Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Everywhere - More People!

The husband-wife relationship has brightened. I attribute that to keeping my mouth shut since most of the trouble happens when I open it.

Anyway, yesterday, we had the fun of an out of London tour. We checked with the hotel concierce and they set us up with as our tour guide. The tour is an early anniversary gift from our kids. It was appreciated very much because there is no way we would have done this on our own. It will always be remembered as the highlight of our time in the United Kingdom. Thanks Marie, Karla, Chris, Kim, Tony, Klint, Calli and Kris!

After catching a cool taxi ride to our pick-up point we stopped by a great smelling fast food place (smelled like roasting turkey) and waited for the tour bus. It was called Pret. (oh! a website!) What great food! Sandwiches and breakfast breads were what I noticed but they also have salads and dessert style goodies too. The sandwiches are great for picking up and taking to work. I wished that we had picked out a lunch to bring with us on the tour. If Pret does not sell all their sandwiches at the end of the day, they give it all to charity. No day old sandwiches, no sell by or use by dates on the items since they are made on fresh bread, fresh each morning. I was impressed. They have a little booklet in their store that gives pointers on eating good and healthy including some really good quotes! So I stuck one into my pocket and am sharing information from that.

I wondered if they were in America, but their booklet says:

"Pret does not want to franchise, so please don't call us and ask for a franchise because we don't. We really don't. We don't like to franchise so we don't."
Not sure if they franchise or not, I see a website....with, usa site... contact us, hmmm.

They also have this:

"We're always looking for new, homemade, delicious, natural ingredients. Do you have a friend or neighbour who makes something that you think would be great at Pret? Anything from jam to sausages? Please let us know or get them to cal us."

One of the quotes in their booklet:

"The idols of today are unmistakeable--- self-esteem without effort, fame without achievement, sex without consequences, wealth without responsibility, pleasure without struggle and experience without commitment." Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks

Pret is great! It has ideas that are really working towards fast, fresh, healthy lunches. Good stuff!

Our first stop was Windsor Castle, the home of the Queen (who was away visiting in Scotland). It looks like a fairy-tale castle to me. But then I have this idea in my head from childhood stories and movies. It has sparked a desire to read about England's history, especially the leaders in England's history.

Off to the Georgian Baths. These were built by the Romans during the time they ruled England. (Sorry, not good on remembering dates.) We saw lots of decaying stones and the baths were green with algae.

The Roman's worshipped and sacrificed to a goddess here too. I wondered about the sacrifices. I wondered about the slaughter stones I saw people laying their hands on. I got the creeps thinking about them being slaughter stones. I remembered reading about the Roman's sacrificing unwanted babies to their gods. Something weird, I thought I could even hear babies sceaming and asked my husband if he could hear that. He had not heard anything until I pointed it out then he said, "Weird." I know ---it's my wild imagination. I didn't really care for this part of the tour.

The baths made you wonder what sort of things went on in them. They claimed some came here in ancient times for the "healing waters." I looked at the water and thought, I probably get sick if I touched it.

Anyway, they have built new baths now and one can arrange to spend nights there and use the baths that are pools filled with hot water from under the ground. We have hot mineral springs in Alaska that I have had the pleasure of soaking in before. The Roman's health actually faded using these old baths since their pools were filled with hot water coming in through lead pipes which we saw!

One hour beyond the baths was Stonehenge. On the way there our guide pointed out the gigantic chalk drawing of a horse in the distant hills. That is impressive and also makes you wonder who did and how did they do the drawings. I tried to get a picture but the bus was not stopping along the way and I got a picture of a blurry tree. One of many blurry trees since this trip began.

Stonehenge is a wonder. All that is related to this site makes one wonder. I wonder what, I wonder who and I wonder how. The rocks are called blue rocks. They look grey now but they say if you were to scrape the rock it would be blue. We could not get up close to the stones but only look from a distance. There are lots of birds there.

Could all these things be what is left of the peoples that were the result of the sons of God having babies with the beautiful daughters of men? This was briefly mentioned in the Old Testament in Genesis before the Great Flood. That makes more sense to me than people taming wooly mammoths to drag these stones 240 miles from Wales to this site. That's a long way for so many stones for little people. (I was amazed at the little suits or armor we saw at the Windsor Castle.)

"When men began to increase in number on the earth and the daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. Then the LORD said, "My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal; his days will be a hundred and twenty years." The Nephilim were on the earth in those days---and also afterward--when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown." Genesis 6:2-4

In my own little opinion, I don't think that little people could make all this stuff, but "men of renown" could.

We have not been to the Tower of London yet where Queen's heads did roll. I have seen London Bridge from a distance and we plan to make a trip of seeing the Tower and the Bridge before we leave here.

Tourism in England is alive and well everyone! There are so many people everywhere we go! A shuttle driver told us that London has 9+ million people living here but he felt that this number would dwindle since everything is so costly for living here.

Monday, August 28, 2006


We made it to London.

The flight over was great since I got to fly over in the same plane and beside Doug. I have to comment on all that. Doug was being sent to London in first class and so when he went to purchase a ticket for me (mileage) he didn't realize that he was being sent that way until he went to pick out our seats. Of course he wanted to sit with me, since I am his wife, but he probably would have had a more peaceful flight if he didn't sit by me. Having said that I should also mention that I guess we are having "too much time together" problems right now.

Anyway, back when he went to make seat selections for all the flights he saw that he had first class seats,(or business first if flying to UK) and I had coach seats. Some of our flights ended up having to be on different planes to begin with, that was to be expected since Doug's workplace purchased his tickets and he was using our mileage accumulated to get a ticket for me.

After all was settled it turned out that I was able to accompany him when I had finally told him I won't travel unless we travel together or in my other words "I won't travel unless he pays through the nose." I am a most horrible woman it turns out. I see that about me when I make demands such as that. I would have been perfectly happy to stay at home this whole time, let me mention that ---in my own defense. My weak flesh feels as though I should defend myself as I sit here in the hotel all alone. I admit, without embarrassment, that I am a weak person.

So what put me into this mood?

Me, myself and I.

After we got into London yesterday --- (as I was saying) early in the morning we met Gatwick Airport and all those people! People. People and more people. Did I mention the people? Yes, people of every type bumped and brushed against me there.

It was hot and we had all of our luggage and no connections to the hotel we were to go. (Because of a traveling email problems Doug could not confirm with the " transportation service people" where they should be when we got into London). Poor Doug got it all figured out while I kept a watchful eye out for anything suspicious and our luggage, as we read to do in all those airport security posts. While I stood and waited I was shocked to see Gatwick airport's security walking about loaded with guns and ammunition, not holstered let me also say, but at the ready for any disturbances.

We had a pleasant ride on the Gatwick Transit, or Rail. Our first glimpses of London left me with images of lots of close together brick buildings and moss growing on them. We had sunshine and not the rain that I have always pictured London to be gloomy with. Green and sunny here. Right now the sun is shining but every so often we see a heavy rainshower with sun still out.

Things are expensive here. Food prices here where we are always surprises us. I think I will continue with a "Food Costs Way Too Much To Eat It Diet."

When we got to our hotel we did not have a room because we got in way too early so they graciously (thanks Hotel Service People) stored our luggage and we took a taxi to St. Paul's Cathedral to hear their Sunday service. I have wanted to hear a boys choir in a cathedral and I got it. It was not just a boys choir, but it was a children's choir, although I saw some adult's in it too. They were having a communion service while we were there.

To help keep this post from being too long I will say that the rest of the afternoon was great. We walked down to the Thames Path from there. Saw the London Bridge from a distance. I did not want to walk all the way to the bridge since we were walking back to our hotel too, which was many bridges in the opposite direction.. .many, many, many bridges away.

I saw The Tower of Big Ben, Winchester Cathedral, the London Eye, and of course the Thames River. Things I never, ever dreamed of seeing.

More another time.


Friday, August 25, 2006

Galveston, Texas

Picture of downtown Houston as we drove out of town, South. (Notice me... "south">

We rented a car soon as Doug got out of his meetings yesterday and took a drive down to Galveston. We drove and drove down I-45 and got to the end and found access to the beach. (Lots of places to access it but have to pay 8.00 to park there!) Finally found a free parking spot and we were right on the beach.

It was sort of cloudy and with the AC going it felt like I should grab a sweater to get out next to the windy ocean,but I opened the door and swoosh in came the humid heat! I love it!

We walked down to the beach and I took off my sandals and got into the ocean. It is the warmest ocean I have ever experienced! It was impressive. I wish my whole family could be here to enjoy it...maybe someday!

Doug and I taking a self-portrait. I am just about too short to make it into the picture. We had a beautiful sunset and then we stopped by Landry's Seafood House in Galveston and had a great seafood dinner. YUM YUM!

Today, after Doug finishes up work related stuff, we still have one more day to use the car before we give it back, then we will pack and be on our way again.

Houston has been great!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Waiting Patiently

(Picture was taken flying out of Seattle, Washington.)

I see on that at home they are still getting lots of rain, at least in the Valley where we live.

After we got down here we heard that there has not been much rain in the Houston area and that they needed more to replenish their water supplies. We were excited to watch a lightning storm here that brought lots of rain that night and most of the next day. Lately in Alaska there have been more lightning storms but not like what we saw down here! We turned off the room lights, opened up the drapes and ooo'ed and awe'd over each flash of light. So much power there! Too bad it cannot be caught and saved! Figure out a way to stick a tall lightning-grabbing rod to our electric cars then ---zap and thunder--- charged batteries!

Sarah Palin (YIPPEEE) is doing good in the political races so far! I was happy to read that in USA Today. We voted Absentee before we left Alaska. I have not heard if Ballot Measure 2 passed or failed yet.

I have been enjoying Omni Hotel's pool-side here. I almost burned myself being out there too long on Tuesday! Doug is in meetings all day and when he gets out wants to be outdoors too. Yesterday we went down to the pool and he went swimming and then fell asleep out in the evening sun while I waited for him and watched ants crawling all around the patio blocks. It is so nice to be warm! The ants can't be out during the day, the blocks are too hot, so they come out in the evening.

I brought two beading projects with me to work on while I wait for Doug each day but I still have not even touched them. I have enjoyed being in this luxury hotel very much!

Yesterday I sort of had to wait a while for Room Service to get my pizza up here. First I was positive they forgot my order. I called them after I had been watching a movie and noticed that it had been over an hour since I called them. My tummy was reminding me of the time by then too! I called and asked, "So how's that pizza coming along?" She says, "Just about done, M'am, it will be on it's way up in about 15 minutes." Quiet as I looked at the time. "15 minutes?" "Yes M'am." "Well, it's getting so close to dinner I am going to cancel the room service order." "Do you want to talk to the manager, or will you wait another 15 minutes?" I just could not give up the thought of eating that hot pizza. "Okay, I will wait."

I got busy reading, emailing and surfing. (I love having my computer here with me.) Soon my tummy knocks and says, "Hell- LOW????" I checked the time. "My word! It's been over two hours!" Just about that time the Food Service MANAGER calls, "Hello M'am, did you order pizza?" I very cooly, calmly and collectedly said, "Yes, over two hours ago." "We are so sorry," he began, "first we lost your order then we lost your room number and then the girl says she knows your last name began with "V" so we started calling guest rooms."

Anyway! I finally got pizza, free. I also got a free complimentary breakfast.

So, I get a free breakfast this morning --- all for waiting so patiently.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

No Sense Of Direction

While traveling in Tennessee with my sister Becca my lack of direction became embarrassingly evident to me. I get lost in malls with just one turn! I have to stop myself at doorways to make myself remember which way I just came from before I go in, otherwise when I go out I will head right back in the direction that I just came from. (Our malls are not huge either.) While out Christmas shopping this sort of problem can waste a lot of valuable browsing time!

As we traveled the strange streets my sister drove while I studied the maps to see what exits were coming up and which way we should turn. I would say, we need to turn right on to "such and such" an exit and she would ask, "Okay? Which way is that? North or South?"

Well, let me find the funny little pointer thingy I would mumble as I turned the map around.

*crumple, crumple*

"Okay! It's North ....I think!" (Poor Sis.)

By the time I figured that North, South sillyness out I could see the right road exit coming up and I'd start flaying my arms, pointing and saying, "This way! This way!" My lack of direction didn't do us much good, relationship-wise, on that trip.

I can't understand when people refer to their inner sense of direction. I admit to being seriously handicapped in that area.

I've been told that people with a negative sense of direction could possibly have a deficiency of iron in the skullbone which will make them less sensitive to the magnetic north and so less able to rotate themselves and know their position related to the Earth's magnetic north. Sounds good to me and I think it sounds so scientific and smart to say so when I get lost.

Since I don't seem to have the directional gift I have to follow road signs and landmarks to know where I am. One time while we were hitting garage sales my Mom watched as I repeatedly tried to drive my way out of a maze of dead-end cul-de-sacs.

"Head for the mountains!" she wisely advised. I found the mountains and kept them in front of me which stopped me from going in circles in that goofy subdivision! Sounds funny but it's not funny when I find myself lost in a new place, especially when I am alone.

I don't plan to do much any lone sight-seeing on the trip we will be leaving on soon. I don't want to get lost in places that have no mountains. I will have no idea which way to turn to get re-oriented.

I read around online about magnetic fields trying to find out if there is such an ailment as -lostness- due to a deficiency of iron in the skull bone. I ran across a study by Kyoichi Nakagawa, M.D. claiming that since the Earth has lost 50% of it's magnetic field in the last 500 years people are suffering the effects of it by different bodily sicknesses. You can read more of that article HERE. (For this specific quote read under: 2.Deficiency of the Magnetic Field acting on the human body.) My comment to this study is: "If our magnetic field has been diminishing how much more lost will I be?" That might explain the wandering around I do trying to get things done. No, I think that is another problem, called aging.

I never have found anything online yet about this. I'm not even sure what and if all of this magnetic north and iron stuff has anything to do with how easily I get lost, but I think I will pop an iron pill just in case it will help to keep me from wandering in circles while I am in a strange land.

Magnetic pole migration? So the magnetic north pole moves?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Anchor Point

The three in my life that have been racing had a State Moto-cross meet in Anchor Point this past weekend, so we drove down South and had a fun but cold, drizzly few days there.

Since it was soooo cold and drizzly I didn't venture very far from our RV for pictures. I am sure Blogger will thank me for not uploading a bunch of new pictures for this post. Klint and Alexis raced but Kris still is out due to his broken wrist. Klint continues to get experience on the tracks and still is quite new to racing but was more agressive for the last race of the weekend and came in seventh out of nineteen in the 125 Novice division. Poor Alexis machine broke down for the first race and for the rest of the day she rode a bike that was loaned to her. We were thankful for her, but she was bummed not to be on her own bike.

Anchor Point is only twenty miles from Homer and is set in another beautiful area of Alaska. This community even has a website! Homer Racing Lions have a website too.

After the races on saturday we all took a drive out to the Homer Spit. I always love that ride and if we had time we would have walked the beaches.

The unrest in the Middle East is troubling; I am aware that these unsettling things must happen before the return of Jesus Christ. It's easy to get caught up in our own daily lives and forget to pray for the peace of Israel, but we must. I wish that this war and all wars could be over now, but I know that this won't happen until Christ Jesus returns and makes things as they were before willful sin entered into the story.

As Christians we need to be ready to die, or to meet Jesus Christ in the clouds. I have never been sure enough to say what I believe about the rapture, whether it is be pre-tribulation, mid or even post. I am inclined to believe that we won't go though the tribuation because I believe God always saved His remnant (Stories in the Bible, Noah, Lot, the stories of the Exodus, etc.) before he brings judgement to the rest of the world, so I am kind of inclined to believe that Believer's in Jesus Christ's death and resurrection will leave in the middle of the tribulation, with the Holy Spirit. I believe that when we do leave things on Earth will get so much worse, because the Holy Spirit is restraining evil forces right now. It could be worse, and one day it will be worse. This is not a war against flesh and blood, it is a spiritual war.

Here is a website related to stories in the news that is interesting. Rapture Ready News.

It's midnight now (in more ways than one!) and I need to hit the hay!

By the way --- if you don't know if you are a Believer (Christian) please read this website -"How Does A Person Get To Heaven?" or else type "How to be saved" in Google. There are so many websites with good information but you need to read the Bible for yourself too! Know for sure where you stand spiritually - now - and may God help you to understand His eternal love for you!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Seward, Alaska

After camping at Kincaid Park on saturday night and spending Sunday at the races we closed up the RV and took a drive down to Seward to meet up with Doug's former co-workers on a halibut fishing charter boat, the "Legacy".

It was not planned that I would go on the boat with the guys but that I was going to settle in for a day and a half to do some long anticipated beading. Just as I was making some fresh coffee, Doug calls and says some guys didn't show up and that there is room and then he asked if I wanted to join them! I surprisingly, and quickly decided that I would go against my first choice to stay for a quiet afternoon of beading and watching beachcombers go by at the RV park next to Resurrection Bay and instead I would join them. I said, "okay I want to go." (I think he almost dropped the phone!)

I went back to the Seward Boat Harbor to meet them and out to sea we all went! We anchored out in front of Bear Glacier. Doug pulled in several good sized salmon that afternoon.

We called several of the family to see if anyone could come down to fill up the charter since there was still more room and Marie was able to drive down to join us for the second day of fishing.

The next morning we got up early and were out on the ocean again by 6:30 A.M. Captain Steve took us out 2 1/2 hours from port and dropped anchor. No sooner had Marie dropped her line she pulled in the biggest catch of the day. I don't even know how much the halibut weighed but it was almost bigger than her. (It was a great disappointment when my camera's batteries died before I got a picture, but we have another one coming from Marie's camera.)

Saltwater Safari Company was the charter service we went out on (great service and lots of experience) and the Skipper made sure our ride there and back was a MAJOR treat for the eyes. What a beautiful ocean/coast world God has created! We saw sea lions, puffins, all kinds of other seabirds, killer whales, salmon, halibut, yellow eyes, ling cod, sharks!

If you ever get up to Alaska, plan to have a ride in a boat. Alaska from the sea is so incredibly beautiful! We had great weather to boost, as you can see from these pictures.

"Then God said, "Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens." So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth." Genesis 1:20-22

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Howling Fun!

"The best way to forget all your troubles is to wear tight shoes." I don't know who said that originally, but thought it was funny and so true! And it has nothing to do with this post, just had to include --it was so funny to me today.

When something hurts me that is all that Ican think about and sometimes when it hurts plenty hard enough, I'll even get to the point of dropping some of my strongest inhibitions.

This past weekend we attended The Howling Huskies Gospel Festival. This is the third year for this event in Palmer. Gospel music sung by groups from Alaska and a group that came from Canada - "The Jackson's." (We love you Jackson's!)

It rained and was c-c-c-cccold for most of the time, but if you like gospel music, Howling Huskies delivered. The weekend is attended mostly by Alaskan natives but all people are welcomed. It's a good place to hear gospel sung in native dialects too.

Besides the singing there is food. This years event did not have as much food as years before but there were "alaciqs" thanks to Greg! (Fried bread.) I love fried bread and so do many others and his fried bread was yummie.

The festival is held every last weekend in July. The idea is a great one. Edna Shugak is the strongest mover for Howling Huskies and most of the planning and the getting people working together is on her shoulders. So, when she had a death in the family she had to scramble to get back-up support. Many that usually are there to help also left to attend the funeral and some who used to be so involved were not even there at all. Yet, in God's plans, none of us are "indispensible" as I was reminded by a good friend during the past weekend. God blesses the hearts of those He wishes to touch, even through a limping-along music festival.

The first ever "Campfire" was planned and carried out by Marie, our daughter. This was to be a time geared towards building relationships between young people. It was a bit disappointing because most of the ones that attended the evening were not young people, maybe young at heart, but definitely not young. I think this planned event will be a great time of fun for young adults every year. So next July, plan to attend! Even if there were not many young adults there the group still had fun playing a native game that was provided by Doug, a native from Old Harbor.

This years Howling Huskies had more people than ever despite the cold 65 F degrees we huddled in both days. Hoping to have even more show up next year with more vendors and more food! I think we need an espresso stand! Especially with cold weather like we had this year, espresso would have been a great way to warm up! I would like to see more handcrafts too. (vendors buy the table for the weekend.) The money goes to Anchorage Native New Life Fellowship and helps to fund the Howling Huskies and other activities they are involved with throughout year.

I have helped and participated with this event by building and updating their website and creating flyers for mailing out. I plan to be involved with this event next year too --- because I see it as a fun outdoor time that the whole family can enjoy and family time is something we all should support.

Maybe you can join us next year!

Hey! What's up with Fur Rondy? No more Fur Rondy! Oh dear...