Wednesday, October 29, 2014

They Have Noodles!

I got a phone call from my brother the other day, saying he & his co-worker Esau would be having lunch at a nearby location and were wondering if I could join them.

“It’s that noodle-place on Dimond and Old Seward, called Pho-netic. You’ll like them; they have… you know… noodles!”

How could I resist?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

What Kind of Logic is This?

After putting away the groceries last night, I sat down to enjoy my cup of tea and go through the mail. Among all the other junk mail I received the quarterly sale flyer from Costco, so I flipped through it to see if there was anything I needed.

When I got to the pharmaceutical section, I found several coupons for various items grouped together in quasi-logical fashion: you could choose from several types of Advil (Advil PM, Liqui-gell Advil, Advil Extra Strength, etc…) for $2.50 off the regular price, or choose from several different types of multi-vitamins for another $2.50 off – that sort of thing.

But tell me: in what parallel universe does this pairing make sense?
They actually have a coupon that gives you $2.50 off your choice of either Excedrin Migraine or Gas-X!

Yup, Excedrin Migraine or Gas-X.

Now, I can assure you = in all of my 35+ years of Migraine Affliction, not once has it ever caused me to fart.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Apparently My Spirit Horse Kicks Ass

But as Bryan would say (and did) “I could have told you that!”

I bet you’re thinking “What the heck is she talking about, anyway?”


Bryan and I took a Painting Lesson the other day at Arctic Crown Canvas (conveniently located right next door to a very good sushi restaurant) where we painted our Spirit Horse! I must say: the results were quite surprising. If you come visit me, you’ll see it propped up on the hearth right in front of the fireplace that I never use.

Bryan was not nervous at all this time until he realized that first: there were no lines or numbers involved (think paint-by-numbers), and second: the end result had to actually look like a horse – or at least, somewhat like a horse. I kept trying to assure him that he was doing great, but it really was a stretch for him.

The class was small, but filled the room to where it was a tad bit crowded. There were 4 tables with 4 people sitting at each one. We all had an easel with our canvas propped up on it, a glass of water, two paintbrushes, and a paper plate with 8 blobs of paint squirted onto it: dark brown, light brown, white, black, blue, dark yellow, bright yellow and red.

The instructor was called T-Rex, and despite her rather intimidating name was actually a rather petite woman with a braid about as long as my own. She assured us that she would help us create a masterpiece – and then actually proceeded to do just that!

Sometimes her instructions were as easy as “Pick up your round brush and get a dab of white paint on it.” But then sometimes her instructions were a bit less so: “You just kind of swirl it around, blending just a little bit here and there so that the colors look the way you want them to.”

The reason I think my Spirit Horse kicks ass, as they say, is that in the beginning the eye was shaped such that it looked evil to me. T-Rex assured me that once we were through with all the layers we were going to add to it that it would look much better.

She was right – it does look much better.

But I still think the evil is in there, simmering just below the surface.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Where Does The Time Go?

It seems like I have something going on every day, which leaves me with no time to write about anything.

We’ll start with last Thursday: Bryan and I went to a class at one of the local cooking stores called Zucchini’s. It was on Fermenting Vegetables as presented to us by a woman from Lithuania named Gdaiva. Your guess is as good as mine on the proper pronunciation on that name! She was very knowledgeable however, and we had a lot of fun at the class. I am now motivated to try my hand at fermenting Lemons and Cabbage (separately, though – not together) and maybe even some Turnips.

The following day I met up with my niece Lauren at the REI store: she wanted some help picking out a bell for her bicycle. The bells apparently fall completely outside of her hearing range, so she needed somebody who could assure that the chosen one was not too obnoxious and yet still audible enough to alert people to her approach. While standing in line to pay for her new bell, she pulled out a wad of dollar bills from her pocket – but did not seem to appreciate my humor when I accused her of dancing on tables again.

Saturday saw both Bryan and I out in Palmer at Mother’s house where we hooked his computer up to her big screen TV to see pictures of his recent trip to Mongolia. Mother’s friend Kurt was there as well, and we all had a good time discussing the finer points of a horses’ saddle or the proper way to set up a drive net in which to capture wild mountain sheep. From there we headed over to Bryan’s Father’s house (in Wasilla) to do a repeat of the slide show for his family. It was a long day, but a happy one.

Sunday afternoon was fun: Bryan and I went over to the library to join a group who meets there once a month for 4 hours to do crafting! And yes, Bryan came with me. He swears that he had fun making cards with me – and I honestly think he did. The group was a bunch of ladies who were very nice, albeit a tad bit surprised at Bryan being there. I plan on going each month, schedule permitting, since it really is more fun to cut paper with company.

Monday was a nice quiet day, which was good because I got hit with a major migraine on Tuesday. I drove out to Palmer to deliver a proposal to the Borough Building out there (I even got to have lunch with Mother at Turkey Red) and on the way back to Anchorage the sunlight flashing through the trees made me so nauseous I barely made it home. And yes, I went home rather than return to the office.  I was really bummed because I had planned on meeting my niece Lauren at the vet where she was taking her new kitten, but had to cancel. Wednesday was a loss as well; I did go in to work that morning, but had to go home at noon and crawl back in to bed.

Thankfully I woke up Thursday morning with NO HEADACHE! I felt almost giddy, actually; the relief is intoxicating. I felt so good, in fact, I met Bryan at the Midnight Sun Brewery after work for a drink! Have you ever been there? It’s a strange place, tucked back in a nowhere-neighborhood behind Home Depot on Abbott. They serve pretty darned good food, though: I had a grilled peanut butter sandwich!

Which finally brings us to today; I’m eating my soup for lunch (Fire Roasted Tomato Soup base to which I added Swiss Chard, Black Beans, Butternut Squash, and Wheat Harts) and preparing for a site visit out to some VA Housing. After work, Bryan is taking me out to dinner at Sacks 5th Avenue and then to the Performing Arts Center to see Les Miserables!

I’m so excited!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Honey Honey How You Thrill Me

The Honey Tasting Class last night was awesome.

Summit Spice & Tea is one of my favorite shops: they have just about any kind of spice you can think of, a whole entire wall shelf filled with hundreds of different types of tee, and their Tea Room is a great place to sit with a book and relax over a good cup of tea and a sweet something. They offer many different classes: Tea Tastings, Chocolate Tastings, Oil & Vinegar Tastings, that sort of thing. This was their first Honey Tasting, and it was a really good class.

There were 4 tables set up for the class, seating 8 per table. Each place setting had 6 different honeys to try with a coordinating information sheet to go with them. We got to talk with a local honey farmer - Joe Dunham: owner OF Alaska Honey, Pollen & Comb (AKHPC) - who explained the dynamics of a hive, the life cycle of a bee, and how honey is made.

We even got to go shopping afterwards with a 15% off coupon in case we wanted to pick up our favorite honey from the class. I had intended to get a jar of raw honey (I infuse it with lemon and ginger for my teas at home) but ended up getting a Meadowfoam Honey made by Bee Raw (soft and sweet with notes of caramelized custard and a hint of burnt sugar) instead. It was my absolute favorite.

The other ones we tried were: Fireweed Honey by AKHPC, Wilelaiki Blossoms by Big Island Bees, Macadamia Blossom by Big Island Bees, Spun Honey by AKHPC (this one was my second favorite – it tasted like liquid taffy!) and Whole Honey Comb by AKHPC.

One interesting thing we learned is that bees actually make 6 different marketable products, or substances: not just honey – which everybody is familiar with – but also wax, pollen, royal jelly, venom, and propolis (the "stuff" they use to coat the entrance to their hive).

Monday, October 13, 2014

What a Great Weekend!

My friend Bryan came and picked me up Friday night for a bowl of Alaskan Seafood Chowder at Suite 100. They not only make the best chowder in town, but they also make a pretty darned good Lemon Drop as well (the Yuzu Lemondrop: a Japanese lemon, quality Ketel One vodka and a sugared rim).

I would also say they make really good bread, too; except they have it delivered up from outside. It is good, but I don’t know why they have it delivered when there are so many good bakeries right here in Anchorage.

Anyway, Bryan had just gotten home from his trip to Mongolia so I spent a good hour or two happily listening to his stories and eating my dinner.

Once we finished our desert (Croissant Pudding: studded with chocolate chunks and served warm with bourbon sauce) we headed on downtown to the Egan Center for our concert = Mark Chestnut! What a great concert that was! The opening act was beyond lame, but Mark more than made up for it. Makes me want to go out and buy a Mark Chestnut CD!

I got to sleep in a bit Saturday morning: Bryan politely waited until 11:00 before showing up at my doorstep. We ate a late breakfast – which I somehow managed to both undercook AND burn, both at the same time. We ate anyway, then headed off to the store to get some supplies (furnace filters, hardware to hang shelving, register plates for my new floor, that sort of thing). Apparently, remodeling my house is an on-going thing: I’m still not done!

We were both pretty worn out when we got back to my house, so we just popped a movie in the DVD player (Jaws!) and I made some cards while he organized his Mongolia pictures. We got hungry again around 4:30 so headed out to the Long Branch for a burger.

Sunday was another lazy morning, just snuggling with my Thing and listening to the rain outside; but Bryan was back at my doorstep around noon to tackle the house this time.

We got the wall map and several pictures hung up in my bedroom; all the floor registers switched out (replaced the old metal ones with new wooden ones); the shelving put back up for all of my antique figurines; and got my jewelry racks hung up in the bathroom.

We watched another movie (The Man from Earth) then had an early dinner of fresh Silver Salmon, Rice, Broccoli, and some of Mother’s Homemade Bread.

Then I kicked him out and read my book until going to bed.

Not a bad weekend at all, I’m thinking!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Performances Around Town

I have so many things to look forward to this winter, I’m almost not sorry to see it coming hard at us already this year. 

And how wonderful is it that I have somebody to go with me to all of these!

7-Oct-14    Polar Obsession
10-Oct-14  Mark Chesnutt    
24-Oct-14  Les Misérables
29-Oct-14  Tim McGraw
18-Nov-14  The Lens of Adventure
5-Dec-14    Celtic Woman
28-Dec-14  A Christmas Carol
13-Jan-15   Rovers of the Red Planet
21-Feb-15  Steep Canyon Rangers
3-Mar-15    Connect with Anybody, Anywhere
7-Mar-15    African Guitar Summit
17-Apr-15  Jesse Cook

Monday, October 06, 2014

Not One of My Finer Moments

I was sitting up in the library last night, watching a movie and making my cards, when the doorbell rang. I fumbled around till I found the remote to turn the movie off, and then ran to get the door.

No one was there!

So, I’m standing there saying to myself, “Oh God… please tell me I did not just do that.”

Sure enough: I went back upstairs and turned the movie back on to see Whip Dalton (aka: William Peterson) open his door to the people of Graves Point who came asking him to hunt down the giant squid that has been terrorizing their fishing grounds.

Back Again

I realized the other day that it had been quite some time since I last posted anything on my Blog. I don’t have a good excuse, really, other than that life just has a way of getting the best of you at times.

I have had a wonderful summer: hiking, camping, road trips, exciting activities, family gatherings, crafting parties, working out at the gym… you name it, I’ve probably done it.

I even remodeled my house: new flooring, new paint (inside and out), a new bay window, some wall repair work. I absolutely love the end result, but wow – that was an agonizingly stressful 3 weeks.

Anyway, hopefully I will be posting more often. Feel free to leave comments whenever the mood strikes you!