"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes

Current Weather Info

Current Sun and Moon Info

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Airport

It was -3 when I took Avery to the airport at 7:30 this morning. He is off to Fairbanks for the Tanana State Wrestling Competition for 6-8 grades. This morning in Fairbanks the kids were saying that it was -19 without windchill. It is usually pretty significantly colder in Fairbanks than it is here in Bethel because Fairbanks is so much closer to the Arctic Circle. I am so excited for Avery to get to go to this competition and I am hoping that this will motivate him to continue to excel at wrestling. I'm also glad for him to be getting out of town for awhile. Him and I both are starting to go stir crazy being always stuck in Bethel. We're so used to being able to hop in the car and go somewhere, but here if you want to go somewhere you have to hop on a plane to do it...and that gets expensive. I'm also looking forward to a kid free weekend to relax and have no responsibility. AND...it's great that they flew with Alaska air because Avery will earn points for his airline milage plan that we can save for later flights. YAY!Bethel has the 3RD BUSIEST AIRPORT IN THE STATE OF ALASKA!The airport here is interesting and unlike anything I've ever seen. This is a picture of the Alaska Airline terminal. It is one big room. Starting in the far left corner there's the bathroom, then the check in desk, then the line where you go through the metal detector and get your carry ons xrayed, and, finally, there is the baggage claim. Only one plane, called a jet here, comes in at a time. There are three jets a day that come and go between Bethel and Anchorage through Alaska Air....one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one at night. The plane brings in a load of people from Anchorage and picks up a load from Bethel. So, you have the people leaving and the people coming in all in this tiny little space. Sometimes the plane from Anchorage is half cargo. The plane we originally came here on was half cargo.

In addition to the Alaska Air terminal, there are countless buildings that house smaller airlines. Each of these individual airlines have their own building that they use to manage their company and conduct business. They all share the same runway. Most of these fly to and from villages. Some of these airlines are passenger, some are cargo. Some are public, some private, some charter. They fly people, supplies, mail, and even sled dogs. They fly whatever need to be brought in or taken out of the regional villages. Only one other airline that I know of goes to Anchorage from Bethel and that's Era Aviation. I've flown with Alaska Air twice and Era once. The Era flight was quite an experience(see blog post from october). I've dropped mail with other air carriers and picked up my mattresses and dresser that my landlord had flown in from Anchorage. Avery has flown with several of the smaller airlines for wrestling.

It's just so different than what we're all used to in the lower 48. It's almost like our little airport in Van Wert except there's MUCH more air traffic and building and the runway is longer and paved...but imagine the VW airport times 10 bigger and busier.

In other news...
Just three short months and I will be home for the summer. I cant wait, but am still wondering what to do about a job and a car....oh, well, I guess I'll figure it out soon enough. I think I'll work on that next week during spring break. One week of Spring Break, one more week in the third quarter, then 9 more weeks to go and school will be out and I'll be on my way home.

Next week is spring break. I really wanted to get out of town, but would rather save my money for this summer. And with Avery leaving to Fairbanks, I figured he's already getting out of town for awhile. I need to get some things done around here anyway. My wing at school is getting remodeled this summer which means I have to move out of my room before the middle of May. I've been slowly working on cleaning out all of my cabinets, but there is so much stuff that I dont know what to do with it all. And some of the supplies and equipment are so old that they arent really usable anymore. I found stuff from the 1960's in my room. I think I'll be doing some major cleaning of my room before the end of the year. My room, if you remember from a blog post when I first moved here, was the "junk" room....the place where people stuck all the stuff that they thought they might use someday. Time to junk some of this stuff. Science is a discipline that is always changing and moving forward...time to do that. Time for some new supplies.

Sunlight and weather...
We're up to 10hours and 18 minutes of sunlight and gaining 5 minutes and 39 seconds tomorrow. The sun has been shining brightly each day and is rising higher and higher all the time. It has been above zero at some point in the day every day for about two weeks now. I hope the weather stays nice for spring break so the kids can burn off some steam and be ready to get back to work for the last 10 weeks of school. Those 10 weeks will be a long haul I'm sure. I figure by the time I leave in May, we'll be up to about 16 hours of light. I cant even begin to describe how much I appreciate the extra sunlight. It's wonderful.

For fun...
We went to a production of the musical Little Shop of Horrors put on by here in Bethel. Students from BRHS filled the 9 or 10 roles in the play. It was great! It was so much fun and the students did such a great job. I didnt get any pics because my camera was still out of batteries. This was the third play I've been to since moving here and, by far, the best.

Well, I think that's it for now. Miss everybody, please comment so I know I havent been forgotten.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Good Morning to me!

The sun was shining on my way to school for the first time since fall(granted I was running about 15 minutes later than usual). It was so awesome to drive to school with the morning light shining. This seems so trivial, but it's so exciting to me that I had to share it with you!

Monday, February 25, 2008

GO Avery!

Avery is going to the state wrestling competition in Tanana, Alaska. He leaves Thursday morning and returns on Sunday. What a great opportunity for him. The chance to come home as the state wrestling champion. How exciting! I wish I could get out of here for a few days.

In other news...
Daylight update: We're up past 10 hours on sunlight now and gaining 5minutes 38 seconds each day. It's amazing what a difference having sunlight will make.

Latest Read: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. The story line of the book was good, but I was not impressed by the writing. His writing style is very informal. It kind of like he's just talking to you. I have not been impressed with his style at all. I think if he were a better writer, he could take his good story lines and make them great. He has a wonderful talent for coming up with stories, just not so great at the writing them part. Maybe he should do screen plays instead.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jessica wins Jr. Iditarod

How exciting for Jessica. Congratulations! I'm happy that someone from Bethel was able to win. I'm also glad for Jessica. She deserves it. She trains hard and is just an all around great kid!

The regular Iditarod is next weekend. It starts on Saturday morning. You can check out the link to the Iditarod website on the right of this page.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

If there aren't any injuries....

Tonight I was on my way home from the basketball game when I passed a fender bender. As I passed, I saw that it was my neighbor who had been rear-ended by one of the high school students leaving the game. So, I did a loop around the block and stopped to see if anybody needed help. My neighbors truck was not even scratched, but the kids' vehicle was pretty bashed up in the front. I asked if they needed any help. My neighbor said he had asked a cab that drove by to call the cops and was going to wait for them. Chandra was with me so I ran her home and called the police from her place to see if they knew about the accident.

So, I dialed the nonemergency number and the conversation went something like this....

Operator: Bethel Police.
Me: There's an accident out in front of the high school. I just wanted to see if it had been reported.
Operator: Is anyone injured?
Me: No, I don't think so.
Operator: We don't send anyone out unless there is an injury.
Me: Oh, uhhhhhhhhhh, what should they do then?
Operator: They need to come down to the station, pick up the forms, fill them out, and send them to Juneau.
Me: Uh...ok, thanks.

So, not only do the police NOT come to the scene of an accident, but then you have to go pick up the paperwork, fill it out yourself, and mail it to Juneau!

I swear I'm not living in the United States anymore!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tundra Goggles

A few days ago, Chandra and I saw a guy friend of ours that we hadnt seen since way back when we first got here. We both commented that we thought he was much better looking now than he had been when we first met him. After several seconds of thought, we came to the conclusion that the reason he was more attractive is simply because of our warped perception.

It has been so long that we have laid eyes on any attractive men, therefore men that are just average looking seem to be more attractive than they normally would be. This phenomena, we decided, is similar to what is known as wearing "beer goggles". Because of this, we have decided to dub our warped outlook on the attractiveness of men "TUNDRA GOGGLES".

And yet another example of the ways living in bush Alaska can distort your perspective. Thanks goodness we can laugh about this!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Might as well be SUMMER!

38 degrees. The sun is shining brightly off of two feet of melting snow, warming my face. The angle of the sun is increasing as well and what a difference it makes! To see the sun actually rise into the sky as if it's headed toward something greater than its usual barely past dawn position is a glorious sight. The sight and sound of snowmachines zooming all around in every direction. Everyone is out, noone can resist the warmth and sunshine of today. You have to get out and enjoy because you know it will be -40 again in no time. Thoughts of spring and summer are on my mind today. Not only does the sunshine and heat warm the body, but the mind and soul as well. I'd be willing to bet all the students will be in great moods tomorrow. I know I will be.

I took Taboo and Bailey out for a walk. It was Bailey's first real walk. She did pretty good, but is definitely not used to being on a leash. I can imagine that that would take some getting used to. I would have taken some pictures for you to see, but my camera is still out of batteries. What a difference perspective makes. 38 degrees would be cold anywhere else, but here it's amazingly warm. Avery didnt have school today so he spent the night at a friends house and stayed all day today. They are having a birthday party for the kid this evening. Avery also got to go snow machine riding with my neighbor yesterday for about an hour. So, he's been keeping busy having some fun. I hope all of that, along with this sunshine, will give him a more positive disposition.

Today is a crocus pushing through the snow kind of day!

(Disclaimer...Crocus, to my knowledge, do not grow in this part of Alaska. And, even if they did, it is still too cold for them to be showing themselves. Therefore, I did not take that photo. I pulled it from the web.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Lost time!

For weeks I kept thinking that it seemed like my alarm clock was farther and farther ahead each day. I have finally figured out that it is! We have four clocks in the house. Three of them are digital electric and one runs on batteries. The three that plug in gain about a minute every two or three days, sometimes more, sometimes less. I usually set my alarm clock 15 minutes fast and right now it's 38 minutes fast. I dont think I ever noticed this before because every few weeks we would have a power outage and I would have to reset all the clocks, but we havent had a power outage for months now. The only reason I can think of to explain the clocks jumping ahead is that we have power surges. As to why we have power surges...I have no clue, but it must be happening. How frequent and intense the power surge, the farther it makes that clocks jump ahead? Does this make sense?

Does anyone else have any explanation for all of the clocks gaining time? I'd really love to hear your thoughts, it's really kind of strange. I've never heard of clocks gaining time before. Have you?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Kroger Day!

I'm not a big celebrator of Valentine's Day, but I have been known to celebrate Kroger Day with a certain someone. Happy Kroger Day! You know who you are! I wonder if you even read the blog?

Oh, and, what the heck...Happy Valentine's Day to everybody else!

Monday, February 11, 2008

They grow so fast...and other random thoughts

The awesome Lithium Energizer batteries that Chandra recommended for my camera have finally puttered out. They lasted well over three months, which is great considering that regular batteries only last about a week, if that. The reason that I'm telling you this is in hopes that you will excuse the lack of pictures on the blog lately. The other reason I'm telling you this is because you cant get those batteries here in Bethel (at least, not that I can find) and I was thinking that maybe some kind, giving person would be willing to mail me some. I would be willing to accept them as a late birthday present or a Valentine's Day present or a President's Day present. Heck, I'd even be willing to pay for them...I'll send you a check! My camera holds four AA's. With luck, they could be here before spring break. I'm sure I'll be up for taking some great pics during break.

So, anyhow.....it's been awhile since I've posted pics of our new family member. Bailey is growing so fast. She's so big already, it's just unbelievable how fast they grow. She has to squat to fit under the coffee table now. We took her to her second vet appt last monday and she's up to 12 pounds. Vets says she's a very healthy pup. She got her second round of booster shots. One more round to go and she'll have her complete set of puppy shots. She carries her ears lopsided ever since we treated her for an earmite infection. She has discovered that she can fit(barely) under the beds and likes to crawl under them and run around. She runs around like a crazy kid, almost as though she has no regular walking pace. Like she has to run everywhere she goes. She's got a yappy little bark(that'd be the schnauzer in her), but she doesnt use it that often(which is great). She loves to tear around the house in the mornings when she first wakes up. She also likes to jump on Taboo and chase his tail and nip at his heelsShe's so much fun and a quick learner. She's almost completely potty trained now, although she has the ocassional accident. She absolutely adores Avery and I. She's really feisty and likes to bite. She chewed up Avery's book the other night when he fell asleep with it in bed, but that's the first thing that she's chewed on. She is really good about chewing on her toys. The living room is constantly littered with dog toys and fluff. Taboo couldnt resist any longer and the elephant finally lost its head(and its squeeky). I think he did good though...he waited a month and a half. Bailey has a new favorite toy now though. A little stuffed dog named Russell.
In other news...it's still cold. About -16 right now and -35 with wind chill. Our outermost door, called the arctic entry, has ice all over it inside and out. We have now been both locked in and out of the house. I have started putting a piece of cardboard between the door and the jam to keep the latch from freezing shut. Another interesting thing is that we find random icy places inside the house. Avery came to me the other day and said the paint was falling off the walls in his closet. That sounded unusual, so I went to check it out and found that it was frost. The frost was INSIDE his closet and built up so that it had flaked off and made a little snow pile in the corner. One day we opened the bottom drawer of his dresser(which is also in his closet) and the whole inside of the drawer had a layer of ice in it. All of the windows have ice about an inch thick across the bottom and the walls of the arctic entry are completely covered in ice/frost. It's completely impossible to open the windows because they are frozen shut. If anything ever happened and we had to get out, we would have to break the window.

Not too much is new...Thanks to Kale(another first year teacher who lives out in a village called Mekoryuk), I've been on an old school movie binge. We had a Never Ending Story marathon on Sunday and watched all three of them. I've been putting my Netflix subscription to good use. I've got a bunch of 80's movies on my queue...Batteries Not Included, Big, Little Shop of Horrors, Mannequin, Return to Oz, Flight of the Navigator, Labyrinth, Dick Tracy, The Princess Bride, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Gremlins, BeetleJuice, Earth Girls Are Easy, Ghostbusters, The Goonies, Adventures in Babysitting and Back to the Future. These are all great movies that I grew up watching.

We bought Yahtzee the other day and have been playing it quite a bit. Avery has basically won everytime. I am not a good Yahtzeeer! I've started fooling around with playing online spades. I used to play my freshman year of college and thought it would give me something to do, so I signed up for an account at Pogo games.

I cook all the time now and I love it! I get a box of fresh fruits and veggies every other week from an organic farm down in Washington State. In each box, there are always one or two ingredients that I'm not quite sure what to do with. This week, it was beets...red beets. I dont think I've ever eaten red beets in my life...ever. Let alone cooked them. So, I went online and looked for a recipe and the only thing I could find that even sounded remotely good was Beet Curry soup. So, I made it yesterday while we were watching the Never Ending Story movies. That's what I do on Sunday's...go to church, watch movies now that football season is over(sigh), do laundry, clean, and cook. I cook or get ready several meals on Sunday that way cooking during the week is much easier. So anyway...i'm making beet curry soup and the recipe specifically says to be careful about what you use to prepare beets because they will stain everything red. I made the soup and it turned out pretty good. Avery and Chandra didnt like it, but I thought it was alright. I mean...it's definitely not the best thing i've ever tasted, but it's good. I had a bowl for dinner last night and one for lunch today. It is a beautiful red color and thick, kind of looks like blood. And when they said it stains everything...they meant everything...it was still red when it came out the other end. That's pretty crazy...totally freaked me out and I know some of you wont want to hear all this, but I think it's interesting because only if i were stuck in bush Alaska would I ever have the opportunity to find out that beets can turn your pee red. And only in bush Alaska would it be the most interesting thing that happened all week. Wow!

Ok...moving on then...We are now up to 8hours and 43 minutes of daylight. Tomorrow will be 5minutes and 29seconds longer. Time is going so fast. Spring break is right around the corner. Ours is the first week of March and it will be well received. After that only about two months and school will be out for the summer. I still havent seen the aurora yet and it's starting to bug me. I hope I get to see it before winter is over. I cant believe I'm even contemplating the end of winter. I cant believe I've almost lived through an Alaskan winter. Crazy how time flies. Things are good at school for me. I really like the school, the administration, and the students. Sometimes I feel like it's my first year of teaching again, but it's good. Right now we're studying Energy in 8th grade physical science and the students are getting ready to have debate on nuclear weapons (as a part of a discussion on nuclear energy). My Biology class is just finishing up learning about Mendelian genetics and make dragons babies by flipping a coin to figure out what genes the baby would get from each parent. They are also slowing wrapping up a project where they made informational brochures about a genetic disease. I feel like my students are learning more right now than they have all year. It's great!

I was bummed recently when I finally found the time to read up on my retirement plan here in Alaska. Turns out that I have to stay five years in order to be 100%vested. The way it's set up is that if you stay 1 year you get 0% of the employer contribution, 2 years 25%, 3 years 50%, 4 years 75% and five years 100% of the employer contribution. Of course you always get to keep what you personally have paid in, but I would like to also walk away with the employers contribution too. I'm just not ready to stay here for five years...not at this time in my life.
Actually, to be more honest/accurate...not at this time in Avery's life. He needs to be down in the Lower 48 once he starts high school. So that means that at most I'll spend 3 years here and get only 50 percent of my employer contribution. Oh well! Ya live and ya learn! I wonder if I leave after three years and then come back later (like after Avery graduates HS), if I can get the other 50%? I'll have to check up on that.

And while I'm on the topic of benefits, I might also say that the health insurance is not as great as what I had before, BUT (and this is a big BUT) i dont pay for it. The school district pays the health insurance premiums! So, I guess it evens out.

Ok, one more thing, then I'm done blabbing for now....my phone isnt working. Neither one. My cordless will only hold a charge for about 10 minutes before it dies. my cord phone wont let me dial out and you can hardly hear when I use it. Please keep in mind that BOTH of these phones are brand new since coming to Bethel. the cordless was bought in VW and the cord phone in anchorage. FRUSTRATING! So, the point is...if you've called and I havent called back or if you just havent heard from me for awhile, that's why. There's a new phone on its way! Some day! Mom's supposed to be sending it, so I wont hold my breath.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Everybody loves the dots

So, the new map feature really has been a big hit. I've had more comments for that then I've had for awhile. So, I thought I'd try to explain a little bit more how it works. If you click on the "Cluster map", you can see a bigger version of the same map. Then you can click where it says 'map with smaller clusters' to see even more dots. The dots are only updated if there is at least a 10% increase in the number of dots that would be put on the map. This means that there has to be 10% more NEW dots in order for the dots to update. However, under the map it keeps track of how many people read each day and THAT information IS updated every day. As far as I can tell, the map updates each night at about 10pm Alaska Standard Time, which is 2am Eastern Standard Time..

I'm glad everyone is enjoying the little red dots as much as I am. It's interesting how things that would be totally lame any other time or any other place are totally cool when you're stuck in the middle of bush Alaska.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Little Red Dots

So, I added another new feature to the blog. DOTS! The map on the right has little red dots that show where the readers are located. So far there is a dot on Bethel. I think this is probably from Chandra, but maybe their are others reading too. I also see a dot near where Van Wert would be which I think is Lisa since I know she visited the blog recently. Then there is a dot in Florida which I think is Edna, even though she hasnt commented for a long time. Then there is a dot somewhere near the Wisconsin/Minnesota border...I have no clue who that might be. If you are reading, please let me know who you are. Curiosity is killing me!

So, I'm not sure how often the dots will be updated or how accurate it is, but we will find out! You can click on the map to see the dots better. I'm so excited. Thanks to Andy for putting it on her blog first. I stole the idea from her.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Nothing particularly interesting

Here are a couple of pics from when we got all that snow. We had this huge snow wave on the roof that threatened to crash down on our heads every time we stepped out the door. The funny things is...it never did. It's still there. It's a little flatter now and is sagging farther down, but it's stiff. All of the snow that we got is still here...it's just stiff now. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it has something to do with the dew point being so low. So, whenever the temperature reaches dew point, the dew freezes instantly, which hardens that top/outer layer of the snow.The official count was 16 inches. We got 16 inches in one day. We had already had about 8-10, so there's a good two feet of snow now piled up in massive mounds all over town. It still boggles my mind that school didnt even delay or cancel. If that would have been back in Ohio and we had gotten that much snow on a Sunday. School on Monday would have been cancelled before Sunday was even over and school on Tuesday would have been cancelled too. And most likely delays for the rest of the week.
The new thing with the weather is that it's COLD! and WINDY! It's running about -10 to -20 ambient and about -40 to -50 with wind chill. The new thing is that everyone is wondering just how dang cold is has to get before we cancel school. We got a chart sent by email today that shows ambient vs. wind chill temps and were they draw the line for cancellation. I tried to figure a way to get it in the blog, but couldn't. But basically, it's a curved line and the line falls in the region where frostbite can occur within ten minutes. We're still on a wind chill advisory...for about the 5th day straight. The wind is fiercely cold and gets in to every bone in your body.

In other news, we had to make a mask for the Yupik culture class that I'm taking. Here's a picture of mine. Mine turned out looking like an alien, which was not my intention. The pictures on the left side of the mask represent things from my life before Bethel and the pictures on the right represent things from my life after Bethel, with the pictures in the middle symbolizing things that would be parts of my life either place. I like it and I think it's kinda cool, but it doesnt look anything like the native masks that other people made. Here's the rub...how are we supposed to design a native mask before we've even learned what a native mask looks like?

Highlight of my week...I got some coffee and a coffee pot in the mail from Gevalia yesterday. Now, I dont really drink coffee very often. Back home I probably had it once every couple of weeks. I always liked to stop at a gas station and get mine with half regular coffee and half french vanilla cappachino (sp?). Here in Bethel, they dont really have that option available and while there are a couple places that you can get coffee here in town, none of them even serve regular coffee(let alone mixing it with half cappachino) and none of them even serve coffee that I would call "good". So, even though it's not something I drink very often, I do like the option of being able to have a cup when I want one. I've had a couple cups and I can say that it's good. I certainly wont take up the habit of drinking coffee everyday, but it's good to know I can have a cup if I want one. (kinda similiar to the way I feel about alcohol since i've been here in Bethel...you cant stop and pick up something to drink when you want it, so you have to just keep in on hand)

Sunlight...The sun is rising before 10am now. We're gaining 5minutes and 22seconds now. within 20 days, the sun will be up before the start of school. I have to admit...one of the advantages to having these really cold days is that there is not a cloud in the sky. The sun shines beautifully!

Avery....is back to wrestling, is going to boy scouts meetings, and has joined the academic pentathlon team at school. He is doing spectacularly at school academically, but is getting in more trouble than he has in the past. The trouble he gets into is nothing major...it's mostly just piddly stuff like cutting in line and goofing off in class. This is partly due to puberty, partly due to adjusting to a new place, and partly due to being at a disfunctional school. Frankly, I am so dissatisfied with everything about his school that I could just pull my hair out at times. If he had to go to that school again next year...we would NOT be staying here, but, thankfully, he'll be at the high school next year for the 7th grade. He just got rewarded for having perfect attendance for the first semester. He hasnt missed a day of school all year and he's pretty proud of himself for that. He has a birthday party to go to this weekend, which is great because I will get a night to myself, which I havent had for MONTHS. He is definitely taking longer than I had imagined to integrate himself into our new home, but I think maybe it's starting to happen. He's hanging out at the HS basketball games on the weekends with his friends, but is bugging me alot to let him go snow machining with his friends and I just dont think he's ready for that yet. This has been an area of discord between us. Kids here are raised in these harsh conditions and know (at least better than Avery) what they're doing. Avery doesnt yet even understand the concept of frostbite or hypothermia. Kids here are also given ALOT of freedom to make their own mistakes and roam free. Avery is not ready for that, nor I am ready to give it. At least, not all at once. The boyscouts are planning a winter camping trip soon, so hopefully that will cure his adventurous spirit for awhile. AND my neighbor just bought two new snow machines, so we're hoping that he will take us out sometime. I dont mind Avery riding a snow machine...just not with a bunch of other 12 year olds and no adults around. He has actually already driven my other neighbors machine and did great.

Sunday, February 03, 2008


to me! 28 already? WOW! Nothing special planned for my birthday. Superbowl party to go to, but still bummed that the Pack is not in it. I'll post more later.

Ok.....it's later. NYGiants won the Superbowl and I'm glad for them. I wouldnt have minded seeing the Patriots win and make history with their perfect season though either. Had a good time at the Superbowl party. Lots of people and food. Great time. It would have been better if it would have been the packers...

Not much new goin' on these days. Working everyday and loving it! Get togethers with friends I've met or going to community events. Alot of time reading, lesson planning, and watching movies. I'm also taking a Yupik culture class and I've been trying to get some assignments and stuff done for that lately. Things are good.

It's cold again...-22 today. There's a wind chill advisory out until 9am tomorrow. With wind chill right now it's -40! I can tell you...it's really cold out. Super cold out! Unbelievably cold out. We're up to 8 hours of daylight and tomorrow will be 5minutes and 17seconds longer. It's crazy how fast we're gaining light. I havent seen the aurora yet, so I dont want it to get light too fast until I get to see it. I'm hoping it will show itself to me soon.

Thanks to everyone who called, emailed, commented, or sent a card for my birthday. I heard from quite a few people and that helps to know that I havent been forgotten way up here in the Last Frontier. I love you and miss you all!