Thursday, November 10, 2011

The last days of life in the North

I'm sorry for not posting anything for such a long time but I have been a bit preoccupied with preparations for heading south for the winter.....way south. You would think that since this is not my first time preparing for migration I should have this all figured out and down to a routine. Not this year I don't, but I will next year. I am of course hoping you all don't remember my plan last year to make a migration manual to make this all easier, the manual didn't get made. I just made a whole lot of "mental notes" which we all know are not notes at all, just fleeting thoughts. So once again I had to do it the "old way" which is making a to do list and then losing it a week later, making a new list and losing it a week later (because I make these lists on scraps of paper) and finally deciding to go without a list, this program is called "winging it", I don't think it needs an explanation.So for about a week my bedroom floor looked like this:

And my desk at home looks like this;

I usually come back to Canada in mid March to April sometime which is just in time for tax time so it is best I get organized for that before I leave because when I come home there is so much going on that my head is usually spinning for awhile.....not to mention taco withdrawal as well. It's a bad time to be looking for a lost receipt.
My office at work needs to be organized as well, don't like to walk into a mess in the spring.

Then during all this came Halloween, not that I am a big Halloween fan but that is usually when I harvest my pumpkins. This year I came across a wonderful recipe, I can't find it now so I can't give credit but the credit does not go to me.

Take 2 smallish pumpkins and scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, just like you do for carving and drizzle some olive oil in it and put about 3 cloves of garlic in it and put them on a baking sheet and bake until a knife pierces it easily. Let it cool off and scoop the flesh out and put in a blender with some oregano, also the garlic you put in, some salt and pepper and puree it and put back into one pumpkin, this is an amazing dip for garlic bread or crackers.....and so festive looking. I loved it and will look forward to it again next year. Will be growing little pie pumpkins just for this.

Then I had a wonderful surprise, I went to visit my grandma just before I left and she gave me my Christmas present early since I will not be here at Christmas. A hand made quilt, that she hand. Last Christmas she made one for each of her children (11 of them) this year she is giving her grandchildren quilts for Christmas, they won't all get one this year because there are way too many of us but I am the oldest grand child so I was among one of the first to get one. I will treasure this forever. I will leave it in Canada. A little bit of excitement for me when I return.

The Halloween spooks
Then just as I thought I had all my ducks in a row I was given another gift...sort of a gift. One of my cousins dropped this off at my house.....a moose hide. It is hunting season and I have many hunters in my family ( I am risking some criticism and controversy here). I like to make moccasins and I needed some hide, hunters shoot moose up here in the north every season and the hides normally gets left in the bush which I think is such a waste.The meat gets eaten, we are not sport hunters, everything shot gets eaten, each moose usually gets divided and shared with a few families. I grew up eating moose meat and I still eat it. It's part of our life up here and that is all I am going to say about that, I don't think I need to defend this any further here. If anyone has questions or comments about this feel free to post them but I will most likely respond to you by email stead of starting a debate thread here. While I welcome all opinions anything mean will be deleted.
I wanted this hide hand tanned and smoked the old fashion native way and by the time I found someone to do that for me it was getting too cold outside and now I have to wait until spring. So I just spread it out on our lunch table at work and let it dry for a few days and then put it in our pump shack at work where it will freeze nicely. This means that as soon as I return I must deal with this before it completely thaws. Which means I must come home before it completely thaws. Hope we don't have an early Spring (never thought I'd say that) Tanning the hide by hand instead of chemically makes it super super soft and smoking it makes it a little bit water proof.

You know you are a red neck when....there is a bloody moose on your lunch table and it doesn't bother you to sit there and eat your lunch. 
Next year this time I will have some moccasins for sale. I have cut out some of the front flaps and packed some beads and plan on getting the beading done this winter in Mexico so that when I return I can just assemble them. They will look like these, I made these last fall. There was an unfortunate accident with them but they did survive (somewhat). The first pairs that I will be making will be little little baby ones because they are quick to make and should be an easy sell ( I need to make my money back from the cost of getting the hide tanned) For the baby ones I will not make them this slipper style as they fall off babies feet too easily, I will make them mukluk style or "wrap arounds" as they are sometimes called. 
Soon I will sitting in front of a tequila sunrise on the horizon (or a tequila sunset) with plenty of time to bead away. Soon. 

1 comment:

Contessa said...

Love the quilt, not the moose hide so much!!