Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final Post before move

Dave says, "This is not a vacation, it's an adventure!"

This morning it must have been about 50 below at the house. Very chilly, but we are staying warm. This will be my last post for a few days, since tomorrow morning first thing we are driving out of here down to Anchorage where we will stay with Alberta and John for the night. Emmy and I fly down to Kodiak the next morning and Jeremy and Dave take the Ferry over on Saturday. Let's hope for calm seas!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Temperature Report: Goldstream Valley

It is kind of old news by now, but its COLD outside. I don't know if I can post a picture of the thermometer tomorrow, because it is already as low as it goes. It is forecast to get as low as 52 below tomorrow.

Monday, December 29, 2008


We just had three moose in the back yard, and one in the front yard. Emmy is very excited and makes us pick her up to look out the window. She calls them "Boose." We had to bring Siska in, although I doubt he would be stupid enough to harass one of them while he is tied up and unable to flee.

In other news, we just purchased a new boiler for our Kodiak house, which is long overdue. We kept that old one going as long as mechanically possible, but it is time.

In the next few days they are forecasting the high forties below zero. Jeremy's Dad gets here tonight - these temperatures will certainly raise the excitement level for his visit. It is just a little scary to think of driving out of here in such cold, but we will be very prepared for any emergency that might happen along the road. And having two vehicles will help.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Temperature Report: Goldstream Valley

We are at -38, but I think our thermometer just won't go any lower and it seems colder than that. Especially since it is -40 in town, and it is usually colder in the Goldstream area.

Fairbanks Cabin

We just signed the lease/purchase agreement, so I feel okay posting this picture of our new "home base" in Fairbanks! This cabin is 16X20 feet with a half loft. It is on 5.28 acres and has Southern exposure, which is very important around here.

World Visitors

Now that it is close to the end of the year I want to show the updated map of all the visitors we've had. Many of them probably stumbled across this blog by accident, but hopefully they enjoyed their little detour!

Temperature Report: Goldstream Valley

This morning it is -33 degrees fahrenheit on the front porch. I don't even think we are in the coldest part of Fairbanks right now. Perfect packing weather. There is ice build up around the windows and the fuel line for the toyo stove.

In case you didn't know already, we are packing up to move back to Kodiak on the 1st. Except that Jeremy will be working here half of every month, so it is not a full move for him. I am sure I will be back quite a bit as well, like the 3rd week of January. He was going to stay in a cabin owned by his boss Meini whenever he came up here to work, but it looks like we might be leasing a small dry cabin. This way we will have a home base whenever Emmy and I come up to visit. And here's the exciting part: it is a lease to own arrangement where the rent paid over the next year will count towards the down payment. We are meeting with the owners this morning so wish us luck!

It is funny to think how used we have gotten used to Fairbanks terminology, like "dry cabin" (which for you non-Alaskans is a cabin with no running water or plumbing). In Kodiak a dry cabin is one that doesn't let the rain in. Ha Ha!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Emmy's extra cute day

Temperature Report: Goldstream Valley

This morning it is -28 degrees fahrenheit. They are predicting a real cold snap right before we leave, although I say this counts as a pretty good one.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Emmy's Second Christmas

Last year Emmy was still too young to understand what was going on. After waking up like a baby grinch (photo 1), she quickly caught on (photo 2) and then spent the rest of the morning trying to decide which presents to play with (picture 3).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Activities

Well, Siska is outside, I just put the roast in the oven, and Jeremy and Emmy are taking a nap. Lady is also taking it easy, as usual.

Earlier I made cookies with Emmy. We didn't have any good cookie cutters so I did mostly round ones with a cup. Then I decided to get little more creative and did two portrait cookies, of Siska and Lady. They enlarged quite a bit in the oven so both of them look pretty fat! Lady may look like that soon in real life if we are not careful. She still looks skinny, but at her vet appointment yesterday we found out she has gained almost 10 pounds. ( It may have to do with Emmy and all of the easily accessible dropped food...and perhaps that she was seriously underweight as a pup)

It snowed all night and most of the morning. It is fluffy and white everywhere you look. I think this may be the standard by which a white Christmas is judged.

Tomorrow we are opening the presents, which is a big concession for me, but it is important to Jeremy, and I figure he has done so much this semester to help out, it is only fair to follow his tradition this year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Finished for the Semester!

Yesterday morning I finished my second qualifying exam, and I have this new feeling, not sure if I recognize it. It is called "relaxation." This is a rare Monday, to be feeling so carefree.

Now, don't remind me that I'm going to need to orchestrate a move for the family back to Kodiak in under 10 days on New Year's Day. Or that the month of January will be pure chaos, with moving my office, hiring new language program staff, writing one more paper, traveling back to Fairbanks for my oral exams, to Anchorage for a grant training, on top of trying to find a new daycare in Kodiak for little Emmy.

No problem. It really seems like nothing compared to the last few weeks.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Review: This box of Mandarins

As mentioned in a previous post I am a huge mandarin fan, which is why I feel competent in making this review. These mandarins had a lot going for them up front. They come from Japan, apparently the original source of mandarins, boasting "100 years of quality." I noted with delight upon opening the box that these mandarins were wrapped in the red paper I remember always seeing as a child. These were not some knock-offs jostling about unwrapped in the box. They also peeled easily, which is a fairly important quality in a mandarin. However, the taste was just not very sweet. I thought at first it was because I had a cold, but I am feeling better and the taste is not. They are now showing signs of overripeness, even though I have eaten only half of the box (with Emmy's help). On a more ominous note, the box is beginning to smell faintly of wart medicine, which is surely a sign of decay on the lower levels. This box may have to go, and soon.

Apparently my Photo Booth takes the pictures in reverse...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Definition: one or more persons obscuring or augmenting any part of their body or bodies with record sleeve(s) causing an illusion.

See sites here and here. Quite the "internet phenomonon!" If you haven't heard of it, you probably don't spend nearly enough time glued to the "series of tubes."

Temperature Report: Goldstream Valley

This morning it is -20 degrees F on the porch.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

nights and lights

Recovery Mode

Well you may have noticed a lack of postings the past few days. Over the weekend I was trying desperately to finish up my qualifying exam on Language Policy and Planning. It all came together by Sunday morning, so I decided to take the rest of the day off before starting my second exam Monday, which is on how Indigenous epistemology and Indigenous theory inform an action research methodology. But Sunday afternoon I began feeling sorta funny. My mandarin did not taste as delicious as usual (I am going to have to do a separate posting on my mandarin craze). By Sunday night I was bedridden with what felt like the flu, with sore throat, achy bones, headache and chills. All day Monday I spent in bed, sick as a dog, trying not to think about how I was losing a day of my week to do this second paper. This morning the headache was so bad I asked Jeremy to stay home because I couldn't watch Emmy. I called the clinic for an appointment. Now, there is a reason I never go to the doctor. Because I always start feeling better right before I go in, and then they treat me like some sort of faker. Which is exactly what happened. The provider said, "You have cold." Thanks.

At least I can swallow now and the horrid headache is fading from my memory. I think I can get this paper done after all. Yes. I can. I will.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Temperature Report: Goldstream Valley

It is -12 degrees Fahrenheit, here in the Goldstream, while it appears to be -7 in town. Snowy.

Great Grandparents

This is a picture of my great grandparents, Fedosia and Jacob Laktonen, at their 50th wedding anniversary in Karluk. I don't know if this is true but I heard he was standing on a phone book in this photo. A few years back, Thayo Brandal, an Elder in Port lions gave me a glass plate that said "50th Anniversary" that she said came from them, but I am not sure where it was found or if it is really theirs. It does not appear in this picture, but if those cups and saucers are glass with gold trim I guess they would match. Both Fedosia and Jacob are featured on recordings in Alutiiq archived at the Alaska Native language Center. Last semester I worked with Jeff Leer from ANLC to transribe and translate Fedosia's story of how the Raven got the sun, which is a common legend/creation story throughout Alaska. That recording is the only one I know of about Raven from Kodiak Island.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

School update

This week and next I am working on my comprehensive exams, so don't expect a lot of posting. In the mean time here is a photo to keep you amused.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to Avoid looking like an American Tourist

You can read the wiki article here. I found it to be sort of obvious, but also likely to be very exactly the kind of people who will probably NEVER read it! But if you are traveling abroad there ARE a few things I wouldn't have thought of, like paying attention to whether or not people have their shirts tucked in.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kodiak Trip Report

Well, as far as business went, the trip back to Qik'rtaq went awesome-luni - especially with word that the Language program will be getting our own offices! Well, at least until this grant runs out anyway... It is going to be so nice to have a place where Elders can sit down for coffee, and we can make recordings without the hum of the Museum's HVAC system in the background.

The visit with Grandma and Grandpa Furio was also a lot of fun for Emmy. Instead of just saying "Gaga" for both she can actually say Grandma and Grandpa now. (Although she had them backwards for a few days.) Melissa was kind enough to watch Emmy while I was at work, and Emmy developed an attachment to her cousin Melody, who she currently calls "Baby." She calls Melissa "Sa."

Temperature Report: Goldstream Valley

It may say -4 and -7 on the various online weather sites for Fairbanks, but here in the Goldstream it is -32 degrees F this morning.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Angitua - I've returned.

Too tired to do my update tonight, but Emmy and I are back in F-town and what a great trip it was back toe the rock for a few days. Emmy is happily drinking milk and Jeremy has supplied me with a Labatt Blue in a bottle. Tomorrow I start my first Qualifying exam paper......

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Headed to Kodiak

Emmy and I are headed to Kodiak this morning...We'll be on the Rock until Sunday...

(photo from May 2008, taken by Jeremy)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

America's Best Christian teaches how to pray

See the video here. It...really makes you... think.

In order to be fair I must disclose that I found the link to the Foil Hats Unite blog on the KoKon blog where I found the embedded video I am linking to here. We are all so connected!

Temperature Report: Goldstream Valley

This morning the thermometer on our porch reads -35 degrees F. Jeremy's truck won't start so Emmy and I are bringing him and Brent in to work. looks like the battery couldn't take the cold...