Saturday, January 12, 2008

Moose droppings....their size would amaze you!





I took a couple nice shots of the moon at sundown this evening. Those white specks are falling snow flakes, not planets! Was a beautiful clear sundown tonight after a week of no sun and snow.The air was so dry and cold that it was litely snowing even though there wasn't a cloud in the sky!

A customer at Maryann's work had brought in a treat for them the other day. Maraynn found it to be so good that she brought some home and we had the opportunity to try what is a delicacy for the native locals here in the central peninsula. Myself in particular found it to be rather surprisingly delectable. It was actually a shock to me as I had seen them before, but never realized what they were and how tasty they actually are. Of all things, moose droppings are somewhat small in size, about the size of the palm of your hand which is a surprise in itself considering their 'big' name. They don't look like much yet the glazed brown texture has somewhat of a crispy feel when you initially bite into it. In fact, they tend to fall apart in your hands and as you eat them. The center of a moose dropping is rather moist and chewy. I found that the ones that have nuts swirled in them are the best. That extra crunch is a plus! The unique thing is that they are affordable so you can buy a bag for less than a few bucks. The Moose Is Loose bakery in Soldotna specializes in moose droppings and although the calories will more than likely kill you, they are the best little baked goods I have ever tasted. In fact everything at the Moose Is Loose will kill you....and is the best. We are fortunate to have such a bakery. Sorry mom and dad, one of the places we failed to take you to!

Speaking of moose. We are starting to see many moose lately, as the snow is getting deeper and they are finding an easier way around on and near the roads. Remember the lesson on moose in the winter.....their food source is frozen and/or buried in snow, so they try to conserve their energy by using roads as opposed to trekking around in the snow. Unfortunately many have fallen fate to collisions with vehicles. People can tend to be jackasses even when the roads are slick with ice. They just can't seem to slow down. And when a behemoth of a moose does enter the road at the last minute, it is generally too late for the moose and the vehicle.

I have been putting alot of hours in snow plowing this week as the snow has been flying...like no other! The other morning I was out plowing and just about the time the sun was coming up I was doing the parking area of a tri-plex just outside of Kenai. As I said, the snow has been flying alot this past week or so, so I was developing quite the pile of snow through the week in one corner of the parking area. I back dragged some snow out of a couple parking spaces, and lined up a pile to get a better angle in order to push it down the length of the parking area to the pile at the far corner. So there I am scootin' along with the snow piling bigger against my blade, and as I reach the end with my first pass proceed to push it up the side of the weeks pile and stop the truck to shift in reverse and back off. To my dismay, in my headlights which are still somewhat at an upward 30 degree angle, up pops a moose head from the other side of the pile, takes one look at me, kind of snorts, turns butt and strolls off. Not sure what he was up to behind my pile of snow, but he sure seemed unstartled by my presence! As we have said they are a bit sluggish and slow this time of year, yet presumably more aggressive and unpredictable. Where have these creatures been all of my life?!

In other news, John has somehow managed to land 3 jobs at the same time. Incredible, seeings how he hasn't been able to find anything the past 4 months. Mind you, he still helps me when I have the work to spare, and he has some work with a guy out here at his home. He makes pretty good money working it this way, but it is a little inconsistent and he keeps finding himself struggling with the cash flow. Things will change drastically for him when fishing starts up in the summer, as he has a guaranteed job at the processing plant in Nikiski, and has an opportunity to actually work on a commercial vessel this year. But for the winter he is doing what he can. Ultimately the job in Kenai turned out to be minimum wage, and at that a long commute out and back....after gas each day that doesn't leave much. The other job was here in Nikiski at a pizza place. But the one he really wanted and ended up taking was at the Italian joint, also in Nikiski. You remember, the one we practically live at.... It is just 5 minutes into town, and the tips plus wages makes him more than happy. Plus he gets free dinner. Which is good for our pocketbook! Was just amazing how when it is dry it is dry, and when it rains it pours. All 3 job offers came in within a 3 day period.

Remember a while back when I was excitedly preparing to sell pottery at the Christmas in Kenai show and the kiln let me down, big? Well after long thought and discussions with Maryann we decided to invest in a new kiln for me. It just made more sense to have something reliable, and being new is much more efficient on energy, and upgraded to fire pieces much more effectively. It arrived a few days back, and I have been anxiously getting it set up in my studio to start firing what I never had the chance to do back in December. I am really looking forward to trying to market my pottery more this spring and summer, and do more street faires, and such. So there is the outcome of that past situation.

Maryann finally went to day shift and we are happy to have her back. Seems kind of strange at times, as John and I were both getting used to staring at each other each night, bored, and eating mac&cheese or cardboard frozen pizza. Now we have someone new to look at, never is a dull moment and still have mac&cheese or cardboard frozen pizza! Maryann is having a hard time adjusting to John and I's cave-like existence. Slowly she is reforming us back to the excitable, silly-asses we used to be! ;)

It is amazing what a difference an extra hour or so of daylight is making. It is kind of exciting actually knowing what lies in store with summers lightness. However, winter is far from over here, and they say that usually January and February are the coldest and snowiest months. Maryann just announced a few minutes ago that it is -5 below 0 now and still dropping. Really hoping the ice cactus delima was solved the last round of minuses with all of our heartfelt caulking and foaming. Although there are some strange frost patches and huge icicles growing in strange places on the outside of the house. We'll see what develops with all of that! I am giving thought to throwing on the snowshoes this week and walking across the lake. It is more than frozen now and plenty safe. Maybe get to see what we look like to the moose that hangout across the lake. Just so long as I don't run into any! Oye!! Alright now, take care and have an awesome week. And remember.....the moose droppings are too die for!