Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Great Gray Owl

Are you in love with owls?  I never had been. Not until I went hunting north of the arctic circle, meeting up with my husband and hunting party did I find my love of such wonderful amazing creatures.  My mother came up to babysit the youngsters back in September 2008 or I wouldn't have been able to go at all.

After a day of scouting through swamps and hillsides for a giant moose, my husband and I came tracking through a burnout area.  As we made a turn in the trail, directly in front of us perched on the only branch of a blackened tree was the largest and my most fierce owl I had ever seen in my life.  In fact, I had never seen an owl THIS close ever. The branch was just 6 feet off the ground and just about 20 feet in front of us. The owls hypnotizing eyes were a piercing lime green.  We just stood there and stared in awe.  I had left my camera at camp another half mile away but tried as hard as I could to etch the beauty of the owl in my mind.  The owl, so close so we could see every detail, had amazingly perfect feathers, not one out of place and ruffed out to make himself appear as large as possible, with so many fascinating shades of gray.  It looked to be the size of a healthy toddler, I mean one of my toddlers, a kid way too big for his age.  He seemed to say to me, "This is MY tree, MY trail, My woodland, and I am guardian." When the spell was broken we quietly left, one step at a time, slowly.  I fell in love with owls that day.

Here is something neat I found on another blog.  It is a calendar of owls by many different artists.  Just select 12 of your favorite owls and then download. It creates a pdf calendar to print.  Click the picture below to make an owl calendar, the kids will love this!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Seatbelt Hair

If you would like to get all of my posts don't be afraid to subscribe by email, there is a link somewhere on this page or click the follow button if you are already on blogger.  I really would love to see your blog too so please leave a comment with your own url.

My hair is getting longer.  Not because I really want it longer but because I have not had time to get it cut.  I am also waiting for my daughter to graduate hair school in Anchorage, so she can style my mop. Here is a major problem I am having with long hair.  Maybe this has happened to you, maybe not. I need help with it because it happens every single day, sometimes, 3 or more times.

At the end of a commute from daycare, girl scout meetings, or from the university that I attend five days a week, I throw the people wagon into park and unclick the seatbelt.  Then....ZZZZIIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiP!  The seatbelt gets sucked up along with all the left side of my hair into the little dark hole on the side of my car, OucH!!!  It really hurts too!

This may be affecting my brain on that side.  Will my midterm grades suffer????

10 Things I Don't Do

I got this idea from another blog, the Diaper Diaries.  I love it and yes it is liberating!  Here is my top ten don'ts.

1. I don't take out the trash, I don't even put a bag in it when it has been taken out. There are plenty of  people that I cook for in my house that can do it.
2. I don't clean up after pets, I only clean up after the children that own the pets.
3. I don't keep regular hours for anything.  I get to school mostly on time, and get my kids to school on time, but there are many nights that I am up til 3am studying and relistening to lectures by telephone.  We eat dinner whenever it gets finished, anywhere from 4:30pm to 9:30pm.  I have always wanted to get the kids to bed at the same time every night but every day is never the same as the one before it so I find the task is too daunting.  Also, I drive a semi-truck on the side as a sub. Any driver can call me at any time of the day or night to cover for them. It usually works out that I don't have to work that much but can be inconvenient.  Therefore, naps are always a win-win at my house, regular hours are not a win.
4. I don't gut the game I shoot.  I have plenty of hunting support that is willing. Plus, who else will hold the flashlight?
5. I don't let my kids do sleepovers unless it involves camping, hunting, or fishing.
6. I don't always do turkey for Thanksgiving.  I am pretty sure it will be kubsa this holiday, especially since I am creating a new tray in ceramics just for the tabouleh! yeh!
7. I don't paint anything white, I like lots of color!!
8. I don't ever let anyone win at tickle torture, EVER!
9.  I don't mow the lawn.  I really want to, but my 2nd son and I fight over who gets to do that chore and I always lose, therefore, he is king of the lawn. (Once last summer I cheated and snuck a partial mow.)  My son is a genius though, he usually hides the mower or the gas from me. 
10.  I don't host parties that sell stuff. Been there done it, just can't do it anymore.

Now I feel like a brat........

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Two Major Seasonal Events

When living in the far North and the weather starts to change there comes a defining point when it is certain that winter is here (besides seeing ice art all over town).

  • you no longer wear shorts or sandals.....well  mostly
  •  there is snow or ice on the ground
  • you have to change to blisak or studded tires 
  • windshields are always needing to be scraped, plan extra time for this
  • you have to warm your car at least 5 minutes or use auto start
  • you wear hats, scarves, mittens, and a jacket or coat
Far North living has an extra winter seasonal change, it is when the bitter cold and negative temps from 0 to -50 below set in. 
  • you plug in your vehicle at night to keep the block and battery from freezing
  • you might wear polypro underwear and pull out the heavy coat
  • you wear thicker socks and consider wearing bunny boots, mukluks, or norwegian Lobbens
  • you start your car and let it run for 30 minutes before going anywhere
  • you can't send your kids to school without getting turned in to social services for neglect unless they have snowpants, boots, hats, scarves, and mittens along with all the under wear and regular wear.
  • you give the outdoor animals the exact amount of water that they will need to drink otherwise it freezes solid
  • you only let the kids go outside to play if it warms up to -20 below or warmer
  • 10 degrees feels a whole lot warmer after this kind of cold
Here are some other fun things that we get to do when it is frigid cold.....video of coffee thrown up in the air at -40 below zero, click on the image below:

Click the video links below for youtube videos of shooting a supersoaker at -40 degrees below zero.

So far it has only hit zero a couple of times.  With the holidays come the colder temperatures.  Everyone be safe out there!! Have a beautiful winter season!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dedicated to the Sister with the Birthday in November

What I will do today is prescribe the perfect shoe for my sister.  This is my personal opinion, the best choice for work or for one of those days that inspiration for a new "project" sparkles in her eyes while she wheels off accross country with homeschoolers in tow, to an energy sustaining log home building workshop or the like.  These shoes must be durable outlasting my sisters adventure and enthusiasm.  Happy Birthday sister!

pink birthday cake

Let me describe her. Fantastic, idealistic with amazing exploits on every size scale to tackle and, believe me, you cannot out work her. She sings, she dances -which I can prove that with a video I found of her shaking her groove thing on a facebook video. She is not high self-esteemed or low self-esteemed, she is other esteemed, alwasy tending to others needs.  So this is pretty grand, finding shoes that you can wear all year doing tons of random things and always on the go.

I might say that she is a hybrid between an earth muffin and a Jesus freak with maybe a dash of the occasional "sidetracked" in there.   but that is only because she has so many kids or projects...one or the other. She produces water keffir, chicken eggs, mills her own whole grain flours, runs a small college, renovates/decorates/roofs buildings, and would earn respect from Juliette Lowe if she were still alive.  However, earth muffin may not be thte best word because muffins are baked.  My sister eats only raw food. That is her family eats only food that is uncooked, considered live, fresh from the garden, and not grazed in a feed lot.  I agree, that the lifestyle prevents disease and is extremely healthy for anyone plus a righteous decision- think about it, Adam and Eve didn't have electric Jen-Air cook tops, plug in counter top electric rotiserrie's, kitchen aid blenders or vitamixers.  They didn't die of obesity, diabetes, cancer, or COPD!  I love the whole plan, all the recipes, the boost of energy; I just have one problem...I have to manage the THREE FREEZERS OF CARIBOU/ MOOSE AND OTHER GAME MEAT in my garage.  Feeding three hungry hunters with another two growing up in the footsteps of their father and grandfather before them keep me busy frying deer steak.  I really think all these shoes listed below have earth muffin/Jesus freak quality to them ESPECIALLY knowing where the company shoe Naot is based.

Back to the raw food eating, and DO NOT confuse that with RAW meat puhleeeez!  Nonetheless, a person can still be considered a raw foodist by consuming just 75% of the diet in raw fruit, vegetables, beans, grains, and sprouts.  The other 25% can be used up at the Olive Garden, on Hostess Twinkies, or perhaps driving visiting a fast food chain restaurant for "Is that for here or to go?" meals.  My sister is SO busy, sometimes she has to do this; she is literally forced to (only on dire occasions) purchase hamburgers. On certain days of the week her schedule involves commuting and that is when I get to talk to her one on the phone.

sis:   YOU ARE KIDDING! He did what to his truck?
me:   yup... he wrecked it, icy roads today with the first snow and slid right off the road into the ditch.
sis:   Wow! It is his senior year and he has only driven his truck for 3 months!  How sad!
me:   At least he had his senior portraits taken in the truck before it was wrecked.
sis:   Does that come with any vegetables like pickles, lettuce, and mayo?
me:  What?
sis:   Mustard too!  Thank you. -Oh sorry I was just ordering, we are starving, it has been a long day.
me:   Oh, I see, where are you anyway?
sis:   Five!! That is five biggie size burgers please, not one! Mustard on three of them, mayo on the last one,  and fries with all of them! What else will the white tornado (her platinum blonde 2 year old) eat?

Other than the occaisonal sin of fast food my sis can pray, she can harmonize with the angels, clean up a small city after a hurricane, whip up an entire college staff back into shape, birth children during a natural disaster with no electricity, and move mountains. Drum roll please...................................................

She needs a shoe that requires no socks because she never wears socks.  At the most, if it is a really cold winter in L.A. (that is lower Alabama), she will don them, but not for more than a couple of weeks.  She has to have breathing room so no closed toe shoes. She needs enough cushion for towing gear and traction for keeping up with the white tornado and his sisters. Originally, I looked for an open toe mud boot, but they don't exist.

Here is what I found for :   Coming in First Place......

This is a shoe you can wear all day at the beach or class up a bit and go into the office (see the rhinestones baby!) It is a Naot Kate sandal in peacock leather.  The footbed can be replaced in these type of shoes so that meets the on the go practicality of my sis. I have read reviews that some people have worn theirs Naots for ten years!  Endurability wins the selection!  I first found them at the clogoutlet for super bargain prices.

There were some others that I seriously considered for my sister, I think they are worth mentioning.

1st runner up is the Alegria Barcelona, especially if you are walking a lot.  This California company created a ergonomic sandal for all California lifestyles.  It has a cute butterfly buckle that I really like.  I first saw these in a nursing magazine. If nurses can wear them all day, then I think I will try a pair for myself soon!

2nd runner up is the Taylor by Naot if you just have to have the toe thong and are gonna be super practical.  People with foot problems love these sandals, hey wait a minute they even have boots and a skin care line from the Dead Sea minerals.

3rd runner up is Kyra by Naot, it has classy little jewels on it.  It comes in 5 neutral colors, copper, expresso, midnight, peacock, and quartz.  Naot is a sucessful company from Isarael made to support and massage the foot, distributing all the bodyweight evenly throughout the foot. If you want more techy info on how they build their shoes click here and download the pdf files.  I thought it was very interesting.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Stories right from the mouth of a hillbilly serving time in an ER

So after the stitches were taken out and the go was given to start putting weight on the ankle, the hillbilly (still on crutches) decides to go on a date with his wife.  We saw "Red" a spy movie about what happens to agents with they retire. It is a comedy with a bunch of big names, totally worth going to see and a great one for date night especially if one of you are thinking about retiring soon. Then, pain that had started earlier that day, got out of hand. The wife took the hillbilly back to town, at midnight, to the ER where nothing could be found to cause the pain. Ice, elevate, motrin, call if it gets worse.

Next night. GREAT PAIN!!! Wife takes hillbilly back to the ER. After the triage nurse takes us to a room my dear 'ol hillbilly starts nearly climbing the walls in pain and I begin to think he is about to give birth to something or go insane.  

Hillbilly says to the phlebotomist: "Don't EVER get married, it is just nor worth it dude, it is way way way too expensive! It's okay if you poke me in my arm, no pain is worse than this ankle pain!"

Hillbilly says to the wife: "Christy, no offense to you at all but....."

Hilbilly to the phlebotomist: "I would rather 20 years ago if I had just kept her all this time as my girlfriend..."

Phlebotomist: "I am planning on being single forever sir, even before your advice but thanks."

Me: thinking... I know the phlebotomist has no idea that I birthed 5 children of the hillbilly's naturally, yes that's right and the last one was near 12 pounds, I also tiled an entire new house with a broken arm in a cast alone, babysat the hillbilly while he got his wisdom teeth out screaming in delirium for a milkshake from McDonalds AND nursed him with his dry socket, and let's not forget the time he took ME out in a little raft in the port of Valdez next to the oil tankers at high tide.  The number one scariest event in my life.... I thought I would never see anyone alive again that day, that my children had lost their parents and I would just be killer whale food. Then I say to them "Hmmm, no comment, but he is in a lot of pain."

I am sure my hillbilly husband was not in his right or best mind but I was contemplating divorcing him anyway, just so I can really be his dreamy girlfriend.  Besides my name on facebook already reflects only my maiden name, that's grounds right there, right? It has just occurred to me that I have never properly given him his indian name. Here it goes...Shoots Himself In The Foot.

Another short story during delirium...

After 3 agonizing hours in the ER (with no pain meds but they keep telling us that they are coming right away), we begin to wonder if the staff think that he is faking the blinding pain. They run tests.  The tests show nothing.  Every person that came into contact with us, the doctor, the nurse, the triage nurse the phlebotomist, the medtech, the nurse that gives drugs, the PA assistant to the Ortho doc, and the other lady dressed up as a cat that kept saying "meow", all agreed that this pain was unbearable that the drugs were coming soon. While we waited we heard laughter and talking, almost merrymaking behind the closed door.  It happened to be Halloween weekend you know, a crazy time to be in an ER with all the staff dressed up. As four hours pass, we waited and Shoots Himself In The Foot Began to tell me this story. 

     "I didn't wash my hands for twenty years you know. When I was a boy living off Hogeye Creek in the back woods I trapped furs, I ran hounds after coons, and lived life everyday on that snake infested creekbed. Once, I remember cutting up a stinky old coon.  A few hours later I got the chills and went delirious.  I hallucinated about all kinds of things that weren't true at all.  My whole body radiated pain all over.  I almost died had I not gotten to the doctor in time.  This here is one of them there times, I just might die. I am telling you this is serious. something is really really wrong in a big way and they need to fix it quick!"

     He later had told the doctor that he had only been wearing shoes for only about 20 years, that is less than half of his life......people wouldn't have so many problems with their feet if they went without them more often. 

     The hillbilly cracks me up everyday.  I am sure that we will stay married for life, for better or for ER experiences, and in one week it will be our 22nd year anniversary.  And by the way.....while in the hospital the hillbilly remembered to vote!  Of course it won't be counted for another month....but hey, he is a patriotic hillbilly with an indian name.