Thursday, September 30, 2010

Random Thursdays

I decided I'm going to be lazy tonight. So here are a few random things to help tide you over until tomorrow afternoon's post!

1. It's snowing up here. Yep. Winter is here. While the rest of you get to enjoy your apple picking, pumpkin patch, autumn leaves and cool fall nights, we up here in Northern AK get to watch it snow.

let it SNOW

In our LL Bean fleece robes!

2. My husband is SO HOT! And I mean that in the most corny, childish, twitterpated way! I love this photo. It's not professional by any means, but it shows him in his element and he just looks so delicious I could...nevermind. Anyway, I still look at him and think he's hot.

hotty with the cute doggy

Our dog's not too shabby either!

3. My daughter learned how to "cook" last night and therefore opened her own "restaurant." She made us all "Brinner" (Breakfast for Dinner for those of you without imaginations!) When I was younger, I thought my mom invented this dish. And I'm gonna stick to that story! She's genius. So, for Brinner, we had "Hole-in-the-toast-egg-in-the-middle." Then guess what we had for breakfast? Yep, Hole-in-the-toast-egg-in-the-middle. And uhm, guess what we're having for dinner again! Oh, not Hole-in-the-toast-egg-in-the-middle!

hole in the toast

By the way, every time you say it you have to say the ENTIRE thing, Hole-in-the-toast-egg-in-the-middle. And she will have her first "tute" tomorrow on the blog!

Here is a menu from my daughter's restaurant: "Kaisa's Restaurant Menu: Girl cheese - $3. Hole-in-the-toste-egg-in-the-middl - $4. Penut butter and jelly sandwich - $3. Aple - $2. Juce - $1. Milk - $1. Jump on my trampaline - $2. Hugs and kiss's - Free"

Should I tell her that the trampoline is full of snow?


7 layer dip for 7 teenage boys

OK, so for Koy's birthday, I was supposed to be at camp with Dean. Due to high winds and a very emotional self, Dean and I left on Saturday afternoon back to Kotzebue. Koy had texted me and said that his aana (my mom) made him the customary chili and rice and Strawberry Jello cake for his birthday already. And he thought I didn't need to come home, cause he already got his dinner and cake, right mom?


Momma needed to come home and baby her baby! Anyway, he was sort of disappointed that I came home because he was going to have a sleepover. So I told him he could still have one and that I'd leave them alone. I wouldn't tell them to "GO TO BED!" at midnight, and I'd let them stay up as late as they wanted, and I'd make them snacks, and I'd make sourdough hotcakes in the morning.

So, he agreed. (Whew!)

Here's the hand-me-down recipe for 7 layer dip that my mom taught us girls how to make. It is the BEST 7 layer dip EVER! (ever notice that everything that I post is THE BEST EVER! Well consider yourself lucky cause I don't share it unless its the BEST EVER!)

BEST EVER 7-layer dip (This recipe makes one spicy pan, and one wussy pan)

2 pie pans
1 large can refried beans
2 fresh jalapeno's
2 avocados (or store bought guac, which I don't recommend, but in Kotz, you can't get avocados year round!)
1 C Mayo
Squeeze of Lime Juice
Shakes of Garlic Powder
2 small jars Chopped, or sliced olives
1 container Sour Cream
1 packet Spicy Taco Seasoning
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
4 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped
1/4 C chopped onion
1/4 C chopped Cilantro

Layer 1

Place half the can of refried beans in each pie pan and spread with your fork.

Layer 2

For the Spicy Dip, finely chop the Jalapeno's (I use my Tupperware Quick Chef , the red one!) and place on top the beans layer.

For the wussy version (MY version) skip this layer, yours will only be a 6-layer dip!

Layer 3

Here's where I complain because I never, EVER buy storemade guacamole. But I had to because the avocado's were SO HARD I could have broken rocks on them!

Combine the following in a medium sized bowl: 2 mashed avocados, 1 C Mayonnaise, 1 squeeze of fresh lime, and several shakes of some garlic powder. Smoosh up as well as you can, and place half on each of the layers. (Unless you live above the Arctic Circle and can't get avocado's year round, then go buy some store brand guacamole and place in the pans. Yuk.)

Layer 4

Place 1 jar each of the chopped or sliced olives on the Guacamole layer.

Layer 4 sharp

Be VERY careful of the can lids. Never, ever ask your 2 year old daughter to run to the trash can with one, or she may trip and fall, and cut her thumb almost entirely off and then get teased for the rest of her life for having an ugly thumb that can never grow a nail.

layer 4 thumb

I forgive you mom. Really, I do.

layer 5

WUSSY VERSION: Place half of the sour cream very carefully on the olive layer. Usually, I drop globs (dallops, but I like to call them blobs, or globs, its much more fun this way!) strategically around a center glob then carefully spread it around.

layer 5 spicy

SPICY VERSION: Place about half the taco seasoning into the Sour Cream container and mix well. Then repeat for the wussy version spreading into the pan with the jalapeno layer in it. Confused? Eh, too bad. You'll get it!

layer 5 spice

layer 6

Place shredded cheddar cheese on both pans of dip.

layer 7

WUSSY VERSION: (I love calling it that!) Place half the chopped tomatoes on the non-spicy pan, and you're done.

SPICY VERSION: Mix the chopped cilantro, chopped onions and the rest of the tomatoes together (guess what? You just made Pico De Gallo! Multiply this by several, add a splash of lime juice and some sea salt and you have Pico! I'm sneaky like that, giving you two recipe's in one!) Place on top the cheese layer in the Spicy Pan, and you're done!

Get yourself some of those good thick tortilla chips and ENJOY!

So, I totally have blackmail photos of the seven teenage boys who stayed up very late playing several video games, but generally not waking this momma up too many times. I got up early, went downstairs and found several of the boys on the floor, curled up on the two beanbags I made, with their hoods pulled up and hats on. (Must have gotten cold on the floor) Then I found three boys sleeping together on a twin sized bed, all warm and cuddly! Must be nice to be skinny!

Ahh, OK, now that I wrote this, I'm going to go make some dip for lunch!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Once upon a time there was a young woman. She moved 4,000 miles away from home to Orlando, Florida from the snow to the sun. From the Tundra to the Sandy beaches. From Arctic Terns to Space Shuttles.

koy glasses



She got married. Then she became pregnant and had a baby. All by herself. That baby had long black hair and smooth caramel skin. He didn't cry at all. When he was six weeks old, he and his momma moved 4,000 miles away. From the Space Shuttles to the Arctic Terns. From the sandy beaches to the Tundra. From the sun to the snow.



And he grew up there in Arctic Alaska. Doing what Eskimo's do; hunting, fishing, living off the land. Shooting squirrels. Playing Norwegian. Riding Bikes. Learning to fly an airplane. (Oh, sorry, but lots of Alaskans do that!)


Eventually that boy turned three and went to school at Nikaitchuat Ilisagviat, the Inupiaq immersion school, where he was known as "Upiksaun-Taliiraq." He flourished in Eskimo Dancing, speaking our native language and cutting up bears. Once he turned six, he went to the Public School and learned to read and write in English. There, he was known as "Koy."

koy owl

koy fish


After two years at a Christian School, he skipped the fourth grade when back at the Public School. Middle School was just around the corner. While in the 8th grade, he faced an ugly truth not known to many people, but forced upon him and two of his friends. They overcame. Because they are better than that ugly truth.



He entered into high school, this year. As a freshman, he's had to choose between getting meat in our freezer by hunting for a week out of our camp, or attending Cross Country practice. He chose to hunt. Because that's what he is. A hunter.



In addition to that, he is also a great Son. A wonderful brother. And an awesome cousin.



On Saturday, the 25th, he turned 14. Fourteen. As in, I have a child old enough to DRIVE A CAR (with me in it). He went and grew up on me in the last few years. He's now taller than me, tougher than me (don't tell him I said that) and probably smarter than me! (Again...our little secret)


Funny thing is that I never worry about him leaving with a loaded gun, a survival kit and a snowmachine all alone, but I am TERRIFIED of him driving. He could crash. He could bump into someone. He could get whiplash! I don't worry about him getting stuck or lost out in the wilderness. I worry about him getting his Driver's Permit and driving my car into the garbage bins!


For his birthday, we had NO IDEA what to get him. He has hunting gear, rifles, shotguns, books, a mac laptop, a iTouch, enough clothes, and a Haro Bike. He has a 4-wheeler and a snow-machine too. (Let's explain though. The 4-wheeler is my old one that is hotwired and works occasionally, and is housed at our camp. The snow-machine is one that my aunt gave us for selling her car, and he inherited that as well. The rifles are hand-me-downs from my dad, Dean and Papa Max. He has an iTouch because for his birthday money he bought himself one. And the laptop? EVERY HIGH SCHOOL student gets one in this region of AK. So, now that you know we don't spoil him, let's move on shall we?)

So, we got him the only thing we could think of besides more guns.


Happy Birthday son. I hope you LOVE your new iPhone as much as we love ours!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Three Shirt-kateers!

Last night Kaisa had a couple of friends over and we decided to make t-shirts together.

girls working on shirts

They hemmed and hawed over the "Design" of the shirt. Kaisa wanted to do a Yoshi shirt, and tried to draw Yoshi on her freezer paper as best as she could.

kaisa painting

But it looked like something out of 20,000 leagues under the sea, so she decided on a "1-up" shirt instead.

jessa painting

She said it was a "girl 1-up" because it had "girl green, not boy green" and we put eyelashes on the eyes.

adrian painting

Her friends made a butterfly and a flower.

All three wore them proudly today!

kaisas shirt

adrian butterfly

jessa flower

*Sorry I've been out, its been Board Meeting week at my office and we have been super busy! Three extremely important items were discussed, including a shareholder dividend. My children and I are shareholders, so that was exciting for us! It'll come in handy when we're in Hawaii in November!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall time life up here...

Fall time is filled with lazy Indian Summer days. This weekend, the temperature hovered around 65 degrees. At times on my deck, my grill was upset because it registered 80 and I hadn't put any hamburgers or shishkabobs on it yet. I think it was feeling left out.


The yellow willow leaves didn't know whether to try to turn green again, or fall onto the ground worshiping the weather. I chose to worship by sitting at home all day.

kutvaks front

I was feeling sort of snotty, because Dean and Koy had left Kaisa and I all weekend long to go hunting (in a loose sense of the word) with friends up the other river. We were left behind. Very cheap indeed. But all that gas money and grocery money was spent in vain, because they didn't catch anything but some bug bites and scenery.


Me on the other hand... I got a caribou sitting on the couch. :) Cause I'm sort of sneaky like that.

Actually, our friends who borrowed our boat called and said that he caught seven and wanted to know if I wanted one. Of course I said YES, and rushed right over.

Total spent by me? $10 on an 8' X 10' tarp to put it on.

kutvaks side

Not only that, my aana called, and my uncle called and said that the caribou were behind camp. My aana calls me every day from camp. Yesterday she said, "I just wanna call to talk to you all the time. Too bad you're not here with me. Adii ah?!"


ADII. (uh-dee, its an Eskimo complaint word)

girls picking

So, Dean and Koy are headed out Monday morning (today) to say the week at camp and hopefully bag a few 'Bou for our freezer and yours. (Well, not really YOURS, but if you're my family, then yes, yours!)


If we didn't have Board meetings all week, then I'd be out there too. Sigh... stupid work is always getting in the way of living the simple life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bieber Fever

My seven year old is convinced that in addition to her "boyfriend since birth" Tarren, she is going to marry Justin Bieber. She says that Tarren won't mind cause Justin is taller than her and "you HAVE to have a taller husband. That's the rules."

Needless to say, she asks (makes) us download every single Justin Bieber song on iTunes so she can put them on her iPod and memorize.

Here's my baby (and wait long enough, you'll see my awesome husband and HIS Justin Bieber impression!)

She won 2nd place at our 4th of July Lip Sync contest doing this song. Only at home, she looks much cooler!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"My" house...

Technically, its not MY house, but rather one of the THREE houses my dad built for my mom. But, since Dean and I are the only ones frequenting it lately, I'm going to call it mine. For blogging sake!

Yes, my dad built my mom three houses. One in Kotzebue. One in Sisualik. One in Chickaloon. So, now she has a choice of where she wants to be. I like my dad, he's pretty cool like that. (*Dean! Dean, I'd like a house in Sisualik too!)


So, onto the Sisualik house. When I was little we stayed in a canvas tent framed in with 2x4's and plywood. My sisters and cousins and I used to vie for the bed frame so mice didn't run across our sleeping bags at night. Or we would simply put up one of many tents outside and sleep there. Because we could zip out any mice, or squirrels or porcupines. (But I would still try to sleep in the middle of everyone!)


The house has one bedroom with my mom and dad's old queen sized waterbed filled with foam pieces. Perfect for a stiff back, nice and hard. Especially in the winter, when you arrive and its 15 below zero and you have to sleep in that bed after warming up the house for only an hour. On the side of the queen sized bed is a cot with a memory foam mattress on top of it. It used to be Koy's bed when he stayed at camp with my parents all those summers. Now, it holds the many guns we bring across each trip. And dirty clothes. It holds dirty clothes too.


The kitchen is an open bottom cupboard design with some floor tile on the counter. My mom says that once the floor tile gets dirty, we just take it off and replace it with a new one! She's smart that one. The kitchen is also host to the water buckets next to the stove. A propane oven that heats our food in the dead of winter.


We have two sources of heat in the house. A wood stove that continually burns driftwood and logs cut from trees forty miles away. And an oil drip stove that has not been used frequently. But maybe this winter it will be used to keep the house at LEAST at 45 degrees so it doesn't take four hours to heat up in the winter time! We like to watch the fire channel on the wood stove.


The kids have their own "bedroom" in a twin bunk bed pushed into the corner of the "living room" area. It measures two pieces of plywood wide and long. That's how I measure, plywood from the ceiling.


Our table is the one that was at my first low-income housing apartment when Koy was just a baby. I remember the table clearly. Sort of bowed in the middle with plenty of memories of my baby son when it was just him and I against the world. We won. And the table went to camp. It's a good table.


We also have something that not many camp houses has; a bathroom. An actual room for the honeybucket, or port-a-potty with the Winnebago Enzyme treatment and my dad's draft hole, its not too bad. Except for the one on Honey Bucket duty. Which is not me. In the winter, I am very grateful for the bathroom. That means I don't have to go outside in the 20 below weather to use the bathroom in the outhouse about a half mile away.

Not quite the Arctic Entry, but our front door anyway!

The arctic entry of our house is the actual plywood frame that was once our home. I sometimes sit in the Kunnychuck (entry) and wonder how four people fit in there every day with no bathroom, no kitchen, no appliances. Only books, a bed frame and a wood stove.

It's my other home. And I love it.