December 27, 2011

Scenes from Christmas Day

How the day went:  Coffee, of course! stockings....more coffee accompanied by Mile's homemade cinnamon gifts/open Santa prezzies....groove on our new stuff....answer phone calls from relatives....clean up...groove on our new a "real" breaky....go for a snowy run....shower....head out to the T's house for football, fun and dinner...and what a beautiful drive it was!  9 more inches of new snow blanketing everything...a true white Christmas!  .....back a movie.....goodnight!

Christmas morning!  Crack-o-Dawn!

I am absolutely in LOVE with our tree.  Perfect in so many that it came from our own yard and in how amazing it looks!

It's like an I Spy book!!!  Who can spy the whiskey?!?!

Willa worked so hard on the little lamb she knit for Dylan!  Every morning on the dark car ride to work she was back there knitting away.  Lamb is napping on the neck warmer I knit for Willa.  Made one for Dylan, too, but it needs some more work....

Willa's wrapping "humor".
The tee Willa made for Daddy using our tutorial HERE.

Willa made this beautiful Ireland scene out of scraps of wood for me!  It goes with the Arctic themed one she made for Miles LAST Christmas.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, too!!!!

Scenes from Christmas Eve

Final touch on our best tree ever!

Willa's letter to Santa

Dylan's gift to Willa.  A t-shirt with one of our cats on it.  A great tutorial for these cute tees can be found HERE.


King crab in da pot!
Miles's famous recipe book

Garlic:  a food group

Hangin' with my gnomie in the Land of Pies
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Happy and hungry!

So quiet and soft outside

Listening to Daddy read The Night Before Christmas....

December 21, 2011

Happy Solstice to all!

The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive,
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, reveling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – Listen!!
All the long echoes sing the same delight,
This shortest day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, fest, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!!

Holiday happenings

         the weather outside is
                  TOTALLY FUCKED UP!!!!

From our front door two weekends ago.  Winds, rain, bye bye, Snow.   Wish I had tried to capture the wind with my camera.  Trees bending horizontal.  Weeeeeeeeeeee.
Last weekend as I drove down the mountain.  Snowing at the top, raining at the bottom.
Wind blasted snow turning the house white.

The last three weekends have seen the most insane winds we've experienced up here. 100+MPH.    Just, NASTY! Rain and grey and yuckily warm out.....ECK! and, MEH!!!! The 12+ new inches of snow we got LAST weekend...ruined. 2 Lantern Walks cancelled, my December First Friday art show opener cancelled, a second show cut short, birthday dinner cancelled (and well, I won't complain about missing a day of work-didn't have to deal with the Client From Hell) all due to hazardous conditions.
Scattered about between this month's meteorologic fiascoes there have been a few respites where we've enjoyed good old winter in Alaska. Willa has been enjoying her twice a week Junior Nordic skiing class(me, too. One night I volunteer with her group and the other I just ski off into the dark by myself or with Miles when he can join us- skiing at night is so friggin' awesome! Quiet, beautiful....). Willa's school FINALLY got that Lantern Walk in, although abridged. We held it on the play yard grounds of the school right smack in downtown Anchorage instead of out in the woods of Goose Lake. And it was first thing in the morning as opposed to in the evening. And sans hot cider and cookies....
:(  But the kids still enjoyed it very much-all proud of their beautiful lanterns and full of song.

Willa's class made goose "G" lanterns

  It really goes to show you how easily pleased  kids can still be with the minimum. Speaking of, a post or three ago I mentioned my dilemma in buying our usual little Holiday tree to put on the Advent table from the Advent faeries.  I wound up doing the note and pine branch in a vase thing.  Next morning the kid was thrilled! She thought it was so pretty and even kissed it. Why bother getting the store bought tree?!?! Well....the faeries did promise it in their note.... Point is, she would have been just FINE with the branch and vase!  No great expectations there.   ...And then there is the sword. A gorgeous leather play sword that I saw on A Small Tribe's blog. A perfect Santa gift for a kid who is very into LOTR! So I ordered it on ETSY. In the meantime, Willa found a stick that appeared on the porch during on our the recent thaws. That kid is a stick MAGNET. Sticks everywhere in this house. And god forbid you try to chuck one outside.....have to do THAT when she's not lookin'. So she takes the stick and lays it on a towel by the front door and starts scraping away at the bark with a rock like a little Neanderthal. 3o minutes later she is the proud brandisher of the Worlds Most AWESOME Sword! A stick. I just spent $ on a handmade, killer(and I mean that NOT literally), leather sword resplendent with dragon embellishment and handle wrapped in pink cord. A stick will do just fine , thanks. Haven't I always said,"BEST toys EVER: Sticks, rocks, boxes and silkies"?!??! WHY don't I listen to myself?!?! Sometimes we parents still go overboard even while we think we're going minimal. Sometimes our kids will surprise us with their simple desires. Refreshing in a world of entitlement and greed. A stick and a pine branch....and the imaginations SOAR.

Off on a tangent there...back to the holidays.  We have a house guest and he's WONDERFUL.  His name is Rocket and he's a handsome polite fella. 
Dog and cat dig each other.  Took this shot from my perch on the couch.
A malamute?/sled dog?/golden lab? type.  Most low maintenance dog EVER!  And it's just so nice to have some doggie-ness around the house again.  Had to kick him out of bed twice...and he'd sit right on our laps if we let him, but he's a BIG dude and the rule is no dogs on the furniture.  So we totally succumbed to his cuteness and let him sleep on the ottoman while we watch TV.  He has the amazing ability to curl up in a wee ball.  A delicate flower he is.  We have him through Christmas while his people are in Mexico.

Tangent number 2 scratched off the list.  It's an ADD day for me.  Holidays.....tree is up and half decorated....working on handmade prezzies...watching Christmas movies.....makin' fudge....rescued a bird from our new addition today....baking cookies...wrapping, wrapping, wrapping....looking forward to king crab, skiing with and visiting friends, and skiing out to a cabin we rented for 3 days...and a WEEK OFF WORK HOME WITH MY FAM.

This just in:  High wind warning remains in effect from 3 pm this afternoon to midnight akst tonight for turnagain arm and the hillside...  100MPH winds expected

Sigh.........  We better get today's skiing and shopping in before the winds hit.  Again.

December 15, 2011

Santa Lucia

Hey, man...this never posted!  Friggin' auto post?  Late, but here it is, Second grade's Santa Lucia celebration at Winterberry Waldorf school:
The last day of school before Christmas break was full of song, games, dancing, gifts and treats!  The kids looked so beautiful and etheric in their white clothes.  They sang the traditional Neapolitan "Santa Lucia" so beautifully!  The room glowed warm and was so inviting with it's smells and candle light...
It was lovely to watch as children handed out gifts to each other in a circle of chatter and eating.  A wonderful way to end the first half of the busy school year and settle into the holidays at home...

December 13, 2011

My Birthday

...Was the BEST ever!  After coffee I opened prezzies.  Beautiful earrings from Miles. From Willa a sweet handmade flannel bag containing the same material for us to make her a bag together.  She wants us to use these bags to gather things outside in the summer!  She and Miles spent a great deal of time working on this bag in her room last weekend.  Dylan was able to chase down a DVD copy of "The 12 Chairs", one of my favorite movies.  I had searched for a copy in the past to no avail.  Weird because it's such a great movie!   This movie-and having it now-means so much to me.  I have many fun memories of watching it with my dad.  We were always reciting lines from it as is so easy to do with a Mel Brooks movie!

 My sweet husband worked hard on Saturday prepping ganache and lemon curd for my crepe breakfast on Sunday.  I'd been dreaming of this breakfast since before last year's birthday.  Miles and I had sworn off fattening food over the holidays last year,  and I had begrudgingly given up the birthday crepes... for egg whites.   Not THIS year, baby!!!!  They were AMAZING and so worth the wait!!!!!


After breaky we threw on the snow gear and ventured out onto the property to find this year's Christmas tree.  There's a few little trees out there struggling to grow in the shadows of other larger more healthy trees.  We decided go the  enviormentaly friendly route and cut one of those in order to give the healthier trees more room to grow..some are being choked out by these little trees.  We found one growing under and against a cluster of willow.  It's a PERFECT tree! Sparse with lots of room for hanging our tons of ornaments! We thanked the earth and then the tree- for presenting itself to us.  This is the first time any of us have been a part of cutting a Christmas tree outside and I was just SO thrilled!  From our own back yard on a snowy blustery day!  The perfect thing to do on my birthday! 

Trying to keep the tree upright until we could locate the tree stand.  A huge storm was approaching and the winds were really starting to pick up!

Once we got the tree up inside, Miles and I decided to head into town to skate ski our favorite trail system.  It was pounding snow when we left and we were psyched at the idea of skiing in it!  By the time we drove halfway down the mountain the snow turned to rain!  In town it was dismally dark and pouring-a total bummer.  So we drove back home where it was white and snowing and figured we would just go for a run in it!  We only lasted about 35-40 minutes in the 45 MPH winds and driving snow!  But we had a great time out in it anyway!  2 wacky freaks running in whiteout conditions!  I LOVE my husband!  My best friend and I LIVING STRONG!  We got home red faced and revitalized. 

By 5 pm the winds were POUNDING crazy-like.  We were getting reports of freezing road conditions and accidents into Anchorage where we were all  heading into for my Birthday dinner at Little Italy.  We had to cancel.  :( No way was I dragging my family into that.  I had been so looking forward to that dinner!  But with the power in danger of going out at any time my sweetheart got busy right away, cranking out one of my favorite meals in no time-skirt steak, baked potatoes, asparagus and a great wine unearthed from the basement stash.  He even whipped up the BEST cake with the left over lemon curd and chocolate ganache!   It looked like a mess but was delicious!  The man is a WIZARD!  So we enjoyed a "picnic"-the kids spread a blanket on the floor for themselves and we ate that fabulous meal while watching "The 12 Chairs".

Here's a graphic of that night's storm that left us with at least 12 inches of new snow and NO school/work the next day!  Many surrounding neighborhoods and town where without power for hours on end.
This birthday was absolutely WONDER-FUL.  I love my little family over the moon and beyond the stars...******************  THANK YOU, guys!!!