Thursday, April 30, 2009

Buckland/Deering

I left Kotzebue this morning on a Caravan plane (Bush Plane) bound for two villages, Deering and Buckland. The trip was a nice break from the monotonous daily life of Kotzebue.

I'm not the best flier around. I know, I know, I'm from Kotzebue where you have to FLY in to visit, but I just don't like to fly.

In Deering we were greeted by a darn crew waiting for us. Deering is a ONE road town. Seriously. Everyone there was so hospitable, it almost made me want to move. Almost. Not quite.

I forgot my camera cord at work, so I don't have photo's, but tomorrow I'll post some showcasing the beautiful towns we visited.

Everyone is very friendly, and welcoming. I KNOW I don't have anything they really want, but they just are genuinely welcome.

So, thank you to the residents to Buckland and Deering for your hospitality and just overall nice-ness! I really appreciate being "welcome!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Criminal...just Criminal

I received a call today, actually an email on my blackberry, that my husband was a CRIMINAL in the Kotzebue court docket. A criminal!

The emailer stated that she saw his name on the Trial Court Website and that it stated, "Animals At Large..." HAHAHAHA...Animals at large? Seriously? Wow. If this is all the Kotzebue Police can find than I'm REALLY glad to be living in Kotzebue.

But since this town is a "damp community" and you can not sell or purchase alcohol...there are many-a-criminal out there selling a 750ml bottle of Weak Whiskey for $70. (Yes, I'm serious.)

I posted a while back that Dean was ticketed for our dogs being loose. I mean, if the Dog Catcher actually caught anything, besides his own loose dog, and ticketed people, other than us, I'd understand. But to put it in a COURT DOCKET? WTF? Seriously, Kotzebue has much worse crimes and we're wasting our money on ticketing loose dogs...which were never caught, and only "allegedly seen" by another dog owner. They just assumed that because our dogs "fit the description" that they were ours. (And they probably were, but this is MY blog and I can be catty if I want.)

"Uh yeah, I'd like to report that there is a drunk person wandering around town. He's wearing a black jacket, and goes by the name of Son-son, he's about five foot ten and looks a little bit Eskimo...." That describes about 80 perscent of the male population here. I wonder if they'll ticket every Tom, Dick and Son Son they come across. It would seem so, as there are about fifteen black labs in town impregnating the other mutts around. But it seems that the two times our dogs have been "at-large" around town, they were found! Sorry, ONCE...the other time, I whistled and they came-a-runnin! Not only black labs, but many MANY huskies are wandering.

Whoa Nellie...hold on to your seatbelts. On the way to pick up my daughter from my mom's house, which is about half a city block from my house, I ran into FIVE loose dogs. FIVE. I was told by KPD, when I called to report them, that it was after five pm, and no one's there after five. So, if you're in the Kotzebue area, and you have animals, make sure they're chained up on two foot chains at least until after five! Cause after five you're home free!

I guess, you just can't live in Kotzebue without being a criminal. I wonder if he'll go for me being "warden" tonight???

Oh...pictures. Ugh...here's me on my way back home. I flew to Anchorage today, just for the day. Left Kotz. at 8:00 am and just arrived back at 7:15 pm. Got some important business done...and some much needed grocery shopping. My family was darn near giddy for the KFC I brought home too. So easy to please.

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Good ole Chester and I...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No "Disaster" funds for us...

The City of Kotzebue recently requested disaster funds from the State of AK to curb the burden of snow removal that we've faced for the past month or so. And they were denied! Guess they'll have to step it up and just do the work themselves...I mean 6% tax on EVERYTHING should cover snow removal right?!

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Our roads will look like this until at least July

After all our freak storms in February and March, the amount of snow here was quadruple what it usually is, and the City's trucks were lagging behind trying to remove it. They finally just gave up and pushed it in to piles around the streets.

There has been numerous accidents because of blind corners with snowmachines, trucks, BIG trucks, tractors, loaders, and pedestrians all vying for the best spot on the road. This week, they finally made headway with the removal.

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Yep, that's one paved road submerged in water...

It was that, or flood us out.

For those of you who don't know, Kotzebue is AT sea level, and sometimes floods, frequently front street is eroding here and there, not as bad as Kivalina, but in the eyes of the "front streeters" its bad.

We basically live in a swampy area. Think Everglades, with permafrost underneath! My mom and dad's first "big purchase" after building the new house was a water pump. To pump water from their swamp to the lagoon about 200 yards away. They bought industrial sized hoses and a gas powered pump. Its been their saving grace for as long as I can remember.

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Oh Pump, where art thou?

The school, since its so close to summer break (May 8th, YES) just forces the kids to walk on pallets to get to school and tells the parents to bring their kids with rubber boots! I mean its not their fault if the kids get we going INTO the school!

I know I rock my Camoflauge rubber boots whenever I wear them...which happens to be ALL THE TIME from now until about July...and maybe August with all this snow.

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I need a snorkel kit for my 4-wheeler!

Our house is seeing minimal flooding right now, but the garage/man shop is going to be flooded for sure. Its not built on stilts like the house is, so Dean's got to think of something before long.

So, the City requested funds and Auntie Sara denied them, stating they needed more Data and proof that people's lives and safety were at stake. So, for now, we're all coveting my mom's pump and I KNOW, everyone's coveting my awesome boots!

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Yep, I'm at work and these are my fashionable footwear...and my PROJECT board behind it...

I wonder if there's a girl scout badge for water removal? I also wonder if I planted that "Arctic Grass Seed" before it snowed...hopefully, because all this snow will be free watering for us and maybe this year we'll actually have grass!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Loot and the fun we had with it...

Even though Kaisa is still (REALLY) a little sick, Strep Throat and Scarlet-ty Fever (from the strep)...a double shot of PCN did the trick, but not until after the screaming and crying ensued at our local (dive) ER. Only bribes of a Slushie and the first to use my present won her over.

fever tongue
She wanted everyone to see her tongue!

rashy arm
THIS is what the body looks like...and its even worse on her palms. Ick.

Aside from the sickness, we had a wonderful day with my new birthday loot! I knew when I married Dean and the first present he gave me was a .357 magnum stainless steel handgun with a nylon body holster and bear slugs that this marriage would last forever and my presents would ALWAYS be practical and EXACTLY what I wanted.

My sisters complain that they don't know what to get me. I constantly tell everyone who asks, "I don't know...just get anything!" Or..."A bottle of red wine." ha... My mom and dad get me whatever I buy myself and they reimburse me for, which works GREAT, because I've gotten a sewing machine, a KitchenAide stand mixer, and other great things like that. My son made me an ulu this year in shop class, and I am so very proud of him! I've been using it to chop onions, ham and whatever box that needs opening, I'm chiming in..."Ohhh, I have an ulu...I'll get it!" Every Christmas, my dad makes us girls an ulu, so I have a lot of them, but my 12 year old son made this, so its special!

ulu
Yay for Koy, master ulu maker!

kinfe block
Fits perfectly on my knife magnet! Oh...the tiles, I woke up one day and Dean had tiled our kitchen! Yay for great husbands!

My husband, he gets me the BEST presents though. I actually get giddy when ready to open my presents from him. I do have to admit, I did have to "train" him to be patient. I want to open my present ON my birthday, or ON Christmas, or ON mother's day! He tries and tries to get me to open, or "just take a little look" at things before the big day.

Some past gifts include an iPod, another iPod (because it was cooler than the last one), a "circle camp chair" (a FOLDING papasan for reading at camp...that is a close second to the Wii Fit), a Finnish Witch Drum, that he MADE, Dansko's, Haflingers, camoflauge Rubber Boots and Jacket, and of course, the Eskimo Sled for fishing on the ice. See, I'll survive anywhere. All I need are some books to keep me company!

This year...he got me a Wii Fit, with the yoga and accessory case! Let me just say...the Wii Fit IS. THE. BEST. GIFT. EVER!

skiing on the Wii Fit

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We do all enjoy the Wii, but we also usually all put on a little (lot) weight in the winter. After no sun for months, and a hundred below temperatures, all cramped in a small house, its hard to burn more calories than we eat...so Spring is the time everyone comes out of their shells, and is very active. So the Wii Fit...Exactly what we need...all of us. Not just me!



Thank you Deanie for the gift. I REALLY, REALLY love it! And as you can see...so does everyone else!

Heres to another GREAT year above the Arctic Circle. Let the adventure begin!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Maija Katak 3.2

Na, na, na, na, Na, na...they say it's your birthday....
Na, na, na, na, NA, na...its MY birthday too, yeah.

I'm looking forward to some patkotak sisters birthday requests for my birthday this year. If no one requests that for me, I'll be thoroughly disappointed.

newborn maija
newborn..two days old

chickaloon mom dad me
Chickaloon the coolest place in the coolest state!

sink baby
my best play pen ever

I have to say. Aside from my roof leaking all over the place, my daughter's fever and LONG night, and my messy house...it's been a good day so far. The snow is blowing sideways, so we're probably NOT going fishing today, as is customary on my birthday. But that's OK, because I'd have to skip out to take care of Kaisa. Someone is looking out for me.

dad and I on bday
Happy age 1 birthday!

puppy pen
This is where all the babies are put...with the puppies in the pen, so we get used to each other! (We had lots of sled dogs growing up!)

josie and I sisualik babies
Sisualik kids...Josie and Maija

I don't know what will happen tonight, what I DO know is that my husband brought me four bottles of wine from Anchorage (I live in a "damp" community, no alcohol sold anywhere except on the bootleg market) so I'm happy to see that at our bar!

mom and dads wedding
Three years old at my mom and dad's wedding...

maijas hat
One of many fur things!

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Me and my bud Donnie!

So... if you're in or around the Kotzebue, Alaska area, come on over to house 425 for a full on Mexican night. I think we're having "Margarita's with Maija". Last year it was Mai Tai's, the year before was my Dirty Thirty... you get the picture.

parky 2
All we wore/wear is parky's in the winter...

rabbit parky
and we make them from ANYTHING. This one is rabbit.

And now for your entertainment:

Five Celebrities I share a birthday with and my reason's for claiming them!

1. Al Pacino (1940)
Al has my back in any fight I have...he can also dance like no other and just has that air around him that makes me want him to be my mob uncle.

2. Renee Zellweger (1969)
He had me at Hello. And that is for real...so I HAD to include her. Besides, sometimes I can be a little flighty.

3. Tim Duncan (1976)
At only a year younger, he's the bomb diggity. Since I like to pretend to play basketball, he and I are cool like that.

4. Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996)
Sometimes when I'm at Kari or Stacey's...I like to Karaoke. Once or twice I remember doing it at the Woodshed in Anchorage. I do like to sing to my kids though...so she and I. yeah.

5. Jason Lee (1970)
Lastly, anyone who plays a guy named Earl and has a son in REAL life named Pilot Inspektor HAS to be cool to hang with. Hey Jason...you're cool!

summer and I
My cousin Summer and I.

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Me and my awesome sister Saima... 13 and 8 years old! HAHA

tenth grade
Fifteen years old I believe!

In closing. Some words of wisdom from my dad. Who by the way had never before called and left a message for me on the phone... (So, I'm a little excited...I'll take what I can get)

"HEY, get out of bed, get up earlier. You're getting older and your life's getting shorter. Need to make the most of it. Happy Birthday from your dad!"

CarniVal!

Every year, during the spring, the Elementary school here hosts a Spring Carnival. This year, it was today. Man, what a week, first Thursday night Fights, then the Carnival, then my BIRTHDAY! :) Yay.

Normally, I would be signed up to do some sort of "thing" to make money personally, but this year, only groups or organizations could sign up. So, I signed up for two things, just to volunteer. Face Painting and Girl Scout Cookie Walk.

I took my camera with the full intention of working the Face Painting booth from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and wandering with Kaisa from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. then going to the Girl Scout booth until 9:00 p.m. when it closed for the night.

balloons
Helium is rare here...everyone bought balloons!

I run on "Eskimo Time" which means I'm perpetually late. So, we arrived around 6:15 and Kaisa was complaining of being tired and hot. Dismissing any sort of sickness, I simply asked her if she wanted to go to the Carnival. (At this point, I would have skipped it, cause its a stressfull and PACKED place) Of COURSE, she said NO. So we went.

painting tamyra

I gave her the $20 it takes to get tickets and said I'd be in Mrs. Tuning's room (her teacher who was hosting the Face Painting booth) if she needed me.

batman

Normally, the Carnival is a place you can get a cool hat, buy a balloon, jump in a bouncy house, get your picture taken and put onto a button, and go to the Teddy Bear Cake Walk...but I was literally STUCK in the Face Painting room until someone came up to me and said Kaisa was just laying in the hallway. I rushed outside and there she was...laying there. She said to me, "Mom, I think I should just go home...this is NOT fun." (Poor baby)

firetruck

It was then that I realized that I had to pick Dean up from the airport. He went into Anchorage the night before to go grocery and birthday shopping for tomorrow. So, we rushed out and I brought her home. She was very disappointed that she didn't get to play any games, or do anything really. But I gave her some Ibuprofen and she layed down to watch TV with Dean.

sick girl

Leaving my camera at the school, I went back, and Mrs. Tuning was still swamped, so I just stayed to help her with the long line accumulating around her classroom. Seriously, we had three lines going, and they just weren't getting any shorter.

hay hay

Luckily, Kaisa has good friends, and Haiden (Fox hat and Fox emblem on cheek) won a few girly things for her. Namely, a blow up basketball, a baton and two pink pencils. When I brought them home, she says, "Man that Hay Hay, he's so cooOOool."

Not only did the community enjoy all that is well and more...we even had McDONALD'S cheeseburgers for three bucks! The principal made a "bush"order and flew in 1200 burgers. My mom heated them up in the school kitchen and viola! cheeseburgers. MmmMMMmmMM.

McDs
I scored a few to take home, since Kaisa didn't spend her tickets and they wouldn't allow me to exchange them for money. Thieves.

Happily, her fever is down, and she's resting peacefully right now. I'm setting my alarm to wake up every two hours to check on her. (Both my biological kids suffer from Obstructional Sleep Apnea, and when they're sick, it really sucks...) The doctors tell us to give her motrin and tylenol every two hours to keep the fever down and the swelling in her throat. (sigh)... Happy Birthday to me. My birthday wish...that my daughter feels better...enough so that she enjoys Jessa's birthday party tomorrow and my dinner tomorrow night. (Its just past midnight here, yay, its my birthday!)

Right before bed she says to me, "Mom, I'm SOOO sorry that I can not bake you a cake right now. I just don't feel that well...and when I stand up for too long, my head is too heavy to lift up for my neck...Can't I just buy you a pop instead?" I sure do love my daughter!

me again hello

(NOTE: Koy's OSA was cured by having his abnormally large tonsils removed on his third birthday. He's a great, growing boy now, and has had no problems, unless he contracts Strep Throat. In fact, the only thing we're worried about in Koy is that his neuro appt goes well next week. Praying. Kaisa's OSA is getting worse and worse, and if you know healthcare in Kotzebue, you know its virtually impossible to get any sort of referral to a "real" doctor. And even though we get free health care from the Indian Health Service, I pay over $700 a month to cover my family and I...and I don't remember how much Dean pays...but we still have to have a referral to see anyone first. ugh.)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday night at the Fights!

Up in Kotzebue, there isn't much to do...so we just make stuff up to entertain ourselves.

The local high school wrestling team hosts an annual "Thursday Night Fights" boxing match between the wrestlers and other kids within the school.

big boys fight

We watched some good friends box each other, and better yet, we watched some all out grudge matches too. :) Those were the fun ones.

The only thing the kids need is their parent's permission. Of course, my son did NOT have my permission! But we went, because what else are we going to do on Thursday night in Kotzebue? A ton, and I mean most of the people who weren't working in Kotz. went to watch! It was GREAT!

little boys

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These boys are Koy's age...

They started out with the middle school kids. These guys are my SON's age. I can't imagine him fighting like that! Then went on to girls, and then eventually high school boys. The main event matched the state wrestling champ 3 yrs running with another state wrestling champ who had a 6 inch reach advantage over the kid.

echo fights

I can imagine if we, as adults did this. The weekly Lion's Club dance would consist of people yelling at one another, "Oh yeah, I'll sign up to FIGHT you if you don't watch it!" "You sleeping with my man? I'll Fight you at Thursday Night Fights Beeatch" I'd pay FIFTY bucks a ticket to see that! But...it'd be only women fighting, and I can see it for free at 3:00 a.m. if I want to stay up that late, so why bother!? :)

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OK...remember, we, in Kotzebue live in a small town and we have two grocery stores, one hardware store (I'd hardly call it that, but it'll do in a pinch) and like fifteen churches! We have to be very "creative" when we do things here. :)

Here is the Ring. It consists of the Choir Risers, with a wrestling mat duct taped to it, and the actual "ring" itself is the climbing rope hooked onto to some crutches, taped onto the moveable volleyball poles, weighed down by the freeweights from Gym class. If that's not CREATIVE, I don't know what is!!!

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crutch
Anyone need crutches? I know where to find em.

We don't segregate. We let ANYONE fight. Here is an all out Girl Fight. These girls are in 8th grade.

girl fight

We're all for Disabilities too, The guy in the white shirt is Deaf, and his interpreter was next in line to fight. We all think he won, but the judges were paid off by the other kids mom. (P.S. he was my FIRST student. I had him as a 4 year old when I interpreted ASL for him....and I LOVE him...so my thinking he should have won was NOT biased at all!)

jr stein

We even had "ring girls" although I think it would have been better if they wore fur bikini's just to add to the nostalgia! Only the pretty girls get to be ring girls! I think Eskimo girls are the most beautiful women in the world. Again...I'm not biased, they just are!

ring girls

The big boys were the best fights.

echo

Only one casualty happened. He dislocated his shoulder and that forced us to wait about fifteen minutes. The kids were getting crabby.

big boys

ambulance

This is what happens when you fight your brother all day long.

emily no teeth

Gage had to get in on the action too. This is what happens to your teeth, when you're old, he says...

gage old man

My mom showed up to watch even! She and Kaisa are BFF's. Kaisa's Eskimo name is after my mom, so she's a little "spoiled" one could say.

mom and kaisa

And in the end, a winner is declared...

winner is

Until next time, I'll just have to settle for Lion's Club.