Turns out that while I am here snacking compulsively and worrying about stuff, my friends are doing some pretty impressive things.
Jake took off for Alaska yesterday (where an exploding volcano was canceling flights) to visit his friend Chad Lindner who just finished the Iditarod and won rookie of the year--his dad Sonny dog sled race. He came in 30thLindner, who is a well-known in the "musher" world, came in 11th. It is a pretty impressive feat. Here's Chad with his team, and the dogs who led him in. I think they're called Mulder and Eli. Chad finished in 12 days, 4 hours, 21 minutes, and 50 seconds, with 13 dogs.
I kind of imagined the sled as a Santa's sled type thing: plush seat covered with animal pelts and a place to stash your thermos. In fact, you stand on runners that are narrow like skis, and have to sort of run alongside when you get knocked off and jump back on. This site has some Iditarod 101-type information if you're interested.
Also in the news is my friend Aimee Molloy, whose book Jantsen's Gift (with Pam Cope) is coming out in April and has gotten some great early press. The book is about the Cope family's work helping children in Vietnam, Cambodia and Ghana--which they found themselves drawn into after the sudden death of Pam's teenage son.
You can learn more about it here -- it's a Reader's Digest "must read"--and pre-order on Amazon. It's a pretty amazing story worth checking out, for sure.