Saturday, February 28, 2009

the frog survived..and other stuff

i realize that it isn't spring yet...we had loads of snow today as a matter of fact. i was too lazy to put pictures in from the camera so i thought i'd put some warm appearing spring shots. i need a little spring in the winter sometimes. the snow is great though. i love to watch those huge flakes come down. it was very light snow so it was easy to shovel. my neighbor seemed to appreciate that as well. he and his wife just had a baby girl last week. i am very lucky to have nice neighbors on either side of my place.

anyway, the flowers above are from various walks in the summer. lupine are very common up here and they just really make for a spectacular landscape. the other is a local wild rose. also quite common. i'm amazed each year at how quickly everything grows here...then just as quickly it's all gone and winter sets in.

i'm on call for the adult icu tonight. really should have just said i'd rather work as i was already dressed, but it's just so dang easy to stay home if given the option. so i'm getting paid 4-5 bucks/hour to sit around doing absolutely nothing. when i was young i got paid a buck/hour to chase small children around peoples homes. this is a much better deal indeed.

was in the peds icu the last 2 nights. super sick kid with dka. well, not as sick as the kid i had last week, but these kids really can look like crap. dka is caused by diabetes that is out of control it's frequently how we find out a kid is diabetic. it really messes with your electrolytes, ph...brain. i had the paraplegic girl as well. trying to get her well enough to start her rehab. that really is the goal....get to rehab asap. work was quite fun, good crew on. no crazies. makes all the difference. it is funny to me how different people are drawn to different area's of nursing. the nurses in peds/peds icu are just super nice, kind people. they can be very coddling to the patients and anyone they run into. the day charges tend to give me kids who have grown obnoxious due to their kindness so that i can bring them back to reality. obviously, i'm more of the adult icu sort of nurse. that doesn't mean i can't be kind or compassionate. i just tend to be more technical. adult nurses are more like machines. you kind of have to be as the case load is always much tougher. in peds it's more fluff and adults it's just mechanics. you have 2 bodies on vents, with lots of drips and lots to do...15 minute vital signs, blood sugars every hour, drips to titrate...strange though

the best part of my week was that my friend from cordova, scott, popped over and helped me fix my toilet. i'm sure i could manage it, but i have an aversion to the crawl space and spiders. he went down there and turned off the water and fixed the leak that has been a bother for weeks. i've been doing lots of towel loads trying to keep up on it. now i really need to get going on the bathroom tile project. eek! i just have dreaded it cause i knew that one thing will lead to another thing....

finished reading a great book that just sucked me in. khaled hosseini's "a thousand splendid suns". i had read his first novel, "the kite runner" and was excited to get my hands on this one. i actually liked this one better. i think that is probably because it focused on life in afghanistan from a female perspective. many women across the globe are in such dire straights. thier lives are controlled by the males that they are matched with. they have no power, minimal education, minimal respect. my life is a gift in that i have had so many opportunities and freedoms so rarely given to my female counterparts in other parts of the world. this book illustrates, despite all the horrid treatment these women recieve,they manage to find thier own little piece of happiness, of hope. though powerless in so many ways, they find the will to go forward, to offer hope to the children thier raise and the other females they coexist with. the taliban is so restrictive of women and they are still trying to regain power in afghanistan. what makes these men so fearful of women that they feel the need to overpower them and control them. in general religions aren't always very empowering to females, seems many are used as a means for men to gain power over women. i always just find it fascinating. anyway, the book is rich and rewarding for any who take the time to sit down and sink in to the words. i also was able to watch a really good movie the other night. it was called, "the namesake". it was about a family from india who settle in new york. the man has already settled into new york and returns to india for a wife. they are introduced in an arranged setting and marry. she is beautiful and the love that grows between them is sweet. the story is about thier son and the name they have given him and how he grows to understand his parents and his place in the world from learning about his name and it's meaning. another kinda surprising movie like "once" was for me. sometimes you just have no expectations for a film and then it just sucks you in and you really come out loving the simple themes and story line.

have had some nice walks this week. not too many moose sightings. rio sniffed out some stuff but i never saw what she was seeing. i'll post some tracks i took pictures of tomorrow night perhaps. i love looking for tracks in the snow from the local critters. we did a big loop on wednesday...maybe just over 5 miles...gasline trail to tank trail to moose meadow loop. we repeated the gasline to tank loop the next day as those days were blue skies and sunshine. it's great in the winter to just have the sun beat down on you and then get views of the city and of denali to the north when skies are clear. today we just did the bog as i did yesterday. it's the in between shift walk. so easy since it's right by the house. they are doing sled dog races this weekend through the dog park so that is a good place to avoid. sled dogs and off leash dogs do not mix. sled dogs are so cute. i love watching them cruising around....they just look so happy. the trucks have special dog holders filled with hay. some people get quite imaginative.

blossom is barking and i should try and nap in case they do call me in. i always sleep poorly when i'm on call though as i fear sleeping through the call. that would be bad. i just started a new book and may watch an episode of bones before i try to sleep.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

so i hope the frog survives....

i finally totally cleaned out the frog tank. this frog has been around now for years. i really don't think they usually live this long. i initially bought 6 of these little underwater froggers. he's all that is left of the group. he's like a bionic frog. he lost one leg to the filter the first week. who would have thought he would still be here. frogs are really dirty little buggers. everything else i've tried to put in the tank has here he is. i totally cleaned the whole tank. this may kill him off. the shock of it all. i'd put it off long enough. it looks pretty with all those bright new green rocks. green is my favorite colour.
the moose are making thier way into anchorage. they do this towards the end of winter each year. they just are looking for food to get them through the last of the season. bark just doesn't look that tasty to me, but it's what they eat. the one in the picture above was taken the other day in the park by my house. there is a trail easement behind my house. it's just a half block away, about a 1 and 1/3 mile loop. there are often moose in the bog. it's called baxter bog. it's not unusual for them to cruise the neighborhood as well. i walk the bog several times a week...generally between shifts as it's a nice stretch. often i take the side streets back through various neighborhoods back to my house. just makes it longer and gives me some leash training time with the dogs. a few pictures below is rio at the fence on patterson. (sorry,i can't figure out how to change the order) anyway. there is a dog that lives at this fence. rio goes and says hello to the dog everytime we walk past her doesn't matter whether the dog is there, rio goes nuts. since she's blind it takes her a few minutes to figure out if the dog is actually there. it cracks me up everytime.

the other moose was one we ran across on our monday walk this week. it was a nice group. picture below...liz and her new baby (3 weeks old), tanya, kelly and i. it's been great doing these monday walks. the dogs get worn out and we've had a variety of people show up. it's my social thing. the walk. i also hit the dog park a few times and joined kelly on another walk last week.

work was a bit insane...i think it always is. we had a super sick kid on peds...they started calling me at 11:30 am. she needed sledd. i'm the only peds nurse who does sledd. sledd is a continuous slow dialysis. basically, it's run 24 hours/day. some patients are too unstable for a regular dialysis run. these patients are generally the sickest people it seems. i ended up running the sledd on her for the first two nights. those were usually my adult icu week days so i was back in the adult unit saturday and then peds again sunday. sunday, i tried to watch a bit of the oscars while taking care of my two peds icu patients. we have a long term kid and i also had a new paraplegic girl. her parents were pretty chatty. very nice people. teachers. so i ended up in there chatting. para is not so bad compared to other stuff that can go wrong. our nation is pretty set up to make a paraplegics life fulfilling. it's way better than being a quad or having some horrid head injury.
have been listening to my ipod. i get stuck on the same music for a bit. i still am enjoying the soundtrack to "once" and music by "five for fighting". right now i'm listening to another favorite group, "matchbox twenty". there is so much good music out and old. my ipod is filled with quite the variety i'd guess. it was a not so exciting day of laundry and clean up. i need to start on the spring clean up...i can't believe how crap adds up. i've almost lived here for 5's time to at least pretend i'm moving out and clean out the place. so much stuff that seems to bog you down...all those photo's, negatives, cd's, gets nuts. as the media stuff on computers gets more more prevalent some of these things will just least for the next generation. i'm sure they will collect other matter of crap. each generation has it's own packrattedness.
many jokes at work about this woman who had octuplets. we were coming up with idea's for multi-baby breast feeding adjuncts. the conversations seem to deteriorate in the wee hours of the's a well known fact in hospitals. we refer to it as "sex and secretion" hour or if there are several men on shift it may become "guns and gore" as well. just have to keep yourselves entertained in the late nights.
it's late, i'm getting a headache and i really want to get back to the book i've been reading. "a thousand splendid suns"...i think that is the title. i think i fixed this so that you can leave comments if you so desire. eric told me that he wasn't able to easily leave a comment when he tried. he also said there was a name for my life philosophies....of course, i've already forgotten.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

remodel nightmares

just was excited this morning as it was 8 am and there is light outside. so winter is slowly working it's way into spring...very slowly. won't really be spring for a few months, but it's great to have the light coming back. it changes every day. this is blossom on the back deck after breakfast...hers. i just ate some of the potato salad i made last night. i still love that stuff and mix it up every so often....sans celery. i always picked it out anyway.

so...this is what i wanted to add. this is the decorative tile that i plan on using in my upstairs bath. i just thought it was cute when i first saw it. so they arrived yesterday. i'm obviously having remodel concerns as i had a dream last night about the tiles and the remodel. first in the dream i was going through the tiles that had arrived yesterday and there were actually only two tiles that i had ordered the rest were blank or little statues of animals or trolls. then, in my dream, my boss showed up with these horrid toilets. she was telling me that they were getting the place ready for a transfer of patients from a care facility. she tends to be a bit pushy. people have accused her of having aspergers. i was all telling her, "you know this is my house" and asking if they planned to buy my house or pay rent. she basically ignored me and moved my stuff to make way for the odd toilets. very strange. i think stress tends to show up in odd dreams for me though. the tile is cute anyway. i still have to decide if i will replace the tub as well. seems like if you are already in there doing the tile, the tub would be natural to change as well. they can also just re-finish it. i'll have to compare costs.

it's supposed to snow and i'm not quite awake. i think i'll go back and read more of khaled hosseini's latest book, "a thousand splendid suns". just wanted to get that tile picture in here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

i'm in sleep mode, can't get out!

funny as i just read my neices blog and she can't sleep at all. i think it comes from working 7 of 9 days with little sleep between 12 hour shifts. at some point the body just takes a breather. i worked an overtime in acc and it was pretty nuts. i think we got down to 3 patients and by morning our area was filled up with 8 patients. i transferred one out at about 2130 and he "coded" on the floor at about 2200 and was back in my care by 2230. i think he really just had a big seizure and dropped his sats. would have been easier to just keep him...then the patients just kept coming. intensive care can be like that. the next two nights i was chilling on the regular pediatric floor. haven't been that un-busy at work in ages. gotta take the easy with the crazy. you get paid the same either way. the night sure goes faster when it's crazy though...gross...i just sneezed all over my hoodie. i hate when that happens. i get sneeze fits. i'll go like 30 sneezes. clears the sinus's i guess. one day i was folding laundry and i blew snot all over my clean shirt i was folding. luckily i was in the wash room so back it went.
i spent the weekend at the dog park. saturday blossom decided to take a swim in the open water by the creek, sadly, she took her beloved frisbee in with her and it immediately got sucked under the ice. if i'm lucky i'll find it during spring melt, but it's more likely some other dog will luck out. dogs have absolutely no understanding of current. gravity is a twister for them as well. though i can say "gravity" to blossom and she will immediately look down a hill for her she may be of superior intellect or i've just trained her well. i have not been so fortunate with the current lesson, thus the frisbee is a goner. i am always very bummed at the loss of a toy. it's the cheap part of me. on sunday, i found that every man i've dated in anchorage was also opting to go to the dog park. i was quite the belle of the ball there.
valentines was actually fun. we'd opted for a ladies night out...anti-valentines celebration. actually, i really just wanted to attend a hockey game. i convinced them to include this in the night out. i love hockey. there were some good brawls. i think it was because they had our team in pink jerseys for valentines. put a guy in a pink jersey and surely a brawl will follow. our team, in pink jerseys, eventually won the game in a shoot out. w e headed to another friends for more wine, chocolate and a dip in the jacuzzi. i only had 3 hours sleep though so it was difficult getting moving sunday.
sandra met up with me sunday evening to attempt the skate skiing. she is much more proficient than i am...but my knee feels better so i thought i should try and get out there a bit and give it a go. i am very stiff on the skies and haven't gotten it yet...but i figure if i get out for even 30 minutes at a time i will learn a bit without getting too frustrated.
sunday i watched my netflix, which was "goodnight and good luck". i liked it but felt it was a bit flat. not sure if it was poor use of black and white or poor character development...or maybe i was just too tired to watch a movie filled with monotone whispers. i always enjoy watching the cloon-bug on the screen though. he is a hottie. i thought robert downing jr looked great in black and white and was a shining spot in the otherwise flat flick.
in between naps i've fininshed the book i was reading "the girls" by lori lansens. it was interesting, but not deeply moving. i do recall a conversation in the wee hours of the night in ketchikan with a friend of mine...those wee hours are referred to as "sex and secretion" hour as the conversations at the nurses stations tend to deteriorate at that hour. anyway. conjoined twins came up and the conversation got a bit twisted...i think i will just leave it at that. i would find being attached to anyone very bothersome i think. i guess you just deal with the life you are given, but i'm very happy that i am not physically attached to anyone. to not even be able to turn your head or take a piss without company. very annoying indeed!!! i have also watched several episodes of "bones" as i am currently watching season 3 i believe. great show. a friend borrowed season one.
the poor frogs tank is full of algea. the thing has lived forever and since it's such a muck maker nothing will survive with it. i've been saying every day that i will clean the tank today and tank cleaning occurs. i did organize my taxes so i can do that and get started on the bathroom tile project. the tiles arrive today...well my cool, pricey accent tile arrived. i'll have to take a picture for the blog. too late now. i was trying to take a picture of the leak in the downstairs toilet. the joys of homeownership. always some leak or another. i also need to empty rooms out to de junk. i've lived here almost 5 years and crap accumulates. much is just waiting to be recycled appropriately. such a bother.
weather is nice...have been out picking up the dog poop in the yard and of course, more dog walks. met up with my friend maria today and gail yesterday. off to start a new book....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

sleep deprived....

good evening...welcome to another exciting day in my life. all goes well at this end. was outside enjoying the lovely 10 degree weather. blossom, rio and i took a walk on rovers run-moose meadow. only one moose spotted. it was a baby, never saw the mom, which is always a good thing. rio sniffed out the baby or i probably would have walked right past that one too. blossom was chasing her frisbee. it's good exercise. she is a pretty amazing catcher.

we chilled at the dog park all weekend. rio is adverse to german shepherds as am i. i think they are beautiful dogs,but they seem to always get nippy. they scare blossom as they insist on trying to herd her. she got bitten by one a few years she's not too fond either. otherwise, the dog park is always a good experience for all. rio loves to lean on all the people. yesterdays monday walk was just me and margaret. she has no dogs. she used to work in the unit, but ended up with back issues. she is inspirational though as despite her medical issues she gets out and keeps active. many people use medical issues as a means to sit around doing nothing. in between shifts is always a bit tough to get out too much, but the dog park works great for all of us. the bog is right by the house and we walk there alot.

so this is a picture from one of the trails in anchorage of denali. it's a five hour drive north of here, but still makes for an impressive site on the horizon. the other mountain shot is what i saw when i woke up the other day. it's sunrise on the chucagh mountain range. i love waking up, looking out and seeing such amazing scenery. of course, today, i fed the dogs, had some frosted flakes and headed back to bed with the paper. not that this is too unusual.

i kinda felt like crap today. i took care of a patient who was really sick with influenza a this last week. the first night, we had no idea that was the issue so i was exposed to it in close range all week. i did have my flu shot so i think my body is fighting it off,but i felt on the verge today...body aches and exhausted. it could just be because i worked my buns off taking care of this guy all weekend. he got viral induced cardiomyopathy....he got shipped south to seattle for a possible heart transplant on saturday after getting even sicker and requiring near code, swan and balloon pump..! he's pretty young really, 45, so i hope he does okay. i'm happy that i was at least able to hold the phone up so he could talk to all his kids before he got more hypoxic and confused. i had to wrestle him back to bed a few times. it was a crazy, crazy night the first night. second night, still crazy, but slightly more controlled. the third night dude was gone so i could actually feel caught up on my patients. the fourth night i was in pedi land with rsv + babies. they were both quite cute. it's a nice change to get the kids.

watched some of the westminster kennel club dog show these past two nights. love to check out all the dogs. the sussex spanial won. very cute dog. i'm always hoping that a mastiff will win. they never do. i was hoping tonight for the deerhound. they just never pick big dogs, unless it's a poodle. not that i'm against poodles or small dogs, it just seems like the big dogs never win. they said a labrador retriever has never won at westminster. that is crazy! labs are great. mastiffs are amazing dogs too. i never realized how great they were until i got rio. they can be a handful. just noticed a dogue de bordeaux is available at friends of pets. she is very cute. it said she'd be better in a single dog household so i suspect she didn't get along with the other dogs in the house. never know if that is the case or if the owners just didn't know how to train well. really, if i do get another dog i want it to be more of a playmate for blossom. rio can't play as much as i think blossom would enjoy. they also have a cute poodle mix available. not that i really need another dog. i always can have my hands full watching these two! not to mention going through 20 pounds of dog food per week.

other dogs i like....from the show and otherwise. well who knew there were so many mastiffs, but i love those neopolitan mastiffs as well. they just have so much's cool looking. great danes, burnese mountain dogs, irish wolfhounds, borzoi, saluki, afghans. there are lots of cute little dogs, brussels griffon, king charles spaniels. i love lots of those amazing long hair dogs. they just look cool walking in the show with all that hair, but doubt i'd want the work that goes with owning one.

entered rio in the humane society contest to benefit dogs. it's a spay program. i am one who does believe that spaying/neutering is very important. there are far too many dogs in the system and cats, if more people would simply neuter they pets the world would be a better place. it's frustrating that people feel like thier dogs need to have a litter. a girl at work just had another litter of dachshund. both litters have been accidents. this sort of irresponsible breeding is why there are so many dogs in the shelters. not sure what you are supposed to say to these people. i'm sure they all believe that the puppies they bring into the world do not end up in shelters. too often though the puppies are also not neutered and they have puppies and so on and so on...of course! or like rio....they become unable to breed due to medical issues and are dumped back at the shelter. responsible, registered breeders can get crazy the other way, but at least they are trying to keep things under control.

here is another picture of the quilt. gail had given it to bj who agreed to finish the quilting stuff and it came out great. she went ahead and finished off the edges so this quilt got put together in i'd say record time. gail and i were able to take it over to martha's yesterday afternoon. we also took dinner over. i think she really loved the quilt. she teared up a bit. i just want it to be a fun reminder that she can accomplish more than she realizes. she's on oxygen now, sounded better than she did before. she is thin and tires very easily. her husband, jon, said to keep it short several times once he knew we were stopping by so i kept it down to an hour. i hope we didn't tire her out too much. she really tries to put a positive spin on her life. i have to admire her positive attitude in the face of such insurmountable health issues. anyway, i hope the quilt brings her a smile on the difficult days.
our bodies are tricky. you just never know what is brewing inside. i'm very grateful for my health. work teaches me that on a daily basis. i watch the suffering of others, how thier lives change so quickly and so dramatically. my life is just as fragile. each of us has an expiration date on us. my aunt glenna passed away this week. ross called last night. apparently, it was pneumonia. sounds like she opted to not allow more invasive treatment and instead pass away without the usual suffering. she didn't want to suffer like my mom did is what ross told me. that actually made me happy. that is how it should be. people should have choices at the end of life. death shouldn't be such a terrible and tragic thing. i suspect my aunt had lived her life and was satisfied with how her life had been lived. too often, in our country, we force people to suffer because we fear death. we can't let people go, it's selfish really. death is just another step in the progression we all go through. the best we can hope for is some sort of peace in the end of our life. i'm not saying i'm in any rush to die. just that i hope when that time comes, i'm not put through some medical hell in some misguided impression that being alive in any condition is better than being dead. ending my years in some nursing home for a decade really isn't life. guess that is everyones own decision, but i just suspect that many people don't understand what they are losing in thier quest to live at any cost. we didn't spend much time with our aunts and uncles in general growing up. i liked glenna and koyle. they weren't the usual folk. they lived in alaska for a bit while they searched for gold so they were always interesting to me since i always loved alaska. i do have some memory of visiting thier home in bonners ferry idaho. it was my first memory of any sort of farm life. i loved the garden and horses. anyway, my aunt has moved on.

better get off the computer and hope this publishes. looks sketchy and i'll be ticked if i just spent all this time and lose it. just watched "charlie bartlett" as i wrote. it was okay. not one i'd say anyone should rush out and see.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

another day another dog walk...

attempting to add some pictures. i'm a novice so we'll see how this goes. the first pictures are of the girls. first catalina. she looks so cute
in her coat and booties. i just had to take some
pictures of her today. she wears the leg brace on
every walk. she's had it for going on two years
now. she hardly limps now and can walk our
2-5 mile/day walks pretty easily. she gets loads
of attention. could be that big coat and booties.
it takes forever to get her ready for her walk. her neck hang so much that now i take her collar off in the house. she was getting a little moist sore spot in her jowels. monday, we had two fun walks. first i met up with my friend sharon and her malamute, cooper. he's bigger than blossom already, but only 6 months. still more growing. he's a great dog though. he ended up spending the day with us. tanya joined for both walks and sandra joined the first walk. she doesn't have a dog, but does seem to enjoy watching them all blunder around.
the second walk brought in kelly and mandy and andrea and
her dog, buddah. so 5 dogs first walk, 6 dogs second walk. it was loads of craziness. yesterday it was just me and tanya and the dogs and today...just me and the girls. i think blossom likes a break...nobody fights her for her frisbee. we've been getting some fresh snow. it's always so pretty out there with all that snow! the snow is still white. i look outside in the mornings and the volcano hasn't erupted yet. who knows if/when that will happen. i guess we're ready as you can be. for's dog walks and frisbee chasing. blossom is very impressive at catching her frisbee midair.
part of my week has been spent trying to get this quilt made for martha. have been getting alot of help. one friend, kim, has an embroidery machine so she did lettering for us. that night i threw together the mid part of the quilt. the next night it was off to gails place and she and her husband helped me tag team the rest of the top of the quilt. really they did the bulk of the work. they are both like master
quilters....they had rulers and tools for quilting. it's not perfect at all, but i know that martha will really love it. i just hope we can get it finshed up this next week. gail took the quilt and will try and meet up with bj (one of the peds docs) and see if she'll do the quilting. it's a group effort. bj has a fancy quilting machine. she also has a big heart. anyway...the quilt looks cool with the pictures from the trip all over it. gail and mac and i had a blast last night with our little quilting bee. fun playing with the dog, duke, it's been a bit since we walked. so i'm thinking i should finally get the sewing machine serviced. never have done that. the thing was a high school graduation gift. not one i wanted, but i have used the thing quite a bit and since i never would have bought myself one, thanks mom and dad for attempting to domesticate me. i'm not domesticated, but...have made lots of baby quilts, a few dog coats and rice bags for sore necks. it wasn't a total waste.
news....well personal news. i finally ordered teh accent tiles. i bit the bullet and hopefully, it will look great when it's all done. now i will just need to get the rest of the project started. i'm excited, but i just hate spending the money for stuff. once it's done it's always been worth it. oh...and i've been doing this thing. such a pain, dating. i have never liked dating. such a bother really. seems like every time i open myself up for the date thing i get all these guys interested and then really bothering me. i know most girls would love all the attention, but i just really find it tedious. if only it was easier. you know, mr right just shows up and you know it's mr right, you get along and get to skip all the get to know you crap. i'm just annoyed cause one guy keeps texting me. i'm no text girl. i find texts and im's really annoying. i mean, it's one thing to i m someone you know, but what is the point with someone you don't know. you can't get to know someone via text. whatever. so that is my date rant. it's really no surprise i haven't found the dude...he has to get past the first dates and those are really a pain in my mind. so anyway....we'll do the requisite coffee date and then he'll be calling me forever like the other coffee date i had the other day...boys i am not interested in always stick to me and the ones i'm interested in just leave. oh well. it still only takes two to tango as they say. i'm fine single, but a good guy in my life would be cool to. i try to treat it like shopping for a house or a car.
other news of note. there is that lady in california who had 8 babies. apparently she already has 6 that were all implanted as well. she lives with her parents. doesn't sound like they are too supportive. what are people thinking? all those tax dollars hard at work. so irresponsible on her part and the doc who implanted these babies.
rio just joined us on teh couch. blossom was already on the couch in rio's usual spot. rio is blind so it's pretty funny when she tries to climb on the couch right where blossom already is. not sure what blossom thinks of her. can a dog tell another dog is blind? who knows.
that is as much excitement as i can think of for the night. i love my non-dramatic life.

Monday, February 2, 2009

from myspace....sept 11, 2001

Tuesday, September 04, 2007
the last time i was in skagway....Current mood: anxious
thought i'd write a brief note about the last time i was in skagway. i was en route to anchorage from where i'd lived the past 6 years '95-'01. i was moving to anchorage and my friend carla had flown up to do the move with me...a fun road trip. we had beautiful weather overall, especially coming up the lynn canal on the ferry. we woke in skagway and prepared for the next part of our was september 11, 2001. as we began packing my truck a man on the street said in a joking manner that the world trade center had been bombed. carla and i just thought he was joking at first and he then had to convince us he was serious and told carla to turn on the tv in our hotel room. it was true, the world trade center had been hit, not a bomb but commercial jets. the planes had been grounded everywhere, including alaska so juneau was backing up and the ferry would bring people back to skagway. after much discussion we decided to continue driving towards whitehorse in the yukon territory. radio service is impossible in these parts and so we drove in silence. it was fall and just amazingly beautiful. we drove wondering what was going on in the world. for all we knew world war three had begun, nuclear bombs could have been flying. it was eerie not having a clue what was going on in the world on that morning. when we got to the border crossing, the canadian border patrol simply told us that it was unclear, but the report was that another hijacked plane was headed to whitehorse and we may be directed to bypass. again, we drove on with no more news til we reached whitehorse. the main town had been shut down and everyone sent home there. we were able to get to our hotel, but it was packed with koreans who had been on the potentially hijacked plane. i believe in the confusion it was believed they were hijacked, when really they were low on fuel and requesting landing. they landed in whitehorse under military plane escort, the pilot was taken off at gun point. i was later told the president of the us had given orders that this commercial jet could be shot down if it was believed to be a danger. luckily, that never happened and really there were just many confused korean's attempting to explain to loved ones where they were. we couldn't understand anything they said on thier phone calls except "whitehorse".
the next day we headed on to anchorage. the border crossing went very smoothly back into the u.s.. i had figured they would totally unpack my truck which was totally packed. they only looked in the glove compartment. it was so odd to not have any plane traffic as alaska is a huge plane place. that is the only way in/out of most of the state. as it as fall, many hunters and such were out in the middle of nowhere, wondering why thier pick ups weren't coming. for several days they waited. when the planes could finally take off, they had to drop notes of explanation and do the best they could picking up people.
it took weeks before i had my television hooked up so i listened to npr and picked up the local paper.
today....took the girls for a walk in the bog and the neighborhood. then blossom and i snuck out to run some errands and hit the conners bog dog park before i went for my massage.

dog walks continue while we wait on the volcano eruption

just moved a few notes from the myspace blog. the inaguration note...i'm avoiding the news at this moment. also a note from the trip to shuyak...were supposed to catch the ferry to dutch harbor, but got weathered in so that is now the new trip for this summer!! guess i'll just ship a note or two over each time i add a note to the new blog. hope you can bear with it. i hate having information all over the web and would rather just put my life in one spot.
was on call the last 2 nights i was supposed to work. i should have just worked as i have car insurance due. oh well. hopefully, all will work out on that one. couldn't sleep much saturday night since i was on call and waiting. watched some more episodes of "bones" and read "my girls" a bit. never got called in. i figure that once this volcano erupts, if it does, the respiratory patients will be flocking to the hospital, both old and young. redoubt hasn't blown yet. i check the alaska volcano observatory site on occasion and it still sounds pretty active. they seem to believe it will still blow. today they did say that they doubt anchorage will get more than several mm's of ash. so that is good. i am ready with masks and goggles for me and dogs and bought extra water. best to be prepared and not need any of it.
chatted with my friend michelle this weekend and rudy. he was my mom's husband, now widow. great guy. seems to always want to chat. i know he misses my mom. always fun to catch up with family and friends. also spoke to tom last week and jeff. phone calls and visits with smaller groups of family are the best for me. too many family members can just be overwhelming. not sure if that is because i have been alone for so many years and it's just too nuts being around that many people. i suspect though that it's more because the more of my family that gets together the more it becomes a mormon event rather than a family event. this becomes very uncomfortable, very fast. i am bummed as there is a wedding in the family this summer, one i can actually attend, except that it's the week i had made plans to attempt the ferry to dutch harbor and we've been planning already for several months. i let my neice, kacey know that i wouldn't be able to attend. sounds like they have pretty limited space for the actual wedding in laguna at the condo. i miss so many of the weddings at this point, seems better to just skip them. mostly, i find that weddings are a horrible time to visit. everyone is crazy and just too busy. i'd rather head out when it's more relaxed. of course, my brother ross and family are never relaxed. they are on the go all the time. so even if it's not a wedding they rarely have time to visit with the aunt. once kids get older they would rather be with thier friends anyway. we all just move on and get involved with our own lives. as long as my neices and nephews are happy with thier lives i'm happy. i do wish the best for each of them and hope that they live an honest life..true to thier beliefs, whatever those may be. i hope that if they want to leave the mormon church, they are brave and do it. it isnt' an easy thing, leaving the religion of your youth. especially one that holds some power over you. i think a few of my siblings have been less than happy staying with the church but fear can keep you in a place of comfort. sometimes it's best to be uncomfortable and follow your heart. i did and have no regrets for that, except that it did put a large gap between me and several siblings. i knew that was a risk, but as i said this life is eventually each persons life to live and i'd hate to wake up one day knowing that i let myself be swept along rather than followed what i believed to be true. aside from these uncomfortable family issues from time to time where i'm sure my name is spoken ill of, my life is really quite happy. it's simple, uncomplicated, peaceful...
the dog walk is a highlight and todays was lots of fun. several friends met me for 2 different walks, back to back. first walk was with sharon, sandra and tanya. finally was able to meet sharons puppy...her puppy is quite large already at 6 months. he's an alaskan malamute named "cooper". very good pup. she is obviously working hard at training him. he's quite well behaved. she had a meeting in town so i took cooper for the second walk where sandra left and we were joined by andrea and kelly and thier dogs. so 5 dogs the first walk and 6 the second. the dogs had a blast and we all got to laugh and laugh and laugh. that many dogs with 2 puppies makes for lots of fun. cooper joined us at home for a few more hours of romping with blossom adn now my two dogs are beat!
the girls got 2 walks yesterday. first i took them to campbell airstrip and then to the dog park at university lake after i had met a friend for coffee.
last night i joined sandra for a movie night. we went and saw "slumdog millionaire". it was a really great movie. we both totally loved it and i think it deserves any awards it gets. loved how they integrated his life into the movie. don't want to give it away...just say...go see it!!

i really need to get off my computer and try and put this quilt together so it doesn't look too awful when i take it to gails tomorrow for finishing up. she's a real quilter and i'm sure she'll be aghast at my seams and such. i think martha will appreciate it, even if it's not the best made quilt ever.

from myspace...shuyak island trek

Saturday, June 28, 2008
trapped in shuyakCurrent mood: blissful
i'm back from my trip to shuyak and dutch harbor early....that is because we got weathered into shuyak and missed our ferry! we still had a great trip despite the change in adventures. sandra and i flew into kodiak on the 21st and cruised around the city we could walk to. a few museums and such. it's not a really quaint town...more of a functional town. the scenery was very beautiful though. kind of like whittier. a not so pretty city in an amazingly beautiful surrounding. sandra likes to read all the signs in musuems while i tend to just cruise through exhibits. of course, at one of the places we went to i discovered she had fallen asleep during the video they had her watch. i heard the remote hit the floor. we laughed all week that she paid 5 bucks to take a nap. we packed and repacked so we could leave a bag at the hotel to pick up when we got back from shuyak. sandra, meghan and i were to catch the first float plane out to shuyak so that meant a very early start for us. bob and tanya came in late via the ferry from homer and meghan slipped in at 7 am. went right from main airport to the float plane. ride was pretty nice out from kodiak to shuyak. sad to fly over afognak island and see all the clear cutting. it is native owned and they aren't required to abide by the same rules as the other loggers are. just sickens you to see all the clear cut and know there is a better way...shuyak island is owned by the state and is a state park. we dumped our stuff on the beach at our cabin after some hard banks in that little plane to locate the cabin....the pilot wanted us to look for it, but at that angle if i looked down i would just puke on the window! i'm not too keen on planes doing rolls like that. :-) . our pilot was pretty young looking. not your typical alaskan pilot looking guy. supposed to be some "hotty" but he really didn't do much for any of us...especially after he farted! we got landed safe and then he skirted us across big bay to the rangers cabin to collect the kayaks. the water was nice and calm. we met the ranger and checked out the nice digs there. nice set up for the ranger. took us a bit to get the kayaks all sorted out, but they were in decent shape. meghan and i doubled for the ride over to the salmon cove cabin. we dragged one single and so did sandra. it was meghans first paddle really...she had taken a class the day before we left on a lake in palmer. we wanted to get back to the beach before a kodiak bear ate our stuff or the tide came up and washed it away. it took us about 45 minutes to paddle across the bay. just as we dragged the kayaks up the beach and started moving our gear to the cabin the float plane arrived with bob, tanya and the 5 year old maddie. she was beaming after her first float plane ride.....!
we settled the gear in to the cabin and took off for a paddle. bob, tanya and maddie ended up taking the double so maddie could sit with her dad. she called us the 3 blueberry boats as the singles were all blue. it rained a bit on our first paddle but it was still decent water and we enjoyed the day. we saw many otters floating around in the bay so that was really fun. otters are just so cute.
we cruised our beach and enjoyed the sunshine that came and went late into the day. there was an oyster the one end of the beach and he was doing the whole "i'm hurt...come follow me" routine to get us away from a nest no doubt. it was hysterical to watch his act! there were several loons in the bay and eagles as well. bob and tanya made the first group meal of shrimp and rice. tasty. the cabin wasn't large, but it was cozy. 4 large bunks to sleep on, a wood burning stove, propane lights and stove. the wood was cut for us and there was a shed with more wood so we got the fire going.
next days paddle was our longer paddle. we cruised to the left or our cabin and eventually headed to nekita bay. there is a hump that you have to portage the kayaks over and when we got there it was super low tide, so we decided to hike to the nekita cabin less than 2 miles away and have lunch and hope the tide would be in a bit before we returned so we didn't have to portage as far. the rain forest walk was beautiful. there are mosses and bear bread fungi all over. just various shades of green where ever you looked. the ground was soft and spongy. bob kept maddie walking by spinning a tale. after we returned we began kayaking on the flat water of nekita bay. this took us out to the big water. the skies continued to clear and it was just amazing out. we decided to just go ahead and head to the outer waters and make a big loop around back into big bay. when we turned onto the big water of the ocean we could see for miles. it was an awesome site. we could see the whole katmai range and some volcano's. several seals began popping up around us. there were several bird rookeries. birds were flying everywhere of every sort. some puffins zipped past us....they are the cutest little birds. lots of gulls, pigeon gullieants? a few cormorants. it was just a fabulous day to paddle. it doesn't get any better than that. we circled back into big bay and stopped by the rangers so bob and tanya could say hi. the ranger, jason, was really nice and his two volunteers, jon and jim were also fun to chat with.
we paddled back to our little cove and made a nice fire on the beach for marshmallow roasting. we tasted s'mores made with reese's peanut butter cups and had some discussion about which way was better with the reese's or with the hersheys. i prefer the hersheys as the reeses don't melt as well and the coverage ratio of chocolate to grahm cracker is deficient. the light is out so late it's easy to forget how late it actually is.
the next day we paddled out in another direction not clear as to the plan, but the wind was picking up a bit and so we ended up on a shortened paddle. we did see a very large kodiak bear on the beach near our cabin. he was just cruising the beach. looked pretty impressive. after he spotted us he headed off into the woods. that afternoon we packed our gear and took it down to the beach as our pick up was scheduled for that evening. our little salmon cove cabin view looked like great water for our kayak taxi back to the rangers station. so we tied the kayaks up and headed across the bay....this quickly turned dangerous as the wind picked up and those empty kayaks we were dragging we too light and flipping all over behind us. i feared they would flip over with teh waves, fill with water and then become a sort of anchor for us. we were all very nervous....well scared crossing over there and we got to far from sandra which made her even more scared. if any of us tipped there was little the other could do to try and rescue the others. then to make matters worse we hit some crazy rip currents on the other side as we tried to enter the bay the rangers were in. it was terrifying. the gods were with us and we did manage to get safely to shore at the rangers place and tie up the boats. we went to the rangers place to warm up and wait for the float plane. the plane never came. the fog dropped lower and lower and lower with each passed hour. as we waited we had figured out that not only did me and meghan know the card game did the ranger, jason. we got several decks of cards together and settled in for a game. at one point the plane flew over head and left. there would be no pick up tonight. as the crew warmed to us and realized there was no safe way for us to get back to our cabin that night they decided to break the rules and ferry us back in their little zodiak. thank god they did as the waves had gotten very large and it would have been deadly to attempt to paddle it for us. the ranger returned with the crew after he dropped us off so we could continue our nertz game and enjoy a box of wine. we must have played nertz for like 4-5 hours that night. there was much laughter and competition. i think they left close to midnight before it got dark. the next day the fog and wind were no better and actually much worse....
we called over to big bay on the radio and got the bad news that nothing was flying, even in kodiak. jason said they were going to hike to the other cabin, deer haven, that afternoon so if it didn't look any better we could join them for that. when there was no hope in catching our ferry the boys showed up and we all took off for deer haven cabin. it's a 2.8 mile walk to that cabin from ours. we had no idea how bad the wind was til we got there. the rain did increase as we walked. it was a really pretty walk and we saw a deer too which was nice. the wind was howling at carry inlet where this other cabin is. it was pretty clear at this point that there was a major storm going on and that even if we'd gotten to the ferry, we would have been in for a really rough crossing. this ferry route is nicknamed "the vomit rocket" so that would have been pleasant. we were bummed and concerned though as our friend, julie, was scheduled to meet us in kodiak that day for the ferry run. still have no idea if she made it on the boat or if weather had prevented her from getting into kodiak. i haven't been able to reach her so i assume she's there now. anyway..once at the other cabin tanya and i took a windy walk on the beach while the others played pinnocle in the cabin and warmed by the fire. we found sand dollars on the beach so that got us to walk the entire beach. we found several more shells which was really fun.
the next day continued rained like crazy all night. the wind and fog also stayed with us. we found ways to entertain ourselves and maddie in teh cabin or went for walks. of course, each am we thought perhaps we'd get a pick up. the plane did fly by thursday morning at some point but it was too windy and foggy for him to attempt to come in. we took a walk down the beach and did find some of the bear tracks from the bear we'd seen on tuesday and we walked the other way to check on our oyster catcher friend often. we'd found the baby they were protecting. i know it was cruel to bother them, but it was just so fun to watch those birds act. i mean it's pretty smart little trick. i know tanya was fooled a few times into believing that bird was actually hurt. one one of those beach walks we saw a sea lion out in the bay....probably taking a break from the rough water. we rationed our food and carried/heated water for showers in the little shower room they have outside the cabin. it was chilly with the wind and rain, but great to feel clean. the rangers made us brownies on thursday and stopped by with mac n cheese to prevent us from getting too hungry. of course, they brought thier decks of cards so another wild game of nertz was played. bob and tanya were getting concered as thier ferry was set to leave kodiak for homer on friday and missing that would bite as their car was in kodiak. we settled in for another night, sang the old lawrence welk good night song for maddie and hoped the weather would clear. the first to rise checked looked promising. there was sun and calm water. we optimistically decided to pack up. i wanted to pack as early as i could so i would be able to enjoy the last hours there with the sun out. there were geese on teh water and it was just so peaceful as i stood at the waters edge. shuyak truely is an amazingly beautiful place. so remote and so untouched in many ways. we were all excited when we heard the distant sound of a planes engine. it was willy with the beaver so we could all just load up together. we made a call over to the rangers to say goodbye and took off from the bay. i think willy felt badly for us as he gave us a nice tour of the area en route to kodiak.
the rush of being back in civilization began soon after the plane landed on the lake in kodiak....we had to check on hotels reservations we'd missed and the ferry and then attempt to get flights out of kodiak to anchorage. i got scheduled on the 8:30 flight,but was able to jump on the 2:30 flight stand i was home by around 5pm....always so strange of a transistion after being away from all. no cells, no contact with the outside world.
even though the trip didn't go as planned we had a great time. everyone remained positive and easy going and we all got along great. the rangers out there were very sweet and acommadating. we will get a care package off to them soon in thanks.
it was nice to sleep in my soft bed last night and the dogs totally missed me. i guess rio had the runs after jolene took over....i think jolene jsut didn't get them out enough or spend enough time and rio went freaker on her. they were alive and well overall so that is fine and rio seems prettynormal now. she's on me like glue as she does whenever i leave her.
i didn't realize that by moving my pictues from the little card to the computer i take them off the card so now i hope the cd's i attempted to burn will work so i can take that to costco.....computers can sure baffle me at times!!
well....enough said i guess, i'm off to bed

from myspace...inauguration

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
history is made.... Current mood: hopeful
while i sleep. i woke and turned on the tv, but the inaguration had already occured and they were all sitting around waiting for lunch. sounds like some who traveled to dc to see the big event were turned away. something about the purple section. there were close to 2 million people there. no arrests which is awesome, but i can see how it would be tough to manage that many people. it's just great that it was all so peaceful. it is something to be proud of...that our country can change leadership with respect and dignity. i read the speech online before i got to hear it. couldn't find a replay of the speech until around 5pm alaskan time. cspan repeated it at least that one time. it was great to hear the new president obama give his speech. i really liked the speech. some things have needed to be said for years and nobody was able or capable to saying them...he put alot of responsibility on we the people. i think there are far too many people with hands extended waiting for the government to just throw money at all thier problems and it's time that everyone does their share. loved the section where he directed it to the muslim world and it was a beautiful metaphor that we are reaching our hands out to them, if they will only unclench thier fist. the speech was one of hope and new beginings. this is no doubt always the case with a new president coming in, but it's always a good thing to hear. after 8 years of bush and 8 years of clinton before that...obama is refreshing. i really like that he seems to be a man of honor and a man of intelligence and reason. some insight into how his brain works came for me with all the thought process going into the dog selection. you can tell he really ponders and examines all issues. i'm ready for someone who thinks issues through and isn't going to jump the gun, especially when it comes to the military and thier lives. he didn't change the defense secretary from what i understand. i think this is a very reasonable and sound decision. that doesn't mean this might not change down the road, but it think with lives on the line this is a very smart choice. that isn't a boat you want to rock and risk losing lives in a transition stage. for as many things from the bush administration i didn't agree with, i must say that he does at least seem to respect the office. it was good to see that he and obama do and were civil and even friendly with each other with the transition. bush left office with his dignity intact, quietly and respectfully. his father, the elder bush, looked very tired and was walking a bit rough. that job does age these men. i would never want that much responsibility...for all the money and power in the world. will be interesting to see how obama ages over these years and added stress. bush at least seems fit, i think that was a priority and will no doubt be for obama. the historic part of the day was, of course, the first black president to serve our nation. part of me just feels embarrassed that it's taken so long for this to occur. we still haven't had a female at that level of power. what i really like about the election of obama is that i really don't think he was voted in because of his colour. i believe it was his words and his ideals that brought the nation to this place. he has a vision for our nation that the people were just ready to come to. time will tell as with each presidency. i hope the best for him and for his family. we'll see how great speeches can translate into a presidency. did get out for a walk with kelly yesterday. blossom is so funny. she has finally figured out not to drop her tennis ball at my feet if another dog is they will swoop in and steal it! much to her dismay. had to take the element in for it's 30,000 mile check up. sandra came over to my place for a trek with the dogs through the bog. we started to come down patterson street back towards home and she had lost her brand new dogs got an added bonus of a return trek through the bog. i have been trying to weed through the piles of paperword that seem to stack up in a house. got through quite a bit, but you couldn't tell. i trashed a bunch of stuff that i had carefully filed away over the years and never looked at again. most of that stuff you can just look up online now. it will be 5 years that i will have lived in my house this summer. really need to do a major clean out. so much stuff is here that i have moved over and over again since leaving california. crazy the crap you keep. it always feels great to purge crap.....not my most exciting entry especially considering the content. i think i just am filled with hope, good will and a smile that seems to last and last. most of the news people have said his speech didn't have anything big in it...i really felt it was the right words at the right time. my fingers are crossed....