Saturday, September 30, 2023

Saturday Roundup


Well, it has been a week of trying to get projects finished, new projects started, baking, getting ready for our sons to come home for Thanksgiving, and using up as much as I possibly can. It has also been a week of purchasing mostly on sale items and hoping other items go on sale very soon.

I have also been stocking up for the winter and Harvey has been trying to get the yard ready for the cold season. Still lots to do though.

Today I used up some of the pumpkin puree from last year (will be using more up this coming week baking pies). I tried to make something that was a treat in Harvey's family when he was growing up. 

I made Plachinda/Blachenta (German Pumpkin Turnovers) for the very first time. They are not perfect, but I plan on trying another recipe that uses grated raw pumpkin next time. 

We shall see if they pass the taste test after supper tonight.

Everybody have a wonderful evening. 

God bless.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Frugal Friday


Wow it is the end of September, and since we have been home for a bit I have been trying to be as frugal as possible so as to save cash for our next cruise. Yes, there will be another one. Just have to find the Greek Island cruise we would love to take and it must be more than 7 days considering how much it costs to fly there. 

So my frugal 5 for this week are as follows.

1.  Went shopping a bit early in the week to take advantage of some great sales. My grocery bill says that I saved $45.00, which is the best I have done in a very long time.

2.  Windows open to cool off the house so no air conditioning or heat so far. Mind you it was pretty chilly in the house this morning. I wrapped up though and managed quite well.

3.  Continuing with walking for free exercise. I will be looking on YouTube for some new chair exercises until I get some muscle built up.

4.  We were going to go out for brunch on Sunday, but our usual place was packed. So we came home and Harvey made us a lovely brunch for a fraction of the price. 

5.  Reading a free book on my ereader. 

6.  Sending in my spending so as to get points and I have actually gotten quite a few surveys done as well for extra points. Saving those points until something strikes my fancy. 

Costs are rising, and keeping within budgets is probably something those of us that live in smaller rural cities are struggling with. 

Being mindful of how we are spending is one way to fight against these rising costs. Choosing what we are willing to spend on is why we are frugal and thrifty. I figure the best way to make it through any financial dealings is playing a game. The game being called, "How Low Can We Go". 

Right now I did not get asked to help with the Bible Study at the church this fall. At first I felt like a used tissue, just thrown to the side after my supposed "usefulness" was done. Now I am thinking I will be saving on gas, wear/tear on my vehicle, and manage to get more done around the house. I can always find a Bible Study to follow online, and probably something free as well. My first step in the "How Low Can We Go" game.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.
God bless.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Thrifty Thursday


Oh my it is only a few days before the end of the month!! Time is passing by so quickly. Some of our trees are almost done losing their leaves. Strange that it happened so very early. The garden is all harvested as well. Guess it will be time to start clearing things out of the pots and baskets. I do plan on emptying a few this weekend, and getting some leaves raked up as well. This time of year our garbage gets filled so quickly with garden debris. I do need to space the cleaning up over a number of weeks.

So what thrifty things have I been doing this week?

I went shopping a few days earlier than I had planned, there were lots of pantry items and a couple of meat items that were on sale. No turkey though so I will be heading out to purchase those on sale this week. Thinking I might get two as the on sale price has gone up since Easter. Bone in ham is also on sale so I will pick up one of those early next week or perhaps on Saturday. Judicial use of our funds is a must now as prices keep rising.

I have also baked a loaf of bread twice this week, much less cost than purchasing it in the stores. 

Baked our own snacks as well. I made a cake, some chocolate unbaked cookies and will be making chocolate chip cookies tonight after supper. 

I managed to find enough yarn in my stash to at least start the next knitted blanket (actually have done so). I may have to purchase one more ball of a cream colour so as to make this blanket long enough for a gentleman. I think I saw a partial ball in my stash...Just not sure if it is the right thickness. Need to check that out.

Saved plastic bags to use for kitty litter patrol when youngest DS brings our grand cat home.

So that's about all I can think of right now. Off to visit you all as I missed doing so yesterday.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023


 We almost didn't get to visit Ketchikan on this cruise. In fact some of the bigger ships were unable to dock.

Remember that storm I mentioned yesterday which sent the ship a rocking and a rolling. It was pretty bad the winds were high and the bigger ships had no easy or safe way to dock.

By the time we arrived at the mouth of the harbour the winds and waves had dropped a bit. Our captain said he would give it a try if the harbour master okayed the docking. We waited with bated breath until we were given the okay. It did take much longer to dock, but at least we got to see what we could of Ketchikan.

Many of the excursions were canceled because of the weather. Ours wasn't, but part of it was. We were supposed to get a tour of the historical part of the town, but someone had set the American Legion on fire (arson) and that road was shut down. They did catch the person who did it though so that is a very good thing. 

The rain was pelting down in the township itself so we were glad that our excursion was happening at all.

We boarded the trolley and set off for the Saxman Tribal Center to see the totems. 

This was the totem of the first chief to live in this area. They are made of redwood and we learned something new. These totems rot from the inside out so after about 200 years become very unstable and need to be removed. Also learned that the black paint was made by women chewing a certain type of seed (can't remember what now, I should have wrote it down) and spitting out the juice. Now as are guide says the paint is bought at the nearest hardware store.

While we were unable to go into the carving area we at least got to look in some windows. The older gentleman on the right is the Master Carver. He no longer does much carving, but rather watches over and leads others through the process.

The younger man kind of between the two figures in front is a young Haida carver who was working on a special order for a place in the United States. 

Haida carvers, carve the whole pole, while the Tlingit carvers (Saxman Village) only carve what they need to on the poles which is why you will see some are very bare.

There was even a canoe in the carving house for us to see. What excellent workmanship.

We then traveled a few meters to the totem circle in front of the Clan House. I just got a few of the totems, but there were many more.

Must look at Harvey's camera to see if he got the one of Abraham Lincoln. The carvers gave Lincoln short legs so that he would look more like them.

In the background of the last picture you can just make out the Clan House. As we stood out front with our guide we were told that in the early days, since the men would be out hunting, or fishing, leaving the women and children alone, the door was made so only one could enter at a time. It was also not very tall. This enabled the women to defend the Clan House against attackers. 

Here we are grouped together to hear on of three stories the Tlingit have about how the Sun came to be in the sky and how Raven became black.

We then headed back to the ship. We did get a little bit of a walk around the dock area as the rain had let up just a bit. Slight drizzle instead of a constant soaking.

Our lovely cruise would end in another day and a half. This time our window opened on the ocean so not much to see, and the weather was slightly topsy turvy so us old people had a bit of trouble walking around. 

Many a night through the cruise saw us playing crib in the games room, or sitting and listening to music, or watching a movie in the theater. 

Such a lovely, relaxing trip.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Glacier Bay


Our first sighting of a glacier that reached the water. We have been on the Columbia Icefields in Canada numerous times, but those do not reach water. 

This was the Margerie Glacier. 

As we got closer it got even more astounding. We even got to see it calf, but of course by the time I got my camera up to take a photo that was all over. 

We did get to see all the small icebergs the calving produced though.

Now there was another smaller ship closer to the glacier and I tried to get a picture so you can compare the size of the ice thickness.

The ice sheet was massive.

Next we passed by the second glacier of our visit the Lamplugh Glacier. We also passed this on our way out of Glacier Bay and the National Park.

The last glacier we passed was the John Hopkins Glacier. Of course we needed to get a picture of the two of us with the Glacier in behind. A kind young lady from Nova Scotia took our photo and we returned the gift.

It was actually the smallest of the three glaciers we saw.

As I said we passed the Lamplugh Glacier as we left the Bay and I managed to see something floating on the ice that calving glaciers left.

Enlarge the photo and you will see a seal!! The first wildlife other than birds and the spouting of the whales. We watched him or her slip into the water and then climb back out on the ice floe. 

As we left the bay we were surprised by these.

Orcas frolicking by the ship. I was lucky to catch these two. We learned from the Rangers that the seal population was declining and they think it is because there are many more Killer Whales in the bay. 

To our surprise as we rounded the end of the bay we saw these as well.

Mountain goats traversing the steep cliffs. I did not take this picture Yan did and I asked him if he would kindly email me a copy as I really was not quick enough with the camera.

That night we ended up have a windy, rocky ride. More about that the next time.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Menu Monday


That time of the week once again.


Leftover stuffed peppers and I will serve them with corn niblets.


Leftover roast beef made into Broccoli and beef. Served over rice.


Spaghetti and meat sauce. I plan on pulling some tomato sauce made last year from the freezer downstairs. Making a salad to go with this.


Leftovers from Tuesday


Salmon Casserole and the leftover salad.


We will make the rather large brisket on the smoker. Cutting up the leftovers to send some home with the DS's after Thanksgiving.


Baked Spaghetti, along with another salad. Got to use up the salad stuff before I purchase more.

Trying very hard to use what we have and stretch it as far as possible. 

I am so looking forward to the DS's coming home for even a short visit. Hoping they help with some of the heavier yard work. 

Everybody have a wonderful day and evening.

God bless.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Skagway Continued

We were not as lucky this time around to be the only two on this excursion. Oh well, we still had a great time. Took the railway up to White Pass, entering Canada but not getting off the train. Sort of a loop. 

 This small graveyard holds the bodies of many gold seekers and a few of those that died making the railway.  The small rectangles at the top are some of the windows on the other side of the railcar we were traveling in. Yours truly is not tech savvy enough to get rid of them.

As we traveled up the mountain there were lots of rivers, and waterfalls. Here are just a few of them.

Guess I didn't get a very good picture of Bridal Veil Falls, but the train seemed to be moving very quickly on the way back to Skagway.

This is a replica of the Northwest Mounted Police station. Here is where they would make sure that the gold seekers had the necessary supplies for the journey to the gold fields. There were so many deaths from starvation that our Northwest Mounted told the gold seekers they needed 1 ton of supplies in order to continue to the gold fields. That necessitated many trips up the pass as those looking for riches could not carry all that in one go. 

This is the only portion of the original path that is left. 

See that small thin line. That was the first White Pass trail. It was only about 2 feet wide and people would be traveling both ways on it. I bet the travelers were very happy when the railway was built.

I didn't get a picture of Dead Horse Gulch. Since most gold seekers were city people, they did not know how to treat their livestock (horses, donkeys) and many died of starvation, or overwork when they reached one area of the pass.

One of the old wooden trestles that have more or less fallen apart over the years.

Look closely at this photo. I didn't really get the black cross that marks the place where two workers on the railroad lost their lives, but that large flat rock is what came down after blasting and killed them.

By the time we got back to Skagway, the rain was coming down in buckets, so we headed back to the ship. 

Everybody have a wonderful evening. 
God bless.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

On To Skagway


Heading into Skagway port. It always amazed me how these large ships slipped into the dock so easily. However we will hit a day that getting into port was much more convoluted and we almost had to miss our visit.

Our excursion here was riding the train to the White Pass. So at least this time we managed to miss a bit of the rain. 

However, we did visit the main drag (if one can call it that) walking through the rain.

Pretty much the first thing we saw after getting off the pier. The railroad tracks run through this part of the city.

We walked through an area that had some of the first buildings in Skagway, this included some of the "cribs" that the ladies of the night worked in. We found out that this could in fact be a very dangerous job as many were found drowned in the water. I didn't get any pictures of these, but think of very small shacks with 5 or six small beds where the women plied their trade.

The above pictures however were of one of the "proper" families homes. The first shows the cabin that was their first home. The second shows their home after a few years. 

Just one of the interesting old buildings that lined the street. Really there was only one main street that showed the history of Skagway. 

An old steam engine and what Harvey called a borer. After our train ride I knew exactly what that borer was used for.

One of the newer engines that travel the rail.

To be continued tomorrow as I have lots of photo's of our trip up to White Pass.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Frugal Friday

 A move back to regularly scheduled posts. Now that we are home once again, back to frugal living.

So what are my frugal 5 or so for this week.

1.  Harvey removed the sod, leveled the area, put down some fabric to keep weeds to a minimum, got some sand from a beach near us (with permission) and laid some brick behind our garage shelter. Saved a bundle doing it ourselves.

2.  Dehydrated the remainder of the sage, basil and thyme. I will probably be dehydrating more oregano next week. 

3.  Using up leftovers in the freezer to make meals this week. Today I am making soup stock. This will give us even more meals later on.

4.  No air conditioning the past few days as it has been pretty chilly out.

5.  Dried all clothing on the lines outside. 

6.  Added $45.00 to my savings envelope. I still have to do our change.

7.  Used up some pumpkin from last year to make muffins and a pie. Will be using up more tomorrow trying to make Plachentta (probably spelled that wrong). One of Harvey's favourite things that his mother made.

So what frugal past times have all of you been up to?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Continuation of Juneau Visit


This is Jimmy our tour guide to gold panning in Juneau. He was a hoot.

Surprisingly we were the only two on this excursion so Jimmy gave us the royal treatment. 

He first took us on a tour of some of the city. We got to see the Capital Buildings and he told us about how the marble columns got to Juneau. Then it was on to the Governors mansion. Wow what a large building. 

We were then off to the gold panning area. At first he wanted us to try to find gold in this river/stream.

It was pretty muddy on the slope to get down, so taking pity on me had us work the troughs instead. 

He filled our pans with sand and showed us how to clear off the debris and reach the sands that contained the gold and gold dust. Then how to get rid of the sand and keep the gold in the pan. 

I mostly found small flakes of gold, but Harvey found a very small gold nugget. We got to keep all that we found, and managed to do many washings before it was time to leave.

We got back into the tour bus and Jimmy decided he would take us to his bosses Salmon Bake..... Not a part of the tour we signed up for. 

We traveled to the outskirts of Juneau and learned that his boss salted the areas with gold so that people could find something to remember their gold panning. 

At the Salmon Bake we had an adult beverage, some salmon, salad, and veggies. Then we walked around the area. It was right near an old abandoned underground gold mine.

There was also a lovely waterfall and stream on the property.

The stream was not quite as lovely as there were many salmon that had finished spawning and were dead or very close to being dead.

Then it was back to the ship with full bellies and the pure joy of having met Jimmy. He was a hoot.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Day Three Juneau

 I got caught up on getting the garden in and some of the pumpkin puree used up from the freezer.... My goodness things seem to happen in bunches. Tomatoes are in now, and I am still trying to use up some of the pumpkin from last year. Muffins and pie made, next on the list is something my MIL used to make all the time. We shall see if I can replicate it.

At about 11 in the morning we arrived in Juneau. Lots of lovely sights along the way. Earlier in the morning the Canadian navigators left the ship via a small Canadian cutter. Now our US captain and navigators take over. 

As we entered Juneau harbour we saw a Disney Cruiseline boat. Man it was big.

Looking up into the mountains and hills surrounding the harbour we saw the gondola/lift that was one of the cruise excursions.

Not an excursion I would enjoy as I am terrified of heights.

Lots of fishing trawlers in the harbour as well. I got a picture of this one as they were moored very close to our ship.

We also sighted our first of the wildlife up here.

Lots of Ravens, who were not n the least worried about us standing and watching them. 

A small map of Juneau greeted us on shore along with this lovely totem pole.

LOL, every time I would try and take a picture these men would move in front.... So I am going with it. Hope they don't mind being on my blog!!

Our excursion here was Panning for Gold and it turned out we were the only two on this excursion. I need to do a blog post all on it's own as this was the best thing to have happened.

Enough for today I will continue later this week starting with gold panning and Jimmy our tour guide for this adventure.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Menu Plan Monday

 Back to regularly scheduled posts today. 


Leftover chili on pasta. Serving this with cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes.


Leftover chicken made into a casserole. Depending on how many veggies I can add to the casserole, I may serve a side of mixed veggies as well.


Leftover ham from the freezer made into a casserole. 


Leftovers from Tuesday.


Soup and sandwiches. I will make chicken stock then turn some of that into Chicken Vegetable Noodle Soup, served with either salmon salad sandwiches, or grilled cheese.


Leftovers from Wednesday.


Roast Beef, roasted potatoes, roasted carrots, and probably a coleslaw to use up the remaining cabbage. This could end up being a Brisket meal however so stay tuned.

Lunches will be leftovers from meals or a sandwich.

Breakfasts will be yogurt, cereal or toast. 

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

What Is Considered Day Two

 Well we made it through the first night, no sickness, no rough seas and while I did not have the greatest of sleeps, Harvey did.

Our first day of cruising. Lots of water and coastline, still more finding our way around the ship. We attended a talk on the excursions that we could take, which was a wonderful introduction. I also went and found out the times our excursions were meeting in the various ports of call. Reminder...If you are told to download an app before boarding do so. It turns out that I couldn't get WiFi because I didn't. 

Now picture heavy post.... Or at least some pictures of open water, and us discovering more of the ship.

Our first stop of the day was the theater, where we got a glimpse of the excursions we had chosen. Such a lovely and comfortable place. We visited a few times in the evening to catch a concert pianist, a comedian and a dance troop. This however was our first introduction.

Next we traveled up to the Lido deck.

It was our favourite place to watch for whales. While we saw lots of spouts we were unlucky enough not to get any pictures of breeching whales. Harvey saw one breech twice while we were cruising back but wasn't fast enough with the camera. For such big animals they are exceedingly quick.

This is what they called the Atrium. It went up for two floors on the ship and was always well lighted.

This is the Ocean Bar. We met a lovely older gentleman here who sat with us a few days. Yan had just lost his partner a few months before and was taking the cruise they had planned together. This was perhaps one of our most liked places to have an adult beverage or two before heading to the dining room another floor up.

I am so glad that we discovered the lower promenade deck. Now I knew where to take my early morning walks.

Most of my remaining photos are of open water and not at all interesting for this day. I doubt very much if anyone really wants to look at distant shores or the wake of the ship.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.