Happy Thanksgiving!

A day late and a few dollars short…(that whole unemployment thing, ya know)…but it is never too late to give thanks!  We had a non-traditional holiday yesterday, and it was wonderful.  We slept in and even the baby slept most of the night, too.  Aaah!  Then we grabbed breakfast in the car on the way to town for the “Sweating Gravy Turkey Trot” 5K fun run/walk.  It stopped raining, and the sun peaked out.  It was a delightful time!  The girls dragged a bit in the middle, but ultimately did the entire thing.  M-Man lounged in style in his stroller for the out and back.  And three of our door prize tickets were drawn, which was pretty cool, especially given that we only had 4!

After that, we relaxed at home.  Coloring, watching football, cooking.  We had a Thai stir-fry with caribou backstrap, soba noodles and broccoli for our Thanksgiving meal.  Very non-traditional, but it fit for us yesterday!  I couldn’t totally leave out the cranberries or pie, though, so I made a Cranberry Nantucket Pie.  While not a true substitute for pie, it was yummy.  I think we’ll have turkey in a week or two, and I’ll make a pumpkin pie then with the pumpkin I roasted last week.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Theme Thursday: (Portrait) Close-ups

Oi….so yes, it is Friday, but I’m still going to participate in Theme Thursday, darn it.  Everything has been a whirlwind this week…overwhelming and hectic.  And yesterday we had no internet.  So…  *deep breath* ….just trying to start where I am now.  First thing, I totally forgot that the theme for the month of Theme Thursdays was ‘Portrait’.  Thus, I have close-ups prepped….but they aren’t people portraits.  So it goes, eh?  No rules!  (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

First is this frosty piece of grass.  I used this photo for my poetry project recently, too.


Then two different frosty days.  These are some lettuce in the garden that didn’t get harvested!


Frost on the “Alaskan cotton grass”:


Frosty carrot shoots!


And some dew on the clover at the park…


Technically, there are a couple portrait close-ups in last weeks ‘Catchlights‘ post.  So, go look at those if you want to be true to the people portraits for this week.  :-)

Go check out other portrait close-ups here.


Theme Thursday: Catchlights

Catchlights?  I admit, I’d never heard of it before reading the list of themes for November.  After doing a little looking, I realized it was something I kinda knew about, but never really articulated, or did intentionally.  Seems like that is a lot of my photography experience.  I know how to do something, or I know some effect I want, but I have no idea the technical name, nor how to describe it to anyone.

I didn’t get (take?) a chance to deliberately set up a ‘catchlight’ photo shoot, but I did go back through my October photos and found at least one of each of my kiddos that I think qualifies.  Cool!

Starting off with the middle kiddo:  We were at the playground after her 4 year well-child check-up.  She was showing me the gecko she picked from the prize bucket at the clinic.


Then the baby:  It was a mostly cloudy day last week when we decided to go for a walk before bringing his sister to her tumbling class.  He was hanging out in the stroller, watching the world go by.  Often he has a slightly perplexed look, as he is in this photo.  Really, I think he’s just insanely curious and is taking it all in!


And my eldest:  This was on the same walk as the previous photo.   One thing I love about homeschooling is that we could decide to go on a nature scavenger hunt, during the day, spontaneously!  We got a good walk, found some cool things, and had some great science discussions!


Linking up for Theme Thursday again this week!

Theme Thursday: Silhouette

This week’s theme led me to ask my hubby what he felt was the difference between a shadow and a silhouette.  Geeks that we are, we love conversations like that!  One of the things he said that stuck out at me was that a shadow can be indistinct, whereas a silhouette needed to be crisp.  Silhouettes are also generally iconic, and shadows often aren’t.   It is always fascinating to see what/how others think.

We had a gorgeous day at the playground last week, and I had some fun with the camera.  This didn’t quite silhouette our friends quite the way I was intending, but I think the effect is still delightful.  (They have neat shadows, too.   Maybe shadow should be another Theme Thursday subject!)



The sunrise a couple days ago was delightful.  Here the spruce trees in the backyard are silhouetted against the pastel sky.


Sunsets this time of year tend to be spectacular, if it isn’t cloudy and raining.  It has been cloudy and raining a lot lately, so any sunset we see feels spectacular.  This one was both:  one we saw and intensely gorgeous.  The trees are silhouetted against the water of Cook Inlet, and Mount Augustine is silhouetted against the brilliant rays of the setting sun.  This is the view out the side of the house opposite the sunrise photo above.  We are blessed year ’round with amazing views, but fall really brings out the colors!

sunset october 2015

Linking up with Micaela for Theme Thursday this week!

Return of the Fireweed Fluff

Okay, so it has been rainy, rainy, rainy here lately, and all the fireweed fluff has either washed downstream, or is piled at the bottom of the plant stems in great soggy heaps.  But, I have some photos of the late fall stages of fireweed, and taken on some gloriously sunny days!  I do love the rain, but it is getting to be a bit much.  I shared some late summer and early fall fireweed photos a few weeks ago.  Shortly after that we had our first snow of the season.  Then we had a few days of not-rain in which I snagged these photos.

As the fireweed pods start to open and release the seed, the fluff (attached to the seed and used by the plant to help with wind dispersion) decorates the top of the stalks.


I love the red – white – green contrast.  On breezy days at this time of year, you’ll see what looks like cotton blowing past the windows.  This day was very still, but I did take a photo of some of it blowing a few days later.  (And I must have filed that pic in a very, very safe spot.)


This just isn’t a bad view for out a kitchen window!  The bright sun washed out the colors, but I still like the view (even with the dust dot in the center – oops!)


Blue sky…red fireweed…white fluff.  Alaska is a bounty of colorful contrast!  (Convoluted sentence?  Yeah, okay.  Skip the words and just go on to the next photo, okay?)



Theme Thursday: Same photo, different angles

Some fun, playing with the camera in the mid-afternoon sunshine.

One of my (slightly neglected) houseplants:


A closer look.  I like the squiggly light reflections on the pot.


Closer still!


Oooh, look at how dirty the window is, not to mention the dust clingies on the macrame hanger!


And another angle, with cool sunlight effect.  (On the left is a mobile one of my daughters made this summer with ribbons and items found at the beach.)


Thanks, Micaela, for starting up Theme Thursday again!  I enjoy the photo prompts.  :-)

Poetry Day 10: pleasure, sonnet, apostrophe


It was a pleasure to see

Adrift on the snow

‘Twas a pleasure to be

The winds did not blow

Soaring down the hill, free

Snow falling this way and that way

Staying on the sled by will, only

They’ll remember this day

Legs pumping to climb back high

Smiles reach across faces

Glad this hill reaches the sky

Thank heavens for empty spaces

Never forget this

For this is what pleasure is


Theme Thursday: Sunflare

So….yes, I know it isn’t Thursday.  But I just found out Theme Thursday is returning, and I wanted to participate.  Even if it is Monday.

And yes, I know I haven’t posted Day 10 of the poetry course.  I’m really struggling with that one.  I’ve got a couple more days to submit it, though, so it will come.

Back to Theme Thursday.  This (last) week’s theme was sunflare.  I happened to have a couple cool photos from last month when we had that delightful snow!  (Only rain since then, which has left everything brown and muddy, not white and sparkly.)  The flare wasn’t quite what I was intending, but I still like the outcome.  I love the world when it is blanketed in white!


Poetry Day 9: cold, concrete poem, anaphora/epistrophe

This is the first day of the 2 week poetry course that I just couldn’t seem to work all three prompts.  I could not get cold and concrete poem to work together.  (And to be honest, I’m not convinced I did a proper job with the anaphora/epistrophe.)    But, I tried, and I’m going to be happy with that.  The exercise got my mind working, which is one of my goals for this course.  (I sound like a broken record, no?)   We’ve also had an extended monsoon season this year.  It is warm and rainy, still!  I’m wishing for cold, and cozy cups of tea, and books, and blankets.  Instead, we have rain and mud, and humidity.  Ah well.  It’ll come.  In the meantime, I took a bit of a different angle on cold for today’s poetry project, which doesn’t really go with the slight snowman-like shape (concrete poem?!) of the text.  Maybe I should just call it dissonance?  :-)



It leaves me cold

This town, with its arrogance

Its elitism, its snobbery

It leaves me cold

Disguised as laid-back and relaxed

Supposedly open and welcome to all

When really it’s random and restrictive

Haughty and clique-ish

It leaves me cold

Information withheld unless you know who to ask

But who to ask isn’t shared, unless you’re in the know

The town wears an illusion, a sparkly coat

So those who visit are awed and amazed

They speak longingly of this place

But spend some time here or – horror- try to live

And soon you’ll find out that it’s just a clever disguise

Beauty that’s only skin-deep

It leaves me cold

Poetry Day 8: flavor, elegy, enumeratio



One big crock

That’s all there was

Now it’s gone


Hearty and thick

Sticks to your ribs

It warmed you right quick


Potatoes and carrots

Onions and moose

Celery and garlic

Pepper and salt to boot


The flavors all blended

Simmered all day in the crock

It didn’t last long

Four people ate their fill

There wasn’t a recipe

It just turned out real well


Self made broth was the secret

No batch ever matches

A little of this, a little of that

Whatever the fridge held

Fair game for the pot


Homemade moose stew

We’ll have it again to be sure

But never will it be the same

As that one magnificent crock

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