Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gertie's Gourmet: Easy, economical recipes from a can

I e-published this book, which I started with my mom when she was alive. The working title was Mom's Senile Cookbook.

The best part is the cover!

Amazon / Kindle
Apple / iBooks / iTunes
Barnes & Noble / Nook
Page Fondry/Inktera

It's the perfect off-to-college cookbook!

Know anyone who doesn’t have many cooking skills who’s on a budget? This is the perfect cookbook for college students, senior citizens, campers and everyone in between.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Cost of Living in Kodiak

According to a recent report from the Alaska Department of Labor and Economic Development, Kodiak remains one of the most expensive cities in the U.S. to live, and one of the most expensive places to live in Alaska.
  • The cost of living in Kodiak is 33 percent above the national average.
  • Kodiak housing rentals are the highest among Alaskan cities and considerably higher than the U.S. average. The average cost for a two-bedroom apartment in Kodiak is $1,461 per month. The U.S. average is $893 per month. 
  • Groceries cost 40 percent more in Kodiak than the national average. 
  • Utilities cost 60 percent more in Kodiak than the national average.
  • Kodiak has the highest gas prices in Alaska ($4.34/gal at the time of the study but this morning, it’s $4.49/gal. The U.S. average is $3.44/gal.)
  • Kodiak has the highest cost of men's haircuts, $26.67. The average U.S. price is $13.95.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Let Me Stop Hyperventilating: 3,000+ Feet Can Be Daunting

I didn't think I was afraid of heights. As a kid, common activities included jumping off barns, climbing up silos, walking on weird rope bridges, climbing precarious trees.

But take me to the top of Pyramid Mountain: now that's a different story.

At that height and the mountain/valley terrain, the wind is always blowing -- hard. You have only a foot or so of earth on either side of you before a sheer cliff that drops down an ungodly amount of unsurvivable feet.

Yeah, sure, the 360-degree view is spectacular but holy cow, let me sit down!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top 10 Highlights of 2013

  1. Living the Alaska lifestyle with Robin
  2. New Zealand trip with amazing wildlife and hunting experiences
    1. Penguin viewing (see the video)
    2. Red stag viewing (see the video)
    3. Goat hunting (see the video)
    4. Camping with Lucky, The Campervan
  3. Exploring Petersburg, Alaska
  4. Awesome halibut and salmon fishing season
  5. Whales, whales and more whales. We saw so many whales, including some right by the boat. See the video.
  6. Mama Bear, Baby Bear #1 and Baby Bear #2. These bears were frequent visitors, and we were frequent viewers! See the video.
  7. Pig hunting in Florida
  8. Robin's successful deer hunting in Alaska and Kentucky
  9. Great progress with health, fitness and workouts
  10. Robin's encore career as a medical supply technician

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Holiday Story: I Am Going to Hell

This story was relayed to me by a very good friend last year (whom I miss dearly!), during the campaign hoopla of last fall's elections, Thanksgiving, Christmas – The Giving Season.

I held on to it, planning to post it to the blog and reread for when I need a pick-me-up.

Warning: You should make sure you don’t need to pee before you read it. Every time I read it, I almost pee my pants because I laugh so hard.

Here it is, for your enjoyment. Edited for anonymity.
"When [The Dog] finally decided she liked rawhide bones, we found out that she can't tolerate them. If she has a bone, she has diarrhea the next (early) morning. It's a real treat to wake up to that smell (she doesn't know how to ask to go out either).  
So I wake up to a mess Saturday morning. I clean up the worst of it, throw everything into an old plastic [local grocery] sack, and toss it on the front porch to put in the garbage bin later (because I was still in my nightgown).  
A couple of hours later, [The Mr.] and I are sitting in the living room drinking coffee (still in my nightgown). He notices something on the camera/security monitor (and it's not a political canvasser for a change).  
He says, "That's weird. Some little kid just stole a sack of garbage off our porch and ran out and got in that white van."  
I say, "Oh, shit! That's the Lutheran church picking up for their food drive!!!"
I had forgotten that Saturday was the day they were picking up the food they'd requested we put in a [local grocery] sack and leave on our front porches! 
I was going to call the church and confess, but I couldn't talk about it without laughing hysterically.
So I guess I'm going to Hell."

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Summer of Fun, Friends and Festivities

Lots of great boating and fishing, lots of great hiking, lots of great scenery and lots of good times with friends and family.

>> See summertime photos.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Summer of Wildlife

In addition to the weather, whales and our non-stop, non-sleeping summertime lifestyle, we had great wildlife sightings. So far, no bears, but the salmon are coming into the rivers and I expect to see some near rivers edge soon.

Here are some other wildlife photos:
>> Deer, puffins, eagle, buffalo, goats