About Me

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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.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Junuary (Or Is It Augtober?) - UPDATE

Yes, you read that correctly.  It is not cold enough to be January, but we only have had two days of summer so far.

It is gray and gloomy, and about the midnight sun?  Forget about it.  There has been steady rain for weeks (except for the aforementioned two days of sun), and today, a low fog and mist and needle-like rainfall.

Charles made it in from his Catholic Relief Services meeting/visit with his family/retreat trip today, however, which is like sunshine for us, who missed him for the two weeks he was gone.

But, I still wish that it would brighten up a bit.  We made a fire in the woodstove today for the first time in weeks.  I have cravings for hot cocoa.  I am wearing fleece.  The furnace keeps kicking on.

These are photos taken from the Douglas Bridge webcam  this evening.

Gloom, gloom, gloom.

It's a good thing that we love living in Douglas, and we love our friends and faith community and neighbors and everything about our home town (except the weather).

It is good to be here.  I keep telling myself that.  It is good to be here.  Sunshine isn't everything (but it helps).

UPDATE: I just noticed that the photos above from the Douglas Bridge webcam, are updating to the current date, time and conditions, so they may not match the content of this post!  So if you see sunny skies in the photos above, know that the original photos that I posted were dark and gloomy!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pink Polar Bear Update

Several of you commented on The Pink Polar Bear story.  I thought you would like to see the update, with a photo of Ceci, the happy little girl who received the polar bear.

Her grandma Kathy sent the photo - thanks Kathy!  And thanks to Ron, the grandpa who was so willing to share with us how much he loves his little girl!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

And The Winner Is...

JULIE CRAGON at Hand Me Down Heaven!!

Julie - please send me your snail mail info so I can send you your basket of New Jerusalem Workshop products!

Thanks to those of you who entered the giveaway.

If you like Home In Douglas, please share it with your friends who might also be interested!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Pink Polar Bear: A Father's Day Story - UPDATE

Once upon a time, there was a Grandpa who had a little grand daughter.

The Grandpa was going on a trip, and he asked his little grand daughter what present he should bring back for her.

"A pink polar bear!", she replied.

The Grandpa was disconcerted.  Even though he was in Alaska, finding a pink polar bear might be an impossible task.  So, he thought and thought, and decided that he would try to make one himself.

He went to the craft store, and bought some pink dye.  But he wasn't sure how to proceed.

So, he asked an artist friend to help him.

And in the end, there was a pink polar bear.

The artist was happy.

The Grandpa was happy.

And the little girl said: "Papi, this is just what I wanted!"

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and grandpas in our lives!

Linking up to: Sunny Simple Sundays

Saturday, June 16, 2012


I now have 50 followers!  I am very excited and pleased!

Thanks so much for sticking with me.

To celebrate, I am going to have a give away.

The person who wins will recieve a lovely basket of products from the New Jerusalem Workshop, featuring icons painted by Charles.

Please leave a comment and next Saturday I will choose a winner.

If you are not already a follower, please consider becoming one, and if you already are, thanks!

Linking up to: 

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today is the Feast of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

This popular Roman Catholic devotion emphasizes the love that Jesus has for us, and that he is both human and divine.  The depiction of Jesus, with his wounded heart exposed, has been displayed since the Middle Ages, but the modern form of the devotion stems from Marguerite Marie Alacoque, who claimed that she learned of it during a mystical experience in 1673, in which Jesus appeared to her and taught her about devotion to His Sacred Heart.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia: "Since the Heart of Jesus appears to us as the sensible sign of His love, the visible wound in the Heart will naturally recall the invisible wound of this love."

The artistic depictions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that I remember were unfortunately very cloying and sentimental, usually showing a fair skinned Jesus with long blondish hair.  
This is the image that we had at our house.
I never practiced this devotion as a child or young adult, regardless of the presence of this image in my family home.  But upon doing more research, I have found myself increasingly drawn to it.

Here is a link to a blog by Elizabeth Scalia, the Anchoress, who has some interesting information about the devotion to the Sacred Heart : Litany to the Sacred Heart

This is the image of the Sacred Heart that she has on her blog:
Photo courtesy of shutterstock.com
This image speaks to me on a much deeper level.  I realize now that the pastel pictures and the poor iconography that I saw as a child influenced me negatively, and I let this stop me from exploring this beautiful devotion, and so many others.  But, should I have and should I continue to let "bad" art keep me from remembering that Jesus loves me, and that he loves all of humanity?  Should my snobbery keep me from devotion?  I don't think it should.

So, today, I will pray this litany, and ask Jesus to mend my heart and give me a heart like His.

I'm linking up to:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Feast of Corpus Christi

Fr. Ragheed Aziz Gazzi

Charles gave an amazing homily today for the Solemnity of The Body and Blood of Christ, or Corpus Christi, as we used to call it.

Here is a link to the text at his blog, Loaves and Fishes.

He talked about what the Eucharist means to Catholic Christians in Iraq, and about an Iraqi priest who died rather than close his parish church, saying, "How can I close the House of God?".

He talked about how the Eucharist should mean as much to us, even though, as North Americans, we are able to freely receive the Body and Blood of Christ every day of the week if we want to.

Hearing his homily, and then receiving Communion immediately afterwards was pretty powerful.  At the end of Mass we had benediction and Eucharistic adoration.

It seems silly to be blase' about such an amazing thing.  But sometimes, I confess that I am.  Sometimes I don't think about what it means as much as I should.  And I certainly don't have to risk my life to do it.

So, I hope that in the future, when I receive Communion, I can do so with as much commitment to living the Gospel as the brave martyrs of Iraq.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Canning For A New Generation

I received the most wonderful gift this week!  A great cookbook called Canning For A New Generation, by Liana Krissof.

The book was my prize in a giveaway by Sherri B. at Little House In Paradise.

There are recipes galore for canning fruit and veggies, pickles and juice, chutneys and jams...the list goes on and on.  I can't wait to try some of the recipes, plus, it makes delicious reading.  She is very knowledgeable about canning and food safety (which I admit has prevented me from doing a lot of canning in the past).

The photos are beautiful, and as a bonus, in the back of the book there are cute labels you can use to identify the bounty that you end up with after following her very clear directions.

I see pickles and jam in our future!  My mom used to make home made grape juice and I remember the fragrance of the crushed grapes....I might try juice too!

Thanks Sherri, for such a useful and beautiful gift!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another Recipe For Home Made Laundry Detergent

I found a new recipe for home made laundry soap:

1/3 cup washing soda
1/3 cup borax
1/3 cup Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap (I used Lavender, but they make Peppermint, Almond and Unscented as well)

Put all the ingredients in a 1 1/3 gallon laundry detergent container, fill with hot water and shake.  It is much easier and a lot less messy than than my previous recipe, which involved grating and melting Fels Naptha soap on the stove, etc.

I will use the left over bar of Fels Naptha Soap for stains instead of Spray and Wash Stain Stick (thanks to Dwija at House Unseen, Life Unscripted for the tip!

I'll let you know how it works out!

Sic Transit Venus

I am going to post a link to Charles' blog today, because he wrote so beautifully about the transit of Venus across the Sun, and, while I am a reasonably good writer, he is much better at getting to, and writing about, the core of any issue (except for housework....).  Also, he posted THE MOST AMAZING PICTURE EVER!!!!

So, here is the link to Loaves and Fishes.  Enjoy!  He is trying to figure out how to allow people to follow his blog, and once he does (if you like what you read), please follow him as well!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What May 2012 Looked Like, And The Promise Of Summer

Yes, we broke records for Cold and Wet in May of 2012.  And we even had snow.  (Although it looks like my friend Kimberly at Camp and Cottage Living has a lot more to complain about than I do!)  

However, despite pouring down rain on June 1st, today dawned cloudy, but soon cleared up and was beautiful!

Our lawn service (a luxury we give ourselves because we kept killing our mowers and weed whackers, and we all suffer from hay fever) was finally able to mow and weed whack the lawn.  

I weeded the perennial bed, planted my moose planters, hosed off the lawn furniture and built a fire in the fire pit which I enjoyed with a glass of iced tea in the glider.

Charles built an outdoor shrine for our Mary Garden, which he will put up as soon as the icon of Mary is finished.

At last!  It is beginning to look like summer, and although the forecast calls for rain, it will diminish over the next few days.  My outlook is SUNNY!