Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fox report: Poor is the new Rich

Sometimes, on rare occasions, I wish I was more girly. Like a girly girl. There are a few reasons for this and I realize how bad this is going to sound, but I mean no offense. Sometimes I don't want to haul/chop wood. Sometimes I don't want to lug buckets of meat and poop around. Sometimes I want to wear makeup and skirts and be clean. Not often, but sometimes. I don't really know very many girly girls anymore, I guess because I can't really relate. I had a day off from the winery yesterday and maybe it's just because I was feeling lazy but I just wanted to stay inside (it was raining) and bake. But, things have to be done around here when we're not at the winery and so I drag my big arse outside and work. Not very hard, mind you, but I work. I'm obviously really glad that Rich isn't in to girly girls and I think he likes me because I'm tough, or at least I act tough. But yesterday, as I washed dirt off my face under the outdoor facet and then hocked a farmer blow off the deck (for those who don't know, a farmer blow is when you plug one nostril and blow snot out of the other one instead of just blowing your nose like a normal person) I wished I was more girly and less, shall we say, disgusting. The cherry on this sundae of grime and dirt was when I glanced at myself in the mirror in natural day light. First off, natural light is my only enemy. Secondly, I realized I had let my monthly pluck/wax ritual lapse and was looking disturbingly like Burt Reynolds. One positive thing about having less-than-desirable hygiene habits is that I get a lot of comments on my skin. Random people often ask me when I do to keep my skin looking young and fresh. (I happen to think my pours are big enough to serve dip out of, but I digress) Genetics play a part of course, but also I think my skin looks young because I don't wash my face every day. I'm not sure where any of this is going but it's been on my mind, so I thought I'd share. Of course, this is all a choice. I choose to live like this. And don't think it's a mushing thing because I know of plenty of female dog mushers who are looks only of course, but girly nonetheless. My hands are always dirty, when I'm not at the winery, and so are my clothes. I guess that's what I love about Alaska: nobody cares.

And now, I've channeled my inner girly girl and am presenting some pretty pictures taken around our cabin last week.

Pretty flowers.

Pretty rainbow.

Pretty view.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The 2009 Canine Caper award results are in!

Please, save your applause until the end. Winners, please keep your speeches short.


The Overall Digger award goes to...wait for it...Capiche!
Capiche managed to dig a large trench (three feet deep and seven feet across) around her house in the dog yard. She enjoyed sitting in said trench and burying her food dish in the huge resulting pile of dirt. We have since filled in the trench and moved Capiche down to our cabin. She hasn't started digging down here yet.

The Non-Sled-Dog Digger award goes to Roy.
Unlike Capiche, Roy enjoys digging long narrow trenches just wide enough for him to lay in. He does so in the short time he's outside. Most of his time is spent on his custom dog bed (old comforters) beside our bed.

The How'd-He-Do-That Escape award goes to Omar.
Omar has managed to get loose a few times with his collar still on and hooked onto a Swedish snap (not the cheaper bronze snaps that the dogs can learn to undo) He's not breaking the chains or the snaps. How'd he do that? Who knows. He runs right down the cabin, though, so I'm not too stressed about it.

The Monkey-See-Monkey-Dig award goes to Alice.
She's just three months but she sees her mummy Summy dig and tip her bowl and does the same. We've reduced Summer's visits to short loose runs with her pups so they learn to come when they're called (Summer is really good at that) and none of the bad behaviour.

The Alligator Appetite award goes to Sipsi.
Of course, this little girl is still eating like a champ. She can't wait for the ladle to hit her bowl before she starts chomping which usually results in spilled food which she quickly hoovers up anyway. Not a bad habit, especially out on the trail.

The Love-Me More award goes to Hitchcock.
This blue-eyed dove is always wooo-woooing for more love. I can spend hours with her and her alone and she still wants more, more, more. Recently, I've been letting her and Roy loose together and they entertain each other.

The Convert award goes to Sister.
Sister is now a house dog. She was spayed last week and hasn't left the couch other that to pee and poop. I tried to put her back in the dog yard, but she wasn't having it. She didn't make the race team last season because she wasn't interested in pulling at all, so, well, house dog number 3 has joined Bully and Roy on the couch.

The Old Stand-By award goes to Bully.
He's my boy and always will be.

Well, that's it for now. Stay tuned for the Fall Training Superstar Awards in a couple months.
It has finally rained here and it smells like fall. Yipppeeee!!! Winter is around the corner and I can't wait.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I could have made it easier on myself

Sorry for the lack of updates, but the summer is flying by and I'm busy trying to snag a piece for myself. It's still hot and dry here which has become pretty annoying. The dust is everywhere!! When I let the dogs loose, they look that guy Pigpen from Peanuts. Seriously. A cloud of dust surrounds them.
I don't have much to report on except that Libby gave me the new Iditarod video for my birthday and Rich and I are super amped for winter after watching it.
Bill at the winery has been using my pa's maple syrup in his halibut brine and since they give the recipe away to guests, they are now going to start selling the syrup in the gift shop. Yea, Dad!
We still haven't recovered Libby's lost dog, Ace. But I feel like he's still out there. There have been some crazy stories of mushers around here losing dogs and getting them back months we're still optimistic.
Here are some photos and videos from the past couple of weeks.

Above, Rich with Cinch when little Cinch was just a week old. Below, Rich and Cinch three months later...he's a monster...and Cinch is pretty big too!

Mr. Lahey in the grass.

Our new puppy pen. Rich built this in a day! The pups outgrew the other one.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

This is life, so we'll survive

Happy 4th, y'all! And Happy Canada Day a few days ago. And Happy Palin Resigns Yesterday! Things have been rolling along here on the hill but my thoughts turn to winter almost every minute now. This is going to be a big season for Spitfire Kennels in preparation for my 2011 Iditarod plight. I want to do at least three big races this season. The hardest I can to find out if I'm actually as tough as I think I am and to prove to Richard that I am at least a little tough. We're getting a schedule in place for training and racing and also looking ahead to our big move over to Katchemak Kennels. Rich and I are both working today and it should be really busy. Yesterday we had a record day at the winery....sold 287 bottles...the most ever! It was nuts and a little stressful, but generally people are in a good mood when they come in...and the more they drink the better looking I get, so it's a win-win.
Now for some sad news. A few days ago one of Libby's old dogs got an unexpected burst of energy and broke out of his pen. We haven't found him yet, but I'm not giving up hope. We've been going on long walks searching the thickets, meadows and hay fields but can't see any trace. The wildflowers are so gorgeous here, and it's too bad we discovered all these lovely spots under such sombre circumstances but again, not giving up. Friends and neighbors have been helping a lot so if he's out there, we'll find him.