Do You See It?

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Seen at home in September, when The Bull and the oldest Calf were up hunting caribou.

Minutes later, I heard the click-click-click of a caribou’s tendons as one walked by the house. . . no pic on that one, it was too dark.

The Moose Is Back

Woo Hoo!! We have moose meat in the freezer again! Courtesy of this guy.

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(Wow, he’s growing up so quickly. Where’s the time gone??)

These guys, really. Can’t forget the brains behind this operation.

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On tonight’s menu, moose ribs. I had to check my own blog for my recipe. 😉 Last time we had game meat was 2011. Crazy how time flies.

Ok, I’m off to start the ribs. Catch ya later.

Superbowl XLIX (2015)

(Which shall, henceforth and forevermore, be nicknamed “Superbowl Ex-lax” in our family.)

What can we say? We rooted for the losing team. The Seahawks looked really good there for a while, especially that last roll-on-the-ground catch!

But the snacks were good. The Bull asked for this dip, which surprised me as this one is our old standby. But I was happy to oblige. In addition, we had summer sausage, crackers, tortilla chips, and carrot sticks.

Last year’s Superbowl was a venture into unknown territory with figuring out dairy-free snacks for my oldest. This year, he’s cleared to eat dairy 3 days a week. But Calf #6 and I are both on a dairy-free, wheat-free diet, so I made sure that there were non-wheat crackers for us. She’s not into the spicy dip thing, so I made myself a little bit of both dips. For the buffalo chicken dip, I used dairy-free cream cheese, canned chicken, and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. For the jalapeno popper dip, I used dairy-free cream cheese, jalapenos, mayo, and canned diced chili peppers.

(I did NOT use the dairy-free cheese in either dip because, in my opinion, the stuff is like a bad knock-off of Velveeta. I don’t mind it in chili but it does NOT substitute for cheddar, Monterey Jack, or blue cheese!)

I got farther on my knitting project, a heart-designed, triangular knit shawl. I’m using purple wool and I modified the pattern to make the shawl bigger. (Apologies, this links to a Ravelry page and you need to have a free Ravelry account to even see it. But really, if you like knitting or crocheting, you probably either have one or want to anyway!)

The Bull had to work so he missed the first half. But he got home in time to see a little bit of Katie Perry. (Sheesh, really?! Who picks these halftime acts? I would have been fine not seeing that. Feel like I ought to bleach my eyeballs and brain now!)

The two oldest Calves, aged 12 and 10, are now more interested in football and followed much of the game. Calf #5 actually watched a lot of the game, too. Calf #3 spent the first half sulking. And Number 6 napped about half.

So all in all, it was a decent afternoon. I think the only thing that could have made it better would have been a strategically placed touchdown. . . Ah well. Better luck next year, eh guys? 😉

(Edited to add…..Yes I forgot this, not sure how!)

Of course, one of my favorite parts of the Superbowl are the commercials. this was my favorite:

(though all the “dad” commercials were a close second.)

Superbowl 2014!

Five years ago I started this blog and one of my first posts was about watching the Superbowl. (Wow, five years!? And still I haven’t updated the calves’ photos on the side bar. Nor have I added #6. Note to self. Take care of this in my spare time. Spare time? What’s that?)

Anyway this year is no exception. The mood here inside Moose House here is electric. Snacks are (mostly) prepared. Calves have asked this morning no less than 74 times “When is the Superbowl?” (Answer: Three hours! Two and a half! Two and a quarter! GO PLAY IN YOUR ROOM!)

I’m especially excited about this year. Last year I spent Superbowl Sunday out of state with my youngest while she was in the NICU. The Bull and the kids were at home. It was hard for us to be separated for so long. And it is GOOD to be home with my family all together today!

We will be eating well, of course. This is one of our main Superbowl activities. Aside from the game, of course.

This is one of our all time faves. This year I’m making it a little milder for the Calves and me to enjoy. (The Bull likes really spicy foods!)

Two new recipes to try this year: a slight substitute for our old standby.  And a new soup to try. The Bull doesn’t really like soup, so when he requests one I try to oblige. I’m going to make it less spicy though (I hope!)

One thing VERY different for us this year is that I’m serving some dairy-free alternatives to snacks.  Calf #1 has had to avoid dairy for the past few months. (It started a year and a half ago but we then took a hiatus.) He hates it. I hate it. But I’m trying to make life as easy for him, and really DF is better than gluten free. . . .

Anyway, some families will just opt to go completely dairy free but that doesn’t work for us. So I made him a bacon ranch dip (made with plain ol’ mayo, dairy free cream cheese, and dairy free “sour cream.” It’s actually pretty tasty. I’m also making two pots of the soup, one DF (using rice milk) , one regular. We’ll see how it works.

Aside from eating, I’ll spend my time working on this project. I started it for The Bull almost two years ago. Then I had to put it aside while I started a baby afghan. It’s taken a while to get back to it. I’m changing the colors slightly to make it look more like an M1 Abrams (a blast from his past.)

I must admit that while I will (mostly) follow the game, I am more interested in the commercials. I have seen a few of the preview commercials and the one that strikes my heart hardest this year is the Duracell commercial. I guess one of the players is deaf? Wow!

Why? She is at risk for losing her hearing because of some of the extreme life-saving measures taken a year ago. . . so I am noticing all sorts of things about hearing loss, deafness, sign language, etc. (So far she’s doing fine! She LOVES music and is talking much better than some of her siblings at this age. And we are monitoring her hearing every 6 months just in case.)

Well, I’d best get back to the kitchen to finish snacks. Hope ya’all enjoy the game!

What I Wanted To Post Last January

(In January 2013 my youngest was fighting for her life. So while I had lots of things I wanted to post, I was a little busy. So this thought, though it would have been neat to post then, had to wait.)

After my parents divorced, my mom told us over and over that she and dad had been married fourteen years. I gave it little thought at the time, but just accepted her counting.

Till The Bull and I had been married 13 years and a couple of months. Then I started to wonder: How many years were they really married? Was it 13 years and some months? Or 14 years plus a few months?

I finally added it up and what I had grown up believing was a 14-year marriage was actually only 13 years 7 months!!! Amazing enough, but even more when you considered that that mark, for The Bull and I, was January 2013.

Of course this blew my mind away! We have been married longer than my parents were!!

This isn’t, of course, a “Looks like we made it” kind of post. His parents were married 35ish years before his father passed away.  One set of his grandparents were married 50 plus years!

Nor am I saying that we are so much better at marriage than my parents–we’ve certainly had our share of marital unbliss.

But as a teenager, I pretty much had it drilled into my brain that nobody, nobody, NOBODY stayed married longer than 14 years (though it was actually, only 13+7.) All my young adult life I figured 14 was it. After 14 years, a marriage would self destruct.

Somehow, we managed to beat the odds, at least in my mind. I know there’s nothing magic about that 14 year mark.

But to have come this far. . . that’s mind blowing, to me! And through tragedy and trauma over and over and over. Wow. How did we manage that??

Here’s to many, many, many more years together, my dear Bull. 😉

January 2014 Update: June 2013 was 14 years. Still here. Still married. Still in love and (usually) happy together! ♥

Superbowl, Three Years Later

Yup, another year, another Superbowl.  Great memories.  I ♥ football.

OK, sorry, not really.  This year, once again, I watched for the commercials.

And the food.

And hanging out with my friends.

(No crocheting this time, I was kinda busy.)

And the little people that joined us last time?  They are bigger now. (I really need to update the blog. . .)  And they had their friends too.

And afterwards The Bull and I had to rent a certain video. . . I don’t think I’d ever seen a certain movie in its entirety.  Well. . . . I can’t say that anymore.

And ya know what? It is fun to think of ditching reality/ real life for a day and living it up.

Let’s do that sometime, ok friend?  🙂

Hunting 2011, By The Numbers

About The Hunt
5.5 = number of days away from home
4 = days The Bull went out to look for caribou
11 = number of hunting excursions on those days
39 = number of caribou seen on these excursions; most were cows with calves, or bulls that were too far away
immeasureable = miles he hiked on these excursions
5 = number of caribou seen on our way home (and all right by the side of the road, and in a noisy construction zone no less!)

About The Location
59 = average high temperature (in Paxson, the closest town to our campsite)
42 = average low temperature (again, in Paxson)
4.5 = days with rain
1 = day without rain (the last one, of course, when we drove home)
1 = days of dry brush while The Bull was hunting (the first. . . it was dry when we arrived and dry when we left. . . apparently we hit a patch of rain!  Thankfully he had hip boots to keep himself dry on those wet days)
20 = percent of time there was rain during those days
1 = days our pop-up tent leaked
0 = amount of dust (but see previous item of days of rain, which yielded . . . . )
countless = amount of mud
1 = number of Iditarod mushers met on the trip

About The Hunting Party
4 = adults on the trip
6 = children on the trip
1 = baby
8 = bicycles taken out there
1 = horse on the trip
4 = tooth brushes purchased for people who had forgotten theirs (oops!!)
1 = number of times that the baby fell out of the trailer (thankfully, she did not hit the trailer tongue on the way down!!)
lots = number of diapers changed
1 = back ache for me (which is amazing, because normally it’s every day; guess I need a firmer mattress?)
7 = sets of clothing taken for each Moose child
3 = sets of clothes they went through on the first day camping (refer back to previous number of rainy days. . . . and temperature . . . )
10 = loads of laundry it took to clean up when we got home
3 = boxes of Kleenex brought with us
1 = Moose children who were sick when we left for camp
3 = Moose children who were sick when we left for home

What We Did There
just over 900 = miles driven from Anchorage, round trip
$4.85 = most expensive diesel fuel, per gallon, on our trip (Meiers Lake)
$6 = What I paid for one shower at a lodge near our campsite (a tiny shower stall in a cold shower house, mildewy, run by a generator, and very little water pressure. . . best shower I had the whole trip!) ( . . . OK, the only shower I had the whole trip! But still!)
$6 = What we paid for two showers in Glennallen (modern and clean, and neither for me)
11 = Narnia CDs listened to while driving out there and back
almost 5 = inches of the baby’s afghan I knitted while The Bull drove many of those 900 miles
about 20 = blueberries picked by Calf #2 on “Blueberry Hill,” his favorite spot near our campsite
40 or 50 = number of times the Calves and their friends hiked up to Blueberry Hill or down to the swamp
4 = days the Mooselets got to ride bikes around the camp
8 = chapters read in my book

About The Food
40 = pounds of dry ice purchased
$96 = cost of that dry ice (ouch!!!)
4 = days the dry ice kept things frozen
24 = ice cream treats that were purchased (intended to be eaten on our trip with our friends)
24 = ice cream treats that melted (it just never got warm enough to eat ice cream)
about 14 = pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables purchased (bananas, pears, oranges, lettuce, carrots)
17 = different meal items brought (macaroni and cheese, spam, canned soup, beanie weenie, tortilla chips with cheese dip and refried beans, pouches of ready-to-eat curried potatoes, granola bars, peanut butter and jelly, sliced turkey and cheese for sandwiches, cup o’noodles, instant oatmeal, dehydrated potatoes and cheese powder, canned fruit, canned juice, hot cocoa, coffee, milk)
4 = different meal items that we didn’t eat on our trip (we took waaaaaay more food out than we could have possibly eaten!)
8 = cans of spam taken out
2 = cans of spam eaten
11 = meals eaten in the wilderness
5 = meals eaten with our camping friends
5 = loaves of bread taken with us
3 = meals of sandwiches
9 = types of snacks brought (cracker/cheese packets, cookie packets, homemade cookies, gummi bears, jerky, smoked almonds, black licorice, dried fruit, corn chips)
36 = ounces of jerky taken
2 = gallon sized bucket of cookies taken

The End Results
1 = caribou that came home with us! Praise the LORD!!
468 = photos taken
Will try to post some of them next time. . . . . . . . .

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