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The New Star of Our Kitchen

Look at this beauty!  Isn't she pretty?  I'm over the moon excited to have a new larger Kitchenaid mixer, in a shade of my favorite color.  The new mixer package included the dough hook, wire whip, and flat beater, as well as the pouring shield or what I'm calling a flour shoot!  You have no idea how excited I am to be able to add flour now without stopping the machine!  And before you ask, yes I've tried the whole parchment paper trick to funnel the flour in and I wasn't a fan. I posted in my Instagram stories about this new addition and I was asked what I planned to make first.  I think it'll be a chocolate cake, as I've been craving cake.  I have a recipe in the draft cookbook for a Vinegar Chocolate Cake that needs testing.  I just might test it using my new mixer.   This isn't my first Kitchenaid, my first one was a wedding gift that I lovingly used for nearly 14 years.  When we did our gift registry we included the stand mixer and several attachmen
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2021 Breakup has Begun

Monday the season we all refer to as "breakup" finally began.  At one point in the day I saw 46 degrees and our greenhouse got to 75.  The greenhouse is still too cold at night, but it's coming.  Soon I will be able to move the plant babies from my house to theirs! Not from Alaska?  Never heard of breakup season?  The term comes from the way the river ice "breaks up" as the weather warms up.  As things warm up the ice beaks up in big sheets and piles up, it almost looks like concrete sidewalks after an earthquake.  Also with the sheets of ice on the river comes the mud...everywhere!  Some driveways, including ours, turn into swampland or might include a temporary pond in the middle of it.   Breakup - April 2018 Breakup can happen so fast that the ground under the snow hasn't tawed enough to absorb the moisture, causing weeks of wet mess.  It can also happen so fast on the rivers that it causes ice jams and flooding.  No one wants a fast breakup, but it happe

Our Garden is Taking Over Our House

Our garden is currently taking over our living room.  It's just a fact of life when you live in Alaska and have an unheated greenhouse.  It gets plenty warm in the greenhouse most days now, but the nights are another story. I spent the past weekend up planting some of my seedlings and expanding the space for plants.  We now have them on the tiered shelf we bought to start seedling on, as well as the big windowsill in our family room and now on a table in our dining room.   We moved the tiered shelf to a larger window at the top of our stairs for more natural light.  I also turned up the ceiling fan so they get a bit of a breeze.  They haven't had grow lights on for about a week now and everything seems to be thriving. So far the plants in the family room window are also thriving in their bigger pots with only natural light.  Including the variegated peppermint (in the far corner at the top of the photo) that I overwintered in the house.  I lost my spearmint plant to some sort o

"It's Alaska, Everyone Has a Side Hustle"

"It's Alaska, everyone has a side hustle" - this quote that rings in my ears frequently.  Part of a conversation a friend of mine and I had when discussing why I left my previous job with a regional training center.  He's currently a principal, with goals of racing sled dogs and finishing a few of the manuscripts he's been working on for years.  I'm sure there are other ventures up his sleeve as well.   I honestly haven't talked much about why I left that job in October, other than to the people in my life who knew I was burned out.  The list of reasons for leaving is long and many, but the tipping point was when I publicly announced that I was starting a new side hustle.  Rather than come to me and ask me directly what my plans were there was a bit of a backstabbing fallout and I resigned.   The back story that everyone needs to know, my previous job I had was part-time, roughly 20 hours a week with no contract stating that I couldn't work outside of

Cookbook Progress Updated

In June, I shared some of my thoughts about writing a cookbook . I worked diligently for a few weeks and then got wound up in being in the yard and the garden.  The cookbook once again went on the back burner while I thought about what direction I wanted to take things and what I really wanted to do with it. Fast forward about ten months, and a lot has changed.  I resigned from my job, started working to build my handmade card business, and started focusing on my art and creativity as a way to build income into our lives.  Part of that creativity is writing and as it ebbs and flows, so does my desire to pour myself into a large writing project.   Over the past month, I've spent some time deciding on a reboot and what that would look like to merge the two original books into one.  I've been on the fence about this decision, but finally bit the bullet and merged most of the two books together.  There is a section of mixes from book two that will be moving into a separate book.  T

Greenhouse Update - Last Day of March 2021

As I write this post this morning, snow is falling from the sky again.  We're also under a winter storm warning.  I'm so over the snow and the winter, yet it's hanging on just a bit longer.   Yesterday, we officially cleared all the snow from the greenhouse roof.  The sun warmed the space nicely and we saw temps hit 70 degrees happen inside.  Then this morning we woke up to snow falling from the sky...sigh.   That said we've been slowly working on prepping the greenhouse for the coming growing season.  I've spent a bit of time cutting all of the dead plants back, after having left them to finish their natural cycle last season as fall and winter moved through Interior Alaska.   Once the dead tops were cut back we moved all of the containers onto the planting benches.  Getting most of the containers off the ground, or at the very least into the sun, will encourage the soil to thaw a bit faster.  After the soil has thawed we can move to the next step of prepping the c

Am I His Garden Legacy?

I have faint childhood memories of my grandfather’s garden.  Climbing the steps to the upper yard adjacent to the sprawling garden, the pride, and joy of my grandfather’s summers.  Their home that once stood at 1519 B Street in Omaha, Nebraska, was built in kind of a hillside with an exterior staircase leading to the upstairs apartment where my great grandmother lived.  The big garden my grandfather was so proud of was also at the top of the back stairs.  I wish I had photos of his garden, it's its glory days.  Unfortunately, it's all gone, the house was torn down and the gardens are no more.  The lot is vacant, the google earth view shows me the green lot where the house once sat.   1519 B Street taken in 1998 when my grandmother sold the house My grandfather was a quiet man who sat with his cats and watched the world go by from the back porch of this house.  He rolled his own cigarettes and was a solemn man.  He started seeds in old cotton socks he cut into small squares and