Sunday, March 18, 2007

Rivers News 3-18-2007

Hi Gang, Rivers here,

It sure has been busy here. With Mike teaching a class and then make a very sudden trip to Ketchikan, I had no time to get on the PC and bark out an e-mail to you. Mike told he drafted two more chapters for Book 3. I heard him dictate them into the PC and they sounded really good. He uses his version of BRS (Bark Recognition Software) to do that. Mike is not talking to us about what the story in Book 3 is about. But, from what I heard, it is going to be a good story about us.

We received several nice e-mails from SSG B in Iraq. He told us that it take about 14 days for mail to get to his unit. He asked us to pass on his troops’ appreciation for all that you do for them. So please keep sending those cards and notes down the trail to them.

SSG B sent us a picture. He wrote that this was a camel that wandered into his camp. He gave it some water. Enjoy the picture. Mike told me that they race camels in the area where SSG B is at. He also told me that there are one or two camels at the Anchorage zoo. He joked that they could run the Iditarod. Gee, Idita-camels?? No way!!

Do you remember I barked to you that Mike was invited to Annabel’s Books for a book signing? Well I did not go because they had a silent book auction to raise money for Lois Harter. Lois lost everything she owned in a fire recently. We understand that the auction was very successful. Thanks for helping.

Mike took me to Alpenglow Elementary School the other day. He took a sled full of equipment and I was one of the guests of honor. Some of the students got to pet me and that was very cool. They were a very well behaved and nice bunch of students. Mike told me that he would include a picture on our Blog with this newsletter. That is me with Mike who is sitting on the floor with the Kinders (as Cheryl in Iceland calls her kindergarten students).

After the Kinders left the gym, the rest of the student body came in and one teacher told me we were part of an assembly. I am not sure what that is, but I guess there was some kind of show besides Mike’s presentation. They had live music and honored one of their teachers who ran the Serum Run this year. It was a super time for all. Mike read “Screaming Eagle” from our first book. However, Cyndi J, the school’s librarian converted the story to a theater script. That allow for more students to participate in the story. There were students playing the dogs, a sign walker and a young lady playing the eagle. The young lady doing the Christmas part, Yipped just like Christmas (real name icy) did when she was a puppy. The Rivers Good Time players did a great job and made Mike laugh so hard that I heard him forget his lines! Mike told me that Cyndi’s script was excellent, very professional. He was enjoying himself too much and just started to laugh due to the students’ playacting the story. The students who had parts were just fabulous!

Mike and Mary also had a book signing at Elmendorf. I stayed home and loafed. While it was kind of cold, the sun was out and it nice to lay on one of the decks and soak up the rays. Mike told me that book signing was great. He met some very nice people there and did a lot of bragging about me, his “military dependent”!

Well it is getting late and I better let Mike hit the straw and dream of retirement. He has to get up early tomorrow and go to work while we enjoy spring break with Caitlyn.

See ya


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Rivers News 3-05-2007

Hi Gang, Rivers here,

Well, it has slowed down a bit from the hectic pace that Mary and Mike have been working the last few weeks.

Our friend Sky Queen came up from Georgia and had several stuff toys for Tundra. According to my “eyes”, Stormy, they lasted all of 32 seconds. We are thinking of renting out Tunny as a toy tester. Stormy tells me it is very funny to watch Tunny go thru Mike’s coat pockets looking for tennis balls that he may throw for her to chase. Mike has to be careful because Tunny actually thumps Mike’s chest with her front paws.

Since Sky Queen was here, Mary played tour guide and the 2 of them took off doing Iditarod things.

Mike was off from work Thursday and Friday. We did have some quality time with him, but it was sure windy and cold out there in the yard. On Thursday, Mike took off to Sherrod Elementary to do a presentation and read a chapter from our first book. The chapter name was “Screaming Eagle”. He told us that there were about 100 students who attended the presentation. He also told me the school librarian invited him to do the Young Writers Workshop on 5 May. Mike told me this is one of his favorite events.

Thursday night, Sky Queen, Mary, DQ, Lead Dog and Taku’s Mom, took off to go to the Iditarod banquet, while Mike and our good buddy Keith (Jack Attack’s Dad) stayed home and enjoyed a great meal that Mike prepared. We got scraps so we know it was super scrumptious. Yep we got plenty of ear and tummy rubs that night.

While Sky Queen and Mary took off to do their Iditarod thing on Friday, Mike headed to the Millennium to do a book signing for the ITC. He told me that he was happy to see his fellow authors especially Marianne Schlegelmilch, author of “Solo Flite” and Bev Stevens, author of “This dog Team Sleep in the House”. Both are great books about dogs and I highly recommend them for your collection. Bev has won 8 out of the last 10 sprint dog races she entered and was heading to Fairbanks for a big race. Hmm, I wonder if I could be a sprint racer? Nope, I like retirement too much

Friday night was our open house and our first visitors were Brooke and her Mom from Star Base. Brooke writes to us all of the time and wants to be a veterinarian. I bet she world be a great one.

Pat and Mel from PA came to visit and brought us bandanas to wear. I think they took a picture of Pat, Mary and I. If so, we will post it to our Blog with this newsletter. Pat. gave us the “Pet angel” medals last year.

Helen, Taku’s mom came and Mike visited with Taku for a spell. He told us that Taku was a very handsome dog. Maybe next time, Taku can visit with his Momma Icy (Christmas in our books.)

Let’s see if I remember all of the people that came and gave me great ear rubs. There was Texas Betty and her sidekick Doris, GG (Sasha’s mom) and her buddy Al, DQ, Lead Dog and Keith came also. Belinda was also another welcomed guest and there were many more, but I lost track, except for Pat Ford who joined us by telephone from Illinois. Hmm, I could swear I felt her present as well as her son Bob’s.

We were very happy to see Tatjana who plays the violin very beautifully. Tatjana came with her brother Tomah, and older sisters Maria and Karina. Excuse me if I barked their names wrong.

Bugle girl (Nichelle), her brother Paul and her mom came also. Ya know what? I think we will stop calling her Bugle Girl and call her Nikky. It was great to see her and Paul again. They give great ear rubs. Nikky’s dad is due home soon, maybe by the time you read this. However, Nikky is having some health issues that resulted from her being bucked off a horse when she was a yougin’. She is facing a lot of testing and more surgery (she has had 9 already) to fix the problem. She is a real trooper with a great attitude about this, but I know she would appreciate your prayers and best wishes (you can send them to me and I will pass them on to her).

Nikky wants to be a photographer and Mike introduced her to DQ. DQ was very nice to Nikky and made some positive suggestions to her about pursuing her photo career. Not to leave Paul out, who spent a lot of time with Lakota, he wants to go to West Point! I know he will make a great cadet!

The next day being the Iditarod start saw Sky Queen and Mary take off to 4th Avenue, while Mike did some chores around the homestead and played with us.

On Sunday, Mary took Sky Queen in to Anchorage to see the sight see while Mike headed north to Willow to help Perry Solmonson launch out on the restart. Mike told us that he got a chance to talk with Karen Ramstead. He told me that they were the 2 prime mushers he is following this year. Surprise to me, I did not think Mike was too interested. He told me he was taking an off year from Iditarod stuff. Sure Mike, once that dog fever bits you, you are hooked! See what I mean? Here is a picture of Mike working on Perry's sled. Picture by DQ

Mike will be at Annabel’s books in the Meta Rose Square, Wasilla this Saturday, March 10th. Besides the book signing, Annabel’s will host a silent auction of donated author’s works to raise money for Lois Harter who lost everything she had when her home was destroyed by fire last month. Lois has been with the Iditarod almost from the races’ beginning. Mike will be delivering autographed books provided by several authors. Annabel’s’ hoisted events are fun thins to come to. While I may not be there, I know Mike would be happy to see you there.

Wow, that was a lot of barking to do. Made me tired just thinking about all of the paw steps that Sky Queen and Mary traveled last week Idita-touring.

Take care,