Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Feigning Flowers

They look real from a distance, don't they? I needed dirt to plant the tomatoes in and since I live in farm country I didn't think I would have to buy dirt from Walmart. I looked under farming/gardening on Craigslist and found Organic Dirt for a dollar a 5 gallon bucket. And right up the road! I got the directions over the phone from a funny old man and couldn't wait to meet him.

He and his wife lived on five acres with a "For Sale/Owner Financed" sign at the end of their long drive way. The wife came out and showed us where the pile of dirt was. My friend walked down to the gate with her while I drove my van. My friend told me while we were filling the buckets that the place had sold. The buyers had told them to quit remodeling the place as they had their own plans for it. She had also told her that if we wanted some rhubarb to help ourself. When we went to cut some rhubarb the old man came out. I asked him about the fake flowers and he told me this story:

For years they spent a thousand dollars every year to flower up the place. His wifes father had lived with them until his late 90s. One year he was complaining to him about the money, the work, the weather to her dad and he said "Why don't you just buy fake flowers". So he did. Now it only costs him $200 a year for instant gratification and a lot less work and worry.

The dirt pile was 7-year old horse manure. The tomatoe plants are thriving in it! Now that I found a good close dirt supplier I'm thinking of expanding and also growing cucumbers & peppers in the hot house with the tomatoes.

Monday, May 30, 2011


75 in the shade in Palmer today. What a beautiful Memorial Day weekend all over Alaska.

Let summer begin!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Tunnel Of Love

Not really the Tunnel of Love but a strategic tunnel that goes under the Glenn Hwy in Palmer at the end of Auklet Ave. Saves a lot of time if you are walking or riding a bike as the pedestrian crossing light on Arctic is the longest wait in Alaska.

Pictured on the right are the leftovers of our BBQ today. Teriaki Chicken and an awesome Thai Salmon, grilled asparagus, potatoe salad and the all-American hot dog. Beautiful weekend in the valley and they are calling for 77 degrees in Palmer for Memorial Day.

God Bless our Troops!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lawn Art

Garden chair made of willow.

Old trike displayed in a perennial garden at Bushes Greenhouse. I took lots of pictures there yesterday. Every where I looked was a photo op.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Flower Power

Went to Bushes Greenhouse today out the Butte in Palmer. It was absolutely stunning. Picked up cherry tomato plants, slicer tomatos, 2 kinds of basil and other herbs. Could have spent hundreds of dollars if I would have had it. Oh, I couldn't believe it. They had Livingstone Daisies so I got some of those. (My favorite flower) They call them Icy Plants here. I don't know the name of the flower pictured but it sure was pretty.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cutting Edge

Turn of the century knife sharpening stone wheel where you sat and human powered the wheel sits in George's yard. It still works!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Kamchatka Globeflower

The hardy must-have perennial Trollius Riederianus also known as the common globeflower is blooming right now. I've seen this flower in Valdez and all over Alaska. I was pleasantly surprised to see it in my yard here in Palmer.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Can't Complain

Spent the day raking the yard in my bikini listening to Radio Paradise.com. Tomorrow I will mow the HUGE backyard wearing steel-toed boots too. Taking advantage of this beautiful weather while unemployed.

My heart goes out to the victims and families in the recent tornado mayhem. May your weather get better too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Watch Out For Motorcycles

Matanuska/Susitna valley Blessing of the Bikes and BBQ last Saturday.

Scarecow doing his job in a Big Lake garden. Little Doggie kitty cat stands guard, too.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Half a hundred congressman,
Shouting from their seats;
Indians attacking, while
The warning tom-tom beats;

A roaring air armada,
A cataract on the rocks;
The cuss-words of a bachelor;
With holes in all his socks;

The blare of horns in traffic,
The stuck hogs' anguish squeal;
The clanging rivet-hammer as
It beats against the steel;

The howling dog at daybreak
When all the world's asleep;
The blatting, bleating, bawling of
A band of frightened sheep;

The clacking of the castanets
By a charming seniorita--
But for maddening annoyance take
The hum of a mosquito!

by A.H.L

From the book Nomania published in Nome, Alaska in August 1938

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Treehouse in Progress

Some neighborhood kids are building a treehouse this summer. I drive by it every day and have been watching them build it up. Today they started painting it. I'll post more pics when they finish and maybe they will let me take a peek inside!

Monday, May 16, 2011

All About Cookery > Way Back Then

Not in bad shape for a well-used turn of the century cookbook. The Beacoms did have it rebound by Palmer Bound in 2000.

Edited to add recipes copied from Page 360 and Page 106:

Salmon, Boiled.---Ingredients---6oz. of salt to each gallon of water; sufficient water to cover the fish. AVERAGE COST, in full season, 1s. 4d (?) per lb.

Scale and clean the fish, and be particular that no blood is left inside; lay it in the fish-kettle with sufficient cold water to cover it, adding salt in the above proportion. Bring it quickly to a boil, take off all the scum, and let it simmer gently until the fish is done, which will be when the meat separates easily from the bone. Experience alone can teach the cook to fix the time for boiling a fish; but it is especially to be remembered, that it should never be under-dressed, as then nothing is more unwholesome. Neither let it remain in the kettle after it is sufficiently cooked, as that would render it insipid, watery and colourless. Drain it, and if not wanted for a few minutes, keep it warm by means of warm cloths laid over it. Serve on a hot napkin, garnish with cut lemon and parsley, and send lobster or any other sauce liked, and a dish of dressed cucumber, to the table with it.

TIME---8 minutes to each lb. for large thick salmon; 6 minutes for thin fish.

SEASONAL from April to August.

CUCUMBERS, DRESSED. ---Ingredients.---Cucumber, 3 tablespoonfuls of salad oil, 4 tablespoonsful of vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. AVERAGE COST, frame cucumbers, 4d. to 1 s; field ones, 1d-3d each.

Pare the cucumber, cut it equally into very thin slices, and commence cutting from the thick end; if commensed at the stalk, the cucumber will most likely have an exceedingly bitter taste, far from agreeable.

For the purpose of slicing cucumbers evenly and very thin, we reccomend this slice in preference to an ordinary knife. Put the slices in a dish, sprinkle over very little salt and some pepper, and pour over oil and vinegar in the above proportion; turn the cucumber about, and it is ready to serve. This is a favourite accompaniment to boiled salmon, is a nice addition to all descriptions of salads, and makes a pretty garnish to lobster salad.

SEASONABLE.---Forced from beginning of March til the end of June; in full season in July, August and September.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Automobile Expose

Fancy title for car show in Palmer today.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Up to the highest height

Let's go fly a kite and

send it soaring!

Up through the atmosphere

Up where the air is clean

Let's go fly a kite!

~from Mary Poppins

It's been a bit windy in the valley lately. Perfect for kite flying!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Trappers Cabin

Old cabin on the way into Palmer. It is a museum now. Lots of cool old things in the yard. I will check it out again when its open.

I've been volunteering at the American Legion Post #35 in Wasilla for their Friday night steak night. Every post in the state has them on Friday nights. Check out the post near you. Good deal and your helping your local vets.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Home of the Moose

Back to swimming in the Palmer High School pool. Since I am now a senior citizen (55 in Palmer and Wasilla) I get a discount. $35 instead of $45 for a 10 swim punch card. One night a week I do open swim instead of laps and swim with my niece and her 2 boys. 3 years old and 4 months. Its never too early to learn how to swim and enjoy the water. They love it and so do I.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 09, 2011

Alaska Wayhigh Patrol

I had a job interview in Wasilla today. When I pulled up this car was in the parking lot. I have seen it driving around and even followed it one time (in the opposite direction I was going) to try and snap a few pictures of the coolest Crown Vic on the planet.

Check out Alaskahemp.com!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

George's Oosik

George used this Polar bear oosik as a swizzle stick for making drinks at his parties. Some revellers wouldn't touch their drink when they found out what the swizzle stick was. An oosik is a bone found in the penis of most mammals.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Antje Duvekot in Palmer!

Thanks to Facebook I found out that Antje Duvekot was going to be playing at Vagabond Blues Coffee House in Palmer tonight. So I ran down there and caught her show! I've seen her before at a house concert in Talkeetna at the Palace in the old Whole Wheat Radio days. Look her up on YouTube. (I took a video but wasn't able to upload it.) She'll be performing in Fairbanks Friday night and in Anchorage Saturday night. I'm so glad she stopped in Palmer tonight on her whirlwind tour of Alaska and I got to see her perform live again.

She's fantastic!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

1501 Posts

This is my grand-nephew Freddie sporting his Mohawk sweatshirt. Thats his second hotdog and it sat on the Q a little too long but he didn't care. He likes his dog a little burnt with mustard.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

George's Tea Cup

George's Tea Cup is made from the middle ear bone of a whale. He spent time in Nome, Alaska in the early 1940's. His collection of Alaskan artifacts over the years since are magnificent. I am helping his son and heir catalog and photograph these museum quality pieces.

While I am at I thought I would share them on my blog. They will be tagged as the "Beacom Collection".

Monday, May 02, 2011

Yakutat Story

Apparently, since I didn't buy my ticket to get on the plane, I didn't get the job. They hired me on the 11th telling me the day, the time and the flight number to Yakutat. April 26th, Flight 66 leaving Anchorage at 3:30pm. Every other lodge that I've worked at, that I couldn't drive to, always bought the ticket to and from. So I figured this was no exception. Not the case. I arrived at the airport packed to go for 5 months. I was only 5lbs over which was my blanket that I took out. Called my friend who had dropped me off to come back and get the blanket. My name wasn't on the manifest but was checking in anyway thinking there was a mix-up and it would be resolved soon. My friend shows up back to the airport in my van. (I was going to park it at their place for the season). I'd called and texted the lodge again and went out to my van to ask my friend to hang until I heard back from the lodge or took the flight. I was packed and ready to go to work. Excited about seeing a new place in Alaska and making some money. Posted about going on my blog and Facebook. When my phone rang. "You were supposed to buy your own ticket to Yakutat" said the voice. That was it. I hauled my bags out of the airport and headed back to Palmer. The more I thought about it the more I thought it best that I didn't go to work for a lodge that was too cheap to buy my ticket. (When I checked on the flight April 11th it would have been $228 RT.) Lodges are glorified slave camps and be very careful when going to work for them. I'm a seasoned worker and this one caught me by surprise.

All is okay though. I'll find a job soon and will have one of the best summers of my life. Stay tuned!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Yakutat was a "no go" so I got my old room back in Palmer. I'm looking for work locally and looking forward to summer in the valley. These tulips popped open today after a little bit of sunshine.