Jan 30, 2011

Backyard Visitors

I came to clean up birdseeds
but what's that I hear?
whew ~ no danger ...
just that gal behind the camera
checking out all the new snow
maybe I should sneak out of here 
before I track up the whole yard!

Jan 28, 2011

Comfort Foods

Yesterday we feasted on salmon patties. I just knew there had to be at least one more package in the freezer and boy was I happy to be right. I simply put the thawed salmon filets in the food processor along with a couple of eggs, onions, green and red pepper, flour, bread crumbs and seasonings. The texture and flavor were absolutely perfect.  Served with mashed potatoes and creamed peas.  Oh my goodness - lip smacking good.

 Earlier this week I was physically going through a rough spell. I don't know about you but when my body is aching, I like soup - so I cooked up a kettle of vegetable soup.  Well today there was just enough left to transform it into another meal. So I thickened the broth, added some curry seasoning and made biscuit dough to top it off.
It sure was good! 

Jan 26, 2011

Take a Trip with Me!

I lived down the road from Santa's House.
We've been to the Yukon Quest!

I was thinking about some of the traveling I've done. I'm adding links so you can have a little peek of what I experienced in real life. I may not be a world traveler like my husband was throughout his military career, but then I never lived in several countries like he did either. However; I have enjoyed some parts of the United States and Canada that others may not have seen. I've been up and down the Alkan several times, across the upper parts of the U.S. and the lower parts of Canada. I've also traveled  the infamous Interstate 35 and have at one time or another covered that highway from Duluth, Mn to as far as Dallas/Ft. Worth Tx. Here are a few - and I do mean a few only - of the places I've been. Now I'd like to share them with you. Enjoy!

Watson Lake, Yukon Territory, Canada  
 Sign Post Forest

I've seen Niagara Falls from the Canadian side  
and experienced a virtual ride over the falls via
I had a 58 second elevator ride
from ground to the top of  
tallest free standing tower in the world.
I went back in time at Casa Loma, Toronto 

I've had rolls thrown at me at the
talk about some good eating!!! 
And I've been up the Big Muddy on the

As I said these are just a few of the things I've seen and done but it sure was fun going down memory lane and re-visiting all of these places again today.  I hope you enjoyed the trip. 
** please note all photos on this post were found on the net **

Jan 23, 2011

My Earthquake Experience

A dear friend informed me that an earthquake had hit just west of Scotland today. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-12262293 
 Having experienced an earthquake myself I have great respect for the powers of our Lord and how He can ((((shake)))) things up. 
As many of my followers know, we used to live in North Pole, Alaska.  It's located about 10 miles southeast of Fairbanks.  On November 3, 2002 we experienced a 7.9 quake with the epicenter approx. 70 miles south of us.  I read an article stating it was the largest earthquake ever reported in the interior of Alaska. 

Heres how I remember it:
It was a normal afternoon until about 1:15 p.m. Alaska Time. And wouldn't you know it,  the duty of nature was calling me and I was sitting on the toilet when all of a sudden I felt a cold 'wave' cross my fanny.  At first I thought maybe the toilet had broken and all of a sudden it happened again only this time it was a bigger splash. At the same time I heard Thom yelling "Earthquake, we're having an earthquake!" I could hear the door bell chimes ringing like crazy. We had the type that had long pipes hanging and boy were they sounding off.  I yelled "What do I do?"  He said "get dn, get dn." So I dropped down flat on the floor in the attempt of pulling up my underwear and jeans. I was wriggling around like a fish out of water when he peeked in the door yelling "Hurry up." 
 He stopped dead in his tracks - looked at me and said "WHAT are you doing?" I answered "you said - get down, get down" He said "No, get done! Just get done! - we have to get out of the house."  Needless to say, once I was upright the pants slid on much easier and we were out the door in no time at all. 
Although we could only see one neighbors house which was across the road from our driveway, we could hear several other neighbors calling for their kids and animals.  The neighborhood echoed of dogs barking like crazy - as if they knew something more than we did.  The trees were swaying and the powerlines caught my eye. The poles were leaning back and forth loosening and tightening the power lines themselves as they did so. Both of our vehicles were setting in the driveway rocking so hard that we heard the gas sloshing in the tanks as the earth trembled below. And you wouldn't believe how hard it is to stand upright when all this is going on.  It reminded me of  the floor moving underfoot as you walk through the spook house at a carnival. You get queazy to the stomach and  a general unsettled feeling overtakes you.  It induces vertigo and nauseau. Amazingly all this happened in just a matter of minutes. But the after effect lasted much longer. My legs and back ached for about a week just from trying to stand. I evidently called on muscles I didn't recall having.
As the aftershocks settled down and we went back into the house we were shocked that the dishes had shaken close to the edge of the cupboards, but they never fell out. The chimes were still ringing and the dining room chandelier was still swinging back and forth at a pretty good pace. The toilet had sloshed some water onto the floor because I was no longer sitting on it to seal it off.  But other than that we had suffered no injuries or structural damage. By the Grace of God only one woman was injured through all this.  She broke her arm as she fell down her stairs. The Alaska highway system however; was not so lucky. 

to see more pictures click this link
What an experience!

Jan 22, 2011

Come Fly with Me

Come fly away, come fly away with me ... well ok, so it's not actually me but I can connect you with a virtual flight thats really quite breathtaking.

Click here: TVKim- Watching: Kim's Picks- Flights of fancy

Enjoy the journey!

Jan 20, 2011

Sub Zero Swimming at -35

Brr... it's been dipping below zero lately around here. This sub zero weather reminded me of our honeymoon.  We got married in our home while living in North Pole, Alaska.  It was Jan 11, 2002.  In early Feb we took a ride up the road about 125 miles to Circle Hot Springs in Central Alaska.  When we arrived at the lodge, there was only a handful of other people there. They headed out the next morning and we had the place to ourselves.  The lodge is no longer running and is listed for sale by owner.  If only I had a million bucks to spend on buying and refurbishing that piece of history ... oh well.
The service and food was fantastic. Our chef was a former cook on a ship that hauled loggers that worked off  the southern coast of Alaska. She was also a former NY City "Rockett" dancer. She was super friendly and shared some very interesting stories. And beleive me, we never left the table hungry. 
We went swimming when it was 35 degrees below zero. Let me tell you - you DIVE into the pool, no tippy toeing here.  Once in the water you are just as comfortable as can be. BUT your hair freezes.  It was kind of fun because you can style into peaks like a punk rocker and it  freezes in place. I looked like a crystalized angel - really!  This is a natural hot spring that runs into an olympic sized pool. It's fed by a natural constant flow of hot water from the springs were the temperature is 139 degrees.  It has a natural flow and a complete turnover of water every 18 hours.

Once we had done all the swimming we wanted, it was time to head to the showers.  Thom got out first and ran like a rabbit to the mens side.  I climbed the ladder, grabbed the already damp hand rails and stuck to it. So here I am with my hands super glued to the rails and as I stepped into my flip-flop sandals and attempted to move, down I went. Crashed my knee into the ice that had set up, and my sandals froze in place. Here I hung with my hands still on the rails of the ladder, on my knees and at this point I looked like the Karate Kid waiting for further instructions from his master! I screamed for Thom to come help and it seemed like time stood still. I know it was only a matter of minutes, maybe seconds in reality but at 35 degrees below zero with a wet body, I was freezing!  By the time he came to my rescue my own body heat had loosened my hands from the rail and I high tailed it barefoot across the ice and hit the shower.  That had to have been the best shower I ever had in my life.  In the meantime Thom had chiseled my flip-flops loose from their ice grip and we headed back to our room.  Just another one of my Alaskan experiencesSomeday I'll have to share how a canoe beat me up! 

Please note these are pics I found on the net and not my own. I appreciate their use. There was a lot more snow when we were there.

Jan 19, 2011

Why Does This Always Happen??

Why is it that when you start cleaning one area it spreads like wildfire into another area.  I was cleaning out my kitchen appliance cabinet the other day because I could see the stress on a shelf from too much weight.  So that meant shifting things around from one place to another. Problem solved --- not quite! It actually meant moving stuff from another area to make room for the height of some of the appliances. So... another cupboard needed to be tangled with! Now I have a few odds and ends left so I went to tuck them in the 'hiding place.'  The bottom of one of the hutches should work - wrong again.  Time to clean those out too!  But first because I was rearranging due to too much weight on the shelf it got me to thinking of all the wieght on those shelves in the dining room hutch. Soooo.... that meant cleaning that out! Now where to put all that heavy china. Well I had these two beautiful boxes set on top of the hutches and they were empty. Time to reorganize and store them in those. They are still very handy sitting on a beautiful bench that we made this past summer out of an old bed headboard. It sets in the dining room.
Now back to the 'hiding place' for those odds and ends, but first I have to clean my two 'hiding places' out to make room for them. It just never ends.  Now where did all of this stuff come from? 
Well guess what - some of this 'stuff' is now moving down to the basement storage ... oh no ... I don't like where this is going!!  I can't wait until spring ... can you say GARAGE SALE!!! 

Jan 17, 2011

Game On!!!

Football is a favorite in our house.  I'm a Green Bay Packer fan and my husband's a Chicago Bear's fan.  We love watching the games together.  Our teams are playing one another for the NFC Championship next weekend.  Sunday belongs to us! How exciting is that!!!!
pic borrowed from net from Jan 2 game
In honor of 'his' team playing on Sunday I had myself some fun playing around with a picture of his favorite player Brian Urlacher and a picture of him and here's what I came up with.
And here's the original of Brian Urlacher
PACKERS (12-6) vs. BEARS (12-5)
WHAT: NFC Championship Game
WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 23
WHERE: Soldier Field, Chicago
FORECAST: 24 degrees, chance of snow
TV: Fox, Channel 6
RADIO: Newsradio 620 WTMJ
and Packers Radio Network affiliates
MORE COVERAGE: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Sun-Times

Jan 13, 2011

Fantastic Day

We had the most fantastic day.  As some of my followers know, we had just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary a couple of days ago.  Being that my husband had a Dr. appt in Iron Mountain which is a half hour drive away, he planned a surprise for me.  A full hour body massage, shopping and dinner at our favorite Italian Restaurant.  What a wonderful man I married. He's always doing something special for me.  Who wouldn't love a man like that?

We were seated at the table by the green cabinet seen in the middle of the picture.  Thom had broasted chicken & ribs with gnocci's and I had chicken & shrimp linguini in a wonderful white wine sauce topped with fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Now that we are home and settled in for the evening we are having a dessert of home made pumpkin pie that I baked yesterday.  This is my kind of day! Fantastic!

Jan 12, 2011

Remington - The Cuddliest of all Fur!

Don't you just love the people you meet through blogging? Well, I've come to know a very special dog as well. His name is Remington and he's a love.  Click on his name and check him out. He just celebrated his second birthday so I did a scrap page in his honor and I sent it to him as a gift.  Isn't he just the cuddliest of all fur!!  

Jan 11, 2011

1-11-11 Our Fairy Tale

Today is 1-11-11 it's also our 9th anniversary!
 Happy Anniversary to us!  
Our Fairy Tale 
I have to share how this all came about.  You see I was married for nearly 28 years to my first love.  We had and raised three children together.  I lost him to leukemia in 1999. Following his death I concentrated on my future and started nursing school. During this time and unknown to me, a high school classmate lost is wife to colon cancer a few months after my loss.  Another mutual classmate told us about each others loss. We reconnected over the internet via emails, chatting and then phone calls and our relationship grew.  By the time I finished my classes, he invited me up to see Alaska to visit with him for a summer of carefree frolicking. We canoed, hiked, went deep sea fishing, camped, laughed, shared our thoughts and dreams and before we knew it the summer vanished.  We returned together to our hometown for a high school reunion.  Plans were that at the summers end I would go my way and he would go his and we would resume phone calls etc. Wrong - we had fallen in love and love is a very powerful thing. So I packed up some of my personal belongings and I returned to Alaska with him and we got married.  And this folks, was just the beginning of our Never-ending Fairy Tale.
Our wedding bands.

Jan 9, 2011

Fish & Hushpuppies

On the left side of the platter we have a crisp-on-the-outside-but-oh-so-moist-on-the-inside-scrum-deliishous-hushpuppies. And on the right you'll find lightly-coated-beer-battered-halibut-chunks.  OH MY GOODNESS they were so good!
I was trying to recall the last time I used the deep fryer.  We both agreed it was about SEVEN years ago.
As much as we  love what cames out of that thing, we really don't need the extra calories so I've been trying to resist temptation.  I guess seven years is a pretty good run at that!
Wipe your lip, you're starting to drool!

Jan 7, 2011

What's on the Menu?

I'm going to make 
 beer-battered fish,
coleslaw and hushpuppies. 
Drooling at the thought of it. 
 I usually bake or pan fry fish
I'm hungry for some good
old fashioned deep fried
~ so it shall be !!!
I recently wrote about doing time
 on the dreaded treadmill
I'm not about to deprive myself
of one good guilt free
 meal of pure pleasure. 

All this 'fish' talk reminded me of my favorite picture of my husband fishing for halibut on one
 of our excusions out of Valdez, Alaska.  I sure do miss our summer fishing trips.
I did this scrap page a few years ago, it's one of my favorite scrap jobs.

Jan 6, 2011

Before and After

Okay, so here's my dilema - I want to show you pictures of my before and after shots - you know, just like on the T.V. show The Biggest Loser - but for the past thirty some years all I have are BEFORE pics.  But the good news is that I'm thinking about my new exercise program  ~ I'm up to thinking about it at least three times a day!
Alrighty then, so maybe I'm not quite that BIG and I'm certainly not that skinny but I'd settle to be the perfect "in-be-tweener" version. Oh yah, I amost forgot to mention that I've actually started the treadmill thing ... so I'm on my way! 

Graphic found on the net.

Jan 4, 2011

Mmm ... How I Love that Smell

We all have 'favorite' scents.  A few of mine are the smell of bread baking, clothesline dried sheets, brisk mountain air and the scent of a fresh bathed baby.  But there is one scent that I haven't been able to get out of my mind for over 30 years ~ I know, I know ... sad but true.  I love the smell of a certain mens cologne.  Although I've been watching for it's return - I have had no luck finding it.  And truth be known if I did find it, I'm sure it would be such an old bottle that the scent would have changed with time.  But my little pug nose still quivers at the thought of smelling Russian Leather just one more time.  

I actually stopped by a table in a restaurant several years ago and asked the gentleman if I could ask him a question. He said sure so I asked if was wearing Russian Leather cologne, he chuckled and answered yes.  I told him that as I was passing their table I could tell as it is my favorite of all mens colognes.  It wasn't that he was drowning in it, but it was the fact that my nose happens to be fine tuned for that scent. 

Jan 3, 2011

Simple Things

I sure love my life. My husband just looked across the room at me with those big blue eyes and I can't help but to smile. For simple unspoken moments like that, I am thankful.

Memory Drops

Jan 1, 2011

Flickers in the Dark

" May the bright spots in the old year

Be but flickers in the dark

When compared with what the new year

Will enkindle with its spark."

Margaret Rorke