"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes

Current Weather Info

Current Sun and Moon Info

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bush Alaska Grocery Shopping

Grocery shopping in bush Alaska can be a task.  Grocery shopping without breaking the bank can be nearly impossible.  We still get most of our fruits and vegetables from an organic farm in Washington state that ships up here once per week.  We get a large box every other week, which runs about $150 per month.  Then I typically spend around $100 per week at the local grocery store or at the store when I go out of town and pack the food to bring home in my luggage.  Also, remember that I typically have some sort of wild meat filling my freezer, so that's probably several hundred of dollars per year in meat costs that I dont have to have come out of my pocket.

Amazon has had free super saver shipping for a long time, but they have just started adding alot of grocery type items in the last year or so.  I have found that it is very convenient and cost friendly to order bulk grocery items from Amazon lately.  I'm hoping this will reduce my weekly spending at the grocery if I buy some of these things in bulk.  Here are this months purchases from Amazon.  The two bags of flour will be split with a friends.  These items will last the rest of the school year...

Alot of these supplies will go toward baking all my own bread/bread products, making all my own yogurt/yogurt products, and creating my own hummus and other veggie dips.

Order Summary:
Shipping Details : (orders will arrive in 3 shipments)
Order #:
Shipping Method:FREE Super Saver Shipping
Items:  $202.36
Shipping & Handling:  $89.37
Super Saver Discount:  -$89.37
Total before tax:  $202.36
Estimated tax to be collected:  $0.00
Order Total:  $202.36

Delivery estimate: Feb. 8, 2013
1"Kevala Organic Tahini 16 oz"
Misc.; $9.99
In Stock
   Sold by: Avani Organics
1"Sun Maid Natural California Raisins, 4.5-Pounds Package"
Grocery; $13.99
In Stock
   Sold by: Corner Store
1"Sweet Home Farm Low Fat Granola with Raisins, 20.5-Ounce Cartons (Pack of 4)"
Grocery; $21.72
In Stock
   Sold by: Amazon.com LLC
1"Traverse Bay Fruit Co. Dried Cherries, 4-Pound Box"
Grocery; $35.99
In Stock
   Sold by: Amazon.com LLC
1"Nestle Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk - 4.4 lbs"
Misc.; $31.90
In Stock
   Sold by: XpW
1"Starwest Botanicals Caraway Seed Organic -- 1 lb"
Health and Beauty; $10.70
In Stock
   Sold by: Tru Inertia
1"Melitta Natural Brown Basket Coffee Filter, #4 - 100 Count"
Misc.; $7.25
In Stock
   Sold by: TheNewMall
1"USA Grown Garbanzo Beans By Palouse Brand - 3 LBS"
Misc.; $11.95
In Stock
   Sold by: Palouse Brand

Delivery estimate:We'll notify you by email when we have an estimated delivery date for this item. It will ship separately. You can cancel at any time.
1"Great River Organic Milling, Organic Specialty Rye Flour, 25-Pound Package"
Grocery; $26.95
In Stock
   Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

Delivery estimate: Jan. 31, 2013 - Feb. 6, 2013
1"Great River Organic Milling, Organic Whole Wheat Bread Flour, 25-Pound Package"
Grocery; $31.92
In Stock
   Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

Monday, January 21, 2013

Home, Sweet Skiing, Home

 After a very long Christmas vacation to S. Cali where Avery and I learned that 16 straight uninterrupted days together might not be the best way for us to get along, we were both happy to get home to Bethel.  The first week home was busy getting back into the routine of life back at school so it wasnt until the next weekend that I was finally able to get out for the first ski of the year.
 Before leaving for break, we hadnt really gotten any snow yet, but it snowed quite a bit while we were gone and we came back to a thick layer of the white, fluffy stuff.  A group of us went out for a morning ski the next Saturday and enjoyed the snow, warm temps, running dog, physical activity, and each others company.
We even saw a couple of dog teams out on the trail.  Near the end of our ski, it started to rain so we made it backed soaked, but happy.  It continued to rain all day and into the next, melting all of our lovely snow.  I'm glad I got out on my ski's while I had the opportunity.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Number 24: Learn a new card or board game

I've been a Settlers of Catan fan for awhile now, but hadnt tried any of the expansion games.  So this year I bought several of the expansion games.  The only one that I actually tried played was the cities and knights version.  I enjoyed it and hope to try the other expansion games in the next year.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Number 29: Host a themed party

 5 years ago we started a tradition....since most of us Bethelites travel during the holidays, we decided that we would fix Thanksgiving dinner and serve it up during the superbowl.  And just like that, a new tradition was born....THANKSSUPERBOWL!!!
Since then every year I have hosted the ThanksSuperBowl party for our small little Bethel Family group.  It's always a good time and there is always alot of wonderful food.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Big Bad Zoo

 San Diego is supposed to be "THE" zoo to visit in the United States.  I think my grandmother took me there once when I was a kid, but I had never been there as an adult.  We spent a whole day in the zoo and part of the evening too since the zoo had their zoo lights displays. The hippo was one of my favorite animals just because of how it was hanging out on this little perch where it could lift its head just a few inches every few minutes to take a breath.
 The pandas were cool to see since they are the big attraction.  One of the pandas was really active.  He was walking around, climbing his structures, and even scratching his butt on the trees.  Fun to watch!
 We happened to be walking by the primate area just as the zoo keepers were feeding them a little afternoon snack.  It was a bucket full of veggies.  It was fun to notice that they liked the green peppers the best.
We took the arial tram at sunset and it was a fun ride and a beautiful view.  It was much taller than we had anticipated and even a little scary. It's kinda funny that two people who just jumped head first from a bridge a few days earlier were a little scared of this little tram.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Border Control

 This is the first time in my life that I have been close enough to see the US/Mexico border.  I dont know what I was expecting, but I was a little taken aback by the number of helicopters patrolling the area on "training" missions.
 I did expect there to be a barrier, but this fence was intense. 
We were thinking about going across, but everyone we talked to recommended against it.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Enjoying the Sunny Side of Life

 The warmest part of our Christmas vacation was when we were down near San Diego.  We enjoyed days when we could put the top dow on our rental Mustang and wear tank tops and shorts.
 We spent time just lazing on the beach.

 We visited the Torrey Pines recreational area where we hiked from the top down to the beach and back again.

 We saw a movie being filmed using this hoover craft camera.

 We spent some time on the beach that was closest to the border of Mexico.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Over the Mountain

 On the way back over the mountain from the Palm Springs side over to the San Diego side, we took the scenic route.  It was such an amazing difference in terrain was we went from one side to the other. 

 The inland side was a very dry, desert scape.

On the way over the mountain, we encountered a snowy tree filled mountaintop.

And the next morning we had breakfast on the warm, sunny beach.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

The Trees

 After leaving Los Angeles, we took a little inland detour to Palm Springs.  We spent a day visiting Joshua Tree National Park and soaking in the hot springs in Desert Springs.
 We went to Joshua Tree the day after our long hike in the San Gabriel mountains so my legs were already really sore....and I mean REALLY sore.  So we had decided to do a couple really short, easy hikes around JT.
The terrain of JT was very stark.  The mountains were built from rocks that looked as though they were crumbling.  It was almost as thought there were giants wandering the land collecting piles of rock.  It was a very interesting terrain.
 It would have been great to have some more time to spend in the park.  I would love to camp there someday in the future.  I really need to invest in some serious camping gear.  Avery wanted to climb up every pile of rocks.
Driving through the park felt like driving through the forest in the Lorax.  It reminded me of the Truffula trees.  It was like being on another planet.  The park was so big that we could have spent the entire day or even several days there.  
 But when we got to JT, it was really cold and even snowing at the top of the mountain so we just drove around, then headed to the hot springs.  We found a spa that had a day rate of $7 and we spent the day soaking in the mineral waters.

Friday, January 04, 2013

The Dolby Theatre

Avery and I attended a Cirque du Soleil show on our last night in Los Angeles.  This was the 10th show that I've attended and, like usual, I left the show with a renewed sense of positivity about the world.  Cirque shows always have a way of reviving me.  When I leave a show, I feel like the world is good again and this show was no different.

It was also interesting to attend the show in the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood which is where the Academy Awards is held each year.  The Theatre is much smaller than it looks on TV, but it is beautiful.  I wish there was a seating chart somewhere online so that I could see who's seat that I sat in.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The Bridge to Nowhere

I need to give you some back story on the whole bungee jumping thing...yes, we bungee jumped!  It was Avery's Christmas present.  So there's this bridge in the San Gabriel mountains near Azusa, California.  Back in the 1930's, they built this road to go from the LA side over to some town on the other side of the mountains.  They built a good portion of the road and then spent millions to build this bridge, which in the 30's was a crazy amount of money.  As soon as the bridge was complete, a flood came through and washed out the entire road that they had just build, but the bridge continued standing.  So there's still the bridge, but they never rebuilt the road.  This bridge is beautiful really.  It's brand new, never been driven on.  Never been used for anything except...bungee jumping.  So first you have to drive about 30 minutes west of LA to get to Azusa, then you have to drive about 30 minutes into the mountains, then you have to hike 2 hours/5 miles into the mountains to get to this bridge.  It was a pretty strenuous hike, but it was beautiful.  We hiked in with about 50 other people who were all there to bungee jump with us.  It was a good day!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013