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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wedding vows on the coast of Lake Tahoe



Adelia and Philip were married yesterday on the coast of Lake Tahoe in a beautiful, lawn front ceremony. The weather was spectacular, Adelia was stunningingly gorgeous and the vows she and Philip exchanged were original and heartfelt. Dinner was a sit down meal and shucked king crab was served for appetizers. The day was picture perfect and it was wonderful to be part of the celebration of their marriage. Congratulations, Adelia and Philip.
Zoya

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Canned Halibut



Last night I canned halibut. Stayed up late drinking beer and cruising the internet while the stop cap on the canner rattled away and the windows in the kitchen steamed up. Mike Pfeffer and Preston Van Curen provided the halibut. They caught a monster halibut subsistence fishing off the Buskin River mouth - virtually inedible as table fare, but a great candidate for canning. Best of all, is that I get a share of the meat if I can it (pressure cook it in pint jars). And they got a lot of halibut - At least 4 loads in the 16 pint pressure cooker, and there is still plenty leftover to freeze as filets.

Last night I canned the halibut with a little water, some oil, salt, lemon juice and parsley. It came out just like tuna fish - only a little dry - so for the batch I am making now I added more oil and no water. I also tried leeks and celery in this batch. We'll see how it comes out! At least we'll have a lot - lots of 'tuna' fish sandwiches this winter.

Photos: Stu in drag as a witch. Should this be his Halloween costume? Nora playing 'goodnight' with Miss Kitty. She's faking sleep - look closely at her smile and how she has set her eyes in pretend sleep.

The Masks Come Down


For the last 4 months we have had the most wonderful Alutiiq masks on the Alutiiq Museum walls. They were collected by a frenchman, Alphonse Pinart, on Kodiak Island in the 1870s and finally made it home for a visit last May after being in a Museum in France for over 130 years. Absolutely amazing to see these pieces close up - to see how big they are, and to look at how they were carved. They are completely different from their pictures in a book. And today they all came down.

At the museum we spent the day taking them off of the walls and packing them away for their trip to Anchorage. They will be at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art for a few months before they make their way back to France. Here in Kodiak I had grown used to seeing them in their cases on the walls. They looked pretty cool. But when we opened the cases to take them down I was shocked how much cooler they looked without the surrounding layer of glass. Nothing quite like the hands on experience. It was an honor to be so close to them.

In the photo Sven Haakanson takes a mask off of its mount prior to packing it away for the trip to Anchorage. For more information about the masks check out the Alutiiq Museum website at Alutiiqmuseum.org - the link to the exhibit is on the left under 'Like a Face'. Patrick

Friday, September 26, 2008

Home Alone



Well not totally alone - I also got the dogs and kids for company. But no Zoya. Zoya is off to Lake Tahoe for the weekend and a wedding. A little R & R with her sister - good food and fancy hotels.

I'm home alone with the kiddos and pooches. In the morning we're one big dog pile on the bed. The kids generally wake up around 4:30 AM and to prolong the sleep thing I've been bringing them into the main bed with me and the dogs. Not sure if Zoya would approve. Oh I'm pretty sure she would approve the kids in the bed, but not the dogs. Everybody wants to sleep right next to me - hence the dog pile. I love a good, cozy dog pile - especially if it is raining outside.

Thus far the kiddos have been pretty good. I like to think of it as Daddy Boot Camp. I ignore complaints and whining, and everybody has been pretty good. To date, bedtime has taken 1/2 hour max (and I am definitely knocking on wood here). During the day Stu has been taking enormously long naps. Today he slept from 12:30 to almost 4 PM. I took a nap too - life is good.

Photos - Stu and Nora taking a bath. This Morning after her bath Nora climbed into Stu's crib and tucked in herself and Miss Kitty for 'Goodnight'.

Patrick

Stu's Word of the Week - Biie' Biie'


Stu Word of the Week - Biie Biie

Generally repeated several times at once in a plaintive voice. We're not sure what it means. Zoya thinks it means many things depending upon his mood and the context. I think it might be Stuie's version of 'Dee Dee' which is what Nora (and often us) call him. In my scenario he is saying his own name and asking for attention. He does this a lot. Zoya thinks biie biie might mean baby. We'll probably never know, but right now he certainly says it a lot! Patrick

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Philip & Adelia's Wedding



I'm off to Lake Tahoe for Philip and Adelia's wedding. Ella and I are meeting there for the weekend-without kids!! It'll be a much neeeded sister getaway. Ella is much better than I in preparing to leave family for a few days. She talked about how she leaves a prepared meal plan and everything all organized for food. This was inspiring to me, so I went to Safeway and stocked our fridge up on frozen foods yesterday. Not quite the same as home prepared frozen lasagnas, but it'll get the job done. And Patrick cooks a lot.

Patrick says, "Its boot camp time for Stuey...". Oh, this makes it hard leaving little Stuey.

Can't wait for Tahoe!

Zoya

This photo is of Philip and Adelia in 2000...shortly after they got together!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Comings and Goings






This past week has been full of friends going...going....going. Rose and Thomas leave tomorrow for 7 months (Seattle, Hawaii, Belgium), Karen and Jeremy leave for 6 weeks for a road trip and Casey left on Monday for South Carolina (she'll be back next summer---if not sooner!!). Fall is an exciting time in that regard-summer is over, people travel and our busy summer lives start to slow down (somewhat....with Patrick around things are never slow).

The weather is most definitely cooler and this past week and I've fully admitted to myself that summer is over. I think I was in denial--the temperatures would be 52 or so and I would tell myself..."well...it COULD get up to 60 degrees today, so it must still be summer." Those 60 degree days are over.

A Balanced Approach clinic plans are coming together SO WELL!!!!!!! My high low table arrived last week and I LOVE it. I think the guy who delivered it off the van needs to be my first patient. He was limping as he got out of the truck, before he even touched the table box. I thought, "Yikes, I need to see him soon." Then he proceeded to throw the table box around like it was a big Christmas present--manhandling it off the pallet into the studio. He didn't seem to mind that it weighs several hundred pounds and was completely akward. There was no way to do those maneuvers ergonomically correct!! I tried to help but wasn't much help.

I"m going to move the table to a room down the hall and will have a treatment room all to myself. This past weekend I got many of the supplies I'll need in the room-pillows, towels, tissues. All those treatment room essentials. I hope to start scheduling patients in the first 2 weeks of October. The whole process of starting up my own clinic is exciting and fun. It is all coming together well.

Zoya

Photos:

MJ, Casey and myself at Casey's going away party last Saturday night.

Mike Roxann and the kids on Sunday night. Mike cooked up Ling cod that he and Patrick caught earlier that day. Mike made a most incredible salmon dip which disappeared instantly-so good. After dinner, Roxann and I put Nora in the stroller and went for a short walk down the bike path. Fun evening.

Nora, Stuey and my new high-low clinic table!!!!!! They liked it.

The kids and I in front of A Balanced Approach Sign.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Florence's Deer




Been a while, but it is back to proxy hunting. This weekend with help from James and Gregg I harvested a deer for Florence. It's getting to be late in the season - we started hiking at 6 AM and the sun did not come up until well past 7 AM. We were worried that all of the deer might have abandoned the alpine, but no worries. We spotted 6 deer and 2 bucks immediately.

None of the bucks seemed very large, and we decided to forego them and look over on the other side of the mountain. We went for the 'two birds in the bush' rather than the 'one in the hand'. And of course we paid deerly. Nothing on the other side of the mountain. So tail between legs we crept back to where we first saw the deer.

By 1 PM it looked hopeless, we'd glassed for hours and had seen nothing. All the deer had run away or bedded down - it was time to go home. Then as we started to hike home - I spotted a doe. And then James spotted a buck by the doe. And from there we had a deer on the ground. Florence has her buck.

Photos: Top, hiking up into the alpine soon after dawn. Middle, some steep cliffs up where we were hunting. Bottom, a picture of me getting ready to harvest Florence's deer. Patrick

We're Partly to Blame


Rain, bumpy torn-up roads, cones everywhere, clueless flaggers, and a sense that it is just never going to end. Lately that's been the scene while driving about downtown Kodiak. And while I must admit I hope Red Hook construction never gets another paving job on Kodiak, I also realize that Kodiak drivers are partly to blame.

We are partly to blame because we wear out the roads with our studded tires. Studded tires are what wear out our roads so quickly and leave those 'railroad like' ruts in the pavement that need to be repaired. Don't get me wrong - studded tires are often the critical edge that keeps your car on the road in icy conditions, but they are also often used needlessly. How many of you know coworkers who leave studded tires on their cars all summer? How about the 4 wheel drive SUV with studded snow tires? I must admit my wife's car does need studded tires in the winter, and so did my old two wheel drive truck. But my new 4 wheel drive truck does not need studded tires, and I would argue that a lot of people have studded tires on their trucks who do not need them. I know that no one needs studded tires in summertime (and after a full summer of use studs are pretty useless for the next winter anyway).

Anyhow, the next time you are on the way to the airport and find yourself hydroplaning in a water-filled rut, realize that studded tires created those ruts. Patrick

Friday, September 19, 2008

Surgery a Success

Stuey's surgery was a success by all measures. He did great with the little amount of anesthetic they had to give him. The needle came out easily-with a slight "tug". Dr. Robinson showed me the needle-it was in a small plastic vial. It was about 2 inches long, and quite corroded. I didn't expect it to look so old!
Dr. Robinson said it will be sent to Anchorage Pathology lab to be tested to see what kind of needle it is.
I'm glad it is out of Stuey's leg and everything went so smoothly.

Zoya

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mystery Item in Stuey



Today turned out to be a very interesting day.

The story begins about 6 weeks ago when I noticed a ropey-like feeling in Stuey's right groin--sort of like swollen lymph nodes. Karen was over at the house when I noticed it and I had her feel it too.
She said, "Yeah, I would have it checked out if it doesn't go away in a few weeks."
It never went away. In fact, it seemed to be worsening--coming to the surface more so.
So I took Stuey to Mr. Mete today and he palpated around. He could bring the edge of "it" to the skin-just bizarre looking. Over 2 inches long from end to end.

Greg Mete looked at me and said, "Zoya, there is a foreign object in there."
I was dumfounded.
"No, way." I replied.
It couldn't be. A foreign object in Stuey? How could that be?
I commented, "I hope its not an alien."
Greg Mete laughed and said, "No, its not an alient. But if you want to see one of those I"ll bring in my son."

The immediate course of action called for a trip to radiology for a radiograph.
The radiograph revealed a large needle-like structure in his leg. We then went to the surgeon, Dr. Robinson, who signed Stuey up for surgery tomorrow morning to have it removed.

Since discovering this, there has been speculation by myself, Patrick, friends and family about the object-what is it and how did it get there? Was it from his Neonatal intensive care unit stay after he was born? Or was it from one of his vaccination injections? Several people at the hospital said it looked like a "sewing needle" which I'm not seeing on the x-ray. It is all one length and too long to be a sewing needle. And it just doesn't make sense. I'm 99.9% sure its not a sewing needle.
Once we get the needle we'll have a little more info about a possible source/cause.

7:30 AM tomorrow Stuey goes to have the needle taken out. I bet he'll feel so good to get that out of his leg, and I"ll feel much better knowing its gone.

Zoya

Stuey's radiograph today. You'll see the long pin like structure crossing the top of his right hip. Can't miss it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Life. Busy.





Life at the Saltonstalls has been busy, but fun as of late.

A BALANCED APPROACH
I have renamed The Spin Studio to A Balanced Approach and am going to start doing physical therapy out of my business in a few weeks. This has been in the works for several months-since July. I returned from a class in Seattle and was excited about going out on my own to do physical therapy. I'll be accepting insurance and am working with a lady to do the medical billing. Phew! My table is in town and due to arrive in a day or two-I can't wait to get my hands on it.
Needless to say, it has been time consuming to get things ready for my new endeavor. Changing the name of a business is like opening a new business-just as much paperwork. New business license, new signs, new checks, bank account...etc...
I've also been filling in at Arctic PT during football season to help Todd (the head football coach and PT) out. Busy weeks, trying to keep track of where I"m supposed to be when.
The part I"m most excited about with working on my own is the the relaxed atmosphere I can create in my own space and the chance to specialize--perhaps have a specialty of neck and low back pain. I love it all-shoulders, knees, hips, ankles.... When I think of me going to my new clinic to see clients there, I am excited about it all.

PRESSURE COOKER
No, our life is not like that of a pressure cooker right now. Thank heavens.
But we got a small pressure cooker yesterday. I made mushroom risotto in it last night and it was so fast! Wow! The last time I made risotto it took 1 hour and last night it was a 1/2 hour. Casey and MJ came over-we put on music, drank a couple bottles of good white wine and enjoyed the risotto with a salad from the garden. Yummm.... Salads from the garden are my favorite this time of year.
I look forward to cooking beans, more rice dishes, soups in the pressure cooker. It cuts the cooking time in 1/2. So cool. Put the food in, bring it to a boil, put the lid on, watch the gauge go up and it cooks away. Eventually I want to be able to do small canning projects--it only holds 3 jars at a time. I could do small batches of homemade spagehetti sauce or seasoned meat. The possibilities are endless...

ENERGY RATING=DOMESTIC DISTRESS
I never imagined that getting our house energy rating done would be a source of conflict for Patrick and I. Silly,eh? I think we worked through it, however....
We got the energy raters to rate our house and it is a 2 star (out of 5 stars possible) home. Wow. Pretty darn leaky. Every time I would bring up the fact that we had many improvements to make, Patrick would respond by saying, "Well, I'm worried about our home becoming too sealed and us getting diseases from mold...because that happens when a home doesn't breath..." I felt like I was pushing a boulder uphill, trying to get Patrick to understand that getting the improvements made will make our home much cheaper to heat AND decrease our demand for fossil fuels. Patrick likes a strong breeze through the house, which I understand. We came to a mutual understanding this morning that
1. our house is a leaky disaster and needs major improvements, as recommended by the energy raters
2. Once our house is "sealed up" better, we can crack the window open with better conscience at night, knowing that more dollar bills aren't flying out the window. Ella is going to loan me a door bean bag to put along the bottom to help keep the air in our bedroom. Thank you, Ella.
The whole energy rating process is fascinating-they put a big fan in the door, turned the blower on and we could walk around our house and feel where all the leaks were. Pretty wild. The energy raters said our house was one of the leakier ones they had seen. Most of our "issues" are in the kitchen, which didn't surprise me. It always feels drafty in here.

Zoya

Photos:

Nora helping with my quilting, which I started doing again. SO FUN. Nora likes taking little scrap pieces of fabric and I sew them into a mini quilt for her doll. She loves watching and helping. I have to do it once Stuey is in bed, however...

Nora and Stuey continue to be fascinated by playing in the sink....there is usually a good amount of water to clean up afterwards. oh well. It is worth a few minutes of happiness and no crying.

My pressure cooker and I have a moment together. Domestic bliss.

Sunrise

video
I discovered this time lapse movie feature on my new digital camera that takes a picture every 2 seconds and allows me to 'speed up nature'. I've been wanting to try it for weeks, and finally remembered to do it for this morning's sunrise. It's pretty cool. I can't wait to make a movie of a flower opening.

I shot almost an hour of video and it turned into one minute and 30 seconds of video. I cut it to 20 seconds for the blog - no sense in clogging up your server. Comparing this video with the photo of the moon from last night I noticed that while the moon rises at sunset, it does not rise from the same spot on the horizon as the sun does in the morning. I wonder on what day they both rise from the same spot on the horizon? Pretty soon I'll have to make a stonehenge type thing on my lawn where I record all these observations. Patrick

Moonrise over Millbay


Usually I just take photos of the sunrises, but last night the moon was pretty darn spectacular as it rose above Millbay. Casey and Zoya took Nora outside to watch it and thought to take pictures. It seems that at this time of year the full moon seems to rise just at sunset. It must have something to do with being close to the equinox.
Patrick

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sustenance






If you're from Alaska I bet when you read the title of this post you read it 'subsistence' rather than sustenance. Subsistence is a big deal in Alaska. We like to think of ourselves as hearty individuals barely surviving on what the Land can provide in the last frontier. I prefer the term sustenance to subsistence because it really is not a hand to mouth type situation. I imagine subsistence as more of a down and dirty 'get the meat and chew on it' type of existence. When in actuality it really is about lifestyle. Sure we need the meat, but the getting of the meat on your own is really what provides the sustenance for the soul. It really is all about sustenance - I'm a happy individual because I provide for myself and my family subsists on what I get. And it's all healthy food to boot.

Today I went out subsistence fishing with Mike P and Preston V. We went out in a tiny Boston Whaler and set out a halibut skate (60 baited hooks all at once) (first two photos). Then we trolled for salmon while we waited for the bait to soak and the halibut to bite. We caught two silver salmon (third photo), and then went back and pulled the skate. And we discovered another good reason to think of it as sustenance rather than subsistence - we only caught one halibut. Hook after hook with either nothing, a sunstar, or irish lord on it (fourth photo - but I'm wondering if 'Irish Lord' is a little derogatory to the Irish?).

Still we did come home with 2 silver salmon and one 25 pound halibut. Not bad from the subsistence end of things, but I'd argue we did great on the sustenance end of things. Great day out on the water. Right now I am canning up all of the salmon. Mike is in charge of vacuum sealing all of the halibut into handy sized freezer packages. We did not get all of the fish that we need, but I am very happy that we will have to go out again and try to catch some more. It really is about sustenance. Patrick

Friday, September 12, 2008

Nora Word of the Week - 'Barracuda'



Nora Word of the Week - Barracuda
Or as Nora pronounces it - Barry Kudah. I doubt if Nora knows what the word means. But she has certainly heard it a bunch lately - what with our Governor Sarah Palin so much in the news. Not sure myself if a barracuda is actually a vicious tropical fish with very sharp teeth or a pit bull wearing lipstick. Maybe both.

Lately at speech therapy Nora has been concentrating on learning key sounds and how to position her tongue against her teeth etc rather than just learning new words per se. Learning how to annunciate - 'f' s and 's's in particular. Barracuda has a nice 'b' sound and good rolling 'r' for Nora to practice on. Nora certainly likes to say the word - she spits it out with a certain panache that brings a smile to my face. Patrick

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some Final Hunt Photos





I thought I'd add some final photos from our South End hunt. Odds and ends so to speak. Top photo shows what our camp looked like. In the photo you can see Preston and I glassing for deer. The next photo is of Preston relaxing on a rock during lunch in an area we called 'stonehenge' because of the propensity of large, upright rocks. Third photo is of Preston posing with his large deer. All of the deer we harvested on this trip were exceptionally large. Finally the last photo shows that all the play has to end and the work begin. We finished cutting up all the deer and goat on Monday - we filled an entire freezer! Patrick

Monday, September 08, 2008

Some South End Sunrises




Some gorgeous sunrises down on the south end. Everyday we were treated to a different show of morning colors and clouds. Generally the 'peak' color only lasted about 10 minutes or so - so you had to be ready with the camera. We usually stayed in camp until after sunrise. We'd drink our coffee, and then after the sun rose we'd use our spotting scopes to glass for game on the surrounding hills. We actually saw all but one of the harvested animals from camp, before we even set out hunting.

The only bad thing about the teepee with the wood stove is that it encouraged us to stay up too late at night (bottom photo). I find that when one does not have a stove everybody snuggles into their sleeping bag to stay warm and goes to bed early. We'd stay up late enjoying the warmth of our 'power orbs' of granite (see previous post) and good conversation - both enjoyed with the occasional sip of 'wicky' or rum. Patrick

Dance Class







When I found out I was pregnant with Nora, I did what many soon-to-be-moms-of-little-baby-girls do. Get excited about the prospect of their daughter taking dance!
On Saturday, Nora had her first dance class.
We went in a bit early and Nora got fit with ballet shoes. Such tiny little cute shoes-I just wanted to eat them up! Nora was quite fascinated and I don't think she knew what was going on, but she was game! The weather was pouring down rain and getting her out of the house on an outing with me was quite easy.
There were several 3 year olds and several helpers. The class was a hoot!!! The kids are so tiny and cute. They did some floor games, jumping, kicking...the whole nine yards. Nora had such a big smile on her face and was truly enjoying herself. Her excitement for it was contagious and it was fun to watch her join right in to a class that she knew nothing about! I can't wait for her next class. What a fun time Saturday mornings will be!

Zoya

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Hunting Trip Details




Yesterday's post not withstanding, we did not let everything walk. It was a hunting trip, and we did harvest 3 big deer and a 7-year-old billy goat. That is a lot of meat and we spent all yesterday afternoon just processing the goat. Today we'll try to get to all the deer.

We harvested our goat first. We found him way up a mountain above a big ravine. Unfortunately for both us and the goat, after we shot him he fell into the ravine. It was a hair-raising, and strenuous exercise to get the goat back up out of the ravine and carry him back home. After that ordeal all of the deer seemed pretty easy.

While we were down there we did have a few days of pretty bad weather. The day after we harvested the goat it rained 1 to 2 inches and blew 40 to 50 MPH out of the East. We hunkered down around the wood stove in our Kifaru teepee and waited it out. We discovered that if you heat up granite boulders on the stove they hold their heat forever. 'Power orbs' is what we termed them, and we used them to alleviate bug bite sores, ease sore muscles, dry out boots, and even to melt cheese. I even put one in my sleeping bag when I went to bed. I have never had it so good while camping during a bad storm.

Photos: Top - Thomas and Preston hiking back to camp after harvesting a deer. Middle - me with a deer we harvested. Bottom - inside the teepee during the storm. Patrick

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hunting Trip to Kodiak's South End




Preston, Thomas and I got back from our hunting trip to Kodiak's South End yesterday evening - just in time to avoid getting socked in by today's easterly gale. Rather than boring you with dead animal pictures - I though I'd show you some live animals. Here are some the deer we saw - I am happy to say that all the deer in these photos are still alive and well.

The wildlife viewing was outstanding. In the nearby salmon creeks we would watch the bears catching fish - as many as 6 at once all chasing fish around. In one drainage from above we saw 12 bears in various parts of the drainage.

In the second photo the deer pictured were on a mountain top ridge. When I first spotted them 2 of the bucks were skylined and sparring. I could hear their antlers clicking and they drifted in an out of view as the fog and mist drifted past. Better footage than you will ever see on Animal Planet - seemed like an insurance ad or something. Later, for a short while, four bucks sparred all at once. I wish I had got that on film!

Other wildlife of note - goats of course. There were lots of those (more on goats later). But the waterfowl was pretty outstanding too. Every dawn like clockwork the seagulls would fly over on there way to the salmon creeks at the head of the bay to scavenge dead salmon (top photo). We also had a surprising amount of Canadian geese flying overhead. They are not supposed to be native to Kodiak. Patrick

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Thoughts of the Day

ON PALIN

Still so much talk about Palin.

I appreciated Barack Obama's response to Bristol's pregnancy. He said to keep family out of politics--he did not criticize or question the Palin family---in fact he noted that he was born to an 18 year old mother. Makes me like the Obama campaign that much more.

I must say, I really enjoy the thoughts and ideas surrounding the political race-as it brings out so many different viewpoints which I never could've imagined. Today on the hour long Alaskan call in show, there were many people full of insight and it is fun to sit back and listen to the narrative. No clear right or wrong answers, but lots of varying perspectives.

(....That said, it does freak me out to think that America could become pro-life and creationism could be taught in the schools....which is why Obama will be getting my vote in November, barring any unforseen circumstances)

ON NORA'S SPEECH (& Nora phrase of the month...for you, Peter!) :)

As my friends and family know, Nora's speech delay has been a source of discussion and effort in our family for over a year. This summer she has really started to pick up steam with her vocabulary. Friends who haven't seen her in a few weeks remark, "wow-she is really speaking up a storm." The focus of her speech therapy now is annunciation, as she is able to say 3-4 word sentences. Now we just work on the sound quality of her words. She makes me so proud when she says phrases like, "thank you mommy" or "I want more milk please" Tonight when Casey was over, I saw her do the cutest imitation of Casey's words-Casey and I got a laugh out of it. Nora would repeat whatever Casey said or did. I also sense that her frusturation with the world is lessening somewhat, as we are finally able to understand what she needs. Her sense of humor is coming out more.

For example, the other day in the kitchen I was preparing breakfast and Stuey kept coming over and crying as he held on to my leg. There was nothing more I could do for him until breakfast was made-as I knew he was hungry. I said under my breath, "Stuey, give mommy a minute here...i"m doing the best I can do. I'm making you and Nora pancakes. When I get some on the griddle, I can pick you up."
Stuey persisted and kept crying and pulling at my leg.

Nora looked at me with a twinkle in her eye. She was sitting there watching the whole thing. She said with a smile, "Off, doggie!"
Too funny! She knows that what I say if the dogs are bothering me in the kitchen! Patrick and I got a kick out of that.

I would say her phrase of the month is "thank you mommy." If I say, "Nora, lets find your boots and jacket so we can go out the door" she responds with "Oh Thank you, mommy". So cute. I love thank you phrases.

Zoya