Currently living/working: It was a quieter month, but I appreciated the balance of it. We have several projects underway, but we had zero deadlines all of January, which made it more relaxed (but it also means I tend to procrastinate more). And shouldn’t be surprising, we are still at our cabin in Healy; in fact, we haven’t left the state of Alaska in a full year!
Current mood: On January 22, around 11:05am, the flaming ball of sun rose far enough above the horizon to shine through the trees and into our cabin window on our road, Hilltop. It is now even popping over the Healy range and it is just glorious to see not just a glowing horizon, but a blinding ball in the sky!! The things you take for granted …
Currently proud of: Both Justin and I have a number of joint and separate projects lined up for 2021, but one of my newest clients is Alaska Magazine! I have 3 articles in the works with them and am very excited. Woohoo!
Currently amazed by: I wrote a whole blog post about the success thus far of Between Each Step: A Married Couple’s Thru Hike on New Zealand’s Te Araroa. Combining our website sales with the first quarter online sales (Amazon and the like), I’m creeping toward 500 books sold since 11/15/20. It’s at a slug’s pace, but still! We’re blown away! Also, if you’ve read the book, and want to know more about the “characters” in the book (Matteo, Marilyne, Kevin), sign up to receive our next newsletter because I’ll be including some extras in this month’s issue (shoot me a msg if you want to receive it and can’t find the signup on our website).
Current guilty pleasure: Earlier in January, I got this random package with a Whittakers chocolate bar. There was no note, but anyone who read my book knows how much Justin and I loved Whittakers chocolate, which can only be easily found in New Zealand. I finally discovered the wonderful friends who worked magic to get a bar to the US. Thank you, Kristen & Paul!!! I’ve allowed Justin & I to have 3 squares every week to make it last.
Currently not excited about: We’ve been having a very different winter than last year. The temps have been above normal and even above freezing (we hit +39 degrees at least one of the days in January). That was temporarily nice, especially for the sake of avoiding below zero outhouse trips. But it has felt like an East Coast winter I remember from growing up, with bare trees and icy trails. Last winter, we went out XC skiing nearly every day in January and it always looked like a Jack London novel! January marked a record low snowfall month for us in Interior Alaska, so it’s been a search for good snow to ski and Jack London-esque scenery. February is expected to bring more snow and colder temps, and I’m guessing prettier scenes if today is any indication (Feb. 1’s morning temp read -29!!! Picture proof below). East coast: send us the storm you just got!
Current confession: I cannot keep any indoor plants alive! I decided since we weren’t traveling all winter, I could reintroduce some greenery in my life. So I bought 1 cheap-ass potted plant and 2 succulents from Lowes in early December. The potted plant died. Then one of my succulents died. How does someone kill a succulent???? I think I need clippings from existing houseplants that have survived an Alaskan winter, or maybe I need to actually visit a nursery in Alaska to pick out something suitable. On the recommendation of a friend, an Aerogarden is on its way to us!
Currently thankful for: We purchased Guardian emergency flight insurance and our borough’s ambulance service. We decided since we live semi-remote (although we are on the road system), it’s the necessary thing to do. AndI love that we had to create a drawing to describe our property. (Kudos to Justin for his art).
Currently worried about: Condensation, ice buildup INSIDE a cabin and thus mold is a pretty common occurrence. We have set up fans to move the air better this year, but we’re still battling the issue. Not to mention, Justin is plagued with a dry nose thanks to his meds, which means that we like to use a humidifier at night. We really can only get the humidity level up to 50% in the winter, but it’s still not the best combo!
Currently excited about: No doubt, we’re all looking forward to travel. For us personally, not only are we hoping to get to the lower 48 to see family, but we’re also targeting November 2021 for a family trip to Hawaii to celebrate Justin’s mom’s 70th birthday. Fingers crossed!
Currently regretting: As everyone has done, we booked and canceled flights so many times in 2020, and some of those credits will expire before we can use them. Boo. Also as a bonus regret, I’m still not getting any cat fixes. It’s been all dogs lately.
Currently watching on Netflix: Outlander! As usual, we are late to the game on popular series, and I believe there are a lot of Outlander fans out there. We’re nearly done with Season 1 and just so curious where the story will go!
Currently reading: I read 2 books this month!
Under the Stars: How America Fell In Love With Camping by Dan White was actually delightful. The writer goes on rants a bit with personal stories, but he is quirky. And there was so much history in this book!
I also did a book swap with Derick Lugo, author of The Unlikely Thru Hiker. It’s an easy book to love, bringing back lots of memories of our Appalachian Trail thru hike.