Wednesday, February 28, 2007

First Felting Project

I've been wanting to make these felted slippers for a long time now but it just never was the right time. I got a bunch of wool from one of my mother's friends and have been hanging on to it for several years now. There isn't a lot of any one color so it has to be used for a small project or one that makes use of multiple colors.

My friend Shari gave me this pattern for felted slippers and she shared some of her thoughts about the pattern the first time she made them. I wasn't able to see the finished product before leaving Fairbanks. I knew from listening to me nieces talking about their felting projects that the item was going to look huge. I was a little concerned that it wasn't big enough but I thought I'd just watch them while they felted in the washer.

(pay no attention to the orange rug) So I knitted the gold inner sole first then you knit the top part. These two get sticked together and then you knit the outer sole and knit them all together.

They knitted up quickly which is kinda fun. I like that immediate gratification that comes with finishing a project. I guess that's why I like to knit baby booties - I can usually get a set done in a few hours! I decided to go ahead and make both of the slippers just to be sure that they came out about the same before putting them in the hot water.

I put them in an old pillow case and started up the washer. I stood by for about 15 minutes never letting the washer agitate. After checking them several times I realized it was going to take awhile so I walked away…and got distraacted…and when I went back all the water was gone and they were spinning - oops! They were starting to get hairy but they were still too big. So I started over and paid more careful attention. After 30-35 minutes they were sized pretty good so I tried to pat most of the water off them. They are still wet after 48 hours but they are getting close.

and they fit pretty good!

notice the scratch in the floor - I didn't do it!

Howdy ho everybody?

Is that a moose? a bear? What does the sign say?

Oh, it sign says, "Flush Responsibly" Why would a hot dog say that?

Even thought he's positioned close by the "QuickyMart," he's not advertising their hot dogs like I thought…

there was a proposition on the City and Borough of Juneau (CBJ) agenda to hook up sewer lines from North Douglas Island to the wastewater system in Juneau - he must want a new home. Go Mr. Hanky–he got a real job.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Pat Baker's Blackened Roasted Brussel Sprouts ala Claudia…BAM!

I know what you're thinking…we burned the dinner…but you've drawn the wrong conclusion because we did this on purpose. First Tim lightly sauted some whole brussel sprouts in olive oil in the cast-iron skillet then he added some garlic, black pepper, sea salt, and rosemary and popped the skillet in the oven at about 400° for a few minutes and then turned it down to 375° and let it go for about an hour, stirring them occasionally. They are black and crispy on the outside and soft, sweet and almost carmelized on the inside and really are delicious. I especially like the outside and wouldn't mind just having the leaves separately.

Taku Winds

Its windy and comes in gusts. Apparently what we experencing are the Taku Winds and these are pretty mild. We seem to have found the house that's just in the right spot for it . From October through March high east-north-east winds come barreling down the gastineau channel and over the mountains from the Juneau Icefield and have been known to blow up to 100 mph. You can see the recent snow we've had blowing around off the tops of the mountains.

You can see here in this picture that at high tide the waves are crashing up against the house-that's the white railing at the bottom of the picture. When Tim took this picture the storm windows were rattling and the water in the toilet was swishing around. Every once in awhile we hear a rather big "thud" not sure what that is.

The channel is norally quite smooth but we have whitecaps right how. A little farther down the channel towards the Douglas Bridge it seems to flatten out.

I brought several wind chimes with me from Fairbanks but I don't have the nerve to put them out. I have found a good wing gauge in these flags that are across the street.

I've been told that this was nothing compared to what it could be so that's something to look forward too, right?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Stairway to Heaven…

or maybe its a safey ladder to use in case someone falls in the iced over lake that we happened to be walking by when I told him to go climb it and see what was on top of the rock…

Thursday, February 22, 2007

We tried a Moroccan recipe from for a Moroccan Lentil Soup last night. It was more like a stew rather than a soup. We served it with some brown rice, a tomato, cucumber, feta cheese salad and some nice crusty bread. I thought it was very good. I used green lentils instead of red and replaced the cannellini beans with small white beans, added some chicken brooth to the water and replaced the cardamom with allspice because I couldn't find the cardamom. I also only made a 1/2 recipe. We have plenty of leftovers so stop on over and have a bowl!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Getting around on the ice

We finally indulged and bought some Get-A-Grip ice cleats that just slip over your boots. So far they fit better over hiking boots then they do over rubber boots. We've heard that Yak Tracs are the best so we might need to upgrade soon. I lost one the first time we wore them and luckily we were on a loop trail so I picked it up on the return. Tim thought he should make some kind of strap to go around - like a safely cord. So we'll see what we can come up with. I'm all for velcro but he said something about using his crochet abilities to make a single chain. I didn't really bring any yarn scapes with me so we'll have to see what he comes up with.

Anyway - they seem pretty popular down here. The snow has melted and refrozen many times so some of the trails are really rough. I know that Roxi in Anchorage has some and they work pretty good. So far I haven't made any "sitz" spots on the trails!

By the way - you may notice that we're wearing jeans - no snow pants and no long johns either!

Mendendall Glacier/Falls

We weren't sure what the trail conditions would be like with the snow, rain, sleet, etc. but we decided to visit the famous Mendenhall Glacier Park to check it out. We walked here last summer and this time we found the trail to be pretty easy. There was a nicely packed trail and we were able to cross several muddy areas we encountered this summer through the snow so it was really a fast trip. We didn't see any birds this time. I thought we might see some American Dippers but didn't. There's been sightings of a black wolf here but we didn't see it either.

Can't wait to get a kayak and kayak around the lake!

Monday, February 19, 2007

pillow power

We found that furniture is expensive here and we haven't found advertisements for moving or garage sales. I suspect that since the shopping options are limited people sell things to friends or by word of mouth. I also think that unlike the Fairbanks area where there is more military activity that there aren't as many families moving in and out. In anticipation of our future visits from family and friends I found some pillow forms that were on sale. I found some nice upholstery fabric that I don't think will leave indentions for "pillow face" in case you happen to fall asleep because you're so comfy. Of course I gravitated towards the most expensive material and it wasn't on sale but I figure that you're worth it!

A lot of the inspiration was blown when I got everything home and remembered that I didn't pack my sewing machine. So what would have taken just a few minutes to complete with the machine I toiled for several hours hand-sewing semi-straight seams. I figured out a way to do only three seams so it really wasn't that bad. I made sure to double stitch the seams in case a pillow fight ensued. For some reason I had Kelsie and Logan in mind when I did this!

So just another reason to come visit!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

bbq is gr8

The surveillance camera on the deck caught Tim in action at the new gas bbq sipping wine and checking the progress of the tenderloins. Yes it was a cabernet and yes the steaks were delicious. I love the Chicago Seasoning from Penzey's which has a hint of smoky flavoring to it.

The evening winds were calm and the rain/snow had stopped for the evening. I'm not sure of the exact temperature but it was somewhere in the mid to high 30s. The tide was was working its way out so the rocks and seaweed were recently exposed leaving that sea smell.

Its a very large bbq–plenty of room to put on your ______________ (insert favorite food here, tenderloin, eggplant, fresh salmon, pizza, etc.).

First out of town visitor

We had our first out of town visitor this Sunday - Lillian from Fairbanks - YEA! We had a great visit with her and since she used to live in Juneau she gave us a personalized tour of downtown. Lillian met Cappy, a permanent fixture on the deck. Cappy says, "hey, where's my pipe?" Cappy likes company!

We had a nice breakfast at the Sandpiper Cafe, (aka where the Fiddlehead used to be). They have replaced the waiting area with more seating and we didn't have to wait very long for a table. Breakfast sounded pretty good to all of us: Lillian had mushroom and cheese omelet, I had ham and roma tomato omelet, and Tim had the special which was a scramble with fresh motz, ham, romas and green onions. Unlike the old fiddlehead there weren't any freshly baked breads or pastries but the breakfast was pretty good and the service was pretty good too. We did have to wait a while to get the credit card back from the waitress but figured Nordstroms wasn't that close by and we didnt' see anyone dashing out the door or coming back in with major purchases. So a definate place to go back to.

Tim had lunch here last week with a group from work and thought the lunch was good. The menu was varied and being with a larger group the service was pretty good. I think he had a hamburger and fries (those waffle type). The restauteurs must have gotten together in deciding hamburger prices because the price was similar to TK's at the Prospector! (CDE Note: I don't think the waitress chased them down outside the restaurant!)

So don't forget to include Juneau in your future traveling plans – Cappy will be here to greet you too!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

New birds from the Deck

We saw a new bird today from the Deck - a Red-breasted Merganser. This is a life list bird for us so that's always cool. This male was fishing in the channel - because his head was wet the feathering really stood out.

The other bird was the pelagic Cormorant. We've been seeing it a few times but its always been too far away to actually identify until today.

BIrds of a Feather

We finally have had an opportunity to take out the spotting scope and confirm what we've been seeing in the water areas. Today was a seriously high tide (and low tide). There's a really nice trail on the airport dike that runs along the Mendenhall River and through tidal marshes. Its going to be a great area during spring migration for spotting ducks, geese, and shorebirds. The audubon society has weekly bird walks so I'm sure that we'll be getting involved with some of those. So we saw Canada Goose, mallards and widgeons in this grouping.

I was playing around with my little pocket camera and the spotting scope and just happened to snap a shot of the geese through the viewfinder of the scope. I had no idea it would come out. The first one is taken zoomed all the way in and the second is zoomed out - you can see the black of the eye piece. So since I've found this trick you'll probably see more pictures in the future!

Oh and did you notice that the sky looks gray? Well it cloudy and foggy and the rain and snow came down too. But it was really warm and the wind wasn't blowing - no complaints here!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sitting on the rock of the bay

Besides the peak of the roof this seems to be a favorite perch for eagles. We've seen a couple hanging around savagaing along with the gulls. Early this one found a large portion of a crab for his dinner.

basa tốt

I found an interesting fish at the store this weekend and based on a stranger's recommendation I brought a nice filet home. Its called Basa, supposedly farmed raised from Vietnam. Wikipedia says it might be yellowtal catfish, but anyway, it was tasty. I used one of my mother's recipes as a base with some improvision. We've made this before using halibut, burbot, and rock cod and with different veggies: mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli to name a few. I've added the Penzey Spice Company link to the Interests area because I really do like their spices. I just placed an order to replace some of the spices I didn't bring with me.

Fish filet, cut into serving pieces
3 or 4 mushrooms, sliced
onion, 1/4 cup thinly sliced
spinach, 1/2 cup or so, chopped (I used frozen that I thawed and squeezed dry)
6-8 or so sliced marinated artichoke hearts
greek seasoning from Penzys, of course
sour cream, big spoonful
mayo, big spoonful
garlic, a couple smooshed cloves
cheddar cheese, maybe 1/8 to 1/4 cup shreaded
motz, 1/8 to 1/4 cup shreaded,
parashaem, 1/8 to 1/4 cup shreaded
pepper to taste

Spray baking dish with cooking spray and lay the filets inside. Top with some greek seasoning and layer the mushrooms, onion, spinach, and arti-hearts on top. Sprinkle on more seasoning and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingrediants and top the fish/veggie layers. Cover with foil and back at 375 for 45-60 minutes. Remove foil to brown top.

Sweet for the Sweet

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Across the Channel views

We decided to adventure across the channel and drive out the road away from town towards the mining district of Thane. There's another sandy beach across from our place that we saw with the spotting scope so we thought we'd better check it out. Its out by Sheep Creek where there's a hiking trail that goes up the mountains. So here's a view looking across. Our place is on the right hand side on the water, the house on the left.

And here's a closer view:

Monday, February 12, 2007

Opera To Go!

We attended the Opera "Arctic Magic Flute" this weekend and really enjoyed the "alaskan" adaptation of this Mozart opera. It was held at the Convention Center–I'm guessing that theatre space in this town is at a premium. It was very enjoyable and had the chair been more like theatre seating it would have been so much more comfortable! The scenery was inventive, the storyline was delightful, and the singing was very enjoyable for a town this size. I think a few key characters were brought in for the occasion to help round out the local talent. My understanding is that the show will be taken to Anchorage and to Kotzebue where the main story-teller is from. I would recommend seeing the show if it comes to a theatre near you. Its so nice to be able to attend opportunities like this.

Opera To Go

Saturday, February 10, 2007

restaurant review #3

We haven't had a chance to go out lately and since we've just gotten our stuff from Fairbanks we've felt compelled to unpack and use our own utensils – plus we've found that eating out is more expensive than we're used to. We did take a break on Friday and had lunch over at TK Maguires (in the Prospector Hotel) which is right across the parking lot from Tim's office. We each had a hamburgers and a coke for $30. They were pretty good…not your pre-formed patty burger… but a nice sized hand formed patty. I had mine with mushrooms and swiss cheese. They came with some crispy fries just the way that Tim likes them. But $30 - we didn't even have beers with'em!

Seemingly rare occurance to SE Alaska

Although since we've been here going on three weeks now its only rained 2 or 3 days and it wasn't continuous – I think the myth is busted!

Friday, February 9, 2007

We're official!

We now have Capital City Library cards so we must be official residents! There's a branch of the library a couple of blocks from here which is really nice. They don't have wireless though! We've walked up there a couple of times and picked out some DVDs. What is really nice is that you can go online and put books on hold and they will delivery them to whichever branch you want and you can pick them up there. That's pretty handy!

The other branches are downtown where the main branch is located. I was in there several years ago and remember it being a really pretty place. They have readings and foreign movies occassionally well as other events. One of these days I might ride to work with Tim and then walk over to this library and check it out. They do have wireless so that might be a good place to work.

There is also another branch in the valley which is in one of the two malls here. Its an interesting location, really, I don't think I've ever seen a library in a shopping mall but its always got people in it. They have wireless and we've stopped in there a couple of times when we were homeless and wireless-less. They should really consider sharing space with a coffee/tea house or with a manicurist or hair saloon but that might get messy. I did notice that is was right by the pet store so at least there's a convenient place to take your shredded old magazines and newspapers (once they've gone to microfiche, of course).

So we hope that Tim's Mom is proud of us getting out cards and we promise not to get any overdue fines. (Yes - they charge $$ here for being late!)

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

one, two, three, go…

it was a huge effort, but Tim got all his friends he's met downtown together on a mobile conference call and on "three" they all threw their flashlights up into the air so he could take this picture from the house.

Invitation for Guests

Tim always has encouraged people to move someplace near the ocean where all they need is a grass skirt and a couple of coconut shell halves. He's still looking for the coconuts, but is starting to put together some beach attire for our visitors with local shore goods.

"Yes… these cockle shells will do nicely…."

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

These are a few of my favorite things…

Our stuff from Fairbanks got delivered on Monday. There were two crates in a large truck van bed and it didn't look like a lot. Then it got moved, box by box, into the house. Luckily we have a lot of room here so most of it got piled into one of the back bedrooms and who knows, it all might just stay there! It really makes you rethink material objects that you just can't live without. I wish I could repack all of this stuff based on what our life has been like since we taped up the last box and sold our house at the end of July. Since I've never had to move like this before it was a good experience and now I understand better some of the looks Tim was gaving me when we were orignially deciding what would stay and what we'd take with us.

All that being said, there were a few items that I couldn't wait to unpack:
  • salad spinner - no more soggy salads and dripping lettuce on sandwiches
  • yea - real forks, knives, and spoons - so long washing plastic stuff
  • kitchen knife - its hard to carve a turkey with a pocket knife!
  • a blanket instead of slippery sleeping bags that kept sliding off the bed (do you recognize this blanket, Aunt Hazel?)
  • rubba boots - I am in Juneau afterall!
stay tuned for Tim's favs…

Walk to Treadwell Mine Area

The Treadwell Mine area is right above Sandy Beach which is just a short walk from the house. Tim's brother Marc has taken us here in the summer and you can easily see the remains of the old buildings and equipment used for this prosperous mine. The trail is a bit icy right now but we took a walk on part of the trail and then found ourself down on the beach.

There are remnants of the the work that was done all over the beach and throughout the forest. It'll be fine to go back again this summer and do more exploring.

I think the trail goes quite a way down the island. We are hoping to maybe find some good fishing spots. It'll make a really fun bike ride when the trails clear up a bit.

I've put a few more pictures of the beach area in flickr -look at the ho-juneau photo set or use "treadwell" as the search tag.

BLM Site

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Would you wear these?

I found these "socks" at and I'm just wondering if any of you out there would wear them? I think that they might be fun to make but I'm not sure that I'd want them for me. But wouldn't they be nice in a silk or linen blend?

On the Inside

Just so you didn't think we were taking pictures of a house that we really aren't living in here are some inside pictures. We've misplaced Tim's camera battery somewhere in the move so there are only a few. Heidi's little pocket camera just doesn't have a wide enough lens. We've already posted a picture of the loft area where my office is and the bedrooms are good sized, but its just too hard to photograph. There are also two bathrooms which…are bathrooms.

So we have a picture of the living room with the back of a tv on the floor:

Here's the sliding door to the sunroom and then out to the deck. The sunroom is shared between the two attached homes and the deck goes all the way around the house.

And me sitting at the breakfast bar (waiting for breakfast, Tim) from the kitchen. Luckily the stools were here when we moved in so we had a place to sit.

It rains here too!

It rained last night on our way into town to go to a Film Festival. It was raining when we left the festival and I think it rained all night. Its raining again right now as we'll dressing up to go out for a walk. That's alright. The clouds are pretty high and they aren't too dark so I bet that the rain will stop. We just might have to get better raingear.

The film festival was pretty entertaining. This was their 10th showing and we watched about 20 short films. I think the longest in length was 10 mintues and the shortest was about 2. There was a variety of animation, documentary-style, music, political, and acting. Some were better than others and there was a range of quality in lighting, filming, focusing, and editing. They have put together some of their best shorts from previous shows and put them to DVD. Tim said that he would edit something if I wanted to put something together for it. So I have until sometime in June to come up with a winner.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Room 1210

Just wanted you to know that its not all a perfect picture window view from my "office." I'm slowing putting my work environment together. I've taken over the loft area – its got lots of plug-ins, a cable and a phone drop. Here's my desk and my temporary chair. As you can see I have "Denali Building" style windows that I have to stand on my tiptoes to look out of. As was my office at the Denali Building I can only see the sky from my "chair." So far cloud and fog color have been the prevailing hue that I've looked at until today when it was bright blue. I've got a box for a filing cabinet and the box top for my office supplies. There are some built-in bookshelves on the opposite wall so I don't have to stack them up on the floor. I just roll or bounce over to get what I need.

I don't have to walk as far to get to the bathroom or the kitchen and since we are still using paper cups until our stuff gets here I don't have any dishes to do. I must admit that the commute is a lot shorter. I also admit I don't miss having to plug-in the car or wait until it warms up.

I do however miss all of you who have passed by my desk in the morning or thoughout the day and appreciate you keeping me in the loop in the CDE activities.