Saturday, January 15, 2011

Warmth, Chill, and Chits Abide

The month of January has been inspiring; deep cold, windy, lean, post-holiday inspiration. The homestead and art studio at 39 mile are rocking.

I tend two Oberhasli goats; a milking doe named Jackquie and her wethered son, Ivan. They share the barn with Anna Lise and Zoe our two garden variety ewes. The tiny hen house up the hill protects ten Golden Comet hens and their glorious gentle rooster, a giant Barred Rock named Capt. Kirk.

Through providing shelter, food, water and attention the birds and crits reward us with fresh milk, wool, meat, eggs and garden compost for our river-bottom garden beds. The added plus is the four-leggeds adore alder and eating additional brush (where they're allowed to browse) giving me the false notion of maintaining a bit of open space during the green explosion called summer in South East Alaska.

And ... they love to hike the back country; fording streams and negotiating the deep forest over logs and through the dense understory. They're fine companions who don't mind carrying a moderate load for the old lady.

This time of year however, Mason and I are the only two on the snowshoe trails.

Merrick's Okum-pup comes to visit every couple of weeks. He cranks up the tempo for the old guy and I. The little fella has been a bit house bound of late with this below zero front, however. It's the flesh slicing wind that makes one wonder if it's still the cat's meow living so far North.

For Okum, it's not the cat's meow but the resident squirrels that keep his attention. The little buggers have found access to the interior passage between the walls of my fiber studio and the kid is obsessed.

Honeyman Jeff, has located their various entry points and blocked them adequately, dangling atop the ladder on ice but two days later, the nesters are back. When Oakie is here he's able to ride herd and at least keep them off in the forest.

Pup is away this weekend. Guess who is warm today and ready to listen to A Prairie Home Companion down through the walls?

Merrick at play in the spin-cycle.

The show promises to be extraordinary and this week we get to welcome Sara Watkins as a guest host while Garrison watches from the wings. Enjoy!

P.S. Guy Noir was RED HOT today. Nearly abated my hunger for GK's regular articles which I miss so much. I've provided the pod snippet ~ it's great. Time to ante up my online subscription too.

Sara and her guests were a delight. Check out Abigail Washburn. Her claw-hammer banjo made my musical month complete!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year's begun!

This has been a tremendous holiday season with friends and family (nearly the whole kitten-kaboodle as in one kaboodle, chock full of kits) plus fine food, and frolicking.

Hannah returned home from school just in time to help with five Geppetto's Junkyard performances of The Miracle of Life. The dinner theater was staged as a burlesque adaptation for actors, puppetry, and original music. I'll be writing more on this with the next update, but suffice it to say, it was a gas!

For Christmas dinner, Merrick cooked two mean (though happy) ducks, complete with stuffing and all the trimmings. We were also happily stuffed on Terry and Judy Jacobson's lefse and Caesar salad.

Micah and Jerin were missing but we kept close by phone. This is a picture taken during his recent SW trip.

Santa hired Handy Joe to surprise Merrick and Okum with a hand crafted freight sled.

We're settling into the nitty-grit of winter now, which I can't seem to get enough of though I pledge to offer a better update of pertinent news later this week.

A Happy New Year to all from 39 mile, Haines Highway.