Do You Over Pack

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It can pay off big time.

I’ve always over-packed. Whether it’s different climate outfits or just extra choices, there’s always clean clothes coming home in my suitcase.

But, for all the times that’s happened it only takes one delayed return, added days to a trip away, to appreciate those extras.

Sure, I never go where purchasing or washing clothes isn’t an option, but that isn’t always convenient though. Plus, it’s definitely never easy to find what you need in a pinch, unless it’s the basics (socks or underwear).

We just got back from a trip that ended up being 5 days longer than expected. I tell you those extras packed were greatly appreciated.

My method when packing is, if there’s still room in the suitcase, fill it. Unless I’m going where I know I’ll be shopping.

I also always travel with more medication than required, and I’ve finally got Mister doing the same.

Do you travel with extras or just the bare minimum?

Biggest Surprise Ever

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Not that I had a birthday, but that our kids pulled off the biggest surprise ever.

An amazing feat because I’m usually pretty perceptive, and our daughter is usually terrible at letting things like this accidentally slip.

The thought and kid’s joint efforts made this birthday Forever Special.

My actual birthday fall on a week day, and I received the usual phone calls and messages. Even with it being a bit of a “milestone one” I didn’t expect anything more.

I should have gotten suspicious months earlier, when a “family appy (appetizers) night” was scheduled on the Saturday following my birthday. The invitation list was simple with kids, spouses, grandkids, and great grandkids. Although these events are common, they are never put on the calendar months in advance.

It didn’t even strike me as odd when pressed to join the smokers outside before the food was put out buffet style.

Without thought, I led the way back into the kitchen where everyone gathered around the table started to sing happy birthday. 

The cake was homemade decorated cupcakes shaped into a boat anchor. Very appropriate if you know me.

At least there were numbered candles not the exact number of candles to blowout. 

Sitting on the table in front of the cake was a small ribbon wrapped gift box from the kids. Inside was a beautiful handmade necklace with six intertwined silver rings and a saying, “six rings, one for each amazing decade.”

Thank You kids, for the work that went into this,

and

Thanks to all that braved the country roads that snowy night.

I Love you all.

As the night went on stories were shared on how they worried I was going to notice random people disappearing, whispered conversations, snickers, and wagged eye brows during recent get togethers, and during the beginning of the appy night. I had, but never put it all together.

Are you perceptive or suspicious when it comes to things happening around you?

Are you easily surprised?

Was It My Imagination

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Do you have an unexplainable fear or love for something? Can a simple sight, sound or smell, change how you feel?

For many years and with unwarranted intensity, I’ve loved the ocean and feared fire.

I love many of nature’s things, but the instant I hear, touch, or smell ocean water, I actually feel a calm come over me like no other. Like I’m returning home, yet I’ve never lived near an ocean.

As for phobias, I only have a couple minor ones and none compare to my fear of fire. Saying I fear fire isn’t really correct. I enjoy a campfire or fireplace, and I’m not afraid to burn candles and such. It’s that fires have raged and haunted me in reoccurring nightmares.

For years, I’ve had a theory about these two obsessions.

My reasoning came out of nowhere, as in no suggestive books, movies or conversations. It’s more like hints were slowly given to me in my sleep and over time. I didn’t spring out of bed one morning with the complete theory fresh in my mind.

I’ve kept none of these thoughts a secret. I’m not ashamed by them. In fact, I’ve shared, joked, and laughed about this theory with friends and family.

Before you call me crazy, let me tell you about a couple extraordinary experiences that make me question the truth behind my theory. 

It happened when Mister and I finally got a chance to go on a ocean cruise.

The instant I stepped aboard the cruise ship, panic began to build. I’m sure for some this is not unusual, and maybe it’s even common, but it caught me by surprise. I’ve always been extremely comfortable on or in water. We’ve owned boats for years, and I’ve been on many lengthy voyages on small and large ocean ferries.

Was my theory cause for this reaction?

You see this theory I speak of is, I believe in a past life I captained or worked on a big wooden ship. It was my way of life, my home for years, and that’s where my strong love of the ocean comes from.

My fear, or whatever it should be called, is also a result of this past life. I believe I died on the above ship, trapped by an onboard fire.

Was my theory all a tale created by my imagination? If so, how do I explain the strange occurrences that followed?

Brief flashes of deja-vu on this voyage were taken in stride, but what happened on the forth night will live with me forever.

It was full into night, and I was sound asleep when all of a sudden I shot up in bed. There was no unusual noises or motions, and only a sliver of a moon lit our cabin.

I woke with no worry or anxiety like when one has a nightmare. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

Drawn to the window, I stood and scanned the dark silhouettes of passing land. I watched the boats running lights glisten on the rippled water as the ship began to quietly enter a channel to another port and our dock for the day.

There were previous night maneuvers like this, all which I slept through. But, on the forth night my heart raced with excitement, a feeling of familiarity, attachment, an appreciation of the area. 

What makes this unexplainable is I had never been to, seen pictures of, or even researched this port before this journey.

How can I not believe the long ago sailor in me knew this place?

This thought was reinforced by a memorable incident which happened the next day when the ship idled in place by a glacier.

While standing at the ships rail enjoying the view an announcement came over the speaker system. My worst nightmare began for real, yet instead of panicking, I stood barely phased. There was a fire onboard in the spa which required some areas of the ship to be evacuated.

For me, this was to show me that I no longer carried the sailors worries now that he had returned home the night before?

By the way, the fire which was electrical, was contained and put out with minimal damage.

In general, I don’t believe in things that can’t be seen, heard, or proven, but ghosts or drifting sprits are my exception.

Was this all coincidence?

Believe what you may, but I believe I returned a lost soul home while on this voyage.

It’s been ten years since this trip and I haven’t had a, trapped by fire, nightmare. I do still love the ocean though.

Have you ever experienced deja-vu?

Have you ever felt that a spirt guides, protects or is near you?

The picture is a couple whales playing beside the ship.

 

What Makes These So Easy

Are you craving homemade cookies but don’t have much time? Even, with little to no baking experience, you can impress family and friends with these yummy, “Jelly Slices”.

They’re quick and extremely easy to make.

The recipe was one of my mom’s favourites to whip up for unexpected company, or if she craved a homemade sweet at odd hours.

She also loved to bake with her grandkids, and these were a very popular choice.

What makes them quicker then most to make is the batch is baked, all at once, in logs, then cut into slices. So, no individually shaping cookies before baking multiple pans.

Top left picture – Showing the process before baking, a log, a log with indent, indents filled with jam. (You could put peanut butter, chocolate chips, sprinkles, nuts, pie filling, pretty much anything you can bake in the indents, or even nothing.)

Top right picture – Them baked.

Bottom left picture – Sliced while still hot and on the pan.

Bottom right – Ready for tasting.

Jelly Slices

Cream Together

  • 3/4 Cup Butter or Margarine
  • 1/2 Cup White Sugar 
  • 1/4 Cup Icing Sugar

Then add

  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups White Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla

Mix only until ingredients are incorporated. (Don’t over mix)

Divide batter into four equal parts. Squish each part firmly together, just so it doesn’t separate when rolling.

On a lightly floured surface use your palms to roll each part into a approximately 3/4”-1” thick x 11-12” long log and place on a non stick baking sheet.

I use the wooden spoon handle to make a indent down the middle of the roll.

Fill the indent with any flavour of Jam or Jelly. (Do not cut logs yet)

Bake at 350 degrees for roughly 15 minutes. Every oven and even bakeware cooks differently so when making for the first time check the batch starting at maybe 12-13 minutes. I like soft cookies so I take mine out just when the bottoms start to lightly brown.

Remove from oven and using a sharp knife immediately cut diagonally into about 1/2 – 3/4” slices.

Let me know if you try making these.

Do you have a quick go to recipe when you are needing or craving a sweet?

Chatting and Laughing, The Start

What better way to spend a few hours than chatting and laughing. Creating something while doing it is a bonus.

If you enjoy crafting, or want to give some simple things a try, I’ll be covering some interesting projects in my reoccurring “Chatting and Laughing” posts.

With this being the first of a series here’s a little as to what it’s about.

Some “Gleniffer Lake ladies” will again be gathering a couple afternoons a month to craft. We started this last winter, and with its popularity have decided to do it again this year.

There is a large rec. building here which one part is a lakeside restaurant during the summer. It’s where we hold group activities in the off season, including most of the crafting get togethers.

The enthusiastic group is up for trying pretty much any craft so it’s a different one each time. Although, we do prefer when a finished project can go home that same day.

I’m usually the one snooping for ideas, mainly because I’m on “Pinterest” at least once a day anyway.

Some crafts, myself or others have done before, but most of them we just wing it.

If the craft requires supplies some of us have on hand, then we do a crafting potluck. If it needs things better priced in bulk, we chip in to cover the cost. This way, we all can try something new without it being as expensive as if done individually.

Our first project was “Decoupage”.

A craft thats been around so long a person forgets all the neat ways you can decorate items. A “Pinterest” search brings up tons of fun ideas for all ages.

One of the other ladies organized this craft, but I helped out because I’ve done the process before.

In the past, I used “Modge Podge” which is a reliable product that now comes in many finishes. This day though, the organizer mixed up a discovered recipe from “Pinterest” of white glue and water. It was a great option that worked fine, and is an inexpensive alternative.

A popular item choice to decorate was glass vases and recycled bottles, but Decoupage can also be done on, plastic, wood or metal, so pretty much anything.

Decoupage Steps

#1 – Cut out a picture or shapes from a magazine, a print out, wrapping paper, tissue paper, fabric, or even paper napkins.

#2 – You can give the area you’ll be applying your cut out on a quick wipe with rubbing alcohol if it’s dirty or has lots of finger prints. It will dry in seconds.

#3 – Paint a layer of Modge Podge, or the homemade mixture of white glue and water, on your item where you will be placing the cut out.

#4 – Then paint the mixture on the back (wrong) side of cut out.

#5 – Place the cut out on your project piece, and smooth out wrinkles if any, (careful, cut out may slide out of place, and too much pressure may tear paper ones).

#6 – Top the cut out with another coat of mixture and let dry.

Tips we Learned

• Soft bristle or foam brushes work well. None of us tried a roller.

• If cutting finicky pictures or shapes out of napkins or tissue paper the fine edges make working with the paper tricky once it is wet. So a smooth edge, say around a flower or tree can be easier then cutting an intricate design out in fine detail.

• If you want a high gloss or more waterproof finish, Modge Podge is probably a better choice than the glue mixture.

• Be sure to paint mixture right to the edges on your cut out.

• Painting on the mixture needs to be done fairly quick, before it starts to dry, so don’t choose to work with too small of a brush.

• It is also a very forgiving craft because water easily cleans up any excess glue, as long as caught before it dries.

Do you like to craft?

Have you ever tried Decoupage?

Do you have a favourite craft, or a suggestion for this group to try?

 

Do You Know The Difference

One was actually designed to save lives and one for saving time, yet both of these are sometimes referred to as tunnels.

The one on the top is called a “Snow or Avalanche Shed”. The concrete construction deflects falling snow and water runoff allowing it to pass over top while traffic continues to flow underneath.

Between Golden, and Revelstoke, British Columbia, the Trans Canada Highway #1 winds through “Glacier National Park”. You’ll be much safer today, than in years past, traveling through its mountain range with a deadly history. Five snow sheds have been built on a stretch of this highway called the “Rogers Pass”.

Discovered in 1881, the “Rogers Pass” was first used by the railroad in 1885.

Weather conditions can change drastically and quickly on the pass with a summit elevation of 1,330 meters/ 4,360 feet. Add, roughly 10 meters/32.81 feet of heavy snowfall per year to the sheer height and steepness of the Selkirk Mountains and you get perfect avalanche conditions.

Even with 31 wooden snow sheds over the rail tracks, for 30 years deadly avalanches plagued the railroad. In 1913 they began digging the 8.083 kilometre/5.022 mile tunnel called the “Connaught Tunnel” under Mount Macdonald. Once completed in 1916 trains quit going up and over the “Rogers Pass”. 

In 1988 the railroad also opened the 14.7 kilometre/9.1 mile “Mount Macdonald Tunnel” to supplement growing freight traffic. Trains now travel east through the “Connaught Tunnel” and west through the “Mount Macdonald Tunnel”.

Sections of abandoned rail line ground over the pass were later used for the current Trans Canada Highway #1 finished in 1962 and called the “Rogers Pass.” It replaced the older (1940-62) “Big Bend Highway” which followed the Columbia River for 305 kilometres/190 miles through the Selkirk Mountain valley. It was a seasonal, perilous, and gravel highway always closed in the winter because of heavy snowfall. The pass also shorted drive time between Golden and Revelstoke by 5 hours.

Tunnels like in the bottom picture are designed as shortcuts, or in the least a simpler path. The pictured one is 1 of 7 on the Fraser Canyon highway (the Gold Rush Trail) between Hope and Boston Bar. They were constructed in 1957-64, and range in length between 57 meters/187 feet to 610 meters/2000 feet.

Did you know the design differences of these tunnels before this post?

Have you ever encountered tunnels or snow sheds on a highway?

Since reading Stephen Kings novel “The Stand” years ago, I can’t help thinking of situations from that book when traveling through tunnels.

Has anyone else read “The Stand” and knows what I’m talking about?

Traveling Dilemma

 

A good portion of the population wear glasses, right? So, would it kill designers or manufacturers to have different coloured bottles, labels, or even caps on these mini sized products in Hotels, Motels, and Inns?

Maybe, they could incorporate a big, S, C or L, on the label, or just increase some print size.

Something, so those of us who don’t wear our glasses in the shower can identify which product is which.

Clear containers work when shampoo is also clear, and only if hair conditioner and lotion aren’t both creamy white.

Some places also offer body wash. That makes four bottles to choose from, increasing my odds of failure. Yes, I have tried to wash my hair with a wrong product.

This is a minuscule issue, but it is a pet peeve I have when traveling.

I do try and remember to check which is which before jumping in the shower.

I’m also grateful you don’t get those packets, like ketchup comes in, that use to be supplied anymore. The ones that were just as hard to tell apart, and nearly impossible to open with wet hands.

Funny thing, our next stay after this post was drafted, supplied shampoo and conditioner in the slippery packets with tiny print.

Have you ever had to play a guessing game with these mini bottles?

Have you fought with the shampoo packets with wet hands?

What Are These?

You’ll came across six of these special overpasses when driving between Canmore, Alberta, and the British Columbia border.

For some 90 Kilometres/55 Miles, high, page-wire fences completely line both sides of the Trans-Canada Highway #1. They were erected to help prevent wildlife and vehicle collisions on this very popular and busy road which winds through, Banff National Park.

I read the fences have reduced animal fatalities by more than 80%, and for deer and elk the percentage is closer to 96%.

The unique overpasses like pictured above are natural terrain crossings. Built strictly for and used by wildlife.

The first two of the six to open were constructed in 1996-97 when the highway widening project began. At that time they were the only ones of the kind in the world. The rest were built as the road work continued.

What you may not notice while driving this road, (even we didn’t realize the number and we travel the path often), is there are 38 wildlife crossings which go under the four lane, divided highway.

As of 2012, eleven large species, grizzly and black bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes, moose, deer, elk, big horn sheep, wolverines, and lynx, have been recorded using the wildlife crossings. Plus, I think I read somewhere 108 small species.

Elk were the first to use the crossings. Some of the timid species like grizzly bears and wolves took up to five years to get comfortable enough to use them.

They discovered interesting data by monitoring crossing activity. For instance, grizzly bears, elk, moose and deer prefer high, wide and short in length crossings. Black bears, cougars, and mountain lions, prefer low, long and narrow crossings.

At the time of the projects completion, Banff National Park had the most numerous and varied wildlife crossing structures in the world. I’m not sure if they still hold that title.

Across the border in British Columbia the adjoining, Yoho National Park, also has fenced sections and wildlife crossings. Their newest overpass being a massive 60 meter/197 ft. wide one completed and opened in 2018. This is the widest of its kind to date. They have a couple smaller ones too, plus, I believe three under road crossings.

Sorry the picture isn’t brighter and clearer, but mother-natures skies, bugs, rain and snapping while moving made it difficult.

Have you seen special animal crossings on any road you’ve driven?

Have you heard of, or driven through, “Banff National Park” in Alberta, Canada?

GPS or Maps

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Yes, that is a portable GPS suctioned onto to the screen of our vehicles built in navigation system. At least we didn’t have both turned on at the same time. You can also see a paper map, which I frequently use when checking on the broader scope of things.

We certainly don’t need any of these guidance conveniences to find where we’re going this trip. We’re traveling a well know path back to where Mister was born, and an area where we visit often. We do like having the arrival time visible though when a destination is programmed.

Let me explain than why we need two systems. Okay, we don’t need two, but why we are traveling with two.

We find built in navigation is harder and more costly to keep updated than hand held units. Mister, just downloaded updates to our handheld before we left on this trip.

The portable kind is handier if the passenger has to search or program a location or address while moving. Most built in ones need the vehicle to be in park to allow this.

You can have a portable unit in your hands instead of reaching across to one built in. With sensitive touch screens, anyone who’s tried working a GPS while on a windy or bumpy highway will understand why I prefer sitting back in my seat with a portable one in hand.

You can take the portable GPS into your hotel and program addresses you may need the next day, rather than being that weird person or couple sitting in their vehicle in the parking lot.

Do you prefer GPS units or paper maps?

This is our favourite time of the year for a road trip because as the days go by our travels will be enhanced by fall colours.

Do you like fall road trips?