Monday, January 15, 2007

An introduction of sorts...

My immediate family...

Dad -
William F. Johnson was born in WI, but moved around the world with his logger dad and better-than-Betty Crocker mom. He is 100% Finnish, including the blonde hair and bright blue eyes. They eventually ended up in Anchorage, AK where he graduated from East High and later on from Alaska Methodist University, now called Alaska Pacific University. His need for speed (and hunting) allowed him to move to Kotzebue to work as a carpenter back in the mid 1970's. He then met Jennie Harris and they had a daughter not long after that. ME.

My dad spent 4 years in a hospital with polio. Which means he can shoot anything with his left hand...not his right.

He makes his own Qayaq's...they even float!

Mom -
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Lizzie Jennie Harris was born and raised in Kotzebue and Sisualik, our camp across the sound. She is Inupiaq Eskimo, and a great one at that. She was the star basketball player and lied about her age so she could work construction for Arctic Lighterage when she was 17. She graduated high school in 1974 and worked for Arctic Lighterage for 15 years. Every summer, she commercial fished with her brothers. Don't ever get into a fight with her, she'll win! She met Willie Johnson at Ponderosa and the rest, as they say, is history.

Jennie makes full course dinners and can time them perfectly. Every single dish is done within seconds of each other. Dinnertime is dinnertime!

Maija -
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The original Finnskimo. Half Finnish, half Inupiaq Eskimo. Hence the name, Finn Skimo! Maija has two names, a Finnish name, Maija, and an Eskimo name, Katak. She grew up going to school in Kotzebue, and spent half her summers with her Finnish Grandmother traveling, and seeing the world, and half her summers with her Inupiaq grandmother learning the Eskimo culture. She can converse with presidents, have lunch with a queen and sew a skin parky all in the same day, and not blink twice. She doesn't wear makeup.

Maija's lived in Florida, Alaska, and Oregon and traveled to 45 states.

Saima -
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The only planned child of the Johnson clan, she was a twin at birth, which explains a lot now. Saima is a fair skinned, dark haired, big eyed Finnskimo. She grew up in Maija's shadow, which is why she did her own thing, and refused to play basketball, etc. Saima has the largest imagination and boobs of anyone I know. Seriously, BIG, big imagination! She has a daughter, Clara, who's five and is the ruler of her world. Saima's hamster recently died and we're awaiting a funeral for Matilda. They also have a dog, Emmy.

Saima likes sushi.

Elsa -
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Baby Elsa had a tail when she was born! She is in high school loving the carefree life of not working and paying bills. She is a member of the National Honor Society, is on the Dean's List at school and plans to go to college. Plans, being the opperative word. Elsa didn't have hair until she was five. She called Maija, "mom" until she was four. She's broken her nose so many times, we don't know what it really looks like. She is going to Spain in May.

Elsa was Miss Teen Arctic Circle 2006.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The calm after the storm...

I am sitting here at my office looking out my window, and I can hear that dreadful loader pushing snow, pushing snow, pushing snow. Its getting quite repetitive and annoying.

At lunchtime, I went home to find that I couldn't get into my front door. I trudged through the snow to the garage and found the shovel. It took me 35 minutes to shovel out a path to the stairs, up the stairs and through the deck. I thought when you have a husband/fiance/boyfriend that girls didn't have to do this anymore. Oh well, I constantly complain about not having time to exercise, and then complain about having to shovel for 35 min. So, I guess that was good for today. I'm getting married, after all, and I have to look good for the wedding! Kidding, I need to look good for the RECEPTION and the honeymoon!

So, my daughter can sing the entire "Star Spangled Banner" word for word, and she's three. Last night I had a dream that I videoed her and put it on U-Tube, and MySpace, and that Martha Stewart saw it. She called and wanted her to be on her show. THEN, David Letterman called and said the same thing. So I pumped my three year old's head with how important it is to be a soldier and how great it was to be American. So, on David Letterman, here was her interview...

DL - So, Kaisa, you're going to sing us a song huh?
KK - Yeah. Which one you like?
DL - Well, how about the Star Spangled Banner?
KK - I don't know that song, I know Oh Say Can You See.
DL - Ok, how about that one.
KK - (She sings the song perfectly)
DL - That was great, now, where did you learn that song?
KK - My mom taught it to me.
DL - Do you know why?
KK - Because she thinks I'm beautiful when I'm singing that song.
DL - I'm sure you are. Did you know that many American's love that song.
KK - Yeah, I like that.
DL - what?
KK - American. You know that yellow cheese. My mom doesn't likes it. But I do.
DL - (laughing) American's like in solders, not the cheese!
KK - Oh, yeah, those guys that are fighting, like in Call of Duty. My brother plays that and he shoots Nazi's.
DL - (laughing harder...) Oh yeah, Well, we really enjoyed that song, do you know anymore?
KK - Yeah, I know lots of songs.
DL - How about you sing one for us, what's your FAVORITE song?
KK - Doncha wish your gewfriend was HOT like me... But I know lots of songs from school.
DL - why don't you sing one from school.
KK - (She sings Arigaa and Savakatigisuguu)
DL - Well, thank you Miss Kaisa, we really enjoyed having you.
KK - OK. Now can I have a candy?
DL - Excuse me?
KK - My mom said that if I singed good and I didn't complain that she would give me a candy.
DL - Yeah, I"m sure you can have some candy now.

DL - Miss Kaisa Kotch everybody.
KK - Thank you, Thank you (while bending over and running to me)

Anyway, needless to say, I am going to video her now, and make sure that she knows that American's are people and not cheese!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Life more abundantly...

Life. What's better than living? Since this my first blog, I'll just reminisce about my life thus far...

I was born in a storm. Not like the storm when my sister was born. More like a little flurry. Anyway, my dad was rabbit hunting, and my mom, a true native, was sewing, or cooking, one or the other, I can't remember. She went into labor, and had me at PHN, in Kotzebue. I had a cute name, "Maija Elizabeth Harris." My dad was mad. But, he brought home some great rabbits to eat.

I had blonde hair and blue eyes. Real blue, not the, "I think my baby is going to have blue eyes..." blue, even though the mom and dad, and all grandparents have brown or black. My dad actually has blue eyes, and blonde hair. I was cute. Had a cute Finnish nose, hair stuck straight up...you know, the whole bit.

My mom breastfed me for two full weeks. Then she got sick. Really sick. As a matter of fact, she got so sick, she fainted. She fainted on a Tuesday, and my auntie Clooney, age 15 came to check on us on a Thursday. For two days, I didn't eat, pooped and peed in my cloth diaper and still was alive. I had a lot of fat stored up for the two weeks I was alive. It turns out, my mom was hospitalized and was deemed "allergic" to breastfeeding. I think, now that I know how it feels to breastfeed, she got a breast infection and almost died. I almost killed my mom when I was two weeks old. My dad has resented me for it for a long time. Well, that and my name.

My cousin Grover Jr. came to live with us when I was a baby. He was going to be my brother, and my mom was on her way to get her tubes tied. My parents and Grovers parents signed all the paperwork, and we would have been almost twins. Just three months apart. My parents were ecstatic. Then, my uncle found out that he would lose the free money he was getting from the State (or whoever) and he decided during the last week to pull his signatures and take Grover Jr. away. His name was Floyd when we were babies. A few weeks later, my uncle came to his senses and told my parents that he could have Grover Jr./Floyd back, but my mom had cried for three straight weeks, and my dad was pissed. He said no. So, I have no brothers and my mom didn't get her tubes tied.

When I was one, I was potty trained. Not like almost two, but really, I just turned one. I used cloth diapers and they sucked. I don't remember, but I can't imagine sitting in a cloth diaper when its wet. So, I was potty trained extremely early. I still had blond hair. I was still cute.

When I was three years old. I was still cute. My parents got married. They got married at the Kotzebue Senior Center when it was brand new. Me and my cousin Grover, my almost brother, were the cute little flower girl and ring bearer. My name was changed with my mom's. I was Maija Katak Harris-Johnson now. My dad hated the name Elizabeth. I think I'll name my next daughter Elizabeth.

When I was four years old and ten months, my mom had a baby. Another girl. Her name was Saima. She was quiet. She had white skin and black hair, and brown eyes. She looked like a dolly. She didnt smile, she didn't cry, she didn't talk. She just looked everywhere with her big brown eyes. We used to share a bunkbed, and our whole house was just one room. We packed water from the ice lake, and the entire length of the room was a fridge, loveseat, bookshelf, and bunkbed all right next to each other. Then on the width was the bunk bed, a dresser, a door and a little makeshift bathroom. That's where we lived. There was a picture of a snowy owl on the wall, and we used to burn me and Saima's lice on the oil stove we had. We were poor, but didn't know it. We showered at the Rec Center. It was lots of fun for us. Outside was our playground. We packed dirt and sod on the sides of our house in the summertime so it would be insulated in the winter.

When I was five years old, my dad and I went on a plane ride. The pilot was a woman. We crashed. It wasn't really a crash, but I remember it being a crash. And, I was eating Pilot Bread crackers and said, "howcome you let us crash?" to the lady pilot. Then my dad asked if I was scared. I said, "No daddy, I wasn't not scared, by my heart was really scared." I am horrified of flying in small planes, and I will not get on a small plane with a female pilot. Jets, they're OK now.

When I was eight years old, my grandpa died. He loved me. I remember him a lot. Only because everyone said how mean he was, but he was really nice to me. He carried me on his shoulders, he took me fishing, he used to snore on the couch and let me plug his nose. He wore overalls or pants with suspenders every single day, with a flannel shirt. He used to be a logger. He built sawmills all over the world. He built one in Chikaloon and him, my dad and uncles built a cabin and I had my own room. That was fun. He died on the tractor in Chickaloon. I remember that no one cried. Well, when my grandma called my dad, he held me and cried and cried. I had never seen my dad cry before so I didn't know what to do. He was holding me on my top bunk and crying. Then we went to Anchorage. During the funeral no one cried. I cried and cried and cried. I yelled at everyone that they are supposed to cry, and my aunt Louise took me aside and said, "Maija, your grampa wanted us to be happy and he is happy now, he will always look over you at this spot." I didn't believe her. But, still no one cried.

When I was twelve, we moved into a HUGE house. All the rooms were bigger than the entire house that we had just lived in. Even the entrance was bigger than our old house. Me and Saima didn't know what to do with all that room. So we just decided that we would fight over stuff. We still are!

When I was thirteen, my mom had another baby. Another girl. Her name was Elsa. She had no hair. My dad brought my mom to the hospital right before school, and Saima and I were getting ready. She was being a dummy, like usual, "I don't have to listen to you, you're not my boss..." Then my dad brought us from the house to see my mom before school, and she already had a baby. Fast. Real Fast.

When I was seventeen and nine tenths, I asked my dad if he was going to go to my graduation. He said no. So, I said I wouldn't either. My mom was pissed, but if he didn't have to go, why should I? So, on my eighteenth birthday, at 6:40 a.m. I decided that I would leave forever. I left on MarkAir and went from Kotzebue, AK, to Orlando, FL. I came back two years later, married and with a baby boy.

When I was nineteen, I had a kid. My son was born on September 25th, 1996. I was sick the entire time, I gained a whopping seven pounds in nine months. My doctor knew that I was alone, and he was there in a heartbeat. I stayed overnight, and we went home the next day. I came back to Kotzebue exactly six weeks later and never went back. The divorce was final a couple of years later. No worries. :)

When I was 25, I had another kid. She was born on April 11th, 2003. I wasn't sick, but I was sad. Another story, but now I have a wonderfully beautiful daughter who is super smart and just told me a story about a purple dinosaur and her Father. It was awesome. She is awesome.

When I was 27, I decided that I never wanted a boyfriend again. Boys sucked. Boys really, really sucked! Anyway, I had an epiphany, and realized that I was actually happy being a single mother. I had fun with my kids, we were just fine.

When I was 28, I met Dean. He ruined my thoughts about boys sucking. Well, not really, cause Boys still suck, but MEN, they don't. Well, sometimes they do, but that's another X-rated Blog! En-EE-ways, Dean, yeah, he kept coming around! We PROMISED that it wouldn't get serious...I didn't want anything to do with serious, after all, I had just had an epiphany and was HAPPY being single! Really happy. Dammit.

When I was 29 I was asked to marry. Dean, Paulette, and Danielle were in on it. Damn them! But, thank them too! I think my sister had something to do with it too. She was talking about ring sizes one day and I had NO idea. I pride myself in being very intuitive, but I really had NO idea.

So, we bought a house, and we're sitting here reminiscing about old times.

That's me, I'm a Finnskimo, Half Finnish, Half Eskimo. Its more than just a name.