Saturday, May 29, 2010

Calumet Graduation 2010

Roger Helminen and Brian Torola were Honor Guards and Marissa Torola was Salutatorian.
From Back left: Anderson, Johnson, Johnson, Frantti, Lasanen, Helminen, Tolkinen, Kangas, Rajala, Sturos, Kangas, Johnson, Berg. Middle Row from Left: Ylitalo, Issacson, Moyrala, Hrykas, Curtis, Anderson. Front from left: Helminen, Helminen, Johnson, Berg, Torola, Kiilunen, Parks and In the front, Ben Kangas.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Marge and Mike Anderson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on 5/14/10

Thursday, May 27, 2010

pete update

pete is "coming along", a little bit slow yet, because of his post-polio syndrome and "age"...
he will be going into rehab in a couple to four days-ish, so will probably be here for about ten days to two wks yet...... many thanks for your prayers and love....ellen and pete
NOTE* Rumors abound are not true. Pete is Cancer Free.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pete's Update

Just a note to say that Pete is out of ICU and upstairs in Mqt General. Doing fine and better every day. Starting Physical Therapy today. Still cancer free.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Margaret & Travis Aho wedding Sat., May 15

Grandparents, Chester Aho, Pete Kinnunen

Grandparents, Helen Kinnunen, Judy Aho

Grandparents, Ruth & Gordie Frantti

Pam and David Aho

Sarah and Mike Halt

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Granny Kangas, Anna and new Brenna & Bumpa Aaron Kangas
New parents, Jeff and Anna with lil' Brenna Mae (born 14th of May)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Great Grizzley Bear Story

Talk about CLAWS!

Russ and Katrina smiling!

When you don't work you find trouble. We (me and Nate) had the day off on Tuesday so we decided to go bear hunting. My first step was to get a bear license and permit from the ADF&G (Alaska Department of Fish and Game) office. We also stopped to pick up bullets for Nate's gun.

I noticed a consignment gun exactly like one I'd been eyeballing for six months - a stainless steel marlin lever action "Guide Gun" chambered in 45/70. I called my wife to get permission to buy. "Sure, go ahead," she said. She didn't seem to be paying much attention to my request, but I didn't argue with her. I quickly bought the gun and some ammo and we went to the shooting range. We shot both guns and backup pistols for practice, then went to find some bears.


We hiked straight up one mountain and only saw old bear sign. We took a lunch break then drove to the other end of the road and climbed another mountain. Up one side and came down a cliff on the other side. Sore and tired and hungry, we took a break for supper. I'd seen bears while hiking and camping and deer hunting but now that we were looking for one to shoot, there didn't seem to be any around.

After eating, we decided to take out the boat to see if there were any bears on the shore. Katrina came along this time. About one hour later and 400 deer, 100 eagles, 5 seals, 8 sea lions, and a million seagulls, we saw our first bear. We could shoot this one. Actually we couldn't, because she had a cub with her. We watched for awhile then cruised the beach to keep looking.

A little later, we saw another bear but as soon as we slowed down to look at it, it ran into the woods. We decided to call it a night and turned back towards town. Soon we saw another bear and made the decision to give it one last try - make sure it was legal, then go for the kill.

Me and Katrina jumped into our kayak and paddled to shore. I made sure she had a loaded backup gun and extra ammo before the final stalk.

In stealth mode, we went around the corner and found the bear feeding twenty yards away. Heart pounding in my chest, I decided to shoot. Somewhere in all the excitement my sights got bumped off; my first shot hit him in the spine.

His back end slumped and I thought about what I've been told about shooting brown bears. Keep shooting until they can't move. If they can move they can charge you and eat you, or they can get away. Nobody wants to trail a wounded Grizzly. I shot again. The bear looked at us and growled. I got concerned and tried again. "Click." The bullet was a dud, or else my gun spring is weak. I ejected that shell and fired my last shot. The bear slumped over some rocks and growled. I reloaded.

With a lunge, the bear moved towards the woods but I was ready. I shot again and the bear laid down and died. After ten minutes of watching, we paddled out to the boat to swap Katrina for Nate, as I didn't want to leave her alone with a potentially wounded bear. I dropped Nate off on shore, then went back and picked Katrina up again.

All together again on land, we watched the bear from a safe distance. Slowly we got braver and braver and walked up close. I poked him in the eye with my gun and kicked him.

Night closing in, we finally decided he was dead, and figured we better try for some pictures before it was too dark.

We tried to roll the bear over to pose, but he was too heavy. I could only hold his head up for five seconds at a time. His paws were as big as my head and arms as big as my chest.

Then we got to work. If you ever decide to shoot anything larger than a deer, you better eat your Wheaties. It took us three and a half hours to skin it out, and we sweated and fought with 1200 lbs. of bear and 250 lbs. of wet, fat-laden hide in the dark.

Good luck to anyone who attempts to get a big animal anywhere off the beaten path. Two construction workers and one marathoner were licked after three hours and thirty yards to the boat.

Now the skull is soaking in a bucket on our back porch, the smashed bullets we retrieved are sitting on the kitchen table, and the hide is down in Seattle being tanned for our first bear skin rug.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Marianne, Arnie, Irene & Kirby over Mon. evening visit and dinner
Nice visit; you can tell we are getting old, we reminisced like mad!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Pete Torola's 2nd birthday party with torola's, ryynanen's and daavettila's

Pete and re-Pete Torola

Dave and Ann Torola

Carol and Phil Ryynanen

Russ, Beth and Danika Ryynanen

lizzie, peter and repeat, trevor

at peter torola's 2nd birthday party


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shirley Savela in Virginia, Minn. at Eastertime.

Saara Kvist from Tornio, Finland....

Ron Kilpela and family...visiting in Virginia, Minn. at Eastertime.

Irene Somero

Sunday, May 2, 2010

This was our first stop of the day. It's the stone boat in Kearsarge. We read the local names of many who were in WW2 and Vietnam war, and Korean war. We knew a lot of the men. Also there are 4 pictures of USS Kearsarge aircraft carriers/warships, the last one being active in the Mediterranean. This memorial site is worth a stop to read about the depression days and read the names. Our 3 great commanders are on the stone ship....aye, aye, sir! The boys are Lowell, Brennan and Warren Torola, (carl and beth's) A start of a fun day.

Second stop was at "ten foot", in the eagle river about a mile before the town...swift flowing water and a deep hole to cool off on a hot summer day. (older kids only, we said)

We stopped at the Eagle River Cemetery. I wanted to show them a very special grave, which I found last time I was browsing there. It is up on the lefthand hill, a grave surrounded by rocks, and on the largest rock was printed "lady 1999"....also another grave with a large lifesized wooden dog, and 3 other smaller ones....with their masters. The dates were of great interest to the boys and we did a lot of "reading"...

We are creeping up to the devil's washtub.....note ice on the cliff! (may 1)

Oh, oh! This is the devil's washtub! After pete's big "story" about this spot, the boys didn't run eagerly to it, but kinda hung back. They were absolutely in awe, to see the devil's dirty water down in that hole. We told him to bring a bar of soap next time.

These are some serious birders watching the migration. They were counting birds, putting times and how many. Fancy expensive binoculars and cameras.

We went to Brockway Mt. to watch the bird migration. we saw dozens and dozens of hawks, falcons, eagles, and cranes flying over.

We then visited the Copper Harbor cemetery after we ate lunch at the Pines. The boys were intrigued with this statue. They also discovered a 100 year old grave. We read many markers with young children, and I explained to them about modern medicine vs. olden times.

we found a tree across the road, so we did our good deed for the day and cleared the road

We stopped at Helminen's lot in LacLaBelle, to see how Brian and Roger were coming along with making a new dock for his new bigger boat for his fishing charter business...very interesting, but of course the boys were off in the woods with the other cousins right away. however, pete and i found it interesting...nice and warm, too.

Finally got back to the Casita, and now gotta see if we can see the bull frog and fish!

Last project for the day...getting water from the spring for the casita coffee. Such a busy day we had, and it was so fun. we were gone from 10 a.m. to 4:30.