Click for Kotzebue, Alaska Forecast

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bwaaahaaa haaaaaaa....


OK, I'm a cesspit of mixed emotions right now. My Baby Sister got married. MARRIED. At 20.


mr and mrs carroll

I guess technically, she's got a year on me cause I went off and got married at age eighteen, so I can't say a WORD about it. Except I think she's really in love with this dude. An Indian no less! A real tall, slurred speech Indian!



Zach, her name is ELSA RUTH. According to Mr. Tongue Tied, her name is "Eltha Ruse." It could have been that he was nervous though. I certainly was.


My sister was glowing. I mean, GLOWING the entire time. She didn't cry, or get all blubbery, she just literally GLOWED and it was SO beautiful.


I was busy clicking away, so our other family could take a small part in this, so when I wanted to get emotional, I just put the camera to my face and worried about the best shot. Thank Goodness for the Camera!


Even my dad dressed up. In his hockey best, but you know, he was kinda sort of dressed for my wedding, so I can't complain. He was wearing his ponytail all cool and holding Elsa's flowers for her. Such a different dad now that he has grandkids. Oh, speaking of grandkids and my dad. Baby Rea is absolutely in love with him! She gets a puppy smile when he comes around!



And my mom was happy. She organized our family dinner afterward and basically is the bomb dot com. By organized, I mean she actually told Elsa and Zach what to do. Which, in the whole scheme of things is pretty funny. Even if its only funny to me. Zach even killed one of my sisters Turkey's, plucked it and got it ready to roast, and we had some "yard range, organic turkey" at the dinner. Elsa managed to make a really great apple blueberry pie that we promptly scarfed afterwards too.



They're actually getting married in November, after Zach is done with basic training for the Air Force, but wanted to be married before he left. As you can see, he's leaving earlier than they had expected. But, she'll have her white dress, and my daughter and niece will get to wear their flower girl dresses, and Zach's parents will make it this time (stupid flight loads!).


From this day forward, congratulations and God Bless you and your little family, connected to you and your BIG family.

the fam

P.S. It's nice to have a brother finally. I had him working hard last night. "Go get this...can you fix this?" heheh

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Out sick

After a long weekend of softball and tons of crab right out of the ocean, I am tired.

And worse than that, my baby is sick. And when my kids get sick, they get SICK. Like 103 temperature after taking tylenol sick.

sick girl

First, she got stung by a bee (Bee's up here are the size of small birds, seriously), and I am deathly allergic to bee stings, so I freaked out. Brought her home, and I didn't know any other remedy except an Epi-pen, so I had to google it to see what to do.

After a day or so, she looked fine, with a localized reaction, and "mask" of sickness. She looked sick. So, her grandparents called me to pick her up, and I brought her to the hospital, not knowing if she was having a reaction, or if she was just plain sick.

Had to throw this in there, cause she's SO CUTE! Rea Sunshine!

Turns out she is slightly allergic to bee stings (what does that mean?), she was sort of wheezing and her arm was limp (the one that was stung). She complained about a sore throat, so the nurse did a Strep swab, and sure enough, on top of all the other stuff going on, she had Strep. Ugh.


Anyway, after a night of throwing up and a day full of Barbie movies (please don't make me watch another Barbie movie again!), she's sitting on the couch watching Bratz. ( not any better than Barbie!)


BUT, on a good note, the Men's and Women's softball tournaments went off without a hitch. We found my face paint and did a bunch of face painting on kids at the field. The day was absolutely beautiful and perfect for softball!

This is Denali, sliding into home! She's a cheerleader, can you tell?

Both my husband and I's teams lost, but we had lots of fun. And my 37 year old husband, yeah...he's still got it! He made the All-Star team...whoop, whoop!

All star mens
(Stole this from the KSA facebook page!)

The kid's tournament is this weekend, and I'll be sure to get some photos with my REAL camera. Until then, you'll just have to settle for my iPhone photos of cute kids like this!


Thursday, July 22, 2010


(*Please forgive the crappy iPhone photos! It's what I got man!)

Our softball team name is the Borough Bunniks. It's a play on an Inupiaq word, Panik, meaning Daughter. We sort of roll the "P" off our lips and it turns into Bunnik.


So, since we are all daughters of one person or another, we're named...the BUNNIKS.


We ordered some new jerseys recently and Dean's magic machine made them all pretty. Although I am so over the stupid mesh button up jersey's. I was smart and ordered myself a sleeveless cotton shirt. The print looks grand and no leakage with white on the machine.


I changed the design just a little bit. I figured we might like to have a curvy softball player, rather than a curvy slut on our shirts! ( haha) But, the integrity is the same, so we're OK with it.


After plenty of mistakes and lots of laughter, we finally got the shirts printed. Then, Morgan was drying three or four with a hairdryer and I was ironing the ones that were "pretty much dry" so we could make it to our game last night.


And with five minutes to spare...we made it! THEN we lost our game because we went 3-up, 3-down for like five innings in a row. Cheap right?! I know.


Anyway, it has been POURING buckets here for the past week or so and we have another game tonight. Lettum I say...we play better in the rain!

We shoulda been called the Ducks.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oh land of the Midnight Sun TOURNAMENT...

Our end of season softball tournament for the Men and Women start today. My children all play softball up here. Dean and I play softball. And pretty much every day Monday - Friday we have softball games at 6:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. for one person or another.

Both mine and Dean's tournament starts today. The women's tourney is called the Midnight Sun Tournament. Fitting I guess, but not very original! I like the men's name. Bull Hensley!

So, to put everyone in the spirit of things, Kaisa said she would sing me a song. I pretended to be emailing away on my iPhone and recorded the song. Oh, and please excuse my husbands loud interruption at the beginning! He was so excited to get a new Action Packer Tote!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Finn in me

There are about 60,000 Sami people in Sápmi: 35,000 in Norway, 17,000 in Sweden, 5,000 in Finland and 3,000 on the Russian Kola Peninsula. It is estimated that there are now also 30,000 descendants of the Sami immigrants to North America who usually hid their identity and settled in areas where Scandinavians and Finnish people settled. They sometimes referred to themselves as Black Norwegians, Brown Swedes, Flat-faced Norwegians, and Finns.

That's me. A Finn. (+Eskimo = FINNskimo, in case you hadn't noticed!)


Which sort of saddens me at the same time as it excites me. Saddens because I really don't know many of the traditions, culture, etc. I don't even know how to wear a Gakti, or how to make one, but I'm going to try. (Always up for a challenge!)


girls dress

Like the Inupiaq Quppaks (designed fur trim on the bottom of a parka), the Gakti will allow people to know who your family is, and where you're from. If you're a Finnish Sami, or a Norwegian Sami. Or if you're just totally guessing, and would LOVE to have help from someone who was ACTUALLY in Finland and a Sami, and who wanted to take the time to help said person requesting help, who is, of course, only guessing. Like me.

See the Quppak of the Fur Parka worn by my greatg-grandmother in 1952

Both cultures are directly related to the earth and what she provides for us. Both cultures use what Mother Nature gave us to survivie. Because, both cultures are very much Northern in lattitude, we bundle up with the most beautiful gear.


What I would do to make a parky like this...


Or this white one...


Or have one of these, a Lukka. (right?) I would BUY one...or trade someone something for it. Oh, how I love it so.


Sigh. I'll just stick with what I know, and what I can guess about for now I guess. Until someone tells me otherwise, and/or teaches me differently. (Yes, that was an open invite to teach me about the Gakti, and how to make a traditional one.)


And when AC is having a sale on Blue Fleece jackets for $11 (which is an absolute STEAL up here), I'll just keep on buying them for my kids and nieces and nephews and make them these:


Being of two distinct cultures, is rather fun, I do think. It's almost like being an Inupiaq in today's world. You're sort of stuck trying to keep traditional knowledge of the past, while attempting to harness the future. Being 50% Finnish and 50% Inupiaq Eskimo makes for quite a conversation when you meet someone for the first time. Do I claim to be white? Or do I claim to be Eskimo? Or do I claim to be Finnish?

Like my moniker says, I claim to be Finnskimo.

(I've posted and reposted, and this photo just does NOT want to be straight!)

Listen brother
Listen sister
Listen to the voice of the ancestors
Why do you let the earth suffer,
be poisoned and tormented?

Listen brother
Listen sister
Hear the voice of our primeval mother
The Earth is our mother
If we take her life
We die too...

(Mari Boine)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Go fix your hair!

When you grow up Eskimo, one of the things you know how to do is fix hair. I'm serious. I could french braid when I was like nine. Not like Michele here, she had to learn from You tube.

braiding 2

I mean, what else are we going to do in the middle of winter?

So, it came as no surprise that my 8 year old niece Clara said she knew how to french braid. Well, Yippee for me, I can pawn off my hair fixing to her!

braiding 3

And that I did.


Now, if only my seven year old could just french braid her OWN hair, we wouldn't have these horrible hair scream-fests in the morning! Now instead of threatening to "cut it ALL OFF!" I can just tell Clara to do it!

Sigh...oh the possibilities!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yum, Yum, Sourdough!

I love me some sourdough. Seriously. When you're a camp girl, that's all you know. Mosquitoes, Sourdough and Black meat.


Not to mention Kick the Can, Manaa-Manaa, Norwegian, and all those fun things. Oh...and my most unfavorite: Playing for Slaps!

Care for it

Anyway, our family is hosting a Bake Sale tomorrow, so I thought I'd just do what I know...sourdough.

I'll be sending a couple of cases of starter over there with my own little cookbook I made yesterday on my new MacBook Air! (I LOVE IT!)


If you don't have sourdough...go find some Eskimo's or Amish people and get some. Your life will be better for it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

From 95 to 45 in one day...

momma hugo

Last Friday I fell down the stairs. I was carrying a box and must have missed the last step or something. Cause I didn't hit it that's for sure. Anyway, I had to have it checked out and "rest, ice, and ibuprofen" was the prescription given.

clara coltrane

Ice? Check. Plenty of Ice in my freezer packed up in a ziplock bag.

kids in front

Ibuprofen? Check. Lots of that left over from everything. They prescribe it like candy here. Hangnail? Ibuprofen. Cough? Ibuprofen.


Here's my prescription for a wounded knee (ego): A boat trip to Hugo Sand Bar up the Noatak River.


Judging by the amount of hurting I felt, it was just what the (Eskimo) doctor ordered!


We drove out there with the kids plus two on Friday evening. Dean had just finished making our boat into a steering-wheel driven boat, rather than a trolling boat, and he was LOVING IT! Thanks to our good friend Raymond, he was in it to win it!


After hitting the mouth of the river, there was a considerable change in weather. The hot sun beat down on us and eventually Dean took off his shirt to drive! (ooOOoo!) Our temperature reading was at about 95 degrees when we got up there.

Yes, I totally think he's so sexy in his suspenders. :)

The kids, being as (im)patient as they could be, stripped down in the boat and jumped in right off the side.

kids swimming

It was then that both of us realized that neither of us brought short pants, or t-shirts! Suspenders held up Dean's rigging pants, soaked to the thigh, and luckily I had an atikluk on, and could just take that off and roll my pants up as high as they would go. We briefly considered just sitting in our underwear until thoughts of the kids laughing at us cleared our minds. (Reminder for next trip, always carry a set of swimming stuff in the boat!) (Oh, and extra towels!)



But, aside from the mega horseflies, there were NO bugs, yes, NO MOSQUITOES the size of Texas trying to suck up our blood. Although if there were fat sucking mosquitoes, I'd sit through the three day pain and itching for them to suck out some fat!

gun shooting

They ate their s'mores, hot dogs and watermelon, and gave themselves nice mud baths.


muddy max 2

muddy max

Ran in and out of the water away from the horseflies, and each other. Played Marco Polo the Arctic Way, and simply had a great time. Dean paced out a great runway for Stubbs to land on, so we may be going up to actually camp soon!



The kids had a blast out there, begging to stay. (Reminder for next trip, always bring camping gear!) But, alas, we had to return to the land of the cold, wind and fog. Judging by the sleepy kids on the way back to Kotzebue, they used up all their energy out there. We can't wait to get back!