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.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where, Oh Death, Is Your Sting? - UPDATED

"Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?"
                                                                              Corinthians 15:55

We are engaged in a vigil.  Buddy Tabor, musician, poet, and our good friend, is in his final struggle with Stage IV cancer.  He still is able to move about his house and visit with friends as his strength and pain level permits.  Friends from as far away as Mexico and Yukon Territory have come to say goodbye.
He is in the care of angels of mercy and compassion, also known as hospice nurses.  
He can't eat much, just a few spoonfuls of soup or hot cereal.  He can't play the guitar anymore because the cancer caused his collarbone to break, so he can't lift his arm.
But, still, his humor shines through.  When Charles called him the other day and asked how he was, Buddy said: "Well, if I've crossed over to the other side, I'm doing great.  If not, I'm about the same."  Charles told him our long distance service doesn't stretch that far.

I have known Buddy since I arrived in Juneau in 1978.  As a Jesuit Volunteer, I was his son's child care provider.  He soon became a good friend.  I have watched him grow as a musician for 33 years.  He is a poet of amazing depth and vision.  He is a smoky, skinny, long haired prophet.

He will be missed by so many.  I am asking you to pray for a peaceful, happy death for my friend Buddy.  That's all we can do right now.  And pray for his wife and sons, and all of his friends, that we can bear the pain of his passing.

Because, even though we know we will see him again, it stings, my friends.  It still stings.

(To read more about the impact that Buddy's music has had, please click here.)

Update:  Buddy Tabor died peacefully at approximately 7:45 p.m. on February 5th.  Thanks for all of your prayers.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Keeping Warm (Or Trying To)

The wind is whipping outside.  We are supposed to get 75 MPH gusts later on.  When the sun starts to set the wind kicks up.  Right now it is 9 degrees F.  With the wind chill, it will feel like -30 degrees F.    Brrr.

Beans went out for a walk with Phoebe earlier, and she wore a faux fur coat that my alterations lady gave me for Frida.  It was too big for Frida, so we tried it on Beans.  It fit perfectly.   I'm sure she appreciated the warmth, but she definitely looks embarrassed.

Now both dogs are hunkered down.

Frida is in there somewhere....

There she is!

The wind was whistling through the crack in the back door where we haven't replaced the torn up weather stripping.  I used thin socks to block the opening.  I shoved it in there with the aid of a chopstick.  It worked!  The laundry room is warmer already.  

It reminded me of the story about the little boy who asked his mother, who was busily stuffing newspaper in the cracks in their windows:  "Gee, Mama, what do poor people DO when they don't have newspaper to stuff in their window cracks?"  I blocked the dog door opening with a mat.  The dogs have figured out how to nose the mat aside to get out the door.  That is, when Frida WANTS to use the dog door.  She prefers to stay indoors, and who can blame her?

It really is lovely outside, but very cold.  I am keeping in mind the folks who are homeless and on the street today in this weather.  I stopped by the Glory Hole (our local shelter) yesterday with a couple of jackets that we no longer need, and before I even made it in the door, a lady asked if I had coats.  She took a fleece jacket right then and there.  I am grateful for a warm home (even one with a few cracks here and there).

We are looking forward to having dinner with Elijah, the son of Kimberly, a blogging friend from Canada.  He is visiting Juneau for a couple days - what a small, wonderful world!

Stay warm!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Better, but still not perfect!

OK - The outer background is back to it's blue with the birds flying around, but the background of my posts is white (which is better than gray), but I want it to be blue....

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Are My Colors All Messed Up?

Can someone help me, please?  I can't make my background any color other than gray.  God knows, living in SE Alaska, we get enough gray, so I would like to change it! HELP!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Just The Two Of Us (And Greta Garbo)

Charles and I had a really nice weekend.  Phoebe was winter camping with friends at a Forest Service Cabin about 40 miles out the road.  It had a kerosene stove and she and her friends are young, strong and hardy Alaskans.  The temperature has been in the single digits here with strong Taku winds - so camping wouldn't be MY first choice - let's face it, camping is NEVER my first choice, even in warm(ish) weather!

Charles and I spent yesterday running errands.  We did some shopping (I got a new blouse at the local consignment shop: turquoise linen!!), went to our storage unit to put away the Christmas decorations, we both got haircuts, and went to a matinee.  We saw Joyful Noise - the acting is not great, but the music is wonderful.  Dolly Parton looks like she has a plastic surgeon on retainer, but she still is sassy and busty and funny.  Queen Latifah's character is cranky, but when she sings...!  Anyway, it was a nice way to spend an afternoon after all the running around.

Today, we went to Mass, visited with friends at the coffee hour, then came home and straightened up the house,  put away loads (and loads) of laundry, I cleaned our room, and then my friend Irene came over and we watched a chick flick while Charles served at the evening Mass with the Bishop.

Then for dinner, I made one of our favorite dishes: Fettuccine Greta Garbo.   I used salmon that our friends Jim and Martha smoked and canned themselves, and I threw in some prawns just for a little change.  It was delicious and easy and quick.  You melt the butter and saute the garlic until it smells wonderful and garlicky, then add the cooked pasta, and the fish, add the cream (I used half and half) and let it heat up and gets a little thick, then add the cheese and green onions, stir it to mix, and serve.  With a green salad (with Fiddlehead Vinaigrette, of course), and a nice glass of white wine, it is a perfect meal.

 It is from The Fiddlehead Cookbook.  The Fiddlehead was a great restaurant here in Juneau.  We were so sad when they closed.  Fortunately, Nancy and John DeCherney wrote this great cookbook along with Deborah Marshall and Susan Brook!  There is a fun blog, Fiddling Through Fiddlehead that documents the adventure of cooking from the cookbook (a la Julie and Julia, but without the whining).

The illustrations are great!  There are so many wonderful recipes in this book.  I highly recommend it - it is still in print after 20+ years.  My poor copy is dog eared and splattered and falls open at the North Douglas Chocolate Cake recipe (our favorite birthday cake).

Our new dishwasher was installed on Thursday - which made clean up a snap (especially since Charles did the dishes)!

Have a wonderful, delicious, and warm week!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Today Is My First Anniversary!

I am so pleased!  I have been blogging at Home in Douglas for one year!  Click here for a look back at my very first post!

This has been such an amazing year - Charles' book was published (we are anxiously awaiting a box of copies!), Phoebe had two exhibits, Miguel decided to go to University of Kentucky, we lost one dog and gained another, Charles was accepted into the Juneau Artists Gallery, and I lost 15 pounds!  And last but not least, I started writing this blog.  I have enjoyed sharing my life with my loyal followers (all 32 of you)!

I was really sick after Christmas - I caught some sort of super cold.  I was down for the count for a week.  My voice is just now coming back, which is a disappointment, because I wanted to participate in the Mid-Winter Vocal Festival this year.  No such luck - I could barely talk, never mind sing.  Oh well, rehearsals for Handel's Messiah start in a couple of weeks, so I will plan on doing that.

It was a busy week - we went to the wedding of the daughter of our friends Vince and Jansy.  Vince was ordained a deacon with Charles.  They have a lovely family and the wedding was beautiful!

Charles at the reception - he cleans up pretty good!

Phoebe and Miguel do too!

The three deacons: Charles, Vince and Gary.

The kids made Charles promise that he would make homemade won ton while Miguel was home for Christmas break.  In this picture Charles is showing the kids how to fold and seal the won ton.

Last night Gary and his wife Mary celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a lovely dinner.  It was such a fun event!

We haven't had great winter weather so far this year, it has been spitting snow and rain for weeks - I just want a big freeze and a dump of snow to brighten things up a bit.  Unrelenting gray skies take a toll on my mood!  Thank God Charles gave me a new SAD light for Christmas!  I may just strap it to my chest 24 hours a day!

We have an infestation of MICE in the house - the cold and damp drive them inside.  I hate seeing a mouse scurry across the floor.  They are wily and have avoided the traps for the most part.  I am an animal lover, but I draw the line at mice.  I can't wait to hear that satisfying SNAP! 

I need to get off the computer and bake a bunch of cookies for the gallery opening tonight - Charles is the featured artist - wish us luck!

Thanks again for reading and following my blog - I will have a giveaway soon for my loyal followers!