A New Massage Therapist in Town

We’ve got a new massage therapist working out of Mooseberry Inn. Amelia Bentele-Edwards is now offering a variety of custom massages. She studied in Salt Lake City and is nationally certified in professional massage and bodywork. She has had training in Swedish, sports, deep tissue and reflexology. She also offers pre- and postnatal massage.

Her introductory rates are 50 minutes for $50, 80 minutes for $80, and a 20 minute seated massage for $20. Call 907-328-9051 for an appointment.

Massage is a great preventative health measure, not just a luxury. Here’s an article from the Mayo Clinic about the benefits of massage.

Tok Artist Shauna Lee Stocking Up!

Head on over to Tok General Store to get the latest ceramics from local artist Shauna Lee. Lee skillfully juggles motherhood, home management and her art that includes painting and pottery. She promises more ceramic offerings soon.

What Tok artist would you like to see featured on this blog? Please send them my way!

Tok Alaska Farmers Market




Radishes Thrive in Tok!

IMG_0370I don’t know how they’ve done it, but my poorly planted radishes have really come through in our vegetable garden this summer. By poorly planted, I mean that I didn’t know how to put the practically-microscopic seeds into the ground and ended up clumping them together.

Despite their crowded digs, they are thriving and pushing out of the ground when plump and ready. I’ve already threatened to plant nothing but radishes next year although the snap peas are looking like they’ll produce a nice bounty in a few weeks, too.

The rest of what I’ve planted was choked mercilessly by the chickweed invasion although in the process of weeding one patch, I did identify the carrots straining to poke through and spent several hours yanking chickweed to let them breathe. So far, they are still growing.

But I can’t find any thyme, basil, sage, lavender, chives, onions, chard, or spinach as I continue to pull carpets of chickweed from the beds. I keep hoping to see some of their leaves poking through in a valient attempt at life.

What can I do next year to keep the evil chickweed at bay? Or should I just go with it and learn how to harvest chickweed?

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Thai Food in Tok

Thai food
Image by Ya-Yin via Flickr

I just ordered take out from Jen’s Thai Food, a new local caterer in town. And it was fantastic! Even my husband, who is not a big fan of spicy food, thoroughly enjoyed Jen’s Pad Thai, fried rice and fresh rolls as did our toddler.

This is what I really love about Tok – there are these “hidden” and unexpected things that happen here. A concert-quality Steinway. An eclectic and very talented writers group. A book club focused on books about outdoors, nature, wildlife. Interesting and kind people. These nuggets that you really have to pay attention to find.

The business is a little more than a week old, and the response has been tremendous. What a neat enterprise in our own back yard!

If you’d like to order some delicious, freshly-prepared Thai food, call up Jen’s at 883-3362.

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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.


Interview with Rick Thoman from NOAA

After “The Great Tok Weather Controversy,” Rick Thoman from NOAA stopped by to talk about the weather. Here’s a video of him up on mDialog (click on link or video image to go to site and play – QuickTime required).

Play the video…

rick-thoman-from-noaa-by-aliza-sherman-mdialog-11Also received the attached PDF files and following note from Rick that may be of interest.

Read on for a note from Rick Thoman…


Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!

I made a mistake. I blame it on being tired and partially on my general increasing forgetfulness.

img_04961After quite a pleasant drive from Tok to Glenallen despite the general achiness and stiffness of long drives, I arrived in Glenallen with a serious need for coffee and a pitstop. Took care of business, got in my car, and headed back out into the evening dusk.

It wasn’t until Gakona that I looked at my gas tank and realized something very stupid. I forgot to gas up in Glenallen!

I debated about heading back to fill up the tank but felt I was far enough away from Glenallen that I thought I better keep going. I put in a call while I had momentary cell signal to my husband and asked him to figure out the next gas station between Gakona and Tok.

He called back to say Gakona was the next one. Of course, I had already passed Gakona and noted a big red “X” through the gas pump symbol on the sign of services along the highway.

“Where’s the next one?”

He asked his buddy who makes the Tok/Anchorage drive pretty often.

“I don’t think there is another one until Mentasta Lake,” he told me.

“I don’t think I can make it to Mentasta Lake on about 1/4th of a tank,” I told him. “But I could swear I saw at least one other gas station past Mentasta and before Glenallen.”


Causing a Stir in Tok, Alaska

Well, I’ve been officially in Tok now for 28 days, and I’ve already caused a stir. And not just locally.

dscn0105Since the Day to Day interview, I’ve heard that my video of me driving to the Tok General Store has been shown on a Chicago news station; then a Kansas TV station just did a Mommy Monday segment about the cold in Tok and showed some of my videos. I’ve spoken to a radio station in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and I slept through a live phone interview with a Toronto station (I still feel bad about that).

Also, as many of you know, NOAA has inquired into the -80 and -71 readings from the Davis weather station at my husband’s office. One of the guys is even coming down to check out the computer data from the station and analyze the positioning of the station monitor later this week. I’ll be sitting down with him over a cup of coffee and will interview him for this blog.

In the meanwhile, just about everyone I meet in Tok has heard about and is now reading this blog (Hi Tokites!). I know some people are probably wondering “why is she getting all this attention – she just moved here!” Well, it wasn’t my intention to draw so much attention so quickly, and it was just an odd confluence of events that started everything rolling.

But I did want to explain the reason I created this blog and the real purpose of the Living in Tok blog – something that may not be clear yet because all of this attention came far before I really got started.


These Guys Are My New Heros

I was wondering what temperatures might be like in Antarctica and what the affects of that kind of cold might be. These guys do a great job answering some of my burning questions.

And the temps, BTW, are more than 70 and 80 below zero. I’m guessing they are speaking Farenheit but either way, that’s freaking cold.

Even colder than Tok in winter.

But then again. It is Antarctica.



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Big Breakfasts at Fast Eddy’s

The buzz around town is that the only place to eat is Fast Eddy’s. Of course, it isn’t the ONLY place to eat. There is one other place – The Grumpy Griz Cafe. But supposedly they allow smoking. And you get more for your money at Fast Eddy’s. That’s just the word on the street. I’ll check it out for myself at some point. But until then, I have to agree you get a lot of food for your money at Fast Eddy’s!





Tok General Store

dscn0003Stopped into the Tok General Store for the first time – after picking up two days worth of mail from the Post Office. Note to self: Postman doesn’t bring the mail to your home anymore!

I love the Tok General Store! Francine, the proprietor, is a vegetarian (yes, in rural Alaska!) and has a thoughtfully selected array of veggie and healthy foods, condiments, and cooking products. I felt right at home seeing all the brand names I know and recognize. And her prices seemed incredibly reasonable, especially after seeing the heavily marked up prices on Costco-purchased goods at the grocery store.

Francine’s daughter is an artist. I’ll be sure to profile her on this blog soon. She makes lovely ceramics, and I was coveting one of her huge moose head paintings ($399). I’m determined to buy more art from Alaska artists and have a substantial collection in the next few years.

I’ll also see if Francine would like to be profiled. She was telling me about coming to Tok in ’91 as a nurse at the clinic and then one day having the idea of opening a general store. She says she had no business experience but told her husband about the idea and he ran with it. The next thing she knew, she had a store. She has seen her ups and downs – the more recent down was an attempt to add a deli to her shop – but she just keeps going at it.

Now all she needs is a little espresso drink stand and some free wifi, and I’ll be hanging out there every day!