Monday, January 31, 2011


Remember my hair cut last month?  It was during a snow storm, and I had Ernie drive me in to the appointment.  Well, guess what?  Today was another day just like the one last month!  A nice snow storm was raging outside, and I had Ernie drive me in to town.  Last month I said we were leaving for Tucson, so there was no way I could miss the appointment, and then because we had to go to Alaska, we didn't go to Tucson.  Well, this time we are really leaving for Tucson, so I had to keep my appointment and let sweet Amy work her magic!

I have spent the rest of the day doing laundry and sorting clothes, and lining up shoes (yup, sandals!) and other things we'll need to take along. I know, I always pack too much, but I'm always afraid I'll need something and I won't have it, so I pack it.  And when you have a trailer, you can pack a lot!

The oven in our trailer is very small, but it does heat up to 450 degrees, so I am going to attempt baking bread in it.  I don't think I can go back to store bought bread after eating the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.  I don't eat much bread, but when I do I want it to be good bread.  Ernie on the other hand, could eat a loaf by himself, and he is really enjoying my new hobby of baking bread.

Last minute stuff tomorrow and then we'll take off on Wednesday morning if weather permits.  And tomorrow morning if I can get out of the driveway, I am going to one more Bible study before we take off.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011


We have received word that our SIL is safely on a plane from Cairo to Chicago, and she should arrive this evening.  The family thanks everyone for the prayers and concern.  Her experience isn't quite over, but it's looking like she'll be safely home later on this evening.  Thank you everyone!

Friday, January 28, 2011


We just received word that our sister-in-law is stuck in Cairo, Egypt on her return from a tour of Israel and Egypt.  We have no other information.  Please keep her and her family in your prayers.  Thanks.


Tentative plans are made.  Or should I say that hubby has made plans and told me what we are going to do!  That's okay.  He does all the driving when we're pulling the trailer, so I guess he gets to make the plans!  We think we will be able to leave for our Arizona trip next Wednesday.  We can't go on Monday, as I have a hair appointment, and we all know that women do not give up their hair cut appointments for just any old reason, even going to Arizona.  I have been going to the same sweet Amy for so many years that I could not imagine going elsewhere unless I was very desperate.   Anyhow, back to the subject at hand.  We can't leave Monday because I have a hair appointment.

And we can't leave Tuesday because I want to go to one more Tuesday morning Bible study before leaving.  We are studying Isaiah, and I am finding it very interesting, and so applicable to today's world.  I am going to miss the study and the girls so much.  So I have to attend one more before we leave!

I guess that means we can try for Wednesday!  All we need for our daily living is in the trailer already, the sheets, blankets, towels, dishes, etc.  I need to pack the cast iron skillets and a few other things that I don't have duplicates of to leave packed, but there isn't really a lot I have to worry about.  We'll load our clothes and the personal items we need, the computers, the cameras, and my Nook, and we will be able to take off.

Our first night out we will stop at the AFB in Omaha where we have stayed before.  The fun thing this time will be that we are going to contact our niece and her husband who live there, and we hope to meet them for dinner.  We have a young man from our church that we want to visit at his AFB in New Mexico before we head to Tucson where we will call the base there our home during our stay in Arizona.  We have friends and relatives in Tucson, Mesa, Phoenix and the surrounding area, so we shouldn't get too lonesome, although I always miss the kids and grandkids.

The best part is that you are all invited to go with us!  The camera and computer are working well, so you know I will be sharing with you.  So toss the boots and parkas, and pack the sandals and T-shirts.  We're going to Arizona!  SUNSHINE!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I know.  I've been neglecting this blog since we returned from Alaska.  I may be rectifying that soon.  But more on that in a minute.  First I want to tell you some sad news.  Our nephew passed away on the 21st.  He was only 47 and he had a heart attack during the night.  The memorial service is later this afternoon.  It will be a sad gathering, but it will be good to see a lot of relatives that unfortunately don't get together often enough. A large family is a huge comfort at these times.

After our trip to Alaska for our SIL's funeral, we had pretty much decided that we wouldn't take a winter trip to the warmer part of our country, but I guess the last couple of weeks and the 25 below temps have gotten to Ernie.  Two nights ago he informed me that he wanted to go to Arizona anyhow, and that he had figured out how we could afford it if we were careful.  I'm still not totally convinced, but I guess he is going, so I think I'll have to tag along!  We haven't set an exact departure date yet, but I guess if we're going we should just go.  The trailer is always loaded with all we need except for our clothing and some food, and of course the computers and cameras.  We can't really stock up on food and then drive through below zero temps for a couple of days because everything would freeze, so I think I'll load the rice, flour, pinto beans, and coffee, and just go shopping when we arrive at our destination.  I guess I can load meat from our's already frozen.... but anything else isn't feasible.

So, what I'm saying is that it sounds like we're going on a trip to Arizona where we hope to find some roads less traveled.  Want to come along?  You are invited.  I'll let you know when we leave!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Actual temperatures this morning at 7:30 my time, 4:30 Alaska time:

Seldovia, Alaska is 29 ABOVE

Southern Minnesota is 22 BELOW!

Folks, that is fifty one degrees difference!  I'm moving.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


I have had several requests by comment and by email to post the bread recipe I've been raving about.  I am instead going to link to the website that got me interested enough to buy the book.  (Amazon for about $13)  It isn't really the recipe as much as the method of baking in a hot oven on a hot stone with steam added.  So  check it out.  And just so you know, I made the recipe with part whole wheat and part white today, and it is the best bread ever!  So you may want to give this method a try!  Go to this site and bake it now!  You won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Guess what I did on Saturday?  And then again on Sunday?  And Monday?  And even Tuesday?  I baked bread!  Yup, four days in a row!  My husband is in bread heaven!  I  used the master recipe in the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and I love it.  The recipe is so simple, yeast, salt, water, and flour.  And it makes a beautiful round of bread, don't you think?
You can either mix it by hand or use a mixer with a dough hook.  I used my Kitchen Aid.  The dough is quite wet, you don't keep adding flour and you don't knead it, just mix it up and let it set for a couple of hours, and then refrigerate it.  For up to twelve days!  When you need to bake you take out a grapefruit sized hunk, shape it quickly and bake it on a hot stone in a hot oven with a cup of water thrown into a pan to create steam.  That's it!  So you mix it up in about five minutes, and store it until you want to bake, and there you have it, fresh bread!  Probably less than five minutes a day.
And it is very good.  I love the little loaves, not a huge amount of bread to go stale in a couple of days.  This is a loaf from the master recipe that uses white flour (King Arthur is a good one) and you can vary the size or shape if you want.  This afternoon I mixed up another batch, this time using part stone ground whole wheat that I purchased from a local gal who grinds her own flour and part white flour.  I can't wait to bake it, but I won't need it until tomorrow.  Tonight we are having bean soup that I made yesterday, and I'm thinking I'll take the odd sized pieces of bread we have left and sprinkle them with shredded cheese and quickly grill them to eat with the soup.

So Patti, the answer is, yes, I like the book!  I can't wait to try the various breads included  in the recipes.  I'm thinking if there's anything I really want, now would be the time to ask hubby for it, right?

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Lest you think I am a frozen mammoth, encased in ice for the next thousand years, I thought I should update this blog.  I left you on Monday after our ride through the crystal tundra of Dr. Zhivago, and you may think I didn't return!

Well, not to fear!  We are back in Minnesota, where it is just as white, and just as cold, just not as beautiful!  Our trip home started early on Tuesday morning when we wakened at 2:30, left for the airport an hour later, turned in the rental car, and made it through security by 4:30.  We then had breakfast before we boarded as the package of three soy nuts and one pretzel ring that you receive in flight wasn't going to do it for us!  We had an uneventful flight to Seattle, where we had lunch while waiting for the next leg of our journey home.  Wonder of wonders, we landed in Minneapolis a half an hour early, and because we had only carry on bags, we decided to race for the 6 pm shuttle rather than wait for the 7:30 one we were booked on.  We were originally supposed to land at 5:50 and would never have made the earlier shuttle, but because of the apparent speeding of the plane, we made it!  So we were home by 7:30, were picked up by super SIL, and delivered to our doorstep shortly after 8.  It was a long day, but uneventful thank goodness, and we slept in our own bed Tuesday night.

Since then I've been trying unsuccessfully to catch up!  Still have one more load of laundry, still have mail to go through, still have stuff to put away.  I love to travel, but dislike the mess when you unload!

Today I am trying the bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and will let you know the results.  Looking good so far!  And I have a pot of chicken soup bubbling away on the stove, hoping it will somehow overshadow the outdoor temps in the single digits!  We had more snow last night, and more coming tomorrow, and again next week.  This is the winter of snow every other day, and it's getting old!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Cue the music: Laura's Theme.  Grab a fur blanket, and settle into the sleigh for a trip across Siberia.  Well, actually it's only Anchorage, Alaska, but the fairyland reminds me of the movie, Dr. Zhivago.

Okay.  We're back in civilization now, and you are warming your cold toes beside the fire.  Have you ever seen anything like this?  Some of the frost is over an inch thick, sticking to everything.  It is absolutely the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. 

We came to Alaska in the middle of the winter for a very sad reason, the death of my dear sister-in-law.  But we spent time with our son Chris and his love Amy, we saw the awesomeness of Denali, and we were treated to this winter fairyland.  God is good.  God is very good.


Sunday was a beautiful day to take off on a 2 hour or 297 photo trip.  The trees and bushes are coated with at least an inch of icy crystals, and the whole world was a fairyland.
We headed North, through Wasilla (and no, I didn't see Sarah on the streets anywhere), up through Willow and on to Talkeetna, the jumping off spot for climbers who are brave enough to challenge the highest mountain on the North American continent.

The roads were clear, there was little traffic, and we drove north until we saw

The Big Mountain*

The High One*

The Great One*

Mt. McKinley*

Mt. Foraker, Mt. Hunter and Denali


The golden skies on the drive home were anticlimatic.

The last orange glow in the ski was beautiful, but won't be etched in my mind forever like the view of Denali will be.  I will never forget this day.  Ever.  The day I saw Denali in all her glory.

The Great One - Denali
*all names Denali is known by

Saturday, January 08, 2011


Good morning!  I'm coming to you, in the dark of course, at 8:00 am,  from Anchorage.  Yesterday we made the 237 photo  219 mile drive from Homer to Anchorage.  The three things to watch for on this drive are: ice, moose, avalanches.  None of that happened, thank goodness!  Oh, we did see moose, 5 or 6 I think, but they were at the side of the road and didn't block our road.  We encountered a little ice in sections, but it was better than the trip down earlier this week.  And, although we saw evidence of snow slides up on the mountains, none were close to the roads.

It's always so hard to say goodbye to the kids.  We see them so seldom, and then for such a short period of time, and my heart aches each time we have to leave.  They are such good people.  So caring and loving and kind and helpful and  sharing and everything you would want your son to grow up to be......and then for him to find a girl who is the same and a perfect match for him, is the best parenting success story I could imagine!  (Of course I'm taking all the credit for the two of them, right?)  I already miss them and can't wait to return to their little village for another visit.

I don't know if they want their picture posted, but I'm doing so anyhow!  Love these two kids dearly!

As I said up top, I took 237 pictures on the drive up, most of them through the dirty rental car window at 50 miles per hour.  I do have a few I want to post but Blogger is a bit slow with photos on this connection so I'll try again later.  We are heading downtown Anchorage to the ice sculpture event, so should have a few more photos to pick from when we return!

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The sun gave us a beautiful sunrise about 10:30 this morning, a treat for our last day here in Seldovia.  We leave on the ship late this afternoon.
I could get used to waking up to this every morning.  Love, love, love this quaint little village and the beautiful people who live here.  Just realized I haven't taken many pictures of Chris and Amy.  I had better remedy that this afternoon!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


After two rainy days, God blessed us with sunshine, blue skies, and 37 degrees yesterday!   We had to do something special to take advantage of those blessings, so our son Chris decided to put his boat back into the water and to take his dad fishing.
Of course the mom had to tag along with the camera hanging around her neck. The water was smooth as glass as we loaded the boat to take off for the channel where we hoped to catch a winter king salmon.  Or a cod.  Or a halibut.  We didn't care which.

The ferry was coming in on its Tuesday run as we headed out.  This is the ferry we will take back to Homer tomorrow when our stay in Seldovia comes to an end.
We had some clouds, some sun, and beautiful liquid silver water.

Way across the water, on the far shoreline, are the volcanos Mt. Illiamna and St. Augustine.  Further up is Mt. Redoubt, and these are all active volcanos.  It was  just a year or two ago when Augustine was spouting off and dropping ash on the countryside.
We trolled for a couple of hours, but the fish were ellusive. 

The scenery is not equaled anywhere I've been................
..........and this little guy sees it all the time!  Isn't he lucky?

We headed back to the harbor with no fish in the boat, but do I care?  Nope!  It was a beautiful, quiet, relaxing fishing trip.....and just a bit cold...but the scenery makes up for that!  What a wonderful world we live in!

Our God is an awesome God!

Monday, January 03, 2011


It is pretty dark out at 8:30 am when we headed out to the coffee shop for a nice Americano!  The light is just beginning to show over the mountains across the harbor.
A bit later, after it was fully light, we went to Outside Beach.  I love the ocean!  It was a bit cold, and it was raining, but nothing could stop me from taking a walk on the beach.
In the photo below you see the scene that we saw from our campsite on the hill above the beach when we were campground hosts up here, two different summers.

These colorful places below are on the boardwalk, or what is left of the boardwalk after the big 1964 earthquake.  The first time I was over here, in 2002 or 2003 I believe,  I stayed in that aqua cottage for a few days. 
This is the boardwalk in the other direction.  That is a B&B on the right side.
And below is the scene from our room overlooking the main street.  Notice the eagle keeping watch over everything!  He's been there most of the day.
And it has been raining all day.  I have gone out three times, and I have gotten wet three times!

Sunday, January 02, 2011


To all my Minnesota family and friends: Move to Seldovia, Alaska.  There is very little snow!
The first view of the harbor as you come in to the ferry dock.

This is the Tustumena, the ferry we took from Homer to Seldovia.  This is the same ship we've taken before, once in 2006 when we had a big truck and a 30 foot fifth wheel trailer, and then again in 2009 with the truck and the smaller trailer.  This time we have a little rental car!

Looking down the shore from our building......this is almost the whole town.

The view out the window of our room, the beautiful Russian Orthodox Church on the little hill.

This is the street view as opposed to the view on the other side of the buildings along the shore that I showed in the earlier picture.  Notice the dark spot in the tree?
This would be Mr. Eagle.  Isn't he gorgeous?  Love those eagles!