Saturday, January 31, 2009

Why my friends love talking to me on the phone

Me: So George and Jack escaped last night and got into a 50lb block of Icy Waters fish. (at a really great price of $5/block!!)

Steph: Uh oh! (her dogs get into all kinds of weird things, so she understands my pain)

Me: It was funny, because it was so frozen they were only able to gnaw a little hole in the side of it like there were some mice nibbling on it.

Steph: haha!

Me: I don't think they ate too much, but George might have hogged out on it, I could see her belly looked a bit bigger. I was up 5 times last night letting her out, it drove me nuts!

Steph: agh! I hate it when my dogs wake me up in the middle of the night! (what can I say, we like our sleep)

Me: I know! So not only am I up at 1am, 3am, 4:30am, 6:30am, 7:45am, when I just get back into bed and hear this weird "SPLOOSH!" and wonder, hmmm... that was a weird noise. That was not a good noise. (instinctively I know "splooshes" are baaaad)

Steph: Oh god, that doesn't sound good...

Me: Yep, your right, she hurled up a gut full of slimy fish bits... it was soooo huge and gross...

Steph: EW!!!! (starting to squirm in her chair)

Me: So I go downstairs right away, 'cause I figure out it's puke and I didn't want the smell of fish that has been digesting in a dog's gut for 10hrs to come wafting up into the loft...

Steph: Oh that's really gross (gag)

Me: I get downstairs and luckily she puked on the dog blanket! That was a lucky break 'cause do you know how hard it is to clean up slimy fish dog puke up off the wood floors? It keeps sliding around and damn! Those paper towels do NOT sop up slimy fish bits

Steph: ok, ok, I think I've heard enough...

Me (oblivious): So I drag the blanket outside, which was really not a good idea. I didn't pick up enough of it in my half asleep state - so as I dragged it the blanket left a trail of slime and fish bits over the floor, the carpet, and by this time, gah, it was really starting to reek!

Steph: Ok, ok, enough! Eww.... I don't want to hear anymore!

Me (still oblivious): Meanwhile, the door is open and George runs outside past me, OVER TOP of the blanket and slime trail, tracking slimy fish bits over the floor on her way out. Then Gracie and Kuna move in to clean up the slime trail. Reguritated slimy fish bits are apparently appealing to dogs! Not a huge surprise I guess...

*munching away on my toast and still oblivious*

Me: So did you have breakfast yet?

Steph: Ugh! I think I'm going to puke now. Thanks for sharing.

Ah, good friends are hard to find.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Googling Freaks

(mom/dad/luddites & internet newbies - these are terms that people put into Google and found their way to my blog...)

This is by far the best search term I've seen:

Baby chinking

Need I say any more? And here I was using regular chinking, but stuffing the cracks with BABIES makes wayyyy more sense. I wonder if they fit in the chinking gun? Or do you have to get a special baby chinking gun?? How many babies does it take to chink a cabin?? So many questions...

Anyways, here's some more searches that some crazy-assed people got here with:

moose meat - Yep, lots of that around here.

la banana stringe? - Yeah! Even the French wonder about banana strings!!

messy people -Um, none here.

porno dogs hours - Classy.

blaze king catalyst parts - Sorry, can't help you on that one, check the manufacturer maybe?

photos of painted plywood floors - you wouldn't believe how many people are interested in photos of painted plywood floors! It seems a lot of people have my fantabulous sense of style.

Zoya Musher princess - Geez, Zoya gets such a bad rap.

what to do when attacked by a porcupine - Do not play dead! And do not run, they like to chase. Fight back. Head-butting a porcupine usually works.

true blaze king burn time - a bazillion hours! Unless it's -50, then 5 minutes.

Apes peel bananas - yes, they do! Unless the butler peels it for them

snow rant - I do more of a "no-snow rant" around here

zoya the princess musher - again with the princess thing, what the heck??

messy people are cool - I totally agree

ski banana wipeout - poor banana, hope it's ok

beaver coats - only possible if you fend off the attacking beaver (see above)

skijoring Rupert - Rupert will be pleased you are inquiring about him

dog attacked by porcupine - nope, not around here, never, no way... uh uh, never seen a porcupine...

dogs porn up
- I don't even know what to say to this one??

My new BFF winter - different than your summer BFF (Best Friend Forever)

mom on dog porn - what?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

snap a banana quickly - what?!?!?!?!?!?!

yukon rain january - what?!?!?!? Ok, this happens as we just saw a couple weeks ago.

anti-coyote advice using tennis balls - as opposed to giving pro-coyote advice using squash balls?

In summary - people on the internet are crazy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cesar Milan eat your heart out

This is how my ultra-obedient, uber-professional dog team gets lined out at the beginning of a run.

I know! You're jealous that YOUR dogs aren't that well behaved right?? My dog handling skills are available. For a price.

It gets even better as Gracie pulls her "I'll go wherever the hell I damned well please" move:

It's more interesting back here I think says the little twerp.

Sure, I have no necklines on them but more lines mean more tangles with these guys and more work for me. I don't like either of those things.

They're such slackers, I always try them out on sketchy trails, but whattaya know! They started off fairly fast on the downhill, and little did I realize just HOW icy those trails were. Eh, why bother checking them out beforehand? This is much more entertaining and fun.

Ok, fun? Not really. Here is videographic evidence:

Post wipe-out. This is when I realized I left my mitten back up at the start. Oops! At -847 windchill, I wasn't going far without it.

The monkeys and I get back on track, they did pretty good for our whopping 1.5km run. This is when the "dogs-who-share-one-brain... sometimes" were working together quite nicely.

So this is when I let the girls loose, and ditch the skis, 'cause walking was faster at this point - mostly due to the crap trails and the fact that I didn't want to go screeching downhills in this mess. This turned out to be the unexpected skijor/ski AND hiking trip.

Fast forward to the next day, I took out Jack/Harris and Esther/Pooh Bear! on the sled. They had a BLAST. And seemed to enjoy it when I just let them run as fast as they wanted. Well, Pooh Bear and Esther, notsomuch mellow-boys, Jack & Harris.

Then I took out Ripper/Loki and Ivy/Sage - this was the first time I tried my new windy, bumpy, twisty trails on the sled and four dogs was more than enough on these trails!

Next time I'll try Ripper/Loki and Esther/Pooh Bear - the possibility of combining these four, light, hard-working (ack! Did I just call Pooh Bear a hard worker?!?! Wow, she's maturing!) maniacs kind of scares me. Just a bit.

Ripper(L), Loki(R), and Ivy (back right) and Sage (back left) after the run, anxiously waiting for their fish!

And here is Sarah trying to steal the Pooh Bear! She was making a stealthy move on her way out the door but was a bit restrained by her car seat. I'm keeping my eye on those dog-knapping twins in the future...

Pooh Bear was acting very un-Pooh Bear-ish tonight, actually being calm and quiet and being very into the kids! Heather was starting to believe that I'm making up all this stuff about PB being a maniac. I think she needs to listen to PB during feeding time or hookup! My eardrums are at half-capacity since I got that dog last year.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blogs that rock

For the rabid dog fans and lovers of the north, check it out and watch a dog video that'll just make you feel all warm n' fuzzy inside (and for a different way of dogsledding).

And for the most savvy bushkid east of Lake Minnewanka (I just love that name), check out this post of Evan's (FYI: not for the squeamish!):

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

If it ain't rain, snow, or ice on the roads...

It's elk!

You'll have to excuse the crappiness of these photos. Only AFTER I saw this gang (when I actually had my camera with me) did I figure out the zoom and a few other settings on the camera.

They were pretty curious this morning.

Erm... what do you want?

Maybe if I look away the annoying human will miraculously disappear. Geez, ANOTHER picture? Learn to use your freakin' camera already.

I like this one even with the unfortunate blur, just because it illustrates that they take their DAMNED SWEET TIME getting off the road. For the most part.

Doo dee doo...

Ol' one horn there was trying to get it on with one of the lady elks...

And there she goes! Trying to escape the age old ungulate charm.

Ahhh... nothing like elk sex in the morning to get your day off to a great start!

I think maybe that's why I was getting the funny looks?

The lone awkward teenaged elk

Ok, see ya guys later tonight on the way home. Oh yeah! Could you stay off the highway tonight from about 6-8pm? That'd be great....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Reflections on an early spring...

So, it rained all night. I went out to feed the dogs this morning and there was almost an inch of WATER in their bowls. It's friggin' January!!! It feels like mid-April. It's +7 today, are you kidding me?!?!

On the up side, I haven't had to start the wood stove for 2 days. The cabin keeps a nice regular temperature of 20C, and that's if the blinds aren't open. I was able to shut my new baseboard heater OFF for the first time since it was installed on Jan. 1. On the down side, my wood is all wet. From RAIN. In January!!!

Jack looks miserable today doesn't he?

There is still snow though and it's supposed to get colder soon. So, this *could* be a blessing in disguise - the trails will harden and set nicely for snow hooks and those essential things for important things - like stopping crazy dogs.

As much as I'm whining about it (and I didn't even mention the three times I wiped out while walking, damned ice!), it was sure nice to be outside today!

Haha, this video is classic. It shows that my dogs should really pay more attention when I'm kicking empty pop bottles around for them (left-footed might I add)!

Pay close attention to the "Pepsi" bottle on the left of the screen, then watch Lucy take it to the head. I'm not even sure she noticed. Don't worry, she wasn't any more mentally damaged after the incident than normal.

Meanwhile, last night Esther, Pooh Bear and I went for a little evening skijor.

Esther had fun, look! She looks like she's enjoying herself!

Although she is still a little nervous with the whole skijoring thing and has to run up and be right next to me when we stop. This is her sitting on my skis.

She's semi-relaxed here.

Which is more than I can say for this nutjob!

OMG, it's playtime.... get me Esther! Agh! There she is!!! I must escape! *beelines down the trail till she comes to the end of the line then flips on her butt*

heh heh, I meant to do that... hey! who's over there?!?!

Rupert chilling in the pen.

Practicing my zoom on the indestructible camera that has already survived dropping on the plywood floor and me accidentally skiing over it when I dropped it on the trail.

Well heck! We might as well go out for a run today. The warmth and slushy conditions made for a pretty short, yet fun, run.

The maniacs wait patiently(ha!) in their cage.

What's wrong with this picture? No snow on the deck!!!! So I cleaned the remaining melting snow off. The dogs were so mellow they were just lounging on the porch all afternoon (while I *ahem* worked)... good times.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It ain't a winter season till I wipe out skijoring a few dozen times...

Well guess what everyone?

SNOW!!! It's non-stop, it's insane, I can't keep up with it but I don't even care. Harris concurs and says "Yeah holy crap there's a lot of snow out here!!!"

They can almost climb over the fence with little effort. But shhh! They don't know that yet...

Yesterday's mini-blizzard:

The wood pile gathered about 12 days ago, is now also covered in snow. That's what happens when you wait for awhile to cut it and split it, dammit. But I CANNOT complain about the snow. I'll be kicked out of the mushers club.

After the mini-storm, the skies cleared and the dogs yelled at the window "Get us out of these pens!! It's skijoring time!" Alrighty then.

Loki may not look too raring to go, this is because this is "pre-run Loki." Some of you know by now that "post-run Loki" is much different and not as high strung. I was trying to hook up Ripper here but he went zooming down the trail without us. Brat. He came back though. Loki was much more relaxed with his buddy alongside him.

Off we go!

They are/were/will always be, awesome.

Here's a little video of the run with them. Be sure to keep an eye out for the "tunnel-of-snow" section near the end, crazy fun!

Just when you think you're going along fine... WHAM! Wipeout #1 of the day:

I'm not exactly sure what happened here. However I did know that I was freakin' stuck in the ridiculously deep snow off the trail. That is my left hand and ski pole which is totally buried and underneath me. Try getting out of that with two crazy dogs yanking you along the ground! Oh who cares, I love this snow!!!!!

On top of that, the dragging ended up pulling me, er, dragging me along the snow. As a result, my jacket was riding up and my pants were falling down, and snow was going you-know-where. Brrrrr!!!

Ha, I look like I've just given up here. Now that I look at that, my head is at an awfully weird angle. But! Notice the TIGHT line that the dogs are still reefing on??! Good dogs! They're eager, but they're killin' me.

Ripper, after the run is all like "Yeah, let's do that again! Especially the part with you on your ass and we were dragging you, remember?? LOL!!!" He actually said "LOL!" They're smarter than you think.

This is me attempting to catch a wild Pooh Bear for hook up. You can see that she is not being very cooperative.

Ooh, should have warned you to take a gravol pill before watching. I'm still dizzy from that.

Esther and Pooh Bear raring to go back home. Or anywhere really.

Rupert, the bunny runs ahead and these two give chase!

Here's a quick video of that, I was so proud of their first successful skijor. Mostly because beforehand I thought this could have possibly been the worst (ok, second worst... this was the worst) idea of mine. It could have gone REALLY bad with Ms. Spinny-Pooh-Bear and Ms. Don't-mess-around-life-is-too-serious-to-have-fun-Esther. I envisioned fights, dogs running away, dogs tripping me numerous times, etc, etc...

But I have to say, they proved me wrong! Man they were motoring along. Like my nice WIDE trails??!! Specifically for skijoring.

However, it seems wide trails or not... wiping out can happen anywhere. This time was a first though. I wiped out due to a chunk of horse crap on the trail! If you're a friend on Facebook, no doubt you've heard my laments about the herd of horses that hung out one morning here AND destroyed all the dog trails by walking on them. Oh but they didn't just walk on them, they slept on them, they shat on them, they ate them. Horses are nothing but trouble! Some nerve.

Anyways, lucky for you (or not) I was taping this time. It was a slow motion wipeout, not too terribly exciting as the dogs were almost walking, but if you watch closely you can even see the piece of crap coming at me. Oh, and yes, Pooh Bear is quite distracted here, the chase-bunny, Rupert - went the wrong way! FOCUS Bunny!!! BAAAAD Bunny!!!

So this is what is known as "natural grip" on the ol' skis:

AKA: dog crap. Much cheaper than the costly grip wax they sell in the specialty stores. I kind of wondered why the one ski was feeling a bit sluggish.

Mental note: look for dog crap when skis are sluggish in the future.

And Sage would like to thank you for joining us and reading about life in this kooky yard. Although he says you can go now, because he is waiting to be let into the cabin so he can get back to watching tv. The Dog Whisperer is on and he would like to go give Cesar a talking to, what with all that "calm, assertive" crap... as if the human really has the power in the canine-human relationship, ha!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dogs with Attitude

I get no respect!

George is getting bossier and bossier as she ages. Hey, it's their birthday soon. Holy crap, these little devils are turning 9!!!! Wow. They sure as heck don't act it.

Gracie peering through to your soul. Careful, she'll steal it. She's selfish and demonic that way. Their mother's name really was Devil for a reason!

Pet meeeee... yes, that's right, keep it coming slave.

Harris is working on perfecting the new "what-to-do-when-you're-a-bored-sled-dog-and-it's-too-cold-outside-for-your-delicate-doggie-parts"

It's called "Walking the Planks" and I just missed the shot of him when he was halfway across peering downstairs. The planks are a bit bouncy, and they have some space in between each one, so it was interesting to watch the gangly fella navigate them. Didn't phase him a bit, what is wrong with my dogs?!?! Do most dogs like heights and stairs and planks? I have no idea.

Maybe that's why I had the freaky dream the other night!! In it, my cabin was hit by a truck. Yes, it all makes little sense as the truck would have to hurl itself into the ditch and drive through the bushes, trees, and a half km of snow-covered discontinuous permafrost. Anyhow, in the dream I slowly saw the semi coming towards my loft window. Just when I thought it was going to miss, it crunched into the cabin. Damn! Then the cabin started to tip and I got flung out of the loft. Somehow I managed to hang onto the ceiling, by my pinky finger!! I remember thinking, "ok, if I get out of this with only a broken finger, then that's ok.... I can deal with that." Yep, always looking at the glass half full! haha

So as I was hanging from the ceiling, I remember looking downstairs to see dogs everywhere looking up at me. The next thing I know, I'm falling... onto dogs. They broke my fall! All was ok, well, except for the whole loft breaking apart thing.

Speaking of wood:

Sweet, sweet woodcutting at 33 below. I would have gotten a photo of the FULL truck, but the camera battery froze pretty darned fast. Only in the Yukon can you go to a total strangers to buy and cut some firewood, end up bonding with the owners of said wood (over a bulldozer and other machinery of all things... eh, don't ask, it's the company I keep), find out you have lots in common, have a great time, and end up being invited inside after woodcutting to warm up and offered tea and cake! Then, on top of all that, you get the cord of wood for free! Cords of wood delivered are worth about $230 here, sweeeeet.

The shady company I keep. At least he can cut himself some mean wood!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy New Year from 42 below!

You know it's been cold for awhile when you wake up, go outside in the dark at 7am and go "hey it feels pretty warm" and you look at the thermometer and it's -35C. Heck, even the -42 this morning didn't feel too horrible. As Laura said, if we get the predicted temps of -20C or so that they're calling for this weekend - we're all going to be suffering from heat stroke!

Lucy rocks the sexy frosty look:

The dogs don't mind it so much. Ok, yes they do, why must I lie? They're lined up at the cabin in seconds the moment I let them loose. I have to trip over dogs to get the door open!

Happy Harris, always smiling!

The little used trail right now

We have loads of snow, just can't get out in it.

Harris is giving me some lip

It's amazing with these guys, at these temperatures, they seem to really be "poofing" up - getting furrier and furrier by the day. I think Harris is growing another layer of fur as he seems to be shedding now!

Harris, Jack and Lucy

Not sure what's going on here...

Oh right! There's a Lucy in the willows! Why of course that's it.

And now, the New Year's Eve recap brought to you due to popular demand (that is, my mom's demand).

It's not a party till someone shows interest in someone else's pants. Here's Dale showing off his winter pants to the audience on the couch (half of them are inebriated so perhaps that explains things):

(yes, it's blurry, that's the This is how you view the world after 4 beers setting on my new camera)

Laura and an inebriated-looking Jon early in the evening (and to think, HE was the designated driver believe it or not), and Martin with Sarah.

Who said these kids could grow!?!? They almost grow faster than puppies.

Babyproofing the cabin. Does it look safe enough? hahahaha... yes, we're sick. Don't worry this was before the babies arrived, and after a certain twin-mother expressed concern at the level of safety/cleanliness of my cabin... I don't see anything wrong here? Oh one thing is missing - clumps of dog hair. Ah, those are easy to find.

Adelaide, what the heck is she thinking here? Hmmm, I don't know, but she looks shocked AND mad.

Heather and an overexposed (sorry, new camera...) Sarah unwrapping the good ol' Fisher Price toys.

Martin and Sarah discuss the state of world politics. In German no less. Heather's not kidding when she's says these kids are perfect.

Ok, she just really wanted his beer.

Hic! Yep, that's definitely her motive.

Ok, now just tip it up reallllly slow....

Gah! Busted!!!!

Sean and Adelaide whup it up on the dance floor.

Martin enjoys every riveting moment of the evening's festivities!

Happy New Year from my pack to yours! :)