Sunday, February 28, 2010

Farewell February

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen.
~Rod McKuen

An important prayer request everyone, my dear friend David Simon (Fannie's husband) has had a stoke. He was med-evacuated yesterday to Anchorage. We are praying for a miracle please join us. Quyana.

The after school crew!

Friday, Tony's Mom, my wonderful friend Jerilyn, created this star wars extravaganza birthday celebration in his classroom and invited me to join them. She had my name put on the cake with Tony's, we have the same birthday. And graciously he was willing to share. The cake was shipped in from Bethel, yum. Not just anyone can say they've had a STAR WARS birthday cake!

Later that evening
Jerilyn took over my kitchen and threw a feast
unbeknownst to me. What a precious surprise. A bunch of the girls: Jerilyn, Elizabeth, Tracey, Matilda and Steph, brought food and family. We ate, visited, played games, took a steam and ending the night watching a movie and painting nails (Thank you Amy Lou).

While we were all visiting the kids were literally climbing the walls (dresser) in the spare bedroom. Jerilyn's girls...future climbers of Denali, I believe.

Girls night!

P.S. Apparently winter isn't leaving without a fight. This weekend, -35 with the windchill.

Shout Out To: Everyone! Thank you for making my bday so special the calls, cards, texts, visits. I am so humbled and blessed.

"...I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you..."
Romans 1:8

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ode to My First Shiner

"A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip." ~Author Unknown

This last one has been quite a ride! Here's to the next 365! 32 years ago I came into this world with a black eye. You can imagine all my infant pictures, humorously foreshadowing what was to come. That God of ours, what a kidder! Yes, sometimes the hand you are dealt begins with a black eye. From there it can only get better;) Pictured above: Why Ani is afraid of children:)

Shout Out To: My Mum and Dad. Quyana. Thank You.
And to all you Birkiers and Volunteers (for real this time;) Have Fun Tomorrow!!!
And to Joe back in Hayward "Happy Birthday!"

"Let me tell you what God said next. He said, "You're my son (daughter:), And today is your birthday. What do you want? Name it: Nations as a present? continents as a prize? You can command them all to dance for you, Or throw them out with tomorrow's trash." So, rebel-kings, use your heads; Upstart-judges, learn your lesson: Worship God in adoring embrace, Kiss Messiah! Your very lives are in danger, you know; His anger is about to explode, But if you make a run for God - you won't regret it!" Psalm 2:7-12

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


"I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't think you can measure life in terms of years. I think longevity doesn't necessarily have anything to do with happiness. I mean happiness comes from facing challenges and going out on a limb and taking risks. If you're not willing to take a risk for something you really care about, you might as well be dead."
~Maggie O'Connell, Northern Exposure



Sharing Smiles.

Kids laughing and running around my little trailer.

Playing hide and seek even though every spot is well known.

Watching someone learn something new.

Watching someone do something they didn't think they could.

The question, "Can we visit?"

Sun coming up over the mountains.


A surprise visit from a friend and she brings chocolate, her kids and a movie!

Conversations from the heart...

...With my friends

...With my family


Phone calls.

Running with my pupperoo!

Falling asleep on my couch, waking up at dawn, pupperoo at my side.

Thinking about how amazing our God is.

Knowing He is all we need and He is already there.


Jimmy came over tonight along with a steady stream of other kids in and out the door. He left with the first wave and then returned later when everyone had left. This was nearing 10pm and I immediately told him he had to go home. It was too late. "I know," he admitted almost sadly, "but I have to get my homework, I left my book." Alright I let him past as a few others were leaving. He found his book, we couldn't find his paper in spite of turning the place inside out but we had a good talk while in search. I could tell he was wanting to talk maybe just be somewhere else, I could empathize with his situation. He even insisted on taking out my honey bucket which was pretty full from all the company this evening. I tried to stop him imagining him being covered with.., well, you know, certain he would slip on the skating rink at the bottom of my steps due to my drain running right out on the ground on a daily basis. He did it though, carried it out the door and over to the hopper, the bucket nearly his own weight. He happily returned triumphantly offering his honey bucket emptying expert services at any time. Looking for a reason to extend his stay he assured me that he could handle holding Ani as we took our nightly walk. "He won't pull me over, watch." You ever have one of those moments where you just want to hug the little guy. I don't know what his whole story is, as we ever rarely do with anyone, but I know he has dealt with much in his young life. Our visit was good for both of us. It reminds me of what is truly important in life when I get caught up in pointless, meaningless things.

We set up the tent in the arctic entry and that seems to be where it will stay for a while.

Been sifting through the pages of this last year in my life... a lot happens in a year, you know. Thank you God for the journey while en route to the destination.

"The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes." Psalm 19:8

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Every Little Girl...A Princess

"Oh, well, what's a royal ball? I suppose it would be frightfully dull, and boring, and completely... completely wonderful."
- Cinderella
Converting the Village One Jorer at a Time
Thanks to Jim getting the school not only skis but ski joring harnesses too! JB and Landon became official 'ski jorers' this afternoon. Landon came over, bravely harnessed up to Ani, we three made a lap around the village. JB strolled in a little later bringing her very own dog who was a rookie too! This was good because Ani was tired. They all caught on quickly. JB even ski jored home. The catch? I have her tennis shoes so she will have to ski jore everywhere from now on or sport the ski boots, stylish yes, but maybe a bit uncomfortable for walking.
Calling All Dresses...Pretty Please
Hey here's a question for all ya'll out there. We are having a prom/graduation in May here in Quinhagak and we are looking for a few good dresses, shoes, accessories, suit coats, dress shirts, pants shoes you know, any lightly used prom/wedding attire you might be wanting to get rid of. Even though we all know, I could single handedly provide a gown for every girl in the village with my over-stalked collection of bridesmaid dresses, the problem lies in the fact that all the girls would then have to be the same size as me sooooo, we need all kinds of colors and sizes. If you do want to send some up to us remember shipping is kind of expensive but the post office has reasonably priced flat rate boxes you can buy and ship as much as you can stuff in them. That's the way I'd go if you can. We would appreciate it more than you know and your gowns will go on living in the hands of the little girls up here for many proms to come. Steph, her mom and their church have already been collecting for a while so I'm sure we have a good amount already but the more the merrier. Plus any that don't get used, rest assured the younger girls WILL play with until they disintegrate. Think about it and if you do want to help our cause send 'em on up to:
Quinhagak School
c/o Prom Dresses
General Delivery Quinhagak, AK
Thank you! Quyana:)

Correction: Okay the Birkie isn't until next weekend, my bad. It was an early good luck;)

Shout Out To: My bigger than me little cousin Stu-Ball Happy Birthday on the 23rd. And to my Auntie Shelly Happy Birthday on the 27th! Love you guys:)

"The princess comes into the palace in all her glory. Her gown has gold threads running through it." Psalm 45:13

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Getting Ahead of Myself, As Usual

"Greetings, Cicely, on this most exceedingly beautiful spring morning. A morning swollen with new life, a morning on which, if I had the voice, I would let loose with song. It's hard to believe just a few short weeks ago we were eating our cornflakes in the wintry dark. Now, well it's still kind of dim our there, but I can see the golden glow of Apollo's chariot waiting in the wings, about to make its entrance. Winter's on the lam, no doubt."
Chris In The Morning, Northern Exposure

It has been warm here and we are sensing the new hope of spring. Odd yes, it is only February but spring is seriously in the air up here. The days are noticeably longer, light until almost 8 pm. The sun is trying to poke it's lazy rays over the mountains as I make my way to work in the morning! Ani and I even ran down to the Bering and out on the beach tonight. We didn't even leave the house until 6:30ish. The beach has melted down enough to allow us a small pathway between the vertical tundra ledge and the sheet of ice that sprawls out toward the sea. We joyfully took that path less traveled by and ran about 1/2 mile toward the mountains then cut vertical up to the tundra and forged across the still frozen mounds toward the cell phone tower. I barreled onto the gravel road thankful for the Kanetok River's 'gravel gold'. Harnessed myself to Ani and he happily pulled me home:) Maybe that (happily) was more me;)

We have another B-ball Tournament the weekend. This is the place to be everyone, come on out! It's the district playoffs so we already have teams camped out at the school. Four of the schools decided they best seize the good weather today and make the flight to Quinhagak while it holds instead of risking the chance that the winds of change might prevent their flying tomorrow. So the school will be buzzing tomorrow with extra kids. Apparently they'll just camp out in the gym until our school day is over. Then the games begin:)

Speaking of school, Chuck made me laugh again today. He was finishing up his work and I was putting away books. As I walked past I reminded him, "Pinch that pencil, Chuck." He's also been working on holding his pencil with a pinching grip instead of a fist grip to help him write better. Anyway once I had my back to him again I heard him mumble to himself, "Pinching USED to be bad, now they WANT me to do it..." I couldn't help myself and laughed out loud. Chuck giggled too, "I'm funny right." "Yes, Chuck you are funny! And to be funny, you have to be smart. Sooo Chuck, not only are you funny, you are smart!" These kids make me smile. I hope you do too as I share them with you.

Already it's the end of February! Where is the time going??? I'm not ready to let Alaska start drawing to an end, BRAKES, BRAKES, where are the BRAKES in this contraption??? What unexpected adventures of blessings have found and followed me here! My cup runneth over, how much do I hope and pray it is spilling on to you all as well.

Shout Out To: Everyone back home in Wisconsin gearing up to ski the American Birkebeiner Cross Country Ski Race. The Birkie is near and dear to my heart as I'm missing out on it this year. I finally made the 3rd WAVE last year! How many years I have skied that race hoping to get out of Wave 4. I seemed to have been stuck there for several years then suddenly last year I broke free! It's okay though, I'll be "Touring Anchorage" and scoping out the Iditarod soon enough. In the meanwhile Good Luck Everyone! Ski fast! Take chances. And cheer for each other when you get to the "Big" Hill, it'll get you to the top faster;)
"Do you see what this means - all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running (skiing) - and never quit!" Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today On The Tundra

"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.
The 5th graders chose to have their 'Celebration Day' outside partaking in a bit of cross country skiing. The warm days have taken a toll on our snow but the 'snow go' trails are still hard packed once we made our way to them.

Wind Energy

Remember I told ya Quin was going green by bringing in some wind turbines. Here they are! The three new trees sprouting out of our tundra. Snapped these last night on my run. Yes, I stopped;)

And The Celebration Goes On
The girls came over this evening and vested their more fitting attire. Before I knew it there was a full blown wedding in the living room. By process of elimination I was volunteered to be the photographer and a guest. Anya is here for a few days working at the school so she was an invited guest too. Captured some great shots of the bride standing on my couch tossing her 'bouquet';)

Move over fishing line here comes something realer (not a word, I know)
Farewell to my rigged up fishing line holding my shower curtain. Last fall when I first got here I realized that I didn't have shower curtain holders to go with my shower curtain so I improvised. Anya however had gotten me a civilized set of holders back in November and was quite disappointed to see that I had still not yet updated my shower curtain situation. She took the matter into her own hands.

Trout Anyone?
Michael's Uppi (Grampa in Yu'pik, help me out here Deanna am I spelling that right?) gave me some fresh Kanektok River Rainbow Trout the other day. They have been cozy and frozen in my fancy new freezer in the arctic entry but tonight Anya and I cooked some up, and feasted. Yum. Quyana Mr. Paul Trader, the fish were delicious:)

THis is THe truTH
Oh, I have to share the story of Chuck with yas. So there we were, plugging away on our reading assignment when we came to that dreaded 'th' sound. Stop for a moment and make that sound please. So Chuck just really struggles with that darn 'th' and we (the other 4 students in his class and I) were all cheering him on,"Come on Chuck you can do it. 'th', 'th', 'th'" we were all spitting all over the place and Chuck was 'th-ing' his little heart out as best he could. Then one of us said "Eureka! CHUCK, we got it! You just need to bite your tongue Chuck! Start out saying it with all your teeth on your tongue, Chuck!!!" And you know, he basically got it, not gonna lie I almost laughed aloud as his adorable chubby face contorted with all the concentration and effort involved in trying to form his mouth around that darn 'th'! There we were sitting around the table chanting, "Bite your tongue, Chuck! You can do it! TH, TH, TH!" I'm sure Principal Eric must shake his head and wonder at our tactics but we have fun and we accomplish more that way.

Winter Sunsets on the Bering Sea

Shout Out To: Melissa Dawn! Happy 34th Birthday on the 17th!!! Only 14 years ago you were 20;) And to John Teddy Roberts up here in Quinhagak! Happy Birthday!

"For Jesus doesn't change - yesterday, today, tomorrow, he's always totally himself."
Hebrews 13:8

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Who's Apolo Ohno?"

"I think my favorite sport in the Olympics is the one in which you make your way through the snow, you stop, you shoot a gun, and then you continue on. In most of the world, it is known as the biathlon, except in New York City (or Quinhagak, Alaska), where it is known as winter."
~Michael Ventre, L.A. Daily News

I trust that everyone had a lovely Valentine's Weekend. I did! Bethel was full of all kinds of hustle and bustle. Friday I worked away at the District Office with Joel, my mentor special education teacher. Friday night we (Anya and I, she always welcomes me into her home when I get the rare opportunity to come to the thriving metropolis), connected up with Steph and a group of teachers who were all in Bethel with her for a training. We took over the back room at V.I.P. Restaurant had some pretty good sushi (yes we have sushi in Bethel, Alaska). I have to announce that Steph tried her first sushi and didn't even totally not like it. I bet she'll even try it again! From there the whole crew headed to the cultural center where we enjoyed the play "You're Perfect, I Love You, Now Change". Hilarious, put on by the Bethel Actors Guild. It was a great comedy, laughed out loud many times. Saturday morning was for sleeping in, then a brisk walk to the Saturday Market. Saturday Market happens once a month in Bethel. People from all different villages come in and sell the native crafts they have been making. It is an absolute MUST SHOP if you are ever fortunate enough to make it up this way. Well, I don't often get the opportunity to shop, let alone shop for the beautiful native Alaskan crafts so I sorta splurged and well... ya like my new atkuk, (ah-t-gook) in Yu'pik (thank you to Deanna) parka? This beautiful parka was hand crafted by Elena Charles of Bethel, Alaska and took her 5 years to complete. Stunning, eh? I thought so, you might say it was love at first site. So it was my Happy Valentine's Day gift to myself, to my children and to my children's children etc...:) Later Anya and I rearranged and cleaned her apartment while watching the Olympics. So inspired was I by the athletes, that I conned Dirk (aside: Dirk teaches middle school in the neighboring village of Eek and was in town for the training as well, he's also the spelling bee coach and is taking one of his students to Anchorage next week for the championships, impressive, eh?) and his dog Katja into going for an 8 mile run across the tundra, might even have talked him into doing the Tour of Anchorage in a couple weeks. Okay, he didn't need any talking into as far as the Tour, he likes skiing. He tried to say he wasn't going to keep up on the run, ha, I couldn't breath as we rounded the homestretch toward the District Office and he was just talking away. It was a nice workout on a beautiful day with good company. So later Saturday night we all got together at Anya's. She cooked up a delicious homemade ham and scalloped potatoes dinner (reminds me of Gramma Skime's cooking and that's a HUGE COMPLIMENT) topped off with chocolate cake. We watched more 2010 Winter OLYMPICS in the incredible Vancouver, British Colombia. Dirk and Paul were all chatty about Apolo Ohno and my question was...(see the title). The room got quiet, everyone turned,"What? You don't know, Dancing With The Stars!!! Hello, 'Apolo Ohno', Hollywood-ized Speed Skater turned know????"
"Nope", I confessed my ignorance, "No clue, never heard of him. Didn't have TV until September of this year and all I watch is House." But I have now been enlightened on Apolo and might even be a bit of a fan, mostly because he wears a bandanna and I think it looks hot .
I wanted to go to the fiddle dance but I couldn't rally the troops to make the trek over to the school where it was being held to boogie down. I even tried the whole "Apolo Ohno would go." I got a smirk from Paul, Dirk mumbled something about being sore from the run and Anya just laughed at me as usual. O-well.

This morning we were up and walked to the Lions Club for the Valentine's Day breakfast of: pancakes, eggs, and sausage. From there we went to the Bethel Covenant Church. It was great service just what I needed, God is so smart like that. And now we're back at Anya's, I'm watching more Olympics, she's sewing me a motorcycle qaspak (cause I love motorcycling). I'm scheduled to hop a plane back to Quinhagak this afternoon. It has been a rejuvenating weekend in Bethel. Quyana Anya, Joel, Jim for watching Ani and everybody. Have a GRRRRRREAT week ya'll.

Oh yeah, here are some shots of the flight into Bethel on Thursday evening and back to Quinhagak tonight. Enjoy the flight;)

"You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. "
1 Corinthians 9:25-27

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

That's Amore!

"The love we give away is the only love we keep."
~Elbert Hubbard
We checked the weather this evening, it was a whopping 42 degrees here today. Ice was dripping, snow was melting, and I almost dehydrated tromping home in my snow pants and trusty parka. Major switches in the weather patterns up here. That's like a 60 degree difference from last week. Yee haw.

So tonight after the after school program I had 14 kids at my house and they all fit on my couch at the same time (it's a fam-ily couch, my baby brother Sam would say). They ran around for an hour with the only casualties being some glass in one picture frame and the 'flashlight candle' Mike sent. Pretty good considering the square footage we are working with and the sheer numbers of stampeding children wielding walkie talkies, armed with shedding scarves of every color again (Mike sent), and dodging the perpetual revolving bride promenading to and fro. When I finally flushed them outside to play in what remained of the unusually warm temps, they informed me that they were planning a sleepover for this weekend at my house. Fortunately, I had to break the news to them that I was going to be out of village this weekend. Gotta love those kiddos.

Ani and I walked again tonight, very strangely the sky looks like summertime. I know, I know (wishful thinking, I've been doing a lot of that lately;) it's only February but I'm telling you it was a summer sky tonight. Even the stars were summery. We are gaining 5 minutes of light a day here, the sun is rising around 9:30 and setting near 7ish. It obviously can all flip in a heartbeat and undoubtedly will probably tomorrow but for tonight I think the sky was sending us an early Valentine, reminding us of what the future holds again for this frozen tundra country. Since there is soooo much sky, it was hard to miss. Then we came across this little love note, a piece of summer shrouded in a tomb of frozen water, and it was 'pink' to boot.

Anyway I'm packed up and will be headed to Bethel for the Valentine's weekend to get some work done at the district office and catch up with friends. So To All of You, wherever you might be... Have a Happy Valentine's Day! With Love from Alaska:)

"Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything." 1 Peter 4:8

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Dancing in the Tundra

"Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad."
~Author Unknown

"Let's Go Dancing!" she exclaimed.
My friend Lisa called today to tell me all about the latest at Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe school where I teach back in Wisconsin. She's a teacher there too. It is always so great to get to visit with friends back home. She also shared with me that she and her hubby had a super fun evening dancing the night away at a little place near our home there. What fun! I LOVE dancing, not gonna say I'm all that great at it but I love it! I took ball room dance lessons with a friend of mine many years ago and we even got all dressed up and went to a 'ball' complete with a live big band. It was a hoot! I don't get to spin around the dance floor all the often however so I appreciate those rare moments when I do. I was cheering for Lis and Kevin getting to dance the night away. So when we hung up Ani and I beebopped around the double wide to Willie Nelson's version of May the Circle Be Unbroken. Sometimes you should dance crazy even if it's all alone! I have to believe it is good for the soul:)

(In a singing sort of voice)
"I Haaaaaaate Paperworrrrrrrrrk...Laaa Daaa Deeee Laaa Daaa Daaaaaa..." This is the lamenting ballad coming from the classroom of any semi-sane special education teacher. Yes, this little ditty is my call to action or maybe freedom. I find it (my paperwork) more tolerable if I sing this truth out to myself and whoever is within earshot then do a little pirouette across the floor between present levels of performance and goals and objectives. It just sorta helps me gain some perspective. Maybe it's my self diagnosed ADHD kicking in but I can't stare at page after page of joyous job securing paperwork without dancing around a little maybe like a boxer does before he gets in the ring. LOL it's reminding me of those commercials that were out not too long ago advertising, I think maybe healthy lifestyle or exercising or something, but it showed a guy in a doctor's waiting room starting to dance then the mean looking nurse started to tap her pencil to the beat and suddenly all the patients are dancing around the waiting remember, yeah, it's like that.

Pastor Mark and Willie Nelson
I caught up on my home church back in Wisconsin today too via computer. Pastor Mark talked about loving God with all your heart and soul. Then to top it off Ani and I had our version of Praise and Worship with that Willie Nelson CD of hymns that my neighbors Larry and Barb sent me a few months back. What an uplifting combination! Maybe Willie will come to Hayward Wesleyan some day, who knows???;)

Days Like These
Sleepy Sundays, the snow was falling this morning. Sun peeking around the corners of clouds by early afternoon and by evening the clouds took back the sky and started sewing it to the ground so you couldn't tell where one quit and the other began. Ani and I just had a walk and now we are calling it a day. Gonna rest up for the new week. Hope you have a beautiful week too!

"...and a time to dance..." Ecclesiastes 3:4

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Game On!

"This is Chris-in-the-Morning with the weather and time--24 hours later than it was yesterday and cold." Northern Exposure

Sorta Like The Pros 'Flying In' At 40 Below Well, Friday was a turbulent day, the weather tried to shut down our tournament as schools are not allowed to fly if the temperature hits -35 and we were hovering near -40 at noon on Friday in Quin. Poor Tim was acting administrator in Principal Eric's absence and had to make the close call on weather cancellation issues. Based on district rules, in the interest of student safety he was forced to call off the tournament. This caused one plane to turn back 5 minutes out of Bethel. Fortunately, by 2ish the weather turned and we were at a balmy -20. Tim made the executive call to un-cancel the tourney and bring the teams in again. Game on. One by one and after a few dozen trips to the runway and back to haul teams we had a genuine basketball tournament in full swing. Total we had 5 teams. The whole village came out to cheer, when we all pack into our little gym not only do the bleachers fill up but the wall is lined even up to 2 people thick:) I had the joyous job of gate keeper. If you ever wanna join us the admission fee is $2 for children and students, $3 for adults. Elders, toddlers and ASB (school board) Members get in Free.

The Grand Opening of Larry's Dairy
This is Larry. He truly is a jack of all trades. Larry is a one of our stellar high school teachers here in Quin. Three of his own kids currently go to school here as well. Larry is also one of our pastors at the Moravian Church in Quinhagak. And more recently, like as of Friday night recently, Larry made his debut as Quinhagak's newest version of Dairy Queen, appropriately renamed "Larry's Dairy". As you can see, it was a total hit, eager ice cream enthusiasts were lined up down the hall and around the corner willing to wait up to 30 minutes for a chance to purchase the creamy, cold treat. All proceeds are put back into the student council fund, which bought the fancy ice cream making machine in the first place. Great idea Larry! Quyana!

Roller Coasters??

My friend Kathy (yep the runner) was telling me about her chaperoning last week's b-ball game to Kwig. While boarding the plane with 1/2 of the team, (it takes a few planes to get everyone from here to wherever they are headed) she asked the pilot (who happened to be the 'cute' pilot) if he would do the 'roller coaster'. Now most of you out there are fondly, or maybe not so, recalling those childhood memories of handing over your ticket, buckling in,then screaming and laughing. Maybe holding your arms in the air as you listened to the crickety, clack of the tracks, carts chugging up to the next elevation only to suddenly drop, zoom and turn to chug vertical again...Well, up here in the bush we don't have luxury of heading to the closest county fair so we have reinvented our pilots as 'carnies' and some seem to embrace this role all too much. Kathy reported that upon her request for a "roller coaster". The 'cute' pilot grinned at her, a twinkle in his eye, and within 5 minutes of being airborne all passengers had a very intentional 'ride' of their lives. As miscellaneous bags, boots and jackets were flying about the cabin of the Navajo, Kathy ducked and rethought her request. "That was the wildest 'rollercoaster' I've ever experienced." During a bush plane roller coaster (yes, my cc team did request this when we traveled, no I did not entertain the idea) the pilot climbs vertical into the air then dives toward the tundra, this repeats 2 or 3 times until all riders confirm that they left their stomachs back at the first dive. And you were thinking amusement park, pshaw;)

No New Taxes!!! Oh, dread but for H&R Block why don't they come set up shop here?? I guess it's forcing me to face my fears. I would like to proclaim that this year for the first time in my life I am going to attempt to do my own taxes. This scares me. Irrational though it may be, I kinda think taxes are right up there with BEARS. Looking at it that way it would seem only fitting that I must come to terms with both fears up here. Weird. So I'm going to use Turbo Tax, everyone tells me it's easy and not to worry. I'm working up the courage to attack the situation in the next few weeks.

Danny Snares a Rabbit
Dennis (his teacher for the class in which he is learning to trap) helps him clean and dry it. He wanted Marsha (Dennis' wife and also one of our stellar teachers) to cook it up as rabbit soup! He claims he'll make a blanket if I'll buy it. He's gonna have to snare about 50 more. I'm sure he probably could.

Quinhagak Goes Green

The howling north wind is getting lassoed up here. They're now harnessing the blustery gusts. We have 3 new inhabitants as of last week. Windmills. Just past the beach road but before the cell phone tower. Easy to see looking toward the Bering. I like to pretend they are trees:) Pictures to come, when I get out that way again.

Shout Out To:

Donna back home at LCO and Jerilyn up here at home in Quin "Happy Birthdays" on the 9th! Celebrating YOU!

"When you've stuffed yourself, you refuse dessert (even ice cream????); when you're starved, you could eat a horse (or at least maybe a rabbit?)." Proverbs 27:7