Giveaway: The large flat-rate box of Alaska.Posted by Donna Freedman on Mar 15, 2013 | 122 comments
Previous giveaways of odd conference swag or anti-“Blue Monday” boxes have always been popular. Maybe that’s because a bunch of little oddments are fun to open. Or maybe it’s because the readers, like me, can’t resist a freebie.
This week’s prize is a collection of this-and-that from the Last Frontier, as much as I could fit in a large flat-rate Priority Mail box. I didn’t get these things at a conference but they should certainly fight the blues. After all, how many chances do you get to win a kuspuk pattern?
I’ll explain what a kuspuk is a little later. For now, have a look at what else is up for grabs:
Small-batch lotion. This rose-scented unguent is made with olive oil and glycerin lotion and comes from Gladheart Acres in Palmer, Alaska. Just the thing for winter-weary hands.
A “lotion bar.” Irritated that your carry-on-sized bottle of lotion always runs out before your trip does? Take along this disk of solid lotion and rub it on any dry patches. It’s about the size of a hockey puck and it should last a long, long time. Take that, TSA! I don’t know who made this, but I picked it up at a holiday bazaar during the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition.
Alaska dog collar with bandana. Your pooch will be as sassy as an Iditarod racer in these bright-red accessories. And speaking of the Last Great Race, there’s also…
An Iditarod blinkie pin. It’s got an illustration of a big grinning dog and apparently it lights up and blinks. Never tried it myself, so let me know. And finally, these useful….
Iditarod post-it notes. Woof.
Insulated coffee mug. It’s got a “Blood Bank of Alaska” logo – in red, of course. If you want to mess with your coworkers’ heads, sip Hawaiian Punch from it while muttering, “I never drink…wine.” Let them see your red-stained lips. Smile fiendishly.
Reading material. A copy of First Alaskans magazine, a copy of the Anchorage Daily News Iditarod special section, a copy of Alaska magazine and a copy of the 2013 Fur Rendezvous program. Lots of gorgeous pictures in all. “Tundra” cartoonist Chad Carpenter did the Fur Rondy cover art, which includes one of my all-time favorites.
But wait — there’s more!
Two KSKA coffee mugs. Every year the local public radio station has its fund drive and mugs by Alaska artist Marianne Wieland are usually among the promo items. My friend Linda B. has probably a dozen of the things – and they are rarely or never used. She donated two out of the kindness of her heart (and to make more space in the cupboard).
Aviation cap. It’s a taupe-colored baseball cap with a black bill and bears the logo of “Hageland Aviation Services, Alaska.” Wear it and let people think you’ve been to the Last Frontier. Or put it on a scarecrow in the garden. Your call.
Stationery. Three sets of writing paper with fret-cut designs of Alaska animals; each has 24 pages and a dozen envelopes. Also: a handful of art and photo cards from various sources.
Blank book with bear. This 100-page spiral-bound journal is big enough for serious sketches or field notes but small enough not to take up too much room in your carry-on bag, or your backpack. The cover photo is of a grizzly sitting on its haunches and looking coy.
Magnets! One is from Mexico in Alaska, a local restaurant that specializes in authentic Mexican fare. I’ve got nothing against Tex-Mex per se, but this is an entirely different universe. The other is a Ray Troll cartoon, “Life’s a fish and then you fry.”
Bear pin carved from moose antler. This was made by the late Myron “Ace” Ehbling of Talkeetna. It’s a bear with a salmon in its mouth and it’s embellished with a real flake of gold. Ace was the caller at the monthly bingo games at the Talkeetna VFW, which is housed in a log cabin. I miss him.
Wooden moose trivet. Is it a hot pad or a wall hanging? My niece, who took the photo, says it’s both: You hang it on the wall until you need to put a casserole on the counter. (That handsome young man holding the trivet/art is my great-nephew. The hint of pink at the bottom of the picture is the tutu he insisted on wearing with pink sweatpants, purple socks and a black ski shirt. Yep, he’s stylin’.)
Child’s kuspuk pattern. A kuspuk is a parka cover. This very old-looking pattern describes the garment as a “summer Eskimo dress” or “snowshirt.” Here’s my kuspuk story: DF performs in a Yup’ik Eskimo dance troupe. Sometimes he’ll put on a woman’s kuspuk and imitate a nearsighted elder who’s watching for the hunters in her family to return home. The non-Native audience members laugh because his exaggerated squints and frowns are funny. Native onlookers start laughing the instant he comes onstage because they can tell that he’s wearing a girly dress rather than a manly-guy kuspuk. Apparently there’s something of a tradition of cross-dressing in Yup’ik dance. Who knew?
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The deadline is 7 p.m. PDT Monday, March 18. If I don’t hear back from the winner by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 19, I’ll pull another name. Check the site’s Facebook page on Monday evening, since I post the winner’s name there each week, or check your e-mail.