For the last several weeks, a group I volunteer for has been preparing to send Alaskan WWII vets to Washington, DC to view the memorials. The Last Frontier Honor Flight group from Anchorage had 30 veterans, and The Alaska Golden Heart Honor Flight group from Fairbanks had 16 veterans. So it was a really big group! As historian, I was able to go behind security at the airport (with a special escort) to take pictures documenting the trip. The group departed on Tues, May 6 and returned on Sat, May 10 to a wonderful homecoming ceremony. Now work begins towards the next trip, slated for Oct!
The day before Easter, the hubs and I drove up to Denali National Park for their road opening. During the shoulder season (April/May and again in Sept/Oct) individuals are allowed to drive into the park for the first 30 miles. During the summer, only tour buses and park personnel are allowed on the 92 mile road. These are a glimpse into that trip. This weekend I will try to get more of my pictures downloaded off the memory cards to share with you.
Have a great weekend!
Earlier this week, we experienced a Lunar Eclipse. These are a few of the pictures I was able to capture of the event, taken from two different cameras. I use a Canon 60d with interchangeable lenses and also a Canon sureshot point and shoot with a small zoom attached. All of the above were taken from the second story deck on the back of our house looking southeast towards the Chugach mountain range. I have a great viewing spot of Pioneer Peak from the comfort of my home.
We are starting to experience warmer temperatures, daylight is now over 15 hours (sunrise this morning was at 6:29am, sunset will be around 9:29pm), wildlife is starting to stir, businesses are gearing up for tourist season, and I am anxious to get out on a few road trips. The plan for this weekend is either to head up to Denali National Park since the road is open to mile 30 weather permitting, or head down to the Wildlife Conservation Center where they provide a habitat for injured or abandoned animals. All of that will depend on the weather and timing issues. If not, I’ll be found in my sewing room working on some projects.
Have a good weekend and a great Easter!
On one of the days that I went to Potter’s Marsh, I journeyed on south making my way down Turnagain Arm. Stops included Beluga Point, Falls Creek Trailhead (I wasn’t prepared with the right shoes or clothing to venture hiking in the area.), McHugh Creek parking area, and a little waterfall along the roadside around mile marker 104. The trip started a bit overcast, but by the time I needed to head back to Anchorage the skies turned a nice blue. It was a great Friday afternoon!
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It’s spring time in Alaska! Unlike the song, we are not 40 below, but approaching 40 above here in the Anchorage bowl and Mat-Su Valley. I had an opportunity on two consecutive afternoons to venture down to Potter’s Marsh just south of Anchorage. It’s a protected waterfowl area, but no birds were observed on those days. Pretty soon I’m sure there will be plenty of ducks, magpies, geese and other birds foraging for tender bits of grasses and reeds.
Getting my garden started. With some luck this year’s garden will be a success. Some will go into raised beds, some will stay in containers.
My journey to a wheat free lifestyle has been an interesting one thus far. Today marks eight weeks into the program and I’m feeling better each day! I have shed 20 pounds, am down at least one pants size, have had no migraines, and seen my blood pressure start to stabilize. This change came about when I finally decided that I need to do this for myself and no one else. I have adjusted to the fact that on Sunday afternoons I usually find myself in the kitchen preparing herbed flat bread for the weeks sandwiches, some type of muffin (fruit or nut) to take for breakfast, and baking any other goodie I want for the week ahead. In those eight weeks I’ve gone to a restaurant a handful of times and been fortunate to find items that will not be laden with wheat byproducts. My pantry now boasts of almond and coconut flour/meal, coconut water and oil, and stevia derived sweetener or turbanido sugar. In all honesty, after being without bread and bread-type items (bagels, cereals, pancakes, cookies, etc) I have not craved them, nor do I seek them out like I used to! When I heard wheat was addictive, I thought “yeah, right”….but now, I know it is. I would be hungry a couple hours after a meal and use empty calorie snacks and drinks to quench my desire for more. Not any more. Sometimes I have to remind myself it’s time to get some food in this body.
Reading Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and The Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter have opened a whole new world of understanding. Dr. Davis is a cardiologist, while Dr. Perlmutter is a neurologist. Both have similar ideas to the problem but discuss it in a different way, focusing on their respective specialties. Both books are very enlightening and informative and also include a few recipes I’ve yet to try.
You might be asking how I can still eat bread and muffins. They are made using almond and coconut flours instead of the traditional wheat flours. Each has a different texture, and they are not ground as fine as wheat, so the final product does take some getting used to. I’ve also enjoyed pancakes made with almond flour and brownies (yes, brownies!) using a chickpea flour. Although not quite the same, they are still delicious. My using new recipes has also met with a few failures as well. I tried making a bread that was touted as “best wheatless bread” and it was a terrible disaster!! I try to eat fish once a week and hopefully will be able to get more fresh salmon and halibut this summer to fill the freezer. I know I need to add more veggies to my diet, and really I’m trying to do that, but my taste buds just don’t like some of those things that are suppose to be really good for you. I’ll keep experimenting until I find something that works for me. I also hope to have a garden this year and keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be successful this time around. Last years weather didn’t cooperate at all.
I don’t look at this as some fad diet, or something to do for a while, but a life-style change I intend to make permanent. The inflammation in my hands and ankles is gone, I have decreased one medication, and working on eliminating another. I consider it a win-win situation! I hope the next eight weeks will see more results and an even better ME. And in case you’re wondering, my doctor and nurse practitioner are 100% behind me in this journey and are encouraging the changes I’m making.
Have a great weekend!