Izzy Grace

Old man winter finally arrived in Nunam Iqua, Alaska.

075

The changing seasons also brought with it a change of another sort, a new addition to the family.  Essie flew in to Anchorage on November 11th to await baby Izzy’s arrival, so it’s been just Kian and I for a while.  We’ve been keeping busy trying to make Izzy some baby booties out of fur.  This is my 1st attempt at making ANYTHING out of fur and I’m sure, as with anything, there is a learning curve to get around.

030029031032040033

I made 2 and they both came out different.  I still need to make a 3rd one and hopefully it will be like one of the first 2…..

I ordered the rabbit fur online but the dark fur around the top is from a river otter that I caught last winter and had tanned in Fairbanks.

046

As I was failing at making my fur bootie masterpiece, Kian was having hot cocoa and playing with the furs.

036

Soon enough it was time for Kian and I to make our way to Anchorage to see Mom and Izzy!  The threat of a 2-3 day snow storm made me schedule an earlier departure with Grant Airlines.

082

The little plane took us to Emmonak where we got on a bigger plane for our trip to Bethel.

093090

After a short stop in Bethel, we were Anchorage bound.

098

After a month apart, it was good to see Momma and have some fun as a family before the new baby arrived.  Kian decorated the tree all by himself.

117109111

On the morning of December 9th, about 3:30 in the morning, Essie woke me up to tell me that we should probably get ready and go to the hospital.  Good thing we did because there is a protocol that they have to follow when you’re being admitted; they have to check your vitals, draw blood, etc.  Long story short, Essie nearly didn’t get an epidural because the baby almost showed up before her blood work came back.  I’m so glad she got the epidural.  “I’m not having this kid without an epidural.”

“Honey, there’s nothing I can do.”

“Are you hearing me?!  I’M NOT HAVING THIS KID WITHOUT AN EPIDURAL!!!!”

I made a couple of trips out to the nurses’ station to plead with them.  “Please, for the love of God, give that woman some drugs!”

Her blood work came back just in the nick of time.  As they sat her up to give her the epidural, her water broke.

They said it would be a little while so I took Kian down the street to get him some breakfast.   The closest thing was McDonalds and just as we sat down, Essie called and asked if I wanted to cut the cord.

“Haha, okay.  You’re funny.”  Then I heard the baby cry.  “Oh crap, you’re not kidding!”

Sadly, we couldn’t make it back in time so Essie cut her own cord.  But when we did make it back a few minutes later, we got to see beautiful Izzy.

149136166120151128189

Isabelle Grace Beck

May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

 

Advertisements

Right this way, Old Man Winter.

050065067

With Old Man Winter trying to move in for the next 6-8 months, Kian and I have been working out in the evenings to burn off some extra energy before bedtime.   And there’s the added benefit of fighting off the winter bulge because we always seem to be a bit ‘fluffier’ in the spring, especially in the midsection.  It’s sometimes challenging trying to get in a good workout with a kiddo who’s usually under your feet, wanting to be where the action is.

Challenging, but not impossible.  Kian loves to workout and do exercises.  He came up with this helpful core training technique all on his own.  Half the time I’ve got my eyes closed, praying to God that his aim doesn’t wander…..

 

Before the snowfall, Solomon, Tyler, and I took a boat ride to Akuleraq to try and catch some beavers.  They usually stir the most in the evenings and mornings.  We hunted that evening, stayed overnight in one of the old fish camp cabins, and hunted again the next morning.  We saw a few but were unsuccessful in bringing home any.  Very rarely do we return empty-handed.  I mean, not even a stick of firewood to show for the gas money I spent.  But we still had a great time enjoying the last boat ride of the year.

052

I took this as a sign.   Beaver house at the end of a rainbow.  My pot of gold!

058

Sadly, even with a sign from the heavens, we returned home unsuccessful.

These were some beavers I’d caught on a boat ride a few weeks before this last one.  I’ve already sent them to the Tannery in Fairbanks.  When we get them back, we’ll try our hand at making hats and mittens.

041

I had some beavers in the freezer of the shop for awhile, waiting on a new fleshing knife to come in the mail.  Every day Kian had to open the freezer and check to see if they were still there, to make sure they hadn’t got out and ran off.

We usually put Kian down for a nap in the afternoons, but sometimes I have to keep him up while I do something.  Whether it’s finishing a meal I’m cooking or waiting on an airplane to get freight.  No matter what’s going on or where we’re at, when this kid gets tired, he’s GOING TO SLEEP.

023

016035

But once he’s been fully recharged, look out.

020

A true Alaskan with his (Daddy’s) Xtra Tuff boots.

183

Awhile back I wasn’t feeling good but I was in luck since there was a trained medical professional in the village.  Even luckier, he was in the house!

038

After checking his Medical Book, he knew exactly what I needed:  A Shot.

043

We’re ready for baby Isabelle to arrive.  It will be great for Kian to have someone to play with.  He wanted me to take his picture with his “friend” that he made.

057

Kian helped me pick some of the pictures out to include in this post and he wanted these two so here they are.

052051

And with that, we are headed to check the river ice again.

Piurra.

Fall Moose Hunt 2017

The changing color of the tundra grasses and the cooling evening breezes usher in a special time of year: fall moose hunting.  Last fall, Solomon and I went on a 2 day moose hunt, camped out overnight, caught a moose and returned home successful.  This year we set out again.  But instead of hunting Akuleraq, a place I know, he wanted to show me an area Northeast of here.  We saw lots of moose and even more birds (ducks, geese, swans, etc).

There were several places like this along the way.  Nothing around for miles.  Someone’s fish camp/hunting getaway.

011

We ride around in the boat most of the time, checking both sides of the river for moose.  But when we see a clearing in the trees or a field, we usually stop to check it out.  Sometimes the moose are staying just barely out of sight of the river.

015053

Later that evening, we set up camp before it got too dark.  Even the best tents are a headache to put up in the dark.

030

So with our shelter for the night secured, it was time for some warm supper!  It’s not as good as what I would’ve hoped.  But when you’re chilled and hungry, if it’s warm, it’s awesome.

044039038046

The next morning, I woke up a couple hours before Sol.  Some commercial fishing boats had passed during the night, coming back from the coast, and had him up for awhile.  I never heard ’em.  Some of the best sleep I’ve ever gotten is outside in the cold, tucked in a warm sleeping bag.  A little before 7:00 I rustled out, had coffee, and waited on the sunshine.

050051

Having the sun warm the chill from the air is a great feeling.  I never truly appreciated that when I lived in Arkansas.  It was strange when I first came here, my first winter; some days the sun would be out in full force but it wouldn’t raise the temperature 1 degree.  Not one single degree.  You could move from the shade to the sun and feel absolutely no difference whatsoever.  Knowing that winter is just around the corner made the morning warmth all the more special.

090

After Sol woke up, he whipped us up some powdered eggs.  I know.  It sounds horrible.  Surprisingly, it was pretty good.

098

That was our breakfast.  Powdered eggs with some moose jerky I’d made a week ago washed down with coffee.   Mmm-mmm!

103

We saw a couple of young bulls that morning a couple miles from where we camped but they didn’t hang around long enough for a shot.  They were in a bad spot too, right beside the water.  If we got a good shot and it fell in the water………oh Lord.  I’ve never tried to pull a Volkswagen Beetle out of a creek by hand but that’s probably what it would’ve been like.  Either that or we’d be quartering it up while standing in the creek.  Neither outcome was appealing.

We took Akuleraq on our way home.  A few miles from the main channel, Sol caught his moose with one shot.  100+ yards at a moving target, from a moving boat, off hand, a decent cross wind, with the sun directly in his eyes.   Not bad Sol.  Not bad at all.

121

On our way home I was able to catch a couple more beavers.  I trap some during the winter, but I prefer this time of year to get beavers.  It’s a LOT less work.

027

After they come back from Alaska Tannery in Fairbanks, we will try to make ourselves some nice, warm hats and mittens.  I’ve tried lots of gloves and mittens over the last several winters and I can tell you from experience that nothing compares to real fur mittens.

Another successful moose hunt behind us and some fur for winter clothes.  We’re already planning and looking forward to next year’s Fall Moose Hunt!