Friday, November 25, 2011

Tryptophan Coma

My favorite part of Thanksgiving is eating leftovers. And napping . . .

. . . although I dislike sleeping in the snow, and prefer my toasty bed.

Have a restful holiday weekend, friends!

Dinner last night: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, pistachio salad, green salad, crescent rolls, cranberry jelly, corn, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie

Exactly two years ago:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Don't Forget to Thaw the Turkey

Can someone please explain to me how Thanksgiving is here already? Yikes. Tomorrow is Wednesday, known around my house as National Pie-Baking Day. This year, I'm making only pumpkin. No apple. No pecan. Just pumpkin. No cherry. No rhubarb. PUMPKIN! Nothing fancy, either. No sour cream pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake. Plain ol' punkin. Maybe I'll serve it with whipped cream. Maybe I won't.

Do you think the pilgrims ate fancy pie a la mode? No, they did not.
They feasted on pumpkin and were thankful.

Dinner last night: beef stroganoff

Exactly one year ago:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Icy Morning, Warm Heart

The upside to our recent cold snap can be found in the spectacular skies, with swaths of pink and blue backlighting the trees at the break of 9:00 a.m. What a way to start my day!

Dinner last night: chili, rice, and cheese

Exactly one year ago:

Exactly three years ago:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Let's All Gather 'Round the Septic Tank

Once again, I awoke to the lilting sounds of our septic alarm. Our sewage system has been giving us fits since the first winter we moved in. We do not live in an area where we receive city water or sewer OR CABLE TV, so we make due with well water, a septic tank, and a wobbly antenna attached to the roof.

The problem with our finicky septic system may or may not have something to do with 6 well-fed members of my family flushing toilets 24/7. At any moment of any hour of any day, someone is using the bathroom. I will refrain from pointing fingers at the many house guests with irritable bowel syndrome who have stayed with us on a regular basis over the years. I refuse to discuss the myriad objects that my twin daughters have tried and/or succeeding in flushing through the sewer line. My point is: the septic system feels abused.

It punishes us each winter. The spiteful stinking cavern of our tank waits until two feet of snow covers the ground and the temperature drops to a balmy 8°, then stops working. And when the septic system isn't working, I can't work. The clothes go unwashed, the dishes go unwashed, my hair goes unwashed. We are forced to severely limit our use of water, until we can get the septic pump operating again.

Until today, my husband has always been able to figure out the problem and set it right. He's fixed the wiring, replaced the switch, replaced the outlet, replaced the pump . . . I don't know what all he's been required to do, and I don't ask. Our relationship is safer with my remaining unaware of where he's had to crawl and what horrible sights he's had to see. He burns his work clothes in the woodstove when he's done and takes a scalding shower, while I run giddily about the house, starting the washing machine and running the dishwasher and flushing toilets.

This morning, my husband's attempts to coax the septic pump back into operation were fruitless. Nothing he tried worked. We finally had to break down and call a specialist to come over and help us figure out what's wrong this time. I'm praying it won't involve digging up frozen ground, because then we're looking at some major expense. A working toilet may be the only gift my kids will receive this Christmas.

Dinner last night: pot roast, veggies

Exactly two years ago:

Friday, November 4, 2011

100% Organic Talent, No Special Effects Included

Basketball is a popular sport up here in Alaska, especially in our small isolated communities where most of the townspeople cram into the gym to support the home team when a rival school flies in for a game. The band plays, the cheerleaders jump, and the crowd goes hoarse yelling at the refs. Over the decades, young men from Alaska have even made it to the NBA; most recently Carlos Boozer from Juneau signed with the Chicago Bulls.

My daughter goes to school with a boy who literally has been playing basketball since he was big enough to bounce a ball. He's in sixth grade, but already a starting player for the eighth grade team. He comes from a family of basketball stars, including his older brother, whom you must watch in this video that he made with his college teammate. All of their shots are absolutely real:

Dinner last night: penne with bolognese sauce, garlic toast, green salad

Exactly three years ago:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Snow Fairies

We took the twins trick-or-treating, despite the blizzard that hit last night. I bundled up the girls, slapped some wings on their backs, and called them costumes. I don't know what it is about my kids and crazy teeth, but one daughter insisted on wearing purple plastic fangs that she refers to as her "bat teeth."

Dinner last night: candy

Exactly one year ago: