Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Felix, I'm impressed.

Gives me the good kind of butterflies in my stomach.  How can you not love space?  What can we not do with the imagination, guts, and funding ;)

I always wanted to be an astronaut.  I told Ever that the other day and she said, "Don't worry Mama, you can be one next year for Halloween."

Taking a break from this space for a couple weeks.  See you in November!


“Young boys {and girls} should never be sent to bed… they always wake up a day older.”  
J.M. Barrie

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why I Read On Vacation.

I should post a picture.  I really should.  But nobody, myself included, would want to see my house right now.  Bry asked when he got home, "Ever, when did you learn to make bombs?"  It does kind-of look like a mini-van exploded inside our house.  With a cooler full of food and dishes.

But that's what I get for starting a 600+ page novel.  I'm tired because I've been staying up late at night to read "just one more chapter" and the kids are tired of watching me read.  Everything else was put on pause today so I could finally get to that last page.  Which I did.  Thank goodness.  My 2012 rural Alaska life can resume and I will lay aside my 1740's Scottish highland existence until I've racked up enough sleep to warrant cracking open the next book in the series.

Phew.  Sometimes it would just be easier if they'd make the movie already. ;)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

It's here ...

After a spectacular and awe-inspiring display of northern lights last night -- which 1.) trying to wake a 3-year old to show them something "really cool" doesn't always work... and 2.) I really need to learn to photograph nighttime displays like that -- we woke to beautiful fresh snow this morning.  

And I have a little hunch that it is here for the long haul this time.  We shall see.  
I'm not sure whether Diesel is excited about it above or not...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dia de los Muertos and Halloween

Dia De Los Muertos
Maybe it's the internet, maybe it's a resurgence of a tradition, maybe it's the merging of cultures, but this year I have been seeing more and more about Dia de los Muertos - the Mexican holiday celebrating Day of the Dead.  Obviously, hence the post, I have found it an intriguing holiday.  
What I've read is that it originated with the Aztecs and is a celebration honoring the life and death of ancestors, family, and friends that we've lost.  In this light, the skull is a happy symbol.  I like that.  I also like the idea of honoring those who are gone.  A day to focus on celebrating them.  A day to wish them well.  I remember forever ago a hairstylist I was going to had one of these skulls tattooed on her arm and it stuck with me.  
I might want to try someday sneaking parts of this tradition into our traditions. Halloween is so fun and I don't see this as a replacement, but maybe a little way to take some of the scary out of the season and replace it with some meaning.  (Here is an abbreviated, and maybe slightly biased, comparison of the holidays.)  Have you guys been seeing a lot of this this year too?  What do you think?  Mom, I know you don't like skulls, does this soften that at all??
Happy October -- in all it's fall loveliness and fullness.
dia de los muertosCool Whip Frosting Everyday Occasions

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Gold Panning in the Snow.

This handsome man flew us out to the snowy mountains in search of gold.  Here's a few pics:

I think Grampa Chuck said he spent some time at this cabin back in the day prospecting.  He mentioned something about a pet squirrel too :)
 Bry showing the kids the "specks" he found.  Because the kids and I were so wimpy, he didn't get to pan very much.  Ever, Tell, & I found some old toys to keep us occupied in the meantime....

 She was happy to be in the plane again and on our way home.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Sweet things of Fall.

This morning, Maggie's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread just went in the oven.  YUM -- can't wait.  It's been too long :)  I thought I'd share the recipe since it's always nice to stumble upon a good recipe.  I remember the first time I had this when Simon (now 12) was a little toddler.  I think it might have been the year Jon made pumpkin stew -- was it pumpkin??  I don't think I'll share that recipe.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
from Maggie Rother

1 c. cooked pumpkin (I use Libby's)
1/2 c. vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 2/3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda

8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. flour
1 egg

Set oven to 325 degrees.  Mix filling, set aside.  Mix wet ingredients of bread, beat well.  Mix dry ingredients, add to wet mixture.  Pour 1/4 batter into two greased + floured pans. Spread filling over.  Add remaining batter.  Bake 30-60 minutes. (That's what I wrote anyway??  Do the toothpick test.)

Store bread in the fridge.

:: And while I'm at it, another great, simple, easy, delicious fall recipe.  Had this at a friend's house this fall and luckily stumbled across the recipe on Pinterest the very next day.

Layered Caramel Apple Dip

16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
16 oz caramel apple dip from the store (we had to make ours from scratch, but it was real simple)
1 cup Heath bits (sold next to the chocolate chips)
Apple slices -- granny smith was awesome

Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Spread in the bottom of a small platter or dinner plate.  Spread caramel dip/sauce on top.  Sprinkle Heath bits on top.  Arrange apple slices around the edge.

So simple and tastes just as good as it will look :)

:: The last and sweetest thing to post today-- both figuratively and probably literally -- this year we will be trick-or-treating on Lincoln Street.  :)  So Nebraska folks get ready... Where's the closest pumpkin patch?

Oooh, I'm starting to smell the pumpkin bread right now...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

What a great post ....

what is hospitality?

If you have a minute, read this.

Such a good reminder for everyone.  It's part of a month-long series and this particular day just struck a chord with me.  So applicable in today's world of everything unnecessary and everyone wanting only the best and more, more, more.  I hope I can take her tips to heart and chip away at my own selfish heart.

We're excited to go to Anchorage in two weeks and watch the premier of "The Dream Factory", a ski and snowboard movie by Teton Gravity Research.  Bry's Dad appears in the film as part of the pioneers in extreme skiing in Alaska.  You'll know him by his bright yellow airplane :)   Can't wait.  I love these movies -- they make me feel excited and very unaccomplished at the same time.....  Here's a sneak peek:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A few of my favorite highlights from the past week...

:: Coming outside to Bryan building the beginning of a very cool rustic fort.  I can't wait for it to be done so we can hang out in it.

:: Noticing the incredible healing properties of the tongue.  Tell bit a nasty, nasty gash/hole in his tongue this past Friday at Barnes & Noble while we were in town and it is already healing up.  Thank goodness.

:: Remembering Ever running down the main aisle of Target towards me in an Avenger's mask and shield hollering at the top of her lungs.  Priceless.  Seriously, to be a kid again....

:: Celebrating my third day without coffee.  I'll be honest, I miss it.  But I'm really hoping it can help with the headaches I've had for a very long time.  Realizing part of the draw was that it was my "treat" to myself....hmm.