Monday, November 30, 2009

monday walks...and strange messages....

just 4 of us today and 4 dogs. tanya, me, andrea and amy (speedy reedy) showed up. we did the long loop and all of us felt hot despite being in snow. i should have skipped the long johns. sometimes it's hard to guess how much layering will be required on any given day....of course, if it's neg 20 you can layer up to til the cows come home and never totally feel warm. it was a fun walk as usual and i love the variety of walking partners.
just tanya and i got some hot cocoa after and then i had errands to run. the usual christmas stuff. post office, more shopping. blossom melted in the car as i ran the errands...which means just a little less moisture in the house.

getting some stuff done for the christmas holiday. i've got much of the send off stuff picked out and some packaged up. got all the cards addressed, the letter is written and printed...will be nice to get it all done a bit early then settle in and decorate, do the local stuff. i'll be working the christmas and new years holidays so no fun there.

spent the weekend at the dog park with the pups. mild weather really. tonight we have had a bit of the chinook winds. doesn't actually seem to horrible though. often if you get the chinooks the snow will all turn to a sheet of ice. hopefully that won't happen and i can get some nice walks in the next few days.

today was monday walk. 4 people, 4 dogs. i guess arika was there, but her little baby started to have a melt down and her dog was also freaking out...not too keen on the booties. she has a english bull and a french bull. i know she likes to get out.

took blossom skiing on saturday. the snow as nice and once i gave up on the harness and set her free we both had a much better time out there. she just doesn't do the pull thing and is a trail greeter. she just loves everyone.

i finished "walking with jane" and started "the help". the help is easy to get sucked into which i love in a book so i'm about to settle in for the night with it. walking with jane was interesting as it has lots of history about the pipeline and just a fun adventure tale. the guy spent the summer with his dog, jane walking the pipeline from valdez to deadhorse. rough to live in a tent for that many months and the mosquito's got a bit rough as did the weather at times.

had a strange message from sandra saturday morning. apparently she "arse dialed" me by accident. i ended up with a strange message of grunts, crunching snow, muttered words and coughs. the message lasted like 5 minutes and it took a bit for the message to get through so it took a bit before i could actually call her. she was okay...just outside shoveling snow. so she was okay and we laughed and laughed. that night i went to jennifer and family's for a wine party. the first french wine of the year is released so they had like 80 bottles at thier place. it was fun. more fun once the party thinned a bit. i'm never very good in a room full of folks i hardly know and tend to stay close to people i know til the crowd thins. then i get more social.
off to read....

Friday, November 27, 2009

black friday....really more like white friday!

pictures of the dogs frolicking in all our fresh snow!! could put it in sports mode and get clearer shots....but you get the idea!
just a few more bog shots. fresh snow! didn't get many on todays walk as it was really coming down. didn't want the camera to get to wet. the two below are from yesterday.

below is blossom pathetically looking down at me from the second story window. i had settled the dogs in with the intent of leaving them behind while i shopped black friday...but as i shoveled the heavy snow i kept looking up to see that sad face looking back at me. i know...i was played like a violin. i'm wrapped around that dog's paws and they got loaded up and taken on the road. as a reward i took them both to pet zoo and pet co. i had a coupon for pet zoo and pet co is close by. taking the two big dogs into pet stores is a handful, but we do okay.

that sad look is killing me still. poor blossom!! it's tough being so spoiled. below is another picture from yesterdays walk. today the snow didn't clump on her as much. we did the bog and i attempted to snowshoe it since it was deep. that snow was totally heavy though and it kept sticking to the bottom of the shoes. i think i carried an extra 5-10 pounds on each foot. i was hungry and exhausted after just a loop. walking would have been easier. probably tomorrow i'll head out on foot. cross country skiing may be a good option too.

the next picture is in the bog. i always love how the snow heaps onto all the limbs of the tree's. growing up in california i remeber they would sell christmas tree's and offer flocking. i thought it was strange at the time. now i can see why people who were from snowy places and lived in california may want that look now. not too many people out there. one skier which looked like the better idea in that snow. oh well. who knew?

i did get some shopping done and tonight i've been working on my christmas cards. spoke to jeff, my brother, he's all done with his cards, decorated the house...! ackk! made me feel so behind. i still need to work on the christmas letter for the year. not sure if anyone reads it, but i found i was writing the same thing over and over and over again. it is futile really, besides, my handwriting is horrible.

got to kohls after the "early bird" special. i had one thing in mind which was a gift for my brother, eric, as it's my turn for him in our family rotating gift exchange. i decided to take it to the check out and see if the price was the early bird one. i got lucky and they hadn't changed the register yet. that was like a $50 difference. i'da had to shop online or get something else. so...hope he likes it.
as i left kohls and sports authority i noticed the sunset (at 3:30). i decided to head to the turnigan arm and see if i could get a photo. i had to drive slow though as the roads were pretty crappy due to the snow. cars were in the ditch all over and apparently the seward highway is closed near seward due to an i didn't get quite the sunset picture i'd hoped for, but still nice i guess.

had a chance to relax this morning and read the paper. apparently austrailia has 6000 feral camels. they are in a drought and plan to round them up by helicopter and gun them down. sounds pretty brutal to me. our state does wolf control by helicopter as well from time to time. just seems like there should be a more humane way to decrease a population size. i mean why did they let the population grow to 6000 before deciding something should be done. seems crazy. i heard that in iraq they culled thousands and thousands of stray dogs. no infrastructure...i think it was upwards of 20,000 dogs. mind boggling.

in other news the catholic church is going to pay some retribution to members who were sexually abused by priests out in the villages. i guess, when these priests were discovered in the lower 48, they were shipped to small alaska villages. good plan. the abuses took place decades ago at this point.

back to the christmas cards.

happy thanksgiving...

another thanksgiving is is black friday. i guess i was supposed to wake at 3 am and go shopping. just don't love shopping all that much. i may head to rei or sports authority as i could use some pants. it snowed all night the night before thanksgiving and it is snowing now. i'm off to shower and the other pictures i attempted to add failed. i'll put more pics in later...for now i need to get out there and enjoye the snow.
took the dogs to the bog yesterday and then took blossom out to n. bivouac so that i could enjoy the snow. we snowshoed....well, i snowshoed and blossom chased her frisbee. she gets coated with the snow and melts for hours afterwards. above is a self portrait. below is blossom in all her glory.
sandra and tiffany came over for a thanksgiving feast. it was a relaxing and fun dinner. lots of laughter and of course, good food was had by all. the animals entertained. my crock pot turkey tasted good as did the stuffing i made. i was all happy, though i realized later that i forgot to get out the desert i'd bought. silly me.

blossom couldn't relax as long as she knew we had guests...she kept bringing her toys to sandra and insisting on attention. sandra was very graceful in accomadating the fluffy pup. i ended up sitting on the dog bed with rio as she wanted to get on her couch and it was the only way she'd chill, which meant that my arse got soaked as blossom had dried herself from her snow day on the bed earlier.

tiffany had the duty of cutting up the turkey. she did a fine job...

sorry to rush, but there is snow out there to be played in. i added these pictures last night and went to bed while they loaded. i'll try and repost pictures later and give a more substantial report on the holiday later...maybe! otherwise the pictures will just have to speak for themselves. happy thanksgiving all...i have so much to be thankful for, family, friends, pets, is good and i am lucky to be so blessed as i am.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

the snow is falling.....

i spent the night waiting for the snow and it's coming down now. i'll be snowshoeing tomorrow for sure!! yippee!! took a very excited rio and blossom to the bog. i must say i was a bit concerned that rio would let loose with some diarrhea. apparently i left the spare room door open where i'm collecting gifts for christmas packages. while i was in the shower rio nudged her way in and delighted in a rasperry filled chocolate bar. so far i've seen no ill effects.
the sun sets early here. after i returned home and realized that the thanksgiving gathering was planned for my house and i'd need to clean...i left for the hills to enjoy the mild weather and scenery. turned out to be a beautiful afternoon. on the way up campbell airstrip road i saw my friend gil and her two labradoodles. i hadn't seen them since they were mere pups so i had to stop and say hi. hopefully, she'll join us for a monday walk. she'd just finished her walk. blossom and i headed up to basher trailhead. anchorage was socked in with clouds but you could see the alaska range and even denali mountain from underneath. always cool when that happens. so above is denali mountain and below is the alaska range. the sunset colours were begining to show themselves.
the sunset colours were bouncing off the inlet. just spectacular!! blossom was just happy to be outside chasing her tennis ball.

just loved the light and colours through the tree's. afterwards i headed to earthquake park, but the views weren't that great there so i headed to downtown. the colours were at their peak. loved the reflections.

the train went by while i was out there. kinda dark, but thought it looked like the sunset was the light on the front of the train. i had a few stores in town to hit so figured i'd circle town running errands. i also wanted to hit costco. i know very exciting.
cool comercial on by wwf. they have all these animals trying to call senators to get action on climate warming. i've got the house about as clean as it's going to get...for the moment. i've been enjoying watching all the flakes come down. it's so peaceful outside. blossom keeps going out and laying in the snow. she stays out long enough to get totally covered and then returns inside with all her snow.

this one was taken back on basher trailhead.

personally, i think the next one is my picture of the day. loved how it came out, reflection, colour!! alaska never bores you. even a simple sunset stuns! this is the alaska range off across the cook inlet i'd guess. so a rather dull day here in days are dull. should i take pictures of the actually somewhat clean house knowing that it will rapidly fall into it's usual state of madness. tomorrow i'll toss the turkey in the crock pot and head off into the woods. at costco i saw those king crabs....should have gotten some for tomorrow. oh well. maybe christmas. of course, i'll be working both christmas and new years...but right now i'm on vacation!!

tossed in a few pictures from yesterday. first is another of the creek and the ice.

next, another one of those cool wasp nests. very intricately made. i didn't get as close as last time, but they are cool. what do wasps do in the winter? do they return to the same nests next year? so many questions that i'll never bothering to find the answer.
lastly....this is what the road and trailhead are named for. this is campbell airstrip. it's a back up airstrip in the event of emergency as ours is build in the turnigan area which broke into tiny bits during the big '64 quake. i've only actually seen one plane land on this runway. they discourage people from walking on the airstrip, but many still do. it's great open space for skiing and such.

well, this cleaning stuff wears me out!! there is much i could do still, but i'll head to bed so that i can enjoy all the white fluffy stuff coming down tonight. there will also be some shoveling that will be required. i actually enjoy shoveling snow, though i really don't mind when the neighbor kids come do it for me.

still battling sinuses and canker sores...

overall i feel better but still got tired just going around the bog with the pups. no snow yet, but i'm still hopeful. i went straight from the bog to the grocery store for that turkey breast. food is the last thing i really want right now with all these sores in my mouth. i have a few big sores and then the taste buds on my tongue are all irritated and sore. it's rather annoying.
i rested and then headed back out with blossom. it was so quiet and peaceful out there. we went to campbell airstrip. i'll post a few more pictures tomorrow perhaps. i'm sleepy now. i saw that the mushing trail wasn't blocked off so we went the back route. saw nobody and it was just blossom, me and the crunch of snow and sounds of the woods.
everytime i go there is less of the creek open. the ice flow looks cool though. in between tossing the tennis ball i take a few pictures.

was pretty lazy again the rest of the evening. had hoped to get some more accomplished. just some home stuff, dishes, laundry and such. i did get a few christmas gifts wrapped. i should write the annual letter and start addressing envelopes. i bought a few dvd's online, mostly replacing vhs tapes that i've had. there is a sale at i love that place. will be fun to see movies that i haven't been able to watch for some time. those are good between net flix movies.
it's late as i just watched "changeling". i think i spelled that right. despite all the hype that surrounds angelina jolie i think she actually is a good actress. sadly, the hype makes it tough to seperate her public persona from her characters at times. i think she succeeded in this one and it was quite good. i had no idea that the old lapd was so corrupt. those red trolley cars ran right through my old home of south pasadena. i recall them being spoken of.

this last picture of the night i borrowed from sharon. she took it on the monday walk. these ski pants look pretty bold. that dang sandra was with me one day and we were shopping. she desperately wanted me to try them on as they didn't have any in her size. she convinced me to purchase them as they were on sale. they are a bit wild even for me, but everyone assured me they were not seizure inducing. i have nice friends who lie when the truth won't matter. hehe.

now i will try and sleep.

Monday, November 23, 2009

monday walking....

just a few pictures from today's monday dog walk. above are the dogs of the day by the creek...which was a bit mushy due to the 30 degree temps ...buddha, boddhi,cooper, indy and blossom.
below tanya, andrea and karen enjoy the mild weather!
the dogs investigate possible stick options. the malamutes meet and greet!!

sharon is ever pupular with the hot dogs in her pockets...i'm sure it's her charming personality and nothing to do with the hot dog bits . hehe..

woke with sinus issues. weak, muscle aches. i opted out of the short walk with blossom and rio and saved my strength for the big monday walk. 5 humans and 5 dogs. it warmed up today into the 30's. luckily, i dressed right and wasn't too hot, though i suspect that i had a fever while walking. sharon was excited to finally meet the malamute pup.

i made those apple muffins for the after walk coffee house break. tanya and andrea joined me and then we ran into dr kamali there so he joined us. he's one of the intensivists we work with. always fun. just a great guy, easy to work with, smart...charming and adorable. his wife is a lucky gal i'd say. he's totally easy to tease and catch up in a joke. so that was fun.

my body was feeling a bit pained so i headed back to bed for a bit. so the rest of the day...lazy, sick girl. hopefully, this will pass. i've been wanting to hit the grocery store all's after 10pm and i haven't made it back out of my pajama's...tomorrow. hopefully, there is still a turkey breast left. if not...i'll opt for ham or even some king crabbers...that actually sounds wonderful! when in king crab for turkey day!!
well, it's early but i'm calling it a day!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

kicksleds and walks....

the pets were all on the couch the other day. they looked cozy and happy so i just had to snap off a few. above is mufasa and below is pogi, blossom and rio.
the sunset yesterday was pretty. just took a shot as i headed to the craft fair. this is taken on northern lights blvd. i'm starting to feel a bit of a sinus thing coming on. hopefully, it will just go away...don't want it messing with my little staycation.

lucky for the kids out there, the north pole post office will continue on with thier santa answering service. they started doing it in the 50's. so it's been going on for a long time. a girl i work with said she grew up there and as youth they volunteered to answer letters. i guess like 200 people volunteer to answer all the letters that get sent to "santa, north pole". sad to see it stopped for silliness, but our world is full of silliness these days. apparently, a similar program in virginia was stopped after it was found that one of the volunteers was a registered sex offender. fears that registered sex offenders could use the kids names and addresses.

we can't protect everyone from everyone in this world. i guess the added work of blanking out the kids names and addresses was getting overwhelming for such a small post office. the whole town is set up as a christmas town year round.

spent several hours outside today. it warmed to 20 degree's though i feel a bit chilled anyway. i think blossom is pretty worn out...she hasn't brought me her toys to toss for her while i watch a little tv. first we all went to the bog for a loop. i tested out the new coupler. it's a dog leash adapter that i bought at the craft show yesterday. not sure it is great for the morning bog walk,but would be great for street walks and taking the dogs to public places.

after the bog i took blossom to n. bivouac park. i had loaded the kicksled so thought i'd take it for a spin. should have added my cleats...the kicksled works on packed snow, works better on ice though. we booked it to the creek down the tank trail and back, then i loaded the kicksled in the car and blossom and i headed out for a walk. below is blossom all loaded in the element with all our winter gear. kicksled, check, snowshoes, check, skiing gear, check, blossom's harness, check, ice get the idea!!

wanted to play more on the kicksled and so off we went to cuddy park. it's right by the library and they just added an oval for speed skating. wasn't sure if just anyone could use it, but when i arrived i saw that everyone was. wish they would put lights out there. there were several slow speed skaters, families and a few dogs. everyone was friendly. i put blossom's harness on and my cleats and off we went. blossom doesn't really get the pulling thing. she was trained not to. some nice folks out there attempted to coach blossom no avail. she sure looks cute in her harness though.

below are a few of the speed skaters making thier way around the track.

blossom is a cutie...can't tell whether she is having fun or not...she was wagging alot.

i'm off to make some apple muffins to take to the monday walk tomorrow. i'm hoping it snows out there...would love to use the snow shoes. may meet up at the cuddy again in the afternoon to try again with blossom. sandra said she has ice skates and she may be able to coax blossom to run a bit. will be fun anyway.

craft sale at the de' naina center....

sandra and i went to craft fair at the newish de'naina center. i know i spelled that wrong. lots of booths. i had to stop at the booth with all the furs. i'm always a bit mixed about the hunting thing. can't bring myself to buy anything. i fear the dogs would just get ahold of it and shred it anyway. they did have some very warm hats/gloves. pretty and soft as well.
i bought a few gifts at other boothes. i know sandra had bought a few gifts here earlier when she was there so we took a few pictures and were enjoying the soft furs....still prefer to see animals free, but realize that we don't live in that ideal world and that some thining of wildlife is necessary at times. i am against most trapping...doesn't seem like they've come up with humane traps and often they are put too close to trails and dogs get caught in them. they changed laws this year to prevent wolverine trapping as they got more dogs than wolverine last year and wolverine are so sedentary that it's hard to tell how many we actually have.
the convention center is a bit of a box on the outside. it does have this really pretty a gigantic mobile. it goes up several stories. hard to show how cool it is. the peices are whales and alaskan creatures.

this shot is a bit closer of several of the pieces. they are glass.

this last one i took from the center looking up. there were two adorable girls in the center looking up with me.'s quite pretty.

saw a few really good movies these past few days. tonight i met up with sandra again and we went to see "blindside". it looked like it could be a good flick to me. i wasn't disappointed in the least. it was just a really good feel good movie. nice to see that people can just be kind to those that cross thier paths. good to know that kindness exists...sometimes it seems such a rarity. a movie like this just makes you want to go out and help someone. you never know what impact you can have on those around you. you may need a tissue or two, but you are also sure to laugh as well. it was just one of those good movies that should appeal to all.

last night i watched my net flix pick of the week. it was called, "the visitor". turned out to also be good. sad in the end, but good. a depressed professer heads to new york to read an academic paper. he and his wife had a place in the city, but he obviously hadn't been there for quite sometime since his wife had died. he meets up with a couple that have been living in his apartment....they'd supposedly "rented it" from some guy...anyway...he ends up getting more and more involved in thier lives. he is able to find his way back to life with these strangers. so another good flick.

have had a week of headaches and canker sores. if i eat too much salty stuff my mouth breaks out. really annoying. i'm a bit buzzed as i decided to have a glass of wine. i'm such a lightweight. it's pretty sad really. i didn't even make it through half the glass when i started feeling the effects. have a nice mix of apples, cheese and chocolate to enjoy my glass o wine with. my mouth feels fine now and no headache...thank you wine!! it's kinda like laughing gas at the dentist. you still have pain...but you no longer give a crap about it. :-).

took my PALS resert class yesterday. always seems a tedious day. i always try to avoid code situations. i prefer to know someone will die and prepare accordingly. don't like it when people die without warning. you usually get warning. sometimes you just have to be watching closely for those signs. good to be prepared...but these classes can be a bit silly at times. nursing is always a series of jumping through the hoops. i'm getting better at not getting annoyed and just jumping through the hoop before me.

after class i grabbed the pups to head to the dog park. blossom had a close call with a car. never pays to be in a hurry. she must be leashed to go from the house to the car. she just gets so excited if someone is out there and heads out to say hello...scared the hell out of me. i'd be devastated if she got hit by a car. i know i'd never be able to forgive myself for such stupidity. luckily, it was just a scarey reminder for me. so two days at the dog park. tomorrow i will definitely have to do something more fun for us.

i'm on a stay-cation at present. plan on getting some christmas stuff done for sure. it is late so i'm off to sleep...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

should be studying....

and really...i'm going to get down to it...right after this. really...really i will. has been a week of headaches for me. still lingering and i hope i don't have to deal with this again tomorrow. i went to the chiropractor today and got the one i like a bit better which is nice as he worked on my knots abit. hopefully, that will help them dissapate tonight.

it's been cold, cold, cold this week. temperatures -10F to +5F. at work the tube system starts to howl and sounds very spooky when the temperatures outside get low like this so it's like having ghosts around you. work wasn't overly stressful on peds these past two days. had the opportunity to catch up on my gossip magazines. one patients mom had bought out the house on gossip mags and gave them to us after she was done. i'm now totally up to date. apparently tom cruise and his wife are having issues and she can't leave cause he'll take suri and raise her as a scientologist robot....brad pitt is drinking excessively and texting jennifer anniston which angelina doesn't like. chas, cher's daughter....becoming a son is getting huge...i wasn't aware that in order to change sex one must become totally overweight. we did laugh as chas had her breasts removed...which considering her large size as a man we felt she should have left...plenty of men have man boobs. this also always makes me curious as she has a lesbian partner...if you are a lesbian and your lesbian lover becomes a man can you still stay with them or will that become a problem. so this is what i learned at work when i should have been studying for my PALS class tomorrow.

i believe these are bohemian waxwings. they travel in large numbers and flit from tree to tree. my walks were mostly in the bog, though i did do a loop up in n. bivouac the other day. gets almost too cold for photography. the battery just doesn't last as long and i tend to just get on with the business of walking in order to prevent getting colder than i am. movement is good.
my netflix the other day was called "arranged". i quite enjoyed it. two young women, who are teachers meet at the school they have been hired to teach at. one is from an orthodox jew family and the other is muslim. they live in new york i believe. they are both dealing with their families arranging thier marriages. of course, the other teachers they work with and especially the principle are a bit condescending of such an arrangement. thier respective families are less than thrilled as well that these two have struck up a friendship. it all works out in the end.
i suspect that an arranged marriage isn't necessarily any more risky than some of the partners we choose for ourselves. i think much of marriage is luck and then there is some work and compromise involved. a few people get very lucky and find someone that really suits them. whether this is by thier own choosing or by the choosing of others...who knows. in the arranged one i suspect that how well your parents know you and the pressures of socioeconomic status would be a factor. as in all, it depends on the individuals involved. with over 50% divorce rate...i suspect there is proof that we don't always choose for ourselves well. of course, in arranged marriages probably divorce isn't an option. anyway...i liked the movie. i think it showed the struggles that we all have with these major life issues and with our parents and how we decide to live our we follow the beliefs of those before us or do we strike out on our own.

did have some excitement in the bog the other day. rio must have split open her ear on a brush when we were out on the pond. it was so cold that the blood didn't fly everywhere like it would normally. must congeal quickly...anyway..i didn't notice her ear bleeding though in retrospect she was rubbing her head in the snow. near the end of the walk i noticed that my white snow pants were covered in what looked like a rust coloured paint...then i noticed that rio's collar and leash were also covered....then it occured to me that it was actually blood. it started to bleed normally once we were in the warm house and it took a bit for me to feel safe. ears bleed like the dickens and her ears are jumbo size. once another dog bit her ear and she kept shaking all dressings off i attempted to place there...blood would then splatter up the walls. very nice.

lots of cool frost on the trees due to the chill factor. okay...i'm really off to study now.