Tuesday, June 29, 2010

work, tile , sleep....oh and of course some walking.

finally got out for a walk today. met up with maureen and kaya out at prospect heights for a little loop. blossom was thrilled to be on a real hike i suspect. it was a bit wet out, has been rainy all weekend. good for me.
most of the week i did neighborhood walks and tried to get blossom to play in the yard. with workmen coming and going it just gets too hard to get far from the house. above is one of my himalyan poppies in bloom. the one plant is really producing. i just love the colour on these flowers. the icelandic poppies are blooming nicely out in the front yard and looks like i'll have a bumper crop of lillies when they bloom.

the lilacs are blooming all over anchorage. it's a very popular tree here and the flowers are both beautiful and some of the best smelling flowers out there. i just love them. sometimes i just snip a bit off and carry it around with me. set it by the bedside and inhale every so often. probably makes me a freak, but it smells so wonderful!
was able to finally get the raised beds planted. who knows how productive they'll be. also got the deck flower pots planted as well. my planters have various license plates decorating them. this is my pride though. the northwest territories of canada as well as nunivat territory have these super cool license plates in the shape of a polar bear. not too many actual cars in those regions so not always easy to get the plates!

did the big neighborhood loop up patterson, over to cheney lake, around there and then back down to the baxter bog. on one trip i must have dropped my cell phone someplace. luckily, when i called it some nice guy answered it and left it in his post box so i could retrieve it. the iris's are blooming all over and the baby geese are getting bigger. aren't they cute!
there were several families of them hanging here. there was also a duck family there. i did brave the bog despite the mosquito's, but i think the rain kept them a bit at bay. of course, with all the workman activity in the house, the door has been open more than it's been shut and there is a large population of mosquito's who seem to have taken up residence. brats. i have some huge welts from noseeums. those things really get me. it's gross cause the huge welts end up draining whatever even when i don't touch them.
had a perfect 2 ventilator patient assignment my first night in icu this week. then i was switched to a sledd patient for the next 2 nights. kept me very busy, especially the first night. the second night is generally a bit easier. of course, i had to bring in some music as the family had gospel elvis and i just am not that huge of an elvis person, especially gospel elvis. i had to shut that down pretty fast. i brought in my classics with waves and nature sounds. my favorite of those is pachabel. i can actually have that in the background at work for a full 12 hours without ever going nuts.
my last night i just had a few babies on peds floor. they were both probably going home today so i volunteered to go home early and pass the babies off to my co-worker. it was nice after such a busy week to be home by 2am and in bed. slept like a rock!
i need to take a drive to the spot where all the wild iris grow. tanya always tells me where you can get out and check them out, but i haven't made it out there yet. maybe she'll show me tomorrow. would be a nice walk i think.
here is a picture of cheney lake. you can see all the white fluff on the lake. that is all cottonwood fluff. many people are highly allergic to the stuff. doesn't bother me except that the fluff gets everywhere.
blossom enjoys her puddle pool on one of the sunny days last week.
just a few more pictures of the planters all planted up. my old south dakota and california plates. never like throwing those out so it was fun to find the perfect place for them!
great article in the paper today. it was about how many americans are now basically getting tortured to death. we prolong life trying to cure the incurable and end up causing a great deal more pain and spending money that could better go elsewhere. spoke of the benefits of hospice but that most people spend the majority of thier last days going through more and more treatments, drug regimines and surgeries and they miss the opportunity to just go home, be with loved ones and pass away with dignity. the article emphasized the american never quit attitude and how that is impacting our end of life choices. very interesting. hope can cause so much grief and pain. i see it all the time. instead of using that time to plan for our demise we torture ourselves with treatments that only prolong suffering not life.
as you can see the bathroom tile project is coming along. tile guy didn't show up the next day so that was a waste. luckily, he'd said he wouldn't get there until after noon so i woke early and got to the gym for some laps. did 36 laps or 72 lengths. the next day after i'd spoken to him the night before the tile guy assured me he'd be there at noon so again i woke early to get my shower and swim in. waking up early is a tough thing for me so i only had 1/2 hour to swim so i did 20 laps or 40 lengths. at least that meant i got my 3 swims in for the week!! he worked until i had to walk out the door for work. i arranged for the toilet installer to show up and he found the tiler had covered the flange area for the toilet. so had to get tile dude to return to cut out the flange area. dude said he'd be there on saturday, but totally blew on it. was good actually as i was exhausted at that point and working so i got much needed sleep. tile guy showed up sunday to finish and put up the door and toilet dude came today.
overall i'm quite pleased. tile dude wasn't a perfectionist. the best tile work i've had in here has been the one guy that came and did the front entry and around the fireplace. this guy was a bit more of a slacker i think when i really am checking it. we were short a few of the white tiles for around the shower so he cut down some of the white wall tiles he had left. i do see that under the sink he did a pretty crappy tile job. it's not readily visible, but he left those ungrouted and unfinished. i have the grout so i'll have to mix it up. want to buy a thing that looks like a cake decorating tool so that i can finish up a few spots that need the grout or need some grout packed in. the toilet didn't sit flat so obviously tile dude didn't use a level for much of the job. so toilet dude wants me to wait a few weeks just in case there is a leak and then he wants me to put silicone around the base of the toilet. i'm very messy at this as you can see in any pictures of the tub.
i do like that the bathroom has some pizazz. not sure it will appeal to all. it's certainly not a safe, dull bathroom. i think too often when i looked at houses in the area they had no personality. i like a little personality. i remember the house i grew up in had just beautifully done tile bathrooms. they were very meticulous with the tiles and designs. you see that in many older houses in southern california. i was watching an episode of "the closer" tonight and they showed their main bathroom/tub. it had just that sort of tile desige. i couldn't quite repeat that in my house, try as i might, but i think this did the trick for me. looks better than it did previously, at least in my opinion.
the above picture still has the grout mess on it. the bright white grout really does make the tiles pop! mufasa and flat cat is checking it out. they haven't appreciated being locked up so much this week and still their litter is not where they would normally have it. i'd like to get the finish work done and get the toilet siliconed so that i don't shove cat litter underneath it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

last of chicken, walk to gold mint and tiling...

we had another monday walk yesterday. met up out at gold mint trail in hatchers pass. i always love that trail. just a beautiful place and a not difficult walk. we went to the mile 3 marker then turned around. blossom and maddie were a bit sleepy post walk...we stopped for chocolate shakes after the walk as well, which i totally enjoyed!
sharon walks with maddie and cooper the final stretch. i think she was enjoying having a child around to help her with training. cooper still gets a bit wound up with kids. maddie got knocked over a few times, but evenutally we taught her to "bunch up"...meaning grab an adult so she is more solid and doesn't get knocked over. the dogs had a blast and maddie, well, for 7 years she really does amazingly well on these long hikes. i always have the good bad snacks so she loves that. tanya tends to have those parental snacks...healthy stuff. boring!! hehe
the weather threatened to get ugly, but aside from a few drops of rain we were very lucky...sadly we weren't the only folks out there walking. we were guessing that the summer solstice got folks out and about. i mean if you can't enjoy summer on it's longest day....
just a beautiful place, hatchers pass...
maddie attempted to have a snack so sharon attempted to use that as a training moment. the dogs are all sitting...blossom was with me. those two malamutes had a blast together. i could hardly tell them apart though.
we are begining to wonder if like breeds recognize each other as these two really just hit it off. blossom too seems to recognize other doodles and is drawn to them...at least the ones that look similar to her. strange.

the malamutes both went on top of hte beaver dam looking for beaver...not really a good idea as those beaver can be a bit nasty. this is cooper exploring.
here are the beaver dams, just over a mile in i believe. sadly blossom didn't want to swim as i'd forgotten her tennis ball. she was not chasing sticks...no idea why, the mutes were. so the malamutes swam and the retriever sort sat on the sides.
here are some pictures of the tiling project. finally on the road to finishing the upstairs bathroom...well, as finished as it will get. odd that they don't really remove layers of flooring before laying the new stuff...apparently there were 3 layers of linoleum down there. who knew. always some surprises...if that is the worst i'll be cool with that. the blue looks a bit dark, but i think once the bright white grout goes in it will perk it up a bit. he'll return, god willing, tomorrow to do the grout and finish putting the tiles up the sides of the walls. should look nice when it's done.
the shower looks much more done with the white tiles around it. of course we are short a few of those so hopefully they can get those here in a reasonable amount of time. will be able to shower and such without that being completely done though. so the white bullnose will also be the one that comes up the walls.
this was my before shot. i had the squares a bit further out than he placed them, but the world won't end.
some more shots from my little jaunt to chicken'n'back. still not sure what mountain this was that followed me to glennallen, but it sure was a beautiful site. it's in the wrangell-st elias national park. a place i still must visit. unexplored alaska for me! i suspect this one is mount drum, but it could just as easily be another one of those mountains. mount wrangell is to one side of drum and mount sanford to the other.
lost track of the number of moose i saw on this trip, but this is one of the rare pictures i took of a moose. always love to see moose in the water. he was a ways off, but still cool.
this is back on the taylor highway...blossom waits patiently while i take pictures of scenery. of course, soon after this i realized how low my gas level was. the light came on and i still had probably 30+ miles to go to get to tok with no hope of a gas station between. i made it, i think by drafting off a semi. he kept wanting me to pass, but i knew i'd be out of gas completely if i expended the energy required to pass a truck out there.
the clouds were just massive and beautiful out there on the taylor highway. do think this would be awesome in the fall. you can chase fall around, but it's so short it's easy to miss the peak, especially if you jump from place to place i guess.
post fire ground cover brings on life.

right before chicken on the top of the world highway there is a little hike you can take to a look out..so i took the girls. pretty views, lots of bugs, some mud...
another picture of the big mountain out of glennallen with the other camera. sorry i am forever all mixed up in my postings.
back to taylor..
took many pictures out the window, especially after i realized the gas situation. most of them turned out badly due to the amount of smashed bugs out there. oh well.
just such a beautiful day out there!!
blossom takes in the sights.
can't say i was lazy today, but i did miss the swim. was bummed. it just took forever for the tile guy to leave since he'd gotten a late start. not his fault. he wasn't really slated for this job, but the guy who was supposed to show up got stung by a bee and had to go to the hospital. after a delay this guy came, who happened to be free. nice of him to cover like that. so far he's done a decent job, i probably should have moved the square bits back a bit, but at some point you really just say...just do it, whatever.
gave me a chance to finish reading my first book on the kindle, "the namesake" which i quite enjoyed. it also allowed me to do some of those little things that i tend to avoid. finally changed the flapper in the downstairs toilet, finally primed the wood around the door they put to the backyard, finally fixed a drawer in my dresser that has been broken off for a bit. it was a lovely day though and there was much i would have rather done.
this is the post office in the community of chicken...thought it was cute. was surprised to learn upon posting these pictures on facebook that there are several folks who want to take a trip to chicken...go figure.
before i headed on for the day i stopped by the "shopping" center of chicken. there is a little saloon and a eating establishment. i got myself a grilled cheese and a little side salad...they were nearly out of lettuce, but decided they had enough to make me my salad. in many of these small towns, they just run out of stuff....menu's change with availability of supplies.
chicken airport...nice plane, eh?
a few more from that trail i walked with girls at the end of hte top of hte world. i always do that to "the", i bore with correcting it.
a few last pictures from the "top of the world" highway.
this is the view when you follow a bus or car.
back in the usa...the northernmost port of entry for the united states on the road system.
another day of tiling tomorrow. the guy has a job in the morning so i'm hoping to wake up early enough to get a walk and a swim in before he comes. this morning today was such a waste, just sitting around, waiting. hate that.