Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jeremy's Boat

She may look a little rough but she floats!

Jeremy has spent the last three weeks procuring, retooling, rebuilding, and overhauling our new boat. It has been quite the experience in "the universe providing" whatever he has needed to get it done. Lord knows there is not a hardware store/boat store within five hundred miles of us.

We got Flossy (that's the boats name, no we did not name her.) at a great price, but she lacked a motor, a trailer, and her floor leaked. Jeremy was able to find a great motor not 200 miles away, but of course it had to be flown here. Then just as we were wondering how we were going to try to get the boat to the water we were informed about a great trailer someone was getting rid of! Jeremy fixed the floor, the motor, the trailer, and made a steering "box".

She is heading out for her maiden voyage this afternoon! With any luck we will all be filling her up with salmon this fall. Anyone want to come visit??????

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Here are some pictures from my latest adventure.

This is Ugruk, also know as a bearded seal. Ugruks arrive here in Unalakleet when the shore ice breaks up. Hunters all drag, push and pull their boats to the ocean and somehow jump in with out getting wet. Then they boat up to 40 miles away to find seals. When they find an ugruk they shoot it and drag it aboard and bring it home for the ladies to cut up.

Here is the butchering line. They invited me to help out so I grabbed an ulu, (a traditional women''s knife) and started cutting "strips" to dry.

I was glad I had this job because the other option was helping strip the intestines. They eat the outside of the intestine and then use the inside of the intestine to make waterproof coats.

Here is Heidi stripping the intestines. She has already made one raincoat and is planning on making another. After stripping the intestine she will then blow them up to help them dry. She promised to let me see.

It is a tradition in the Inupiaq culture to share what you hunt with the village. After all of this work the families who shot and butchered the ugruk gave almost all of it away. We were happy recipients of some meat, liver, and yes, some intestines.

So how does one cook ugruk you might ask. Well I fried mine up with some onions and ate it with some potatoes. It was fantastic. It tasted like red meat soaked in salmon oil. I have never eaten anything like it. It was so good. Besides salmon it has got to be my favorite food here. (I also love musk ox burgers!)

Our friends also gave us some Eskimo salad to try with our meal. Eskimo salad is made up of dried ugruk, salmon, beluga, white fish, and carrots covered in a thin layer of seal oil. Also very very good!

So here is our final meal. Ugruk and potatoes with Eskimo salad with a Merlot to drink. It doesn't get any better then this!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Parachute fun!!

So the other day I went to the dump and there in the garbage was a perfectly good parachute! Well ok, it was not perfectly good, it is kinda ripped but we were not planning on jumping out of a plane. I took my wonderful find home and washed it. Now on windy days we bring it out. I am sure that this parachute will be a good addition to our summer play.

Here is a movie for your enjoyment......and yes I did put down the camera and play with the kids. Don't you just want to jump in and play with us? I am so excited to fit this into our homeschooling. How about the study of wind, or how parachutes work, or how hard you can laugh until you fall on the ground?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring Concert

Isa had her spring concert last week. Here are some pictures of all of the kids. Isa had to speak all by herself because her partner was gone. Although she had some stage fright she did great. After she was done we just had a blast watching all of her friends sing and play instruments. I don't know what kind of sick person I may be but I just LOVE listening to first year band. Maybe it is my lack of interest or knowledge of music but when music is played perfectly you just don't understand just how hard it is. When you watch those just learning.....well you realize that it is much harder then it looks.