Three cheers for Lenise Henderson-Fontenot who has bucked the seasonal Haines trend by opening a Main Street store instead of closing one. The Rusty Compass coffee and gift shop is open afternoons until Christmas. It is a nice cozy place to meet friends and watch the snow fall. Also, the giant light-wrapped hammer next door is something to see.
It is still dark, and I am listening to the sounds of my house waking up. The radio is on in the kitchen and in the upstairs bathroom. My son is playing his guitar and singing "A Boy Named Sue". My husband has come up from the cellar and says to three of his grown children, "do you have anything you want in the basement? If so, check in my truck, because I just threw everything out." Then he goes back down and does some more pull-ups.
On my way to jog I checked on the chicken coop. I unplugged the electric fence, scooped some cracked corn and layer mix into the feeder and found one cool egg in the laying boxes. Four hens, one egg a day. Production is low right now. I forgot about the egg until I warmed up on Cemetery Hill, and took my mittens off. When I went to stuff them in my pocket there was an egg in it, luckily, still whole. I managed to run the whole loop without breaking it.
The pines are the preferred tree by old-timers and those in the know, because their needles are soft, they last longer in the house, and I suspect, because they are really hard to find and even harder to cut safely.
This week's column is up at the Alaska Dispatch. They are posted every Friday night. It is a busy day today, we are off to skate at 11 mile ( I will wear a helmet) find a Christmas tree somewhere up on the ledges out there, stop in at the museum open house, hopefully catch the puppet show at three at the Klondike, (If you have little ones, Mrs.
Tomorrow evening at the Legion the Haines Uglys (yes, that's how they spell it) --formerly the U.M.F.s, which stands for exactly what you might guess, thus the name change-- will host their annual Grub for Gifts party. It's an all you can eat dinner of pulled pork, salads and desserts for the price of one un-wrapped new gift for a child or teen, or ten bucks to help the Uglys buy gifts for needy local families.
There may be only 11 days until the shortest the day of the year, but the bears are still moving. I know they are up the Chilkat River feeding on dying salmon in the open leads because hunting guides are still pursuing them. But I have also heard of one on Mud Bay Road, about three miles south of my house, that broke into a hen house and had eight chickens for a midwinter night's snack. The owners had assumed that the bears were asleep.
Quick, before it snows, my friend Tom says the ice skating is perfect at 11 mile. Also, Jesse Piper is going to the state wrestling tournament and Tiana Taylor is helping to raise funds for his travel. If you'd like to contribute stop by the school office. And If you need your dog cleaned up for the holidays, Ivanca Jones is back home and ready to groom. I'm taking Phoebe tomorrow.
The Christmas holidays are in full swing in Haines. There is only one bazaar left, at the ANB Hall this Saturday. We've had the Lighting of the Library and the Lighting of the Fort, the Christmas cookie and candy contest and the school concert. Saturday is the Christmas parade and the community Christmas musical. After that it will get real quiet.
Which is the opposite of how it is supposed to be if you are an Episcopalian like me. (Father Blaney calls me a non-union Catholic.)
I did get both flu shots on Friday, the H1N1 and the seasonal flu, and survived the weekend without anything worse than a sore arm. But, I made a mistake--the H1N1 shot is Free-- it is the seasonal flu shot that is 27 dollars. I apologize. Deb Stanford wanted to be sure everyone knows that the H1N1 is free, since the Public Health Center really wants you to be immunized.