Posts Tagged ‘Photos’

Seaweeding

Today we went seaweeding, Aaron, Ted, Cathy, baby Michael and I and Eliza’s cooking class. Ionia usually goes every year around this time; it’s the lowest tide in the spring and so the best time to harvest. I went last year after having just been in Ionia a little while, and so it seems fitting that I went this year shortly before leaving, and with a whole bunch of people I could introduce it too, kind of like passing on a torch- or something. My liking for seaweed has changed dramatically in the last year, too. I used to really dislike it and now I like it- sometimes. The first time I ever liked it was cooked fresh, right after seaweeding.

We got up at five in the morning, before it was light and left just at six, arriving in Homer around eight. Because the best places to go seaweeding are on the other side of the bay from Homer, we had to take a little boat, the Beowolf to get there.

A forty-five minute boat ride took us to the seaweeding spot, a length of beach on which, as the tide receded, was revealed to be covered with the seaweed we had sought; alaria, dolce, and kombu. Alaria is the seaweed we usually harvest, but after the disaster in Japan, international supplies of the other two seaweeds are looking scarce, so we decided to see if we could harvest the others. The wild Alaskan kombu maybe too thick to use and we haven’t sucessfully dried the dolce (Alex tried last year), but we decided to experiment anyways.

The people in the cooking class we very excited to have an opportunity to harvest their own seaweeds.

Fields of Alaria:

Aaron and I concentrated on these more exotic seaweeds- while we worked we talked about how we were planning on drying them and which ones were the best to pick. Aaron thinks that the more we harvest the kombu the more tender it will get, because the plants will be forced to regrow their leaves every year. We also took the opportunity to check out the local fauna:

Besides the starfish I saw seals, sea otters (which can get five or six feet long- they were enormous!), sea anenomes, bald eagles, crabs:

And a colony of living sand dollars:

As if spending the morning seaweeding wasn’t tiring enough, when we got back to Ionia we had to hang it. Here’s Nancy hanging the alaria:

For the kombu we resorted to paperclips:

And three different experiments for the delicate dulse- drying on the tempcast on towels, on a wire rack, on the inside laundry line;

And now I’m exhausted.

Only five more days until I leave Ionia- and I’m just starting to feel like I’m finally here.

-Gwendolyn

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Pictures

So, belatedly, here’s the photo of the quilt Mirra and I made for Alex’s nephew, Domenic. We made one for his adorable baby brother, Mathis, when he was born (along with several other people) and when Domenic saw me making it he asked me in a little voice if I could make one for him. We were going to embroider it, like we did for Mathis’ one, but we didn’t have enough time, so Mirra (by far the better artist between the two of us) drew the pictures and I pieced it together. Domenic was so happy he started breakdancing.

And while I’m stealing pictures from Jane’s facebook (Jane is Alex’s sister, who lives in New York and has a ukulele that I covet), here’s one of Alex playing with his younger sisters:And here’s a picture of a bald eagle (which are almost as common as crows around here):

And the Alaskan mountains on the way to Anchorage

And, finally, Alex and the other Ionians going to Hawaii:

In my life: time is going a lot faster than I expected. I’m cooking a lot and doing some writing and I sent two letters out to agents yesterday, which made me crumple in anxiety. I can’t help but think that if Alex and Mirra were here they’d make that all better, which seems irrational, but might just be true. I can contemplate doing all sorts of things with them that, when I’m alone make me shrink in terror. They’re like lucky charms; if only they were the kind I could carry around in my pocket this would all be a whole lot easier.

Mirra says time is going a lot faster for her as well; she’s taking violin lessons, and they’re going amazingly well. Not surprising to me- I’d be shocked if there was any stringed instrument she couldn’t just pick up and play. And Alex says he’s doing well in Hawaii, although I heard the air conditioning is busted and all the kids are getting sunburns and eating too much fruit.

A few days ago, when I wrote the last depressing post, I was feeling very miserable and questioning the project. The emptiness of the place, and the absence of Mirra and Alex… but now I’m really optimistic. I think that this break is going to give all of us a chance to revive and strengthen before we plunge into trying to make money and plan our trip in Falmouth. I’m super excited now, but I’m also okay with waiting a few days.

-Gwendolyn


Dreams and Cake!

Mine and Gwendolyns Cake

So I’ve been sick for five days now, and from day one I was dreaming about Carob Almond Cake! Finally I got my wish! I broke down last night and decided I would not be sick today, (if only it worked like that, right?) I hope the cake doesn’t keep me sick for another five days.

Yesterday, I got a huge wave of panic/depression because I’m leaving my home in a little bit, always a scary and sad prospect. It started when me, my sister Katie and my Mom were talking about what was going to happen with the house that I live in, the same one that my siblings and I grew up in.  I realized I was going to say goodbye to it and I don’t know when I will see it again, and then I realized the same was true for my family and community. So sad. I needed to get out of this sad train of thought, so I started looking at intentional communities with Gwendolyn and Mirra. As we were reading about them I tried to imagine each one and what it would be like. How do they deal with money? What do they do for food? How do they handle children and schooling? Etc, etc, etc. Then I started to get really excited! I get to see all these REALLY different ways in which communities handle these things! I get to see this huge and beautiful country! Meet tons of new people! It is truly a dream come true!

-Alex

Me and Mathis

 So here I am with Alex’s amazingly adorable nephew Mathis. I was lucky enough to be part of Mathis’ birth (which was incredibly amazing), and I’ve gotten to be part of Mathis’ life since then. I think one of the most rewarding parts of living in communities with children is being in communities with children.

I grew up surrounded by my mom’s daycare kids and whenever I lived or worked away from children I always felt like there was something missing. The way children are separated from adults in the normal society seems so unnatural. They’re such an amazing part of life, and people shouldn’t have to have their own or have to work in the vastly underpaid childcare industry in order to have a close connection with a child.

At Ionia, the children, the youngest ones especially, are really valued. People actually fight over who gets to hold Mathis. One of the reasons I want to live in an intentional community is to be around children and so, when I have my own children, there will be other adults who will want to help me take care of them.

-Gwendolyn

p.s. I cut my hair. This is kind of a bad shot of it- I think it looks kind of like a mushroom but everyone else thinks it’s cute. (Mushroom cute?)