Sunday, August 31, 2008


We spent the afternoon at Birch Lake today -- roasted up some hot links and hot dogs while the kids played on the big "toy" they have on site and played checkers inside the recreation area.
While we were waiting for the coals to die down from our simple meal, Stephen and I wandered into the forest to see what we could find in the wooded area. We didn't go very far and I think we were in amongst the giants for less than half an hour and collected this fungus among us. fungusamungus. These are collected from the birch trees, usually dead ones but you can find some from the live, tall ones. I think they form out of mushrooms - naamell. But the burnt down ash of these fungi are worth at least $60 per little cake frosting containers in Kipnuk! I might go into business, tll hahhaaa. While I was in Kipnuk, a merchant came to my mothers selling this ash for $60 bucks a pop in those little containers. He had said he had sold 3 of them before he got to my moms.

I might try my hand at burning these down and see how much I could get off of the stuff we picked, but I need a place to burn them in. Anyone have a 55 gallon drum they want to get rid of?

While we were getting the boat on to the trailer, I came upon this:

Its bear scat!! I've never seen any before and it made me more aware of our surroundings after Stephen told me what it was ....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Cloud Berry Bread

This recipe I got from my sister in law, instead of blueberries, I added cloudberries to the mixture. It was delicious and very easy to make!

2 cups flour
2 cups pancake mix
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
About a cup of water
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup berry or fruit of your choice

Mix together dry ingredients then add in nuts and berries and water. Grease two bread pans and divide evenly to pans. Bake for 50 minutes at 350.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Seven Things I did

I got to do six of the stuff I wanted to do while I was in Kipnuk

1. Went berry picking with my brother James and his family and went again with Masualuk for puyuuraaqs. Saw tundra foxes that I thought were wolves at first while we were out and came upon moose tracks.

2. I ate fresh clams that Pinvuq caught and so delectable they were. I like mine steamed and dipped in seal oil. Jeff and I went with Donna and DJ -- the ocean was beautiful.

3. I took a steam bath at BBJs and at Pinvuqs and so very refreshing they were -- Jeff took his first bath at Pinvuqs.

4. I ate a variety of "ethnic" foods. This imarpinraq was caught by Pinvuq and boiled my mom (hehehhe).

5. I got to see a lot of people at church:

6. I took a lot of pictures, here is my Aunt Nangyun weaving a basket:

7. I didn't get to go to a seal party "uqiiquq", but I enjoyed every minute of home.

Our Visit

Jeffrey and I spent a week at home and what a great time we had! We got to Kipnuk on Tuesday last week around 7pm after waiting 5 hours at the Yute Air terminal waiting on our flight out of Bethel. We had a great time with family and friends and I got to enjoy fresh sea food while I was out there. I trudged the tundra for berries a few times. I went berry picking with my brother James and his family, and here we are enjoying a lunch of uquumelnguq before tiring our backs picking cloud berries at the Maklagtuli River.

Donna and I picked berries near the airstrip with a few of the boys (they didn't pick, they ate what they picked) and I found a nest of these:

We also went clamming in the Bering Sea, it was beautiful:

They were delicious!:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Eskimo Joke

**image from

Two eskimos, a big one and a little one, go to their local Alaskan convent with a question.
The big one nudges the little one and says, "Go ahead, knock on the door, knock on the door."
The Mother Superior answers the door.
Again, the big eskimo nudges the little one and says, "Go ahead, ask her the question, ask her the question."

The little eskimo timidly says, "May we speak with the midget nun that lives here please?"
The Mother Superior answers, "There are no midget nuns living here."
The big eskimo starts nudging the little one again and says, "Go ahead, ask her the other question, ask her the other question."
The little eskimo asks in a quavering voice, "Well. Are there any midget nuns in Alaska?"
The Mother Superior responds uncertainly, "Why no, I don't believe so."
With this the big eskimo falls down and rolls on the ground, clutching his belly as he laughs uncontrollably. "See", he says to the little eskimo, "I told you you "effed" a penguin!"

**joke from

Monday, August 18, 2008

Trip to home

Jeffrey and I are travelling to my home town tomorrow. It was kind of a last minute decision, but I've been yearning for home for a while now. We'll be spending a week there and these are 7 things I hope to do while I am there:

1. Go berry picking (packed our boots first hoping we'd go the next day after arriving.)

2. Take a hot, relaxing steam bath with friends and catch up on our lives, funny happenings, and of course, the latest gossip.

3. Attend an uqiiquq (crossing my fingers!) Those are a lot of fun--a group of women stand together and enjoy time together trying to catch goods thrown by a generous giver. Most household items are thrown, towels, toilet tissue, spoons, most anything!

4. Enjoy fresh steamed clam dug from the sandbars from the Bering Sea the same day!

5. Visit as many people I can. I remember I used to name all the people by how the houses were situated when I couldn't fall asleep at night.

6. Take a lot of pictures -- I forget to take pictures while I'm out there most of the time!

7. Eat as many a variety of Yupik foods that I can find. Usually get invited to lunch or dinner to different peoples houses, so I'll take advantage of that as much as possible.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


One of my most favorite places is Valdez, Alaska. I recommend anybody and everybody to visit this beautiful place if you get a chance. Its a five and a half hour car ride for us from humble North Pole, and so worth the trip! I first visited Valdez in Summer 1993 with Kayla's aunts and grandmother and loved the wonderous glaciers, the waterfalls, the sea of green, the majestic mountains and the atmosphere of the quaint fishing town. There's always a stir of activity at the docks, whether it be fishermen coming in from a day of lolling in the waves of Prince William Sound, birds of all kinds, playful sea otters and curious seal lions. Valdez is the home of the termination point of the 800 mile long Alaska Pipeline that gushes black gold from the cold subterrain of the Arctic all the way up on the top of Alaska. We spent last weekend in one of the many campsites the town has to offer. We trolled the two bays outside the narrows for hours on end, trying our luck with the Silver Salmon swarming in the emerald waters along with many other hopeful boaters . What a thrill and a rush of adreneline it is to find your fishing rod trembling and yanking with urgency when a Silver hits! Stephen's pole was the lucky one this trip. We got 3 silvers and 1 pink (that we threw back) before we had one big one snap the line with Stephen's lucky lure, lucky diver, lucky flasher in its mouth. Who knows how big that one had been. Darn! Oh, and I almost forgot, we had lost the "lucky" net in Jack Bay when we took off to Galena Bay in hopes of catching the big one. Turned the boat right around and just when we got to where it was, it sunk underneath to the deep to swim with the jellyfish, well maybe the halibut, never to be seen again. We'll be going back in a few weeks, this time earlier in the day, Thompson Pass is horrendous when the sun goes down. Its a very strong pea soup fog going up a steep hill and then back down with just steel siding on the road and a barely visible stripped off striping to guide you. I couldn't imagine traveling that stretch in the dead of winter when snow fall is heavy. That is the only part of traveling to Valdez that I do not enjoy.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Rain Rain Rain

What a dreary, yucky, wet and cold July/August its been. There's been flooding in our area and the temp barely reaches 60 degrees during the day. There's puddles everywhere and the asphalt is eroding on the pavement all over town. Depsite the rain, we took time to go to the Tanana Valley State Fair twice! We got to see flowers, produce, arts and crafts made by our fellow Fairbanksans. Along with that, horses, cows, rabbits, cavies (I didn't know what they were, but read on one of the signs that they're also called guinea pigs), ducks, pigs, sheep, oh and goats. We pigged out on the usual fair "fare", Jeff enjoyed 2 ears of yummy corn slathered in butter, I got my corn fritters, all six globs of them dipped in honey butter, and oddly, Raven enjoys Beef Bulgogi. We ran into one of her friends at the Korean joint serving that dish at the fair, and he asked "Why are you eating here?" when we could've been bingeing on turkey legs and candied apples or that other yummy stuff the vendors offer. We screamed on the rides, well I did, Nag and Jeff just laughed, waited in lines, and played over priced games for silly stuffed animals that our darn dog will end up chewing up anyway. Stephen and I went to see Steve Holy in concert at the fair on Tuesday night. That was awesome - it wasn't too crowded and you could go right up to the stage during the event and he had a signing after the show! I bought a kewl tshirt and had him sign a CD and got to shake his cold, clammy hand ... hehhehhee.

**image from