The Hair On My Toes

December 20th, 2010

I am feeling so good today. So warm and fuzzy. I feel like I am snuggled up in a warm blanket with a nice cup of hot cocoa instead of spending my day at work. I have escaped from these mental doldrums all thanks to the hair on my toes. Sadly, it must be removed for the hair on my feet is not my own. It was stolen from the backs of babies. Kids to be precise.

When we were working at Caverns of Sonora this summer, a woman from Canada came in to talk to one of the owners. She was very sweet and personable. She Glorious cloud socksraved about her tour through the cave and her trip down to Texas. And then something unexpected happened. She gave everyone socks. Glorious socks made from her kids! As some of you may know I knit socks from time to time, but I have never made anything as soft and cozy as these little clouds that are gracing my feet right now. Clouds. Yes, that is accurate. I feel like someone wrapped clouds around my feet just as I was putting my work boots on this morning.

I feel kinda silly writing about socks (ones that I didn’t make, anyway), but honest to goodness that’s how good they are. I feel whimsical. So very uncharacteristic of me. It’s all because of the hair on my feet.

Thermohair is a brand of sock that is made from the wool of baby mohair goats. (cue adorable goat photos…)
Mohair Goats Mohair Goats

The following description was taken from their website:
Thermohair Inc. is a fully Canadian company that originally developed, manufactures, and markets THERMOHAIR socks across North America. The first socks were sold in NovemberThermohair Logo 1992 and the business has expanded since then mostly through word of mouth of satisfied customers. THERMOHAIR socks have now been worn to both poles, across the Himalayas, to the top of Mt Everest, Mt McKinley, Mt Logan, and in 2000 Kilimanjaro. Lonnie Dupre of Grand Marais, Minnesota wore them to circumnavigate Greenland, a trek that lasted from January to June 2000. THERMOHAIR is now worn by active outdoor types as well as people with Raynaud’s disease, heart disease and diabetes. Their comfort and durability is unsurpassed. There’s no other sock like them!

While I cannot attest to their effectiveness in the Antarctic, they sure have been a luxury while enduring continuous subfreezing temperatures here in Kentucky. Also, I have never seen or talked to the woman who gave me the socks, again. I have absolutely no affiliation with the company (but will accept socks for the post if you run across it someday and are so inclined! ;)) There are no affiliate links on the page. I just love this hair on my feet and wanted to share. Johnny loves his, too.

Rainy day… came our way…

July 25th, 2010

We’re back on the move again and slowly making our way through Texas in what can only be described as damn hot weather. More importantly though, the household has expanded. While we were at Caverns of Sonora, the ranch manager’s dog had a litter of puppies. After much hemming and hawing over whether or not we could care for a dog in this lifestyle, we finally decided that if we didn’t have the time for a dog now, then we never would.

Rain enjoying homemade hail on a hot day.
Rain enjoying a cool ice ball on a hot day.

So, making her Internet debut, we present Rain. Her parents are both working dogs that have worked cattle, sheep and goats in all sorts of weather ranging from snow and ice to hotter than hell southern Texas. Casey, her mother, is a blue heeler and her father is Slick, a border collie. Odds are pretty good that she’s too smart for either one of us, but with a little luck and a lot of treats, maybe she’ll tell us what we’re doing wrong.

The first few days, there was a lot of tension between her and the cats, but they are slowly getting used to her and only hissing when she gets seriously into their personal space. I’d rather not talk about my scars when she met Hunter the first time, though. Rain seems to be adjusting to a nomadic lifestyle much better than she liked the first couple of weeks while we were still working. Rather than spending so much time locked up to stay safe from the cats, she gets to go where we go and do what we do. In less than a week since we left the cave, she is already a different dog, and apparently, much happier!

Oh, if you were wondering, she’s currently 8 1/2 weeks old and her birthday is 5/25 if you want to send her presents.

Best Summer Job Ever!

April 29th, 2010

Hall of White Giants

After a lackluster winter at Amazon’s Fernley facility, Jenn and I decided we’d be better off looking for a job we enjoyed than one that promised big bucks and may or may not deliver. As one of our interests is caving, we decided to try and get jobs at a cave for the summer, even if it meant working the gift shop and cleaning restrooms. It turns out that we lucked into one of the most amazing jobs we could hope for.

Our first choice of positions came through and we got workcamping positions at Caverns of Sonora. For those of you that have never heard of it, Caverns of Sonora is one of the most decorated caves on the planet. While there hasn’t been a study that I’m aware of, I believe it could very well be the most decorated cave in the world based on formations per square inch. We are lucky enough to be spending a fair portion of every day guiding tours in this cave.

The tour is a very up close and personal experience. We are literally inches away from formations throughout much of the tour. On top of that, we are working for some of the best people you could hope to be around. The cave is owned by a family that has owned the land surrounding it for five generations and the general manager has been a true caver for forty-six years. I can’t imagine a better work experience.

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Words cannot begin to describe this beautiful cave. But to give you a general idea, we spent a week training with two to three tours a day that are close to two hours long and on our first day off, we took two tours through the cave just to enjoy it and take photos. I snapped five hundred and forty some odd pictures in three and a half hours. Almost eighty have been uploaded to the gallery. The pictures do not do the experience justice, but they are far better than words could ever be. I only wish I had half the photographic skill of the professionals who have done the off-trail photos.

The pictures for this post are chosen more or less at random as I would be very hard pressed to pick favorites from the photos we’ve taken so far. At twenty bucks a person, the tour pushes the limits of our budget, but it really makes me stop and think what beautiful things we may have missed over the past two years by being thrifty. I hope none of them were nearly as beautiful as this, but I will definitely think twice the next time we pass a ‘tourist trap’ by because we don’t want to throw our money away. Some of those traps are probably every bit as worthwhile as this one. Please take a look at the gallery. I’ve yet to see someone come out of a tour disappointed; in fact, the most frequent comment is ‘this is the prettiest cave I’ve ever seen.’