Thursday, July 29, 2010


TV. We have such a love/hate relationship with it around here. For the past week or two, I've let Porter watch one short video before bed, but that's it. No more TV, movies or playing on the computer at all during the day. And definitely no more downloading games onto my phone. Seriously, I got a $4 charge on my iTunes account for Dora Saves the Crystal Palace the other day.

Anyway, this had all been a good thing. But it is something that Porter and I struggle with constantly. Porter loves TV. He loves the computer. He loves my iPhone. I think he'd seriously stare at a screen for a huge part of every single day if I let him. We don't even get television channels, but between streaming Netflix and DVDs and there is more than plenty to watch. And Porter does have favorites, but really he'll take anything. Anything at all. He watched a Jane Austen movie once.

And I don't think TV is evil. We have a big flat screen in our living room, and Bryce and I watch movies all the time after the kids go to bed. Plus, I'm on Facebook more than I should be. I think some computer and television can be educational, and I know that computer skills will be absolutely vital for Porter and Molly's generation. I'm sure that a modest amount of screen time is more than okay, and can give everyone a much needed break.

I just can't seem to regulate Porter or myself to this modest time. I kept finding myself letting him play a computer game while Molly naps, and then three hours later he's still on there. Or I let him watch a movie after breakfast, and he's put in another one while I wasn't paying attention. I meant to just get 15 minutes to take a shower, and all of a sudden, hey, I can do some gardening and cook dinner and check my email! Plus, Porter gets weird when he watches too much. Unable to entertain himself, whiny, sullen. Qualities that certainly come out regardless, but they are just so much more. It's kind of scary.

He watched a lot of TV on our vacation, and I think that got us started on some bad habits. On Porter's part, but also a lot on mine, just using it as a way to keep him quiet and out of my hair. So we just had to stop. He is still asking for it, but almost jokingly now. And when he's bored, he goes outside. Who knows exactly what's going on out there, but I know there's a castle in the woods and sometimes he needs the dog and a roll of toilet paper. Which makes me happy.

I don't exactly want to ban him from the computer forever though. Maybe once school starts again, we'll be in more of a routine? I just don't want to go down the slippery slope once more. How does everyone else handle this balance?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Thank You

Thank you summer. For making another appearance today. We were all beginning to lose hope.

Plus, cherry vanilla jam! My cherry tree still runneth over, and I felt something needed to be done. This was my first try at the whole jam making thing, so it isn't perfect. But it is fluorescent red.

I'm Cooking: Tonight we had Asian Glazed Salmon, Rice Pilaf, Corn on the Cob (possibly Porter's favorite thing ever) and Salad with Butter Lettuce and Radishes. While we were eating, Molly kept signing "more, more, MORE" and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what she was talking about. I kept giving her more fish and rice and corn. Turns out? Radishes. Blueberry syrup? No. Radishes? Oh hell yes.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The kids and I had a fairly uneventful weekend. Bryce was working, but we went for a walk out at the glacier, saw some salmon spawning in the stream and unsuccessfully looked for bears. I hardly ever go out there in the summer, since it tends to be overrun with cruise ship tourists, but really it is an amazing place.

On Sunday I picked a load of blueberries (with Porter adding moral support if nothing else), and we made blueberry syrup. This is a good website with simple instructions, although I didn't need nearly that much sugar. It turned out so incredibly delicious. The kids were really excited about the idea of it all, so this morning I made pancakes and delivered the goods. They both eyed the (not brown) syrup suspiciously, took a few bites, and asked for the normal kind. Sigh. I will eat it even if no one else will.

I also clearly made sure that the kids were well taken care of and not running around like a bunch of hooligans.

I know I need to trim the mullet, but I just can't quite bring myself to do it. Soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010


A few more pictures from our hot, sunny summer. As opposed to our not so warm, pouring rain summer.

I'm Cooking: I made my favorite Smoked Salmon Dip with our new smoked salmon. Fabulous as always. Also, today I made the Chocolate Fondue from Deceptively Delicious (the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook). Although I have mixed thoughts on hiding vegetables, my kids loved this. It does have sugar, but I also fit in a whole avocado and three carrots. Not too shabby. The kids ate a ton of fruit dipped into it (and I might have eaten some too).

Chocolate Fondue
adapted from Deceptively Delicious

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium avocado, pureed smooth
2 or 3 carrots, steamed and pureed
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan. Add all other ingredients and whisk until smooth. Easy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Also, a bit of a confession here. Because my kids could not possibly care less about smoked salmon and kelp pickles. It's really not like I can pretend that it's all for them. I've let them watch waaaaay too much TV, told Porter it was quiet no talking time when he was just asking me for the definition of new words, saw Molly drawing all over herself with a marker and looked the other way, gave them a huge bowl of Pirate's Booty right before dinner, and made several really, really empty threats. I think I need to figure out a way to involve them instead of just trying to keep them out of my hair. Sigh.

I'm Cooking: The other day I made this homemade sloppy joe recipe. It was great! And easy. And my kids seriously love them some sloppy joes.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fish and Kelp

Is pretty much what I did all day.

We took the boat out yesterday and finally managed to wrangle up some salmon. And also some bull kelp. It was late when we got home, and we threw it all in the fridge. And then Bryce left for work this morning for one of his five thousand hour shifts where he doesn't really come home for days, and I came up with grand plans about canning fish, smoking fish, and making kelp pickles despite the fact that I have never done any of those things before, and Porter had swimming lessons and we HAD to go to the grocery store.

But I did it. Most of it anyway. I bought a pressure canner, canned some salmon, made and canned some kelp pickles, and have the rest of the fish soaking in a brine in the fridge so I can figure out how to use the smoker tomorrow. I took some pictures, but it turns out that canned salmon and kelp pickles look kind of gross (hopefully they will not taste that way). Porter did watch a lot of TV and Molly ran rampant with a Sharpie, and it was a nice afternoon, and we never got out of the house. But, it was kind of fun too.

On other notes:

I did take Dawson to the vet. It is disgusting and now involves would irrigation and antibiotics. But he's going to be fine.

It's week two of the Couch to 5K. I haven't given up yet!

And now I'm off to bed.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


We have a cherry tree in our yard. It was here when we moved in, and every summer since we've gotten maybe 10 cherries. Nothing to write home about. I sort of figured it just wasn't meant to grow in the Far North. And then this year, it went cherry crazy. Possibly for some of the same reasons that the berries are out in record numbers, who knows. But something had to be done. They are sour cherries, meant for cooking and not eating out of hand. And although pitting cups and cups of cherries is a chore, cherry pie (or crostata) from the garden is a summertime treat.

On another note, my dog was attacked yesterday by a crazy Douglas pit bull mutt. He's got this sort of gaping wound and is acting pitiful. Of course it is the weekend, and we haven't taken him to the vet in forever so we don't even have one here. Ugh. Not what I had planned for today, but I feel really bad for him. Not sure what to do.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nine Years

Happy Anniversary honey! Time sure flies when you're having fun.

And a lot of it gets wasted when you have an iPhone. Thanks!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Off the Couch

It has been a long time since I've really exercised. Before I was pregnant with Porter. I try to be active with the kids, but in all honesty that stuff isn't doing it. It's hard to maintain anything with a baby on your back and a four year old who is sidetracked by sticks and rocks and is tired and well, just forget it. I don't know how many times I've complained to people that it's really hard to find something to do when you have two kids with you all the time and your husband is never home at any kind of normal hour. Which is true. But it is really just an excuse. So finally, I am going to try the Couch to 5K running program. Although running is something that I find difficult to get motivated for, it's outside (a major plus), and it requires very little in the way of equipment, time or money. I've teamed up with a friend two days a week, which offers some accountability and also (very most importantly) some child care. Having to exercise sounds millions and millions of times better when it is also a small break from your kids. So, today was our first day! It felt fantastic, plus my poor under walked dog also enjoyed it. Fingers crossed we can keep it up.

And in the spirit of actually going through my photos, here is a picture of my sister, my mom and I at my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary party. A (somewhat elderly) relative of mine said that she kept seeing these girls walk by in a black dress, but she could never tell which one of us it was.

I'm Cooking: Black Beans and Rice with Reindeer Sausage (actually only made with 1% reindeer meat, but it still seems fun), Stuffed Zucchini and Salad.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Home Sweet Home

So Friday evening we finally arrived back in the Far North after having been away for more than a month. We had a fantastic trip, but I will say that I am in no way anxious to fly on an airplane with my children, like ever again. We were the last ones off the plane in Juneau, and while Bryce was wondering if we did in fact make it back alive, he overheard a woman tell her husband, "oh my God there was this woman with two kids, blah blah blah..." Sigh. At least it's over.

The rest of our time in Tennessee was busy, filled with family reunions, amusement parks, children's museums, aquariums, and everything else that we don't get to do where we live. It is always so wonderful to see how amazed my kids are at this stuff. I mean, I know that all kids are happy at a big amusement park, but Porter was beyond belief. It was very cute.

Tennessee is also very HOT in the summer. We are most definitely not used to that, people start complaining here when it hits 75. So with 100 degrees and humidity, we all felt like this...

But we survived. With the help of air conditioning and swimming pools and lots and lots of sweet tea. We really did have fun.

After I weed through the 600 pictures I took, I'm hoping to post more of them here.

In any case, here we are, and I am happy to be home. Even though I didn't grow up here, flying in and seeing the green and the clouds and the mountains and the ocean, I just felt that I could breathe. Although traveling is nice, this is definitely where we belong.

I'm Cooking: We enjoyed a local feast last night! Crab pasta, salad (with lettuce and carrots from our garden, woo-hoo!), and salmonberry pie. Yum.