Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Doggy Love or Idiocy? Occasions for Blessings

Idiocy Personified was me this morning.  After an inch of new snow last night it started pouring this morning.  Temps are hovering around freezing but Magoo was insisting on going to the park.  I waited until the temps got to 34 and decided to take the plunge.
Our driveway was 5 inches of slush but we made it out onto the road which was only 2 inches of slush.  No sign of the plow at 8:25am.  Crept down the hill in second to the paved part which was merely rough ice.  sigh.  People were turning around.  I asked why and one woman said someone heading back said there were multiple accidents on the main road.  hmmmnn
So I stuck to the edge of the road where there was dirt and made it to the highway.  Folks were doing 45.

Saw one car off the road about a mile down but no accidents and the pavement was a bit slushy but really fine.  Car temp was down to 31 by now.  The high for the day was supposed to be at 10am and 40.  Didn't look like that preditcion was going to come true.

By the time we got to Ithaca the temps were all the way up to 33.  Dog park was 3-4 inches of wet snow and slush with a flooded icy parking lot and water cascading out through the entrance portal.  Going through a large deep puddle to get Magoo's poop did in my water resistant boots so now my feet were wet.  "Good thing it's above freezing." my toes said.  A blessing.

Magoo wore his raincoat so only his head and tail were getting drenched.  It was pouring harder but Magoo wanted to chase balls.  There was only one other dog and crazy person out there although I had seen several of his friends leaving with their people as we turned in.  I lasted 15 minutes.  My raincoat funneled water onto my jeans so by a few minutes of walking I was wet from my knees to my toes.
When I finally walked through more slush and deep water back to the car and could open my iPhone I saw Jim had texted that the plow had gone up the hill.  Hurray!!!!!  At least I could now attempt coming home with some assurance of making it up our steep hill in West Danby.

We drove over to Greenstar Cooperative Market for our traditional morning breakfast.  Me for fair trade decaf and an organic Fat Boy scone. Magoo for some free range eggs and no gmo, no anitbiotic free range turkey sausage.  The parking lot was flooded so if my boots had held in the Dog Park they would have been drenched now.  Another blessing.  Inside Greenstar were at least a dozen folks with mops and buckets trying to stem the tide of water all over the floor coming from?????? Well it seems that the heavy rain melted all the snow so fast that drains were backing up.  Everyone was in such a pleasant mood.  One woman was worried that my shoes would get wet.  I told her that was already the fact and we laughed a bit.   I love that place.

Coming home was a much easier drive as the rain had cleared much of the slush from the main roads and the plows had been on our road too.  Well cindered and no problem driving back up our hill.
Of course the plow had knocked over the recycling I set out yesterday. They usually knock over the mailbox so this was better.  Blessing again.  Good thing my feet were already wet as I had to trudge around in 4 inches of slush to pick up an entire container of paper, plastic and empty glass jars.  It's still pouring.
The best blessing was coming into the house, drying off Magoo's head, putting his raincoat, my pants and socks into the dryer and then putting on a nice thick pair of hand knit socks.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Letting go of Outcomes

I have to confess I get very nervous/anxious when I don't know the outcome of something new to me.
Letting go and being here now is a wonderful moment to moment practice along with being grateful for what I have already.
Today Abraham spoke of sitting and thinking of people far away and wishing them peace, food, love, etc.  That we don't have to send money, just our positive energy.  Very true in so many ways so often in my life.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Blogging Again.

It's been almost a year with no blogging.  Well--- I had a hip replaced which took up a lot of time and psychic energy and thought.  Now that I'm walking fine again, 2.5 miles this morning, I am also taking back up painting.   I'll be talking about my painting and pattern designing.
Probably not everyday, but then again my audience is tiny, and I don't want to just fill space.
But it feels like time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It's Not over until its Over.

Funny thing about this race.  Dallas Seavey will probably be getting to Nome in the wee hours tomorrow morning, for his third Iditarod Win.  The race doesn't end there.  Until the last musher allowed comes into Nome, winning the Red Lantern, this race goes on.  There's a bit of money even for those at the back of the pack.

So maybe another 5 days until the Red Lantern, meaning I have that amount of time to complete the sweater that never ends.  Usually enjoy fair isle but didn’t take into consideration that this sweater is way more than 60 inches around what with the body and two sleeves in an XL. So about every 20 stitches I have to drop the two strands I’m holding to shove stitches along the cable. Was really really glad to get back to only using one color. 

I think next time this might be approached differently. I like working up 2 sleeves at once, although leap frogging on 2 separate sleeves would work too. It’s the attaching and then the huge mass to keep moving and the stitches on the cable too. Perhaps a larger gauge with a larger needle would feel better. 
Am using Rowan felted tweed which is classed as DK so I thought I’d be using US 6 or 7 needles but it's more like a heavy fingering or sportweight yarn so I’m using US 5’s. Sorry to whine. 5 more rounds and I can bind off a bunch of stitches for the deep collar area and go into row knitting. By then I should be noticing fewer stitches, I hope. I also hope I can get this done by the Red Lantern. This race is moving so fast. Thought I could keep up with Ellen Halverson but she scratched, sigh. And now the one's in last place are moving right along.

And here's one of Jessie Royer's pups.
Isn't she the sweetest.

Monday, March 16, 2015

On the Coast - Unalakleet

The first town the mushers get to on the coast is Unalakleet.  It is accessable only by boat, sled or air but has 2 restaurants and 2 grocery stores nonetheless.  One of our Iknitarod moderators lives there so we get great reporting from the coast (Shown above at sunset)

She's been keeping us up to date on the weather.  There were 35 mph winds yesterday.  I don't want to know what that meant in minus whatever wind chill.  They've been getting ready for days for the onslaught of reporters, officials and mushers coming in and through.  There's a prize for getting to the coast first and Aaron Burmeister won it.  Actually he's won several prizes along the way already.
Aaron's team

Special berms of snow have been made to protect the dogs from the relentless wind.

This is a big checkpoint for dropping dogs and picking up a fresh sled.  Not all mushers can afford to ship a sled, but the veterans usually have enough sponsorhip to afford it.  All mushers have bags of food and supplies that they leave in Anchorage before the race which are shipped to most of the checkpoints by plane.

scrap wood for heating water for the teams

 Not the bright pink label for DeeDee's sled

Drop bags for Jodi Bailey and Rohn Buser

Aliy Zirkle, Jef King, Dallas Seavery and Mitch Seavey have already been through this checkpoint.  Some stayed to rest for a bit, others just to snack their dogs and off they go over the Blueberry Hills to Shaktoolik.

I'm working on the body of the sweater and the sleeves at the same time.
A zillion stitches around per round it seems.  Even though I am decreasing 8 sts every other round, that doesn't seem to register much yet.  Plus I'm using my largest cable, 60", which is not near the circumference of this sweater if the chest is 49 and each sleeve is 18.  So I have to shove stitches around every 20 or so knit.  Slog slog slog for 10 more rounds.  Then I get to cast off a bunch for the neck band and work back and forth.  That doesn't thrill me either but I'm going to learn Brazilian Protugese purling on Wednesday night and the new skill will make my purling easier and faster.  I might even grow to like it which is the object of the lesson Rosanne will be giving us at Knit Knite.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Getting to the Coast

The race always seems faster in the second half.  Don't know why.  Front runners are due into Unalakleet, the first town on the Coast, later today.

If you have read the story by Danny Seavey about Lance Mackey in yesterday's blog then you'll understand the widespread respect folks in Alaska have for this man.  If you haven't you might enjoy a story about a man who overcomes adversity on a regular basis.

Meanwhile I have attached the sleeves to the sweater body.
  Sheesh is that a handful to hold now.  This is the first sweater I've done in this fashion.  All other sweater have been top down and I add the sleeves after the entire body is done.  Granted top down also works on the sleeves to the armpits but doesn't feel as cumbersome and huge to hold.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Halfway to Nome

It's been a fast exciting week.  The the severe cold in the north has Lance Mackey's hands frostbitten.  Then Brent Sass, who won the Yukon Quest this year and was definitely in position to win this race, was Disqualified (DQ) for carrying a newer iPod.  The newer ones are capable of two-way communication and that's a huge no no in this race.  Even though many mushers use one on the trail, someone told someone about Brent's and then there was no choice for the judges but to DQ him from the race.  The speculation is that the bushes around Tanana are now full of used frozen iPods.  :)

It’s also the third year of the Fantasy Iditarod Game (the page comes in slowly), sponsored by Danny Seavey. Basically we pick 7 mushers totalling $27,000 (each musher has an assigned $$ based on past performance). Scores are added by times between checkpoints and who gets into a checkpoint in what order. 
When Brent Sass got DQ’d it threw a large monkey wrench into the game as over 300 of us chose him as one of our 7. Bam! Down to the bottom of the pile we went. All his accrued pts were disappeared. sigh 
I just about gave up checking the spreadsheet when we got an email from Danny saying he had a special button on the spreadsheet called ‘ipod’. Click on that button and magically we are back in the game with only 6 mushers. Too cool.
Danny Seavey is some kind of spreadsheet genius, besides being a very good writer (this story tells a brief story of Lance Mackey, probably running his last Iditarod). The first two years Danny spent most of every evening updating the sheets. This year he figured out how to have the spreadsheet automatically update itself at each checkpoint. WOW!!!! Fun game!

Been working on Bryan's sweater and am now only an inch or so from attaching the sleeves to the body.  Sleeves in the sunshine!

Jeff King won the first musher to Galena Prize.
A fantastic meal and money.
Us crazy knitters were so busy looking at the hand knit sweater he was wearing (the pattern under the dogs is actually paw prints) we failed to see all the cash sitting on the table.

This is the first year the Iditarod has gone through the mushing town of Huslia near the arctic.  Several original serum run mushers came from there and a famous Alaskan sprinter too.
The village of 275 people really came all out for the race.
Aaron Burmeister was the first musher in to this village and they all came out to greet him.

It's -31 in Huslia and they take it in stride.

Aliy, who has come in 2nd in this race 3 times, is the first musher to leave Huslia.
It's only halfway through the race so we still can't tell who the real frontrunners will be but once the times are adjusted (to compensate for when they left Fairbanks), in the next few hours, we'll begin to see them appear.  I really want to wear the Iditarod T-shirt that says,
"Alaska, where men are men and women win the Iditarod."
It's been too long.