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th-1Some observations about the town of Valdez, Alaska, where the 24th annual Last Frontier Theatre Conference is winding up:

Coming into town were greeted by one of those temporary electronic signs, the kind that road crews put up. However, it wasn’t advising us of “ROAD WORK NEXT FEW MILES” or “ABRUPT EDGE MOTORCYCLES USE EXTREME CAUTION,” however.

No, this warning included the phrase “GRIZZLY BEARS MOVING THROUGH TOWN.”

Sad to say, I have not seen ursus arctos horribilis myself. Kind of hoped to do so, from within a vehicle moving past said critter. But I did hear about someone whose yard was monopolized by a mama grizz and three cubs for several days.

Finally she called Fish and Game to beanbag ’em out of there. She was tired of not letting her own kids go outside to play, lest they become Scooby snacks for the charismatic megafauna next to the swing set.

 


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A pullet surprise.

thMonths and months ago I wrote a post called “Ask me (almost) anything.” Among other things, it invited readers to send questions that I might (or might not) answer.

The questions came in, and remained unanswered. Sorry ’bout that.

Also sorry about maintaining radio silence since May 6. My book project plus an issue to be explained later have kept me from doing any writing for fun.

Today I’ll kill two birds with one stone (plus one really unappetizing picture).

 


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Fairbanks haiku.

 thHeaded north today

Too early, but one must think:

Construction season.

 

Road breakfast first, though:

Eggs, spuds, bacon, pancakes and

Diet (duh) cola.

 

Clouds, gloom: Were we cursed?

Look! Denali lifts chador

Of cloud and smiles big.

 

(Who is Denali?

You knew her as McKinley.

But you knew nothing.)

 


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IMG_20150622_182817When I got back from Phoenix the house smelled like dirt. In a good way: While I was gone DF had started dozens of seeds in egg cartons and repurposed pots.

The containers completely cover a table in the utility room and a three-shelf unit that has displaced our dining table. We can eat anywhere, but baby plants need the south sun.

After a week of seeing flowers and orange trees and fully leafed trees, I came home to a typical Alaska breakup: gray skies, brown lawns and bare branches. The scent of soil helps make up for that.

So does the Renee’s Garden media kit, which arrived shortly before I left to visit my daughter. The 2016 New Introductions Sampler kicked off a response most Pavlovian. My mouth actually watered as I looked at things like Five Color Rainbow beets, Italian Pandorino grape tomatoes, Ruby & Emerald mustard, French Mascotte container beans and Harlequin Mix rainbow carrots.

 


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Bunny boots: Don't leave Nome without 'em

Bunny boots: Don’t leave Nome without ’em

(Note: This was written Saturday evening. Thanks to a tech glitch, it wasn’t published when it should have been. Oops.)

It’s snowing, finally – just in time for spring equinox. About seven inches are on the ground right now and it’s still coming down madly.

Earlier today the neighbor across the street had a pair of preschoolers working on the front steps with little kid-sized shovels while he attacked the driveway with a snowblower.

The children loved it so much that once the steps were clear they were out in the front yard, shoveling paths to nowhere. Just being able to fling the snow around was fun, I guess. It’ll be interesting to see if they find it fun a few years down the road or whether they’ll be moaning and griping: “I shoveled the steps last time! It’s his turn!”

Me, I’m just happy to be sitting upright. On Wednesday I came down with the intestinal bug that’s been making its way through (as it were) half of the city. Today I was able to tolerate solid food (rice, dry toast, yogurt, applesauce) during the day. In a little while we’ll know for sure whether I’m healed, because I had some of the turkey that DF roasted: hot, juicy and deliciously worth the relapse risk.

So far, so good: I’m sipping tea and watching thick curtains of snow silvering the night sky. DF is lying on the couch, also watching the picture window as though it were the most engrossing movie in the world. He was so hypnotized by the weather that he almost forgot to preheat the oven for the bread he’d left to rise.

A few days ago it was in the mid-40s and yards, while not green, were at least not white. Today it looks like December, not March. If this keeps up the Easter Bunny will have to wear bunny boots.

 


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