ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby fladogfan » Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:39 am

Norma,your story of the delivery of your turkeys reminded me of that TV show years ago. I think it was WPRK, something like that. The radio station had a turkey drop as an advertizement stunt. They were suppose to be live turkeys BUT they were frozen and being in a city they landed on a lot of unsuspecting heads. Owie !! shock: Somebody correct me, this is what I remember but could be mistaken.

flowerpower, I felt so sorry for the Texans this summer, all those 100+ days and the fires too. Florida has hot temps in the middle to high 90s but seldom over 100. We get heat indexes over 100 tho.

Norma, your Thanksgivinbg sounds very nice, to be spending it with people you love and who love you.
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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby Moose » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:43 am

Fdf, I could be wrong (often am) but my memory is that the turkeys in that episode were alive. The Big Guy thought they'd fly down to earth, but they couldn't fly and landed with a mighty mess. KRP was a funny, funny show. One of my all-time favorites.
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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby fladogfan » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:39 pm

I knew I had it wrong. Sure was a funny show tho.
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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby Norma » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:38 pm

Flowerpower...love that!

Being raised in Canada, we were used to a cold winter. When we went to California, it was a let down that there were no 4 seasons. My first Christmas there it was 83 degrees and so disappointing. I have been a lot of places in the winter months and have learned that "cold" in Calif., Arizona, Florida, humid places, the cold goes right thru to my bones. In Alaska, my skin gets cold but as soon as you come inside, you warm right up. This seems to be a very dry cold and I can tolerate it much better. During this little patch of minus 20's, the house got colder than it seemed to other years so I'll just put that down to getting older. :) I have winter drapes that I hate because they make the house so dark, so I put plastic up on all the north windows this weekend and left the summer curtains hang. Sun floods in thru the southern windows and I don't feel as shut in. Any port in the storm, I guess!

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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby Norma » Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:41 pm

Planes are always dropping things in winter from ice cream, books, newspapers, turkeys, and anything that won't break.. Really nice of people to think of us. One pilot could land the newspaper in the woodshed! :)

I remembered that show as well. :)

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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby tanglefoot » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:01 pm

hi norma!

thank you so much for all the great stories! not too wordy, but pure magic!!!

i feel like im sat there in your kitchen with bread cooking and the snow falling softly outside.
im the other side of the big pond over in the UK (have you ever visitied?). i have 3 huskies on the bed, one sat on her own bed snoozing and doign doggy dreaming yips in her sleep. so sweet.

so.. on a doggy theme, do you have a favourite iditarod dog or favourite doggy story? any furry visitors to the house from races past?
have you had anyone interested in the homestead yet? ive been following the sale on the internet. what will happen after 2012 race, will the ITC drop the skwenta checkpoint? a friend of mine wattie mcdonald has run the race the past few years and im hoping to in the next few. would be great to finaly see your little piece of alaska for real!

best wishes for now, happy thanks giving and a big hello to joe!!!

matty ( aka tangles ). xx
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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby libby the lab » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:25 pm

Norma- I don't think you answered this yet and I am sorry if you did and i didn't see it. Tell us what pets you have while in Alaska. Anything unusual??
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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby Heidi » Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:21 pm

Hi Norma,

Thanks for joining us! I have a few fun off-beat questions...

Since it's the holiday season, what are your favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas memories since moving to Skwentna?

If you had a choice to live anywhere BUT Alaska, which state (or country) would it be?

As for the Iditarod, do you have a favorite year? (Sorry if you already answered this. I did read through all your posts, but it's been awhile since I read the earlier ones and my memory isn't what it once was. :D )

And finally, can we all come visit you and have a big 'BSSD Iditabuddy Sleepover' in Skwentna? ;) ;) :lol:
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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby mamamia » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:11 am

Hi Norma! Let me join with the others in saying what an absolute pleasure it is to have you here with us. I hope you will come back during the race. We have a really great time and your voice would be a welcome addition to the group.

My name is Linda and I am a nurse and a mom down in Georgia. I first heard about the race in the '80's when a friend of my who worked in Anchorage during the winter would send me clippings from the newspaper about Susan and the race. Being so far south I rarely had any information about the race until the growth of the internet made it possible. So, about a dozen years ago I found the ITC website, then I found Cabelas and I've been hanging around this bunch of people ever since. From the very earliest days of following the race I have always heard of Joe & Norma. It is an honor to talk to you.

I don't really have any new questions but I would second Tangles' request for dog stories. Every year we relish the stories of the individual dogs and feel like we know many of them well like Mackey's Zorro, King's Salem, Seavey's Tread. Can you share some dog stories?

Again, thanks for participating in this session of Ask.
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Re: ASK THE CHECKERS: Joe and Norma Delia (Starts Nov. 11)

Postby Norma » Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:52 pm

Thank you all. I was asked about unusual animals that have visited us. We've had 2 that stand out. The first was a little silver fox that we called Petunia. Joe was building the little cabin and I had taken him something cold to drink and some lunch one beautiful summer day. He was on the roof and I sat down in front. Out of the trees poked this beautiful little face. I gently spoke and after a bit, the head went back into the trees. Told Joe who was yelling "I can't hear you!" He came down to eat and I told him what had happened. As I was walking home, this little fox came and walked with me. She hung around all day and escorted Joe home for dinner. I figured she'd be gone the next day but no, she was outside waiting when he went to work. She got to be really tame and almost became a pest! When boats would come in for gas, she would run down and meet them and walk them up to the house when they paid. One guy, who had a small son with him, said, "That's some ugly dog you have there!" Me: "Look again! That's no dog!" He was so excited he could share wildlife with his boy. The school kids all came over after school and we could call her in at will and she seemed to love interacting with the kids, altho the rule was no one was to touch or feed her. If we walked out to the lake, Petunia went along, or we'd have to walk around her to get to the BBQ when we cooked outside. One day she caught a fish in the creek and came up to show us before taking it to the woods. Our grandkids came for one summer and she really had their hearts. She just entertained us for 3 years. She would come in every year on Mother's Day and leave the first snow fall. The last year was the year the mountain volcano erupted and we figure the ash made the snow too hard for her to dig for food, or she might have just died of old age. Who knew but I remember looking for her Mother's Day and she never did come back.

The other was a bear cub that we called Fancy Pants. This poor little guy came into the yard all by himself and I couldn't figure out what it was. He had no hair on his hind quarters, tummy and his feet, which almost looked like they had been frost bitten. I called Fish & Game right away to see if maybe they would come get him but there was no place to send him. I asked if I could feed it because he had been digging up scraps Joe had thrown into a pile out back. They laughed and said the whole community couldn't keep him fed but I dug out old meat, cans of stuff and the only thing he wouldn't eat was a can of smoked oysters. Joe drug up a dog house and put straw in it for the little guy to sleep in and I'd put pans of food in there. He was so polite that he'd eat but not destroy the pan! In the afternoon, he'd climb the big tree and sit up there and cry and cry. Guess he was around for about a month and Joe followed him out to a fallen tree when the cub had made a den. We didn't think he'd last thru the winter because Joe would check on him once in a while and there was no hot air coming out of the den. One day in the spring, I was walking up from the PO and a bear went one way and I went the other around the woodshed. I called Joe on the CB and told him to be careful coming up. I had left a pan of leftovers on the porch for Joe to toss and I saw Joe coming. I was yelling out the window that bear was on the porch. Joe came in, bear kept eating and Joe said, "Don't you recognize your own son?" :) He was bigger and had all his hair and he got quite impy. He would "hide" behind a tree and peek around. We'd close a shed we have and he'd wait until Joe got all the way up to the house and he'd open it so Joe would go back and shut it again. Became quite a game! Then he tangled all the diesel lines into the PO stove and it was becoming a problem to have him around. Again, one day, no bear and we heard someone brag that they had shot a small black bear just up from us. It always made me wonder why every once in a while a wild animal would become attached to people or a place but they sure do!

I really don't have dog stories. While the race is here, our Tacoma crew is on the river getting the mushers settled and I have been mostly in the house getting ready to feed them. In all the years, I've always stayed up here so the rest of the Sweeties could go down and see the first few teams in. I did get to know Martin Buser's dogs one year when he'd come out on training runs. Remember Jose Jiminez (sp) that he had? Well, his dogs got into a fight one night and Jose got bit pretty good. Joe had a kidney stone then and only felt good when he was in the bathtub full of water. All evening and night Martin and I took turns putting Jose and Joe in the tub. :)

Our favorite Christmas memories were when the PO was still in the house and people would come up with tons of food and gifts for each other while Joe sorted the mail. We'd cap the afternoon singing Christmas Carols. Joe and I would stand outside as they bundled the kids into sleds and everyone left for home. Was really lovely because most of us had none of our own family here and this just gave everyone a sense of belonging. Many years we had a pot luck as the school. Was always nice.

I don't know where I'd live except Alaska. I love the romance of living in Tennessee altho I've never been there! :) Not sure what its like even. I think I'm ready to live without winter but then I see some of the weather in other states and think that would be worse. I have been in most states and I did like Colorado. Nope, don't know where I'd go altho I do believe God lives in Oregon. What a gorgeous state that is!!

No have had 2 offers on the property that I've considered insulting...but that's just me. :) I am working on something now but don't want to jinx it but should know something tomorrow or this week. I'll let you all know if it works out but pray for us. The checkpoint will remain here for as long as is needed. We just need to make provisions for the new owner to allow the use of the old house or my crew will work from the river. They just aren't ready to give it up yet! Die hards!! :) Wattie was a lot of fun to have in. Only met him last year.

My favorite year as a checkpoint was the 25th running. Joe and I wanted to retire but I couldn't let it go without having a huge party for all who wanted to come. Joe had done the PO commercial as a companion ad to Ironlegs in Calif in 1992. I found Rich and invited him to come...and he did. Our good friends at Chn 2 and John Larson said they wanted to be here. We kept it all from Joe until Saturday night and had this huge talent show. Later, someone said they had paid good money to see shows less than what we put on! Was amazing how much talent we had and how everyone became involved. I swear, I should sell copies of the tape! :) Was a fabulous night and that weekend we served 480 meals out of this small checkpoint! Was just great!!

And yes, we can have a BSSD Iditabuddy Sleepover in Skwentna...as soon as it stops raining!! :)

Think I got everything but if I missed something, let me know. Love and hugs to you all from us.

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