hi from the couch

I'm working on a history paper while E watches tv.

David Letterman (no choice, only one channel) jokes about a thirty aught six rifle included with the purchase of Sarah Palin's new memoir.

During the commercial break, a truck dealership in Fairbanks blares their new sales pitch: BUY A TRUCK, GET A GUN. A thirty aught six rifle no less.

Only in Alaska?

Everyone in Fairbanks has been buzzing about SNOW. couple inches, terrible roads, much prettier landscape. Winter's arrived. Temperatures are supposed to drop this weekend and I am hoping to get cozy inside, caught up with school work, and to lay down plans for research papers.



I traveled to Whitehorse Thursday with a Northern Studies contingent for the "Governing Under the Midnight Sun" conference. We took a van all the way down. Whoo! Bumpy! A beautiful drive, minimal wildlife. One moose, one elk, one coyote. I had my eyes peeled for tamarack, a deciduous spruce tree that turns yellow and loses all its leaves in the fall. Saw plenty. Above is a picture from Wikipedia of tamarack trees in Washington (I know it's misleading; the title post says Whitehorse and there's a picture of Washington, but I like it and it's staying). Only one tree looked like that. The others looked like dead spruce....

We passed through customs no problem, in spite of Lars, who disregarded posted signs warning to STAY IN YOUR VEHICLE to offer cranberry drinks to the students in the car ahead of us. The customs officer received a mini lesson on AK state history from Terrence and Mary while the rest of us waited for the bathrooms. I didn't sleep much on the 11hr trip, instead musicked, read, watched some tv on my computer, eyed the icy roads and enjoyed the scenery. Arrived in Whitehorse to check in to a Best Western downtown with a huge queen bed and six pillows to myself. Sharing a room with Brittany Retherford, a v. fine, intellegent person. The group as a whole attended the welcoming reception at an old log church-turned-museum, received our name badges and listened to the opening remarks. Were presented with very nice conference-labeled messenger bags, of which we had a choice of red, blue, or orange. Orange for me. The group then split, with few going back to the hotel and most going out to a pub for beer and food. I had a few beers as I wasn't hungry, having filled myself up with snacks and other assorted goodies from the goodie bag that Lars and Mary were kind enough to make up for the rest of us. From the pub we went back to the hotel and checked out the open mic night in the hotel bar. One more beer and then I was in bed by 11pm AK time.

Up in the morning and appreciating how very nice it is to have a shower at my fingertips...


patience is a virtue

have it if you can
seldom in a women
never in a man.

not true. but i didn't wait for my boller to rise so they have the consistency of biscuits.



I may be engaging in a research project regarding the Pioneers of Alaska and their Chitina Igloo (#24). If these visuals of a possible research area aren't enough to excite me, convince me, motivate me, I don't know what is.

More soon.



more cabin pictures

far right corner
far left corner

to the right

tired of updating, ready for adventure.

Now that I've moved into a spacious new cabin I've reopened my couchsurfing account and my home to travelers and the opportunities and adventures that come with them.

Also, I've been a bit lonely since the cat ran off. Plus, the more people that come visit me, the less of my own baking I have to eat.

But most of all... I'm DOG LONELY!! I miss the puppies! I'm contemplating/trying to convince landlord to let me bring a dog up-- my parents are tentatively suggesting Charlie, who would be a super skijor dog. I don't know if Landlord is worried about preventing animal cruelty, or protecting the cabin. Unfortunately, it sounds like she's had some renters who mistreated the dogs that they had: not feeding them, not letting them out, not letting them in. Good thing about Charlie is that he is pretty low maintenance.... all he needs is some food, sweet talking, and regular exercise. I guess the same could be said about me too.



life in the slow lane

Windy in Willow today. I've come down from Fairbanks for a month or so to take care of the house and dogs while my mom and dad vacation in Norway. They bought a Volvo from Sweden (included round-trip airfare, hotel, free shipping to AK, and was $5000 cheaper than getting it at the dealer in Anchorage!!) and are driving it around Scandinavia, visiting family and friends, seeing the sights. They'll be touring Tromsø to Copenhagen, Finland in the middle. 

I'm on a vacation of my own. I fill in the spaces between chore time with walks, planting nasturtiums and carrots, reading, House, treadmill, cleaning, catching up and Jim Brown, who is taking less and less time to manage now that he got his cast off. A low maintenance dog now, he's spending most of his time outside lounging against the drag tire in the yard. He's so much happier outside than in the garage and at pretty low risk for a re-break when he's sleeping all day. 
As are most Alaskans this May, I'm enjoying the sunny weather. Leaning against the house's hot black stone siding, listening to NPR and dreaming of more productive ways to spend my time here. I have to stick around Willow to keep with the feeding schedule but that certainly doesn't cut down on my options. Willow is a centre for outdoor recreation. I'm planning on hauling the kayak to Nancy Lake, some day hikes in the mountains (Hatcher Pass) and some day hikes in the swamps (backyard). 

I have a loose daily schedule now, puppy feeding and cleaning at home mid-morning, dog lot, feeding and watering at Grandma's in the evening, a change from my flexible stay-up-til-whenever-and-study schedule of the past few months.  

The little puppies have started fighting; their squabbles, the highway and the wind make up the soundtrack in Willow today. Burgers and eggplant for dinner.


one more paper

and then i'm done for spring of 2009 and will be able to write something more reflective and insightful than a small update not so cleverly disguised as one more procrastination before the final event. photo: good 'ol Al Smith of the First Byrd Expedition


sunny springtime

The snow is melting fast in Fairbanks! Work at Woolly Rhino goes fast. I'm on my feet folding, sweeping, selling bullets, and greeting and smiling at all the old men that come into the hunting/fishing and hardware side of the store. Some of the old men are very nice and say things like "Has anyone told you how lovely you look today?" and others are nasty and say "You have a booger on your nose," referring to my nose ring. School is still is session...lots of work remains. Two weeks til summer months in Willow. Days are long and sunny now. Bikers have come out of the walls like flies. Temps are in the 50s and I am enjoying school in the sunshine.


spring o9

My life is filled with textbooks, typing, events, attending class and since last week, work. So maybe it's a bit crazy to add WORK to my already full school schedule but already I'm managing my time better and not flittering it away in front of the toyo heater!

Here in Fairbanks, I am busy busy buzzing around. My dark winter was full of activities and snow. I spent the beginning of February preparing for a ski trip with my friend Eline of Valdres Folkehøgskule. Then I had ten days of skis, pulks, bonfire lunches and lots of candy bars and trail mix! I took a disposable camera along and recently had the pictures developed, perhaps it will be possible to scan them in... even though many are covered with a mittened thumb... I took some notes along the trip, I will type them up with the pictures.

Nights when I came back were filled with school work, beer bonfires, cooking dinners with E, ivory jack's. The days were filled with sun, snow, clouds, skis, course work, toyo heat, cat, the cold and a non-working car for a while....

Lately I have begun to panic about my school load...  I waited until almost spring break to start on my correspondence course so I have 2 lessons a week until the end of this month. Lots of reading and typing!! I have two big projects at the university: term papers for Modern Scandinavia (presumably on Sámi land use) and Polar Exploration + Literature (Admiral Byrd). Only a few pages of my planner left until deadlines and I am using the days as much as I can. We have sunlight past 8pm now, daylight past 9. I get tired though and fall asleep sometimes before the work is done, putting it off until the next day.

I'm being so good and diligent in the schoolwork department, as soon as I get caught up with my AK history I know I will be able to make progress on my projects and feel confident about the end of the semester!

I can't believe it's been a year since my last cramming and essay writing in Norway. I miss Tromsø and the spring time there... biking, bbqs, climbing, janna's cooking, charlotte's cooking, but not so much my own diet of grilled cheese and pasta.... haha.

I am double-majoring in History and Northern Studies now. All-in-all it is very slick... I only need 18 extra credits for the history degree, everything else double-counts or is already done!!
So the end is in sight... 



broken car.

grandma reading.


plus knitting and the cold.

...and e and the iphone.

(phone pictures, by the way)