Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fox Hat & Mittens

I just finished this set of hat and mittens this morning. I now have them up for sale on Nome Announce and am hoping for a buyer. I am so happy with how they turned out! They are made from a red fox that C.O. shot a few years ago.
--AnnMarie

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Question of the Day

Question:
Consumer America buys lots of junk.
Have you ever wondered how all that "cheap plastic crap from China" gets here?


Answer:
Giant container ships.
When we were in San Francisco there was one passing under the Golden Gate Bridge every hour or so.
C.O.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Picture of the Day

We have been thinking about summer time and traveling. Here is a photo of Trafalgar Square in London from a trip we took a few years ago.

C.O.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Our Grand Entrance


After all of C.O.'s shoveling, this is our resulting entrance. It's really cool to come home actually, I feel like we live in a snow cave. The joke around town is that we're living in an igloo.
--AnnMarie

Monday, March 16, 2009

Mystery Photo Answer

The answer to last weeks mystery photo is a sewing machine. The photo was a closeup of AnnMaries 1950's vintage Bonis "Never Stop" Fur Machine.

AnnMarie does a lot of skin or fur sewing, making parkas, hats, and slippers. In the past she did all of the work by hand. It is a slow and tiring processes. This winter I bought this machine for her. It has greatly sped up her work.

It is a very interesting machine. When you take the cover off the top it is full of cams, gears, and wheels all moving in different directions. The machine is made for commercial or industrial use and it's robust construction shows it. It has little oil cups on top that need filling periodically from an oil can and a large continuous duty motor. The motor is connected to the machine by a foot operated clutch and a small rubber V belt. Watch the video and check it out.
video
C.O.

Drifted In: Part IV

video

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mystery Photo


What is this?
Hint, it is sitting in our living room.
C.O.

Rabbit Stew


Our friend Kenny was out hunting and shot this beautiful rabbit for us. We have never cooked rabbit before but have enjoyed it in restaurants, so we gave it a whirl. I tried a recipe for a rabbit stew with prunes. Sounds weird but it turned out pretty good. Not great, but good enough for a first attempt.

After our experience, we now know a bit more about cooking and eating rabbits. For one, their fat does not taste good. Some animal fat is very tasty, like in a juicy hamburger, for instance. Other animal's fat is totally icky. (Musk oxen, which is primarily what we eat for meat, happen to be in the icky category. It's all thick and tallowy and nasty.) We were eating our meal and quickly realized not all cuts tasted the same. The back straps which had fat marbled in them were not good at all, where as the rest with out the fat tasted great. The recipe I had instructed you to trim ALL the fat when dressing the rabbit, now we know why.
--AnnMarie

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Mom's Slippers

My latest craft project has been new slippers for my Mom. A few years back I bought her a pair of seal skin slippers that have since worn out. She liked the beading on the top decided to take it off and send that part back to me. It was her idea to make the new slippers blue with white trim. I used suede for the main blue part and shadow fox for the trim. I hope you enjoy them Mom!
--AnnMarie

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Every Kid Needs A Giant Tiger




Our friend gave Harold this giant tiger for Christmas. He said something to the effect of, "I'd like to see them get this back to Alaska". Well, tiger made the journey in a Rubbermaid tub via the U.S. postal service. He looks so life like that I actually felt kind of bad jamming him into a box.
--AnnMarie

Friday, March 6, 2009

Extreme Potty Training

Oh the joy! It's that time in the journey to adulthood and independence for our son. It's time to get potty trained. Why kids fight it, I don't know. The alternative to going in the toilet doesn't sound nice to me at all. Yet, they seem to prefer it. Old habits die hard I suppose.

There are all sorts of ways to get your kid potty trained, but this is the method we thought made the most sense. No prizes, no coaxing, no sweet talking just, "Good morning Harold. Starting today you are a big boy that goes in the toilet." (This was step 1) We cut him off from diapers cold turkey (except at night, he just turned two a couple months ago and isn't quite ready for night time yet. He doesn't need them for naps which is a nice start).

Step 2: Block off the carpeted areas of the house, take out all the rugs and things you don't want to get soiled.

Step 3: Strip the child.

Step 4: For 3 days Harold had limited access to the house and we watched him very closely. Every so often we'd put him on the toilet to get used to the idea that this is where you go each and every time.

The problem with wearing diapers while a child is being potty trained is that they don't feel it when they go. Diapers work too well. The kid needs to feel and see the results of their actions. That's why the stripping method works well.

Step 5: Once Harold was doing pretty well in the buff, he graduated to wearing big boy underwear. Ahhhh what a comfort to have something on the tushie once again. And dang they are cute! Love seeing that little butt running around with real underwear.



Step 6: Finally Harold was able to wear his full attire once again.

The most important thing about this extreme potty training is that you have to be committed and not try to continue your busy life as normal. You have to block a few days off of your calendar and focus on your child. It's hard to stop running errands, going for visits & cleaning, but it's worth it in the long run.

We're a month into it now. And how is it going?

O.K., can't complain. Harold has come a long way

We don't have too many accidents but I'm not sure who's trained, Harold or us. We can read the signs and keep track of how long it was since the last potty break. Harold, however, has yet to ASK to use the bathroom. That's our next big goal. Just ask us little boy and we will assist you. I'm sure the asking part is just around the corner, Harold's smart, not particularly defiant and has a great start in diaper freedom.

--AnnMarie

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Luxury Ice?


Next time you are throwing a party and want to impress your friends, get some "Glace Luxury Ice". It is not quite as fancy as the ancient glacier ice that we use in our drinks up here in Alaska, but for those of you living downstate it will have to do.

Only $8 per sphere.
http://www.glace-ice.com/

C.O.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Qamaqquchuin - Praise Ye the Lord

Harold's Parka

Harold finally has his own parka.
I purposely made it a bit big so he
could wear it next winter too.


I made the body from my great-aunt's old mink
coat. And the ruff from a wolf hide.



It looks precious on him, but he hasn't really
taken to it yet. He goes limp and cries when
we try put it on. Once it's on, however, he's fine.



He broke it in today with a snow machine
trip across the ice to Teller.



He doesn't quite have the process down for
taking the parka on and off. It's more difficult
than it at first seems. C.O. and I remember the
claustrophobic feeling we had the first time we tried
putting our parkas on. It certainly takes some
getting used to. As people in Brevig say,
"He'll learn."
--AnnMarie