Thursday, January 31, 2008

Harold vs. The Vacuum

! ! ! !

Kids can say the cutest things. I've heard many humorous things over the past 6 years of teaching. Unfortunately I forget them, so I better write about what I hear right away. In kindergarten we learn about punctuation, commas, periods, question marks and exclamation points. One of my students got pretty excited about an "Eskimo Point" (!) in her book today.

Earlier this year, I was looking at a book of types of transportation with a young man. I was quizzing him about the names of various vehicles. Motorcycle, taxi cab, helicopters etc. When we got to the picture of a limo, the thought a moment and said, "It's a pimp car". I think "Pimp My Ride" has a little influence on the world.

Check out the Brevig Mission School blog for more about the news in kindergarten.

Monday, January 21, 2008

New Jewelry

I just purchased a new set of jewelry for myself. They were made by a local carver. Since I really liked the pieces and hadn't seen anything like it for sale before, I bought them. They're the 3rd coolest pieces of jewelry I own (1st and 2nd are the rings C.O. made me). The beads are made out of a combination of walrus ivory and mastodon ivory. That's right, the dark ivory used to be protruding from a woolly mammoth's mouth and now I wear it as jewelry. I didn't have to chase the hairy elephant off of a deadly cliff to obtain the ivory or anything. I just wrote a good old modern day check. Mammoth tusks happen to just stick out of the tundra here and there. So, folks take them, sell them or carve with the old ivory. It's these sort of things that really blow my mind and remind me how cool life is here in Brevig. --AnnMarie

Saturday, January 19, 2008


We just bought Ayo's Album, Joyful and we're lovin' it. "Down On My Knees" has been her big hit, but the other songs on the album are great with musical sounds from around the world. --AnnMarie

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Anchorage is a city of about 250,000 people (about 1/3 of all the people in Alaska) located at the base of the Chugach mountains. It is a typical American city with a little downtown surrounded by miles and miles of busy streets, strip malls, big box outlet stores, and subdivisions with houses that all look the same. In this photo you can see a Wells Fargo bank and in the background the City Dinner restaurant. There are a lot of moose that live in the Chugach mountains. In the summer the moose stay in the mountains enjoying the great views and fresh air. In the winter the moose get hungry and head down to lower ground to try to find something to eat. In years past this probably worked well for the moose, but today all the low ground is covered by all those strip malls and and subdivisions. This second photo shows a closer view of all the nice neon lights on the City Dinner.
Driving around Anchorage in the winter can be strange.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Eat Up

So, the holidays have come and gone. We have all survived another year of cookie baking, gift giving and travel to and from the relatives homes. One of the things I look forward to during these times is all the delicious food and those wonderful dishes only made on special occasions. At the Rudstrom household, a year or two ago, we started doing something wild and crazy, we decided to cook our favorite holiday dishes . . . all year long. *gasp* C.O.'s Mom makes these awesome sausages wrapped in bacon and smothered in brown sugar things that are always a hit. We now make them on a regular basis. One of my all time favorite desserts is pumpkin pie. Each Halloween, we buy a pumpkin, cook up the pumpkin meat and freeze it in packages just right for making a pie. We have them rationed out to about one pie per month. My Mom makes homemade chocolate covered cherries that the relations are always waiting for come Christmas Eve. They are on my list of goodies to make someday soon. Why is it that we only make these yummy things one time a year? It's crazy I tell you! Life is too short for such nonsense. It's time to start making your favorite dishes and desserts all year long. And if you're are tired of them come the following holiday season, get adventurous and, what the heck, find a new favorite recipe. --AnnMarie

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Movie Wisdom

C.O. and I are in the middle of watching the 1956 version of the King and I. It's a great film for anyone who hasn't seen it. Anyway, there was a short dialog that caught my attention. The King of Siam is trying to come to terms with modern times, western culture, scientific discoveries etc. He has already read about the theories of evolution, and now is reading the creation story in the Bible. He says something to Anna like, "How can some of your writers say one thing (that the creation of the world took millions and millions of years) and then this Moses says the world was created in just 6 days." Anna explains that one is written by men of science and one by men of faith but then says, "Either way, it is the same miracle." That really struck me. I happen to believe in Intelligent Design, that God had a plan and created this world. But even if you see things differently, we can all agree that the world around us certainly is a miracle. There's a little movie bit that I thought was worth sharing. --AnnMarie

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Introducing . . . Harold

We were proud to introduce our son to his grandparents and two great-grandmas.

One of the introduction highlights for us was when Harold got to meet the other Harold Rudstrom. They were born a mere 79 1/2 years and half a world apart yet share the same name. =)

Harold is pictured with his two uncles, John and Brian.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Holiday Travel

Hello everyone and happy new year.

AnnMarie, Harold and I just returned from a wonderful trip to Minnesota to see our families and friends for the holidays. The visiting was great, the travel was not. It takes a lot of flying to get from here to there. The first leg of the journey is on a "bush plane" to Nome. The "bush plane" is normally a 6 to 12 passenger prop driven plane, the Cessna Caravan or the Piper Navajo are popular planes. This part of the trip is actually pretty easy to schedule and is reasonably priced. There are 4 or 5 flights a day from here to Nome flown by 3 different companies.

The real trouble starts when you get to Nome. There are only two ways to get from Nome to the rest of the world. The traditional way is by dogsled down the Iditarod trail, it's about 1100 miles and is only passable in the winter. The other way is to fly with Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines flies three combo 727's a day from Nome to Anchorage (a combo 727 is a medium sizes jet that has the back half full of passengers and the front filled with cargo.) Since Alaska Air is the only realistic option you could say they have a monopoly on this route. This allows them to have high prices and low service.

We had a pleasant but chilly (it was 25 below and the little planes don't really have any heat) flight from Brevig to Nome. When checking in with Alaska Air I have heard people say "how late is the plane today?" They automatically assume the plane is going to be late, they just want to know how late. Same thing on this trip, when we checked in for our flight to Anchorage the ticket counter person informed us that the plane was going to be a little late. At this point we didn't worry, we had a long layover scheduled in Anchorage before our next flight. We took a cab into town to get dinner (5 bucks a person for a two mile ride in an old van with a bungee cord to hold the door shut). After having a delicious pizza dinner that cost $110 for four people we took another cab back to the airport to await the arrival of the jet.

The jet eventually arrived a couple of hours late and they let us board. Nome is a small airport and there is no "jetway " to walk down, instead you do it the old fashioned way and walk outside across the tarmac and go up a set of stairs at the tail of the plane. On a normal day this little bit of fresh air is nice to get before being couped up in a plane. On this day it was 25 below and there was a refreshing breeze. Lucky for us we were seated in the last row, right next to the open door, so we were able to enjoy a little more of that refreshing breeze. It took 15 minutes to get everybody loaded on the plane and then they realized that there was a problem with the passenger list. The rules say they can not close the door until they get the problem with the list figured out (lucky us we get a little more fresh air). It only takes them 30 minutes to get the list sorted out and they finally decide to close the door. Now the door won't close (I think it was frozen) After 15 more minutes of messing around they get the door closed.

The plane was two hours late, the passenger list was messed up, and the door was stuck. Finally got all that behind us, should be time to go now but the pilot comes on the intercom and says that he can't seem to get the engines started. He assures us that it will only take a few minutes to get it figured out. After half an hour of waiting the pilot comes on the intercom and tells us that they are going to need a mechanic. They decide that we should stay on the plane because the mechanic will be able to fix it right away. Of course by this time it is midnight and the only guy in Nome that knows how to work on it is home in bed. Eventually the mechanic shows up and after an hour of tinkering manages to get the engines started. Once the engines were started we had a little bit of heat and the plane actually warmed up by the time we got to Anchorage.

All of that messing around put us in Anchorage about 5 hours behind schedule and we missed our connecting flight. They put us on standby for the next available flight out of Anchorage, but it was the holidays and all the planes were overbooked. I'll save you all the details of that part of the adventure, to sum it up our one day trip took three days. Maybe next time I'll tell you about our return trip problems and the Alaska Air fuel spill.