Watching and waiting…


Here I am, like a little kid, watching and waiting…….

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A Family Portriat

Here is a picture of my little family that a professional took a couple of years ago. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚


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techinical difficutly.

ugh. my beloved iPhone died. I’m sad. This also means I’m forced to use my real camera that John bought me to take pictures with. I have an Olympus Tuff. It can take pictures under water and do all kinds of fancy things. Today I tried to take a nice close up picture of my seagull egg that I made into a Christmas ornament but I can’t get the darn thing to focus on the egg. I want it to be close up, like the egg taking up the whole frame but it wont focus. I even tried to put it on macro but it still wont focus. hm…. anyway, I’m making some ornaments for my tree. Usually I pick one theme a year but I got too busy this year so its a combination of years past with the addition of 14 button quail eggs and one sea gull egg. Next year I’m doing a whole egg tree for sure.

Pictures to come, if I can figure the darn thing out!!!

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birds of a warmer feather

Every year we try to make two trips to Hawaii. Last year I took the kids by myself on one trip and then John joined us on another trip. When I had the kids myself we walked to the surf breakers and fed little birds out of our hands. They look like little finches, I don’t know what type of birds they are though. It was fun though. Clara got too impatient and started to feed the fish below us and Coltrane stood his ground and got one bird to get food from him.


Clara in front and Coltrane in the back trying to stand very still so the little birds will fly over.


You have to hold your little piece of muffin like this, or the birds wont come. If you put the muffin the palm of your hand they won’t even fly by. They are smart little birds!




Success!! The little birds almost hover by your hand to get some muffin. They are the cutest little birds!




And even Coltrane had success! He screamed “IT ATE IT!” afterward. He was so happy to get a little bird to eat out of his had. Clara and I had to stand there for an extra 15 minutes because he wasn’t about to give up and we were both out of muffins. It was fun and I look forward to doing it again in January when we visit Hawaii again!

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15 second of Fame!

I once made the FRONT PAGE of Anchorage Daily News. Yep, FRONT PAGE! No, I didn’t kill anyone, or get busted for anything crazy. I just raise chickens and write about it. Yep, that’s it. I raise chickens and I write about it….

Here’s the electronic version of the article. Our friend Kyle Hopkins wrote it for ADN. I had NO IDEA my picture you see on that article was going to be put on the front page of the newspaper. My grandma called me in the wee hours of the morning and said “Saima, you are on the front page of today’s newspaper!” I felt a sense of accomplishment and then I got nervous. I wasn’t ready for that picture, I didn’t pretty myself up… I had been shopping for chicken food and stuff all day so I wasn’t front page material that’s for sure! I remember though that this is my life. I am a simple girl. I like simple things and you will see that when you see the picture. enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The Finn in Me!

My dad is from a Finnish Family. Kokko family. Both of is parents are Finnish, and he is full blooded Finn. I’m half Eskimo, Inupiaq, and half Finnish. Pure half-breed! Well I’d like to share some photo’s of my dad’s side of the family.

Hazel. She’s my Grandma. My dad’s mother. Her name is M. Hazel Rantala. She married my Grandfather, Floyd Johnson. So her name is M. Hazel Johnson. She’s lived in Anchorage for a long time, since I remember. She is a veteran of the US Army. She knows how to play the piano. She also knows how to knit really well. She has a loom she makes rugs on. She also made me two quilts in my life, most of the quilt was hand-sewn. When she’s mad she says she’s “cross” not pissed or mad, (ask me, I was a testy teenager!) I sneaked this picture of her, she was adoring Rea my younger sister Elsa’s daughter, while she played on the floor. She loves my fiance John, she calls him the ‘movie star’ and she always asks how he’s doing or where he is if I go and visit by myself or with the kids. I love my Grandma.

This is my Father. William Floyd Johnson. He was born in June.ย  He had polio as a kid and spent a lot of time in a polio ward in Idaho. He hates hospitals.ย  He likes guns and history. He also likes to make knives and is a really good carpenter. He built the house we lived in Kotzebue (that my mom still lives in until she retires with him in Chickaloon) , he also built the house in Sisaulik along with a Sauna, he also built his house in Chickaloon. He’s an awesome dad. He encouraged me to do things on my own. He gifted me a 1990 Honda 200 chain driven 4 wheeler that wasn’t working and said “if you want it you need to fix it…” He was an avid hockey player in high school and college (hence his missing toof!) My friends that went to kindergarten with me and then graduated high school with me said to me “I didn’t know you had a dad!” when he came to our graduation. He’s a hermit.ย  He has a skewed sense of humor, he used to say to me on Halloween “tell all your friends to come over and get candy from our house, I’m dressing up as a nudist!!”ย  He lives in Chickaloon, he built the house there for him and my mom to retire into, when my mom finally does retire, if she ever does! And yes, both my parents are still together and my sister’s and I all have the same dad, this is him!

Myself, my Aunt Sara in the red and my Aunt Maggie in the blue plaid shirt. Sara is my dad’s younger sister, right under him. She’s fun. She’s crazy. She cracks me up and we have the best conversations. Both Sara and I are middle kids so we get along really well. Sara lived in Kotzebue for a long time. She moved back to Anchorage and I see her when I go down, usually at Grandma’s house. Sara has one child, Martha.

Maggie is my dad’s older sister. She’s the oldest. She has no kids. She’s married to Jim but doesn’t share his last name. I remember asking my dad why Maggie didn’t have kids and I don’t even remember what he said to me. I also was a little confused about her not sharing the same last name as her husband, when I was younger. She likes things in order. She has a display of teddy bears and little trinkets in her house that I always wanted to touch, even though I couldn’t.

This is my aunt Ellen on the right of me in the picture and my cousin Martha sitting on the left of me. They are both adoring Minni. Ellen is the youngest of my dad’s brother and sister’s. She’s fun. She is an avid skier. Her husband trains with the US Ski Team. She lives in Girdwood and manages World Cup Sports. She used to live in Park City, Utah. I went and visited her when she lived in Park City. She has had Giant Schnauzer since I could remember.ย  She’s short.

Martha is Sara’s daughter. She is younger than I am. When we were kids she had the cutest curly hair. She’s pretty tall. She’s a nurse at Providence Alaska, Maternity Center. She likes to ski and do outdoorsy things too. She’s always had a Australian Shepard.ย  Her boyfriend’s name is John too!

That was just a few of my dad’s family members. As soon as I get more pictures of my other family members I will post another post on them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Home Grown Goodness

Last year while my fiance John was filming a movie I had eight broiler chicks come in with my new laying hens. They were ugly, ate everything in sight and reminded me of little dinosaurs. They acted like they were hungry or starving all the time! I had to offer them food for 12 hours and then take food away, most of the time they ate everything in that 12 hours that I gave them food so I didn’t have to do much of the taking away part. I wanted to do it again this year but like I said in a previous post Triple D shut down so I ordered my chicks from somewhere else and didn’t get any to eat, just to keep for laying hens.

John came home for a weekend when he had a break from filming and was so happy to be home. He was excited to tell everyone about the movie and he sure thought he’d have a break from doing some house chores or something around the house, well he didn’t. I quickly brought him back to earth by saying “those darn meat chicken’s needed to be killed like a MONTH ago!! KILL THEM TONIGHT!” so he called his friend Brandon and they got to culling the birds. I didn’t care to watch how or what mechanics were used to cull them, I just wanted to be the one to clean and prepare them for the freezer.

John and Brandon pluck the birds after they are culled. I’m so glad I didn’t have to do any plucking!

Clara came outside after her shower to see all the action. Well, she missed the real action and was kind of sad about it. She said “I wanted to see them run around with no heads!” Yep, I’m raising a little chicken farmer for sure!!

Brandon on the left and John my fiance on the right. They were such good chicken cull’ers that I said to them after it was done and over with “we can do this again next year, except maybe with like 50 birds!” they both laughed, like a YEAH RIGHT type of laugh! Hey, a woman can only hope right?

The finished product!! I cut this one to eat the next day. It was so good!! Look at how big those legs are! We gave one bird to Brandon and his wife Janine cooked it the next day. I cooked one the next day and saved the rest. The last home-grown chicken was eaten by a group of good friends this past summer at my friend Tanya’s house. My favorite way to cook it is just baking it like a little turkey. It’s so yummy!! I cannot wait to get more home grown goodness!!!

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cheep, cheep, woof!

My little black dog Minni loves baby chicks. She even loves when the chickens are grown up, she chases them around the yard and herds them back into the fence when I let them out to eat greens. I often catch Minni sleeping by the chicken box when the day old chicks are in my house. This past summer I took care of six sled dogs and she couldn’t care less about them in the house in a box, she paid no attention to them and was almost annoyed that they were in the house. Baby chicks though, she’s crazy about.


Here is Minni getting her head in the way when we try to take the picture. She’s making sure everyone is there and accounted for.


Minni again, watching over the chicks. She’s making sure everyone has eaten and drank enough water so they can grow. Behind the box is a picture Clara drew for John’s birthday. She took it upon herself to draw John a Happy Birthday poster. It was cute.


I still have this little Black Sex Link hen. Her name is Big Momma. She’s the nicest hen I have and she still gives me an egg every other day and she’ll be 3 in April. ๐Ÿ™‚ Big Momma used to follow me into my house when I got fresh water for the rest of her coop mates, she enjoyed jumping into the tub and drinking water from the faucet.


This is how my first set of Chicks arrived to my house. Through the post sent cash on delivery. They were safe and sound and hungry and cheeping away in the box when I got to the post office. I got these from Triple D in Palmer. Triple D shut down though this year, I was really sad about that.

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Picture Perfect


This picture is of me as an infant and my most loving Mother. As you can see we are dressed in our native skins and traditional wear. My Mother is wearing a Muskrat belly parky with Wolverine trim and a Wolf ruff. The inside of her parky was lined with the rest of the Muskrat. I am wearing an Arctic Hare hat and mittens that my Mother made, a Muskrat belly parky with Calf skin and Beaver trim with a Wolverine ruff. My Mukluks were made of Calf Skin with Beaver trim.


I love this picture, my skin is milky white, it has always been and it will never have color. My aunts used to call me Snow White when I was little and some of them still do. I loved having dark hair and really pale snow-white skin growing up. One summer though, I wanted to get a tan so bad like all my other cousins and while I was waiting for my cousin Stacey to pack her bags to go to camp with a chartered plane on the last day of school I sat at her dinner table at her house and told my aunt Lovie, “I really want to get a tan this summer….” she said to me “drink a cup of seal oil and you’ll get nice and dark!” I perked up and said “get me a cup of seal oil then!” and she did, and I drank it!! Well, I didn’t get tan that year and that was a really long flight over to Sisaulik that day with that whole cup of seal oil sloshing around in my belly! Lesson learned, my skin will never have color!

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Happy Turkey Day!

Sorry I missed a few days of posts during the Thanksgiving Holiday. I was a bit busy working extra at work and our son came in from Anchorage to be with us for Thanksgiving so we’ve been trying to keep to a little family while he’s here.

Turkey’s are weird birds. When I first got my very first two turkey’s I got three Bantam chicks to go with them that were about 20 weeks old vs the Turkey chicks that were only 2 days old. I did this so that the Turkey’s would copy the Bantams feed and drink water and I didn’t have to baby sit as much as I would have if they were alone. The first two turkey’s were named Mashed Potato’s and Gravy. I got them in May, I figured they would be big enough by Thanksgiving but they were pretty big by the next month! I didn’t realize how fast they grew. Turkey’s also waste a lot of food, they don’t pick off the floor like chickens and they swipe their face back and forth in the food dish and splash food all over the place. I would get so mad at the sight of all that food on the floor and the dumb turkey that did it! hehe.

This is the chick I got from Triple D. He was so cute! They cried a lot the first couple of hours I had them, as soon as I went in to the room they’d stop crying. Little needy birds!

This picture was taken just a couple of weeks late and they were so grown up already. Theyย  werent fuzzy little chicks anymore. You can see the white Bantam hen and black hen right by them, they always stuck together.

Here’s the three Bantam’s and the two Turkey’s. Even when the Turkey’s were huge the little Bantam’s stayed by their side, even when they were sleeping, it was so cute.

See? here is the two LARGE white Turkey’s and the little white Bantam Hen sleeping in between them. She would even sleep on top of them. You have to look hard to see her in between the two Turkey’s. They were so attached to each other that when we finally culled the two Turkey’s to eat the white and black hen were looking for them. They were pretty tasty for our first home-grown Turkey’s!

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