Wednesday, September 29, 2010

fall rain and bog walk....

it was a lazy day here. of course the dogs got walked though. the dogs almost always get walked. today it was just in the bog and then off into the neighborhood. there was light rain coming down so with the chill of fall, it was just an easy day to settle in...walk slow. the dogs enjoy a slow walk, they get to smell everything. the flowers above and below were on patterson road. a garden going into slumber for the season. thought they looked cool, fading away as they were.
there is some termination dust on the chugach range. the snow will now move slowly down those mountains til we are covered as well. took picture below as i went to check my mail. already have my james herriot series from amazon. can't wait to watch one when i crawl in bed. for now i'm watching the netflix for this week, "the soloist". it's about a street musician in los angeles. a reporter for the los angeles times happened upon him and ended up getting to know this homeless man. many of our homeless are also our psychiatric patients. can't say we've done very well by our homeless or psych patients in this nation.
spoke to my brother jeff, my family likes to have political discussions. jeff and i are more often on the same thinking. health care in our nation is very inefficient. we have socialized medicine but it's all disjointed. native care, military care, medicare, medicaid, government it's funny that people are so against socialized medicine seeing that we already have it. really we need to just break down all these and start over with one singular system. all of these together just creat red tape upon red tape. being a nurse it's often assumed that i am cared for, when really i have just as crappy healthcare as anyone. every year it seems they charge us more and give us less. one illness can wipe each of us out. we live in fear of becoming sick in our nation. it destroys families, bankrupts them. of course, i explained to my brother that a huge part of the issue is this nations fear of death. we spend billions of dollars trying to prevent death, when death is the only alternative. death can be given with dignity, but we fear death in this nation...seemingly anything is better than death here.
blossom enjoys her time outside. she's just as cool with taking a nap. we did that for a bit today, lazed about reading my book. gotta enjoy a day like that.
this is a favorite neighborhood tree. it's starting to hit it's full fall bloom. not quite there yet. i asked the owner of this tree and he said it's a japanese maple. when i went to try and get one locally, they all told me that it wasn't possible, that those wouldn't live here. they convinced me to get an amur maple. so that is out front now. not quite as lovely, but i'm trying not to let it know that i really covet this tree down the street.
hit the pool again today. got in my mile, which is always great. the last bit another swimmer got in to share the lane. there are a few swimmers out there who have absolutely no grace. i don't know how this girl is even able to propel herself forward. she was all spastic and floppy in the water. i stayed on my side of the lane but she still scratched me. i can't help but watch through my goggles. crazy. i survived well enough though. there is lots to see under the water. today it was water aerobics and spastic swimmers.
rio enjoys the great outdoors, though i suspect she'd be just as happy sitting on the couch all day if i stayed there with her. she only walks cause i walk.
now i may need to read this book that the movie is based on. reminds you that there are people out there waiting to be aided, many however don't want to be helped. honestly, i often feel intimidated and fearful. you always think that you are tough and won't let the bad in the world impact what you do, but the truth is, it does. how can you keep yourself safe while helping people who live unsafe lives. you can't always.

have been loving the grass colour changes. hard to get a photo that shows it off..well for me anyway.
apparently my name was turned in for some nursing recognition. that was nice of someone to do. sweet, flattering. i know that i am not the person who gets awards or recognition. i joke and laugh and keep work light. they don't generally give awards for crass humor.
it's funny, the homeless guy isn't the one with the issues. he's adjusted to the life he lives and found his happiness. everyone has to fit in the box, everyone is supposed to want the same things, everyone will be happy that way. but they aren't.....
that is enough excitement for one day. i'm off to work tomorrow night so no further ramblings should occur for several days.
this is the picture i accidently deleted yesteday. have a lovely fall day, where ever you are!!

ramblings of a mad woman....

wasn't going to even do any blogging today, but then here i am. slept in as usual. my day starts with an 8 am pet feed, followed by reading the paper in bed and subsequently falling back to sleep for another hour or so. the flat cat circles me and yowls until i get up and feed him. he's very persistent and i am fully aware that if i were to fall deathly ill or out and out die, the flat cat would be the first to actually consume me. such a pleasant thought. that is the life of a single girl. one day you could die at home and hungry animals may eat you before you are noticed missing. my only hope is dying on a day i'm supposed to go to work.
did eventually get out of bed and meet up with my friend gail for a walk in kincaid. we did the jodphur loop. no moose sightings, which is odd this time of year. the dogs were sleepy though. i chatted with gail by the cars and when i looked in at the car both dogs were nodding off.
blossom's beloved tennis ball is nearby. i did manage to get some yard stuff done. raked a few leaves, planted a few bulbs in the front after clearing one bed. still have 2 that i'd like to get cleaned up, plus the planters out back,and the patio furniture needs to go in. i try to pace myself so i don't get a back ache.
i should have come home and headed to the pool immediately. often this time of year i get a chill post walk and then i snuggle under the covers with a book til i reheat. it'd be better to just head to the steam room at the alaska club. that is very good at relieving those bone chills. i never knew what chilled to the bone was or meant til i moved to alaska. you really can get cold to your core and it takes a hot shower or getting under those thick blankets to relieve it.
i did eventually get to the gym for my laps. got 30 in. i've dropped like 8 pounds since i've started swimming. people tell me my face looks slimmer which is always what happens when i lose weight...i mean who wants a thinner face. i want my arse to thin up. just another of gods little comedies. thanks. my upper body always drops the weight and my lower bits hang on to hte weight til the bitter end. the only time i lost that was when i was ill with gall bladder issues. i dropped loads of weight before surgery and yes, it finally came off the arse. that is, of the course, in reverse the first place i gain weight as well.
here is gail, helping me attempt to get pictures of rio with her new fall coat. such the fashionista. while i swam rio counter surfed and found the last of the cupcakes that i'd had tucked away. brat! only that isn't the word i used. no ill effects from eating a bar of coast soap. go figure.
just deleted a picture. oh bother, as winnie the pooh would say.
just went to buy plane tickets and started feeling very anxious so i closed out the screen and will try again another day. not that i had any sort of brilliant deal. i just am not too keen on flying. i know i'm not the only person who gets anxiety when flying. the strange and irrational thing is that i am perfectly fine flying in little planes. i love float planes as a matter of fact. it's those huge jets that freak me out. it just seems impossible for them to be up there like that. plus i don't like being 30,000 feet up. i am no astronaut. i don't like amusement park rides or jumping out of planes or doing those bungee jumps. i don't even like looking down over a cliff. i realize more people probably die in little planes, but alot of people survive them as well. when those big jets go down, that is it. kiss it all goodbye. i also realize rationally that when it's your time, it's your time and all that. the bottom line is i don't like flying, but do like that you get all that distance within several hours as opposed to weeks or road travel. my mind, body and soul all have to feel at ease when i purchase the tickets though so i'll try later.
gail and i discussed this next generation and how they are impacted by the total positive reinforcement immersion that was thier childhoods for the most part. i remember even being fairly young watching those younger than i constantly having cameras and video's in thier face and wondering what it would be like to grow up being the center of all that attention. not sure it's been that beneficial. part of life is failure and one must learn to have failures and disappointments. would be easier to learn this when you are young and the failures aren't so huge, but sadly, many just have no ability to cope with anything that is thrown at them. also now it seems that anytime a kid acts out or is hyper or difficult to control, they get diagnosed with some psych issue and medicated rather than trained how to control anger, emotions and such. often kids just need direction or an abundance of exercise to run off the extra energy. teenagers frequently now have depression, anxiety, adhd, ocd...the list goes on. have we just created a society of neurotics? often i think our society has evolved more rapidly than our ability to deal with that new society. my theory is that in the days past we spent most of our energy focused on obtaining such things as food, shelter and water. when the basic needs are not met who has a moment to dwell on whether they are fulfilled or feeling depressed or what not. on the whole our basic needs are met in this nation and therefore there is a vacuum created that must be filled. it's filled with anxiety disorders and depressions, neuroses and paranoia. of course, our nation is also rapidly becoming a nation of survival of the least fit. we have the ability to maintain lives that would never have been maintained years ago. due to unknown reasons we are creating children that seem to be predisposed to asthmas, allergies and autism. nobody seems to know quite why that is yet. will be interesting to see how that all plays out over the next decades when we have so many beings that are only able to give so much back to society and must take more and more to survive.
well, for a day when i had nothing to say i rambled on. do forgive.

Monday, September 27, 2010

old pictures of walrus, polar bears and the monday walk...

have been thinking about the walrus what with all the articles these past weeks about them hauling out at point lay. i was fortunate to take a trip out to round island just to see walruses in the wild. it's an amazing thing seeing wildlife in thier natural habitat. i feel very blessed to have traveled to some cool places such as round island. hopefully, i can get out there again, though the walrus numbers have been down there in the last few years. i was out there nearly 10 years ago. it's an amazing and beautiful place.
new poem
where will they go,
when the ice,
is gone,
thier lives at sea,
can't carry on,
for now,
they gather on beaches,
eat what they may,
they wait,
any day,
the seasons change,
ice floes lost,
will be regained.
in the meantime they will lounge about. what will next summer bring and the next and the next.
the polar bears have the same fate as the walrus being so dependant on the ice for thier existence. i also was able to get out and see them in thier natural habitat. they collect in churchill, canada, so these pictures i took there. these guys also wait for the ice to come in so thier main hunting can begin.
they were alot of fun to observe. they wrestled with each other, napped, ate seaweed.
i remember just seeing so many articles of warming trends and ice disappearing and i wanted to see these great creatures before they are lost forever. what a sad world it will be when walrus and polar bears no longer walk free. i'm still so amazed that so many refuse to believe that any warming has occured or that humans have any impact on this. surely, some of it is the earth's trends from millions of years, but how can people not see the rapidity of the trends compared to past heating/cooling trends. i'm still sickened by the attitude in that documentary, "jesus camp" where they just believe the earth is here solely for us to use up and that when jesus comes we'll just get another earth.
when you live up here so close to the great north and travel some, you hear the elders speak of the dramatic changes just in thier lifetimes. it can't be ignored really.
if god only created the earth for practical purposes why put polar bears and walrus on it at all, why not just fill the planet with cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys. why waste all that energy with the intricate details that are so apparent on our planet. it's hard for me to doubt there is some greater power than i when i look at all that is in our world, but i find it even harder to comprehend that this greater power would want us to do anything but cherish these great creatures and the land itself. for me no building can ever bring god in my heart, that can only happen when i am out there in the land.
i'm not a mad environmentalist really, i have my share of negative impact on this earth. it's difficult to exist in our world without having impact. i think it does help if each does thier small part to decrease thier impact. i'm sure my friends thought i was nuts for collecting glass in anchorage that has no glass recycling. i drove it 5 hours south to homer that does have recycling. i have also saved my used containers from body shop with plans to send it to them per my research. just found out that body shop offered a grant to the mat su valley to establish a recylcing center for plastics up to a "5". makes me want to shop there more. i like when companies try to do thier part as well. life isnt' about the grand gestures all the time, sometimes it's all the little things that just add up.

a few last pictures of the hanging valley. that was just an amazing walk each year you catch some place that is at it's absolute peak of fall colours. i never tire of fall or of the constantly changing seasons of alaska. the light is forever changing as are the seasons. each day is a new day, a new experience.
our monday walk was the usual trail, but hadn't seen andrea since the spring when the walks stopped for the year. she had a cute baby so it was fun catching up.
she, tanya and i went to kaladi brothers after our walk and we talked for a few hours. we met for the walk at 12:30 and we left kaladi's close to 5pm. i had things on my to do list, but it was too late for much of that. i read, took a nap and then i was too late for a swim even. oh well. cest la vive. it was a fun day.
this fireweed colour is the colour of my bedroom i think, or close to it. i actually took pictures of from the trip to round island of those pink walrus above and colour matched the walrus to a paint colour. turned out to be called fireweed.
chatted with my sister and a brother for a few minutes. i try and catch up with everyone from time to time. gets harder as lives branch out, but i do think it's important to keep those ties. family is family. sometimes it's frustrating as hell, but in the end it's worth the effort.
old poem:
his tracks dug deep into the sand,
with each step he took,
it became evident that,
he was the only mad to walk the land,
for his were the only footprints in the sand,
now anyone who trudged this sand,
would only be shadows of the man,
whose footprints first,
had sliced the land,
the waves spoke little that morning,
for a tale was being told,
history being made.
the man stopped to glance back at the tracks he'd left behind,
to see each toe stretch forth,
and grasp unnumbered grains of sand,
overpowering them to move him along,
he looked out at the water,
and he knew that many had sailed the sea,
but never stopped to walk,
where now his footprints stood,
his eyes traveled the horizon and wandered back to his steps,
but they had disappeared,
eaten, devoured,
by a creature beneath for sure,
the creature must be angry,
that a man would walk upon his sand,
and leave footprints to scar his land.
the man laughed at the creature,
and in spite of the creature,
continued to place his mark in the sand,
he ran and ran and ran,
til he passed out,
too exhausted to search for air,
in hopes that the creature couldn't devour all his steps,
and those who would follow after him,
would have to bow down,
to the steps of the man who had first walked the land. july '83
obviously a poem about ego and inflated ones at that. don't recall who's inflated ego it was about though. oh well....
so just a few from todays walk. was too busy chatting to get pictures. just the three of us, plus the baby and 5 dogs. blossom wasn't as tired as i like as she did some digging in the back yard. she hasn't done that for ages. brat.
here is andrea with her baby nash. cute little guy. she looks pretty happy with her new adventure.

felt badly for my old, thin cat. he's just wasting away. he seems to be grooming less and less, but still he comes up for meals twice daily. can't seem to put him to sleep when he still enjoys a meal so much. so tonight i took a minute and made him this little coat. he just has no meat on those old bones so it seemed the kind thing. he was a bit freaked at first but i think he likes it now.
thin cat,
has lost his fat,
his fur has lost,
it's sheen,
the command he held,
just years ago,
is rarely ever seen.
...just a little ode to mufasa.
was trying to get rio to model her new fall jacket. i was so excited for her to wear it on todays monday walk that i forgot her collar. i had also not sewn the velcro bits on so they didn't stick and in the end she couldn't wear her new jacket anyway. so this evening i did the hand stitching on that. it's a bit painful getting through all those velcro peices and i broke several needles...seems to be a theme for the week. broken needles.

just local's only pretty when you get out there...

above is another picture in the hanging valley. thought i'd add in some from other walks this past week. didn't take any pictures out there today. sandra met me out at campbell airstrip for a nice 3+ mile loop. when we woke there were tiny flakes of snow coming down. i just wanted to crawl back in bed. there is still much to do before winter overtakes and i haven't done it yet. nothing stuck down here, but you can see the chugach range has a nice little covering of the white stuff. most of the day i was battling a headache. backpacks, swimming, garden work all aggravates my winging scapula and i occasionally get huge knots under my scapula and subsequently up my neck. not that any of that stops me from doing the things i love, just occasionally i have a day like today where it's a little more miserable. it finally eased up in the evening and i got busy.
the paper this morning again reported on the huge numbers of walrus hauled out on land up north because the ice is totally gone. several have died and boats have spotted baby walrus that are out there alone in the water, destined to perish. they are very tight with thier moms but such a long journey is unsurvivable for some of them and they get lost from thier mothers. very sad. these large animals may succomb to the warming trends of our earth. it will be a sad day. the village is down wind of the scent of walrus, which can be a bit unpleasant. point lay is a small village and the walrus are said to outnumber people like 85:1. of course, the walrus are also attracting visitors that want to see them, point lay is not set up for such things. it sounds like the villagers wish the walrus would go and they could return to thier usual routine. polar bears wander in/out of village year round as well...they said they haven't seen any kill the walrus yet. they usually creat a stampede and get the young walrus left behind.
blossom always looks so cute in fall. perfect colours for her coat.
had a few errands to run after my walk and then took a short nap. felt exhausted. happily, i live a life where spontaneous naps are often possible.
talked to my friend maria, it's been awhile...long enough for her to be 3 weeks from delivery. i suspected she would be preggers next time we chatted. so hopefully all goes well for her in a few weeks. i had to tell her of another article in the paper today. a friends now ex-boyfriend was in the news apparently. we know him as the couple traveled with us to churchill canada to see the polar bears. we both found him to be a bore and a boor. he is ticking people off in wasilla as he bought an 11 acre parcel on finger lake out there. he wants to build his dream home there. he knew that the end of the property was covered in some deed that made it illegal to build anything permanent on that part of the property...anyway, now he is threatening to build condo's on the buildable land if he doesn't get his way. doesn't sound like he's changed much from the guy i met. he says he'll be the best neighbor possible, but one night at my house he was all, "so do you like your neighbors?" to which i said,"yes", then he said something to the effect of,"well, then i won't throw my bottle in thier yard". i though it was quite boorish.
i certainly didn't get the impression that he would be a wonderful neighbor after those comments.

there is a tennis ball in the picture below...can you find it? it gets tough to locate those buggers with all the leaves down. blossom does pretty well. i think i had to find this one for her though.
i believe this tree below was in the bog the other day. we've had beautiful blue skies out there. just amazing. okay, today not so much, but it did clear up later..after the snow fell.
we headed off into the neighborhood and then back around to patterson before coming home. there were tons of leaves down so i attempted to get pictures of the dogs. rio is below. i haven't seen too much repurcussions of the soap eating yesterday though i have noticed she's peeing more often and may be taking in some more water, though not excessively. she acts normal otherwise, eats well and all. hopefully, her kidneys are cool.
blossom in the wind and leaves.
i was trying to get a picture of blossom with her fluffy shadow while walking from my place to cheney lake the other day. it's a nice loop and i love that this beautiful lake is within walking distance from my home.
this is cheney lake. we did the loop backwards from usual as there was a moose and calf out there. a few kids coming home from school followed behind us for protection i believe.
cheney lake is a very popular local park/lake. i always love it. just a beautiful place, i did look into buying a few properties nearer to this lake, but none of them worked out for me. there are some cool townhouses right on the lake which would be totally cool .

spent a few hours outside raking leaves, pulling chickweed, spreading corn meal stuff. i have more trash than they'll pick up in the morning, but one can hope they'll take a few extra's.
despite all my raking there are still loads of leaves left to rake. i have to pace myself or i will kill my back. may feel this in the am. below is the tank trail. blossom has just gotten cooled off and is ready for more tennis ball tosses. we'll be doing this same loop tomorrow. i just wanted to check it out a few days before the official monday walks begin anew.
soon this tiny bridge will be lost in snow and frozen over completely.
so these next pictures are on the moose ridge, tank trails out at north bivouac. we'll see who shows up tomorrow. i'd thought about baking, but didn't get it done. we often head out for hot cocoa or tea post walks. we'll see.

these are still n. bivouac. always a great place for a fall walk. where isn't really. fall is a favorite.
i think this loaded sideways, but no matter. tonight was spent making a baby quilt for andrea and a new fall dog jacket for rio. below is dog jacket. she was snoring on the couch so i haven't had a chance to try it on her. i'm hoping she can wear it for our walk tomorrow. her other coats are a bit thicker with fleece in/out. i liked the cat material and thought it would be funny on a dog. it's scarey halloween cats. found the backing today at walmart. they seem to be tearing the place up, maybe a walmart remodel.
here is andrea's finished project. hope she enjoys. i try to make one quilt per family for people i like. i haven't gotten everyone and i'm no seamstress. it took a few swear words and several broken needles to get through this quilt. not sure why the needles kept breaking. i thought maybe the tension was off or it was because the thread above was different than the thread below so i fixed that. seems like everytime i tried to sew backwards it got all f'd up. quite annoying. my domestic skills are very limited, my handyman skills are also very limited. i'm sure i was a kept woman in a previous life and thus i'm supposed to learn some of this shit in this life, if so i have failed thus far. hehe.
no poetry to slumber land.