Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eating and Exercising

Sonia, Andrea, Tammy, Melanie

Rich was working on Saturday night, doing a food and wine pairing for the folks who were the high bidders at our Channel 8 auction a couple of weeks ago. So I decided it was finally time to have these gals over as I have been promising for many months. We settled on a fondue party, which was great fun. Melanie brought a crab fondue and a cheesy fondue while I made one of dark and milk chocolate, cream and marshmallows.

Everything was yummy and we had lots of good conversation and laughs. Andrea used to live in our house as a kid so she shared some of her memories of the place. Of course, it's completely different now and much smaller (since it used to be a full house and is divided into duplexes). Funny how she thought it was so small and we think it is so big compared to our last apartment.

We loved our fondue so much that we think we might have to have a regular fondue gathering.

After as much as we ate last night, it was a good thing we'd signed up for the Polar Bear Run/Walk today! It was pretty cold but overall a nice day to be outside.


Lots of emperor geese swam nearby

Yay! We did it! We walked, didn't run (well, Sonia did jog a bit) so we were pulling up the rear. Still, it was good exercise and we were proud. Then we went out for lunch. haha

Monday, February 21, 2011

Books and Birds

Last night I hosted our monthly book club. I've been traveling or have had conflicting obligations every month so it's the first meeting I've attended since the book club year started in September. Good thing I was available for the one I was hosting, huh? We always read a short, funny, fluff kind of book in February and this one was Happy Birthday or Whatever by Annie Choi, an amusing look at life and family by a Korean-American young woman. I enjoyed having people over and Rich, as always, came through with a fabulous dessert. From the bottom of the glass: butterscotch schnapps caramel, vanilla bean panna cotta, a thin line of melted red hots, fresh orange gelee, fresh whipped cream with a raspberry mousse rosette and a chocolate straw. Yum, yum. We also had a fruit, cheese and nut platter but it was a bit overshadowed. :)

Today was a rare occurrence--we were both off work on a weekday for President's Day. We slept in a little bit, did a few things around the house and then took a drive out to Summer Bay.

Emperor geese
Lots of seagulls
We also saw 11 seals and 3 sea otters but it's hard to get a good photo when they are pretty far out in the water. They sure were cute, though! I wish I could go swimming with them. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


1 AM and I can't sleep...this getting older thing is not always that much fun. I used to be such a good sleeper. Thankfully I am only working part time--and afternoons at that!

I hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day. Yes, I know it's a manufactured holiday and many seem to be very cynical about it, saying we should let our loved ones know how we feel on more than just one day a year. Which I agree with, wholeheartedly. But I don't think there's anything wrong with doing something extra special for your sweetheart. What's the harm in that? We need more love in the world, not less, right?! As I tend to say every year, the Chef has to work on Valentine's Day to make sure all the other loving couples get to have a fabulous dinner out. I really do not begrudge them but it does make my Valentine's Day kind of a one-person event. :) It's okay, really. It's become our running joke, I think. I posted something on Facebook and instead of sympathy, my friends seemed to be chastising me for being selfish. haha But lucky me, when Rich finally made it home late tonight, I was the happy recipient of tickets to see U2 in Philly when we go to the East Coast in July. That and a very sweet note in a Valentine card pretty much canceled out my whining.

The last week was a whirlwind while I was working on our Channel 8 auction fundraiser. It is a blast but a whole lot of work and some very long hours--all worthwhile, of course! The auction took place on Thursday and Friday nights and, as usual, any event of this kind really brings out the best in our community and makes me feel very happy to be a part of this little town. From the large numbers of volunteers to the generous individuals and businesses who donate auction items to the locals who bid and bid and bid to help us support local TV, it's a testament to the community spirit that keeps us all connected. We had a great time! Check out the KUCB blog for some photos (or our Facebook page).

I worked part of Saturday so auction winners could come in and pick up their items, while Rich was also putting in a long day at his job. We were supposed to go to the Chocolate Extravaganza at the Museum that night, followed by a potluck to say goodbye to our friends Anne and Jeanette who were moving away. Somewhere around 5 PM, I was totally out of steam and called Rich at work to ask him, "What do you think about just staying in tonight?" I think he was pretty relieved. Although I literally HATE to miss any community event, especially one involving chocolate, we were just beat. He didn't get a day off at all that week, what with preparing for Valentine's Day and various other responsibilities, so it was nice to put on the sweatpants and recline with a magazine for the night.

Anne and Jeanette are off to visit family and friends and then heading for Africa for most of the next year. We will miss them greatly but know they will have a lot of adventures to report back and we will see them somewhere down the road, I'm sure. They've started a blog here so check it out in a few weeks and see what they are up to. Unalaska is such a transient town that reminds me in some ways of my Air Force upbringing. People come and people go and I am starting to feel like an old-timer since I have seen so many arrivals and departures in my almost seven years here. Just like those AF days, it's hard to get close to people only to see them leave. But our lives are definitely enriched by the experiences we get to have together, even if just for a short while. Happy and safe travels, Anne and Jeanette!

In family news, grandson Aidan got "Student of the Month"--way to go, Aidan! (And tell your mom I am still waiting for the picture and news clipping to arrive!) Granddaughter Emery had clear scans in January (yippee!), and granddaughter Elle just turned 3 on the 11th (where did three years go?) I am very excited that they, along with our other sweet grandkids Ally and Beck, and all their parents, will be joining us at the Jersey shore in July. It's gonna be quite a party with Mom, all my siblings, their kids, spouses, grandkids, and some of our aunts, uncles and cousins thrown in. At last count, I think we now have five houses rented. I can't wait!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Beautiful Days

While many in the lower 48 have been suffering through the weather, it's been a little ironic that we have enjoyed quite the opposite lately. Yes, we've had some snow and rain and wind but it's been balanced out rather nicely. Since returning home, I've been busy with work and various other activities but Rich and I managed to get out for a walk yesterday and a beautiful day it was. Rich caught this seal fishing for food while the seagulls hovered overhead, maybe hoping to cash in on a dropped morsel.

Red billed oyster catchers

Enjoying the view