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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Salmon Fishing in Ketchican, Alaska

It was a glorious day of salmon fishing on the bay of Knudson Landing in Ketchican, Alaska.

Tony greeted us with a friendly hello.  Instantly I knew he was the perfect sea captain, guiding us with every step of our adventure.
He had been fishing for thirty seven years and was the age of my husband. They had a common bond of same month and year  Fish -n- Fun was the name of the boat to guide us in Alaskan waters. He had the latest gear of finding where the fish was located.


The depth of the ocean went to 184 feet,  The orange spots told the boat where the fish was located.  
He gave us a lesson about what not to do.  I quickly made the decision to let my two sons and husband do all the fishing.  
He told of a time a guest got caught with their hand in the reel.   It was a bloody mess.  He said you just have to treat it with respect.  He guided the boat with a remote control in the back.  
I was glad to find that out as no one was steering the boat at the helm.
It was time to bate the hook of krill.  
He gave expert instructions how to cast the reel.  It was important  to let the drag out to loosen the tension.  A mechanism on the gear controls how much leeway the fish has to bite.  
The ball of metal or weight allows the line to be stable.  It acts like an anchor for the bate.  
The equipment on the reel showed the proper amount of line to be let out. 
The same was done for all four fishing lines.  It was now time to wait and see where the fish were biting.
We waited to see the pole moving back and forth.  
Alex, our oldest got the first bite.  He grabbed the reel to pull up tight.  The skill is to snag the fish without letting it go.  Tony was ready with the net to make sure it was not lost.  

It was a beautiful Pink Salmon We'll ship it home says Tony.  Okay says my husband as the thrill of the first catch went through the bones on everyone on board.  
It was time for my husband to have a nibble.  But in Alaska it's not just a nibble but a big bite.  The battle between fish and man started and Jim pulled hard.  His muscles turned the round device as his arms pulled up to master the fishes movements.  The fish fought hard but couldn't over come the mighty pull of the line against his fins.  
The struggle was worth the fight because we landed a large Pink Salmon.
Now it was time to re-bait the hook and try again.

Michael cast out his reel to the ripples of ocean water. 
Michael got a bite and the battle was on.

Michael caught the largest Pink Salmon of all.  

Tony got the bait ready for more catches.
More were caught.  


Alex and Michael imitated Tony and started to use the net to capture fish.

Michael and Alex kept catching more fish.
There were times of waiting as we watched other boats.
Each became more confident as the expertise flowed.

I caught another one.  
It's time to set home.  It was a glorious day of fishing.  
We saw a butterfly in the middle of the ocean waters.  I said every time you see a butterfly you can say, God loves you.  

It was an amazing day of working together for a common catch.
We got to shore and counted 19 Pink Salmon.  

Monday, August 3, 2015

Wedding Sparklers

Wedding Sparklers

Families and Friends gather together
Holding Sparkles of Light
Lined in rows of celebration
To honor the bride and groom


Anticipation rises to see
The white flowing gown
A beautiful smile of happiness
Showing hope for the future
I picked the right one.


Everyone is lit
Hold your wands high
Get ready they're coming
All heads turn
All eyes are in focus
All hearts are one with love
For the newly married couple.







They are holding hands
Walking side by side
Their smiles are in unison
Every step flows with love
Holding each other tight
In a sweet embrace




Our Commitment

We said our vows
Our commitment is real
With deepest joy
I receive you into my life
That together we may be one.



I promise you my deepest love
My fullest devotion
My tenderest care.
I promise I will live first unto God

I will lead our lives
Into a life of faith
Hope in Christ Jesus
Honoring God's Guidance
By His Spirit
Through the Word

Throughout life
No matter what may lie ahead
I pledge to you
My life
As a loving
Faithful  husband








My Devotion

With deepest joy
I come into my new life
As you have pledged
Your life and love
I too give my life
As in the church
In her relationship to Christ
So I will be to you

Loving you
Caring for you
Ever seeking to please you
God has prepared
Me for you




I promise to be
Faithful to you
I will
Strengthen you
Help
Comfort
Encourage you
I pledge my life
as a
faithful
wife




Monday, July 20, 2015

Emeril Lagasse's Talent Shines in Vegas

Only in Vegas do you get to choose from so many fine restaurants.  Hotels specialize in famous chefs to get customers to pick their dining experience.  We weren't disappointed in Emeril Lagasse's New American eatery, Table 10 and Delmonico Steak House at the Venetian.

"Las Vegas has truly become the world's restaurant capital," said Emeril.  "Las Vegas has the best collection of celebrity restaurants and chefs of any city in the world."

Emeril began in Las Vegas in 1995 at  MGM Grand with the Fish House.  Now he has 13 award wining restaurants, with three in Louisiana,  He specializes in New Orleans cuisine with a creative approach to Creole.  How does a Massachusetts native learn how to cook excellent seafood?  Lagesse was executive head chef at the honored New Orleans restaurant, Commander's Palace from 1982 to 1990. He was only 23 years old when he started.   I have a self to text connection with the restaurant because I dined with my husband in the late 80's.  I remember every sight and sound of the magical night.  It was one of the finest places I've ever dined.  I even purchased the cookbook. So I was surprised to see Emeril was responsible for such wonderful food. 





 He passed his knowledge to Table Ten in Vegas. 

 Our service was excellent.

I ordered Crab Cakes because they are my favorite.  The menu said it was Emeril's specialty.  I was not disappointed because they were cooked to perfection.  It was just the appetizer but it was so rich I ate it as a meal.  I savored every bite of mouth watering perfection.  I have attempted to create crab cakes at home but they were nothing like this. 



We shared Emeril's New Orleans BBQ Shrimp with a rosemary biscuit.  He must have flown the Gulf Shrimp from Louisiana, it was so fresh.  Tim Doolittle, executive chef at Table 10 has mastered the art of creating wonderful dishes.  
Lagasse opened his first restaurant called Emeril's in 1990 located in the underdeveloped Warehouse District.  The menu had a combined flavor of French, Spanish, Caribbean, Asian, and Lagasse's native Portuguese cuisine.  His mother was from Portugal so I think a lot of who he is came from his mom. He worked in a Portuguese bakery as a teenager and discovered his talent for cooking.  He passed up a scholarship playing percussion because of his love for creating dishes as an art.  


  Emeril's was named best new restaurant of the year by Esquire magazine in 1992.  Then he created his first cookbook in 1993 called Emeril's NEW New Orleans Cooking.  This caught the eye of Food Network and launched his series Essence of Emeril.  It was the beginning of famous chefs becoming movie star status.   I grew up with Julia Child who was a favorite of mine as a teenager.  My mom and I watched together.  Emeril revealed his own personality by saying catch phrases like, "Bam," and "Kick it up a notch!"  


The next evening we ate at Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian. 



 It was a classic steakhouse with a Creole flair.  I had the fabulous Salmon with assorted peppers and crispy onions on top.  It had a unique blend of flavors with a fresh citrus sang.  My husband had the traditional steak.

He said it was tender and delicious with just the right seasonings.  


I took a pic of the elegant china to make the evening more special.




Cooking I believe comes from the heart and he seems to have a big one.   Emeril Lagasse's Foundation has distributed more than 6 million in grants for children's charities.  He started an outdoor classroom with gardens and fresh foods cafeteria.  It would be so fun for my students to have a field trip to sample fresh vegetables. There is a teaching kitchen at Edible Schoolyard in New Orleans.  Liberty's Kitchen trains at risk youth in the hospitality industry.  Each fall the foundation hosts a fundraiser called Carnivale du Vin.  Wish I could fly to New Orleans to attend and help in his endeavors.  He even contributed several recipes to the meal selection on the international Space Station. 


 Emeril Lagasse seems to have energy to try new endeavors with creativity and flair. It shows in the smallest of details in everything he is a part of.  Look at this marvelous light fixture at Table Ten, so unique and distinctive, just like Emeril.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Teachers Pay Teachers 2015 Conference in Vegas

I just got back from a wonderful Teachers Pay Teachers Conference in Las Vegas.  It was a fantastic opportunity to connect with great teachers from across the country.  Each teacher had their own store of creativity.  It was fun seeing familiar faces with the store I had been purchasing from.  Over a thousand teachers came to collaborate with others.

A sign greeted us with a friendly, welcome.  They called us Teacher-Authors.  It felt good to be identified in that way.  Teachers do so much every day to meet their student's needs so sharing how to help students grow academically is a win win.

The first session was a meet and greet according to grade levels.  It was a chance to share ideas and meet other teachers.  
Everyone had a business card to share with one another.  It was a way for others to remember your store and visit it in the future.  

I met these teachers from Louisiana, and California. They were very sweet and eager to share information to help along the way.   Nita Marie's Classroom Creations has over 160 products.  She said her husband encouraged her to start using her talents on TPT.  

 The Kenney Korral Store said it's important to categorize clip art so it's easy to find when it's time to create your product.  
The first session I picked was The SuperPowers of Powerpoint.  The teachers were enthusiastic presenters who dressed in superhero outfits.  Most teachers had their laptops so they could follow along with the presentation.  


I use my own photographs for a lot of my products but many teachers are like artists when it comes to creating a page to explode learning ideas.  They choose a background and make layers of colorful displays.  As you can see it seemed easy for them to follow the teacher.
We took a break for lunch and went to the 5th floor to see vendors selling products for reading, math, social studies, and science.  I couldn't resist and purchased 50 percent off books for my second grade class.
I purchased some unique materials from Faceing Math enhancing math vocabulary.  
It was time to pick another session of learning.  There was so much to choose from, it was difficult to choose.  I decided to go to the session about blogging since its what I like to do. 
The panel gave many personal testimonials about their own blogging experience.  I remember a teacher said she blogs every Saturday because its a way to reflect about the week with students.  She seemed like a natural writer who needs to write as a way of expression.  Blogging is a way to market your store but it's also something fun to do.  

After a busy day of networking it was time to do something fun with my husband.  Now I know why there are so many conferences in Las Vegas, there's so much to do in the evening.
Just walking around the Venetian was a treat in itself.  It was so much like Italy I felt I was in Rome.  
We met this lovely couple who just got married.  They said I could take a pic so I captured their special moment of just starting the journey of partnership.  In Las Vegas there's a new story at each corner.
The stores are incredible to shop in.  This store sold glass items as a work of art.  
This statue from a store reminded me of my students and how I want them to be free to discover their  talents.
We dined at Table Ten, Emeril's restaurant with famous signature dishes.
I had the most delicious crab cakes I've ever had in my life.  The delicious crab meat was cooked to perfection.

After dinner we walked again to see life in action.

The next day it was a little harder getting up but I was eager to learn new things.  I went to the session about learning to draw digitally like a master.  I was interested to see what teachers could do and I wasn't  disappointed.
Many teachers design their own clip art to sell.  It takes layers of each stroke to design one picture.  
After the session teachers came up to ask questions.  It was a way to collaborate and share information.  
The next session was learning about instagram.  I am very new at this but I understand it's becoming like a new facebook.  It's going to take a while to get the  hand of it but at least I learned how to use a hashtag and shared some pictures.  I just prefer using a camera than a phone to take photographs. 


The session about taxes and copyright was very interesting.  The discussion became lively when people started giving personal experiences.  Teachers Pay Teachers is a community that wants to treat each other with respect.  If you  help someone else you help the community.  What a great spirit of collaboration.
To finish our Las Vegas experience we watched the Rat Pack.  They were a great way to end our trip.  They sang their hearts out and gave us a free CD so we can dance to  the tunes at home.  Las Vegas is a magical place to attend a convention.  I hope to go next year.