Safari Nursery

My favorite space in the room- books!

My favorite space in the room- books!

Despite the fact that we live on the chilly Tundra, Nathan and I decided that we wanted to decorate a Safari-themed nursery. Neither of us have ever really gone all out on decorating with planning and paint and such before, so this was an adventure for sure. I’m really happy with how things have turned out, and the obstacles we had to overcome to make this happen when we live in the middle of nowhere.

BEFORE: what the room looked like when we moved in last year, and pretty much how it stayed for a long time.

BEFORE: what the room looked like when we moved in last year, and pretty much how it stayed for a long time.

Because we can’t just run to the store and pick up anything we want, we started planning pretty early in the pregnancy. We got a swing from a family selling one second hand in the village, and painted the room before we left for vacation so that it would be free of any smells after airing out for the summer.

Starting to paint the room! We went with a neutral green for the Safari theme, before we knew if it was going to be a boy or girl.

Starting to paint the room! We went with a neutral green for the Safari theme, before we knew if it was going to be a boy or girl.

We were also able to get the big furniture provided by the school district (rocking recliner, bookshelf, nightstand and dresser). We found that no one really uses tradition cribs out here, as it would cost an arm and a leg to get it flown out, so we opted for a pack and play that has a bassinette, and can later have a mattress added for when baby gets bigger.

The pack and play currently in our bedroom. I know I'll have to take out the toys and blankets when baby arrives, but they looked so cute for now!

The pack and play currently in our bedroom. I know I’ll have to take out the toys and blankets when baby arrives, but they looked so cute for now!

Our changing area is in the hall between our two rooms due to limited space. During our baby shower, friends and family wrote little notes to the baby on safari animals, so I hung them above to add some whimsy to the space.

The changing area with love notes on the wall!

The changing area with love notes on the wall!

We finished the room just in time for me to leave for Anchorage where I will be spending the last month of my pregnancy, which is pretty standard out here. I’m glad it all came together so well, and it gives me one less thing to worry about while I’m away. Can’t wait to bring home our little bundle of joy!

One side of the room, with the gate up so our puppy can see us, but not eat all of baby's toys!

One side of the room, with the gate up so our puppy can see us, but not eat all of baby’s toys!

The other side of the room, including the great safari wall stickers my sister got for us! The pack and play will be moved into this space when he gets older.

The other side of the room, including the great safari wall stickers my sister got for us! The pack and play will be moved into this space when he gets older.

A little wonky, but a panoramic view of the entire room.

A little wonky, but a panoramic view of the entire room.

Culture Week at PKA

Two elders soaking the caribou beard for a dance fan.

Two elders soaking the caribou beard for a dance fan.

The past week here in Napaskiak has been full of cultural events at the school. I was so excited to learn more about the traditional Yupik culture and even be able to participate in some activities. I was substituting, so my mornings consisted of classes with the students, and then the afternoon was dedicated to cultural activities. Some of the younger grades even had full day activities.

Elders and adults from around the village came into the school to share their knowledge, and in some cases their supplies or wisdom passed down to them from previous elders. Crafts included learning to crochet, bead, sew qaspeqs (native shirts that are similar to cotton hoodies pronounced like ‘guss-puk’) , leather yo-yos and shell bags, ice picks for fishing, slingshots, and carving various things from antler and ivory. There were also sessions that focused on dog sledding, Native Youth Olympics and traditional native cooking.

The husband wanted to have a qaspeq to wear this week, so naturally because I now have my sewing machine here, he asked if I could make one for him. I was able to borrow a pattern from a neighbor, and pulled one together using some fabric he had purchased in Bethel that weekend during the Cama-i dance festival.

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It was fun to make, although difficult at a few points, and I don’t think it turned out too poorly. The hood is a mess, but as long as he kept it down, it wasn’t too noticeable. Some of the women at the school complimented him on it, and he was very proud to say his wife made it. Apparently it was impressive to the students that I made it in one night. I did have the advantage of the sewing machine to make things go fast.

The finished product!

The finished product!

The first day I didn’t do much other than supervise, and I was in awe of how good the high school kids were at some of the trades. One student was working with mammoth ivory and had fashioned a ring that was stunning. The husband was also working on a ring- his made out of antler, and attested to how difficult it was. In the end it took him a couple tries, but I think it turned out great, and I love wearing it!

The Husband slimmed the ring down a little bit after this to make it more comfortable. He carved it out of an antler. I have so much respect for the subsistence lifestyle that learns to use all parts of the animal.

The Husband slimmed the ring down a little bit after this to make it more comfortable. He carved it out of an antler. I have so much respect for the subsistence lifestyle that learns to use all parts of the animal.

The second day had elder talks, which I was very interested to attend. There is no strict age limit or guideline on what it means to be an elder, but it is usually agreed upon whether someone is or isn’t. The girls and the boys were split up for these talks, and I sat in with the girls. Lots of interesting pieces of history and cultural knowledge were passed down, but it felt like a good conversation with a grandparent. We laughed and learned in Yupik and English. One of the elders who only spoke Yupik was very insightful, and I was lucky to have another elder sitting next to me translating what she was saying.

Messages of love and respect seemed to dominate the talks as the most important cultural values they could hold onto, and I couldn’t agree more.

The third day, I was asked by an elder to jump in and make a dance fan. I couldn’t say no. It was a lot harder than it looked at first, but I struggled through, and she helped me fix all my mistakes!

The start of the dance fan.

The start of the dance fan.

The finished weaved part of the fan. I still need to finish sewing on the Caribou fur along the outside.

The finished weaved part of the fan. I still need to finish sewing on the Caribou fur along the outside.

In traditional Yupik dance, the dancers hold the fans in each hand to accentuate the movement.

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Most of the days ended at about 4pm, where we would gather in the gym to taste what they had been cooking in the kitchen. They made fry breads, moose soup, caribou soup, halibut chowder, and lots of akutaq (eskimo ice cream pronounces ‘a-goo-tuk’). It’s funny that I didn’t really care for akutaq before I got pregnant, but now that I am, I can’t get enough of it! Everyone makes theirs differently, and began swapping recipes at the table. I can’t wait to try more!

Akutaq! Yum!

Akutaq! Yum!

The week culminated in a gallery showing of all the students’ projects in the gym during their normal dance time. I was really impressed with their work, especially some of the younger kids!

All in all, I had a really great time this past week. Sometimes I really marvel at the opportunities that have been presented to me here, and all of the things I wouldn’t have learned if the Husband and I didn’t have the faith to take the plunge and move up here. I can’t wait to keep learning more and more!

Fun Alaska Facts

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Alaska’s Bureau of Land Management’s Facebook Page shared this awesome infographic about the state’s population. I love numbers and things like this, so I thought it would be fun to share, along with some other cool facts I’ve learned about this great state I now call home!

It can be hard to tell on a regular map just how big Alaska is, but this shows an accurate representation of size compared to the continental United States. Amazing isn’t it, when you look at the population numbers right? And there are really only three big cities; Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau in all 586,400 square miles!

As the country’s biggest state, Alaska is home to 29 volcanos, over 1/2 the world’s glaciers, North America’s highest mountain peak (Denali) and over 33,000 miles of coastlines on 3 different seas (Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Baltic Sea).

…and no, we can not see Russia from our house, but it is only 55 miles away from the state.

Any cool facts you know about Alaska? How does your home state compare? Let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!

Home Inventory

I was inspired today when reading a blog post from the awesome Cunningham Family in Bush Alaska Blog. That family has been living in the bush for several years and I am an avid reader, always hoping to glean tips from them! Today she talked about taking an inventory of household items so that they knew what they would need after summer break. I had not thought of that, but it is brilliant! There is no way that I’m going to remember what I have in my pantry here after two months away.

So I quickly flipped over to google and tried to find a good template. Unfortunately, although I found many beautiful templates, none of them were exactly what I was looking for. Fortunately, I know my way around Excel, so I hunkered down and started formatting what I would need. All of my stage management skills are paying off on this one!

Inventory start

This is the start of my home inventory. Over the next couple months I will be filling out each section. What you can’t see are my sections for Office Supplies, Pet Care, and the ever-important Misc section for the things that don’t fit elsewhere! I’m confident that this will help so much when planning our Bush Orders and shopping trips in Anchorage in August. I even put a column for how many we will need to buy, so half of my shopping list will be done before I ever have to worry about it.

I would be happy to share my completed template with anyone else who needs one. You can find the file on dropbox for download here. To add more rows in any section simply click in the section you want to add to Click HOME > INSERT > INSERT SHEET ROWS as many times as you need.

I hope you enjoyed the inventory! Have you ever done a home inventory before? How did you organize it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Baby in the Bush!

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We’ve all seen this sign at the hospital or doctor’s office before. I’ve never had to think much about it. Actually the most thought I’ve ever given it was that I believed if you were pregnant you couldn’t get an x-ray.

Turns out you can.

In an exciting turn of events out here in the Bush, I found out I was pregnant because of the warning of a sign like this. Actually it was translated into Yupik as well, but you get the idea. Flashback to the end of January when I woke up with some really bad shortness of breath. Long story short, I visited the clinic in the village, took an inhaler and some Motrin, but they wanted me to be seen at the Hospital in Bethel for x-rays. They had heard some wheezing and wanted to make sure I didn’t have pneumonia.

After a ride with the principal in a truck over the frozen river, I was checked in and triaged at the hospital. It’s times like this that I’m so grateful that I live as close to Bethel as I do. It’s only a 20 minute drive, which is actually closer than the hospital I used to go to growing up- we would drive 40 minutes. Granted, the logistics out here are a little more difficult, and I was lucky that someone with a car was available, and that the river was still frozen solid.

I was asked by the x-ray technician if I could be pregnant. I looked at the calendar. Well… it was really early, almost too soon to tell I thought, but I said there was indeed a small chance. I felt a little silly when they rolled me away without an x-ray and I had to wait another hour in the waiting room for the results of my pregnancy test. During that time I was texting with my husband who was in Anchorage for the weekend at a teacher’s conference. I was annoyed with waiting, breathing better, and just wanted to sleep. But that would have to wait.

When I was (finally) ushered back for my x-ray the nurse had invited the lab technician up to give me my results- the test was positive! They were all on edge- not knowing how I would react, but all I could think of was that there was no way I was going to be able to tell my husband until he came home in two days, as this was not news I could break via text message. The nurse laughed and told me she didn’t know what to do either.

As for an x-ray when pregnant- you just get wrapped in extra heavy duty lead aprons, and luckily they were targeting my lungs and not lower. It was uncomfortable, but completely safe.

Now I’m just about done with my first trimester (depending on who you ask!) at 13 and a half weeks. I’m excited and exhausted. My sister-in-law is also pregnant and due a month before me, so that is exciting as well- it will be a year full of babies and love. As a first-time-mom (it feels so weird to say that!) I am going through a lot of new firsts, and learning a whole lot; but mostly I’m learning to just relax. I will be seeing doctors in 3 different cities during this pregnancy because we won’t be living in Alaska over the summer, but baby isn’t due until the end of September when we will be back here. They don’t offer any sort of pain medication during childbirth in Bethel, and I’m not comfortable without having the option, so I’ve decided to deliver in Anchorage. The logistics are kind of insane. The schedule of appointments is also more spread out here, and I am learning to just trust the doctors and trust in the fact that women have given birth for thousands of years without checking in with a doctor every other week. Thankfully everything seems to be right on track and the doctor said both baby and I were looking healthy, and that is all I can hope for.

I promise to continue blogging about Alaska adventures and writing, and that this won’t turn into a ‘mommy blog’ (not that there is anything wrong with mommy blogs- I read enough of them now!) but I just wanted to share the reason I haven’t been as active with writing lately. Hopefully I will catch that second trimester energy everyone keeps telling me about!

Oh, and for those who are curious, this is how we announced the pregnancy to Facebook: (can you tell we love Dr. Who??)

Much to the excitement of Mum and Not-Mum!

Much to the excitement of Mum and Not-Mum!

Thanks for reading!

DIY Laundry Detergent Powder

Laundry Soap

I used to be the type of person who just grabbed whatever the cheapest cleaning supplies and laundry detergents at the store. When I learned that the village we were moving to in Alaska didn’t have a traditional grocery store, and that the nearest dollar store was in Anchorage over 400 miles away I admit that I panicked. I didn’t know what I would do. But then I jumped on over to Pinterest and found a plethora of different DIY recipes for cleaning supplies.

Specifically, I found this really great laundry detergent powder recipe from the Liz Marie Blog. It was all dry ingredients that I could ship in and supposedly lasted a year! It was the perfect solution. With a little work, I wouldn’t have to worry about paying over $20 for a bottle of liquid detergent several times a year.

I made only two small changes to Liz Marie’s formula. I could not find the fels-naptha laundry soap bars, and ended up with some pretty fabulous bright pink Zote Soap and it has worked great! I also decided to forego any scented crystals. The formula is as follows:

1. Three bars of Laundry soap. I used the pink Zote Soap.
2. One four pound, twelve ounce box of Borax.
3. One four pound box of arm & hammer baking soda.
4. One box of arm & hammer super washing soda. (Large box- one size only)
5. Four pounds of Oxy Clean.

Grate the bars of laundry soap (careful not to cut yourself- I scraped myself on the grater a couple times!) and then mix all of the ingredients. I used a really large trash bag so that I could mix it well. It is very heavy and difficult to mix in a container.

After everything was mixed I put it in a container with an airtight seal to keep out moisture. About half of my mix fit into the jar, and I clipped the trash bag closed and I stored it in a small trashcan.

I did my shopping at Sam’s Club in Anchorage, and was able to find all the ingredients in bulk. In fact, the box of Oxy Clean was even more than four pounds, so I have extra left over.

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Six months later of using the soap I still have just over half left. Each load I use half a scoop (I got the scoop from the large Oxi-Clean box.) I have a frontloading HE machine and it works fine. Once or twice I found a sliver of undissolved soap, but 99% of the time it has dissolved completely and cleans great. I’m very happy with it. It is great on my sensitive skin, and I plan to make more next year when this runs out.

Have you tried a DIY Laundry Powder? What about other cleaning supplies? How did you like it? Let me know in the comments below!

Flying by the Seat of Our Pants

lessons-learned

If I have learned anything by living out in the bush, it is that mistakes are expensive, and by golly you are bound to make mistakes. Traveling home for Christmas wasn’t a mistake, but I sure learned some important lessons that will hopefully help me save some money in the future.

Lesson Learned #1: First of all, if you plan on moving to Alaska (and I might have said this before, but it begs repeating) get the Alaska Airlines Credit Card. You will be flying a lot, and the points and miles add up. There are also a lot of other benefits if you have the premium card like companion fares, etc. Okay, now that I have made my little advertisement (I swear I’m not getting paid, but wouldn’t that be cool) let’s move on to booking flights.

Lesson Learned #2: In October there are PFD Sales all throughout Alaska. The PFD is the Permanent Fund Distribution, or oil dividend money that every resident of Alaska receives if they have been living in the state for more than 1 calendar year (Jan-Dec) and have the intention of staying. Because of this money being injected into the economy, everyone is vying for a piece of your PFD and the sales abound. We were given a heads up about these sales and that they were the perfect time to buy your tickets home for Christmas.

Lesson Learned #3: The time of day you fly out of your hub DOES matter. I scheduled our Christmas flights for just whenever, and it ran into some expensive problems. To get from the village to Bethel you have to travel by frozen river or plane. The planes only fly at specific times, and the first flight out of Bethel from Alaska Airlines is scheduled before any of the small charters can get you into town. So I had to travel in a day before and get a hotel room. Which of course was about $200 for a single night, and the only place in town that would accept my dog. Like I said, expensive mistakes. At least with the extra time I was able to get my Alaska driver’s license! Looking on the bright side of life!

Lesson Learned #4:This one only applies if you are flying with a pet, but it was an expensive mistake. If you book multiple airlines (a common thing when going from AK to the East coast) you have to pay EACH airline’s pet fee. So we paid Alaska Airlines AND Delta BOTH WAYS to take our puppy for the holidays. She is wonderful and we love her so it was worth it. (and would have cost the same to board her in Anchorage or Bethel) From now on, we will fly into a different airport on the East Coast in order to stay on Alaska Airlines the entire trip.

Lesson Learned #5: You will rationalize overspending when visiting the Lower 48. Grocery stores and the mall were dangerous, sneakily expensive places over the holidays. Prices looked so good in comparison to Alaska that I didn’t keep track of spending like I would have normally. It adds up.

Life is about the adventure, and hopefully you can learn something along the way. I am already planning a trip to Tampa to see my sister’s Master’s Thesis Defense, and have made much better choices in my flights- hopefully saving time, money and a little bit of my sanity!

Alaskan Window Garden


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For my birthday this year, I decided that I was going to get some planters and seeds and start a window garden. My downstairs neighbors have had some good luck with plants in the windows, so even though we only have about 6 hours of sunlight, the days are getting longer and I have some amazing south facing windows that will allow the plants to soak up every minute of the precious Alaskan sun.

The ground in Napaskiak isn’t practical for an outdoor garden, and it’s much too cold most of the time, but there are successful greenhouses I’ve read about in Bethel and other places, so I’m hoping that my window garden works well too.

I was babysitting today so I had some wonderful help in filling the planters with potting soil and then planting a variety of seeds. I also used an old butter tub that I cleaned out to plant some of the free flower seeds that I was sent with my vegetables.


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If everything goes well, in about 60-75 days I should have some great young vegetables and flowers. I planted Chives, Spinach, Radishes and some tiny peppers. It would be wonderful to have something growing and green, as well as an alternative to canned or frozen vegetables. Shopping in Bethel for fresh produce is just too painful on the pocketbook, so in the end if I get vegetables it will be worth it, and maybe I will expand to some other things!
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Let’s all pray now that my thumb is green and not brown!

Home for the Holidays

The snowy view out our window in Central New York over the holidays. There was more snow there than in Alaska!

The snowy view out our window in Central New York over the holidays. There was more snow there than in Alaska!

It has been a while since my last post, and I apologize. I really intended to write more over the holidays, but I was much busier than I thought visiting family and finishing my NaNoNovel (more on that later!) I visited family on the East Coast in the Lower 48 for just over a month during the holidays. It has been exciting and overwhelming all at once. I didn’t realize how I had gotten used to the slower lifestyle in Alaska until I touched down in Anchorage. Don’t get me wrong- I walked straight to Starbucks and ordered a Venti Eggnog Latte and couldn’t have been happier about that- but I was also super aware of the fact that there were more people in the airport than my entire village.

I left Alaska about 10 days before my husband and flew to Syracuse New York with our dog. I think I was more stressed out about her flying for the first time than I was about the 24+ hour trip. I actually had to leave our village on Monday afternoon, visited the DMV to get my Alaska Driver’s license and then I checked into my hotel with the puppy. Our flight the next morning was the first one out of Bethel, which was why we had to go in the day before. A charter from the village wouldn’t be able to get us early enough. Logistics are complicated out here, and I can’t wait until we own our own 4-wheeler and can drive around ourselves. Anyway, I left the village on Monday afternoon and after 5 planes, 2 taxi rides, 1 airport train, and another airport bus transfer I arrived in Syracuse New York where my mother was waiting to pick up me and the dog.
They lost my luggage, but considering the fact that the dog and I were safe, and we had missed the blizzard by a couple hours I was totally okay. My mother drove us to The Gristmill, a truck stop diner that I love. Real eggs, hot chocolate, bacon, sausage never tasted so good.

I gained back all the weight I had lost in Alaska by going back to eating fast food. It’s interesting how I crave things while I’m away and can’t have them, but then they seem like so much less of a priority when I can just hop in my car and be there in five minutes. Regardless I ate far more fast food than I should have, and it was interesting to actually feel how it affected my body. I felt sick after some of my old favorites. Something I couldn’t get enough of though was espresso. I miss that so much while I am in Alaska, and while I have some instant, it just isn’t the same. Too bad espresso machines are so super expensive!

Spending time with family was wonderful, and made me realize how many people read my blog (beside just my mom!) So now I will have to play catch up, and make sure I keep writing.

Bradley Family Photo during Christmas

Bradley Family Photo during Christmas

Smith Family Photo Then and Now. We are only together twice a year if we are lucky because we are scattered all over the country, so my Dad thought it would be cool to take this photo!

Smith Family Photo Then and Now. We are only together twice a year if we are lucky because we are scattered all over the country, so my Dad thought it would be cool to take this photo!

Christmas was wonderful, and I got to spend time with lots of my family, both in PA and NY. Logistically, things are more difficult nowadays, but I wouldn’t trade the time for anything. The break also included my birthday on New Year’s Day. Normally, I just have some friends over at home and have a small party there, but this year was different. I don’t really have a place that is my own on the East Coast, so I decided that for the first time in my life (other than the very first year!) I would venture outside of my home on New Year’s Eve.

A montage of wonderful moments from a wonderful night spent with- you guessed it- wonderful people!

A montage of wonderful moments from a wonderful night spent with- you guessed it- wonderful people!

I’m glad I did. I got together with some of my oldest friends from childhood and my sister and husband and we went to the casino. It was overwhelming and fun, and we had a great time- even sprinting outside from the car to the door without coats in the frigid weather.
I feel so blessed to have such amazing friends and family. Everyone took the time out of their busy schedules to meet with us, and talk for a while made me feel so at home. Thank you.
We also got some good shopping done and mailed it all back so it was here when we arrived back in Napaskiak. I was literally hauling cases of canned goods into our cart to mail flat rate back to the village. I am planning a blog post or two about what grocery shopping is like in the bush, so just wait.

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Returning to the village on January 13th there were fireworks for Russian New Year that had been delayed. They were beautiful in addition to the bonfire that everyone came out for down by the frozen river. It seemed to be the perfect end to our vacation. Nathan is back to school this morning, and I am back to the daily writing as well. Stay tuned!

A Visit to the Vet

One of the joys that goes along with being a pet parent is that eventually you will find yourself taking a trip to the veterinarian’s office. For most people this just means wrestling their critter into a carrier, or loading them safely in the car and driving down to the local office at a convenient time.

Oh how I wish that was true here… Today Sammy, our 7 month old puppy had her first visit to the vet.

Our adorable pup posing nicely for a family photo!

Our adorable pup posing nicely for a family photo!

Now, out here in the village, most dogs are never seen by a vet. We don’t have one in the village, and the attitude towards animals is less cuddly/family oriented than in the lower 48. Most dogs are work dogs, or strays. Overpopulation is a problem, and that was how we came to adopt Sammy. With the holidays coming, we decided that we wanted her to travel back to the East Coast with us, where we will be spending just about a month with families during the Christmas break. If you have ever flown with a pet before, you know how much goes into this. You have to have the correct carrier, a reservation, and most importantly be up to date with all shots and have a health certificate.

I had everything in place for Sammy to fly, except the vet visit. Now the vet comes once a month from Anchorage to the hub town of Bethel for 4 days. You can only call for an appointment when he is in town. Two others from our village (both teachers) are planning on flying their dogs home as well, so I talked with them, and became the point person for our little adventure. So Monday morning I called the phone number at 9am. No one answered. The voicemail said that the vet would be in at 3pm that day. So I called back, praying that I would be able to get 3 appointments this week, and all at about the same time. We all have flights before the next time the vet will be in town, so it was crucial that we were seen. Thankfully at 2:58 the receptionist took my call and was able to set up the appointment for late afternoon, so the teachers didn’t have to miss much of their day.

It’s over now right? Wrong. How are we going to get to Bethel the next day? I had been out on the frozen river the day before, but it has been warming up again, and the snow all melted. River travel is happening, but it is very dangerous. If you fall through the ice, you may not come back up- and because it isn’t a real road, no one is going to come out and help (police, EMTs, etc.) So we have to charter flights. Bethel is only 7 miles away, but without roads, you don’t really have any options. I called and set up two separate charters, and was told we had to take the 207 plane which was more expensive because it was too warm to take a 3 seater if there were 3 of us and dogs. Awesome.

So adorable while she is sleeping!

So adorable while she is sleeping!

So we’re all set! …except no. I wake up Tuesday morning to a phone call from the airline that they had mechanical issues and needed to cancel all 207 charters for the day. So I scramble- do I change the vet appointments and reschedule the charters with the airline that is the cheapest and I’ve always flown, or do I try another airline that is going to charge more? I ended up booking charters with another airline that was extremely accommodating. It ended up costing more, but so goes life in the Bush right? Nothing is cheap.

Our super-pup was certainly very brave today- and didn't complain at all during shots, even though she was scared.

Our super-pup was certainly very brave today- and didn’t complain at all during shots, even though she was scared.

In the end, the flights went well, and the puppy is now vaccinated and certified to fly- thank goodness! You might wonder how much this costs? Well, like I said everything in the Bush is more expensive and this goes for vet bills too, I guess. Overall, the vet visit was about $280 and the chartered flights were $130 (per person- we split the bill 3 ways!) At least I got airline miles right?

So in the end, it’s worth it to have our puppy with us for the holidays, and we were prepared for the cost, but our ‘free’ adopted puppy sure is costing us a bunch! Be thankful next time you have to visit the vet- and don’t have to take a plane to get there!