Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Vacation Part 2 - Seattle to Ketchican (plus some other stuff)!

Hi All!

Well, I finally got my pictures onto blogger - one darn picture at a time!

Here is a continuation of the vacation story starting at the Seattle Airport.

Look! I saw an Orca up close and personal!

Hubby saw the Orca too!
This particular Orca was outside a shop in the Sea-Tac airport. We got there with loads of time to spare so . . . we messed around a bit!

Speaking of messing around - look who emerged from my suitcase while we were waiting! T.O.D.D.! He didn't end up saying too much but he was certainly hamming it up for the camera!

He chased an old woman out of this seat at the airport just because he could! Luckily, there were lots of empty seats - there were only about 50 people on our plane to Ketchican.

Hubby and I insisted that if T.O.D.D. was going to sit in a seat he had to buckle up and read the emergency procedure card. I am not sure if he was happy about that and waving to us or what . . .

Once that "fasten seatbelt" sign blipped off T.O.D.D. had a field day. We looked away and he literally dove into our M&M box and ate them all!

When he found out that he could get a snack and a soda he managed to ask for these from the flight attendant. Oddly enough, she didn't even blink at having an alien ask her for a Jones soda.

T.O.D.D. spent a lot of time looking out the window. Apparently, they don't have mountains or snow where he is from.

I managed to look out myself. It is beautiful country which isn't done justice by my pictures. Snow peaked mountains were everywhere. I couldn't help but think what the first people to explore this land thought when they struggled to the top of that first mountain only to see these as far as the eye can see!

The fog among the mountains intrigued me - Hubby said it looked like water from the plane. It sort of does.

Here is a picture of our plane at the Ketchikan airport. Yes, it was a jet. No, it wasn't a little prop-jobber. We saw larger cargo planes take off from the airport here. It was impressive when you consider the size of the airport!

Here are ALL the hangars at the airport. Apparently, jets don't stay too long!

The airport consisted of ONE gate, a snack bar/bar, a small gift shop and a pair of restrooms. Jay and I were tickled by how tiny the place was. At least you never have to worry about which gate you are leaving from!

Okay - this picture - I don't remember what it is of. I don't even know if it was really taken in Ketchikan so . . . let's just move on!

We had to cross this channel on a ferry. This is the dry dock and the water plane airport (apparently!) right next to the ferry building on the other side.

Here is the ferry! We walked on with all our luggage. It was fun when an oil tanker got on - the whole ferry tilted!

From the ferry, we took a taxi to our hotel for the night. We were given a warm welcome as you can see below!

Actually, this is one of the totem poles out front of the hotel. I just love that big tongue!

Here is a view of all of the totem poles. They are pretty neat.

This is the entrance to our hotel - the Cape Fox Lodge. Very nice!

Once we got to the hotel and got all of our stuff into the room we decided that we were a bit hungry. After polling a panel of locals, we ended up at Annabelle's. We chatted with the server and decided to take a shot at his favorite - crab cake sandwiches. They were WONDERFUL! For dessert I had peanut butter pie. Very, very yummy! I hope that if we ever end up in Ketchikan again, we will get a chance to eat at Annabelle's.
As you can see, T.O.D.D. went with us. He got a bit of crab cake (his tiny little tummy doesn't hold too much, thank goodness) and some of Hubby's beer. He was a happy alien!
After Annabelle's we did a bit of shopping. I found a very neat bead shop which I had seen on a previous trip but which had moved leading to disappointment before we found it again which led to happiness. I bought three Alaskan themed beads for some bookmarks and T.O.D.D. enjoyed looking at beads.
He really didn't want to leave but Hubby was getting restless!
Our next stop was a fabulous bookstore called Parnassus. In the bookstore I met Maggie. She had great suggestions for books and also agreed to have her picture taken with T.O.D.D.

Maggie decided to match T.O.D.D. scowl for scowl to honor the fact that he is a demon.
I will certainly be visiting this bookstore again if we get to Ketchikan again!
Hubby and I strolled through the entire town (okay, mostly the "touristy" section) and saw this at the waterfront.

Isn't it cute? They had several others - seashells and stuff - but this one really caught my fancy. It looked so good just hanging on the top of the post! It was tough to get a halfway decent picture because of the shadows being cast by nearby buildings but I think I did okay!

Speaking of the waterfront.

This picture is of the creek which runs literally under Creek Street - a boardwalk supported by tall stilts. All day we walked back and forth and lots of people were crowded around this spot preventing me from taking a picture. Later in the evening I finally got my chance!

From looking at this place would you think it had the best burgers and some of the best food in town? Well, apparently, it does. Hubby and I decided to eat here for dinner but, when we arrived there at 7:15 P.M. we learned that it closed at 7:00! Rats! Another "next time" place.
Let me stop for a moment to talk about the whole "closed at 7:00" thing. Since the touristy areas of Ketchikan are primarily for the ships which come into port and they leave around 7:00, the entire town rolls up the sidewalks at 7:00! We were walking around trying to find a different place to eat - after walking through the tunnel to find out that Burger Queen was closed - and found that the town was pretty much shut down. There were a few places open though.
We ended up at the Pioneer Diner - another local hangout. The food was good and the service was fun. Our waitress was named Lou and she was a real character. She did win my heart by leaving me an entire pitcher of ice water! The diner is the kind of place where old men gather to solve the world's problems. I like those places!

More waterfront. Such neat scenery!

Meet Leanne (I hope I spelled that right!), T.O.D.D.'s new friend. Leanne works in a shop where I bought two CDs of local Ketchikan music. She was kind enough to talk to me about the various CDs and groups that were represented by the CDs. So far I have listened to one (Partial to Blue by David Reynolds) which I really like. The other I am still waiting to listen to during my drive to work sometime soon.
Okay - I am finished for this post. Have you had enough pictures yet?
Voice Update: See Wednesday's post for the update.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Blogger Problems

Hi All!

Okay, I had planned to share more pictures from the vacation with you but, Blogger seems to have different ideas! No matter what I try, I can't get the pictures I want on the darn post.

Meanwhile, Skor is sitting on the desk trying to get into as much trouble as possible. I put the iPod away so the earbuds are out of danger and he immediately moved on to Hubby's nametag from the NSDA symposium. This cat can certainly chew!

Oops - he found the iPod! Time to move it again! Skor is just being darn ornery today! And I was so pleased that he let me sleep until 6:15 - when Hubby gets up for work! That will teach me to be excited by his "progress."

Now it is the rubberbands Hubby has on the desk - and even the stapler. Crazy cat!

Yesterday I headed to Fort Worth to attend a Deaf church service with my friends from ASL. We met three Deaf friends and then, after the service, we went to Logan's Roadhouse for lunch. This was after getting lost and losing half of our people en route to have them catch up a while later at the restaurant.

It is always fun to go out with Deaf friends. Having to "speak" in ASL is a challenge - especially for me when I haven't done any signing for at least two weeks!

On Saturday, there was a meeting of the North Texas SD Support Group. We met in a new location this time - a church. The church was big and beautiful. They also provided water and coffee - a pleasant surprise!

The support group meeting went well. There was a total of 15 people there including myself and the speaker. The speaker was Dr. Mau, an ENT from the UT Southwestern Medical Center. He does a lot of work (Botox injections) with SD patients and came to speak about what he does and his background, etc. He spoke (basically answering questions) for almost two hours!

After Dr. Mau left we did some organizational kinds of things and had refreshments. Overall, a nice meeting! I am thrilled it went so well considering my co-leader, Lori, was out of town and I was "alone!"

I guess that is all I have for today . . . oh, my! What is that post right before this?

Oh - it is T.O.D.D. Hubby and I discovered him in our luggage during our recent trip. It took a while but we figured out that he had decided to live with us. Interesting, huh?

He introduced himself to us as "The Outlandishly Destructive Demon." Let's hope he doesn't start destroying our house! Hopefully we will learn more about him as time goes on. He did end up in a bunch of our Alaskan pictures though so you will see him some more!

Have a fabulous Monday!


Voice Update: Doing okay but not as well as I would like. I am working on getting back into the exercise/massage routine!

ME T.O.D.D. !





Saturday, June 27, 2009

Vacation Recap - Part 1: Seattle

Hi All!

As I am sure you are aware if you are a regular reader of my blog (I think there are a few of you out there!), I recently spent two weeks on a cruise to Alaska. Well, in all honestly, Hubby and I really spent twelve days ON the cruise and two days trying to catch up with the ship!

Why, you might ask? Well . . . you see there was a storm in Dallas on the morning we were flying out to catch the ship in Seattle. When I say storm, I really mean "huge, amazingly violent. seemingly never-ending downpour spiked with lightening and loud rolls of thunder." This storm started early in the morning. We had such "fun" getting out luggage out of the car and into the shuttle bus in the downpour. NOT!

Anyway, the storm caused the airport to be closed for SIX hours.

Our original flight was supposed to get us into Seattle three hours BEFORE the ship left. Add a six hour delay and we got to Seattle three hours AFTER the ship left. Let's just say we were not exactly "happy campers!"

We decided that since the cruise was 14 days, it was worth it to try to catch the ship at the first port - Ketchikan, Alaska. The Alaskan Airline people were very, very nice as they helped us book a flight up there for the following morning (we couldn't get our act together to make the last flight of the day which left 20 minutes from the time we found Alaskan Airlines!).

A flight the next morning meant we got to find a hotel for the evening in Seattle. Our priority in the search wasn't comfort or price - it was who had an airport shuttle to get us first to the hotel and then back to the airport the next morning. After finding a hotel, our next priority was food.
We looked through a book of menus at the hotel and took the hotel shuttle to Dave's Diner.

It was a neat little place. It was set up like a diner along Route 66 and had all kinds of neat Route 66 paraphernalia on the walls. The menu featured a variety of food, much of it "home style." Hubby chose a hamburger - which he pronounced to be "good" - and a mircrobrew of some kind.

I went a different way since I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE meatloaf and never make it at home because Hubby doesn't like it at all. The meatloaf was good - very home style and yummy.

In a corner near the cashier there was a little display of shirts, hats, and tote bags for sale. We briefly considered purchasing a shirt for Hubby's friend Dave.

For the trip home, Hubby decided that we could walk back to the hotel since the shuttle ride took all of about five minutes. While leaving I snapped a picture of Dave's Diner. It has a vintage car out front. Unfortunately, the picture isn't that super because of the combo of the dark night and the neon sign. Oh well - I never claimed to be a good photographer!
That is how we spent the first night of our vacation - which we were supposed to be spending on the cruise ship! Luckily, Hubby decided to try (with the emphasis on TRY) to view this as an adventure and NOT a disaster. It helped to keep things a little less stressed for both of us!
I will continue with vacation stuff tomorrow - I hope I don't bore you too badly!
I was sad to realize that I missed meeting up with Asthmagirl while I was in Seattle. We were going to try to meet up when we returned from the cruise but things were too crazy and so I totally forgot (sorry!)
In other news: I am getting ready for a Spasmodic Dysphonia Support Group meeting today. I hope that a bunch of people show up. Dr. Mau from the UT Southwestern Medical Center is coming to speak. He is a doctor who does Botox injections for people with SD. My co-leader, Lori, is out of town due to the fact that her mother isn't doing well (she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer) so I am on my own! **Gulp!** Tomorrow or Monday I will fill you in on how it went!
Also, I just found out that L, the receptionist/secretary at my speech therapist's office has to have surgery next week. Apparently, they found new cancerous tumors which they are going to remove. Not good. I will be going in to the office to help cover for her while she is out.
What a week!
Voice Update: Well, it is doing pretty darn well considering that I skipped two weeks of massage and didn't do a whole lot of exercises either. I am not yet back on the "band wagon" so to speak. Hopefully once my schedule returns to normal I will get it all together.

Friday, June 26, 2009

We're Home!

Hi All!

We are back in Texas.

My brain in mush because Skor and Miss Cleo kept coming in to see if I was really there last night. That didn't lead to much good sleep! Now, as I try to work on the computer getting things taken care of from the two weeks we were gone, Skor keeps popping in (and on the keyboard) to demand some attention. He is adorable, I know, but REALLY!

I think I will have to get the pictures on the computer tomorrow to show you some. Today I think I just might stop and head back to bed for a nap. Poor Hubby headed off to work this morning. Isn't he a good one?

It is hot in Texas. We got home at about 11 and it was still 93 degrees (according to the car thermometer)! Quite a change from Alaskan weather!

I hope everyone is doing okay and didn't take the deaths of Ed McMahon (forgive me if I misspelled the name), Farrah Faucet (again with the spelling!), and Michael Jackson too hard. May they all rest in peace!


Voice Update: Doing pretty well but needs some major work. Now that I am home it will be back to the grind! I remembered the other C for my next podcast - characteristics! I will talk about the characteristics of the different types of SD. Fun, fun!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just in Juneau . . . Now at Sea!

Hi All!

Well, we are sailing along right now in the middle of the ocean. It is so peaceful to watch the vast stretch of water. Of course, then I think about all of the things which lie below the surface and it boggles the mind - whales, sharks, fish . . . all just below the surface. All around us but out of sight. Amazing!

Yesterday we were at Juneau. The weather was a bit cloudy and cool but it didn't start raining until we went back to the ship this time around. Hubby and I walked all over Juneau and I even stopped into a few shops. We didn't buy much - Hubby got an Alaska decal which he is going to back with magnet to put on his car. Actually, he bought two since he got one and then found one that he liked even better! I don't think that I bought anything.

The city of Juneau is so beautiful with the colorful shops and the green mountains in the background. It must be so wonderful to live there!

Last night the steward came into our room and closed the porthole. Hubby and I assumed that it was because the weather was getting rough. However, it didn't seem that rough. In fact, it only rained a bit. So we were in the dark for nothing! And let me tell you - it IS dark with the porthole closed!

We hoped that this morning the porthole would be opened but so far no such luck! We had to sit out in a lounger by the pool to soak up some sunshine. It is a beautiful, sunny day right now. It is a bit chilly - of course! - but not enough that I was cold while basking in the warm sunshine. Talk about luxury! Being in the middle of the ocean on the way back from Alaska and basking in the sunshine around the pool. Hubby and I did refuse the offer of a man who wanted us to join him in the hot tub though. We also didn't join the two young girls in the swimming pool. There is a limit to what we will do in the chilly air!

I am reading a book that I picked up in the library here. They have a wonderful library since the boat often does long trips and also does the transatlantic voyaged. They also have a section for exchanging the paperback books you brought with you. I have donated all three of the books I brought with me and picked up What Do You Say to a Naked Elf? by Cheryl Sterling.

The title was so intriguing that I couldn't pass it up!

I am not done reading yet but I will let you know how it is when I am! It certainly caused a stir in the dining room when Hubby and I were eating lunch and I put it on the table next to me. All of the women (and a number of the men) all wanted to know just what you should say to a naked elf. Unfortunately, I haven't found out the answer yet!

Tomorrow we will be in Victoria, British Columbia. It is a beautiful place which we have been to before but we are a little disappointed at the short amount of time we will have in the city. We will dock around 5:00 P.M. and then leave around 11:00P.M. Not the best time to really get a good look at the place, now is it?

Oh well! I guess I shouldn't complain! After all, I am on an Alaskan cruise!

I just heard from our cat sitter that the kitties are doing well. The little buggers are still hiding from her and she feels a bit snubbed but they haven't wrecked the house so I guess it is all for the best!

Have a fabulous day1


Voice Update: Still doing well - a bit hard going when I have to talk across the diner table but my companions are very understanding. I will be taking some information to them tonight at dinner so that they can read up a little on SD. You know my mission - to spread the word about SD! I am also thinking about new ideas for my next podcast - the letter c. I have the words confusing, confidence, and . . . rats! I just forgot the third and it was the best! I guess I will have to think some more about it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hooray for Hoonah!

Hi All!

Checking in once more from Alaska! It has been a fun trip so far and today was no exception. Today, the ship is anchored outside of Icy Strait Point which is a totally tourist trap developed by the city/town of Hoonah to entertain cruise ship people.

The main venue, which hold the shops, was once a cannery for Salmon (I think but I am not totally sure what they canned there). There are several shops as well as a museum about the cannery on the site. There are three restaurants which have the requisite fish and chips and there are some thing like 12 tours which depart from the area. Another HUGE attraction is the zip line which is the world's longest (can that be right?). While Hubby and I didn't actually do the zip line, we did get to watch others as the sailed past. Everyone I have talked to who has done it says it is wonderful!

Hubby and I, having been to the tourist shops before, decided to walk into the city/town of Hoonah. This is about a two mile walk or so. The walk takes you right along the shore where you can see sea life (we did see what we think was a sea lion or seal) and the forest where you can see eagles and ravens (we saw MANY ravens and several eagles). Once you make it into the city there isn't a lot to see but it is a nice little place and the people are very friendly.

We stopped in one store and purchased some sea glass gathered and prepared by the owner's 19 year old son who has Downs Syndrome. The sea glass endeavor is his way of earning money to take care of himself. Apparently, he is pretty successful with it.

For lunch we stopped at The Galley where we tried out the halibut poppers. These were basically halibut egg rolls (well, sort of - with no Asian flavors involved but they wouldn't tell us the secret of what exactly was in the sauce). They were scrumptious! The Galley also makes halibut pizza - I know that sounds totally gross but they had samples out and the stuff was wonderful! Yum yum! The owner of the place said that he is trying to get the halibut pizza (or flat bread melts to be specific) and the halibut poppers into the frozen food market. I know I will be looking for them!

The only down side to the day is that it did rain a little while we were walking. Most of the heavy rain happened while we were feasting on Halibut Poppers but we did get a bit "damp" by the time we got back to the touristy area. We were also happy to see the bathrooms by the time we got there!

Let's see. We stopped in Kodiak either yesterday or the day before (the days all run together when you don't have to be anywhere!). I met with my friend, Jeff, whom I had met last year during our stop in Kodiak. He makes salmon leather. We have been emailing about him making some bookmarks out of the salmon leather and he had four made up to show me. I will certainly have to let you see pictures when I get back home. Even Hubby was impressed with them. I bought three of the four he had made (two for me and one for one of the women we eat dinner with). I really, really like them.

I think that is all I have time for today. I hope to get another update in here soon - I know I haven't been very regular in my postings but vacations are tough!


Voice Update: My voice is doing well despite the fact that I am not being very kind to it. I am doing my exercises but have really fallen down on the whole massage. I guess when I get home I will have to get back into the routine!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Hi All!

The ship has now pulled away fro the dock in Valdez, Alaska. It is drizzling a bit but nothing major. Hubby and I spent the morning touring Valdez. We got a walking map and did all of it. This was an accomplishment because it was trying to rain the entire time we were walking. Luckily, we didn't get too wet!

I stopped at a neat little glass shop called The Glass Mermaid. It is a glass studio and shop and today was the first day it was open! Yeah! I HAD to buy something so I bought a neat little bed. Hubby now says that I need to stop buying beads and find a way to sell some to make up the cost. Who knows, maybe people will start buying my bookmarks!

Anyway, I also stopped into the Magpie Bakery for a cupcake (very good and definitely home made!) as a snack. All of the people in Valdez were very friendly. A nice little (with the emphasis on little) place to visit.

When we got back to the ship we had lunch (of course - the days are always centered on eating when you are on a cruise!) and then headed up to the library for some reading time. When we looked out of the windows of the library we saw the the rain had finally broken through and it was raining quite nicely! We felt good knowing that we were safe inside reading our books.

Did I tell you that Hubby is reading a book I got him for Christmas? I am pretty shocked myself but he is determined to finish the book by the end of the cruise! He is doing well as he is more than half way through. Unfortunately, the remaining two chapters are REALLY long while the first 10 were pretty short. I know he can do it!

Personally, I am on the third of my three cruise books. I have already finished two and donated them to the library paperback trading library. I hope to pick up a book or two from that library to read for the rest of the cruise and the trip home.

Right now I am sitting near the window in the internet cafe and watching icebergs go by - quite neat! I think I saw a sea lion also but it was pretty far away - I am on the 9th floor . I am currently watching to see what else I can see.

Well, I think I had better get this posted and then head to the room to pick up Hubby for dinner. We wouldn't want to miss that!

I hope all of you are having a good week and I will try to post again soon. Tomorrow we are headed to Juneau and will be taking a tour to Anchorage. It will be our first time to Anchorage so we are a little excited!


Voice Update: My voice is doing well but I am not being too good about my exercises. Bad me!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Hi All!

First of all - asthmagirl - I totally forgot that you live in Seattle! I guess my brain lost all ability to function after we missed the ship. We will have some time in Seattle after we get off of the ship on the 25th during the day but, I would think you would be working, right? Let me know and who knows, maybe we can meet up!

Okay - on with the narrative!

We spent the day today in Skagway, Alaska. We have been to Skagway three other times so there wasn't a whole lot that we haven't seen. True, there were some excursions that we could have taken (they are tours) but, we have pretty much spent all of our excursion money just getting to the ship in Ketchikan! Oh well!

Hubby and I woke up a bit later than normal and I didn't do my morning walk (which I did yesterday in shorts and a sweatshirt - it had everyone staring at me!) because we planned to walk all over town. And - we did! It was a pretty nice day and the sun even peeked out once in a while to let us know it was around. We headed to the back roads - not the main drag where everyone else was - and had fun looking at the scenery. There were a few shops that we stopped in and Hubby was toying with the idea of going on a ferry to Haines, Alaska until he found out that there were only two departure times - one which we had already missed and one which got us into the town too late! Rats!

I bought my third CD of the trip - much to Hubby's eye-rolling amusement! This one is a musical about the gold rush and it pretty much goes through all of the gold rush towns in Alaska. The music seems to be piano rags for the most part but, I won't really be able to tell you the full scoop until we get back home and I get to listen to the whole thing. I have my iPod here but no CD player so . . . it will have to wait!

What is that? The other two CDs? Well, the first is a CD by a Ketchikan native. I listened to the CD and decided to buy it. Then, later that night (the night Hubby and I spent in Ketchikan), we were walking past a bar and there was live music. We didn't stop in but the next day we learned that it was the same musician! We missed him!

The other CD is also a Ketchikan native. It is a bit of a risk for me since I haven't heard any of the music but the woman at the shop said it was really good and it was signed by the artist (and was 2 discs for the price of one) so how could I resist?

Anyway, after our morning trek around Skagway - and I do think we walked pretty much everywhere we possibly could - we headed back to the ship and had a nice lunch. Then it was to the library for a little reading (Hubby was even reading HIS book), a nap for me and some laundry (done by the wonderful Hubby!).

Later it was watching the end of The Dark Knight on television (we had seen the first half yesterday so we were happy to catch the end even though I think we missed a bit in the middle somewhere because the DA suddenly didn't have a face!) and heading to the internet cafe to "talk" to y'all.

Soon we will be heading to dinner - pizza tonight - and then who knows what we will be up too!

I hope you all had a great day!


Voice Update: Doing pretty well despite my very bad lack of dedication to my exercises and massage. My throat is a bit tighter than I would like it to be. I guess I need to get to work on that!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

We are on the Ship! Finally!

Hi All!

I know it has been a couple of days since my last post. However, you will be sure to understand when you "hear" what has been going on!

Hubby and I are on an Alaskan cruise. We were supposed to meet the ship in Seattle, Washington and leave into the vast Pacific to head for Alaska at about 4:00 P.M. Well . . . let's just say that things didn't go according to plan.

First, there was a HUGE storm in Dallas. This doesn't happen too often in June so we hadn't thought anything about it. For SIX hours, the airport was CLOSED! No planes going in or out for SIX HOURS! Needless to say, our flight was a bit delayed!

After they finally opened the airport we got on the plane and headed to Albuquerque, our first stop since you can't legally fly from Dallas to anywhere out of the surrounding states directly. We got to our first stop and continued to Seattle. We arrived in Seattle at about 6:30 P.M.

If you were reading closely, you may have noticed that the ship was leaving port at 4:00P.M. and that we didn't get to Seattle until 6:30 P.M. Yes, we missed the ship!

Because we have never had any problems in the past with our flights, we didn't buy any travel insurance and found out that if we wanted to catch the ship at the first stop, Ketchican, Alaska, we were totally responsible for the costs.

Well, we decided to suck it up and catch the ship. We stayed one night in Seattle in an adequate hotel and had a nice home style meal at Dave's Diner (after which we walked backt to the hotel - a nice evening walk of about a mile or so). The next morning (Friday) we headed to the airport (which we were now pretty familiar with by this time from the previous night's airport adventures!) and caught our flight on Alaskan Airways to Ketchican. The flight took a little over an hour and a half (and was EXPENSIVE!!) and took us to the bustling Ketchican International Airport. Which has ONE gate! Yes, you read that right. I will post pictures on a post when we get back home if I don't figure out how to do it from the ship.

We spent a day in Ketchican, a night at the Cape Fox Lodge, and met the ship at about 9:00 A.M. with all of our luggage. We were finally on the ship! YEAH!

This wasn't the "normal" method of catching a cruise but . . . it was certainly an adventure!

I now have my internet minutes on the ship so I can blog regularly to let you know what is going on. Right now, Hubby is sitting beside me "patiently waiting" until I am done so we can go back to the cabin and go to bed.

It has been an adventure already and is sure to continue to be interesting. There is a lot more to let you know and pictures to share.

I hope everyone is doing well and I will be checking your blogs tomorrow when I have more time and when I am more awake!


Voice Update: Surprisingly good considering the stress levels. I haven't been doing my massage because, quite honestly, I keep forgetting. I will have to have Hubby help me out with a few loving reminders!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hi All!

This past weekend I went to a graduation open house for a student I taught in fifth grade. Yes, I know I am getting old! She was in my very first fifth grade class and her brother was in my last fifth grade class. Weird, huh?

Anyway, I made her two bookmarks and made this nifty card to give them to her.

The bookmarks are hanging out the front of the card with the rest of the bookmard inside the card. I covered the rest of the bookmarks up with a page I had written a message on. I thought it was a clever way of giving her the bookmarks.

I did have a moment when I thought that she may not be going to SMU (Southern Methodist University). I panicked but then just wrote in the card that if she was going somewhere else, she should let me know so I can remake the bookmark for her.

Luckily, she is going to SMU!

I am happy to say that I wasn't dizzy at all yesterday! Maybe the whole dizzy routine was just a passing bug of some kind. My temperature is normal (for me that means 97.4) and my blood pressure is low but okay (my doctor and I had a nice chat about my low blood pressure situation the last time I went to see her). The dizziness was starting to worry me just a bit.

Luckily, I am feeling fine now. I did get some new, snazzy tennis shoes (Nike). They are white with silver and pink trim. Hubby says they make me look like Wonder Woman with the silver on them. I don't think they are that "flashy." I think they are pretty. Maybe tomorrow I will get a picture of them on the blog so you can tell me what you think.

After buying the shoes I headed to Lane Bryant to shop for clothes (remember the newly cleaned out closet!). Let me tell you, I tried on a LOT of clothes (even a swimsuit!). However, I walked out of the store with NOTHING! Hubby was so happy about the lack of spending. Me, however, I was a little sad. Everything fit but nothing looked right. **sigh!**

Oh well! At least I looked.

Today will be a busy day getting ready for our cruise. We are leaving tomorrow morning and that means a flurry of packing and stuff tonight! What fun! Last night the cat sitters came over to get the run-down. Hubby and I are hoping that Skor and Miss Cleo actually come out to see them while we are gond. Apparently, the last time these two cat sat (is that correct grammar?) neither cat came out to see them at all! And Skor is such an attention hound!

While the cat sitters were here last night Miss Cleo hid but Skor stayed out watching. He almost went up to one of the pair but, her hands smelled like vinegar from a science project she was doing while running a day camp so Skor didn't like that too much.

I spent some time last night "Skor proofing" the house. Putting away things which might "amuse" Skor while we are gone. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Well, I am headed to speech and to get a haircut today so I will leave you with one of my sunsets!

Have a super day!

Voice Update: I am still missing a lot of unvoiced consonants. This came on rather suddenly during the whole dizzy episode and doesn't seem to want to be worked out. Maybe the stress from being dizzy tightened things up?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Little of This . . .

Hi All!

Well, I think the dizziness is over (wait a minute as I find some wood to knock on!). Hopefully, I will be able to hit the mall to buy some new tennis shoes and to check out some clothes stores.

While I hardly ever feel like clothes shopping, I have the "bug" for some reason today. Probably because my closet and armoire are looking so clean and neat! We will see if I find anything interesting.

Oh - Skor wants to say "Hello!"

Notice the lack of flash? It isn't because it wasn't on - it is because Skor is actually blocking the flash with his head! What a crazy boy!

Well, Hubby and I didn't walk last night because of my dizzy spells but I thought you might enjoy this picture I took the last time we walked.

I like the view through the round part of the fence. What do you think? Hubby says that it is "different" which is man code for "I don't really like it but I think you do so . . . I won't say anything I think will make you mad!" What a guy!
Would anyone out there be interested in purchasing some bookmarks? I was talking to my mother last night on the phone and realized that they are slowly starting to take over my music/reading room. Plus, it would be nice to get a little extra income now that I am a "kept woman!" If you are interested, let me know and we will see what we can work out.
Hmmm. I think that is about all I have for today. The dizziness must have taken some of my creativity out for a walk and it is a bit late returning!
Have a super day!
Voice Update: I didn't do much massage or exercise yesterday or Sunday due to dizziness and headaches. You can tell - I am having problems with those darned unvoiced consonants again. Yuck! I am going to get back on it today and I have speech tomorrow so . . . I am sure Susan will get it whipped back into shape.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blurry Pictures and Lace

Hi All!

When my parents came to visit, my mother brought some lace which had been crocheted by my great grandmother or someone. I can't remember just who actually made the articles but - they are neat.

Well, I had absolutely no idea what to do with these articles. I have a drawer in my antique washstand full of other crocheted items and didn't want to add these to the collection. Instead, I wanted to display these items. Why - I am not quite sure. My taste doesn't normally run towards lace and antiques . . .

Anyway, here is what I ended up doing with the articles.

Sorry this picture is so blurry - I took two and one was blurry. Unfortunately, that is the one I put in the blog and now Blogger won't let me delete it! Oh well!

At least you get the idea.

I don't know if this is where this particular piece will stay but I think it looks nice for the time being. I am considering taking it off and putting it away when Hubby and I take our vacation. It would be just like Skor to "explore" and ruin the piece with his claws!

This picture looks a bit blurry too - must not have been doing well with the camera! The rest of the lace I put in a small basket and let them cascade out. I like the effect.
Well, I am going to stop on that note. I am feeling a bit lightheaded and think I should take a nap.

Have a fabulous Monday!


Voice Update: Doing well.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Closet Clean-out!

Hi All!

This weekend I decided to do it. I decided to clean out my closet. I have been putting this particular task off for a LONG time - since I stopped teaching in January of 2007, in fact.

I went through everything in the closet and then, on a roll, hit the armoire too! At the end of the chaos I ended up with two big boxes full of clothes to donate to Goodwill.

This one looks a bit empty but I took this picture before cleaning out the armoire. Trust me - it was FULL when we toted it off to Goodwill!

Wow - who would have thought I had so many clothes to get rid of???

Not teaching anymore allowed me to get rid of a bunch of clothes - I figure if/when I start again I will need to go shopping anyway since this stuff would all be out of style!


Voice Update: Still doing really, really, really well!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Happy Days . . . The Musical

Hi All!

Hubby and I just got back from our most recent musical (actually, we just got back from Wal Mart but that was on the way back from the musical so it still counts, right?). This time is was "Happy Days."

Did you even know that it was a musical? I had no clue until it ended up on the schedule for this season. A television show made into a musical. Interesting.
Well. Let me just say that while this musical had its moments such as the superb singing of "The Fonz," Joey Sorge, and "Pinky," Sandra DeNise, the wacky men of the Leopard Lodge with Chachi as the Leopard Cub, and the very amusing plunger parade (how can you go wrong with a plunger parade???), that is pretty much all it had - moments.
In all fairness, I must admit that the good natured "jabs" the musical took at the television show (a reference to Fonzie "jumping the shark" and the half hour format) were amusing but many of the younger people in the crowd no doubt missed the humor in the comments.
However, overall, the show left me feeling like it was trying to stretch the concept just a little too far. The premise was a bit weak, the saving of Arnold's from demolition to make a mall parking lot, and was solved a bit simplistically, declaring Arnold's a historical building after attempting to raise enough money to outbid the contractor and failing. After all, why didn't they just declare Arnold's a historic landmark in the beginning and just end it? I know, I know. If they had done that, there wouldn't have been a musical.
Frankly, that would have been fine with me. Other than strong performances by Fonzie and Pinky, the rest of the singing (and the songs) were weak and the ensemble numbers felt sparse with the minimal cast. The dancing was okay and the costumes were good replicas of 50s wear while the sets were adequate.
I think it would have been better to leave Happy Days in television reruns rather than trying to break into the musical business.
On that note - if you have absolutely nothing better to do - it was "cute" but won't be making the top ten in my or anyone else's book of musical greats any time soon.
Voice Update: I am still working the exercises and my voice is rewarding me! Yeah!

Friday, June 5, 2009

By Jove . . .

Hi All!

Don't hold your breathe but . . . .I think Skor has figured out the whole "don't bother Mommy while she is sleeping" thing. I know, incredible, right?

This morning, Skor came in and meowed twice and then plopped down (and I do mean PLOPPED!) next to me and promptly went to sleep!

There was no attempting to claw my face (really kneading with claws). There was no trying to eat my earrings. There was no walking on my head. It was SOOOOO refreshing!

Now, I know that there will no doubt be set-backs in this training but . . . I am just happy that I could sleep while Skor was sleeping. I didn't have to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and STAY up!

Congrats, Skor!


Voice Update: I was a very good girl and read out loud and did my exercises yesterday! Yeah, me! I am still climbing out of my SD funk but I think it will soon be all better. Having to work on stuff for the support group meeting on June 27th (in case anyone out there is reading this and lives in the Dallas area and would like to attend the SD support group meeting - contact me for more info!) is making me work through stuff. Now, I don't know if attending the meeting and having people questions my voice will throw me back into the pool o' funk but . . . I am getting better!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Two! Plus "And I Was Doing So Well!"

Hi All!

Do you remember when I told you that I am "taking care of" a flowerbed in the neighborhood? What I do is deadhead the Coreopsis so that they bloom again. You know - these things . . .

Well, I took Hubby to see the flowerbed the other day in the car. He said "That's nice but, what about the other flowerbed?"

What? ANOTHER flowerbed? Sure enough, right on the other end of the rather large island was another flowerbed with more Coreopsis plants! How did I miss this when I was walking? I guess I just didn't look over there. Talk about being narrow minded! In this case I guess I was narrow sighted!

Anyway, I have now begun deadheading in the second flowerbed, too. I was thrilled when I looked this morning and the plant had lots of new buds on them. About two days ago they were nothing but dead flowers!

Those buds put me in a good mood yesterday morning. That mood was heightened further by my visit to the Deaf Action Center. My friend Tricia met me there and we had a good time visiting with people. One guy was a political refugee from Iran! Interesting stuff!

I stopped at the grocery store on my way home and picked up a few things. Then I headed home with all kinds of thoughts about dinner in my mind. I had decided to make beef quesadillas from my own recipe (which means I basically winged it!

Anyway, I started dinner (after Hubby was home) and while it was in the oven I chopped tomatoes and lettuce for the topping and prepared two pretty looking fruit bowls. Satisfied, I played the piano for a while as I was waiting.

Just before the food was ready, I went back into the kitchen to finish cleaning up and found that the garbage disposal was dead. Well, it would give a faint whine and then . . . nothing. Hmmm. I figured it was probably jammed but wanted to wait for Hubby so he could fix it. I just wasn't in the mood.

In came Hubby and I told him the news. He immediately said, "What did you do to it?"

What? Is it just me or does that question seem a bit loaded? What did I do to it? I tried to turn it on and . . . nothing. I didn't do anything to it! It frustrates me because whenever something goes wrong which I need to point out to Hubby, it automatically becomes my fault.

And I was doing so well!

***Editor's note: Hubby is a WONDERFUL man. He is loved and cherished but . . . when he blames me for things I couldn't possibly be responsible for . . . it irks me! I am just venting today!

Skor Update: I think he is getting the picture. He is really doing well with the not massaging the face thing. The not eating earrings seems to be a bit harder for him to grasp. I think that is his "last resort" attention getting behavior and he is not too happy about giving it up! We will keep working on it!


Voice Update: I read out loud again yesterday and did massage. My voice is really pretty darn good. My SD funk is SLOWLY lifting. It is still lingering around but since I have to do more work to get the support group meeting on the 27th organized, I can't ignore it like I would like. I guess that is a good thing!

**8 Editor's Note: Hey - what is up with this little guy? He seems to be tagging along on my blog!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Hi All!

Since I am in a sort of a "funk" I decided to make this a pretty blog with lots of nice flowers!

This is a Zinnia which I have had my eye on for a while. It finally bloomed!

My Hydrangea is having a tough time blooming but look at how hard it is trying!

These pink Calla Lilies just catch my eye every day! They aren't in my yard but . . . pretty!

I think this Balloon Flower was afraid to open all the way! This IS my plant! Go, Balloon Flower, go!

Okay, so this technically isn't a flower but it is so neat I had to include it!

Ever since I got my purse camera I have become obsessed with the sky, clouds, and sunsets. I need to start doing that My Sky thing on Fridays because I have a trillion pictures (slight exaggeration there!) already!
Skor Update: Well, he keeps trying to snag my earrings. This morning we had quite a "training" fest. He would grab and I would smack. I didn't have the energy to throw him off the bed but . . . I need to do that!
Sarah - I wanted you to know that I found the word avuncular in the book The English Patient so it is being used out there! Oh - UPDATE YOUR BLOG!
Voice Update: Despite my SD funk I did find time yesterday to slip in some massage - my neck is much looser than I would have thought it would be! I also did some reading out loud which seemed to calm me down from my funk a bit. I still don't feel like facing the whole SD thing but I do seem to be warming up to it a bit. We will see how it goes.