Thursday, August 28, 2008

I cannot believe that Moxy is going to be 1 years old, next month. He is barely eating regular food, I cannot even imagine him with a sippy cup.

Ruby's proof that babies really do get big so fast.

Playing in the kitchen. We need to teach Moxy to keep his hand off the burner.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Deperately Trying to Get the Blueberry's

Moxy joined us for berry picking for the first time today. We put a bug net over the carrier so that those darn "Noseeum's" couldn't get him. He was pretty pleased for about 30 minutes, eventually Ruby decided that it was fun to lift the bug net and let the bugs get Moxy. The bugs were so bad today, but so many blueberry's. We will have to try to tomorrow. Moxy will get to go everytime now that we figured out how to keep the bugs off.

A woman from Chevak came up to Ruby while we were out on the tundra asking what Ruby's Yupik name was. Her yupik name is AYUK which mean to be in a hurry, or moving quickly around. The lady got all excited and said, "that's my mother's name. I came all the way to Bethel to find my mother." Then she gave Ruby a big hug and a granola bar. She said that she was drawn to Ruby from across the tundra, and knew that she must know her. No this lady was not crazy, she was very sweet. Some yupik people are strong beleivers in names; And feel that their loved ones in spirit are in some people. I guess Ruby had the spirit of an elder inside of her on this day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tundra Blueberry Time

Blueberry's grow differently here. They are mostly low to the Tundra and are not as big as the regular blueberries at the store. Sometimes on the tundra along a hillside the bush is taller and produces bigger berries. It doesn't matter though because they taste great, and it is crazy how they just scatter across the tundra. Every where you step there is a blue berry popping out.
Andrew picked with us on this day, and he did really good picking. Ruby didn't eat out of his bucket :) .
We are told by Dorthy that we need to pick 10 gallons for the winter. We have 1/2 gallon saved at this point, and I have made blueberry muffins and blueberry cobbler already.
Ruby absolutely loves to eat tundra blueberries. I caught her stuffing her face and making funny animal noises.

Tundra and outskirts of Bethel.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


The Fireweed plant is used to tell time, from spring to fall. Depending on the bloom and then when it starts to go to seed, the fireweed plant provides information to the people of the area. It shows what type of salmon is running in the river to what berries are ready to eat. I like the fireweed plant because of it's color and in the fall the leaves turn bright red.

We went on a walk and came upon all these people in boats waiting to sell their fish. It was a pretty hot day here today, at least in the 70's with a nice breeze. People in the area are given a specific time that they can do commercial fishing along the river. This was once a great way for people in the area to make money. Unfortunately it does not provide a great fortune due to rising gas prices $5.85 and decrease in salmon price. In the 80's salmon would be about 1000.00 per barrel. It is now about 400.00 per barrel.

It looks like there are two different companies paying for fish. I thought the alignment of the boats looked nice.

A big crane dumps the fish into the barrel, then the fish are iced and taken to the airport to go to some big fish cutting plant . Ruby's cute little chubby dirty feet after a day of playing along the river.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Salmonberry Picking

This is what a salmonberry looks like. It has a mild sweet flavor that is unique and better to me in a jam. The berry's scatter the tundra in patches. They go fast.

Ruby and I went down river with the White's. This is Ruby sitting with Kayla and friends.

There were signs of wildlife. This included moose and wolf. Wolf probaly looking for moose :). People bring rifle's on these trips because black bear roam the area. I was looking over my shoulder a lot and kept a close eye on Ruby.

It is not visible but we took a slough off of the main kuskokwim river and headed toward a land mark called "lonely mountain." The tundra was gorgeous and alive. Ruby enjoyed the salmonberry's but also ate the tundra blueberry's which are close to being ripe. We will go blueberry, blackberry, and cranberry picking before this season is over.

Dorothy grew up in Bethel and can recall berry picking camp. This is where her family would camp for days focused on gathering a large supply of salmonberry's. This is the area she used to come to as a child.


Dorthy made Ruby a kusqiq for berry picking. Her and Kayla match now!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Yin and Yang

Greg got lucky and is able to get both kids to fall asleep at the same time.

Both kids are trying to get Andrew's attention or use him as a jungle gym.