Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Grandma Effie Visits

Paul's Mom returned home to North Dakota last night. She was here for two weeks and it was a busy but good time as we put up our salmon harvest. Grandma Effie pitched right in and took charge of sharpening the knives.
She also supervised the smudge pot. She made sure the little boys kept enough wood chips and leaves chopped to keep the smoke billowing over the salmon we were smoking.
Grandma Effie, Deborah and Abigail are planting Nanking Cherry trees that Effie brought from her yard in North Dakota.
She also brought some strawberry plants that we are going to try and get to grow here.
Grandma Effie is great with woodworking. So, even though she didn't have much experience with windows she wasn't afraid to get us going on replacing the girls window. She got things ready for Paul and then he helped her put the new window in. It's one of those projects we've been meaning to get to for a long time.

David, learning to use the pneumatic stapler.
Paul, putting the window in. The girls now have a window that doesn't rattle in the wind or let the wind in. Thanks Grandma Effie!

Benjamin helping out.
Saying good-bye to Grandma at the Airfield...
Paul flew his Mom to Anchorage and then she caught the all-nighter home to North Dakota. Other than not being able to sleep on the plane, she had a good flight home.

We can't wait to see you next year Grandma!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tazimina River

The Salmon are running into the lake so this has been a crazy week of netting fish and canning them. Paul's Mom is here visiting and doing lot of work helping out. I'll post pictures and recount the whole affair in another blog. Everyone has been working hard so Paul took the kids for a well deserved break up the Tazimina River that empties into the lake just across from our house. The kids said the water was much warmer up there than it is in the lake by our house making it so much fun to play in (it's all relative and very cold.) They kept floating down the river and then Paul would give them a ride back up. They all had a wonderful time.

Quentin getting dunked by Deborah.

Benjamin and David
Benjamin, my four year old, being a sweet big brother to his almost two year old sister Sarah.


Some beavers have been very busy on the river.

Paul driving the boat for the crew.

The scenery on the river is gorgeous.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Creating a New Garden

Every year we make some sort of an attempt at a garden and so far they have all been failures. My most common excuse is that we had to leave for a month to go to Anchorage and have a baby. This year there is no baby on the horizon :( so we decided to get serious about a productive garden. In the past we stuck the garden in an out of the way place where grass didn't even grow. This time we started with a spot where the grass grew the best which turned out to be right in the front yard.
We laid an old carpet over the selected area for awhile to try and kill the grass. Digging into green sod is difficult, but everyone pitched in and it went pretty fast.
As we dug we found that the area was mostly gravel. My North Dakota farmer husband was not impressed. We picked many rocks which we put in our new driveway (the old garden).

The truck is parked where the old garden used to be. I was able to lug enough rocks from the garden and the beach to outline the proposed driveway. When I go to weed the garden I bring my ice cream pail and collect rocks as I weed and then bring them up and dump them into the driveway.
We decided to plant potatoes in tires this year. Benjamin thought it was great fun to let Joshua stack tires around him until they got so high he started feeling hemmed in.

I made Joshua take them off.

Sarah, David, Kinsey and Benjamin had fun helping fill the tires with dirt and fertilizer.

Spreading fertilizer...
The fresh sod made rotor-tilling very difficult. Below Abigail is taking a turn.

We brought some wild raspberry bushes in to line the North edge of the garden. Anna is taking a break from digging by swinging on a tree.
Deborah, Quentin and Abigail are transplanting our rhubarb from the old garden to the new.
Abigail takes a major interest in the garden, she did a majority of the planting and initial watering with a lot of help from her brothers and sisters. We all help with the weeding. Watering hasn't been much of a problem since it has been a very wet cool summer.

Anna, my tree climbing daughter, took this bird's eye view of the yard.

The onion sets have done great and the transplanted rasberry bushes are blooming.

The cabbage and broccoli are also doing great and the transplanted rhubarb is flourishing.
We are still on a huge learning curve with Alaska gardening. The potatoes didn't come up at all. After consulting with Laddy, our master gardener friend up the lake in Port Alsworth, we found out that you have to sprout them before putting them in the ground. We also put them in too soon and with the wet cold summer they didn't have a chance. We're still planning to put a few in for practice. Maybe we'll get a few new potatoes before freeze up.

Hopefully, I'll be able to post another blog in a few months showing the harvest.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Benjamin's 4th Birthday

Benjamin celebrated his 4th Birthday. He always has a smile on his face and that was especially true on his birthday.
I think we all had as much fun as he did.
Tava came down and had some cake and ice cream with us. She was born on the same day as Benjamin.Deborah planned and prepared the party games. Below the kids are trying to eat a marshmallow off a string. We also played one of my favorites called "the wild goose chase." You use words in the Bible to give hints to locations. For example one of the clues was Genesis 15:17 21st word. The teams look it up and find oven. The go to the oven and if their team is the first one there they find a picture of a goose. The team with the most geese at the end wins.
Below Abigail is helping Tava find the target for her arrow.
Abigail and Deborah are enjoying their cake and ice cream.Deborah and Anna made Benjamin a pinata in the shape of a B. Below Benjamin gave it several good whacks.
I put Sarah on my lap to change her diaper and she was so exhausted from all the fun, she fell asleep before I finished.