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Category Archives: Journey

Yesterday was our “end of year” field trip. We’ve still got a few weeks left but a little early celebration never hurt anyone.

Before we boarded we spent some time exploring around the docks.

Major Marine Tours out of Seward took us out for a 4 hour tour. (Glad it wasn’t three and the weather wasn’t rough.)

Captain Marcelle navigated the “Kenai Fjords 360” throughout Resurrection Bay like a boss.

First thing we see after leaving port are Dall’s Porpoises swimming with our boat. They look like little baby Orcas. They were quite amusing swimming and jumping out of the water, crisscrossing in front of the bow.

Once we were underway the Capt put this nav map up for us to reference. It helped keep our bearings for sure.


Then we saw a bald eagle perched on an enormous rock. We spotted a sea otter in Thumb Cove.


After traveling past Fox Island we saw some Stellar Sea Lions sunning themselves on Mary’s Rock. Captain Marcelle was terrific for getting us excellent views of the wildlife. We had a beautiful day, sunshine, 41-45Β° air temp and no sea swell! Simply gorgeous spring day!


We cruised past Barwell Island on the east side of Resurrection Bay, which has some WW II era bunkers. Then the best thing happened, another vessel alerted us to a pod of three Orcas just two hours into our tour! What an awesome inspiring moment!


We also experienced a mirage, called fata morgana, of Montague Island. It made the island look like a plateau instead of the peaked mountain tops it has. Once we changed position and could look back at the Island you could once again see it’s peaks and valleys. So weird!

Besides the abundance of wildlife that we saw and learned a few facts about (did you know there were 10 types of Orcas worldwide and three types that frequent our Alaskan waters?) we also learned about history (WW II, Russian exploration, President Harding and the Good Friday Quake) and geology when we passed some unusual rock formations of pillow basalt. It was quite the learning experience!

Our route was the red one. It would be nice to take the blue one some day!


We peeked into Carol’s Cove to observe 6 Harbour Seals on our way back towards the west side of Resurrection Bay where we had a great view of Bear Glacier. Lil Bit was excited for this one, she really wanted to see the seals. It’s nice to see them elsewhere, than in our nets stealing our fish! Then we spotted two coastal mountain goats on the sheer face of the mountain side! And another Harbor Seal in the water along the Callisto Cliffs.


Nearly 4 pm and our tour is about over, what a wonderful experience! I love seeing the rugged beauty and bounty of Alaska. And seeing landmarks like Cain’s Head which we’ve explored a couple of times on foot. I think Lil Bit counted 8 species in total that we spotted today. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves! Little Mister was most comfortable on the bow feeling the wind rush through his hair. Thing 2 wasn’t in too many pics as he enjoyed the freedom of roaming about the boat at will.

I’m very grateful for the homeschooling resources we have with IDEA and the rich experiences we get to have thanks to their efforts. Trips like these would be out of reach for us without them.

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I threw myself a fabulous Hawaii Five-0 birthday party last Sunday. What better way to celebrate than being with my family & friends solving a murder mystery?!? Complete with detective Dan-O to book-em.

In the over-the-top, flamboyant 🦩 fashion of my bestie Solstice Sister Niki, we had all the Chinese Luau decor available. Since Niki couldn’t be here, she determined to help set the mood with all the decor. She’s the best!

We laughed at the number of flamingos in this Hawaiian party decor, I guess some things do get lost in translation. But, none-the-less, flamingos fit my theme, for other reasons. And I enjoyed them greatly. And the pineapples… 🍍 It’s a good thing when your friends know all the right things to make you feel loved!

Mo helped me and my kids decorate, we borrowed a couple more props to make it luau-licious and had a blast.

I made spam musubi, Loco Moco and Shoyu Chicken, with lots of rice and macaroni salad. Had some fruity tropical drinks and a pineapple, macadamia & coconut cake. Mo made some zero sugar key lime pudding that was amazeballs. Niki sent tequila, she knows…

My friends & family really showed me some love! I was blessed with some pretty awesome gifts, all perfectly tailored to this gal. Lots of earrings, long dangling ones, amber ones and seashell ones. Handcrafted cheese and goat milk soaps. Chocolate, coffee, roses and a beautiful cloisonne mezuzah. And two of the best gifts in life, love & laughter. We laughed so hard with the kid’s antics during the murder mystery game. We had a great time!

Missed having my girl here, and of course missed my Mom on our special day. We had a toast in her honor.

I’m feeling so blessed. πŸ’œ 🌴 Thanks to all for the birthday wishes and party fun.

It's a stretch to get us all in one shot!

Today marks the ninth anniversary of my Father’s, of blessed memory, passing. As is our custom, we spend this time at the cabin to remember the man the best way we can, in his element. We will lift a glass of rhubarb wine around the bonfire and tell tall tales. Hopefully a friend or two of his will stop by and join us.

I usually plan some sort of project to do while there. Two years ago it was his memorial scrapbook. This year, I’ve got a couple of projects in mind. I’ll put a new wreath up too, of course.

My memorial project is a memory box for Fritz. Dad kept his collar and of course lots of pics of his best friend. I made a dog tag for Fritz and bought some pet themed scrapbook supplies to finish the shadow box frame I picked up for this project. I’ll be able to display it on the wall. Something that was important to Dad, in honor of both of them.

My other special project is going to be updating the 12v lighting. I purchased some light sockets to convert the 3 propane lamps to battery/solar power. Everything I do will be reversible as I don’t want to permanently alter them. If need be, I’ll be able to pull the sockets out and replace the mantles and use the propane again. I also got a switch so these will be able to easily turn on/off.

Over the years I have installed a hodge podge of 12v lighting, over the sink, stove and sun room. I’ll be replacing the lights over the sink and stove with these nice RV lights. Easy single or double light switches for adjustable brightness. Then I’ll update the sun room with one of the lights I took down. That way the kids will have a light over their bed. Every light downstairs will have a switch instead of alligator clips! πŸ‘πŸΌ

In addition, I want to make a hanging light for the center of the cabin. It will be something like the one I made for Jake’s cabin. I just have to finalize a design. I want it to be dual power, AC & DC so either way we can have the light on. But this project will probably be done at a later date.

Jake’s moose Antler light on display at the annual Home Show.

Somewhere around this time, half a century ago, my existence in this realm began. Newlyweds and Valentine’s Day and all…

This being a milestone year I’ve been thinking a lot lately about things like accomplishments, unfinished business and future things. Thinky things.

Thinky things.

I like to think about this being the time that my parents were happy.

It was the only time, so far, that I’ve been to Canada. And with Canada’s draconian behaviour of late, I’m not planning on going again.

I was born in the snow and cold. (Well not literally, like my mom was inside the hospital.) But is that why I’ve always loved the snow? Is there a genetic reason why I love the snow? A geographical one? Or just a generic one?

I loved the mountains, even before I ever saw them in person. They were the subject of many of my juvenile drawings and again in my adult art class experience with Beverly years later. Mountains with pine trees with a log cabin. I need to live near them.

My first painting, circa 1993, after my first visit to Alaska.

Is all of this coincidence?

I’ve been on a health kick recently. Which has been building for quite some time. Trying to improve my overall feeling of wellness, increased energy, etc. They all say everything is harder to do after 50, so… Best get to it!

This phase of life has me seeing my first born graduating highschool and eventually moving out on her own. Of course I knew this day would come. I’ve tried teaching her all necessary skills and instilling what wisdom I have to impart. And yet I find myself wondering how we got here, quite so fast. It’s hard for me to imagine daily life without her right here, with me, in my house. At the same time I’m looking forward to having an adult child to experience life with. I’m excited for her and all the new things she will get to experience.

Then the second one will follow in a few years… And before I know it, they all will be out in the big world on their own. Whatever will I do with myself?

Oh, I have plenty of ideas.

But I’ll think about that tomorrow. Along with those other inevitable things I don’t want to think about right now.

So thanks to my Mom & Dad for giving me life. Thanks to G-d for bringing me to this season, and with HaShem’s help, I’ll get through it.

Well, not really the end, to be continued.

I totally made it.

I feel better. And I’m keeping on the wagon!

Yesterday & today I’ve been super hungry. I want to eat all the things. I hope this passes quickly!! Trying to keep myself busy with kids school work and projects to keep myself from eating out of shear boredom.

Thanks for sharing my journey to sugar freedom!

A couple days ago I made some peanut butter date energy balls rolled in grated unsweetened chocolate. My new “not cookies” are pretty tasty. I could get used to this.

With the popularity of keto diets there are so many no sugar recipes these days. And a lot more low glycemic sweetener options too. I’ve got an entire board on Pinterest filling up like a virtual cookie jar. Hopefully this will help me stick to my plan.

These “Snickers” stuffed dates sound amazeballs and I must make them. That’s on the agenda for today.

I finally got that school paperwork caught up, well except for one thing that the oldest male child needs to do. But I’m caught up enough to move on. Next big thing on the paperwork list is starting the dreaded taxes. Oy. With Dean on snow removal schedule still I guess I’ll have time to get started.

Plus doing more hands on school stuff with the littles. Since it’s Monday I was thinking about trying a meatless Monday dinner idea. Maybe a veg curry & rice dish? But those butter chicken ingredients might just trump a veggie meal.

I’ve been avoiding dairy, mostly, for several days. I say mostly because I’ve had a couple of meals with a bit of parmesan sprinkles. Been subbing plant based cheese & sour cream replacements. Just to see if it helps finish cleaning up this excess mucus production.

Speaking of fake cheese, it sure has come a long way. I remember in the late 90s when I first started my dietary journey, vegan cheese was so funky tasting. And it turned to plastic if you tried to bake it on a pizza… πŸ™„ Now it comes in blocks, slices, shreds and sauces. Plus it melts nicely and offers a close enough mouth feel and taste that I don’t mind it. And most grocery stores stock it. Easy to source is always a plus.

So with a busy day ahead I’d better get to it. One more 🚫 sugar day!

Where have the last four weeks gone? One thing’s for sure, when you start daily chronicling you start to notice little things that you otherwise might not.

For instance, my drinking habits. I’ve noticed that mostly I reach for something else than water to drink out of boredom. I mean, I like water but that’s not all I want to drink all day. So keeping seltzers, iced tea and fresh lemons in the house definitely helps stave off the boredom. For the past month I haven’t really missed alcohol except for #1 on Shabbat with our communal meal and #2 beer with pizza.

I’ve upped my intake of green tea. Previously nill because apparently I was brewing it all wrong.

After following the advice of my friend Jane and my oldest daughter Thing 1, no longer using boiling water, not steeping it too long and also not squeezing the tea bag. Makes a decent cuppa green tea.

Going forward I’m planning a lot more variety to our beverage options that don’t include alcohol. I’ll save that for special occasions!

That’s my number!

Last night was a little rough. I’m not sure if it was the running around all day and not eating regularly scheduled meals or what but I had a huge sweet tooth craving. All on all it hasn’t been so bad so this one caught me off guard. Plus I crashed when I got home, had to take a nap. Yesterday did me in. I need a day of rest.

It snowed again overnight so Dean is back to work. Keeps our bills paid. Shabbat service was cancelled so we’re staying home today.

Three days left, officially. Looking forward to continuing on with only low glycemic “sweets” and mostly trying to stick to fruit sweetened foods. The occasional adult beverage. Just overall making wiser food & drink choices.

Shavua tov!

TGIF!

I’m down to four days!

Another day of snow removal for Dean. It’s been a busy week for me just not what I had planned to be busy at. But time well spent.

Kids got to go to the pool twice this week, which for us is unheard of. But all this running around has me wanting to hibernate.

My sleep schedule, eat schedule, everything schedule is messed up. Trying to get back on schedule for grocery shopping and necessities too. I’d like to go do the shopping locally once every two weeks. Plus a buying club delivery. And not have to do this constant running around stuff.

Here I am still doing well with my no sugar quest tho. I’ve found myself being more diligent in checking labels even for the kids food. Trying to source lower sugar items for all of us.

Just a handful of days left.