Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A perfect visit to "Color me Mine"

Today Kriston took me to a place in Hanford called "Color me Mine."  the shop is a paint it yourself ceramic studio. For one studio fee, it covers paints, glazing and firing.  The studio fee is good for the whole day and for as many pieces as one would like to paint.  Of course there is also the cost of the piece in question that will be painted. 

so Kriston picked a tall coffee cup and I ended up picking out a cookie jar.  I just couldn't resist it because of the style and how much space on it I could paint on. ;) 

I really enjoyed painting today especially with sharing it with my youngest daughter the joy of painting.  She had already discovered the shop due to somebody buying her a birthday studio gift from the shop.  

So it was quite nice sitting down and painting together.  I have to say it reminded me of how much it used to soothe me because it sure did soothe me today.  Very relaxing. :)

This is the website for this company:

The company can also be found on Facebook:

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Windsor, California 10/28/201

Wild Flour Bread
Wood Fired Brick Oven Baked Bread Bakery & Garden located in Freestone, California near Sebastopol.
Today Carol and her husband Jerry took me on a road trip to go to see the Armstrong Redwoods in a State park named after it.  In this blog I'm going to talk about one of the places we stopped at on our way to there. Carol had told me that whenever they have house guest they'd make a special trip up to the "Wild Flour Bread Bakery & Garden just so her guest could experience the tasty natural breads that are made there.

So off on our road trip we went and when we pulled up it looked like a small shop or what some of us Southern folk would call a small "hole" in the wall.  Meaning that it's nothing of a large scale but people from miles around would come due to the tasty food served. In this case it is the tasty bread that people come from all around to have.
Wild Flour Bread uses a brick oven to bake sour dough breads, scones, and biscotti. Using a wood fire brick oven produces beautiful hard crust breads that people from miles around come to taste and enjoy. 
They tend to open with four breads only along with their sticky bun, cheese fougasse, goat flat bread and either the Bohemian (apricot, orange and pecan) or the Egyptian (pear, fig and candied ginger) and one or 2 out of 4 or 5 daily kinds of whipping cream scones which have become a daily sellout.
So the first thing you get to see when you first get ready to walk in is the amazing door way that greets you. Beautiful wood work is done at the entrance.  When you come inside the store, it's not real big but big enough that people can come in and order bread and even sit at a table or two to enjoy eating them there if they want to.
The people working behind the counter start their greeting by asking you which flavor of bread you would like to try out free before actually buying anything.  In fact I got to taste four different flavors too.  Each one tasted really good too. Although I have to say I liked the sticky buns over the Egyptian bread.  I liked the cheese fourgasse as well as the goat flat bread. I didn't get a chance to try any of the biscotti though.  Maybe next time.
When we left we had several bags with different flavors of bread in them. Some of them were going to the kids as well. I didn't know there was a garden in the back so I missed out on that part but hopefully I will get to visit again to see that as well and i will definitely make a point to go and see that as well.  We didn't spend a lot of time there due to the fact that we were on our way to see the Armstrong Redwoods. That alone had me very excited. I will show some photo's along with write a blog about that next.
When we were driving to the bread shop I noticed that there was miles and miles of grape vine vineyards.  Fall color everywhere as well. Lots of bright reds, and bright gold colors and colors in between.  The entire drive was very delightful because we went in an area where nature was on both sides and we couldn't see the main highway that ran parallel to it.  Jerry did this intentionally so that I could enjoy what I saw along with experiencing what surrounds the bigger cities.
A little more about the Bread bakery. 

About the making of the bread, it's made in the wood fired oven because it gives especially thick crust which contain the best flavors. All of the breads are sour doughs which doesn't mean they will have a sour taste but rather some breads including their sweet breads are risen only with organic sour dough (fermented flour and water).  This makes for the best tasting, healthiest and longest lasting bread.  They heat their oven every afternoon with 1 wheel barrow of eucalyptus so by 4 am the wood has turned to ash and after mopping the oven out they can start baking at 550 degrees, a much higher temperature than gas ovens. They never turn this oven off except for one time when the roof part of it needed replacing.  This is how they are able to maintain a reliable temperature to make such tasting bread.

The bakery also has a really nice garden out back that includes many flowers and small fruits.   Raspberries can be seen along with 12 foot sunflowers, and other assorted flowers and vegetables.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My Red Sauce Inspiration

Over the years I have been trying to create “thee” red sauce based on how I like it. My mom used to make red sauce for spaghetti and it was tasty but I disliked how watery it would be at times. Mostly because she'd used canned tomatoes which made it a bit more watery. It was still tasty don't get me wrong but I decided I wanted to make it in such a way that it was more along my taste as well as just experimenting with trying to find the right consistency along with it tasting oh so good.

My mom has been an inspiration for a lot of my cooking because she took the time to teach me how to cook many things, how to cut up whole chickens along with some of the not so fun things like shelling peas and beans for endless hours but the fun part was eating them and hearing her yell at me to stop eating what I shelled. LOL That was the best part of all.
Mom (2006)
Okay onward with what I was writing about. Basically I had the right taste while living in the United States because I could acquire all the ingredients I needed to make the red sauce tasty as well as the thick consistency that I have grown so fond of. In the great US of A I could buy anything I wanted to use in the sauce but since I've been living in Greenland for the last year, ingredients I am used to getting is either harder to get or can't get them at all. So because of that I have had to improvise and I'm still trying to get the sauce to taste nearly like I had it tasting when I was living in the United States.

Down below is what I'm currently using to make my red sauce. If you decide to try making it, you will have to improvise because I don't measure anything when making it. So everything listed will be listed either by taste or by measurement depending on what it is. Also it should be noted that I tend to rotate the kinds of meats I use in it too. Sometimes I might use two or three different meats. Ground beef is the main meat but I usually include other meats as well.

Ground beef (about one pound or half kilo)
Chicken breast without the bone (about one pound or half kilo)
Pork loin without bone (about one pound or half kilo)
Sausage (about ½ pound or ½ kilo) NOTE: I don't always use this meat because it changes how the sauce taste. So if you're looking to have a more robust taste of sausage in it, go for it.

NOTE: use any meat you want for this. The above is what I like to use.

3 small cans of tomato paste
1 can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 jar of pre-made pasta sauce
1 jar of sliced mushrooms
1 large onion sliced
3 cloves garlic minced or diced
½ red bell pepper sliced
½ yellow bell pepper sliced
NOTE: You can substitute both half peppers for one green bell pepper, I like to use the colorful ones because they are pretty and because they taste sweeter. :)

Garlic salt
Tastefully Simple Italian Garlic Blend Seasoning

In a large sized fry pan melt a couple of spoon sized pats of butter. Add onion, pepper, garlic and mushrooms into pan. Saute them for a few minutes. While the vegetables are cooking, season breast meat and then dip into flour and get them ready for a precook braise in the same pan as the vegetables. Move the vegetables to the outer edges of the skillet and then put the chicken breast in. Brown on both sides and then remove from skillet.

Prepare pork loin in the same manner as the chicken breast and brown on both sides and remove from pan also. Lastly add the ground beef. While the ground beef is cooking, add seasonings to meat/vegetable mixture and continue to cook till ground beef is done. While this is cooking, open all cans of tomato mixtures and add to very large pot. Also slice the chicken breast and pork loin into strips.

Once tomato mixture is added to pot, add the same seasonings listed in ingredient list. Put the sauce on a low heating temperature. Once it has started getting warm the sauce should start thickening due to the tomato paste. This is where you will be seasoning to taste. Add the chicken breast, pork loin, vegetables and ground beef to the tomato mixture. Cook on low setting or simmer setting and add spices to taste. I tend to simmer for at least two hours so that all seasoning has a chance to do what it's meant to do as far as taste. Please note that if sauce is tart, just add a little sugar and that will resolve that. The longer it simmers the better it taste.

Cook any pasta you want for the red sauce. I like to cook up a pot full of fettuccine.

Serve pasta & sauce with either a tossed salad or with steamed broccoli and garlic bread.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Indoor Plants & what they can do for homes

Chlorophytum comosum 'Bonnie'
 Today this blog is about something much more different than what I've been writing about. I'm going to broach the subject of plants, especially the ones we currently use indoors. Did you know that there are a few houseplants that are in the top ten for purifying the air we breathe indoors? I bet a lot of you didn't know that.

When I was working on my Landscape design college degree I did a research paper on using plants indoor not just for their beauty but for the use of air purification being so many people work indoors instead of outside.

Back in the late 1980's NASA along with Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) did a study on particular houseplants that resulted in findings that that common houseplants such as bamboo palms, spider plants and a few others not only made indoors more attractive but also the discovery of them using toxins internal of the plant while returning clean air during it's cycle. I will have to explain this in a better way once I have more of my thoughts better collected for this.

Basically the trapped air indoors would build up and create what is known as the “Sick Building Syndrome” due to the fact that modern homes and buildings were basically sealed in such a way so that it could be energy efficient. The problem with that though is bad gases that humans give off have no way of escaping these buildings. It is a known fact that plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis. The testing of 19 plants clearly proved that 17 of them actually removed harmful elements such as trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde from the air.

Because these plants originally came from a tropical area where they were growing as what we would call understory plants, meaning they had to adapt to low light conditions. Because of this, they are great for indoor usage not just because they can adapt to low light areas but also because of their beauty to the human eye. The plants are very efficient with capturing light which means they also are very efficient in processing the gasses necessary for photosynthesis. Some gases are used that are potentially harmful to humans.

Interesting enough NASA's testing of some plants such as English Ivy, Gerbera daisies, Peace Lily, Bamboo palms, and Mother in law's tongue were found to to be best for treating indoor areas contaminated with Benzene. Peace lily's, Gerbera daisies, and Bamboo palms were also effect in treating Trichloroethylene.

NASA also discovered that Spider plants, Dracaena warneckei, Peace Lily, Golden Pothos were great for filtering out Formaldehyde.
Chlorophytum comosum 'Bonnie'
The following plants are great for cleaning out air pollutants. It should be noted that most of the time we are totally unaware of these gases because we can't see them or smell them.

  1. Philodendron scandens `oxycardium', heartleaf philodendron
    02. Philodendron domesticum, elephant ear philodendron
    03. Dracaena fragrans `Massangeana', cornstalk dracaena
    04. Hedera helix, English ivy
    05. Chlorophytum comosum, spider plant
    06. Dracaena deremensis `Janet Craig', Janet Craig dracaena
    07. Dracaena deremensis `Warneckii', Warneck dracaena
    08. Ficus benjamina, weeping fig
    09. Epipiremnum aureum, golden pothos
    10. Spathiphyllum `Mauna Loa', peace lily
    11. Philodendron selloum, selloum philodendron
    12. Aglaonema modestum, Chinese evergreen
    13. Chamaedorea sefritzii, bamboo or reed palm
    14. Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant
    15. Dracaena marginata , red-edged dracaena

I thought I would share this information with you being I am trying to slowly get house plants for my Greenlandic home. The other day I picked up a spider plant and I'm so excited about having it indoors because I know how good it is with taking in bad toxins and using it for food through photosynthesis. They are fairly easy to take care of and they don't produce pollen for those who are sensitive to it. Great don't you think? Right now I am trying to find in the stores Golden Pothos, Bamboo palms and the light but so far nothing on those avenues.  I can only hope that eventually they will become an item to be sold or I will just have to sneak in some one. LOL
Hoya carnosa
Here is a list of resources for more information on this important study:

PDF files of the NASA studies related to plants and air quality:

List of NASA studies related to treating a variety of air and waterborne pollutants with plants:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My “Faith” in my beliefs, Friendship, family & Other People

I've been sitting here for several hours pondering things because of the usual stresses that come along relating to people and the the things they do or do not do for you or to you. “You” is currently generic in nature when writing about what I'm about to write about in this blog.

I've been in Greenland for a tiny bit over a year now and I have to say that peoples way of life here varies and is so different than how people are in my own country. (USA)
Over the half my life has tested my faith in people and at some point my faith I guess died or ended up on the back burner because I grew tired of always being treated like crap. I came from a rough upbringing that no child should ever have to experience and then I turned right around and married a man who was just like the upbringing I had been in only at the time I didn't realize it or I didn't see it or was to stupid to understand all the bad behaviors were going to lead me into a twenty one year marriage of mostly misery.

I kept thinking and hoping and believing that one day that would all change and things would be good for both me and the beautiful children that came from this first marriage but alas that never materialized. I am only writing about this part to lay groundwork to hopefully shed some light on some of the next things I will write about in this not so great blog.

I think I'm a fairly easy person to get along with and I'd do about anything for anybody especially my kids and my friends. And of course now my new husband whom I love and adore. This blog has nothing to do with him or my children. It's about other people in general. Anyway lets trudge on with this blog and the writing of it. Over the years I grew up with the understanding that nobody ever did anything for anyone else without expecting some return from it which meant right then and there. So anytime I was invited anywhere it was expected that I help with fuel or food or whatever. Of course when I did the inviting of those same people to go do things with me, well I never asked anything because I feel much differently about this whole idea.

See I believe that when I want somebody to come and do something for me I shouldn't expect them to help pay for it when I did the inviting or whatever. Of course I didn't always invite on outings that required a lot of money due to my limited resources but when it came to cooking dinner or whatever, they never had to bring a thing unless they really insisted. It's just that I think that it never hurts anyone to do things for their fellow being or family or friends. It makes us better people when we do things for others. I believe that God rewards those that do good things for others too. Maybe these beliefs are outdated in this day and age. I just don't know.

Out of all the friends I have encountered along with family members (not my children or new husband) in the United States there is only one person who has never asked for anything in return when she did the inviting or did things for you or wanted to come and do something nice for you. I have gained a lifelong friendship with “M” and she would be a perfect description of what a good friend is meant to be like. Always there when you need her, does things because she wants to, not because she wants something in return or even expects it. Even when you offer its most of the time no, no need or something like that. She is truly a blessing to all of those who are lucky enough to be around her or even friends with her. I sure do miss her too being separated by the big pond.
I have no problems with helping out when going places and such but I am beginning to think that most (not all) expect something when they do something for you these days though. I just don't understand why it's that way either.

Then I come to this beautiful country “Greenland” and get to enjoy the most amazing landscapes and scenery and get to learn about the local ethnic customs and eat new foods and well just enjoy what it means to be a Greenlandic. There has been several things I have learned about the people here. Most of them always smile and don't seem to have a care in the world or much stress in their lives. Most of them love their country as well and love what nature puts in front of them too. Most of them would do things for their fellow man, family and friends without asking for anything in return or even expecting it. I am having to learn that I don't have to do things for those that do things for me here or bring things. It's not expected. What they do expect I guess is for you to enjoy yourself and have a good time.
I have made friends with a wonderful person and her family and they have made me feel so welcome and a a part of them too. I get to go sailing with them often and they always share with me new things, new places and seem to give of themselves without reservation or expectation of anything being given in return other then to have a good time with them. I have grown quite fond of them in fact.

So I'm at a loss here in a way. How is it that people in two different worlds can be so different when it comes to just being human beings. Has my country grown so crazy, and so busy that they have forgotten what it means to enjoy what is around them? Have they forgotten how good it is to give to one another and not expect somebody to pay them back in some way? It seems like so many now are stressed in their everyday lives. Now a days it's all about politics, money, fuel, and whatever else that might be a huge discussion or interference in ones life.
My husband has been a wonderful influence in my life these days too. He's always smiling and laughing and teasing and well affectionate and loyal too. He never lets things weigh him down for more than a few minutes and then he moves on and brushes it all off. I hope one day I can manage to learn to do that too. It would be a wonderful thing to learn to let things roll off me instead of bothering me.
The only reason I even wrote this is because I get frustrated at times by how people treat one another. It seems like society has become greedy and no longer wants to do anything without some expectation of something in return. Well that is my vent for the month. LOL I'll be updating my blog with more fun stuff from the last two, no wait three sailing trips. I still have to finish writing about them all and post photographs as well. I hope you will take the time to read them and view pics as well. I have posted photo's on here so that one can at lest enjoy the pics despite the nature of this particular blog.

God grant me the serenity to change the things I can and the patience to ignore the ones I can't.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sunrise with Greenlandic Eagle

This video is of a sunrise followed by a Greenlandic Eagle. Note you need to watch most of the video to see the Greenlandic Eagle. :) Enjoy!

Make sure you watch it at least part of the way through so that you can see the eagle. 

Greenland (Sailing from Qaqortoq to New Places - Day 2) August 28th - August 30th 2012

Wednesday August 29, 2012 (Photographs will follow)

When we went to bed the night before the weather had already started deteriorating to the point that it was moving the ship even though it was anchored and tied to the docks. It made sleeping difficult because the side to side movement was causing my stomach to become rather ill. It wasn't helping pain levels either because it was pushing me back and forth against Nikolaj as well as the side of the ship where the bunk is attached.
We ended up getting early and decided to take Ichi out for a walk in the rain so that she could do her business. The weather was just producing a light misty rain but it was a bit windy so it wasn't bad enough to make walking bad. I even managed to get some photographs of Nanortalik while we were at it before we set sail. So we walked down to the older part of this town and I took a few photographs. Their old church is totally amazing with how it looks. I think it's very beautiful.
The whole town looked really nice too and there is water nearly surrounding it. This town wasn't to much different than Narsaq or Qaqortoq in relationship to how people live. The same brightly painted houses were here in this small town too. An iceberg or two could even been seen from the town this time of the year as well. It had that same peaceful and yummy feeling to it too.
We set sail around 11:30am from Nanortalik to start our journey back to Qaqortoq. We were probably doing about six knots once we were outside of the harbor and into open waters away from any areas that would prevent us from going at that speed. Of course by then the weather had become downright bad too. I had tried to take a few photographs along with trying to sit in the captains chair because I was feeling queasy and dizzy at the same time. I couldn't eat a thing due to the way the fishing vessel was being knocked around by the wind. When it made the side to side movement it would just make me want to barf big time.
I ended up going down below deck to try and lay on my stomach hoping that would help but of course it didn't but I stayed in the bed just the same. A while later I heard the ship pick up speed and I thought to myself what is the darn hurry with this bad weather. A few minutes later there was this high pitched screech from down below me and it sure didn't sound good the noise coming from below. It made a second high pitch sound and after that the ship came to a screeching halt and died.

We had secondary motor that kept things like heat and electricity running but as far as propulsion was concerned, that was history. We were a dead stick in raging water driven by nasty weather. So the ship was being knocked around like a cork. Back and forth, side to side while the wind continued to move the ship as well. There were rocks and the side of the mountain visually close and that was a concern apparently.

I was still laying in the bed on my stomach and I could hear what sounded like the engineer working on the motor but a few minutes later Nikolaj came into the room and told me I needed to get up. I'm laying there asking him why because I just didn't feel well at all. He told me that the ship was dead and I knew that of course and that we might have to get off the ship. I hadn't really comprehended the current state we were in and still didn't because I just wanted to lay down and not move. He had to tell me twice to get up and so I did with a little grumbling.
I followed my husband up to the bridge and sat in the captains chair and watched four people running around like something big time was wrong. I still didn't understand the situation we were in. They were pulling out emergency equipment and suits and things and at some point the captain told me I had to put an immersion suit on but I didn't know what for at the time. His English is rather limited.

Nikolaj told me that the captain had to issue a distress call so that we could get help due to the fact that the storm was pushing the ship around. I had watched them drop the anchor and they were waiting on it to catch in hopes that it would slow the ship from being rammed into rocks or the side of a mountain. Again I'm still sitting there feeling sick and not realizing how much danger we are in. I'm just sitting there taking it all in watching all of them running around doing things and securing things and doing stuff out on the back side of the ship. I didn't know they had already put a rescue raft with a beacon on it outside on the water attached to the ship. Nikolaj had been downstairs packing out things and getting them ready to be transported to the rescue raft as well.

At some point Niko came to me and told me I had to put the immersion suit on and he helped me get it on. It was very difficult to get on. So it took a few minutes to do that as well but once I had it on, he had me sit on a bench and Ichi sat in my lap. I started noticing the captains face and it seemed like fear I saw on his face and Niko's face took on a more serious look as well. Still I didn't feel unsafe or in danger. Ichi however seemed to notice it and was very much taking it all in and had taken on a more sensitive attitude as well.

When I finally did notice the time while sitting it was around 1:30pm and still no help had arrived. The captain along with the rest of the men on board continued on with getting things ready for evacuation.

At some point I was told to move outside on the deck to sit and wait. I'm not sure how long I sat there trying to keep balance as the ship rocked side ways back and forth while watching Nikolaj and the captain get the dingy ready to drop into the water with its boat motor attached. Nikolaj shot off flairs three times due to a rescue boat getting close enough to see the flairs. They sure are loud like fireworks are. Finally one of the other men told me it was time and came to take Ichi from me which caused me to get a little upset because I didn't want to get separated from her at all. She had no leash on so my holding her was the best thing with the current situation.

I'm not sure how I got onto the dingy without falling down with the heavy suit I was wearing but I did and Ichi was given back to me. One of the crew members also got in the dingy with me. Nikolaj was the driver of the dingy so away from the ship he took us. Apparently there was a boat approaching us and we had to meet them in a different spot that was supposed to be less choppy but it was bad none the less. The place where the ship stranded us is called Takissoq. The waves were washing over the top of us getting us all wet. Poor Ichi was soaked but she didn't panic and try to get away or anything. She sat in my lap while I hung onto her.

When the boat finally got to us, the water was really knocking all of us around and they were trying to secure the dingy enough to get me and Ichi and the crew member off it and onto the boat. The rescue people took Ichi from me and then they started to help me onto the boat but some how my hand got stuck between the boat and a metal safety rail so while they were pulling me onto the boat, my arm was being pulled backwards because my hand was stuck, bending my hand backwards along with my arms and that had me screeching in pain telling them that my hand is caught and I can't let go. Needless to say they had to get my hand out which had me in total pain and I thought they might have broken my arm or my hand one.

So they had me elevate my arm and went back to dealing with getting the crew member on and then they waited for Niko to bring the next group to get on board. The captain was supposed to be in the boat with the next group but he didn't come. So Nikolaj left the next crew member on board the rescue ship and returned back to the fishing vessel.

So the rescue boat with us on board waited and waited for some time for my husband and the skipper to return to be get on board the rescue boat before the fishing vessel became to much more of a danger but they didn't come. The rescue boat decided that maybe they should just go ahead and take me to Nanortalik while waiting on my husband and Nikolaj to get off the ship. The anchor on the fishing vessel had caught and the rescue people thought that it should hold long enough to get me some help with my arm.

We were halfway to Nanortalik when a call came in that we had to return back to the fishing ship because the anchor was no longer holding and the ship was being dragged by the waves and wind closer to the rocks and the mountain and would possibly sink if they couldn't stop this process. While we waited on them to get off the ship I noticed there was a hunting camp on the little island parallel to where we were waiting. The island is called Kangerupqava. There seemed to be a small cabin, with what looked like storage buildings along with a drying rack. I later found out that those drying racks were probably for seal being processed. ;)

We finally brought the captain and Nikolaj on board along with all our belongings and then we set sail back to Nanortalik. So the ship was on it's own from that time on and all were hoping that the anchor which had restored it's keeping the ship in spot would hold till help to get it towed in arrived.

We arrived in Nanortalik wet and tired and I wondered what would happen next. I was already wondering where we'd be spending the night and everything. First thing they did though was have an ambulance come and pick me up to take me to the hospital to have my arm/hand checked. I didn't know what the rest would doing while I was there. The doctor came in and examined me and of course everything she did hurt but she said she didn't feel anything was broken however, I'd have a nasty hematoma for awhile on my hand.

So the doctor told me that they had been in touch with my husband and that somebody would be coming to pick me up and take me to wherever it was we would be spending the night. The company that Nikolaj works for got us put up in a nice place for the night. It had a small kitchenette and a full sized bathroom with a nice hot shower in it along with a large bed for me and Nikolaj and Ichi to snuggle in.

I was so glad to be able to lay on a bed without motion moving it. My tummy had started feeling better and that is when I realized I was hungry but due to the lateness we didn't get to have any meal that night. That sucked big time but at least we were in a nice dry and warm place and we could go to sleep together without any issues.

So the three of us did exactly that, fell asleep to a movie we were watching and this is where I will close this particular blog. Stay tuned for part one and three of this. I started in the middle because I wanted to write this while it was still fresh in my mind.

We have been talking about this for the past few days and we have realized that the peril we were in has not hit me yet. I guess it will at some point but right now it still hasn't hit me. I know that we were in real danger and that things were very bad but it just seems like I was on the outside looking in watching what was going on. It seemed so surreal and I'm not sure how I feel about any of it yet.

Whale Watching

Humpback whale watching near Paamiut, Greenland. My husband Nikolaj with fellow sailors out whale watching. 

Enjoy!  I finally got to see a whale recently here in Qaqortoq. I didn't get to be up close but I saw them none the less and it was an awesome feeling to experience this while they are in their natural habitat.   

The word mandala means "circle." Mandala's often have radial balance. For me I use mandala's to help improve my concentration and to relax.

I have noticed that it helps me to reduce stress levels to a lower level and sometimes get rid of it all together. Shapes and patterns of mandala's are added to a clearly calming center point. It is said that they are healing mediums for the soul and help with merging the body, spirit and soul.

It's all about what you believe it to do and how it may help you as a person. For me it does help me a lot when I'm working on them. They help to uncover inner creativity, to discover the real you from inside and to calm

The three mandala's I posted were done by me at different times with my mood being different each time. I'm working on a couple of more but they are unfinished at this time and have been for awhile. LOL :P 

This is the book I bought that I got the mandala's from. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My expression of "Kiss The Bride"

My expression of "Kiss the Bride" designed by Melinda Miller Designs.  I found this pattern to easy to follow and fun to create along with giving me a chance to express myself with using colors in a more unconventional manner.  The only thing that I really have to remark about is that the crossing over of double crochet stitches don't seem to evident when looking at the finished product.  More than likely that is because my crochet stitches tend to be a bit tight.  I'm not sure if there is a way around this or not unless one wants to use a different color on one stitch while using another on the other.
Needle and yarn
5.5 mm (I)
Red Heart Super Saver
0718 - Shocking Pink
Plummy 9940
Off White
9518 - Teal

Greenland (Sailing from Qaqortoq to New Places - Day 2) August 17th - 19th 2012

Warning: More photographs that might be to graphic for some who are against hunting in nature for food. Do not post anything negative on my blog about this. This is a way of life here in this country.
August 18, 2012

Today we got up not to early and started our day. Torben had already been up for some time and had checked the salmon nets and removed the salmon caught on the nets and cleaned them and prepared them for freezing or another process where he fileted the meat off the bone and put them in a type of brine solution for soaking. I'm not sure how long this process last but I'll probably inquire into that at a later time.

I am so amazed by how these people in this country live their lives. Most live it simple and with less extravagance to those that live in United States. Yes, my country although I'm not against having some extravagance within reason anyway. It's just that these people are happy with their way of life and this happiness trickles down into each generation from the oldest to the youngest. I have to say that I find them quite refreshing and kind. It's like when they invite you out on outing or dinner or fishing or whatever, they just expect you to bring yourself. I am learning this myself because I'm so used to having always had to pay my own way for every thing when I was invited out for an outing or for dinner or whatever. It just amazes me how unselfish most are here.

So after we had breakfast Torben went hunting again with some other men that had arrived the night before in a boat too. There was three of them in fact sneaking up the side of the mountain because they had already spotted reindeer coming down the side of the mountain.
Hanne and I found a good spot to watch this and sat down so that the deer didn't notice us watching them. The deer came all the way down to the smaller lake and it was too funny how they all got in the water to have a morning bath and then got out to shake themselves off. Then they started moving again and headed in the direction of the three men that had continued to a good location while stalking their prey. There were five deer in this group slowly moving their way along the side of the mountain.
I was just in awe of this whole thing because when watching a distance, there is this group of deer moving right towards the hunters totally unaware that they are about to become somebody's next meal. Once the deer were in range the hunters took down four of the five. The one remaining deer had run in another direction but it was strange to watch him because he kept stopping and turning to see what was going on behind him. This gave the hunters time to reload and try to get off a shot at him but he was just to far from them and that gave the one deer left a chance to escape from becoming supper for somebody. LOL
Over all the four taken were healthy and there seemed to be some age mixtures in this small group. There was a older buck that had quite a huge rack on him in comparison to the other three.

So Torben and Hanne butchered 1 ½ of the four deer taken down that day. The rest was divided up between to other two men who would take their meat home to their families. As I said in my previous blog, two deer can feed a family of three or four for an entire year. The racks that were on the deer were put in a place so that when the year was up, one of the hunters would return to pick the horns up for processing into jewelry and other types of things that people use everyday here. Most of it though is used for jewelry and knife handles and things like that.
When Hanne was butchering the deer she gave me a small part of the spine and a small part of one of the legs so that I could take it home to give to Ichi. I have given her the spine already and she spent about three days enjoying the raw meat and bone. Very nutritious for dogs. I put the leg bone in the freezer for future snacks for Ichi.
So once all the deer was cleaned, butchered and moved to a rocky area near the water, we went and had lunch and then I went exploring while Torben and Hanne went kayaking for awhile. Once we all returned, Hanne continued butchering the deer meat and prepping it for bagging and placing on the boat to take back home for more cleaning and freezing. All of the butchering is done on rocks. It seems to keep the meat fresh and free of bad things.

On another note, Torben took down some foxes as well. It seems that the Kommune will give a monetary reward for every fox tail that is turned into them. They then send the tails off for testing due to rabies and it's potential to become an issue. Things are done so differently here at times.

I have to say that every time I go to a new place to explore I end up in more awe. Nature had created so much beauty here and it's so untouched by the rest of the world mostly. Each day is different in some way or another. I love sitting in the sun and taking in all the breath taking views. The smell of pure air is intoxicating and makes me not want to ever leave. Today when I was exploring, I was sitting on the ground taking in the view, inhaling the clean fresh air, listening to the sounds, feeling the slight breeze on my skin and the warmth from the sun. It was so relaxing that I fell asleep on the ground for awhile and woke up a while later.

I also spent some time picking Greenlandic berries as well. I just cannot put into words just how beautiful it really is here or how it feels to be sitting here taking in all the views and enjoying the smells, and the sounds. Just everything about it is alluring and relaxing and well Kusanaq!!!
Stay tuned for day three of my sailing trip along with a recap blog as well of more photo's that I want to share.  I hope you enjoy the photo's as well as the blog. I believe this country is so beautiful and I can't imagine anyone not seeing it's beauty and all that it has to offer. :) 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bean N Bacon Soup

Bean & Bacon Soup

Basically I am learning to make this particular soup by trial and error. The last time I made it I wasn't sure of what I was doing and it didn't come out to bad, however, it seemed to not taste quite like moms either. So today I am trying again for the second time to see if I can master this yummy soup that I used to eat as a child.

These particular beans are high in protein and good for anyone who eats them. So yesterday evening around midnight I put one package of Navy beans in cold water in a bowl and covered the bowl and left them sitting on the counter to soak over night. Well today Nikolaj and I went out to do some things. I had to have multiple x rays of my back and hips to hopefully give the doctors some ideas of what is causing the issues I'm currently having that is becoming a real problem for me.

Then after that we took a nice walk around Qaqortoq and ended up visiting our friends Torben and Hanne. They are such nice people and I have enjoyed becoming friends with them. We had dinner with them as well. Turns out they wanted me to teach their daughter Helenne how to make a sweet and sour stir fry like the one I made one night on their boat when we went sailing together. I will have to write the recipe about this dish as well and how I came about creating such a concoction.

So we were there till late in the evening and came home to find those beans still in water soaking on the counter. Of course the first thing that occurs to me is that I can't just leave them sitting in water a second night or stick them in the fridge over night either. I'm not sure what would happen if I did that after such a long soaking. Initially they are only supposed to soak 8 (eight) hours. After that I'm not sure if that would be a bad thing or not. They seemed to be fine considering they had been soaking a good 12 (twelve) hours instead. They didn't sour or anything like that so I'm thankful for that.

Now here is what I did to start making the soup.

I used a large stock pot and started out with diced ham pieces, diced onions, I sauteed them in a tiny bit of butter due to the fact that there was no fat in either item placed in the pot for precooking. In a small skillet I cooked ¼ pound of bacon till it was crispy and set that aside. Once the onion and ham were cooked, I poured 9 cups of water into the pot. I added four cubes of chicken base into the water and brought everything to a boil. Once the water was boiling I chopped up the crispy bacon into small pieces and added that to the water as well. Next came the beans I had soaked over night and most of the day. Once the water came to a boil again, I turned the heat down to a low setting, covered the pot and let it cook on a low boil for over three hours. Yes, that is what I wrote, three hours. The reason for this is because I cannot buy a slow cooker here in this country so the stove top is where even things that would be perfect for the slow cooker is cooked. After three hours of cooking the water had thickened to a nice rich, semi thick soup sauce with the beans and things in it. Turns out that the soup is very tasty but it seemed just a “tiny” bit salty but not overly salty. I will have to figure out how to get it less like that.

So basically that is what I did to make this soup. I don't measure anything to be honest so I'll just write a brief ingredient list for this soup.

One package of Navy Beans
¼ pound bacon
¼ diced ham
one onion
4 chicken base cubes
9 cups water