Jack’s Spooky Snickerdoodle Cookies



1 cup melted butter ( I use no salt butter)

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

2 ¾ cups flour

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 additional tablespoons sugar

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Wash and spray 2 or 3 cookie sheets with non-stick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix well with whip. In the same bowl, add flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Mix well with big spoon. Put in fridge.

In a small bowl, combine the 4 additional tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon.  Mix well.

Remove cookie dough from the fridge. Begin making 1 inch dough balls, rolling each in the sugar/cinnamon mixture until fully coated. Placing each on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Continue until cookie sheet is full. Bake for 10 minutes.

Allow cookies to cool before removing from cooking sheet.

My recipe makes about 20 cookies. They freeze very well.

Hope you like them. Jack.


Jack’s Spooky Snickerdoodle Cookies


Scary they’re so simple, peanut butter cookies



1 cup creamy or crunchy(your choice) peanut butter

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

My procedure: Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In med to large mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, brown sugar, baking soda, vanilla and egg. Mix well with probably spoon or fork. Next, spoon into 1 to 1 and ½ inch balls while placing them two inches apart on a prepared (non-stick) baking sheet. Use a fork to flatten slightly and apply desired pattern.

Bake ten to twelve minutes. Let cool before eating.

This makes about 12 de…licious peanut butter cookies.

Jack Nightmare


Scary de…licious peanut butter cookies baked from scratch by Jack Nightmare

Son of God – Movie Review


Recently I had the pleasure of watching the movie, SON of GOD. This is John’s story, from his Gospel of John; he narrates his own story.

Inspiring Movie about Jesus' Life

Inspiring Movie about Jesus’ Life

The movie begins with John1:1. In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. He was with God…In the beginning. He was there in paradise with Adam and Eve; the fall of man. He was there with Noah…In the great flood. He was there with Abraham when he was chosen. “Abraham,” God said. “I will make you a father of many nations.” He was there when Moses led our people out of Egypt. “I will be with you,” God said. He was the light shining in the darkness. Jesus is that light. And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

John; Writer of The Gospel of John

John; Writer of The Gospel of John

John introduces himself. He is one of Jesus’ followers. “After what I saw, how could I not be?” John of the Gospel. John’s story; The Roman soldiers are collecting taxes. Occupied and oppressed—Jerusalem. Crucifixion is everyday and commonplace.  A new governor, Pontius Pilate is in power.

Jesus walked across the rock hills toward the Sea of Galilee as Peter fished below. Peter is frustrated due to another day of no fish. Jesus walks through the water, and with Peter’s help, climbs into his boat. After Jesus waved his almighty, loving hand in the water, fish from the sea gathered around Peter’s boat. He quickly filled the small, primitive schooner.  In bewilderment, Peter asked, “How did this happen?”

Peter- The Fisherman

Peter- The Fisherman

Jesus replies, “Come with me Peter. I will make you fishers of Men.” As Jesus continued his ministry, the numbers grew. All who heard his preaching were amazed at his wisdom and felt his power. Scores of people quickly became followers.

After healing the paralyzed man and forgiving his sins, a jealous Rabbi who witnessed the miracle confronts Jesus. “Jesus replies, “The Son of Man has authority to forgive sins.”  In turn, the Rabbi threatens Jesus with charges of blasphemy.

Matthew soon becomes a follower and Jesus feeds five thousand.  Afterward, Jesus performs one miracle after another.

Matthew- The Tax Collector

Matthew- The Tax Collector

After raising Lazarus from the dead, he declares himself the Messiah that Isaiah prophesied about. He tells his Mother, “It has begun.”

Jesus and his followers journey to Jerusalem for the festival of Passover. Jesus enters the city on a donkey. He goes to the temple and overturns the tables due to merchants selling goods.

The Roman Government plots against him. He declares, “To see the kingdom of God, you must be born again. You must be reborn. Not in the flesh, but in a spirit. The Holy Spirit.”

Soon, the arrest of Jesus is ordered. Jesus has visions of Judas betraying him and his death on the cross. He has the Last Supper  with his disciples. Communion/Eucharist is created.  He gives thanks and hands them bread then wine. “This is my body…This is my blood…Eat and drink…Remember me.”

The Last Supper- Communion Eucharist

The Last Supper- Communion Eucharist

Judas betrays Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane—with a kiss. He is captured. Later, the Supreme Court of Elders tried and convicted him. Their judgment; guilty of blasphemy and threatening to destroy the temple. Their sentence—death by crucifixion.

Caiaphas and the high priests talk to Pontius Pilate.  Barabbas goes free and Pilate orders the execution. As Jesus is whipped; Judas hangs himself.

During the crucifixion, Pilate says to his wife, “Jesus will be forgotten in a week.”

Pontius Pilate- Rome's Governor

Pontius Pilate- Rome’s Governor

Jesus was in agony while hanging on that brutal cross, in the blistering sun. Later as dark, thick clouds rolled overhead, he said, “It is finished.” After more time, Jesus said, “Father…into your hands I commend my spirit.”  While hanging on that terrible cross, Jesus Dies! Later, after being taken down from the cross, and the crown of thorns removed, Jesus’ lifeless body is prepared and sealed in a tomb. Jesus’ family and followers are devastated, heartbroken,  and lost. Their friend, family member, and Messiah is dead. What went wrong?

Three days later, Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty and Jesus’ body missing. Jesus is Alive!

Jesus before and crucifixion

Jesus’ crucifixion and before

Later Peter starts the first church. Jesus appears and shows them his nail scarred hands.

Forty Days Later; Jesus tells a crowd of believers about the Holy Spirit and ascends to Heaven. Peter said, “We have work to do.” He became their new leader. “On this rock, I will build my church,” Jesus said previously.

John continues his story while in exile. But in the light there was darkness. Persecuted for our preaching, all of the disciples died for our cause.  Except one. I must live out my days in exile. Alone. One day, I hope to see my friends again for they are with our Lord.

John reminisces about Jesus. The people today- they called you king. They think you are the Messiah. “Who do you think I am?” Jesus asked.

Jesus - The Eternal Savior

Jesus – The Eternal Savior

Peter replied, “You are the Son of God.”

Jesus says, “I am coming soon. May the grace of the Lord be with all God’s people.”

The movie ends. As the credits roll, and we see short videos from the movie, Ceelo Green performs “Mary, Did You Know?”

Speaking as someone who has studied God’s Word my entire life, I can say this movie was very accurate. A few things were left out and others moved around a bit, but that is to be expected.

This movie is perhaps the best telling of Jesus and his life that I’ve ever seen. I literally didn’t want it to end. My heart was full of joy as I watched Jesus on screen. I felt emptiness and despair when he died and later ascended. He was gone. I can’t imagine the heartache at the actual moment in time.

This is my review of the mega movie smash hit, Son of God. Watch the movie yourself. I promise you will be moved.

My rating: 5 stars

May good fortune guide guide your path,

J.A. Ireland

Jamaica – Caribbean Island Paradise


jamaica-vacation1  jamaica-beach-wallpaper-1500x1125

Before Columbus first visited the picturesque island in 1494, the tropical, coral reef island was colonized by the Taino tribes.

Enslaved and ravaged by the Spanish, later plagued by European diseases, the Tainos were all but extinct by the 1600’s.

In 1655 the English concurred the island through military force from the Spanish, soon building Port Royal. Port Royal quickly became a base for pirate and pirateer operations such as Captain Henry Morgon.


Jamaican Pirates


Sugar cane fields

Over time, due to militaries interventions, piracy was slowly eliminated, and in the 1800’s sugar cane replaced piracy as the dominate income for the English island. Enslaved Africans by the thousands were shipped to Jamaica to provide the labor force needed to produce sugar from sugar cane.


Due to the large population of African – Jamaicans, outnumbering natural natives 2 to 1, uprisings were due to follow. During the 18th century, over a dozen uprisings were credited to them; including Tacky’s Revolt in 1760. Also skirmishes with the Maroons resulting in the First Maroon War of the 1730’s and the Second Maroon War of the 1790’s.

Jamaica became politically independent in 1962, after WWII.

The birth of Jamaica’s motion picture industry was in 1972 with the release of The Harder They Come. Since then, numerous movies have been made on the popular vacation destination island.


Filmed in Portland Jamaica


Exporting bananas and tourism continue to be the primary sources of income for this Caribbean island today, with tourism now accounting for more than 60% of the annual GDP, at over a million tourists yearly.

Popular attractions of Jamaica include:


Montego Bay


Ocho Rios



Pool view at Sandals Negril beach





Bob Marley Statue Kingston Jamaica


Falmouth Jamaica



Dunn’s River Falls


Popular Resorts



Cruise Ship Industry

Disney Fantasy

Disney Cruise Line

NCL to Bermuda

Norwegian Cruise Line




Carnival Triumph


Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas


Whether one chooses a tropical island vacation on Jamaica with a relaxing beach visit or a brief visit via one of several cruise ships, this mountainous, coral reef island is as beautiful as it is relaxing. The motto, no worries, says it all. This is an island paradise that once there, I didn’t want to leave.

May good fortune guide your travels,

J.A. Ireland

Alaska’s Auke Bay – Yukon Wonderland

Downtown Juneau

Downtown Juneau

While sailing aboard the Disney Wonder along the northwestern shoreline, we enjoyed a magical day in Juneau Alaska. Juneau is the capital city of Alaska since 1906 and the second largest city in the U.S. by area.  Located on the Gastineau Channel in the Alaskan panhandle, at the foot of Mount Juneau, more than 32,000 people make their year-round residence in this Yukon town.

Looking north up S Franklin St., Juneau, AK

Tourism is a major industry for Juneau. Several cruise ships dock there on the channel.  Many thrilling attractions are provided for tourists, including shopping for locally made trinkets.Mount Roberts Tramway

Mount Roberts Tramway departs from South Franklin Street close to downtown Juneau, from directly across the cruise ship piers. It transports excited passengers up the mountain for a picturesque view of Juneau and the cruise ship terminal.

Mendenhall Glacier

Mendenhall Glacier

The Mendenhall Glacier is a popular attraction in Juneau.

Alaskan Cruise Whale Watching in Stephens Passage

Whale Watching in Stevens Passage

Whale watching is also a favorite attraction. For our shore tour we enjoyed a thrilling afternoon aboard a narrated flat-bottom boat as our captain sailed us along Stevens Passage and into Auke Bay.

Auke Bay Alaska -2

Auke Bay

The scenery was dream-like, the vastness—incredible.  As our captain narrated it was difficult to comprehend how the shoreline and mountains could be so… far away. Many miles.

Whales in Auke Bay

There were numerous whale watching boats afloat on Auke Bay. The captains kept in contact by radio. When a humpback fluke was spotted, the captain reported the location and many other captains followed quickly with their tourists.

Whale Fluke in Auke Bay

Our captain received many reports then speeded across the enormous bay to give us the most opportunities for humpback sightings. We thought he did as excellent job as we saw numerous whales fluking, swimming, and puffs. From a distance, they look like logs floating on the water until the waterspouts. When they dive deep, that’s when they fluke.

Eagles in Auke Bay

On this tour, our captain also gave us numerous opportunities to observe eagles both nesting and soaring freely in the vast skies overhead.

We also saw countless sea otters in their communities. They are very social animals and cuddly, not to mention adorable.

Alaskan Seal

Along the waters, we also saw harbor seals, but many more sunbathing on the shore.

Our captain went above and beyond to make sure we saw the wildlife promised on this tour. And did we see humpback whales? We saw a lot of whales.

On the long, picturesque boat ride back to Juneau, he mentioned that under the surface of Auke Bay was mountainous just like above the lake.  That never occurred to me.

Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay

We also sailed past the entrance of Glacier Bay both, going to Auke Bay and returning. Having spent a day inside Glacier Bay a few years previous, also on the Disney Wonder, we were fine with only a view of the entrance.

Our day visiting Auke Bay was one of the most memorial days in the Alaskan Yukon we’ve ever had. The scenery was so amazing it was dream-like. It was like being in another world, a place untamed, untouched by people.

Mendenhall Glacier-2

Mendenhall Glacier


Humpback Jumping close to boat

There were several times when the Humpback Whales rolled so close to the boat we could almost touch them.

Humpback Whales in Juneau

The next time we vacation in Alaska and visit Juneau, Auke Bay will be must see, again for more whale watching.


Thanks for stopping by.

J.A. Ireland

Bermuda – Tropical Island Paradise


Bermuda Island

The beauty of this United Kingdom Island in the Atlantic Ocean is beyond measure. Discovered in 1503 by Juan de Bermúdez when the 16th Century Spanish navigator sailed from Haiti, then called La Española( Spanish ) back to Spain for a provisioning voyage. Settlements began on this remote island in 1609.

Pirate ShipBermuda first was famous for its piracy. During the 1700’s, it was discovered that the island was rich with sturdy cedar trees that grew all over the island. Building and shipping naturally evolved.  Along with industry came civilization and people and of course, privateering – or in other words, piracy.

The Isle of Devils, as it was called, was a strategic location. Ships sailed from England, Spain, and France to the Caribbean and the New World in North America.

Pirate Ship-2Bermuda pirates were legendary for not only capturing merchant ships that made the misfortune of sailing into their local waters, but they also plundered all the way from North America to the Turks Islands and Bahamas. Privateering died out in the early 1800’s due to strong militaries interventions.

We visited Bermuda while sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line. Embarked from Boston Harbor, enjoyed a fun day at sea.

Bermuda Royal Naval Dockyard -1024x360Our ship docked at the Royal Naval Dockyard, in Bermuda where we spoiled ourselves with  four glorious days of the most beautiful and scenic tropical adventures we can ever recall.

During our heavenly vacation we explored the picturesque island several ways, from the Dockyard, we enjoyed a scenic ferryboat ride to the charming city of Hamilton, the capital. We sailed across the Great Sound and enjoyed a spectacular ocean view of the rich and famous’ residences. A narrated aquatic tour that was both fascinating and informative.

Catherine Zeta Jones, Michael Douglas, Bermuda House

We saw Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas’ Bermuda House

Rich Homes

Multi-billionaire’s homes

bermuda homes and boats

Beautiful Bermuda homes and boats

bermuda-open-air-trolleyWe also enjoyed learning interesting facts about the island while riding an open-air trolley. One result of the high permeability of soil and rocks is the absence of freshwater streams and lakes. There is almost no fresh water on Bermuda.

The first Bermuda houses were similar to those in England, but construction quickly adapted to indigenous materials of cedar and limestone. The strong European influence in architecture is unmistakable. The houses are painted in soft pastels with white, limestone, roofs.

Military House on BermudaA unique feature of Bermuda roofs is their role in catching and containing water. Until the 1930s, rain water provided the only source of fresh water. Water was collected on rooftops, where wedge-shaped limestone, glides, were laid to form sloping gutters on the roof’s surface, funneling rain water into vertical runners and then into storage tanks. In this photo of a military home the unique roof design is apparent.

Early storage tanks were rum puncheons or cisterns made of cedar, while others were made by excavating rock and sealing with mortar. Before the 20th century, tanks were located at the rear of dwellings outside, partly or entirely above ground. Water was removed by bucket or hand pump.  Later systems, hand pumps transferred water to elevated indoor storage tanks. Today’s systems with storage tanks under buildings use electric pumps and pneumatic tanks. Most households today are provided with piped indoor water supplies.

For Bermuda residents, tropical storms and hurricanes are a much-needed source of fresh water to fill their underground storage tanks.

Coral Reef

Coral Reef-2

Diving in Bermuda

Bermuda Island is a coral reef island. Bermuda’s coral reef is mostly made up of organisms  from the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Florida via the Gulf Stream. The same Gulf Stream that carries the warm current that has created this tropical paradise in the Atlantic Ocean. The waters are so clear and shallow snorkeling is accomplished in some areas offshore Bermuda for up to seven miles into the Atlantic, a paradise for snorkelers, less for ship captains.

Bermuda triangleDue to the colorful homes, soft pastels with white limestone roofs, and the vastness of Bermuda’s coral reefs, as planes fly over the island low at night, the island and surrounding ocean is almost gemlike for the pilots. From space, the island glows.

Bermuda pink beach 2

Pink Sand beach in Bermuda


Bermuda Horeseshoe bay

The famous pink sand beaches are a result of dark red skeletal animals that grow on the underside of Bermuda’s coral reefs. When the red animals die, the skeletons plummet to the ocean floor. Wave action erodes the forams. They become mixed with other debris on the seabed such as the white shells of clams, snails and sea urchins then form sedimentary sand. This is what causes Bermuda’s white sand to take on its pink hue. It’s simple beautiful.

Royal Navy Dockyard

Anchor in Bermuda

On our final evening, we toured the Royal Naval Dockyard. We enjoyed visiting the fort and learning more history. Many of the artifacts were reclaimed from the sea, badly rust decay but authentic.

The next morning was a sad day as our ship sailed away from the tropical island oasis in the Atlantic, supported by the Gulf Stream.

We enjoyed two fun days at sea while sailing back to Boston Harbor.

The island of Bermuda is one of the most beautiful places on earth beyond a doubt. The picturesque European homes, sparkling coral reefs, pink sand beaches, and tropical island aura.

Moped Scooter RentalThis cruise allows ample time to explore the United Kingdom island in whatever manner one chooses. There was no shortage of bicycles and mopeds available for renting. Cars drive on the left side of the road.

Bermuda-7Bermuda is unique with its dream-like beauty, fascination history, and topography. An island oasis in the Atlantic Ocean, fed by the Gulf Stream, a tropical island paradise  that I recommend everyone places on their want to visit someday list.

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge


Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeWhen I think of Florida, I think of Walt Disney World and of course, Mickey Mouse.  We’ve enjoyed more than one vacation at the theme parks.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge-2During our Disney vacations we’ve stayed at numerous resorts.  Always staying on resort at one of the Disney hotels.  One of the resorts that have become our favorites is the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Kidani Village.  Of the deluxe resorts, AKL is one of the least expensive, the other being Wilderness Lodge, also least expensive among deluxe resorts.

Map of AKL

Left is Animal Kingdom Resort, Right Disney Vacation Club Villas

Animal Kingdom resort is designed in the shape of two giant horseshoes side-by-side connected by the enormous, multi-level atrium.  The horseshoes are the guest rooms and other amenities. The entire structure is designed in African motif, it’s amazing.

We chose to be picked up by Disney’s magical express at Orlando International Airport ( MCO ) and be transported to AK lodge.  Upon arriving at the deluxe resort, a porter handled our luggage.


The entrance is spectacular, open-air wooden vestibule, with African design. Colorful and interesting native artifacts decorate the area to read and photograph as we walk inside.

The gigantic atrium will astound you; it is so enormous and fantastic.  It looks even better than on the internet. Complete African design with art, gods, paintings, statues…  Multi stories high with ample sofas for lounging. Also included, a lookout area for observing safari animals in the savanna.

AKL Atrium


Guest services in the atrium, everyone is fast and friendly.  The uniforms are colorful and African.  Soon, we were on our way to our room.  A porter would bring our luggage to our room.

Disney Animal Kingdom Savannah BalconySavanna View, for just a little extra, we like the close-up view of the African safari and animals.  Sitting on the large patio deck while watching and photographing the different animals makes for a fun time.

Our room was spacious with African furniture, floor coverings, mirrors, and wall hangings—a deluxe room to be sure, delightful.

Also incredible at AKL are the dining options.  Our choice that we seem to flock back to like migratory birds is Boma, the African themed buffet with of course, African decor.  The meal is multiple chefs prepared with a wide variety of delights to choose from including, numerous meats, many vegetables, salad choices, soups, breads, pastries, and deserts.  Don’t miss the Zebra domes, yummy!  Beverages are served at the table.

BomaFrom my perspective, while staying at AKL, Boma for dinner is a do not miss.  It’s delicious and memorial.

Disney TransportThe next morning, we boarded Disney transportation to Animal Kingdom.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, we scanned our wristbands and entered the park designed like walking along an African village.

The thrilling rides include, Expedition Everest-Legion of the Forbidden Mountain and Kilimanjaro Safaris.

The shows are, Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo-the musical, and It’s tough to be a bug.

Disney's Tree of LifeThe Tree of Life, a spectacle all to itself, a unique exhibit, an enormous artificial tree carved with 300 animal sculptures on Discovery River.  Don’t worry, you can’t miss it.  It’s gigantic.  Don’t miss; It’s tough to be a bug.  A 3D show in the stump.  If you don’t mind bugs and spiders, the show is awesome.  The theater is even damp and moldy like a stump.

Festival of the Lion King

Legend of the Lion King is a spectacular, Broadway worthy musical complete with its own theatre, professional singers, acrobats, costumes, lighting, props, theatrical smoke, etc.  An amazing show, not to be missed.  It’s so good, when at AK, we see it twice.

Kilimanjaro SafarisKilimanjaro Safaris, Animal Kingdom’s premier zoological attraction, offers an exceptionally realistic, albeit brief, imitation of an actual African photo safari.  Thirty-two guests at a time board tall, open safari vehicles and are dispatched into a simulated African veldt habitat.  Animals such as zebras, wildebeests, impalas, Thomson’s gazelles, giraffes, and even rhinos roam apparently free, while predators such as lions, as well as potentially dangerous large animals like hippos, are separated from both prey and guests by all-but-invisible, natural-appearing barriers.  Although the animals have more than 100 acres of savanna, woodland, streams, and rocky hills to call home, careful placement of water holes, forage, and salt licks ensures that the critters are hanging out by the road when safari vehicles roll by. We’ve been very lucky each time we’ve ridden in the safari vehicles and seen lots of animals, many times the animals block the roads for minutes at a time—great photo opportunities.  The drivers stop and wait for the animals to move, it’s their home not ours.

Finding NemoFinding Nemo-the musical, gave us the chance to be literally immersed in the story of Marlin and Nemo through the combination of acrobats, dancers, puppets, and animated backdrops. A beautiful and heartwarming performance.

There are numerous other events and small attractions throughout the enormous park plus a lot of African animals in their natural habitat.

Rainforest CafeFor our meal on this wonderful day of fun we walked back to the entrance to Rainforest Café.  The minute we entered the property, it was like being in an African jungle.  Vines with monkeys and parrots and other jungle birds filled the room, all very good imitations.  Snakes hung from the vines, also animated but very fun.  Accompanied by jungle sounds, all enclosing a gift shop.

Rainforest Cafe-2As we were escorted inside the enormous dining room to the back to our table, we delighted at the jungle atmosphere and sounds.  Wall-to-wall birds, elephants, gorillas, monkeys, snakes, and vines enhanced by the accompanying noises.  Even gods and miniature waterfalls were present, all very lifelike just like outside.

We enjoyed cob salads and exotic fruits; all while being amazed by the African jungle atmosphere.  After the lengthy meal, we walked back to the park for more fun.

After a thrilling day at AK, using Disney’s transportation, we went back to our resort.


For that evening’s meal, we enjoyed a quick service dinner at The Mara, an AK restaurant.  A variety of easy, burgers, salads, wraps, and beverages all fast.  Mara works with the Disney dining plan.


I found this interest, maybe you will too

After Mara, we spent the remainder of the evening, watching the 100 grazing animals and 130 birds from our savanna view balcony while drinking cold beverages in our Disney mugs, part of the Disney dining plan.  A fun and relaxing evening after a thrilling day at the park.

Savanna ViewThis was a fun-filled vacation full of magic and very good meals.  Animal Kingdom resort is a place we’ve stayed at numerous times.  We love it above the rest.  And what can I say about Disney World?  We’ll definitely be back.

Mickey Mouse

As Mickey Mouse says, “See ya real soon.” 🙂

May good fortune guide your path.

J.A. Ireland