Sunday, August 11, 2013

By request: A Day in the Life

Recently my mother told me on the phone, "I have no idea what you do in your life. I feel so disconnected. I mean your day to day life." So here it is A Day in the Life, with all the little details for my mother.

3:30 am: Alarm. I hit snooze. I purposely wake up 15 minutes early so I can have the luxury of hitting snooze button.

3:45 am: Alarm, real deal. First thought, “Coffee.” Nothing happens in my life without first coffee. I start the water in a kettle on the stove. Head out to the outhouse. Cosmos, my Jack Russell usually comes out with me. Assess the weather and swing by the dog yard on my way back in. “Good morning! Good morning!”

3:50am: Back inside making coffee. I like organic, shade-grown, free-trade medium roasts from South America, and I like them strong. So I grind them fine and put lots in the filter. I use one of those cone drip-into-your-cup type models. I prefer French presses, but the clean-up without running water is a pain. I also put a pinch of cinnamon and a few drops of pure vanilla on top of the grounds before I pour the water over it. Sometimes I add warm frothed goat’s milk and honey. Mostly I drink it black.

3:52 am: Drink coffee and look at facebook. At this time in the morning it’s mostly posts from my east coast friends, or late night insomniac posts from my Alaska friends.

4:00 am: Head outside to hook up a dog team. About half of them are trained to run and meet me at the line. Right now I am running 14 dogs, the rest of the team is already in Fort Yukon. We run a few miles, lots of stops, slow pace. We are working out kinks and getting our groove on. I give them fresh water on the line when we return.

5:00 am: I unhook the dogs. Most of them are trained to just run back to their house. I feed the pups. And then feed the adult dogs. The meal is kibble and leftover dog pot juice from the night before. I mix a high quality kibble with an economy kibble.

5:15 am: More coffee. Breakfast, usually cereal with goat’s milk. I change up the cereal all the time, but it has got to be organic. I like Cheerios and Muesli types the best.  Sometimes I’ll make a little egg sandwich,  some multi grain bread such as Dave’s Killer Bread, bacon, sprouts I grew, and eggs from the Cosmic Chickens

5:25 am: I head out to milk the goats, feed the chickens, water the garden, and check for eggs. Maybe pick some vegetables for my lunch.

5:45 am: I make my lunch, a smoothie for mid-morning, and a coffee to go. My smoothies are made from homemade goat yogurt, frozen wild berries, acai berries, local honey, flax seed, spirulina, and juice. Thanks to Jodi Bailey for turning me on to the smoothie thing!

6:00 am: I leave for work. It takes me about 45 minutes to get to work.

6:45 am: I start work. I work at Mainscape Landscape Maintainance. I work for my friend Ryan Hughes, you may know him, he helps out on the Quest and was the one passing out those “I will” bracelets last year. We have a contract on the Army Base to maintain their residential lawns. Mostly I just rehab the yards that families have moved out of. I get a list of yards to complete for the day. I mow, trim, and edge each backyard. Shovel soil and reseed them, fill the holes. I pull the weeds and trim the hedges in the front beds. It’s physical work, and I really like it.

3:30 pm: I get off of work. I try to get out of town as soon as I can, but sometimes I have to run a few errands.

4:30 pm: I get home, and check on everybody. Give the dogs water, feed the pups a light meal. Water the garden, let the goats out to free graze (not in my garden!). Clean the dog yard.

5:30 pm: Cook and eat dinner. Most nights I grill meat or fish and vegetables. Start the dog pot. Anything and everything goes in the dog pot. Beaver, horse, fish, people’s freezer clean-outs, scraps, cabbage, and some things I’m not allowed to mention. Don’t worry it’s not like Mr. Woo on Deadwood!

6:30 pm: I hate to admit it but sometimes I take a nap. I notice this usually happens when it’s super warm out during the day. Most days I try to accomplish some project around the yard.

7:30 pm: I go for a run or do yoga.

8:30 pm: I take the pups out for a run. I free run them on my bike. They run about 3 or 4 miles right now at about 8 miles an hour. They are about 2 months old. We will have to bump up to an ATV soon.

9:30 pm: I feed the pups and the dogs from the dog pot mixed with kibble. Water the garden. Milk the goats. Clean up around the house. Work on blog stuff.

10:30 pm: I go to bed. I usually watch a movie on Netflix, I like independent films and action movies. I usually fall asleep before the end. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


In the morning, early, 
before my rooster crows, 
before there is a stir in the neighborhood. 
Even the midnight sun quietly simmers 
behind the black spruce on the edge of the yard, 
procrastinating shine. 
 That is when the dogs, full of salmon soup, 
and I, full of coffee, 
head out into the morning. 
The air smells of blueberries and moss 
and the little ponds and swamps are just whispering fog into the sky. 
That is when we go and practice our 
becoming one. 
Trying to harmonize our pulse; 
mine, the dogs, that gangline, 
every tugline, every footfall, every breath, every thought. 
As we wind through the tall and dewy grass and low laying mist 
we evolve 
from being a girl 
and a four wheeler 
and 14 dogs, 
into a team. 
This is what we practice, 
for only after this, can we truly begin to train.

In the evening, 
it still hot, 
but cool enough for the mosquitoes to come out and hunt. 
The dogs have finally roused from their sun beat stupor. 
There is a quiet buzz of the neighborhood’s chores, 
human and animal. 
The sun is quietly balancing, tip 
to tip on the short black spruce 
on the otherside of the yard.  
This is when I take the puppies, 
full of salmon, goat milk, and rice, 
And I, full of Kombucha,
out into the world. 
They burst out 
like a chaotic, churning cloud. 
Sniffing, exploring, every which way. 
I get on my bike and give command. They know it now. 
They are discovering meaning. 
To my words, and to their spirits. 
The confusion transforms with that command 
into 8 smiling, bounding little puppies. 
Off we go down the dirt roads and trails; 
we kick up the smell of the mid-day heat, 
and the lingering forest fire smoulder. 
They drive, and jockey, and glance back at me for validation. 
I am teaching them, 
we are not a girl 
and a bike 
and 8 puppies. 
We are a team. 
And now they know, 
we are in search of the becoming one.