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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Playing Catch Up!

The view from our picture window reminds us to slow down.
Life has kept us far too busy since my last post, well over a month ago! From Klaus and Sweet Pea's Birthday, we quickly moved into MN Honey Producers Booth at the State Fair mode. But first, in the name of "balance", I brought Neil to his very first Wacipi (Pow Wow). It had been ages since I had been to one and had been longing to go back but the timing was never right. We just made it happen.

Despite the down attendance at the State Fair, the MN Honey Producers Booth did well which helps bring the mushers at Points Unknown through the winter. The State Fair is a grueling 12 days of crowds and noise, which are not my favorite things but the fact that we can do the majority of the work for the booth at home before and after the fair, makes it worthwhile. Not to mention, the satisfaction of supporting a non profit that supports honey bee research. My favorite quote by Albert Einstein - "Once the Honey Bees disappear, mankind is not far behind." I've learned an awful lot about Honey Bees over the years and have finally decided to move that knowledge further. I'll start by taking the beginner Bee Keeping Course in October that the University of MN offers then Neil and I will start our own hives next year and keep them up north. Our daydreaming for apiary names brought up a winner - Arrowhead Apiary.

Within a week after the fair, we loaded up all 17 dogs and hit the road. We spent several days camping on our land in Hovland, MN just 7 miles inland from Lake Superior. We kept so busy and were extremely productive despite my terrible upper respiratory sickness that continues to cling to me after 10 days and despite the hail, the rain, the sleet, the snow and then more rain. Did I mention rain? Between the raindrops we managed to cut, load and deliver two trailers full of firewood to our two different adventure trip locations for the winter, ran one team of sled dogs, flagged out the clearing areas on our property for our house and kennel "compound" and various other miscellaneous camping activities.

After being sick out in the rain for a few days became too much for me, we packed up and headed to the home of friends that invited us to stay while they were out of town. What life savers! Sincere thanks to Kay and Jerry for their kind offer. They've got a large enclosed dog play area that our dogs just loved. They spent their time there, being rotating from the tie out line to the play area.

Our last day up north was spent sitting on the shores of Lake Superior on the bay of Grand Marais with the sled dogs. We worked in cooperation with Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply as we promoted winter activities in the Arrowhead Region, including, of course, dog mushing!

Now here we are, back home, trying to settle in from a whirlwind of activity over the last month. Things are beginning to get back to normal and we are making plans for our winter activities with the dogs. Oh, YES! And I can't forget some very exciting news. We had planned to breed Topa with Oken in the Spring but Topa had a silent heat and it never happened. Well, Topa was courteous enough to wait until the day after the fair to go in heat! She just became receptive and has been bred with Oken. All being well, we will be expecting puppies around Thanksgiving! This litter has been eagerly anticipated for quite some time so you can imagine how excited we are right now! Neil will begin building a new whelping box in the next week. He'll be having all of the fun while I go back to my real estate appraisal work. But the real fun comes when the puppies are born!

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