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Friday, October 28, 2011

Costumes and stuff

OK, now that I dug out Bernice, my sewing machine (old faithful) I'm in the sewing mood.

(*Yes, my sewing machines have names. Bernice is my old faithful. Tiffany is my new pretty high tech one. Irma is my Serger. And I think Kaisa named hers Ashley...or Beyonce, I can't remember...anyway it really helps when you sew something on backwards. "DAMMIT BERNICE!!! WHY'D YOU DO THAT!?" haha)

Luckily for my daughter, I can sew whatever I feel like without a pattern. So, I have been busy sewing away.


Tonight is the Halloween Carnival and even though my girl decided she wanted to be MEDUSA for her SCHOOL Halloween party, she decided that she would like to be Red Riding Hood for the Carnival.

Of course, I said yes.

So, aside from making my sister Elsa's costume, and my niece Clara's pants for her costume, I'm also busy whipping up a cute little Scandinavian Dress (I have to put in the Finn somewhere right!) and Red Velvet hooded cape before tonight's very expensive, pretty lame carnival!

Oh, and we made my other sister some facial hair last night too.


I like hers the best so far!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

WHY? Why, why, WHY!?

OK. I just can't get over a post I read. And I'm sorry all you "Go Green" types but this is one GREEN item I will NOT be participating in.

Handsewn Tampons and Sanitary Pads.

Who wants to bleed all over these poor cute little MONKEYS!?

WHAT!? Seriously. I had NO IDEA people did this. I mean, I know the 7 BILLIONTH person will be born this year on earth, and the underdeveloped countries still face some horrible living conditions, lack of vaccinations, etc. And for someone who will benefit with these items, then GREAT, go for it. Make you some Pads, with wings.

Well, I actually think these are kinda pretty...

But, why would you choose to sit in your own BLOOD?! Really. It's not like we have a CHOICE in the matter, aside from a hysterectomy, to BLEED each month. Why make it worse by sitting in a puddle of it, just to GO GREEN!?

OK. Don't get me wrong. I'm all about saving the world from trash and landfills. We TRY to save as much as we can. We recycle what we can (including cans, just look in the totes in the garage filled with my husbands empty Beer cans.) and reuse what we can. But I'm sorry.

I'm NOT going to be using a reusable PAD. or Tampon (ick.) anytime soon.

You guys think if I learn to crochet, that I can make these!?

If I have to bleed my own blood, NO ONE is gonna know. NO ONE will be the recipient of a bulky handmade fleece PAD sticking out my crack. NO one.

AND I'm sorry but I'm not sticking a sponge up my who-ha, no MATTER how much it saves the earth. SORRY KIDS, this momma is gonna continue using Tampax or OB!


"Moon Songes are extremely comfortable, soft, and textured much like the vaginal wall, you can even trim them to fit your unique form, so you won't even notice they are there! Sponges are naturally very absorbent, and can also be used during sex. Some women choose to use them for contraception with a spermicide of their choice.

Moon Sponges are very absorbant (they are sponges after all!!) and they only need to be rinsed and reinserted about every 2 to 4 hours (depending on the heaviness of your cycle)"

It's bad enough that it happens to women, why make it worse!?

LOOK! Different sizes even!

OK, I also understand that a long time ago, they didn't have access to disposable anything. I am a glorified cloth diaper advocate. (All of use girls used cloth, our kids used cloth when they were home, and I made a couple clothies for my niece when she visits) I breastfed my kids until they are old enough for SCHOOL (not really, but really!), and I come from a very "granola" family. I also know that a long time ago, when an Eskimo woman was on her cycle, she was BANNED FROM THE HOUSE, and could not show her wrists for fear that some bad ju-ju spirit would get her or her family. They used MOSS, LICHEN, and other absorbent materials. (Like apparently SPONGES!)


BUT THAT WAS 50 YEARS AGO! It's the 2,000's folks! Get you some Always with wings, or Tampax Combination packs and get on with your day!

OK. That's all for now. P.S. I took all these photos off of Etsy. Good for you if you reduce, reuse, recycle...but I'm not jumping on that train just yet.

Look, even designer fabric. Gee, I just figured out a use for all those Fat Quarters I have sitting around!!!

(You know what's funny though, I totally COULD MAKE the Pads! I have all the materials, and the know-how to do it. AND because I CAN make them, I am seriously starting to contemplate actually TRYING them. Cause we all know I'd love to NEVER EVER buy another pad again. Hmm.... We'll see...We will SEE.... Sigh...I'd have the cutest little pads ever!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Warming up.

Warming up in the Northwest tip of the United States is tricky sometimes. And I'm not talking about Halloween Tricky. Yesterday we had our first itty bitty storm, and it piled a whole 1 foot of snow in front of our garage and on our new deck.

The cars wheezed through the day, trying not to freeze and this momma had to dig around for the telltale extension cord coming out of every car in town, like a little umbilicus, marking the beginning of winter. Come to think of it, it is sort of like an umbilical cord for our vehicles. It provides energy to the Block Heater and the Oil Pan Heater so when it's 40 degrees below zero our cars will still turn over and start. My umbilical cord is blue. And it lights up at the end. Fun.

The weather right now is prime for playing out without snowpants, or a face mask. It's pure winter, at it's finest. Apparently Mother Nature doesn't know this and she will continue to force feed us cold weather until May, when it warms up again.

Luckily for us though, the sun is still trying it's damnedest to provide a source of heat. I can almost feel it at around 3:00 p.m. Pretty quickly, the sun will just be a tease to us Eskimo's and we will go to work while it's dark, pick up the kids afterschool while it's dark and enjoy our evenings while it's dark. And eventually in late December, when Christmas is in full bloom, our days will increase by 1 minute, then by 2 minutes, then by 3, and our wonderful warm sun will return to us from his migration south for the winter, and all will be glorified again.

Until then though, we know how to warm up. Whether it's with sealskin slippers, or wolf mittens, or homemade hot chocolate, or something warm and Bready. We know how to warm up.

Especially when there's Banana Bread involved. Cause you can never have too much Banana Bread!

Banana Bread


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl mix together:
3 eggs
1 3/4 C Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 C Oil
1 stick Butter (melted)
3/4 C milk
1 TBS Lemon Juice
3 Mashed Bananas (about 1 1/2 C)

In another bowl, sift together:
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3 C Flour

Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients. It'll be a little soupy, but trust me, it works. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle with about 1 tsp raw sugar on top. Bake for about an hour.

Enjoy with some coffee, or hot chocolate. Warm up. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kotzebue Krud

Fall time in the Arctic is absolutely beautiful. Berries, Caribou, Fall colors bursting about. Our Fall doesn't last long though. We quickly go from bring green mosquito infested rivers, to bright gold and orange cool Autumn days, and freezing nights, to snow on the ground, and everything brown underneath.

I think God made it gorgeous here because it is so short that you really have to stop what you're doing to witness it.

When Winter rolls around, so does the "Kotzebue Krud." A cold-like virus that will give mucinex commercials a run for their money. Your bones ache, you feel like you have strep-throat, and a headache that won't go away. People cough and cough and cough some more. And it lasts for MONTHS.

So, seeing as though I feel like I've been hit by a Mack Truck, I pulled out the trusty teapot and went to work.


Lemon Ginger Tea, with honey.

It gives you the warmth you want and need, while coating your sore throat in tasty goodness. I literally drink this for three months. Every day, all day long. As a matter of fact, when I travel, I take honey in travel containers (under 3oz, like what you'd use for shampoo!) and cut up lemon with pureed ginger so I can ask the flight attendants to just give me some hot water!

I don't use a recipe, really, but I'll try to recreate on for you, in case you've been hit with the Kotzebue Krud!

lemon ginger

Lemon Ginger Tea with Honey.

For 3-4 cups worth
  • Juice one half of a lemon into a teapot, with a strainer.
  • Cut one knob of ginger off, and grate it into the teapot.
  • Pour 4 cups boiling water over the lemon and ginger.
  • Let steep for a few minutes.
  • Strain into your cup.
  • Add 1 tsp Honey and mix well.
  • Sip until your throat feels better.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


My aana. A fun gal. She's decided that she can say whatever she wants to you. I guess if you've lived through what she's lived through you're entitled. She frequently says to us, "did you get fat?" "Howcome you cut your hair?" "Don't be bossy." haha.


She has told many stories to whoever will listen. I try to record her as much as I can now that we have video functions on our phones, just so I can continue to feel close to her while she's away.

Away in a nursing home. 600 air miles separate her from home.


She's doing OK considering the circumstances. Doctors told us to come visit, and our entire family came in swarms. My sisters and I, my cousins, her children, her sisters, and friends.

She lives in a little house on front street, usually. And when it's time for birthdays, anniversaries or Christmas, we all squish into that little house with adults on the chairs, kids on the floor. (And even though I'm 34, I'm still "a kid.") and babies wandering around eating like little birds from everyones plates.


Her room at the Nursing Home feels like that. When I first arrived, my mom was on the floor doing a crossword puzzle, her oldest brother sitting on a chair reading. My aana was eating dinner and my cousin and her two kids were on the floor and on the wheelchair. Just like being at her regular house. Only the constant beep of monitors and nurses coming in and out sort of ruined my fantasy.


We all want her to come home. We all know she should be here. We all have been sharing stories. We all are hopeful.

My aunt Fannie and her family live in Anchorage, so they are able to visit the most often. They hang out, watch TV, play cards, share stories, etc. Those of us who live in Kotzebue come as often as we can. Work trips are scheduled around her Dialysis, Vacations are taken with an extra few days in Anchorage so we can visit. PFD tickets are bought so we can visit.


This was the first summer at camp without her. It was hard. Really, really hard. As a matter of fact, for the first time in a long time, I spent only ONE night at camp this summer. One night. After years of spending every Friday-Sunday there, picking berries, visiting aana, eating hotcakes. It was hard. Really, really hard.

I'm going to see her Saturday night when I go to Anchorage once again. I hope to bring her good news about camp, some strained berries, and maybe listen to some more stories.


My aana.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Traditionally, the 4th Anniversary is that of a bunch of flowers.

FLOWERS? That's kinda cheap don't you think!? I mean, I don't even like flowers! haha.

I think it should be fur. Every year should be fur. This year Dean is going to get himself a nice pair of tall sealskin mukluks that fit over his calves so they don't slide down.

Flowers. PSH. Eskimo's don't give flowers.


Happy Anniversary Dean. I love you.

2nd Anniversary

3rd Anniversary

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why I love my Husband.

He texts me all day long.

Seriously, his ginormous thumbs don't even detract from his texts. He texts me ALL. DAY. LONG!

And all night long too.

Saturday night, I got a text from him around 1:30 in the morning. I can't even find it to just copy and paste either. Dang.

Dean: Hi Babe!

Maija: Hi.

Dean: I have Crabs.

Maija: Oh. From who.


Maija: Nice.

Dean: They are in the bathtub in the kids bathroom.

Maija: From WHO?

Dean: Staheli.


Yup...I love my husband. Even though he has Crabs. Big ones.

Crabs in the tub

On another note. My daughters dumb little dog, Fritz, always sneaks in the bathroom and tries to drink toilet water even though they have a water bowl in the living room. Anyway, she saw water in the tub and jumped right in. She screamed like a person and hightailed it out of there. She hasn't been in the bathroom since. :)

On ANOTHER note! I lost the Election yesterday by about 300 votes. :( Oh well. I'm glad people understand the need for change, but people are afraid of it. So, I'll just keep doing what I do and truly putting "Kids First." Thanks for the support though, it was overwhelmingly positive!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Making Differences

Tomorrow is the "BIG DAY" up here in the Northwest. The big day for constituents to decide who will represent them in the Regional School Board, The City Council, the Northwest Arctic Borough Assembly.

All three equally important. All three with a large level of investment for those voted in. Which is why it is important for all of us to vote for a person who has shown, by actions, not by empty words and promises, that by voting for them the best interest of the entire population will be considered.

This year for the School Board, we have two distinct "groups" running together, in hopes to stay in office, or start office. The two groups are different in that one is a group of young women in their 30's who are PASSIONATE and EDUCATED about their children's education and well being. And one is a group of incumbents who are running on the EXPERIENCE pitch.


The young women want to make a positive change in the district. A Positive Change toward our own curriculum, following the Subsistence Lifestyle 95% of the population follows. They want our Inupiaq Culture integrated into the schools. (More than it already is.) They want the District to stop spending so much on operational costs, and spend more on EDUCATION. They want to teach our children to "go green" to save money on heating and energy costs. They have stake in our schools because every single one has children who attend school, or will when they are old enough to. They are open to communication and feedback from the region.

Of course, experience plays a key role in any "candidacy" but no matter how smart you are, how much you know about a subject, or how much time someone spends researching percentages, the true end goal is oftentimes met thanks to Passion. Passion performs miracles, and in our School District, with a graduation rate of 55%, a reading proficiency rate of 44%, a writing proficiency of 39%, a math proficiency of 33% and a science proficiency of 16%, we NEED that Miracle.


When you have to choose between Experience and Passion, don't hesitate for a moment. Passion gives you a sense of meaning and success. To achieve anything, you need a passion that is much more powerful that all your fears. Unfortunately, talent and passion are sometimes overlooked, especially up here, where everyone plays the experience card. They seem to forget something very important though...we have the same amount of experience as they do, we have just been doing it for free all these years. We haven't been paid board members, just community support lending our expertise out where it's needed. So, we all have Experience, don't forget that.

Maija poster

It is time for a POSITIVE CHANGE. A change that our District needs. We need to think differently to make a positive impact for our children.

I hope that all of you in the Northwest Arctic Borough will go out and join me to VOTE tomorrow, above all else. Above the Politics, the Posters, the Promises. VOTE and make a difference. VOTE and let your voice be heard.

And if you agree with me and are willing, I ask you to join me in voting for:

Igluguq Dianne Okleasik for Seat "G"

Angela Washington for Seat "H"

Maija Katak Lukin for Seat "J" (hey that's me!) and

Nicole Stoops for Seat "K"