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We are home for our compulsory break after three days. It’s necessary for feeding and watering our animals. Plus showers, laundry & restocking. Helps with mental fatigue too. It’s a lot of work fishing and setting up camp simultaneously, feeding all these people, & factoring in the disheartening lack of fishing time. We’ve had nets in the water a total of 4.5-5 hours over the past two days and netted 27 salmon. Total. It’s a lot of work for not so many fish.

Already done fishing but the tide is still coming in.

We got home late last night, it was after 9 pm but I’ve lost track of time to know for sure. Kids tended to the animals, I jumped in the shower. I had two days of Cook Inlet mud to wash off my legs and out of my locs. And that long hot shower helped to soothe some of my tired muscles. And I went straight to bed.

Mental fatigue is always a thing for us at fish camp. We love doing this, look forward to it all year long, but it is a lot of work. Even walking on beach sand all day, every day is tiring. And dealing with other people in close proximity is hard. I mean, we love all of our FC family but even loved ones can get on your nerves at times, amiright?? But it’s all for a purpose. It’s our “working vacation” to fill our pantry with fish.

So taking away that reward, or at least feeling like it’s being taken away from you, makes you question if it’s worth it or not. Plus the reality for us is that there isn’t another opportunity like this to get salmon the rest of the season, it’s a real mind #*@&.

Tequila always helps.

One of my kids were definitely showing that their overwhelmed meters were pegged yesterday so I was glad to be taking our overnight break.

Today we have a plethora of chores and things to load to haul back to the beach for the rest of our adventures. I just keep reminding myself of the purpose: to secure food and enjoy each other’s company. After all, we don’t get this opportunity but once a year, and with Niki here is even more rare.

Gathered around the fire at Basecamp Niki.

So it’s off to work and start getting stuff loaded up. I’ve already got a load of laundry going. Made Dean’s lunch and sent him to work. And paid my business bond renewal that expires next week. I think I need more coffee.


One thing a sourdough usually has is time to ponder. Generally in the darkness of winter, when there’s little else to do.

Since I embarked on this series I’ve spent some time pondering what being a sourdough means to me. I suppose it starts with a grandiose sense of adventure, with a stubborn persistence bordering on the insane. More than a can-do, but a will-do-or-be-damned spirit, the sort of determination you don’t run into every day.
If one is successful and survives their first Alaskan winter, (and doesn’t high-tail it for the lower 48,) they begin to shift into a more refined sense of adventure and wonder but still plenty stubborn and maybe a little cantankerous now. One’s mind will be full of a new found respect for Alaska’s fierceness and unpredictability. Hopefully, if said stubborn person is wise, they develop a better prepared can-do spirit that begins to ready for the winter right after break-up. It’s like feeding the sourdough and keeping it warm, it takes diligence and constant care to keep it going.
Get ready, “winter is coming” is their mantra.
After each winter survival the individual acquires more character and unique qualities, not unlike sourdough starter..
Before long they may even start to smell like a sourdough. Much to the shaggrin of the city folk. No worry, by this time, there’s not a care left in the world for what others think.

Time passes, and there’s no real measurement for this period as it varies with each sourdough, at some point the sourdough is perfected, working in harmony with Nature, ebbing and flowing with Her tides. Full of wisdom from experience, maybe not so full of themselves and their abilities but quietly confident & determined. Or maybe damned proud of themselves and more feisty for it. Either way, they’ll be quite content in their own existence.
It’s taken failure upon failure, possibly even a near death experience or two and quite a collection of “awes” and wonders to get here. There will have been a plethora of lessons learned. Many annoyances experienced. Lots of paths crossed and one or two well worn.
It’s a work in progress. A neverending tending to keep your culture. It’s a lifestyle, a journey.

It’s that time of year, cold & flu season. We’ve been pretty healthy this winter, just an occasional sniffle here and there. But Lil Mister came down with a cold this week and it’s starting to cycle through the rest of the kids.

I’ve used natural/traditional medicine for the past three decades. Spanning herbs, homeopathics, essential oils and good old fashioned remedies like chicken soup for a cold.

I’m not afraid of germs and viruses, typically, being firmly in the camp of “exposure is good for them/us” so I thought I’d share some of my go-tos for my family’s respiratory issues.

*Insert Disclaimer here*

The opinions & information contained in this post are for educational and informational purposes only, and does not constitute medical advice.

~Totally not a doctor

First and foremost, I let fevers run their course. I believe a healthy fever is your body’s best defense. I stay diligent and observant over my littles. I rarely use a thermometer, opting for touch to let me know how they’re doing. If I’m getting concerned I’ll take their temp. I keep them hydrated with clear liquids like water, herbal teas, diluted fruit juice. I keep them covered and warm but not over heated. I’ve been known to employ wet socks treatment for a high fever that’s making me (and them) feel uncomfortable. An ice pack can offer them local comfort while allowing their body to work.

Most Alaskans have Vitamin D deficiency. And Vit D supplementation has been linked to reduced incidence and severity of colds & flu. We regularly consume Vitamin D3 + Vitamin C during the winter months. I have these on auto-ship so we stay stocked up. If one of my littles has the sniffles I add elderberry gummies or syrup. I offer the bigger kids zinc lozenges and oil of oregano.

For sore throats I usually send them to gargle with warm salt water or oil of oregano, depending on age. Rub diluted peppermint & lavender oils on their neck area. Warm liquids like herbal teas or lemon honey water usually offer them some comfort. Plus I keep a variety of lozenges, suckers and cough drops in our “medicine cabinet”.

I have a few EO diffusers in the house but for the youngest I use a little travel model and EOs like peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender.

Mini diffuser

Dry winter air is exacerbated in our climate by heating with wood stoves. Our air inside our home can get so dry it causes nose bleeds. Using a vaporizer next to their beds help moisturize the air. Plus we keep a large crock on the wood stove filled with water to evaporate into the air. I like to keep Thieves oil or On Guard blend in this water pot. The kids also like vapor steam bath or shower bombs.

Current household humidity.

Another important tool for dry sinuses is nasal saline spray. The non-medicated type. If you’re a hardy soul you could use a netipot. That’s a hard sell for my kids but nasal spray is doable.

I like to serve warming soups when they’re sick or sometimes even clear broths if they can’t stomach much food. Also offering fresh fruits and easy to digest foods. Water bottles with a slice of lemon are kept topped off.

Most importantly I encourage them to rest. Even if that means propping them up on the couch in front of the TV and putting on a kid movie. With their water bottle, a waste basket nearby and a box of tissues with lotion. Or letting them sleep in my bedroom with the blackout shades. And of course, staying home when we’re sick.

Now, to keep me onsies as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Taking my supplements, staying hydrated, rinsing my sinuses… Avoiding alcohol, getting rest, eating well… Not much else I can do but pray!

Well, not really the end, to be continued.

I totally made it.

I feel better. And I’m keeping on the wagon!

Yesterday & today I’ve been super hungry. I want to eat all the things. I hope this passes quickly!! Trying to keep myself busy with kids school work and projects to keep myself from eating out of shear boredom.

Thanks for sharing my journey to sugar freedom!

A couple days ago I made some peanut butter date energy balls rolled in grated unsweetened chocolate. My new “not cookies” are pretty tasty. I could get used to this.

With the popularity of keto diets there are so many no sugar recipes these days. And a lot more low glycemic sweetener options too. I’ve got an entire board on Pinterest filling up like a virtual cookie jar. Hopefully this will help me stick to my plan.

These “Snickers” stuffed dates sound amazeballs and I must make them. That’s on the agenda for today.

I finally got that school paperwork caught up, well except for one thing that the oldest male child needs to do. But I’m caught up enough to move on. Next big thing on the paperwork list is starting the dreaded taxes. Oy. With Dean on snow removal schedule still I guess I’ll have time to get started.

Plus doing more hands on school stuff with the littles. Since it’s Monday I was thinking about trying a meatless Monday dinner idea. Maybe a veg curry & rice dish? But those butter chicken ingredients might just trump a veggie meal.

I’ve been avoiding dairy, mostly, for several days. I say mostly because I’ve had a couple of meals with a bit of parmesan sprinkles. Been subbing plant based cheese & sour cream replacements. Just to see if it helps finish cleaning up this excess mucus production.

Speaking of fake cheese, it sure has come a long way. I remember in the late 90s when I first started my dietary journey, vegan cheese was so funky tasting. And it turned to plastic if you tried to bake it on a pizza… πŸ™„ Now it comes in blocks, slices, shreds and sauces. Plus it melts nicely and offers a close enough mouth feel and taste that I don’t mind it. And most grocery stores stock it. Easy to source is always a plus.

So with a busy day ahead I’d better get to it. One more 🚫 sugar day!


I’m down to four days!

Another day of snow removal for Dean. It’s been a busy week for me just not what I had planned to be busy at. But time well spent.

Kids got to go to the pool twice this week, which for us is unheard of. But all this running around has me wanting to hibernate.

My sleep schedule, eat schedule, everything schedule is messed up. Trying to get back on schedule for grocery shopping and necessities too. I’d like to go do the shopping locally once every two weeks. Plus a buying club delivery. And not have to do this constant running around stuff.

Here I am still doing well with my no sugar quest tho. I’ve found myself being more diligent in checking labels even for the kids food. Trying to source lower sugar items for all of us.

Just a handful of days left.

25 days! T-minus 5 and counting down.

Well guess what? It’s snowing again! The guys are out hauling snow again today to make room for the snow that’s coming down today.

Such is winter life in Alaska!

All this means I’m home again today! It’s nice to be here and get some extra time with the kids, catch up on domestic things and sleep in a little.

What to do with myself today? I’m going to work on school with the kids. Make some peanut butter date energy balls (more not cookie cookies) and other mundane things.

Had a birthday party and those cupcakes didn’t even catch my eye.

Hours, 7 Days a week. Never a day off=Mom Life

Today’s plan is to head to the Ninilchik job and see if we can get in. So much snow and wind, most likely drifted in…

Going to work was a bust. The driveway is too drifted in and the snow plows have the pull off buried. So it’s back home. I’ll get time to finish up that school paperwork now.

I loaded up my weekly supplements last night. I’m more likely to remember them when they are all ready to go. I’ve been hit and miss the previous couple of weeks. Hoping to get back into the daily habit. I added a colon cleanse capsule for the next week. With a little over an hour drive to work I’m already thinking maybe that wasn’t such a good idea…. 😳

Stuffed peppers for dinner tonight.

On a roll.

One more day of snow removal for Dean means one more day home for me. Plus we have a new weather system hitting today that promises up to 6″ more snow from Nikiski south to Homer. Who knows when we’re going back to work!

I ended up with 9 quarts of turkey soup and three pints of dog food. There was enough leftover for a large pot of turkey & noodles last night. Which was a hit with the kids. (For the dog food I put everything in the jar that we didn’t eat, some skin, cartilage, small bones, scrapes of meat, organs and broth, and can it. She will get a spoonful of this mixed into her regular dog food for extra protein and taste. So one jar lasts a while. She loves it and there’s no waste!)

Today I’m going to take advantage of the canning stuff being out and work up a batch of something or other, time will tell what I come up with!

And also figure out dinner… All these other people in this house always want to eat. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

If I get bored there’s always cleaning to do. πŸ™„

When I’m hunting spruce hens.

Dean’s got snow removal today so I’m domestic. Finally getting that turkey soup canned. A little bit of cleaning and school paperwork.

Thinking more and more about needing to cut dairy out. I keep telling myself it won’t be that hard.