Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas is years awaits us...

just me attempting to model my skhoop. today was monday so it was the official monday walk. just tanya, maddie and i initially for the walk . maddie is out of school still. she was in slow mode today so we just cruised up the tank trail. she got a new jacket/scarf and hat from an auntie back east. thought it was all cute. sandra and jennifer joined us by skiing the tank trail and on the way back we all ran into jill and her friend wendy and jills doodles, emma and luke. so the dogs got to have some fun, everyone got to meet and jill seems interested in joining in which would be fun. she's always super nice. the dogs all played nicely together. we enjoyed lots of chatting over hot cocoa at kaladi brothers coffee.
above is tanya and maddie, below it's hard to tell. denali is that way. it was just kinda a strange site. i decided it was denali mountain with a mohawk. have no idea where the rest of the mountain went. hmm...??

here is maddie posing with her new digs. of course, neither tanya nor i noticed her hat was on inside out. sandra noticed it as she skied up to us later. so the hat is even cuter when it's turned right side out. oh, wait the picture of maddie with her mom has the hat on right. so cute.

so we've warmed up a bit and we're cooling again. with the warmth..i'm talking 30 degrees...icicles have formed on my roof and many around me. it looks lovely but really it shows that i need to re-do the insulation and perhaps get the roof re-done. so with each icicle i see the dollar signs. so this is out my bedroom window looking out at the chugach range.

i hit the dog park a few times in between shifts this week. christmas day and saturday. it was pretty steady there. i always find that folks enjoy getting out for a stretch after all the activities of christmas. the dogs love it and they also love all the treats. when i had walked the bridge the folks that were out there were all excited that the lake was frozen and a bit nervous to walk out there. i assured them that the city had deemed them safe as the lakes are frozen through 12 inches. the popular ice skating lakes are set up and prepped for ice skating..westchester lagoon, goose lake and cheney lake are a few favorites. anyway, obviously out of towners. they opened a hotel right on the edge of the dog park. so far it hasn't been an issue. hopefully, they warn people of the off leash park before they head out for a walk there.
this is a little closer look of the bridge at university lake. it's been cloudy but pretty. here is another picture of me in my skhoop. i wore it to/from work this stretch. i always get a bit chilly with those scrubs on. the skhoop is cute and functional. got tons of nice compliments on it. tanya was wearing hers on the monday walk today. it's like a parka for your arse. i had mentioned it on facebook and several friends in the lower 48 had no idea what i was talking about so i attempted to take pictures of myself in mine after working a 12 hour night shift. that is as glam as i could get under those circumstances.
work was busy but not horrible. i was in the adult icu for the first 3 nights and it has begun to fill up. christmas eve there were just 7 kids in the whole peds center. they also began filling up christmas. i think many people just try to get through the holidays with whatever ails them and then they turn up even sicker right with/after the holiday. we had fun when we could. i brought christmas music and played it all night in the adult unit. i was a little bummed when i arrived as our boss was to be our charge. she's great in many ways but very much a by the booker. she did relax it all for the night. i mean it's christmas and your at work. you gotta lighten up. flo and i put my "twas the night before christmas" storytelling stuffed bear on a bed and called for the electronic icu. dr kamali was up there. he's a good doc and always fun to work with. my last night i tucked in one of my patients with an ambien and warm blankets and started singing that good night song from lawerence welk show. she started laughing at me and apparently as i left she went into svt( a fast rhythm). i called the eicu and told them what had precipitated it. she spontaneously came out about 20 minutes later so i called them back. the doc asked if i'd done anything that brought the rhythm back to normal...i said i didn't sing to her. he said, "should i write an order for that". we all got a yuck or two in.

so pretty uneventful christmas for me. i did enjoy the pre-holiday fun this year. i think when i was younger i had more lonely christmas's. now i just enjoy each day and the season. it's rare i have pity fests anymore, though i have had a few over the years. i think we all do. got a few nice things from friends and family. bought myself that skhoop though i'm crediting the dogs with that one. sometimes it's easier to just buy a few things for yourself that you are excited about when you are single...otherwise you get that look from people. i really don't have any needs and i have too much crap as it is. most of us do. i did make a purchase tonight on amazon. my friend gave me a gift card so i used that towards a simple point/shoot digital for keeping with me. in alaska you never know what you'll see and i thought it would be cool to always have a little camera handy. love my canon, but it is big for just cruising about.
my 4th night of work i was in peds icu. i had one patient with some sort of genetic issue that makes her build up ammonia levels in her blood. doubtful she will live any sort of long life, but we were working to get her past this latest episode. her levels were super high. worked pretty steady and was grateful for help from co-workers. i got so much help from tiffany and was obviously tired from 4 nights and stressed at the idea of starting sledd up on a 2 year old that i came out of the room and was telling tiff what she might want to pass along to days...she reminded me that it was my patient and i'd be giving report. hehe. often when there is a sledd i jsut do the sledd and the other nurse takes care of the patient care. we totally cracked up at my being so daft!
as usual i only slept a few hours this morning so i could meet up with friends for the monday walk. they wanted me to work tonight and i debated it, but i'm just too tired to deal right now.
have enjoyed chatting with various family members this week and should try and catch up with a few others before the holidays are over. for now...i think i'll crawl in bed. oh...above is a picture of mufasa and pogi. they love to snuggle and i know pogi will miss mufasa terribly when he does finally pass away. i got him a laser toy which he does enjoy and i'm still enjoying the smell of hte christmas tree. soon the needles will drop off and i'll curse it as i attempt to get it to the recycler. ho ho ho!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

happiest of has arrived..good tidings to all!!

merry back to work i go. enjoyed listening to christmas music all night last night...tried to make merry while at work. not sure everyone else around me felt too merry, but you got to make the best of whatever. i'm happy i have a job when so many others are struggling. happy i really have few needs when so many need so much. happy to see that we all need much less than we think we do. it's the simple things that bring the greatest joy. the wag of a tail as i arrive home, a christmas carol sung, a christmas ornament hung in the woods. woke and took the girls to the dog park...looks so festive with all those ornaments on the trails. tried to get a picture of me with both dogs...oh well, blossom is in there...and rio's poop bags. hehe!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

8 seconds more daylight today!!

so above is what i woke to after 10 am and below is again out my front window as the sun was setting at a little after 3pm. we gained 8 seconds today. hurray!!
was a pretty day today and warm. i think in the 20's. after all my activities all weekend i was moving slow though. blossom and i did manage to get to a walk on rovers run. it's a nice loop, maybe 3+ miles. not sure. we moved slow and i threw the frisbee lots for the girl. i think blossom loves it when it's just the two of us. rio joined for the monday walk so i thought she needed a day of rest after that long trek. don't want to overdo it on her knees. poor pooch. the rovers run/moose meadow trails are multiuse so you can run into skiers, runners, walkers, bikers, horses and ski-jorers. mostly the skijor sort ski with one dog. the guy in the picture below had 3 dogs. quite brave of him. that is alot of energy pulling on you. he had them well controlled and i held blossom on the side of the trail and he cruised on by. i love to watch the skijor teams. looks like fun. i'm not skilled enough at skiing...really when i've tried it and gotten a slight feel of's mostly a balance things. those dogs have loads of power. blossom has only gotten the pull idea a few times, but enough for me to see how strong that one dog can be. it's fun though...but for me it always ends up me ditching into a mound of snow. luckily snow is mostly soft.

i trimmed blossoms face and muzzle up last night after the monday walk. i figured she'd be too beat to fight me. she looks cute and i think she managed better today with her snow coverage...hard to tell by this picture. she always rubs her face in the snow to get the snow off her face. has never figured out that doesn't work. she looks pretty dang cute though.

the campbell creek is mostly iced over. the bridge near the parking area was covered wtih snow. looked all pretty. nice day.

snow is melting off the top of the bridge.

pretty good turn out for monday walk. i figured with christmas it'd smallish. tanya and sharon both called to say they'd be late. so i was a bit late. i really need to get myself moving in the mornings. anyway, tanya, maddie and maureen were there. sharon and chris were running really late and met us going the other direction. we had maddie so we all meandered a bit more than usual. she's out of school for the holiday. she was pretty tired by the time we finished up, but she did good. below i think sharon is instructing maddie on some dog training for thier pups. our totals were 6 humans/6 dogs.
rio enjoys the walks and i'm happy that i've been able to include her. these trails are also multiuse trails. less lycra than other trails like hillside and kincaid. we passed a skier and he said that rio looked a bit like a lady bug with her coat and booties. thought it was funny. her booties are getting old and a few fell off. i found one, but the other was back on the trail. we passed a biker and i asked him to keep an eye out for a big red bootie. it was at the trailhead signage when i got back to the car. folks are so nice out there. we also found a bootie so i picked it up...bootie kharma!!

a few of us headed over for hot cocoa after the walk. maddie kept plugging along knowing she'd get hot chocolate afterwards. always nice. i did manage to get over to the store and get myself a skhoop. then i went to the other store by rei and found a new hat and some socks on sale. i popped into rei but it was a mess with shoppers. the lines were too long to even consider buying anything.
tomorrow i may bake a little and then i go back to work this weekend...

tossed in a little decorated tree from sunday's walk at university lake....just needed to keep the festiveness going.

spent way too much time this evening attempting to load pictures on shutterfly. it took forever and then in the end, only about 1/3 of the pictures i attempted to load, loaded. now the task will be trying to sort out which pictures loaded and which i'll need to attempt again. i guess once they are they i can delete them...though i attempted to rotate them and that didn't happen...! i know some computer person would have all my files of photo's loaded on there in a jiffy which just makes it more infuriating. i like the idea of loading them on some web site...then others could see them, i could make a little book or calendar and they would theoretically be safely stored.
had to rush and make the bed before blossom decided to settle in. she is so cute and tired from her day in the park chasing frisbee's. once she's on the bed, she doesn't want to leave and last time i had to make it like she was an invalid patient. i made the bed in halves and rolled her.

a third oil spill in a month up north. what is up with that?? perhaps the pipeline is falling into disrepair with this many years of use.
well, i guess i'll head to bed. it's 3 am so that seems like a good idea. i've watched a few oldies but goodies this week. "while you were sleeping", "chocolat" and tonight "ferris beuhlers day off".

Monday, December 21, 2009

happy solstice!!

took the girls to the dog park earlier in the day...well, not too early. someone has placed little ornaments on tree's along the trail. they look pretty. of course, i worry that they will eventually be broken and be a hazard and mess on the trail, but for today. they just look pretty. i thought i'd attempt a self portrait.
met with work friends out at russian jack park. they have a wonderful sledding hill out there. after sledding for a few hours we all went for a little ski. they also have great ski trails out there. above is a picture from skiing. i set the camera up and snuck into the picture. not sure why they all scrunched down. kinda funny...but a cute and fun picture. all had a good time. in picture is karen, val, joy,me, sandra and manuela. it was manuela's first time out skiing. she did great and i think all had a fun time. we'll have to do this again. we ran into one moose. the trails are lit, but pictures were a bit dark of the moose. we were pretty close, but luckily he was tolerant of us and headed off into the woods eventually.

just a few sledding pictures. i'm sleepy so i didn't load more. above is me taking a run down the hill. we passed the camera around a bit. wasn't going to go down the hill with my good camera. below is joy with her friends son. thought it turned out cute. joy is just like her name and always has a huge smile and ready laugh.

so here is the sledding crew. lots of bright colours with the sleds.

the days will begin to lengthen soon...we are officially at our shortest day. my body is a bit sore from the activities of the past few days. today i walked, went sledding and then went skiing. i could use a massage.

i was going to stay up later baking some snack for monday dog walk, but my neighbors brought over some tasty bread from harvest bread...a cinnamon loaf. figure i'll take that and share it. tried to get to the store to see if i could find a skhoop that fit me. i arrived at 5:05 and it closes sundays at 5pm. seems to be the way it's going this week for me. facebook let me put a few pictures from sledding and such in tonight. that site is a pain for me to upload pictures on. it's an easy way to share pictures like the ones from today. i guess if i can get loaded up on that shutterfly site then they can pick and choose pictures they want there too.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

wow...another beautiful sunset...

that picture turned out tiny. i did not take the above picture. a friend, jennifer did. so i give credit. it was just so alaskan, so i asked and she said i could use it. she was at an event at a local jr high i believe and saw this dog team tied to the sign...doubt that happens too many other places. i thought it was funny.
today was cloudy but still draped with the white stuff. sandra and i had decided to meet for a ski at about 1pm. when i dragged myself out of bed i got the pups off to the dog park. it is always fun for the dogs and i always end up staying longer as i meet up with people i know or just chat with people i just meet out there. it was a cold day. the sign said 1 degree F as i drove to the dog park and 2 degree's F as i drove i guess it warmed up. hehe! above is sandra skiing along with blossom trekking along behind. she likes to keep track of us both so that means she occasionally has to run back and forth a bit.

blossom hopes that i'm getting a toy out of the back pack when really i was just getting the camera out. we got really lucky and the sunset turned out spectacular. it didn't last long, and i'm sure the camera couldn't possible do it justice. there was vivid pinks, yellows and even a greenish hue at one point. sandra said she was tearing up it was so beautiful. she was ahead and as she turned on the trail she kept calling me to hurry there to take pictures before it disappeared.

i'll just let you enjoy the sunset. what is there to say about a wonderful scene...just take it in really. below is me with blossom. may work as next years christmas photo, but this years are about all out.

just another trail picture from earlier on the ski.

sandra at the start of our ski today. the trails just looked so pretty with all the snow still coating the tree's. sandra did her best to knock snow off on my head...but was unsuccessful for the most part. she did accidently get herself...see what happens. hehe. she's a much better skier than i am. i fall over lots, but i still have fun out there.

my girl, blossom looking up pitifully hoping i'll get her a toy to play with. she ran as we skied though and she was pretty tuckered out. she never once even picked up a toy after we got home. that is my indicator.

wanted to put in a picture of the decorated tree. so pretty with all the lights and ornaments. i just love to sit there and stare at it. i didn't get all my errands ran today. too much to do outside. why do the ordinary when the extraordinary sits outside your door. my house is never spotless, but i did manage some dishes and loads of wash. the will wait.

cost co wasn't the zoo i expected. i will return tomorrow to pick up pictures. i looked at desk top computers. i still like a desk top and always planned on getting one. i still need to get rid of the old one. can't wait to get the smaller moniter and all that. will be great. well, smaller in depth, but larger in size. i liked the hp they had there. i'm sure it will cost more once i add in a photo program, word, antiviral. it's crazy. sandra decided to join me at costco and then val needed a member card to get in so she joined as well. her family has much bigger spending requirements than mine ever did...yeesh. some folks budgets for christmas are crazy. i do occasionally buy myself a big ticket item for christmas from the dogs. this year it may be the desktop computer and i'd also like to buy a shkoop skirt. they are from scandinavia and they are long down skirts that zip up the sides. just a great extra layer that you can still move in. look cute too. i'm always on a quest for ice bug boots which are also out of europe. i guess skinny raven is advertising them. they usually only have mens work boots from the line. i bought my second pair directly from a distributer out of vermont. my old pair is getting pretty trashed. the newer boot is a bit more boot than that one was. rated to neg 40 and a bit stiffer. good for some but not all my activities. i have nothing to wear out to dinner but i am totally outfitted for outdoor playtime. i'll probably hit the dog park tomorrow then costco and then sledding. it's already late as usual. so no doubt i'll be sleeping in. the sun don't come up til late anyway. those sunset pictures were between 2:30 and 3pm today. solstice fast approaches and our days will get longer. monday is solstice!! our daylight hours will hold for about a week and then the days will start lengthening. you can never tell time by the sun in this state. sunset changes at least 5 minutes a day so a good 30 minutes a week. i grew up in california and i could always guestimate the time of day by looking up at the sun. i remember a friend visiting from the lower 48 and we were at the dog park. as we discussed what to do next my friend looked up at the sun and said, "well, it looks like it's about 2". i had to let her know that it was actually 7 pm.

Friday, December 18, 2009

a marshmallow world in the city....

maddie and tanya came over so maddie could help decorate the tree. always more fun with a kid around. i think she was doing those kid/camera smiles. i think she had fun. she gets a bit bored and then plays with the cats or the kitty manger scene. my sister sent it to me a few years back. i always laugh thinking of the chinese folks making our god, jesus, as a kitty cat. they must think americans are a strange bunch of folk. can't imagine them making buddha in the likeness of a cat, but different folks i guess. maddie loves the kitty manger set. my christmas tree is decorated with almost all animal ornaments. the non-critter ones were gifts. i suggested to maddie that she could start collecting cat ornaments and one day have an all kitty decorated tree. she just loves cats!! i'll put a better picture of the decorated tree in later.
these are just scenes from my walk in the bog today with the girls. rio was quite giddy. she loves that fresh snow. it was qutie lovely out. think i got some nice pictures. will have to get some pictures done up at costco tomorrow. it's been awhile. apparently nobody does this anymore and albums will be just another thing of the past. as you get older all that seemed normal to you gets replace by newer more cool stuff. i still love a newspaper and i still love turning pages in a photo album. silly me.

the temperatures dropped down today to near 0. even blossom lifted her feet up from time to time. i should have put rio's booties on, she would have enjoyed the walk even more. blossom got to play with indy and boddhi in the yard while we decorated this evening so she is pretty wiped out. that is dog for happy!!

tried to get some pictures to show how deep the snow is. this is my back deck. the trashcan isn't really trash it's my kindling for fires. just was easiest place to keep it dry and convenient. you can sort see how deep the snow was though.

just put in my kenny g christmas cd. always so pretty and relaxing. i do enjoy christmas music and we listened to it at work these past few days. work wasn't bad at all this week. wednesday i just had one baby, who had accidently taken a relatives meds. 2 year olds are great at getting into things. she did just fine. next night i had 2 kids. i had the snowmachine accident kid from the other night that i had. she's doing good as well. sore. so far no complications though so that is great. lucky kid. the other kid had a respiratory issue, but was also found to have a social issue. not sure what happened to the kid and it's doubtful anyone will ever know. the stories in these case just don't make sense and often change. so hard to keep track of lies. still better to just tell the truth.

we get alot of abuse cases in...just part of working with kids sadly. i've never figured out how someone could go through the pregnancy/delivery process and then harm the baby they've created or protect those who do, but life doesn't always make sense i guess. truth is, being a parent can be incredibly stressful and many people just aren't up to the task. kid should be okay from this event and hopefully, he'll get put someplace more safe. facts are that most of these kids end up back in the same situation. parents who get kids taken away just get preggers and have another kid. parents rights seem to always win over the childs rights. go figure.

enough of that cheery talk though, it's christmas time and kenny g is playing.

the fog finally cleared and the snow started to fall. i have done a great deal of shoveling of snow this week. it just kept falling and falling. we got upwards of 20 inches in the anchorage area depending on where you live. the hillside and east get the bulk of it. (i live on the east). on tuesday i woke and took the girls to the bog to play in the snow. then a friend from work had called about taking a walk. i have a spare pair of snowshoes and she'd never been so we met up. i love getting out there in all that fresh powder with the snowshoes. it's so beautiful!! jana had a bit of a tough time but i think she had a great time overall. blossom was happy to be out there and dove over and over again for the frisbee. above blossom makes her trail in the snow of n. bivouac.

as usual my pictures are out of order. above and below are from the next day. i had a headache, but was able to get out later in the afternoon to basher trailhead for some spectacular views. more snow fell wednesday. we got nothing on valdez though. they get the most snow in the state from what i can gather and they collected nearly 6 feet to our 20 inches. i guess in thompson pass some 6-8 feet fell in an 8 hour period. some crazy thing. they closed the road for a bit, but they are pretty good at getting the snow plowed in those parts...probably related to the pipeline and all.

i love when all the world looks like it's marshmallow covered. crazy pretty really.

tuesday was a busy day for me. from the walk, then snowshoe i headed out to the alaska mill and feed to pick out a christmas tree. i remember years ago when i got my first tree being so indecisive...looking for that perfect tree. now i'm all...yep, that'll do just fine. i had to put it in the stand and get some water on it quickly. at the shop they do a fresh cut and pack the tree in a plastic bag. you need to get it inside as soon as possible. needle loss is a premium in our state. tree's don't last through the season really, but i still love the smell of the fresh pine through the house.

i made a tossed oreo salad and headed to a work party. have been attempting to post pictures of facebook but it craps out each time i attempt. i think my computer may need a tune up to clean out the crap.

there has been an issue apparently with the tree's shipped to alaska this year. i guess a bunch of frogs hobo'd it on up with the christmas trees. mine doesn't appear to have any frogs in it, but i imagine some people jumped like hell setting up thier trees and having a frog jump out at them. the fish and game are asking people to kill the frogs are take them to fish and game. fear is they will bring disease to our one frog species up here. right now our frogs are frozen solid under all the snow and ice. they burrow in the mud in the fall and freeze. they re-animate in the spring. crazy, eh?

below is anchorage without the fog. a nice site to see.

jana only fell a few times on our outing. i had to remove the snowshoes with this one as it was a doozey. she fell backwards and slid down a little slope. not easy to get up from that position. we were almost back to the parking lot so i had her just finish with a walk. actually much easier to snowshoe than walk with this much snow. she is smiling so i must not have killed her out there. we only went 2+ miles.

jana brought along her corgi "duffy". i think he had a wonderful time. dogs tend to step on the back of your snowshoes he is looking for belly rubs from me. cute pup i think. very sweet.

i take many pictures looking up into the tree's. they are just so pretty. did get some reading done this week. just finished a new book, "dream when you're feeling blue" by elizabeth berg. she writes a nice read and i have read many of her novels. nothing too deep but always enjoyable books to escape into...not that i have anything to escape from. life is pretty sweet. it was about sisters and thier family during wwII. writing to thier men, sacrificing for the war. just a different time period.

just another neighborhood shot. a guy down the road makes these mini-cache's. i always think they look cute. in the old days much larger ones were built for food storage. off the ground from vermin and bears and outside for the cooler effect.

just a parting shot of duffy on the trails of n. bivouac.

my body is aching a bit between snowshoeing and shoveling. i should get to bed. i've got walk/ski plans for tomorrow and sled/ski plans for sunday. i love snow!!