Thursday, August 5

why i want to be an oyster catcher

oyster catchers are a striking seabird i just love watching. they are solid black, with a glorious lonnngg orange beak, and they play a great cat and mouse game to keep you away from their nests, which they tend to create right smack on the beach, just out of reach of the tide line.

so, how easy is housekeeping for an oyster catcher?? check it out - let's just scatter some broken shells and lay our eggs! jeekers! no twigs, no fluffy stuff. obviously there is no pampering for baby oyster catchers. looks like they have to break the shell and hit the beach running! i'm going to point this out to my children the next time they think they have life rough.

i found this nest a couple weeks ago when we took the skiff over to long island, just a quick 20 minute ride from town. it's taken us 8 years to talk my mom into going on the boat with us, but we finally did it:

she just turned 83. she had a blast on the ride, but made me promise not to post any of those photos because her hair was messy. it was a beautiful day, the kind that reminds you why you love living on an island in alaska.

my pal duffy loves to be the navigator. he frequently dives in and swims along. we let him go until we see the sea lions snort, then yard him back in.
we were babysitting duff's sister snickers for a week, she also loves a good boat ride. gotta love her coast guard approved life jacket!

see what i mean? the perfect place to live.

and every morning when i wake up i say a thank you prayer that i no longer have to stand on the back deck of a seiner, piling corks and getting slapped in the face with jellyfish. you should too. you should also be sure to find out if the salmon you are eating is wild alaskan salmon, because if it is farmed fish, it is taking away the livelihood of fishermen and their families like the folks in the picture above.
with that soap box moment, i will say my goodbyes, as i am leaving tomorrow for ugak bay. i can't wait to get back to the lodge, meet new folks, and cook! having all that fresh seafood to work with is incredible. i sure wish chef ramsey would drop in for a visit, so i could wow him with my fresh crab cakes - ha ha. if he ever did show up in my kitchen i would be cowering in the corner...

at any rate, there is no internet at the bay, so i'll be snapping photos like mad to share with you when i return in early october! all of you take good care! and if you are in one of those places that is sweltering in temperatures i can't even imagine...this photo is for you. it's my front yard at ugak bay. just visualize yourself there for a quick cool down.

Wednesday, August 4

my spankin' new remodeled workroom!

for the past, almost 2 months, i have been working on redoing my workspace. what a journey. what a bunch of stuff i have. i thought thea had a mess of stuff. i have a mess of mess. or had. i have been purge~ing, organizing, cleansing. i have scoured organizing magazines, blogs, and websites. i have thrown things away and then panicked and pulled them out of the dumpster. i wonder if there is a medication i could benefit from.

in the end, my inner feng shui master and i came to an agreement. i think it all worked out okay. i painted, changed my mind and repainted several times. i now rest easier knowing there isn't a single spider in my workroom. all the cracks & dings in the drywall have been patched. i have good lights. i've put all my awesome old wooden fish egg boxes to great use.

all my stuff is in its own special spot, and yes, the walls are the colour of pea soup, as my youngest son pointed out. i really like pea soup. i'm not a frilly person, but darn if i don't like my pink shelves. when i asked my husband if he could make me a simple workbench tall enough for me to work at without getting a neck ache, he made me the Ferrari of all workbenches, that 3 elephants could dance on. i won't be moving the workbench around anytime soon.

archie and edith, my super wonderful new washer & dryer, are thrilled to have a room befitting their status. i am thrilled to have 3 separate work areas dedicated to my different medias. my fabrics and sewing machines are housed in my son's old room for now...with the door closed so i don't start in on that room yet...

it's a great feeling to be finished. sadly, i won't be able to dig in and use it as it's time for me to head out to ugak bay for another season of cooking for the fishermen, but i will be smiling knowing my room, which has been taped off to keep they boys out while i'm gone, is waiting for me.

you may have noticed della up there in one of the photos. let me just share with you she wasn't a whole lot of help with this project. she got pretty testy when i mentioned she might put down the egg beaters and pick up a paint brush. but, i have to hand it to her, she does know when it's time for a nice glass of merlot.