How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


North to Alaska: Skagway Adventures?

We were already docked when I looked out the window at 6:45 a.m. The weather was (again) overcast, not an uplifting start to the day. Sigh.

Our stateroom window provided a view of a sheered rock wall painted/stamped with brand names from our narrow entry point. This is just a small sampling.

A five-car came tram along. People lined up already but no one had his or her hood up, so I guessed the rain finally took a time-out. I assumed this might be a tour tram but probably not gratis.

Breakfast first by 8:00 a.m. The dining room busy but not full. Hungrier than I realized, I chose porridge with a cup of prunes (for taste, silly), a couple slices of cheese, raisins and sliced almonds on top, and orange slices, kind of my usual breakfast plan at home. I couldn’t be happier. I must be losing my mind or my age is showing. Am I on a cruise or at home? I’m not a fan of eating out often. After a day or two, while travelling, I’m bored with restaurant meals. They all lack that distinct homemade flavour.

We realized we need not rush out to discover Skagway as our day was free till 8:30 pm. We took our time till after lunch. How big can Skagway be if it shuts down for the winter?

The power went off all over the ship around 9:45 am. The Captain apologized for the inconvenience over the intercom, then a flicker and all went black. No satellite reception since we woke. I tried my laptop. Nothing. The TV was dead, too.

We lazed and read the morning away, choosing lunch around 12:30 before heading to explore Skagway. Chicken salad hit the spot. We’d been eating too freely and decided to rein in the bad habit of gorging because we can.

Still no satellite reception after lunch, we pulled ourselves together for a stroll into town for Wifi, above all else. We worried Skagway might be black as well, but

Since we ventured out late in the day, we had no idea if we’d missed a free tour like the previous day (even by accident as we had been). I heard no announcements for the first-day tour and not for this second one.

Bored with the damp weather, we ventured out and met stragglers returning to the ship with name brand shopping bags. Their recommendations were golden. Tourist feedback is more valuable than anything advertised. I like real people rather than marketing gimmicks.

Quick Tips:

We strolled from the ship into the town of Skagway, a distance of under a mile but worth every step. The weather had improved and the day smiled for a change, the sky smeared with frothy clouds, the day dried by a generous sun. What a refreshing change. I’m not old enough for laid-back cruising; I’d rather walk, free to move around. The ship is too confining for me though there is a lot to do onboard. I’m not a water baby so the pool holds little attraction for me.

Our bright day trek looked like this along the way:

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Next on May 11th – North to Alaska: Shopping, Saloons, and Beer?

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


Popping in and Out (Post #450)

Hello, lovely blogging friends!

I’ve been held up doing the rounds since I started poking around a bit yesterday. Thank you for the lovely e-mails over the summer although I avoided my keyboard most of the time. I wasn’t home much and at times my laptop was broken under attack of one kind or another.

I confess the summer vanished much too quickly. Whoosh! You cannot believe the trying circumstances situations I found myself in time and again. Nothing like a little excitement to keep the old ticker going, or more likely, almost squash it like a plum.


The top three headliners of my summer were:

  1. I got hacked (cost over $200 to clean laptop but no banking information lost and new cards now)
  2. The same tooth abscessed twice. After antibiotics, a week later, again. Had it pulled. Lots of problems afterwards. Ouches.
  3. Windows10 messed up laptop. Best Buy removed and now Windows 8.1 again. Desktop was okay, but Windows 10 messed that up yesterday.

I won’t bore you with the rest of it.

Some pluses were spending a couple days with one sister and a couple more in cottage country with all four sisters.

Now, I n.e.e.d. a vacation. My fourth sister to retire did so in April and when I heard her ‘thinking’ how to celebrate, I was in. Snap! Yeah like that and asked point blank where she wanted to go and I was coming.

We are going to Newfoundland and Labrador soon. Exchange rates for the Canadian dollar are heart-stopping and I’m glad Mary found something domestic. Sigh. A vacation is a vacation—no, she’s not paying… Maybe I should have negotiated that small detail.  *giggles* This sounds an amazing corner of Canada with mind-boggling views.

There you have it. I’ll be flitting in and out for the next week and a half and then take to the sky and away for a couple weeks.

I appreciate all of your welcomes and smiles. Feels like I’ve been away from home, but now I’m back.

When I come back, my worth ethic will change. Instead of clearing the decks (e-mail, blogging, commenting) first thing every day, I won’t get to any of that till much later in the day. I may not be a constant as before, but I plan to visit every chance I get.

What’s with WordPress making unwanted changes again? I don’t like Reader and I’ve noticed now one follows in Reader. Sheesh. Another thing: why makes the menu bar spastic and how does one stop it?



Quickie Update – NaNoWriMo


This is for inquisitive minds who need to know. Today is day 9 and counting down to zero for NaNaWriMo.

I’ve managed to stay in the game—still can’t believe it.  To say I am learning about keeping my balls in the air and scribbling in my notebook along the way, has opened my eyes in ways I could not have imagined. I have never attempted writing so grand a piece—I’m a short story enthusiast.

Writing something as large as 50,000 words has been daunting, humbling and informative. Eight days to go, and ONLY 5323 more words….

See you soon…


Father’s Day Appreciation Day

This is not the celebration as you know it or expect to read about here.

Since my divorce and my daughter was old enough to put two and two together (during her latter teen years), she surprised me with a Father’s Day card one year and a new tradition was born.

“The way I see it, “she told me, “you’ve been both a mother and father to me. Like consistent—you know.”

If it hadn’t been for her future husband explaining she should have a relationship with her father, no matter how good or bad it was, she would have cut off all communication with her father around age sixteen.

“Later, you may be sorry you didn’t have one,” he’d explained to her.

Today as in past years, her father has been invited, as well as her husband’s father and remaining grandfather, to a celebratory barbeque for this special day (upstairs).

I forgot I hadn’t received my usual Father’s Day card until my daughter came downstairs and knocked on my door around 3:30 p.m., carrying a tray. Although I was looking right at her, for some reason I couldn’t focus on what she held.

“What do you have there?” I asked.

As she put each item on my dining-room table, I began to see: a hamburger in a bun, a sausage in a  bun, pasta and bean salads and coleslaw on a plate, a cupcake with whipped cream and quartered strawberry, an Oreo Tiramisu— and a cold beer!

She’d brought the celebration downstairs.

I cried when she hugged me. I had trouble letting go.

“I love you,” she told me, “and all you have done for me. Happy Father’s Day.”

I couldn’t stop blubbering—more this year than last—and the year before that.


Share Your World Week 17

Share Your World is a fun way to meet new bloggers. The founder, Cee’s blog LINK follows with the rules on how to participate. Check it out! You should try it.

* * *

1. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

I recently put the finishing touches on my latest short fiction last Tuesday. I feel this is the best one ever; I’m levitating. (OK, I’ve been wrong before . . . just feeling good for a second here.)

2. What individual item of food would you not eat, even if it was served to you at the Queen/President’s dinner table? (Something ordinary.)

I like ALL seafood food but not Calamari. There’s something about the texture of this one that makes me clench my teeth like a child refusing medicine.

3. If you could choose between Wisdom and Luck, which one would you pick?

I would choose Wisdom. I already know about luck. No, I haven’t won the lottery. Who cares about that? (Are you nuts?) I believe I’ve been lucky so far in this life because I’ve landed on my feet when I needed to—more times than a cat. (Not kidding.)

4. What was the last time you went to a new place?

Last Wednesday night I went to the recently renovated Central Library downtown. I avoid downtown so I haven’t been there for years. I attended A Literary Festival (started March 28th to April 1s)t. Ten area luminaries defended titles from the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen Reading List (Canada Reads). Although I bought a ticket, I didn’t win the draw for the ten books discussed. What went wrong?


This is a LOON

I’ve been asked what a loon is after Share Your World #16 was posted. Google and I went to work. There are a zillion videos. Here are a couple links you might enjoy.

Canadian Loon

You might enjoy playing this in the background as you read your blogs. I find this soothing.

Grab a tea or coffee. Sit back, close your eyes and relax.


100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #35

Always Cesare

Nine-year-old twins kneeled before the travel trunk in the attic.

“Where’s that key you found?”

“Here,” squealed Alexa,


Small hands tossed yellowed clouds of tissue paper around them. A soft thump sounded.

They stared at the red box; lid popped, brooch spilled. Alana grabbed it. “Love always, Caesar?”

“But that’s not gra…


“L-u-n-c-h, girls!”

* * *

“Grandma, who is Caesar?” Alexa asked.

“It’s Chey-za-rrey . He was my Italian dance partner.”

“And this brooch?”

“From Cesare.” Grandma turned away; eyes blurring.

The twins blushed.

‘He’s gone now,” Grandma said.

The twins looked at each other. Before Grandpa?!


I’ve been meaning to try this challenge for a while. Here I am: (Join us).


A Special Announcement

Yay. Many thanks to Kana Tyler, a most talented blogger—check her out—who passed on the ABC award to me January 2nd.  Am I tickled pink or what? I’m a little technically challenged, slower this year than last (who knows why?) and basically caught up with life around me. I know excuses don’t cut it but there you are. I just needed to get that off my chest because it’s a little more puffed out than usual.

Here are seven things you don’t know about me:

  1. I LOVE movies, because I love STORIES and love being entertained.
  2. I no longer enjoy driving long distances by myself—on the highways.
  3. I use the speaker phone on my cordless so I don’t have to hold it (OK, my hearing might be going OR, my phone needs replacing).
  4. I’ll read just about anything that isn’t nailed down.
  5. I like cats rather than dogs but have nothing against dogs.
  6. I don’t mind being housebound some days especially in cold weather.
  7. If I don’t read every day, I get cranky

Bloggers I have chosen to share in this award are as follows: I enjoy and look forward to reading them all as will you. Do stop by their blogs.

Deidra Alexander

Sylvia Morice’s Blog

Today I think…

Have Bag, Will Travel

Indulge – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences


Stories of a Mom


Thank you  pamelazimmer for my Versatile Blogger award on January 4th. She’s another engaging blogger I enjoy reading. Go there now!

Official Rules of the Award

  1. Thank the award-giver(s) and link back to them in your post.
  2. Tell your readers seven (7) things about yourself.
  3.  Give this award to up to fifteen (15) recently discovered bloggers.
  4. Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news.

Seven things you don’t know about me:

  1. I like coffee to be hot when I drink it
  2. I get exasperated when things don’t go smoothly
  3. I like cooking, especially when I’m upset. Dicing and slicing is therapeutic.
  4. I hate don’t like housework much
  5. I’m all thumbs on my new notebook
  6. I don’t have a sweet tooth
  7. I like to be organized. Lists are where it’s at for me

The following fabulous bloggers to whom I’d like to pass the award are:


Diane Henders

Tootlepedal’s Blog


I’d Rather Be In Iceland


Today I think…

I hope you all enjoy receiving these awards. A great start to a new year!