Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Life Snapshots August 2016 Week 4

The last day of August.  Sigh.  Fall moved in a few weeks ago, in spite of what the calendar says about when it's supposed to arrive.  Our trees have been turned and the leaves are starting to drop, the garden has been harvested, all but the potatoes, and we've had our first frost.  Hunting season opens in a few days.  Labor Day Weekend, the last hurrah of three day weekends is upon us.  Yes, Summer has left Alaska.

The Porch Postscript - Life Snapshots Week 5
The colors of the sky always seem so crisp with the changing of the seasons.

I'm reading Rising Strong by Brene Brown.  Really enjoying Brown's writing, this is the second book I've read by her.  I read Daring Greatly first.  I've got plans to read a couple of her other books.  Her books talk about vulnerability and the process of being brave and showing up.  There will be a review of this book in the future.

The Porch Postscript - Life Snapshots Week 5

Knitting.  Fall and cooler weather always pull me back to knitting.  Right now I'm working on this scarf that I found on Ravelry.  It's an easy make and is knitting up quickly.  Will be a great addition to my scarf collection.

I did a bit of rearranging in the studio, with hopes that it would get my creative juices flowing again.  I have projects on my list, but no desire to work on them.  I know the cooler weather will draw me back into creating soon.

The Porch Postscript - Life Snapshots Week 5

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Life Snapshots August 2016 Week 3

Good morning Alaska.

Sneaking in some daily creativity Sunday morning.

Morning Moon.

Garden harvest.

Geese, a sign of Fall.

 Falafel, it's what's for dinner.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Life Snapshots August 2016 Week 2

Let's just put this on the table first, and then we'll get into the details of the pics. Life Snapshots will eventually be a weekly post, I just need to get back into the habit of planning blog posts better. Cool? Yeah? let's get to some snapshots.

I've tried to sneak in as much porch time as I can before the weather gets away from me.  The leaves are starting to turn an obvious yellow, that we can no longer ignore.  The Geese are starting to fly overhead more frequently.  Fall is moving in quickly.  I find myself hoping for a mild Fall, but I think it's going to be an early winter.

The Porch Post Script - Life Snapshots

I spent a little time with my morning coffee enjoying the sun a couple of Saturday's ago.  My Midori Travel's Notebook is laid open for some morning journaling and in the pile to the right - my Kindle, Eat the City and my reading notebook.

I completely love my Midori but am still using up comp books in my stash for some of my notes.  Eventually, I'll get all in with my Midori and my life will all be in one place, but until then I'll settle for the notebook queen.  I finished Eat the City a few days ago.  If you haven't, you should read the review I wrote, this was a great book.  In case anyone asks, the mug is from RK Pottery on Etsy.

This past Saturday we hung around the house, and what started as a cloudy day turned into a beautiful evening.  We opted to enjoy appetizers at the picnic table for dinner that evening.

The Porch Post Script - Life Snapshots

I've had that cheese tray for as long as I've had my own place.  I'm guessing it's a late 60's or early70's era tray.  The sides fold up, sandwiching the handle in the middle, for easy storage.  I'm sure you could find one similar on eBay.

If you're more into the food that the tray it's on - Goat cheese, pepper jack cheese, cheddar cheese, peppered salami, artichoke hearts, green olives, tomato relish, and kalamata olives.  Therese a bit of mashed avocado with garlic salt and a plate of fresh fruit and baguette slices.  The glass and the bottle are both Stella Hard Apple Cider.

This shot of me and my hubby was taken the same night as the picnic table of appetizers.  I love this pic, with its bit of sun rays captured in the upper right corner.  It really captured our lazy Saturday and the beautiful evening weather.

The Porch Post Script - Life Snapshots

I must confess, this is a rare kind of shot.  Neither of us is really that into having our pic taken, but every once in a while this happens.  Mostly to document a moment in time.  Proof that we really do exist.

As summer disappears, so will my shots from the porch.  Hoping there will be some nice porch weather during the fall, but as it gets colder The Porch Postscript will be less porchy.  Is that even a word?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Book Review: Eat the City

Eat The City by Robin Shulman
Title:  Eat the City
Author:  Robin Shulman
Type:  Regional Food

From the back of the book:  Food, of course, is about hunger - but it's also about community.  With humor and insight, Eat the City shows how, in places like New York, people have found ways to use their collective hunger to build their own kind of city.

Why I picked this book up:  I'm always drawn to books about food.  This book caught my eye at the library and I knew I had to read it.

My thoughts on the book:  I really enjoyed reading this book.  Lots of great history was mixed in with the present-day food seen. This is a book about the people who are passionate about the food they help create.  When Shulman describes the people she talks to, she does a fantastic job of giving you enough detail to create a vivid mental picture, without getting too wrapped up in all the little bitty details of it all.

I found this to be an easy read, with several great lines and even some great laughs along the way.  I learned a few things about the history of New York City, always a plus.  I feel like Shulman went out of her way to interview the neighborhood people, finding them off the beaten path.  These weren't just the usual from famous restaurants and large markets.  They were the people who keep on doing what they do because it makes them happy, not famous.

Excerpts from the Book:  This first quote comes from the Introduction of Eat the City.  This line really seems to sum up the world of food, in my opinion.
Food of course is about hunger.  We eat what we miss and what we want to become, the foods of our childhoods and the symbols of the lives we hope to lead. 
I got a good chuckle from this line in the chapter on Honey.  If you think about it, it really does sum up the world of beekeeping.
In beekeeping, your job is observation, fraud and theft.
From the chapter on Vegetables, comes another thought-provoking line similar to the one from the Introduction.
Every human being is a museum piece.  Along with DNA, we inherit the language, knowledge, and values of the people who raised us, and those who raised them.  Among the most profound and unshakable parts of our inheritance is food.   
One more line I just loved, came from the chapter on Sugar.
Most people don't think much about where sugar comes from.  It tastes like pleasure and looks like purity.  
In Conclusion:  If you're into reading about food, you'll enjoy reading Eat the City.  It's a history lesson wrapped up with the sweet smells and taste of the delicious foods, that help build one of America's largest cities.  You'll read about how Honey, Vegetables, Meat, Sugar, Beer, Fish, and Wine shaped the great city of New York and the history of how these foods walked us through immigration, war, prohibition, and into the present day food movements.  "Food is an art the economy will sustain.  Food is culture."

*Please note this post does contain affiliate links*

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Embracing My Curly Hair

Curly hair, blessing or curse?  Now that I'm almost forty - blessing, but thirty years ago it was a curse.  It took me a lot of years to finally give in and embrace the curls, as in the past ten years have been curly.  With age comes wisdom, a truer saying was never said.

I would say the last four years have been the best.  I've completely embraced the curls and no longer fight them.  I'm constantly learning about curly hair and the number one thing I can tell all my curly haired sisters - no two heads of curly hair are the same.  What works for some, just won't work for others.

Key things I've learned

April 2012
Longer is better for me.  I wore my hair short for a number of years, still cussing my curly hair, but believing that it was the easiest way for me to deal with it.  When we moved to Alaska, see photo at right, I committed to growing my short 'do out.  

While longer is better, too long was too much for me.  Just above my shoulders is the perfect length for me.  It's long enough to pull up on those days when hair is just too much, but it's easy enough to leave down.

Less drying is better.  If you dry curly hair with a blow-dryer, which is a must in the cold Alaska winters, don't go all the way to dry.  If you dry curly hair completely, even with a diffuser, you're gonna get frizz!  Leave a little moister so your curls can dry a little on their own.

Find the right product for you.  Curly hair needs some kind of styling product.  I use a Curl cream and an oil.  I've tried a number of things and this is the best combo for me, but I also keep some moose and some frizz serum.

Curly really is easier, once you take the time to learn what makes your hair happy.

My Hair Routine

May 2014
Wash & Condition:  I wash and condition my hair daily.  Don't have a fave here, but currently, I use Tresemme Advance Technology Purify & Replenish for both shampoo and conditioner.

Curl Cream:  While my hair is still wet, not damp, I mix a nickel size blob of cream with a little bit of water in my hands.  Then I finger comb it all into my locks.  My favorite curl cream is Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream.

Dry:  Using a diffuser, I hit it with the blow-dryer to bring it to the wet side of damp.  What the heck does that mean?  It means that it's still more wet than dry, wetter than damp.  Yes.  Weird, but experiment.  You'll figure it out.  I did.

Oil:  Once I've gotten to the damp phase I put about a dime size pool of oil in the palm of my hand and rub it between both hands.  Then I scrunch my hair.  This keeps the oil at a minimum so my hair isn't greasy.  I use Biosilk Silk Therapy Original.


Sometimes I use Frizz Ease Mousse in place of the curl cream and let my hair air dry.  Once it's dry I tend to stick my fingers in my hair close to my scalp and shake the "stiffness" out of my hair.  I don't like crunchy hair.

When there's humidity, such as when we travel to Hawaii, I use Frizz-Ease Hair Serum when my hair is wet, skip the dryer, and scrunch in a little oil.

Just a couple more notes

August 2016 - Current
Brushing: Lots of curly people say you should never brush your hair.  I can say I don't follow this rule.  However, the only time my hair is brushed is in the morning when I pull my crazy bedhead into a clip. When I do this, I don't brush it all out, I only brush from the roots enough to pull it all together if that makes sense.

No-Poo: I tried it, I thought I'd die.  Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad, but it was a pretty yucky experience.  I will never be a no-poo girl.  

Bobby Pins: Learning to use bobby pins was a HUGE game changer for me.  Not only do I have curly hair, but I have a gob of it and while it's really fine, it's also very heavy when I pull it up.  I can pin things up in sections to distribute the weight.  It rocks!

Octopus/Spider Clips:  The other game changer for pulling up my hair are octopus/spider clips.  I've found that this style of clip doesn't pull my hair as tight, which again helps with the weight and headache effect.  I prefer the Goody brand, but I do have a few of the Scunci brand as well.  I have both small and medium sizes and I always carry one in my bag.  

This is what works for me, and maybe it will help you if you're struggling to love your curls.  Feel free to leave your questions,  share your love, or vent your hate for the curls in the comments below.  

*Please note this post does contain affiliate links*

Friday, August 5, 2016

Life Snapshots August 2016 Week 1

It's late summer here in Alaska, verging on Fall.  Shhh!  Don't tell any other Alaskans that I said the "F" word.  It means the light is slowing disappearing, the mornings are getting cooler, the fireweed is going to seed and the trees aren't as green as they once were.

The Porch Postscript:  Life Snapshot - Week 1
Fireweed from past seasons

It's a love-hate kind of thing for me.  I love the light this time of year, the magic hour begins to return.  If you're a photographer of any kind you'll understand that, if you're not, you might be wondering what I'm talking about.  The basic translation of the magic hour is the light is golden in the early morning and late afternoon.  It baths everything in a beautiful, warm light, that seems to make photographs pop off the screen or page.

The Porch Postscript:  Life Snapshot - Week 1
Morning Moose (Taken with iPhone, zoom)

The hate is knowing that in only a few months we'll be down to just a few hours of daylight each day.  We're blessed where we live in the Interior, as we still get some light during the darkest part of the year, but the further north you go the less light you'll find.  Those in Nome go completely dark, as in no sunlight for months.

It won't be long and we'll be picking the Low-Brush Cranberries, also known as Lingonberries.  Areas of our yard are loaded with them, and I have ideas for hanging on to that last bit of summer through the winter months.  I didn't get to the blueberry picking this year, unfortunately.  We're working on cultivating our wild raspberries, with the hope they will produce something in a couple of years.

The Porch Postscript:  Life Snapshot - Week 1
Our wild raspberry patch, going domestic

We've had a beautiful garden this year and we owe a big part of it to friends.  When your friends call and say "We have some extra plants that won't fit in the garden.  Would you like them?"  You say YES!  What's in the garden this year?  Broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, pumpkins, potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, and sunflowers.   Hoping our tomatoes ripen before the frost comes, but in order for that to happen we need the sun to come out and the rain to travel somewhere that needs it.  It was a wet July and August isn't looking much better.

The Porch Postscript:  Life Snapshot - Week 1
Our Happy Garden

I hope you've enjoyed this little snapshot of our life.  This is going to be a regular weekly feature.  If you're curious about living in Alaska, feel free to leave your questions in the comments.  I'll be happy to answer what I can.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Welcome to The Porch Postscript

Welcome to The Porch Postscript - a place to hang around, sip coffee, chat with a neighbor and enjoy the summer sun, even in the dead of winter.  Check out the Start Here page to learn more of what's coming soon.

Welcome to The Porch Postscript

Read about what it's like to be a Wyoming girl, with a Missouri heart, living in Alaska. Savor a few good recipes. Find a new book to inspire you. Plan your next vacation. Visit often and share comments on the posts that spark something in your soul.