It took two weeks, but the cold has found me. I returned from sunny Colorado vitamin D balances restored and with a tiny hope that maybe I would be lucky and winter would be gentle with me for the next month. Winter had other plans. Cold has descend on Fairbanks over the last several days and with it all the complications with living this off-grid, ice moat existence. As the temperatures bottomed out last night (-35 by one thermometer, -33 by the other) I woke every two hours to feed the woodstove. My pyro-sleep walking was effective in that the house never dropped below 66 degrees, but I am spending yet another day in a strange zombie state. Another complication of the off-grid life is plugging in my car…..I can’t, so when it is this cold my choice is to haul the generator up the hill, start it in the cold, and let it run for at least an hour before I want to go anywhere, or work from home. So, it is my second work day at home, I’m sure much to the dismay of my employer. All these tasks seems so much easier when Dave is here, but he is far away on a ship in Antarctic waters, so I get to feel overwhelmed for a bit longer.

I have been logging on to to help with staying centered during all this internal and house turmoil, but my brain in having hard time staying present. Instead I try to keep coming back to my koan of the year and breathing through it:

“how to taste the quality of the moment, of the week, without the labels of good and bad, or succeeding and failing. But really just get used to tasting or knowing or experiencing the quality of what you are going through, not as some final thing.”- pema chodron

I wish I had a picture today, something to bring you along on my hour long walk to work this morning. I left the house in the cobalt predawn, it is silent here on Goat Hill, especially this time of year when the creek is frozen solid and the birds are still sleeping deep in their winter beds. The snow was (and is still) falling thick:in big, damp flakes.  My hat, mittens and sleeves were immediately coated and white the water seeping inward toward my body. Shortly after my first left turn two red foxed ran across the trail in front of me, their vibrant coats cloaked in the dark light. I quietly slogged through the fresh snow breaking trail for the two miles to my work, the sky lightened to a dull grey as I came to the steep downhill that perches above the valley. From this vantage point there is a dizzying slope that aims straight down to the peat bog; the wind sweeps up this powerline cut and ravens whirl and warble in the up drafts year round. Today was no different as they gurgled and cawed above me as I slid down butt first in the deep snow, just us and the millions of snowflakes.


Here it is the first of November already. We have entered that time of year here in Alaska when the sun slips so low that the days are beginning to feel impossibly short. It’s a struggle to get your daily dose of sun generated vitamin D, not mention the motivation to get outside and exercise. This particular change of seasons is hard on me every year, and often makes me question why I choose to live in Alaska. There is so much beauty here in these boreal hills, from our now frozen creek bottom to the top of our hills covered with giant spruces and needless spruces. On the other hand, it is a constant source of work to keep the woodstove going, the batteries that run our electricity full, water bottles full, etc. I am certainly a SAD sufferer and each year I vow to attend to it, to be respectful of the fact that my body is sensitive to these seasonal shifts. The reality is that I often fall back on my hibernation tactics, burrow done into my books and preparing comfort food for myself and my friends. This week that was french onion cider soup, matzo ball soup, buttery english muffins, bars full of oats and cranberries, and for some strange reason ice cream.


Here it is, a new blog, all full of stumbles and ugly templates. It will get better, I will spruce it up and make it my own. I had a long neglected blog (, that I realized I have outgrown. I’m a different person now and although that blog shows a snapshot of my history, I was ready to move on and here I am.

So what is different? I’m going to use this space to explore more of the cooking I love to do, my thoughts on life, art and whatever else strikes my fancy. If that sort of things interests you, welcome, I’m happy that you are here.