Downtown Tok Alaska, Winter 2009

It is so warm here this holiday season, like 15 below to zero degrees. I’m not even wearing a hat or gloves most days. Last year this time I was afraid to carry my toddler out to the car for fear her lungs would freeze in the 60 below and colder weather.

But there is still snow everywhere and will be for months. And months.

Here are a few scenes from “downtown Tok” this past weekend.

That last pic was around 10:45 a.m. with the sun just coming up over the mountains in the distance. It may not be cold here, but boy it sure is dark.

How are you faring this winter?

Gettin’ Frosty in Tok!

Now we’re having the weather I remember from our first months here in Tok. Tomorrow – Winter Soltice – will also mark exactly a year that we’ve been here. Finally getting my “Tok Legs” which is an awful lot like sea legs. Takes a lot of getting used to, there are moments of unrest, and then it all feels like no big deal. Then you get out of Tok and realize once again how very different things are here, for better or for worse.

With cold, comes new anecdotes about the cold – things that may seem quite normal and typical to most Tokites, but believe me they are not normal or typical for many others. My latest fun Tok Winter Pics are of the frost and ice forming on the inside of our windows today. Keep in mind we have 12 inch thick walls and two layers of windows!

In my daughter’s room, we had lined all of her teddy bears on the window sill, and they were all stuck to the windows. After some tugging and a little bit of teddy bear fur left behind, all bears were wrapped in blankets (after the requisite teddy bear operations to minimize frostbite).

We’ve just ordered some wood for the first time and plan to light our wood stove for the first time as soon as the wood arrives. Now THAT will be cozy and warm.

How are YOU faring on this fine winter’s day?

Dry Skin Relief in Tok

pro_gentle_facial_moisturizerFuel oil heat, forced air furnace, tightly sealed walls, and a low-humidity. All the right ingredients for very dry skin.

I have very dry skin to start with and this kind of environment is like dragging fingernails across a chalkboard for me. I’m in a constant frenzied search for more lotion.

Right now, I’m using some high quality face cream from Terralina as overall body cream after running out of their body lotion. I’m finding that their face cream feels even better than their body lotion on my body but this little tub is going fast. What I love about Terralina is their full ingredient disclosure as well as a handy glossary of what common bodycare ingredients really mean.


Getting All Social in Tok

dscn0115Before we left for a 2-week stay in Anchorage, we had our first dinner party. Before our daughter was born, we used to have people over to our house for dinner fairly often. Then we became parents of a newborn, and “socialize” was not part of our vocabulary for a while.

I was excited to plan an easy dinner of moose meat tacos with all the fixings and asked that people bring things. My husband put an invitation into everyone’s mailbox at his office, and I handed out a few invites to people I’d only recently met. Someone joked (at least I think they were joking) that we should just put up a couple of fliers on the local bulletin boards and invite everyone.

At one point in the planning process, my husband asked to see my guestlist.

“Some of these people probably don’t know each other,” he said. “They most likely don’t even socialize with one another.”

That was the point, I told him.


The Tok Report – Car in Cold Weather

I’m playing around with Seesmic and seeing if my DSL connection will handle it. Here’s a little clip I just made about cold weather and vehicles. (I wish I could embed the video but doesn’t seem to allow it.)

Click for Video


What are YOUR cold weather vehicle stories?