Saturday, November 16, 2019

Seward, Alaska Part #1

Day 36 thru 38
June 1-3, 2019

            These couple of days was spent traveling to and visiting sights in Seward. On the way there, we go through a small community called Moose Pass. We have made friends with a couple who own a wrecker service there.  The man’s wife, Kathy, works at the Princess Lodge not far from Moose Pass.  There is a knife sharpening wheel run by water located along the roadside.  We always stop so Richard can sharpen his knives.  Today, Jim sharpened his.
Tracker Jim sharpening knife in Moose Pass
Film at 11
            Onward to the beautiful town of Seward.  Richard and I always make a trip there, and we hope it is around the 4th of July. Of course, we were a few weeks early for that.  Jim, Becky, Richard and I thought about getting t-shirts with the words "We know we are two weeks early for everything."  The town has a grand celebration there with a race up Marathon Mountain.  This has been a tradition in Seward since 1915.  We've had the privilege of watching the race from a street in downtown Seward several times.  Men, women and children run up the mountain, but at different times.
           It is 3.1 miles, straight up Marathon Mountain.  The leading racers go up the mountain at about 2 mph.  However, they come down at about 12 mph.  As they cross the finish line, they are usually in need of medical attention.  They are bloody and muddy. When asked if I’d like to sign up for the race, I gave the lady a quick “Nay. Nay.”   
          Every racer wears a number silk screened onto a piece of heavy cloth.  This one dude had his shirt off and his number safety pinned to his nipples.  Yes, I said nipples.I couldn’t say “Nay. Nay.” fast enough.  All I could think of through the whole race was this chap could fall and get his number caught on a rock.
A picture of Mt. Marathon from
            the streets of Seward, Alaska.
We spent a couple of days in Seward which is named for the former U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, who took care of the details for the United States’ purchase of Alaska from the Russian Empire in 1867. Seward was serving as Secretary of State as part of President Andrew Johnson’s administration.
We visited the Alaskan Sealife Center which was really fascinating.  Becky and I had the honor of being weighed on a scale used to weigh large fish.  I refused to call it a whale scale.  The beautiful aquarium is located (as is the town of Seward) on Resurrection Bay, a fjord of the Gulf of Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula.

Our Catch For the Day.

Beautiful fish posing for a picture
Becky and Jim
They caught more fake fish than
Richard and I did.

I have a large collection of pictures taken either by me, Richard, Becky, or Jim.  Some I'm not sure exactly where they were taken, but I feel they are worth posting.  At the end of each of the upcoming blog posts, I'll add a couple of them. 

     Pictures don't do Alaska justice, but hopefully you will enjoy them.

Until later,


Please let me know you have seen this blog, either here or on Facebook.
One morning, I came out of the camper to find my
traveling buddies (aka Lewis and Clark and
Sacagawea) had joined the Pioneer Hat Brigade, and I had left my hat at home. Ain't they cute?

My favorite Jim and Becky picture
Taken in a park dedicated to Native Alaskans
Mountain above the clouds

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


Hemi and Me
Have you ever heard of polydactyl cats, commonly called Hemingway cats? Nicknames for these kitties also include mitten kittens.  What makes these kitties so unique? They have extra toes!
Polydactyl cats were thought to be more superior climbers and mousers than ordinary cats thanks to their extra toes. Some sailors even thought the kitties were good luck!
One ship captain actually gave a polydactyl kitty to the famous American author, Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway kept the all-white cat, named Snow White. Today, the Hemingway House in Key West is the Hemingway Home and Museum. Almost 50 cats happily roam the property — all descendants of Snow White. Roughly half of them have extra toes which are why these felines are now commonly referred to as Hemingway cats.
Becky and Jim have a polydactyl cat that travels with them.  His name is . . . say it with me . . . Hemi.  Hemi is a private cat.  Sticks to Jim like glue, but runs and hides when Richard or I enter the Morris’ RV.  Of course, I know my loud mouth does nothing to keep Hemi’s nerves in check.  Anyway, I quickly came to the conclusion that the sweet kitty cat doesn’t care for me at all.  But, he is a beautiful cat.
Hemi Morris
At some point along the trail of our extended trip, I went to visit with Becky in her RV.  When it was time to leave, I made the first two steps down, looped my hand through the handle on the outside of the motor home, then made a 9.6 pirouette off the steps, twisted around and slammed face first into the side of the huge motor home. 
Yes, that is me slamming into the
side of the RV.  Please note Hemi in the steps.
The force of the slam separated me from the handle and crashed me onto my back on the ground. 

When I dared to open my weary eyes, I was staring into three familiar faces.  Richard’s, Becky’s and Jim’s.  A man near the gas pumps inquired as to whether or not we needed him to call 9-1-1. It was decided (3-1) I was going to live, so we flagged off the 9-1-1 fellow.

Later when I looked through the surveillance tape to see if any footage of my sailing out the RV door could possibly be used to win money on America's Funniest Home Videos, I noticed a cat disappearing into the motor home via the steps.
As my three rescuers started to help me up, I looked passed Jim to the motor home window right above his head and this is what I saw:

                                                  Hemi and Jim
One evening, the four of us where going to a friend’s house for dinner.  Minutes before we had to leave, Hemi disappeared. Jim and Becky had already searched every inch of the RV with no luck.  We all searched the edge of the woods surrounding the acres where we were camping.  We hated to force Jim to leave without knowing where Hemi was, but we didn’t know what else to do.
We had a nice evening with good food and socializing.  I did notice Jim seemed a little edgy. He kept glancing at his phone.  I wondered if he thought Hemi might text him when he returned from his evening stroll in the woods.  I wondered if Hemi was having a grand time chasing mice or a fluffy, “puddy tat” or perhaps both.
When we returned home, Becky and Jim discovered their polydactyl cat sitting in the middle of the motor home floor counting his toes. Becky took the picture below and texted it to me which you can tell may not have been a good thing since I am posting it on FB.
Jim and Hemi
As you can tell, he certainly was a happy boy and so was Hemi.
Until later,
Please leave a comment and/or click LIKE.  I love hearing from you, too.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Let's try this again

Our Twelve Months in the Land of the Frozen Tundra

If you know why Richard and I are spending twelve months in Alaska, and what we did while we were here, feel free to skip the following Intro.

          Many years ago, after spending several summers in Alaska, my dear husband and I decided to make spending one full year in Alaska an item on our Bucket List.  We thought about it long and hard and decided to invite friends and family to pick 7 to 10 days they’d like to fly into Fairbanks in the interior of the 49th state of the United States.  We bought a small rv and drove it to Fairbanks were we had rented a house from the end of June to the 12th of October.   That way we would have plenty of room for Richard and me plus the couple who would be with us for their requested time.
         Richard and I had spent a lot of time in the area of the Midnight Sun, and there was plenty of sunshine at midnight.  We planned events and attractions for our guests to see. You would think Richard and I would get bored with seeing the same things over and over again during the three month we hosted our guests. I have always wanted to own and run a bed and breakfast.  I was right to think I would love it. Each couple who came was so different, and it all went so fast, it didn’t give us time to get bored. Of course, my rule for hosting a B&B is different than most. They went as follows:
Dolores’s Bed and Breakfast

          One of my high school friends, James Morris, and his wife, Becky, met up with us at our house. For the next two months we traveled together to Lincolnton, Georgia for two concerts, then across the lower 48, then through Canada.  We had a really good time traveling together, eating together, playing cards, and just having fun.  We laughed a lot, especially me and Becky.  We thought everything was funny.
Becky and Me
            I had written a couple of pages of blog early in our trip.  I won’t go into why I hadn’t written more than the original copy.  Anyway, those blog posts are immediately behind this one.
            Now, let’s get started with the blog I promised everyone when we left home.

End Intro

     We began the next leg of our trip from the Canadian/Alaskan border south to Anchorage where we spent a couple of days at our friend Tony’s. After Tony’s, we headed’em up and moved’em out. Jim set his GPS on the dashboard and he and Becky pulled their Conestoga wagon in behind our Radio Flyer putt-putt wagon (more on this later) and we began our trip to Homer by way of the Kenai Peninsula. 
Jim's GPS aka Hemi
Day 35, May 31, 2019
        South of Anchorage is a waterway called Turnagain Arm. It goes northwest into the Gulf of Alaska. Turnagain Arm has the second highest tides in North America after the Bay of Fundy. These tides can reach 40 feet and come in so quickly that they produce a wave known as a bore tide.
          On the highway that runs next to Turnagain Arm is Beluga Point. This pull-out is a great place to see whales and watch the bore tide come in at about 6 feet high at a possible speed of 20 miles an hour. Skies were grey.  We were two weeks from the warm summer days.
Turnagain Arms location of Bore Tide

Highway along Turnagain Arms
We stopped at the animal refuge in Girdwood where injured animals from all over Alaska have been brought to be treated and nursed back to health. Skies were grey.   We were two weeks from the warm summer days.
Our next stop was in Whittier, Alaska.  The town and a nearby glacier were named after John Greenleaf Whittier in 1916.  During World War II, the U.S. Army built a military base, complete with port and railroad near Whittier Glacier.  The spur of the Alaska Railroad was completed in 1943 and the port became the entrance for the U.S. soldiers into Alaska.  We ate supper there.  Skies were grey..  We were two weeks from the summer days.
There are two major buildings in Whittier.  There is a 14-story building which was completed in 1957 and contains 150 two-and-three bedroom apartments plus bachelor efficiency units.  Dependent families and Civil Service employees were moved into this high-rise.
The other building in town was completed in 1953. It was called “city under one roof.”  It was abandoned and I saw an episode of Ghost Hunters that was filmed inside the abandoned building. I’ve been around the building and, I have to admit, it gives me the creeps. This building is called the Buckner Building.  The one which became a condominium was named the Begich Building.  At one time, the two buildings were the largest buildings in Alaska. 
Begich Building
I wanted very much for Becky to see the beautiful Fireweed flowers that line the highway, but, as we had already discovered, the skies were grey and we were two weeks from summer and the blue skies and the Fireweed.
Some of the pictures in this blog were taken
by Jim or Becky Morris
The first time Richard and I went to Whittier (1997) the only way to get there was by boat or train. Fifteen years ago, they started allowing cars to drive through the tunnel at alternative times with the train.  Yes, it causes me to be claustrophobic, but the best part is the fact that there are about 8 safe rooms along the wall in the tunnel. 
Inside Whittier Tunnel
Safe Room on left
(by James Morris)
Exiting Whittier Tunnel
(Thank Heavens)
by Jim Morris

         If there is an accident inside the tunnel, you know, like a head-on crash with a train (just kidding), you leave your car and go into one of the safe rooms where you can get oxygen, and be safe from the fire raging around your car. Of course, if this happened to me, I would hope they also had clean underwear stashed in the safe room.  You know, as Bill Cosby once said, if you are in an accident, first you say it, then you do it.
Until later,

P.S.  My goal is to post every one to three days until we get caught up-to- date.  After that I'll post what we have done that particular day.  Please leave a comment so I know which of my friends and family are keeping up with me now that I'm back on track with my writing.  If you don't want to join by blog, you can go back to Facebook where this was posted and leave a comment there.  Look forward to hearing from you even if you just say "Hey There."  
P.S.S. Please share this with anyone you think might enjoy it.  Also, let me know if there is anyplace or any event in Alaska you would like to know about, if we have visited I'd be glad to write about that place and post pictures.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

#3 2019 Trip to Alaska

          As I said already, we took a fast trip across the lower 48 and hit the border on the scheduled day we were supposed to.  Once through the border without International incidents, we headed for the big mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I had a good time there although we only went through ¼ of the whole mall. Since I have posted pictures from the mall on other blogs, I will only post a couple here.
Outside Dragon Fruit

Inside Dragon Fruit
This is a Dragon Fruit we found in a giant Chinese grocery store.  One of my many mottos is:  If it doesn’t crawl off the table, I’ll eat it.  Becky looked up the information about the weird, yet beautiful fruit.  Couple of things I found noteworthy were that they were grown in Asia and Florida. Who knew?  Another thing is if its juice is mixed with a certain fruit juice (which one now escapes me, but it doesn’t matter since I don’t intend to mix it with ANY juice.) you could suffer from anaphylactic shock.  Possibly leading to death.  That might put a slight damper on the trip for the rest of the group. Other than death, it is supposed to be good for you.

          This picture is of Mary Read, aka Becky Morris and Captain Morgan, aka Jim Morris. They had just out sailed Johnny Depp and we were off to celebrate victory with a meal at Bubba Gump’s Seafood. Coconut Shrimp, Popcorn Shrimp, Boiled Shrimp.  Well, you know.

Until later,


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Post #2 2019 trip to Alaska

          Before I start posting on our day-by-day journey, I’d like to tell you what brought this adventure about.
          Somewhere around the end of the 1990’s, Richard and I drove to Alaska in our motorhome following his brother, Howard and his wife Mary Jane.  We LOVED the beautiful scenery and pristine waters of the whole state.   Many times Richard and I agreed had our kids been younger (they were teenagers by then) they would have grown up in Alaska. Since that time, we’ve made several trips back to the beautiful state.  One of Alaska’s mottos is the Land That God Forgot.  I don’t think He forgot it, He just knew He got it right the first time.
          On my Bucket List, I have several things left to accomplish: Receive the Nobel Prize in Literature for a book titled How to Kill Your Husband and Get Away with It. Just to ease everyone’s mind, Richard is well aware of the plotting of this book and even helped me with the research.  (More on this later.)
          Another item on my BL is to work on a campaign for my grandson Drew when he runs for governor of the Great State of Florida.  I vote by absentee ballot because I am usually absentee during the elections.  So, Drew comes over to my house and he and I talk about whom we should vote for.  His reasoning is usually pretty sound and occasionally profound.  But, I won’t discuss politics on my blog.
          And, as usual, I digress.  The item we are working on now is living in Alaska for ONE YEAR.  We have rented a house in Fairbanks and one in Homer.  We invited some friends, some family to come up and stay with us for 7 to 10 days.  Our calendar for the summer filled quickly.  However, nobody was interested in coming to Alaska during the winter months.  Most were afraid they might turn into ice cubes.
          Anyway, a couple of years ago, I reconnected with an old school friend around the time of our 50th reunion. During the next few years we were able to get together and meet each other’s spouse.  James Morris, who also goes by Jim and Jimmy, and I went to Franklin Jr. High and graduated from King High School (both in the Tampa area) in 1967. 
          Jim and Becky left with us from our house and we all spent the next two weeks in Lincolnton enjoying bluegrass and gospel music at Little Roy and Lizzy Long bluegrass festival.  Then Mother’s Day weekend we attended the Jeff and Sheri Easter’s Homecoming.  Becky and I went to the Easter’s house after the concerts and to help a dear friend of mine, Peggy Fauscett.  Not that Peggy needed any help. She does most of the cooking before she leaves home and warms it before time to eat. Since I normally only see Peggy once a year, I enjoy visiting with her while we are waiting for the crowd to arrive and munch down all her delicious vittles.
Peggy Fauscett

          As I’ve written about before, Richard is very involved with the Homecoming which is held at the Lewis Family Homeplace. Jim was a lot of help with Richard getting the camping area ready.  Meanwhile, Becky and I worked hard at making sure no deals were missed in the local antique and boutique shops in the surrounding Georgia towns. 
          Richard and I dragged the Morris’s all over Lincoln County, introducing them to some of Lincolnton’s finest citizens.  We ate a couple of our evening meals with Walker and Carol Norman and then Little Roy and Bonnie Lewis.  At the local cafĂ©, we ate breakfast with Coroner turned Sheriff, Paul Revere.
          On Mother’s Day afternoon, Jim, Becky and their cat Hemi and Richard and I took off in our motorhomes for what I would call the fastest trip I’ve ever taken across the United States. Here are just a few of the pictures we took while in Lincolnton.

Nothin' Fancy

Bennett  Little Roy and
Bonnie's grandson

Becky, Jim, Richard, Me on Jeff Easter's Boat
Sunset cruise on Savannah Lakes

Lizzy's Brother, Lizzy

Ricky Scaggs
Sorry for the microphone in the way.

Until later,

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Ah! Summer Vacation

          Most of you know that for many years Richard and I have traveled the United States on summer vacations.  This year is no different except the extent of our happy journey.  We are going to stay in one of our favorite places for a whole year.
          NORTH TO ALASKA has taken on a whole new meaning.  Just a little introduction of main characters may be in order.  And, the answer to the most asked questions I’ve been faced with in the past few weeks.
          Traveling in their own motorhome with Richard and me is an old friend I graduated from high school with.  Jim (James Morris). We attended Franklin Jr. High, in Tampa, Florida and King High School in Temple Terrace, Florida.
Jim, Becky, Me, Richard
Notice the cute sign they put on
the back of their bus.
          My maiden name is Morton.  So Morris and Morton were always together in the same homeroom.  We had other classes together through the years, but for sure we started our day off in the same room.  I remember Jim as one of the most thoughtful, kindest, and funniest people I hung around with.
          Jim and his wife, Becky, have been married for 30+ years.  Becky and I instantly hit it off.  She and I start laughing as soon as we are together.  It started when she volunteered to carve the Thanksgiving turkey in our tiny motorhome.  I’d neglected to securely lock the lift-up counter space.  It fell and in a perfect BERTIE MOMENT, after a little slipping and sliding in failed attempts to catch it, the turkey splattered into the floor. We used the 10 second rule and rinsed it off.  It was pretty good.  I might scrub all my turkeys before carving them from now on. Becky reminds me of my cousin, Sandy.  I think the three of us could definitely strain something should we ever get together.
          Richard (my dear, loving husband of 44 years) is still the same, with no signs of changing.  He jokes in some of the ways Jim does, but when it is given back in the same manner, Richard doesn’t understand.  Let’s just say that sometimes he leaves his sense of humor in his back pocket.  For example, he had made it plain he did not wish to drive through Chicago.  So, Jim tells him over the CB (?) radio that we are getting on I-75, North to Chicago.  Richard was sputtering so much I thought he might choke.  Shortly, Jim came back with the true directions of I-24 to Nashville.
          Then there is me, Dolores J. Wilson.  I’m a wife, mother, grandmother of 9, and a published author of Women’s fiction, both happy and sad. I’m a crafter, and a cook who is excited about fixing all kinds of food for people who enjoy eating.  Unfortunately, my husband is not one of them. 
          Some of the questions I’ve been asked is why?  Because spending a year in Alaska to experience all the seasons and the Northern Lights has been on our Bucket List for years.  Richard is 75 and I’ll be 70 in a few weeks.  As Elvis sang, It’s Now or Never.  I’ll have more details in a later blog.
          Next: Are you crazy?  You’re going to freeze to death.  Well, my answer is that I thought my degree of craziness had been established years ago.  And I had no intention of freezing to death because I don’t plan on leaving the house if the temperature is below 50 degrees.
          I’m going to try to post a blog page at least 3 times a week.  Please leave your comments so I know who has read the daily post to Blame it on the Paste.

Until later,
Post #1 2019

Sunday, May 20, 2018

After almost three weeks, we have left the beautiful town of Lincolnton.  When we are in the same place for an extended amount of time, it is sometimes hard to find things to write about.  So now that we’ve move on, I’ll tell you a few highlights of our stay in N.E. Georgia.
First of all, our forever friends, Jack and Jeannie Dickson, arrived from Joplin, Missouri in time for Jeff and Sheri Easter’s Homecoming Festival. My sister, Nancy, flew into Augusta, Georgia, from Morgantown, West Virginia.
Richard is in charge of taking care of the parking area for campers at the Lewis Family Homeplace.  He received a call from a lady in Canada who was making arrangements for herself, her sister and her mother to come to the concert but they would be staying in a motel.  They were excited about meeting Jeff and Sheri and seeing them perform in person.
Richard was very impressed that the three where making such a big trip to see the concert. He decided it would be a nice gesture to have me fix a luncheon for the ladies.  I said sure and set about making plans for what I would need to serve a luncheon under a tent outside the bus. 
Richard said no, that maybe Carol Norman would allow us to use their screened-in patio. Carol graciously agreed.  Then Richard decided it might be nice if Carol’s husband, Walker T. Norman, Chairman of County Commissioners of Lincoln County, Georgia, would come by and talk to the ladies about Lincoln County.
Richard also decided it might be nice to ask Sheri Easter to stop by to visit with the ladies who had traveled so far, but, sadly, Sheri had a prior appointment.  Everything else went really well and just as Richard had planned it.

Chicken Salad on Butter Lettuce
Grapes          Bacon Crips
Strawberry Trifle
Lemonade              Sweet Tea 

Paula, Jeannie, Me, Laurette, Sandra
and Carol
Laurette, Paula, Sandra

      After lunch, Walker took the ladies for a tour of Lincoln County. When I first met Walker, he took me and Betty Brooks on that tour. We had no idea we would be gone so long and neither did Shelby Hewett or Wanda Givens who were waiting on a park bench in front of the library for Betty and me to return from Walker’s office at the courthouse.  During our ride, he made tactical maneuvers never attempted at Atlanta Speedway. It was an                                                         unforgettable trip.  
      I wasn’t around when the Hansen Ladies got back, but I was told they enjoyed the tour.  They also got the opportunity to meet Jeff and Sheri and they learned the Hansen’s were singers.  During the concert, Jeff invited sisters Sandra, and Paula, and Mom Lauretta onto the stage. Their beautiful voices entertained the crowd.  And Richard and I enjoyed meeting and entertaining them for a short while.

Until later,