Archive for the ‘Simple’ Category

Here in Yakutat, Alaska there are only 2 seasons. Winter and Winter-Extreme! The first day of Spring Break, I woke up to a blizzard. Blowing snow for 3 days! I couldn’t tell you how glad I was to see that it was snowing that morning because the temperature the week before had ranged from 4° to 12° and snow meant the house would stay warm and snug. Hooray for snow!

Thursday afternoon the sun has finally made it through the cloud cover. The sky is a beautiful blue. So fresh and clean…However, I’m really looking forward to the “real” Spring…

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. We love to celebrate this holiday! It’s one of my favorites. Today I found myself daydreaming about what it would be like to live on a farm in Ireland and grow my own potatoes and butter the fresh eggs that come straight from my free-range chickens…sigh… sounds like a lovely life.

Anyway, only 2 years ago, did I discover that we love corned beef! I don’t know how we never had this dish before! It’s amazing. I just followed the directions on the package and put it all in the slow cooker. Viola! Dinner is served.

This year, I found a new recipe that is a little more involved but sounded amazing! I decided to make two (one of each) just in case someone would rather have the “old” recipe. And, because we are having company over for dinner, I looked for special desserts to go with our meal. Anyone know if truffles are an authentic Irish tradition? Because, that’s what I’m making. Real Irish Cream truffles!

I found the recipe for these killer truffles over at Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen  It was one of those amazing Pinterest gems I discovered when I was browsing for Irish meals.20170318_162424[1]

Oh yeah! So easy to make but they had to be refrigerated over night (or until firm). Thankfully, I read that the night before and even though I didn’t put them together until the next morning, they still turned out KILLER.

Key ingredient: Homemade Irish Cream  – Which I also found the recipe for over at Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen She’s got a plethora of other recipes to try, I plan on testing them out for myself…later… after I finish a few more bites of truffle. hehe





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New Year’s day has come and gone and I didn’t even give a thought to resolutions. In fact, I didn’t even think of them until some one mentioned theirs several weeks later. I figured it was too late for me to do anything about it then anyway, so I was off the hook… Seriously. Who else is with me, raise your hand!

I later came to the realization that changing your life can happen any time. Just ask a newly expecting mom. THAT literally happens over night! Ok, off track… back to me.

About 2 months ago (middle of January), I was getting frustrated with my slow weight loss and very bored. We have an old Gazelle Freestyle Elite that someone passed down to us and I had been using it in the evenings while Tim read to the kids from “Narnia”. In the past, Tim and I would watch Stargate SG:1 while I ran on my elliptical for 45 min. That is how I lost the extra weight after my previous pregnancies. I thought I could replace the elliptical with this Gazelle, but so far, it wasn’t working very well. If Tim didn’t read I didn’t want to exercise, and sometimes I was just too tired to do it. Other times, Tim was too tired to read. So I did the only logical thing I could do. I complained. “I want to watch Stargate again. I miss it. Waaaaaaaa. Waaaa. Waaaa. Waaaa.” Tim missed it too. We checked out the full 5 season series on Amazon. $50. Not bad! Still, Tim wasn’t in a hurry to slap down $50 for entertainment when we had other more important things to spend our money on…. like, food..?

I came up with a plan!  How about I contract to lose 10 lbs. and he will buy me Stargate Atlantis – the complete series?! Yes! Brilliant! But I wouldn’t stop there, I would lose 10 more lbs. before we can start watching it! And then of course 10 more WHILE we’re watching it! (who could say no to that, right?) I know it’s a little crazy to contract to lose weight for something. Let’s face it, I do have the extra 30 lbs. to lose, but the thing is, I’ve tried it before. Nothing makes me lose weight. Not a new dress. Not a vacation to the Caribbean. BUT, this. This WAS something I really wanted. I could lose weight for this. So we made a deal!

After a few more attempts at trying the Gazelle in the evenings and being unsuccessful, I knew I had to think of something else. I had lost 4 lbs. and then stopped. Don’t get me wrong, losing 4 lbs. is a success, but that is where I stayed…Stargate Atlantis was getting further and further out of reach as the price changed on Amazon from day to day… (I know because I was checking it daily.)

Then, one afternoon I remembered my excitement when I had joined in a Zumba class. It had been so much fun I instantly loved it. Previously, I had been intimidated to order a dvd because I thought it would be too fast for me and I wouldn’t be able to keep up. This time I would be smart about it. I decided to order the Slim Down Zumba kit, plus also an instructional dvd (which turned out to be unnecessary because the kit came with another version of the same thing) that taught the essential dance moves and featured the creator of Zumba. I thought it would be fun. And maybe I could do it a couple of times a week. I fell in love with the dvds immediately. Almost as much as the live class I previously experienced! I took the instructional dvd to my sister’s house and the kids joined she and I for a dance party! Whoo! Do I need to say it was really fun? … It was really fun.

So, I started the Zumba Slim Down program and lost 16lbs. I’m on the 4th week of it and I can’t believe the results. Unfortunately, I neglected to take that first picture… you know the one I mean.. the one that shows how out of shape you are and that you use for reference when you are feeling like results are slow and you can’t tell if it’s working.. yeah, that picture. I am so bummed now because I have only a handful of pictures of me since I gave birth to Little T and none of them are of me in a sports bra holding the latest edition of USA TODAY. Grrrr…. I probably could get enough of the awkward ones and make a collage so that I can at least see a difference in my face. Or my left arm in this picture! …or my right ankle in that one…(Must remember to take actual “Before” pictures)

Here is my forged collage: Before (Still pregnant) After (Bad lighting) Total loss from first picture to second picture is 52lbs. (That is mostly baby weight – but it still counts! haha!)



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Oct. 9th, 2014

I found an old poem I wrote after Tim left for Winter King season last year. The realization that time is ticking without any input from me became very real that morning as we drove to the airport. The fears, the responsibilities. All too real. I share it with you now.

Time is my enemy
Time is my friend
Where has the time gone?
You were here, now you are not.
Time is my enemy
Time has no end
I dig my heels in o stay in this moment
It doesn’t matter, it’s gone
I couldn’t hold it

Where does it go when I’m enjoying it?
To feel it again…
I come alive in the moment
Treasure every second
How it feels, how it smells
How it tastes, how it sounds
Memories – ALL are precious

“It’s only three weeks this time.”
If I hear it again I’ll scream
My life is REAL
This is no dream
Life is too short to take it for granted
Solomon said it best, we’re a breath
I have learned to treasure each minute
I get it. It’s not going to last forever
I can’t hold back time, just like I can’t hold back pain

I’m alone with 6 children
I’m a mother
I’m responsible
I put you on a plane
said, “Goodbye”
I’m vulnerable

Quick! Get me something to do!
A new workout, A craft project
Yes, indeed! I’m on it!
Anything to take my mind off it!

Going solo was not what I planned
God knew we needed it
Ant through pain we’ve bonded
Come back to me!
Just come as quick as you can.
I miss you
I’m your woman
You are my man

Time was my enemy
Now Time is my friend
It’s working for me
I don’t have to force it
Soon. We’ll be together again.

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Two weeks ago tomorrow, my husband left home and traveled to Alaska, and I became a fisherman’s wife. After dropping him off at the airport and surviving the whole day with my six children (5 of whom are still on summer vacation) alone, I journaled the experience in my purple spiral notebook that I bought at Wal-Mart for 17 cents during their back to school sale. This, however, did not prove to be a good place because now it is missing and all my hard work of journaling on paper just made for lost time. I am starting my blog without my rough paper draft! UGH! You should be shuddering right now… “Don’t worry! I remember what it said, ‘Dear Darla, I hate yer stinkin’ guts! You are scum between my…” (Little Rascals) and I’ll stop there in case that is causing you confusion.

I am handling being a single mom as good as to be expected. This is the third year for us that we have been separated by land and sea. Each time I declare I will never do it again and yet, here we are today. I keep saying that there is only two options to choose from. Give up fishing or move to Alaska. However, it would seem that there is a third option! And that is, to continue the physical state of being separate, which is (to my dismay – now that it has been two weeks) what we inevitably keep choosing. That being said, I am ready for him to be home. We all are…

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On this day, I felt the best. I was happy and woke up ready to go. I was able to help my husband get his lunch packed for work that day. I had energy like I hadn’t had for days. Although, I was short of breath a few times and had to take it slow. Also, Tim wasn’t about to let me over do it. He did as much for me as he could and would often call me from work or send me a text to see how I was doing. (I’ve not had that much attention from him in years.)

Day # 12

Continued reading in 1 Kings, Chapter 21. There was a lot of fasting in this chapter. The “real” fasting was at the end. The kind the Lord delights in. I’ll just let you read it for yourself. Except for verses 27-29

“When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly. Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite; ‘Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.’ ”

I read that over and over. Not only was God’s mind changed (which was BIG) but there was something else I might not have noticed unless I hadn’t been fasting for 12 days…. The fact that he “lay in sackcloth”  Isn’t that wonderful? I was doing the same thing most days. I’m so glad that’s biblical!

Isaiah 58: 2-4, 6-14 – The fast the Lord delights in. Read it for yourself!! It’s good.

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Back to Psalms. Lying on my bed with little strength, here is what the Lord spoke into my heart this day.

Psalms 102:17

“He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.”

This day I honestly don’t remember much about. I didn’t journal it. But I do know this, I hurt on this day. Not just physically, but on the inside. I was desperate for God to give me something. My dad’s health was the top priority, but second to that was me eating. Was I allowed to break the fast if my dad was healed before my 3 week fast was up?  This was really a concern of mine. I didn’t ever think it would be.  My thoughts most often turned to food. When I eat, what shall I have? I know! Crab salad! I am really craving crab. Yum!  On other days, I felt somewhat more “holy” when my thoughts were a little more “pure”…Tomatoes. That’s all I want. OR! A cucumber! Yum…actually, any veggie will do.

It’s almost like I couldn’t focus on prayer or anything. My positions were mostly: dragging my feet to the couch, dragging my feet to my bed, or walking normally to the kitchen to get some food for someone else in my family. I was more concerned than usual about my children being fed and full. However, I felt like I was going to die… so if they even thought about turning up their little noses to anything I made, I was angry and demanded that they eat it anyway. After all, it looked very good to me!

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Every day I cracked the bible it was something about fasting, or prayer, or God feeding those who hunger. It just amazes me how efficient He is. He knows me better than I do!

Day # 10

Joel 2:12 – 17

” ‘Even now,’ declares the Lord, ‘return to me with all your hear, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend you heart and not your garments. return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing – grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the Lord, weep between the temple porch and the altar. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘where is their God?’ ”

– Fasting and prayer – I was awed that the Lord asked for the children and babies that were still nursing to fast and pray. This was serious! I’ve always felt that I was exempt from fasting while I was pregnant or nursing my children, but here it looks as if every one was REQUIRED to fast no matter what the age or circumstance. This was definitely new information for me to digest.

Joel 2:25-27

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locust and the locust swarm – my great army that I send among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.”

This was such a hope to me. It increased my faith. It made me want to wait to see what the Lord was going to do. Is my father being healed part of His plan? Does He have other ideas? At this point it doesn’t matter. He is going to repay what the locust have eaten. Can you imagine what that would look like? What it might feel like? Can God get any more amazing than this!? O Yeah.


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