Sunday, August 31, 2008

Emmy's first camping trip

Akgua'aq gwangkuta qawarlliakut palatkaami, Chena kuigem caniani. Pinarllia, maqarluni. Taumi unugmi pat'snarpakallia palatkaami. Emmy maqaruarllia. Nunanirlliakut.

Last night we slept in a tent next to the Chena river. It was nice, and hot. Then when it got night it got very cold in the tent. Emmy was warm. We had fun.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Are you a good mom or a bad mom?

Well, Are you? I found this quiz on another Fairbanks blog, and it is so funny!

A few cute pics of Emmy

Obama's speech & McCain's choice

Last night Jeremy and I listened to Obama's nomination acceptance speech live, and it truly felt like an historical moment. He said all the things he needed to say and managed to be inspiring a the same time. If I wasn't wholly convinced to vote for him then, I would have been by the end of the night.

Everyone knew McCain would try to upstage him the next day, but WHAT A SURPRISE in his pick for our governor Sarah Palin. Although I am not a fan of her politics I must admit I always had a sort of affection for her, a pride in her being the state's first female governor, with all those kids, and she's one good looking mama. My loyalty for Obama is as strong as ever, but for the first moment I now feel a little worried.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

WaRinialillianga. - I made jam.

Over the weekend I got quite a few sourberries so I decided to make jelly out of them. I have never made it on my own before, but since mom and I recently made some alagnaq (salmonberry) jelly in Kodiak I figured I could do it. I googled a recipe and despite a few minor burns it all went very well. I even boiled the jars to seal them. I got so much jelly I filled all my jars and then had to start filling up bowls. It tastes pretty good, but I don't eat much jelly so I will probably end up giving it away. WaRinialillianga amaryanek. I made jelly out of highbush cranberries.

In other news, Emmy has taken to playing with Lady a lot lately. Poor Lady has little choice in the matter, but she has been very patient. Emmy loves to put this scarf on her and just laugh hysterically.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Employment in the Alutiiq Language Program!

We have had two positions open in the Alutiiq Language program for a few weeks with very little response. The Alutiiq Language Revitalization effort needs your help! Would you like to work with Elders, youth, and community members, use cutting edge audio/video technology to document the Alutiiq language, and help create a language web site and archive? To learn more or apply for the Alutiiq Language Assistant or the Language Outreach Specialist positions at the Alutiiq Museum, click here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

True Crime Report: Dad's car.

My Dad has been down at Santa Fe Indian Market, where he had a booth. My sister La Rita called last night with some bad news. His car was stolen, with one of his masterpieces inside. It is a mask/statue called the Angel, and is probably worth more than the car. And now Dad and our cousin are greyhounding it back to Washington with just the shirts on their backs!

So if you see this piece of art somewhere, I am actually not sure if this is the exact one Rita was talking about, but it may be, then you may have the key evidence in this true crime!

Who does Emmy look more like?

Ever since Emmy was born we knew she took after Jeremy. But I still look for myself in her, usually without much luck. Especially since our coloring is so different it is hard for me to see the resemblance. But to my surprise, the other day at my allergy shots, the nurse said "wow she looks just like her mom!" So, maybe there is a little hint of me in her looks. She definately didn't get Jeremy's nose. She may have my face shape. Only time will tell.

Emmy-rem Taatara ayuqaa.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mini-Float trip on Chatanika River

Yesterday we all went to the Chatanika River for a picnic and short little float trip. It was quite a lot of fun. This weekend felt like we were trying to get the last bit of summer in before it starts getting cold.

Jeremy, Mike and Cheyanne (who is going back to Montana today) went down first on maybe a 300 yard trip down past the bridge. Then Jeremy, Emmy and I went in the raft. It was a short trip but the first real river float Emmy has done. It had a couple of class 1 rapids and I was nervous (for Emmy, of course!)

There was a magpie-sized bird who visited our picnic site who obviously knew that humans leave a lot of crumbs. I didn't get that good of a picture. I also found some sourberries (a.k.a. kalina berries, highbush cranberries, amaryat) and I may try my hand at some jelly. Emmy took to berry picking like a natural. Must run in the family.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Trip to Chena Hot Springs

First Emmy was terrified of the water, then she had a lot of fun with us and our friends Mike and Cheyanne. In the end she was one tired babe!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"the clustr map"

I have been so excited lately to see where people have been viewing my blog from. Sometimes a little dot appears shortly after I have told a new person about it. Other times it seems people must have stumbled across this page. It makes me wonder what these people think not knowing me at all. I must have popped up on some search engine for "Alaska" or "frog."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Current obsession: Thai Iced Tea

One of the things I have enjoyed the most here in Fairbanks is the change of food. While I hear Kodiak will soon be home to a few new restaurants (including taco bell, and you would not believe the level of excitement) There are many more choices up here. Although there is no Indian food (the only Indian restaurant in AK is in Anchorage) I have been pretty happy about the number of Thai restaurants.

Since we moved to the Goldstream area I kept driving by this tiny place out in the country called "On's Eggroll House" After wondering about it for a while I dropped by and tried their springrolls and, yes, their thai iced tea. It has now been a few months and I now am a regular there, as well as at the thai food booth at the Farmer's market. I think about thai iced tea night and day. I have been doing internet research about it so I can make my own. I will have to let you know how that project goes, but it looks pretty easy if I can find the tea leaves, which are not in the local supermarkets. This is a full blown obsession, and I MUST learn to make my own before I go back ot Kodiak!

possible Alutiiq new word for Thai Iced tea? Pat'snasqaq caayuq taaymiurmek? (cold tea from the thai people?) UuRincirngasqaq caayuq? (orange colored tea?) Nalluwaqa! (I don't know!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Pictures from Kodiak visit

Emmy and Grandma Furio; Kori Longrich & Emagale Counceller BFF!

...And we're back

What a great, short, exhausting trip! Emmy got to play with Kori Longrich while I visited with Kelly (pictures to come), I picked a few berries, made salmonberry jelly with my mom, had perok just like I wanted, and went out to see Alisha's coffee shop Java Flats out in Bells Flats. We also had a good New Words Council meeting where we decided on new words for glass eye (iingalaruaq) escalator (tRaapat p'tasqat) and barista (kuufialista/kuugialista) among others. We got through quite an agenda at our Qik meeting as well (that's the short version on Qik'rtarmiut Alutiit Regional Language Advisory Committee meeting). It was good to see everyone even thought it was so short. I am going to be traveling so much this fall between conferences, visiting Jeremy's family and going home for work, that I am beginning to dread it already.

I got home just in time last night for Jeremy's birthday evening. We went to Pike's Riverfront Lodge for dinner, which is right close to the airport. It was nice - we sat in the bar where it is less pretentious, and enjoyed the same menu while watching the olympics on the numerous flat screen TVs. Our waitress there was the same one we had last time, she's really nice, and most importantly very understanding about Emmy and her cracker needs. Then we came home for some late cake courtesy of Mike and Cheyanne. the cake said "Happy F*kin Birthday Betch" and Jeremy loved it. We took a picture of theat as well but you'll have to check Jeremy's my space for that sometime later :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Headed to Kodiak

Emmy and I are headed to Kodiak today. Hopefully we do not have weather issues like my last trip. I have a New Words Council meeting on Monday, and a staff and Regional Language Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday, and fly home Tuesday afternoon, which is also Jeremy's Birthday. another whirlwind visit, but since I have Sunday before work starts I can maybe do some berry picking - I hear the salmonberries are ripe.

Peggy actually brought some salmonberries when she came up with Tony earlier this week. Even though they had been thawed and in her cooler for a few days I made them into ciitaq and it was very good. I couldn't waste an opportunity to have salmonberries, even though I might get some when I go home. I wonder if mom will make perok when I am there. then I will at least feel lke I am getting my taste of Kodiak summer.

Friday, August 15, 2008


Doctoral Studies

As you may know, I am in the middle of a doctoral program in Language Planning and Indigenous Epistemology. Well, that's what I am calling my program at the moment, since it is interdisciplinary. I am now done with my course work. My research is on the social significance of the New Words Council. This fall I am going to be working on transcribing New Words Council meetings and interviews and writing my literature review. Next spring, more research and analysis, and I begin writing the "meat" of my dissertation. When I told my advisor Patrick about my new blog he asked if it was about my research. What a good advisor, keeping the focus like that. Because everything is so interconnected in my life right now, this blog is not about, but not entirely not about my research and school experience.

The SLATE program (here at UAF) that I am in is very intensive. I basically had only 2 years to complete my Ph.D. when I started (2 months after having Emmy and about 14 months ago). Now instead of finishing by this time next year, I may apply for additional funding to have another year. I felt like I was failing at first if I didn't finish in the 2 years, but then I decided, this dissertation is supposed to be my best work. I want to have enough time to do it properly, and 3 years is still about half as fast as your normal doctoral program. I still return to Kodiak at the new year and will be working part time as I continue with my research.

One thing I have been wondering...Will there come a time that I can publish this blog Alutiitstun? Right now I could throw in a lot of words, but would that be meaningful? Is it meaningful without a response?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn

After waiting for what seemed like ages and enduring all of the mystery surrounding what would happen in this final book of the Twilight series, I finally got it in the mail last week. I certainly enjoyed reading it but it was not the masterpiece some of the others had been. I read the reviews online and many people were disappointed, even angry about this book. I think everyone got so worked up about this series that they all had their own ideas about how it should end. Stephenie Meyer also seemed to want to try and give everyone the happy ending they wanted, but it all seemed a little too easy. Bella got everything she had ever wanted and more - husband, immortality, amazing powers, and even a baby that should have been impossible but some how was not. I wanted the happy ending too, and while the plot, characterization, and some of the rules of Bella's world had to be bent a bit in order to achieve said ending, apparently that is the sacrifice that had to be made. I believe I would read another Meyer book when it comes out. I am just not going to have unreasonable expectations.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Jeremy's Family Visit

Last week we had a visit from Jeremy's mom Wanda, stepdad Matt, sister Julie and our nephew Henry. Shelly who is Julie's best friend and also a good friend of ours was here too. We had a lot of fun in Denali at the McKinley Riverside Cabins where they have a REALLY good restaurant (highly recommended - at mile 224 Parks Hwy). in Fairbanks we went to the State Fair, Poineer Park, Bowling with "Big Ern," the Farmer's Market, Silver Gulch Brewery & Restaurant, etc. We also had a few great dinners and cookouts. It was a full house but it was way too quiet when everyone left!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Etsy Web site

Since this blog has been brewing in my mind for a while I may have to do more than one post a day until I catch up. Last weekend my old friend Sarah (Callaway) Koski emailed about her new etsy store (

I had never heard of etsy before so I looked at her lovely shop, and then started looing around at the other shops around the rest of the site. Basically I was sucked in for a whole weekend. there are so many creative people out there! While some of the shops are way overpriced, most of them are very reasonable. It is kind of like a giant virtual craft bazaar. There are other cool functions as well like shopping locally and clicking on a globe for recent seller posts from everywhere (even antarctica, though obviously I am suspicious). If you wonder where your christmas present came from, chances are, it is from here.

Frogs in Fairbanks!

Last night we were gathered around the fire pit in the yard and I saw someting hopping in the grass. I thought it looked a bit big to be a grasshopper, so I looked closer and it was a tiny frog! I did not know there was frogs around here. They don't have any in Kodiak. SO we caught it just long enough to take it's picture and then we set it free. I kept looking after that but did not see any more frogs in the yard. Now I am wondering how rare they are.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Peggy is coming

I almost forgot in my post that Peggy should be getting here today. She has been my best friend since high school. She is coming with her husband Tony. They have been camping in Denali for the past couple of days.
(I just hope they don't get here during my 10:30 meeting. or my 12:30 meeting. And I may have to get Emmy a Dr. appointment about this cold. And what's for dinner? It's only 8 am!)

Jeremy back from Anchorage

Jeremy is back and Emmy is so thrilled. She must have said "daddy" about million times over the weekend. He was down in Anchorage installing some laminate floors for La Rita which I guess turned out really nice.

It was pretty quiet around here though, especially since Emmy was miserable with a cold. I am pretty sure she said "I Love you" yesterday though. I am not convinced she knew what it meant and it wasn't all that clear but she was copying me, even down to the intonation. It is so interesting watching her learn to talk and seeing how much she does understand. Since I spent so much time alone with E over the weekend I could not stop talking about her to Jeremy. As he was trying to fall asleep I told him this very detailed story about when I fed her dinner and strawberries.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My First Blog

Well, I have been dying to do this for a while, but was both afraid of the commitment and felt I needed to start it at the beginning of a big chapter in our lives. Well, here we are, in the middle of a year in Fairbanks, the middle of my doctoral studies, the middle of Emmy's toddlerhood, in the middle of a field, and finally I decided if I don't start now it may never happen. So, here we are. the Counceller Family. Enjoy...