Are Pirates Romantic?

September 19, 2015 at 8:15 am (Fun) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Today, September 19th, is Talk Like A Pirate Day.

dloweXMASPIRATESPara Abnormal Comic by Dave Lowe

Pirates were my first love then came cowboys. I yearned for wide, open spaces free from the conflict of the reality of school where I was tolerated or ignored. I wanted someone to rescue me and pirates seemed most up to the task. I wouldn’t have to make a decision. I could be kidnapped by a handsome, devilish rogue instead. It didn’t matter that I lived on the prairies about as far from the sea as one could get. It didn’t matter that pirates weren’t real (at least as far as I knew – we only got local news back before the internet told us everything we didn’t want to know)!

Pirates were handsome. Pirates were rogues. Pirates were devilish. They may be unkempt but were never smelly. They may be thieves but they had honor. A pirate code was a code of conduct for governing pirates. The pirates would draw up their own code which provided rules for discipline, division of stolen goods, and compensation for injured pirates. They took care of their own and once kidnapped, I would belong somewhere. I would be with people who wanted to be with me. (Lets just ignore rule six for now shall we)!

Open Sea

I’ve always been a sucker for devilish rogues with questionable morals. Rhett Butler is the man with the plan in Gone With the Wind. He knows what he wants and goes for it. Never mind the fact that I would run from a real man who acted like he did. I’d make him walk the plank and send him far away from me right quickly.

Though if he spoke to me like this, I think I would possibly swoon. Le sigh…

Dear Scarlett! You aren’t helpless. Anyone as determined and selfish as you are is never helpless. God help the Yankees if they should get you. — Rhett Butler to Scarlett O’Hara

I want a man who sees me as strong and capable well also loving me passionately!

I want a man who is on my side, by my side, no matter what. Though may not quite to this extreme.

Oh, Christian, why do you always play such bad, bad boys?

Raft Hook

Ah, the romance of Piracy! They attack, they loot, they vanish. They steal jewels and hearts. We’ve been romanticizing them since 1879 if not before.

Who wouldn’t love a man whose best friends are monkeys and parrots?

And such monikers they had – Blackbeard, Bluebeard, Calico Jack!

“This heres me man, Calico Jack!”

They winter on tropical islands. They have adventures that require scavenger hunts and treasure maps. They have plenty of money to shower you with gowns and jewels. Their treasure chests contain numerous pieces of eight!

X marks what spot?

Land Ho!

Okay, do I want to ensnare a pirate’s heart or do I want to be a pirate
like Anne Bonny and Mary Read?

Remember talk like a pirate today and

follow me, follow me away to the sea!





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Off-Season & Off-Center

June 14, 2015 at 8:15 am (Blogging) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )


Weekly Photo Challenge: Off-Season

Travel Theme: Off-Center

This photo was taken just after 11am as we entered the Alaskan ice fields, last year, on June 27, 2014.

The day felt like winter as we were served hot pea soup on the deck as we watched the glacier calf. I think the picture would have been more effective if it had also showed the glacier as it is hard to tell that it is ice floating in the water without it. However, I do like this picture with its cloudy blue sky and icy blue water framed by the mountains.

My sister spent most of the day outside watching the glacier. She got to see it calf. I did not. She said it made an amazing noise.

No regrets. That’s the motto I try to live by.



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May 3, 2015 at 8:15 am (Meme) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Broken Cookie

This is a broken cookie. (She states the obvious). The center is very detailed. Each center seed is a small dark purple ball. I did not make this cookie. It would be too much trouble to ice and detail. I am lazy and like the Cookie Monster will eat even broken cookies. Num, num.

Pink Flowers

The next two pictures are from my cruise to Alaska last June. I do not know what kind of flowers they are. If you know, tell me. Thanks.

Purple Flowers

They are both simple and intricate in design and have such pretty, vibrant colour to them.

I’m ready for the trees to start budding and the flowers to bloom. How about you?



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Death Is Your Gift

October 19, 2014 at 10:22 am (Book Commentary) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

“And I will show you something different from either your shadow at morning striding behind you or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.”  (T.S. Eliot)

Mount Pleasant Cemetery_SC

I was a Cemetery Girl. This was before goth was a thing. As a child, my best friend and I use to wander the local graveyards exploring and reading the gravestones. It was peaceful. It was quiet. It was a pleasant way to spend a coolish Fall afternoon.

It was usually Fall when you would find us in the graveyard. Leaves would be falling and the world’s axis was spinning into winter and long, cold days of nothing to do. Fall is my favourite season. It is cool. School is starting. There is a quietness in the air. Halloween is just around the corner.

Most of the cemeteries we haunted were country cemeteries; the closet one was a block outside of town. The other one we visited regularly was a mile out. We hardly ever saw anyone else there. It seemed a shame. There was so much beauty and peacefulness there and everyone else was missing it.

We come upon an old woman in black, holding an umbrella against the sun, sitting in front of her husband’s grave on an overturned bucket. She speaks to us in her own language, pointing at the face on the black headstone, crying into a hankie. Lisa gives her a fresh bottle of water. (p. 244)

Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker-in-Training
by Tom Jokinen
Toronto:Random House of Canada, 2010

Country Cemetery (Dahlton)

I still haunt graveyards. I’ve taken pictures of cemeteries all over Saskatchewan, in Scotland and recently in Anchorage, Alaska. I’m always going to regret not being able to get to explore the historical cemetery at Skagway.

Death intrigues me. No, how we process death intrigues me. No, the history sitting around in graveyards entrances me. I am an explorer of the past. I like to explore what use to be.

I also wonder about what is beyond – beyond the shadows, beyond death. What is the next step? Knowing the plan calms me. I like to know the steps, what to do, what ie expected of me at each turn. Don’t surprise me. I hate surprises!

Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery

I delight in exploring cemeteries and graveyards. Did you know the two terms are not interchangeable? A cemetery is an area set apart for or containing graves, tombs, or funeral urns, especially one that is not a churchyard. A graveyard is a burial ground, associated with or beside a church.

I also delight in reading books about the death industry. I enjoyed the television series Six Feet Under and always wanted to live in a large, Victorian funeral home.

The latest funeral industry book I bought is Caitlin Doughty’s book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Caitlin oversees the blog The Order of the Good Death that I regularly read and has a series of videos about death and the way we (as a society) deal with it. Scroll down this page for the book video.

I am a cemetery girl. I haunt graveyards. Death is my familiar. I fear not.


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Women Travelers: Book Quote Sunday #7

July 27, 2014 at 8:15 am (Travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

“A woman who forsakes hearth and home, who does not campaign for bedroom furniture and bassinets. A woman who … sleeps many nights in many strange and empty beds, and is not afraid of the dark. A woman who can be alone and not talk to herself.” (p. 52)

Dangerous Beauty of the Open Road
by Ellen Shea

In My Father’s Daughter: Stories by Women
Edited by Irene Zahava

U.S., Crossing Press, 1990

Globe_Holland America_Oosterdam

One of the things I do when I travel is pick up any and all free newspapers that are laying about which is how I discovered this issue of the Anchorage Press and this Alaskan native MC, here she is on YouTube.

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SM Room W Ocean View

July 21, 2014 at 4:41 pm (Travel) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I recently got back from a cruise vacation. It wasn’t my vacation choice. There are a million other vacations I want to do before ever taking another cruise.

Leaving Vancouver

My mother and stepfather paid for my eldest sister and me to go on the cruise with them. They both turn eighty this summer and find it easier to travel with companions. My sister went with them on a Panama cruise a year ago and they all enjoyed it. I didn’t go to the Panama because I loathe the hot weather. Remember, I am not Summer’s child.

We traveled by planes all the day the day before the cruise started and got into Vancouver that Saturday evening. We boarded the cruise ship Sunday around noon. It was a long, tiring process and there were too many cameras around. The cruise company makes sure to get a picture of you just before you board the ship so that they could sell it back to you later. This is the only official picture I consented to – I hate having my picture taken – and thankfully, the photographers were not militant about getting a picture of me.

My mind kept going back over the only two ocean movies that I could remember. Titanic, of course, because we would be cruising some ice fields and the Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russel comedy Overboard which contains the line “it’s a hell of a day at sea, sir.” I’d rather observe the ocean from dry land thank you very much!


It was supposedly an all inclusive cruise but we still had to pay for pop and coffee drinks in the bars. Not my definition of free or all inclusive. Plus, there was the daily tip remittance that was levied to our room ($22 that was divided between all staff on board) so I ended up sending around $200 on board the cruise. Yes, some of the restaurants were included in the all inclusive but not all. I know, I’m picky, picky, picky! Again, not my idea of a vacation.

Plus, the internet was costly and slow, slow, slow so the ten days turned into an unexpected internet sabbatical. It’s not that I’m constantly on the web but I do like to read my comics every morning and to be able to check my email.

Between the (thankfully) brief first day at sea sickness and the constant buy, buy, buy I can’t say I’d ever take another cruise.

Did I mention that it rained for the first half of the cruise.

Picky, picky, picky!

Rainy Days

So, what did I enjoy.

The shows were good but corny, ie very family friendly. There was a library but no librarian (just a clerk with a MBA). I did have time to pop into one library (Juneau) doing my time on shore. Mostly, I was busy from morning to evening especially when we had a shore day. There was lots my mom and step-dad and sister wanted to see. I would have liked at least one shore day with no planned activity. It would have been nice to explore the Skagway cemetery and just spend time wondering around town.

So, what did we do on shore (other than not shop – me, that is)!

Tuesday, we went to the Lumberjack show. Burly men chopping wood and throwing axes. As my sister said, this is how men use to look. It was raining a bit and still these athletes put on an amazing show and later made time to pose for pictures. This was our quietest day as we were only on shore about two hours then it was back to the open sea by evening.

Ketchikan, Alaska

Wednesday we went whale watching. This was in Juneau. This was the day I had a chance to explore a little and visited the library. It was another rainy day. We took a smaller boat into Auke Bay but couldn’t go out on deck because it was another rainy day. Thankfully, inside the boat was spacious with lots of windows.

It was a slow start but by the end of the day we had seen three family pods of Orcas, a pod of Humpback whales feeding, numerous bald eagles and a group of sea lions playing King of the Buoy – a sea lion would swim up to the already overcrowded buoy and wait for someone to fall off or get pushed off; there were more lions than buoy space.

I have no pictures of this. The day was too rainy and then we were too busy bustling from side to side spotting the abundant wildlife. Even the tour guide didn’t want to leave the bay. We were out at least an hour longer than anticipated!

Skagway Train Trip

Thursday, it was on to Skagway. It was an extremely busy day. We briefly toured the town and then back to the cruise ship to board the bus to take us to our train tour up the mountain back home to Canada then back to Skagway and the cruise ship!

The Whitepass & Yukon Route railway was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush and is a narrow gauge railroad.

The WP&YR climbs almost 3000 feet in just 20 miles and features steep grades of up to 3.9%, cliff-hanging turns of 16 degrees, two tunnels and numerous bridges and trestles. The steel cantilever bridge was the tallest of its kind in the world when it was constructed in 1901.

It was a scary ride, I’m not a fan of heights, through train tunnels and one thankfully very short, rickety bridge. I sat on the cliff side of the train and avoided looking straight down the many drops along the way. In fact, my eyes were squeezed tight when we went over the bridge.

There was still snow high up in the mountains and we were fortunate enough to see a scrawny black bear heading away from the tracks and up the mountain. After the train landed in Canada where we showed our passports to foreboding custom officials (the United States citizens were disappointed that they were not Mounties) we got out of the train and were bused back into Skagway.

Back in Skagway, we panned for gold. Well we had a tour first of the history of gold mining and then panned for gold. It was a bit tricky, but between the four of us we ended up with $36 worth of gold flakes that went into a charm for mom to keep.

Sea Gulls

Friday was another sea day. We woke up to a bracing -10 degrees Celsius with a wind chill. It felt like home but we were in the ice fields. The port doors were open just down from our cabin and pea soup was being served on the bow.

My sister spent all day outside enjoying the views. She heard the ice crack off the glacier. I took a turn around the promenade but missed the calving of the icebergs. After lunch, the cruise ship left the ice fields and anchored near Medenhall Glacier for pictures.

When we stopped at the glacier for pictures there was a seagull feeding frenzy. The captain announced that we should not feed any of the wildlife, seagulls included!

By supper time, the boat once again sped up and I lost my sea legs. We had cruised so slowly for most of the day that it felt like I was in a vehicle that had sped from three to one hundred miles an hour in less than a minute!


Ice Fields

Saturday would be our last day at sea. I marveled at the kids playing ping pong on the Lido deck. It’s hard enough to play on a steady surface. There were mega shipboard sales everywhere. Mom bought me a t-shirt.

Do I feel spoiled?
Do I feel exhausted?
Am I just another commodity?

I will miss watching the sea with its many blues.
I will miss the quiet library and the crow’s nest bar.
I will miss watching for whale plumes far out in the deep sea.
I see no whales from here where I am 10 stories up high!

A cruise is not something that I would spend money on. I am not the target demographic!

SM Room W Ocean View

Sunday, we woke and left the ship early. It was on to Seward and Anchorage for three days. There were Tsunami evacuation route signs along the highway. I fell asleep on the bus and woke in Anchorage!

The three days in Anchorage flew by. We visited the zoo and watched the sad animals pacing. We went to the museum.  We shopped at the Mall and visited the Alaska Mint.  We mostly ate at the same place. We spent an enjoyable afternoon driving up the mountainside through too much rain. Thank the stars I didn’t have to drive. We almost got stuck on a rain-logged side road – my sister is adventurous. We went to a mining town that I would have liked to explore more but the higher we drove the more rain we ran into. We ate at McDee’s where the menu was slightly different from home and the server’s accent mystifying to my ear.

On our last morning in Anchorage, I got to briefly explore a cemetery that if I had been alone I would have spent hours exploring.

They travel best who travel alone.

Though if I did that I do know that I would miss many adventures as it is my family who challenges me to leave my comfort zone.

Happy travels everyone!


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July 13, 2014 at 8:50 pm (Travel) (, , , , , , , , , )

I present for you today, the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge, because it is late and I myself am feeling like a relic.


Driftwood Building

On the far right of this picture is the Arctic Brotherhood Hall in Skagway, Alaska. It is a terribly composed picture. At least, half of my Alaska pictures turned out badly.

Here is a much better picture that I found on Pinterest.

Hopefully, next week you will get a much longer rumination on my cruise to Alaska.


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Travel theme: Twist

July 6, 2014 at 11:45 am (Travel) (, , , , , , , )

Alaskan Sunset

The twist is that I just spent over a week cruising the coast of Alaska with its long summer days – sunset was after 11:40pm and sunrise was approximately 4:20am. I only saw the sun set once.

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