Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Big Day

On October 5th I walked down the isle to my now husband...What a day! It's one that I'll never forget but will also never remember all of the details of either.

We had a whirlwind week in Vermont. We prepped things at my parent's house, visited with the in laws, had our semi-combined bachelor and bachelorette parties, had a rehearsal dinner, and tried to visit with all the guests from out of town.

I will admit I did have one mini-melt down. The night before the wedding. I'd gone to bed, but had butterflies and couldn't fall asleep. Jeremy decided to visit with his friends for a while. After stopping in the room for a minute and promising to only have one more beer, said he'd be up to go to bed too. Well I just couldn't take it anymore. I needed some time with him too, that didn't involve wedding planning or other people. So being the loving person he is he decided to stay with me.

On our wedding day I started with some sun salutations and focused breathing to calm some nerves before doing anything. Then I went to hair and makeup with my lovely MOH Melissa. We went to a great salon where the staff was very friendly. I had some ideas in mind for the girls to go off of but also realized they aren't going to get it exactly the way it is in the picture. I was the easy bride. The bride who didn't have much of an opinion as long as it looked good. The girl who did my makeup was getting married next year and was asking about some of the vendors we used. She also said she hoped she was as laid back as I was on her wedding day. I think I was so laid back because we worked hard to get things to where we wanted them, the rest was up to the people we hired. At that point all you can do is put your faith in the people you've hired and hope they're going to do their job.

After getting ready at the farm house and getting some bridal shots done with our lovely photographer before the wedding we were ready to head over to the ceremony and reception. The things I remember the most about our ceremony are the music stopping as I was halfway down the isle with my father. We stopped and laughed. Once I was up standing with Jeremy, Gus our husky was sitting in the second row with a friend and he desperately wanted to be with us. He howled and waved at us. I remember the tears in Jeremy's eyes as he said his vows, and how his tears brought tears to my eyes. And the kiss! It was a good kiss, he even wiped a little snot on me, haha.

The reception went just as seamlessly and we had a ball. The caterer provided delicious food, the DJ played great music and did our MCing. And the cake...ohhhh the cake. I wanted chocolate cake, Jeremy wanted lemon. The bottom layer was chocolate with a mocha mousse frosting between the layers, and the top two layers were lemon with a buttercream frosting between the layers. The pieces were huge too, I unfortunately couldn't eat my whole piece even though I really wanted to. During the speeches given by Melissa and Torry (the best man) Gus got put out in the truck so we wouldn't have to keep an eye on him the whole time. So instead of watching him we listened to him...he howled the whole time. I started to immediatly cry when the father/daughter song started to play. Then the dancing started, and the night ended, too soon in my eyes, with everyone on the dance floor.

We had such a wonderful day and I wouldn't change a thing about it. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family, and the weather couldn't have been better.

Here are some pictures I'm snagging of facebook, I should have the professional ones soon!

 The foliage was incredible

 Dancing with my boys

  One of my sneak peeks :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dinner from the Outdoors

I found a pasta dish on Pinterest this winter. Side note: Pinterest is a pretty awesome invention but can also be very addictive. Any way the dish is a One Pot Pasta, and it's one of our favorites and super simple which I love.

So tonight for dinner I made this wonderful dish but added some wild mushrooms, shaggy manes. I worked out the highway on recovery today and on the way back we stopped to see if the shaggy manes were growing in the shaggy mane spot. They were! So we all picked a bunch, I may have picked a few too many for just Jeremy and I but I just couldn't help it, they were every where. We also stopped at a spot where some Chicken of the Woods was growing. I've never tried it so I took a little and am planning on cooking it up tomorrow.

Shaggy manes are a tall shaggy looking mushroom, but they also go bad very quickly. When picking them you want to go for the ones on the smaller side and try to find them before their gills have started to turn black. I picked a couple that were just starting and by the time I got them home and was ready to cook with them they were much blacker than I remember. They turn so quickly.

A really good way to cook wild mushrooms is to dry saute them. I learned this from an old boss who liked to pick mushrooms. So because the mushrooms have so much water content you don't need to saute them up in anything. You just cut them up and pop them in a pan at medium heat. I had a lot of mushrooms so it took a while for the water to cook off. Then once the water has cooked off  and the mushrooms are JUST starting to stick to the pan you drizzle them with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. They turn out great every time. So this is what I did with the mushrooms and made my one pot pasta into a one pot plus one pan pasta.

For the pasta you take a box of pasta and add it to boiling water. Take six minutes off the cook time and let it boil for that long. When there are only 6 minutes left you add a head of chopped up broccoli to the boiling water and boil for the remaining 6 minutes. Then drain, add 6 Tbsp of olive oil and 5 clovers of minced garlic and mix it all up. After this step is when I added in my mushrooms, then topped it with a little Parmesan cheese.

It was so tasty. And fun to add a new ingredient to a pasta that we both really love. It would've been a lot of fun to use broccoli from the garden but my broccoli is only producing little tiny sprigs now. The big heads have come and gone.

1 box pasta
1 head broccoli
6 Tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to top

Mushrooms or any other fun ingredient, if you want a little extra.


If you have Pinterest and feel like following me here's my page:
 The mushrooms after they got home
 Dry sauteing the mushrooms
 Mixing the olive oil and garlic in with the pasta and broccoli
Finished product!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dinnah Time!

Here in Haines we have two major rivers that host all five salmon species; Chinook, Coho, Chum, Sockeye, and Pinks. And with that we get lots of fish! The native village of Klukwan has fished in the Chilkat River for a very long time and it's a part of their culture, and the culture of many native Alaskans throughout the state. So what Fish and Game does is issue subsistence fishing permits for salmon. To get one of these permits you need to be an Alaskan resident, and you'll know when you are when you get that beloved PFD check in the mail every fall. There are only certain areas that you can subsistence fish for salmon in the state and it tends to be small towns. You couldn't sustainably have subsistence fishing in a town like Juneau where the population is 30,000 and everyone is bringing home 50 sockeye. Here in Haines subsistence fishing is done with a gill net. In the river the gill net can't exceed 50 feet and you can either have a set net that you tend to the whole time it's in the water, or you can use a boat and drift the river. You can also fish in the ocean, these nets can't exceed 300 feet, and you need a boat to fish in the ocean.

Anyway, last weekend I went fishing with a co-worker and was able to bring home 10 sockeye! We fished for three hours and got 21 sockeye and kept one pink, they make good crab/shrimp/halibut bait. It ended up being a looooong night. We fished for three hours, I was the fish picker, and pulled them out of the net and killed them. Someone else drove the boat and another person worked the net, the system worked pretty well. By the time I got home it was 8:00PM and we hadn't cleaned the fish still. So I grabbed Jeremy and Gus and we went down to the boat harbor to clean and fillet the fish.

Jeremy taught me how to fillet my very first fish! I did pretty well too if I do say so myself :) While I was filleting I would give Gus little chunks of fish from the backbone. He loved that. We tired giving him a whole carcass and then a whole fish head but he couldn't really figure out what to do with them. His inner wolf wasn't coming out. We finished filleting and that brought us to around 9:30ish, and we decided to pack everything that night. By the time we went to bed it was 11:00. The next day I had to replace a couple of bags that didn't seal, but we are going to be eating well this winter, and I'm looking forward to that. I would like to catch a few more fish and do a case of cans and maybe we'll smoke a few.

We love living here and fish has been becoming more and more prevalent in our diet. So getting these fish to put in the freezer is definitely a good feeling.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Oh's been a while

It has been quite some time since I've taken the time to sit down and write.

There have been a bunch of things going on that I've been meaning to write about but just haven't, so I'll be breaking it up into a few posts :)

Here in SE Alaska thunder storms are pretty rare, and within the last week we have had TWO thunderstorms. One of them was fairly short lived and I didn't see any lightening, but the other one reminded me of some of the good thunderstorms the East Coast gets. We were already up in bed, Gus was asleep downstairs when a really big clap happened so close that is shook the whole house! Gus jumped up and was investigating where the sound came from, and decided to come upstairs with us. The lightening hit in big flashes and when we saw them we knew it was going to be another loud thunder. Gus would jump up every time, I "babied" him as Jeremy would say and got him up on the bed with us. But instead of laying down by our feet he jumped up and took my spot against my pillow since I was sitting up. And he wouldn't move. So I moved my pillow onto him and we laid there and read for a while. And for Gus this is a big deal, he doesn't like people laying on him or cuddling with him. If he cuddles with you that's one thing but the other way around he's not very fond of. The storm continued for a few hours, and was very exciting. I haven't been in a good thunderstorm in quite some time.

We've been getting some really hot weather here as well, which I just love! But with the hot weather came high water in the rivers. So at work we had to stop the fish wheels for a few days to avoid getting big logs stuck in them. After the water went down some we started to get quite a few fish in the wheels, which is a wonderful thing to see. Today we had 108 sockeye salmon in the wheels! That's a lot of fish :) I need to work on getting a subsistence net made so we can do some fishing and catch some of these fish! Gotta stock up for the winter.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Foundation and breath

I've been meaning to write this for the better part of a week now.

I've been practicing Astanga style yoga for a little over 2 years, and since moving to Haines I have developed more of an at-home practice. There are regular yoga classes led here and they're great but I really enjoy the primary series so I've been trying to practice at home twice a week or more, as well as going to a led class once a week. It gets tricky sometimes because I've also started incorporating an ab and leg routine as well as some occasional running and balancing it all gets tough.

Anyway, in my Astanga practice I have been working on my jumping from the beginning and have recently been able to get all the way through, on a jump through to sitting. I could occasionally get it but I was never consistent, so I have been trying to figure out why that is.

My first "ah-ha" moment was my breath. I found that the times I was making it all the way through, my breath was full and the whole length of the movement. I wasn't making it through my arms onto my bum when I'd cut my breath short. I started to consciously think about my breath to make sure I was breathing the whole time and not holding it or cutting it short. That definitely helped but didn't make my jump throughs perfect every time.

My second "ah-ha" moment came pretty recently. It was my foundation. I found I wasn't really engaging my shoulders, and when I took the time to really engage my shoulders, and wrap my triceps it made the jump through so much easier. It also took a lot of strain off of my wrist. That is important since I tweaked it a little bit last summer during work and it is a little weaker now..With weight being constantly put on my wrist it begins to ache. Engaging my shoulders paired with a full breath has helped my jump throughs tremendously! They still aren't perfect every time but they're getting there, and will only improve with time.

It amazes me that such little adjustments can make a huge difference. That turning your focus inward can lead you to a solution that seems to come from out of the blue.

We've been having some beautiful weather up here and I have been itching to take some photos of yoga poses so I took a couple of myself yesterday, out on a large rock in the sun. This was a challenge in itself and next time I think I'll just have someone else take the pictures rather than using the timer on my camera or the remote :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


So recently I have been slacking in the blogging/new photos department. Partly because there doesn't seem like there's much to take pictures of right now since it's kind of in between seasons, and because it's been sunny for like a week.
I did get out to take some swan photos with my telephoto lens, most of them aren't much to look at since the swans were cleaning themselves the whole time. And it's really hard to see if I had the light/dark contrast right when it's really sunny out. But I did enjoy the sun, Jeremy fished a little without luck and Gus ran all over the place.
The last few days I've gone out to the porch to soak up some sunshine even. We have internet issues so it has prompted me to go outside, sit in the sun and read. It has been wonderful. I'm also getting excited to start my gardening. In a couple of weeks I'll be starting my tomatoes inside then a couple weeks after that cucumbers and zucchini!

From yesterday on the porch...can you blame me for not sitting inside on my computer?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

YAY Sunshine!

Yesterday was a glorious day in Haines, so I took the opportunity to drive out the Bald Eagle Preserve again and try to dial in my new lens a bit more. My pictures seemed to come out a bit better and I think it's because there was more light. But I still have to work on this focus thing, some places in the picture look perfect but others are just a little bit fuzzy.
Anyway, I got out to the parking lot, let the dog start his exploring, and grabbed my stuff to go check out a couple of eagles I saw fairly close. Once there I had to set up my tripod, it didn't take nearly as long to get that thing together this time. One of the adult eagles took off during this set up. I got my lens out and started to mount that, pulled out my remote thinking that I should use it this go. The other adult eagle quietly flew off. Then I got my camera body out and attached it, looked up into the trees, and the only eagle left was the immature one...I didn't even realize the second eagle had taken off until I looked up. So I spent some time with the immature eagle, and just soaked up some sunshine. Where I was there was no wind so that made things that much nicer. I had seen some swans a ways off so we decided to move to a different location and see if we could get any good pictures of them.
When we were walking down the road towards another pull off I spotted an eagle perched on a log sunning himself. Then looked down and there was a little family of swans right there! So Gus and I headed down the bank, it was pretty easy for Gus, a little slower for me since I was punching through the snow up to my knees. But when I got to the bottom of the hill I saw a nice little spot on the river bank that was clear of snow and ice. Set up my tripod and attached the camera body and started snapping some pictures. The swans were very cooperative and didn't seem to mind Gus running around too much. They would honk every now and again but didn't take off. Gus of course was finding fish parts buried in the snow. He even found something to roll in...thankfully it was snow and he didn't smell horrible whatever it really was. From my muddy spot on the river bank I could also see the eagle out on the log. So I swung the camera that direction and took some photos of him as well. I'm finding it's a lot harder to get things into focus the further away they are, or the more zoomed in I am. And I couldn't use my remote so I just had to try to be extra still.
I almost wanted to just find a spot to sit and soak up the sun, although I did take my winter coat off it was so warm. Finding a dry, non-muddy place to sit would've been a project. Gus and I spent a good portion of the afternoon out taking pictures and when I got home my face felt a little warm :-)
Here are a couple of shots from the afternoon.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Edited Photos from the New Lens

So far the weekend has turned out to be a rainy one...not unusual in Southeast Alaska, but technically it's still winter. I'm not really complaining though, I'm ready for spring, and we've had some really nice days this past week. But since it's rainy I decided to go through and edit some of the photos I took out at the Bald Eagle Preserve.
I had some eagle pictures come out really well, and some swan pictures come out really bad. I think my problem with the swans is that they were constantly moving. Since they were in the river they never were in the same place. I'm not ecstatic about them but there are a handful I'm pleased with. One eagle was just sitting in a tree so getting shots of him (or her) was pretty easy and they came out pretty well. I also got some shots of an eagle flying...and they came out! Why those eagle pictures did and the swans didn't is beyond me. It surprised me mostly because I didn't think I had my cameras shutter speed set right to get the shot, I guess I was lucky. Here are a handful of pictures, enjoy :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Trying out my new lens

Since it was nice out today, I even sat out on the porch to get some sun, I took a drive out the Bald Eagle Preserve to use my new lens for the first time. My fiance, Jeremy, got me a 600mm - 1200mm lens for Christmas knowing that I love taking pictures and just started a business. I'm not going to lie, I usually just use the preset settings that are on my camera for my pictures so this lens is making me really learn how to use my camera. IE...change the shutter speed and f-stop to get a good shot. At first I was frustrated but eventually got the idea of what I needed to do, so with that I decided trial and error was the best way to learn.
Once out at the pull off, the dog running around looking for dead fish parts, I started to put everything together. I got my tripod out and assembled and my camera body and lens, found a spot that I could see some swans from and started to put everything together. The hardest part was just getting everything set up! The tripod was up and I put the camera on it and then the legs started to get smaller again. The tripod is new too mind you, once I finally got everything to where I could use it I snapped a few pictures. Made some adjustments and the tripod moved probably took me a good 15 minutes before I REALLY figured out all the locking mechanisms in the thing. But once I did it was awesome! I found an eagle nearby and shot a few pictures of him as well before going back to the swans.
Gus had a fantastic time, he always has fun running around in the woods searching for dead things. Which he often does find. I wasn't sure how clear my shots were going to be since sometimes they didn't seem quite in focus, and I'm going to have to get the tripod dialed in a little more so that I hardly have to touch it to take the shot. Or just get it set up so I can use my remote. But, overall for my first real go with the new lens I'm really pretty happy with the outcome. Some of them pictures were really blurry, but others look great! I'll just have to keep practicing.

I haven't done any editing to the photos, I think they'll look pretty good with a little bit of touching up.