How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE


North to Alaska: Dolly Who? Dolly What?

On we trudged; a sign advertising many varieties of popcorn caught Mary’s attention. Mm. It smelled so good inside that shop. I cannot recall all the flavours on offer, but they were many and not cheap. Seasonings were available to mix anyway a customer chose. I’m glad I didn’t need to make a selection. I love popcorn but too many choices of anything give me a headache.

We next chose an open-type shop, the three-walled kind like in an open bazaar, and lickety-split an attractive, fast-talking sales clerk started his spiel. He snared Mary into buying two 8-ounce vac pacs of smoked salmon at $16.99 each USD by throwing in a free 4-ounce vac in the bargain. I guess she wanted to be caught because she had her mind set on salmon from Alaska. This purchase required special packaging and an officious label since we were in a country not our own and food items require special permission to be transported across the border. Oh, the rules of travel.

I am no good without a plan or a map, but we ambled from the main road for a couple blocks to see what we might find.

An advertisement on the ship’s TV had advertised points of interests and there it was. Sheer luck we’d found it so easily. A young woman in period costume outside the little white house convinced us to check it out for ten bucks each. I love a mystery, don’t you? What would we find for such a bargain ticket?

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Teeny rooms jam-packed with period furniture and paraphernalia was worth the escape out the annoying and persistent gauzy drizzle. A flat screen TV graced a wall in every room, running looped film about Dolly, her life, and possessions. Peeling paint and wallpaper and watermarked ceilings framed the crowded artifacts of the day. Dolly (real name Thelma Copeland, born 1888) had purchased the house in 1919 for $800.00 and paid it off in two weeks. She did not allow married men and told them, “No, you’re married.”

She checked hands for rings and again said, “Nope, you’re married.” How did she know? Removed rings and mud on shoes or boots confirmed they had come down the hill, the back way. Those who carried their shoes (and put them on before knocking) to avoid mud, passed inspection.

Married men’s trail to Creek Street. Wood stairs and railings save tourists from mud on their shoes and from slipping and sliding away.

In the ‘20s and ‘30s, prostitution was not illegal. Booze was but nobody paid attention. Dolly received deliveries at night by lowering a bucket and hid the boat supplies underneath the house beneath the nose of the preacher next door.


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A couple with two young children zipped past us up the stairs, barely stopping to blink, and were out the door as if house hunting but not impressed with the recommended property.

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The tour of Dolly’s house ended at the back door on an up-do-date wooden deck and walkway back to Creek Street.

Next on June 15th – North to Alaska: Creek Street Shops and a Tram Experience

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


North to Alaska: Yay! Juneau Ahead

The ship rocked and rolled in the night, waking me twice. Were the bored waves playing heave-ho responsible for my roiling stomach for a second night? You know: dark all around, nothing in sight for miles, everyone asleep. Ship looking for excitement? Shakes up passengers?

I looked out the window when banging overhead sounded but there was no thunder or flashes of lightning in the sky. In the morning, the deck outside our wet drizzled window was the deck. Great. Tossed and turned in the early morning while the world snored wondering if I should kick in $55.00 for 100 minutes of internet. I decided it would be worth it as I wanted to contact home. The signup online was easy but accessing my account proved futile. I wasted all but 15 minutes of the hundred by the time I called the desk for help. When I logged onto my iPad, a message saying I was on too many devices flashed on the screen. What?

I wasn’t about to buy more minutes but asked they give me back at least half. I ended up with the balance of 15 minutes left plus 40 returned. No more time to play around. It was time for breakfast and then docking in Juneau.

After breakfast, we followed the crowds to the disembarking area. Excitement and chatter filled the stairway up to that particular deck. People took off jackets as all the heavy breathing heated the small space. We waited so long, questions regarding the location of the bathrooms circulated.

Our impatience finally bore fruit and double doors opened to allow x-ray of bags and/or knapsacks x-rayed and names checked against the passenger list as we disembarked. I cannot believe our luck: rain and drizzle awaited our first excursion. We had no idea we had a tour guide on the ship but we followed her after asking if we could (no charge). Mary wasn’t keen at first. She asked how long the tour would be (approximately 1-1/2 hours). It was turned out to be the best idea as we wouldn’t have known to visit some of the hot spots.

We hadn’t planned any excursions (cheaper to plan direct) and hadn’t changed our minds once we’d boarded ship (more expensive there). I have no complaints about our impromptu walk through Juneau. More about that later.

Here are some examples of possibilities and costs on offer when booked on the ship:

The rain continued but the tour guide entranced her followers, hoods on and hoods off, umbrellas up and taken down.

Juneau Quick Tips:

  • Population: about 32,000
  • Jobs: government, tourism, fisheries
  • 3 ways to come to Juneau: air, water, boat
  • Unlike Skagway, open for business all year round
  • Capital of Alaska
  • Russia sold Alaska to the U.S. in March 1867 for $7.2 million
  • Yukon Gold Rush 1896-1899
  • Alaska flag adopted 1927, designed by 13-year old Benny Benson
  • January 1959, 49th State

~ * ~

Next on April 20th – North to Alaska: Rainy Juneau Tour

© 2018 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles


Continuing Along the Viking Trail

Traditional, small gardens dotted the edge of the road in areas where construction companies had finished excavating and had dug up bog and peat, great growing condition for potatoes or carrots. We saw no houses around because the garden owners didn’t live in the same area. The land was perfect for planting and no one messed with your garden.

When we drove past homes, none of the front doors had stairs. They call these the mother-in-law door. The inhabitants always use the back door therefore no reason to put in steps at the front of the house. The joke is without steps the mother-in-law cannot enter.

There is only one highway in Newfoundland. If you drive up it, you’ll drive down it. Where there was nothing but road before us, our guide Francis put on a CD for entertainment. Shanneyganock is an Irish band:

Credit:  Larry Bennett

So far not an exciting day: rain and not enough walking. Excepting two stops for use of the facilities, we sat glued to our seats and on the bus. We lucked out the seats were super comfortable and had footrests. I found myself nodding, but didn’t sleep. Mary had a nap and the rest of our fellow travelers were quiet leading me to wonder how many others snoozed as well.

We visited The Arches, Parson’s Pond and took pictures in the drizzle. What a day.

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The arches are created from a limestone cliff.

Lunch was a wonderful vegetable soup, which reminded me of my mom’s recipe. I decided on the spot to make a pot as soon as I reached home again after the tour. Soon as we sat, the soup arrived. Then, plates of fresh white, quartered sandwiches appeared—all white, no whole wheat—and immediately, the coffee. Much too efficient. Servers soon cleared and cheesecake delivered for dessert. I must have confused the waitress, who blinked several times when I waved it away. I don’t have a sweet tooth these days unlike my much younger self.


John Cabot landed at Bonavista, Newfoundland in 1497 and discovered millions of cod. The British laid claim on Newfoundland as well as Europe and Spain. Then a 1,000 Irish came (duirng the 1840s) before the potato famine, and settled along the coastline because of the fish and made a good living from fishing.

I wonder what Andrew of Have Bag, Will Travel will say when he reads about today’s touring after his own last two posts.

A little after 3:00 p.m. I noticed Shawn, our driver, in the rearview mirror. He appeared drowsy. I wasn’t certain from where I sat, but it looked his eyes were heavy. Our guide had just mentioned the heat to him and didn’t seem to notice. Could I be seeing things because of the curvature of the mirror? For a second, I almost yelled out to him. “Wake up, Shawn.” I had to save us from an accident because of his tiredness or road hypnosis. I know I have a weird imagination. Right? My sister later told me she thought the same about him.

Francis cleared up the mystery about no lobster supper per our tour schedule: it’s out of season. The tour before us enjoyed it, but we were an added group because there were so many on the wait list. They were all gone by the time our tour began.

At one point when we arrived at a small museum, the driver drove as close to the building as humanly possible. Guess he wasn’t road weary after all. The museum lady split us into two groups for a guided walk-through. Mary and I were in the second one and our time much abbreviated as we had to hustle out, but I now cannot recall why.

The bones are those of a whale. The rocks are too many to describe.


Lobster from Newfoundland is better. It takes seven years to grow to market size (1-1/2 pounds) because the water is colder. Nova Scotia lobster grows faster and is not as tasty.

Next on January 22nd:  L’Anse aux Meadow

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page


Internet and computer problems have plagued me all day.



Beginning the Viking Trail

We hadn’t set the alarm because a 6:30 wake-up call had been arranged by Francis, our guide. The alarm buzzed at 5:00. Ready or not. Though I’d slept like the dead, I forced myself awake. Mary remained beneath the foggy veil of sleep. If I raced to the bathroom first, I’d be coiffed and dressed without interruption. You know what it’s like when the clock’s ticking and two females have to share a bathroom sink and mirror, right? What was the point of lollygagging?

I couldn’t get the shower to work and worried the fabric shower curtain without a liner wouldn’t keep water off the floor. I took a bath instead, then couldn’t get up though I gripped the safety bar. I resorted to getting on my knees to pull myself up. When had I started falling apart? Did I miss an announcement or a meeting? How dare my body betray me like this and on my vacation?

Soap, shampoo and body lotion were provided; toothpaste and toothbrushes weren’t. I have no idea why I packed them, but lucky I did. Mary had had no expectations, but I did because everything from slippers to shower caps had been made available at every hotel on my last trip.

Luggage was left outside our rooms by 7:00 a.m. Breakfast commenced from 7:00 to 8:00 with departure by bus no later than 8:00. Menu forms were handed out for choices of meals during our tour. Seating rotation was promised to provide everyone with a different view from the bus each day.

Pulp and Paper Mill

Pulp and Paper Mill

Corner Brook Quick Facts:

  • Pulp and paper mill – 320 active workers
  • Largest single employee
  • Population 20,000
  • Largest city outside St. John’s
  • Newfoundland oldest colony
  • Newfoundland /Labrador youngest province in Canada

As forecast, it had rained the night before and a fine mist continued. We wouldn’t be doing much traipsing around Francis said. Everyone seated on the bus by 8:00 a.m., the first order of business was a draw for the panoramic front seat view across the aisle from the tour guide–with a new draw every day.


We drove around the charming town of Corner Brook. All the homes were finished in whimsical array of colored vinyl. Mary and I thought they all looked like they’d been done around the same time. Whoever won the contract must have been laughing all the way to the bank. I know I took pictures, but they’ve disappeared.

Where was everyone on this Saturday morning? Yes, it was wet, but not a single soul could be seen out and about. Only one car passed us going in the opposite direction.

First stop: a historic site where Captain James Cook landed in Newfoundland. A fine mist persisted, making it difficult to take pictures and keep our heads and / or our cameras or iPads dry. The stones and pathways were slippery as was the grass. I wasn’t the only one who leaped at the chance to return to the bus tout suite.

Captain Cook Quick Facts:

  • Born 1728
  • He was the first to map the coast of Newfoundland during Seven Years War
  • Only explorer who never lost a person to beriberi (always had fresh fruit)
  • Made three trips to the Pacific

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* * *

IMG_1470Irish Welcome: 

May those who love us, love us.

May those who don’t, turn their hearts.

If their hearts don’t turn, turn their ankles,

So we’ll know them by their limping.



Next time on October 30th – Further along the Viking Trail

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.

For more related posts, click on Newfoundland / Labrador tab at the top of the page  


Flash in the Pan – Lunatic

“Get off the Road!” The engorged veins in Eddy’s neck appeared ready to burst. Rain splattered the car windows. Whoosh. Whoosh. The wipers slogged back and forth.

“What’s he doing in the middle of the road? Stop. Maybe we can help.”

“We’ll be late, Pam. You wanna be late because of some lunatic?”

“Maybe it’s important.”

“He’s going to cause an accident or become one.” No visible traffic, Eddie coasted closer. He down-buttoned the window. Rain drenched face and hair in an instant. “Hey, buddy. Off. The. Road.” The downpour drowned him out.

morgueFile free photos

morgueFile free photos

Marlene pushed out of the car towards the figure palming asphalt. She knelt on the soaked blacktop and grabbed his shoulder, new coif flattened and drenched despite her umbrella. “Can. I. Help?”

Streaming blood-red eyes and unshaven face stared back. He shrugged.


“I. Lost. Her. Ring…”

Marlene blinked. “Whose?”

“My wife’s…died last night…my pinkie…smoking…opened car window…”

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This is the new Fall Quarter of Flash in the Pan. The theme is Disturbed.

The word limit for Lunatic is 150 words. I used them all.

Check how to join: