Sunday, August 9, 2015

Another Great Day!

I'm sitting in the Gaither's Special Country concert, and thinking what a fantastic day it has been, and how fast the week seems to be flying by. The fiddler just played "The Orange Blossom Special" and burned it up. Joyce Martin sang "Nine to Five", and could easily give Dolly a run for her money. Levi Bowman, son of Becky Isaacs Bowman had the crowd as singing along on "Back Home, Again". Adam Crabb could make you cry when he croons Hank Williams "Whippoorwill".

This is the icing on the cake on a day that has already been filled with sea kayaking, fudge that was made here in Alaska, another afternoon, concert, and another excellent dinner in the main dining room. Like I said, "such a great day."

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cruising the Tracy Arm Fjord

Here is a small taste of some of the grandeur we have witnessed on this trip. This is Sawyer Glacier. On Tuesday we cruised into Tracy Arm, and this is a part of what we saw. The landscape here in Alaska is quite rugged, and stunning scenery abounds. Yesterday we got off the ship in Juneau and took the Glacier Express bus up to Mendenhall Glacier. The first thing we saw was a mama black bear with her cub, fishing for salmon. Then we walked up to Nugget Falls and spent a couple of hours soaking in the beauty and taking pictures. After that we hiked back down to the Visitors Center where Norm was happy to be able to purchase His senior Federal Park pass. We saw a short movie that described details about the Mendenhall Glacier, and viewed a few dioramas with the same theme. By then we were getting tired and hungry, so we went back to the drop point and caught the next Glacier Express bus back to the dock.

Lunch was found at Tracy's Crab Shack, and was a fun experience, if pricey. We shared a "number 1" which included a king crab leg, an order of crab cakes, and crab bisque. We were both pretty hungry, so we took the option of adding a second leg to the order. The crab was succulent, and nearly melted in our mouths. After we were done, Norm agreed that it was worth the cost.

Last night was not a music night, but Andy Andrews was the featured guest speaker, and he had some good things to say. Stay tuned...more to come, later.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gaither Cruise - It's more awesome than we could have imagined!

We are into the second full day of cruising, and it has been amazing! We have already had four concerts, and each one is better than the one before. We've seen the Gaither Vocal Band, The Martins, The Isaacs, Charlotte Ritchie, Wesley Pritchard, Gene MacDonald, Buddy Green, Reggie and Ladylove Smith, Russ Taff, Angela Primm and motivational speaker Andy Andrews. All of the artists are so personable. I've had personal conversations with Ladylove Smith, Angela Primm, and Jonathan Martin and enjoyed having an opportunity to talk to them a little bit. I also shook hands with Adam Crabb (GVB), and said "hi" to Becky Isaac Bowman - who I saw on the Lido deck the very first day of the cruise.

Our staterooms seem spacious, and the food is wonderful. Last night was our first Gala night, and it was fun to see all of the ladies and gentlemen dressed up in their finest. We have another concert early this afternoon noon, and then this afternoon around 3:00 pm we should enter the Tracy Arm. We're hoping for more photo op's. Lunch will be a salmon bake by the Lido pool, today.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, will be our first port day, when we pull into Juneau. Norm and I are planning to hop on a shuttle and go up to Mendenhall Glacier and take pictures (you're all so surprised, right?).

This had definitely been the trip of a lifetime, so far. Will try and report in, again, later in the week.

Blessings to all!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gaither Alaskan Cruise - 48 hours and counting!

It's almost here, and I am so excited, I can hardly stand it. Planning has been going on for months, and to have the countdown down to 48 hours seems unbelievable. I have my checklist for what to pack finely tuned, and started putting clothes in the suitcase last night. Just a few things left to pickup at the local discount store, and the shopping will be done. It's going to be great! Can't wait!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Quinoa and Tofu One-Pan dinner

So - no excuses - just haven't been here in a while. But - I have a recipe request, and this is the best place for me to share it. This is one of my original recipes, though I'm sure you can find similar ones elsewhere on the internet. This one is customized for my families preference. So - here goes:

Quinoa and Tofu One-Pan dinner

3 T coconut oil or olive oil (most recipes call for 2 T, but that is never quite enough for me when I'm cooking)
2 cloves garlic, chopped or put through a garlic press
1 med/lg onion, chopped
1 lb firm tofu, drained and cubed
2 C Quinoa (if you don't buy clean quinoa, make sure you clean it before using. The brand I buy comes already cleaned)
1 whole tomato, chopped
1 T curry powder
1 t ground coriander
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t garlic powder or granulated garlic
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
4 C chicken broth or water, or a combination of the 2 (I used 3 cups home-made chicken broth and 1 cup water)
2 C fresh spinach, stems removed and chopped

Using medium high heat and an extra deep 12-inch frying pan, heat the oil and saute the garlic and onion until the onion turns translucent. Add the tofu and seasonings. Continue frying until the tofu just starts to turn brown. Add the quinoa, broth, and tomato. When the broth starts to bubble, turn the heat under the pan down to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the spinach, and simmer 5 minutes more. Serve! This recipe lends itself to all sorts of variations, especially changing the seasonings. If you're not a fan of curry, but like italian, use oregano and sweet basil in place of the curry powder, coriander, and cumin. If Mexican is more your style, leave out the curry powder and coriander. Increase the cumin to 1 teaspoon and add a quarter teaspoon chili powder. At the end of the cooking time, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon of lime juice. Have fun coming up with your own combinations. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'll be right back...after these messages!

So, again, it has been a little while - however - this is because I have been preparing for a short-term missions trip to Guatemala. In fact, I leave with a team to go and work in an orphanage in 17 days! I very excited about it - if you can't tell! In the mean-time - I have started a separate blog to document the adventures of my trip. You can follow it here. For the next month, that's where you will need to go to find out what's happening - but don't get the idea that I won't be back here after that. I definitely will, and especially because I will have an important review when I come back. If you have read Shauna Neiquists books Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet, then you have probably been waiting like I have - with baited breath - for the releast of her new book, Bread and Wine. Well, it will be available on April 9th, but having been chosen as to receive an advance copy, I already have mine, and when I come back here it will be to tell you about it! I can hardly wait! In the meantime - ciao, arrivederci, until I come back from Guatemala!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


It's been a bit since I last posted. I'd like to say it was with good reason, but I'm not so sure. I do know that I've been busy - new activities, holidays, a couple of bouts with illness, extra doctor appointments I hadn't planned on - but it seems to me that busyness should not always be equated with occupying well. A famous quote of Vince Lombardi's about priorities goes "God first, Family second, the Green Bay Packers third." This is a great way to express it, but I think it might over-simplify a tad. For instance - which of these categories would you use for exercise? Taking care of your health? Watching TV? I think perhaps the answer lies in looking at the motivation for each. If you don't get enough exercise and eat properly - you won't be healthy. Scripture clearly states that our bodies are the temple of the holy spirit - so that is motivation however, if on the other hand you qualify as an endorphin junky, then maybe the important thing to look at is how balanced your life is. Too much time spent exercising can take away from other activities - time with family, ministry, paying bills - you get the picture. What about watching TV? Sometimes we feel like there's nothing fit to watch, and maybe TV is a BIG time-waster. I'm not saying that isn't true - I think we all have moments when it is - but what about the person who can't go from being active to going to bed and falling right to sleep? For some of us, a good night's sleep depends on taking some down time to relax and clear our heads before hitting the hay. There are other things that can distract us from following the path of living a disciplined life that lines up with Gods call on our life. The important thing is to be conscious of what we're doing, and stop and evaluate occasionally - not just stay on auto-pilot and assume you're on the right track. And - by all means - spend time praying about what God has for you! Still not sure if I've been getting it right, but still wanting to - and am very excited to announce that I will be doing a review in a few short weeks of Shauna Niequist's "Bread and Wine". You can follow her blog here.

P.S. I'll get back to the food blogging in a few days. Tried out a new recipe tonight that I'm eager to share!