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Monthly Archives: July 2022

After treatment.... ⚠️ Next photo may disturb some sensitive gag reflex folks.

Being off sugar for 6+ months now my cravings for sweets has changed. And some things, like Stevia sweetened drinks, just taste too sweet and aren’t enjoyable. I pass them off to my kids who are thrilled.

I’ve found that if I have a healthy non added sugar option regularly that I don’t feel deprived. For those moments I keep a few things on hand that boost protein and have a mild sweetness. Things like Keto Pecans, zero yogurts, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. Also whipped cream without added sugar. Keto clusters and low carb chocolate all make great desserts.

So good with yogurt. Find them at Three Bears.

I love these Keto Pecans. So crunchy and just barely a touch of sweetness.

Three Bears carries these too.

Something I’ve grown to love is a zero sugar yogurt with a few berries and some pecans. For a real splurge, homemade whipped cream on top. Yes, it’s delicious.

It’s all I need to feel like I’ve had dessert! It makes it easier to opt out of sugary desserts at special occasions.

Found on clearance at Wally World. They I been here for a couple weeks and I haven’t even opened them yet!

I’ll even have a keto friendly iced coffee once in a while. Homemade of course, but still delicious.

I can feel a change in energy levels if I go over on carbs almost immediately. It’s been fairly easy to stay the course since I feel so much better. I do miss the crunchy things tho. Finding suitable substitutes for chips is a big deal for me. My go-to choices are: dehydrated okra or cauliflower, cheese crisps, celery with Kenai cheese dip, no grain chips like Siete brand (but only very sparingly as they do have carbs and are pretty pricey).

Available at Three Bears.

All this talk about food is making me hungry. I need more coffee

Found another huge bolete today. This rain has the 'shrooms Poppin.

Around here (all over Alaska) you’ll hear someone define how Alaskan they are by how long they’ve (or their family) resided here. From there, if more evidence of their Alaskan acumen is needed, they’ll list their experiences especially the near death ones. The more rugged and raw the experience the greater the Alaskan Spirit. There must be an obligatory bear story, it’s a prerequisite.

We can’t help it. It’s like a giant game of one-upmanship. Until we find that Old Soul who embodies the spirit of Alaska. But it’s a celebratory game, we stand in awe of those who’ve survived whatever Alaska had to throw at them.

Most new Alaskans that I run into, like myself, have a relatively short pedigree. And sadly, we differ in that their quest for Alaskan experience is a tad bit lacking (non-exist). Occasionally I run across that special newcomer who wants to try all the Alaskan things, but they are increasingly rare. Maybe I need to meet some different new Alaskans.

But life for us “imports” goes further back than when we crossed the state line. When you meet a new Alaskan the first thing you ask is where they came from. Pay close attention to their answer. Generally one uses this litmus to determine how long you think this current “Alaskan” will stick around.

Beyond my current employment of becoming more Alaskan, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time exploring my family’s roots, seeing where my people haled from. What roads – oceans ultimately brought me to this point. It’s been fairly enlightening. Modern technology makes tracing your lineage so much easier than just 50 years ago. Even without a genetic test.

Much of this work has already been done for me, I get to enjoy the fruits of my ancestors labor. I’m thankful that they had the foresight to search and record our family history. My maternal Grandmother’s side is quite well documented thanks to books published like H. H. Beeson’s book on our genealogy. And the fact that many of my very early ancestors were Quakers. Those Quakers kept excellent records! This gives us ample data to reconstruct our tree.

Websites like My, Ancestry and countless others provide a plethora of info and simultaneously profit handsomely from folks like me searching the forest for our trees. So many relatives adding family information makes it even more simple. And it’s fun to discover you have a a previously unknown third cousin twice removed doing the same thing as you are.

My Dad’s side is a little is a little more work. But it’s there, just gotta know where to look. Determination, it’s hereditary.

At this point I know 14 generations back to England and Holland on my Grandmother’s surname branch. It’s amazing to see the names and dates of my ancestors, some of which we share. I particularly like it when a letter or note was written, you can get a glimpse of their existence through their words & experiences. Like many family’s from the early American years, my people were determined and hardy souls. I’m thankful they passed a little bit of that down to me.

Most of us want to know where we came from. Some of us get the privilege of finding out. The past offers encouragement for the future. And it reminds us to make our existence here count.

So while I strive on with being a good Alaskan, mother, friend, daughter, sister, partner, employee and human I hear an echo in the distance… What will your life story tell?

Found this giant bolete the other day. Even though we've been without rain for months.

It never ends.

Until the snow flies that is.

Spent several hours today helping Thing 1 with her gardening goals. Assembled another raised bed that had been cut out a month ago. Filled it and several more tire towers with compost and dirt. Planted a few more things. I scored a few shorter season plants for half off, end of the season sale. So we planted those.

We also topped off the strawberry bed with another tier and planted some runners. Built a trellis and covered it with bird netting so we can harvest a few berries ourselves.

Modeling her new bandana from Jake.
Slab o’ moo cow.

We celebrated illegally armed insurrectionists day with some popits and a big ol chunk of beast. Did we do it right?

Mercy, it’s been a minute since my last Sourdough post. Fishing comes first, that’s my motto. So back to one of my favorite past times…

I’m always in the lookout for recycled projects. ♻️ Besides being good for the environment, and usually my budget, it’s fun to turn someone else’s trash to my treasure.

I found this set aside at the dump and figured I could repurpose it as a wood burning chiminea. Which will be just right this fall when it starts to cool down and we need to take the chill off whilst sitting outside.

Propane patio heater sans burner assembly

I started by disassembling the pipe and then removed the tabletop. Once those were apart I struggled with removing the poly weight reservoir from the underside of the pedestal. The 4 bolts holding it in place were rusted and fused, two of them pulled right through and the other two wouldn’t budge. I swear the thing was made like Samsonite luggage. It took a minute… Or 20. Wish I’d had a gorilla.

I used a 4″ hole saw and cut out a larger hole to receive the new stovepipe. Side note: A 4″ hole saw is slightly larger than needed for the stove pipe but I didn’t have anything smaller that wasn’t too small, so 4″ it is!

I affixed a starter collar with machine screws and stove mortar.

Then I made a refractory mix with plaster of Paris and perlite to weight the bottom of of the chiminea to keep it from toppling over and give it some heat protection.

Bottom view of the base filled with refractory mix.

I decided to use a metal bucket as the fire chamber inside the stove to hopefully make it last longer. It was Dean’s idea and I went with it. For the bucket I poured refractory mix in the bottom about 2 inches deep and drilled air holes around the bottom. It fits nicely inside the unit.

I let it dry thoroughly before it’s first firing, about 8 days. First fire at the beach, it works!

First firing on the beach. It works!

The refractory mix in the bottom helps insulate the unit quite well. There’s no heat exchanged at all. I used a piece of white paperboard to close a central hole when I poured the mix in. The paper is still intact and not even singed. I honestly think I could use it on a deck. I’m very happy with my landfill rescue.