Monday, May 20, 2019

Local Farmers Market.

 I visited the local Farmer's Market this past Saturday and took a bunch of pictures to share with everyone because we are so far north that most people don't realize we can grow things here.

I am in Fairbanks at the moment.  Fairbanks, Alaska is about 155 miles south of the Arctic circle which means we have sun light most of the day.  Although the sun sets, it does not go far enough below the horizon for the sky to get dark.

What you see in the picture to the left are bowls made out of birch trees while the table to the left in the photo offers hand made wooden spoons, salad forks, and other accessories again made out of birch.  Birch is a very popular and sturdy wood.

The lady in the photo to the right offers starts every spring.  She makes a point of using heirloom varieties with short growing seasons because if you grow tomatoes outside, they are often killed by mid-August due to frost.  If they are grown in a green house, they often make it to mid-September before they die.

This picture was taken from just outside the main building looking out across the market.  Originally, the Farmer's market occupied a small area on the state fair site but the market grew so big, they had to move because there was absolutely no parking available when events were happening.  So they bought land, moved the main building and put in a parking lot.

There is a great mix of artists, carvers, soap and lotion makers, food, yarn, and so much more.  The Farmer's Market has its own stand where they sell t-shirts labeled "Alaskan Grown".

This photo is of an artist who makes what looks like stained glass magnets but they aren't actually glass.  They are absolutely beautiful.  I bought one for the Bride and Groom of a wedding I'm heading for later this week.  I also purchased some birch kitchen things for them.

There are even four bakeries at the market.  One makes only cupcakes that you can request a specific frosting and the second produces Eastern European goodies.  Another makes all sorts of baked goods like croissants and the last produces all sorts of Japanese sweetbreads filled with mochi or sweet red bean paste.  All of these bakers produce some great foods.

Of course you can get all sorts of starts such as cabbage, tomatoes, flowers, and you can even find some cucumbers, radishes, and early lettuce at this time.  Usually most vegetables to be raised in greenhouses to be ready this early.

In another few weeks, people will be offering more.  If I'm lucky, the lady from the hot springs will show up with cantaloups, watermelons, and eggplants.  She and her husband use the hot springs to power their greenhouse. When they offer cantaloupe they sell out within 30 minutes of the opening.  Their produce is always so popular.

The above picture is taken across the market towards the vender parking lot.  The regular parking lot can get so busy that it's totally filled within one hour of opening.  I'll be sharing more photos of my upcoming trip.  I'm leaving tonight because I'm heading down to help one of my relatives celebrate her 90th birthday.  Her husband is 95 and still doing well.

I'll keep you posted.  Hope you have a great day.  Let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


Fire, Marshmallow, Eat, Food, Sweet

The snow melted and its time for eating outside.  Want one?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Nicky's Family - A Movie Review

Children, Siblings, Brother, Sister It happened a long time ago in a world far away from what we know.  It involved a man who saw the future and tried to change what he could before going on with his life, never mentioning it to anyone, even his wife.  It remained a secret until the day his journal was found and the world got a look at it.  If you asked him if he'd done something special, he'd tell you "No", he'd done what was right.

The place: Czechoslovakia

The year:  1939
The hero:  Nicholas Winton

Nicholas Winton was only 29 at the time.  He was in Europe getting ready to head off on a skiing trip when he received a call that changed his life.  Instead of skiing, he checked out the situation in Prague, a country Hitler wished to take over as part of the plan to take over Europe.  Nicholas saw a map of the proposed Third Reich, saw the changes in Germany with Hitler in charge, and knew.

So he set to work, writing any and every country begging them to let him send children so they'd be away from the madness but only one country responded to his letters.  All through this, he was watched but when they couldn't see him doing anything wrong, they sent in a beautiful spy who claimed she worked for the Swedish government and could save some children.  His friends knew but he kept dating her until she took 25 children to Sweden for him before disappearing.

The British Government said they would take children but there had to be a family waiting and the family had to have 50 pounds available to prove they could do it.  He set himself up as the head of a governmental body, made proper travel papers for each child, kept lists, made photos so people could choose a child and one day began moving them.  He got several transports out of Germany but the very last one, the biggest one didn't make it out because World War II started in September of 1939.

At this point, Nicholas put away everything, joined the RAF and went on with his life.  The children settled in and went on with their new families till after the war.  Some children learned about their families and some didn't but they all went on wondering about the man who saved them.  Then in 1988, his wife discovered his journal documenting the names of every child he swept out of Czechoslovakia and the names of those who took care of them.  His wife sent it to a journalist who researched it and in 1988 Nicholas Winton appeared on a British show where he was reunited with many of those he'd saved.

This man who worked tirelessly over a 9 month period managed to get 669 children out of the country before everything closed down.  He gave 669 children a chance to grow up, to marry, to have children and grand children.

Nicky's Family is a documentary about this man, the children, and how he got them out.  I watched it on Amazon using Amazon Prime.  It was awesome and well worth seeing because saving 669 children was no easy feat.  If you can, check it out.  I highly recommend watching it.

If you are wondering, Nicholas Winton was eventually knighted by the Queen and he died after living for 106 years in 2015.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a good day.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

It's There. Sometimes Hidden, Sometimes Not.

Hospital, Bed, Doctor, Surgery, HospitalI am running late today mostly because I spent a couple of days with no internet while traveling and finally got hooked up.  Normally, I would have done this ahead of time but my internet kind of crapped out so I couldn't.  Now for today's topic which is quite serious.

Yesterday was one of those weird days.  I woke up in the morning to a thick fog blanketing the day. It was so thick, I couldn't see more than about 10 feet ahead and that automatically means no travel.

It cleared up and I got out of town to Bethel and over to the big terminal and that is where I ran into IT!  As you know, I'm a teacher and I'm always running into current and former students.  In this case, I ran into a sweet young lady who'd started the year well but as the weeks passed her attendance dropped until she no longer came to school.  I asked others about here but no one seemed to know where she'd gone.

Her appearance shocked me and told me everything I needed to know without a word.  Both eyes were swollen, ringed with deep vibrant purple almost like a child applied eye shadow around the whole eye.  There were stitches in her scalp where a big gap of hair looked as if it been pulled out.  Her arm, wrapped and in a sling, appeared to have been broken.  All through this, she smiled.

I asked her about it and she told me her EX-boyfriend had done it.  Yes, the police had him in custody, away from her.  He would be charged and end up in jail.  I discovered, she'd gotten together with him after she came to school here.  Little by little he took over her life until she no longer came to school.  I didn't ask but it appeared he controlled her life to the point he'd even correct some of her actions.  Eventually, it lead to her being severely hurt.

I know at school, they've had regular session on what constitutes both good and bad relationships. They've showed videos but I also know students experience bad relationships because they don't see the relationships as bad, only as "He didn't mean it."  Years ago, I had a young lady who constantly broke down frequently, leaving the room in tears.  It came out later, she'd been sexually abused as a child by her brother but it stopped when she hit puberty.  Later on, he started again when she was in high school heading for graduation.  The worst thing, he was a police officer.  Yes, they arrested him and he went to jail.

In many places there is a culture of hiding abuse.  It happens and unless something happens to inform officials, it stays hidden and continues.  Even physical abuse like this is hidden because the person who did it was drunk and didn't know what they were doing so the mind set says that "It's ok".  The worst thing is even when these cases are reported, the system can't do anything about it because no one is willing to talk.

I am sorry she was physically hurt but at the same time, it got someone out of the village who could have done this to another girl.  She promised me she would go back to school and get her diploma but somewhere else away from his family because they would blame her for their son going to jail.

Sorry to be such a downer but it happens.  It happens in so many places with people protecting the perpetrators so its hidden.  Its a shame no one speaks about and the silence lets it continue.

Have a great day and let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

In Transit.

silhouette of person standing in front of glass while taking photo of planeI am traveling today from the village to town.  The hub airport has no internet and I had to turn my internet off on Sunday so that I could pack everything.  I should be back tomorrow.

Monday, May 13, 2019

15 Of The Worst Places To Visit

airplane from aboveIt's May already and many of us have plans to head off to visit places.  Some are on the best places to visit but other are in the worst place to visit.  I've decided to look at the worst places to visit because some of them I do want to visit someday but only if I have a reason to go there such as attending a conference otherwise I won't go.

So many people want to visit New York City to the point that over 13 million visitors go there every year.  That is about 5 million people more than the 8.5 million who live there.  It is said the food is over priced and you'll be bumping against people as you walk from your hotel to a restaurant.

Another place is the Galapagos Islands.  Yes, that is where those giant tortoises reside and we all want to go see them in their natural habitat but the Galapagos have a fragile ecosystem.  Although the Equadorian government has restricted visitor, over 200,000 go and eventually it can impact the delicate balance.

It is strongly advised one totally avoid North Korea because it is easy to disappear or end up in jail. Furthermore, things are a bit dicey among North Korea, the United States, and other countries. Even with the danger, over 5,000 people manage to visit the country every year.

Another place on people want to visit list is New Delhi.  We hear of New Delhi, think of Ghandi, and as a place to go visit for enlightenment but they don't tell us that New Delhi has over 19 million people living there and its considered one of the most polluted cities in the world.  Of course if you are mountain climber, Mount Everest is on your list of places to scale but its a very dangerous mountain to reach the top.  At least 300 people have died trying to reach the top and 6 of those died in 2017.  Furthermore, the cost of trying to make the climb ranges from $30,000 to over $100,000 which is out of most people's reach.

Egypt easily made this list.  Even though it has the pyramids and the Great Sphinx , it is considered one of the most dangerous places to visit especially for women travelers.  One of the cities I visit on a regular basis hit this list due to the smog, the lack of public transportation, the traffic, and the number of people.  Its Los Angeles with its Disney Land, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags, and other sites but the sites are spread out and you really need a car to get from one point to another.  I hate driving there.

The Bahamas made the list.  Although it has sunshine, beaches, and other touristy placers, this country is said to be one of the most expensive summer destinations due to the $299 nightly hotel cost.  Las Vegas made the list even though it is considered one of the cheapest places to visit due to the lack of activities other than drinking, gambling, and going to shows.

Myanmar has made the list even though it was considered one of the must visit destinations not long ago.  Unfortunately, the army attacked the Rohingya and the country is now off limits to tourists.  On the other hand, it is suggested one avoid Amsterdam because over 20 million people visit that city of 800,000 every year.

Dubai is here because it is said to lack culture but has over 70 shopping malls including the largest one in the world.  It is suggested tourists avoid Rio de Janerio due to its high homicide rate.  The president called in the military to take over running public security which lead to protests and even tourists are seeing a rise in crime.

Montego Bay, Jamaica is having the same problem to the extent that tourists are restricted to the area with resorts due to the high crime rates in surrounding areas.  When the number of homicides rose suddenly in Montego Bay, the government implemented a state of emergency.

The final place I'm listing is Moscow Russia which has the reputation of most unfriendly place in the world.  It places last on hotel's taxi's and everything else including trying to get directions from locals.