November 25, 2016

Friday Funny 11/25 (Thanksgiving)

Issues, yes, issues.
I thought this was funny, and I laughed out loud, but I have a weird sense of humor. We're also going into the season, (as Maxine puts it), where we eat candy out of socks.

How true is this? 

After Bill's post about a boat Thanksgiving, here's what we really ate.

We put our turkey breast out on the BBQ in a specialized smoker bag. We found it onboard Denali Rose in the cookware locker, who knows when, or where we got it.... (the mind slips sometimes).

Smoker pellets built into the bag.

Instead of the usual sweet - sweet potatoes, we like to jazz it up with something different. Our recipe calls for chipotles in adobo sauce, hot and spicey.

Bill made his own version of cranberry sauce. I don't like the canned type, and I never really liked the homemade kind my Mom put together, she had a thing about sugar, (don't ask about the carob birthday cake...shudder), but I must admit Bill's recipe was good. He has converted me to liking cranberry sauce, but then, as usual, Bill cooks great food.

Steamed broccoli, with jalapeno ranch dressing, and a cut tomato rounds out the meal, and of course we left room for pumpkin pie and ice cream. We had to buy the pie at the store, since the oven is "under construction", but it was still tasty, and we managed to make room in the freezer for some ice cream. What a treat!

No MRE, no turkey spam, and we didn't need the big knife set to cut our meat. The turkey was moist, a bit smokey, and delicious. We need to remember where we acquired the bag, and buy some more. Google here we come.

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to our US friends and family!

Dear family and friends, this is a republish of our post from last year this time... [at least for those of you with good recollection skills...]

And we are re-wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving! Again!

Why a reprint? Aren't you worthy of a new post?  Of course you are, but aren't these holidays pretty much the same each year?  The greetings, the menus, the company, the football games [or figure skating...], the photos, the stories, the personality disorders... [I'm not referring to you, of course...]

Need I go on...?

Therefore, being such traditionalists ourselves, we see no choice but to repeat what we already said...


In the past I even went so far as to always wear the same sweater to family gatherings each year to honor the holiday spirit! [And incite confusion in the future; Which year is this photo from? Look at that; Bill never changes...]

Its these kinds of considerations help make holidays timeless, don't you think?...

And for those of you with poor or selective memories, well, ignore this intro. [Heck, some of you may already be wondering how or why you slogged through to this point anyway...] Instead, just read on to our [new to you] holiday greetings, below...

So lets get to it, shall we?

Happy Thanksgiving! [Again!]

Many of you often [repeatedly...] share the sentiment [usually with a detectable hint of sadness...] of what it must be like to live a 'camping' lifestyle afloat- especially during traditionally family-holidays...

Well, as our fellow boaters know, it is really no different than on land. [And for the rest of you, it's not really much different than living in a small, cramped older travel trailer- sometimes in a trailer court or even a coveted Wallmart parking lot...]

We shop [and/or hunt, trap, and fish] days [or weeks, or months...] ahead selecting only the finest quality trappings for the meals- which are meticulously prepared- just like in a home...

And, as holiday tradition warrants, we are always prepared for the unexpected [oft repeating] guest(s.)

In essence, we eat our hearts out, and so should you...

Our [reprinted] photo epitomizes one of my favorite lines: [from Chevy Chase's movie Vacation]
 I don't know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper; it tastes just fine all by itself...

Wish you were here...


November 18, 2016

Friday funny 11/18 (Galley)

All righty then!

Most folks who know Bill, know that he is a wizard in the kitchen. He does most of the cooking, and I do most of the baking. (I'm waiting for a new thermocouple to be installed for the oven to work though.) My sis-in-law, Merrilee says, "Keep cooking Bill, until we get to something we don't like, and so far we haven't!"

Chores/jobs on boats are known (in some circles), as Pink and Blue jobs. I don't think that applies to Denali Rose.

I'm trying to organize the galley in an efficient manner. It's a work in progress.

Inside an upper locker, (cabinet for you land lubbers) door.

I'm working on the inside of the pantry door, to make the spices more organized.

I still have empty bottles to fill, and there are a couple more rows not in the photo.

I purchased food grade plastic square bottles to try and organize the oils, and vinegars. We try to stay away from glass whenever possible, but sometimes you don't have a choice.

It's chaos in here.

This locker has plastic coated wire shelving instead of wood- and it's over the sink. Theoretically, you can put your wet clean dishes in here to dry, and they would drip right into the sink. I don't do that. I like to dry them first since I don't like spots, and the dishes are put in so tightly, I don't think some of them would dry.

Denali Rose had this installed before we moved aboard.

We have a lower locker, that the previous owners called, "the black hole of Calcutta", and I'm not going to post a photo of that, because the name still holds true. There's always a future project to do.

November 11, 2016

Friday Funny 11/11 (Selfish)

I'm selfish about my fish. If (or when), I ever catch any, I intend to eat it forthwith. The grocery stores here don't even sell fish, since everyone gets their own. We had our dock neighbor give us a white winter king, (yes there is such a thing), and it was the best ever. I'm determined, stay tuned.

November 2, 2016

In loving memory...

It's been almost a year without my Dad, and 20 years (?!?) without my Mom, but I still think about them, and miss them everyday. They were compassionate, capable, adventurous people, and I realize as an adult, how privileged I am, to have had them as parents, and role models.

They grew up on adjoining farms in Iowa, and so they knew each other most of their lives. They were 5 years apart in age, so I assume that they didn't have a romantic connection till after they were older. Mom was twenty, and Dad was twenty-five when they got married. The story goes, that Dad proposed in a letter while he was away serving in the Army.

December 6th 1947

In 1949, two years after they were married, Dad acquired a job with the FAA, (Federal Aviation Administration), in Anchorage, Alaska. They said their goodbyes, (forever, or so their parents thought), loaded up their Dodge flatbed truck, hooked up an Airstream trailer and left for Alaska. They drove over the ALCAN Highway, (Alaska - Canadian), the road had recently been opened for civilian travel,  previously it had only been used for military transport. It took them three weeks, and the road was sometimes difficult, but it was an adventure they both enjoyed.

The smiles on their faces say it all.
On Denali Rose, I keep a framed copy of this photo, to remind me of them, and their spirit.

Traveling companions, who became life-long friends.

I believe the rifle Dad is holding, is the same one I own today.

Debonair Dad

Over the years, family and friends made many trips to Alaska. My parents became great tour guides as they opened their home to anyone who came, and showed off Alaska by camper, motorhome, boat, and car.

Camping with my grandparents, and other relatives. My grandmothers always wore hose, dresses, and sensible shoes.

In Anchorage, at the time of the 1964 Alaskan Earthquake, magnitude 9.2, we lived in the subdivision, Turnagain By the Sea. During the earthquake, we had to flee the area, and lost our home. It was later known, tongue-in-cheek, as Turnagain In the Sea.

Our car and house.

We had jumped in the car to drive away, but it was already to late to use the roads, so we had to run on foot. Notice the ocean in the background, the row of houses behind us sank into the mud flats right away, and our house fell into a crevasse. There was a gentleman in a wheelchair in the house right behind us, and he didn't make it out in time.

In a hole.

We threaded our way through power lines, open crevasses, and gathered up quite a band of neighbors, who were also fleeing from their homes. I was seven, I remember my Dad taking charge, and leading everyone to relative safety further away from the ocean bluff. He found kind-hearted people blocks away from the immediate danger, who loaded us into cars, and drove us to friends, hospitals, and safety shelters. After my family was delivered to our church, and Pastor's house, Dad went back to the neighborhood, found his hunting rifle, and guarded the area from looters. (Geez, even then.....) We were afraid of the reports of tidal waves, but Anchorage was spared those, when other communities were not.

My Dad, Mom, three brothers, and I

This photo was staged weeks after the earthquake.  We were dressed up, I had my hair curled, and an empty box was brought out for us to look into, and oooh, and ahhhh over. I don't know why. Our house, and car are in the "official" earthquake tourist magazines, but not this photo.

We eventually built a new home, in the foothills of Anchorage, relocating along with many of our neighbors from the Turnagain area, and now my youngest brother lives there with his family. Dad and Mom built every home we lived in. Dad was one of those kind of guys that knew, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and construction. They also helped all of their adult children build, or remodel all of their homes.

Yes, this really is the name of the road I grew up on. It made for some crazy explanations.

Moose meat was a staple for us. Dad would go hunting every fall, bring home a moose, and he and Mom would process it in the kitchen. This would entail cutting the quarters into meal size pieces, and packaging it for the freezer, and grinding, (by hand crank), meat with suet for hamburger. Even now I will always choose to eat moose over beef any time. It's delicious.

Berry picking, as well as hunting.

Once a year, in the summer, Dad and Mom would go to Chitina to dip-net for salmon. This is an activity for Alaska residents who qualify for subsistence fishing. The process entails holding a large net, on a long pole out in the water, and try to scoop up salmon as they swim by. Dad usually returned with his limit, and again the kitchen would be the processing plant, as they cut, wrapped, and canned the year's fish supply.

Copper River
This method of fishing requires some strength and balance as you stand in a fast moving, cold, cloudy river, wearing chest-waders, and sweep a fish net through the water.  You know you have a salmon in it, when you feel it slam into the side.

80lb King Salmon
Imagine standing there sweeping your net against the current, and an 80lb King hits and struggles against the net.......

A winter's meals.
Many Alaskans still hunt and dip-net today, in order to lay away the winter's meat supply.

At the time of Dad's signing with the FAA, the federal government had an unusual perk for those going to Alaska. They paid for the employee and their immediate family members to return to their point of origin every two years for vacation. That meant that our family would return to Colorado every couple of years. In reality what happened was, Dad took the equivalent amount of money, purchased a new car, had it delivered to the SeaTac Wa. airport, and we flew in from Anchorage. We got in our new car, and went on the ultimate family road-trip. We visited Nat'l Parks, State Parks, Monuments, tourist sights, and of course great grandparents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and friends. I had been in about 40 of the United States by the time I was twelve. My parents had always told me that I should work for an airline if I wanted to continue to travel, and the added bonus, was that they would get to fly also. I started my twenty-plus year career with Alaska Airlines just before my 20th birthday, and they had the world to explore. 

In Disneyland, notice Mom had made us matching dresses, and everyone got their Disneyland hat.

I only included this photo to embarrass my siblings, I think we were in New Mexico, about to tour Carlsbad Caverns.

They started with Hawaii, moved onto Australia, New Zealand, and eventually Europe. At that time the nominal fee that airline employees paid for travel was payroll deducted. I always knew that Mom and Dad were out and about by how much was gone from my paycheck. (of course, they always replaced it) 

Enjoying Hawaii.

I'm having a hard time ending this post in our blog, because there are so many stories that come to mind, and it's difficult to not want to include them all.

  • How they took in anyone who didn't have family to celebrate holidays with. Think crowded tables, and lots of laughter.
  • Every summer, with camping, fishing, learning to enjoy the outdoors, and it's natural inhabitants.
  • As children, the classic line at our dinner table when we misbehaved: "Do you want to go to the bathroom with me?" This indicated you might be in danger of a spanking, no one ever went to the bathroom with him, and that line always brought on giggles for everyone. (No thanks Dad, I can go by myself.)
  • How Mom flew to Fairbanks every Monday for 6 months to babysit my children one night a week while I worked.
  • Each grandchild knew they were a special person, and always got a card in the mail for EVERY holiday.
  • They were always up for a rousing card game, ten to one, hearts, pinocle, tripoli, anyone?
  • Dad had a habit of giving US presents on HIS birthday.
  • We had to finally end my Mother's memorial service, people kept coming forward with how she had helped and influenced their lives. It was an astounding testimonial.

The list goes on, and on, and for me, it is heartwarming to remember them all.

Dad never lost his capable, adventurous spirit. For his 90th birthday, he bought himself a car he had always wanted to drive, an electric blue Dodge Charger. He continued to drive across country with it, visiting friends, and relatives.

Go Dad Go!

Their legacy to all whose lives they touched, is of deep faith, selfless love, a spirit to help, counsel, and guide, and meeting crisis, or adventure with calm, competent action.

I wrote a line in Dad's obituary that speaks of my parents character, while naming those of us he left behind;
"and all who became family just because they cared, or were cared for."