Building a School in Rural Alaska: A Photo Journey

Over the past two years construction crews have been working day and night in all types of weather to construct the beautiful new school we have moved into this past month. I have taken photos during the process and wanted to share them with everyone. Sadly the river view I had out my apartment window when we moved here is gone, but once I stepped foot in the new building that is blocking the way I knew it was worth it.

Enjoy the photos!

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To read a great article about the new school opening check out some great local coverage of the day-long festivities!

 

PFDs and Full Freezers

A full freezer is a happy freezer!

Almost 100 pounds of meat flew in on a tiny bush plane this weekend, with our name on it! I was excited to receive our first PFD this year. The PFD (Permanent Fund Distribution)is money given out each year to every qualifying Alaska resident. It stems from the fact that Alaska is an owner-state, and each resident receives benefits of profits off the land. Oil money goes into the fund and dividends are distributed yearly. You have to have lived in Alaska for at least one full calendar year, and be able to prove your residency before applying. So for teachers who move in August, it takes until your third school year to actually receive any benefits.

Many Alaskans (especially out in the bush) hunt, so their main supply of meat is wild game including moose and caribou among other things. Neither my husband or I hunt, (although he always talks about wanting to go- he just has to find the time!) so we either bring meat in with us in frozen luggage on Alaska Airlines, or we have to order it from a store to be flown in freight. This is an expensive option, as you have to buy in bulk, but it is certainly easier than packing and hauling coolers from the East Coast or Anchorage when we are visiting.

Last year I ordered from Span Alaska, and while there was no problem with that order, I found that ordering from Mike’s Quality Meats in Eagle River was cheaper. For those interested in numbers I have included the invoice below:

Yes you read that right. Shipping and handling is more than half the cost of the meat itself. Welcome to the Alaskan bush. Overall, I was pretty happy though. We got a large variety of meat for about $4/lb, and they gave us a bigger turkey than what was listed on the order form. Thanksgiving will be good this year!

The absolute best part of this though? I placed our order on Thursday when the PFD’s were distributed, and it arrived- wait for it- SATURDAY. Like, in the same week! It was at least a two week wait with Span Alaska, and ordering anything from Amazon is at least a week, sometimes up to a month for larger items. I couldn’t believe it when we got the call that our freight was on it’s way to the village.

When we decide to move back down to the Lower 48, it’s going to be nice to just walk into a grocery store and pick up whatever I want for dinner that night, but I do think I will miss the great feeling of having a full freezer. It’s like having the grocery store right at home! Do any of you shop in bulk? What is your favorite part about it? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

 

9 Essentials for Living in the Alaskan Bush

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A dog sled team training on the frozen Kuskokwim River

Now that we have lived here a couple years I find myself echoing some of the same advice to new teachers each fall. We learned the hard way, and I hope that the information I’ve collected here can help someone in the future avoid some of our mistakes. Albeit, most of our mistakes have turned into great stories, (like how you should ALWAYS choose priority shipping, or you will end up with a fridge containing only Jello and wild caught salmon) but they didn’t seem so funny at the time.

I’ve compiled a list of ‘essentials’ for anyone thinking of making the move to rural Alaska. Now, most of these I think would be pretty universal, but remember that Alaska is a HUGE state- and has a lot of diversity in its land. Make sure you do your research and ask questions about the specific location you will be moving to. We live in the Kuskokwim Delta of South West Alaska, and it is vastly different from say, the Northern Slope.

 

Essential #1: Good Quality Winter Gear

Don’t wait until you are here to get your winter gear. Cold weather comes early, and especially if you come from a more temperate climate, you are going to want that heavy coat sooner than others. Your winter gear needs to be from head to toe. Wind chills are intense and frostbite is a real threat. Think, Hat, Balaclava or face cover, Scarf, Heavy Coat (longer is better!), Snowpants or Snowskirt (my personal favorite!), wool socks and good snow boots.

If you haven’t had to buy good quality gear before, the price tags can be a little scary, but don’t skimp- try and shop sales, or if you know far enough ahead of time, see if you can get anything from last season. Online you can find great quality stuff from Lands End (my favorite) LLBean, or REI. There are also several stores in Anchorage that ship to the Bush and have a great selection.

 

Essential #2: Ice Cleats

Where we are at there is a ton of ice, and in the winter there is no plowing, so Ice Cleats are essential for walking anywhere in the village. We decided to skip the cheap elastic type pairs at a neighbor’s suggestion and got the heavy duty “Stabil-icers”. It has been worth every penny. They have held up great for two winters getting daily use. And when you have to go out and walk the dog multiple times a day they are a lifesaver. I had fallen several times in the week before they came in the mail, and not once since.

 

Essential #3: Good Rain Boots

The last clothing essential would be good rain boots. There is a lot of debate about brands, but really you just want to avoid the cheap pairs that will split after a few uses. It rains a lot in the spring (and right now in the fall!) and at least in South West Alaska that means mud- and lots of it. I literally only wear my rain boots and winter boots outside in Alaska. I have other shoes I keep at the school, but I avoid wearing them outside. Not everyone does this, but I have found I have to clean my shoes a lot less, and it is much simpler.

 

Essential #4: Blackout Curtains

Regardless of where you live in Alaska, there will be days where the sun is out longer than you want to be awake. Blackout curtains for at least your bedroom are lifesavers. I have them in every window in our apartment and try to close them before it gets too late, otherwise it is so easy to find yourself still awake and full of energy at 1am.

 

Essential #5: Candles/Lantern

Electricity isn’t always a given in the Bush. It can go in and out, and especially in the winter time you want to have alternate sources of light. We have multiple candles as well as a couple battery powered lanterns that have gotten a lot of use.

 

Essential #6: Extra Water

The water situation is different everywhere you go, but we have learned that it is important to have extra water at all times. We have piped water, but when things break it can be days before they are fixed or a part comes in. So we have containers with extra water for drinking as well as non-potable water for other uses.

 

Essential #7: Alaska Airlines Credit Card

While not strictly essential, you would be hard pressed to find someone out here who doesn’t take advantage of this card. Travel is expensive and airline miles are gold. In addition to miles you also earn an annual companion fare for only $99 plus tax. You pay an annual fee for the card, but it is more than worth it to us.

 

Essential #8: Amazon Prime

Another negotiable essential, but with recent changes to shipping rates for almost every company out there, Amazon Prime is becoming more and more my one stop shop for everything. Prime doesn’t guarantee two day shipping to us, but it does send priority, which means we get things in about a week if all goes well.

 

Essential #9: A Good Sense of Humor and Laid Back Attitude

Things are always in flux when traveling and living in the Bush. I was a serious type A personality prior to moving here, and it hasn’t always been easy, but relaxing my attitude and remembering to laugh has made this whole experience a lot more enjoyable.

 

Like I said before, Alaska is an extremely diverse state and not everywhere in the Bush is identical, so needs vary. What are some things that you have found to be essential? Did I miss anything? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments!

 

*I have not been compensated by any of the brands mentioned, I just seriously love their products! As with everything, you can take my opinions with a grain of salt.

Year Three Alaska

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Snack time on the first flight!

It has been a long time since my last post, but I have long since given up on the dream of writing over summer vacation- we are simply too busy soaking up every moment we can with friends and family. And that’s okay. At least I keep telling myself that!

It was a long trip back, with an overnight in Anchorage, and I was really nervous about traveling with a 10 month old. The baby has been flying since he was only 4 days old, but now that he is mobile I can’t just strap him in the carrier and bank on him sleeping on our 4(!) flights back to the village from the east coast. Lucky enough on our first flight there were enough open seats that the other person in our row opted to move. It’s a six-ish hour flight from Newark, NJ to Seattle, WA, so having the extra seat in our row was a godsend. If tickets weren’t so expensive I would just book the baby his own seat.

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Baby Boy loved looking out the plane window!

Once we got back into Alaska, we had a 14 hour layover in Anchorage. We learned that there is a little known rule in the fine print that if you have a layover longer than 12 hours Alaska airlines short checks your luggage. For us that was almost 200lbs including a cooler that had to be frozen. After paying to keep our luggage in the storage at the airport until the morning, we called our hotel and grabbed a shuttle downtown. We have stayed in teh airport during long layovers before, but figured that it would be more comfortable to get a hotel. It was seriously the best decision we could have made. We were all able to relax, shower, and even go shopping downtown. We stopped in at GCI and got new phones. Our old ones wouldn’t connect to the 3g in the village, even though it has been available for about a year and a half now. New iPhones in hand, we are now connected!

The next day we left the hotel at 3:30am on the first shuttle, and headed back to the airport. We dealt with our luggage, and back through security again, and we were on our way. We arrived in Bethel on the first flight, and then took a shuttle over to our favorite charter service Renfro’s Alaskan Adventures. It’s refreshing to deal with great customer service, and it doesn’t hurt that they tend to run on time, and cost less than the other airlines to the village!

Unfortunately we were on weather hold due to fog- something that is rather common in South West Alaska. After a couple hours the fog lifted enough to take the short hop to Napaskiak. It was still pretty low though, and even in our tiny busy plane we were skimming the bottom of the clouds!

We have finally settled back in to the beginning of our third year here in Napaskiak. Although I haven’t put away the suitcases yet, they are (mostly!) empty, and our boxes with food and household goods have started arriving. I didn’t do an inventory at the end of the year like I did at the end of our first year, and I thought it would be okay. Mostly we are okay, but I did run out of canned potatoes, and I didn’t buy any over the summer. So only one thing isn’t too bad, but it’s surprising how many recipes call for potatoes!

It got me thinking about how influential the way we grow up is on things like how you cook. I was so used to hearty Irish cooking, that dinner to me is usually some variation on ‘meat and potatoes’. If Alaska has taught me anything, it is certainly how to be flexible and think outside my normal cooking box. And now with an almost 1 year old, I’m even more conscious of creating meals that tick all the nutritional boxes, while dealing with a limited supply of food- particularly fresh foods.

I have a cook book that really frustrated me in the desert section too. Normally I love ‘easy’ recipes that use ingredients that everyone has, but here I tend to make all baked goods from scratch. It’s just more sensible money wise to buy staple ingredients in bulk that can be baked into anything as opposed to premade mixes. However this cookbook is all about starting with cake mixes! It drove me up a wall. I did look up how to make my own premade cake mix, and I think I’m going to have to put some together in jars or ziplocks or something.

In other news, Nathan has started teaching, and finished the first full week of classes today. It is so exciting to see him grow in confidence as a teacher- the difference I see in him (and his overall demeanor) from year one to now is amazing. Teachers don’t get enough credit- I swear it is one of the hardest jobs out there, and it takes a special person to go in every day into what can be a battlefield and foster learning and growth in their students, not to mention dealing with the enormous mountain of bureaucracy and paperwork on top of it all! So a huge thanks to all the teachers out there! You guys rock!

The new school is coming along too. We took a tour of it the other day, and even though things need to be finished, it is beautiful, and huge! Nathan will be able to teach all of his classes in his room without having to move because there aren’t enough desks. And the library is beautiful! The library now is located in the lobby of the old school, and there simply isn’t enough room. I went in the first week to organize the books that had been messed up over the summer, and it took two days. Having a separate space for the books away from just anyone who passes through the school will hopefully help with the organization.

They are hoping to be in the new school before too long, so we are going to keep our fingers crossed that everything keeps going well! I plan on a bigger post (with lots of pictures!) about the evolution of the school construction once it’s open.

 

 

Winter Walks

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Ravens Flying Over the Boardwalk

Alaska winters are long and dark. I’m always looking forward to the time of year when the days are getting longer, and the temperatures are rising enough to go outside for more than just a few minutes. The past week has had some really nice days where I could do just that. Winter walks are some of my favorite. You experience the vastness of the world in a different way after being cooped up inside all winter. The crisp air bites your face, but it feels fresh and exciting, and as long as you wear your ice cleats, you can really go anywhere!

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I’ve taken several walks now, strapping the baby into his carrier and bundling him under one of my husband’s coats. I’m worried about him getting chilled, but after each walk he has been toasty warm- kept so by my own body heat. I don’t know how people live without baby wearing, it is seriously a lifesaver, and one of my favorite things. You have a happy cuddly baby, and you can continue to actually do things- it’s a win-win!

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Sammy, our dog, has enjoyed these walks as well. I feel bad for her being cooped up in the winter as well. We take her out multiple times a day, but when temperatures are below zero, we hardly want to go trekking on an adventure, so she settles for running around the apartment for her exercise (sorry downstairs neighbors!)

Winter Walks Sammy

Winter is far from over yet, but I think the worst is over. Tickets for the river breakup are being sold. Nathan and I have decided to try and guess this year. Last year we didn’t buy any tickets, but his guess was off by only a day. Essentially the idea is that people buy tickets to guess the day and time that the river ice will break up. They have a tripod set up in Bethel on the ice, with a rope leading to a timer. When the tripod collapses, it pulls the rope, stopping the timer. People from all over the delta try to guess the exact date and time. Whoever has the closest guess wins the prize of $10,000. Talk about an awesome opportunity!

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Last Years Tripod on the River

I’m looking forward to the warmer weather and longer walks. As the boardwalks clear up, I will be able to take off my heavy boots and cleats, and the longer days will let us take walks after dinner. I can’t wait!

 

Do you ever take winter walks? Where are your favorite places to explore? Share with me below in the comments!

Seward Side Trip

On our way back to Napaskiak this year, my husband and I decided to spend a few days in Anchorage before heading out to the Bush. I had to visit the OBGYN who would be taking over my maternity care in September, so we figured it would be nice to spend a few days shopping and exploring some more of Alaska.

On one free afternoon we were talking and decided that we should take the Seward highway out of town and visit the Kenai Peninsula. I was excited to see some glaciers in the fjords. Despite having lived in state for a year, we have not traveled outside of Anchorage or Bethel. Alaska is a huge state with really diverse populations and geography, so we had only had a small taste of what the state has to offer.

People are always remarking about how it must be nice to live in such a beautiful place, and while I love living in Napaskiak, it looks nothing like the ‘postcard Alaska’ that most tourists experience when they come here. We don’t have any mountains nearby, and because it is so flat and near the river, you can’t really appreciate the beauty unless you are flying in a plane above.

Our drive down the highway was accompanied by fantastic views, and I tried to catch what I could with my camera phone. We didn’t have time to stop at the many roadside photo pull offs if we wanted to make it in time for our dinner cruise, so we lived in the moment and tried to preserve what we could.

The highway hugged the water the whole way to Seward. It was beautiful!

The highway hugged the water the whole way to Seward. It was beautiful!

Road signs at one of the very few gas stations along the way.

Road signs at one of the very few gas stations along the way.

The nice thing about this trip was that it was very easy to get there. We hopped on the Seward highway, and drove essentially to the end of it. Alaska’s road system is pretty straightforward. We had to be careful about gas though, as there were long stretches with no amenities. It’s important to plan ahead in that respect.

Hugging the rocks on one side, and water on the other.

Hugging the rocks on one side, and water on the other.

More beautiful landscape.

More beautiful landscape.

Finally we arrived in Seward about two and a half hours later. We parked in the lot designated for our tour and caught a bus into town. Seward had that seaside charm that reminded me of Maine… if Maine had mountains that is.

The view of the downtown from the port.

The view of the downtown from the port.

I was in love. Immediately I was dreaming with my husband about opening a bed and breakfast in the town and living there after we decided to leave the bush. It’s just a pipe dream for now, and one of many for sure, but I love to dream and plan for the future. If I’ve learned anything it’s that life can take some pretty crazy turns when you least expect it, so just go with the flow. If you decided to be happy in your life it doesn’t really matter where you land on the map.

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The boat for our dinner cruise.

The boat for our dinner cruise.

Our cruise was scheduled for three and a half hours, including a dinner on Fox Island. We would not get far enough out of the bay to see the larger glaciers, but they did say we would see all sorts of wildlife, and the views were amazing. On the trip we saw Eagles, puffins, seals, and even a lone humpback whale surfacing. I was giddy with delight. To see these animals in their natural, unspoiled habitat was simply breathtaking.

View from the boat.

View from the boat.

Bowl glaciers up on the mountain.

Bowl glaciers up on the mountain.

Arriving at Fox Island for dinner.

Arriving at Fox Island for dinner.

Walking on the stone beach of Fox Island after dinner.

Walking on the stone beach of Fox Island after dinner.

Fox Island

Fox Island

After dinner and some time exploring on the shore, we were back on the boat. Some more wildlife sightseeing, and then warm chocolate chip cookies served by the crew capped an unforgettable trip.

The wake off the boat.

The wake off the boat.

Cold, but loving every moment!

Cold, but loving every moment!

Hopefully in the future we will be able to plan a little better and take one of the longer day cruises and get out into the fjords and glaciers. If you are planning a trip and wanted to check them out, I would highly recommend Kenai Fjords Tours as they have an amazing variety of options. (I’m not being paid, just passing along some advice- I really had a great time!)

Thanks for reading! Any advice on other day trips out of Anchorage we should try in the future? Let me know in the comments!

Alaska State Fair

I am now in the final month of my pregnancy, so that means that I have left the village and am staying ‘in town’ (Anchorage) until the big event! As much as I miss my husband, it is kind of exciting to be spending some more time in Anchorage, and exploring the surrounding area with friends!

This past weekend I went to the Alaska State Fair. I was excited to see how it compared to The Great New York State Fair, which was one of my favorite events every summer before school started up again. I haven’t been able to go in years, so I jumped at the opportunity to eat fair food and explore!

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The Alaska State Fair is held in Palmer Alaska, about 45 minutes north of Anchorage at the base of the Chugach Mountains. It was a chilly morning when we set out, bundled in coats, gloves and winter hats.

We spent three hours checking out all the fair had to offer. It wasn’t as large as the NY State Fair, but it was jam packed with great exhibits, and I didn’t even feel bad about not being able to go on the rides.

The first place we visited was a small booth selling Birch Syrup. Think maple syrup, but from birch trees. Having grown up in Central New York where I looked forward to the taps and buckets hanging from our large trees each fall, and the promise of sweet treats to come, I was immediately interested in birch syrup. It was fascinating to learn about the process from Dulce East of Kahiltna Birchworks. She took us through a tasting of the various blends from the 29 day harvest- from the spicy notes of the dark first day reserve, to the final run that was much sweeter, but still had that spice and citrus that set it apart from a traditional maple syrup. What really blew my mind was that it takes 110 gallons of sap to produce a single gallon of birch syrup; compare that to the 40:1 ratio for maple! I left the booth with an 8oz bottle that set me back $17, but the promise of that spicy syrup on homemade pancakes in the coming cold months made it worth every penny.

In the farm pavilion I saw baby chicks hatching, and even got to pet some that were a few days old. There were adult chickens of all sorts, including some with fancy feathers sprouting out all around their heads that looked like something you would see on the Parisian runway.

Along with the birds there were rabbits, cows and the biggest pig I’ve ever seen- it was as big as some of the calves! I’ve also decided that tiny jumping baby goats are adorable, and someday I want to own some… I just need a yard to keep them in.

Alaska is also known for it’s large vegetables, and the fair certainly didn’t disappoint on that count. Not only could you purchase a zucchini the size of my thigh for $5, there were prize winning veggies on display as well.

Crazy big zucchini!

Crazy big zucchini!

Many people assume that the growing season in Alaska is too short, or too cold, but the long summer days and warm temperatures of June and July lend themselves to monstrous produce.

Prize winning produce

Prize winning produce

The annual cabbage weigh-off wasn’t scheduled until later, but one of the contenders was this amazing entry, weighing in at over 100 pounds. Imagine that!

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After visiting the produce pavilion, we headed on over through the booths to the craft building. I’ve always been amazed with the ingenuity and craftsmanship of the artists in this state. Alaska seems to breed people with imagination and the talent to transform simple materials into beautiful art. The building showcased not only native art, but a wide variety of crafts including quilting, crochet and knits, mixed media, photography and visual arts.

One of my favorite examples of the ingenuity of the Alaskan people came from the spinners presentation:

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This was a sample blanket made entirely with yarns spun from various dog breeds. I’ve always joked about making a blanket with our puppy’s hair, because she sheds like no one’s business, but I didn’t know that it actually was a possibility! Each square in the blanket was a different breed and pattern. They were so soft, and quite frankly, I want one! I am going to start saving our puppy’s fur from when we groom her. Now I just need to learn to spin…

My husband would have really loved the next display:

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Behold: crocheted hats complete with beards, for all of the characters featured in Tolkien’s The Hobbit. The time and effort that was put into this display is mind blowing!

What day at the Fair is complete without food? I enjoyed a huge Alaskan baked potato smothered in cheese and broccoli, and then for desert I stopped by the donut shop for mini donuts and hot cider. It was the perfect combination to cut the chill of the air.

Mini donuts and hot apple cider- Mmmm.

Mini donuts and hot apple cider- Mmmm.

Three hours after we passed through the gates, we were headed back to our car, peeling off our layers as the sun began to warm the crisp Alaskan air. I was thankful that we had arrived early though, as the parking lots had filled up and the road into town was jammed with people headed to the fair for the day. It was a great experience that left me tired- but inspired as well!

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!

Flying by the Seat of Our Pants

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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!