Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm launching a new blog: Borealkitchen

No sooner have I cooked a meal and the fam has devoured it, I find myself scratching my head: what shall I cook for the next meal?
As a mom, I have to think about food a great deal of the time -- I need to procure it, store it, cook it, serve it, clean up after it. Further, my job description includes that it be timely, healthy, tasty, and appeal to the different family members.
Let's meet the players, shall we:

There are picky eaters: "But, MOM! You know I don't like..." That's not much of a problem in my family -- they're pretty good about eating a variety, willing to try new things, and mostly appreciate my cooking. I do occasionally hear "MOM, you're the best cook!" Music to my motherly ears...

There are hungry fuckers (pardon my French) who walk in the door "I'm starving! What can I eat. NOW?!?" They can't possibly wait for dinner...

There are the sceptics: "What's in this -- what are these green/brown/red/purple things?".
Plus, I frequently get asked the question of "What's for dinner?" in the middle of the afternoon, and woe to me if I don't have an answer...

There are the condimenteurs (my own term), who feel everything tastes better if you add salt/sugar/ketchup/peanut butter... For crying out loud, can't you just taste it first without ruining it?...

And last, but not least: "Is that all?" and "What's for dessert?"

So, I've started writing about my family's adventures with food in my new blog Borealkitchen.

When I was in college, I read Francis Moore Lappe's Diet for a Small Planet, and it rang very true for me, and I promptly became a vegetarian -- to save the planet! That lasted less than a decade: when I was pregnant with my first child, I started craving meat, and realized my body needed the protein, iron, etc. I still love vegetarian food, and prefer a diet that's not too centered on meat, but believe that humans are squarely in the omnivore category.
Last year, my eldest daughter (in college), who knows and thinks a great deal about food and is also an excellent cook, suggested I read Michael Pollen's In Defense of Food and Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Excellent books, very thought-provoking.

So we're trying to eat more local food (we buy a weekly CSA box & farmer's markets), we've always enjoyed Alaska's wild harvest (salmon, blueberries, etc.), plus there's the good old grocery store. I personally don't tend toward extremism, and can't see my family repeating Kingsolver's experiment of eating only local organic food (much as I admire that, it's very difficult here in Alaska) -- but I'm becoming more and more aware of how our food is produced.

Middle child Wolf (high school freshman), was assigned to read Pollen's writing in his science class this week. Bravo to the teacher: what an excellent assignment -- great discussions! Like the rest of our family, this child is always thinking, questioning, wondering.
Yesterday over dinner I witnessed the following exchange with dad:
son: "Are organic vegetables really better for you?"
dad: "Marginally. But organic is better for the planet."
son: "Yeah...I can see that. Less chemical fertilizers and pesticides, right?"

Alleluja, the next generation is on board! One meal at a time...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Did I hear President Obama correctly in his speech last night? Not only does he value education, but he is calling on all Americans to value education!?! He's telling young people that a high school diploma is not enough -- you need more!
I think this is the first time I've ever heard an American president say this! What a contrast to his anti-intellectual predecessors. I love it!
The magnet above is on our frig: it is from (great site!!!) right next to another favorite "Let us now pause for a moment of Science" I would love to put them on my car as bumper stickers, but I fear I'll be run off the road here in Alaska-- my Obama sticker will have to suffice for now...

Gotta run, I'm off to judge at my kid's school ScienceFair. President Obama also called on us to volunteer more -- another thing I really applaud! I love this president: he calls us to action, to personal responsibility! (And all George W. Bush could do after 9/11 is to tell us to go shopping!)
These are difficult economic times, but we have a real leader in the White House.

Isn't there a saying, "these are the worst of times, and the best of times."?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Frau Honeypiehorse interview me

American expat blogger Honeypiehorse in Germany send me these interview questions:

1. Describe the proudest moment in your life.
I'd have to say giving birth to my children. I've had plenty other proud moments having to do with academic or professional achievements, or even artistic ones (a quilt I once made for a fundraiser auction sold for $1500), but none come close to the pride of a mother. It's hard to be humble when I say that I have 3 beautiful children whom I'm incredibly proud of!

2. How would you describe yourself if you could only pick three words?
So you know how wordy I can get!
My 3 words: Reliable, nature-loving, MOM

3. What would you bury in a time capsule?
I'm assuming you mean something to represent lil' old me at this time (2009) -- so that when opened in, let's say, 2050 (at the ripe old age of 90), then whoever digs it up will get a good idea of my life now, here in Alaska. I'll limit myself to three objects: knitting needles, my favorite hiking boots, and one book significant to me at this time (In Defense of Food by Michael Pollen) -- but wait, can I make please make that a Kindle electronic book, loaded up like an i-pod with a whole bunch of books -- forget that I don't even own a Kindle -- but I love to read, and there are lots of books I'd want to preserve for posterity...!)

4. If you had the opportunity to live on a space station for a month, would you do it? Why or why not?
Yes, I definitely would. The scientist in me would really dig it, and I would also find it interesting in a psychological way: a challenge, doing something completely outside my "normal" day-to-day life... But I would miss my family terribly, and would need to be able to be in touch with them... and of course be assured that I'd return to them...

5. Where do you consider home? Discuss.
That's actually the toughest question for me to answer! I've lived in Germany for only 5 of my conscious (non-infant) years, yet Germany strongly defines me culturally. Chile and Philippines were my home during my childhood, and I absolutely loved it there, but I have to admit I was a real "gringo" there. I've lived in the US for 30 years now, and the West is where I feel most at home: from Rocky Mountain Colorado to Alaska. But I can see moving to other places still (including new places I've never lived in before), and making a new home.
So, to some degree, I'm homeless, a Globetrotter, who's never completely put down roots, but would really like to... Where I live now does not completely feel like home, I have to admit, and this is because of the lack of community I feel here, not the land itself -- it rocks! The view from my front porch (picture on left) attests to that -- I just wish we weren't surrounded by quite so many conservative republicans...

6. If your life were to flash before your eyes, what memory or memories do you think would be the most vivid?
I find this one hard to answer, too. People I've loved would flash before my eyes, but also some beautiful landscapes I know: mountains, deserts, oceans... I've been lucky to see some incredibly beautiful places on earth.

7. Why do you think we are here?
Now you really do ask TOUGH questions!
I don't really know for sure WHY we're here, but I do think it's GOOD that we're here. I suppose my answer is this: to do good, to love one another, and to revel in the beauty of creation.

Here's the rules if you want to be interviewed (you will get different questions, just so you know!):
1. Leave me a comment saying you want to be interviewed, and I will send you your questions via email.
2. Update your blog with the answers to the questions and link back to this post.
3. Include the rules in your post.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Hippie Years

Wolf's Shakespeare play has gone excellently -- 6 performances in 4 days -- he's exhausted but happy. The play was done in Shakespeare English, but set in the 60's. It was so much fun: the set, costumes and the music sure brought back memories. I was born in 1960, which is a LONG TIME AGO to these young people on stage (they ranged from something like 4th grade to college-- ages 9 to 25). The girls looked great in their short mini skirts and polka-dot dresses, and Wolf wore ripped jeans with a tie-dye shirt and lovebeads. Come to think of it: remove the lovebeads, and the rest is pretty much what he normally wears!

My husband, the Prof, had long hair until only a few years ago -- it came down to his waist and he normally kept it in one long braid down the back. He grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and lived for several years in a tipi. Shortly after I met him, we planned a trip to Germany to meet the German family, and I was a little worried what my parents would think of him. The fact that he was working on his PhD in Physics would help (my father is one too, plus, physicists are allowed to be a bit eccentric). But I was worried about the long hair -- what would they think? But to my great relief, my father just laughed and said something along the line of "What matters is that he's a good person, and besides, Mozart had a braid too!"

My Amadeus kept his hair long for a long time -- even when it was time to head out in the "real" world and find a job as a professor, he found that he was accepted just fine at the Geophysical Institute at UAF in Fairbanks. He fit right in with his long braid, salt-pepper beard and tweed jacket.

But when we moved down here to Anchorage and settled in Eagle River, I did start noticing how the more conservative (esp. military) people here looked askance at him. I remember once we went to pick one of our kids up from a play date after Kindergarten, and the mom at first seemed friendly enough, but after she noticed my husband's long hair, her whole affect changed to pure coldness. It makes me mad when perfectly nice people are discriminated against purely based on their looks -- such as skin color, handicap or simply the length of their hair!

I did not move to the US until 1978, and still don't fully understand why "hippies" can produce such strong negative reactions in some people. It's nearly as if they think that all hippies are drug-addicts. And that certainly is not the case: plenty of long-haired hippies, even if they did smoke some pot (marijuana) at some point, did not end up as strung-out drug addicts. And what was so terrible about the hippie years -- after all, they brought a great deal of positive change too, such as the Civil Rights movement, feminism, environmental awareness.

I wrote my life story recently in a post entitled "How did a Kraut end up on the Taiga?", and mentioned that I went to high school at an International School in the Philippines in the 1970's. This was during the time when many teenagers were experimenting with drugs in the US and Europe. The Philippines during that time were under Martial Law, so I ended up never getting exposed to any it (o.k. I was also a real nerd). I had never even seen or smelled the stuff, and was clueless in college too ("What's that smell?" would evoke laughter and "Where were you in the 70's?").

The pot in those days, from what I understand, was not nearly as potent as what's available today. But then the "War on Drugs" was waged, and pot became highly criminalized along with all the other more serious drugs. Nowadays, our children start in elementary school with DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) -- which, in theory at least, is a good idea. But I wish it was more factual and less indoctrination -- I worry about kids finding out someday that much of DARE was scare tactics: smoking, drinking & drugs are all thrown in together as one terrible thing -- they all lead you down the slippery slope to perdition...yada, yada, yada... The danger is that when they first experiment with a relatively mild drug (and experimenting is in human nature) and find out the consequences are not the dire ones predicted, that they then will disregard the warnings about stronger drugs, and "throw the (proverbial) baby out with the bathwater", to disasterous results.

I understand that messages need to be kept simple for younger children, but still, somewhere along the line they do need to learn that life's choices are complex: it's not all black and white. Not everybody who takes an occasional glass of wine will end up alcoholic, and not everyone that ever has smoked a joint is a loser. Many years after college I had a conversation with my parents about marijuana, which they (like DARE) lumped it right in with heroine & crack, and they were surprised when I told them that I knew many professors and graduate students who occasionally smoked "recreational" pot or used psychodelic mushrooms, without negatively affecting their work and intellectual abilities -- it was not all that different for them than going out for a round of beers on a Saturday night. I don't deny that some people can have some real dependency problems -- my point is that not all drugs are created equal and therefore are not all equally damaging, because people are not all equally susceptible to substance abuse (due to genetics, etc...)

We all have known parents who are control-freaks, and have rather antagonistic relationships with their children -- and oftentimes these kids turn out to be some of the most rebellious. My philosophy is that it's best to build a good foundation for when they're heading out into the big wild world (after all, we're not always going to be there watching their every step)... Therefore, my husband and I try to concentrate on being a close and loving family, where we teach our children to think for themselves, to think critically, and learn from mistakes. This, of course, is easier said than done (wish us luck: one kid's in college, and we got 2more to go...)
BTW, I don't think that's necessarily the parents' fault when kids get in trouble-- these things are way too complicated for blame to be assigned like that! Challenges are part of life, and life is not fair...

So what exactly should you tell your kids about
your hippie days?
That's a question some friends of ours recently asked.

As I mentioned above, I myself have an easy out -- I did not do drugs in my youth. But most parents my age have at some point in their youth experimented with the stuff (and many of them lie about it now) -- do you tell your kids the truth? When? How much?
I certainly don't proclaim to have a clear answer for that -- and I believe it depends a lot on the circumstances. But in general, I believe in being as truthful as one can be without causing damage. And I strongly believe parents need to have established a relationship of trust and honesty LONG before this conversation ever comes up.

So, dear reader, I would love to hear what you think?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thoughts on blogging

To blog or not to blog, that is the question.

Regardless of how silly it is to hijack Shakespeare's quotes, I thought I would tackle the question of "Why blog?".

I blog because...

(1) I want to keep in touch with far-away family and friends, at least that's originally why I started. So that's why I post things like the kids' performances or travelogues (or what my husband calls "laundrylists") along the lines of "here's what we did on our vacation...". Therefore, dear reader, PLEASE just skip them if you find them lengthy or plain boring. The fact that very few members of my family/friends circle actually get around to reading my blog turns out not to matter that much. They know about it and can check what I'm up to, but nobody is obligated to read it! Blogging, for me, is much more about the process of creative writing than about being read.

(2) I've been surprised about how much I'm making new friends through blogging -- fellow bloggers out there in blog-land, and we enjoy reading each other's blogs... It's fun! Before I started blogging, I would have thought of cyber-friendships as somehow not being "real" -- but I'm starting to see that this is just as real -- in a way, it's similar to having old-fashioned pen pals.

(3) I like to reflect on what goes on in the world around me. My more reflective posts are, conveniently enough, listed under the label "Reflections". Strangely enough, it sometimes surprises me how much the mere act of writing about something can help clarify things that were until recently still muddled in my brain. I've also been self-disclosing more on my blog, something that does not come easily to me.

(4) this one is a direct outgrowth of (2) and (3): I like to think, and I like to have diverse intellectual discussions. By this I mean that I'm always questioning, analyzing, wanting to learn more about something --- and where I live I don't get much of a chance to have serious discussions with many inquisitive thinkers. Boy, do I miss living in a university town -- most people here fit more into the military/conservative category (maybe I exaggerate). My husband, the Prof, is great to talk to, and I long to "converse" with a variety of other people, and blogging is a great way to do that.

(5) I like to stay in touch with life & people from the Outside (that's what we Alaskans call the rest of the world). For example, I've discovered a whole community of expat Americans who live in Germany, and I love reading about their impressions of life in Germany. It's all about perspectives -- looking in from the outside -- it's like when you've gone on a trip and return home, and you get to look at your own life through different lenses.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Shakespeare is running our life!

The little man from 16th century England is literally making me run in & out of Anchorage on a daily basis. For the last few weeks, Wolfman had rehearsals every school night, and often did not get home until 9:30 or 10pm (just think of all the blogging time I've lost...)

But the end is in sight: tonight is opening night!
Hear ye! Hear ye!

After Sunday, our lives return to normal -- or as normal as our eccentric little family ever gets...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Around Lake Tahoe in winter

Subtitle: It's true, we went to Tahoe and did NOT hit the slopes...

There's a lot to do around Lake Tahoe, but downhill skiing was not on our agenda, due primarily to various family members' injuries, but also to the prohibitive high costs! (AND the lack of fresh powder snow!!!)
We tried to go cross-country skiing one day along the Tallac Historic Site Trail. The skiing conditions were, shall we say, less than ideal, but it was a fun destination: this is where the RICH and FAMOUS built their houses and vacationed into the 1920's. The site is now preserved by the Forest Service. I loved the TALL pines, and tried to capture them in these photos. The boathouse is now a venue for concerts during the summer.

Here is the Valhalla Estate, built by business tycoon Walter Heller (the skier is my husband, the Prof, who is not a tycoon!)

This next set of buildings, if I remember right, belonged to the Pope estate, nicknamed the "Vatican Lodge". I love the twisted wood detail on the cabin below.

On our drive around Lake Tahoe, we stopped at the overlook for Emerald Bay, with it's Teahouse on that little island below, only a short boat ride from Vikingsholm. This is a scandinavian-style estate built for Lora J. Knight, a wealthy Illinois woman in1928-9. We were not able to hike down because the steep trail was trecherous with ice and snow, so I'm including a summer picture of the estate.

I thought I'd seen some expensive real estate in South Lake Tahoe, but North Lake Tahoe seems to be where the real money is! All we could afford there was a cup of coffee and a glimpse...

Another daytrip was to historic Genoa, Nevada's first settlement. The first picture is of the Mormon Station, which was a stop along the Pony Express route. The next picture is the Genoa Courthouse -- we had a picnic at the city park right across it. The rest of the pictures are of the surrounding countryside: Patty and I would have loved to stop at every old barn!

The highlight of the day was swimming at Walley's Hot Springs (last picture above). We also visited the Genoa cemetery. I admit, I love to visit old cemeteries -- I hope that does not make me morbid -- I like to think of them as a celebration of people's lives! We saw several graves that featured "man's best friend" in stone.

This cemetery is where Snowshoe Thompson is buried: he was a Norwegian immigrant who brought skiing to the Sierra Nevada. Here's what I found on Wikipedia about Snowshoe Thompson (Interestingly, the spelling is inconsistent with his gravemarker): Between 1856 and 1876, he delivered mail between Placerville CA and Genoa, and later Virginia City, NV. Despite his nickname, he didn't use snowhoes (they're native to North America), but rather would travel with ten-foot skiis (which he called "snowshoes"), and a single sturdy pole held in both hands at once. His skill was legendary, and he saved many lives. Despite his twenty years of service, he was never paid for delivering the mail.

If you're interested in reading more about Snowshoe Thompson, go to this website to find out more.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Visiting the "Former Alaskans" in Lake Tahoe

Ok, our friends who moved away from Alaska are not exactly IN Lake Tahoe (brrrrr!) -- they live in the town of South Lake Tahoe. It's situated on the South shore of the famous clear blue lake that straddles the Nevada-California border. Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America -- impressively beautiful!

Mike and Patty had moved to Alaska as newly-weds about a decade ago, built a beautiful log home in our valley here, and had 3 lovely children. Our youngest became friends with their oldest in Kindergarten, and we moms hit it off right away -- quilting, knitting, gardening, hiking, etc... But sadly for me, they decided to leave Alaska 2 years ago and move back to where they grew up, to be closer to their own families.

Sooo, we made good on our promise (threat?) to visit them in their new home, and for our mid-winter vacation we flew to Nevada right after the New Year. Our eldest daughter from college joined us in Reno, where we first spent 2 days at a Nevada ranch to decompress.

On the third day, we rose again -- and climbed up the road to the land of Milk & Honey/ condos & casinos/ ski-lifts & jetboats. It dawns on me just how much of a country bumpkin I am -- I've rarely seen such a display of expensive real estate as there is on the shore of that lake! WOW, if those mansions are "second homes", then what do the "first" homes look like?

But on to our friends, who're doing a wonderful job of raising their children in this land of contrasts.

We descended on their house, and doubled the # of inhabitants from 5 to 10! It was great to catch up, and the kids seemed to pick up right where they left off 2 years ago -- legos and chasing each other thru the house... The youngest, nicknamed Baby Zilla, was only a year old when they left Alaska. She eyed us a little suspiciously at first, but warmed right up to us -- she melted my heart when she dragged out the baby quilt I had made when she was born, and said "You made this for me!"

Feasts were cooked, long breakfasts lingered over, hot tubs soaked in and and sights seen. Patty and Eldest hit the slopes one day while we took the kids to the Nevada Beach -- there was a brisk wind, but our gaggle of kids had fun burying Liesl in the sand. Only Alaskans would play at the beach on such a cool day! But we loved the sunshine we got there EVERY day!!!

We had a great time, and our friends were wonderful hosts. We did move into a vacation-rental that opened up on the third day there (there's that old saying "Guests are like fish -- on the third day they begin to stink") -- we felt VERY welcome, but realized how big an impact it is to host a whole family! Plus, Peter's sister and husband flew in to join us for the remaining days. It was wonderful to see them.

It is amazing how difficult it can be for a LARGE group of people on vacation to get going anywhere -- just deciding on where/what to eat took a while, let alone organizing an outing!
We did drive around the lake one of the days with just the adults -- at that point it seemed easier to just let the kids stay home and play! I'm sure our friends breathed a big sigh of relief when we were gone and their lives returned to normal.

I think the visit was hardest on Eldest. She is now used to living her own life at college, and not used to having to be part of a family, let alone two and a half. It seems to me that she had a very hard time being flexible, which showed itself in how critical she was of her siblings and parents -- I was probably just as hard to take when I visited Germany during college (sorry Mutti & Papi!).
On top of all that rubbed her the wrong way, Eldest got news that her paternal grandmother died in Florida (my ex's mom) -- it was really a damper on the end of the vacation! But our family did pull through it all, and we're all still talking (of course)! We're looking forward to her moving back to Alaska after she graduates, but realize how much she needs her own place and be in charge of her own life...
Here's a picture of Eldest holding Baby Zilla (dare I point out how good she looks with a child on her arm?!? -- hush). I have more pictures of Tahoe to share, but that will need to wait until another post...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Special, anyone?!?

I admit that I recycled this post -- but not only is it perfect for Valentine's Day Eve (and I'm too tired to think of something original tonight), it also shows that I'm not always serious, and that I too, have a glib side:

In these hard economic times, people are always looking for ways to save money. Here's a helpful hint for Valentine's Day (if you're in the market...)

We do some of our shopping at a big warehouse store (Costco), where you'll find multi-packs of many household items: double, triple, even sixtuple the normal amounts of ketch-up, coffee-filters, tampons, or whatever else you might be looking for -- often you get twice of what you need for half the price!

Today the Prof, my husband, saw an announcement that you can pre-order Roses for Valentine's Day. SPECIAL: 35 roses for $65
Who needs 35 roses? A cheating husband, of course! What a deal, we both chuckled and simultanously said that: "Perfect for the guy who has a wife AND a mistress or two!" Only at Costco...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin & Lincoln were born 200 years ago today

What a significant double birthday! Both Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born 200 years ago today. Both men were intellectuals who shaped the thinking of their world (and still influence ours): Darwin's Theory of Evolution changed modern science; Lincoln led the US through the Civil War and was instrumental in the emancipation of slaves.

Being a scientist and naturalist myself, Charles Darwin greatly influenced my world view. And his travels on the "Beagle" took him to South America, where he observed nature in the same neck of the world where I grew up (Chile). He was very thorough and not at all impulsive: it took him 30 years to digest his findings and publish "The Origins of Species".

Abraham Lincoln was born in Illinois to a dirt-poor farming family of German origin (my uncle wrote a book "The German Dimension of American History", where he researched that Lincoln's name was derived from "Linkhorn"). He became a lawyer and politician extra-ordinaire, the whole time struggling with depression and bi-polar illness. Lincoln's writings and speeches have been studied (revered, criticized) by many over the last century, including Barack Obama. His legacy was indeed large.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Apartheit: A Jewish Cemetery in Nevada

In a small canyon near the Virginia City, Nevada, there is a small Jewish cemetery that we visited during our vacation this past January. Not only was it was interesting to learn some of the history of "how the West was won", but I also learned first-hand how racism, in particular anti-semitism, was part of that history. Nothing on the scale of what happened in other parts of the world, but still, America has had its share of prejudice toward non-European whites. This is no secret, and we know about the atrocities committed against Native Americans who had lived in America long before it was settled by "whites". Less known, perhaps, is that among and between these settlers, some were treated as less equal than others -- even though America's constitution states clearly that "All men are created equal".

How did our family end up in that Nevada canyon? I had searched the web for a "Bed and Breakfast" somewhere in the vicinity of Reno (my criterion was that it be far away from the casinos and provide us with access to the outdoors). I found Seven-Mile Ranch: the price was reasonable and we had room in the bunkhouse for all 5 of us. After flying into Reno from Alaska, we met our Eldest Daughter who flew in from Montana, and then our family were off to a mini family reunion before heading into the Sierras to Lake Tahoe. In Tahoe, we would then visit our dear friends, whom I will call the "former Alaskans". I will blog more about the whole trip soon -- it took a month to get around to downloading the pictures from the trip -- so what's another couple of days...

Back to Seven-Mile Canyon, our first stop on our mid-winter vacation. We had left Anchorage at -20 degrees Fahrenheit, and here we were basking at the ranch in 60 degree sunshine. Aaaaaah!
After lazy breakfasting & communing with the horses & chickens, we took a little walk around to the nearby cemetery. Not much is left of the gravestones; most are broken.

A little historic background: Gold and silver were found in abundance at the Comstock Lode in 1859, making Virginia City the most important settlement between Denver and San Francisco by the time Nevada became a state in 1864. But in Virginia City, as in many other Western towns, Jews and other ethnic groups were not really accepted. A slum of sorts had sprung up in nearby Seven-Mile Canyon, and that's where the Jews started their own cemetery when they experienced their first deaths, starting in 1863. Nobody was buried in the cemetery after 1900 -- by then, presumably, the townspeople had accepted Jews to be buried in the proper town cemetery.