Saturday, February 28, 2009

Today - three days in one or at least that's what the bod feels it should be.

Cash-Man-Du arrived at my house last night.  Fine with me!  He's the furless (well, it's just really short fur) hot water bottle that loves the big bed with flannel sheets.  When he dreams, his toes move.  It's a struggle not to laugh.  We went for not one, but two!, walks today.  He takes great thrill in bolting off like a horse to get me moving quickly before the long lead pulls him.  Mom worked commands with him and wow he must really love cheese because he was at the top of his game.

It was practical day for fire class.  Quickly got through all of the stations and left.  Not very team like of me, but I had things to do and frankly I'm not really that jazzed about any of this stuff.

The pager went off this afternoon while Cash and I were napping.  I hate it when that happens.  Total struggle for me to put one foot in front of the other as though I'm not firing on all cylinders.  Heard snowmobile rescue and thought ugh...couldn't just be a I can't get up call.  I did remember to empty my bladder and grab some snowmobile gear.  I rode squatted on the back of a sleigh for a while with my arms extended in front.  Long story - as usual, I never get the typical types of injuries that can be packaged in a traditional fashion.  

Between class, the call and long walks, my knee got a work out today.  I'm thinking it'll be an ibuprofen evening.  That might help my headache too.

My office at work moved this past week.  What an ordeal...

Next week will be better.  Plus, I left my pager on the rig so tonight will be good too.  :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal
...a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance
...a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Is that a sunburn?  Ahhh no, that would be windburn.

The wind was wicked today by Lake Superior.  The visibility was questionable at times and the state highway to Munising was closed for part of the day because of it.

Where was I?  Standing outside, cooking, of course....and waiting for the sled dogs.  Only a 9.5 hour shift today.  Took some interesting pictures that I will eventually post once I unearth the camera bag from the car.

I'm whipped.  Took some zinc, bromelain and quercetin + vitamin C.   

Good night to you.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Woof-da!  It's dog sled weekend!

Raced home from work for a quick change and ham radio install in the Subie.  Ate a little along the way since the only thing I could stomach all day was an absolute delish fritter that morning (thank you!).

The sun was setting in a pink, gold, and finally orange marmalade way while Peter and the 4H crew shoveled snow on Midnight Run trail.  They made the race trail into a shoot through the S-curve over the railroad tracks.  Then the trail groomer came along.  Figures. 

The first teams were almost 15 minutes later than last year.  This was actually good because a train also came through just before the leaders.  A few teams dragged their mushers after popping off their sleds over icy bumps, but all continued on their way.  The last team was having difficulties with inexperienced lead dogs.  I can only assume another train coming along right next to them while they waited wasn't helpful either.  The musher did not want assistance leading through this tricky corner, and the rest of the crowd watched as the train screeched to a halt past our location.  Some said they saw a tail light and then a crash.

At this point I'm thinking why me?  

Priorities:  get the dogs through, call our County Dispatch to ask if anything was reported by a train, let race control know all teams accounted for at this location, put more clothes on and start trudging down the tracks with a fire fighter from our Township that happened to also be at this spot.

Our Dispatch called me back to say the train hit a snowmobile.  Reaching the end of the train, we find out from Dispatch that the snowmobiler was able to get clear of the tracks but the snowmobile is in a ball.  With that I tell Dispatch I'm turning around since I have yet to even see the front of the train.  They say a deputy is on his way and I make it clear that it's a very long walk.  

Then the train starts moving.  Let Dispatch know so they can find out if they're leaving and where the snowmobiler might be going if so.

Getting closer to the clearing, we see a car stuck on a snowmobile trail.  First thought, I have a tow strap and can this night get any better?  Well, yes it could, because before I get back a bunch of people of varying intox levels have decided to surround the patrol car, lift and push it off the banked trail.  

The patrol car leaves down a dead-end road to find an easier way to the train.  There is no easier way to the train, which was my point expressed to Dispatch should anyone decide to trek the long distance.  I tell the deputy that maybe a snowmobiler coming through here can pick up the person up the tracks.  The fire fighter asks the sled dog snowmobile sweep to go pick up the person and I see this as my chance to escape!

I'll go work a crossing for a little bit today, then come home and make food for tomorrow, maybe find a quick snooze and finally work race communication at Race Headquarters from 9 to midnight tonight.

Tomorrow is party at the Welcome Center - stop by!  Shift starts at noon and food will be hot and served a little thereafter.  (chili, hot dogs, brats, brownies, etc.)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The bag says "Multi-Bird Blend with Fruits and Nuts."  

Note the word "bird" because I watched The Big Grey (and we're not talking parrot) lick his lips a few times this morning.  As I looked at his - shant it be a her - hips, I recollected to my first time trying squirrel stewed in a mushroom sauce.

No, goodness, while I love shooting, I could never shoot an animal.  Going out to destroy something today on this lovely February 14 does sound rather appealing though.  Perhaps I'll renew my rod and gun club membership today.

I picked up perky pink tulips yesterday.  Have you ever sat and looked at the lines of a tulip, even their leaves are exquisite.  Combine that with the spicy smell of a white carnation (colors don't smell as good) or the scent of a rose and we're talking bliss.

It must be that time of year when I surround myself with signs of summer.  The chosen oil scent for the house is a not too sweet vanilla coconut, while my car's aromatherapy device has pineapple orchid.  I've been using all things cocoa butter lately too.  Now I just need some warm sand, a beating sun, and parasailing!  

Things to do today: laundry (it is the weekend - of course that's on the list), slimming more seconds off donning an air bottle (rusty one here did it fine the first time, but that's not good enough for me), maybe a late lunch and target practice.

Tomorrow?  Homemade potato soup and bread.  Then Mooch-A-Roo and I will be hanging!   His mom and dad are going on a vacay and I thought it would be good to dry run a little stay at the spa.  Stay tuned to find out if I still think he's a Landcruiser.

This coming week - well, it's pack @ work week.  My office is being moved on Friday to a 3rd floor space in the Administration building where I will be adjacent to co-workers and my supervisor.  Just another life adventure.  I will be focused on the sled dog races that weekend anyway.  It's the little sleep, run after dogs, stop traffic, be a ham (radio kind - geesh!) weekend!  The finale - my annual party at the Welcome Center where I'll dust off my outdoor cooking ability.  Maybe I'll bring an EZ-Up this year.  Come one - come all!   Sunday, Feb 22, noon until the last dogs in...

Monday, February 9, 2009

I have the blower wheelie perfected.

Yes, this year instead of continually shoveling EVERYWHERE, I put the blue monster (an affectionate term for my baby, the blower) on the back deck.  Proved essential to remove the snow I had shoveled from the roof.  I should've taken a picture during that process.  It was quite deceiving because the ends of the house showed little, but in the middle - holy wah!  No wonder I heard a few creaks.  So glad I hired out the roof shoveling job.

Speaking of roofs, I came close to having a dog on mine this past weekend.  Come to find out Cash-Man-Du likes ladders.  Doesn't that just figure.  Paint him white with a few spots and he'd be the perfect fire pooch, or wouldn't he look mighty fine with a little leather tool belt.  Ooo-la-la!  Mooch-a-Roo might spend a little time here next weekend.  Going from a Vizsla to a Golden is like going from a Ferrari SWB to a LandCruiser.  Each a specialty of their own and mostly just a driving change challenge.

Day after day of moving snow, I took a break tonight and just drove, more like busted, through the front mound with the Subaru.  It's a light little buggy.  Should've gone for the exercise, but instead I'm now done with all of my homework assignments through March in the fire course.  Always good to stay a little ahead with my kind of lifestyle.

There goes the snowmobile groomer...gee and on the trail this time.  In the middle of the night when it's storming, they "groom" the highway (shhhhhh!).

Enough for the day - it's time to peel the cellophane contacts off my eyeballs.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chele, who recently reminded me that we've known each other since 3rd grade - wow!, told me quite some time ago that my largest obstacle in life was having an unwavering ethical foundation.  Her statement totally caught me off guard.  I was speechless.  

My philosophy prof from years ago might crack a slight grin to know I still remember ethics is composed of varying theories and principals.  I find myself tonight refreshing my memory.  The principal of beneficence, especially applicable to healthcare, that basically means to do good.  Respect of person, least harm chosen, and justice - all guiding principals.  The ethical theories:  deontology (obligations & duties - a big brother is expected to look out for his sister), utilitarianism (greatest good), and more.  

Seems as though when I find myself in a difficult spot and second guessing my actions, I reflect on these and say "please help me to know what is right, what is wrong and to love and serve."  Like a knock-knock to myself, a check-in, a reminder that there is not one way, not one perspective on each situation, but there are guides.

So with that maybe I'll get a little sleep in knowing what I do, what I say, is what I am.  Peace.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Whew - where did that week go?

There's a pink haze in the West this morning.  I knew there was a reason I was laying awake at 6 this morning.  It was probably a gorgeous sunrise that I missed.  But, the greatly revered sleep and rest overtook my gumption to rise.  I cannot tell you how fab it is to go back to my old pager that goes off for the right agencies.  Enough of that disturbed sleep while listening to everything around the clock!  People that do - well, it seems like they're just a bit too nosey and not paying enough attention to their own life, don't you think?

Cash-Man-Du was here for part of the weekend.  Yep, that's right I missed the Sno*Drift Rally to be with a friend's downright cool Vizsla.  While I missed seeing the rally gang, we had an excellent time hanging out.  He's quite brilliant and always up for something new, which of course makes me smile!

It was girl's night out at my place last evening.  I made a phyllo wrapped baked brie infused with pepper jelly and toasted pine nuts, and Greek pasta with grilled chicken.  Mmmm - scrumptious with a glass or two of Voignier.  :)  

Watched Kung Fu Panda, and gee I had an internal glimmer.  Earlier in the day, a re-run of NCIS had some of the same lines and thoughts.  Can you imagine - how different is a Panda animation from a criminal investigation show and to watch on the same day?!   You're wondering what?  Well, in a snapshot:  reason for everything, nothing just happens, life's not about luck and chance, stop forcing what is not supposed to be, on and on.  Yes, the trick is to have open senses so when that kind of stuff happens you go WOW! life is planned and not just a fumbling train of coincidences.  Hmmm - reassuring.