Full Moon News

August 2 full moon of ripening veggies

Although the weather has not been the most cooperative,… floods, drought,…  the garden is doing pretty good.  With the warm temps, the corn looks great, the peppers are coming on, the basil smells devine  and I am harvesting the garlic.   The tomatoes and potatoes were affected by the extreme rains however we should get a fair crop.  We have lots of zucchini this year and I just read where it helps our body fight stress.  How come zucs have gotten such a bad rap?


I am not complaining that we set an all time record for the number of days in July over 80 degrees: 26, because almost everyone has it worse.  It has been quite warm working in the greenhouses though.  The tomatoes are about as high as I am however they have been a little slow to set fruit.


The weather makes me think of a book I am reading and want to share:  Folks, this ain’t normal by Joel Salatin.  You may know him from Food, Inc. and the Omnivore’s Dilemma.  He is a grass farmer and wrote the book on pastured poultry which we follow when we raise our broilers.  He is a tell it like it is,  visionary who truly believes in sustainable living.  I am learning a lot and recommend it.


The mornings have been warmer than normal also but still ok to walk the dogs,  just no running.  They have been pretty quiet and our manta is “labor day, labor day”.   That is usually when I can start up with the 4 wheeler.  They have been getting lots of brushing and water.   We lost one of our elders last week, miss Signe, who was 14 years old.  I got her from Claire and Chris over 6 years ago with her sister Eleanor.  They loved to run in lead together and were a dynamic duo, very smart and great leaders.  Signe was one of the most hard headed, big hearted and independent dogs I’ve met.  No wonder I loved her.


Everyone else in the dog yard is doing well.  Lydia is fitting in nicely, Tahti has been foiled in her attempts to eat rocks with her new patio,  Sulu continues to move constantly (he is about the only one, the others know it is too hot).   I had a fun “three for” this morning:  I was walking Sami loose and Malcom with the harness/belt and we were just a ways up the driveway and here comes Bear.  He had broken his chain and was dragging it along.   All  got along just fine and we continued on with our pack of three, luckily no wolves.   I do still cautiously  let dogs walk loose and my three youngest girls, Sami, Tahti and Mayatuk are so interesting to compare.  They are all so different: when Sami gets loose, she heads straight for food,  Tahti heads right into the dog yard and submissively goes up to every dog and Mayatuk heads right for people.  I think it is really a great way to get to know them better and the more I know about their personality, the better team we will make.  Walking with them all summer really bonds us and we learn a lot.


We have an opening in the Peltos cooperative cabin:  3 weeks or 6 weeks.  You get to choose when you would like to come and enjoy the peaceful surroundings and sustainable, solar power, wood heat,…  cabin.  You also have access to wonderful trails and are close to the North Shore, Boundary Waters, Duluth, Ely, Iron Range,…. lots of things to do.  Lots of wonderful lakes, creeks to paddle.   It is $6,000. for a full share; please email or call if you would like more details or come and see it.


Speaking of dogs,  the trip to the start of the Iditarod, celebrating my 25 years of  Wintermoon, has filled.  We are very excited!  And  I am now scheduling contract groups so if you have 6 or more and would like to join us this winter, the dates that are available are listed under Trips: Dogsledding.  And great news too:  I have my handler hired:  Barbara Budd,  more about her later.


For the last month we have been having some very great kayaking trips.  Lots of good weather and paddling.  I think one of the comments I hear the most is how serene and quiet and peaceful the paddling is.   We got to go to Grand Marais and paddle with the Kansas and Ohio gals.  Lake Superior was cooperative and it was fun to be in our kayaks in the harbor and watch the dragon boat races too.  Mary from Grand Marais paddled with us in her canvas kayak and Inuit style paddle, both which she made herself.  She looked great.  I also had a good conversation about writing, telling her I was having a hard time writing my book after the first chapter.  She had a great suggestion that I tell it in stories and this really made sense to me.  Maybe I will get going again…..


Related to the Iditarod,  Vivian from North Carolina who has been dogsledding here, volunteered at the Iditarod and wrote about her experience.  I asked if we could share it:

Working in the Nome dog lot, greeting mushers at the burled arch on Front Street, Iditarod 2012 volunteer Vivian Coleman was there when Justin Savidis arrived, a bit later than he intended. Coleman, of Charlotte, North Carolina, helped Savidis and his wife settle the team in the dog lot at Nome, putting together their crates and strawing their beds.

Wait! How did someone from the East coast, from the most definitely southern state of North Carolina, get to Alaska, the Iditarod, and as a volunteer?

An Iditarod video piqued Coleman’s interest in 2000. Three years ago, she spent a vacation from her job as a transportation planner mushing recreationally in Minnesota. Breaking her shoulder on that trip didn’t deter her from returning the next year and learning not only how to drive a small team, but provide all their care. In 2011, Coleman learned that the current Iditarod Teacher on the Trail lived within half an hour of her. Contacting Martha Dobson, she set up a time to meet, share pictures, and talk about the Iditarod.

A believer of living your life, making your dreams happen, Coleman arranged to take an extended vacation in 2012, applied to be a race volunteer, and volunteered in Anchorage in the phone room and the dropped dog lot there. Flying to Nome, she volunteered in the phone room there also, talking to people from all over the world, answering their questions about the race. And, she worked with the mushers’ dogs resting in the Nome dog lot, awaiting their flights home.

Highlights of Coleman’s experience include driving a 10 dog team belonging to G.B. Jones, racing a 3-mile, 3-dog team in Nome, riding to the Safety Roadhouse in a snowcat, a type of oversized, enclosed snowmachine crossed with a tank, and meeting the people who race and work with the race to make it happen.

Recently, Coleman presented a Lunch and Learn program at her worksite, the Department of Transportation for Charlotte.  Approximately 80 employees turned out for the event.  They ranged from people who knew nothing of the race to people who raised Siberians to people who dabbled in urban mushing. When they left, everyone knew the history of the race, the care of the dogs, the desire of the breed to run and pull, and were envious of Coleman’s adventures shared through photos and videos.

As Coleman advised the Lunch and Learn group at the end of the presentation with a picture of her making snow angels….”It doesn’t matter how old you are…you should make some snow angels or whatever is your passion in life.”   A wise young man, Ferris Bueller, from a favorite 80’s movie said it best:  “Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t look around once in a while, you could miss it. “  Coleman advises that we take advantage of all we can, believe in our dreams and make them reality.    The Iditarod is one step of many in her dog sledding adventures.





1 Comments So Far

Don't be a stranger, join the discussion by leaving your own comment
  1. Vivian
    August 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm #

    Hi Kathleen,
    Glad to share. The more I know about sled dogs the more passionate and envious (!) I become about the lifestyle shared by mushers! I can’t wait for cooler weather and planning my next northbound trips to be at Wintermoon and next stop probably…working in the Yukon for a couple of weeks with dog teams.
    So sorry to hear about Signe. A good old age though. Every time I hear about your dogs I feel that they are my friends as well. It is hard to have a favorite with so many amazing beings in the dog lot!

Leave a Comment