Monday, February 29, 2016

But We Still Love Him

Note to self:  Dogs who roll in rank, questionable things on the beach do not easily de-stink.

It's not my first rodeo with a smelly dog, but this particular brand of putrid, fishy stank is unholy.  And bonus points for us?  It doesn't want to go away.

Even after an exceptionally sudsy bath.  And the addition of baking soda to the still repugnant neck area where he got all up in it.  And even after copious amounts of baby powder and some essential lemon oil.  It's tenacious.

So about now I'm basking in a lovely combination of dead salmon and rotten sea kelp with a dash of lemon.  We'll call it Eau De Cheety.  Tantalizing, no?

Hey, at least he had a good time, right?  Case in point:

Rolling around in mysterious, decayed nature makes for one happy pup!

We were treated to another precipitation-less day not too long ago, so we hauled ourselves out of the house and went for a hike.

I wish I could say it was legitimately sunny out, but I'll take not raining and run with it.

Adventure dog extraordinaire

F/V Leslie Lee

Hubby and stink butt

We hadn't hiked this area on Near Island in a while. - It was a reminder to us both that we have so many different perspectives to see the shores of Kodiak from at our disposal.

It was excellent to get outside without it raining, but as is always the case when it comes to bald eagles, my day was made when we spotted this handsome guy:

I love catching a bald eagle at a head on angle. They somehow exude wisdom and just epitomize nobility. They also look completely bad-ass. Especially when they look directly at you:

He's all, "Come at me, bro!"

While we were tromping around, we got to see the Tustumena coming in for the afternoon.  It's one of the ferries that serves Kodiak on the Alaska Marine Highway, and might be the one that takes us off of Kodiak for good this summer.  

We see it docked all the time because it comes and goes twice a a day several times a week, so it was kind of fun to see it in action from such a close spot on the shore.  Of course I had to take a few pictures.

People jokingly call it "The Rusty Tusty."  I've only been on the Kennicott - the other Alaska Marine Highway ferry that serves Kodiak, but the hubby rode the Rusty Tusty twice.  It's smaller than the Kennicott, but still a pretty damn big boat.

 We had a good day trekking around with the boy and enjoying our not quite sunny, but blissfully not raining day off together.

Even though somebody decided it was the ideal day for next-level stinkiness.  But we won't name names.

Ta-ta for now.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Veggie Apps

I didn't plan it this way, but I wanted to do an appetizer day & it ended up being a vegetarian-palooza.  The plan was to make 3-4 different kinds of appetizers, but my incessant grazing as I cooked got in the way.  By the time I finished making two apps, I was stuffed from my rampant sampling! 

My assembly line for deliciousness
But what I did make?  Turned out delicious!  I figured Super Bowl Sunday would be as good a time as any to pull the trigger on my appetizer day, and the paired down menu ended up being portobello mushroom fries and buffalo cauliflower bites. 

The portobello mushroom fries started with a flour and egg wash, followed by a dip in panko bread crumbs and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Do I have your attention yet?

Once all the mushroom slices were covered with panko, I baked them in a 425 degree oven for  about 8-12 minutes.

Ready to bake

They turned out good, but next time I'll add more salt to the flour dip and also to the final plate.

Could have used more salt all around!

I dipped the mushroom fries in marinara sauce, but you could also do a rĂ©moulade or ranch.  Hell, whatever you want to dip them in is fair game.

I used this recipe from Closet Cooking.  This guy's blog is a good resource for recipes. - I've used it a few times.

How about this crunchy plate of love?

The second app was definitely the show-stopper.

Buffalo Cauliflower bites.  So.  Good.

I've already made this again since the first time we tried it because it was tasty with a capital T.

Well, truth be told, the hubby came home with another head of cauliflower a few days after I made them the first time.

His not so subtle nudge at a buffalo cauliflower bites encore, which I was totally on board with making. 

The recipe is really easy - I used this one from a blog I'd never heard of called Persnickety Plates.  I'm telling you, if you're even remotely intrigued by this recipe, MAKE IT.  It's delicious.

The hubby actually said, "I don't know if I need to have chicken wings again."  Bold statement.  But it hits on all the flavors you're looking for, and is a good way to sneak in some veggies.

Go experiment with some buffalo cauliflower bites.  Or portobello mushroom fries.  Go on.  Skedaddle to your kitchen.

Ta-ta for now.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Inadvertent Fustiness

Fustiness?  Um, yes.  Unfortunately.  Let me start by gushing about my new favorite & then we'll get into the funk.

I've fully embraced another way to use essential oils, which I know won't be a newsflash to folks who are into oils - but it's new to me.

And in short?  I'm in love.

It's called a Spa Vapor, and it's my new favorite toy.  It's basically a diffuser that uses water and essential oils to create a scented mist.

So, it's a humidifier and aromatherapy all wrapped up in one.  I loved it so much after the hubby got one for me for the bedroom for Christmas, that I bought another one for the living room a few weeks later.

The one I use in the bedroom is perfect because I fill it with calming, relaxation inducing scents, like lavender, or combinations of bergamot, marjoram, and others.  It creates such a soothing atmosphere for sleep, and I love how it leaves a faint, lovely scent in the bedroom even when it's not in use.

The aromas from the oils linger in the air after using it each night...which is perfect.  You'll agree even more after I tell you this fetid story. - And the title of this post will make sense.

The hubby gets up for work in the wee hours of the morning, so he has the pleasure of witnessing that closed up bedroom stinkiness that tends to happen when there's no airflow.  And I suppose it doesn't help that the Pugbull sleeps in the bed with us.

And I quote, "It's nice that the bedroom doesn't smell like a combination of dog and dirty laundry in the morning."  Hmmmm.  Dog and dirty laundry?  I had no idea I was all up in that.  Gross.

Let's all have a collective "ew" to the fact that the bedroom even had that unfortunate stuffiness going on.  I guess that's what you sign up for when you close the bedroom door, don't open the windows or have a ceiling fan, and snuggle up with a hound for 8 hours.  It is Alaska in February after all. It's not like we've got the windows open this time of year.

The hubby said, "Yeah - you could tell a bunch of mammals were nesting it up in here."  Again - ew.

So, hooray for the Spa Vapor!  Banishing bedroom stank for the rest of us.

In the living room one, I love to use any citrus essential oils.  My current favorite combination is 5 drops of rosemary and 5 drops of tangerine.  So fresh and lively!

Not to mention it'll be so festive around holiday time, when I can bust out with cinnamon and cloves and different types of spruce and pine. 

Another thing I love about it is the nightlight.  It has a light that rotates through a whole rainbow of colors.

This is the version I got - and I don't think it's even the most recent type.  I think there's a "Pro" model, but I didn't look into what the differences between the models are.  I'm happy with what I have.

If you're looking for a humidifier or aromatherapy option for your home, this is a great way to go.

And if you're inadvertently bunking up in a fusty room without realizing it...Spa Vapor to the rescue!  Try not to think we're completely disgusting.  I blame him:

It's Cheety's Elvis impression.  "Thank ya...thank ya very much."

Ta-ta for now.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Winter Blues

Here's a little snippet from pretty much every weather forecast for the last...forever, it feels like:  "Rain for Kodiak today.  Rain tonight, and rain tomorrow.  Rain to continue for the rest of the week and through the weekend."  Uuuugggh.

Case in point - This is next week's forecast.  Which is about what it's been for the last...I don't know...3 weeks?  Not super cold, but just aaallll the rain, gloomy, gray, misty overcast crap anyone can take for so long:

So, to say we appreciated the sunny Saturday we just had is an understatement.  We're talking zippity-doo-dah appreciation.  Because as I've said many times before, Kodiak is stunningly beautiful...when the sun shines.  It's just a damn shame it doesn't happen more often!

As we get closer to leaving, I'm hyper aware of the things I'll truly miss.  Alaska does nature like no where else.

A crisp, sunny winter day is one of my favorites.  It's like the sky is so blue you can hear it.

Cormorants & Oystercatchers enjoying the sunshine - along with everyone else!

Air so cool, clear and oxygen-heavy that it's like breathing endorphins?  Yeah.  I'll miss that.

But along with all the things I'll miss, is also a palpable anticipation of our next move in a few short months.

We have an idea of where we'll be heading, but as anyone with military ties knows, nothing's official until orders are issued.

So the waiting game continues.  In the meantime, I'll be out enjoying this - and saying goodbye - every chance I get...

As long the sun cooperates, anyway.  But, I've lived here just long enough to know - Don't hold my breath!

Ta-ta for now.