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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ice Out!

Ice out on April 28th. Much later than normal and MUCH later than last year. I have a blog post from 2012 entitled "Ice Out and 80 Degrees on March 17th!"

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Our Irish Creek Homestead in the making

Our Watertown property has SOLD! And more good news is that our buyers are also dog people who will be able to appreciate it as much as we have. We're one step closer to making our move. Closing is set for May 31st and until then, we pack and wait for the appraisal to be completed. Speaking of which, I've not done an appraisal since June of 2012. It will be one year, the day after we close. It has been a nice sabbatical and, honestly, I don't know how I would have had any extra time over the last year to include appraising in my schedule. Trying to sell the house has taken its place. I am in the process of taking my required continuing education to renew my license that expires this year. Time will tell if there is still a place for this in my life.

So!  It will be a busy couple of months for us. Since our Irish Creek Homestead is only half finished, we'll be doing some glorified camping for a while. One of the first considerations, since the house will have heat, some electrical and will be fully set up for outside communications, was the dog kennels. We've got all of the materials up on the property and they're currently under three feet +- of snow. Now, that's not going to work. So we resort to putting up temporary kennels until we can find the permanent fencing, not to mention, also having the ability to sink posts in an unfrozen ground. And with how long it's taking winter to say its goodbyes this year, this may not be until the beginning of June.

We're planning an on-going kennel raising "party" that begins somewhere around the first weekend in June and hopefully ends the weekend of the 14th and 15th. If you'd like to join us during this time for some hard work, good fun and time with happy sled dogs, we'd love to have you!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Irish/Ilo Puppies; 4 Mos Old

Kamotz is 46lbs at 4 mos

Wyakin is 46lbs at 4 mos

B'Zhoo is 44lbs at 4 mos

Akai is 41lbs at 4 mos

Hard to believe that Ilo is Wyakin's sire. Just compare the legs and feet!

Friday, April 5, 2013

SFN - New Beekeeper!

Look at that wax!
Scent from Nature has done a lot of growing over the past year and the wax from our current beekeeper, that would have lasted until this September, only lasted until last January! We began our search for a new Minnesota beekeeper early last year and it wasn't until the very end of the year that we found one that fit our special requirements. We care deeply about the quality of our wax, how it is processed and how the honey bees are managed.  It must have a naturally fragrant, sweet honey scent. We found what we were looking for in these northern Minnesota Beekeepers. Our first delivery of wax was personally escorted to our Watertown location a couple weeks ago. We couldn't be more pleased and have already begun making candles with this canary yellow and scrumptious smelling pure beeswax. Our second delivery of wax will come in June and will be the very first beeswax we will receive at our Irish Creek Homestead in the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota.

Spring Clean Up

Removing bales of straw from each kennel

This winter was the iciest I can remember. Ice in the kennels meant loads of straw on top to help everyone, dogs and people alike, stay safe. Now we're paying the price. We've done two passes through each kennel with likely another two to go once all of the ice and snow melts. Once the temps warm up, we'll hose out all of the dog houses and clean them with bleach. And this year, no shade cloths to put up in these kennels! Why? Well, we'll be moving the dogs up to our Irish Creek Homestead by mid June and before the sun gets too hot for them here in Watertown.

For those of you who know northeastern Minnesota, you're probably wondering why on earth we would move them in June, right in the middle of BUG season. We've discovered a wonderful invention called the Skeeter Vac! During the build last year in June and July and right at the height of BUG season, we tried this contraption for the very first time and could not believe the results. (No, this is not an infomercial) Short sleeve shirts were worn and no BUG shirts or BUG repellent were needed. We plan to have two at work in the dog yard and by our house to serve double duty. Each will work in a 1.5 acre area. Must see to believe!

Until then, we'll continue our spring cleaning here in Watertown. As I type, I see snow coming down. So, I guess spring has been delayed yet again. Usually, we're all for a long, cold and snowy winter. Right now, however. Let Spring begin!

Inspiration of the Day

And yet another of our Oake Lake sunrises. The view is for sale people! How could anyone pass on this view?

New Homestead Update

Our new homestead rests comfy and cozy amidst the several feet of snow that fell this winter.

When the snow goes, an additional eight panels will be installed and we'll be ready to roll!

The slow real estate market of 2012 and the uniqueness of our Watertown home and parcel, did not produce a sale. And so, we wait. Sadly, we were unable to spend much time at our Irish Creek Homestead this winter, only stopping by for a quick visit to shuffle snow around and dream of the day.

We are encouraged at how the Spring market has produced several viewers of our Watertown property. It really is only a matter of time and we continue to get one day closer to a sale. How could anyone pass on the lake view? Sure, the house is a bit small, but it's updated and there is potential to add on. Again, how can anyone pass on the lake view? When I first spotted this property with its peaceful and wildlife-filled view in 2000, I just had to have it. The house itself was a bonus. Since then, the home has been renovated, perimeter and backyard fences added, kennels for the sled dogs have been installed (which can stay or go, by the way), and not the mention the apple orchard was planted! How could someone pass on a part time money-making opportunity that is, literally, right in your back yard? We've not had the luxury of time to run the orchard but can report that we donated over $12,000 in apples last year to MN Food Shelves. That's a pretty nice seasonal, part time job income!

I'm happy to report that the lack of a sale on the Watertown house will not hold us back from moving forward. Plans are in the works to install the dog kennels in early June and move my office and the beeswax candle workshop by the beginning of July. We plan to have a "Kennel Raising" party the weekend of June 14th and 15th. An official blog post invitation will come as the time grows near.

Notice I didn't mention anything about a kitchen or bathroom. Those are but second on the priority list and will come when the house sells. Glorified camping is what we call it. As long as we are there with the dogs, have heat in the winter and can run our businesses and make beeswax candles, we're happy. The luxury of a kitchen and bathroom will come. A propane camp stove and a bucket with a toilet seat lid will do.

So everyone, please help us sell this house by passing the information along, crossing fingers and toes, sending positive energy and thoughts, doing lots of praying and/or whatever you think might help. There's a dog mushing adventure and some beeswax candles in it for anyone who sends that buyer our way!

The Four Hooligans

The Irish/Ilo Hooligans

Wyakin and Akai


Kamotz (Motzi)
The Irish/Ilo puppies turned 16 weeks last week and will be officially 4 months old next Wednesday. That's always been a confusing transition for me: 16 weeks and 4 months being different dates. This is when we stop counting the weeks and begin counting the months.

The Four Hooligans, as I now call them, are doing well and they really aren't hoodlums individually but you put the four together and watch out! Love these little guys!