Gifts from students.

Friday, January 31, 2014
Those who know me, know that the name of this blog "The Blonde Bulldozer" fits me to a "T".  I have always approached my career with a blazing vigor at "900 mph with my hair on fire" as it has been described.  More to the point, I have always had a hard time saying a very short word "n-o". For or the last 8 years, teaching in Phoenix, my specialty was SENIORS, because I approached them with a bulldozing attitude - take no prisoners and failure was NOT an option.

I, however, started my career teaching 9-12 German and Language Arts, but sort of "morphed" up the grade food chain, to almost solely seniors.  I loved having seniors, they were easy - so-to-speak.  Their behavior rarely required my attention, and they governed their own.  If one of the students was a doorknob, or behaving like a doorknob, then the others would promptly respond with far better than I would come up with; usually threatening beatings, or putting their classmate "on blast" as they say.  Please don't get me wrong, each year I usually had at least class or a couple of students that were satan's spawn, or what we would call the "sweat hogs" OR a students that would make me want to slam them through the window, only once or twice.

Since I have come to Sand Point my class make-up has drastically changed.  I now teach 7-12 grade and my LEAST favorite are the seniors.  My favorite class is the 7/8 grade combined class (I know, shocker, right!).  They are fantastic!  They swallow everything up like little sponges and the discipline they require is minimal. I think, they are still so shocked to be included with the high school that they are just...sweet.  They also still bring the teacher stuff for holidays and other "just because" moments.  Finally, they do not hesitate in showing their enthusiasm for iPad usage, all of my "little" projects, and the fact that I have their class 2 hours a day - both starting and ending my day with "the Littles" as I have come to call them.  They are truly a unique little bunch of pickles.

My most recent teacher surprise, is a bit of local fare called pickled fish - handmade and canned by one of "the Littles" and her mom.  She gave me a bit of instruction that "it is brand new and I needed to let it pickle a little more" but her cute face was beaming as she told this desert dweller all about it.
Pickled Fish
As my other students saw it on my desk throughout the day, they were quick to ask "Mrs. Seiler, where'd ya get the pickled fish" and "ohmigosh, that is amazing" OR "did so-and-so make that, wow, you're in for a is soooo good!"  They also each one told me or tried to describe what it would taste like (I have no clue).  Since about 90% of the school is related and they all have been together since birth they knew exactly who made this particular batch of delectable delight and were sorely jealous.

I personally cannot wait to try's to the Littles and a new treat!

Impatiently waiting for things to pickle,

Fish, fish, fish!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
This is "2-parter post".  First I would like to begin by sharing what I love about being here on the island.
  1. I love, relish, rejoice in being with together with Fisherman.  He is an amazing husband and I could not ask for a better 1st Mate.
  2. The island is a fish-lover's paradise!  
The second week we were here one of the friends that Fisherman made last year gave us two coolers full of glorious, scrumptious, freshly caught salmon - king, red, and beautiful silver salmon.
Just in case you don't know what you're looking at this is probably at least $1000 or more worth of fish in the "Lower 48".

Fisherman, of course, has some amazing recipes for this bounty of the sea, and we have been working our way through this torture {{ha!}} and have fish for dinner at least once a week.

Tonight I am trying a recipe that I found on, none other than Pinterest, and am so excited that I will post a follow-up later this evening.  Until then, drool on, peeps!

On the menu tonight in the Seiler household... 
Teriyaki Salmon with Sriracha Cream Sauce:
Photos to follow of how it looks at our house!

Oh my!  This recipe, seriously AHHHHHMAZING!  I am in love!  Fisherman's verdict = delightful, oh, excuse me (said in my manly voice) "I'd have it again, good flavor "{{he's very articulate}}.

Here we go, THE PROCESS...

Final skinny on this recipe...a keeper, a recipe for the box! Wahoo!  


Not in Kansas anymore Toto.

Monday, January 27, 2014
In previous blogs I have included several "I'll address it later" situations, but a post MUST be dedicated to the weather here on Sand Point.  I must say, that I complained whilst in Phoenix but I am at the point now where I would gladly take the 120 degrees vs. overcast, consistent rain and HOWLING wind that will not  S-T-O-P, seriously, just STOP!

Please understand that I am under the impression, at this point, that this island must be under some sort of curse with the constant barrage that we have had in the past few weeks.  In all seriousness the wind has been a steady 70-80mph, with gusts of 120-130mph.  A note *hurricane force winds are considered when the winds hit 90.  That's right, we have had category 3 hurricane force winds or category 2 tornado windspeed for the past 2 weeks on and off; and for the last 5 days ON, no off.

There are some very unique features to the wind here - first it is almost always coupled with rain.  When the rain and the wind team up, the result is sideways stinging, biting, knock-you-over RAIN.  The rain actually takes on a physical form and results in a somewhat eerie darkness.  Next, the wind and storm pressure sucks the water from the toilets *read tornado suction and makes another eerie, creepfest sound of gurgling death.  Lastly, the house shakes like we are having an earthquake which has made Fisherman ask if we are "having an actual earthquake, is the dryer going, or is it just the wind, yet again?"  Finally, the salmon smoking shed that we had outside in the front of our house (looked like a little outhouse) exploded from the pressure of the last big storm which was followed the very next day by it being blown completely off the foundation and decimated.  When the wind kicks up such as it has been, no planes come in OR go out - which means, no mail, no groceries, no NOTHING!

I promise to not let the blog turn into a rant, but I have to say, this wind is quite literally SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF ME!

...from the other side of Oz,

Don King Issues

Sunday, January 26, 2014
My hair has always been a source of frustration and consternation for me.  Both my brother and I have what we call the "horse hair" gene - directly passed to us from Wanda Lee and our Dad.  Our Gram (Wanda Lee) had coarse, curly and I daresay wild Wanda hair.  My Dad's hair is just as course, but straight as string and thick, thick, thick.  Kyle and I got a mixture of the two creating some mutant cross-breed hair, that is largely unmanageable and difficult for me (my brother's solution = buzzing it off) to maintain. 

In the desert I had trouble with my hair and the endless static and the electric light show displayed at night when all the lights were out.  Since moving to the island of misfit toys, I have found that although I am almost 40 having had this mutant hair my whole life, I really haven't a CLUE how to manage my hair.

I have tried a multitude of "hair products" that are said to work in humidity.  Provided below is evidence of the struggle:

There were already a couple of lessons that the women of my family have learned - unfortunately cheap hair products do nothing for horse-hair like ours.  Fisherman thinks that it is hilarious because each morning I come out of the bathroom and issue a product proclamation:

"product number 231 - pronouncing it either - possibilities, epic fail, or even sometimes, WHAT THE HECK"

The last part of the hair hilarities is that there is no place on the island to get a haircut - not even for the men.  Most of the time the men, like Fisherman, cut their own, or wait until they "go to town" (Anchorage).  For me, stop number one upon landing on our first outing off the island, was for a fountain soda -  stop number 2, the salon.  Please believe NOTHING barring certain death, would have interfered with that appointment.

Finally, as I have mentioned before, the weather here is lovely, which does nothing but add an entire new layer of complication.  If I manage to emerge from the bathroom post-grooming, looking halfway decent, I then MUST put on a coat, hat, and hood to shield me from the consistent hurricane that we live with here on Sand Point.  So, long story, short, I have looked like smashed-butt since I stepped off the plane in August.

Yours in horse-hair frizziness,

Boots, boots, boots.

Saturday, January 25, 2014
Boots, boots, boots...

My fabulous boots arrived.  Oh, wait, you thought that was the end of the story, wrong-a-roonie!
While Fisherman and I were home over the Christmas break, he warned (cajoled, poked, prodded, harangued) me to get some "real shoes".  Fisherman and I have been talking about my fascination with shoes almost since our first date.  Men, in general, do not have an clue about the importance of shoes and the love we have with their beauty.

I know Fisherman loves me and only wants me to be safe here in this harsh, unforgiving climate and I realize completely his heart was most assuredly in the right place.  We proceeded to look at a plethora of "man-looking" boots, ugly stomping things, and downright pitiful excuses for shoes.    Bottom line, ugly shoes, "ain't nobody got time fo' that" I would not concede.

The VERY first few days back we had a storm followed immediately by melting rain and insane wind (we're talking 120mph) further followed by freezing rain.  All of which turned the island into one giant ice-rink.  Fisherman is far too gentlemanly for an "I told you so", but I almost broke my neck trying to make it from our front door to the driveway.  After some intense words exchanged between Fisherman and I (not gonna lie, some pouting ensued) but by the end of the day and more than a few dicey icey moments I ordered some boots on Amazon.  I think they meet-in-the-middle of providing stability for the balance-challenged and cute-enough to wear style.

Lesson learned.


Bare essentials et. al.

Thursday, January 23, 2014
As I am sure I have previously stated, there are many things that I grieve the loss of being here on the island.  Some of these things are my sanity, the sun, a hairstyle that actually looks presentable in 100% humidity, and at the top of the list is good green chile.

When I first arrived here our only transportation was the four-wheeler that we were borrowing, possibly purchasing from one of the other teachers.

We rode this four-wheeler all over the island, back and forth from school, in the pouring rain and wind (more on this phenomenon later).  We planned our grocery shopping very carefully and my poor tailbone felt every bump, hump, and hole!

We have since moved up in the world and our truck got here loaded down with several items that made our life more "liveable".

We also place a "bush orders" every time either one of us leaves the island (again more on bush orders later).

My family and Fisherman's family send us packages at random intervals which also eases the transition to remote or bush lifestyle.  However, our greatest delivery was our bed, which came in 5 big boxes that Fisherman and I assembled PROMPTLY that very evening.

Finally, the most unique bare essential is what I hope to elaborate on in this particular post, T.P.  Toilet paper is a premium here on the island - I would not be exaggerating by much if I stated that it is $9 a roll.  The reason for this outrage is  largely due to the fact that freight is measured by the space it takes up on the barge, not weight.  TP as one would guess is relatively light and would not cost much if we paid for it by the weight - but oh no, it is measured by the cubic space it takes up on the boat.  Bottom line: Fisherman and I NEVER, EVER buy TP at the store here on the island.  We buy it on Amazon and it is free shipping for Amazon prime members reducing the cost to what it is normally.  So without further adieu our best bare essential fresh from Amazon!
Sending love that is fresh and clean...

Jump re-start!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
After several years of not having anything to write about and at the promptings of several via Facebook, I am jump-starting this ol' blog! 

Let me reintroduce myself...I am Angela, newlywed, newlymoved, newlyAlaskan, and newly to teaching in this very atypical environment. My Fly-Fisherman and I were wed in July and after a whirlwind weekend Fisherman packed up our truck and headed NORTH, to Alaska, specifically to the Aleutian Islands - Sand Point. 

Two and a half weeks later, I found out I had gotten the job at the same school Fisherman was at. I packed up clothing and what-not (our whole 3-bedroom house in a storage shed) and left my high-desert home and moved to Sand Point.
This place, the school, the classes, the very air that I breathe is a 180-degree change from everything I have ever known. I oftentimes feel as if I have landed on another planet. 

This blog will serve several purposes. 
  1. I hope to remember this experience and this is the most efficient way that I can chronicle the first days of our marriage and our life here on the Aleutians. 
  2. Our family loves to see photos and hear about our adventures and many do not "Facebook" so hopefully this will serve as a bridge. 
  3. I fully intend to highlight the uniqueness of the situation here and provide entertainment for my desert pals who are fascinated by my new and vastly different culture. 
  4. Hopefully my writing will provide catharsis for those days (like today) where I was the BUG, not the windshield. 
  5. Lastly, there is not a movie theater, shopping of any kind, nor a nail salon, and only 1 restaurant - I NEED A HOBBY! 
So, friends, family, loved goes, welcome to a peek inside of the island of misfit toys! 

Angela & Fisherman

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