Friday, October 30, 2009

Keeping Myself Busy

I've just come in from watering, scooping and lovin'-up on the dogs. I have a couple of hours to kill before I can take them out on the trail, so figured I'd kill some of it here. Last night I brough Amazing Grace into the house for the evening. She wandered over every corner of the place sniffing and searching. I think she might have been looking for Abner, as she and he were buddies.

This is the part where I admit that I talk to dogs. They don't necessarily answer, but I believe they understand more than we usually give them credit. I explained to Grace that Abner was badly injured and now lives in a new home. I don't know if it helped her, but I think it helped me to come to grips. Time will tell, I suppose.

Supper was baked chicken, which I cooked up with some potatoes, baby carrots, celery and cauliflower. I'd intended to add some diced onions but spaced it out in the preparation process. I was given some fresh sage, which was really very nice in this basic meal.

Being a single guy, I can get a lot of mileage out of a baked chicken. The first meal is of course, just baked chicken and veggies. The next is chicken sandwiches from the breast. Then I can get two, maybe even three more meals of chicken soup out of it, especially if I toss in some macaroni as filler. See, some of that stuff my Mom tried to teach me actually paid off.

Today's Plan

We all know about "the best laid plans o' mice and men", but today I'm planning to run at least one, and preferably two teams of dogs. They will be small (6-dog) teams more easily controlled as our outbound trail is as rough as a corn cob, and neither my four-wheeler nor my spine can handle too much jarring about. Hopefully I'll be able to report on my training run(s) this evening or tomorrow.

I'm also starting to gather up the things I need to take to the North American Voyageur Conference gathering in Wisconsin. My power-point presentations are as ready as I can make them, and I'll back them up on a flash drive, just in case something happens to my lap-top en route. I do need to make up a few more hand-outs and I need to gather up and pack some other things. Dave Lukosek gave me an antique harness I plan to take for participants who are interested in reenacting historical mushing practices can examine, and I think I have a suitable modern harness around that I can take, to demonstrate at least one modern option that is available.

Look Ahead a Bit

Some time in the near future I need to plan a shopping trip to Fairbanks. That isn't the best thing in the world right now, 'cause I have to be very, very careful about spending money, but some things can't be put off.

I'm contemplating hiring a combination house sitter and dog handler to care for the team while I'm off at work and various other activities. On Sunday I'll be meeting with a friend who has a similar work schedule and relies on handlers for the care of her dogs. I want to learn the benefits and risks of such a scheme before moving forward with it. I'm not particularly fond of the idea of sharing my home with another person. Ideally I would build a 'handler's cabin' and that may be an option in the future, and it's something I will certainly consider in the future.

Pretty soon I need to shave off my mustache. I've been putting that off for a few days now. During the hey-day of the fur-trade it was rare for men to exhibit facial hair, and it only seems right that my personal presentation be as authentic as possible. The accuracy of my information will be judged at least in part by the accuracy of my personal presentation - that's just the way it works with historical reenactors. Don't worry, my cookie-duster will grow back readily enough.

I guess that has things covered for a while. I'm going to grab something for breakfast and ease into the rest of my day. Hope you are heaving a great day yourself.

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