Alaskan Women Get It Done



Hello, this is Fran from, with another Alaska success story for you.

Women in rural Alaska are often found to be a special breed. Strong and independent, courageous, capable; yes, and stubborn and tenacious, they also demonstrate many other excellent qualities. It is true — if you have a difficult task to perform, Alaskan women get it done.

After all, Alaska started out as a place inhabited predominantly by men, so the women who came here early on had to be able to handle this mostly-masculine scene and the challenges of living in such a wild place.

Quote:  “A strong woman looks a challenge dead in the eye and gives it a wink.”  (Gina Carey)

It didn’t take long for the men to decide they needed to entice more women to move here. They coined a slogan: ” Alaska: Ten good men for every woman.”

Women began to travel North to investigate this phenomenon, and discovered it to be true. The men definitely made up a large part of the early Alaskan population. Then the women coined their own saying: “The odds are good but the goods are odd.”

Quote:  “She’s whiskey in a teacup.”

Some women took to Alaska and its challenges and elected to stay in the Great North. These women made a success of their lives in Alaska, and helped to make the place habitable for families.

From their ranks rose their own champions. For example, there was Susan Butcher, championship dog musher, who won the grueling Iditarod race, 1100 miles between Alaska and Nome, four years in a row. I used to have a shirt that read, “Alaska, where men are men and women win the Iditarod.”

In my years in Alaska, I have discovered that strong women often made the deciding difference in some project I’d tackled. Such was the case with the installation of my phone line. It probably never would have been completed without the help of my woman friends.

Quote:  “A man does what he can; a woman does what he cannot.”  (Isabel Allende)

For many years, I lived on my homestead with a CB and VHF radio, and no phone. Then, I began going to Kodiak every couple of weeks, where I would sell some jewelry from leftover stock from my shop, to make a little extra money.

My business grew, and I found myself spending more time on the phone, ordering stock or talking with customers. I’d have to walk a mile and a half to the village to a friend’s to use the telephone.

I had several discussions with the phone company. They had a policy that they would put in a phone line for anyone who lived in range of their service. Finally, they agreed to put in a line to the dump, which lay at the furthest end of the Ouzinkie road system, and a half-mile from my house.

Because the road to the dump bordered the airport runway, the phone company had to bury the line, so they sent two men and a Ditch Witch to do the job. It took them two weeks to complete it. Now a post stood outside the dump fence, with a terminal box atop it.

Quote: “Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose.”

For a year, I used to hike there whenever I needed to use the phone. After all, a half-mile hike is better than a mile and a half. For rainy days, I found a hat with a little umbrella attached to the top of it. This stylish chapeau kept me and my papers dry while I made my calls.

The phone company had told me that it was up to me to lay the last half-mile of line to my house. Finally, I decided to figure out a way to do just that.

Quote:  “A woman is like a tea bag — you don’t know how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”  (Eleanor Roosevelt)

A friend of a friend in Kodiak had a Ditch Witch. I pestered this man so much about bringing the machine over to finish digging the ditch for the line that he finally agreed, possibly just to get me to leave him alone.

I got what I thought were all the supplies for the job from the phone company, and the Ditch Witch owner found a landing craft to haul the machine to Spruce Island. They planned to arrive on a Friday evening so we’d have the weekend to dig.

Instead, they did not arrive until late on a Sunday morning. It took them an hour and a half just to get the machine to the starting point of the ditch. They did get the digging started, and then they got over the first little rise and headed down a steep side-hill slope leading to level ground below. They had just started down this incline when the Ditch Witch got stuck.

Quote:  “Persistence is to the character of man as carbon is to steel.”  (Napoleon Hill)

They’d dug a total of 330 feet, out of a half mile total. The owner of the landing craft came up and said, “You’d better get that machine unstuck and back to the beach. I’m leaving soon, and if you aren’t there with the machine, I’ll leave without you.”

Shortly after, the swarm of people that were there to help vanished, along with the machine. All that remained were three women — myself, my neighbor, Linda, and my Kodiak friend, Cat.

We made a formidable trio. A Ouzinkie friend, Nikolai, called Linda and me “Bush bitches,” a title we were honored to accept. Cat had accompanied me on many challenging adventures. We called ourselves “the Fern Sisters.”

We decided we’d hand-dig and bury the line ourselves. We used a spade with a long, narrow blade. One person cut into the ground about eight inches deep; the second person pushed the line to the bottom of the cut, and the third covered and tamped.

I’m including a picture here that I took as we headed down the slope of that steep ravine. The picture won’t win any photography awards, but it will give you an idea of the challenge we overcame.

Quote:  “The three of us are more than friends — Together, we’re like a small gang.”

Quote:  “The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.”

When we got most of the way down the ravine, and about 1/3 of the way to my house, we ran out of wire. I trudged back to the telephone terminal and called the phone company, ordering two more spools of wire.

“Also, we have no grease to put in the splice boxes. Can you send some?”

“Do you have Crisco?” the telephone man asked. “Use that.”

Our supplies came on the mail plane, and we continued the job. We installed a second splice box after the next spool ran out, and then made it all the way to my house with the third spool.

Linda knew a little bit about phone hookups, as her ex-husband had been a telephone lineman and had taught her some basics. This bit of experience helped when installing the splice boxes, but at the house, Linda created an error by hooking all six of the colored wires in the cable to the corresponding colors in the receptacle at the house.

No dial tone. Now what?

Back to the terminal box I went, and again called the phone company. I learned that only two of those wires needed connecting. When we corrected the error, we were amazed and overjoyed when we got a dial tone. I then had phone service for the rest of the time that I lived at Banjo Beach.

Quote:  “There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.”  (Michelle Obama)

Can you see the correlations that can be drawn from this story and applied to our online business? Think about these things: Once the path is set, don’t give up until your goal is accomplished. Believe in your own abilities and learn by doing.

Cooperative effort is often quite successful in finding a way to complete a task. Find a method that works and then stick to it. Believe that you will achieve your goal.

Quote:  “We rise by lifting others.”

If you are still looking for an online opportunity, I urge you to investigate the company I have chosen. Go to my website,, and you will find all the information you need to learn what Wealthy Affiliate has to offer.

I hope you enjoyed this video. If you are watching on YouTube, please hit the “Subscribe” button. If you are watching from my website, I’d love a comment at the end of the written transcript of the video. Thank you for watching.




Fran Kelso
In reply to Charity Treasure.Charity, glad you liked it! Good to see you on here…hope you come back to visit often. Watch the other videos, as they all have a bit of humor in them. I think you will enjoy them, too.

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Charity Treasure
Thank you for this great story!!

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Fran Kelso
In reply to Parveen.Yep, you gotta be ready for action, stay focused, and just do it.  It’s fun to dream, but it does not get things done.  Sometimes getting out there and moving ahead are the most important things you can do.

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Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading and watching the video and find it is very useful for everyone. Now I feel very much motivated after watching the video. I will put my full efforts in my online business like an Alaskan women. I am sure we will get an awesome results by trying everything possible. If we start moving then path will start building automatically. We have to take action now. I hope everyone is ready for action now.

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Fran Kelso
In reply to Enrique.To tell you the truth, when I look back at some of the things I’ve done, I find it hard to believe I did them!

Life here, especially on my homestead, is (was) not easy.  Oh, it’s better now, even though I still live in a small town.  The funny thing is, though, with all the struggles I had and the persistence I had to generate at times to see things through, I didn’t think of it as tough.  Difficult at times, but while living it, it wasn’t that hard.  I always thought that my life was a lot easier than people thought.  I think we are much more adaptable than we realize.

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Fran Kelso
In reply to Deb.I just started doing videos.  The one you watched was my 7th.  I was scared to do them, but now I love doing them, and wish I had more time to devote to them.

I use Screencast-o-matic to record the video and PowerPoint to make the slides.  Both of these are rather simple to use.  They are great fun.

Not even sure what podcasting is…lol…I learn new things every day on here.

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Fran Kelso
In reply to Nuttanee.Ah, yes, I’ve had several friends who were fisherwomen — either on someone else’s boat or on one they owned and ran themselves.  Up here, a woman can pretty much be what she wants to be.  I like that freedom.

You might come and visit us — it’s a great place, and people are very friendly.

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Wow, Fran! I really enjoyed reading your story through the end. Your quotes are also ad hoc with the story you’re relating.

I can’t imagine all you had to go through. Life in Alaska sounds like it’s way different from life deeper south.

Regarding your phone, I congratulate you for your tenacity. There’s always another way to do something. Nothing is set in stone. You must feel proud for what you did with your friends.

Thanks for inspiring us.

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Alaskan women have always inspired me. I saw this girl from Alaska who owns a fishing boat and she went out the ocean and went out to fish by herself! She was on Shark Tank and I was mesmerized by her story. Wow, I want to be like her! She looks great for her age as well! Lol, She is truly a whiskey in a teacup. Thank you for sharing this amazing video 🙂 So, inspiring!

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I loved this. It was so inspiring. I also loved the way you have created an audio file.It is something that I want get into Do you do podcasting? I would have thought that stories about determined women would do very well. You are a great storyteller. I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate and I agree it is a great community to support the development of an online business. Any kind of online business really, affiliate marketing is just one financial stream that online businesses can tap into.

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