Thursday, August 31, 2006


It's almost that time again.  That time in the fall that I've look forward to now for over 50 years.  (Yikes that's along time)  But no really, I love the fair.  And the Puyallup (Pew-all-up) Fair opens on September 8th at 10am and runs thru September 24th.   The fair ranks among the 10 largest fairs in the world, and it's right here practically in my back yard. Actually it's about a 12 mile drive from here but the last four or five years we've taken public transit.  They pick you up at the nearby mall and for a couple dollars you get a round-trip ride, dropping you off at the main gate of the fairgrounds. No parking hassles, no dented fenders, just sit back and let them do the driving. 

I'm not sure when I'll go out there yet.  But I will be there at least once before it ends.  Both my grandkids have entires again this year, so will go for that if nothing else.  

You can check out their web site at;

Until next time........Linda

I Think I Had Already Figured This Out

I just got this little weather tidbit from my favorite Seattle weather guys at KOMO TV.  I already knew this however, since I've been tired of dragging hoses around now for weeks and weeks.   But here's the official update on the weather for this part of the world.  (And there are people out there that think it rains in Seattle 380 days a year !)  


Dear Linda,
Midnight tonight will make official what many of you have already figured out -- especially those in south King County that have had to use garden hoses to keep brush fires back -- it's been a very dry summer.

We are finishing up what will be the second driest July-August in Sea-Tac Airport history, with just a paltry 0.08" since July 1st. (Of course, there are some other spots around here that have been wetter -- remember, Everett got three times that amount over the past two days alone.) The driest summer ever was in 1967, which had just 0.03". It will also be the second-driest August ever (0.02), tying 1967 and just missing 1974's 0.01".

The good news for those rain fans tapping their feet wondering where our usual Seattle weather went, in those aforementioned years, the autumn's have been pretty wet. So hang in there.

In the meantime, it's back to sunny and warm as we build in yet another warm stretch just in time for the weekend.

Sunny skies will be the rule Friday, with afternoon temperatures climbing to around 80.

The weekend sunny streak continues this weekend (it must be a historic dry streak if even a three-day weekend can't bring rain) with even warmer temperatures into the mid-upper 80s both Saturday and Sunday. So bring plenty of sunblock and water for your outdoor activities (don't forget -- Bumbershoot is this weekend.)

We'll cool down just a hair for Monday to the low 80s, before we get back to the more usual 70s for the rest of the week. But still no real rain in sight through the next week.

Let's just hope we don't have to wait for fall to officially start to get that rain back :)

Updated Thursday 3:20 p.m. more...
KOMO 4 Weather Producer Scott Sistek

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I may have mentioned when I came back from the Alaska cruise that I was ready to go again.       Well, Lori at the travel agency has called and here are the prices (actually a little lower than this last cruise) and details for "Linda's Second Alaska Group Cruise."  She has set aside a block of inside and outside cabins until the end of October for this group. We will leave Seattle August 17, 2007 returning August 24th.   She gave me prices for inside and outside cabins on Deck 3, where I spent my week on this last cruise.  They are as follows (remember these are group rates for this time period.)   Outside cabin Catagory H on Deck 3 is $1,173 per person (double occupancy) with a deposit of $300 per person due November 1, 2006.     Inside cabin  Catagory L on Deck 3 is $963 per person (double occupancy) again with a $300 deposit per person due November 1, 2006.  There is a reduced rate for a third or fourth person in the cabin of  $688 each, also requires a $300 deposit.  We saw one room with a queen bed and a bunk bed.  Or if there is just one extra person, there would be a queen bed and a single bed.   These rooms are called Quad rooms and go very fast so Lori is recommending they be reserved and deposits made by September 30, 2006.      The final balance on all rooms is not due until May 31, 2007.

The Itinerary for this cruise will be the same as the one I just returned from;  leave Seattle at 5pm Friday August 17, 2007. at sea on the outside of Vancouver Island all day Saturday, arrive in Juneau on Sunday, arrive Skagway Monday, arrive Icy Strait Point on Tuesday, cruising the Inside Passage on Wednesday, arriving Victoria B.C. on Thursday and wake up in Seattle on Friday, August 24, 2007.

You can see all the deck plans at;  just click on "Select Deck" in the upper left hand corner of this page.    There are of course balcony cabins available on higher deck levels and for those prices please contact Lori at the travel agency.

Think it over and talk it over and if you think this is something you would like to do next summer, send Lori an email at;   Just tell her you want to go with Linda in her "Second Alaska Group Cruise. "    She's waiting for your email.   

By the way, if there are any folks who want to do this and would rather drive to Washington, I have a huge driveway where you can park and leave your vehicle while we're away.        Linda

P.S. Alaska cruises fill up faster than any don't hesitate if you're interested.   Lori told me that a lot of people book for the following year before they even get off the ship.


Monday, August 28, 2006

What A Job, But It's Finally Done

Well this afternoon,  I finally got my photo album (the Travel Agency gave each of us a very nice one that had our school name, etc on it) and scrap book (I used a 3-ring binder and lots of page protectors)  finished from the pictures and stuff  I collected on the cruise.  I love to do that, when I take a memorable vacation because then I have those memories at my fingertips for years to come.  And I save everything....will not sales receipts and such but I save a lot.  And besides the pictures I take, I always buy postcards and they go in my album too.  Sometimes, you just can't take a picture of everything.   Anyway, it's ready for you to come look thru....I'll have cookies and tea on hand for all who show up.   :)




Julie can verify...these are good cookies and what I plan to make.

Sweet Dreams

1/2  pound butter (2 cubes) , 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 egg,  2 cups flour,  1 teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt,  1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional), 1 12 ounce package chocolate chips and powdered sugar.

Cream the butter in a large mixing bowl.  Add brown sugar and egg; beat well.  In a smaller bowl, mix together flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.  Combine with butter mixture and mix in vanilla.  Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.  Chill for several hours.  Form the dough into 1 inch balls and roll in powdered sugar.  Place on cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.   NOTE: Dough can be frozen and brought to room temperature and baked as needed. 

Enjoy !!!!!!!!!


25 Things About Me

Write an entry listing 25 things about yourself. Start each with "I" -- elaborate on each as much or as little as you'd like. Try to focus on current things in your life or facts about you as a person. Give us a mental picture of who you are & what your life is like outside of J-Land.

1..I am a born again Christian, accepting Jesus as my personal Savior when I was 9 years old.

2..I work at the same hospital where I was born (nope I'm not a in the Customer Service Call Center)

3..I am a natural blond.  However, I have always longed for dark hair, eye brows, and eye lashes (have used lots of mascara & eye brow pencil over the years.)

4..I always wanted to have a big family, lots of kids... but God blessed me with two, a daughter and a son.  And it's too late now to change that.

5..I really don't like to fly...but I have and I will again if it means I can get somewhere fast.

6..I love to go camping on Washington, Oregon and Califronia's ocean beaches. 

7..I love to take road trips and see the sights (as opposed to flying over them).

8..I met and had lunch with John Wayne when I was in the 7th grade (1955).

9..I prefer cats to dogs.  However, I love other people's dogs.  I just don't like the walk & pick up poop thing.

10..I recently received my award for 30 years as an Avon Representative.

11..I have never had a broken bone .

12..I did not go to my Senior Prom.

13..I did not have my first car until after I was 20 years old.

14..I'm still using the end tables and the bedroom dressers and night stands that my former husband and I bought together back in the late 1970's. I still love them. 

15..I was a "Brownie" and a "Girl Scout" but then we moved out of the city, into a rural area, so I never got to move up the Girl Scout ladder.

16..I was in 4-H once we moved out into the rural area.  My mom was the leader and our main focus was sewing.

17..I grew up on a small farm from about the age of 10 on.  We had 10 acres, with cows, pigs, chickens and a huge garden.

18..I did have to learn to milk our cow, Daisy, so my dad could go fishing once in awihile.

19..I was blessed to have grandparents in my life.  I realize now how much they impacted my life.

20..I miss my mom and dad, also.  My mom passed away Oct 8, 1987 and my dad on Sept 14, 1990.  They loved each other dearly and my brother and I always knew we were loved.

21..I loved my first cruise to Alaska a couple weeks ago and hope to go again next August.

22..I can still remember my school song...can you?

23..I've had two great loves in my life. 

24..I'm allergic to all pain medication, not fun sometimes but it is what it is.

25..I'm going to go bake some cookies, for myself..not for a bake sale or someone else like I usually do.

Until next time.......Linda


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Learning To Drive "Revisited"

On August 10th,  John at;      weekend assignment was about Learning to Drive.  At that time I couldn't find a picture of my first car and then today, duh !!, I see this one on my refrigerator.  It was there all the time.  Anyway, so I'm back tracking a few weeks to show you the picture of my very first car.  A "stylish" 1949 black Chrysler with fluid drive. I bought it probably about the fall of 1962 or spring of 1963 (basing this guess on Julie's size in the picture.)   It was a huge and very comfortable car.  But about a year later, I found a really cool 1954 Chevrolet and got rid of the old "upside down bath tub."  I wish I still had it, and it was in good condition..I'd be a rich woman.

Here's my entry about "Learning to Drive"


Gabi has been officially  entered in the Cat Community Cat Show, under the catagory of   CCSD-7 (rescued cats one year and over).  We are excitied.  Even if she doesn't win, we just want people to remember that rescued animals can become precious pets. 

You know when I first got Gabi last October, a co-worker had taken her originally but she had been so mal-nourished  that she had special dietary requirements.  My co-worker had a Persian about 18 months old at the time and was looking for another cat, as she had just had to put her older Persian to sleep.  She actually took Gabi first, but found it difficult to seperate two cats, eating differently at mealtime.  So it was decided that Gabi would become my cat and my co-worker found another Persian kitten.  When the prospect of getting this rescued cat was discussed, we had both seen pictures of her.  (And both fell in love with her instantly)  Names were discussed.  I've always like people names for animals, so I was going thru the list of unused names in my head.  Meanwhile my co-worker like names with special meanings.  She had given a couple of her other cats Hebrew names, so we did some research.  There were several we liked but "Gabi" continued to come to the top of the list.  In Hebrew, Gabi means "God is my strength."  This beautiful little cat had been abandoned, for heaven only knows how long, on the streets of Seattle.  She was picked up, mal-nourished, with matted fur, flea infested, afraid and not well.  After a couple months in foster care she was ready to go to a permanent home. And as it turned was my home.  She was a fighter and we both felt that surely God was watching out for this precious little girl.  She was barely 4 pounds (and about 2 years old)  when I brought her home October 4, 2005.  She is now about 5 1/2 pounds, her coat is thick and soft and she's very lively and an absolute sweetheart.  She still has dry kitten food (for the extra nutrition) available to her at all times and gets moist food twice a day.  She prefers Fancy Feast, about a third of a can each feeding, with warm water mixed in with it.  Not too picky, huh ?  But I feel she deserves it.   She's strictly an indoor cat, no more outside adventures for her.   She follows me around (when I'm not at work) like my little shadow.  And at night when I head down the hall to get ready for bed, she jumps up on her towel at the end of my bed and there she stays.  When I wake up in the morning, she's usually sitting next to me, waiting for signs of life from me and her morning food.  Persians don't usually meow like other cats, so all I get is this little chirping sound from her.  Sort of a welcome relief from the meows of former Siamese cats we've had.

Anyway, if you haven't heard it before...that's the story of Gabi Lin.  You can find her picture posted on the Cat Community Cat Show by following this link.

Another AOL J-Land buddie, Jeannette over in the U.K. has entered her little Nina also.  Nina is a sweet little Maine Coon kitten (who is giving Jeannette a run for her money, I think.) and you can find her entry at;

I hope you'll visit the Cat Community Cat Show and vote for your favorites between September 4th and 11th

 Gabi and I would appreciate your consideration.    Thanks........Linda

Saturday, August 26, 2006

OK, OK.... I GIVE UP !!!!!

Everyone wants to know what the special treat was that I spoke of the other day.  I swore Robin to secrecy and I think she's kept the secret.  However, I have had many people asking "What Was It ?"   

I went to McDonald's and got a $1.00 hot fudge sundae.   That's it !!  In a nut shell !!  I was thinking Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen (that's another discussion that I had with Robin) but they are very expensive and way too much hot fudge (yes there is such a thing as too much hot fudge) and they are no more satisfying than the little $1.00 one from the Golden Arches.

That's it folks...   It's another beautiful sunny day here in western Washington.  They said on the news last night that we have had 71 days with little or no rainfall.  Actually we had 0.05 of an inch of rain awhile back.   So it's been a job keeping everything watered.  I'm thankful my neighbor watered for me while I was gone cruising and Bob stopped by a few days and set the sprinkler out on the lawn (now of course it need mowing again, front and back).

I'm off to Safeway to pick up a few things and then to Office Depot to get some more of those magnetic pages so I can finish putting my Alaska photo album together.  I was almost done last night but ran out of pages.  So, if you want to see the pictures, just stop by any evening this next week and they'll be ready for your viewing pleasure.

Until next time........Linda

Friday, August 25, 2006


Stevie in the U.K. has put together a of those of us in AOL J-Land.  I saw many familiar faces and some new ones.     He did a wonderful job, thanks again're the best.   Linda in sunny, warm Washington state.


It was so nice to have my roses blooming their little heads off this last week.  Of course when they have the annual Rose Show in July at the hospital where I work, they don't even give me a bud to enter.  Anyway, I picked a few last night and put them in my kitchen window (don't we spend a lot of time in that area, ladies ?)and decided to share them with today.  They are much prettier in person.  For this picture I took them over and set them on the woodstove.It's sad to think that in just weeks, the roses will be gone for another year. My two full size bushes are ones that I moved here from my former house. The orage colored rose is actually a Canadian variety that I was able to purchase via the head gardener at the hospital. He has connections.  I have several minatures in wooden containers, also.

We have hundreds of beautiful roses and flowers at the hospital.  I'll take my camera to work one day next week and take some pictures to share. 

Ok.....this time I'm really off to unpack and put away my suitcase.  And then I'm going to take a little ride in my car for a special treat. (Robin, don't you tell !)

The Friday 5'er from Robin

From Robin at;


I've been dipping into the past a lot these days...talking to both my old Kindergaten buddies...finding my frist best friend ever...etc...  So this week's 5'er will be all about your past.

Let's Play!!!


1.  Looking back....what do you think was one of your worst fashion decisions?  If you have a picture...extra cherries for you on your ice cream sundae this week!

I grew up in the 1950's.  Let's see poodle skirts with lots of crinolines under them (I had several very full felt skirts but none with a poodle on it)  white buck shoes (that had to be polished everynight, especially for me since I lived down a long muddy driveway), socks to match each outfit, Jantzen sweaters (since we were poor, I only had a couple and those were purchased with my berry & bean picking money), plaid, pleated skirts. Then there the very narrow straight skirts that we could hardly walk in and  of course running was out of the question.  Also, we all had a school sweater, ours was red...white patches with our name & graduating year on the sleeves.   No jeans or slacks allowed at school back then and shorts were designated for gym class only,    


2.  What is the one thing you wish you could change about your past?

I would have absolutely done better in high school and prepared myself for having to be self supportive.  I just knew I was going to be a stay at home wife and mother for my entire life.  Well, things changed and I found myself at age 40, on my own with no real marketable skills and no money at that point to go to school.  So I've been stuck in low paying jobs all these years.


3.  That something you just do you think if would effect your life today?

If I'd gone on to college, I would have either gone into nursing or teaching (that's what all the glas did back then) and by now retired, with a good retirement income.


4.  We talk about "time machine's"  all the time...if it were possible...would you go back in time or forward?  Where? When? And why?

I would definitely go high school, do that over and change some choices I made along the way after graduation. (As long as I could still have the same two kids that I adore)

5. You've learned a lot on this journey in life.  What is something you learned in the past that you hope to pass on to your children or someone else?  Words of wisdom?  Or a mistake you made that you hope they don't make?

Do well in school, get all the education and knowledge you can. And then choose a profession that you have a passion for & enjoy.  How fun it would be to work at something you loved and get paid for it.




Thursday morning dawned sunny and warm.  We docked at Victoria, British Columbia about 11am.  Most of us had booked the 1 hour horse drawn trolley ride thru Victoria.  Let me say that I've had the priviledge to visit this beautiful city many, many times.  And I've done the trolley ride before but it's been my experience that each time you see a little bit different part of the city.  Victoria is truly a unique city.  Not nearly as expensive as Vancouver, BC and I think more charming.  They say the Royal London Wax Museum in Victoria is better than the one in London. (Jeannette maybe we can get up there and you can see for yourself)  And Victoria also has the Royal British Columbia Museum (I could stay in there all day).   I really was not feeling well this day but after the trolley took us back to the ship, Barbara, Lynnette and I boarded a shuttle bus back into town.  Neither of them had strolled thru the Empress Hotel...we wanted to take High Tea but you have to have advance reservations, so it didn't happen.  The only thing I wanted to do was go to the little store where, in the past, I'd been able to get my favorite Marks & Spencer shower gel.  It took a walk thru The Bay and into a beautiful enclosed multi-level mall area to get to this store. But alas it is no more.  My  $21 Canadian that I'd saved since my last visit had to come home with me.  Oh, I forgot we did go to McDonald's and eat lunch that day.  So that took a few dollars.

Barbara & Lynnette were worn out, too so after walking to different areas and looking around we decided to head back to the ship.  We were all walked out.  

The ship pulled away from the dock at 7pm to begin our final cruise along  the Staits of Juan de Fuca and then a right hand turn into Puget Sound and Seattle.  It's not very far, even by water and we weren't supposed to dock until 7am Friday, so we think the Captain put the coordinates in and let the tide do the rest.  Believe me it doesn't take 12 hours to make that trip. But I guess they were being kind, not getting us into Seattle at 2 or 3am.  Thursday evening they had the entertainment at 7:45pm (just one show that night) so knowing that a lot of people would be there, we went up early and found good seats.  (For those who couldn't find seats or wanted to finish their packing the program was broadcast on the ship's TV channels.)  It was sort of a potpourri of all the entertainment we'd seen during our week long adventure.  The Elvis impersonator, the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers, the jugglers, the comedians, etc.  And lots of audience participation.  They certainly like to liven up the one point 1,500 people were up on their feet, clapping & jumping to the song "Jump."   (Those ships are very sturdy !!)

Our last dinner was bitter sweet.  Dan & Georgia heading back to Phoenix, Carolyn back to San Diego and Judi would head back to San Diego on Monday after spending the weekend visiting her mom.   The rest of us all live within about 50 miles of each other but we'd just spent this last week together and dinners would never be the same.  Judi had made arrangements for 2 bottles of Champagne and toasts were made, I think there may have been some teary eyes.  We enjoyed our dinner and managed to drag it out as long as possible.  When we finally left the table it was a little after 10:30pm and we only had until 11pm to get our packed suitcases in the hall.  From there they were moved down into the holding area of the ship to be put off in Seattle Friday morning.

So Lynnette and I rushed down to our cabin and to finish packing, keeping out clothes, makeup, toothbrush & tooth paste,  medications...all the stuff we would need in the morning.  Everything else was packed in suitcases clearly marked with our names and the special colored tags we were given for our luggage and then placed in the hall.  It was an amzing look in both directions and see all this luggage sitting there.  Imagine the work in getting all that down for 2,400 passengers. 

We set our alarm for 6:15am Friday morning and when we woke up we were already at the dock in Seattle...the same scene out our window we'd seen the previous Friday when we boarded.  Breakfast was served in the Windjammer until 8:30am so we hurried and got dressed, put our faces on and headed out to eat.  Nancy had told us we could use the cabinuntil around 8:45am but then she had to clean it.  After breakfast we came back, got the last of the stuff we were carrying off ourselves, checked all the drawers, looked under the know all the things you do when leaving any hotel.   Our special tag was  GREEN 1.  Which meant we were among the last to get off.  Priority was given to those who had airline reservations before noon, then the next level was for those with airline reservations after noon, etc. etc.  We were designated to wait in the Masquerade Theater until our tag color and group number was called.  We all found each other and spent the time visiting and recalling the events of the week we had just shared.  Finally about 9:45am they called Green Group 1 and away we went to disembark.....saying good bye to our beautiful floating hotel.  I had called Bob on my cell, so by now he was circling the parking lot waiting for me to come out with all my stuff.   I did have my hands full with my rolling suitcase, a garment bag and four shopping bags of goodies I had purchased.  Next time, I'll do things a little different.  Maybe one of those new rolling shopping bag affairs that fold up when not in use.  

Well that's it folks....I hope you enjoyed this experience even half as much as I did.  I will remember that week for as long as I live.  And I'm serious about wanting to go again next August.  I'm going to let you know prices, etc when I get them.  I've even had her check on group rates incase there are some out there that want to do this with me.  It would be wonderful to meet some of my J-land friends and any others to see this beautiful part of Alaska together.           Linda

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Parade of Flags Wednesday August 16, 2006

Parade of Flags Wednesday August 16, 2006

This is very short, only about 27 seconds (my batteries died in my camera) Click on the picture to start the video....Linda

Alaska Cruise Part 6

Wednesday was another day at sea for us.  And the day I was priviliged to visit the ship's Medical Clinic.  They opened at 9am and I was there shortly there after, by this point feeling really bad.   There again I encounted an international staff.  The doctor was from Norway, one of the nurses from Russia and the other from Sweden.  They were very professional and I felt like I was in good hands.  They did blood work, a "quick" strep (negative thankfully) and when it was all said and done, I was given an antibiotic and a nose spray.  The bill was a little high but included the medicine, too.  I sent it off to my insurance company this last Saturday and am hoping they'll reimburse me for most of it.  

Anyway, in light of the fact that I was sick Wednesday morning, I did miss one event that I was really looking forward to.  A tour of the ship's kitchen for the ladies in our group.  I suppose the men could have gone too but I don't think any of them did.  They said it was very interesting and they were amazed how the kitchen staff can prepare so much good food in such a confined space.   They are not only cooking around the clock for the 2,400 passengers but also for a crew of over 700 people. 

I did go up on deck just before noon to watch the Parade of Flags.  This was very touching, over 38 countries represented in the staff, starting from the blond, blue eyed Captain from Norway.   They marched around the deck with the flags from their respective countries to the song "We Are Family." And then came down and stood around the outdoor pool where  John, the entertainment director (from the US), introduced each country and made the remark that all these people from different countries and cultures can work & play together and get along.  Isn't a shame that the World can not take a lesson from these 700 plus individuals.   I AGREE !!

They also had a towel folding demo (which I wasn't up to watching) but it's a big thing on these cruise ships.  Towels folded and left in your room in the shapes of different animals. Usually with your evening mints left as the creature's eyes.

Of course since we were at sea, the duty free, tax free shops were open all day.  I did get T-shirts, etc on the ship because they were cheaper than in the towns.  And they had a tobacco store, a liquor store, all sorts of fine jewelry, colognes, clothing items....some of the most beautiful fleece jackets & vests I have ever seen.   And there was one store where you could get personal items such as Tylenol, gum, contact lense drops...that sort of stuff.  I was upset however because they didn't have any good old Vicks Vapor Rub.  When I have a cold, that's the first thing I reach for.  Next time I'll remember to take some from home just to be on the safe side.

We traveled thru the beautiful Inside Passage a little after 12 noon.  Very beautiful with the mountains and hills all around. The Captain told us the narrowest part is just over 900 feet wide (about the length of the ship)  This day there were also a few whales out aways from the ship and salmon jumping (probably trying to out run the whales) here and there.   It was a beautiful warm and sunny day and those that weren't sick had a marvelous time swimming, playing shuffle board (I missed out on that too) and just taking in the beautiful sights.  

Wednesday evening I was feeling so poorly, I stayed in....missed the Lobster fest at dinner.  But I did order from room service and got a delightful turkey sandwich, an apple, some chips, milk and a chocolate chip cookie delivered to my room.  It also gave me time to get some packing done and some time to read my book as we floated along.

I'm going to try and post a little short video of the Parade of Flags after this entry.  Just click on the picture and turn up your volume and you should be able to get some idea what it was like. 

Until next time..........Linda

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Italian Night at Dinner Tuesday August 15, 2006

Italian Night at Dinner Tuesday August 15, 2006

Tuesday night we were treated to a serenade by our waiters.  It was a wonderful evening and to hear all those dear folks from all over the world sing in Italian was indeed a treat.   Click on the picture to start the video........

Alaska Cruise Part 5

Hoonah, Alaska....this is a fairly new port of call for cruise ships.  There are only 2 ships a week that stop here at this time.  And this summer was the third year that the community has accomodated tourists in this manner.   If you look at a map of Alaska you'll see Icy Strait just below Juneau.  On one corner of Chichagof Island is the Tlingit community of Hoonah, Alaska. This was our third port of call.  This native American community doesn't want the cruise ships in their harbor so we were "tendered" off the ship to the dock in Hoonah. As it turns out we were "tenered" in the ship's life boats.  (BIG FUN, to ride in a life boat and not have your home away from home disappearing into the sea behind you.)  It was about a 15-20 minute ride from the ship to when we landed on the dock of their former fish cannery building, all converted to shops (featuring mostly native craft items)  and even a snack bar, latte stand and restrooms.   We had all signed up for a 2 hour sightseing tour of Hoonah in one of their very comfortable mini-buses.  We would learn of the history and culture of the Tlingits, learn about the inside passage, the importance of the Alaska Marine Highway, the fishing industry and the Tongass National Forest.  The driver of our bus was Ora, a young man in his early 30's and the narrator was Candy, both raised in the town of Hoonah and both Tlingits.  Candy was home for the summer having just completed her first year at Stanford University, in California.  This community was by far the most pristine and pure area of the entire area that we saw.  There are 871 people that live in Hoonah (there was 870 but Ora & his wife had a new baby in June).  There is one school, K-12 with about 150 students total and 10 teachers.  Their police dept has four officers and their fire department is totally volunteer.  And it seems that everyone is related in some way.  They were excited that they just got their first cell tower, they have one chain store, a small Ace hardware.  There are 5 churches and 2 taverns.  The houses along the main road all look about the same, as many years ago a fire wiped out a lot of the main street dwellings.  The government sent a huge boat load of pre-fab houses so they could quickly and cheaply rebuild their community.   In the last few years the fishing industry has taken off as there are many licensed charter fisherman in the community.  We saw one boat come in with a 35 pound halibut (ugly fish) and several very large salmon.  To get there, people fly into Juneau and then fly a short 40 air miles over to Hoonah.  Ora and Candy told us that the airport in Hoonah is only closed 20-30 days a year due to bad weather. All of their groceries, mail and anything else needed is brought in either by plane or by a passenger-car ferry that comes in several times a week.  Their electricity is supplied by deisel powered generators and their water supply comes from several different creeks, that is then treated and piped to the homes. They seem to be very sport's minded.  They have a very large covered building that houses a full size heated community swimming pool and another that houses a basketball court and viewing stands. They spend their long winter evenings swimming and playing basketball.  Basketball seems to be a big thing in these Alaskan towns.  Again since we only had a few short hours in Hoonah, there were things I didn't  get to do and would love to go back and see it all.   We were all back on board by 3:30pm and at 4pm were off for the start of our journey down the beautiful Inside Passage. Hoonah was absolutley the place that left the greatest impression with all of us.  I even bought a Hoonah sweatshirt...I bought no others. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Alaska Cruise Part 4

We arrived in Skagway Monday, August 14th at about 7am.  When I looked out our window on awakening, there we were next to the dock in Skagway.  There is a huge bluff across from the dock and all over the bluff were rock sections painted with names and dates of ships that have docked there over the years.  Also, the White Pass railroad was right there too, waiting for it's first passengers, ready to ride up the almost  3,300 White Pass summit.  I have always wanted to do that but it costs a little over $100 for the 3 1/2 ride.  So a lot of us opted for the 1 1/2 hour mini-bus ride up and over the summit, for $36.  We were all happy with our choice.  Our driver, Mark, stopped many times to allow us photo opportunites along the way and of course all during the ride he was pointing out points of interest.  At one point we were on the highway way above the railroad tracks, taking pictures of the train.  And the bus ride took us clear into Yukon Terriority (Canada) so we went quite a bit farther than the train.  (We had to have our Passports on that excursion).  It was amazing to be there on that highway, imagining the gold seekers, spending months going over that pass back in the late 1800's.  We were blessed to see the same country from the comfort of a bus on a paved road.   Skagway is about the only town along that lower coast of Southern Alaska that can be reached by land.  You just go north on the Alcan Highway and at a certain point turn left.  I think that too, would be a great adventure someday. 

After our bus trip, we got off in town and since  Barbara's husband's feet were bothering him,  Barbara, Lynnette and I decided to check out the shops and he went back to the ship.  I think Skagway is more charming than Juneau.  Board sidewalks, brightly painted shops with that early 1900 flavor.  All that's missing is the 8 inches of mud in the streets.  We stayed until we'd had our fill and then we  took the shuttle back to the ship.  Meanwhile, I was getting sicker and feeling horrible but didn't want to miss anything.  When Lynnette and I got back, we deposited our shopping in our cabin and headed up to the Solarium Snack Bar.  That's the place to get hot dogs, hamburgers, chickenburgers, veggie burgers, pizza, fries, fruit and cookies almost 24 hours a day.  I loved their chicken burgers by the way.   After our snack we decided to lay down for a couple hours before dinner.  Ya right....I woke up at 9:30pm and I finally woke Lynnette up about 10:45pm so we could make the chocolate buffet at 11:15pm.   It was very nice, but I just wasn't in the mood for chocolate (I know that sounds crazy but remember I was a sick girl) And unfortunately the pictures didn't turn out very well.  It was held in the big open atrium area and my camera didn't work well in the low lights.  There was music and champagne and everyone was in a good mood.   After it was over, we returned back to our cabins and hit the sack.  Meanwhile the ship had left the Skagway dock about 8:30pm so we were underway to our next port of call.

Well I did It ....

I called and talked to my travel agent gal (she'd asked that I call her when I got back and let her know how everything went for our group).   She was sorry to hear that I was sick but I told her I'd go again in a heartbeat.  Yes on the same cruise (there's still alot of stuff to see in those towns I visited ).  So she asked, "Ok then when do you think you'd like to go?"  I had already looked at the schedules for next summer and noticed that the price drops for the sailing from Aug 17th thru the 24th.  The Alaska cruises don't run much after Labor Day.    So anyway, she's looking into that week (Jeannette, I'll be home in time for us to go to the Puyallup Fair, which starts Sept 7, 2007)

Ok, now is there anybody else out there that wants to take this cruise.  Kids are more than welcome, they have non-stop activities for kids on those ships. It's a whole year from now, time to save your pennies.  Probably the first deposit will be due in about November 2006 with the balance due sometime in April 2007.  This is your will be leaving from Seattle and returning to Seattle.  They are very accommodating to folks traveling in and out of Seattle by air.  Let me know  if you're interested and I'll get you connected with Lori the travel agent.   

Ohhhhh, I'm excited !!!!!!!!!!    Linda

Monday, August 21, 2006

Alaska Cruise Part 3

Sunday August 13th was our third day out.  Sunday morning they announced that there was going to be a non-demonational church service at 9am.  Lynnette and I decided to go and it was such a blessing.  To sit in the beautiful room, with over 100 of our fellow travelers from all over the world, watching the beautiful scenery float by and having church.  It lasted about an hour and then we ventured down to the Windjammer Cafe for their buffet breakfast.  The plates there were BIG oval melamac type plates and they held alot of food.  And believe me there was alot of food to choose from.  It was unbelievable. Why you could eat yourself into a stupor first thing every morning.  The one thing I enjoyed was good decaf coffee.  Usually in a resturant it has a burnt taste to it.  But they used "Seattle's Best" brand in the dinning room, the Windjammer and at the latte stand.  And I think they brewed it often enough that even the decaf pot was always fresh.

We arrived in Juneau at 11am so had plenty of time for church, a leisurely breakfast and time to prepare for getting off the ship for our first time. The cruise line offered each guest a complimentary bus trip out to the Mendenhall Glacier and Lynnette and I signed up for the 11:30am trip, so we'd have time in town later in the day.  It was about a 6 mile drive from the ship out to the glacier and we caught our first glimpse of life in a fairly remote Alaskan town. Even though  these towns are remote, they are very modern. Looks like any town anywhere, people with cell phones, SUV's, latte stands, the whole works. It was either in Juneau or Skagway (can't remember) that I saw pink plastic flamingo's in someone's yard.  Quite a sight !  Anyway we went out to the Mendenhall Glacier and it was stunning.  It was a light blue color that glistened.  It's quite an awesome sight. We watched a short video about the history of the glacier and then had to leave.  Only got an hour there. Not long enough.  When we got back into town, we got off at the first stop, by the library.  We were told they had free internet service so I thought I'd be able to email without having to pay 42 cents a minute.  Fat chance...there was like 10 people lined up waiting to use the 5 computers they had.  Anyway the library is very nice.  Bigger even the one near my house.  Of course it's also the only one they have in the whole town.   From there we crossed the street and visited the famous Red Dog Saloon.  We had planned on having lunch there but it was packed, so we squeezed in and took a few pictures and got out.  They have a nice gift shop around the corner so got postcards, etc there.  I did get a CD of the guy that was playing the rag-time piano while we were taking our pictures.   From there we just hit the gift shops, etc until our legs felt like they were falling off and then we took the shuttle back to the ship. I think we were hungry for a fat-free yogurt cone.    That's the story of our first day off our floating hotel.   

Until next time.............Linda

Happy 3rd Birthday AOL Journals

I started my journal in May of 2005, so I didn't get in on the beginning of the whole affair. My daughter Julie, has a journal and she kept talking about how fun it all was.  I do remember the first journal I read other than Julie's was Sandra's over in the U.K (Sandra remember when we sent you Otter Pops?)   From there I went on to Jan, Jeannette, Ally & the other Jeannette all in the U.K.  About the same time I found Monica's journal (I knew her, as she worked at the same place I did for awhile and of course lives in the same town.) Then it all just mushroomed......Krissy, Robin,Val, Debbie, Chrissie,Judy, Greg, Sharon, Tammy,  Betty, Barbara, Sugar, Meg, Amanda, the other Barbara, Jae, Lanny, Penney, Kathy and the list goes on and on. (And please forgive me if I left anyone's name out)  The newest journal for me is the one belonging to Stevie, also in the U.K.  We've all heard his fantastic accent as he spoke to us via a video and lately his beautiful singing voice.

Having a journal has given me an insight to that big wonderful world out there.  Sometimes I think we get stuck in our little ruts and it's good to reach out and see what other folks are doing.  I liken AOL Journals to those pen-pals we all had in grade school.   Electronic pen-pals that's what we are.

My wish is that it continues forever......and that in the next year, you all are healthy & happy and continue to share your life from your perspective with the rest of us.

Linda in beautiful western Washington state

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Another Seattle Picture

This is one of the ship's pictures.  Everytime you turned around there's a camera in your face & then all the pictures are posted in the evening for the whole world to see.  And they all cost money. I did get just few of them, the rest were discarded.  This one I should have posted first.  It was taken after we got all checked in and just before we started up the gangway to enter the ship.       Linda

Alaska Cruise Part 2

Friday night we did actually make it to the very beautiful "Masquerade Theater" (decks 5 & 6) in the very front of the ship.  It holds approximately 1,200 people and was full for the two performances every evening.  The first night was actually a sampling of the week to come. There was Louis Johnson, who has been seen on Comedy Central, B.E.T , Showtime and A & E.  He was very funny, talking about the new Royal Caribbean ship "Freedom of the Seas" being so big, it has it's own bad neighborhood.  Then there was Scott Ringersen, one of the best Elvis Impersonator's I've ever seen.  And such a nice guy...he was with his family and was very gracious to answer any questions when spotted "out of costume" around the ship. There was also a Comedy Ventriloquist, The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers, Wilde and Haynes who were so funny and also very good jugglers.  There were two shows every night, working around the two dinner seating times.   We usually forgot to go to the early show (we had dinner at 8:30pm which was second seating) so would walk in on the tail end of the later show.  All of the shows were family friendly (lot of kids on board) and some entertainers had a third show like at 11pm for adults only.  There was alot of late night activity that we all missed because none of us could stay up that late.  (It's terrible to be old and tired.)

Anyway, Saturday August 12th was our first full day at sea.  We were on the outside of Vancouver Island heading north.  During the day it was surprisingly calm.  Saturday was also the evening they had the Captain's Welcome Aboard Reception and the first dress-up night. We went to that and it was very nice. There was complimentary champagne and hors d' oeuvres in the beautiful "Some Enchanted Evening Lounge" on Deck 6.  The Captain was from Norway and also had his family with him on this cruise.

Saturday night, after dinner we went up to the "Masquerade Theater" to catch the tail end of the show.  We ended up in the upper level on Deck 6.  After sitting there for a few minutes, I could really feel that ship rocking & rolling.  I told Lynnette, "enjoy the rest of the show...but I'm out of here."  I staggered down the hall ( I had notone drop of the complimentary champagne mind you) and down to our Cabin on level 3 ( not too far above the water level.)  It was so smooth down there.  I would never have one of those fancy balcony cabins...they are all up high on the ship where there is more movement if the sea is rough.  That's as close as I came to getting seasick on the whole trip.  And thankfully, that night was the roughest seas on the whole trip.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Alaska Cruise Story Part 1

Here's some first day pictures from the Alaskan

 cruise I just returned from.  These pictures were taken the first day, August 11th.  It was a beautiful, warm and sunny day...perfect weather for departing.  Seattle is truly a beautiful city in the sunshine.  (Well, I think it's pretty in the rain too, but then I'm a native of Washington, so what else can I say.)

Of course Nancy was our cabin steward all week.  She worked everyday, 8am-12 noon and then from 5pm-9pm.  In the morning when we were at breakfast, she would make our beds and leave fresh towels.  And in the evening when we were at dinner, she would turn down our beds, leave a mint (and sometimes a folded towel creature) and again fresh towels.  She was the sweetest person.  She is married, her husband worked just down the hall doing the same thing.  They are both from Trinidad.  There are 38 countries represented on the ship, starting with the Captain who was from Norway.  Most of the staff work 7 days a week for 6 months then have 2 months off.  They do get breaks during the week and are allowed to go on shore from time to time.  They work very seems like a great adventure for a young person for a few years at least. 

Ok...there's the start of my week long adventure........................Linda


Well, it's Saturday evening and I slept most of the day away.  I still can't hear anything, my ears are plugged like I was on a mountain top. Still haven't unpacked, the house is a mess.  About the only thing I did was get that bill from the ship's Medical Clinic off to my insurance company.

I started to unload my camera but it quit at the first video I recorded.  I may go in and delete the video and see it it will continue the unload.  Robin sent in a special request for a picture before I left.  So here it is.  Taken Saturday August 12th up in the Windjammer Cafe where we all met for lunch.  This was the first day we were at sea all day, on the outside of Vancouver Island. 

In the picture from left to right you'll find; Barbara, Lynnette, me, behind me is Dennis, Dan in the white shirt, Judi, behind Judi is Gary and on the end Jim.  We all graduated from high school the same year, 1960, except for Lynnette...she was a 1962 graduate.  Barbara, Judi, Lynnette & myself also all went to the same grade school.  And Lynnette was in the same class as Judi's younger brother.

Ok, well that's  one photo and I'll keep working on getting the rest unloaded.     Linda

Friday, August 18, 2006

Somebody Was Glad To See her Mama

The staff at the kitty hotel, were sorry to see me walk thru the door.  They said they had so much fun with her.  I was glad to see her I crazy  ?? But, she looks like she grew while I was gone.   When I brought her home, she got out of her carrier and went thru the whole house sniffing and then came and jumped up on her blanket on the end of the sofa.  So all is well......

Well, the doctor did not have good news.  I have the start of pneumonia and an infection in the right ear as well as the left.  He changed my antibiotic to a stronger one, so I expect to be better Sunday morning at  7:03 am Pacific Daylight Time.  (Well, I can wish can't I?)   I also got those oily drops that you warm up and put in your ears.   I still have all this unpacking to do. And I'm very tired.  We didn't get to bed until after midnight Thursday and had to be out of our cabins at 8am this morning.  So I set the alarm for 6am.  Also, they stopped serving breakfast at 8:30am and we had already found out that we probably wouldn't disembark (a new fancy word for "get off the ship") until 9:30am or 10am, so we had to get some breakfast or pass out, after a week of eating heartily.  They just let small groups off at a time and those with airline reservations had priority.  

Ok that's all for now....and maybe Saturday I'll break out some pictures.  I also made two or three short videos.    Linda

I'M HOME !!!!!!!!

Hi everybody, I'm home.  What a wonderful week.  I never laughed so much in my life.  They had fixed it so we all sat together for dinner, so it was lots of fun & the guys had us all in stiches every night.  The only bad part was.....I got sick.  Woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat and a little twinge in my left ear. I didn't want to miss the day's events, so got ready to leave the ship anyway.  When we got back on the ship, I went and got a bite to eat and then went to the cabin and layed down.  During the night I had the most horrible pain & pressure in my left ear I have ever experienced as an adult.  So those with me convinced me I should be seen.  Lynnette and Barbara went with me down to the Medical Clinic and I was checked out.  I was very glad when the strep test was negative, however the cute Norwegian doctor said my left inner ear was a mess.  So he had the attractive Russian nurse draw some blood, and the other nurse from Sweden took my vitals.  He came up with a diagnosis of bronchitis and an ear infection.  He gave me a prescription for some Zithromax and a nose spray for the ears.  Total cost=  $325.00.   I called my insurance company when I got home today and they said to send them the paper work and most of the well be reimbursed.   So I missed 2 dinners because of not feeling well and I actually lost 3 pounds from laughing and coughing.  I did not, however, miss the midnight chocolate buffet.   I took over 200 pictures and will be going thru them, I promise I won't post them all.  

Anyway, I'm off to my doctor, here in about an hour  for a follow-up and then to pick up Gabi.  I'm anxious to see if she still likes me, after being left for a week.  So more later.  I missed you all and will try to catch up.  I turned off most alerts but still have 363 emails in my in-box.   So until later.............Linda

Friday, August 11, 2006

One More Entry Before I Head Out


Yesterday, Robin at;  asked the question; what's under the cushions of your couch ?  I finally found my digital camera and I'm proud to say "not much." I do take them off about once a month and vacuum under the cushions, however.  All I found was a build up of dust along the inner edge and a card board strip from a package of some sort.  Mine is a hide-a-bed so you can see the blankets, etc around the edges. 


As you can see the ironing board is still up but I'm almost done.  I borrowed a garment bag from friend Jan last night so at least I don't have to fold my clothes up and get them wrinkled again.  This morning I need to water the front yard and my hanging baskets.  My neighbor on one side will get the mail & paper for me and the neighbor on the other side is in charge of watering, especially if it heats up again.  Wouldn't you know...all my roses are blooming so pretty right now and I'm going away and can't enjoy them.  Even the roses I got from Avon the other day I gave away to my co-worker Susan.  Please continue to pray for Susan, she see's the oncologist on Monday for the official results of the P.E.T. scan and the treatment plan of action.  Her family doctor told her that there are signs of cancer in her left breast, under her right arm and down around her stomach area. She's resigned to the fact that she'll have to have some agressive treatment.  She is also moving next Wednesday & Thursday.  She'll be about 30 miles south of here but closer to her mom and step dad.  They are both good to help her. 


I found a place to hang my new clock, that I received from Avon for 30 years of writing orders.  The pictures to the right of it are of my great-grandmother's parents.  It sort of a shadow box with different items that belonged to them.  The doll under that picture belonged to my grandmother.  She lived her in the same town I do and when I was little she let me play with this doll whenever I was at her house.  When I was in high school, she passed it on to me.  The smaller picture to the left of the doll is a picture of her holding the doll, along with her sister holding a doll and her brother (he's not holding a doll). The picture above that is a collage of my grandmother's sister.  Aunt Ruby was a dear lady and after her husband died she lived on the property where I grew up along with my grandmother.  Grandma named the doll Mary and that's her name to this day.  I had her human hair wig replaced with a mohair wig mandy years ago. And about three years ago a co-worker that makes dolls, made her dress.  Up until that time, I had her wrapped up in a baby blanket and stashed in a drawer.  She has a porcelain face and hands and her body is kid skin stuffed with sawdust.  On the back of her neck is engraved "Florodora      made in Germany."  Grandma was born 1892, and she looks about 10 years old in the picture, so Mary has been around a long time. When I think that I was allowed to play with her as a young girl, now realizing her value, it makes me shudder.    The doll up to the left belonged to my mother.  She is not as well made as Mary.  Her face is cracked but she still has her original hair and clothes.  Mom was born in 1915, so I imagine her doll is approximately 80 years old.  I don't remember what her name is....I don't recall mom even mentioning it.


My home for the next week.  Cabin # 3585, third level up from the water (I think that's the way it works).  I'm taking some fishing gear and troll out the window.  No, not really....but if I did I might catch a BIG salmon.  We leave Seattle today at 5pm (check in is at 2pm), Saturday at sea out around the outside of Vancouver Island, Sunday in Juneau, Monday in Skagway, Tuesday at Icy Straight Point, Wednesday we'll be cruising the Inside Passage, Thursday in Victoria, BC and Friday back in Seattle.

So that's all for now.  I may try and do an entry or two from the ship....we'll see. I know they charge for that but if it's not too spendy, I'll give it a try.  I hope you all have a good week and I'll be back......          Linda

P.S.  I took Gabi to the Pet Hotel yesterday about 6pm.  It was so sad to leave her because I know she was scared.  There were about 6 other cats there (three from one family) and they were all really big cats.  She looked like a little midget compared to all of them.  Anyway the staff immediately fell in love with her, the one gal said it had been a long time since they'd had a Persian board there and then one so little.  They told me I could call and check on her whenever (I have their phone number programmed into my cell phone).  I called last night about 9pm and they said she was fine, in fact everyone had been playing with her. And at the time I called, the evening Vet was in there, sitting on the floor playing with her.  Now I'm afraid she won't miss me....     :(


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Weekend Assignment #124: Learning to Drive

From John at;

Fasten your seatbelts because this week's Weekend Assignment (suggested by BeYankee) puts you behind the wheel:

Your Weekend Assignment #124: How did you learn how to drive? How many tries did it take?  What was the first car that you bought?

Extra credit: Got a picture of that first car?


I first drove a vehicle the summer between 5th and 6th dad's 1939 Ford pickup out in the field while he and my mom pitched the dry hay into the back of it.  Of course I was probably only going 5 MPH.  I remember the windshield tipped out from the bottom and I'm sure I didn't get out of 1st gear. 

I took drivers training at school, it was a regular class like English, Math, etc.  I took it the fall of 1957, as I turned 16 in January of 1958.  I only had to take the driving test once when I got my license.  I still have the paper copy of my test scores from that written test.  The trooper who take me out for the driving part was young and very handsome.  That made me very nervous but I did ok.  The awful part was, as we were driving along, my bra strap slid down and I "casually" reached thru 2 buttons on my blouse to push it back up.  Well, my hand got stuck and I almost had to rip a button off the blouse to get my hand out and back on the wheel.  I was so afraid, he'd look over and see what happened....I was so embarrased.  Many years later, this couple moved back into the area and came back to the church we were going to at the time, it had been their church when they were young and first married.  He was with the State Patrol and got transferred around the state alot.  At a potluck one night, I got to talking to him and he said one of his first duties as a young trooper was giving driving tests to people who were applying for a license.  So I was telling him and his wife about my testing experience.  We all got a big laugh about it.  Later, I dug out my scrap book and looked at the paper I'd saved all those years and guess whose name was on the bottom of it?  Yup, it was none other than Bruce, the young hansdome trooper who made me so nervous.  At another get together, I took the paper and showed it to him, he couldn't believe it. 

I did not have a car as a teenager, my folks did not have the money for such things.  I rode the school bus even as a senior in high school.  I actually did not get a car until I was like 20 years old.  It was a black 1949 Chrysler (looked like an upside down bath tub) with "fluid drive" transmission.  I bought it from a retired school teacher who lived down the street from us for $75.00.  I was working at the phone company (making $200 a month gross) and actually had to get a loan for the car as I did not have the money.  I only had it about a year when I had an opportunity to buy a 1954 Chevrolet, that was much classier looking than the Chrysler. 

Extra Credit: somewhere there may be a picture of that Chrysler but it's probably in the bottom of the big tub of pictures and I don't have time to look for it now.  If I ever run across it, I'll post it and a picture of the Chevy for all to see.

I still have all these clothes to iron..........Linda

A Tribute To My 6th GradeTeacher

I just want to pay tribute to one of the best teachers I had during my school years.  I was in his class for 6th grade, way back in 1953-1954.  He was very tall, and kind but oh boy, if you misbehaved in his class, watch out.  I mostly remember his kind and gentle spirit.  In those days, the teachers sometimes made extra money driving a school bus before and after school.  He was one of those who did.  He wasn't my school bus driver, but he drove the bus route where my friend Judi (she is coming from San Diego today to go on the cruise) lived.  So whenever I happened to go home with her, I rode that bus.     Several years ago the school district had an open house of the high schools and all the grade schools.  We  went to Pacific Lutheran University and caught buses (yes yellow school buses) and were driven around the district and could get off and on where ever we wanted.  Barbara and I climbed on one bus and who was already sitting there, it was Mr Storaasli.  I'm  sure  he didn't recognize us from all those years ago, but we recognized him instantly.  We had a wonderful time reminiscing with him and once we got to our grade school (Midland) we had someone take a picture of the three of us.  Lester Storaasli was one teacher that will always stand out in my mind as a kind, gentle person from my past. I'm sorry that I will miss his service, which is scheduled for this coming Saturday. 


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

An Early Happy Birthday Greeting

I was going to do this entry on Thursday, but here it is late Wednesday night and I can see that I'm getting farther and farther behind.  So before I turn in for the night, I thought I'd say Happy Birthday to my son Jim, my son-in-law and Bob's daughter, Hope.  All celebrating brithday's on Saturday August 12th.  Jim will be 35, my son-in-law will be______(I'll leave that for Julie to share, if she gets permission from her hubby) and Hope will be 40.    Thursday, I'm taking Jim out to lunch (Mexican) before he goes to work at 2pm.  And I'll drop the son-in-law's birthday prize off Thursday afternoon or Friday morning.  And I sent Hope's present down to her with Bob when he flew down to Pasadena in July, to drive her & his grandkids up here for their vacation.  I wish them all a very happy birthday and many, many more to come  !!!!!  I'm only posting pictures of my son, because I don't want to get shot by the other two.  Of course Jim may shoot me, too....I don't know.

I've just discovered that one of the good tops I bought is not going to work.  So I guess it's out to Gottschalks tomorrow to see if I can find another one.  I washed all the other casual clothes and jeans I'm going to take, so those have to be ironed Thursday. And then I'll let them hang until Friday morning and fold & pack them at that time. 

I got the front and back lawn mowed this evening, so that done.  Talked to my neighbor on one side of me and he's going to get my mail and paper each day (I hate going to the Post Office to pick up mail after a vacation if I don't have to) and the neighbor on the other side is going to water all my hanging baskets, etc.   I only lost one the last time he watered them for me, so that's not bad.

Gabi knows somethings up.....she keeps going over to my suitcase and sniffing it and she's been stuck to me like glue tonight. 

I'm sorry to say, I'm going to turn off my alerts, probably Thursday evening.  Otherwise, I'll have 5,000 alerts when I get back.   So until next time..........Linda

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

A Question From Koda

In Koda's journal;(   It was mentioned that his best buddy, Matt got registered today for his last year of high school.  There was mention of school mascot names and Koda's mom  asked the question "What was your mascot and school colors?" 

Well, here is mine, I was a Franklin Pierce Cardinal.  Our high school colors were "Red & White, Fight, Fight!"   After looking at this sign and you see the year I graduated you'll be able to figure out how I got my screen name (oh and my maiden name was Smith and my married/divorced last name also starts with an "S").    By the way this sign was made for our reunion in August 2005 by my very talented son-in-law.  Everyone loved it and I have it stored safely away for the next big get together.  I was going to take it to Kinko's and see if they could make a smaller, laminated copy for me to take on the cruise but it's one thing I just never got to.

So what was your school mascot and colors ?       Linda


I left work at 11:30am today to attend an Avon meeting at noon (the first I've gone to in years.) The manager had called me last week and asked if I could come because they wanted to present me with a special certificate and recognize my 30 years with Avon. It doesn't seem like that long and things have certainly changed in 30 years.  It used to be all orders were done with a paper purchase order, we had to use a #2 pencil to mark little bubbles next to each item we were ordering.  Then when finished, we'd add our check to pay for the previous order and drop the order off at someone's house by a certain time every other Monday morning.  Now it's all done on-line, including the payment part.  And I've actually been in Pasadena at Bob's daughter's house, doing my Avon order on her computer, with the Pasadena Branch building just a couple miles away (that's where the orders for the west coast come from.)  Then the following Saturday my order was delivered to my front porch.  Amazing... compared to the old way.  I'm also showing a picture of the beautiful Hamilton wall clock I chose as a gift.  I don't have a clue where I'm going to hang it. I may have to do some re-arranging of pictures. 

After the Avon meeting I went to a retirement party for one of the nurses that worked in my office.  I wish I would have taken a picture of her alone but I didn't.  Her name is Connie and she's a wonderful lady.  She is a former Army nurse, serving twice in Viet Nam.  Then she spent many years as an Emergency Room nurse before coming into the Call Center as a Telephone Advice Nurse.  There were lots of her old nurse buddies and other friends there. It was a nice party.  The end of August she is moving to Ohio, as she has a son and other relatives there.  She promises to stay on AOL, so hopefully once she gets settled I can still IM with her.

I'm including 2 pictures of my work station, one of them I may have posted before.  But the second one is a picture I took today since I had my camera with me. 

Well, Wednesday is my last day to work until August 22nd.  Yikes, stripes !!  The time is drawing nigh.   I got another Memory Card for my camera today and some Dramamine (just in case). So I now have everything I need.  Just have to do some laundry and then a little ironing and Friday morning, I'll pack my clothes & make up and I'll be ready to go.  Oh ya, I have to drop little Gabi off at the Cat Hotel. That will be hard to do but I know she'll be fine.

Well, I must close for tonight, so until next time.......Linda

Monday, August 7, 2006

Monday Morning Question


Do you like SPAM?  If yes, then could you share your favorite SPAM recipe with us?


My answer:  No, I don't like it.  Once I thought I would give it one more chance.  So I made Country Fried SPAM, LOL.  With gravy!  It only made it worse!  How about you?  Krissy :)

My answer is as follows; If there was nothing to eat anywhere in the whole wide world, I could eat it as long as it was fried or at least heated up.  Remember back in the fall of 1999 when everybody thought chaos would happen all over the world as the calendar turned over to 2000?  I must admit I had three or four cans of Spam in my survival box of food.  As soon as January 1, 2000 dawned and we were all ok, I promptly donated them to a local food bank.   My mom loved to tell the story about my dad and his hatred of Spam.  Now my dad would eat anything mom set in front of him, except Spam, canned fruit cocktail and lima beans.  Apparently, when he was overseas during WWII he had to eat a lot of those three food items.  Mom claimed he actually forbid her to buy Spam, canned fruit cocktail and if she got those frozen mixed vegetables and there were lima beans in the package, we were all allowed to push them aside on our plate.

Ok, that's my Spam answer.          Linda

Photo Scavenger Hunt #87


The entries for Scavenger Hunt #87 will be due on Sunday, August 13 at 11:00 PM EST.

The subject this week is: Summer/Winter

It works like this.  Go outside and take a photo of anything.  Maybe let us see how your yard looks in the hot summer.  Then go through your old photos and find one where snow abounds, maybe your yard covered in snow.  These are just guidelines, do what you want.  Then post the pictures.  This will perhaps help us to cool off.  If not, we can at least look at some cool shots!  Happy posting!  Krissy :)

For this one, I'm going to use a picture that I used last week and another one in my archives (actually both of them are from my archives)  My summer yard looks the same every year.

Linda in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Gabi Video I may have just done it....we'll see.

      I did it, I got it into my journal, of course now that you've all seen the one I emailed.  Sandra (in the UK) maybe you'll be able to get this one to work. Just click on her picture and turn up your sound to hear my whinny voice.   Linda

Gabi Video


Someone in California has requested a picture of the postcard that I got today.  So here it is, laying against Gabi's stuffed kitty.  (I couldn't get Gabi to hold still).   It's really a cute postcard from the Jelly Belly Factory in Fairfield, California.  I absolutely want to visit there, next time I'm down that way.  I love their "Buttered Popcorn" Jelly Belly. 

Thanks again, Robin !!

Now, I'm going to go cook that halibut, before I pass out.    Linda


Yuppers there's another one in my mailbox today!  See if you can guess who it's's from the San Francisco area,  there's cute little jelly beans on it.  BINGO !!!  It's from Robin at;      If you don't already read Robin's journal, I highly recommend it (tell her Linda in WA sent you).   She's a delightful lady. 

It's very warm here again today, but the weather guys are saying we may get some showers Tuesday afternoon and absolutley promises a cool down.    At this point.....showers will be welcome.  Everything is so dry.   My lawn (I mean the dandelions in the lawn) are getting taller and taller.  But I didn't sleep well last night, so this evening I'm really too tired to mow the lawn.  Unless there's a torrential downpour when I get home Tuesday afternoon, I'll mow it then.   

I told Gabi about all you folks seeing her video. She was happy to hear about her 59 seconds of fame.  If  I can ever figure out how to get it in my journal, I'll try it again.  Jeannette at;   sent me the instructions she uses, so I will give that a try. However I don't know if I'll have time before I leave.  My brain is too cluttered with stuff I need to remember to do before Friday's departure.   Thank you again, Jeannette!

Well, I'm starving and the "Dinner Fairy" had not been here when I got home from work, so I guess I better go fix dinner myself.  I got some of Bob's halibut out of the freezer last night, so I'm going to fix that. Will he miss it?  I doubt it.   LOL

They are just mentioning on the evening national news that it's been a year since Peter Jennings passed away.  Wow, that year has gone fast but I'm sure for his family and friends it's still very heartbreaking.

Until next time........Linda and the "Video Star"  Gabi Lin

Sunday, August 6, 2006


No, my mailman does not deliver mail on Sunday.  I was just sitting at my dining room table going thru this huge stack of mail and I found one from my "Alaska bound" friend Kathy.  Her journal is;     I wish she and her hubby were going to be on the same ship as me but they are not.  They're going later in the month and leaving from Vancouver, BC.

Anyway, thanks Kathy for the great postcard.  I got down in your area once in awhile, I may just look you up, next time.   

I've sent out a little video I took of my Gabi this afternoon. I followed all the directions to get it uploaded/downloaded, but could not get it into my journal.  The directions said click on the "add to journal" button, but I could never find it.  It must be an invisible button.  AOL is so tricky.   So, I just sent it out in email form. 

.It's been a loooong weekend.  I finally got all the garage sale business cleaned up and put away about 5pm.  By 3pm it was over 90 degrees in my carport and I was so miserable.  But, it's over for another year.  

Take care and I hope everyone has a good Monday.............................Linda (and Gabi)

Question and Answers, Addendum

One of the quesions that Krissy asked me was,  "Are you Flylady?"   I absolutely did not know what that meant so gave her a vague answer about not really liking to fly but I have and probably will again if the need arises.  Well, let me tell you.........I was way off on that one.  Krissy graciously told me about the Flylady website.  So now, Krissy.......I'm changing my answer.  "No, I'm not a Flylady but I intend to become one."   For all who are interested, you can check out the Flylady website and decide for yourself.  

Saturday, August 5, 2006

It's time to get serious

As you can see, the suitcase is out, open and sitting on two chairs in the dining room so I can get to it easily.  I'm starting to pack, putting in things I do not need to use the next few days.  Like bug repellent and sun screen.

Lynnette, the gal that is sharing a cabin with me, called today and when I answered the phone, she said in this real whinny voice "I can't go on the cruise."  Well, that got my attention and I asked her why not.  She told me that she went for a hair cut yesterday evening and the gal that cut it, got it so short she now looks like a guy.  Well, I informed her that she had some other physical attributes that prove she's not a guy and that she probably looked just fine, and even if she didn't, she needed to suck it up and start packing.  Actually, having real short hair might be to her advantage, since it takes me about 15 minutes to dry mine...she can just towel dry hers and call it good.   She won't be getting in my way, in the bathroom every morning. :)    LOL 

Here's my itinerary for this big event.

We report to the Royal Caribbean dock in Seattle at 2pm Friday, August 11th and depart at 5pm.  We are at sea all day Saturday, heading up thru Puget Sound, down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, turn north and cruise on the outer side of Vancouver Island (that's the part I got the Dramamine for).  Sunday morning (August 13th) we arrive in Juneau at about 11am, we are there until 11pm.  Monday, August 14th we arrive at Skagway at 7am, leaving there at 8:30pm.  Tuesday, August 15th we arrive at Icy Strait Point at 7am and we'll be there until 4pm.   Wednesday, August 16th we will be cruising the Inside Passage all day. Thursday, August 17th we arrive in Victoria, BC at 2pm, departing from there at 7:30pm.    Friday, August 18th we arrive in Seattle at 7am, broke, tired, fatter but happy after having enjoyed this extraordinary experience.  

Ok, my kitty has already gone down the hall and I'm going to go join her.  Linda

Question and Answer Time

OK, it's time to answer those questions that I received.  

1. Comes from Meg at; inquestoftruth

If you were given three wishes....and they had to be realistic wishes, not "a lucky charm to give me everything I wished for" or unlikely events such as "world peace,"  what would you wish for?  

1. Physical healing for my family members and friends that need it.

2. Spiritual healing for the world (which would bring World Peace)

3. That everyone would have a boss that was fair and treated their employees with respect & dignity.  Seems like there's not much of that around these days.


2. Comes from Krissy at; SometimesIThink

           1.Do you like SPAM? The kind in the little can or the electronic kind we get  bombarded with?  The answer is NO to both.
           2. If you had lots of time to do volunteer work, where would you do it (who would you volunteer for)?  Either Crisis Pregnancy Center (now called CareNet locally) or a local Christian school.
           3. What's your favorite movie? My all time favorite has to be "Blood Alley" because John Wayne and Lauren Bacall were filming that movie when I met them in 1955.

           4.What would you do with a million dollars if you suddenly got it in a fair manner? First I would give to my church and local worthy charities.  Then I'd share it with my family first and if there was any left over I'd send you all plane tickets and we could all meet "somewhere in the middle" and see each other face to face.  Wouldn't that be fun?
          5. Do you like housework?  I really don't mind's just that with working full time I get behind, I just don't have as much energy as I used to.
          6. Do you like to iron?  I know if my mom were alive, she'd never believe me, but I really don't mind it.  It's a time when I can put a movie in and get the job done while being entertained.  As a kid back in the 50's I had to iron handkerchiefs, pillow cases and the tops of the sheets.  And everything had to be sprinkled with water first, then rolled up and sometimes I'd forget the stuff for a few days & everything would get covered in mildew, then my mom would have to wash it again and she would not be happy. Oh, those were the good old days!!

        7. Are you a FlyLady?  I guess I don't really understand this one...if you mean do I like to, not really (I'd take the train to our rendezvous).  But I have done it and I'll probably do it again, if I need to.

3. Comes from Betty at; lv2trnscrb

I know you have lived in the Pacific Northwest for the majority of your life. Have you ever thought of living somewhere else and if so where?  

Even tho I'm not well traveled, I've read and heard about a lot of other areas in our great country.  I don't think I would ever live anywhere else, except in Arizona or somewhere like that in the dead of winter.  The Pacific Northwest has fairly mild weather and we don't have tornados or hurricanes.  No poisonous bugs or snakes.  And from where I am, in a little over two hours you can be up at Mt Rainier, over at the Pacific Ocean, up in British Columbia (about 5 hours for that trip), over in Eastern Washington's desert country and wheat fields, or down on the Oregon border at the mighty Columbia River.  What more could you ask for?

4. Comes from Jeannette at; JeannettesJottings

If you could have the past back again, what is the ONE thing that you would change and why?     I would definitely have done better in school.  In high school especially, I sort of just skimmed thru.  I didn't take any college prep classes because I had no desire to go to "more school"  and then when I was faced with supporting myself, I really didn't have any training to get anything but office type jobs that pay low wages.  And I would have spent more time with my grandma and my parents as they got older.  Even tho they were here in the same town, I busy with my family and working, etc, etc.  Then I turned around one day and they were gone. 

5. Comes from Kathy at; Yadayadayada

What souvenir are you going to buy for yourself when you go to Alaska?   I really don't know.  I've kind of gotten away from buying things that have to be dusted.  I know I'll get postcards to put in the scrap book I make of the trip.  And if something catches my eye, and it's not a kajillion dollars I may get it.  I once had a darling Eskimo doll (can't remember what happened to it) and if I see one that's reasonable, I may get one of those.

6. Last but not least from Robin at; These Are The Days of our Lives

Do you think you will ever marry again?  Would you want too?   

I believe that marriage is the most sacred relationship there is.  I would love to be married again if I could find that special person that had the same spiritual beliefs as I do and would be able to put up with this old lady...of course he'd be old too, so I guess I'd have to put up with him also.  LOL   My folks were the perfect example of a "marriage made in Heaven." They loved each other so much and found joy in their church work and everything that they did. So I had a good example to follow and I still feel very sad at times that my marriage did not work out.  I've now been single since 1982 and I still have hope.......but it's diminishing as the years go by.   

Whew!!!  That was tough but thanks, those were all good questions.   

I did better at my sale today, about $55 of course that included selling a Barbie for $20.  And Jeannette, I'm sorry...some guy bought the "101 Garden Questions" book today. None of the blouses or sweatshirts have sold maybe Sunday.  I am going to open up for just a few hours Sunday and then around 1pm starting putting the stuff away.  It got up to about 90 degrees in the carport today and tomorrow is supposed to be warmer.  And Monday is another work day, so will have to get ready for that.

Thanks again for the questions and I hope everyone is having a good weekend.  Until next time..............Linda