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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Beach Time




The day before yesterday we all went down to the beach below the house. As Zoya, Amy and the kiddos left the house Amy was amazed to learn that we don't actually do down to the beach all that often. I later joined them with the dogs and a good time was had sitting on the sand by the water. The dogs chased sticks, Nora did some wading. Stu wandered around in his diaper. Then it was time to go home. And Amy learned why 'we don't go down to the beach all that often'.

Nora did not want to leave, and had to be carried crying away from the water. The dogs found some rotting fish, and then had to be put on leashes to keep them out of the road. Then Nora wanted to walk back. Needless to say but it took a while to get home. Felt more like a trek than a walk. Still it was very nice by the water. We really should get down there more often. Patrick

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Girls Camping Trip to Pasagshak







Last night 7 of us gals took a road trip to Surfers Beach-a long gorgeous beach past Pasagshak. We enjoyed the evening without rain, crisp temperatures, slight breeze. Some highlights of the trip included:

-whales spouting in the bay. There were probably 20+ whales in the bay-spouting, breeching out of the water, and playing in the distance. Where ever we looked there were whales feeding in the ocean.

-chili: We sauteed onions and peppers in a dutch oven on the campfire. When the veggies were cooked, we added 3 cans of chili and served it on a bed of spinach with Doritos. Thats right-SPINACH. It was GOOD. Amy's idea. Got our veggies in on the camping trip.

-The sound of the ocean waves. The surf is incredible at "Surfers Beach." The sound lulled us to sleep.

-Laughter and stories as we sat around the campfire enjoying drinks and food.

(...Unexpected injection of testosterone occurred as men tried to inch their way into our party. Two guys from Canada who were spending several days surfing for waves (and chicks, apparently) were quite excited to see two car loads of girls come up. It wasn't the girls ONLY night we planned, but it was fun.)

Zoya

PHOTOS:

Amy and MJ at the Pasagshak hill overlook
Amy and MJ admiring the view and whale spouting close off shore. (if you look super closely, you may be able to see the spout)
Jenny and Erin waking up this morning.
The gals putting up the McMansion-a 7 person $40 dollar Walmart tent which did the job PERFECTLY.
Lisa, Amy and MJ cooking chili and hotdogs for dinner.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Kodiak Hunting 101




Deer season opens in less than a week. Soon, instead of endless blog posts about skiing and snow it will all be about hunting and exploring the backcountry in search of various species of game. Time to fill the freezer. So in honor of the change in season, I figured I’d leak the secret to my success at hunting.

Rightly or wrongly, I do consider myself a successful hunter. I proxy hunt for a few people, and every time I go out deer hunting on the road system I harvest a mature 3 point buck with eye guards (see photos from last year). Most of the meat Zoya, Stu, Nora and I eat is something my hunting partners or I shot. Last year we ended up with over 1300 pounds of processed meat (deer, mountain goat, elk, and reindeer) – cleaned and cut up, wrapped, and sometimes ground – all in our own kitchen.

The secret to my success? I hike for my meat.

It always annoys me when I meet new guys to Kodiak who believe the first, and most essential piece of hunting gear they need to acquire is a four wheeler (ATV). Later, after the hunting season, I invariably find out that they did not harvest anything, or if they did, something puny. I’d say instead of spending 4 or 5 grand on a quad (if you’re lucky) – buy a custom rifle and good scope, and the best camping gear and clothes you can afford. You can buy some pretty good stuff with $5,000. Put your money where you’ll need it.

Don’t get me wrong – an ATV is a useful piece of hunting gear. You can use an ATV to access some remote places. But the essential point is that it only gets you there – you still have to hike and hunt for your meat. Most guys who hunt from ATVs never get off of their ATVs. Worse yet, ATV hunters are generally all concentrated into the same areas, and the melee and noise drives all the game away.

It’s funny but some areas of Kodiak’s road system now have better hunting than they did 25 years ago. Back then practically everybody hunted on foot and hunting pressure was pretty evenly distributed about the road system. Today, most people hunt in the ATV accessible areas and the other areas see much less pressure than they did 25 years ago. The key to getting a big buck is to hunt areas where ATVs cannot go.

The sad thing about ATVs is that they are slowly but surely degrading the road system hunting. Every year sees new ATV trails into what were pristine hunting areas. And soon enough these same areas are devoid of game.

A common defense of the ATV hunter is that the machine allows backcountry access to the young, out of shape, elderly and crippled. And that is true – but the increased access also pushes the game further away from the road and makes it more difficult for the individual on foot. What about access to the backcountry for people who cannot afford an ATV? After all, hiking in is free, and most people can get in shape.

OK enough on my rant – but if you’re new to Kodiak and want to get a big buck. Hunt high, buy great gear, and forego the ATV. Good Luck.
Patrick

Photos: Some deer harvested last year on the Kodiak road system – first year in a while we did not harvest a road system 4-point-buck.

Summer Snow




More ski photos! And I bet everyone thought I was done skiing for the year. Amazingly enough due to a lack of snow time in May and June I have gone skiing more this month than the last two months combined. Generally Pyramid is done by early July, but not this year. We still have plenty of snow.

Today I went up Pyramid with Gregg and Jake the dog. Roxy refused to get in the car and did not come. She gets car sick and really does not like drives in the car (or is it my driving?). A little icy and bumpy but we still got in some long runs. Also saw a bear and deer. Not many deer up in the high country yet - still too much snow! The wild flowers are about a month behind their usual schedule.
Patrick

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Biting Epidemic



This past week has been a wee bit stressful around the Saltonstall household. The kids were quite sleep deprived by the time I arrived home on Monday morning...so Monday, Tues and Wed were trying-to say the least. Yesterday was a bit better and today was considerably better, so I think they are finally catching up-on sleep, that is. Thank heavens.

Nora AND Stuey have been biting. It is horrifying. You'd think Nora would be over it by now-as she is almost 3 and seems to understand that biting IS NOT cool. Stuey just discovered biting last week. Evidently he bit a fellow dare care guy. And then yesterday he bit Nora. Left big marks on her arm. She screamed HARD but as she looked down at her arm I think she realized how much it hurts and maybe she'll rethink biting Stuey in the future.

Patrick and I are worried about the kids being kicked out of day care. Not sure if its a "3 strikes and you're out" policy or how that works. We'll just keep our fingers crossed that the biting stops soon. I don't want Stuey and Nora to be bully kids and Patrick and I discipline Nora when she does it. Sigh. Turmoils of parenting. As I always say, never a dull moment.

On a more uplifting note, our friend Amy Margaris is staying with us for 3 weeks. She is a professor of anthropolgy at Oberlin College in Ohio. We've known her for many years and she is doing some research work at the museum. The past few days we've joked with her, saying "We won't be offended Amy if you take off to a hotel for the rest of your stay..." as there has been a constant chorus of cries in the house. She is a trooper!

Zoya

Photos:
I couldn't resist putting a few more Seattle photos on the blog. The first was taken in downtown Seattle of a Hummer-stretch-limo that we saw on Pike street. We were so amazingly horrified by it--I just had to take a picture. I wonder how many miles per gallon it gets.....I think Hummers are the most irresponsible environmental impact item on the planet.

Roxann, myself, Randy and Elaine. Just another photo of the 4 of us. Randy doesn't know it, but he is my PT guru! The techniques I have learned from him have entirely changed the way I practice physical therapy. I'm lovin' it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Seattle







My Seattle class and trip went better than I could've hoped for-all airline connections were made, Elaine and I chatted away on the flights. The hotel was lovely-corner room and plenty of space for Elaine, Roxann and myself. Plus good view of downtown and the Space Needle! The class was more than I ever could've hoped for-wonderful lab format and TONS of hands on time to practice the techniques on eachother. The instructor, Randall Kusunose, is talented, witty and so intelligent with anatomy and the Strain Counterstrain technique.
I also ran into an old college friend downtown. It was wild! Elaine and I were walking by a crepe shop and we thought, that'd be fun-to get a crepe for dessert. I went up to order and the person working the counter was my friend, Andrew, from college. I looked at him and said, "Andrew?" and he said, "Zoya?". So fun! He made me a nutella/banana crepe as we chatted about our lives since college. In college he started up a crepe stand at the local farmers market in Ithaca and since then has taken off with crepe businesses...and now he has a store on Pike Street in downtown Seattle right next to the convention center. So cool!
On my way home, I had an 8 hour lay over in Anchorage, so Bonnie picked me up and we went back to her place and I got some time with her, Todd and Kellen. So fun to catch up and relax for a couple of hours.
Upon my return, Stuey and Nora had lots of smiles and Nora gave me lots of hugs as I sat on the couch and nursed Stuey. It feels great to be home!

Zoya

Photos:
Roxann, Me, Randy and Elaine at class.
Roxann, Elaine and myself with our desserts Saturday night at Tango. Chocolate ice cream with Cayenne pepper and Chocolate Diablo with cayenne sprinkled on the side. So yummy!
Elaine practicing her Strain Counterstrain techniques for the ankle on Roxann. The lab assistant, Lisa, stands to the left.
Andrew making a nutella/banana crepe. Ummm..Ummm...YUM!
Bonnie and I hanging out on the couch last night. Photo taken by Kellen.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bearanoia will destroy ya



One of my pet peeves is bearanoid people. These are the people who carry a gun for a walk in Abercrombie Park. If they see a bear, or even bear tracks they are convinced the bear is out to get them. A hike with these people (if you can even convince them to step off of the road) is like going on a patrol in Vietnam during the height of the Vietnam war. Their fear is taken far too far - it is an irrational fear of bears.

And if you crunch the numbers you realize just how irrational a fear it is - in the last 100 years only 2 people have been killed on Kodiak by bears. And in both instances the human shot the bear first. In the same time period there have been far more murders on Kodiak. Realistically, you should be more scared of humans than bears. And yet people still carry absurdly big guns whenever they go out into the backcountry - convinced of the need to defend themselves against bears. Never mind that they generally don't know how to shoot their cannon of choice very well, or that a firearm probably will make any bear encounter a far more life threatening experience. Bears will go after you if you wound them first, while if given the chance they run away. I actually think firearms increase your chances of getting mauled. And I will note that only people carrying firearms have ever been mauled on Kodiak.

Not that a healthy awareness and even fear of bears is not warranted. I often carry pepper spray on my archaeological surveys - especially if i know I will be whacking through dense alders by a salmon stream. I also use bear boxes for my food and sometimes even an electric fence around camp to keep the bears out. But I do not carry a gun unless I am hunting. I do make sure to make noise, keep good sight lines, and avoid areas where I might surprise a bear. This is a healthy fear - good for the bears and good for me. It is a fear that makes the backcountry a more exciting place - a place where there are bears and I am not necessarily at the top of the food chain. But there is no need to take it to an absurd degree - to become bearanoid. No one needs to pack a firearm on a walk into Abercrombie.

The photos were both taken by Chase Tingle on our recent archaeological survey of Karluk Lake. The bear was walking along the bank of O'Malley lake and decided to take a swim. Patrick

Seattle Times

My 2 days in Seattle have been fabulous. The class I"m taking has 27 people in it, 2 instructors and 2 assistants. The first 2 hours were lecture and every other minute is spent in lab practicing the techniques on eachother. Strain Counterstrain is such a gentle, powerful technique in alleviating muscle spasms. I continue to be VERY inspired by the work of the osteopathic physicians and physical therapists who developed and now teach this technique. The applications are endless and I am in continuing education HEAVEN.

Tonight Elaine, Roxann and myself went to a yummy restaurant called TANGO. A Tapas restaurant. MJ and I went there a year ago and it is catty corner from our hotel now. I had a mojito (SO GOOD) and a delicious mushroom dish. The menu had a few gluten free options for Roxann and low sugar options for Elaine. Roxann is allergic to wheat and Elaine has to keep her sugar intake low. I joked with the waiter and said, "I can't eat anything with cow growth hormones.."....Joking of course. He looked at me for moment, as if to say, "OMIGOSH". Then I broke into a laugh and said, "just kidding." we got a good laugh out of it. The menu fortunately had lots of yummy options for Elaine and Roxann! Yeah! Last night we ate at a Thai restaurant which was also very helpful for Elaine and Roxann in picking out menu options. Waiters seem very aware of gluten free options on menus.

Taking the class has been such a fun getaway AND bonding time for Elaine, Roxann and myself. We're able to chat about class and decompress afterwards. The people in the class feel a tiny bit stuffy and competitive so its nice to have the three of us to laugh about it later. We've come to the conclusion that there is a bit of a competitive air amongst PT's in the Seattle area. It is a competitive air which doesn't exist nearly as strong in Anchorage classes.
Its been a good time and an incredible learning experience.

One more day of class then we head home. This time away has been rejuvenating.

And Patrick rocks. Every time I talk to him he is so cheery and he is DADDIO FABIO. Stuey wakes up at 5:00 AM, Patrick brings him to our bed and Stuey falls back asleep for an hour or two. So cool. I feel so blessed to be able to sneak away for 4 days and have things go so well on the homefront.

Zoya

pictures to come upon my return from Seattle....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Zoya's Off On A Jet Plane


Zoya's off on a Jet Plane. And she's alone - or at least without kids and husband. She's off to Seattle with her friend Roxanne to attend a physical therapy training class. I'll be here in Kodiak holding down the fort with the kiddos. Some quality parenting time. It will be interesting to see how stu does tomorrow when he wakes up and his mommy (and milk supply) is not around.

The photo is of Zoya eating a fine meal on our trip to Costa Rica in 2006. This what I imagine Zoya and Roxanne will be up to - eating fine food in fancy restaurants WITHOUT kids. Actually, I know they will be hard at work studying up on how to be great physical therapists.

While looking for a photo to post I had a hard time finding a photo of Zoya either sunbathing or eating a meal alone. Every photo I found either had me or a kid in it. So I guess it's time she went on a vacation ALONE.

Patrick

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Recipes...

Several people have asked, "Zoya, when I click on the recipes on your sidebar, nothing comes up. Where are the recipes?". Unfortunately, I just put the name of the new recipes on the sidebar. I figured I'd take a moment on this blog post to describe some of the most yummy recent creations.

GRILLED VEGETABLE SALAD.

Prepare Portabello mushrooms (thick strips) , bell peppers (cut in half), Vidalia Onions (thick slices), yellow squash-put in a large bowl. Mix toether a couple of tablespoons of canola oil, several cloves of minced garlic, some salt, some pepper. Toss the veggies in this mixture.
Grill the veggies.
Return the veggies to the big bowl. Drizzle lime juice over (a table spoon or two) and sprinkle with Parsley.
This recipe is so easy yet "kicks grilled veggies up a notch"!!!!
From Vegetarian Times Magazine. I've made this recipe 3 or 4 times now and it is a summer favorite!

ALMOND MILK
This is a more "interesting" new recipe. I love almonds, so I rather enjoyed it.
Blend a cup or two of Almonds and water together on high in a serious blender. It turns out like a shake. Can add sweetner of some sort if you wish. Yummm...

HALIBUT TACOS
Grill the halibut lightly seasoned.
While it is grilling, combine plain or vanilla yogurt with guacamole or avocados. Add some cilantro, lime juice and minced garlic (small amount). Add the halibut, sauce and any other toppings into soft or hard taco shells. SO YUMMY! I was amazed by how simple this was and it tasted like it came from a top notch restaurant!

Enjoy!

Zoya

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dig Afognak





I spent last weekend out on Afognak at Dig Afognak. While there I experienced a strong sense of deja vue - this is where I spent 3 summers when I first moved to Kodiak back in the mid 1990s. Same spectacular views, many of the same people, and kids are kids.

This year I taught the kids about archaeology, but rather the usual excavation we went on survey. I showed them how the coast has changed over the past 7000 years, and we dug test pits behind old buried beaches back in the woods. I REALLY wanted to find a 7000 year-old site, but it was not to be. We did, however, find layers of sand and silt that had been carried unbelievable distances into the woods by tidal waves. One wave flooded the woods almost a mile from the current shoreline.

Other highlights of the weekend included finding a glass ball, and carving a wooden spoon. I was really happy about the glass ball because I said I'd find one and I did! A couple of weeks ago the Island Trails Network cleaned up all the trash on the beach as part of a marine debris clean up program and no one believed there would be any glass balls left. Patrick

Saturday, July 12, 2008

CONSTRUCTION AND TACO BELL



CONSTRUCTION IN KODIAK
I"m tired of the construction in down town Kodiak. The city has been working on replacing the water mains since March (or was it as early as February-in any case-it was FOREVER ago). The construction goes on and on and on and on.
The flag people are inconsistent and sometimes borderline forceful and rude. Earlier this week they were actually laying down pavement and I thought "oh, good, just a day or two more and it'll all be done."
Uhhh....no. A few days later I tried to go to the bank downtown and had to park way far away-they had dug up something which they had just paved and a bunch of tractors were all working on this big hole. And the road had been recently paved.
I'm a physical therapist, not a construction foreman, so I really have no place saying that construction should go faster or smoother.
And the only reason I really care is I feel for the businesses downtown. This is their prime season and cars can't even drive down there. What a bummer for them!!!!! Not cool. Just had to get that off my chest. Phew. Now I feel better. Blogging definitely has therapeutic qualities.

TACO BELL!!!!!!
Taco Bell is coming to Kodiak-actually-it'll be a combo KFC/Taco Bell. I can't wait.

Construction on the Taco Bell building is going fast-but not fast enough for my liking. :) Chicken soft tacos, here I come. I"m giddy with excitement over the arrival of Taco Bell.

My sister Ella, amongst many other people, think I'm semi ridiculous for getting excited, but I can't help myself. (Afterall, Ella lives in the land of yummy places to eat including DUNKIN DONUTS!! She doesn't know what its like to be a little bit fast food deprived)

The Taco Bell will be JAMMED PACKED for several weeks (or even months, probably) after opening but I can't wait nonetheless. I vaguely remember when McDonalds opened (was it '87?)-and what a HUGE deal it was. Kodiak's first fast food chain. And I vaguely remember when Safeway opened. All I remember is that bananas were practically free on opening day. Don't know if that is actually accurate or not....but it seems like a semi decent memory.

All I know is that as I pass the people working on the exteriors and interiors of Taco Bell, I whisper a silent, "Thank you" under my breath for their tireless, awesome work.

(The only drag about it opening will be the traffic congestion at that intersection. I'm thinking there needs to be a stoplight there. Getting out of Safeway parking lot will be a bit of a nightmare.)

PATRICK GONE
So Patrick is gone. Again. This weekend is Spirit camp on Afognak Island. He works with kids and gets them excited about archaeology and anthropology.
This morning Karen and I took the kids to the hospital picnic-we walked from our house to Baranof Park with the kids in the stroller. Picnic was a good time-Nora got time on the swings/slides at the park and the desserts were most excellent. Good time was had and Karen even admitted to enjoying herself. :)

This afternoon MJ came over for a few hours and withstood Noras intermittent crying tantrums. Nora missed a nap this afternoon and we were paying for it come 4 o'clock. As I"ve always said in the past, I'm just so glad people are still willing to be my friend even though I have kids!
Karen came over this evening and we made a lovely (might I say myself) dinner. Karen cooked some whole wheat pasta and I grilled up veggies which we put on top. So good. Then I made Rice Krispie treats for a brunch tomorrow. And did some serious taste testing on the Rice Krispie Treats. Yum, Yum, Yum. They have M & M's in them too.

Zoya

PHOTO:
FROM THE ARCHIVES: May 2007 when Stuey, Nora and myself went out East with Megan. Stuey was almost 3 months old in the photo and boy do I look tired! I'm so glad those small baby days are over with! It is hard. My heart goes out to all my friends with 3 month olds right now. It is exhausting.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Summertime




Ahhh....finally some summertime weather yesterday. Sun was shining, temperatures in the 50's and everyone was in a good mood to not have rain.

...Except for Stuey. He has had a hard few days. Daycare isn't going so hot for him. Either teething is a major problem, or he is such a mamas boy that he has to be in my arms all the time. The past 4-5 days he has been crying a LOT and nursing lots. I can't figure out what is wrong. It is disconcerning. His molars are poking through so I'm hoping that is the problem. I miss my smiley guy.

Last night Nora was up until 11 PM. This has happened a couple of nights in a row. We put Stuey down to bed at 7:30 and Nora refused to go to sleep. She wanted to read books, walk in and out of her bedroom. Stuey slept through it all, thankfully. FInally after many attempts on Patrick's part to help her wind down, he got her to sleep at 11. My theory is we need to get her more physically tired. Today I'm going to take her to the beach-have her walk there. And have her spend some good time on the lawn. If she is physically tired, she'll go right to sleep. I hope.

Zoya

Photos:

Nora and Grace playing in the toddler house in our yard yesterday afternoon.
Nora and Stuey playing airplane. Nora likes pretending to buckle Stuey in, and they both say, "Up, Up, Up..."

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Kids and Kodiak



This morning I read an article in the latest Newsweek which I found worth sharing with Patrick. It is on the choice to have kids and the fact that it doesn't necessarily bring more overall life happiness. Study after study have shown that through all ages of life there is no big difference in happiness between people who have kids and people who don't. It also discussed how many years ago (30-50 years ago), kids were a necessary part of the family-and helped with the farm and the family business. Now families live all separated apart from eachother and there often isn't the support from aunts /uncles /grandmas /grandpas to help with raising kids that there used to once be. Also, it talked about the lack of happiness or fulfillment parents have in rushing kids around from activity to activity with little time for ones self.

For Patrick and myself, having kids was a VERY CONSCIOUS choice. In fact, for a short while we contemplated not having kids. I can't remember exactly what it was that brought us to change our mind, but I think it was a bit of me "convincing" Patrick that kids would be a good addition to our lives. I remember shortly before I got pregnant I had a conversation with a parent who said, "Zoya, don't have kids just to have kids. It is a tough job and I want it to be a choice you make for yourself. Don't feel pressured into having kids." This was a breath of fresh air to hear. I often heard the opposite message from other people (friends and family) and it was reassuring to know that it was OUR decision and not one to be taken lightly. So often you hear the message of "Have Kids To Be Happy" which is so not true.

The choice to NOT have kids is often a more deliberate one than to have kids in our culture. Birth control takes foresight and consideration, as well as the sometimes perceived social pressures to have kids. This said, when we came to the decision to have kids, we were on board and ready for the challenges that parenting through our way.

Parenting with Patrick is quite fun and I can't imagine never seeing him in this "dad" capacity. He has so much to teach our little ones as well as me-about diligence, patience, the outdoors....There are so many facets of his personality which I get to get sneak peaks into since having kids.

The first 6 months after each child is utterly exhausting and not something either of us want to go through again. The sleep deprivation is brutal and I remember not findings Patrick's jokes funny for about the first 6 months after birth. I don't miss the newborn baby stage at all. (That said, I do cry almost every time I watch "Nora's 1st Year" video that Patrick made for me years ago....includes stills and videos set to music including "Forever Young" The Pretenders "I'll stand By You". I love watching our family in that first year together on video).

Another good point the article made is how we see images of families with kids at Disney World (or other such places) and think that its all supposed to be happy, happy, happy. The reality is that is that parenting is hard and it is often a thankless job.

For Patrick and I, we love living in Kodiak because of the simplicity of our lives. With Ft. Abercrombie and Mill Bay Beach each a 5 minute walk away, practically no commute to schools and work, that leaves lots of time to cook with the kids, be outside, read, etc... I often don't understand the pressures to be constantly "doing" things with kids-taking them constantly to museums, amusement parks, etc. Our idea of a good time is having the kids help us cook, clean up, exploring the outdoors. Pretty simple, really. Theres not hours spent in cars, outings to expensive theme parks or places where your kids are supposed to be happy. Time with other families and time at home is most valuable to us.

All these thoughts come together after a great discussion yesterday with my friend Karen about why we love Kodiak. A simple, good way of life.

So this morning, after Patrick and I had both read the article, the kids were both screaming for some time and I had a few moments of thinking, "Oh, my-did we make the right choice to have kids? This is HARD!!! And a true test of patience!". Patrick and I did the usual, trying to do disaster management with the kids and laugh at the same time. And I remember that these are some of the hardest times-my friends with older kids tell me this---"Zoya, these are the hardest times. Especially with 2 young ones."

My final thought on the issue that for me, kids bring a balance between work and family life. When I'm at work, I enjoy it 200%...time with adults, doing my physical therapy and getting people better. When I'm at home, I treasure my time with the kids-cooking, reading, going to the beach, singing songs with them. Whatever it may be, it is time which will pass so quickly. There have been rough times, but thats when a phone call to a friend always reassures me that I'll indeed get through it.

Zoya

Photo:
We enjoyed dinner with a high school friend, Lee Walters, his wife, Christy and their son, Zach two nights ago with MJ. Such a good time! Lots of laughter and kid talk!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Buskin Again


video

After hearing about the wonderful canoeing conditions for years, MJ and I decided it was time for Patrick to take us down the river!

Patrick, MJ and myself escaped to the Buskin for a ride down the river in an inflatable canoe. The trip was about 25 minutes with a few small rapids. We didn't see a single person the entire float down the Buskin. So peaceful.

The day was a cold, rainy one-perfect for getting into hip waders and sitting in a canoe floating down the river. MJ and I are excited to go again. Just goes to show-no such thing as bad weather-just a bad attitude or bad gear. We stayed happy and fairly dry for the trip to Buskin Beach.

Zoya

Buskin Whitewater


video
Not much fun to go skiing when it is raining, but at least the river is high. Time to go rafting!

Yesterday after work I went down the Buskin with Casey and her friend from South Carolina, Sean. The river was a good 2 to 3 feet lower than when we did it in early June, but still plenty high enough for some good rips. In the video Casey negotiates the first rapid near a bridge over the Buskin. We all did this rapid twice - pulling out at the bridge and hiking back upriver for more. We paddled all the way to the sea and did not see another person. Due to the low return of salmon the river has been closed to fishing. Generally, this time of year, the river is lined with people fishing - very weird to have it all to ourselves.
Patrick

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Potty Power


As the fall approaches, I start thinking about Nora going to preschool half day and the need for her to get potty trained. Some kids her age are potty trained and some aren't. If school weren't looming in the future, I probably wouldn't be putting too much thought into it right now, but we've got to get thinking about her using the potty.

My friend Alexis recommended the movie, "Potty Power" as a way to jump start potty training. Our local library rents it so Nora and I checked it out yesterday. After dinner, Stuey, Nora and myself sat on the couch in the kitchen and watched. The kids were mezmerized (as well as Patrick and myself). It was pretty funny! They have a test in the beginning with questions such as "Who runs and plays? Babies or big kids?.....Big Kids do!" "Who has to be fed? Babies or big kids?...Babies" "Who wears a diaper? Babies or big kids? Babies do!" Stuey was glued to the movie just as much as Nora. Videos are such a rare occurance around here that I think the kids take what they can get!

By the 3rd time watching the movie, Nora got all the answers right. The movie helped put all the pieces of going to the bathroom together for her....from sitting on the potty and reading a book, to using toilet paper, to washing your hands.

Patrick said in the beginning of the movie, "I hope that girl got paid a LOT to do that video" (the "girl" was a cute 20 something who sang all of these songs about using the toilet and was the narrator. She was overly-animated about using the potty!)

Just another little adventure in the wold of kids.

Zoya

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July Snow Report



I thought I'd post two views of the snow up on Pyramid from yesterday. The skiing is great - we have the same amount of snow we generally have in early June. And some years we have not had this much snow in early May. Yesterday I skiied all the way down to 900 feet - that's just 400 feet up from the truck. With the dig and travel out to Maine I did not do a lot of skiing in June. And I was worried it would be all gone by the time the dig ended. Obviously I need not have worried.

On another note - you will note that I did go skiing. Some how I escaped the virus that took out the rest of the Saltonstall household (and I still have my fingers crossed). Yesterday I watched the kids until 3:30. No more throwing up, but everybody was very tired from the hard night. Nora slept on the kitchen couch all morning. Patrick