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

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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.


Bummush Olrun said...

Yeah i got it... I didn't know that you knew my sister shelly! well yeah i got to go to another class so i guess i'll comment you later...oh yeah and i commented you and asked you questions about barcelona

alisha said...

Hi Coretta,

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I looked on your blog to see if I could find your questions about Barcelona, but I couldn't find them. I would be happy to answer your questions though, if you send them to me.

Have a great day Coretta!

Anonymous said...

Alisha, try giving Bailey yogurt and see if the ears return.


Kelly H said...


Your red beet story made me laugh :-) I had a similar experience on St. Patrick's day one year. Everything came out green for awhile. I kinda freaked me out!

Victoria said...

Cute puppy stories :) Sounds a lot like my dog when I first got her... she's now much bigger but still thinks she can fit under beds. Sometimes she spends 10 minutes trying to get out, and then I give up and pull her out because she's obnoxiously loud in the process.

Anyway... as far as spring break is concerned, we don't get one. I would love to have you out anytime, though! Just give me a little bit of a heads up.