Thursday, December 11, 2008

Long Nights Moon

Welcome to the Celtic month of the Long Nights Moon! Gather your friends and family around the your hearth or kitchen stove, socialize, share stories and await the return of the sun.

Today I watched this Long Nights Moon rise over False O'Malley Peak, and found myself darn near run over on the raven super highway. Most of Anchorage's ravens were flying off to their roost in the Chugach Mountains. My camera and I were inadequate to catch their daily migration. Most were only ten feet over my head.

The moon was rising almost due north and on the other side of the house at the same time the sun was setting due south. I love this time of year, the stillness and quiet, at least when I can grab it!

Today is also the day in 1531 that the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego in Mexico. Isn't she beautiful? I will light a candle to her tonight and gather my family around.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sing the Praises of Charlie's Bakery

For many years after moving back to Anchorage I mourned for real Chinese food. I wanted to walk into a warm, steamy restaurant and see women pushing carts of char sui bao and ching fun. Alas, all Chinese food in Anchorage that I could find was bastardized and americanized, with gooey sweet and sour. It was all overdone and over the top.

Then, about four years ago a co-worker whose mother is from Taiwan opened a door to happiness for me. Ahhhhh...... Behold the lovely shu mai above and the subtle chicken dish that tastes like there is honey and five spices in the preparation.

And below are nicely sweet, savory and sour crystal dumplings! I treated the girls to lunch at Charlie's on Monday. There are no women pushing carts around like at the fantastic Fook Restaurant in San Francisco, but Charlie's is a slice of heaven in Anchorage.

On Tuesday Vivi had gymnastics. It's not connected to Charlie's in any way, except we all enjoy it.

Just a note, I was not laid-off, I took a voluntary leave of absence for three months so that a more junior agent would *not* get laid off. I am loving every moment of it and find that I have had even LESS time to myself. Sheesh!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

How Time Flies...

One would think that with not working my wage slave job, I would have oodles of time to post. Actually, it has been quite the opposite.

I have been getting Zoey to all kinds of work-outs and range openings. I have been getting her to her play rehearsals. Yes, she is in a play right smack in the middle of the holiday season. She is a character in the Christmas-Yet-To-Come part of "A Christmas Carol." She is LOVING it. Check out the play...

I have been re-connecting with my friends, like Lupe.

I have also been enjoying the view from my house.

And not having to drive in the snow!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What Did You Do Today?

Centre of equal daughters, equal sons,
All, all alike endear'd, grown, ungrown, young or old,
Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich,
Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love,
A grand, sane, towering, seated Mother,
Chair'd in the adamant of Time.

Walt Whitman

I am amazed at all the early voting, all the long lines, all the folks that spending their free time waiting to cast their ballots. Amen!

Our sleepy little mountain precinct was a buzz with kindergarteners in gym class, but quiet for voters. We went at lunch time, not a huge rush then. The young poll workers assured me that there had been a rush before work and as parents dropped their children off for school. I thanked them. Both girls remarked that these were not the usual cadre of retirees. Things are a changin'. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

Zoey was excited to go voting with me, Vivi helped color in the circles. I always take my girls voting with me, but this was the first time they were excited. They can sense the charge in the air.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Heard in the Hood

Vivi and I were browning meat for stew today. She opened the sliding glass door to let some smoke out (we have no hood over the stove) and came running back. She was exhilarated and scared at the same time. She heard something, but wasn't sure what it was. So, I stepped out onto the deck to hear a wolf calling.

I have heard wolves here before, but never in daylight. It is amazing. I've been scoping for him, but have yet to get a visual. When Tom comes home from Hatcher's Pass, he and I may walk down there and see if we can see a moose kill or something.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Any Ideas?

Vivi wants to be Teddy Roosevelt for Halloween. This has been her dream since about April. Any ideas how I can pull this off?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Two Days

Two days ago my world looked like this, lovely fall in Eagle River Valley.

There were several chickadees on my deck vying for sunflower seeds.

And moose in the yard, browsing.

We now have snow, actually sticking. We have been plowed twice. On Sunday evening I could not get out of my neighborhood since every ding-dong in the Anchorage bowl with bald tires and no studs decided to come look at the pretty snow. About 9:30p the temperature dropped enough to make driving down a safe adventure. We would not have left, except Zoey had been at a youth group activity. We were three hours late to pick her up. Thank heavens for good friends. As we were driving down we saw about a dozen abandoned vehicles. It was like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, or the rapture or something. The winter driving debut of the new Honda CRV is extremely positive. Not to be overlooked Tom, who had the foresight to get my snow tires on on Saturday. YIPPY!

So, with all this winter weather, what is a gal to do? Why, make suet dough for the birds. I also made a fantastic beef stew for us people, but I didn't get any pictures of it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


While I worked in a grey warehouse on Saturday, my dear husband and children got to see this guy (or gal) across the street on the phone wires. Any guesses who this is?

He also got to see a Northern Shrike pick up and fly away with a vole from around the swingset. I am so very jealous.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Autumn is definitely here. The snow is coming down the mountains, the leaves are turning and falling. As a family we have been chasing belugas, following the tides on Turnagain Arm. Things may finally be slowing to a dull roar, or at least finding some equilibrium. We are finding our routines for school work and work-work. Ahhh....

Of course, these tenuous habits can be easily subverted. Say, when both the children get strep. There has been just a wee bit more sleeping and popsicle eating than usual.

Vivi reached a milestone on Tuesday evening. She lost her first tooth. She was shocked and amazed. Even today she will walk up to me, smile and ask if I see anything different. Oh how I love her heart!

She and I and Tom went for a drive on Sunday. We spotted Trumpeter Swans, Bald Eagles, Common Snipe, Beluga Whales and Red Salmon. Vivi even showed off her great upper body strength and control. Sheesh!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Six, Six, We are Six

September 5th was Vivi's big day. The birthday girl requested breakfast in bed and so Zoey and I accomodated her. She had granola with milk, strawberries, and orange juice.

Zoey and I baked a cake and in the evening we all headed over to Pepere's house. We like him involved in all the family celebrations.

Vivi enjoyed opening her loot, playing with her new Littlest Pet Shop sets. She really likes her super light weight, super small, and super pink binoculars! She is stoked about those.

Vivi's godmother, Sarah, stopped by for a quick birthday hug, kiss and a little cake. She recited the poem from below for Vivi. She is so thoughtful and sweet. I think we will keep Sarah!

When I was One,
I had just begun.

When I was Two,
I was nearly new.

When I was Three,
I was hardly Me.

When I was Four,
I was not much more.

When I was Five,
I was just alive.

But now I am Six, I'm as clever as clever.
So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

By A. A. Milne

Grammie had me get a new gymnastics suit for Vivi. I found a perfect pink, sparkly one. She wears it quite a lot! She loves her new gymnastics identity.

Arriving in our mailbox on her birthday, as if planned, is a lovely set of gifts from Susan. I was so touched.

Susan made bracelets for Vivi, Zoey, and me. She also gifted me my very first pair of hoop earrings! I love, love, love them. Thank you.

Aren't they lovely? Vivi's bracelet even has the most fantastic butterfly fimo beads. What a great find in bead land. She is sleeping in it.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Last Day of Five

Nope, I am not ready for tomorrow. I am not ready with a birthday cake, I have nothing wrapped, I even have to work. Mostly, though, I am not ready for this little spark, this amazing kid, this mysterious imagination to be six. Nope, not ready. Sigh....

Sunday, August 24, 2008


What more could a girl ask for on her birthday than to have a bear on the knoll?

Thursday Zoey, Vivi and I watched this fellow for quite a few minutes. He is about 1/2 mile away on Cranberry Hill.

He was foraging for berries and grubs. The blueberries are late, as is everything else. Even the bees think this summer has been too cool.

After work the sky put on a great show. The shimmering water is Lake Hood and Lake Spenard; the busiest float plane airport in the world.