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Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving






No posts for a few days because the day after Thanksgiving we all left for Anchorage to pick up our new family car and visit family. Zoya and the kids will return on the ferry with the new car on Wednesday. I had to return early to get back to work. Anyway, we did have a great Thanksgivng Feast before we left. I'll leave it to Zoya to supply the text once she returns. Meanwhile, I'll post the the photos. Patrick

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pilgrims and Indians




Nora came home yesterday from preschool with a happy thanksgiving card-complete with a turkey on the front and a list of things she is thankful for inside. SO fun! The list included mommy, daddy, friends, paper, going to school, toys and grocery store. Who knew trips to the store are so exciting?! Maybe we need to get Nora out and about more....:)

She also came home from preschool with a pilgrim hat. My first thought was "Wow-I didn't know schools still did the whole pilgrims-indian thing." When Patrick picked up Nora, Balika was picking up Bella, who was going home with a handmade Indian hat. Balika and Patrick got a chuckle out of this, as Bella is native Alaskan.

This thanksgiving I am thankful for so many things. I'll do my thankful list, like Nora did-

-Our family-here in Kodiak and extended family
-our friend Ryan who is recovering in Seattle.
-our friends Aileen and Josh who have returned home with their new little one
-open minded, wonderful friends
-living in Kodiak.
-my husband who makes every day a fun adventure.

Love Zoya

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Locavores


I just found this awesome article about hunting and eating deer in the New York Times. I gather urban yuppies are taking classes about how to hunt and process your own food. They even have a name for them. Cool! That's what we do here in Kodiak. Does that make us cutting edge? Wait a second - we never stopped hunting our own food.

Check out the article below - I think you have to cut and past it into your own web browser because we can't seem to link a hot post.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/dining/25hunt.html?_r=1&hp

Photo: John and Gregg cutting up a deer in Kodiak's backcuntry.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Vaccines and Snow Angels


HOLIDAY 2009
The holidays are upon us and I am less stressed feeling than in years before.

In years past, November would arrive, the crazy holiday season would ensue, then in January I would wonder, "What the heck just happened? And where did the holidays go? And why didn't I drink more egg nog".
Now I ask myself, "Why is it so different this year? Why do I not have that stressed, crazed feeling to me?".

I think a large part of it may be owning my own business. When I worked for the hospital, November and December would prove to be a very busy time of year. This was due to therapists taking holiday breaks (so we'd have to work a little more to cover the client load), and increased hospital admissions and outpatient cases from winter-related conditions. Things such as ankle & hip fractures, back pain, pneumonia all seem to peak during the winter months. My workload would generally increase in November and December, making the holidays feel like something I "got through". Thats not to say I didn't enjoy the holidays-I did. It was just less relaxing than I would've liked.

Another factor may be that we don't have any babies around the house this holiday. And the kids are actually old enough to get excited about things like lights on trees, delivering holiday cookies to the neighbors, etc.

Now I have holiday shopping pretty much done (all local and home-made-yeah!!!), holiday cards largely addressed and written and am ready to start making cookies and enjoying the egg nog!


SWINE FLU VACCINE
I believe our family may be the only people in Kodiak who did not get the Swine Flu vaccine. And as I've discovered this fall, it is a topic which which people are very passionate about. (sort of like co-sleeping, breastfeeding, pacifiers, potty training age, etc...)

Patrick and I did a lot of thinking and reading on the subject of flu vaccines. For us the take home message? Not enough evidence to support the use of a FLU vaccine-and still too many unknowns about the implications of all these extra vaccines. The kicker for me was reading an Atlantic Monthly article about vaccines which reported how in 2 different years in the past 2 decades there was episode where the flu vaccine was botched-it was the wrong combo for that years flu. Guess what? In those years, the morbidity and mortality rates of the elderly and kid populations didn't budge a bit.

The flu is an ever evolving, mutating and changing virus - a very different scenario than with a virus like Polio. We're all for getting our kids vaccinnated for the big standard diseases. But the flu vaccine doesn't have real strong credible science behind it. There has never been a placebo study where they took a group of healthy people, gave 1/2 the flu vaccine and 1/2 placebo to see what happens. In some ways, science is going on "faith" that it works and has worked.

When I worked at the hospital, there is incredible pressure to get flu vaccinated every year. I remember that the dept. with the most vaccinated employees would win a pizza party and I always brought my dept. down by not getting one. In some ways, I didn't like that pressure put upon us. It is a personal health choice.

So we didn't get the vaccine. And we haven't gotten H1N1-yet. I may eat my words and 1 week from now, praying to the porcelain gods-wishing we had chosen to vaccinate. But so far so good!

I say to each his own, and make an informed decision. I'm all for digging a little deeper with health care and learning a little more about the pros and cons of choices. It was a good discussion for Patrick and I to have, and I was glad he was as curious about the vaccine as me! It was good to have the many discussions about it with him.

Zoya

Deja Vu Stu



Today I scanned some photographs that a family babysitter took of me way back in 1966 & 1967. She found me on the internet and passed on the photographs. How great is that! I also scanned the handwriting on the backs of each photo for context.

Anyway, as I scanned them I was struck by a strong sense of deja vu with these 2 pictures. In the old photos I am acting exactly like Stuie does today.

In the top photo I am obviously sneaking out of my bedroom after bedtime. This is exactly what Stuie does every night. He stands there outside his room and waits for us to notice. I showed this picture to Nora and she actually thought it was Stuie.

Much to my annoyance, Stuie also loves to splash water and scatter stuff around the kitchen. Judging by the bottom photo I used to do this too. Wow! I guess the apple does not fall too far from the tree afterall. Patrick

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bucks in Rut





Bucks in rut taste terrible. And don’t ever let anyone convince you otherwise because the ‘steaks’ can be quite ‘high’. There are a lot of hunters out there who are in denial on this one. It took me a few years to come to terms with it myself. But after enough ruined meals and the danger that my family would forever forego eating deer meat, I stopped harvesting bucks in rut. These days come November I only shoot does.

I think hunters are in denial on this one because when bucks are in rut they are stupid. A big buck hopped up on sex hormones and chasing does is not really concerned with hunters, and is quite easy to harvest. Bucks go into rut in November and it really is the only time of year that you do not have to climb mountains to find one. They come out of the woodwork to chase does. For this reason, quite a few hunters convince themselves that bucks in rut are fine eating – what other excuse is there for shooting a big deer?

In the old days, just about every year, I would go hunting for deer in November and see a big buck. A big rack of antlers is a powerful draw. I would not resist, and inevitably I’d get the strong wiff of ‘buck in rut’ before I even found the animal. They smell that bad – and taste that bad too.

I have actually done blind taste tests on this one. I proxy hunt and a couple of times I have packaged up rutty deer for them and not told them about it. Every time I got complaints. In fact, one proxy family will no longer accept November deer meat.

I have noticed that people who think deer taste ‘gamy’ generally hunt late in the season. I also know a few hunters who tell me bucks in rut are fine eating, but tell me with a straight face that their family does not eat deer. What a waste! Bucks harvested in August, September and most of October are quite mild and have good flavor. But don’t take my word on this – ask my family and the people for whom I proxy hunt.

So if you think deer are gamy – try eating one that was harvested in August. I bet you’ll be surprised. Patrick

The photos are from my recent doe hunt with Bruce. NO bucks were harvested!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Grrrrr. ... ..

video

Sometimes if Stuey is frusturated because he is trying to talk and he can't my attention, he does a funny move where he tightens the muscles in his face and clenches his fists.

It makes me laugh! Its been a recent occurence and tonight I was able to get him to do it on cue. He does it while laughing at the same time!

Zoya

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Writing


Patrick has a long time habit of writing in his journal-daily. He has kept a journal steadily since 1975 (with a 5 year break in there). When I met Patrick, I was amazed by his diligence to his journal and the details he wrote about. When I wrote in a journal growing up, all I wrote about was boys, boys, boys. I haven't written consistently in a journal since I got married-I don't have the desire to anymore. I found my boy!

Patrick writes about what he eats for dinner, what he hunts, how many days he skis and more factual type of information. Sometimes he has to "catch up" several days and think back to days or weeks prior. He'll be in the kitchen and ask me, "Zoya, what did we eat for dinner last Wednesday?" Its quite a good memory game to think back several days and try to remember what actually happened!! Patrick's journal is more like an activity-food-log book. Oh-and weather, of course. He is able to look back and say, "Oh, last year at this time, we were ice skating already....".

Recently Nora got a little Hello Kitty Journal as a "Sticker Chart" Grand Prize. She came home, promptly sat down at the counter, asked me for a pen. As she opened up her book and was thinking about what to write, she asked, "Mom, what did we eat for dinner last night?" Like father, like daughter.

Now when Patrick sits down to write in his journal every morning, Nora was to be part of the fun and she insists on writing in her Hello Kitty Journal. Its a great little morning routine for Nora and Patrick to do together.

Zoya

Radiocarbon results




Last week we got back the radiocarbon dating results from last summer's archaeological survey on Karluk Lake. We sent off the charcoal we collected from the prehistoric hearths to a lab in Florida and they tell us how long ago the charcoal was part of a living plant. I'm all excited because the dates came back perfect - just what I wanted/expected. I found out that the new sites I found on the pea gravel beaches are about 1600 years old. We also found a 5000 year old house, and even a 3000 year old village.

If you reread my post from last May

http://saltonstall.blogspot.com/2009/05/karluk-survey-archaeology.html

you will see that I predicted that the villages on the pea gravel beaches would be 1500 years old. Whoo hoooo I love being right. Too often when I get radiocarbon results back I am crushed by the cold light of reality. If the dates had been different all that I wrote last May could have been wrong.

Anyhow - here are some pictures of Karluk Lake for you to enjoy. These are where those 1600 year-old villages are located. Patrick

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's winter & deer hunting is over!

The bucks are in rut and it's cold out there - time to quit hunting. This past weekend I went with Bruce for one last hunt. We targeted does so as to not end up with any 'rutty' tasting meat. But nothing we could do about the cold. Not sure if I understand why people go winter camping for fun.

Anyway, we kayaked off the road system, camped, and brought back 2 does. It was freezing. I think the most epic part of the trip was during the kayak trip home when the wind picked up. Whitecaps and freezing spray. As Bruce put it, 'this is not recreational kayaking'. At one point, I looked back to check on Bruce and saw a whale spouting just behind him. I shouted whale, and he thought I was pointing out the waves. Which to him seemed obvious - but when I kept shouting he did turn around and saw the whale on the surface about 100 yards away. It went under and then came up again about 40 yards away. We think it was a fin whale - it was huge. It just went on and on as it came out of the water. With the whale and waves it just got a little surreal for a while there. Our decks and coats got coated with ice and we were very happy to get back to the truck.

I tried to post photos but I kept getting upload errors, but I made a little video of the trip and posted it to Youtube. Check it out below:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Patrick's Home Safe and Sound





Over the weekend our friend Bruce was in town for an off-road system deer hunt. On Saturday, the guys were on weather hold due to high winds and fortunately the winds let up enough yesterday to allow them to venture off in their kayaks. The temperatures were in the low 20's/high teens with lots of snow cover on the ground. In the evening, I got a phone call from Patrick with good news-they got 2 deer and were hunkering down by the woodstove to warm up. The wind was so cold last night-I didn't know how the guys could possibly stay warm enough!

Patrick reported that the kayak ride back to town was quite exhilarating. The winds picked up and they were followed by a fin whale about 40 yards away. On my end of things, I couldn't wait for Patrick to call saying he had made it back to land. The last part of the trip into "the bay" was ice breaking and proved to be more challenging than they anticipated. I"m just so thrilled they made it home. Phew.

Zoya

Nora doing her "interpretive dance" in her tutu...which she does frequently around the house recently. We put on the radio and she goes around the house doing little ballerina poses. Very cute. I can tell she is practicing her dance class moves.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

First Snow







While the rest of the united states has had several snowfalls this winter, we've been delayed with the arrival of winter. This fall season has been mild thus far. But yesterday, winter hit with a BANG! Lots of snow fell and the winds blew.

Nora asked me yesterday, "mom, what is your favorite part about snow?" I replied, "I like how it is light and fluffy. How about you?" She stuck out her tounge and said, "I like catching snowflakes on my tongue."

The snow enthusiasm is high around our house-in a few minutes we're headed out to do the first cross country ski of the year! Yeah!

Patrick and Bruce are on wind-weather-hold for their kayak-hunting trip. Too windy. They're going to give it a try tomorrow morning.

Photos are from a walk down the road yesterday-a few snow angels along the way!
Bottom ones are sledding today in our yard.

Zoya

Friday, November 13, 2009

Zoya In Motion




Yesterday Zoya got the pictures back from the triathlon...the ones that photographers on the course took. She didn't want to post any on the blog, since there were several photos already posted. I told her I wanted to post them, because I"m so proud of her doing the race. Look at her go!

Patrick

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Slow time



The hectic time of Summer archaeology and Fall hunting seasons is pretty much over. We have entered the slow time of winter. Well that's not totally true - we still have the Holiday season ahead of us. But it does seem like things are finally slowing down - Less stress and hectic schedules to combat. More time in the evening and mornings with nothing to do.

Lately, I've been walking with the dogs and kids to the beach at Abercrombie State Park. Actually, I take the kids in the stroller so they only walk the last bit. I know, I know an almost 3 and a 4 year-old in the stroller looks bad. But I have found that if we try to walk all the way there we never make it, and they seem to dig the stroller ride. I also get a killer glute workout pushing the stroller up the hills. Yesterday, on the way back, we even found some blueberries still hanging on the bushes. I fed the kids like little birdie chicks - dropping berries into open mouths. That way they did not have to remove their gloves and get cold hands. Patrick

Monday, November 09, 2009

Triathlon Trip Photos






Tonight I made it home from California safe and sound-no significant delays, thank heavens!

Just thought I'd share some more photos from the trip. It was such a fun time and I can't wait to do another triathlon here in Kodiak or somewhere nearby this spring!

Zoya

Photos-

Anne and I waiting for the race to start for our wave.

Anne helping Dylan (our brother in law) get his wetsuit funtioning. Dylan borrowed a bike which only had one speed for the race, then forgot his running shoes-so Ella loaned him hers! He did great even with the equipment complications.

Getting ready for the bike portion in the transition area.

The night of the race-Ella, Anne and I went out to dinner with Melissa Dover. Melissa showed us a great Sushi restaurant!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Tears of Joy




Yesterday I completed my first triathlon with Anne & Dylan (brother in law) on Catalina Island in California. It went better than I could've imagined. For Dylan and I, it was our first triathlon and Anne's 3rd one. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous yesterday before the race! I looked out at the water, saw how calm it was, and how WARM it was and felt excited for it to start. I was just ready to get it over with.

The part I fretted the most over the past 3 months was the swim--and this was the part that was actually the easiest for me. I did the 1/2 mile swim in just over 11 minutes, which I couldn't believe. I was going to be thrilled to pieces if I did it in around 20 or 25 minutes! The work in the pool with swimming lessons paid off, as I felt relaxed and just switched before freestyle and backstroke. The 10 mile bike was OK--and the run finished the race off, 3 miles. My total time as 1hr 42 minutes, which I was thrilled with--for my first triathlon! I learned how the race is orchestrated and how the "transition" time in between events is critical. My transitions were quite slow, but I wasn't trying to be fast. I just wanted to enjoy myself. And I did.

One of the highlights of the race was my interaction with a fellow triathlete during the run. I ran most of it with a lady who was also doing her first triathlon. She is 52 (our numbers were marked on our legs) years old, and her daughter was running the race ahead of her. We ran about the same pace, and during the uphill part, when I felt like I wanted to start walking, I looked at her still jogging up, looked at her leg with "52" on it and thought "if she can do it, I can do it. I'm jogging too.". As I came around the bend and into the finish line area, she was a bit ahead of me--I could see her finishing across the line. I picked up speed and got emotional inside, thinking about how cool it was that she was doing her first triathlon with her daughter. I thought about how someday perhaps I would do a race with Nora and Stuey and how fun that would be.

Most importantly,I felt strong. I want Nora and Stuey to see how I stretch myself beyond comfort zones and strive to do things which I once thought weren't possible. I thought how lucky I am to have a husband who supports me in such endeavors. So tears of joy came down my face as I ran to Ella, Anne and Dylan after the race. A wonderful sense of accomplisment.

And now Ella wants to train to do a triathlon with us next year! Yeah!

Zoya

Pictures: Picking up my rental bike in Catalina.
Anne and I preparing all the details of our "transition" area on the beach before the race.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Halibut Bycatch

I just watched a video where literally tons of halibut were dumped overboard to die - apparently the boat is trawling for flatfish and since halibut are bycatch they can not be kept. So they are discarded, thrown overboard to die and float to the bottom - I noted that a few actually did live and manage to swim away - Hooray! Admittedly, I do not know a lot about this issue, but the video really struck a cord. I found it at the blog address below - check out the October 31rst blog entry titled 'Filthy Halibut Waste'. Watch the linked video, and have patience - it only gets really interesting when they start dumping all the halibut overboard at the end. I gather a fisheries observer made the video and released it illegally.

http://tholepin.blogspot.com/
(I also linked the blog on the 'other blogs of interest' list to the right under Tholepin).

What gets me about the video is that I struggle to catch enough halibut to feed my family. Catching a couple of halibut is a big deal. Our family only needs 2 or 3 a year to feed the family. Two or three halibut is over a 100 pounds of meat - maybe 30 family meals, or halibut for dinner every week or so. What gets dumped over the side in this video would feed the City of Kodiak for an entire winter! And, apparently, it is legal! According to the 'Tholepin blog' draggers in the Gulf of Alaska are allowed to catch up to 12.5 MILLION pounds of halibut every year as bycatch. That's 12.5 MILLION pounds - or at 3 pound a meal, roughly 4 million family meals of halibut wasted. I gather a lot of King Salmon are wasted this way too.

Draggers are just one way to catch fish commercially. Basically they drag a net along the bottom and catch what they can. I gather a lot of the pollack and scallops that we eat are caught this way. But there are other ways to catch scallops, halibut and pollack. Are all the methods as wasteful? I tend to think not. However, at this point I better stop because I am not an expert on the commercial fishing industry, and I got a pretty one sided story about draggers from the Tholepin Blog. But I do want to know more about this issue, and plan on investigating it further. I hope that you do too. I wonder why our local paper has not had more stories on this issue? Patrick

Icing on the cake




Today the skiing on Pyramid was fantastic. Totally unexpected too. While I knew we got a lot of new snow (see yesterday's post) I still expected early season conditions - bumps, thin cover, the occasional rock, exposed bushes. What I did not expect was a good base with powder on the top. It was like getting my cake and eating it too - the icing on the cake! I got to go skiing and it was GOOD skiing. The north bowl had a good base with about 4 to 5 inches of powder on top. Also, it was good skiing all the way back to the 1000 foot level on the way back to the car. Generally, it takes a few storms to build up a base before the skiing gets this good. Now let's pray for more snow and no warm rain.

If you look carefully in the bottom two photos you can see ski tracks in the North Bowl. Steve W beat me to it! I was surprised to see 4 other snowboarders and skiers on the mountan. So it is not just me up there - other people thought it was good too. Patrick

Friday, November 06, 2009

Snow on the Mountain



According to the 'dashboard' when I checked in to write this evening this is our 1,000 post to the blog. How apt that it has to do with skiing and snow. Zoya often complains that my 'snow conditions reports' are serious snoozer posts. I beg to differ, I see them as a benefit to humanity, and as climatological documentation. With all the current uproar about global warming I could probably get NSF funding for the blog if I agreed to do enough 'snow reports'.

Anyway, to get down to business. The snow is great on Pyramid. I was actually shocked at the amount of new snow up high. We have around 2 inches of new snow at the parking lot and more than 2 feet up above 1500 feet. WOW! It was thigh deep up there. It is time to go skiing! Patrick

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Leaving for Los Angeles




Tonight I'm leaving for LA to see two of my sisters and do my first triathlon.

I go with excitement, nervousness and eagerness to get the race over with. My swimming has improved significantly in the past two weeks, but I am still quite a weak swimmer. As I swam at the Coast Guard pool earlier this week, I had a moment of "oh my gosh, what if I got totally exhausted and couldn't finish the swimming portion? Or worse yet, what if I drowned?". I'm normally not a "nervous nellie"...(I believe my friends and family can attend to that). But there is something about swimming in the open water, with lots of people and swimming a distance farther than I ever had before that creates a stir of unease inside myself.

This week I did a lot of mental re-affirmations that I could do it, and Patrick re-assured me as well. I think that its good to do things that get you outside your comfort level every once in a while. Thats when you truly grow and believe in yourself. So often people are afraid of failing or not succeeding 100%, so then they don't try. I've learned to enjoy races because it brings a sense of accomplishment afterwards.

Last night I said, "Patrick, there is a good chance I could come in last in this race".

He replied, "Thats ok Zoya! In fact, in some races there are people who sort of compete to be the last person to cross the finish line. Its an honor of sorts."

I felt better about this. And as we talked, we decided that I would probably be in the bottom chunk of finishers...if there are around 800 racers, I"d be thrilled to be around 600 or 700th. Also, at this point my goal is to not get swine flu and not have any mechanical difficulties with my rented bike. If those two things fall into place, the race will be a success by all measures.

I'm appreciative to Patrick for his support during my training time--it has taken quite a bit of coordinating some days to ensure that I got pool time in. He always thinks its so healthy for us to train for races.

Catalina Island Triathlon, here I come! Yeah!

Zoya

Photos are of Nora and Stuey- taken by Amy Johnson, of Colorado. She was in town this summer photographing kids and families.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

'Tato Chip Recipe




Yesterday I criticized Zoya for buying pre-made salad dressing in a bottle. It was organic and all that (Annie's Brand) but I pointed out that we could make it ourselves - only better and without all the packaging. She pointed out the bag of Sour Cream and Onion potato chips sitting on the counter that I had recently purchased. Touche! or is that detente?

In any case, in the interest of doing our thing to save the planet I decided it's time to create our own potato chips. Zoya flatly stated that it will not be possible to home-create something as sublime as sour cream and onion potato chips. I set out to prove her wrong.

This evening I took one of the large 'yukon gold like' potatoes that we grew in our garden and used a mandolin to thinly slice it into a pot of water. I then heated up the pot until warm. I wanted to wash off the extra starch and partially cook the chips, but I did not cook them completely for fear they'd start to fall apart. In actuality I barely cooked them - I could put my finger in the water at the end and it was not very hot at all. I poured them into a colander to drain and heated up the wok with about an inch of canola oil in the bottom.

I then dropped a few slices of potato into the hot oil. I waited until the oil was hot enough that they sizzled when added to the oil. I cooked them for a while and then put them onto a dry paper towel. The first batch was all oily and limp - so for the second batch i cooked them longer. I noticed that at a certain point they stopped sizzling and turned light brown. I started to take them out of the oil at this stage and lightly add a pinch of kosher salt immediately after removing them from the oil. They turned out AWESOME. Crunchy and light. Who knew that potato chips would be so easy to make? I was also amazed at how many chips one l could create from one large potato. It made me realize that a big bag of potato chips is really only a few large potatoes.

Nonetheless, Zoya was right. I have not been able to re-create the sour cream and onion flavor. Mine were kosher salt flavor, and I think it should be easy to add a little sesame oil to the wok to get a more oriental flavor. In the next few days I plan on experimenting with potato chip seasonings. I will post what I learn.

November Snow Past


I was looking through all my old photos and came across this one from November 2000. That's Steve W skiing some of the first snow of the year on Sheratin Mountain. It made me realize that any day now the ski season will begin. I can't wait. Patrick

Monday, November 02, 2009

Bye, Bye Daylight


Daylight Savings ended on Sunday, and so did our evening light. From now on, it will be dark both in the evening and in the morning. Most Alaskans will both go to work in the dark and come home in the dark; in fact, all of their free-time away from work will be in the dark. No more evening walks in the daylight - most Alaskans will now start spending their evenings in front of the TV. Why do Alaskans waste their daylight hours spending them at work?

I find this depressing because it does not have to be like this. I say move our work hours. Alaska should go on Daylight Savings for the entire year - just think if Alaska went on East Coast Standard Time; we'd always have evening light. And better yet, in the summer we'd at least still wake up in the dark. Think of the health benefits. Instead of killing time waiting to go to bed Alaskans would be able to spend some time outside after work. We'd still go to work in the dark, but what's the difference between going to work at 4 AM or 8 AM? In Alaska both are essentially '0 dark thirty'.

I bet if we did shift to Eastern Standard Time the health benefits would be dramatic - far less time spent on the couch, less alcohol, less comfort eating, less light deprived depression, and more exercise and time spent in the sun. This would equate to less obesity, less diabetes, less drug dependance, less depression, and would save Alaskan a lot on health care. What's stopping us from doing it? Patrick

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Trick or Treat







Last night was our first real family trick or treating adventure. We've held off on the trick-or-treating experience until the kids were old enough to truly participate and understand the concept of it. This was the year. Patrick put a deer roast in the pressure cooker and off we went down Cliffside Road. The houses we went to had HUGE bowls of candy, and Nora and Stuey's eager little hands got lots of candy. (The Halloween traffic on Cliffside Road is minimal-we didn't get any trick or treaters last night!)

Its interesting because people here are more into the downtown office trick or treating over neighborhood trick or treating. Patrick and I love the neighbor trick or treating. Its a chance to say hello to people who we don't see often and the kids were so enthusiastic in their costumes-Nora gave out big Lion Roars to the houses we went to. We had a truly, truly fun time with lots of laughter.

On Friday night Patrick and I got a babysitter and went out on the town-so fun! We started at the brewery for a drink, went to an evening art show, then had an appetizer.
We finished the evening off by a haunted house adventure! Our first choice was the haunted coast guard boat, but the line was long and had been cut off. So we went to the Coast Guard Communications Station Haunted House. For $2 each, we got the spooks scared out of us! It was so fun-being led through dark tunnels with various scary scenes. I forgot how much I love haunted houses! Next year we'll head out to the Haunted boat earlier in the evening-it sounded quite fun. As we walked away from the haunted boat, we could hear screams coming from it. And we heard it was quite scary and for adults only. So fun!

Zoya