Winter salsa.

thYears ago a co-worker of DF’s – and a newcomer to the state – was puzzled by all the references to a “Mexican holiday” in December. Finally she asked him a most Emily Litella-like question: “What’s all this about ‘winter salsa’?”

This so charmed DF that he brought corn chips and salsa to work in honor of the misheard word. He continued to do so annually because who doesn’t need a little bit of spice in the waning days of the year?

On Sunday, winter solstice, the light came back. Or, rather, it stopped going away. We gained five seconds worth of sunshine on Monday and by gum we enjoyed all five.

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thI’m attending the Financial Blogger Conference in St. Louis next week, then staying a little while to hang out with my daughter. Saying “hello” to any readers who happen to live/work in the area would be great fun, too.

To a reader named Marsha: I’m so sorry I accidentally deleted your e-mail. Yes, I would like to have coffee and a chat, and I hope it could be on Monday morning, Oct. 21.

Is anybody else available for a cup and a jaw that day?

The place where I’m staying is near the St. Louis Bread Company, 116 N. 6th St. How early would be too early and how late would be too late in terms of people’s work/life schedules?

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Cold is relative.

th-1As in, my relatives are never cold. Specifically, my great-nephews are never cold. I was visiting them on a 10-below-zero night when a friend called to say that Jupiter was quite visible in the night sky.

The boys stampeded out the front door – in their PJs – and stayed out there for at least five minutes, looking. At least they put on their boots.

I used to be that kind of badass. But I find I’ve lost my happy thoughts after 11 years Outside – which is how Alaskans describe Everyplace That Isn’t Alaska. (It gets the upper-case even in the newspapers.)

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The bachelors of Talkeetna (

Are you close to your 40th birthday? Celebrating a divorce? Feeling the need to break out of a rut? Or just in the mood for an unforgettable road trip?

Come to Alaska, in December, on purpose, and drink in the nuttiness that is the Talkeetna Bachelors Auction and Wilderness Woman Competition.

The competition, auction and dance take place on Saturday, Dec. 1. My friend Linda B. has rented the entire top floor of the Latitude 62 so that a bunch of wild wimmen can spend the weekend eating, drinking and being merry.

There’s room at the inn. Why not come up and join us?

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Better safe than soggy.

Now that Irene has said good night – and as a topical storm rather than a hurricane – it’s time for everyone to attack the news media for hype and scare tactics.

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