Saturday, June 25, 2011


A weed, an invasive species, a garden pest. Call them what you will, but I will always have a little room in my heart, and my yard, for this tenacious golden flower. First ones up, spring after spring, they add a sunny dusting to backyards and roadsides, and make a perfect place for little ones who love to roam, explore, and pick-without a scolding from mom:)

And for every little face that lights up with wonder and amazement at the sight of thousands of tiny seed-parachutes floating away on a puff of air, the humble dandelion deserves at least a little credit.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers' Day

Even though baby's first year seems like the "year of the mom" what with pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and all the other nurturing our little sprout has needed to get to almost one, I cannot begin to put words to how important dads are in their children's lives.  In some ways this is especially true with daughters.  As Sadie grows, Loren will have an integral part in teaching her.  I'm sure they will go on their fair share of father-daughter adventures, but Loren's actions and attitudes are also teaching her about her self-worth, and what to look for way down the road, when she starts searching for those meaningful relationships that will be a big part of her adult life.  I'm sure that Loren will roll his eyes when he reads this and say,  
"Whatever, dads are there to teach daughters how to fly fish, and go moose hunting."
AND "Sadie isn't going to start dating till she's 35."

But he knows...

Here's to a dad who isn't afraid to go all in and love BIG.  
Happy Father's Day Loren!
xoxo, Tara & Sadie

Saturday, June 18, 2011

11 months

Were on a little road trip to my homer town this week... so I have scheduled a couple of blogs posts to show up on the needed days, namely Sadie's 11 month birthday and a certain very important day for the leading man in our lives, which happens to be tomorrow.

So Sadie at 11 months?
this one pretty much sums it up.
But if that isn't enough, 
practicing sounds,
and "words" 
loving to be read to, 
loving dogs (doy-doys)
loving chickens (bok-boks),
loving summer,
loving food...
this kid is hungry--all the time.
loving to play.
In GO mode. All day--and sometimes even at night.
everything you could hope for your almost-one-year-old to be.
We love you Sadie!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the chicken tractor...or what you can do with $150 and a bunch of scrap wood.

A few good hens: 3 Barred Plymoth Rock, 1 Rhode Island Red, and one sassy little red number with white tail feathers:
I've been meaning to post about how this whole backyard chicken operation is going.   About two weeks ago my neighbor Lindsay procured us five free laying hens from a family who was moving and couldn't keep them anymore.  That whole event was kind of sad because they were the kids' pets (lots of tears when they dropped the chickens off, even more tears when Cash proceeded to chase them all, terrified and squawking, around the yard until I could round them up into our shed). We didn't really have a place to put them at first, so they lived in a ramshackle plywood lean-to, until we completed the Chick-Chalet.
 Now, this is not a masterpiece of finish carpentry, to be sure. The fact that we have only $150 into it (which I assure you, is very cheap by Nome standards), and that we came by most of the materials by scavenging, makes this a fairly cost-effective little operation, and also gives it that, ahem, rustic feel.  We decided to go with the mobile "chicken tractor" idea.  If you are interested in other chicken tractor designs, I highly recommend checking out this website--which is full of awesome information about running small scale poultry operations in limited spaces. Why a mobile chicken coop?  Well-- it is nice because your chicks always have some fresh grass to peck on, they clean up grubs and bugs from your yard, and if you move the coop every 1-2 days you never get that super-concentrated, nasty chicken stink going on.  Each time we move this coop we just rake up the dead grass and chicken droppings and in the compost it goes.  The "yard" grows back and then by the end of the chicken coop rotation you start over again.
 Some features of our chicken tractor: A drop down door in the front near the bottom to allow for easy chicken herding (courtesy of Cassius) and also feeding.

A state-of-the-art, triangular design with metal roof cap to keep the upstairs roosting and nesting areas dry. An open chicken wire bottom, so our hens can root and scratch in the fresh Bering Sea breeze.
 and on the other side, the top where the roosting and nesting areas are, features two big doors that open for easy cleaning and egg gathering.
 Here is one of our hens giving me the stink eye for disturbing her egg-laying.  As you were, chicken. 
So... there you have it.  My life-long dream of a small flock of backyard chickens checked off the bucket list.  And 4-5 fresh eggs a day... as Borat would say, "very nice!" And miss Sadie Mai, well, she loves the chickens.  If you even mention the word chicken in casual conversation she goes off with a series of "bok-bok'bok" sounds until a chicken-feeding field trip results.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

early summer

This week I am lucky enough to be taking a photography/ photoshop class with this amazing photographer, who happens to be visiting Nome. He is making us all go through growing pains by shooting our cameras in pure manual mode... no cheating.  We spent a couple hours out in the field tonight, and here is some of what my camera captured:

sky patrol
summer candle
sweet sparrow
This last one is my favorite.  I actually didn't alter it at all, so it is a the original photo.  I like it because it invokes the way early summer feels to me. It kind of goes by in a blur, but if you just stop to take a breath, there it is... so delicate and beautiful that it makes you just want to scoop some up and hide it in your pocket so you can have it again on a February day when it is -30. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

M.I.Y. Monday: Challah

I have long been an admirer of these beautiful braided loaves in bakeries and cookbooks, so I thought I would give this recipe a try. While I am not Jewish, nor is it the Sabbath, I do appreciate the symbolism and history baked into this bread.  It is good to remember that even in the hardest times Heaven does provide us with manna... although it might not be exactly what we were expecting.

This last week has been hella stressful for me with a sick, but somehow still wild and crazy baby, a to-do list that seems to grow by three items for every item that gets checked off, and several upcoming trips that are going to make checking items off said to-do list even more difficult. I needed to slow down and do something restorative, and baking this Challah was a little bit of manna for my soul. Do you know what is even better than re-centering yourself by baking a beautiful loaf of bread?

The fact that it's really, really yummy!

Friday, June 3, 2011


Today was one of those days. A one nap day with a sick kiddo who is miserable, clingy and insists on helping you unload the dishwasher, turning a 15 minute job into a 45 minute one. By five I needed to get out of the house so bad that I stuck Sadie in the ergo and walked to the store. On the way home she coughed so hard that she threw up, then choked on it, resulting in an awkward, but effective, baby heimlich maneuver on the street corner. When we got home I decided to make a cheese quesadilla since Loren was gone on a work trip and I figured that AT LEAST I wouldn't have to fus with dinner. But while my quesadilla was cooking Sadie dumped the dogs' water dish out, and while I was mopping that up, my quesadilla burned, setting off every effing smoke alarm in our house. When I finally sat down with my cold dinner I decided to pour me a glass of wine, after all, it was one of those days. I ran back to the kitchen to get a fork, only to hear the shattering of a crystal drinking glass...and there stands Sadie in a puddle of red wine and glass shards by the side of the table-- kid's getting quite a reach. Thank god she had shoes on. So I had to put her in her crib ( screaming her head off) in the other room while I cleaned that up. So yeah, like I said...omg. If this is how it's gonna be I think this stay-at-home mom is gonna ask for a raise. Yeeeeeeeesh.

But dad's home, baby is bathed and my three bears are sound asleep, so I am going to relish some of that rare quiet time:)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

These shoes were made for walkin'

I have a new obsession. It all started when I went to find a pair of shoes for my fledgling walker. I was digging through my hand-me-down box and found a couple of cute pairs of shoes, but they had big old clumpy soles (they were like mini grown- up shoes) and while they looked adorable when I put them on Sadie, all she did was trip all over them. Enter one very old beat up pair of Robeez. These ones worked good, but they were on their last leg (metaphorically and literally). A quick Internet search informed me that buying these shoes new is NOT CHEAP. So I decided to make my own. I made a pair for Sadie and they were so fun that I had to make another, then get the picture.

The little moccasins are my I need to make another pair for miss Sadie.
I am working on a tutorial that I will post soon...just waiting to get our computer back. Posting lots of pics from the iPad isn't a very stream-lined process.

Here is Sadie in her shoes, drinking a blueberry smoothie to go. Sorry about the blurry- but it's hard to get my favorite photography subject to stand still these days!