Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all my blog friends, to all my family, to all those praying for Millie.

Just a quick note to share that Adam told me about Millie's finger and toes test. They squeeze her tightly to see if there is a reaction and there was. Both sides of her hands and feet responded and then they also called out "Millie, Millie?" and she slightly turned her head, both right and left. She turned to the right strongest.

Those are all reactions that we can be very happy about.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


This is the most snow we have had in many years. Tomorrow the kids will be playing on The Lake again. I am supposed to have my tree down and ready to toss on to the bonfire.

My sister Becca told me of how Pedro Bay resident's have New Year's Eve parties where they bring their Christmas trees to add to the fire. I talked about that to my daughter Karla then she said that she was going to bring her tree to our party. Oh? Our party? Yes, she says, you are making fat balls, remember?

Fat balls, a tradition we try to do every New Year's Eve. The fat balls are so good. Too so good! I think I wrote all about them last New Years.

I did, pictures included.

New Year poetry:

May God make your year a happy one!

Not by shielding you from all sorrows and pain,
But by strengthening you to bear it, as it comes;

Not by making your path easy,
But by making you sturdy to travel any path;

Not by taking hardships from you,
But by taking fear from your heart;

Not by granting you unbroken sunshine,
But by keeping your face bright, even in the shadows;

Not by making your life always pleasant,
But by showing you when people and their causes need you most,
and by making you anxious to be there to help.

God's love, peace, hope and joy to you for the year ahead.

A Millie Update:
Doris called. She said Mom has a fever because her brain cannot regulate her temperature. They are using cold pack blankets, Tylenol and lots of fluids through the IV to keep her cooler.

"God's warming comfort "

I like that Carrie, "God's warming comfort."

I just spoke with Doris and Debbie and earlier Doug spoke with Adam. The girls said that their Mom is warmer today. Warmer hands, feet and body. They are encouraged by that, and so am I. Doris and Debbie shared that they have been praying healing prayers for their Mom and reading scriptures with her, especially Psalms 91, which I just read too.

The same day that Mil had her "bleed" my sister Kotya's husband along with my niece Charmaine (13 years old) were traveling back home from Dillingham's airport in a blizzard. As they crossed Alegnagik Lake towards home Chris could not see where he was but he knew there is a thin spot on the lake. He thought he was not near it but turned out that he was. They broke through the ice but Chris was able to climb out! He pulled Charmaine out three times. She kept going through because she would crawl quickly toward Chris and their combined weight on one area would break the ice, she is the one that broke though each time. (Picture is of Alegnagik Lake, sent to me by Kotya.)

We all thank God that they are both safe. When I called Kotya to tell her about Mil, she said that Chris and Charmaine just got out of the lake, but my mind was so numbed by Millie's emergency that it totally went over my head.

I am so thankful.... thank you God for your mercy in Chris and Charmaine's lives! Kotya and her family and all of us were blessed that day when their lives were spared from a freezing death.

Millie has been blessed too. Her son Kenneth had just completed a CPR course and the day she went unconscious and stopped breathing, Kenneth had not gone to work! He was there to administer this life saving talent he just learned for the first time ---- on his own dear Mom. God has shown Himself to be so good in her situation already.

This morning the report on Millie:
Doris said that her Mom is coughing on her own. The physicians said that is a good sign. Adam reported that Millie moved her hand. These reports this morning are so encouraging to me and I know they will be to you.

Friday, December 29, 2006


According to Adam, Millie's angiogram went well. I did some reading about angiogram's and have learned that since it was done to view the brains blood vessels it is called a cerebral angiogram.

"Cerebral angiographies show the brain's blood vessels. Doctors use cerebral angiography to detect abnormalities in the brain's blood vessels, such as narrowing or blockage. It is usually done after another test (such as a CT scan) has already detected an abnormality. Angiography is useful in detecting and diagnosing acute stroke and is especially beneficial since the images taken through cerebral angiography cannot be taken through other techniques."

....."The basic principle behind cerebral angiography is the same as that of regular x-ray imaging. As the x-rays pass through the body, they are absorbed at different levels. The absorption of the x-rays by the injected dye allows the blood vessels in the brain to be imaged. The differences in absorption become one of many images detected by a camera, which finally become a “movie” of the blood flow (and the flow of the intravenous dye) through the vessels." (Internet Stroke Center)

Millie and Adam's daughter Courtney will be joining Millie, Adam, Doris, Debbie and Josh in Seattle tomorrow. I know that it will be good for Millie to sense that her family is around her.

I asked how long Mil will be out in Seattle and Adam said he should have an idea about that in a few days. I am going to say that I think that she will be ready to come back to Alaska only after the doctors in Seattle are sure she has been treated for all and any problems that may need neurological surgical treatments, which they would do there.

Tonight's story: Millie's angiogram ended up on a positive note and she continues to sleep.

I will update again when I know more.

Keep praying and thanks very much.

Still Sleeping...

(This picture is a favorite of mine, my sisters Millie-closest, Kotya and Shirley.)

I spoke with Adam this morning and Millie was being readied for an angiogram. According to Adam the doctor feels that she has another blood vessel on the right side of her head that does not look good so he will be going in to fix it from the inside of the blood vessel.

Adam says that Millie is still asleep.

Yesterday, Adam also shared that a six-inch blood clot was removed from the area of the rupture and the vessel was pinched off so that there is not anymore bleeding. Her breathing is still being assisted; she is stabilized and is resting. Her blood pressure is good, it had been too low for a while.

Millie and Adam have six children, mostly all grown; and 16 grandchildren. Right now their oldest daughter Doris is there in Seattle along with her younger brother Josh. Debbie will be getting there this evening, Seattle time. Being away from home can be expensive so there are plans being made to help out the Aposik's financially while they cope at this stressful time.

Thanks so much for praying, I will let you know of any improvements with Millie, when I know of it.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Stay with us Mil!

I got to see Millie here in the Valley before they took her to Anchorage.

She has had a vein burst in the left side of her brain. She continued to have blood leaking since the initial vein breakage and today Doctor David Newell in Seattle, Washington. (I believe that she is at the Swedish Medical Center successfully shut that leak up then cleaned up the blood clot in the area. This doctor has done this surgery many times and that is a comfort to know. We all continue to pray for God's mercy on her and are praying her family.

I also saw her in Anchorage. My brother Toby's wife, Shirley called to tell us that Millie would be flown down to Seattle where she would recieve faster treatment than if she were to remain up here and wait for a doctor/hospital room to become available. When I heard that I decided to go see her before she left. We are so very thankful that she was flown out to Seattle along with her husband Adam for a faster treatment. I believe that our cousin Katherine Gottliebhad much to do with getting all the connections so quickly for Millie.

I spoke to Adam and he said that she did good through the ordeal and now she needs to rest. So, we can only rest in the Lord too, and plead that she will be able to recover from this sudden trauma to her body quickly.

Millie's son and two daughters will be by her side along with her husband while she is in Seattle.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

For those who pray

Please pray for my sister who is in the hospital right now. Some of you know her as burgundyrose, some know her as chamai and still others know her as ahka. I know her as my sister and I want you all to please pray for her. She has had a bursted vein in her head and is having emergency surgery for that right now. 9 PM Alaska time. That is all I feel I can say, and I say that so that you will pray for her too. Thanks.

Christmas Eve Chili

UPDATED INGREDIENT: I used PINTO beans, not kidney beans. I've made the correction to the recipe below. Ooops!

The chili I made on Christmas Eve actually went over really well with the family. (Pictures in the slideshow are of the night we had chili.) I kept track of the ingredients that I used so I could share it here. I read many recipes online then decided to concoct my own.

Something I have learned: I didn't realize that chili is meat only, but chili con carne is chili with beans. I made chili with beans. This is the first time I've made chili without opening a can of chili! It was fun ---but did take some time to make.

I found a great ham bone to use plus I added two pounds of moose burger. The 6 cups of pinto beans were soaked overnight, (you can use less beans for smaller crowds). As you know, Christmas Eve was on Sunday, so I had to get the meat going before I left for church. I put it all into a large crockpot then cooked it all morning into early afternoon. My daughter ventured into the liquor store to pick up wine which I had decided I would use, after reading recipes. She brought home Cabernet Sauvignon, a strong flavored and red wine.

Mom told me this before, "If you boil and spill the water out, and boil it again and then spill the water out, your beans won't be so potent..." So, that is what I do with beans ----for less local tooting. My son Klint's wife, Calli said, "The wives thank you!"

So all that said, I will show you the recipe I ended up with and have named "Twin Lake Chili with Beans."

Twin Lake Chili and Beans (Mild)

In a large crockpot:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large, fresh ham bone (not cured) (approx. 2.5 lbs)
2 pounds moose burger (or hamburger)
2 chopped onions (large)
4 large cloves fresh garlic
4 chopped and crisply fried bacon slices
5 beef bouillion cubes
3 tablespoons chili powder (Add more if hotter chili is desired)
Cook all the above in a crockpot for 5 1/2 to 6 hours

Cover rinsed, cleaned and soaked pinto beans with water and bring to a boil in a large soup pot. Drain beans and refill with fresh water, bring to a boil again and drain. Once again add enough water to cover the beans, salt to taste. Gently boil and cook the beans until tender but not mushy.

Drain half of the boiling water from the beans, add the tender crockpot meat to your soup pot.

To the soup pot add:

2 cups red wine
2 large cans Italian recipe tomatoes, (diced with garlic, oregano & basil)
1 6 oz. can tomato paste 2 teaspoons pepper, if desired.

Simmer for an hour then serve with your favorite crackers, bread or top with grated cheddar cheese, sour cream and chips.

This recipe makes a big pot of chili! It is a very good amount to make for large crowds. Just having my family over is a large crowd! I would suggest that you use a smaller amount of beans if you desire a smaller pot of chili.

Did you try this recipe? Let me know how it turned out. Thanks!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

God Bless You!

Merry Christmas from Big Lake!

Chili is cooking and soon the family will all be here. We hope that you all have a very good Christmas Eve and Day.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Woo hoo!

All my packages are in as of yesterday!

Post office shipments were there yesterday and then FedEx showed up at my door as I frosted cupcakes for the kids bonfire and racing on The Lake.

I am all done with shopping and just have a few more items to wrap.

I am making Chili for Christmas Eve. A tradition that was started with Doug's folks in Florida. We went down there one year and she decided she was going to do chili on Christmas Eve. So when we came home, the next Christmas we did the same and have been since. I usually did a canned version of Chili soup, but this year, I am going to try homemade.

I found several recipes online that I thought sounded good and will probably do a combine, add a little of this and that and walla!

One homemade chili site suggested "Pepperbellies" which I have never had. A handful of Fritos-brand corn chips and top that with chili, cheese, onions, salsa, sour cream and pickled jalapenos. My family won't eat jalapenos, so that will not be an option for us, but the rest of it sounds quite good!

This is the The White House Executive Chef Henry Haller's Chili recipe. It was President Reagan's favorite Chili:

1/2 cup bacon drippings
2 cups chopped onions
4 chopped garlic cloves
2 pounds coarsely ground beef
1 Tablespoons Chili powder
2 cups red wine (optional)
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon beef base
4 cups canned whole tomatoes, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
4 to 6 cups cooked pinto beans

Melt bacon drippings in heavy 1 1/2 gallon heavy pot, saute onions and garlic cloves in it. Add ground beef and chili powder. Stir until meat is well browned. Add red wine (optional). Add salt, beef base, tomatoes, bay leaf and sugar. Simmer chili meat, covered, for twenty minutes, stirring often. Add pinto beans to the meat. Simmer chili con carne for 1 hour, covered over low heat, stirring gently from time to time. Test for flavor. Yields 16 servings.

Here is another recipe that looks interesting.
Southern Recipe: Homemade Chili and Beans by Kent Fletcher.

"Be safe" to all those traveling to see family during the holiday season.

Waiting for more snow here, I was baking yesterday and heard the Alarm come on the radio. So I stopped and listened. Big snow storm on it's way, bringing up to ten inches of snow....

Yoo-hoo S*N*O*W? We are still waiting?

I can't believe Alexis Dustene is nine. It was her birthday yesterday and we will celebrate with her and her family today. I took this picture of her yesteday during the fun time on The Lake. Happy birthday Little Lady! I love you so much.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Forgot!

It's December 21st! The shortest daylight day of the year. Now we can be encouraged knowing that daylight will begin to increase instead of decrease. I was reminded of that this evening. I was quite busy with Christmas stuff today, so this ended up being a happy day for me---I should sing ---just like Chewy in the pictures! (He sings whenever he hears a musical toy.)

We will have a new baby girl in our family the last weekend in January by C-section. So, today I made something for her and put it under the tree. I will show a picture after Christmas Day. :-) I'm looking forward to seeing your pretty, little face Raegan Mae! Beautiful name Karla and Chris have chosen for her.

The Internet has been very squirrel-ly today! On and off, on and off.

We are still getting snowfall and tonight my husband and youngest son, Kris went on a snow machine ride. I hope my husband does not hurt himself! He hurt his tailbone the other day, during the races on the frozen lake.

I think... I am ready for Christmas! I am waiting for several packages to arrive through the post office and FedEx. This shipping with FedEx has been crazy! It is very frustrating.

The item I ordered was something I began to work on getting the last week of November and I actually paid for it on December 3. Today I waited all day for it to arrive as I was told that it would---it was expedited.


Today it is too late now for packages at the door so I figure it will be here tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day and I will wake up with new anticipation. (It is Doug's gift!)

This has been the way of Christmas in Alaska, if we order anything, which is the way of life if you live in the village. I don't, but this year I decided to do my shopping online. I enjoyed it, when things arrived when they should!

I have shopped at Land's End and and WOW! They are so good with shipping and shipping quickly. I was and still am impressed. Shopping from Alaska is not a problem with them!

Another place I have shopped at is and they were very fast too. So, it can be done! It may be a mindset of some businesses that shipping to Alaska must be difficult, they expect it to be. But... hey guys, it isn't true anymore.

I hope more businesses begin to be as streamlined as Lands End and Amazon when dealing with us Alaskans. The Smithsonian is terribly slow! They have such cool stuff though that I continue to shop with them, but they just keep being slow. Maybe someday, they will stop being so museum-ish.

Anyway, tomorrow is another day! I can continue to hope that my order will arrive on time for Christmas... for a few more days yet!!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh!! ...the Weather Outside's

...delightful -----in Big Lake, Alaska!

Check out Marie's slide show if you haven't seen it yet. She took great pictures at the recent fun time we all had on The Lake.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Snowing Hardly Enough

"How full of the creative genius is the air in which these are generated! I should hardly admire more if real stars fell and lodged on my coat." --Henry David Thoreau, 1856

I found that quote at Check out the three Galleries of Snowflakes taken by Kenneth G. Libbrecht using a special photo lens. There is a lot of information and videos of snowflakes at this site. Beautiful tiny creations! What an incredibly creative God! I've thought that thought so many times when I look at Creation. He could have stopped at one of everything, but He didn't!

It's snowing a little bit right now but I don't really expect a lot. Recent winters with hardly any snowfall have taught me not to hold my breath when it comes to lots of snow.

Growing up on Kodiak Island we didn't get much snow either. When it did come, it was a happy day. I remember playing on top of snow drifts higher than my head. Being the careful child that I was, I only peeked into the tunnels the young boys would dig. I learned to keep a respectful distance between myself and some of those guys. I've had my share of stinging, wet, snowballs on my bare legs walking home from school!

We had a freezing cold first ever racing day on the lake, put on by Klint, Calli, and Kris complete with a finish line. Klint plowed a race track after a good first snowfall. Kris even made ice lanterns. The guys studded up their 4 wheeler tires and raced around the track all afternoon into the evening. I even raced once! I came in dead last but still had fun!

I need to wrap gifts.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fruitcake Anyone?

My husband really enjoys having fruitcake during the holiday season. I began making homemade fruitcake for him when we were so young. Back then we were very needy too, so making fruitcake seemed like such an extravagance, today it's even more of an extravagance! Candied fruit is so expensive! I have not been making it for the last few years for that reason. But... this year I made myself buy containers of candied fruit and it is now "mellowing".

I prefer to keep citron out of my cake but this year because I could not get candied pineapple, I am using it. I can taste the difference too. I don't care for that flavor. Doug would have only candied cherries if he had his way.

My parents either purchased or had fruitcake given to them by relatives. I remember it coming in the golden tins from Sears Roebuck & Co. Sometimes they had colorful pictures on them. It definitely satisfied the sweet tooth and more!

I searched online for a yellow fruitcake recipe that I use from my very old and worn-out Betty Crocker Cookbook, it's not exactly the same but pretty close! I add together the amount of fruit the recipe calls for then just put it all in a big bowl, rather that measure each amount. The recipe says preparation time: 30 minutes. ??? It takes me much longer, that fruit is sticky and I have to keep washing my hands when I cut it up, or else I feel like a "fruitcake"!

Yellow Fruitcake

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening (Crisco)
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup orange juice
2 1/4 cups eggs (about 9)
2 1/2 cups candied cherries, cut in half (about 1 pound)
3 cups golden raisins (1 15-ounce package)
2 cups candied pineapple, cut into chunks (3/4 pound)
2/3 cup candied citron peel, chopped
2/3 cup candied orange peel, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1 (4 ounce) can flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups blanched whole almonds
2 cups pecan halves

Heat oven to 275°F. Line 2 9x5x3 inch loaf pans with foil, and grease. Put all ingredients (except fruits and nuts) in a large mixer bowl. Mix for 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly. Beat for 3 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl occaisionally. Stir in fruits and nuts. Spread mixture evenly in pans. Bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. If cakes start to get too brown, cover the top with aluminum foil for the last hour of baking. Remove from pans and cool on racks. When cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil and store in a cool place for 3-4 weeks (to mellow) before serving.

Does your family enjoy fruitcake or has it died (if fruitcake can die) along the way somewhere? Here in our house, it's still baked for hours and fills the whole house with lingering smells I've grown to expect during this time of the year.

The cake has already been cut open so I don't think we will have old mellow fruitcake... just fresh mellow fruitcake.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Poor Mrs. Murry

I saw this letter posted by an online friend of mine, a letter to poor Mrs. Murry about all the fun her husband has while out shopping. I thought you would enjoy reading it too, so here it is!

Dear Mrs. Murry,

Our store is considering banning your family from ever shopping with us, unless your husband stops his antics. Below is a list of offences over the past few months all verified by our surveillance cameras.

Re: Complaints

15 Things Mr. Wayne Murry has done while his spouse is shopping:

1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in people's carts when they weren't looking.
2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in House wares to go off at 5-minute intervals.
3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to tampons section.
4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official tone, "Code 3" in house wares..... and watched what happened.
5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and asked to put a bag of M&M's on lay-by.
6. September 14: Moved a 'CAUTION - WET FLOOR' sign to a carpeted area.
7. September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and told the shoppers he'd invite them in if they'll bring pillows from the bedding department.
8. September 23: When a clerk asks if they can help him, he begins to cry and asks, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"
9. October 4: Looked right into the security camera; used it as a mirror, picked his nose, and ate it.
10. November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department asked the clerk if he knows where the antidepressants are.
11. December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously, loudly humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.
12. December 6: In the auto department, practised his "Madonna look" using different size funnels.
13. December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browse through, yelled "PICK ME!" "PICK ME!"
14. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud speaker he assumes the foetal position and screams "NO! NO! It's those voices again!!!
15. December 23: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited a while; then yelled, very loudly, "There is no toilet paper in here!"

I think Mrs. Murry in this story has to be fictional!

Only ten more shopping days until Christmas Day..... are you having fun yet?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Stuff and Stuffed Bags of Stuff

I don't know why I keep some stuff. Such as broken pens, worn out old sponge curlers, baggie of cotton balls, baskets with nothing but dust in them, empty lotion bottles, broken necklaces, boxes of ---pregnant clothes? (My daughter Karla sent them to me, I don't know why!) Then there is the phone-call-delayed stuff. Stuff on the way to the trash, but the phone rang, I set it down, and forgot it. Bottle caps, clothing department hangars, used cotton tips, crumpled up tissue papter, old shopping reciepts, dusty half-eaten poptart, clothing tags.

Pack Rat Syndrome, it must be contagious because I think I caught it from my husband. In our early years together he would stop me and ask, "Are you going to throw THAT away?"; sometimes he would even retrieve things I threw away! So, I may have moved too close to his heart --- and I caught it and I began saving stuff too.

I am treating this like one would do a chronic disease. I must learn to control it - one day at a time. My daily affirmation is: "We can't keep know."

I could create give-away mystery boxes! Mystery boxes? Such as a box full of old... preggo clothes? [Hmmm? Looking at boxes from Karla]

I stuffed a purse I had been embarrassed to be seen with in public but still kept, two, maybe three year old Halloween candies, several pairs of mismatched socks with holes in the toes, then pausing, I realized that some things are harder to throw out. Soon, I smiled then dropped a small piece of artwork my grandchild had drawn and said "This is you, Grammaloo" into the now overflowing bathroom trash.

I can't keep everything, you know.

Now, if only my husband...

...because Christmas is coming and with it we usually ---- get more "stuff"!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Is it Spring Time?

It feels like it right now but I won't be fooled by Mother Nature! I still have my warm boots in the entry way and my warm coat is newly washed.

The wind is blowing and the snow is melting so I am keeping an eye on the trash I just hauled to the end of the driveway. The last big wind our Pastor told his neighbor down the hill from him to just keep his garbage can and he would keep his neighbor up the street's garbage can.

The trees will be newly decked out with plastic bags and whatever else gets tangled up in them along the highway. I thought that would be a funny coffee table book for someone to create. Suggested title: Windy Days and Where Did Your Trash Go?

Today we will be going to Doug's workplace and enjoying watching the Grandkids seeing Santa Claus and whatever else has been planned for them there. I am excited about it. I will bring my camera.

Got all your Christmas shopping done yet? I have a good start on it but I am not done. Hopefully all my online purchases will show up before the day, but if not... that's okay too.

Picture of Lexie was taken when she was four, almost five.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Am Normally...

Do you get quiet, dead phone calls? Does your phone ring and when you pick it up there is a quiet other end and then when you wait a while it goes to a busy signal?

I have been getting that and I thought it was from all the political phone ads but now that should have quit. I still get a few now and then and lately I have been getting some weird call on my cell phone where I hear something like someone is trying to send me a fax. It is very irritating.

Today, I was peeling potatoes and starting a pot of salmon soup for dinner when the phone rang. I wiped off my hands and hurried over to the phone, picked it up and there was that familiar dead, quiet. I said, "Hello?" and then very impatiently when I didn't hear a reply I raised my voice and said,"HELLO? HELLO? HELLO?" I pushed the phone hard to my ear and heard a very, sweet and mild-voiced lady say, "Connie? This is **** and I am returning your call."

I am normally, sweet, patient, kind and soft-spoken on the telephone and I have been over and over and over and over and over in the past with those irritating quiet, dead phone calls.

Isn't that just the way it goes when it's gonna go?

Quote from Regis and Kelly's show today:
"Are you in a good place today?"

I am in a slightly embarrassed place today.

I'm singing a verse of the little kids song... "Oh Be Careful Little Eyes What You See" ...

Oh be careful little (?) mouth what you say,
Oh be careful little mouth what you say,
For our Father up above
Is looking down with love
So be careful little mouth what you say.

[phone rings]

Would someone else get that please?

Monday, December 04, 2006

OUT of the boxes!

The wreath making party at my daughter Karla's home was another fun evening. I used a grapevine wreath this year. It was not as involved as tying on spruce boughs to a wire frame as years before. We tried to figure out which year this was. I think was # 6.

The guys all went out and found two trees yesterday, one for our house and one for Klint and Calli's cabin. So, we were busy decorating our trees all evening. It was a fun evening. I got tired! The tree must be, ten feet tall, possibly more. That is a lot to decorate. Doug rode his 4 wheeler pulling his little trailer behind our sons on snow machines.

The fake tree that we usually use each year is full and uniform compared to a real tree from Alaska's backwoods. I said I wanted a "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree this year... skinny with a little bit of a crooked top. Well, I didn't get exactly that, but we have a tree that is sort of skinny at the top, with gangly limbs reaching out for decorations. I love it!

I love the picture of Santa and Mrs. Santa, they always make me giggle when I pull them out because they look so happy to be out of their boxes for another Christmastime!

We all look tired, don't we? Me in my shorts and tank top in the middle of winter--- that's what a wood stove will do to me! Marie has reason to be tired, she is still recovering from her strep throat and cough.

I see the Christmas tree.
I watched it always twinkling.
Sparkles of the Christmas lights
Bounce off the Christmas ornaments;
Then spray the room like water sprinkling.

American Tract Society says Merry Christmas with tracts. I got this link from Doug. One of the tracts encourage us all to keep Christ in Christmas; it has a NO sign over Happy Holidays, the other side of the business-style card says Merry Christmas with a link to this gospel message website.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snowy Morning

I was going to share a bunch of pictures but thought it would be less invasive to put them all into a slideshow for my readers. I really do like how easy is to use.

We were so happy and surprised to find all the snow this morning. I would guess we had about seven inches. I peeked out my bedroom window and thought it was not more than 2 inches until I took Chewy out to go potty. He had such fun running and jumping in it and chasing balls of snow as they rolled along on top of the snow.

We are considering purchasing a condo or townhouse in Anchorage. Doug's employer will contribute to the cost if we do decide to do that. They help their employee's move when he or she has accepted a new position or job in the company. So, we might, but we might not also, take advantage of the program and get a small place in Anchorage to avoid the long commute to Big Lake.

Today we did some looking with a real estate lady named Sarah. It was actually fun to go around and look, but I did not really see anything I am interested in yet.

I also had to see a doctor for a rash I have had too long and it won't go away! I tried so many things to get rid of it but there it sits, and it actually was spreading. (lower neck). The doctor looked and then he asked if it was okay if another doctor looked, and then they scratched it and looked under a microscope and then sent the results plus pictures to a dermatologist. After all that, they told me to go to the grocery store and get Lamisil, "it looks like fungus".... !!!!! Am I am turning into a mushroom?

We also had Klint along today. Doug dropped him off at a place he is working, sort of like an internship, (I think) with ICRC. I need to listen better when he talks about the details of his school and work instead of doing things like listening to new Christmas music on the iPod! ICRC's office is in the Alaska Railroad Depot.

Klint is nearing graduating with his Electrical Engineering Degree from UAA. I believe he may be UAA's first EE graduate too. UAA never had all the classes required to get a degree there until recently. He was very involved with another program at the University of Alaska called ANSEP, or Alaska Native Science & Engineering Program. Many businesses support this program. ANSEP works to increase recruitment, retention, and graduation rates. I am glad Klint is part of this program. Doug's employer, BP Exploration, is one of the many supporters for this program. Anyway, today I was in the ANSEP Building for the first time, Klint showed me around. It is a beautiful building!

While riding home we saw the second vehicle fire in a week! Someone's plowtruck was on fire along side the Park's highway near Pittman Road. We sure felt sorry for the guy, one of our big snowfalls this winter and his truck burns up!

I included a picture of a choir. This is the choir Alexis sings in and we attended the new school's dedication last evening. It was great to be at a school function again, it's been a long time!

Enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Nativity Story

Avoid waiting in line for your tickets --- check out Fandango for showings in your area and to buy tickets online.

These theatres will be showing "The Nativity Story" at these theatres in Anchorage, tomorrow. Regal Fireweed 7 Cinemas, Century 16, Regal Dimond Center 9 Cinemas, Regal Totem 8 Theatres, all of these theatres have a wide selecitons of showtimes too. Also showing in Eagle River at Valley River 6 Cinemas, and in the MatSu Valley, hmmm.. not in the Valley yet. Well then! Our poor theatre out here, I think it needs an extreme make-over.

Like the movie "The Passion of Christ", I enjoying watching movie stories from the Bible because it gives me a picture of the area, the way people dressed, and it draws me closer to the Story. I realize not all eyes have been opened to the Truth ...yet, so they may not share my anticipation.

I decided to take the time to type in the nativity story from the Bible, according to Saint Matthew this morning. (Matthew 1:18 - 2:23):

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded t put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, "God with us."

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her first born Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him."

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. So they said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: "But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel."

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also."

When they heard the king, they departed, and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him."

When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."

Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.

Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: "A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."

Now when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead."

Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel.

But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

Oh, gotta scoot, my Grandson's are here!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Abusive or Protective?

On a Sunday when my children were young, Kris was a newborn baby, so this would be about 22 years ago, I had to take Kris to the back of the church because he began to cry and that is just what you have to do when you have a newborn baby.

I had four other children sitting in a row of chairs. Sometimes one of them would glance back when they were misbehaving, as kids will do. That was my cue. I would stop walking Baby Kris then give them my sternest frown and raise my eyebrows as I quietly asked if they wanted one or two. This was the quiet, gentle warning. If that did not work, the next time they informed me that they were misbehaving I would firmly hold up one finger. They all knew that meant one spanking when church was over.

A friend at church, Ken Hughes once walked over to me after the service and commented how he got a kick out of how my kids behaved even though I was at the back of the church with the baby. Every other week I was a single Mom while Doug worked on the North Slope back then. With him being away so much of the time I had to teach these kids to help me out by giving them this system of order.

Later, it became apparent that I was not carrying out the intended spankings because while returning home from Anchorage one day the kids were misbehaving in the back of the van. I calmly turned around, gave the stern look and went back to visiting with Doug who was driving. They cooperated for a short time then they resumed getting noisier and noisier. Soon my driver was becoming irritated. I turned around, made eye contact with the offenders then lifted my hand and showed one finger. By the time we were almost home I had to give two or three fingers to which Marie defiantly said, "You never remember anyway."

I was stunned. Did I hear that right? Did she just say what I thought she said?

Slowly I turned my head and looked at her. I calmly said, "Okay Marie, if I forget to give you your spanking, then you go and get the paddle and bring it to me and remind me. If you don't, then when I remember I will add another spanking, OK?"

That was the beginning of our kids bringing the paddle to us whenever we got home from outings. I never did forget to give out their just rewards after that! "Thanks Marie!!!!" That's what all the kids said to her, and not too kindly I might add. [hehehe]

There is recent news here in Alaska about abusive parents with five adopted children. The children claim to be mistreated and have accused their adoptive parents of abusing them in many ways.

Sherry Kelley denies having been abusive. Sherry and Patrick (her husband) have spent two years in jail. However in the world did this couple end up with these children, and so many?

Why does anyone adopt troubled children if they can't handle it all properly? Where were their hearts in all of this? Did they mean well but lost control? Perhaps I don't understand the whole story and that's why I don't understand why anyone would agree to keep kids that they had to resort to extreme measures to control. Sherry is now facing six additional years, if proven to have been abusive rather than protective in her actions.

I've always thought that when becoming an adoptive family one has to meet very stiff inspections by the State beforehand. Maybe I am wrong, since this is not the first time I've read of adoptive parents abusing their children.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Christmas is Showing Up

Christmas is making a showing around here. I am looking forward to the merry lights beginning to flicker in the neighbors, friends and shopping areas. People that totally go all out and get those lights hung up all over their house and yard are amazing to me. Bravo! That is a lot of work and I for one love to look when you are done.

Hopefully all your lights will still work once they are hung up. My daughter called to tell me that they worked hard and got their icicle lights hung on their new home then plugged them in; they lit up for a few seconds then they were off. After thinking that all the strands were faulty they did figure out that it was just one little burned out bulb. One little bulb equaled one big dismay.

Little lights, big trees.

Little boys, big trucks.

Little girls, big eyes.

Little packages, big dreams.

Little Babe, big salvation.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Accomplishments in Life

I wanted to share this story from the week Marie and I went to Tony's Grandmother's memorial. She wanted to be cremated, so after the family saw her for the last time her body was taken to the mortuary.

At the memorial, Ashlee quietly cuddled up beside Marie and then said, "Poor Gramma Lela, huh?" Marie said, "Yeah, poor Gramma Lela," then she pulled her closer under her arm. Ashlee was quiet, but kept looking up at Marie like she had more to say, then she said with a solemn, matter-of-fact gaze, "We burned her."

Kim said that it was hard to explain to the kids about cremation. They didn't seem to think that was something that should be done. She said that Ashlee reacted the strongest when she explained what cremation meant. Of course we all know that Lela is not there anymore, the life of her is where life continues. Yet, these hard facts related to death are hard to tell children about.

Lela "Adeline" S. Egbert, 82, (9/5/1924 - 11/13/2006), wanted her remains to be scattered in Santa Maria, California where she spent a lot of her young life. A fact I never knew about Lela was that she was a master seamstress and that she sewed a lot of the costumes for "The Fiddler on the Roof."

Memorial donations were directed by the family to go to the Children's Hospital at Providence Alaska Medical Center. The Children's Hospital includes the NICU at Providence Hospital where our very first grand baby Alexis Dustene spent the first two weeks of her life, struggling with a collapsed lung.

While I was reading Lela's and others obituaries it made me wonder what mine could say someday. Besides raising five wonderful kids I don't have many accomplishments under my belt to even be mentioned in an obituary and I am curious to see what it would read like. I even considered writing one for myself! I know, it's a depressing thing to think about, but it does have a way of setting my hearts desires aright to consider my own death.

So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. ~Psalm 90:12

Friday, November 24, 2006

Burp! (excuse me)

Karla's beautiful table setting.

Ashlee's pie statement!

The progressive dinner went well yesterday and we played games until just about midnight. It was fun! Great food and great people always the makings for a very fun day. Ashlee's picture above said it all --for all of us ---when she totally enjoyed the pies I slaved over on Saturday! Karla shared her opinion of the desserts as she taste tested each one. "Melts in your mouth" to "not so sweet that you could not sit down and eat the whole pie if you wanted to" to "I think this one is my favorite...well...let me taste that again"

Kim prepared deviled eggs, cheese and crackers, Calli made bread with cheese and cucumbers, and Karla even brought over some of her family famous ham and cheese dip as we started the afternoon of at Kim and Tony's. (I forgot to take pictures.) Off to the DeLong's we all went for the Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the fixings, prepared by us all. Like we planned, we ended the day out at The Lake.

All afternoon --and like everyone else that was celebrating Thanksgiving Day in the USA, none of us could eat much of anything before we were just too full for another bite.

Here are some cards I purchased while out at the Crafts Festival last week. "Poppy Fields", "Help with the Mukluk", and "Fireweed, Alaskan Summer." They are prints from original watercolors by Marlene Anderson. I thought they were so cute! The fireweed painting is beautiful! I purchased her "Chickadees and Wildroses" notecards last year.

You can see more of her work at her website including limited edition reproductions, more notecards, quilted wall hangings, and even cross stitch patterns! Marlene Anderson

One sad thing... poor Marie is sick. I suspect strep throat, the back of her throat is all white. She will get tested tomorrow...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Own "Patisserie"?

Mini Cranberry Meringue Pies

Sweet Potato Souffle Pie

Peach Pie
(My daughter bought frozen peaches!)

Nothing like Martha's but you can't say I didn't try!

So Far... So Good!

I have been busy in the kitchen all morning, well only after I got done watching Regis and Kelly. Their show has become a regular thing for me lately! I am even taking notes just in case they call me to participate in their A Go Go Grande!

Anyway, I have made the Mini Cranberry Meringue Pies, well half done, they are in the refrigerator now. Next step is the meringue topping. I started on the Sweet Potato Souffle Pie. Both recipes I found on Martha Stewart's website and I have included links to both recipes. I watched her make the Sweet Potato Pie on NBC's Today Show. First time I am using phyllo dough! I will let you know if the pies pass the family test.

Right now the milk and ginger are seeping. Lots of steps to make a pie but I am having fun. The mini cranberry pies, so far, are beautiful. The red color is festive. Martha used a little butane torch to brown her meringue but I am going the old fashioned route---broiler.

I had hoped to make a fresh peach pie and a fresh plum pie too but it never entered my mind that they would be out of season! I guess to be totally Martha Stewart I should have had them imported from somewhere warm! I will try to make something with frozen peaches instead... not quite Martha Stewart style, but hey... I'm trying!

Yesterday night we were up late setting up the arbor we made for Klint and Calli's wedding at the church. Rachel Parker will be getting married and using the arbor on Friday. It looked really nice set up in the new church. Our church is not a fancy church but was built with the idea of having fun activities in it during the time we are not worshipping. So it kind of looks like a gym in there but with the arbor and the decorations they will be using it is ready for a grand wedding event.

After all the work of hauling the arbor and setting it up we stopped at the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for the pies I am working on today. SO late at night and still there were so many shoppers. I don't feel rushed at all this year with the dinner, it's going to be fun doing a progressive dinner.

What's been cooking/baking in your kitchen so far? If you have not done any baking yet, you should! There's nothing like the sweet aroma from goodies baking in the oven to get you into the holiday mood!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Sad Fact About That Turkey

I should not even mention this so that we can continue on to our "happy" turkey day but.... the poor birds that are slaughtered each holiday season for us, it is so horrible to read about the abuses that go on in animal slaughter-houses.

I have a sick feeling as I read about all those poor turkeys and other food animals that live a very short and limited life.

Ten billion animals each year are slaughtered in the US.

I remember watching a t.v. show about this and the ugly truth about meat that we eat each day and the horrors that some of these animals live is something we should all be made aware of.

I can't even watch the videos found at this site concerning mistreatment of animals before they finally reach the optimal age of consumption. Factory Farming. The pictures are sobering enough.

I cannot eat veal, I refuse to eat veal!!!!

What is the solution to this topic? Stop eating meat? Don't we need meat to be healthy? Maybe not. Eat fish! I suppose there are abuses even in the fishing/clamming/oyster industries too. Why do people become cruel and abusive when they go into the business of raising meat for sale?

The abuses I have read about go on and on, even in reproducing turkeys! They cultivate such a big-breasted turkey, for us the consumers, that the poor tom turkeys cannot even breed normally! I am ready to give up eating turkey, chicken, beef, poor ducks that are force fed even to become FAT DUCKS?!!

All this information makes me physically sick. I know, I despise myself too ---for bringing this up right at Thanksgiving.

I don't believe that totally abstaining from eating meat is the answer. Eating meat will not end in this world. I, like you, strongly hate the abuses these animals endure waiting to be sent to the slaughterhouse. There are some people that have totally quit eating meat and even adopting animals and birds to save them from slaughter.

Could Mad Cow Disease and Avian Flu actually be judgements for the lack of humane treatment towards our food animals?

I think maybe if we buy turkeys that are normal in size and don't buy those big breasted, juicy turkeys, leave those premium turkeys in the freezers and buy the turkeys grown on natural farms. I am encouraging everyone to have dry turkey meat--it is delicious! Especially dry, tough turkey meat!

I don't want to buy your premium turkeys you premium turkey breeders, you--- turkeys!


This morning when I awakened And saw the sun above, I softly said, "Good morning, Lord, Bless everyone I love."

Right away I thought of you And said a loving prayer, That He would bless you specially, And keep you free from care.

I thought of all the happiness A day could hold in store, I wished it all for you because No one deserves it more.

I felt so warm and good inside, My heart was all aglow. I know! God heard my prayers for you, He hears them all, you know.

The poem was truly appreciated. Thanks Sandi in Texas! Have a beautiful day everyone.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Holiday Shopping Thought

Counting them all up on the fingers of my hands
...The fingers of my toes
(Fingers of my toes?)
Big families are fun
But big families
Make Christmas shopping

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Good Memories

I enjoyed today very much. Marie, Karla, Calli and I went to Anchorage today to check out the Craft's Emporium being held at the William A. Eagan Civic and Convention Center. Two floors of crafts! Across the street in the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts, there were four more floors of crafts. It was fun to be together and interesting see all the handworks that have been created in the year since we were last here.

We walked and walked and then I got so hungry! Finally we stopped by Starbucks on Fifth Avenue for coffee and a goodie! Calli and I had a huge, chewy, gingerbread cookie and Marie and Karla had a very good cranberry treat. Not the same, but both had cranberries in them. I had hot chai and it was delicious!

Good memories were made today out Christmas shopping and then even dinner at Garcia's in Eagle River. We missed Kim though, she was not feeling well so she could not come with us.

Tony did a very good job giving the eulogy at his Grandmother's memorial which was held in her brothers vacant home on Friday. Many showed up to honor Lela. Tony shared stories about Lela that made us all laugh. Other friends and family also shared what she meant to them. Afterwards, we all ate together. I know this was a good time for Lela's family and I am glad I was able to go and listen to the good memories others have about her.

You will be missed, Lela.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

One More Week

[My Dad, Senafont Shugak and my Mom, Vera during a Thanksgiving meal in Old Harbor.]

One week until Thanksgiving! I will take this time to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving day ---whatever you plan to do or not do and or where ever you plan to be or not be. God bless!

We plan to have a progressive Thanksgiving dinner with the kids. First we will stop over at Tony and Kim's and she will have appetizers. Then we will go to Chris and Karla's where Karla plans to have the main meal prepared. Then after we spend time there we all will end up here at the lake for desserts and table games. Probably after a full afternoon of eating we should play moving around games!

I have been looking at desserts to make and am excited about that. Martha Stewart was on the morning show on NBC and she always has such beautiful food. I thought I would try to make at least one of her beautiful pies.

Some of you will be traveling for TG and I hope you have a safe trip.

One memory I have about TG was the time Dad moved us all up from the village to Anchorage. With ten kids and living in a new place and in a new environment things were lots different. Looking back I have to say that Dad was very adventurous to move his whole family like he did! Even with the complications of a previously broken back, he managed to find a job and keep us fed and warm.

My younger sister Ruth said that when her teacher asked the whole room if everyone would have a turkey for TG she had told her she didn't think that we would have a turkey for "Turkey Day."

It was so cool because we ended up having TWO turkeys and all the fixings for a dinner for twelve show up at our door a few days before Thanksgiving. One from Ruth's class and one from the Church that we attended on Sundays. Without those donations we would not have had a turkey, but we would not have gone hungry either, because Dad worked hard to keep us from that, we just would have eaten something else.

Benevolence during the holiday seasons is such a good thing, not only the holidays but throughout the whole year.

Now living through the years I find that it is indeed more blessed to give...than to receive. Giving with thankfulness.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


When someone dies -things change. We want things to remain the same but they don't. I remember feeling like we all moved up a notch or two when my Dad died in 1987. We seemed to move up in responsibility or something within our family. Could I could be hearing a spiritual conveyor belt that had us all moving closer to the end... movin' on down the line! [chugga-chugga-chugga]

My daughter Kim and her husband Tony are new to the grieving process with this close death in the family. Closing the book on someones life is hard. Preparation of the eulogy. Things we don't ever want to think about, but someone has to do it in the end.

Who gets what? What did she want you to have? Property left behind is now all up for grabs. One thing Kim mentioned that stands out in my mind when they returned to their Grandmother's home after the hospital. "All her things, they are nothing now. They were so important to her before death. There they were in the house... but they are nothing without her." This is all sad. Our treasures on Earth, after death they become nothing to us, and trouble for others.

There is a teaching that we should not lay up treasures on Earth, we should lay up treasures in Heaven. How do we lay up treasures in Heaven? We can't see them, yet there is a way to put treasures in Heaven. Someday, our treasures will be evident, earthly or heavenly. Where our treasures are, there is our heart. A big reminder to me that I need to learn how to build treasures in Heaven so that my heart longs to be there. This is something good to meditate on.

There was, once upon a time, a grand wedding coordinated by a King. The invited guests were not willing to come ---even after being coaxed. After dealing dreadfully with those self-important guests, the King said, "Go out into the highways, invite all that you see to my feast." So out they went. Many came, the good and the bad. The King walked in to see the guests and when he saw someone without a wedding garment on he went over and He asked him, "Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?" His reply was inadequate, in fact he was speechless.

The King called for His bouncers to tie him up and then carry this person out and throw him into outter darkness. How do we put on a wedding garment so that we are not thrown out of the wedding feast? What is a wedding garment? This is another thing we should meditate on and study to know before death.

I am rambling with these thought provoking stories that are found in the Gospel of Matthew today. Questions that many have asked after Death has stopped by so close to home. -----Home?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hand Walkers

Well, I finally did the big switcheroo on this Blogger. I like it so far!

I wanted to mention today the NOVA program that will be on tonight on PBS! It looks so very interesting. "Family That Walks On All Fours." It will be interesting to see what the thoughts are on this. Click on the picture or this LINK to watch a preview.

I agree with Geneticist Sean Carroll's suggestion that this problem is related to a "very serious defect in their cerebellum, and they are compensating for that balance problem by walking with the aid of their hands." I definitely don't agree that it's due to resurfacing "ancient genes for quadrupedal-ism" that Turkish scientist Uner Tan suggested. Read more about it at PBS. This looks like it will be an interesting program.

Our Grandchildren are working on living without their Great-Gramma Lela, and especially Tony and Kim. They are remembering all the happy, funny stories about Lela. Thanks for your prayers and thoughts of them. AJ, the youngest of them has announced to his Mom and family, "There will be no more crying, everyone will be happy now." Today, Tony received a letter from his Grandfather in Pennsylvania, he wrote to send a picture of his wife, Tony's other Grandmother who also died this year. While looking at the picture Tony sadly said, "I lost both of my Grandmother's in one year." AJ quickly said, "OH WELL!"

How about that, Juneau was shut down due to snowfall!

Monday, November 13, 2006


Marcy said, "Fairbanks is not for woo-ses." I said, "I am a woos!"

My definition for woos is: a pansy. My definition for a pansy is: a woos.

Someone that just can't take much of that below zero cold, that's me. So why do I live in Alaska? I was born here. I was not born up here though I was born in the Southern, balmy, village of Old Harbor on Kodiak Island. Dad used to say, "We found you on the beach, tangled up in the kelp."

This past weekend I decided to tag along with the Alaska Freedom Band up to Fairbanks to take part in the Fairbanks Native Church service. It was a blessing to be with that group of Christian's. Thanks Dave and Marcy for inviting the guys!

Some in the band were talking about having the stomache flu recently and now, we (Doug and I) are exposed to that bug so we have been washing our hands, I have even been limiting my intake of food----just in case I get that horrible bug!

Playing keep away with the flu bugs might be a hopeless cause but I am doing all that I can to make sure those bugs don't feel welcome here!

While we drove home from Fairbanks last night we encountered some snow and had a few scary moments trying to see after those big ol' semi-trucks flew on past us. The snow they blew all around totally obstructed our view and that was too scary. I was so thankful to get out of all that safely! All part of living in Alaska.

My Son-in-law's Grandmother Lela is in intensive care today and I am sad for their whole family. We are praying for you all, Kim and Tony, Lexie, Ashlee and AJ, may God be a comfort and strength to all of you whatever the outcome will be for her.

Kimmie just called me and my Grandchildren's dear Great-Gramma Lela just passed away. She was a kind woman and will be missed a lot by her family, especially by my grandchildren. Please pray for them. Kim and Tony spoke of her as being a strong and stubborn woman. She was a lifelong smoker and finally was able to successfully quit a few years ago but had continuing bad health related to that which just kept zapping her strength in the end.

I will miss Lela even though I did not know her much more than seeing her occasionally ---because of the Grandchildren we had in common and we both love. She always accepted our family as her own through Tony and Kim. May God bless all of her remaining family.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Helping Hearts with FBCO's

My family is back home and it's good. I miss them when they are gone, even though silence sometimes is very golden, silence sometimes can grow so loud it drowns out all the happiness it brought right at the beginning and then it just turns into loneliness. Happily so, for my husband likes me to miss him when he goes away. (Picture:Lexie, Ashlee, Calvin, Tucker, AJ & in front Gunner.)

Faith-Based and Community Initiatives or Faith-based and community organizations (FBCO). My knowledge of this program is very vague so I wanted to learn more about it today. I heard it mentioned during the Presidential Press Conference today. I have attended a FBCO conference that was a result of Faith-Based funds to Southcentral Alaska's - Family Wellness Warrior's Initiative.

Faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) have a long tradition of helping Americans in need and together represent an integral part of our nation’s social service network. Yet, all too often, the Federal government has put in place complicated rules and regulations preventing FBCOs from competing for funds on an equal footing with other organizations. President Bush believes that besides being inherently unfair, such an approach can waste tax-payer dollars and cut off the poor from successful programs. Federal funds should be awarded to the most effective organizations—whether public or private, large or small, faith-based or secular—and all must be allowed to compete on a level playing field.

"Beauty for Ashes" - was created, in part, through the heart desire of Linda Ross (who has already publicly shared her own personal struggles) to help other sexually abused women. BFA is a program designed to address the results that domestic violence, rape, spousal abuse, child abuse and other abuses create in the hearts and lives of so many Alaskan people. Hidden abuses that have wounded hearts, causing many to live long lives hiding in the shadows of those hurts. Shadows that have darkened every aspect of life and many times left untreated gets passed down to their own families.

Women and men were helped during these sessions though, sadly so, the power of evil permeates even those missions and organizations that were created to prevent abuse. A reminder to us all, that none of us are ever immune to falling into the enticements of the evil one. He is a crafty adversary and our bodies, so weak.

The FBCO program makes it easier than it has been in the past for not only secular programs but even private and religious organizations to receive government funding in order to run community social services, such as Beauty For Ashes. It is a good thing, President Bush.

Alan and Linda Ross began a similar program in Kodiak designed to help women, men and children to overcome the power of wounded hearts. It has an Alutiiq name (I cannot even pronounce): "Unguwatet Asiyturtut - "Hearts Going Towards Wellness." That is a beautiful name. Read more of it at Alan's blog.

I am watching Alaska According To Marie's blog for pictures from the trip to Kodiak and words about their visit with Alan and Linda Ross and the others at Kodiak Native New Life.

From this end and listening to their stories, "Destination" enjoyed the people, the meetings and the singing!

God bless Kodiak!

A Quote I Found:
Speech may sometimes do harm; but so may silence and a worse harm at that. No insult ever caused so deep a wound as a tenderness expected and withheld; and no spoken indiscretion was ever so bitterly regretted as the word that one did not speak. As read in Apples of Gold, Wings of Silver, Treasures of Silver - Jo Petty