About Me

My Photo
Douglas, Alaska, United States
I have lived in Alaska since 1978, having come to Juneau as a Jesuit Volunteer. I fell in love with Alaska and now live on Douglas Island with my husband and two dogs.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What I Wore Sunday

I got a new peasant blouse from Target and I love the color, although it is so sheer, I have to wear a shell underneath it.

Sorry about the blurriness - but don't you love the color and pattern of the fabric?

I am wearing my blue glass earrings, although they are hidden in my hair.  How do you like my rebellious upper ear piercing?  I got it done for my 50th birthday and plan to get another for my 60th!

I also am happy because I am able to get into my denim skirt that didn't fit me two weeks ago.  Lent has been helpful in so many ways!

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Bored Already (and it has only been 6 hours)!

Charles flew this morning to Anaheim to attend the LA Religious Education Congress, where more than 30,000 Catholics come from all over the country to hear some of the most renowned and respected Catholic theologians, writers, teachers and speakers in the United States.

I wish that I had been able to go with him, but our new austerity plan (translation: NO MONEY!) dictated that I stay home this time.  I have been amusing myself by applying for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, in order to rectify the above situation, and also playing on the computer, which is charged for the time being, by means of borrowing Miguel's charger.

Oh what fun to be back in blogland again, catching up with some of my favorites and even finding a few new blogs to look at!

Last night, we attended our monthly Parish Night, where Charles spoke about Catholic Relief Services and where the children in our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd religious education program presented a commercial for the bean soup jars they are selling to benefit CRS during Lent.  Charles has done such a good job of catechizing the parish about CRS that even the children are on board to help the poor, disadvantaged and to quote one of our kindergarteners, "the people at risk", in the developing world.

While I think Charles is pretty cute, he is not nearly as cute as Ani, Jessica, Noah, and Jackson!  

For more info about CRS, check out the website or go to YouTube and view one of the many short videos about CRS.  Charles said last night that he thought it would be great if families viewed one of the videos every week and discussed them during dinner, with the Rice Bowl on the table!

I saw a cute picture of my blog friend Marie's little Elizabeth, sporting pig tails and told her that I was wearing braids today as well - so she urged me to take a selfie, which I am sharing with you.  Sort of mutton dressed as lamb meets Pocahontas, but here you go:

I am so glad my hair is now long enough to DO something with - I am tired of brushing it out of my face.  I have been wearing it up in a bun when I substitute teach at the School District preschools, and one little girl asked me why my ears are so big.  I told her that my grandma had big ears and gave them to me when she was done with them.

Let's see...what else?  Good news on the fuel oil front:  The oil company used to not refill the tank if the customer was carrying a balance on their account.  The new owners have changed that policy, so now we don't have to worry about our tank running dry, our pipes freezing in the winter, snowflakes on our eyelashes, and the threat of burning our furniture in the woodstove to keep warm.  This winter is almost over, and I don't foresee any big freezes (you never know, however!), but it will be nice not to have that big worry next winter.

That's all the news from the soggy North - it is raining and the ice and snow are melting from the streets, sidewalks and lawns - I can see green grass!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Farewell to the Alaska State Museum

Our beautiful State Museum, which is outdated and too small for their growing collection, closed last Friday after a wonderful Final Friday farewell celebration.  The new State Library, Archives and Museum building (already referred to as the SLAM) will open in 2016.

The farewell party was packed.  One museum volunteer told me that they expected 250 people, but there were easily twice that at the gathering.  The museum was one of Juneau's jewels - it had gallery exhibit space for art openings, natural history, Alaska history, and musical performances (including my first Alaska Folk Festival performance in 1978!) but, due to the ever growing collection of Alaska art and historical artifacts, it was just too small and had some structural problems that were not conducive to preserving our state treasures.

The new building is in the process of being constructed and the whole area around the SLAM will become a beautiful oasis for art, performance, and preservation of important artifacts and documents, not to mention the State Library collection of books and periodicals dating back since before statehood.

I took a few pictures of some of my favorite things at the museum:

Two views of the lens of the lighthouse light that was upstairs.  It is so huge they will need a crane to move it, I think!

 The eagle nest tree in the middle of the museum, with a ramp that went up and around the tree so you could see the eagles and the nest up close...

A poster from an icon exhibit that Charles did at the museum...

The brown bear (and her cub, which is hidden) at the base of the eagle tree...

Although we will miss the State Museum, which has many happy memories of visits there for our family, we look forward to the opening of the new SLAM!

Thursday, February 27, 2014


There is something up in the "It's Never Too Late To Learn Something New" Department:

I am learning to do this:

So that eventually, I can make this:

I have been a happy hooker (ahem...crocheter) for many years, but never attempted to make anything other than hats, scarves, felted mittens, blankets and a couple of cowls.  Then I met my friend Deirdre.  She is an accomplished knitter and makes it look so effortless as she dashes off sweaters, scarves, shawls and hats.  I really wanted to learn to knit, after seeing her creations.  So she offered to teach me. At first, I was all thumbs, slowly bringing the yarn around and trying, as she instructed, to make the needles do the work.

Finally, I got the hang of knitting (not purling - that will be the next lesson)!

So, she says, once I can knit and purl, I can make this sweater.  It is simply a question of knitting all the pieces and putting them together, she says.  I can do it, she says.  I hope so, because I have a whole box of blackberry colored yarn (gorgeous yarn from Knit Picks, by the way) and since Deirdre has such faith in me, I must have faith in myself.  I can't wait to get started on the sweater, but first, I must become a proficient knitter and purler.  

It is never too late to learn something new!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Incommunicado No More, A Couple of Selfies and Our Sitka Trip

I have been out of touch lately because my Mac charger died on me, so my laptop was also DOA.

However, I borrowed my son's charger and it is nice to be able to read blogs and Facebook on a big screen instead of squinting at my iPhone!

I had any number of photos to share, but because I was (or rather my computer was) out of commission, I was unable to post them.

So, this will be a photo heavy post!  Apologies to my Facebook friends who have already seen some of these pics!

I added a scarf to hide the chins!

If Frida could take a selfie, this is what it would look like!

The view from our back porch in Sitka

Crocuses blooming in Sitka before the snowstorm

Crows hanging out by the Russian Bishop's House

Twilight in Sitka

Mt. Edgecumbe (Sitka's Mount Fuji), taken from the grocery store parking lot!

A SitKat

The dome and spires of St. Michael Orthodox Cathedral

Charles and Ana prep for the iconography workshop (the reason we were in Sitka)

We were in Sitka for 10 days, the two weekends were devoted to an iconography workshop that Charles taught to 8 very dedicated students, and during the weekday evenings he taught some adult religious education at St. Gregory Catholic parish.  I had a chance to read, crochet, walk and have some quiet time.  We stayed in the apartment at the home of Fr. Michael Boyle and his wife Matushka Magdalena.  They have a lovely home and we were even able to join them to watch Downton Abbey (which I would have been sorry to miss).   We made some new friends, visited with some old ones, and really enjoyed our time together.

I really recommend Sitka for a destination - it has natural beauty and small town charm!

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Very Satisfying Day

Today, Charles took the day off of work, since he worked last Saturday, and I gave myself a play date with my friend Rosemary.

We went for coffee at my favorite hang out, The Rookery, where the coffee is great, the surroundings are lively and the pastries are heavenly!

Then off we went to check out the iPhones at AT&T.  I had fun watching all the folks at the store picking out their goodies and Rosemary walked out with a shiny new iPhone.  Then to Costco, where we had the completely necessary hot dog and I shopped for after-Mass snacks.  Our parish has a great group of folks who make snacks after the 8:30 and the 11:00 Masses.  We usually have the 4th Sunday and bring bagels and cream cheese.  The 1st Sunday folks will be out of town this week so we are doing double duty and making the usual baked potatoes with all the fixings.  (I know our parishioners would be disappointed if there weren't baked potatoes on the 1st Sunday of the month!)

After I dropped Rosemary off at her house, I came home and made bread dough, which is in the loaf pans and is happily rising in the kitchen.

I am so glad that I was able to have a nice day with a good friend, and that I am feeling well.  Yesterday afternoon, I had a sore throat, was achy and had a headache and was worried that I was getting sick.  But through the ministrations of my sweet husband (who brought me frozen juice bars), the magic of ibuprofen and 12 hours of sleep, I managed to beat back whatever bug it was and felt really great today.

This was a wonderful day, made better by good news from my friend Dwija at House Unseen, Life Unscripted, who saw her little baby on ultrasound today and it looks like all is well.  Please take a moment to thank God for his infinite mercies, and if you are so inclined, please also pray for Samantha, a 6th grader who has bone cancer.  Bonnie over at A Knotted Life can tell you more about her.

Lots to be thankful for today, but still many things to pray for.

I hope you all had a good day as well!

Friday, January 24, 2014

No Polar Vortex Here

It has been unseasonably warm here in Douglas, and in the rest of the State of Alaska as well.

Today I took a great walk, wearing only a fleece jacket and a long sleeved t-shirt over my jeans and rain boots.

It wasn't raining, but Sandy Beach, where my friend Becca and I walked, has a stream running through it, and it is either wade or jump, so I choose to wade!

It was a beautiful day, starting out with the fog clinging to the mountains, and then in the afternoon, completely clear and remarkably warm for January.

We are used to the dark days of winter here, but when we get a clear day, and warm in the bargain, spirits rise, people smile and greet each other gleefully, dogs frolic on the beach and the whole town rejoices.  Today was a lovely surprise after three solid weeks of gloom, gray and rain.

Here are some photos I took - one of which is my new header!

The remains of the old Treadwell Mine pier

Beautiful clouds over Sandy Beach

The old Treadwell Mine Pump House