Tag Archives: travel

Georgia Adventures


I went to stay with my dad and step mother Penny for a full month in June.  I took my son Riley with me to help if needed while travelling.  I know I wouldn’t have been able to make it through all those flights with my carry on bag if I didn’t have any help.  Riley carried his bag and mine too.  We had a pretty good visit but it did get boring at times and my poor Riley was unplugged.  I feel so bad for teenagers these days that don’t appreciate the outdoors as much as kids used to.  I was always outside when I was a kid and loved it.  I loved my bike!  So I think it was good for Riley to get outside and see things like frogs, snakes, snapping turtles and all kinds of bugs and birds he doesn’t see in Fairbanks, Alaska.

I did a lot of genealogy research while I was there.  Mainly we went to grave yards and took photos so I’d have the dates. I listened to story after story my dad told and tried to steer him to talk about things besides hunting.  It was interesting to learn about the girl my dad was engaged to before my mom.

We went to this one graveyard and my dad saw a frog and caught it.  He handed it to me and it got away.  I caught it again and it got away three times and finally I walked over and handed it to Riley.  He is an inside boy so was a little freaked out.  He finally took it though and it jumped away.  Of course he didn’t know how to catch a frog so I caught it again  for him.  He really enjoyed checking it out.  Later when I was finished taking pictures of the graves I asked him about the frog and he said he let it go.  He was worried about the frog’s well-being though because it went under grandpa’s car.  I am sure it moved on before we needed to drive away.

I told my dad that I wanted to see a snake since I’d never seen one in person before.  My dad is one of those wild, crazy people that sees something dangerous and goes and catches it and sometimes eats it.  He has caught snakes and alligators and of course numerous bears.  When I got there I looked everywhere I went for snakes and it seemed like there was none.  Finally, I was woke up rather abruptly one morning by Penny telling me my dad had a snake to show me.  It was a very small white oak snake.  I am sure it wasn’t even 18 inches long and no thicker than a quarter in the middle.  He showed me how to hold it by the head to keep it from biting me.  I know I’m a tom-boy but I thought it was pretty.  Its head was light grey and I just loved the colors of its body – grey, tan and white.  He found a huge one later though and I think it was too strong for me to even think of holding it.  My super cool nephew, Wyatt, that I FINALLY got to meet now that he is 12, held that snake and I just felt it up and posed for pictures with them.  Later I saw what my dad says was a king snake.  It was black with thin white lines and when I turned my head for just a second to say something to my dad it was gone when I looked back.  My dad said king snakes are very fast and don’t like people. Penny doesn’t like them either and started yelling at my dad to kill it…and make SURE it’s dead.  It was a good thing it was long gone.  Penny doesn’t like frogs either.  We found out just how much when one jumped on her hehe

While my brother Emmett was there (with his wife and two kids Chloe and Wyatt) we saw a snapping turtle.  Chloe and I tormented the poor thing with a stick in front of its nose to get it to snap while the other’s took pictures of us.  We were nice though and put it on the other side of the road since my brother said it was headed that way to a pond.  We saved it some lumbering time.

When Penny heard that neither Riley or I had ever been to a beach she called her daughter who has a house in Carrabelle, Florida.  She drove us to St. George Island.  We had a great time and I have a pile of sea shells and some great pictures from the trip.  It rained all that night and the next day and so we didn’t get to go again.  I would have been content to stay there on the beach for the rest of my life.  I thought it was really neat to think that I was born not far from there in Newport Richey Florida.  I went into this neat little store and bought a shirt for for Riley and I and some other neat stuff made with shells.  Of course I got a trinket box for my box collection.  I also bought a cute choker necklace that would actually choke me if I tried to put it on.  I need to put my neck on a diet.  I also bought myself one of those cute little license plates with my name on it because I WAS ACTUALLY BORN IN FLORIDA!  Isn’t that cool?

Anyway I will post some pictures later.

It was so so so good to get back home and I’ve been crocheting dishcloths.  I’ve already made several.

I also started a blog that is dedicated to crafting.  So that is where I will post the free patterns I find and want to share.  It is called Creative Aspirations after my etsy store.  I usually use free patterns and sometimes make changes to them but I don’t like to be stingy.  I like crafters who share and are good to other crafters.  So if you see something in my store and you could make it yourself, you can just check my blog and see if I’ve posted the pattern.  That will also help me to keep this blog for the topics I planned it for.  I’ll still post pictures of things I make occasionally though.  These are the dishcloths I’ve been making.


Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival!


Sorry it has been so long since I have posted but I have had a lot of bad days.  I am just starting to have a few good days and as long as I don’t overdo it I think I should be doing better for a while.

Anyway, last year I really wanted to take this drawing class that was being taught during the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival at UAF but I just couldn’t.  My dad and his wife were visiting and staying with us during that time.  I was so bummed out because the class was being taught by the same person that I was taking watercolor lessons from.  He really wanted me to go because he said that I was strongest in that area.  Well, it’s that time of year again and my husband is away on a two week business trip.  I sent him a text about and he said, “go head!”  YES!  I am soooooooo excited.  The class is called “Beginning to draw with the right brain.”  I wonder where to get a “right brain” because I’m pretty sure I’ve got the wrong one.  :OP  It is two weeks M-F in the evenings so I’ll have to rest up to make sure I can make it each day.  It costs too much to not go.

Anyway, so far I feel pretty good today.  I’ve been cleaning in my kitchen, sweeping and moping and organizing… but I did have my kids move the furniture.  I work in 10 or 15 minute blocks (depending on how difficult it is for me) and then I take a break.  I’ve been doing some “spring” cleaning.  I want to get the house as clean as it was when I moved in and the house was new.  I have been working on the kitchen for the past week and it is looking pretty good.  I’ve cleaned all of my white appliances and cleaned the things that just don’t get cleaned as often and it looks so much better.  I’ve found that I love those magic erasers.  The main brand is by Mr. Clean but I buy the generic walmart brand and get a box of 4 for $3.  They work on EVERYTHING!  I cleaned the walls, scuffs on the kitchen floor, Riley cleaned his white tennis shoes with one, the bathtub, everything I can think of really.  I have this “glass top stove cleaner” that is like soft scrub but made for the glass top and doesn’t seem to do anything.  My teen-aged boys cook some and they usually turn up the heat too high and things boil over.  So I had these rings that I couldn’t get off.  I put some of that special glass top stove cleaner on there, let it sit a minute or two and then scrubbed until I was exhausted.  Then I had Riley try and then washed it all off.  The rings were still there the same as before.  I tried one of the erasers and it came off so easy I threw that other crap in the trash.  I didn’t even use any soap, just the slightly damp generic brand eraser.  It looks great.

I’ve also been making my own laundry soap using this recipe and it is working fantastic!  No more allergies for me.  I have always used tide (no fragrance)  and plain bounce dryer sheets and didn’t have any trouble for a long time but suddenly I started itching from head to toe.  I don’t know if they changed their ingredients or if I changed.  I also started having problems with my shampoo and bath bar soap so might just be me.  Well I made up a batch of this laundry detergent and put distilled white vinegar in the liquid softener spot in my washing machine and it works great.  The vinegar helps rinse the soap out of the clothes, cuts down on some of the static and makes the clothes feel soft.  It isn’t as good at stopping the static but I’m still happy with it.  And no, my clothes don’t smell like vinegar.  Vinegar doesn’t smell at all when it is dry.  It isn’t that hard to make and it is so much cheaper!  It is great to not have to worry if I will break out in hives or not too.

I am experimenting with dishwasher soap right now.  I found one recipe somewhere, not sure where right now, but basically they used equal parts of borax and washing soda (same as you use in the laundry soap) and put distilled white vinegar in the spot for the rinse agent.  Well all seemed to be going well until I started noticing my glasses looked like they were covered in this film.  They were not so crystal clear.  I also noticed what looked like “soap scum” on the inside of my dishwasher.  Gross.  So I ran an empty load with lemon juice to clean the dishwasher out and then I started adding a tiny-tiny little drop of my Palmolive dish soap and a large squirt of lemon juice with a scoop of the homemade dishwasher soap and they cleared up.  I found another recipe that starts off the same but also includes some citric acid and coarse Kosher salt.  I’ll try that recipe after I use up all of what I already have.

Well I better get going and finish cleaning.  I really want the house to look good when my hubby comes home from his trip.

NaBloPoMo again


I signed up for NaBloPoMo yet again since my goal is to blog every day for as long as possible throughout this year.  It is amusing to me that NaBloPoMo stands for National Blog Posting Month but you can sign up any or every month.  The idea is  that you will improve your writing skills the more you write and read other blogs.  So far I have made it through January and February.  February was not a good month for me as far as my blog writing.  I was sick for most of February and my family has proven to be very proficient at passing germs around like a volley ball.  With my health issues I always get anything there is to get…. except money.

Well, this month the theme is “Whether” (or Weather) and I think I might actually use this prompts this time.   I wasn’t much interested in the theme for last month (Relative) so I never used any of the prompts.  This months prompts seem to be a little more interesting asking questions with comparisons.  I guess we shall see.  So here goes!

Thursday, March 1, 2012
How do you feel about uncertainty? Is it exciting or scary?

Both, depending on the cause of the uncertainty but mostly it is nerve wracking.  When it comes to my health it can be very scary.  Waiting for test results is always tortuous.  Waiting for a baby (especially if you don’t know the sex) can be very exciting but things could also turn out to be scary if the baby isn’t healthy.  My son travelling to New Mexico with his school for the Academic Decathlon is both exciting and scary to me.   I know he is smart and will do well but he is also naive.  Never knowing when and where the next school shooting will happen is terrifying. There are unstable people of all ages out there in the world just waiting to “lose it” and we can never be prepared for that.

Oh, and I have to add, waiting to see who makes it through to the next round of American Idol is extremely nerve wracking!

The thing is, nothing in life is certain.  Life is certainly never easy either.  There are always going to be things that turn out bad or just not the way we wanted it to, but life goes on.  We can’t stop living because of all of life’s uncertainties.

Fill in the blank Friday

Click here to participate in Fill in the blank Friday and link up your blog.
1.   My favorite place I’ve ever traveled to is  Arizona.

2.   Italy is somewhere I’d love to go someday.
3.  I pass the time on a plane (or bus, or car ride or train) by  reading, doing puzzels and listening to music.
4.  My three must-haves when I travel are   something to read ,  yummy snacks and   my husband for security.
5.  My favorite travel companion is  my husband.
6.  The craziest thing that ever happened to me while traveling is when we stayed at a little hotel in GA and found out the room I reserved next to my sisters was given away to some guy.  When they gave us another room we got locked in the room because there was no doorknob on the inside.  There was also a sign on the inside telling what to do if that happened and then the maintenance man was drunk.  When we finally got changed to another room we found a sock behind the bathroom door from the previous person and the shower wall was painted with interior wall paint.  There was only one other hotel in town and everyone we talked to said this one was the best in town.  Never again!

7.  The most exotic food I’ve ever tried while traveling is Olive Garden. There isn’t an Olive Garden in Alaska – At least not in Fairbanks or Anchorage.

8.  If I could live anywhere else, I’d live in  Arizona or California.

9.  I have been to   states in the U.S.    
Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Alabama, Texas – I’m not counting the state I was born in, Florida, because I don’t remember it.

Exquisite Taste


My prince has been gone on his business trip for 3 sleeps now.  I haven’t been sleeping well without him so I toss and turn and wake up turned the wrong way on the bed.  Today I woke up and I was still tired.  I just wanted to stay in bed and mope.  I made myself get up though and puttered around the house.  He called me this evening, like he has every night, to tell me how his day went.  It just makes me miss him more.

I was thinking about when we first got married.  Things were so different then and we’ve changed so much but we still loved each other then as much as now.  We were renting a house in town several blocks from where we worked so we walked everywhere.  There was a grocery store half way in between the house and work so we really didn’t need a car, although sometimes we wished we had one when it was cold.  This one time it was my birthday and he came in breathless.  He gave me some flowers and candy he had bought at the store along with a card.  When I opened the card to read it I was surprised that it rambled on.  He is usually really brief when writing.  The card explained how he had walked from work to the store, which is about 4 blocks, and when he got home, which is about the same distance, he realized the card wasn’t in the bag.  So he walked back, in the snow, to the store to get the card.  While there he decided to get something else and they asked him if he wanted the card to be put in the bag.  He thought that was a good idea because it was snowing but when he got back home the card was again not in the bag.  So he went back again and got the card and walked back home.  He was really cold by the time he got there.  So all of this was written out on the card and when he ran out of room he turned the card and continued up the side.  It was so funny but then I realized he was really nervous.  He was worried I wouldn’t be happy with my gifts.  The flowers were a little cold and did end up dying but how could anyone now love a gift that took walking back and forth through snow to get.  How could anyone not love someone like that?

There was another time that I remember when he wanted to get me flowers for valentine’s day but didn’t have the money.  He knew I loved daisies so he drove around trying to find some growing wild.  He found some growing in the ditch beside a highway and stopped to pick them for me.  He brought them to me in a vase with breakfast in bed.  These are the little things that matter to me.  That is something money can’t buy.

We haven’t been apart much over the past 20 years.  We’ve gone on a few trips together and he loves to show me new and interesting things.  He is so thoughtful.  When I went with him on another business trip to Phoenix he found this cute little hotel near a shopping center.  So while he was off att he training seminar I was reading by the pool, getting my nails done at the mall or taking pictures of a humming bird, wild rabbits and quail!  It was my first time seeing a humming bird and quail.  He rented a convertible Sebring and drove to Sedona.  He knew I had never been to a zoo before so he took me to the Arizona wildlife world zoo where I fed giraffes!  Even when we were in Anchorage, AK to see a specialist to find out what was wrong with me he turned it into a fun time.  He makes everything fun.  We went to this huge mall and he pointed to a hair salon and said “Donna Jean, you should see if they can fit you in” and he waited on a bench just outside the door until they were done.  I love it when he calls me “Donna Jean”.  He doesn’t say it like my mom did LOL  When my mom said that I knew I was in trouble but when he says it, its full of sweetness.

My Chris makes me think of that quote by Robert Browning

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made.

So I finally took a picture of Aunt Nin’s teapot that I mentioned in another post.

Aunt Nin's Teapot

And here is another box that Chris bought for me.  I love this one!

On a slightly funny note, my son Jared was just peeling an orange and he said he thought it was bad.  I smelled it and it was a grapefruit.  I’ll have to eat that later with a little sea salt although it will be interesting since it is peeled.

On a not-so-funny note, I think I have an absess tooth.  This bump popped out on my gums at the side of a tooth that already had a root canal done on it years ago.  So I’m worried they are going to have to pull it.  The later it gets the more it hurts and I can’t wait until tomorrow morning when I can call the dentist.