th-1We’re in a subzero cold snap that should last at least a few more days. The temperature was eight below when I got up and managed to make it only four degrees above the zero-mark before shivering its  way back down the thermometer.

But I don’t care (much), because the house smells so good.

After DF had his lunch he filled the five-quart West Bend slow cooker with the contents of the boiling bag, some vegetable cooking water from the freezer and the water left from last night’s boiled potatoes.

(That last included little bits of spud because I got distracted and let them boil perhaps a bit too long.)

This time around the boiling bag contained carrot tops, apple cores, the tough ends of romaine leaves, onion skins, potato peelings and a handful of very small, very green tomatoes from the greenhouse project. Although all of the bigger tomatoes and some of the smaller ones eventually turned red after we brought them indoors, the little ones were stubbornly bright-green and beginning to soften. Thus we sacrificed them to the soup and are already dreaming of next spring.


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Frigid frozen feet.

Recently DF and I attended “My Fair Lady,” the frugal way: I was reviewing, so we got two free tickets. (You can read the review at the Alaska Dispatch News if you like.)

When we finally went to bed my feet were, as usual, freezing. The rest of me felt fine but my toes were 10 little icicles. This led to us joking about a rewrite of “The Street Where You Live,” one of the more romantic songs from the musical.

In case you don’t know the tune, here’s a clip from the film version:


Got it? Now, on to the DF-written parody, “The Sheets At the Foot of the Bed”:


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Frugal re-entry.

thMy trip back from a couple of conferences and family visits took some 17 hours from door to door, thanks to the first plane leaving almost two hours late. Boy, was I ready to be home.

And boy, was I glad that we live only about six minutes from the airport. A guy with whom I chatted during the delay told me he still had to drive to Ninilchik, Alaska, after we landed. That’s more than 180 miles south of Anchorage. All I had to do was look for DF’s car outside the baggage claim area.

Thursday found me somewhat punchy, since long trip + fewer than five hours of sleep = dormant brain cells. But I made it a point to get back on track, money-wise. 


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POSTERRegular readers know how I feel about the “Tundra” comic strip, created by Alaska cartoonist Chad Carpenter. Not content with being syndicated all over the world, Carpenter recently branched out into filmmaking with “Moose: The Movie.”

At one of the screenings Carpenter handed out autographed calendars. I promptly re-gifted mine for the May 3 giveaway (whose write-up included my impressions of the film).

Now that “Moose: The Movie” is available for home viewing, I’m reinstating the weekly giveaways with a copy of the DVD.

Is it great cinema? Of course not. But it’s good, goofy fun and very Carpenterian; witness the wildlife protection poster glimpsed in the Gangrene Gulch ranger station. Anyone who’s visited (or wants to visit) the Last Frontier will fall in love with the cinematography.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. A review from The Alaska Dispatch News calls it “bright, fast-paced, well-produced, utterly entertaining and very amusing,” among other things.


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Not dead, just busy.

th-1This morning I realized it’s been nine days since I posted. That’s not good, but it’s sometimes inevitable. Times are I get too bound-up in real life and can’t find time first to come up with a topic and then to write it.

Unfortunately, I may maintain radio silence for another week or so. Blame a combination of visiting relatives (they get here Sunday and will stay for a week), everyday deadlines, some fill-in child care for two families and a couple of special projects.

And, of course, the tail-end of a particularly amazing Alaska summer.

None of those things is particularly onerous (especially the summer part). Taken together, they’ve usurped all my waking hours. Occasionally they follow me into my dreams, e.g., waking up with a start and thinking, “Is that piece due today or tomorrow? Do I have enough research to finish it? Did I ever get in touch with that specialist?”


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