Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Happiness is just outside my window

Man, I have really become a wimp since moving to Homer. It's 10 degrees (F) outside and I'm all 'This is cold.' Rich keeps reminding me that I used to live in Fairbanks where 11 degrees is T-shirt weather. But still, here I am at 7 a.m. with my wool coat on, huddled on the couch with Roy who is wrapped in a fleece blanket. Sister and Bully are pretty much sleeping on the wood stove. The wind doesn't help. It finds every little nook and cranny in the cabin. I'm actually really excited for colder temps. Hopefully the water holes on the trail from our yard will freeze before our training run tonight. And I like getting bundled up for dog runs. Plus colder weather allows me to eat like a hog and not feel as guilty about it...What? It's cold out!! I need this entire stick of butter!! The dogs are looking really, really good these days. They're happy and strong and we've got some solid leaders with a few young ones that are just oozing potential in the front end. We're still not doing big miles yet, but I'm satisfied with where the team is and am looking forward to getting back on the race trail later in the winter. We're still not sure what races we'd like to do, but that will come. We've divided the dogs into three teams. Currently, Rich is running a 10-dog string, I'm running eight and then I run another eight-dog puppy/oldie/not-interested-in-longer-runs-but-doesn't-really-pull-on-the-short-ones-either (Hitchcock) team, which means all of our dogs get out on a regular basis. We've got enough snow for sleds and the trails are great right now with exception of a few water holes which the dogs handle like champs.

We take off for New York early next week for the family Thanksgiving event and I'm really excited for a holiday. Yes, upstate New York qualifies as a holiday, thank you very much. Our friend Tory will be taking care of the dogs while we're away and has promised to take Roy on a few outings when we're gone.

Rich is still working his butt off at the winery and the new winery building, and I'm working as an Outreach Advocate for the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic. The hours are really flexible which is perfect for running the dogs and my co-workers are really nice. We focus on women's health so I'm actually learning a lot, too.

I'd like to welcome Susan Tavares and Mark Atkins to the Spitfire family. They both made a generous donation to the kennel which will help with dog food and other day-to-day expenses around the kennel this winter. Thank you so much for your support.

I think that's it for now. Time to feed the mutts and head to work.


SNOW!!! And lots of it!

Breaking trail after the first big dump on the Swiss Cheese trail.

Deep snow = hard work.

I didn't get you that shovel to lean on!!!!

And now, the trails are beautiful. Coming home on Sunday morning.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Act Three: Corn relish

Well, we've got snow. It's borderline for running the team with a sled but we're very, very close. For now we're still bumping along on the wheeler but are pulling out the sleds this weekend.
We've decided to bite the bullet and buy a snowmachine. We just can't rely on other people to break open trails for us anymore, especially when it really starts snowing here. We also need it for getting wood to heat our cabin.
I took off a couple days ago to visit Libby (Casey) who was in Anchorage from D.C. covering the election for APRN, for whom she works in Washington. We realized we hadn't seen each other in nearly three years!! We both talked a mile a minute and it was so nice to catch up and reminisce. I drove up in a snowstorm and had to keep pulling over just to unclench. I listened to three-year-old podcasts of This American Life because for some reason, Ira Glass really calms me down. Don't ask why because I don't know. "Act one: fishtailed through Sterling. Act two: nearly hit the ditch coming down Turnagain Pass." And on and on. I left the next day in a blizzard but the plows were out and the roads weren't as bad. I returned to new snow here at the old Love Shack and am looking forward to less bumpy times ahead. That's it for now.
I've been trying to put some pics up, but it's not working and irritating me so you'll just have to imagine for now. Sorry.