Thursday, May 19, 2011

Home away from home

I guess my camp in Sisualik could be my home away from home, but I sort of consider that my real HOME, so maybe Kotzebue is my home away from home! I don't know.

signs

All I know is that every time I leave Sitka, I have a hard time. I've been all over for vacations. When I say, "ALL OVER" I really mean all over the world. I've been to most of the states in the US as well.

three men

Sometimes when we're in Hawaii and its laid back and nice all the time, I say, "I could live here..." And that's the end of that. When I'm in Sitka though, I actually LOOK for jobs and houses and check out the schools.

house

Don't get me wrong. I love my job. I mean, really, REALLY love it. Here in Kotzebue. The only problem is that it's not Sitka! I feel like I have family there. That if my furnace quit working at 3am and my husband is out of town, I could call a few people and they'd come right over. I feel like if I had to leave in an emergency, that my kids and dogs would be taken care of. I've only ever (EVER) felt that way in Kotzebue, which is why I keep coming back.

pole

Dean and Koy left to Sitka last week to participate and be there for the raising of the Totem Pole he carved in April. I wasn't going to make it, because we used a LOT of money to try to get Nugent fixed. But thankfully, on Thursday afternoon I got mileage credited to my Alaska Airlines Mileage account and was able to get a mileage ticket for Friday.

Friday proved to have a wonderful view the entire flight from Kotzebue to Anchorage. Including a perfect seat to the majestic Denali Peak.

view

I was in Anchorage for a few hours so I met up with a great friend and we went to eat sushi. Cause what else are a couple of Eskimo girls gonna eat? Raw Fish...doesn't get any more Eskimo than that. Well, it does...if the raw fish is also fermented... But that's another story!

salmon

I don't know if you guys know this...but I'm a fish girl. I'd eat fish three times a week if my family would too. I love fish. Any kind of fish. My favorite though, (OF COURSE) are Shiifish and Salmon. Not King Salmon though, its so fatty. I love the Chum we get up here. I love the Reds, and the Sockeyes. But really, any salmon will do for me.

shiifish
Grilled Shiifish and Veggies with Rice!

I like Halibut too, but not as much as Shiifish. And sadly, even though I've been fishing quite a bit, I haven't caught ANY shiifish and I'm freaking out. FREAKING OUT.

halibut
Halibut Fish and Chips

So, I'm contemplating PAYING SOMEONE to go out and fish for me all day every day until I get at LEAST 25 fish. So I can gut, fillet and vac seal them for the rest of the year. Any takers?

Anyway, back to Sitka. I just love everything about it. The pier, the docks, the bears (wait, not the bears. I do NOT like that bears are around there!)

bear
Except this guy, he's all boarded up at Fortress of the Bear, so I can get good photos of him!

salmonberries

I love the berries, the outdoors, the nice people who stop in the middle of the road to let you cross the street, etc. It's just such a community feeling there. Like here. But with trees and a McDonald's, and big boats.

dock

I've always told Dean that we can move to Southeast, where he's from eventually. That once Kotzebue is wrung for all it's worth in terms of our family, that we could move. When the kids education is lowering, we can move. Actually, speaking of education, my 14 year old son decided that he'd like to try Mt. Edgecumbe Boarding School in Sitka next year. He has a career plan tracked out for himself and it does not include lower math and lower English in high school. He needs some more challenging classes and more "stuff" to do besides wrestling and cross country running. Even though it'll be tough and I'll miss my sonny boy, I always do what's best for my kids, and going to Edgecumbe is probably what's best for him right now.

koy and momma
Yup, he's that much taller than me... sigh.

A couple of fun things we did besides the Raising of the Pole, and Fortress of the Bear was walking around all the little shops Sitka has on the main drag. I couldn't believe they wanted $750 for a sealskin hat, but hey, if tourists will buy them, then what the heck!

matroyshka
Lots of Matroyshka dolls!

We walked and walked and walked. Every day we went to Highliner Coffee and had our customary White Chocolate Caramel Mocha on our way to Totem Park. We encountered plenty of tourists on cruise-ship days, and lots of wild flowers too.

forgetmenot

I managed to forget a "hands-free" purse, you know one that you don't have to hold! So since Ashia found a sewing machine for $5 at a garage sale, I went to the fabric store and bought me some Moda fabric and fashioned myself the best hands-free purse yet! It has glasses holders and chapstick holders and a phone pocket. Not to mention the cute bow I had to make after realizing that the straps were too short to fit over my head and shoulder! I already have several orders for bags just like this one. Just don't ask for the pattern cause I don't have one. I just cut and sewed. It worked for me.

bag

And lastly the worst thing about leaving Sitka was leaving friends. We stayed at one of my new BEST friends houses. I love it when I find a really truly good friend! And that's what I found with her.

ashia and I

Plus I really want to steal her dog. He is my husband in dog form. Snores, sleeps all over the place, and likes to chase animals. Ahh, Turk! I need a beagle.

turk

So...don't be surprised if someday soon I decide to get up outta here and experience some trees. Cause you know, we don't have trees here.

carvers

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hello again...

Hi there.

Back to the Arctic. Back to the snow and ice and no stairs/deck. Wait, my friend shoveled my deck for me, so technically I have a deck again!

I've found that I really, REALLY like the arctic spring. Sure, its great to get to a warm place for a week or so. (Hello San Diego Beach!) But when you're an Eskimo from the arctic, it's NOT fun to walk around continually dizzy from the heat. (Hello Heat Stroke!)

hair san diego

I guess the two big changes in our life right now are that I cut my hair, and we're getting a new puppy. Yes, Cutting my hair is a HUGE deal. Usually I just let it grow, and put it in two braids, cut off 11 inches and then let it grow again. Send it off to Locks of Love and everyone's good to go.

WELL...I've learned my lesson with Latina's! They do what they WANT to do! I went to a hairdresser in Palm Springs and showed her what I wanted. Some soft side bangs, long enough to put in a pony tail, and NO length cut off, but layered in the back.

haircut

ha. HA.. HAHAhahaha... That's NOT what I got. She cut so much hair off that my head is not heavy anymore. I first noticed that she wasn't doing what I wanted because a HUGE Chunk of hair fell into my hand. I stopped her and said, "Wait, uhm, you're not cutting length right, just a bit of layers." She says to me, "You'll LOVE it! I'm just doing layers now..."

Yeah, first indication should have been the POUND of hair that fell into my lap. Second indication should have been the fact that I got plain ugly bangs. BANGS. I did NOT WANT bangs. I hate bangs.

hair again

Anyway. Here's my haircut. Eveyone loves it. (Probably cause it's so different from what I always look like. Ponytail or bun. haha) I guess it's a "Wash-and-go" cut and I should be happy because I don't "do" anything to my hair ever. Just wash it, let it air dry and it looks like this. Be happy Maija.

magnus

And yes, we did get a new puppy. We don't have him yet. We did name him though. MAGNUS. It's a strong Finnish name! hahaha. And sort of funny at the same time. I love it. He's a little yellow lab. (I couldn't get another black lab) He arrives either the 18th or 20th, depending on flight loads. Sigh. I am not looking forward to another PUPPY in the house. But, my family is READY for a new pup. I, sadly, am not. But I'm sure he'll be so cute and soft that I'll love him. And he'll know NOT to poop on my carpet. Right???

And I'm not ready to write Nugent's story. You'll have to wait until I'm not all emotional and stuff.

Lastly, my BABY SISTER and her baby LEFT us yesterday. For Texas. Who would leave Alaska for Texas!? I guess her husband is more important than we are up here. (!) He's stationed on Fort Hood, so she left us all to be a big girl-grown up and play wife. Dangit. At least we have Skype right!? Oh, and FaceTime!

elsamae

OK. Life's just plugging along up here. We still have lots of snow and ice. But its nice. Nice and cool but warm at the same time. And 20 hours of sunlight. Ahhh....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sorry...

Sorry I've been missing. I can't really type about anything right now. Lots of stressful things are going on in our house right at this moment. It's enough to make someone crazy. Like me.

First of all someone KILLED my dog. Like poisoned him dead. We live in a small village/town with NO vet, so when I noticed him acting all weird and drunk, it was 1 in the morning with a flight leaving at 8:00 am and one at 2:00 pm the next day. Due to cargo office hours, he made it on the 2:00 pm flight to the doggy ER in Anchorage.

nuge

Several thousand dollars later, he passed away. He was such a good dog, and I really have a long post about how he was the best dog ever (really, no comparison) but it still hurts me to tears every time I talk about him so you'll all have to wait. Especially since he died because someone mixed antifreeze with some caribou soup and set it out to trap dogs into eating it. And he happened to be one of those dogs who fancied himself some free caribou soup.

So, my kids, husband and I are having a very tough time with his death. I literally cried the entire flight from Kotzebue to Anchorage. Someone must have known what was going on because the flight attendant stuffed some tissues into my pocket and said, "My dog died 10 years ago and I still can't talk about it..." My daughter is having the worst time. You'll know why when I get around to writing the story of Nugent the Wonder Dog. She was especially close to him because he really did save her from a lot of dangerous things. He was her pal. Here are some texts I got from her the day after when she was having an especially hard time. (I'm in green, she's in white)

kaisa txt

BOTH my grandmothers were in the hospital. My one grandma, my aana, is going to be sent to a Nursing Home because she needs to be on dialysis for the rest of her life. She did NOT look like herself when I went to see her. It was all I could do not to burst into tears. My other grandma was rushed to the ER and admitted on my birthday. She also spouted the "C" word when I visited last weekend. Sigh.

sun

And I am out of town on a work trip. I guess the only saving grace is that I am in Palm Springs and its hot as heck here. This Eskimo is totally melting. (Don't you wish it was like that!? Get fat and just visit a warm place to melt it off!!) I missed Kaisa's first Piano Recital where she played two songs and I'm missing her Play she worked so hard on, and her last day of school picnic... (Yes, our kids get out of school THIS FRIDAY!)

Anyway, I'll be back. When I'm not melting, or crying.