Sunday, April 25, 2010

"LOO-a-vul" Kentucky

Also known as Louisville: birth place of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat, Muhammad Ali and Thomas Edison, this large jem of a city in Kentucky sits on the Ohio river. If you want to say the name as a Louisvillian would, however, you need to leave out a few consonant sounds, for in the city, locals refer to it as "LOO-a-vul."

I ventured south, for a change, to Louisville and beyond to visit my high school best friend, Kim this past weekend.

She is playing in a band, called Mamakitty Southwood. She has always been gifted musically. But she is really pursuing her dreams now. It's amazing to witness.

Here are some photos from her gig last Saturday at the Phoenix Hill Tavern in downtown Louisville.

A wall on Bardstown Road in downtown Louisville, Kentucky begged for me to take its photo.

Kim belts it out as bassist, Dwayne Spears, looks on from the background

Dual vocalists: Mark DeWitt accompanies Kim in harmonies and harmonica

Kim sings with Mark DeWitt and lead guitarist, Tom Yerkey, in the background

A mirror within the Phoenix Hill Tavern beckoned (can you see my reflection?)

The grill of an old car parked outside of the Phoenix Hill Tavern

It rained the entire weekend in Kentucky. Kim lives in a very old, huge five bedroom farmhouse on thirty acres with three dogs, a half a dozen cats and several horses. The house is full of things indicative of its age: wood burning stoves in several of the rooms, and a giant hearth-like fireplace in the kitchen. The doors and floorboards creak and groan.

And a tire swing.

All old farmhouses have to have tire swings. And Sophie made use of that swing.

My Sophie queen, hanging in the tire swing

My favorite photo, however, is of one of her farm dogs, simply named Brown. Like life in the heartland of Kentucky, Brown moves slowly. But his bright eyes shine with fire and love.

With love from the heartland.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"There are many things in life that will catch your eye,
but only a few will catch your heart...Pursue those." - Unknown

Kerouac at three months

Posting less and less lately as days are filled with puppies and planting seedlings. I don't know which grows faster: Kerouac and Lucy, or the seedlings. Kerouac is already 31 pounds at 3 1/2 months old! Lucy is up to 20 pounds, and is ornery as ever: I caught her with half of a baby squirrel in her mouth today! She had already eaten half of it...EW! It's hard to think that just a couple months ago, she was as small as that squirrel, and now she's hunting them!

This photo, taken by my good friend and photographer, Paul Simpson, shows Lucy in all her alligator-mouthed glory!

This weekend, I will venture south (how unlike me) to the rolling hills of Kentucky. stay tuned...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A post for Kathleen

My soul sister in Minnesota, Kathleen, recently asked me a question that stopped me for awhile. She asked, child-like, for me to fill in the blank to this statement: "Have you ever seen anything more beautiful than _____?"

What is beauty? It's personal, unique, relative to the person and their experiences. The best way for me to describe beauty is often to think of synonyms for it.

Beauty is often synonymous with silence, for me - quiet places I carry in my heart and go to in times of trouble. Like this.

Is there anything more beautiful than floating inches above the water at sunset in my kayak?

And this:

I can't think of much more beautiful than seeing the faces of each of my children moments after they each took their first breath.

Beauty is love. Unconditional love. It is seeing my dad smile on his 70th birthday.

Beauty is participating in this miraculous life.

And drinking it in.

It is watching trumpeter swans return to a lake in Ohio in March to court each other at sunset...

Beauty is forgiveness. And grace. And learning "what peace there may be in silence."

May you carry your unique beauty inside you to light the world.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

FINALLY! The HD Helmet Cam Video from the Punderson Sled Dog Classic!

Watch closely around minute 2:19 and keep your sound turned ON! :-)

Sunday, April 4, 2010


"...just learn to be quiet, still and solitary./And the world will freely offer itself to you unmasked./It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet."

Every spring, when the world is coming alive after a long winter, somehow I grow quiet. I become restless for movement, not speech. I long to retreat into each new blade of grass, fold over into each rolling wave on the lake. I am intolerant of too much social interaction at this time more than any other.

Hence, my absence from this blog - and practically all things that involve sitting at a computer. I have been busy breathing in life: I've planted three trays of seedlings so far, and they are sprouting in all their new green glory: tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, peppers, herbs - all a future bounty. Planting seeds is like planting hope. And the dogs are lapping up sunshine as well as water.

Instead of the world, I'll take a puppy rolling in ecstasy at my feet!

Crouching tiger, hidden Lucy

I've been spending lots of time on puppy runs with the dogs.

“There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” J.R.R. Tolkien

The puppies are learning so much. I love watching them blossom.

Lucy and her brother, Kerouac in all their orneriness

Lucy is turning into a fearless little husky. She bounds around every corner, excited for every adventure.

Then as puppies are wont to do, they flop down, aching for sleep.

Kerouac decided the laundry basket was a good place to nap!

Here's a video I made of the puppies, along with a puppy reunion we had with Bolt, who is now called Tempest.

Enjoy spring!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Let the training begin!

With the puppies, that is.

Though only 14 weeks old, the puppies have already started training to be sleddogs, and they don't even know it!

Training begins on simple puppy runs, like in the video below. One or two miles with me and an adult pack member or two helps do so many things. It develops stamina (Lucy and Kerouac were pooped after this particular 2.5 mile puppy run!) and develop coordination. But more importantly, it helps the puppies know that they are part of a pack and have to stick with the pack. They learn to follow the lead of the adult member of the pack, and to follow, most important of all, me.

Lucy and Kerouac are learning so many things and are growing so fast. It's only spring, and we already can't wait for fall! Enjoy the day!