God’s Provisions Warning: Moose Story

We got a good dusting of snow today. It came pretty steadily most of the day. It might be a half inch.
God has given us a surprise provision today.
Just about 8 am Brian answered the phone and it was the state troopers about a moose. Voice For Christ Ministries is on their charity list to salvage hit moose.
This moose was hit on the highway just south of where the Migras live. They were willing to get to it right away. As soon as I finished my early Sunday radio responsibilities, I took the three older children to be helpers. Gabrielle is so happy to help with this type of job. Her biology class last year and her current anatomy and physiology class have captured her interest. She willingly helped with the work, but she was the one with a baggie in her pocket for an eyeball. She also took out the brains. Simeon was in charge of taking a hatchet to cut the skull to remove the antlers. (They were not for us.)
Elliot’s interest in this is taking pieces of the hide to try tanning methods.One thing he is eager to try is the sourdough method.

We had tenderloins for dinner…ummmm! I think tomorrow is liver and onions. Brian is looking forward to the heart and Rick really recommends tongue sandwiches.

Just Dandy

Michaela picked some dandelions yesterday.
Well, I saw a neighbor’s yard with bright yellow dandelions and told Michaela that if she picked them for me that I would pay her a penny for each…(I thought that would help keep them from spreading!)
Michaela didn’t pick as many as she could have, but she did a great job.
I thought that it would help her understanding in counting by tens to a hundred if she counted all those dandelions. We put ten pages of scrap paper onto the dining room table and she started counting out her flowers–ten to a page. When she had flowers on all ten pages, we dumped them into my dishpan in the middle of the table. While she started counting again, I headed to get her a dollar for the 100 plucked flowers. I was feeling like this had been a good deal for both of us.
Michaela got lots of practice counting by tens to hundreds and even found out what ten hundreds is called. When she topped off at 1300 dandelions, I was convinced that I wouldn’t offer her a penny per flower ever again!
I saw the neighbor’s yard on my way to the post office this morning. It looked just like it did yesterday morning before Michaela had picked any flowers.

Wutta view

Mushing across a lake

El mushing across a lake

Turkey Shoot

I have never seen a turkey shoot anything. Neither have I ever attended a Turkey Shoot until today. Gabrielle and Elliot tried their skill at shooting since they each completed a gun safety course last fall. They each paid $2.00 for ten bullets rounds. Gabrielle used a gun .22 bolt-action single shot open -sight rifle. Elliot used a .22, but it had a bullet holder thing magazine and  spy-glass thing scope.

I was relived to see that they were shooting paper pictures of turkeys and NOT real live turkeys.  Oh,  the prize for the best of  each group of ten shooters was a frozen turkey. Even if it hadn’t been the plucked- ready -to- thaw- and- roast variety, it would likely been frozen because it was so cold out there.  It was about 20 degrees but there was wind.

Tomorrow, I’m roasting a chicken.

March 6,10

E getting to ready to shoot a "turkey"

March 6, 10

G chooses a gun that works for her

Birthdays and “The Boys”

Cooper and Bo Dec 2009

Cooper and Bo Dec 2009

On our fridge are pictures of the children when they were 3,  6,  9,  12,  and 15.  We got the pictures taken throughout the year at a place that  has wooden numerals to use as props.  I like to look back and know how old the child was when the picture was taken.  This is the year for pictures with the wooden numerals again since the children are 6, 12, 15, and 18.

The most recent pictures have a couple of unusual ‘props’. These pictures will bring us lots of fond memories of this time of our lives.

Elliot (15) and Cooper

Elliot (15) and Cooper

condemnation, barley, and mildew

One day last week, a little girl in our house was not especially enjoying her lunch that included barley.  I guess that she was dodging the thought of finishing the lunch because she asked me, out of the blue, “Mom, what is ‘condemnation’ ?”

I explained that the word starts with the word ‘condemn’ and is like judging. If a person killed another person, the judge might condemn the killer to life in prison. I guess that was enough to derail thoughts of seeking the meaning of a big word, for the next question was, “Would they give you food in the prison?”

Yes, prisoners are provided with food. “Do they give you clothes?” was her quick reply. Yes, I said, the people in jail get clothes. Next, with a more agitated tone, she asked, “Do they give you mildew?”

I have NO idea where that thought came from!  Maybe I shouldn’t cook barley any time soon unless I have nearby a dictionary and a preacher and a judge and a janitorial custodian and a …


We recently had an opportunity to experience MUKTUK. I even asked how to spell the word so as to sound more knowledgable. The Muktuk looked like half inch cubes of tofu; creamy colored. I expected it to be soft like that, too. Instead, it was rather chewy with a rather firm texture.

This is how it came about:

There was a two man crew here in Nenana to help some folks with wood cutting. We Blairs had the privilege of having the crew as company for a few meals that week.  One day when it had been snowing all day, the crew was driving the pick-up into Nenana after cutting a load of wood. They noticed an incoming plane that looked like it was having trouble. Always willing to lend a helping hand and ready for adventure, this crew went to the airport to see what they could do. They ended up inviting the pilot to stay the night with them and have supper which was scheduled to be with us. The pilot had gear and supplies in case of an emergency, but he was grateful for real shelter and real food. We were happy to have him and to hear his story. He had been diverted by the snow while flying to Fairbanks from Kotzebue.

As a sort of house gift, the pilot brought a jar of pickled Muktuk to share with us all. I like pickles. I thought it was a good idea to try something new. Maybe I should have tried it before the meal was over. All evening, the pickling spices  reminded me that I had eaten a bite of Muktuk. Whale epidermis.

The Fair is done for this year

The results are now in and I have four of the best  in my own family. I am not being partial to my own children. I have documented proof from people who have just recently met my children. Well, seeing is believing, right?

Gabrielle has Grand Champion for Showmanship

Gabrielle has Grand Champion for Showmanship

Elliot's Grand Champion Poster

Elliot's Grand Champion Poster

God has really blessed us with children who enjoy life and learning. We are grateful.

Fair-ly great

Our children are having a great week while participating in the Tanana Valley State Fair. We are just over half-way done, so the final count of awards cannot be told. We have begun a display at home of the ribbons that the children have been allowed to bring home. There are six blue (first place), one red (second place), one white (third place), one purple (class champion), and one for sixth and one for seventh places in the Pet show.

We have taken whole wheat bread, rolls, peanut butter cookies, tortillas, carob cakes, sourdough muffins, posters, rhubarb, and a notebook about training goldfish.  Two of the children participated in Culinary Capers which is an on the spot cooking project while a panel of three judges look on. One of our two got a class champion for this (not mentioned above). 

The opportunity to be in 4-H has been good for our four children to learn in long-term projects. Entering into the Open class has allowed them more breadth without the depth.

We’ll see how the rest of the week unfolds.

Bo is nearly healed after his small surgery

Bo is nearly healed after his small surgery

 Bo is wearing a cone to keep him from irritating his surgery site after being neutered. This procedure was necessary for him to become more focused on the work of a guide than on the whims of being a male dog.

Sim's fish Dragonfly scores a goal

Sim's fish Dragonfly scores a goal

 The training is paying off in interesting tricks for Sim’s fish.  One or both can do the Hoop, the Tunnel, play soccer, and Finger feeding.  In reality, he doesn’t feed them fingers, but hand caught mosquitos. This is giving me a marketing idea for Alaskan mosquito-y summers…

Cooper, ready to dig a hole for a bone, is equipped with climbing rope, hiking boots, and mattock.

Cooper, ready to dig a hole for a bone, is equipped with climbing rope, hiking boots, and mattock.

 Nearly everyone’s dog likes to dig a hole for his bone.  Cooper is not your average dog. Well, maybe he is.  It’s probably Elliot that’s showing some creativity.8+)

The wildfires in the Nenana area continue to grow, we’ve had a few noticeable earthquakes, and Nenana is getting several streets surfaced.  I had to use 4-wheel drive yesterday to leave our driveway.

Today is Brian and Laurie’s 253rd anniversary. Can’t insert a picture for this.