Sunday, April 3, 2011

Skinning Rabbits

"Do you know what the motto of the state of Alaska is, Joel?"
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it?"
Maurice Minnifield to Joel Fleischman, Northern Exposure.

Skinning Rabbits...

The boys showed up as promised Saturday afternoon for rabbit skinning 101. We busted out the trusty hunting knife (a quick crowd pleaser) and away they went. Connie and I sat back supervising and warning..."Watch your thumb! Watch your thumb! Watch you thumb!" All digits remained intact. Once the rabbit was freed of its skin the boys began washing it in my sink. All was going well until bloody water began to pour out of the cupboard below the sink! "WHAT is going on now with this ridiculous sink NOW!" I threw open the cupboard doors to see my garbage bags and cleaning products drifting around in the water spilling out of the metal pipe from the sink which had separated from the plastic pvc pipe which takes it the rest of the way to the ground. "Man!" I whined, "Well guess you'll have to finish it in the bathtub." It worked out okay but my bathroom looked like something out of a low budget horror film when all was said and done. In the end my freezer was up two rabbits ready for eating. Never a dull moment.

Another One For The Blog

OK 4:00 am Saturday morning Tak is howling from his kennel, I stumble out of bed and head toward his cries, "Okay, okay I'm coming. I hear you. Need to go potty?" He bolts out the kennel toward the door I try to stay on his heels, but I'm asleep. Whining at the door he sits waiting, I unlock the deadbolt and shove him onto the steps. He never wants to cross the threshold alone but once he's on the steps, he b lines for the ground to relieve himself. I lean against the wall still sleeping and wait until he scratches to come in moments later. I'm on my merry way back to my cozy, warm bed when Ani starts in (making sure not to be left out). "Ok," I mumble, "but you get the leash." He doesn't always return on his own accord. So I'm hanging out the door giving him just enough line to get to the ground and do his business when the interior entry door behind us slams shut. Tak immediately starts whining and scratching from the inside. Now I am awake, the interior door of my house is shot, the knobs spins, it doesn't work. Once that bugger is closed you can't open it unless you have a key or something flat you can wedge between the latch and the door frame to pop it (this is the same door that is being held together at the bottom with duct tape from Ani's previous tunneling shenanigan last year). Anyway, do you suppose I had my keys on me at 4am?? Nooooooo. Nope, I had successfully locked Ani and myself in the entry. What you I use to pop the latch??? Ski poles? Ski boot? Slippers? A rug? The boiler? Aha! Eureka! Ani's dog tags on his collar. Luckily they worked and we were held captive only long enough for me to wake up.

Birthday Parties
Allison's birthday party was hosted by Jim and Steph last week complete with ice cream cake, Chinese cuisine, helicopter party favors care of Ed, and live music provided by the "Pederson Kids".

Yet Another Reason for Duct Tape

Connie laughed and laughed as she stared at the fine specimen of candelry you see pictureed, "You know you've been in Alaska too long when you duct tape a broken candle." Hum, I giggled appropriately I hadn't even thought it odd until she pointed it out. But I can't give Alaska the credit, in my life the credit for the wonderful world of 'Duct Tape can fix anything' is totally due to my mother. Besides, I had to save this candle that didn't make the trip home from Minnesota over Christmas because it smells just like pine trees!

A Wolf Or Not A Wolf...
that was the question yesterday on our walk to the beach. It was bounding across the tundra. We all tried to get a better look, Connie, me, Sally, Tak and Ani well sort of..... Turned out to be a feral village dog. But it definitely got our hearts pumping.

Lights, Camera, Action

Some of our kiddos are headed the Bethel to put together a cultural movie. They have been working on their version of the traditional Yupik story about The Man Who Became a Wolverine. They transformed Alicia's class into a studio with a green screen and all. Good work Miss Weaver and company!


We are on our 5th day of a 7 day body detox and I feel great. Quyana Ali for sharing the plan!

Midway through the 2nd song during praise and worship at church yesterday I was tapped on the shoulder and handed a tissue by one of the ushers. I could only assume he must have thought I was crying as I had been rubbing my eyes, so not to embarrass him I thanked him and took the tissue. He continued to stand there reaching across the two people between us, shook his head no and corrected me "Your gum." I think I must have turned three shades of red. "My Gum?" I stood there stunned as the Yupik Hymns continued all around me. Connie at my side nearly choked on her words. So almost zombie like I took my gum from my mouth, placed it in the tissue extended to me then obediently albeit completely confoundedly handed it back to him. Everyone around me just kept on singing as though the interaction never happened. Okay seriously, where's the hidden camera? I did not just get de-gummed at church?? I'm not sure I was ever even de-gummed in elementary school (because I never would have chewed gum for fear of breaking a rule). "What just happened?" I hissed to Connie looking for a reason not to be so embarrassed that I wanted to crawl under the pew (the pew evidently being why the de-gumming is occurring at all but we'll get to that later). "I have no idea," she whispered back worried her whisper might draw attention. "Was I blowing bubbles? Was I smacking or chomping or pulling it out of my mouth and twirling it around my face???" again I muffled. "No," Connie assured from the corner of her mouth staring straight ahead trying to look inconspicuous, "I honestly don't even know how he knew you had gum. I didn't and I'm sitting next to you." I was at a loss? What just happened? I humiliatingly questioned myself over and over during the rest of the service, needless to say focusing on what Pastor was preaching was down the drain with my people pleasing personality significantly publicly shamed and now overly concerned (obviously something I need to work on, I know and I own it). I wanted immediately to run to the back of the church (that's where the ushers sit whom I will now lovingly refer to as the Village GPSOs) and explain my grievous error. "See, I'm on this detox healthy body thing and I'm trying to stick with it and this gum you made me give you is what is helping me do this, seriously I think this is the first time I've ever chewed gum at church. I promise I'm a responsible adult." Of course I couldn't do that it would only draw more attention to my already blatant wrong. So I did what any good, Christian girl would do...I stewed. For more than an hour in church I tried to figure out why I had been de-gummed. From maybe he thought he was doing a good deed thinking I couldn't sing with gum in my my mouth to...evidently the 11th commandment that was only given to our church in Quinhagak. Anyway...I did ask him after if we had some unknown rule of no gum that I'd never heard anything about. "Janitor doesn't want to clean it up," he responded. "Oh," was all I could manage confused as ever. I shook Pastor's hand and proceeded out the door still feeling like a scolded 5 year old. So I've been asking around today and I've discovered thankfully that I'm not the only victim of being publicly de-gummed. Several empathizing souls confided, "I heard you got your gum taken at church yesterday. That happened to me too, last week and I saw it happen to... so and so and so and so." Seems we might have enough to start a de-gummed support group "Hello, My name is Rachel. And I chewed gum in church and got it taken away." Okay, okay really... the actual explanation: the church janitor was disgusted at the amount of gum stuck underneath the pews which he had to continually clean (and I guess I don't blame him. This is church after all have some respect, right?) And so it goes...the outcome we now have: ABSOLUTELY ZERO TOLERANCE ON GUM and they've put the man (usher) power behind it. Expert gum chewer sharp spotters they are people, they can peg you 10 pews away. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

"Don't ruin God's work because of what you eat (even gum: Rachel Aside). All food is acceptable, but it's wrong for a person to eat something if it causes someone else to have doubts."
Romans 14:20

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