The Northern Lights Quilt

Finally, the little’s quilt is done. While we were in Alaska, she was infatuated with the Northern Lights. Unfortunately, we weren’t there at the right time to see them. The ideal is mid-August through April. We were there at the end of July… so bummer. I told her we’d have to go back sometime in winter. I want to see a REAL snow! Although… recently I heard about looking at it in an icehouse in Finland. Maybe that’s where/how we should see the Northern Lights.

We immediately started working on the quilts when we got home because the little was so excited. We only bought a panel and one piece of material for her quilt while we were there. The rest was either bought locally or was stuff my grandma had stashed in her sewing room. (more…)

The Moose Quilt

Back to quilts for a minute. I swear, 2020 has just brought out a whole different side of life. One where we pick up things that we either A) wanted to learn how to do, B) used to do but never have time anymore, C) very homebody type skills, or D) all the above.

Now, I’ve made quilts before. Not a bunch, but a few. So that’s to say this isn’t anything new to me… But this particular quilt was a fun quilt to master!

We went on vacation to Alaska this year. While we were in Talkeetna, Alaska, we came across a fabric (material) store called The Patchwork Moose. Initially my mom went into the shop to pick up some fabric from Alaska for my grandma. I was in a store next door when she sent someone to find me. The girls and I then went to see what she was up to. She wanted our opinion on fabric for grandma. Little did my mom know that we would walk out with material for both girls a quilt and one for the hubby and me.

When we got home, the little and I took the material down to show grandma. The little then told grandma that she wanted to work on her quilt right then. Grandma had a few free minutes, so off to the sewing room we headed. (more…)

The Fall Quilt

When we went to Alaska, we went to the cutest quilt shop. Our plans were to make the girls quilts to help commemorate our trip. Well, we bought material for the quilts there that you could only get there… with the plans of getting more “filler” material once we got home. Less to try and pack to get back home. 

Once my grandma and I got the quilt tops done, it was time to find backing. I went online searching for extra wide backing. I found what I wanted for the older’s quilt in Rogers, AR. So since we were already going camping the weekend that I found it, it was a hop, skip, and a jump away to go material shopping. 

In the process, I found this quilt panel.

(more…)

A Wedding Cake

Making a wedding cake is STRESSFUL! Anyway, it is stressful in my opinion. If it stressed everyone out, we wouldn’t have wedding cakes. haha. Most everyone I talk to agrees (with each other) that the reason I get stressed out with a wedding cake is I’m too much of a perfectionist. 

Up until here recently, I had only ever made 1 wedding cake that was for an actual wedding. The second wedding cake (or technically first) was for the cake decorating classes I took back in 2007 or 2008. That one didn’t stress me out other than I had to figure out how to do them for the class. Otherwise, easy peasy, lemon squeezy. 

That’s why back in roughly that same year I agreed to do a wedding cake. I can’t find pictures of it right now, but it was a disaster. I cried and cried. I cried to the point I swore I’d never make another wedding cake… until 2020. I guess the year 2020 is a year of many weirdnesses. (more…)

How to Can Peaches

It is that time of the year… Peaches!! They are in full supply. I love peaches. They are so great to eat as is or you can can them for later. Like the dead of winter when you are wanting that zesty, sweet taste of summer. There are 2 ways to can, we’ll get to that.

I would like to start some of my own Peach trees, but until that happens, I know where there is a stand on the side of the road ready to sell! And that’s just where I went on Sunday. I also bought a watermelon and my mom a cantaloupe. I don’t like cantaloupe but she does.

A fun side note about the word syrup… Grandma had me reading in her Joy of Cooking Cookbook about freezing peaches. We were looking for sugar measurements. Anyway, they kept spelling syrup, sirup. That spelling was driving me nuts. I wish I was still in Grad School so that I had access to the Oxford English Dictionary to look up the spelling history.

Also, side note: if you are canning anything… canning lids and jars for that matter are difficult to find right now. Supposedly it isn’t a shortage, but more so everyone was home and raising a garden. All canning is happening RIGHT. NOW.

Peaches

Grandma told me that she read that 1 bushel of peaches should produce 15, 20, 30 jars of peaches. It’s so funny that 3 different things she read said 3 different things. Either way, we were well on our way to that. We had 3/4 of a bushel of peaches. We got 13-quart jars and 2 half-full gallon bags for freezing.

Not all the peaches were ready for canning, so grandma’s tip is to lay them out on plastic overnight. The next day most all of them were ready to go. (more…)

Anchorage, Alaska Restaurants

Being “anchored” in Anchorage (see what I did there), we ate at a lot of restaurants in Anchorage. So, I think the best thing to do is just put them all together and let’s get started. It might take a while. 

Spenard Roadhouse

1049 W Northern Lights Blvd
Anchorage, AK 99503

We got into Alaska “late.” Late is relative because Anchorage is 5 hours behind Missouri. But being late on a Saturday night, a lot of places were closed. That was quite odd, but it has to be because of coronavirus. That’s the best reason I could come up with. We were staying in Midtown Anchorage. I wouldn’t recommend that. Another story for another day. (more…)

Whittier, Alaska

Thursday was my birthday. I kind of got to pick some of the day because of that. After we went to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, we decided to go to Whittier. Mom suggested that one. I was game. Anything fun and heck, we were in Alaska on my birthday so everything was fun, am I right!?!? We were only about 12 miles from Whittier so it was perfect. The day was a little wet and rainy which made it a little cool. But no complaints here because at home it was close to 100˚F. We’d take the upper 60’s for sure.

Mom and dad had been to Alaska before. They said that we had to go through a tunnel to get to Whittier. This tunnel was NOT the tunnel… this was a mini tunnel. (more…)

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Guys, have I got the place to tell you about… The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center! This place rocked!

So, as we’ve learned, my little loves zoos. I had higher hopes for the Alaska Zoo.

On Tuesday when we spent most of what felt like all day laying around the hotel room, I somehow found the Alaska Channel. I’m not sure if that is a hotel thing or if that is actually a thing. Either way, they were talking about different places around Alaska, including the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

It is about an hour’s drive from Anchorage to Girdwood where the center is located. You have gorgeous views and let me say this so even those in the back row can hear… IT. WAS. TOTALLY. WORTH. IT. (more…)

Alaska Zoo

While we were in Alaska, we made a trip to the zoo. My little loves the zoo. Honestly, I was very disappointed by the zoo. Heck, the little zoo we went to in Louisiana was much better than this zoo. I wonder if Covid-19 wasn’t part of the problem… but it felt like the zoo wasn’t maintained/kept up with. Most of the animals if they were out (to be seen) were laying down hidden behind tall grass… It was just weird. I hope in a normal year this is better, but I just don’t know. I’ve never been to Alaska prior to this. Guess that means I need to plan a trip in my future 🙂 haha. (more…)

Caribou Grill – Glennallen, Alaska

Our first full day in Alaska we went out driving through the mountains. I made mention that I wanted to go into the mountains and we entered this trip with very little plans. Especially since the Coronavirus has been affecting all daily life everywhere. But I wanted to see beautiful scenery and I wanted to go into the mountains. So, our first day, we did just that.

p.s. I love that at home we have deer crossing signs. Here they have Moose and Elk crossing signs. However, we didn’t see any moose (or elk) in the wild until the last day. more on that to come.

Supposedly you can drive to this glacier. The roads didn’t look right or looked like we were going to have to offroad. Have you ever tried offroading in a minivan? Me either. Not sure I want to either.

This was the Matanuska Glacier. The Matanuska is Alaska’s largest road-accessible glacier, and it’s just 90 minutes from Anchorage. It is 27 miles long and 4 miles wide. It is located 100 miles North-east of Anchorage on the Glenn Highway. It flows about 1 foot per day. (more…)