Monday, March 23, 2009

tae kuando

Here are some pictures of Isa doing her Tae Kwando. I think this is one great, yet very strange, program to have up here in the tundra. Some Tae Kwando instructor in Nome got a grant to bring 6 college age black belts from Korea here to this area of Alaska and station them at little villages around Norton Sound.

Can you imagine what it must have been like for these young men to show up here in December! All of the instructors are from the big city and they were just dumped, each one in a separate village. They had no idea what they were getting into.!

I am a strong believer in martial arts training especially for the girls. It is so good for them. This culture has a high incidence of violence toward women, sexual and domestic assault. In the Tae Kwando classes over half of the students are girls.

The instructor is also teaching mental discipline. Children as young as 5 are taught to sit straight with hands on knee, eyes front. They also must meditate for at least 5 minuets before class. We could all use that sort of discipline.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Garden at the White House

So this is the coolest story to read on spring equinox. I knew that these folks were really tree hugging pagans. They just could not run on that platform......

Spring Equinox

Today is the spring equinox. On this day all over the world everyone has 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. After this day we will continue to get more and more light until on summer solstice we will have 22 hours of daylight.

Back in the states this was always an important day to me. I am a big gardener. I love to grow things and the spring equinox, with all of its pagan overtones, was an important planting day and celebration of life. Here well, it is just another -20 degree day with a little bit more sun. The snow is still 6 feet deep and we will not be seeing the dirt for another 3 months.

So what can we do to celebrate? I think we will be going down to the Iditarod and watch the "red lantern" come in, maybe have a slushy (pictured above) and eat some Cheetos (pictured below). Not quite the pagan celebration I long for but you do the best with what you have. I have to remember that instead of planting seeds I am planting memories and hope that the seeds of Isa's culture take root. Happy spring everyone. I hope you are busy planting your garden in whatever form it may be.

Monday, March 16, 2009


You just can not appreciate the Iditarod unless you have been up here and seen the landscape and felt the cold. It was -30 degrees last night when Lance Mackey left Unalakleet at 10:00pm. He, and all of the mushers, were running their dogs in the middle of the night following little trail markers in 30 below weather across the alaska wilderness. They are tougher then anything I can even imagine. I was just out watching the mushers at 10:00 and my eyelashes kept freezing together. My Alaska quality parka and mittens were not enough to keep me warm. I came home cold and tired after four hours watching the mushers take care of their dogs. I cuddled up in my warm bed and they continued on their eighth day on the tundra with out any sleep or warm bed. I admit it, I am not that tough. Anyone who has ran this race has my utmost respect.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Iditarod makes it to Unalakleet

Here is Lance Mackey making it into Unalakleet at 3:00 on Sunday the 15th of March! We waited in the deep cold for three hours to see the leader of the pack. The dogs did not make a sound as the came into town. Lance took care of the dogs, got them all fed and bedded down in straw, then he took care of feeding and caring for himself, oh and picked up his $3,000 in gold he won for being first into Unalakleet. Not bad. More mushers expected tonight.

The population of Unalakleet doubled as the media, mushers, and helpers descended into our little town. Here is Jeremy, Isa and friends in front of Lance's dogs. Isa was one of the first people down on the ice when they showed up and had a front row seat.

The Iditarod is quite the community event here in Unalakleet. I believe that the whole town was on the ice to greet the musher and his dogs. Here are two local ladies in their beautiful parkas.

One more photo of the town out for the Iditarod. If you look close you can see Isa right up front next to the media and Lance.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The last two days we have been experiencing some great weather. Every kid in the village is outside climbing, sliding, and throwing snow. The sun is shinning and today everyone is walking around without coats. I even saw one guy with a short sleeve shirt. Ahhh spring I thought is here! It must be 35 degrees, 40 degrees, maybe 45 degrees! Then I saw this.....

Updated: 8 min 15 sec ago
27 °F
Windchill: 18 °F

27 degrees???

Oh well it feels like 50 degrees to me! Now where are my shorts?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

As a family we love to go out and explore the woods. In the winter we love to go out snowshoeing and find a nice place to have a fire and drink some hot coco. Isa usually loves to go out on an adventure but up here we have had some really cold adventures. The last few times we have gone out Isa has been very discouraged, cold, and misserable. We ended our last snowshoe trip with Isa saying that she never wanted to do that again.

Early this Sunday morning Isa and her friend Judy anounced that they wanted to go outside and play. It was a balmy 20 degrees so be bundled them up and sent them outside. After being outside for a short while Isa came in and asked us for some wood. Hmmmm the mother in me asked, "What do you plan on doing with the wood?"

"We need the wood to build a fire." Isa replied. So with a little adult assistance Judy and Isa went on their own winter adventure complete with a fire and hot coco. Sometimes you just have to have faith that the things you hold as important are being absorbed by your children and if your lucky they are willing to share them with others.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Well we made it through yet another winter storm here in Unalakleet. Here are some new photos for you to enjoy....
Yes this is the inside of our door. This storm lasted for three days. We were litterally stuck inside for three days. Just Isa, the wii, and I.

This is what the outside of our door looked like. Jeremy spent much of his first night back digging us out.

The minute there was a break in the storm Isa called her friend Judy to come over and play out. As you can see the storm was not quite over. They had played out for only a couple of minutes before they came in saying it was still to cold!

Isa and Judy were not the only kids playing out the minute the storm let up. This picture is for Chloe and Tennyson who always ask if there is any place to snowboard up here. Well if there is a will there is a way......

The weather is supposed to be nice for the next couple of days. Oh sweet March bring us some sun!