Monday, July 30, 2007

The Thoughtful Blogger Award

Thank you, Connie from "Connie's Thoughts from the Heart" for the Thoughtful Blogger Award. I wanted to know more about it so I did a search and found that Christi Z. at Writer's Review created many awards and writes about them in her blog at Writer's Reviews

Kristi Z. wrote:

I have thought about creating these awards for a very long time now. It was my hope to create an award series that would give unique, caring, brave, and positive bloggers the recognition they deserve.

The Thoughtful Blogger Award description is:

For those who answer blog comments, emails, and make their visitors feel at home on their blogs. For the people who take others feelings into consideration before speaking out and who are kind and courteous. Also for all of those bloggers who spend so much of their time helping others bloggers design, improve, and fix their sites. This award is for those generous bloggers who think of others.

I learned that there are rules that go with this award and here they are:

Award Rules

1) If you have received an award simply choose either the dark or light background image and save it to your files, then post it proudly on your blog!

2) Pass the award on to five other people, you can choose any of the awards from the series, you do not have to pass out the exact award you received. Choose whichever of the awards below that you'd like to give out. You can give out one of each or five of the same one, whatever you prefer.

3) You can change the size and color of awards to suit your blog, that's up to you, it's your blog, just leave the titles the same.

4) Please link back to this post so that people can read these rules and so that the meanings of the awards will not be lost.

5) If you feel that you or a friend are deserving of an award and no one has given one to you yet then email me at sayhitochristy(at) and tell me about your website.

So the rule is to pass on to five people and I have thought about it and finally - these are the five people I want to pass on these five awards to:

1. Connie from "Slim Pickin's From My Brain - The "Courageous Blogger Award" for her daily struggle with platelet counts while keeping active in her families life even though her body struggles against a disease that sometimes causes her continuing health problems, seemingly without reason.

2. e-Mom of C H R Y S A L I S, the "Creative Blogger Award," because your blog is creative, the pictures you choose to share are artistic and topics are interesting!

3. Connie's Thoughts from the Heart, I know you have given to me and there are not any rules not to return to give to you another award --I feel you deserve, the Inspirational Blogger Award. It is truly you! Read the description at Writer's Review.

4. Carrie at Evergreen, the Thoughtful Blogger Award, for your careful word interactions in your blog comments, you must have this award. I also know that you helped my sister work on her blog too. You are a "generous blogger" that thinks of others.

5. My daughter at Alaska According to Marie a Creative Blogger Award, not only for the quotes and the poetry that you find and share at your blog, but mostly for all your very beautiful photography.

That was very hard to do and I thank you again Thoughtful Connie for thinking about me when you passed on the Thoughtful Blogger Award. I appreciate it.

Milly and Kene Jackson went to visit Millie yesterday. They sang for her. Milly said that Millie moved her hands and feet while they sang and got tears on her face. She's been hospitalized for 217 days today. All your prayers are being heard, keep praying for her recovery.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Salmon and Dipping

The steadfast salmon. What a circle of life they represent. A picture of always doing what should be done. Like our migrating birds, salmon return each year to our joy.

I did some reading online about salmon.

No person knows how these salmon come back to the same place it began. It is speculated that salmon use either a highly developed sense of smell or are endowed with the ability to work out directions from the stars. However they do it, they do make their way back to the exact stream and redd (gravelly nest) that it was born. Once there they will deposit eggs (female) and milt (male) thus completing their own incredible cycle of life. Sockeye and chinook salmon can travel up to 1,000 miles upstream to reach their place of birth. Chums, coho and pinks spawn closer to the sea.

The female salmon will dig a nest up to eighteen inches deep to deposit up to 8,000 eggs, all that digging is done with her tail. Sometimes this can take up to several weeks to accomplish being that they like to lay their eggs in fast running water ensuring that their young will have enough oxygen once buried in the gravel. The male then fertilizes and she will cover up the eggs with gravel. Their worn out bodies remain there, over the redd, until death. Spawned out salmon will either be eaten by scavengers or its rotting flesh will make the earth rich with nutrients.

"We saw dying salmon in the river, Mom, I caught one with my hands and I could feel its bones through its skin." A sad Kim said when she called me yesterday.

"You should all be ashamed of yourselves leaving the remains of this fish on the beach like you do!" Said by an ignorant tourist watching the Alaskan harvesting of returning salmon. She did not know that times and times before these beaches have fed and nourished the earth only to return to the pristine beach it was before the return of that years life-giving-dying salmon.

Either way, our salmon return to die to bring life.

Bears, seagulls, me, flies, eagles, ravens, plant life, so much benefit from this cycle each year. Has only the animal kingdom kept the instructions of the Creator that made it to go and replenish the earth? Obedience that will bring honor and glory to Him in the doing of it.

To go dipping you need a dipnet. There are places to stop and purchase a net in the Kenai area where we fished, but you can also make your own as my husband Doug did. There are size limits such as not larger than five feet wide; the bag has to be at least half the widths size deep or deeper. It should not be shallower. Dipping Regulations. Right now Kenai River dipping is open 24 hours until July 31st, the end of the dipnet season. Looks like the late-running sockeye salmon will be greater than the minimum required two million fish going upstream. That is great!

Once a fish is caught the tail has to be cut and this was hard! Next time I need to remember to bring SHEARS!

Salmon eggs will incubate all winter where they were laid. Through the winter they will grow until they are big enough to be called fry. During these early stages many salmon will die. Hatching out of the egg they are now alevin, tiny creatures with big eyes on an orange sac. The sac contains proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals enough to bring them through the winter. A large vein runs through the center of the sac and picks up oxygen from the fast running water. They will live all winter in the gravel, under the snow and ice protected from predators. By May to June the sac is used up and the alevin climb up out of the gravel, one inch long now they are called fry. Fry are an easy catch for other larger fish. Sockeye salmon will remain in the rivers and lakes for up to a year but the pink and chum swim directly to the sea. (I don't know how they figured this all out.)

Those that successfully reach the end of the rivers and get out into the ocean will be by now four inches long and be called fingerlings. Fingerlings will spend varying amounts of time and up to five years in the ocean eating greedily and growing rapidly to maturity. When mature they will return to repeat this cycle again.

Other interesting stuff I read:
Pacific salmon have disappeared from almost half of their original range along the Northwest Coast of North America within the past one hundred years.

If streams and river water level is too low to navigate the salmon will wait in the ocean for the rain to raise their levels. Once that happens then they can navigate to the very same places they were born.

The majority of salmon species die within a week of spawning.

Steelhead salmon can spawn more than once.

In estuaries, or the tidal mouth of a river (having both fresh and salt waters), young salmon will double or even triple their weight and change from solitary freshwater fish to schooling saltwater fish.

Salmon fry eat insects and their larvae.

...Atlantic salmon don't die after spawning?

It's been 212 days since Millie had her aneurysm. She is still in the hospital. I have been told that she smiled. I have not seen this for myself but hope that I will soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

King River Ride Weekend

The weekend up at what we've always called King River, KingS River as we saw on the highway sign sounds funny to us, so we kept calling the place King River. What a beautiful day we had to ride. It was sunny and the trail was great. I can see how it can probably be a booger to ride when it rains though, but the end of the ride was "sweet!"

We saw some spruce chickens, a rabbit, two other happy ATV riders, some rock marmots, eagles, a grumpy bicycle rider, and some pretty good sized bear tracks! I want to capture a bear someday on my camera, but not that close if it's gonna be so big!

The morning after the ride we had rain but I think that just made us sleep all the longer. The night before we played Bocce with Klint and Calli, the only ones that were able to join us on this camping trip. What a fun game! I have read about it and it is an Italian-American game, with roots from Rome. The United States has a Bocce Federation too. This is bigger than I realized, and it's a fun game that I have never played before. The ground was sandy with hidden rocks in it, so sometimes we would roll the ball and it would go whacko in another direction! That was fun too, except --I started to get grumpy when Klint and I lost twice to Doug and Calli. (hehehe) We finally did win a game before heading to bed close to 2 a.m.!

Here is a video of the top of the ride. So fantastic. What an awesome Creator has made this world with such diversity! There is not only one kind of tree or even ten, there are gazillions of different types of trees! Then the flowers, all so beautiful, all so different... and all so busy doing what they are on earth to do, make beauty. The birds, so many calls, so many feathers and every year they come back to have more of the same feathered chirpers! The spruce chickens were so funny with the little waggle in the tail. A wonder that always fascinates me every year, all the colors that come out of the same brown mud!

God is incredible and some day when we behold the spiritual world with our opened eyes - it will be even more incredible! It is important that we all know what God requires of us all to gain salvation. We should not try to make up our own way to meet God, but take the Way that He prepared for us to use. He said there is only ONE way to Him. Find the right way, there is incredible beauty to be after this life is over.

"He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1: 10 - 13.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Eight Random Things About Me MeMe

I've been tagged by e-mom of C H R Y S A L I S to share eight random facts about myself.

Finally e-mom, here are eight stuffs about me! Bear with me everyone - since I don't really live a very exciting life... at least I try very hard not to.

ONE: I grew up with nine siblings, four brothers and five sisters.
TWO: I have two awful looking scars on my right leg, which became so much a part of my anatomy that I was surprised that others didn't have them too (when I was youngER).
THREE: I do ---- have a hole in my head! (Covered with a titanium plate.)
FOUR: I have twin daughters.
FIVE: I struggled in public with shyness so much that when I was in high school I quit rather than take speech class! Then I studied a big book, had a week of testing and got my GED instead.
SIX: I have a natural ability for drawing and painting, but I don't do it very often.
SEVEN: I've designed and beaded a guitar strap for my husband's bass guitar.
EIGHT: I've been to London to "bizit" the Queen, but she was not at home at the time.

I copied and pasted the rules to play this meme and here they are:

1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here is the list of eight I am tagging. NOTE to those I'm tagging - you don't have to do this if you don't want to, or if you don't have time to, or if you have done it already, or if you can't think of eight things that we might enjoy knowing about you, or any other reason which you don't have to explain. I think this is supposed to be fun. ha

Slim Pickin's From My Brain
Alaska According To Marie
Northern Girl
Pink Forget Me Nots
Doug's Synthetic Lubricants
Connie's Thoughts From The Heart
This Nutty Life

Okay! I'm coming to your blog to say you've been tagged.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Brown Bear!

"Go home! Go home to your Momma!"

I can remember hearing Elena holler that to us kids in Old Harbor when a Kodiak bear came down out of the hills behind the village and then fearlessly ambled into our village. Bears that did not fear man were considered "no good" and dangerous. The men in the village would shoot them. Bears did not do that often but when one did it was not tolerated.

We were taught to respect bears and keep our distance. When everyone went to Barling Bay to "get fish" for drying there were always guys with the job of keeping a watchful eye out for bears that came too close. I don't remember any bears ever being shot while we were out but I can remember hearing that there were bears close by. When the bears came then the fish gathering was hurried up and we all loaded back into the skiffs and went home to the village.

That was normal village life in the summer. Fish came and bears came. Fish went and bears went. If they didn't they were shot.

Whenever we go on a road trip here in South central Alaska I always keep my eyes peeled for bears. I never see them! I have my camera sitting on my lap in case I do though! I keep reading others stories of seeing bear especially around Denali Park! I scour the terrain looking and looking but still have not caught a bear on my camera.

I did some reading about our elusive, furry fish lovers this morning. They have furry coats in shades of blonde, brown or black or combinations of those colors. Many times the longer outer guard hairs of the brown bear are tipped with white or silver, giving it a grizzled look. Short stubby tails. Brown bears have a large hump of muscle over their shoulders, used for digging. A large bear can break the neck or spine of a fully grown buffalo with one swipe. His claws don't retract so they are usually dull with wear. Normally these bears get up to be 9.2 feet tall. The larger Kodiak bear can get to be up over 10 feet tall. Brown bears use their sharp canine teeth for neck-biting. Brown bears will ambush their prey with force. These guys have been clocked at speeds in excess of 35 mph and are known to have incredible stamina--- capable of running at full speed for miles at a time without stopping.

Brown bears may live up to 34 years but according to Alaska Department of Fish and Game "this is rare. Usually, old males may reach 22 years. Old females may live to 26." These bears can smell very good and under the right conditions may be able to detect odors more than a mile away! Hearing and eyesight are much the same as man's. When a bear stands up it is not to get ready to charge but to test the wind and to see better.

A bear CAM from National Geographic! It's at the McNeil River here in Alaska, a popular, remote, bear-viewing area. (I had to download and install a RealPlayer plug in, watch the download carefully if you don't want to get any other add-ons to your browser or desktop or have Realplayer change your preferences.) It's worth the download! It's a very cool webcam!

Chevy, my big dog, barks whenever he hears fireworks (we live in one of the only fireworks allowed area in Alaska) and when he hears gunshots. Normally he does not bark. At 4 A.M. this morning he was barking and barking. He woke Doug and I up.

I listened for fireworks with my eyes closed but it was quiet. Finally, Doug got up and went to the opened window and called, "Chevy? Chevy?" Chevy just kept on barking, so he went to the deck door, opened it and I croaked, "Don't scold him until you know what he is barking at, he never barks for no reason." He went outside to look around and when he heard something in the lake he thought at first it must be a beaver sloshing around out there, then he saw something big and he thought a moose. Then he says, "Connie! A bear! A brown bear!"

Oh my word!!!! I was so excited. A bear right on our own Maui Beach! (An area we have been clearing to make it into our own Maui Beach, hehehe.) I jumped out of bed and got outside too. I could hear him but he was in the trees. I ran to get my camera just in case this would be the day my camera caught a bear!

Marie was jogging around the lake last night just before she retired and when I told her we saw a brown bear this morning she gasped and said, "I had a strange feeling last night that there was a bear or something close by!" OH MY GOODNESS!

Anyway, this is the picture of the brown bear.


It IS in there somewhere!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You've Made It To The Top!

A flyer in the mail prompted me to write this blog. It is a flyer mailed to Doug for condominiums for Alaska's active seniors! I guess that means we are getting up there in age, well at least HE is!

It's kind of funny to see him getting mail like this. He has not qualified for senior discounts at any restaurants yet but we know soon enough he will be on "top" of that too!

For some reason Blogger is not allowing me to copy and paste a URL into the Link spot in Edit. Sometimes computers sure test the patience to just about the limits, don't they?

Anyway, check out the new housing for Seniors coming to Anchorage Hillside soon. Legacy Pointe. Looks like a cool place to be.

They claim that Alaska is second only to Nevada as the fastest growing State for retiring seniors per capita in the Nation! Wow. We used to be the largest ice cream eating State per capita too. (I wonder if that is still the same.) The flyer also says that in the next 15 years the State's retired population is expected to triple and that is according to the University of Alaska Anchorage's Institute of Social ad Economic Research. I think that many of our old folks are "snow birds" --flying South for the winter.

This place will have a club house with a heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, gym, aerobic fitness center, indoor track, dance studio and a meeting room! Each building will have a coffee bar, meeting room, 24-hour emergency medical response, secured entry and parking, large common lobby, common sitting area, shuttle service to and from the Club House! Wow! That all sold me. I am ready to move there now!

The trip to Fairbanks was fun! Lots of sun and lots of time outdoors. I enjoyed it very much. The kids did really good at the races. I even got on Kris' quad and took a lap around the track! I now have taken a lap around the track and have a great appreciation for how much talent it takes to survive one race! Oh my, those kids are tough! I learned how to let go of the clutch and throttle the gas so that I could get going too! I killed it over and over before I finally got out on to the track. Doug also rode the quads and he did very good going around the track many more laps than I did.

I'm thanking the LORD for health today, for his and for mine and for kids that don't want us anywhere else but here with them!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Happy Independence Day, US of A!

A picture I took in 2003 at an Air Show here in Alaska.

Meaning of the red, white and blue colors of the Great Seal of the United States:

"The colors of the pales (the vertical stripes) are those used in the flag of the United States of America; White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue, the color of the Chief (the broad band above the stripes) signifies vigilance, perseverance & justice." - Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress, 1782.

There is not an official designation or meaning for the colors of the Stars and Stripes. According to legend, George Washington said:

"The stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country."

The name "Old Glory" comes from 1831. Captain William Driver, a shipmaster from Salem, Massachusetts, exclaimed, "Old Glory! when friends presented him with a 24-starred flag as it unfurled in the ocean breeze.

During this day, unfortunately we are at war in Iraq. I hope that you will remember to pray for our troops now, on our Independence Day and the rest of the time they have to be there. The enemy that they stand against would love to wreck havoc in this land of ours as they do in Iraq now - terrorists. Let's be vigilant here at home too as this enemy, I believe, may be living right here and right next door to many of us.

I did a search on what each color means just for fun and came up with these lists of what we have come to think of when we observe these colors:


Red carpet.
Red light.
Stop sign.
Red letter day.
Red herring.
In the red.
Red flag.
Red rose.


Good guys.
White flag.
White lightning.
White elephant.
White knuckle.
White as the
driven snow. White sale. White list. White knight. Pearly white. White daisy.


True blue.
Out of the blue.
Blue ribbon.
Blue blood.
The Blues.
Baby blues.
Feeling blue.
Blue Monday.
Singing the blues.
Into the blue.

4th of July Fun:

Cut a star in one snip! 5-Pointed Star suggested to be used on the US flag by Betsy Ross.

I wish that all men, all over the world could be free.

May God bless You, America.

I went to visit Millie. She was sitting quite comfortably in a chair. It was so good to see her and talk to her again. She had both of her eyes open for a short time while I was there. I got to help the nurse put her back into her bed and get her comfortable there before I went back home. She's been hospitalized for 188 days today.