Heather had planned our trip so well but this was something she didn’t plan. She didn’t know that her big brother, Jared, had connections to Universal Studios. She had always wanted to go to see Harry Potter land. Jared has an older gentleman that lives with him who is the father of his best friend, Justin. Justin’s Mom, Karen, is a witch at the Squeaky Cauldron and she got us free tickets. Justin is also one of my adopted sons, so I really wanted to meet Karen.
We were supposed to just hang out at the hotel by the pool for the day while Dan went to car museum he had been wanting to visit. He dropped the rest of us off at Universal Studios where we met up with Karen.
Karen didn’t get to stay with us long because she had things to do and has a hard time wearing the mask. To say the least she hasn’t been able to work because of this. It was really nice to get to spend a little time with her. Her family think so highly of my oldest son, Jared, which makes me very proud.
Once upon a time there was a little girl, Maria, who was the Princess of York. She lived a quiet life on a quiet street with her Mother the Queen. Then one day as she looked out the window she saw a big, white animal walking down the sidewalk in front of her castle.
Maria tells the Queen, Christina, that there is a polar bear walking down the sidewalk. Her mother informs her that there are no polar bears in York. We live to far south for them to be here.
Today I am bringing myself to actually write about my best friend, Alice, who I lost on Sunday. Alice was my 102 lb. Lab/ Catahoula leopard dog who at 11 1/2 years old left this world.
Alice never wanted anything but to be by me. She loved me unconditionally. She was the best girl. She never left my side when we were hiking or the campsite while camping. When David and I would pick berries or spruce tips she would just lay and watch us, move as we moved and never left my side. We were walking with her through a park one time and this tiny dog came running out of the grass. Scared Alice to death and she went running for camp. Another time we were going to hike the trail to Five Fingers on the Yukon River in Canada. There were steep, long steps down to the trail. Alice got down about half way turned and said that is enough, ran back to the van. Trying to get her across a bridge over the Yukon River in Miles Canyon near Whitehose was really something. David pushed and I pulled. Once across she was fine and we went for a nice walk. Coming back we just thought this is going to be fun. She tricked us though and walked right across.
Alice was such a chicken. People would be afraid of her because she was big. They would hear her deep bark not knowing that she was hiding in the bedroom barking at them. She was a great protector if she could hide behind you. She was afraid of kitchens, bathrooms and floors without carpet. Oh yes, stairs can be scary too. In fact any change can be scary.
Alice helped me through my late husband’s, Baggy, 13 months of illness and his death. When the paramedics were on the way to our home I put her outside. As they worked on Baggy in the living room by the window she quietly watched. When it was time for them to take Baggy away, as they zipped the bag she started to bark and did so until they drove off. She was the one that helped me make it through this.
Alice moved with me from Texas to Washington to Alaska. Then our last move to York, Pennsylvania. She was a great traveler.
She was so good with the twin granddaughters. I used to laugh because every time Dan brought them over she would have to smell them and make sure they were the right ones, I guess. As they grew she would sit patiently until they finished eating so she could clean up their mess. If she did get tired of them she would just get up and go into the bedroom.
When we would get ready to go somewhere and Alice couldn’t go we could tell her, “No, Alice you have to stay.” Then she would mope off to her moping corner in our room. David said she reminded him of Eeyore.
Friday morning I was awakened by the sound of Alice falling against the wall next to my side of the bed. She then slipped down the wall and was laying down. I thought that was weird but she seemed to settle down. I went back to sleep for a while. I got up around 6 and went to start my morning routine, which the first thing was to let Alice out. She always follows me right to the door as soon as we are up. She didn’t follow. A little later she tried to get up and couldn’t. Her whole back end didn’t work.
We looked up vets online and found one that opened at 7:30. I called and they could get her in at 10. The next problem was how to get her in the back of our car. Luckily, we have a Subaru Outback so the backend opens up. But how would we get this 102 lb dog up the hill and into the car. Our son in law, Dan, and his Dad, Jim, came to help. I got her on a sheet and we brought in the girls’ wagon. We go her into the wagon, up the hill and into the car without stressing her out.
The vet couldn’t find anything really bad on the x-rays. Some arthritis but who of us don’t have that in our backs. I am thinking now it was a stroke. The vet says it could be. She says we could try a steroid shot and that if it helped we would be able to tell by Sunday. I agreed to let her have the shot, hoping it will help. We took her back home.
By now she has not been to the bathroom since Thursday night. David and I put a rolled towel under her to hold up her backend. We took her out but she didn’t do anything. She couldn’t pick up her tail and her legs just dragged behind her.
Saturday night wasn’t a good night for Alice. Sunday morning there was no change what so ever. I couldn’t let her suffer any more. I made the decision I had to make. The vet opened at 10. We were there with Alice when they opened. They got us in right away. They were so wonderful to us. Alice left this world knowing how loved she was. We were with her until the end.
I love you, Alice. I will never forget you and all you did for me. I hope you are sitting at Baggy’s side now watching over me.
We were going to go visit our friend, Dawn, but we couldn’t see her until after she got off from work.
Nancy had a dental appointment which went a lot faster than she thought if was going too. She picked up our Mariner tickets for the next night and headed home from downtown Seattle. She was back in time to go to lunch with the rest of us.
After leaving Mt Kitt we headed to Ajo, Arizona. I had never been there but our friend, Kat and her son Silas, live there and I always wanted to visit. We had already decided to stop to visit them on our way home.
I am really getting into this and learning to always look at the things you checked off and not the ones unchecked. Today that is just what I did.
My day started off like a normal day. I had planned to go over to my friend’s, Judie, house and we were going to paint some pots. We have a lot of starts that we took off some of the plants at church. We thought if we rooted them and planted them in cute pots we could sell them after church to make money for the church or a charity. Anyway there I go again getting side tracked. I had just got over there and my son called to say they had forgotten their brushes and could I run them over to them. Judie and I say fine but before we leave she gets a call from her daughter and she is in the ER. She has been sick for a while and finally went in. So we tell her we are going to go take the brushes to the boys and then we will come see her. We get to my house and I am looking for brushes, so I call the kid. He says, “Oh, never mind we have a roller working now.” Not sure what that meant. I guess I will ask when they get home. Anyway we say great. Jump back in the car and head to hospital. We go find Trevor. She is waiting to get test results. We are waiting with her, but we are both thinking they are going to admit her. Sure enough test results come back and she has a low white count. She is put on IV antibiotics and told she is being admitted. She asks for how long and he replies at least 3 days. She is starting to stress, we tell her not to worry about anything that we will take care of it. We tell her she needs to just worry about herself. We said tell us what you need us to do. She was worried about her dogs. We said we will take them over to Judie’s house. She was going to send her daughter $100. We said we can take care of that. She was worried about picking Jesse up on Monday. Mom, Judie, said she will pick him up. She was worried about getting some baby blankets finished. I told her I would do that. I better put that on my checklist! Then she was worried they would make her stay more than 3 days and she was supposed to fly to Vegas to see her daughter and meet her new grandson. We told her that she needs not to worry about that because if she has to change her date it is for a medical reason so it would be no problem. We repeat to her just take care of you and we will take care of everything else. Off we go to the car again.
Once in car we decided our plan of attack. First was off to Wells Fargo Bank with a nice crisp $100 dollar bill in our little hands. We get to the bank and go in. Judie tells the lady at the desk that she wants to put $100 in her granddaughter’s checking account. The lady asked if it was cash. Judie says yes and she replies we don’t accent cash. Judie stood there with her mouth open for a split second before she replied you’re a bank and you don’t accept cash. The lady then explained that they weren’t allowed because of money laundering. So this 75 year old woman had to write a check off of her account to deposit into her granddaughter’s checking account so she was not accused of money laundering. I am sorry but I had to laugh.
Our next stop was to Trevor’s to get the dogs and to get the blankets I need to finish for her. We drive up and park in the driveway. All of a sudden my door is open and there is the little boy saying, “Hi, you’re my neighbor. You have two dogs because I have seen them in you backyard. You have two cats because I have seen them through our upstairs windows and I can see right into your windows.” I guess he knows all about Trevor except for what she looks like, considering that Judie is 75 and I am 63 and Trevor is 40. Also, Trevor’s skin is a little darker than ours and she is a lot skinnier than us two old ladies. So we manage to get inside the house. The dogs are no problem. We let them out to go pee. We find the blankets and thread, so I can take care of them. The dogs are back in. We collect their bowls and food. Now we have to find the leashes. They are supposed to be in a hall closet. We look and look and can’t find them. Trevor calls and tells us they have her in a room now. We say great and where are the leashes. She tells us that they are just where we were looking. Finally, after Judie drops a big weight on her foot we see something behind this big black bag. Judie reaches for it and SCORE we found one. Then there was the other one. Now we got the dogs, food, bowls and blankets loaded in the car. We then decide that I should go over to the store to pick up my groceries I ordered. I love this new thing that Fred Meyer’s is doing. You go on-line and order your groceries and pick a time to pick it up. Then you just drive to the pickup area and they load it in the car. If I could get them to come home and unload that would be good. Well look I need gas, so let’s go to their gas station. WOW! was that a great idea. I scanned my rewards card and got 40 cents a gallon off of the gas. Too bad I wasn’t driving the truck but I had to use the points before the end of August. OH shit, I have keto ice cream in my groceries. Ok, so we will stop at my house on the way to Judie’s, it is on the way. She sits in the car with the dogs while I run up the back stairs to put my freezer stuff away. Then off to Judie’s to let the dogs in her house. We set up the kennel, sort out food and water for them. They had stayed at grandma’s before, so it was all ok. I then say well do you want to go to the cannabis store with me. I think this will be fun because Judie is just an old hippie too. We check on google to see where the closest one was to us and off we go again. Judie loves that she is carded at the door. They told her they had to make sure she didn’t have a fake ID. Then the door opened and that wonderful smell hits you, yes we made it. Judie is just in awe. Her eyes get big and she is looking everywhere. Checking every corner out with the eyes of amazement. She turns to me and says, “I never thought I would see this in my lifetime.”
Well as I come home I think I didn’t get too many checks today but think the ones that I did get with all the other things that happened in my day were well-earned and I am proud of me.
Well before I can tell you about our weekend in Soldotna I have to show you a couple new photos I got of our twins.
We left Friday morning to head to Sterling where we were leaving Dusty for the weekend. We were down there for little Charlie’s 11th birthday.
David and I went to Soldotna to stay with our friend, Stella. We all went out to a new Thai Restaurant in the Soldotna Mall. Then we went to the store to get some snacks. Oh but we need popcorn, so off to the Orca Movie Theater for popcorn. This is what Stella and I do when we get together. Then we went home to watch a movie, Wild Horses, which was a good choice.
Before we went to the birthday party at Soldotna park we went to Jared’s, my son, to see what he had been doing to the property. We also met his in-laws who had come up to visit for a couple of weeks. It was their first trip to Alaska.
We then went over to Neese and Randy’s house to visit. They just live around the corner from Jared. I had to take Neese her magnets that I had been getting for her while we were on our travels. I bet she would give the Genius Book of Records a run for their money on who has the most magnets. She loved the new ones I got her though.
Then it was off to Charlie’s birthday party at Soldotna Park. There was a carnival at one end of the park, so we found the grand kids down there. I got some good photos of all the grandkids on rides. Poor Charlie rode the zipper with his Dad and got sick. He could not even stand to go near the carnival. Tayvin made it through the zipper but when he got on the swings with his sister it was just too much for him. He got off the swing and that did him in.
Then we all went for a walk along the boardwalk on the Kenai River.
After we all said good-bye David and I headed back to Stella’s. Stella cooked us a nice supper with BBQ steaks, potatoes, stuffed jalapeno, mushrooms and a salad. It was a great meal.
The next morning we got up and went out for breakfast at King Salmon. I have been going to King Salmon since I moved to Alaska in 1980. I usually always get the biscuits and gravy, but they do have a lot of other good food. I just think of it as a typical Alaska restuarant. It is casual with real, tasty food. They do have a breakfast buffett but I have never tried that. I know a lot of people do. Even the tourist always find it and eat there.
Then we went to visit David’s niece, Diana Honkola. We had a great visit with her and the kids. They are both growing so fast. Grabbed Dusty on our way out of Sterling and headed home.
We did have to stop at the Turnagain Armpit for some good BBQ before we got home.
Calls itself the Southern BBQ on the Alaskan Frontier. Bringing authentic southern BBQ to Alaska is our passion, is our mission. We thrive on being true to traditional southern low n slow smoked meats and classic BBQ sides. We skimp on no part of that age old tradition, we replicate the BBQ masters every step of the way. We honour the ‘Q’ and all that it stands for. We don’t follow trends and we don’t sway from classic BBQ – well sometimes, but only rarely and then not very far. If they don’t do it down south, you likely won’t see it at our PiT.
Saved me having to cook for my boys.
What a wonderful weekend spent with dear friends and a great family!
I wanted to go visit my friend, Ian Mcinnes, in Hampstead. I once again did a search for breweries and Gary, David and I set off. We took the underground at Earl’s Court to King’s Cross where we walked to Euston. I picked up my tickets for our trip to Chester the next day.
After our visit we were off on the search for the greatest beer. We used our Oyster card to hop on a couple of buses. We got off and started down the road. We then noticed that the numbers were getting smaller, then turning around we started back up the road. We found the address just where we had gotten off the bus. As we all stood there looking dumbfounded at the empty building, we wondered if there was another building 100. We had now gone completely around the building looking for a brewery. Gary saw a security guard in the building, so he knocked, asking is this 100 and told yes. Is there a brewery here? No, this building is empty and has been closed for many years.
Ok no big deal we have another one to find. We got directions, so off we went. We found the address with no problem. Only problem was it is now Tesco Express. Once again Gary went in to see what he could find out. No one knew anything, until a gentleman came out and told us that the brewery has been gone for many years.
Once again it was rush hours, so we decided to go to the Ye Old Swiss Cottage to eat dinner. We walked in and David noticed all the taps were Samuel Smith beers. I guess I should mention that the one thing he wanted to do while we were here was going to Samuel Smith brewery which is in Tadcaster. I tried to get us there but it was just going to be a pain, so we decided to skip it. David was in heaven.
The Swiss Tavern was built in 1804 in the style of a Swiss chalet on the site of a former toll gate keeper’s cottage, and later renamed Swiss Inn and in the early 20th century Swiss Cottage.
Swiss Cottage is a district of the London Borough of Camden in England. It is part of Hampstead and is centered on the junction of Avenue Road and Finchley Road, at the tripoint of the postcodes of Hampstead NW3, Kilburn/West Hampstead NW6 and St Johns Wood NW8. Swiss Cottage is 3.25 miles (5.23 km) north-northwest of Charing Cross. It is the location of Swiss Cottage tube station.
After some great beers, nice meal and rush hour was over we headed back to Gary’s flat.