Bearing Tea Co. = bearing happiness

It’s always nice to find a good coffee house where you live, and in Nome, we have a gem! There is the best little coffee shop next to the gift and music shop called Bearing Song and Gifts Shop. You can get a warm drink and home-baked goods~like warm fresh muffins, and sit and enjoy the creative, home-made decorations of this cozy, welcoming place.Bering Tea Co




Mason jar lights

Mason jar lights

Mason jar chandelier

Mason jar chandelier

Cozy corner where I had  a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven muffin

Cozy corner where I had a warm, fresh-out-of-the-oven muffin

Reading nook

Reading nook

reading nook 2

Bookshelf driftwood

Bookshelf driftwood

weathered coffee table in the sunlight, olive sofa

weathered coffee table in the sunlight, olive sofa

white piano

white piano

window seat

window seat

This is a Russian ukelele:

look a little closer. the details are the best part! :)

look a little closer. the details are the best part! :)


The cost of groceries in Nome …(is crazy!)

Expect to pay about double (compared to average national prices) for groceries in Nome, Alaska–especially for fresh produce! Everything is shipped in–either by sea or air, so the prices reflect that. Luckily the water here is great, so no need to have a filter or bottled water. [If you are thinking of moving to nome, don’t let the cost of living be something that discourages you, because somehow, everybody makes it here.]

Budget: For one person (me), a medium eater, I paid $200 for about 1.5 weeks of groceries, so I expect to budget ~$500 per month. Granted, I do like to eat mostly fresh produce, I am vegetarian, and I like to eat as organic as possible (not a fan of toxic pesticides/herbicides). I also try to avoid processed food (19 Foods That Aren’t Food)–this website is a good reminder for me to avoid those appealing-but junk-fake foods!

For example: A gallon of milk costs $6, a small loaf of fresh bread is $6, a green pepper $3, a small bag of baby carrots $4. (Update: the fresh produce seems to go moldy very quickly–I imagine that by the time it gets here, it’s near the end of its freshness, so I’m learning to eat it up right away).
Some Pics of prices:

Yellow summer squash--also nearly double the price!

$2.49 per pound for yellow summer squash–also nearly double the price!

$1.79 each (normally I can buy 2 for $1)

Cucumbers $1.79 each (normally I can buy 2 for $1)

Broccoli: $2.99 per lb (normally ~$1.50/lb)

Broccoli: $2.99 per lb (normally ~$1.50/lb

Raspberries price

Organic raspberries and blackberries: $5.99 per box, normally ~$3.

Here's what $200 worth of groceries looks like

Here’s what $200 worth of groceries looks like


Check out this fun article by National Geographic: $16 Breadsticks: The High Cost of Living in Nome

Nome Sweet Homes and a PO Box (Day 4)

It’s drizzling today. The first overcast day since I’ve been here, but it’s still in the 50s and not too bad! I went to the post office to drop off my application for a PO box. There’s a waiting list to get a box.
Nome Post OfficeSo until then, my address is:

Shana Theobald
General Delivery
Nome, AK 99762

Here are some pictures from the post office:

Picture in the Nome Post Office

Picture in the Nome Post Office. Wow!

Wow! (it’s not quite this busy anymore)


Then I went to look at houses with a realtor, Nome Sweet Homes (it’s not often that you find an igloo and a cute name on a realtor’s logo). I’m not planning to buy a house yet, but wanted to get an idea of what kind of houses and prices are around here. Houses are very expensive here–it’s the first time I’ve seen a trailer house for over a quarter of a million dollars!: Nome Sweet Homes 2

The rest of the day I wandered around town, and here are some random favorites of what I saw:

The inviting local flower shop


The local Flower Shop. Owned by Trinh, a lovely woman of Vietnamese heritage, whose family has been here forever. She used to be a behavioral health counselor for 14 years in Nome. And now she runs this flower shop, which is lovely. And healing.

Sayings written on the flower shop walls.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nome Outfitters store (the flower shop lady’s husband owns this store):OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dredging bucket flower pot:

Dredging bucket flower pot

More flower pots ~ These are old buckets from the gold dredging machines that are discarded and then used to decorate parks and yards.

Dredging bucket flower pot 3    Dredging bucket flower pot 2

My favorite grocery store logo ~ from Hanson’s Trading store:

Hanson's symbol

That is how the sun rolls across the horizon on the long summer days.

Barge on the Bering Sea–this is what my cargo is coming in on! Should be here in 1-2 weeks!


I love the lego-block containers

Ladder on a roof:


This is not one of the Nome Sweet Homes that I looked at today.:)

I can’t get over the colors here, everywhere!: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Amazing Alaska Autumn! Trip to Council (Day 3 in Nome)

There are a few unpaved roads out of Nome (granted they don’t lead to any bigger civilization), and today I got to go on a field trip with the other new doctor Tim and his lovely wife Sarah Miller, we went East along the coast to Council “City”. This was the first thing we saw on our road trip this morning:

kissing moose

kissing moose

The drive was stunningly beautiful with the tundra painted with oranges, reds, greens with a backdrop of blue mountains and blue streams running through it. I learned today that along here (the Safety Sound) is a bird-watchers paradise, with rich wetlands throughout the tundra. Also, this where the Bering Land Bridge used to connect this continent to Russia! And last, but not least, this is where the home stretch of the Iditarod trail passes before ending in Nome.


We got to see the train going to nowhere:

Train to nowhere

On the sign in front of the train: “Rusting Legacy. These locomotives and flat cars are remnants of the unsuccessful attempt to build a railroad to gold mines near Council City. the locomotives began service on elevated railways of New York City, then became the workhorses of the Council City and Solomon River Railroad (CC&SRR) in 1904. The great storm of 1913 destroyed the Solomon River Railroad bridge, stranding them here.”

Then we chanced upon a herd of musk-ox. They wouldn’t let us get very close, which is probably for the better. :)

Two of the larger musk-oxen

Two of the larger musk-oxen.

There is a lot of road work, which seems surprising out here, but I guess no place is immune to summer road construction. My friend in Anchorage (Kieara) told me a joke that there are four seasons in Alaska: Winter, Winter, Winter and Construction.

We stopped a few places along the way, just to enjoy the jaw-droppingly beautiful scenery.


And then we arrived at Council City, now a small end-of-the-road village, that used to be a city with up to 15,000 inhabitants during the late1890s, but most of them moved to Nome around 1900 when more bigger, better gold was found. Part of the town is perched on a rocky bank overlooking the river and the sandbar, where we picnicked.

Standing in the river in front of the town. I love my Bogs boots (a warmly insulated, waterproof must-have for Alaska)!

me in council bluffsAround here we saw a lot of these outboard jet motors, since the rivers are so shallow–just like we used to have on our river in New Guinea!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pictures from Nome ~ a few of my favorites

Before I start working at the clinic and hospital, I have some time to wander about and explore.

Directions for how to get out of Nome (Ack! :))

Bright blue, happy shedOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery house has a mudroom here attached to the entrance, where you take off your muddy boots! It’s essential to keeping a clean home.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARusty corrugated tin houseOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo quaint!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Breakers Bar
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the quirks of small towns.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYay for living by the sea! (even if it is frozen 10 months of the year!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Norton Sound on the Bering SeaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Coolest camper ever!