Coming Soon: Free Book

Coming Soon: Free Book
Planning to give away a book or two!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Whale Watching

We decided not to take a whale watching excursion.  There were many options available.  Almost too many to choose from.  That means the whale watching that we did was from the cruise line. 

Photo by Trisha Field
Whale #1
One thing you need to know when choosing a whale watching tour is that they might guarantee that you will see a whale.  If one person sees a spout of water, the back of the whale break the surface or the fluke break the surface then they have been successful.  There is a slightly higher chance of seeing something impressive on a tour.  But then again, if you hit it on the wrong day or time you barely see anything. 

Photo by Trisha Field
Whale #2
We saw 4-5 whales.  I can't tell you what kind of whales they were because all that we saw were the water spout and part of the back and/or a fluke.  It was difficult to tell how far away they were but we guessed half a mile to a mile away.

Photo by Trisha Field
Whale #2 further away
Then on one buss tour we drove by a bay and someone in the back of the bus yelled, "a whale!"  You know that everyone stood out and tried to look out the window.  The bus driver calmly said, "Those are refered to as rock whales.  Sorry, people but it is not a real whale."

Photo by Trisha Field
"Rock Whale"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Two Schools of Thought ... A Healthy Forest

On two separate tours we were taught about a healthy forest.  With the exception that they were completely opposing viewpoints and both have their positive points.

Photo by Trisha Field
Clear Cut Area
One point of view is that you should clear cut a portion of the forest in intervals.  The catch to this one is that the amount of space that is clear cut needs to be controlled.  If too large of a spot is cleared, it can cause landslides or mudslides. Cutting the trees and not replanting allows the sun to reach the ground and seeds that have been falling off the trees for years can now germinate and create a healthy new growth.

Photo by Trisha Field
Mountain with Different Stages of Growth
The opposite teaching was to never cut a tree out of the forest (even if it is diseased.)  Allow the trees to fall and decay thus creating a nutritional base for the next generation of forest.  Remember that this is in a rain forest and by definition a temperate rainforest receives between 60 – 200 inches of rain annually.  That decreases the chances of forest fire and the extra rain increases the rate of decomposition. 

Photo by Trisha Field
Moss and Trees Growing on Decomposing Tree
As the trees fall, seeds will fall on top of them and the roots will grow through and around the fallen tree.  On the granite mountains with very little or poor top soil, the added nutrients will help a healthier forest grow.  It is amazing how the big and tall trees can grow for so many years with such  a shallow hold into the earth.
Photo by Trisha Field
Tree Grown Over Decomposing Tree
Both viewpoints make good common sense.  I believe that both have their appropriate times to be used.  It amazed me when I saw the trees growing over each other with only about 4-6 inches of top soil.  It also amazed me when I saw sections of a mountain fully covered by saplings that were about 4-6 years old and fully covering the section of the mountain. One area had so little soil that it needed the fallen trees to add to the base soil.  The other section had enough roots left in it to keep the existing soil in place for the few years that it took for the saplings to get large enough to once again cover the mountain side.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

My first surprise from Alaska

I did not realize that Alaska boasts the second largest rain forest in the world.  Now if I would have known that I would have packed my umbrella.  It rained a few days that we were there.  We didn't let that stop us.  After all, I am from Minnesota and we have a saying "If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes."

Can you find me in the rainy picture? Dad took the picture from the storeroom. The other photo was taken from a moving vehicle. But it shows the size of trees in the rain forest.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Alaskan Cruise on Norwegian Jewel

I took about 5,000 photos and my father took about 2,000 photos.  I am still sorting through the photos.  I only have about 600 to review. That is for the first pass.  Several people have asked where we toured and what we saw.  So I am listing below our agenda for the past week.

If you heard about a train derailment in Skagway last week, that was the day that we were there.  We had taken the morning ride and we were back in town when the incident occurred.  I hope to have photos ready to share for you soon.
  • Seattle Washington
    • Pikes Market
    • Dock 66 boarding (Norwegian Jewel)
  • Day at Sea
    • Countries Family Reunion Concert 1
  • Ketchikan
    • Countries Family Reunion Concert 2
    • Bus to boat tour
      • Lighthouse, Eagles & Totems
  • Juneau
    • Bus trip
      • Glacier Garden Rainforest adventure
      • Mendenhall Glacier (and visitor center)
    • Ship detour
      • Down the Tracy Arm to Sawyer Glacier
  • Skagway
    • Bus trip to Train station just past Canadian Boarder
    • Train ride back
    • Liarsville (panning for Gold)
    • Red Onion Saloon
  • Day at Sea
    • Larry's Country Diner
    • Nadine (comedy Act)
  • Victoria
    • AM Countries Family Reunion Finale
    • Butchart Gardens
  • Seattle Washington
    • Fly home
      • Mount Rainier
      • Olympic Mountains
      • Denver/fly over Rocky Mountain National Park

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Highlight of my trip

I had the honor and privilege of signing for Jimmy Fortune as he sang "How Great Thou Art" with Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent along with their bass vocalist,  Christian Davis. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I am back ...

...almost.  Did you think that I fell off the face of the earth? I have been on the Alaskan Cruise. 

I am almost home.  This is the difficult part is the trip home.  We arrived at the airport early in fact very early.  It was a good thing because with all the cruise ships coming in the lines are extremely long!

For the bag check I was the only one with fly-by status. So I waited with the group.  The line is now about five times longer. So I took a picture for you.

Over the next few weeks.  I will share random pictures and stories with you. The trip was both fabulous and challenging! My cabin was to the left of the man waving.

Friday, July 18, 2014

The travel wish ....

I wish that all flights were 2/3 full but not charge any more for the flight.  In other words that planes were slightly more spacious.   Isn't that the wish of every traveler?

We got lucky on half of the flights to Alaska.  Dale and I got to sit in an exit row on one flight and 2 in a 3 seat row on another flight. 

During this 9 day vacation I took about 5,000 photos.  I am currently in the painful process of sorting pictures.  There are the should be okay to delete, good, great,  awesome,  curious,  foodies, exceptional enough to put in an album and really want in that album but will print for a scrapbook.  The final category of photos will come all of the categories listed before and those will be the ones that I share with you.

More to come! When I decide which ones to share.  ;^)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A day of delays

Mid morning this morning I received a text that my connecting flight in Denver was Delayed about an hour.  It was a rare day that I needed to get home today. I was scheduled for the last flight out of Denver so if it got cancelled I would not make it home until the next day. That just wasn't acceptable.

Luckily Southwest Airlines still has no charges for rescheduling flights.  I jumped online and found a flight that went through Chicago Midway. It was the second to the last flight of the night and was only delayed by 15 minutes.

I arrived at the Houston airport to find out that my first flight was also delayed.  When we landed I checked the app on my phone and found out that I has plenty of time.  There were a few others who were fretting.  I asked them where they were flying to and I was able to provide gate numbers and estimated departure times for them. Many were delayed or at gates close enough to easily get to in time.

On the other hand, I had to walk ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE AIRPORT!  The walk felt good.     

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


The thing about traveling for work is that I get to travel into and out of all kinds of weather situations. I have naturally wavy hair.  One would think that cutting hair so that it is lighter would allow the curl to come out.

But the other day when I went into the bathroom,  I saw my hair rolling in a beautiful curl over my shoulder. It was brought out by the heat and humidity in the region.

Now if I tried to get it to curl like this, I am sure that it would do anything except what I wanted. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I looked out the window of the plane and was amazed. There was an angel taking off from a cloud! It must be a father and child. Because look closely and you can see the youngster just a few steps behind. 

A little bit later I realized that Dumbo the flying elephant was hiding in the distance. (Can you see him?)
I know that I was working on my computer in the plane.  But did that mean there had to be a house hanging outside window?  
What I also noticed was the contrast between the light and the clouds. Study the whites,  yellows,  blues,  and grays in these photos.  Isn't the natural blending and shading amazing! 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Misty ' s lace bonnet

Misty Blue and Duchess rested om the couch while I worked at my desk.  Just then something caught my eye.

Mischievous Misty looked all prim and proper with a lace covering over her head.   Somehow she had pushed herself far enough under the end table to make the lace doily fall across her forehead.

I had to act fast in order to get a picture.  Because no matter how deeply she is sleeping whenever I moved she hears me and jumps up.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Egg Bake

I was recently asked what to put into an egg bake other than meat and eggs if you can't add potatoes.  After all, potatoes and eggs are the standard base. I looked in my fridge and realized that I had a lot of things to use up. I also had a few very small zucchini in my garden.  So I started there ti chopped up to about 1/2 cup zucchini. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Garden Fresh Zucchini
Earlier this week I had mushrooms with my hamburger.  I chopped the remaining mushrooms which equalled the amount of zucchini. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Chopped Mushrooms
I had a very small amount of red onion.  I am not sure why I kept it.  But it chopped up to about 1/4 cup which was perfect. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Chopped Red Onion
I don't care for raw onion so I tossed it in the bacon grease for awhile. (Yes it was bacon frying day again.)
Cell photo by Trisha
Red Onions Fried in Bacon Grease
I took about 3 slices of the bacon and chopped up to add to the egg bake. 
Cell photo by Trisha
The only cheese I had left was cheddar cheese sticks or mini bell rounds.  I decided to chop up two cheese sticks.
Cell photo by Trisha
Cheddar Cheese
Then I added the rest of my sour cream about 2/3 cup and a tablespoon butter with six eggs.  There is nothing special about the measurements.   I was cleaning out my refrigerator. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Sour Cream, Butter & 6 eggs
I made Dale a hamburger for supper.  I kept about 3 ounces off to the side;  added Mrs. Dashes seasoning and fried it in the bacon grease. 
Cell photo by Trisha
Seasoned Hamburger cooked in bacon grease
After mixing everything together it split nicely into 4 Stonewave Cookers. One was enough for a meal.  I froze the other three.
Cell photo by Trisha
Raw Egg bake in Stonewave Cooker
It looked and smelled delicious when it came out of the microwave. 
Cell photo by Trisha
 Eat from the Stonewave Cooker
I decided to flip one out to eat it. The other half of that story is that I only have two cookers at my place. The second batch cooked while I ate. I wasn't hungry when I was done eating but it was so tasty that I was very tempted to eat another one.   
Cell photo by Trisha
Low Carb Egg Bake
I guess that is part of the retraining of my mind.  Just because it tastes good is no reason to over eat. The other retraining that I've been doing has to do with buffets. The cost of the buffet is not significantly high enough to justify over stuffing myself. After all when you go to a more expensive restaurant, you pay more for less.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

By the light ...

... of the silvery moon.   Many love songs have been written about the moon or lovers under the moon. It is a symbol of romance. After all it is amazingly beautiful!

Photo by Trisha Field
Full Moon Rising
Shortly after receiving my new lens (500MM) I snuck outside and took some photos of the partial moon. Seeing the full moon rise this evening I had to take more pictures. Sorry for the late night posting. But it is the moon!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Next garden phase

I finally had a few hours to spend in garden weeding.  I am not quite done yet. Who's kidding?  I won't ever be done weeding.  It is like doing dishes.  Every time you have them done more dirty dishes appear.

I was excited to see the mid summer and fall plants coming in thick despite the weeds.  There is rain due in the next 24 hours.  After digging in the dirt,  I can say that the top soil needs the moisture.

I hope that you enjoy the photos.  My favorite is the hollyhock growing through the babies breath. If you find yourself in the area drive by and enjoy the real flowers.  :^)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Eagle eye

I love being out in nature.  It is so beautiful and there are so many amazing things to see.  I received my first camera when I was very young somewhere between 12 -14 years old as a Christmas gift.  It was a 110 with a flip flash.

I learned how to use a SLR manual focus camera when I was a freshman in high school. It was part of a class that I took and dad required that I take a class before I used his camera.   Nowadays the DSLR  (digital single lens reflex) cameras are auto focus with manual options if you want to control it yourself.

I had all of my lenses with me on the boat ride last weekend. These pictures were taken with my 55 to 300MM. You can see the range of the camera sort of ....

Photo by Trisha Field
Eagle from a distance
The wide angle shot was taken at the 55MM setting. The close up shots where all clear enough for me to crop them to a nearly twice as close.

Photo by Trisha Field
Eagle Eye
The eagle keep a close eye on us as our boat drove by it. Luckily the dogs were taking a nap and didn't see it.
Photo by Trisha Field
Majestic Bird
I am in awe of this majestic creature!  I hope that you enjoy my favorite shots.  I can only hope that I am able to get more beautiful pictures like these in my upcoming trip to Alaska.

Photo by Trisha Field
I am watching you!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

No Wake

There are no wake warnings all over the lakes in Minnesota.  But someone forgot to tell Mother Nature.  It has been so windy that just getting the boat on the lake has been a challenge. 

We obeyed the no wake and rode around the lake at about 5 mph. It was a rough but pretty trip.  Maybe Dale was testing us. We are taking a cruise to Alaska this summer with Dad and Pat.

We saw several loons on the lake.   But this mama and baby loon was absolutely adorable.   It was challenging getting a picture of them.  They were bobbing up and down in the waves and so were we.

Photo by Trisha Field
Choppy Waters

Photo by Trisha Field
Loon Family

Food Experimentation

I had another idea for a meal today.  It was the day to fry my bacon. Over the weekend, I bought mushrooms for stuffing.  I was planning on grilling but a combination between storms rolling through and the delicious smell of bacon changed my mind.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Mushroom caps cooked in bacon grease
I cooked the mushrooms in bacon grease.  I can't use sautéed because that insinuates only a small amount of grease. 
Cell Photo by Trisha
2 Ounce hamburger patty
I had hamburger frozen in 2 ounce patties.  I figured, why not!  And I cooked the hamburger in the bacon grease too.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Cream cheese mixture
Then I created a cheese mixture with cream cheese, sour cream,  and Mrs Dashes seasoning. 
This was tasty but very difficult to eat. I don't think I would do it exactly the same way again.
Cell Photo by Trisha
Low Carb Cheese Burger