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Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Hittin' the Trail...

Now that I'm feeling better and the weather's cooperating, we've been getting out on the sled dog trail a lot more.

The trail's been extended out across the valley, goes over the ridge there, then loops back down to the trail that takes us home.

Andy took this video of our last run, crossing the road on the way home. It'd snowed several inches the night before, so it made for a slow run.
Now that we're running a few extra miles, the dogs are getting a lot more exercise. A good husky is a tired husky!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Earl the Squirrel...

 It's hard to believe, but Earl, the pup we got a while back (My Name is Earl 11/17/21) is now almost two years old. While he's doing quite well as a sled dog, he's also developed some unique mannerisms.

Whenever he lies down, he crosses his front legs, even when he's lying in the snow. Then he arches up his belly, just enough, so that only his lower legs and feet are touching. Never seen a dog do that before.
Now that there's a squirrel nest in a spruce tree near the dog yard, Earl's obsessed with catching it.
He runs around the tree, jumping up and down, it's pretty amazing how high he can jump, but so far the squirrel has eluded him. We're guessing one day the squirrel's going to get over-confident, he sits on the old dog houses eating his spruce cones, so he's not afraid of the nearby dogs. Then he'll become a doggy snack! (photos from Andy's iPhone)

Thursday, January 5, 2023

January Cold...

No, not the weather, it's actually been pretty warm for January. It was a nasty cold I apparently caught at a local coffee house where I met my friend Bill. Normally we get stuff to go, but he wanted to eat his soup inside, in spite of how crowded it was there. Well a couple of days later I was in the soup when I woke up with a sore throat. It only got worse for the next few days and just started feeling better today. Hell of a way to start the new year.

But before I got sick, we did get out on the dog sled for the first time this winter. The new trail reroute wasn't too bad and I only hit one tree!

The sunsets are still pretty decent, but kinda early at around three in the afternoon.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas...

 With all the weird, crazy, and sad things going on in the world, it's great to just take a day and enjoy the good things in life. So merry Christmas to all and to all a good life.

After a snowy start to the month, it's just been cold lately. We spend much of our time hauling in wood from the stacked piles outside and stoking the wood stove.

Andy filling the wood boxes to carry inside for the stove. They say the wood heats you many times, when you cut it, split, stack, carry it in, and finally burn it. Good for the body and soul!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

All Dressed Up, Nowhere to Go...

 Back in the day when we lived with my grandparents (Grandpa was a Carpenter 6/22/20), one of my Grandma's favorite sayings was "all dressed up, nowhere to go." Now a days, sometimes I'll comment like that as a joke when we're getting ready for one thing or another, however inappropriate it might be. Well now it's like that for dog sledding, whenever it seemed like a good day to get out with the dogs, it'd snow 2, 3, maybe 4 inches so I'd have to go plow the road, then re-groom the trail. Since the trail has a major reroute at the road crossing, I don't feel like I can run them without an well defined trail to follow. Now it's stopped snowing, but cooled off and dropped down to 25-30° F below. That's just a little colder than either the dogs or I prefer, especially my 11 year old leader who's not exactly ecstatic about running in lead anymore.

The sled's all dressed up, but until it warms up a bit, there's nowhere to go.
This is the time of year when there's less than 4 hours of sunlight, so you get pretty spectacular sunrises and sunsets. We just need the neighbor to cut down some trees for a better view!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

More Odd Jobs...

 Not much new going on, the past few weeks have been mostly odd jobs, like cutting logs to be split for firewood, carpentry projects on the cabin, and cutting a new sled dog trail to cross the road. With the trees dropped by Cy last month lying close to the cabin (Firsts 10/22/22), figured it was a good plan to buck up and haul off as much as possible before the snow hit. So most of it got hauled down to the wood cutting area and stacked up for eventual splitting. The carpentry work involved sanding and varnishing the back log wall, similar to what was done on the opposite wall last fall (Random Stuff 11/28/21). 

Also got the trim finished on the back door frame, so that was a good score. Maybe it's time to refinish the back door?

The dog trail was moved due to some of the neighbors friends parking on the road and blocking the old trail crossing (Busted 4/7/22). It was a bit of a slog cutting out all the alder needed to clear the new sled trail, but another neighbor, David, helped and now all we need to run on it is some more snow.

Until then, we'll just have to keep running in circles round the subdivision on the wheeler!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Gettin' Older

Just occurred to me, hard to believe, that I'll be a year older in a month. So then I was looking at some of the dogs and I saw how fast they get older. Of course the first that comes to mind is Missy, our oldest dog, who was three when her owner died and we took her in, over 8 years ago.

When we got her, she was super shy and Andy to hang on to her just to get a photo. As the years passed, she's gotten a lot friendlier.
Tambo just had to push in for the photo, but Missy, even with him bugging her, stood pretty still. Like me, she's a lot more gray now, but she's still running up front, leading the team around the neighborhood with the 4 wheeler. Hopefully she'll keep'em going with the sled when we get some more snow, she still acts like she's born to run.

Friday, October 28, 2022

More of Carl's Stuff...

In addition to the tools, we picked up a few other things while we were cleaning out Carl's house. 

When we first got there, Andy's brother Pete took us on a tour of the house. This match holder was in the basement on a shelf, with the original box. It had never been installed anywhere. We couldn't figure out what it was doing there, but since Pete didn't want it, we brought it home and mounted it on the wall next to the wood stove. At one time, Carl had two Allis-Chalmers tractors, so I guess he meant to put it somewhere.

 Carl had lots of art work, this owl was a woodcut print done by his niece.

Carl was fascinated by ravens. The top print was one Andy had gotten for him years ago.
More bird prints, while he had other stuff, Carl mainly liked his birds!

Saturday, October 22, 2022


 We got our first snow (4 in) last week and our second (6 in) today.

The old sauna, now used as a storage shed, after the latest snow. 

Got the doggies out for their first run. They did  great, a big change from last year's first run when we had trouble getting around the loop. Everybody seems to know their job and does it, almost inconceivable!

Had some aspen trees dropped that were leaning over the old workshop/tool shed. Cy, the young fella who dropped the ninety footer spruce for us a few years ago, dropped this one and another leaner. Didn't want a replay of the aspen that fell on the garage earlier this summer. The fog in the photo didn't lift all day, that's unusual in hills where we live.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Carl's Stuff...

As noted in the previous post, we headed down to the midwest to help clear out Andy's brother's stuff after he died. He had sold the farm to his neighbor's, Bill and Vicki, who took care of him during his time of extremis, so we had to remove as much as we could while we were there. He was a collector! Her middle brother Pete, had cleaned up a lot of stuff before we got there, so we just had to help with the rest: books, music CDs, and DVDs, many unopened. Then there were the tools, Carl was a wood worker, so there were lots of tools. Pete had picked through what he wanted, but set some aside for us. Besides a few CD's and DVD's. here's what we wound up bringing home...

From left to right, there's an in-shave, a spoke shave, an adjusting driver, an old screw driver, end cut pliers, large hole drills, and a drum rasp, probably used with the large hole drill. There was so much else, but since we had to ship it home and thought others might want some, well we tried not to take too much.

The most interesting thing was the odd looking screw driver. After I cleaned off the rust, the logo on it said W.H. Clay Ltd. Sheffield, England. So Googled that up and found it’s a “plane adjusting driver” likely made sometime in the 1920’s or 30’s. It might have been one of his grandfathers tools or maybe it was just something Carl picked up at a yard sale. Anyway, I'll keep it with my grandfathers tools, in a place of honor!

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Out and About...

 As noted in a previous post, we took a trip to the lower 48 to visit relatives. Andy's oldest brother Carl passed this summer and the family planned a reunion and memorial for late Sept. Here's some photos...

Got a nice sunset shot of Denali on the flight down to Anchorage.
We spent the first few days with Andy's middle brother Peter, helping him sort through Carl's stuff at the farm; he sure was a collector! We had lunch in town at a local pub that turned out to be owned by a fellow Ukrainian.
Carl's tractor. When his old A-C needed a lot of work, he bought this almost new IH-Case. It apparently was love at first sight, he bought it from the dealer as soon as he saw it, and never looked back.
Andy, her brother Pete, and three cousins, Basil, Cornelia, and Clare. I'd never met them before, so it was good to get to know them. While a little sad thinking about how much Carl would have enjoyed having almost all his relatives together at the farm, it was still great to get together with all these good people.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

More Fall...

Was just going to append these photos on the previous post, but then figured, let's live it up and start a new one!

There were people picnicking along the river, they've made the Nordale boat launch area into a little park, and some left right after I stopped there. Coincidence, or maybe biker paranoia, who's to say.

The fall colors were a little past their prime down in the flats, but I'd been avoiding the Nordale Rd area since the state troopers were patrolling there earlier in the week.

Sometimes the ponds down here have wildlife in them, but there's no ducks or moose here today!
It wouldn't be complete without some fall colors in the dog yard. Mac's ready to go for another run!