Saturday, January 30, 2010

Kiviter Kiviter, number one...

(Beware: There is a lot of complaining going on here. Just warning you. Don't get all freaky on me now, just let me complain a bit ah?!)

Seriously, how much is it to ask for just a week of NOTHING?!

One week. One week of no worries, one week of no anger, one week of no disappointment. One week.

I TRY real hard to stay positive with everything that happens here. I mean, seriously, I should get a medal or something for still smiling after all the shit I've been through. See, its even got me cussing on my blog. (Sorry.)

I mean, I have my health, (sort of), my kids are OK, (sort of), I have a house (sort of), a stable job (sort of), and a vehicle (sort of). The only 100% for sure, not gonna change, perfect situation in my life right now, is my marriage. Luckily, my marriage is freakin stable, or I might lose it. Its extremely hard to stay positive when it seems like everything is falling apart around you. Seriously, you should try it sometime, before telling me to "stay positive," "keep your head up," "don't give up..." Of course I'm not giving up. And sometimes, I just need to let it OUT. So, since this is my personal blog...I'm letting it out.

Lets just go back within the past four months. FOUR MONTHS of adversity. Four months of crap. October was horrendous. The beginning of a lifelong disease that affects me EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Then I lose out on FOURTEEN THOUSAND dollars of pay, because of this disease. Seriously, I didn't work and lost out on fourteen grand. Fourteen grand that was supposed to go toward stove oil, mortgage, insurance, and plane payments. Thank God for Alaska Airlines credit cards, Mother in Law's and Bake Sales. Say it with me, fourteen thousand.

Then my son is ATTACKED by some a$$hole who thinks they're stealing from a snowmachine 100 yards away from them. Then that jerk-off gets away with damn near everything in the book. And my child questions the judicial system, the police force, etc. Thirteen year old boys shouldn't have to live their lives questioning the judicial system. They should be going through adolescence without worrying if they're going to get jumped and then get blamed for minding their own business. As a matter of fact, the lint licker who attacked them is having a grand old time on his vacation in Hawaii. While my son is afraid and his friend is in crutches because he was hurt so bad, he was medevaced to Anchorage and had surgery for two broken bones. Hmm, Hawaii / broken bones... Hawaii / broken bones. Yeah.

THEN, my other son (step-son) is admitted to the hospital because he has fluid around his brain, and 3 successive Cat scans later, he has BRAIN surgery, and a shunt put in. She-who-shall-remain-unnamed swears that the 10 year old was born with the "disease" that is just now coming out. No comment.

And now...we get a knock on the door today, after my morning of relaxing. (spoke too soon I guess) There is a LAKE behind our garage/shop. A lake. And that lake is coming toward, or FROM our house. Now the weather has been frigid cold, in the minus 30's for a few weeks, and it wouldn't surprise anyone that pipes freeze and burst. But, we can't figure out where its coming from. Our house? Neighbor's? The easement? Whatever the case may be, there's a freakin lake behind our shop, and its going to screw up the ground on which my ENTIRE HOUSE SITS. Cha Ching, there's another ten thousand dollar fix.

Other things have happened, but I only wanted to talk about the funny things. Or those things that could be construed as funny. Shoot, that lake is big enough that my dog is LOVING it. I'm just trying to stay above water. Barely. BUT.....

Optimism is the ability to turn difficulties into opportunities. Though I don't know what "opportunities" we'll have if we find out that the LAKE behind our garage is our fault, but I guess we'll find out. Too bad we didn't have ducks still, cause I'd let them go swimming right now. At least my dog is enjoying it, its his watering hole of choice right now. (Don't worry dog lovers, we checked it, sort of... and its good. He ain't dead yet.)

I know it would be so much easier to succumb to those negative forces and give up then to snow blow through it and punch that adversity in the nuts. But, seriously...Gotta stay happy about something. I had a great cup of coffee this morning. My son made me "Russian Tea" mix, and I had a cup of that too right before I started bawling. (I should cry more often, because seriously, I started crying, and EVERYONE jumped. "What can we do?!" "Mom, do you want a cup of tea?" etc... )

Optimism isn't a statement, or two statements...its a way of life. One that I hope I'm living, and more so, I hope I'm teaching my kids to live it. Life's not fair. Obviously, just take a look at ANY year of my life. ANY ONE. And you'll see that it really isn't. But, like people have told me, "thanks for being positive." Its hard, VERY hard to do that when certain things happen. Especially in a village known for many bad, bad things. Its hard, but someone's gotta do it.

I think people tend to immerse themselves in the problems. Woe is me. Infinite victim. Forget that there are many, many people (friends and family) who make a support system that will help you. You just have to ask sometimes.

Back in October, when my hands and feet (yes, both) looked like this:

I HAD to maintain a sense of humor. Had to. Without that sense of humor I would have given up long ago. Halloween had previously been a HORRIBLE holiday for me. Because of things that had happened on previous Halloween's. BUT, this year, I was wheeled around by my friend and scared the crap out of all the kids who came near. And you know what, while those kids were crying from looking at my hands and listening to my hoarse voice (that I made that way)...I laughed. I laughed so hard I almost peed. Because, what else can you do?!


I guess you could wine glass is half FULL! :)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

NOORVIK, AK photos

I'm tired...real tired. So, I'll just post some photos of my trip to Noorvik for the 2010 census.

Although, I was telling the Director of the Census Bureau that he should have come out of Clifton's house and said..."ONE!" Or better yet, "Atausriq!" (Inupiaq for One) That way, he would have actually, COUNTED him!!!

This week has been mighty hectic... Travel, meetings, and more travel, that was canceled due to 50 mile-an-hour winds in the villages. So, we're leaving Monday instead. I think I'll go to camp to unwind. Whew...

Enjoy this Eskimo Candy for your eyes:

I love to watch Elder's laugh...they are so beautiful!

Wolf Mittens, similar to the ones I made Dean for Christmas, except these have come I didn't thik of that!?

Bunch of stuff, but the most important would be the Blazo box made into a sled!

Beaded house slippers. Ahhh, I want a pair!

Seal Hook...when your seal is on thin ice, after you've shot it, throw this at it and hook it into your boat!

Use THIS rope and tie it onto your hook! This rope is made from a single hide of a bearded seal cut spirally. It's pretty strong now, and can pull a car out of a ditch (it HAS!) but braided into three, it could probably pull a house.

Eskimo Rubber Boots. Waterproof mukluks. These are sewn a certain way wet, and when they dry, its watertight.

Tutluliks!!! YAY... My favorite kind of mukluk!

Me...always sewing. Sigh... (Right now I'm making a pair of sealskin gloves for Dean...)

Old harpoon tip made with ivory.

I believe this is a fishing seine. Its made with a white gunny sack!!! Eskimo's recycle everything!

Berry picking spoon and basket.

Beautifully beaded kuppaq (parky or mukluk trim).

Furthest away is a barrel, used to store Seal Oil, berries and the sort. They were Butter barrels off the boat. Closer to the camera are berry baskets. :)

Once, I ran out of a doghouse for Nugent. I think I just found some new ones... :)

I absolutely LOVE how the elders dress in the outlying communities...beautiful I tell ya, beautiful!

It was A LITTLE BIT stormy in Noorvik. I was "stuck" there for a few extra hours. Stuck is an understatement...they fed me and all was grand!

And lastly, my wonderful beautiful friend Evik eskimo dancing.

Monday, January 25, 2010

First People...First to be counted.

Hello from Noorvik, AK.

Its been a beautiful trip so far. If you've never been to Noorvik, I'd highly suggest it. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous (photos to come soon, I didn't bring my cord!), and the people are completely generous.

As a speaker stated to the Census counters, "Don't assume that because a house is dilapidated and worn down, that there are no residents. Knock, chances are, those are the people who will be inviting you in to eat dinner with them, even if they don't have anything to eat."

The people are generous. Oh, did I already say that? Well, its worth a second mention. Not only are they generous, they are kind, humble, and work extremely hard. So, Thank you people of Noorvik. This Inupiaq appreciates the welcome.

The 2010 census is extremely important to the people of our region. Kotzebue, AK (where I live) has the HIGHEST COST OF LIVING IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. Seriously, I mean it. And, Noorvik and the other surrounding villages cost even more. But, the "study" naming Kotzebue didn't travel to the smaller villages to check. The higher the population, the more beneficial funding we recieve for programs in the region.

So, if you're in the region, and reading this blog...please, please participate in the 2010 census. What's their saying? "Ten questions, ten minutes..." It will make a difference to us.

As our shirts say, we passed out this morning..."I am Inupiaq, and I count."

As for now, the elder Clifton Jackson was counted today at 1:30 pm and we've had our welcomes and speeches, so now its time for FUN! Potluck first, Eskimo dancing next. Can't wait.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hello out there...

Nice to meet you.

Oh, look, for those of you who don't read the Anchorage Daily News...we're famous.

"We" being my sister, Chicken Momma, her boyfriend, Eskimo Power, and me...Finnskimo. (You know, I've always wanted to be called "FOOD PORN!" Isn't that great!!!??)

But only for the next day or so, until some other great person comes along and steals our thunder and glory! Or, actually, that's quite OK with me.

Just don't get mad at me for killing mice. Seriously, everyone does it, and I'm completely normal. (and I did read a lot of books and shoot other things in my spare time.)

On another note...for all of you regular followers. I'll be in Noorvik, AK this week to help out the national media for the 2010 Census. The first enumerated person will be from Noorvik, and I get to be there and watch.

When he was told he was the FIRST, he replied, "Oh Shucks." (His niece told me that today!)

Sorry though, can't tell you who it is. Top Secret information. If I tell you, I'll have to .... nevermind.

Well, see y'all on the flip side. Or at least on Tuesday when I get back.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Toothless in Alaska

Apparently, Eskimo's have bad teeth.

Well, maybe they don't have bad teeth, because I mean, how could evolution grant a meat eating, blubber chewing, mukluk making breed with weak teeth?

When my aana was younger and had her own set of teeth, I remember watching her and her Uuma's (friends) chew on ugruk skin for mukluk bottoms. That's how I learned to sew Ugruk, suck on the skin until its soft and pliable, then you can get your needle in and out easily. This wears down Eskimo teeth like no other.

People sometimes tease saying things about missing teeth, and gaps in smiles of Eskimo's, but its not entirely their fault.

I simply believe it was a combination of many things that made Eskimo's have weak teeth. The first inclination of a dentist is to pull a tooth that has a cavity, possibly because they don't want to fill it, or bother with the caps. I don't know really. But I've come across that more than once. When I needed a root canal on a tooth of mine, the dentist simply said, "come back in a week and we'll pull it out."

WHAT?! Rather than a root canal, on only one root? Pull it out?! Uh, no. So, I just went to another dentist, until I found one who said, "Oh, a root canal, let me schedule it for you."

Combining that pull-at-the-sign-of-a-cavity thoughts with the introduction of sugar, soda pop, and chips to the mix (which I believe a lot of kids eat/drink on a daily basis) is really the reason people end up with no teeth! (By the say, the dentists NOW have a much better reputation for keeping teeth in our mouths and working on them rather than pulling them out!)

But, what got me on this rant about being toothless is the fact that my daughter FINALLY LOST a tooth. Actually, she lost one on January 8th in the afternoon, and then another one that evening at a friends home.

Coincidentally, she's been waiting FOREVER to lose her teeth, because of all the hooplah and monetary gain from her friends and their tooth fairy stories. She was highly excited. Especially to lose TWO teeth in one day.

Now for the great part: When Koy was a baby, he got his first tooth at about age 6 weeks, and then came an eruption of teeth so severe that he had a mouth full of chompers when he was 8 months old. Imagine my surprise when Kaisa didn't have ONE tooth until she was almost 8 months old!

So, when she lost her tooth on January 8th, 2010, I laughed as I found out after reading a baby book that was half filled out that on January 8th, 2004, she got her first tooth. On the 9th in the morning, she had another tooth!

Her teeth were exactly six years old from start to finish!

She wants to drill little holes in them and wear them around her neck. Cavemanesque I guess.

For now...she'll remain toothless in Alaska until her permanent teeth arrive! And then, I promise, no candy or pop for her!!! haha.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Crunchy and Fresh

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch...

When the temperature in Kotzebue drops below -20 for weeks at a time, a person has to simply find ways to make the outdoors beautiful.

Walking outside in this type of weather is a feast for your ears. Sound travels much quicker in the cold air and makes for a symphony of people's footsteps, breaths and howling dogs. You could almost do a weather rap with all that ambient noise!

"Ba ha hu ha...its COLD out... BA HA HA HU HA...don't freeze your snout!"

When our daylight gains 4 minutes of sun per day, but you still go to work in the dark and come home in the dark, a person simply has to take a long lunch break to marvel in the beauty of a cold day's sunrise/sunset.

The smoke stacks look like beautiful clouds sprinkled with a Kindergartener's pink painting skills. Electric lines look like sharp cuts in an otherwise perfect blue sky. The moon, which is still up, tries his hardest to peep through the bright light of the sun.

Pretty soon, rather than just brightness, the sun will actually provide some heat and we can take all the kids out fishing on the ice.

As for now though, its dang cold out there and will be for a while. So, marvel at the small things. Like waking up to a 60 degree house, realizing you ran out of stove oil and being happy that it wasn't a weekend where you had to pay a call-out fee! (Then paying $1,000 for 200 gal. of stove oil for the second time this month!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My funny Tundra Chick!

My sister Saima is SO FUNNY.

My mom and Saima

OK, I have been reading facebook comments and statuses lately and they all have to do with your "middle name."

"Post your middle name and copy and paste for everyone to see, let's see if anyone knew your middle name!"

Well, people here been there, done that. So, they came up with a new one, "Post your Inupiaq name and who you were named after, let's see if anyone has the same name as you!"

Me and Saima, with our awesome hair and pants!

People up here in this region have Eskimo names. Mine is Katak. I'm named after my mom's mom. My aana.

Translated into English though, it means, "Dropped a lot."

Hmm, imagine my surprise when people teased me. Did I care? NOPE. Why, you ask...

Ok, here's Saima's post from Facebook, just so you can see why I'm not too upset about MY Inupiaq name:

Yep. That's what it means. Seriously.

I mean, we're named after PEOPLE, not the translation!

So, on another note, my sister has a business called, "Tundra Chicks." She has a chicken coop with about 16 chickens (2 might have passed away in a freak coop-cleaning accident). Now, in the -32 below zero weather, they are laying about 12-16 eggs a day.

Well in all this facebook hoopla about middle names and last names and bra colors and Inupiaq names. Here's the latest from my sister Saima.

An entrepreneur, and a funny one at that!

Local people who want eggs, contact her at the following:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Della Keats Day

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day across America. Martin, who had a dream, changed the lives of millions of people, simply by speaking up. I hope that today, his dream is fulfilled in the eyes of his followers.

Della Keats was from Kotzebue, a relative of mine, on of my aana's uumaa's (female-female friends). She was a traditional healer, I guess they're called now. We still call her a Tribal Doctor. Today is her day. She also had a dream. A dream to heal her people.

"All my life I wanted to let them know. We need a calm day, a happy day all the time."

With no formal education, Della had a love for learning at a very young age. She became interested in helping people, learning about their bodies and internal organs. But, rather than keeping all that information to herself, Della yearned to teach and share everything she learned to everyone around her.

"I love to teach the people. I don't want to keep something secret by myself. I want everybody to know. Try to show it, what I've done. I don't want to get just lost."

As an Eskimo Doctor, Della was soft spoken, loved everyone who came in and freely gave instruction to anyone who wanted to learn. Eskimo Tribal Doctors consider their knowledge a gift and will share it with the entire community and more, so that everyone has the knowledge to take care of themselves.

She encouraged everyone to stay happy, focus on the good in life. Our lives in Northwest Alaska can sometimes be very hard. There are many, many bad instances that happen in a child's life here, and I'm no exception. But if you continually focus on the bad things that happened to you as a child, or the bad things happening right now around you, then eventually your body listens to your mind and shuts down.

"When I was raised, happy all the time, no accidents, no worriness. Happy to make a living outdoors. Try to be happy all the time, try not to hurt anybody."

So, thank you Della Puyuk Keats for your words of wisdom, and your knowledge of the human body. Thank you for teaching everyone who called, teaching my grandmother. Allowing your happiness to flow through you into your healing hands. And for helping us as a people to be stronger, happier, healthier and better.

Quyaana Puyuk. Quyaana.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I hate mice.

I recently read an old friends post about hunting lemmings as a child.

Let me tell you a story. Please don't judge. Dude, we had NOTHING to do when we grew up, but play with the puppies from the dog yard, shoot squirrels and hunt lemmings.

OK...prepare yourself.

As an adult college student in Oregon, one of the things you had to do was teach a lab rat to click a button for its food. My cousin Josie and I lived together, hung out every day, and generally were partners in everything. I can't remember if it was her project, or mine, or what exactly happened, but we could NOT PICK THAT RAT UP.

We would go into that large room filled with rats numbered between 100 and 1426, or something, and our rat was no exception. Students easily picked up their rats, pet them, named them, made them pretty, etc. Josie and I could NOT pick our rat up. Worst of all was the fact that our rat had to be a white rat with red eyes. WHY!?

Eventually, I think we failed the class, but upon talking to the psychology professor, we had an epiphany. We could not pick up that Rat because we had killed so many of its cousins that we were mentally blocked from developing any sort of relationship with a rodent. (Which explains why I SCREAMED when my daughters hamster got loose. I almost died!) He spoke with the professor and eventually we wrote a paper on the effects of growing up at a fish camp with nothing to do.

I used to be on my cousin Grover Jay's team, Goober, we called him. It was Me, Goober and Doccy, my other cousin. (I have like 72 first cousins on my mom's side) Josie was always on Bessie and Cody's team. Our cousin and her brother. The game was to see who could get the most "mice" (what we called lemmings) in a few hours time.

We "hunted" those mice with our driftwood clubs. We flipped abandoned boats, and boards and old sigalauqs (food storage places under ground). For some reason, I remember winning a lot.

We would each have a receptacle to put the mice in. Whether it was an old 55 gallon drum, an abandoned upturned boat, or a metal fish bin, we choose the bigger one usually.

Mice bite pretty hard, but we weren't too worried about that. I always wore gloves, cause I was a big chicken growing up. I did most of the board flipping, while my cousins Goober and Doccy did most of the clubbing and picking up. We ended up with probably 60% dead and 40% alive mice in our receptacles.

When we lucked out and found a pregnant mouse, we would take it in our hands, and squeeze out the babies, so we could have more. (seriously...I'm gagging just writing about it!) Did you know that baby mice don't have hair, or teeth? So, you can pick them up, and they feel like your pinky toe after taking a shower. Sort of smooth and soft and wrinkly and warm and moist.

After the time was up, we would decide what exactly we would do with them. I specifically remember the sound that mice make when you douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. If my children ever did this, I think I'd take them out back and have them whipped. I can't even believe that happened. I swear it wasn't ME who thought of these things.

(By the way, my Aana found out what we were doing once, and Eskimo's don't waste food. So, she MADE US EAT THEM. She made us skin them, gut them and cooked them on a stick over a camp fire. But she only found out once!) When we didn't set them in fire we did other torturous things to them, like drown them, or feed them to owls, or bury them, or use them as bait to catch squirrels.

I don't even know HOW kids think of these things, but when we were at camp this summer, my son was "hunting" mice and squirrels too. I don't know if its engrained in our psyche's or what. My six year old walks around with a driftwood stick and "hunts mice" too. With absolutely no encouragement from me.

Anyway, to this day, I can't pick up a mouse, I still get freaked out when I walk into a pet store and there are white mice, and hamsters (which LOOK like lemmings), and gerbils in cages. My heart absolutely does flips until we get away from that section. Give me a tarantula instead, NOT a mouse.

We passed the psychology class, but only because I think the paper and explanation of why we could not pick up RAT #625 was so off the wall that he had no other choice but to pass us.

I wonder if hunting mice did anything good for me, or taught me anything except to be on the better team with Goober and Doccy. Or if it just messed me up enough to freak out when in the presence of rodents?

Any of YOU have "skeletons" in your closets about crazy things you did as kids but would NEVER EVER let your kids do!? (not including drinking or smoking, which I actually never did!)

*Edited to add: I welcome all comments. ALL. Scold me, please. But don't ever EVER compare mice with CHILDREN. (Especially when you compare torching children with torching mice.) That is just plain stupid. Unless of course, you're a mouse. And if you are, then please, PLEASE feel free to charge me in mouse court with murder. Otherwise, stick to comparing mice with...say, MICE.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's too cold...

to do anything. Especially write.

Minus TWENTY BELOW Zero ambient temperature.

With our weeney little wind, its minus 45 below zero right now. So, its too cold to do anything.

This is why we own a PS3, a Wii, and have several flat-screen televisions in our house. I completely feel justified now that I remember that January's temperature up here is on average about fifteen below.

Its Alapaa COLD outside.

But not cold enough to stop baking.

Remember, I said I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED my new Pioneer Woman cookbook. Well, I still do, maybe a little teensy bit more. My friend and I made some cinnamon rolls last night. NINE PANS of cinnamon rolls. Three plain, three craisin pecan and three apple (that I had leftover from our Full Circle Farm box!). They are the bomb. :) For real.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Am I "weird?"

This weekend, and today I was told by someone that I was "weird."

I don't at all take offense, because what the people were referring to, I don't mind. I am weird.

Weird because when people talk about new Coach Purses, I look at my totes black bag (that I got for free from M-I-L) I laugh. I spent my three hundred dollars on bullets from Sportsmans. (OK, let me just tell you that I was so excited about this sled that I actually measured it with my BODY...this is the "Magnum" edition, and we wouldn't get this one, but the one below it. Sigh...)

Weird because when people talk about what they're going to eat for dinner, what shall we cook today... I already know. And chances are, its some sort of Meat and Potatoes dinner. Made from scratch, every day. What exactly is Vegetarian and Vegan and all that crap?! I like vegetables, but as a side dish to my chicken fried caribou steak!

Weird because I own two pairs of jeans...from Old Navy. And I only ever wear jeans! When one pair wears out, I just go to Old Navy and get another $25 pair.

Weird because I don't wear makeup, or dry my hair, or worry about what it'll look like after I wake up. I wear dirty clothes, and don't even care as long as they don't smell!

Weird because when my daughter and son were at the Inupiaq school, rather than washing their clothes all the time, I just got up a half hour earlier and made them Atikluk's to wear probably twice a week. My daughter had about 27 atikluks at one time. (I think she's down to four or five now though...I'm getting better, I swear)

Weird because people get excited about sales at Khol's after Thanksgiving and Christmas. I get excited about a new Otter sled that costs me less than a hundred bucks and is perfect for Shiifishing this spring! I get super DUPER excited when I get a "20% off one item" at REI or Cabelas and I use that coupon over and over again in their bargain bin, purchasing most of our hunting gear for like 75% off!

Weird because I like to stay SUPER busy...I don't watch TV much, I like simple things. Like when I take my 6 year old out shooting, we don't accidentally shoot the dog. That is an accomplishment! My life is FAST and BUSY. And I like it that way. When I'm at camp, its slow and wonderful, but its still busy. Who has time to sit and think? Not me.

Weird because my FAVORITE Christmas present (I can't say of ALL TIME, because that STILL has to be my professional series 6 qt. Kitchenaide!) this year was a Kindle. And since I FINALLY registered it, on Friday, I have read no less than four books (FIVE days) and I got into a bit of trouble with the "one-click" purchases on Whispernet. Shucks, who knew all those 4 dollar books would add up!? So, I guess I'll have to stick with what I have, and hope that my husband buys something for his snowmachine so I can justify getting like fifteen more books this weekend.

When I go into the city, I love McDonald's as much as I love Sushi. I would DIE before getting a pedicure, gross. I would rather spend my day at Chuck-E-Cheeses with 10,000 tokens before going to a "Day Spa." I like Wal-Mart and Target, and REI, and Cabelas, and Michael's and I should own stock in Jo-Ann fabrics. I could just about laugh in convulsions if Alaska Fur Exchange had a half off sale. I'd go broke. "It's HALF OFF though!"

So, I guess, you could say that I AM weird. But, I like this weird...and I'm fine with this weird. Weird is good. I like my easy mornings with no commute. My kids being able to come to my office after school. My homecooked meals every day. My crazy and fun friends who mess up my house so I can clean it up. My funny, stubborn, smart kids who make us shake our heads every single day.

P.S. I just got my "Pioneer Woman" Cookbook in the mail. I told the hubby, "It is ALL MEAT and Potatoes!" He just about died in excitement. (He's still not even half as excited as I am, I've already tabbed like seven pages that I'm going to make TODAY!) Pretty much everything in that cookbook we can make, because there aren't any funky ingredients that we can't find here. Yay!

Friday, January 8, 2010


"Snips and Snails and Puppy dog tails...that's what little boys are made of!"

The poem completely forgot to mention that they are also full of honor, and love. They are filled with compassion and understanding. Boys are strong and humble.

Yeah...they sure are.

Today, little Max is in the hospital in Anchorage, after a scary weekend. He has had several CAT scans, MRI's and actually had brain surgery yesterday evening. He is doing quite well and appreciates his dad being there with him. Max is my step-son, but I whole-love him.

Today, my son faced his "attacker" (AGAIN) in court, and we listened to him and his lawyer make up stories and excuses. I am deeply disgusted in the fact that an adult can do this, then lie, and give false representation of what a "MAN" should be. My only hope is that my son, his best friend (who suffers every day because of this guys actions), and their friends know that this is NOT what a MAN is, and in fact, he is exactly what we hope our son's will not turn out to be.

One of the Inupiaq Values is responsibility to tribe. Obviously this person does not belong to "this tribe" because you don't outright lie in court in front of young men, who believe that adults are role models. That is irresponsible to say the least.

We teach our sons to respect their "elders" and teachers, and any adult that comes near them. Even if they are abusing their authority. It is not their place to determine if the adult is within their boundaries. It is the boys responsibility to simply respect them and do what they are told. And they do. But, how exactly do they bounce back from something like this? How do I?

Both boys have been out of school for the past week. Simply because we could not trust that the "system" would work and keep them safe. I have faith in the system, as well as faith in my child. He is going back Monday, come hell or high water. It's time to move on. Trust our legal system and trust our School authorities to keep our children safe.

I believe that this was an accidental case of the wrong people. But, anyone with a conscience would admit to their fault and pay the consequences of their behavior. It must be nice to be able to get away with things like this, simply hire someone to talk on your behalf, and sit back.

As for Max, he is doing really well. Dean has been with him throughout the day, and Gramma comes in from Phoenix today to be with him as well. We are holding up here as well, keeping extremely busy. I didn't want to write negatively every day, and writing about fun stuff has really helped the situations.

Stress on people does crazy things to your mind and body, so we simply breathe and take it one day at a time around here. Thanks for all the prayers...all the well wishes...for everyone involved. God knows...we ALL need it.

My prayers are with my boys and husband. I can handle this...I hope they can too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Little Miss Perfect...

I shoulda brought Kaisa to Vegas this week.

She reeled in the awards today at the Elementary School Awards Ceremony.

Citizenship, for being a good role model, etc.

Math Whiz. The benchmark to pass first grade is 11 digits, she passed with 27 digits.

Super Speller. With 107% correct on her spelling tests.

Awesome Reader. The benchmark to pass first grade is 30 words per minute. She reads over 85.

Too bad we can't take these to the bank. I'm still pretty proud though!

Good job Kaisa!