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Place to stay... help with work... Tok, Alaska Options
#621 Posted : Friday, May 11, 2007 9:47:07 AM
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I'm so sorry! You, Sugar, and Mark will be in our prayers! Please keep us posted.
#622 Posted : Tuesday, May 22, 2007 9:24:29 PM
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Hey all! I'm new to the site and stumbled on to Nantinkir's lovely post about her life in Alaska. I have found her story to be so intresting. I noticed that all post ended abruptly in early March. Is she still around? Has anyone heard anything from her. I hope all is well.
#623 Posted : Saturday, June 02, 2007 7:02:12 PM
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As a general rule I deal with things straight on. This is not the case now.

Moving from Alaska to the state of New Mexico has me all worked up. But, now it has become a tradeoff for us. First, the important thing here is to be close to family for Sugar. The huge changes are definitely going to bother her just as much as us. There are the people, her friends, her home here, but once she gets settled in, she will find that although different it won’t be difficult there, etc.

I will really miss my little grocery store stories, the fair prices, the open laughter of the help, the warm friendly smiles, and the comradery of knowing people. Missing the decent recognition of people who care. I will miss the one on one banter, and now become just one of the huge herd that gets pushed hurriedly through the lines. The banking will be less friendly, the expressions of people serving will be that of a much annoyed ‘hurry up and get the hel..l going so I can deal with another’ type. I know. I have been there before. All that hurry up syndrome.

The school will be very nice though. We are putting Sugar in a Catholic private school. It is expensive and I will be getting a job, probably two, but hopefully the access to a place where all are treated equally, wear the same clothes, etc, which has a better school system than the public ones, will help. Time will tell. I will be commuting 19 miles in each direction daily regardless of weather to get her there, but I will deal with that too. There is no bus that comes to where we have made the decision to live. Hopefully we will find someone to car pool with that is a good driver. This will be another thing to deal with, placing her care and life in the hands of another but perhaps that will work out too.

I know I will not get a decent salmon or cup of clam chowder, a great moose steak, and nothing else from the wild for some time. I do care about this. There are definitely big and little things out there that I have no idea of yet, don’t need to know yet, stay calm, and grow up and deal with it woman.

All the hustle and bustle will be knocking us around for a while but we are willing to pay to help straighten out these allergies and maybe Sugar will outgrown them in the desert area.

The church in the area we will be going to "is small". This is what we were told! It only has 3000 members. I almost fell over. Oh what a comparison and what is coming. Our little church has about 190 active members and maybe 100 more lazies that come on Easter and Christmas eve.

My bills will now be so high that I won’t be able to sleep at night. The closer I get to this new house the more I would like the luxury of panic. We won’t go there. I don’t have the time and actually need to keep it together. I cannot stop thinking of the fact that I will be paying for parking, getting threatened with tickets for everything, have to pay big bucks for everything, and cannot call my life my own. Unless I am willing to pay big bucks for anything I won’t be free to walk in a park, charges are getting there pretty fast too, and basically going near to the city has taken out all the things that are important to me. No more going out in the yard ans seeing the rabbits, squirrels, the dog running free anywhere her little heart desires, and no more hunting out the back door. No more nice little cabin on an acre surrounded by 40 more. No more living where I can run out in my pajamas and not look like I have gone insane.

Ok, now that’s enough of that. We all know I love living here and that I will probably be coming back.

What I love,: real seasons, winter is sometimes hard, but I really like the cold and the snow, ethnically diverse people that are friendly, politically liberal people or non existent politics people, you can actually walk to places without being accosted, green spaces, local businesses where everyone knows who you are and if you don’t show up for a while in church they call to make sure that your ok. That’s a little and we know that there’s plenty more.

Mark and I will both work away from home now but will need to be accessible to the work force to make the extra money that we will now need. I’m just really afraid that we will have trouble finding jobs that we want rather than to put up with anything just for the sake of making money.

Now I want to post some of what is happening with our move. We are not going to leave here, move from here, until the end of this summer. We are going to unfamiliar places so we are dragging our feet, making a few trade offs too, so that things that are so different will be easier to embrace and change. We have our friends meeting us part way down the trip, lots of family are required to help with the cultural shift and they have stepped up to the plate too, in so many ways. They have been good.

Now I will take the time to break all the other news so everyone can catch up with what is happening.

We decided that there is no way in hel... that we will be able to live in a city, so, we found a place in a town called Tijeras, east of Albuquerque up route 40, deep in the mountains. It is only 19 miles from town but feels very remote. It is a frame and stucco house, no wood exposed to speak of, (tremendous help to Sugars because of her allergies, ie wood, grass, straw, etc.) and located in the mountain high desert where there are very little grasses. It is huge. 2601 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, (we have 2 baths here too, one is an outhouse! Lol ) a covered porch, hot-tub, deck, and 2 and ½ acres. The yard looks absolutely awful, has never had a garden or landscape, but that will be fun for me, has no barn, we will build one, and a small workshop. It does allow horses and small domestic animals, I will have my rabbits and chickens, horses, dogs and a cat. (my son that lives in Albuquerque is a horse trainer and whisperer) I already have had 3 horses given to me for Sugar. Two from my son and one from my daughter who will be living 10 miles from us. There are trees, but they are not that close or that many. This is good too.

There are very many opportunities for Mark to work in Albuquerque but he is expressing anxiety too.

I have gone to the gardenweb.com site and found lots of manure free to get when we get there so that I can ready some soil for spring gardening.

Now about the trip down. We are leaving here on the 14th of August, (foot dragging0 and driving to Anchorage where we will be met by some of my friends who will be flying from Sydney Australia to meet us with us. There we will have Sugar seen for a final time by her doctors here, pick up her transfer papers, etc. and then leave for Whittier where we will get on the ferry south. We, friends, Sugar, Mark, and myself will ride the ferry to Bellingham Washington and then drive to the eastern part of that state to visit the federal parks system there and the scab-lands. We will stay there for 2 days then make the drive down the old state route of 95 south, taking 4 days to get to Las Vegas Nevada. It is supposed to be fantastic fun now for families. When there we are meeting: my daughter and hers significant other, her 4 adult children, my son and his wife, his two young boys, Marks’ mother flying in from Indiana, my friend Connie from Florida, and Marks’ brother who all live close in Phoenix. I think that there might be more meeting us but I am not sure for now. We will spend from the 27 of August at the Circus Circus towers and be there until checking out on the 31. Then we will make the however many hours drive over to our new home taking plenty of time to stop and see things and just meander all around and get to our house whenever. It will be Labor Day weekend so we will be taking the old roads and stopping anywhere we darn well please.

Sugar will be a little late starting school, that has already been cleared up and isn’t a problem. Lets see, have I forgotten anything?

Yes, I will try to trade people things for plants, I need Iris, Roses, all kinds of landscaping things, and so I will have to figure out what I will have to trade.

Enough for now, I have thought about this for long enough. Just another report. I will be writing here of the travels, keeping track of everything and recording it, and hopefully with either 2 or 3 years be telling of the move back!

We are not going to sell this place, will come when it is affordable and possible for summers and vacations, and then move back here, back home just as soon as it is possible!!!!

Bobby Strangelove
#624 Posted : Sunday, June 03, 2007 2:22:37 PM
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The Bobster here.I can sum everything up for you in two words.It sucks.
But...........My family moved around quite a bit as I was growing up and just when you had new friends and were getting use to your new environment sometimes after 1 yr. or six yrs.then bam,time to move on because of my Dad's job.As much as us kids and our Mom hated it we had to do it.What always happened though was the new environment,with time,always became home with new friends and new adventures.I would go back to my old stomping grounds for awhile but eventually it became less and less then not at all.My new home became my home.It wasn't until the age of 35 that I really found where I was suppose to be and that is my farm where I live today.Its where I live and where I'll die.I know this.I'm one of the lucky ones because some folks really never find "Home".
You are another of the lucky ones because you have found it also and its at your log cabin in the cold where the moose and the wolves run free and you can run free and you've made it yours with alot of hard work mixed with laughter and great memories that our yours and only yours.
Your move to New Mexico is only temporary and in the greater scheme of things just for a short while.The moving and new environment and new people is just another chapter in your book and when the time comes to go back to Alaska you'll have those memories to take with you.
You know where your true home is and you know that you will return there.This is a good thing to look forward to and one day you'll be back up there chopping your wood and warming yourself in front of that fire and thinking about your memories from your journey in New Mexico and they will be good memories too.Take care nantinkir and you're in my thoughts.........Bobby.
#625 Posted : Friday, June 29, 2007 10:02:56 PM
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My heart is breaking at the thought of you having to leave your cherished cabin in your beloved Tok.

You are so dedicated to Sugar's well being.  That child is so lucky to have you caring for her.  You are her guardian angel.

I had allergies when I was young.  I had to take meds every day.  I outgrew them and now I get out in the middle of all the weeds and flowers and rarely am I bothered.

I hope Sugar thrives in the new climate.  You are such a strong, amazing woman.  You will thrive too.  I look forward to hearing how you face the challenges of living in a desert climate.  I expect a bit of colorful words and some amusing anecdotes as you get settled in.

I'm so glad Mark is going with you.  He may sulk, but he clearly loves both you and Sugar and is a devoted companion.  You have a very special little family.
#626 Posted : Thursday, July 26, 2007 8:02:02 AM
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Nan! I hope Sugar gets well and strong.Everything happens for a reason. I'm happy that you will get to be near family.I know they miss you.I know where ever you go Alaska is part of you.You are a strong ,wise and a great mother.I know your friends in Alaska will miss you so much.We will miss those wonderful pictures and stories.I hope you start another story of your path of life.I hope you keep in touch.I have some seeds that you may be able to use.Best wishes my friend,as always Spirit.
#627 Posted : Saturday, November 03, 2007 6:01:47 PM
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It hurts my heart to be writing this letter from New Mexico.  In Alaska I felt so young, healthy, and energetic.  My physical abilities got to the levels of a 50 year old.  I turned 67 here in NM and felt every minute of it.

A special thanks to those of you that sent the personal letters on to me.  I’m adding them to the list of people to invite here for a vacation before I get back to my beloved Alaska.  Thanks for them!

Sugar still has health problems here.  The sand always blows with the wind, makes pollution of another kind and bothers her breathing.  She doesn’t seem to be affected with the other allergies nearly as much though.   She has a horse now and loves to ride.  The hay bothers her but we keep her away from it.


We do have loved ones around which makes up some of the difference but not enough.  We will be going back up for the summer.  Winter isn’t here yet but I am already chomping hard for summer.


Our place, it’s passive solar, has a wood stove, its own well, a septic tank, and acreage, so it does help.  We have cut some wood, done some yard work, painted, and played.  None of it is bad but I would rather be splitting some gigantic wood up north.


Sugar does like her school but misses the one in Tok terribly.  It is a matter of the fun too.  We didn’t even let her out of the house on Halloween.  It is risky business here to get involved with the city at all.


We do have family here and that makes it livable.


Some information.
 |  New Mexico's horrible scorecard: on from 1~ to ~ 50
 |  Percent of people living below the poverty line is 48.
 |  Percent of children below 48.
 |  Median family income is 47
 |  People without health insurance is 49
 |  Children without health insurance is 46
 |  Teen high school dropouts is 47
 |  Death rate due to firearms is 48
 |  Violent crime rate is 46
 |  We are the very bottom of all those statistics of all 50 states.


Wonder why I don’t like it here?

More again sometime.  Now I feel like shxx again.


#628 Posted : Wednesday, December 05, 2007 8:39:27 PM
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Nan, sorry you're so down.  Hoping to see more updates. 
#629 Posted : Thursday, December 13, 2007 2:22:09 PM
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I have been reading your lovely thread here.

So sorry to hear you are feeling down.

We use to live in Alaska back in 1985-1988, and we still long to go back. We lived near Delta Jct.

We've made a few trips there since then. Almost moved back in 2002, but we couldn't sell our home here.

I too have a granddaughter that we have adopted, she is two years old. I long to show her Alaska.

Remembering you in my prayers.

And may you get back to your beloved Alaska!

Take care!!


#630 Posted : Thursday, February 14, 2008 6:06:08 AM
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Nantinka, I was reading Alaska-Living and came across a posting of yours for January 2008!

Sista, are you and Sugar back in Tok. Please update us!!! Hoping everyones health is good!

The Big Lebowski
#631 Posted : Thursday, February 14, 2008 11:38:59 PM
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I have sent her a few emails but she hasn't responded back as of yet. In fact I just sent her one a week ago

#632 Posted : Monday, February 25, 2008 9:15:16 PM
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Nan,We miss you!I hope you and Sugar and Mark are all well!I miss hearing from you too!Your  pictures were the best!I know your busy as a bee.If the weather is good your going to be like me outside planning for the growing season.Email me when you can!!As always spirit.
#633 Posted : Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:24:08 PM
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Hi All,

It’s been a very long time. I have been locked out of this system and today, finally, I figured out how to open the Mother again.

Many new things are happening here. Sugar is growing with leaps and bounds. She likes her school very much but misses Tok, as do I.

It’s time to grow up about the move, for now, there isn’t much I can do about it. Sug has not been bothered with the swollen lymph glands, her allergies have cleared up, she doesn’t take medications anymore, so for that the move has been wonderful.

We now live in a solar home, I have started a huge garden, we have rabbits, (I am getting ride of soon) more about that later when I sit down and give some real info, and things are moving pretty well.

Fat from Alaskan winters has melted off my body but I am not in the rugged shape I was up there.

I miss it so darn bad, want to go back, can’t figure out what to do about that, but will press on.

Some letters have come in, I don’t think the info is relevant any longer so I will just say, instead of answering them, that I feel love for those that wrote, and will be getting in touch soon. I have missed you all terribly, wondered many times if I would ever get this computer going again, etc.

The shadow hasn’t changed at all, to bad, but he looks healthier than he did in Alaska. He didn’t do well with the winter darkness and doesn’t do that well with it here either.

The true elevation here is 7514 and takes some getting used to. I have had to leave for a month, funerals, fun, etc. and coming back made me lazy again. It takes me a few weeks to get all strength again.

Eventually I will get back here to fill in the lost months, it will take some time, so it will be next week I imagine. The garden needs tilling and plants some more. House work as you all know, can wait, but the garden can’t.

Hunting here is so different, no moose, nor caribou, but the fishing is good, the deer plentiful, and more. Gardens are not nearly as prolific as they are in the north, no Northern lights here, (tears, crying, sad,) but there are a multitude of things that are ok.

Going out now to work while it is cool. More soon.

#634 Posted : Thursday, June 12, 2008 6:43:26 PM
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Thank Heavens,You and Sugar and Mark are all fine.I'm so glad Sugar health has improved. Wow Nan, missed you so much. Do you still have book? I'm glad Sugar is doing well in school.I know you miss Alaska.I know when the time is right you'll be back full blast . Again  I am happy to see you all are okay. Miss you  dearly, Spirit
#635 Posted : Thursday, June 19, 2008 10:13:52 PM
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It's time for me to do more than plant (including teaching those blessings to my child) I now have a full share of work again. Don’t call me the Master Gardener here because it is darn hot and to list the problems with growing would take more than just the average word exchange! It is dog-gone hard! I look like a piece of Kentucky Fried that is over cooked. My skin is red and worn out from working in the sun. Maybe a prune would be more appropriate. Planting just a few melon seeds or some corn would have made a little less work but no, we all know that I like to garden so I have started a 1/4 acre on the most barren land. I don’t think anyone has planted anything here since the birth of my ancestors. The mulching with oat straw was a huge mistake. Now I am plucking out little oat seeds everywhere because it’s so hot, even the birds are lazy and don’t try to eat them. They prefer the sun flower seeds in the feeder as easier access.

Garden Tip!!! An easy way to help acidify our alkaline soil is to mix pine needles into your compost pile and beds, or use them as top dressing. Grind them first, if possible, to aid decomposition. Left whole, they make a superior weed barrier, especially on paths.

Well, lights on, I didn’t get here in time to scope any so my soil is still very hard after watering and won’t be very loose until I get my hands on some this fall. I did manage to use all of the manure from the horse we got Sugar. It was sort of composted, there was plenty of it, and it did help. ( It was a truck load for sure.)

I have been offered plenty of goat, sheep, and other horse manure to help with the nitrogen factor and that is a blessing too. One of my neighbors has about 50 Alpaca and some others that she does raise for the wool so there is plenty of sheep and goat sh*t. lol. Mark got me my combo Christmas present and birthday present by buying me an 8 ½ horse rotor tiller. Now my hands, (already beaten to a pulp from Alaskan workouts) are forever worn, sore, and swollen. Ugly, downright ugly.

Sugar is growing like a hollyhock, pretty as ever, loves her school, and has already learned to be a girly girl. Go figure, she is always pestering me to let her paint my nails! O K, take the ugliest hands on a farmer man and paint his nails scarlet. Geeez! I look part painted monkey from a cartoon. Thank God, and others, for the invention of nail polish remover. It works on my fingers too, that’s from the mistakes and misses I must bear with.


^Watering. Adjust your watering schedule for warmer weather.

O K, good on us, we have a well. I have not gotten to the drip system yet, pray that we don’t run the well dry, wish I had the underground river (well) I had in Alaska, and water lots.

^Add mulch where plants are drying out too fast.

Did that, now I have this g*d darn oat seed to deal with. (Stomping foot and swearing again)....

^Generally, water trees and shrubs every 10 to 14 days deeply.

Nope, haven’t got any trees to speak of and shrubs are totally out of the question, that is unless I can figure out a way to eat them.

^Water established beds weekly.

Ot, oh, I don’t have anything established, period.

^This will not be adequate for new plantings or soil that has little organic matter.

My soil is clay and red sand, and lots of organic matter, thanks to our horse, Sierra. (She is a mustang from the Nevada mustang herd ... ) (We love her. She took down the weeds, ate everything in the ½ acre we have fenced, and helped in that way lots. She also took it upon herself to beat down the land like a sledge hammer and now my teeth rattle when I try to run the rotor tiller. My head flops around too, but no matter, it helps me to stay alert and awake while I beat the ground until I am dizzy. )

Yes! It's getting hot! Spring weather in New Mexico is so fleeting that it is gone before you have a chance to identify and appreciate it. The first week of June is characterized by average temperatures in the 50's at night to the 80's during the day. After that first week, it's likely to get into the 90's on many days. June is usually a dry month with way to much wind here. It blows with a vengeance. All day and most of the night. It is now about 60 every night up here in the mountains, and about 85 to 90 all day. It makes it hard to work outside in that heat but I try.

When the hot weather begins, it takes its toll on the garden. It's a murdering killer., and a gardener's nightmare! I rather not but have to water 3 to 4 times a day trying to maintain the all-over bloom effect that I am hoping comes. So far as much attention as I can focus I haven’t seen a single part of a bud yet. There are a number of plants that tolerate the heat, and they come in anywhere from one week to three so the waiting begins. This is some tough prairie here, call it desert, often considered noxious weeds growing here and there are more than willing to survive the dry heat, but so far, not my garden. The seeds are asleep and the plants, purchased, are all lazy. I can’t even think about roses or making a decent yard yet. Well, enough about New Mexico gardening. I don’t guess I will ever be invited to the garden clubs. Lol. (Big grin, not my bag anyway.)

Post note, I lied. Forgot to tell some of what I planted. Tomatoes, corn, summer garden stuff, u know, radishes and lettuce, and cucumbers, and all. Squash of all varieties, winter, summer, butternut, Hubbard, *big mistake*, a neighbor gave me held over seeds from last year, now I have to get up before dawn and hand pollinate before the bees get to them so I don’t have cross pollination. More work.!! I will do some in the beginning and there after have to kill all other blossoms. Anyway, some eggplant, carrots, beets, melons, a few zucchini and some other stuff.  The radishes are up and thats' all.

I hope to have a root cellar dug if the garden does well so that I have a good winter of organic food. I guess I am being a clown. Hopping around all the time, half tired, not used to the heat, looking worn, red, and tired too. I think I should get me one of those big clown noses so that I fit the bill even better.

It’s kind of funny in a way, how much I miss everything about Alaska. How I enjoyed having a refrigerator that heated up instead of cooling, the wonderful way we kept ice all the way through the summer, drank well water that was ice cold even in July, the people, the fun, the church and so much more. The giant vegetables that grew, how seldom I ever had to water, the real meat, non additive food in every way, the hunting, making my own real jerky, and everything else about our wonderful little cabin home. . I swear I am trying to make do here, I really am.

There is fun for the elementary age children and Sugar loves it but still, to this day, keeps asking when we are going back to Tok. We, the shadow n me are always "IN SEARCH OF NATURE" activities for her and things for her to ask about. Nights are not as splendid as Alaska as they don’t happen to have the stars or the lights. .

"SHARE THE PRODUCE" begins this month and continues through October. I will take any excess, good-quality produce to any of the Albuquerque area senior center and homeless places. I truly do hope to produce enough for that and hope it is accepted by those in need. Hopefully I will have plenty to share, and it will be organic. That’s at least some pick me up for me. More again.

Yuppers, we do have our good dog, Book. She is fairing well….. Talk to you soon Spirit….

The Big Lebowski
#636 Posted : Saturday, June 28, 2008 8:46:24 PM
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Hey Nan great to hear from you.

I had posted a reply twice but it didn't take! Oh well, once again its great to hear that things are flowing for you and the gang and the little one is thriving.

The Big Lebowski
#637 Posted : Wednesday, February 11, 2009 11:58:30 PM
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....bump....just thought I would put this up. I just heard from her and am hoping she will post again.
#638 Posted : Tuesday, March 24, 2009 1:09:31 AM
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Any word? I love reading this blog!!! Hope nantinki is ok.

#639 Posted : Friday, April 24, 2009 3:56:46 AM
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Read this thread from the onset, and I found it enlightening to see that you have done more than anyone I could imagine.  My utmost respect and admiration for you're endeavours.

Please keep us posted.



#640 Posted : Wednesday, September 09, 2009 4:12:57 PM
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Thank you Sandman.  I am now in Anchorage, spent the weekend in Tok, it was as if I had never left.  I am in Heaven again.

I will post a very long update soon.  I couldn't be happier.  Sugar is too.

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