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June 2007 Archives


June 29, 2007

Best way to sugarify a vegetable: celery with peanut butter. Discuss.

(Did you know that you can peel the backs of celery ribs, which removes all of the strings? This may have just altered my entire view of celery.)

Fancy a Margatita?

June 27, 2007

Las Margatita's

Steve noticed this after work yesterday and made me turn around.

Do you think a// no one noticed, or b// they don't care?

Caribou Hills Fire

June 26, 2007

I showed up at my brother John's place on Saturday looking for a party he promised in celebration of Tay's new legs and his turning Ancient years old. But the party was pretty lame with just three guys and Tay in the back yard. So I ate a few prawns and split.

Heidi went down to help with the Caribou Hills Fire. My brother Rodney's cabin is only three(ish) miles from the fire, but so far is not in danger. Heidi snagged a lot of really great photos of the area and the fire and Rodney's cabin.

Caribou Hills Fire
Originally uploaded by HMM907

This past summer and Christmas I spent quite a bit of time at my oldest brother's cabin at Caribou Lake. I had never been much of a roughing-it kind of person, but I guess it's true that you can't get the country out of the girl because I loved it out there. I could have spent a whole week, maybe more there.

The fire is getting more under control, but I know everyone will breathe a lot easier once it's out.

5 Things Valette Has Been Doing to Cheer Up

June 23, 2007

1. Sitting in the front yard with a book and a bottle of sunscreen and a squirt bottle full of water to "convince" Lacey that she doesn't really want to bark.

Her Favorite Ball

2. Walking the dog to Campbell Lake where she can chase ducks and boating peoples until she remembers that she hates swimming and instead chooses to pee in the water.

Campbell Lake Duck

3. Walking blocks and blocks around downtown waiting for the Anchorage Pride parade to start, then getting breakfast upon realizing we were an hour early.

Bubble Gun

4. Putting my dog in a box. Because it really is much more fun than you could imagine.

My Dog In A Box

5. Paying off car loans.

No Lien

Cemetery Luck

June 21, 2007

If I find an old baseball in the cemetery -- in an edge flowerbed, not on a grave -- during my lunch break, would that be considered good luck or bad luck?

Would the luck change if I removed it from the cemetery and it didn't blow into dust the moment it passed the gate?

Sum Sum Summertime

June 18, 2007

I was at the Flickr meetup.

It really is beautiful in there, even though the "points of interest" were things like: Birch Trees; A Bear Once Scratched This Tree; A Bear But Probably Not The Same One Scratched This Other Tree Over Here; and Really Big Rock.

There were a ton of flowery pictures to be taken, but I'm getting tired of taking flowery and cloudy pictures, which is maybe why most of my shots were of people.


I've been in a little funk lately, my friend The Voice is back. The Voice that likes to whisper how terrible and wrong I am about everything. The Voice that likes to whisper that I'm not good enough to get a new camera even though I have the money and the desire and the tongue to get one and lick it for three weeks nonstop.

So, yeah. The Voice is No Fun Indeed. I'm pretty sure the dog has picked up on this emotional weirdness, because her toys have started showing some peculiar emo traits.

Suicidal Monkey

But solstice is on Thursday, and I intend to make full use of the midnight sun (which isn't as bright as Fairbanks' midnight sun) by... doing something. Something really fun. That will keep me awake at least until midnight. Maybe.

Isn't there a law about every town being required to have solstice festivals?

Anchorage: what gives?

In Line At the Deli

June 13, 2007

I love your shoes!
Your skirt is so pretty!
I'm four!
Trees with flowers on them are silly!
I have to learn to like sandwiches because next year when I start school I can't take chicken strips and corn with me!

Mom's Apple Crisp

June 11, 2007

10 apples
2/3c sugar
1t cinnamon
1½t nutmeg
2T unsalted butter
4T frozen orange juice concentrate

Peel the apples first, then slice them. Don't slice them first and then try to peel them. While that will theoretically work, it will take for-freaking-ever and you'll be standing in the kitchen all morning when you could be showering. Put the apples in a greased 9"x13" Pyrex pan.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Sprinkle mixture over apples and mix with a spoon to coat. Drop dabs of the butter and orange juice concentrate over the apples.

½c brown sugar
½c unsalted butter, cold
1c flour

Combine the brown sugar and the flour in a bowl. Cut in the butter until it is loose and clumps together with pressure in your hand. Decide it will not be enough crisp and double the recipe.

Pour the topping onto the apples and wonder if you made too much topping. Decide there can never be too much topping.

Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes (10 if you didn't double the crisp). Turn heat down to 350° and bake for 30 additional minutes.

Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream at a fabulous croquet party, making "nyum nyum" sounds.

Valette and Steve

Proceed with obtaining a sunburn, which shouldn't take too long with white Alaskan skin.

Place the leftover crisp into some tupperware in the refrigerator so the crisp will soak up all of the apple juices and get less crispy, more gooey, but just as yummy.

Rescue 911

June 6, 2007

In November, the roads are slick in Alaska. Everyone knows this. But the shiny gadgety buttons in my parents' brand new GMC Yukon were more important to my 17-year-old self than paying attention to the roads.

My sister was in the passenger seat; I was driving her to a birthday party on top of West Hill. I was going too fast and the hairpin corner came too soon.

I slid through the curve and into a small pickup coming the opposite way. I pushed him into the ditch and his truck rolled onto its side. As everything came to a stop and time restarted, I jumped out of the car and found the driver climbing out of his driver's window, now facing the sky.

I shouted to him, asked if he was okay, if he was injured at all. The only six words he has ever spoken to me: You need to call the cops.

Even though Homer is a small town, I didn't know the family that lived in the house across the street. I didn't even know their name. I stood on their porch, my whole body shaking, and prayed that someone would be home and let me use their phone.

When the operator answered, I told her there had been an accident. She asked which area, and I told her that it was the hairpin corner of West Hill. She rephrased her question: Which city? I hadn't even known that our emergency number covered multiple cities.

There was another accident while I was in Fairbanks, a coworker in a company vehicle had ran a stoplight and hit a van. She called me while she was still in the car.

I tried to calm her down, to recite the facts to me without crying. The airbag had deployed. She didn't know how the other person was doing. She was sure she was okay.

I convinced her to get out and check on the other vehicle while I called the police. I relayed her position and approximate time of the accident.

The company vehicle was totaled and the others had minor injuries. I attributed my calmness to not being directly involved in the accident.

How many times have you had to call your emergency number?

Surprise Dollars

June 3, 2007

When I did my taxes back on April 14, I surprised myself with the amount of my refund. There were many changes in my life in 2006 that accounted for the size of the refund, but I was surprised nonetheless.

I sent it off with good luck wishes and certified stamps and X's and O's.

And then the IRS promptly sent my tax return back to me with a big note saying, "You totally forgot to sign this form you moran kthxbye."

Oh. Erm. Right. So I signed the form and sent it in. Again. A month after I sent it in (unsigned) the first time.

And promptly forgot about it.

Until today! When my savings account magically grew! By a whole lot of dollars!

Dollars that I never figured into any budget for any daily living or super secret special San Francisco trips that may or may not be taking place in August.

Dollars that could be put toward my student loans. Or savings.

Or I could blow it all on a shiny new camera.
Ooh, shiny.

Fridays Are the New Mondays

June 1, 2007

I should have stayed in bed today.

Actually, judging by the snippy undertones in the office, I think everyone should have stayed in bed today. Just called in and cancelled Friday; declared it now part of the Extended Sleep In Saturday Extravaganza.

There are issues with not being able to read minds. Issues with office equipment. Issues with overwhelming and yet mundand tasks. Issues with an email phone bill for almost four digits of numbers that I'm sure doesn't belong to me.

Issues with issues about issues. Most of which I couldn't have prevented, wasn't responsible for, but am in the middle of.

Five Things Valette Would Do With One Free Afternoon, Provided That Afternoon Was Today

  • Nap. With my slug of a dog. In a sunbeam, were I to find one.
  • Go poke fun of Tay all home alone in leg casts. And have her make me a sammich, because I'm her aunt and have no sympathy for lazy lay-about teens.
  • Pajamas.
  • Jeans shopping. Because all of my jeans are either too short, too fat, or too work-inappropriate (think "distressed" rather than "ass-crack"). I need a new pair or two.
  • Mocha and a book. In the park. With a sunbeam. On a blanket. Maybe combined with the nap, as discussed above. But that would make this list four instead of five.

Additional Content

Hi, I'm Valette

I'm a photographer based out of Anchorage, Alaska. I've recently become a wife, a stepmother, and a homeowner. Life is pretty awesome. You can email me anytime. Learn more...

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