Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Rejoice in the Lord

by Ron Hamilton

God never moves without purpose or plan
When trying His servant and molding a man.
Give thanks to the Lord though your testing seems long;
In darkness He giveth a song.
I could not see through the shadows ahead;
So I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
I bowed to the will of the Master that day;
Then peace came and tears fled away.
Now I can see testing comes from above;
God strengthens His children and purges in love.
My Father knows best, and I trust in His care;
Through purging more fruit I will bear.
O Rejoice in the LORD
He makes no mistake,
He knoweth the end of each path that I take,
For when I am tried
And purified,
I shall come forth as gold.

A little bit about the author, Ron Hamilton, also known to many children as Patch the Pirate...
When Ron Hamilton was 27 years old, the eye doctor discovered something in his left eye that worried him. After several weeks of testing, he was rolled into the operating room, not knowing what the outcome would be. As Ron slowly regained consciousness after surgery, his wife gave him the startling news that the doctor had found cancer and had had to remove his left eye. The doctor gave him his first patch, and suddenly, Ron was a pirate! Kids were fascinated by the patch and soon began calling him Patch the Pirate. The song Rejoice in the Lord was born out of this experience, and the Lord has used Ron's Patch the Pirate story and song recordings in a tremendous way.

Monday, April 18, 2011


These are my nephews, 4 and 2.  
Don't you wish we all could love each other like these little guys do?  

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Hikes

So I have decided that my favorite time of year to go hiking is definitely in the early spring.  It is sort of a downside of course that it isn't even green outside.  But there is plenty of sun, the temperature is perfect for working up a sweat, and there are NO MOSQUITOES!!!!!!!!!!!!  Actually there was one big one that kept following Steve around as he ate his salmon salad,  but still, usually a herd follows me everywhere I go and I get like 20 bites that itch like crazy!

We went hiking today on a nameless trail about 21 miles from Anchorage on Turnagain Arm, straight up the mountain side next to a chattering stream that ended in a majestic waterfall by the highway.  We were only out for two hours, but the trail ended and we stopped for lunch then headed home.  Steve had gotten a massage in the morning while I had done a strength training workout at the gym, so we did not want to overdue it.  The sun felt beautiful and the 54 degrees was a welcome change from the 20s and 30s.  So if you live in Alaska, don't let the lack of green hold you back, just get out there! It's gorgeous and there are no bugs?  How much better can it get?!

breathtaking and peaceful 

 happy to be out in the sun!

 my lunch spot :)

 Steve getting crazy on some deadfall stumps

 And it's down!

 How can anyone live anywhere but Alaska?

 having a "swinging" good time lol

We had a great trip and can't wait to go back and search for the continuation of the trail :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Goats lead to other interesting things...

The other day Steve saw a poster at Middle Way Cafe in Anchorage advertising a workshop to learn about raising goats in your backyard, for family purposes rather than commercial purposes.  We would really love to have two or three goats someday (along with or preceded by I guess I should say chickens) and thought it would be fun.  Steve called, and unfortunately, the woman hosting it was unsure of whether or not it would actually be happening, due to the lack of interest.  So far, only one other person had signed up to go.  Steve assured her that we would be there for sure, and on Saturday we drove out to Eagle River, all the way to the end of Eagle River rd, nearly to the Eagle River Nature Center, before reaching our hosts home.

This place was a phenomenon on its own.  We were thrilled to listen to the goat presentation, and meat the presenter's three cashmere goats she had brought along for that purpose.  But we were intrigued by the community we unearthed by meeting the host and seeing her house and learning about her little community.  Cindee was our hostess, and she took pleasure in showing her around her amazing home.  Please check out the links I have included about Cindee's Alaskan EcoEscape.  This place is awesome!  There are a few events coming up, so be sure to check out her facebook page as well.

Below is a bunch of images that I "borrowed" from Cindee's facebook page to share with you all, to inspire you to do at least one or two simple things to be more sustainable.  Remember every day to think globally by acting locally!  This is crucial to the future of our society people!

There's plenty of other pictures and more information on the AlaskanEcoEscape website,so be sure to visit it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

25 years young!

 German Chocolate Cake - Steve's favorite - and some pizza...perfect birthday food!

Yesterday was Steve's 25th birthday, and we celebrated in style, with Pizza Hut and cake.  This month seems to be the busiest of the (school) year yet, so I doubt I will have many substantial blog posts, which is sad.  But I am trying to increase my bike maintenance skills, so maybe there will be a post about that soon...we shall see.  I definitely need to take my studded tires off of the roadie...it's practically summer out there!  Blue skies sunshine, and only a little snow left to melt.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Farm Animal Sanctuary

"Both battery cage and “free-range” egg hatcheries kill all male chicks shortly after birth. Since male chicks cannot lay eggs and are different breeds than those chickens raised for meat, they are of no use to the egg industry. Standard killing methods, even among “free-range” producers, include grinding male chicks alive or throwing them into trash bags and leaving them to suffocate.

The animals killed so we can have chicken breasts, milk, and omelets feel pain and experience joy just like the dogs and cats we pamper. And, like dogs and cats, they want to live free from torture and suffering."

A friend on Facebook visited this farm and posted the link.  "Hmm..."  I thought, "What a great way to avoid doing more homework..."  

After looking around on the website, I found the statement above stood out to me the most.  Personally, I know that I will never be vegan.  But I have definitely become nearly meat free in the last year due to learning more about the conditions that animals go through in the commercial meat industry.  We are trying to be very careful about what meat we buy, not only because we want to be healthier ourselves, but because we do not want to support corporations have such horrible standards.  Please try to be more educated about where the food you eat comes from!  If even 25% of people in this country tried to make a difference in food industry, that would make a huge difference!  Please share this post if you want to help make our country (and world) a healthier, more humane place.

albie's new leg

Albie's Story

*EDIT* Phil B brought up a great point that I wanted to quickly share...the way our food crops are being handled is also completely deplorable, and is at a crisis point that the majority of the American public has no knowledge of (maybe because they don't care, but I think it is because companies like Monsanto work very hard to keep it off of public radar).  Here are a few links for further reading, and I will work on coming up with a full post for later...

"Organic Farm Groups Sue Monsanto" by Alison Rose Levy

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hard to let go...

This picture probably seems very odd for me to post on my blog, but it is here for a reason. Today, I finally allowed myself to lovingly fold up that blanket for the last time and get rid of it.
Covered in rips and holes, all I saw were memories of how those holes were made as tears filled my eyes; the tattered quilt wasn't doing much to keep me warm anymore, but still I did not want to part with it. I picked that quilt out with my mom about 10 years ago, around the same time I got a little black furball named Pepper. She had the most beautiful brown eyes and the biggest heart, and man did she love to scratch at that blanket until it was perfectly arranged for her to sleep on. Nine years of similar treatment is what led to the tattered state of the quilt I let go of today.

I think that it might be one of the hardest thing about losing a loved-one, the little things in your day to day life that pop up and remind you of them so strongly you can't let go of the object, no matter how worn out and useless it may be. As silly as it sounds, letting go of that quilt was like saying goodbye to Pepper all over again. It's been seven months since we said goodbye, and just when I think the pain is fading, I realize again that it never really will. I love and miss my big girl, and wish I could give her one more hug. For those pet owners out there, cherish the time you have with your pet/s, because it can be over so fast!
Pepper on her favorite quilt, in 2002