Giveaway: The large flat-rate box of Alaska.

thPrevious 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.

40094_thumbReading 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).

GetAttachment-1Aviation 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.

GetAttachmentWooden 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?

To enter:

If you do any (or all!) of these things, please leave separate, additional comments to get credit for each entry.

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.

468 ad


  1. Barbara A

    Yay! I would love to win all of that!

  2. Samantha

    Man that’s a lot of possible winnings!

  3. Barbara

    Oooh — would love to win that!

  4. Terri M

    Sounds like a fun package! Thanks for your stories and advice!

  5. Frances

    Oh, a homesick former Alaskan would love to have that. Especially the Wieland — special memories there.

  6. What a great box that would be to get. Thanks.

  7. Seriously, I need this swag. My life will have been nothing without it.

  8. Jeffrey

    I love the photo of the bear pin! Very artistic.

    • Donna Freedman

      That’s actually the trivet, but yep, I agree. My niece shot it with her cell phone.

  9. If I win I’ll meet you somewhere in town and save you the postage! 🙂

  10. Carolyn Collins

    This looks like so much fun? I’m already subscribed.

  11. It sounds like an interesting collection… would be fut to open. Thanks!

  12. I would love to win this box — Alaska is a dream trip of mine!

  13. I subscribe vis email also. Thanks for the giveaway!

  14. lostAnnfound

    Wow! What a great giveaway! sign me up please

  15. lostAnnfound

    I follow you via RSS

  16. I’ve always been fascinated by both Alaska and the Iditarod, so all those souvenirs would make such a fun package to open!

  17. This might be your best giveaway yet ! Subscribe via e-mail

  18. alexandra martinez

    Sounds like fun!

  19. This sounds like such an interesting cultural set of tchotchkes and do-dads. Thanks!

  20. Until July, I’m subscribed via a Reader… 🙂

  21. The description of the pin sounds lovely:)

    Wow , some prize box!

    I subscribe via email and follow you on FB

  22. How fun — true treasure!

  23. I subscribe via email.

  24. I subscribe via RSS

  25. Would love to win since I hope to visit Alaska this summer!

  26. I follow surviving and thriving on Twitter

  27. First of all, I love Moose..Mooses (what IS the plural…anything with Moose on it…Secondly..Alaska has be a fascination since Northern Exposure…From Long Island it looked like small little towns where everyone knows everyone, and it had the occasion Moose…very cool…and ‘Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition’ WOW…


    Oh!!! that sounds so great. Would love to have!

  29. Linda Gertig

    Wow! a little piece of a big state.

  30. Cynthia

    Sounds like some good stuff!

  31. love your blog

  32. follow ya’ll on facebook

  33. Ro in San Diego

    I would love to win this giveaway especially since I am Alaska bound in May! I subscribe by email.

  34. Ro in San Diego

    I would love to win this giveaway especially since I am Alaska bound in May! I subscribe by Facebook too!

  35. Katherine

    I subscribe via RSS

  36. Leigh D.

    Wow, that would be awesome!

  37. Cool Giveaway. Always loved convention freebies when I traveled for a non profit association.

  38. Diane Concepcion

    i want all the Alaskan goodies!!!!!

  39. Sounds like lots of fun!

  40. jestjack

    “If it’s free…. it’s for me!” Speaking of the Last Frontier…..is there room for any more camera crews in Alaska? The cable channels in this neck of the woods are dominated by reality shows from …..”the Last Frontier”. Must be a happening place!

  41. Linda R

    These sound like fun. I follow by email, Twitter and Facebook.

  42. Linda R

    Re-read instructions. Subscribe via Twitter! Grands would love this stuff.

  43. Linda R

    I also follow on Facebook. I’m done now! Thanks for the Giveaways!

  44. Karen W

    Would LOVE to win these things!!! Been to Alaska 6 years ago and fell in love with the beauty!!!!

  45. This would be great to win! I love the moose trivet =)

  46. I’m not usually one for bling but this is a unique collection. Count me in! Thanks.

  47. There are so many great items in this package! It will be a while until we save enough to make the trip to Alaska, this would help tide us over. 🙂

  48. Interesting!

  49. Facebook too.

  50. Nancy Luebke

    I follow you by email. Wow, what a giveaway and such fun stories. Thanks for the chance to win this.

    • Nancy Luebke

      I liked and follow you on facebook too. Still chuckeling over your story.

  51. Kristin

    I love your blog!

  52. Kristin

    And I subscribe via e- mail.

  53. A great collection of oddments. Would be fun to win!

  54. I subscribe via email

  55. I follow you on twitter (moeyshay)

  56. I like you on fb (Moey Shay)

  57. Wildnella

    Your giveaway this week sounds awesome! I enjoy reading your articles and look forward to receiving the emails!

  58. I need that dog collar for my husky!!!!

  59. Karen Abshire

    Visiting Alaska is on my bucket list. I’d be honored to be selected for this giveaway. Thanks for your consideration.

  60. Michelle

    What a cool prize box! I would love to win this. 🙂

  61. Wow! As the mother and mother-in-law of two former and one current Alaskan residents I know three people who would love to share the memories.

  62. Sounds wonderful. My three Alaskan lovers would love to share.

  63. Sounds great

  64. Wow, Alaskan goodies

  65. Ann Marie Wood

    I’d love to win this box!! It sounds wonderful! I follow you on Twitter.

  66. Ann Marie Wood

    I am signed up for your e-mails, and I love to read them. Some of the best e-mails I get. I’d love to win the Alaska box!

  67. Ann Marie Wood

    I am a fan of yours on Facebook and always enjoy your posts. I’d really like to win the Alaska box!!

  68. Jennifer

    Sounds like lots of interesting stuff. I would love to win.

  69. too bad you are moving out of Alaska, it seems like a nice place.

  70. Rebekah

    My best friend used to live in Alaska and I would love to split this collection with her!

  71. Rebekah

    I like you on Facebook.

  72. Awesome prize!

  73. I’m a facebook fan.

  74. I subscribe to your emails.

  75. I get your rss feed.

  76. Adrianna

    Would love to win the lotion and moose trivet! Cheers.

  77. Adrianna

    I also subscribe by email.

  78. What a fun box of goodies, I would love to win, especially the moose trivet, I love that and it would look so good in my kitchen! Thank you for the chance to win!

  79. I want to win!

  80. email subscriber

  81. fb fan

  82. Oh what fun!! My Dad was an Alaska native (before it was a State) so I am so interested in all things Alaskan.

  83. Debra K

    Sounds like fun! Ever since my Alaskan cruise, I’ve wanted to go back!

  84. Debra K

    I’m also a FB fan.

  85. Debra K

    I get your RSS feed.

  86. Wow! Such a fantastic giveaway! I would love to win!

  87. I follow you on Twitter!

  88. I follow you on facebook!

  89. Rebecca

    What a fun giveaway!

  90. Surprise boxes are fun! I love sending random packages of things in the mail to friends and when they do it for me:)

  91. Mary W.

    Donna you are always so generous! I would love to win such a great & fun box!

  92. It’s been 7 years since I visited Alaska and this stuff would go along way toward remembering that great trip!

  93. I also subscribe by e-mail!

  94. Veronica

    What a fun box!

  95. Catfight

    Come on random number generator!

  96. Catseye

    I love that wonderful box of Alaska, Donna!

  97. Catseye

    I subscribe to the RSS feed, too!

  98. Catseye

    Of course, I follow you on FB, Donna!

  99. Nice back story for all that stuff 🙂

  100. Cynthia Richardson

    Email subscriber
    Facebook – Cynthia M Richardson


  101. One of our puppies would look great in that collar…

  102. I’m subscribed to you via e-mail.

  103. Lauren Rathbone

    I hope my number pops up!

  104. Lauren Rathbone

    I am also subscribed to your newsletters via email.

  105. Jersey Babs

    Whoo-hooo! Awesome alaskan memories in that box! Winning it would make me happier than a husky getting harnessed!

  106. Jeannette

    I follow you on email as well as Facebook; love reading all your stories. Would love to win a box of “alaska fun”. Thanks!

  107. ImJuniperNow

    I think I’m due for a win here. Thanks, Donna!

  108. I would LOVE the pattern. I follow on Facebook.

  109. And I follow by personal email

  110. And on my work email….which I check far more often. lol

  111. Kathryn

    I enjoy your blog a lot. I would love to win this giveaway. Congrats on doing a post a day. I always look forward to your posts.

  112. My dad was born in AK and I’ve never gotten to visit so I’d love to win this!!

  113. I subscribe via email

  114. I follow on twitter @ ktmaag

  115. Carolyn Grabowski

    I’ve checked your Surviving and Thriving column off and on but I’ve finally subscribed.

    I love reading about your new life after ADN.

    Give Linda B my best regards.

    • Donna Freedman

      Thanks, Carolyn. Are you still out in the Valley area? How often do you come to Anchorage? Let’s do a meet-up.

  116. Love it! Lots of conversation starters in this giveaway. 🙂


  1. Weekly Chronicles: St. Patrick’s Day Edition - [...] & Thriving has a large flat box of Alaska goodies to give away.  Entries close [...]
  2. Giveaway: Return of the large flat-rate box of Alaska. | Surviving and Thriving - […] giveaway from last March, “The large flat-rate box of Alaska,” drew 122 entries. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *