Thursday, April 30, 2009

dog pride...!! first a few pictures of ducks in the bog. the place is crazy with birds right now. i was in the bog today and the neighborhood. i had to try and put together the doors of the shower so i didn't want to spend the whole day out. yesterday i went with kelly to the rovers run trail. no bear sightings, no scat and no tracks. we did see a news crew and i ended up on the 10pm news in a little bit about the possibility of them closing the rovers run trail due to last years attacks. i saw myself on tv and it wasn't a pretty picture. i'm telling you my nose is getting bigger and bigger. there is no way to stop the genetic rush of growth. oh well.

on that same broadcast they showed a clip of an alaskan dog that was in colorado getting fit for prosthetic legs. the dog had gotten trapped in an illegal snare. the dog had chewed off two legs to escape. the guy on the clip was a guy named martin who owns that is the place i had found through to get rio's leg brace made. i introduced the local vets to this company and now this company is helping this unfortunate dog. i felt pretty happy that my actions to help rio have now helped other dogs. just kinda cool. i had to give rio big hugs for her role...she had no idea what i was up to, but that is a dog for you.

signs of spring...the tree's in the yard have some beginings of growth. just a cool process to watch. the shower has also been a fun process to watch. the pictures below are after the grout was put in. today the door gets hung, hopefully, and tomorrow i will be able to that means a saturday shower at home!!! hurray. then next week i need to work on fixing the dings in the tub and see about getting it glazed. i may be able to do that myself.
watched a good netflix the other night, "righteous kill" it had de niro and pacino so with couldn't be a bad flick. now i'm off to work so i better get off the computer. the days continue lovely and warm, the tires are changed over, the yard is getting raked....spring....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

mish mash of pictures...

the weather has been just beautiful these past few days. so i've done some nice strolls. yesterday i was out at north bicentennial. 4000 acres of park bordering chugach range. it's still quite mucky out there. lots of mud and big puddles. i wore my extra tuffs complete with alaskan duct tape to keep them from leaking. worked great so perhaps they are good for a bit....or at least for walks closer to home. i still should buy new ones for kayak treks. these first 2 pictures show the diet of moose in the winter. i've seen a mom and her calf here several times through the winter munching away. you can see they've made quite the dent in the bark of this fallen tree. i can't imagine bark tastes very good, but it keeps the moose going through the winter.

just some pine cones and my extra tuff boots. i guess that is xtratuf...oh well. the roll down isn't recommended by the company...that is where my breaks occurred. of course, i've had these boots for 15 years so i really can't complain. they have lasted through many seasons of use. i bought mine in ketchikan. they are referred to there as "ketchikan sneakers" in sitka..."sitka sneakers" no doubt. in ketchikan you wear them rolled down. everyone noticed i was a new resident of ketchikan by the shiney new extra tuffs. they are well broken in now though.

a shower stall is born. apparently the rope tile i bought is really corner peices. jason wasn't wanting to finish it with these. he'll just grout it off. it won't look bad. perhaps when i have them do the floor i will be able to have a nice edging tile for the shower. we'll see how i feel about it over time. still not sure about paint yet. leaning toward yellow, but not the mustard i trialed. i'm still now showering at home yet. jason will return tomorrow and grout, then i have to let that dry and then seal it all. it looks really nice i think though and can't wait to shower in my new shower. today i just washed my hair in the sink. it was too pretty out to hit the gym and be stuck inside. i've just returned from a second walk today. i think poor rio is a bit weary.

above is blossom at campbell airstrip trail...see how nice the trail is? you can see blossom's reflection in the trail. the next two pictures are of a few bald eagles i saw while walking the bog this morning. i heard them chittering away still this afternoon, but didn't see them when i walked again. i thought these turned out to be nice photo's though. such beautiful birds. the bog by my house is major bird space. the canadian geese are back and the ducks and shorebirds are there in large numbers. there are several bird festivals scattered about alaska in the next month or two as the many species migrate back north. i guess it's a birders paradise.

above is the magpie. those live here year round. they are a pretty bird but can get quite annoyed in the spring when they are nesting and have young. below are more shorebirds....all in the bog.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

the nertz reunion....

but first...a few other alaskan pics...the top is just some swans i took pictures of in cordova when we were waiting to begin our trek to kayak island. i always love swans. just such graceful birds. below is from my drive to a friends wedding reception in girdwood last night. girdwood is about 45 min drive from anchorage. the road follows turnigan arm. it was rainy and windy last night. 95% of the time you will see dall sheep at windy point. all you have to do is drive on a curvy road and look way up! so this is one of the sheep i saw while en route. the wedding reception was nice. i'm really not much of a wedding person...but it was nice to see some friends i hadn't thought about. my friend maria was there so we chilled for the time i was there. also ran into friends from a very wet kayak trip to icy bay. not many pictures from that trip. we were cold and drenched. hopefully i can catch up to a few of those folks for another trip. it should have been a miserable trip, but everyone was really great.
after i slept a respectable 4-5 hours i got up to get ready to meet friends from shuyak island at the moose's tooth. it was super fun. we all just laughed and laughed. it's always great to bust a gut. took awhile for everyone to gather. jason came in limping due to some illegal parking. these are the people i hang out with...
it's the first time we got everyone from shuyak together since our group was stranded out there last summer. we got a few of us together a few times to play nertz. jason, meghan and i grew up playing this crazy card game and we taught everyone else...we were stranded on an island with loads of time on our hands. we played 4-6 hour stretches out there.
i'm sure the restaurant really appreciated our noisy card game and the fact that we took up a large table for several hours. we did eat pizza and drank our share of beer. we kept it coming so that we could justify our table use.
the below picture is of 2 of the rangers, jim(foreground) and jon and sandra. we've polished off the pizza and are playing some nertz. if you don't know nertz it's like a crazy group solitaire. there is no way to avoid screaming. jim finally won one hand and he goes bizerk...he was the worst nertz player in shuyak and was just as excited there when he won a hand. he gets so excited that he stands and starts dancing and screaming. oops..hehe..

in this picture is tanya, me and jason. i believe the game has just ended...and since my nertz pile is gone...i must have won. i only win when meghan isn't playing. she was taking the pictures. jim brought his girlfriend, erica who was as great as he kept saying on the island. i'm always impressed with someone who can jump into a group they've never met and just seem like they've always been there. she picked up nertz very quickly and i think she had a great time too. was a great time. hard to describe in blog. we're an odd assortment of people who probably never would have become friends except that we were stuck on an island together. i was still giggling on my drive to girdwood later that evening.

so today wasn't nearly as exciting. i know....back to the normal life. i have such a hard time waking up without that shower to spring me to life. so it was a sluggish start to the day. i met up with gail and her dog duke for a walk in campell airstrip road trail. no bears and no moose today. no complaints from me. we did have to work our way through the 6-12 inch puddles that were the trail. my extra tuff rain boots have sprung holes. i bought them about 15 years ago while i lived in ketchikan. in ketchikan you roll the boots down when you aren't in 12 inche puddles. that is where the cracks finally leaked. i think i discovered that one the trek to shuyak. i really must buy some new extra tuffs. they are expensive rain boots, but the best! a must have for any adventerous alaskan. i know you aren't supposed to roll them down, but i'm sure i will...i was in ketchikan for 6 years and part of me is still there. it was just a wonderful place to live. i miss it. there are things i don't miss so much no roads, no shopping, no decent gym, 12 feet of rain/year, the exorborant cost of living and the fact that you can pay more to get from ketchikan to seattle than to get from seattle to anywhere. that is crazy. the planes often don't come and go when they say as the weather is rainy and foggy and windy and just nuts. other than that..i loved it.
the weather turned nice today. everyone is outside trying to start the task of cleaning up the yards from winter and preparing for something green to grow. i was raking up leaves and picking up the remnants of dog poop. that is all the talk around...all the poop that is left after the snow melts. alaska is quite a dog place. fun to visit with neighbors. i love this time of year, people are so happy for nice weather they are friendly and chatty. blossom visited with the neighbors. they had some little kids over who had a blast throwing her tennis ball. both kids and dogs were happy.
i went to the gym. i saw that there was a yoga class. it was kinda lame though. mostly jsut relaxation and breathing with a few poses. i wont' attend again. i can breathe at home. i think my feet totally reeked...or maybe that was someone else. anyway...i should do more yoga. i have a rodney yee power yoga tape that i always liked. he's great. i know you have to breathe right, but some yoga instructors get all meditative and spiritual. it's freaky. i'm not one to say "almmmmmm..." or whatever. i'm super flexible. i think almost too flexible for yoga as my joints take me beyond the pose and then i'm really just all contorted out. others are having a tough time getting to the pose postition and i'm falling over from going beyond it. i headed to the rowing maching and some free comfort zone in a gym..then off to shower...sweet shower! good night..
here's hoping the tiles came in saturday and there will be progress...

Friday, April 24, 2009

tile update...

above is a random picture from shuyak island. hopefully, we are getting a group together tomorrow for a little pizza, beer and nertz at the moose's tooth. that is a great place to eat in anchorage here. the same people also own another restaurant called bear tooth. these are named after mountains and the bear tooth has a portion of the restaurant that is a movie theater so they bring dinner in to the movie for you to enjoy. good eats. of course,i made the mistake of watching that documentary, "super sized"..i think that is the name. anyway...not a great movie to eat at. at least i didn't bring mcdonalds in. anyway...we were trapped by weather and the rangers across the bay would boat over to check on us and entertain us. the above picture is of the plane finally arriving to pick us up. what a happy moment that was!!
have continued to do local neighborhood walks. saw this moose the other day walking at the par course at corner of northern lights and muldoon. it's just a few blocks away. this is a younger moose that has been seen crusing around the hood for some time. looks a bit young to be alone, but has survived the winter. hopefully, it doesn't get taken by a bear. cute moose. rio was pretty good about waiting for the moose to move from the trail...took at least 15 minutes for us to finally be able to move forward again.

progress in the bathroom project. got bad news the other day...while i was on above walk. giant dons didn't order any "bullnose" tiles for the edges of the work. i had to play "bitch" and go to giant dons to see what i could do to find a finish. i'd originally wanted a rope tile in the dark blue, but that colour wasn't available. anyway...after going down there and kindly getting across my displeasure i will go with a white rope. hopefully, it will look good. it was supposed to be in today, but it's not there yet...calling right now. i got it at cost and they will pay for the shipping via fed ex. the salesman had said..."oh,i thought you wanted it that way". i replyed that what i wanted was for him to help me and guide me through this process. he offered these cheap metal edges...i just said...have you looked at my tiles...i dont' want it to end up looking tachy because you didn't think of all the details in this order. i had also requested the same sales woman who had helped me last time with my order. she was just more aware of the fact that i'm not a builder and was very helpful in the ordering and design aspects. i'm on hold....
jason came over around 10am this morning and below is the progress. i was all happy...i went to sleep right after he arrived. i worked all night so staying awake til 10am was tough. so i woke and crept out to check out the progress. i'm really excited about how the final project will turn out. above are splotches of paint...we'll see.
the rope is hopefully coming in tomorrow. nothing one can do about that. jason can't come over to work on it again til monday.
i've been showering at work these past few mornings before i come home. yesterday in the acc locker room and this morning dr coopes (bj) let me use her doc room. they have a little place to crash if they have a super sick kid and can't go far away. the day before that i showered at the gym. the alaska club east has a seperate locker for adults only so that was much more chill for the shower. will be nice to shower at home again one day.
work had called the other day while i was at the tile store to buy the extra tiles....asking if i was still interested in working overtime. since i was also off to buy a new shower door how could i say no. i'd requested to not have a sledd patient (the continuous dialysis) but that was exactly what i got in the end. last night wasn't bad...i was up in peds icu and will be again. i'm on the neuro run there...hopefully, i'll have that assignment again and have a decent night.
guess i better run. scott, a friend is here...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

help me choose paint...

just tossed a picture from the round island trip several years back just for giggles. the foxes there are pretty amazing.

below is various paint choices for the wall in the bathroom. part of me thinks i should just go bold since my tile choice is bold so #1 mustard gold. #2 pale apple would be the more neutral issue. i'd thought about going with white, but am thinking now that i may salvage the vanity by painting it white...but the top is this off-white. the tile floor is planned already it will be the navy blue tiles with a design of the shamrock green and the accent tiles.

did i forget to mention that this morning as i moved the cats litter box to the spare room to accomadate the bathroom work...he went right up and took a dump in the tub. it's so cat.

more on the bathroom

such a cute mug....!! it's been almost 2 years since huey became ill and i had to let him go. just saw his picture as i was loading these others and thought i'd put him in here too. he was always a wonderful dog and will be remembered well for years to come...
blossom was out on the deck yesterday enjoying the nearly 60 degree weather...that is as close to summer as we get around here. summer temps tend to be 50-70's. actually last summer we had quite a few cloudy/rainy days. we only got over 70 i believe 3 times the entire summer. i do hope we don't repeat that this year.
i'm happy i have a fenced in yard. i'm pretty paranoid when it comes to the dogs. i've always been annoyed by people who just open the door and let the dog roam about to do thier busniness. mostly, because it just makes non-dog owners so ticked to have to be picking up dog business on their lawns and i can't blame them. of course, in the paper the other day the news was that alaska now has an official law forbidding sex with a dog i believe. not sure of the details, but apparently some nut raped a dog down in southeast alaska. i say raped because he kyped the dog, tied it to a tree and duct taped the muzzle and then had sex with the dog. that is one sick human. i just can't fathom how this thought even enters someones mind, let alone carry through with the thought. the poor dog....someone probably just let it out to pee. i can't get this out of my head. somethings just stick with you. another animal story that just broke my heart was a woman was out with friends and thier dogs jogging as they usually do. they crossed a bridge and one dog went down to get a sip of water i guess. well the dog got swept away and went down a waterfall and was found dead down river. so sad. enough of the sadness.
both dogs are outside on the back deck enjoying the days sun. that is sure to put a smile on your face and a wag in your tail.

so day one didn't go too badly. he just tore the old out. there is some mold back there, so he is going to leave it open overnight and then put up the proper moisture block plastic up...apparently i appears the original builder ran out of the moisture block plastic and resorted to plastic garbage bags....nice, eh? overall, no trauma's all looks good. i went to price the shower doors. i think i could possible salvage the one i have though it's pretty rough. i also checked on what i could do with vanity to try and avoid replacing it. we'll see. below is the shamrock green tile with the accent tile. i think it looks nice. it's on my favorite coffee pride. i took the table i found that had that deep top and made it into a window box. the sand is from laguna beach, california mostly, but there is also some black sand from st george island, alaska. my many shells collected over the year get to be displayed which makes me all happy!! many i collected on various beaches and several i purchased over the years as well.

if i forgive

i no longer have a functioning hoo. i woke early to prepare for the tile guy, jason, coming. i got in a last shower and cleaned out stuff. took a few before pictures. above is the hole in the shower secondary to repair of leak. my friend scott was helpful in making the shower usable though not very attractive.

so it's still break up. lasts most of april. the trails are clearing of snow, but that just leaves more mud and squish to walk through. some puddles are 6 inches deep and often those are not noticable til you take that first step. the dogs just like to be out there and blossom is enjoying rolling in any and all puddles she can locate. the lab in her seems to have a 6th sense for finding any water. i let her chase her toys through the big puddles. you know it looks like lots of fun. unfortunately i don't have one of those handy coats that quick dry...nor do i like smelling like she does. for how keen thier sense of smell is they seem completely unconcerned with body odor. i'm sure i will have a heightened concern now that i won't be able to bath readily. i have the gym membership and i can also shower at work. the acc has a nice shower room in the locker room. i may just shower after working the night shift thurs and friday.

the above two photos are at kincaid park. i thought i'd check it out. there is less slushy snow area's but loads more mud so not sure that it's a better choice. i've done lots of walks through the neighborhood and have also gone to campbell airstrip for some walks. my back got even more torked and spasmy so i ended up calling out of work for two nights. back spasms and nursing aren't really a good mix. i did walk the dogs but it was a pretty painful daily event. i think the walking does help ease it up a bit, but really it just hurt, especially bending over every few steps to get the tennis ball for blossom. when i did head to work i wore a heated wrap around my lower back and took ibuprofen. it was manageable. it actually feels pretty good today and hopefully, i can get to the gym later for some exercise. the picture below is in the bog. it's a real mess out there. you can still see the "trail" that used to go through the park, it's now under water.

i did get some reading in this past week and finished reading a good book, "the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society" by mary ann shaffer. now i'm back to the lolita readers one i'd started previously. interesing that both books are about "reading" groups that formed in times of war and hard times. the reading lolita one is set in iran and the guernsey one is during wwII. i'm sure anything that takes you away mentally is beneficial.
work wasn't bad at all. worked with great people in acc, dr kamali was on so he was excited to try the gummie bear experiement for me again. he is sure that the european gummie bears will do something much more exciting in the cup of water than the american gummie bears. that one just dissolved and when we looked the next night there was just yellow water. not the intended impact. so he wanted to show me this miracle gummie bear trick. by morning not much had happened. it may have grown slightly. as a joke i decided to move said gummie from the hiding place kamali selected and replace his gummie with a plastic dinasaur. it was actually quite funny when he went to check the gummie the next night only to discover it had mutated into a dinosaur. the things we do to entertain ourselves in the wee hours of the night. i guess those reading groups just reflect general human nature for fun. even in the worst of times people try to make light where they can. peds was a bit more difficult as i was beside that nurse i worked with last week and she is lazy and has an excuse for everything. i do hope they let her go if she keeps this up. she is in her trial employment period, so i guess this is her putting her best self forward...if this is true...oh my god are we in for trouble. she's a disaster.
i let my brain take a bit of a break last night and played some bookworm. i got to over 250,000 points and to level 17. my best yet.
i best get off to lowes and home depot. i may paint a bit tonight. hmm. buy some white paint perhaps before the tiles go in and i risk getting white paint everywhere. i also have loaded the recycling. i fixed the front gate and attempted to fix the shed door. i obviously did something wrong as the door still opens. i'm so handy. not!! anyway. he did salvage my shower door, but it looks pretty crappy. i may just price out a new shower door. i looked at new ones the other day. not too expensive and it may be best to just replace it. then the toilet, the countertop, the lights and the fixtures and finally the floor. hmm..,..

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

more seward... blossom normally sits in the front sandra had to fight her a bit for it. blossom is very sweet about it all, but she does siddle up and move into her space. as we packed the element to leave hope blossom immediately jumped into the front seat and wasn't too keen on letting it go. she didn't growl or anything un-doodle like such as that, she just looked away and sat there all casual. another time she found her way into the front seat as we were out of the car, despite the seat being pulled forward and folded up. she is quite determined. rio just has to be near me so it got a bit crowded at times and i could rarely make eye contact with sandra as we chatted. dogs are entertaining i must say.
just some pictures by the shore. we ate in a restaurant on the docks and watched the eagles and otters cruise around the boats.

after the snow stopped the eagle did a typical eagle thing...they open up the wings to dry them out a bit. they are regal looking birds and i never tire of them...though really they are scavengers at times.

my back is a bit sore...perhaps i overdid it at the gym last night.
15 min rowing
30min recumbent bike
10 min stair stepper.
watched a movie in the wee hours last night, "god grew tired of us". it was actually a documentary about the lost boys of sudan and thier transistion to US cities such as new york. quite the change from refugee life. they had never seen/used plumbing or electricity. they had to be taught very basic life skills, but they were determined through thier confusion and i think appreciative of all they were given. i've had such an easy life compared to so many others on our earth and a program like that helps me to keep all in perspective.
the tile is in so that project will get started next week. i need to clean out this room so it can house the cats some and i can adjust to life in a mini-remodel...eek!
i've taken my ibuprofen for my back and need to get the pups out for a stretch....

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

pictures of seward and hope...

blossom gets to hit the beach. she goes crazy for lowell point beach in seward. i can safely let her swim. it was snowing this day so i thought she may not go in...silly me. of course, the water dog always enters the water. we were joined by an otter. these frequent the waters of alaska. they are often pretty shy and i have never been able to get close in a kayak...though oddly, they stay put when a water taxi passes them outside homer.

above and below are harlequin ducks i believe. they looked pretty out there on the water. i just looked them up in my alaskan birds book...i already have a photo in there. pretty ducks though.

blossom runs down the beach at lowell point. i love the houses here. i would love to live on this beach...except for that dang tsunami thing. seward was hit hard by the tsunami of '64. it actually made the city much more appealing really. the docks were full of rails and those were all washed away. now the tourists can park thier rv's shoreside...just beware of tsunami warnings. lots of signs around town. seward has a nice open port year round so they are a major hub.

the rest of the pictures are back in hope. i'll put a few more seward pictures in later. it's always just a fun place to take pictures. great wildlife and i love docks. the above car has probably been in that location since it stopped working. as much as i love alaska. it's location is such that it can be impractical to get rid of used items. many small villages have unsightly garbage lying about. no doubt stuff is saved for possible parts for later. i do love old cars though...they just kinda look cool...even if they are really just trash.

sandra is flinging the tennis ball with the chuck it...maybe she really is sore. she put a great deal of effort in. blossom mostly brought the toy back to me i think, much to sandra's dismay.
the beach ice is getting washed away with the tides...just a show of season changes. it looks kinda cool. i should have stopped today as there was alot of ice in the arm and it's all muddy, but the light snow had powdered it a bit...

these are both from the gull rock trail in hope. the top one is looking towards anchorage area. below is the other direction...towards the end of the turnigan arm. we got lucky and it was just beautiful out.