Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Spring, Mules and The Race is--almost--on!

Spring is springing and I am thinking maybe we won't get a frost to kill all the fruit and new green things coming out. Maybe. My apricot tree is bursting into bloom as are other fruit trees all around town. I have seen filaree blooming and some other early weeds also. I'm ready even though we have had a singularly mild winter, really. Compared to most places it has been almost tropical but winter is still winter, even here in what my brother calls "the Promised Land."

I've talked a little bit about mules before. We worked with them a lot as well as the horses I have spoken of in prior posts. There is a little monthly magazine called Mules and More. I began to subscribe to it about a year ago and around the end of 2013 sent them in some photos and then they asked for info on the pix and a little essay, which I wrote. I got the March issue today and lo and behold, little speckled mule Beano and me are right there on the cover!! It might not be Time, Life, or People but hey, a cover shot is a cover shot!! Like whoo-hoo!!! If you go to www.mulesandmore.com you can see that cover right on their home page. Inside there is a two page article with some more photos. I plan on doing a few more small features for them in the coming months but this was a neat surprise today when the mail arrived. I just had to share. Here is the photo as it looks in my collection,

Late note: I got some contributor copies of the magazine today (Sat, Mar 1) and will give away one or two--autorgraphed of course--to comments made on today's. post!

And as for the race, that's the Iditarod, of course! The ceremonial start in Anchorage is tomorrow--less than twenty four hours now, and then real start is Sunday. Then they are off for a rough journey of nearly 1,000 miles across mountains, rivers, and parts of the frozen northland. It has been a mild winter in the northernmost state too--snow is scarce in places and the trail is going to be brutal with mud, raging steams, soggy slush and a really hard go for the mushers and the dogs. I am worried about them but they will race...and someone will win.

Naturally I am rooting for my gal, Aliy Zirkle. She has been second twice and got closer last year than the previous one. I am hoping this is her year but she has smaller and lighter dogs than some of the men and it may be pretty hard on them. However she has a wonderful rapport with her team and is one courageous, tough and determined lady. The pundits give her a good chance and you can bet that barring some disaster she will be in the first few if not Number 1. Go Aliy!!  And here is a shot of Aliy and her dogs last year; I lifted it and maybe should not share but anyway... This was her entry into Nome and the finish, about twenty minutes behind the winner. Consider that difference in terms of nine days and nearly 1000 miles and it was darn close!! And look at those dogs--do they look dead tired and wrung out?  This is so totally awesome!! I'd give a lot to be there and see the finish. I'd be crying I am sure.

Oh, I wound up with two copies of this year's official program which is full of insider info and stuff about the race. Comment on this message for a chance to win that extra copy. I hope to make some new fans for this fantastic event! I support it with at least a small donation every year and talk about it every chance I get. They call it "the last great race" and I do not think that is a misnomer.

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