Dave’s Blog

March 30, 2009

Sunday March 29, 2009 Big Lake, AK

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 3:09 am

The volcano is wrecking havock with travel up here. We have to be in tune to see where the ash is falling. I am now putting the truck in the barn every night. Had to come home early from Wasilla yesterday because of it.

They closed the airport Saturday because of the ash. They had to put snow on the runways and then scrape it off with the ash. Otherwise it will just blow around. It does not disolve either. It is a mess. Haven’t been sure about my flight at 1;00 AM Monday morning.

I called Alaska Airline, which is the carrier that I am leaving on and it rang for 10 minutes. Tried American which is the principal carrier for my journey and they did not even know the airport was closed. The web site shows the flight cancelled but American says it is ok.

I am at the airport now. It opened late this afternoon. waiting to see if the flight takes off. Sometimes my travels are not fun, just work. And lots of waiting. More later when and if I get home.


March 27, Orion Bookfair, Elmendorf AFB, AK

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 2:59 am

After taking care of some business and looking around, I went out to the Air Force Base Gate to wait for Machelle Kelchner to meet me and escort me on to the base. We wern’t sure if it would happen. The volcano has erupted three times today but the ash fall seems to be going North and farther away. I was doing an evening program in conjunction with their book fair. We had quite a few families coming in and buying books.

I worked with a couple of dads and taught them a couple of figures (Tricks) that they could do to amaze their kids. Also had a number of parents say that they were so happy with their kids learning all these figures. It is a nice change from the computer games that they seem to be doing all the time.

One of the mothers had made a bunt cake for me on Wednesday when I was at the school. She forgot the water and it was a disaster. Like a rock but she didn’t know until she tried to cut it. When she found out I was coming to the evening program she made another one just to show me it could be done. Wow was it good. Chocolate cake with strawberry jam in it and a strawberry and chocolate glaze. I want to get the recipie. Bakes in the microwave in 18 minutes or something like that.


March 26, 2009

Alaska Children’s Services, Anchorage, AK

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 6:18 pm

I came into Anchorage this morning. Did not know that there was a major blow of Mt. Redoubt at 9:24 am. It was at 65,000 feet so there was no problem with ash falling around here. In the night there was one at 3,500 feet and warnings out for Homer and the Keani area.

Went to Alaska Children’s Services and gave a program for the younger childern at one cottage. They were upper elementary. One boy remembered some of the things and was trying to explaine to the others how much fun it was. They didn’t get it until I got there. Then they all had fun. They were very hyper kids and it is evident that they could have problems focusing. We repeated and allowed them space to roam and move about. It was a good time.

I also picked up the books at one school and left more at another with 500 more strings. The office staff at both schools commented on how much fun the kids were having with their strings. It is all worth it.


March 25, 2009

Foundations for Success, Big Lake, AK

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 4:39 pm

What a great bunch of kids. 45 K through 4th graders go to this Chriistian School. They all came together for a string program. Some of the kids were at the AWANA program that I gave last week at the Faith Bible Fellowship Church.

I taught different things, knowing that those kids will teach the ones they know. Many were interested in buying books so I am going to go to their Talent Show tomorrow for a meal and to have a table of available books and DVD’s for the parents to look at. I am never sure when I am being too comercial or just probiding a service. These families that are away from town look at this as a service.

I am at the internet cafe right now and then to the post office to mail back some money that I picked up at Showshoe school. She said that the kids were having so much fun that she wants to have me come back next year. That is always good to hear.


March 24, 2009

Mt Redoubt, Alaska

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 8:10 pm

Quiet day for me but Mt. Redoubt did erupt again last night. I understand that the ash is going right over us but because of the altitude of it, it takes it a long time to fall. Therefore it is falling farther to the North. I still have the panty hose on the Avalanch that I am driving.

Caught up on phone calls and emails today. Went to lunch with my hosts, Sid and Terri Robertson. I also stopped at the Post Office to mail back some checks. It is handy to get a money order instead of carrying all the cash from book sales.

Off to Eagle River for a meeting.


March 23, 2009

Kasuun Elementary, Anchorage, AK

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 9:21 pm

Mt Redoubt volcano erupete 5 times last night and people are watching the wind for ash fall. Steve Robertson came over in the night to put panty hose on the air filter in case I ran into ash. He also moved a truck so mine could be in the garage so the paint would not be harmed.

I got up early to listen to the news but the school system was open so I came into town to do my booking at Kasuun elementary. We monitored the weather during the day.

What fun to see Aymie Dalton again at her new school. She gave me her house for the last time that I was up here. Just moved out so I could have it for my time in Alaska. Are people nice?

She had the schedule made up to include lunch time. I continue to kid her because the time before last she forgot to schedule me a lunch break. She will never live that down.

She spent two months biking in India so we had a lot to compare with my trip to Pakistan.

After school I met with David Nicolai at a coffee shop. David was in 5th grade when I met him and got him going on string. He and his father have done a program at the Smithsonian Native Heritage center in Washington the last two years. He is now an engineer in Anchorage and very involved in Native problems. We had a great visit.


March 19, 2009

Faith Bible Fellowship AWANA, Wasilla, AK

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 4:04 pm

Dave and Bev Wolf invited me to supper at their house before I did a program for their church. We had a nice visit with a couple of their grandkids dropping in. I then went across the street to their church for the youth program that they have.

There were about 100 kids and adult helpers from 5 up to about 12. We had a lively time with them all trying to do strings. I told them that I would concentrate on the older ones and adults who could help the younger ones later. That seemed to satisfy the younger ones. Some of them did exceptionally well with the figures.

The adults were more fun than the youngsters. We had a lot of good kidding and laughing going on. They did not want to stop but when the parents are outside waiting we needed to stop. It was great fun and taught them some good lessons.


Snowshoe School, Wasilla, AK

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 4:01 pm

Mapquest is not always correct. I had the directions that said the school was 1.9 miles on Fairview Loop road. I went way down and did not find it so drove back to a filling station to get directions. Seems that the school is 19 miles down that road. I did find it in plenty of time. I also saw 7 moose on my way to the school. There were three females with their yearling calfs which are almost full grown and one bull.

When I arrived Carol Turner, the librarian, said she hoped I had the strings with me. The books had arrived but not the strings. I hurried and counted out some from my stash in the truck to get us started and when we were about to start the secretary came down with the box. It was in another place.

Carol had arranged with one of the teachers to make coffee for me since they don’t make it in the lounge. They were having a pot luck for the Park Ranger who was doing programs and myself. It was very good food. Some moose chili along with other things. Don’t get that very often in the lower 48.

I had some very nice letters from one of the classes. It is fun to read what they write. It was a good day with only one child who had a meltdown because he could not do something. It happens rarely, but there are some that just can’t take the frustration of not doing it the first time. They will have to learn sometime that that stuff happens.

March 17, 2009

Fire Lake Elementary, Eagle River, AK

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 8:10 pm

What a good time. Kathryn Shurburne is the librarian at the school and had things organized for me to meet all of the kids from K through 5, one grade level at a time. We met in the library so I did not have to use my gymnasium voice. What a blessing it is to have the kids sitting right at your feet on a nice carpet.

Gym and Art staff were partially responsible for supervising the kids. One of the gym teachers really got into the string stuff. He wondered if his 11,13, 15 and 17 year old boys would like this. I just looked at him and good naturely said DUH! You are pretty interested aren’t you? He decided that they would like it also and got a couple of books. We finally added the videos to the note about the books that librarians can send home with the kids. Actually sold a couple to them because of it.

Katheryn sent out for lunch and we had a nice visit…in the 30 minutes we had. She also let the Anchorage librarians that I have a couple of empty days. I also got a call from Chrystal Carr Jeeter who was the head of Anchorage Public Library children’s department. She is in Cleveland, Ohio and wants me to come there in June. She was jealous of my time in Alaska so I rubbed it in a little about the good halibut and reindeer sausage I had and the moose and caribou that I will be having.

I am staying in Eagle River this evening for a meeting at 6:30. I am at Jitters, where coffee is an art using the wi-fi connection to catch up on things. Sid cannot seem to get his connection to work on my computer at his home. Can’t have everything.

I just got a note from American Airlines that they were sorry for the fiasco in travel that I had on Friday the 13th and gave me 3,000 extra miles for the trouble. It is not the amount but the thought that made me happy. The miles do help though.


Sunday, March 16, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — storytel @ 7:56 pm

Sunday, March 16, 2009

Today I got up and fixed some eggs and bacon that Terri stocked in my place and enjoyed a pot of real coffee. Not like some places I have been. I drove over to Christ First United Methodist Church where I had given a program last year. Visited until Sunday School time and then went into Church. Shawn Gillam, a teacher from Palmer Middle School and brother to Shannon Lemons who I went on a mission trip to Poland with was at that service.

We visited and after church they had a soup and loaves luncheon. I know how to pick my places. Good food and good company. Shawn took me out to see his truck. Last night a moose had used it as a salt lick and tried to lick all the salt off of it. What a sight it was.

Came home for a rest and then went into Anchorage to Alaska Children’s Services, a residential center for troubled youth. I have a long history of working with them from when Kevin and Carol Seckel, ( The ones I stayed with in Germany)’ were spiritual life directors 12 years ago. I gave a program for their chapel service and they really enjoyed it. I am going back another day to work with the younger kids.

Driving home I really enjoyed the mountains. It was a clear day like yesterday and Denali was out today as well as yesterday. It is so huge and 24 thousand feet that it usually makes it’s own weather and is covered with clouds. To see it two days in a row is a real treat. I also saw two moose today. I came home to a cup of hot chocolate and computer work. Thanks Terri for stocking the Hot chocolate.


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