Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fresh Veggies in the dead of winter

Good news. Say no to Canned Corn.

My husband and are on a mission to win by losing together. We decided that it was probably time to be serious about getting rid of some of this happy fat that's accumulated around our midsections. Well, really my backsection, but I mean come on, it's always been big. Apparently happy people are fat people!? I think being healthy would make me happy. Anyway, we are simply making better choices, and since Weight Watchers worked a long time ago, I'm giving it another go.

Only problem is, it's hard to eat healthy up here. It's not too hard to exercise, but it IS hard to eat right. But thankfully we have a few tricks up our sleeves to help us along.

Even in the freezing far north (yes, folks it is exactly -6 degrees outside, much warmer than yesterdays -50!) we get Community Share Baskets (boxes, really).

I had forgotten about this due to my travel schedule, and was happily surprised when I went to church to teach sewing class and saw my box all lonely on the floor in the entrance.

Opened it up and found the following:
Beets (I only like pickled beets, I'll feed these to my sisters chickens)
Kale (I've only just found this wonderful leafy green!)
Onions (Great, I use onions and garlic on EVERYTHING)
Lettuce, Cucumber, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Snap Peas (Salad?)
Tomatoes (Love them like apples!)
and an array of Fruits, including a fresh Mango that I ate right away.

Considering fruit and vegetables have to travel 10,000 miles to get here, and frequently are brown, or frozen then thawed, getting an organic share box is right up there with seeing the sun for more than six hours a day. Pure awesomeness.

So, if you're not familiar with Weight Watchers (WW), you have to track points on everything you eat. It's not that tough now that they have the iPhone app. And Dean is obsessed with the scanner! He even scanned dog food to see how many points it was.

Since starting WW, I feel like I have eaten WAY more than I usually would have. The food must be more filling, or something, cause I eat a serving and can barely finish it.

Since I have 7,492 recipes in my head at any given moment, it's not been too hard to make "healthy" foods. I mean, really, we eat pretty healthy anyway, thanks to me being allergic to all kinds of fake food, dyes and preservatives. Oh, and my utter disgust for beef. Bleck. If it's not a Cheeseburger from a restaurant, I don't want it. We subsist mainly on fish, shrimp, caribou, moose, and chicken breasts.

Hopefully all this counting points will work, cause I'm so full all the time, I don't know what to do!

Lemon Chix

Photo up there? Last Night's Dinner. Lemon Chicken with Israeli Couscous (Except I halved the Olive Oil, bumped up the Lemon Juice, cut out the white wine, and used Boneless Skinless Breasts)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Duct Tape Ball

So, I was in Anchorage again this weekend, specifically for the Duct Tape Ball .

This years theme was Duck-tor Seuss on the Loose! It was EPIC. I mean, I know us Alaskans LOVE us some Duct Tape. Eskimo's especially. We use it to repair boots, hats, gloves, jackets, airplanes, snowmachines and helmets. Heck, if it doesn't have Camo or Duct Tape on it, you're not really an Eskimo I think!

So, the Duct Tape Ball. Seriously the most fun I've had in YEARS. I mean, people went ALL OUT dressing up. Us included.

shoes
(a pair of $10 shoes from Val-u-Village in polka dot duct tape)

My friend Maude is one of the Duct Tape Ball Volunteers, and she made this beautiful Blue and White dress with several flowers. Entirely out of duct tape. Save for the TEENY TINY little wires she taped on the inside of each and EVERY ONE of those flower petals so they would bend out.

maude
She's standing next to a 15 foot tall duct tape Horton!

Went all out I'm telling you!

I started working on my duct tape dress on Friday night, and finished it Saturday before the ball. I didn't really have a Dr. Seuss character (actually I WANTED to be Fox in Socks, but when I went to Walmart the day before they had NO RED DUCT TAPE!) so I sort of Seussified my dress with several colors and some Lorax trees.

my dress

But the real hit was the Facinator. As I've learned to call a hat that's not really a hat! I loved this thing. Duct tape everywhere except the feather flower standing up with some beading wire. (the same wire Maude used in her petals!) I loved this thing so much that I wore it all night, and the next day as well!

hat

The duct tape ball raises money (100% of it's net proceeds go to the charities of choice) for different charities here in Alaska. This year the recipients were the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Clinic, The Rainbow Connection Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center, and the Cuddy Family Parks for All.

We had several silent auction items donated by people and organizations all over Alaska, including one awesome "Mallard" Hunting Knife made by Siksu's Knives! In addition to the silent auction tables, there were several Live Auction Items going for $5,000 - $10,000!

me and kathleen

There were prizes for the Best Hat and Best dressed. Our good friend Kathleen won the Best Dressed for the second year in a row! (She went as the letter "U" from the Alphabet Book)

From the Drunk Cat in the Hat hanging in an umbrella, the entire WhoVille Village, the Seven Hump Wump, and the 15 foot tall Horton, EVERYTHING was made of Duct Tape! I'm already planning my dress for next year! (I just have to wait to hear the theme!)

More photos of the characters tomorrow! (or the next day, you know me...lazy winter blogger!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Hello

Hi there, how ya doing?

I should be telling you all these excuses for not posting on the blog for weeks at a time, but I just really have no good excuse.

It's winter. There's nothing to do outside when the temperatures in December and January average -22 below. We stay inside, watch TV, read books, sew, bead, etc. Nothing fancy, nothing exciting. To me.

According to the weatherman, we haven't had a "colder than normal" winter. We were just used to an average of -5 for December and January and having windchills averaging -45 for eight weeks was enough to make us Eskimos turn wimpy.

Our snowmachines stayed off, our stove oil consumption skyrocketed (as a matter of fact, we went through 300 gallons of stove oil in a six week period. And at $7 a gallon, we had some serious budget crunching!), and we got super bored. (I literally read "the Hunger Games" trilogy FOUR TIMES last month. Both my kids read the series and I am now on book #4 following Stephanie Plum!) Cabin fever really sets in during January.

snow
This is my garage last week. Fun times I tell ya!

But, as always, February is our storm season, and storm season means its WARM. In 2009 my entire house was buried. Other towns make national news for 15 feet of snow and the national guard comes in to help shovel. They need to come visit Kotzebue after storm season.

This year though, we had one measily storm. ONE. I mean, it did some great snow damage, but it's not like the house is buried! The garage is another story. But I guess if we want to eat, we have to shovel. Our freezers are located in the garage. Freezers full of fish and caribou and berries and seal oil.

shovel

I wonder if the National Guard would come help us. I wonder if they would come if I offered free food. I doubt it.

My husband and son do most of the shoveling. Once you open the door to the outside and find that looking at you, you say a silent praise to your wife (me) for finding one of the five shovels we have and putting it inside the storm shed! (You're welcome honey!)

Now that it has warmed up by about 60 degrees, and the sun decided that it would stay out and rise above the horizon this month, we will be doing PLENTY more outside. (And my "warming up 60 degrees," I mean it has warmed up 60 degrees warmer than most of the month, so it is a whopping beautiful 20 above zero lately!)

playing out

Like playing out with one-eyed dogs. Dogs who have no business outside in the 15 feet of snow, but love to play out and get snowballs stuck to their fur. Playing with with just a hat and falltime jacket on. Or just playing out on the snowmachines after work.

As a matter of fact, yesterday I came home from work and there was a dead caribou in the driveway. (no photos, sorry, I was waaaaay too excited about fresh caribou!) My husband went for a ride (and we ALWAYS bring a gun) found a herd, shot a caribou, gutted it, beheaded it, took the important parts (heart, tongue, stomach) and threw the rest of the animal on his lap, and drove home.

Then as I was super excited, he decided that we would GIVE it away. So we skinned it, cut it up and put it in containers for the local DD house. Apparently they were happy. I kivit and didn't go to drop it off. My mouth was too busy watering for fresh patiq soup! It's a good thing I love my husband and he swears this weekend we are all going out for a few, cause people should NEVER get in between me and fresh caribou meat! Steaming raw straight from the animal.

Whatever, hopefully we catch a few, and hopefully I remember my camera!

Stay warm. :)