. Friends on the innertubes, from childhood, and people that I love and miss ever so much come to mind to infinity when I try to rest my head at night. I'm an incurable, dye-in-the-wool insomniac, so this is just one in a long, long line of things that torment me at night when I'm desperate to close my eyes. I truly believe that we go on to another phase when we leave Earth. Something tantamount to graduate school, and then must return for more education in order to progress. At some point we get to "retire" and do what we most enjoy. Call me crazy; but stumbling upon this philosophy has made a huge difference in my life. I now feel less inclined to be fatalistic, and more able to enjoy the moment. It also makes the hope possible that I will see loved ones again
at some point, even if I don't think my seat in Heaven will be as nice as some of theirs! What do you think? I'd be interested to hear what every one's thoughts are on this one. It's quite personal, I realise; but this subject has always fascinated me.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


So. We are on a diet. The Low Carb Diet. I hate this one! I seriously get headaches on this diet; and I get loopy! My brain must have carbs ! This can only mean two menus. Now, don't get me wrong! I'm am a staunch carnivore. But when you get right down to it, I truly believe in a balanced diet. I also realise that we both have an affinity for breads and 'taters of any sort. Top that off with the fact that I LURV to cook, and you've got yourself a virtual recipe for disaster. I fully understand the necessity to cut corners in the culinary department, but this time; we are going our separate ways. I'll definitely do salads and chicken or fish: but I will not forgo the blessed potato on occasion, or a nice slice of home-made wheat bread...aram

(cool, huh?)

Friday, September 5, 2008


Hey everyone! Wanna know the NEW definition of Hell On Earth? Spending the afternoon in the endodontist's chair. Having my lower right second molar drilled.
For a three hour root canal. Listening to Sean Hannity AND Dan Fagan(the local equivalent of Rash Limbo!) 'Nuff said. OWWW!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

What We Leave Behind

Something that's been niggling at my brain as of late. What ever happened to pride in what you do? My grandfather was a civilian graphic artist for the Air Force, back in the day of draftsman tables and before computer programs. The drawings he did for them were of prospective buildings, made from the builders' blueprints. They always looked like photographs. Pop-Pop always told me; "If it's worth doing, be sure to put your name on it!" Needless to say; more than being an excellent artist,
he was first a die-hard perfectionist.

I guess that's where I get it from, but my affliction is compounded with a severe case of procrastinationizm(is that even a word?!) Couple all of that with a lack of confidence, and a "healthy" dose of OCD and boy! What a fine MESS you have. That doesn't prevent me from trying my best; what ever work or task I might attempt.

I'm really taken aback by the fact that a lot people I encounter in my day-to-day life just don't give a crap. Not about the job; the work; the person(s) they are waiting on or talking to; the car they are supposed to repair; the patient they are administering to; the class they are instructing; the guy behind/in front of them; the food they are resposible for preparing; and so forth. It just makes me pause, and really pisses me off!

What happened to doing things properly because it mattered that people felt they could count on you to do so? When did the bottom line become the only way to gauge whether or not you would even venture into any effort? Customer service used to mean something. It wasn't just a job description, it was a philosophy. Craftsman-ship was not an extinct ideal; it was an art.

I feel that if people quit half-arsing things, and started caring about their own legacy, the world would be a better place to be. How do you want to be remembered? I know I've got a long way to go, but I'm gonna try to do better from here on out.

I'm also going to be more empathetic and patient; but that's another post!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm...

Some more food for thought. Funny, I've been watching Headline News this A.M. and there has been no mention of Amy Goodman's arrest. There has been discussion of Bristol Palin's personal condition. I personally feel this is certainly not the concern of the MSM, nor anyone else other than Bristol and her family. I wish that people would show a little compassion and empathy in this situation. She is not public domain.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Just for Fun

Maybe a message in there as well...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I should have updated this sooner, but I've been in and out of bed with some head/chest thing. That's okay, because I received some good news this morning. Patti called and said Sis is going to be alright. The doctor thinks they got all the cancer. After she heals from her surgery(3 to 4 weeks) she'll undergo radiation. I know this won't be easy, but I think it means there is a good chance that Sis is okay. I thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers. She's like a mother to me.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Yellow Rose

Today I am waiting for some news from my best friend's mother. We've known each other since 1975; ninth grade to be exact. I spent over three-fourths of my adolescence at Patti's house. Sis(that's what most everyone calls Patti's mom) is somewhat acerbic, yet loving; apathetic, yet passionate and caustic yet sweet. She has also been a constant, fierce mother-figure in my life for over thirty years. This family treats me as family no matter the mistakes I have made. Last Wednesday,
Sis had a lumpectomy and the lymph nodes removed from under her left arm. We are waiting for information as to whether the cancer has spread to her lymph nodes or not.
I am praying HARD for good news obviously, as she is such an integral part of my life.
Say a prayer for Sis, and send good thoughts her way.
She loves yellow roses; the flower of friendship.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Keep on Rockin on Sunday

In light of the rest of my offerings this week; sometimes it's best to say it with song!

Friday, August 22, 2008

It's just an economic slow down.

This one seems to apply as much now as it ever did.

Except now, they want our houses too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


For a moment
I smelled the ocean
And felt the salty breeze
In my face
But when I realised
It was just a dream
Fading, unmasking
This vacant space

Monday, August 18, 2008

But I luv 'em!

Around here pets rule. That's my life in a nutshell. A good portion of my day is spent feeding, grooming, lovin' on, tripping over, stumbling into, cleaning up after, or stepping in something they may leave behind(eeew!) I still haven't figured out which one urinated on the goose down cushion on my hundred year old sofa(although I've narrowed it down to three culprits, since the bird doesn't pee.) That's a mess that takes great skill to take care of. You'd never believe how many feathers are actually in a goose down cushion!!! The liner ripped during it's time in the dryer, after somehow surviving the gentle cycle in the washer. Lets just say that YEARS from now, habitants of this house will be wondering if we weren't processing poultry in our laundry room.

The REAL master of this colourful group of rag-tag orphans(all rescues) is Smudge; I'm sorry MISTER Smudge. He's our slightly Rubenesque, mostly white, longhair rag-doll mix kitteh. He IS the boss and don't you forget it. If a snack isn't immediately available upon his entry to the kitchen, heads will roll! Snack-time is pretty much at his whim, but usually begins with him doing jumping jacks on my head at 3:00 A.M. If I try to ignore his demands, the forced up-chucking will commence.
Why does this NEVER take place on the linoleum? It's one of The Great Mysteries of the World! Boy, does he have me trained. However, it's an ongoing battle to keep us lowly humans in line. You can just see the look of utter disdain in his eyes when I'm just not getting it. Sheesh; his work is NEVER done! Now, where's the catnip?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008


At the behest of one of K.'s coworkers, I am making a baked macaroni and cheese with honey glazed ham pieces for this week's shift dinner. I'll bake a couple of loaves of whole wheat and pecan italian bread to send along, but I'm having trouble coming up with an appropriate side dish. Help! Any suggestions would be so wonderful! I guess a killer salad would be good, but I'd like to add some variety. Have a great week-end!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Cool Tool

I absolutely LUV fresh vegetables! My most favorite way to ingest them is in salad form. We lived in Valdez, Alaska for a time. While it may be hands down one of the most beautiful places in the world; it's no mecca for fresh food of any sort. Everything comes by truck from Anchorage by truck over Thompson Pass (a six hour drive on a good day) or by barge. Either way, things aren't at their peak of flavor once they arrive in that fair village. In fact, most stores in the lower 48 would send that produce to the compost bin once it reached that condition. To top it off, the cash you fork over for these sad offerings is astronomical! So I used to do my very best to prolong the shelf-life (or fridge-life) of my pricey, precious tidbits. The only thing I could come up with was using reams and reams of paper towels to dry the lettuce as regular cloth towels were too heavy, and the nearest kitchen specialty shop was in Anchorage. I wasn't yet shopping online, because of my phobia of all things tech-y! (Silly, I know.) So a couple of years later we moved to Los Anchorage, as some of the old sourdoughs "affectionately" call it. They hold a bazaar each weekend during the summer dubbed "The Down-Town Market." There you can find anything from live plants to live belly dancers; from beautiful hand made pottery to tacky Alaskana touristy keep-sakes. All varieties of crappy carnival fare to graze on (though I do highly recommend the halibut tacos! Teh awesome!) There are also commercial vendors who hawk items such as pet supplies, embroidered ball caps, all sorts of clothes and Tupperware. This is where I found the bestest gadget ever! It's their version of a salad spinner, and OMG I love it! The proprietress only had one, and while I wasn't crazy about the colours, red and white fast-food joint graphic IMO, I was thrilled by the design. It was geared, no cord to wear out and break and LARGE- just what I had decided was best for us from my research. Woo-Hoo!!! Ensalada Nirvana! So happy! I know; I'm a freak! ;)

Friday, August 8, 2008


One of the things in life I truly enjoy is cooking. I love putting a new twist on my old stand-bys and tweaking new recipes with my own personal touch. Normally, (well okay 99% of the time) there are only two of us in our house-hold. This creates a dilemma, as I've never mastered the art of cooking for a pair. My solution to this problem is to send the excess culinary components to K.'s workplace. He works rotating shifts with at least two other people, and the companion shift that relieves his group also consists of at least three people. Some of his coworkers have a two weeks on/off schedule, so they are able to reside out of state, commute and live here for their on-time. This can mean a lot of restaurant, diner and fast food. That can get get old, and kind of boring; not to mention unhealthy! So, most of the time I send enough food with K. for sharing, and I try to fix a shift meal when he works nights. Usually, this also feeds the other crew and any stragglers from other departments in the office. This is great for me because I lurv food preparation, ( AND eating as well) but space in our two fridges is always at a premium. I like to think that his workmates appreciate the home fare, and I get to nurture, albeit from afar. The down side is the containers sometimes get forgotten. The shuffle of passing on information about the operation to the next group at the helm, and the want to get the flock out after 12 hours usually leads to "Oops! I forgot the Glad Ware!" That's okay, because these convenient little receptacles make it back my way at the end of seven days, usually without fail. Sometimes, however I'm not so sure that I want them back! I know that these little vessels were meant to be disposable, but I find that wasteful. There are times that I think "Hmm. Maybe just this once..." I never get any closer than the thought of tossing the whole lot into the refuse, because I can still hear my Grama saying something to the effect of "Waste not want, want not!" or "What if you need those later?" (She's also the reason I can't seem to produce a common-sized spread!) Anyway, it is pretty amazing some of the science cultures morphing within! The trick to salvaging this mess is to dive in, breathe through the mouth, (if you dare breathe at all!) quickly scoop out the offending stuff into the bin. Next, immerse those plastic lovelies in some hot, sudsy water with a teaspoon of bleach, and you're good to go. You can run 'em through the dishwasher if you so desire, to assure complete sanitation, but I believe the bleach takes care of that, as well as the odor. I guess that clears the way for another mess in the kitchen! :)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tenuous Tenacity

I was talking to my dear friend Linda today. She and I used to work at a Mom and Pop natural foods/meat market back home. She's the kind of friend who you can let your hair down with, and pick up where you left off regardless of the time between visits. Since I've moved to Alaska, we've really been burning up the phone wires! She lost her long time room mate about four months ago due to failing health. A couple of months before that she lost her job. She always seems so upbeat and would give her proverbial shirt to anyone who might need it. I just love her a bunch! Well, in the past two weeks she has fallen twice, bruising ribs and spraining her right wrist. She still isn't sure how it all came about, yet still has that great attitude. How she does it, I don't know. I called another friend that I had lost track of for a bit, and she is undergoing testing for bone cancer. Her husband suffered two strokes the weekend after she recieved this bit of news. I just wish I could somehow make things better for these guys. They are all around my age (pushing 50), not spring chickens, yet not ancient either! It's amazing how fast your life can change, and how precious little we can do to stave off some of life's little "surprises." I just know that there are some things that are irreplaceable; i.e. health, family, and friends. I'm going to treasure these gifts even more. Life is too short to lose sight of things so signifcant.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What Now! (and how!)

There are several questions continually rambling through my head at all times ( yes, I guess you could say; I hear voices!) They are mostly my own. What am I going to do? Did I do/say the wrong thing? What am I gonna be when I grow up? One of the things I know for sure is... I'm just not SURE. I've been caught in this cycle of indecision for about twenty years. God save the people near and dear to me because if there is a right or a wrong way, I always seem to choose the incorrect path! It's been a very frustrating pattern, and I've grown tired of it! I must find a way out of this rut and figure out what would make me feel worthy of space on this Earth! Post haste!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No more bon-bons!

At the end of this month we will haved lived in Alaska for two years. For me, the time has been very lonely and has mostly passed with an aching slowness. The hardest part has been being separated from loved ones and friends. I never realised how hard it is to maintain relationships when the miles between are vast. Three time-zones away make it difficult to call at convienent times for those voices I long to hear over the wires. I haven't held a job since 2006, which on the surface might seem like a good thing to some, but I don't do well without the structure that a regular schedule brings. I feel somewhat useless and like I'm not contributing. Now after all this "semi-retirement", I'm going to look for employment. Finding a job in my current state of ebbing self-confidence is somewhat unnerving. I know biting the bullet and just getting on with it is the way to go. Once a job is secured I'll be fine and can make new aquaintences. All will be well, right? Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Well, once again I am a complete flop at food! Nine times out of ten, my attempts in the culinary realm are fun and successful. Other times..., well, just ask my kids about the brucetta that I so lovingly prepared for them around Christmas when I was "home" for the birth of my grand-daughter. Let's just say that it was memorable and leave it at that! Today I tried my hand at homemade ravioli. Talk about work! The recipe said prep time would be approximately 40 minutes (right!) and the degree of difficulty was easy. (right, again!) Not!!! Anyway, my vision of soft pillows of Heaven mentioned in my last entry were not to be realised. I know K. was disappointed as well, although he tried to put on a brave front and ate four or five of these meager excuses for filled pasta pockets. I TOTALLY destroyed my kitchen. To top it off, my ego is in shambles! I think we will be sticking to soup and sandwiches until I'm done licking my wounds. :( Time to do the dishes... I hate that part.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Trying to be motivated

I've finally managed to put most of Judith's items for her visit away. The car seat is still installed in the Suburban. We made a trip to Anchorage today (at my insistance!) in order to purchase a ravioli cutter at our local foodie boutique. They did not have the item I had in mind, and the sales clerk really had no idea or any sort of interest in why I was so passionate about this particular item. The inventory in this store was such that it was very possible that said ravioli cutter was in stock SOMEWHERE within the confines of the store. However, after perusing the confines of the shop, I found a couple of items that I could somehow make due with. I'm sure no one will notice that I don't have the right tool for the job when they are eating those fluffy pillows of pasta/riccotta/basil/roasted chicken goodness as they partake in that bit of Heaven. I'll be the the only one that knows! Anyway, the car seat makes a great fleece/purse holder! =)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Empty Old Nest

So, it's been four days since my daughters, son-in-law, and grand daughter headed home to New Mexico. The weather has pretty much fit my mood: grey and gloomy. I don't even seem to have the energy to put the house back in "order". By this I mean putting up the various baby items; the jumper-roo, play-pen/porta-crib combo, high chair and an assortment of 0-3 month age appropriate toys safe for my little angel. I can't seem to muster up the where-with-all to remove the car seat and stroller from the Suburban. It's like I'd be giving up my "Proud Gramma" badge. Then there are the the precious finger prints on the mirrored closet doors in each bedroom, and the gum and finger prints on the coffee table where she learned to pull herself up. At that point, she would then look at all of us in triumph as if to say, "I did it, and I knew how to ALL along! HA!" I'll clean house tomorrow . For now, this stuff makes me think that they will all walk through that door at any given moment, with animated stories of some local yard sale or small-town Sunday market... Bye for now. {:(

Saturday, July 5, 2008

If I had a million dollars...

I'd love to have this property for sale near Anchorage, Alaska. It's the Forget Me Not Nursuery. While I am not sure of the acreage, it has a beautifully rustic home, a good sized greenhouse, and a loyal clientele. It is so peaceful and inviting. I'm sure I'd be in way over my head, but one can dream can't they? The only thing that would make it perfect would be to have it located in the Sante Fe National Forest near Cuba, New Mexico. That would make it near BOTH of my children. (Again, dreams!) Anyway, while the girls and Doug were here, we spent some time hanging out there and Doug took some AWESOME pics to help Karl and I reminsce the afternoon. Here are a few to share with you. I hope I'm not repeating too many that the Dougs have already posted on their blog. Love, V.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Life's Little Blessings

This is one of the reasons that I have been quite hap-hazzard with my blog as of late. May I introduce Miss Judith Evelyn Baber? I am absolutely IN LOVE! I think that I've finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up! My children gave me the greatest gift of all; time with this precious person. Thank you Jason and Michele. Thank you Doug and Amanda. The visit was fabu-lo-so, and a dream come true. It was maybe enough to tide me over for six months, (maybe) Anyway, more pictures from the trip along with accompanying posts soon. I miss you already.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Been busy

Sorry that I've neglected my Blog as of late; but my kids, son-in-law, and grand-daughter are here. I guess you can say that I've been just a little preoccupied! Anyway, I plan to fill you in the all the details (with PICTURES no less!) when things calm down just a bit. Just suffice to say: I am having a GREAT time!!! Love, V.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!!!

I am just dropping a quick note to everyone to say "Hellooo, I'm still alive!" I'm tooling around here like the proverbial chicken with her head cut off. I am busy doing last minute tasks to make everything comfy-cozy for my favorite chilluns' arrival (ETA: just over 24 hours!!!) Pant, pant! I am all frenzified! Gota go! TTFN.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Age is all relative

Well, yesterday was my 47th birthday! I really don't FEEL that old. Most of the time I still think of myself as about 35 (although sometimes I feel ancient!) Anyway, my Dad called late last night to wish me a happy b-day, reminding me of the fact that I share that day with his father, something I think about every year. Pop-pop was an crotchety old fart;,very meticulous in all he attemted. Whether sewing beautiful clothing, making furniture, tile-work, housepainting, gardening or just about everything.There were two things he excelled at; arguing for argument's sake, and oil painting. He was a true artist, and I can thank him for any creative juices that flow through my veins. My Dad said that he had a half-gallon jug of Pop-pop's homemade wine (which is probably about 25 years old) that he and my uncle John planned to share in a toast at the family home in Placitas , New Mexico. Dad said he was having a sample, only to check the quality of course, and it was still pretty good. They will meet on Saturday and raise their glasses to commemorate Pop-pop's 100th birthday. Wow. Here's to you, Poppy.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Crunch Time!

Okay! It is nearing the time of arrival for my beautiful girls, grand daughter and one of my wonderful sons-in-law! Needless to say ; I am TOTALLY stoked! I am also not ready! There are a million and one things left for the magnificiant preparation for their visit (while I know they don't give a rat's patootie about perfection; I would like to have all of my ducks in a row, somehow! I am, after all; an EXPERT in that procrastination thing!) Sorry, girls I know my punctuation and grammer are sadly lacking: but I have enough details to fret over! I did not attend university! (Although, I'm proud that you both did!) Anyhoo; please know that we can't WAIT to have you all here with us, and I plan to spoil and dote on all of you! The kitchen is certainly gonna get a work-out! Be sure to bring your appetite, and don't even think of bringing a set of scales! (we have wonderful bike trails for that situation!) Working fervently toward your touchdown in ANC! Love V. & K. :o)

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Today I was reading the Life and Garden section of the Anchorage Daily News; a sort of catch-all portion of the paper chock full of helpful gardening tips, how to raise your kids, the comics, horoscopes and an advice column (I hope this is the correct spelling) titled "Ask Amy"; similar to "Dear Abby". The subject dealt with breastfeeding in front of people other than the mother and baby. The person writing the letter was deeply upset at being "subjected" to her daughter -in-law breastfeeding her baby in front of her, (the letter-writer's own grandchild) and other family members. It made everyone "uncomfortable". I fail to see how something so fundimental and basic as nourishing one's child can make anyone uncomfortable! Look the other way, for cripes sake! It's not like this mother is an ax-murderer! It is an act of love; not ever meant to be dirty in any way. I'd venture to say these same "uncomfortable" and "offended" FAMILY members would not hesitate to rubberneck while passing a fatal car-wreck! Just one more wierdness that I have noticed increasingly erroding the fabric of society today. It's okay to criticize this age old practice, yet look the other way when people are homeless and hungry because they should "just get a job!" Go figure...The shocker for me was Amy's answer: the daughter should retire to the guest room to perform this task. To put herself in exile from the famly gathering so no one is subjected to this unpleasantness! AUGH!!!! We might be distracted from our "Girls Gone Wild" and "Enzyte" commercials!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


So, tonight at 10:30 p.m. ; I happened to glance out at the woodpile. The strange play of light (so much of it at this hour than I consider "normal") that for just ONE moment; I could have sworn I saw a smattering of SNOW on our stack of firesticks! WHOA!!! As a diehard , high-desert gal; I am still adjusting to this whole Alaska thing. Karl keeps trying to convince me that it's not so bad.(He LOVES it here; Me: I'm not so sure...) A south-west girl can survive! I hope. ; I miss green chile! :] Love, V.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spring Flowers Bring....

Well; today my plan to finish a couple of things in the front yard was thwarted by a consistnant shower lasting all day. Since we no longer live in Valdez, I don't see the necessity of working in the rain in Eagle River; so I opted out! Let's just take a quick photo of the lilac bush (like one I've never seen before!) and do some indoor things instead. I am an expert procrastinator, so finding something constructive inside would be a piece of cake! Anyway; I'm still learning how to perform even the most rudimentary of tasks on the computer, so each time I attempt to blog; it's verrrry interesting!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Is it just me; or was Christmas DONE just over five friggin' months ago! This doesn't seem to affect the fatuous brainiacs who created that wonderful (snark) product Enzyte. No; they keep thrusting (sorry) this discusting line of advertising at us. I, for one, am quite nauseated by the guy with the uber-lunatic, Chester-the-Molester grin in these 'mercials. The one I find most disturbing, however; is the one where said creepy dude dons the traditional red suit and is referred to as the "chubby Santa". Please make it stop!!! If I have to hear that Leave it to Beaver-esqe jingle one more time, my eyes will literally pop out of my head and burst into flame!!! For your added pleasure, let's runs those lovely numbers back-to-back, like this slimy act of repetition will generate a stampede to purchase this miracle substance. They used to only show this on late-night programing, but no more! Now, we are bombarded with this nonsense during daytime television as well. Oh, the hummanity!!! Stop the madness! Remember when they wouldn't even show tampon commercials. Those were the days...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Time Warp

Obviously; it's been a while since my last entry. We have been working on the yard, running back and forth to numerous nurseries in the area ( don't wanna hit the same one too many times in a row: might appear to be a yard-junkie! must evenly distribute visits amongst all locations in the area to appear copascetic!) Guess what?! Everyone here is frantic as the next to get color into their life! In line at the neighborhood greenhouses; we all make breathless comments of forced blumes, $30.00 hanging baskets, six, seven trips to get annuals in one day! It's just crazy: the plantings, the guilty pleasure of fertilizer; the raking of leaves and sweeping the gravel off the street in front of our own homes (something we just did a week ago...) It must be SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or what I call LOS (lack of sunshine). The short summers here make up for that somewhat; because of the extended hours of daylight. People tend to be fervent: like little beavers, or an army of ants to get everything accomplished in the limited time available. All too soon, the sumer will fade into fall for a day or two; and before you know it: BOOM! Nine months of winter, again! I'm gonna get mine while I can! (my precious!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Spring has arrived!

Yes; Mother Nature has arrived, however my camera has crapped out! Oh well; not to be discouraged, I have to say; I am very excited! We've power-raked the lawn, swept the street in front of our home, positioned the new half-barrels, and planted Saint Anthony in his rightful spot, greeting you as you assend the front steps. We are frantically preparing for the arrival of my daughters, son-in-law, and my beautiful grand-daughter! All is finally right with the world! The only thing to perfect it, would be my other son-in-law would be able to join us as well. He has an open invitation, any time! I'm all a-ggog and beside myself!Time to plan recipes. Whoo-hoo!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Twelve inches. Still snowing...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Not again!!!

Well; not to be harping on the same old s--t, but: it's snowing once again! Now, I realise that there other things worse in life than the weather; but I finally had virtually no snow in my yard yesterday;and since it has been at it from about 8:00 A.M., we have accumulated roughly 7". Unbeleivable... I think my sanity is seriously jeapordized. For an amateur gardener such as myself, this is so discouraging! I can only hope that the days of almost complete daylight will somehow make up for this seemingly endless, torturous, unrelenting winter! More later.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Artist that,s new to me!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsOBpDkwBtM I've stumbled across an a musician that I know nothing about; other than I'm liking what I hear. Since I don't yet know how to import video from YouTube, click the link to partake!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not again!?

I don't believe it! It's 8:45 p.m. and looking outside, I see; you guessed it! Friggin' SNOW!!!!! Augh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Serenity NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :0(

Does winter ever end in Alaska?!

I think I've reached the saturation point where gloomy, snowy, cold days are concerned! We started to have actual 40 degree temps and sunshine for about a week; and it was glorious! Our yard was even visible, bits of it peaking out from remnants of dingy icy snow. I was daydreaming of potting soil; trips to the nursery; maybe even trying to start some tomato plants from seed! (Last year's attemt in Valdez at tomato cultivation was GRIM. 20 plants; a total of 6-yes-6 tough cherry tomatos! ) I was becoming delirious with the prospect of dirty fingernails, muddy knees and half-wine barrels full of colors and home-grown veggies! Then; BAM! Old man winter rolled over and dumped on us again: five inches of new snow, two more days of cold and gloom; and three more inches of the retched stuff. Now the temperatures are back in the teens and twenties. Blechh! I never thought that I'd become sick of snow...More on my manic moods later.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wow; first post!

Here I am; dragged finally into the "future" For those of you who know me, you're quite aware of my compu-phobia. This is my attemt at growth (plus, I need to hone my language and typing skills!)