Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A little blog-cation.

Hi bloggies. Some sad news... My computer has kicked it. I am typing this blog entry, reluctantly, from the new iPad my husband just got us. I am also blaming the untimely demise of our desktop iMac on the procurement of this new technological marvel. I think our computer took one look at this sexy little gadget and just gave up. Seriously. Why bother existing, when a svelt little portable tool can do almost all of the same stuff as you? Unfortunately, the iPad is also like buying a used VW in some ways... It will nickel dime you to death in all the parts and accessories you need to buy for it. Like a keyboard for starters, because the iPad is equipped with the same awkward auto text program as the iPhone. In fact, as I was attempting to sign into my email just a bit ago and this thoughtful software corrected my name to tater Ross Ogden. Another feature this little device is lacking is a USB port so I can upload pictures from my "real" camera. But not too worry, the man has ordered us the appropriate doohicky to correct that problem. In the meanwhile... Boring, picture less blog, or blog-cation? I might elect for the blog-cation, especially since we will be going on a real vacation next week. Two weeks in the state that can be found next to Alaska in a box at the bottom of the map:)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

midnight marauder

Have I mentioned that we have some pet ravens growing in our yard?  We do.  Usually there are about 12-14 in the "Front Street Raven Gang" that hang out on our roof/porch/yard, but right now we just have one nesting pair (soon to be one squawking, noisy nest of chicks). This is the male one (I think) because he spends more time out of the nest poaching food scraps and qiviut from the muskox hide that is drying on our porch railing.  Let's call him Domingo, for anthropomorphic reasons.

Listen Domingo. I'm a big fan of Raven in general.  You have some awesome folklore attached to you, you're hella smart, I love your shiny black feathers and your bright curious eye, and the whole E.A. Poe connection is also a bonus.  I don't even care that you pull some qiviut out of "Shiny."  Go on ahead and swankify that nest of yours.  All I ask is that you do your qiviut thieving between the hours of 7 am to 10 pm, because when its midnight, and you tap your beak on the hard leather muskox hide the dogs (who are already set to homeland security level: IMPENDING DOOM) think that someone is knocking at the door and go into a barking frenzy.  That in turn, wakes us all up. So you see my problem Domingo?  

Good. I knew you would understand. 
That's so Raven of you.

Monday, April 18, 2011

9 months.

Growing Sadie inside my tummy for 9 months seems like it took for ever. But now, nine months on the outside seem to have passed in just the blink of an eye. This girl is just growing up way too fast:
and I'm talking about the girl on the right, in case you were wondering.
Sadie at nine months is a whirlwind of activity: a busy, grabby, babbly, smiley, silly little girl.
Sadie at nine months does what Sadie at eight months did, but she does it better.
She can crawl so fast, and she stands and balances well on her own now.  She has been practicing taking steps--4 or 5 drunken pirate steps at a time, and she will walk all over holding your hand, but it not yet an "independent" walker.  And that's FINE with us.
She is developing a small vocabulary of words that she says with regularity, mostly mamamamamamamamama  but also "dog" "dad, " "boo" and "achickchs."  
Not sure what that last one means, but she has been saying it a lot lately.
She is really, really good at getting into things now.
cupboards, drawers, closets and sometimes small spaces that she cant get out of--Sadie gets into everything.  Then she examines whatever she finds in great detail and....puts it in her mouth.

Another fun thing about this month is that Sadie is starting to become interested in reading books, not just eating them. Right now her favorite is the book Counting Kisses.
She likes it because she gets a lot of kisses whenever we read it to her.
This little 9-month-old makes our lives so bright and rich.  We just love, love. love  her.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

sometimes you need to put a bird on it.

Okay. I am just going to go ahead and pretend it's spring.  So what if it the temperature is still barely above zero and there are multiple feet of snow on the ground that haven't yet begun to melt.  The sun is shining, the days are LONG, and my little garden starts are starting to grow, so yeah, spring.

One of the coolest things about spring on the Seward Peninsula is the return of all the migratory birds  (Which hasn't quite happened yet). It is so amazing when it does happen though... to see, and hear, flocks of thousands of Sandhill cranes flying overhead is so welcome after the long winter its like Christmas, and Easter and the last day of school all rolled into one.  When I was teaching the kids would hear them flying over the school (they make a really distinctive call) and they would all rush to the windows, noses pressed up against the glass because it really is the difinitive sign of spring. I would usually take a 10 minute break and let my class go out and watch them. Place-based education right?  Not only are there cranes, there are swans, a plethora of duck and eider species and countless other shore birds.  Wanna know what the cutest chicks are?  Shorebird chicks.  They look like puffballs on stilts.  See:
Cute, huh?  Thanks Susan Stevenson, for the great image on google searches.  Your photos are amazing...and your blog looks pretty cool too.  Hopefully its okay that I am borrowing this photo for illustrative purposes.

Since I have been hoping, waiting, and wishing to see some birds but haven't, I have been making my own spring happen in the pottery studio--part of which involves birds.  Here is some of the stuff I have been dreaming up lately:
The "Bluebird of Happiness" Sugar bowl

Sunshine & Roses Platter
(if you look close, you can see that some dark glaze from another pot spattered onto this one in the kiln. Arg!  I hate that--but I guess it cant all be sunshine and roses, right?)

Some Sourdough crocks...  still in the green, not yet glazed, or named, but I am liking them so far!

And... no birds on this one, but a nice springy texture and form.  It is a cake-stand, I guess (thanks Erin F. for asking me about them and inspiring me to make one! My pottery students are so rad!)

The design on top is made by rolling a doily into the clay and then adding slip-trailed dots for flair.  I am really liking the whole adding fabric textures to clay forms concept right now--fun stuff.  Hope your week is going well, and that you are enjoying spring (or at least the idea of it) wherever you are.

Friday, April 8, 2011

go. go. go.

Today was one of those days where you just don't get to stop.  I had to get up early this morning, set the ceramics studio up to host forty 6th graders who were "going to college" for the day.   In truth, I was kind of dreading it, but it turned out to be really fun.  It made me miss teaching those crazy jr. highers a little bit.

When I got home what I REALLY wanted was to take a three hour nap.  I am fighting off a cold, and my body does not like it.  This is only the third time since being pregnant with Sadie that I have been sick--so three colds in 18 months?  Could be (and has been) much worse. Right now I am sipping some hot water with lemon and honey and a bit of the special sauce.

Instead of a long nap, I got to take a 15 minute cat nap because I had to make a cake for my lovely friend Sarah's baby shower.  She just had the cutest little boy, Joseph. She had a homebirth--midwife delivery and her midwife had a home-birth husband delivery two weeks later!  Both the little babies were at the shower and they were so sweet and new.

The cake I made was a lemon-blueberry shortcake filled with lemon mousse and frosted with buttercream icing.  I would say it turned out okay, except that the cake totally fell apart into five pieces while I was putting it together.  Thank goodness for frosting, it does indeed cover a multitude of sins.  It will not, however, cover the sinful richness of this cake.  Whew. I was getting a sugar contact high just making it.  When it came to decorating I decided to go with something springy and Eastery because, well, that is all I could find, and I really, really, REALLY want it to be spring.  Ana, you will be happy to see that some of the"bag-o- 40 foil eggs" you sent me were put to good use! Loren's idea to sprinkle some coffee beans around the top of the cake to make the rabbit scene more realistic did not, however, make the final cut. (I thought it would be funny, but wasn't sure how well it would be received amongst mixed company.)
In keeping with the Easter theme, I let Sadie wear her fancy dress to the shower.  She even got to hold the Easter pail for a while until she managed to chew the handle loose.  Seriously--this kid...
I better get me to bed now because I need to recharge since I get to teach class all day tomorrow.  No lazy Saturday mornings for me until Hawaii in T-28 days. WOOT!
Happy weekend to you all!

Things that are NOT awesome.

1. 6 inches of new snow in April
2. When you are painting kiln wash onto kiln shelves and a big blob of it splashes directly into your eyeball.  
3. Walking in really wet snow with your Extratuffs. For some reason the heel constantly builds its own lumpy snowball that you have to kick out every 10 steps or so.
4. When you give your baby a couple sips of fresh-squeezed orange juice and they projectile vomit.  mom fail.

What is awesome:

Sadie's sumo-wrestler ponytail.
feel free to add to the list in the comments below.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

some assembly required.

This has been a crazy week. Cra-zay-zee.  Most of the craziness revolved around a certain two boys, whose names, ahem... I shall not mention, who decided to make their wives and family worry like crazy by going AWOL on a caribou hunt.  I don't even know how to begin to blog about that fiasco, so readers, you are in for a treat.  In the next couple days you can expect a guest "blog Alaska" entry from none other than my dear husband Loren. It is probably better to let him tell his side of the story anyways.  The upside was that I got to hang out with my awesome sister in law, Alena:
Now that is what I call some extreme baby-wearing. 

It was fun to have some girl company (of course baby Dimitri represented for the boys) and get to catch up, visit, and even sew some buckwheat hot/cold packs with soothing herbs to help relieve the stress from aforementioned AWOL husbands.
(also good to soothe the home-coming hunter's frostbitten face.)

After all the company took off today, I decided to work on framing some prints and original artwork that have been hanging around my house  for way too long. I ordered frames and matting from here, and let me tell you, they have very reasonable prices, but expect to assemble the frames yourself.  For me, it is well worth the savings to roll that way.

(artwork by James Adcox, Karen Olanna, and yours truly)
With that project out of the way I tackled a clean and mop of the living-room and then decided to plant round one of my seeds for the summer garden.
Unfortunately, Sadie was all about trying to eat my jiffy starts, so I had to come up with a compromise to keep her busy while I planted my tomato, pepper, chinese cabbage and kale (and even some flowers--we'll see how that goes).  The compromise:
 I gave her my ric-rac collection.  Boy, was that ever a hit! 

Well, that's all for now folks. Time for me to drink my tea and watch the sun go down.   Stay tuned for what I am sure will be an riveting (and funny) story from the LP later this week:)