Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Woody Goodness!!!!

Hmmm... wonder what kind of referalls Google is going to bring me with THAT title??

So, I finally realized I'd really better start getting some wood around here. I've had basically no wood since the end of last winter, and all of a sudden, it hit me!! I need woooood!!!! Not only do I need wood, I need to clean up the crap around here so it doesn't disappear after the first snowfall, get the dog yard ready for winter, get trailers and dogboxes ready, fix dog houses, get straw, etc, etc, etc!!! All of a sudden, the impending doom of winter has lit a fire under my butt to the likes of which I've never seen. I feel like a panicky-forest-dwelling-creature who must get things done or... die! Ok, so I totally exaggerate - I could BUY wood, but I'd have to cut off an appendage with the chainsaw before that happens. Plus, a cord of wood is going for about $200 around here....

So, with that sense of anxiety driving me, I'm using this week - my first off of work - to go crazy and pack as much in as I can. Even I can't believe how much crap I did today. I managed to build yet another new giganto-pallet-monstrosity for the dogs (more on that beauty later) in the morning, then went to town to get trailer tires fixed, shopped for groceries, bought stuff for the chainsaw, stopped at Tim Horton's then got annoyed because the line-up was too long(what is WRONG with me?!? Usually I can stand in line-ups for hours and not even care - ESPECIALLY for coffee!!!!), THEN I headed out at 5pm to cut wood. Got home after 8 with a sore back and a still-running-but-not-sure-for-how-long-with-a-sketchy-transmission truck.

Even still, I'm spinning. I feel like a beaver on crack.

Anyways, here's some pics from the wood cutting adventure in which the monsters and Kuna joined me.

First of all - the view from where I was cutting wood. That's Little Fox Lake.

This crazy bright light beamed down from the sky between the bursts of rain. Haven't seen that lovely orb in the sky very much this summer... not that I'm bitter or anything...

"Alright already! Stop with your photos and let us out!!"

Everywhere you look... woooood. This is "the burn" - the remains of a 1998 fire. Makes for good firewood now.

Problem is, is that it's pretty picked over near the road - so you have to haul the wood quite a ways, or up hills. That's ok - doesn't take long to fill the truck.

My chainsaw was salivating when it saw this. Or was that me? Either way, the brand new chain on the saw was a delight! Made cutting all that much more fun. IF that's even possible.

It probably only took about an hour and a half to load up the truck with the 8-footers. The dogs were having a blast zooming around on their own. There is no one around here for MILES, so it's great to see them haul it all over the place.

This is me doing my mock "See ya suckers!!" as I take off down the road without them. Haha! But... they know the drill by now and don't buy my lame attempt at humour. Doesn't stop me from trying it every single time though.

And when you forget the dogs water bowl... improvise!!

"Ah, Evian! Our favourite!!"

My dogs aren't too good to be bottle-fed! That's Lucy (l) and George lapping up the tasty water. I might have trouble getting them to drink skanky river water after this experience. Although, bottled water... pffft!! That stuff probably IS skanky river water. Minus the giardia.

On the way home, with the wood occupying the back of the truck, I had to cram these 4 in the front. Was a bit squishy, but they don't complain much. Especially Princess Gracie who got the front seat. That's George trying to take over the front seat, but not being too successful. Kuna and Lucy are stuffed... um, sitting in the back seat.

Now! I'm off to vacuum!!!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Happy happy game of fetch

So you don't really understand the unconditional love these dogs have for the squeaky ball until you witness it firsthand. Therefore, here I present:

"An afternoon with the Squeaky Ball - Welcome to my Easily-Entertained Stacie World!"

Ripper is a maniac at the best of times - unable to stop moving, spinning in circles (seriously), running everywhere, and barking his face off trying to communicate with me. Well, not so much *communicate* - more like telling me what to do. Which mostly includes food or the ball. Both of which he ALWAYS wants.

This first video shows his uncanny ability to squeak the ball one hundred thousand times per minute. Or at least he's trying for that record...quick! Call Guiness! (not the beer people... mmm..... beer....)

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This clip shows a pathetic throw by me (hey, they can't expect perfect throws ALL the time), and in the background that barking you hear is, yes... Ripper-the-nutjob. He can't even wait for me to get the damned ball back.

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You'll also notice the herd of dogs at my feet (Kate, Rupert and Gabe) as I throw - those are mostly the geriatric group. They either don't want to run, or they just don't care about the stupid ball game. Sometimes they get their own ball, but get bored with it in 4.8 seconds. Or like Kate, try to rip it to shreds and eat it. Here I throw it a few feet for Kate. No one messes with Kate and well, anything she wants. They let the ol' girl have whateeeever she wants, 'cause messing with a 14 year old ex-sled dog who can still enjoys taking a round out of a 2 year old would just be plain stupid. Stuuuuupid.

Once again, Ripper barks his head off waiting for the throw. I do like how the tails of Ripper, Ivy and Sage are all wagging vigorously as they wait for the throw. Almost in unison. It's a thing of beauty, really.

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And that's Rupert feigning interest and half-assed chasing the ball behind the OCD crowd. Ivy does a great job running in circles so I don't take the ball from her. She doesn't want to give it up most of the time... understandable I suppose. But, I do almost get dizzy everytime she gets the ball and runs circles around me and the other dogs.

Just another obsessive-compulsive afternoon around here!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Some fall riding pics

Due to circumstances beyond my control - just a *small* issue involving a truck TRANSMISSION - I've been relegated to riding into town again. Which is ok, it's actually great at this time of year. But I haven't been on the bike for a month or more, and going from little riding to the 20miles to town is a bit of a jump, but I'm up for the challenge (read: I have NO choice! lol)

Fall colours on the Yukon River:

And I didn't just stop on this hill because I was wiped and my backpack was wayyyyy too heavy! Nooo....

The bike's view!

Wildlife alert!!! These little guys (gals) were in this exact spot in the morning when I went to work. 10 hours later they were STILL grazing. Must be some tasty grasses around there.

They watched me VERY closely when they realized something was approaching them that they were not familiar with. A car slowly drove by and the deer didn't even bat an eye at the slow moving chunk of steel. They wanted to know what I was up to. They're used to cars. Not biking bloggers looking for something vaguely interesting to post...

They let me snap a few pics, then bolted when I got about 25 feet away from them.

Pose nicely for the blog my friendly, nervous, ungulates!!

Gratuitous dog picture - Lucy! (aka: Lucifer)

Say, isn't it about time you start SHEDDING you gigantic fuzzball?!?!?!? (says my vacuum cleaner) She is always the LAST to shed. Hopefully she'll start growing the new coat by December.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Fall Training!

So, I've been going crazy videotaping and editing these training videos over the last few days. And they are GEMS I tell you! Haha! We've officially (sort of) started fall training. I'm working a lot till the end of Sept, so training will be spotty and sporadic, but nevertheless - 'tis the season to run the maniacs!

Anyways, this is me n' the monsters (Gracie, George and Lucy from L-R) as we kinda sped out of the driveway on the bike. They surprised me with their enthusiasm on this day. Well, that or the whole hanging-one-with-one-hand-with-sketchy-brakes-down-a-gravely-road got my heart a pumpin'! And try to ignore the laughing, commentary and conversations with the dogs. Remember, I've lived alone with dogs for wayyyy tooooo loooong. Half the time I don't realize how much I freakin' talk to them. But do take note of how much they listen to me... *rolls eyes*

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I like how they are totally FIRED up at the beginning. Not! Now you see why I refer to these three as "psuedo-sled dogs!" These guys don't get too excited, but they love to run FAST... for very short periods. Then, they're bored. But whatever - I love the quick little runs.

Ok, this is taking out a 9-dog team. Jack and Harris were in lead and did wonderfully. But as usual, were horrible at hookup. I really have to take video of their retarded behaviour before we start. Hookup leaders they are not, but once we get going they shine. But at the start, they mock-fight each other, follow me around, mock-fight, sniff the other dogs, and get tangled with each other consistently. Annoying! But you gotta love 'em.

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This is us crossing the highway. And forgive me for taking most of the video of the front of the 4-wheeler (hard to watch 10 dogs, steer, not fall off, and drive across the highway safely), and the raindrops all over the lens. As you can see, I attempt to wipe it off, but it's not too successful. It was a chilly, rainy afternoon -but that didn't dampen our spirits. Nothing like getting the mutts out running to keep us all pumped up.

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For a change this was a very NON-chaotic afternoon with the dogs! :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Ma!!!

So it's my mom's birthday today. I think she's about 42... which makes me MUCH less. Yes, that's it, about 21 or so. We're both SO young!!

Here she is looking deliriously happy, and me looking... well, angry. Practically a flashback to my teenage years, but really I think I was just squinting because of the sun. Ok, it was cloudy out... what can I say, 4 hours of driving in the prairies looking for wild turkeys (I ain't making this up!) can make the happiest person in the world go a bit loopy.

My mom's visit was great, 'cause I ALWAYS had clean dishes! It was like magic!! I would dirty them up as usual, but the second I turned around, they were magically back in the cupboard. Clean. Immediately. I don't know how she did it. Kinda spooky.

Thank goodness I have 14 willing dishwashers on standby!

Kinda funny how I just happen to have a picture of a rottie wearing a birthday hat licking a plate eh? (and no, this isn't mine - rather, this is Jon and Laura's rottie dishwasher showing how competent canine dishwashers can be. Underestimated really.)

Oh, never a dull moment in this family.

Yet another bear. Luckily this one is fake. And mom, I guess I never did tell you that the tree MY bear was in was right beside the outhouse. Hey, she DID keep asking! Why do you think I escorted you to it at night?!? "It" being the outhouse, not the tree... ha! No, that would just be cruel...haha.

Just kidding... really.

George and the rest of the crew have been asking about you too! They are wondering where that funny lady is now - the person who made them SUPER excited by screaming when 7 of them ran up to her at once. They really liked it when you scream "Get outta my way!!" even louder when you were attempting to get to the outhouse in a hurry. Don't worry, they do it to me to. I think it's a conspiracy. Nothing like moving obstacles in your way when you are in a hurry to pee!

"Ok gang - let's really do it this time. Kuna - you go over to the left, by the trailer and Gracie, your run out from underneath it as she walks by. I'll stand in her way as she falls... let the fun being! Haha!"

Who wouldn't love that dirty little face all over them?!?

Anyways, have a swell birthday and enjoy that gift I snuck into your luggage. It may be a present from the dogs, it may not be. But they did help me wrap it in the shed one evening. They even suggested the duct tape to wrap it with!

Love, your wacky daughter and whole canine crew.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Road trip!

Here's a bit of a recap of the visit with my mom! In addition to hanging out and spending THREE days screwing with a brand spankin' new wood stove (which is freakin' awesomely stupendous btw - more on that in another post) we also went to Skagway and took the ferry to Haines. Although it was a bit of a soggy trip, it was good n' fun n' scenic.

This is before Skagway. Seems the whole north has endured the rainy season this summer. I'll be happier than hell when this summer of doom is gone and I see SNOW!!! Oh, glorious snow...

View of the Skagway docks as we left for Haines at the utterly ridiculous time of 7-freakin'-15 AM!

The fog and clouds created a pretty cool scene though.

Creepy... hope they know where they're going, says the landlocked former prairie girl.

Ooohhhh.... eerie....

Heading down the highway - which is amazing the whole way for the scenery that just seems to go on forever.

We then headed down the highway towards Whitehorse, but stopped at Klukshu, a First Nations fish camp near Haines Junction.

All you ever wanted to know about drying fish!

And trapping fish!

And there they are! The salmon nearing the end of their epic journeys.

Skinny little buggers eh?

All cabins in the Yukon have to meet code with the required rack of antlers over the door.

And the multi-coloured shingling.

Funky cache

And then...


A grizzly. And it's not up a tree in my yard. Yay!

I made sure to get the obligatory "wildlife-crossing-the-highway" tourist shot.

Lookit that gait!

And that was it. Thanks mom for coming up and spending this quality time with me and the dogs. They miss you already! Ok, you could only handle half the pack for 37 seconds at a time, but we'll keep working on it... :)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Dog Porn

Gracie makes sure the dog food bag is good n' clean! Because I am going to be storing dog poop in it in the future.

She was out there for about 20 minutes licking it clean. Whatta goof.

And now for the dog porn - Ivy and Ripper are steaming things up with their nightly lovefest.

Everytime these two come in, they sit down in that exact spot and paw at each other, lick each other, sniff each other for about 15 minutes.... so cute. And a bit weird.

Here is a dejected looking Ivy after Ripper pulls the typical male thing and falls asleep after their um, flirtfest.

Poor thing. She looks practically... unsatisfied, doesn't she?? Ah, Ripper... typical male.

Busy days around here with work and visiting with me ma - more later on her fun trip up here. And we have more bear pics to follow. This time, we snagged us a grizzly! :)

Here's a preview - Kathleen Lake near Haines Junction on our way back from Haines. Beauty eh??!!