Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Picture of the Day - Hot Springs

Those are my toes. I took a work trip to Elim this last weekend. While I was there John and I went out to the hot springs. It is about a 10 mile 4-wheeler ride through the woods and over the mountains. It was a beautiful fall day, 45 degrees and clear blue skies. The water in the hot springs is perfect, hot enough that it takes a few minutes to ease yourself in.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Picture of the Day - Work

Last weekend I traveled to Shishmarif for work. I do maintenance work for the regional Headstart (preschool) program. This time of year I fly around to all of our buildings and service the heating systems before winter sets in. While I am there I also take care of whatever odds and ends need work. On this trip I worked on the sewage lift station pump and also wired in a new light switch. This coming weekend I am going to Elim. AnnMarie's brother teaches there so I will stay with him. In most villages I end up sleeping on the floor in the Headstart building.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More Tyhina

Peter and Maeva Elliot have updated their "Voyage Log" about their sailing adventures through the Northwest Passage. The latest post shares about the final leg of the journey that ended in Nome. Guess who's mentioned? The Rudstroms. =) Guess who's picture is shown? Harold and C.O.'s. I'd recommend reading it through, both C.O. and I chuckled out loud at a few parts. We hope you check it out.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Last Thanksgiving weekend, we flew into Nome to spend the holiday with our friend's James and Amy Adcox. Amy had also invited us to join in on the Nome Craft Fair that takes place over the same weekend. Well, this year we plan to repeat our wonderful weekend and I'm super jazzed to make as many items as possible for the sale. My brilliant new featured item is shown below. I've only finished one so far but plan to make as many as I can before we leave.

So these super delux Christmas stockings are made from red suede leather, lined with red crushed velvet and trimmed with extra pale shadow fox. The price point: $75. I have a good feeling about them. =)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Picture of the Day - Engine

The last few days I have been working on a 4-wheeler in my workshop. The cam chain tensioner was broken. $124 dollars in parts and about 12 hours of labor. The person that I am doing the work for also owns a truck over in Teller, I might trade him my labor for the use of his truck. AnnMarie and I want to haul a bunch of stuff to Nome and it would be easier with a truck.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bulk Food

In Bush Alaska, some of us do our shopping a bit differently than the rest of America. We do our best to buy enough basic groceries to last us 9 months time. The store in Brevig is actually pretty nice and supplies us with some basics like juice, frozen pizza, eggs, potatoes, etc. But there's not a lot of variety and it's a bit less expensive to buy it in Anchorage and ship it north. We end up buying from a couple different places.

First, in August, C.O. and I each take a grocery cart and walk up and down every aisle at Fred Meyer and estimate about how much of each product we'll use over the winter. We usually heap three carts worth of food and other basic supplies before we're done. Then, check out, bring our carts to customer service and have them ship it all to Brevig for us. Once upon time, we would box up all of it, go to the post office and ship it our selves but really, that's madness. Now we leave that to the experts. It costs 8% extra but is well worth it.

The other method of shopping is a service we just started using called, Span Alaska. They specialize in bulk food. They're like Sam's Club, but they deliver. We can't buy everything from them, since their selection is limited and we often don't need quite as much as they offer in a package (see photo below, oops, I over ordered on the Tabasco). But for some things, they're perfect. We use a lot of cereal, crackers, paper products, bacon, butter, chicken etc. So, we buy these sort of things from Span. These are photos of just SOME of our groceries for the coming winter.

Since we have so much food to store, we tend to squirrel it away in all kinds of odd places throughout the house. But it works. In fact, it's so handy that I think I'd prefer to buy this way even if we lived else where. One thing we've found is important to remember is to date the food when you buy it so you can use up last year's supply before cracking into the new stuff.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Living Aboard

I realize we kind of left our readers hanging after the post about "The Australians". Turns out Peter is Australian but Maeva is actually French and grew up in New Caledonia. After C.O.'s initial meeting with Maeva and Peter, he invited them to come back the next day and take advantage of our shower, internet and have supper with us. Later that night, they were kind enough to welcome us aboard their boat, Tyhina, for a tour. We were inspired! For those of you who don't know, it's our dream to cruise the world after retirement (which is only 13 years away, btw). We dream about it, read about it, hear about it but have never really met people who ARE doing it. Well, Peter and Maeva are and they have stories to tell! They recently completed the Northwest Passage, no easy feat, and will now be storing Tyhina for a time in Nome. Here's a glimpse into our visit on board.

Looking down into the galley (the kitchen).

Maeva and Harold becoming quick friends.
(Who can resist Harold?)

C.O. feeling right at home.

Harold likes being on the "boat, boat, boat".

View of Tyhina from the dinghy.

I think this was one of the most inspiring evenings I can ever remember. We had a lovely time, with lovely people who are not just dreaming but living the dream. I hope someday, someone is telling about the Rudstroms visiting their little village by way of the sea.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Picture of the Day - Boating to Work

Here is a photo of our little row boat. I used it to row across to the neighboring village of Teller. It is about 8 miles from Brevig to Teller and the villages are seperated by water, but there is a narrow spit of land that almost connects them. I used our 4-wheeler to haul the boat about 6 miles down to the end of the spit, from there it is about 1/4 mile of water to row across. Once I got across the water I had to carry my toolbox along the beach about 1 mile to Teller. Just another day work.

Rudstroms on the Tundra

When my Mom was here, she got a few nice photos of the three of us hanging out on the tundra surrounded by the beautiful fall colors.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Picture of the Day - Australians

I saw two strangers walking through the village today, so I stopped and invited them over for a cup of tea. It turns out they are from Australia and just sailed their 34' sailboat through the Northwest passage. They anchored their boat near Brevig to wait out some bad weather. I'll tell you more of the details of their journey tomorrow.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Picture of the Day - Cranes

The cranes have started to pass by here. About 50,000 sandhill cranes migrate all the way from Siberia to Texas and Nebraska. Along the way they pass right over Brevig Mission. So far we have only seen small flocks this year, but once they get moving the sky will be filled with them.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Picture of the Day - Bear Hunt Part II

Roger and I went out bear hunting again today. We did not see any bears, but I did shoot 6 ptarmigan. Here I am cooking lunch in front of an old gold dredge.


Thursday, September 4, 2008

Picture of the Day - Bear Hunting

Roger and I went bear hunting today. Didn't see any bears. We'll try again tomorrow.

Minnesota Roots

Our son is primarily growing up in an Eskimo village in rural Alaska. He was born in Guatemala and is being raised by Scandinavians from Northern Minnesota. That's a lot of cultures coming together. Here's him sporting his Vikings jersey and getting in touch with those Minnesota roots.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Picture of the Day - Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Christine

Jibber Jabber

Harold has recently started talking up a storm. Here's a little clip of some of the words he knows. He's also starting to copy a lot of our words, even if he doesn't totally understand.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Picture of the Day - Throwing Rocks

Grandma and grandpa Lindula (AnnMarie's parents) are here for a visit. Harold and Roger spent the afternoon throwing rocks in the ocean.

What a Mess!

Here's the results of a toddler getting into a Vaseline jar. Turns out, Vaseline doesn't just wash out with shampoo. This happened when I was at work, so C.O. had the fun of dealing with this mess.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Picture of the Day - Fire Wood

I cut some firewood for the winter today. There are no trees around here, but we do have a lot of drift wood. Apparently trees wash down the Yukon river and the ocean currents carry them up to our area. In this photo I'm cutting up a bunch of scrap lumber from a construction project.

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day, I hope each of you is enjoying a day of rest to recognize the efforts of all of your hard work. Living in Brevig has given C.O. and I a chance to pick up some new skills that would make our resumes pretty diverse. Our hope is that we will never again need to assemble a resume but if the need should arise, I think ours would stand out from the pack.

One of the skills I've been working on is cutting hair. Granted, it doesn't always work out perfectly, but for the most part I meet the hair cutting needs of my family and help out a few neighborhood folks as well.