Sunday, October 31, 2010

HAPPY moose and bear tracks in the snow!!

happy halloween...!! i quite enjoyed myself. the dogs were rather accomadating to my insanity. they wore their costumes without complaint. what is it about dogs and kids in costumes...not much more adorable. the neighborhood kids had fun with the girls. i put a baby gate up and then would stand behind the door and open it. the dogs would be the first thing those kids saw. they seemed delighted and laughed when i came around the door. many said they thought the dogs themselves had opened the door. so i guess we tricked them...and then gave them treats. blossom is a bunch of grapes and rio was a flower!
blossom didn't get the whole thing. she loved that all these kids came to the door, but was a bit confused and sad that they all left. several friends had good numbers of kids this year. here and in other states it seems, according to sources at facebook. maybe trick or treating is on the rise!
i remember as a kid we had a great deal of freedom on halloween night. often a parent or older kids would peruse the neighborhood and always someone had to stay home to hand out candy. as i looked out in my neighborhood many porch lights were out. when i was a kid mostly all the porch lights would be on and just a few houses would be dark. of course, years ago we all got the full sized candy bars. i did that one year, when i had to leave for work. i could only hand out candy for like an hour or so. those kids faces were classic when they saw that regular sized candy bar slip into thier buckets and pillow cases. we always had pillow cases.
at some point the scares began with kids getting hurt or candy being infused with glass or metal shards. life just changed and trick or treating changed with it. good to see more kids able to get out and do halloween right. it just pleases me to see families walking together around neighborhoods going door to door.
while the kids came and went i watched some classics. first was "beatlejuice" and second was "poltergiest". both classics at this point.
took the dogs out to n. bivouac trails the past two days between shifts. yesterday we ran into these bear tracks in the snow. so apparently, they have not denned up yet, though it is getting chilly out there.
i took off on a side trail and ran into the tracks again. this trail is great in winter. couldn't quite get through yet for all the tall grasses. soon enough. water is freezing up everywhere and won't unfreeze til may.
above close up of back paw and below close up of front paw.
the prints were so clear in the snow. we've just gotten a light dusting such as this on my end of town. they thought maybe tonight, we'll see. it's rather cold out there. i went to pull the tops off the pumpkins outside to light the candles, but they are frozen. i had to lite them from the decorated bits.
work was not bad. first night the one patient was a bit cookoo from weeks of treatments. his head had cleared a great deal by the third night i had him, though at that point he was awake enough to attempt to hit on me half the night. guess i should just be flattered that some still find me attractive. had to spend the last hours of my shift being nice, but dodging all the attempts to hit on me. my second night was kept busy with a woman with a very high blood pressure and very low heart rate. took me some time to get the resident to give me a drip...she wanted to put a patch on to bring down the the icu we generally use drips and iv pushes for that. finally, one of the intensivists was explaining stuff about the i interrupted and asked the doctor if there was any adjustments he could make on the ventilator to get the blood pressure down. he then noticed the blood pressures in the 230/100 range....i got my drip!! sometimes in nursing you just have to find your own unique way to get what you need for your patients.
it's so nice to be able to get outside in between shifts. just a great way to unwind and you just never know what you'll run into out there. i know lots of folks who go for 10-14 mile hikes occasionally, but i'm pretty amazed what i run across just getting out somewhere every day.
took the calendar i made to work to show around. it got many positive reviews, so that is always fun. the mugs arrived yesterday as well. those came out well too. should be a nice addition to christmas for friends and family i hope.
i was also treated to run into this big bull moose the other day in the bog. see..daily walks can bring many wondrous sights. this may be the same bull i saw in my neighborhood several weeks back.
he's got quite the impressive rack. couldn't get too close as i had my girl rio and she was starting to catch a scent. fun to see him, watch him and get a few pictures anyway.
tomorrow is a "competency" fair for work. i have to miss my monday hoo. perhaps i can force myself to awaken early and get out there. was thinking of trying to do something fun for those who do show up. i think lena plans on going and hopefully tanya will as well. we'll see how motivated i can get in the morning. will have to keep an eye out for that bear as well i guess.
yesterday out on the trail i ran into my friend gillians dogs with a pet sitter i've used in the past. gills two doodles have been quite a handfull for the pet sitter. she is a professional sitter. very nice, very good, but also a bit strange. she had my girls for a week once and she wrote like 10 pages of notes to let me know every time she came over, what she did. just a bit odd. she was quite shocked to see rio out and about walking. i guess she had in her head that rio was an invalid. she did have the brace then, but i always walked her. she was happy to see rio so active. we ended up walking together back down the tank trail. she said those bear tracks had actually been out there all week. frozen in the ground.
here blossom waits by the door. the evening was confusing for her...
tanya's husband and daughter stopped by for thier trick or treat. blossom was very excited to see them. love that the kids all sport big coats over thier costumes. poor maddie was quite chilly...the kids all hit a few houses and then run back to the cars that are kept running and heated up.
after each kid left, blossom stood at the door and watched them. she didn't seem to get why they all left so quickly and didn't stay to play with her.
all in all a sucessful halloween night. a good time was had by all. hopefully, nothing bad happened to mar the holiday. the above picture showed blossoms headress well. she is just so dang cute...!
rio didn't seem to notice her get up...she is so sweet. the flower totally worked for her.
have gotten in a few episodes of "all creatures great and small". the books and show took a break while the vets were off to war and when the series continues the actress who plays helen has changed and helen and james have 2 kids. it was a bit strange at first, but i think i like this second helen more. she's playing the role more as i would expect a farm girl of that day to behave.
this picture gives you a better look at the grapes...! blossom waits to go outside and lay on the deck, all decked out of course. she is usually pretty intolerant to any sort of costume, but from the moment i put this one on she was all whatever. maybe that is the maturity of now being 5!
good night and happy halloween...hope everyone had as much fun as i did!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

obsessed with green headed ducks....

my day started way too early. i was worried about making my 10am tire changeover appointment, but my tub guy came in at 7am. he beat my alarm. i just opened the door, fed the dogs and read the paper. didn't sleep much as i was worried about that 7am time. waking up early is not something i do often. the tub looks great though so all worth it i think. there are pictures below.
got the car in for it's changeover. the tire that was losing air had a reason to. there was apparently a screw in the tire. so that is all fixed up now. studs are on. i took the girls for a few spins around cuddy park. i think that is the name of it. it's right by the main library in town here. so it was nice to just walk a few blocks from the car place and be able to enjoy the day.
there is some open water there at the park and the ducks were having a time out there. i quite enjoyed watching them for a bit. it was tough keeping blossom out of the water. those green heads are just so pretty, me being a green lover and all. the ducks would find some little morsel and then all the ducks would make chase on the duck with the tidbit. very amusing.
it was icy out everywhere and i had to scrap ice off my windows this morning. walking was a bit slickery. we ended up having to sit outside once we were done with our walk as some guy got up inside the tire shop as soon as i sat down and said he was allergic to dogs. i had my jacket, hat and mittens so i was fine out there. the sun kept popping out and that felt great.
have no idea what this duck has that held all the other ducks attention, but it must be tasty.
got the eyes checked and will pick up my very first pair of glasses in a few weeks. they assured me that the frame is nice, i have no idea as i've never shopped for glasses before. i'm just a smidge off of 20/20 but i think the glasses will help me see the moniters in the patients rooms more clearly. that has become a bit more difficult. it will also be good for night driving...something we do alot of in winter.
hit the gym for some laps after my eye appointment. really i needed a shower for the day and my shower is out of commision til tomorrow am. got in 33 laps though so it was nice. the last laps i had the lane to myself, not too usual during the week.
there was a group of canadian geese which kept landing and flying about. seemed like they are doing drills in preparation for the long flight ahead. this park is in what is considered mid-town.
they just did a re-design on this park a year or so ago. it came out real nice i think. great little patch of green in the middle of all those businesses. no doubt a great place for a lunch break for those working in the area.
below is the new skating ring they put in. it's set up for speed skating, hopefully, one day they'll add some lighting. it's a nice place to skate though, blossom and i have taken the kick sled there a few times.
yesterday was another day of errands for me. i had the tub guy so i had to be out of the house for much of the spraying. guessing from the residual smell it's a bit toxic. first we walked around the bog and out in the neighborhoods, then off to costco then to my biocheck thing for work. i didn't totally pass as for some reason my cholesterol is higher this year. this aging thing bites really. so i'll have to do something about that. i think i'll start with a real lab test as i suspect that finger check is only moderately accurate. my blood pressure was great and my bmi was under their requirements. we get money off of our insurance for having more normal limits. my cholesterol was one point above the allowable. what a bother. hit the gym for a shower and 30 laps yesterday as well. felt bad as the dogs had to stay inside the car. he wanted the house empty for like 3 hours after the spray and the windows were open for ventilation. considering it gets down to 30 at night, it was chilly. got home too late to bother with cooking so i've been eating chinese delivery.
this is bog, a bit icy on the bridges.
above is another bog shot and below is an eagles nest i spotted on rovers run the other day. i do occasionally see an eagle out there, but hadn't ever noticed the nest. amazing how you can go a place repeatedly and still find new things to revel in. didn't see the eagle that day though.
took the pups to pet co tonight. it's blossoms 5th birthday so i felt i should celebrate it somehow. she's such a great dog. got her a few toys, squeaky tennis balls and some big bones to munch on. one for rio and one for blossom. i really thought they would just nibble at the leftover bits, but rio devoured hers and blossom just took hers out in the yard and buried it. the usual outcome of that is that rio, the nose, will locate the bone in spring and that will be the end of that. blossom doesn't bury her bones very deep at all and really only just moves leaves over the bone with her nose.
above is snow on chugach before monday and below is after monday. obviously, that snow is advancing. there will be no retreat, only further advancement until we are covered in it. the tire changeover place wasn't too packed but it will go nuts after that first snow. good to have it done with.
so the old tub look was beige and chipped and the new look is white, clean and unchipped. i'm quite happy. they said there is a seven year warrantee, but i'm no longer to use a mat. (they put a non slip application on it) they even re-did the edgings so it looks splendid!
so tomorrow i get to shower in my new, clean tub.
parting shot of mufasa. he circles me every morning waiting for his chow. i fear he will eat off my face if i don't get out of bed and feed him. he's super thin, getting matted and unkempt at this point. still comes for breakfast and dinners so i'll let him hang out a bit longer. he seems to love his coat. i took it off for a washing last night. sad to get a peek of what is leftover of the cat. can't be too much longer now.
still, i've always found old cats endearing. something about an old cat that just makes me a softie. he's driven me nuts for years and now i enjoy him more than ever.

Monday, October 25, 2010

more pictures from summers past..

when i left for the monday walk there was a wee bit of snow coming has changed to rain though so kinda a damp and dreary day. i got lazy, skipped my swim and worked on photography such. more cd's gotten through, more pictures loaded to shutterfly. went to costco with a few cd's to make an album of the dalton highway pictures. haven't really gotten a system down yet for my pictures since i have changed from film to digital. i do still enjoy an album of pictures, old fashioned i guess. unfortunately i took the card in last time and cd's in this time. i think cd's are the better way to go...i've already doctored the pictures a bit. usually for me that just means adding a wee bit of contrast and maybe changing the borders a bit.
above is a seal, well a couple seals. that picture was taken on a kayaking trip out of dangerous passage. the seals were in nassau fjord. i've done that kayak twice. the first time it poured rain pretty much the entire trip, the second time we had beautiful weather.
these kayak pictures are back to harriman fjord and the huge waves i mentioned from the large calvings of the glaciers out there. this one is taken once we were safely on land and could enjoy them. usually this water is flat calm, the wave is totally created from glacial calvings. harriman fjord is north of whittier, nassau is south.
the river above is running from under the glacier. water is very silty. we filter it, but that silt can clog up filters pretty rapidly. pretty though.
this is some of the group from that trip. deb, nancy, ted, tanya, kelly, stephanie. everyone hung out on this big rock and watched all the activity from the glaciers. hot sun in alaska makes for a grand show, it can still be dangerous, even on land.
there is the water between calvings. the ice has been tossed up on the beach from all the wave action. many beaches up here are black sand beaches.
nothing like a camp fire with a view. we had a lovely night out there.
getting to and from the land to water was a huge challenge this day and the next morning when the boat came to collect us. the calving continued and those huge boulders of ice created havoc. we had to try and move them to creat a path to haul stuff to the boat.
above is a wave coming off the glacier.
these next few pictures take you out to st paul island. it's north of the aleutians and at least 300 miles off the western coast of alaska. we went to both st paul and st george islands, also called the pribilof islands. st george was more picturesque and we loved it there. the accomadations, the was wonderful. we enjoyed st paul as well, but it just didn't have the charm of st george. we were also lucky on st george to have met up with all the local wildlife biologists and some folks from the world wildlife federation so we got a grand education from the lot of them. ( still watching those james herriots shows)
these pictures are all from st paul, we did some walks out there. we were the only non-birder visitors there. it was our first encounter with such serious birders. they asked us if we were birders the minute we got off the little plane, when we said we weren't, they just walked away. the one young guide was very nice and he took us for walks to see all sorts of stuff, wildflowers, scenery, fur seals and of course, birds. we don't hate birds, i just don't have a list i check off and all that.
there were several caribou carcass strewn about hte place. the caribou were not native to the islands, neither were the natives, but they are used as a food source. we never ran into the herd on st paul, but did find them on st george.
the fur seals haul out on the islands and give birth in july. so we got to see lots of babies. the beach in these two pictures were called bachelor beaches. the baby above was an oddity to see there on the beach. the other babies and moms were congregated together in thier harems. these males were the unmated seals.
more bears, because, who doesn't like seeing pictures of bears, right? this is another bear that we saw out at mcneil a great deal. can't remember what we called him, but he was recovering from a broken leg and doing pretty well. charley would hang with him, spar with him, but he was always gentle. the next three are a series of him fishing.
off for the kill....
the dive.
the monday walk was a bit wet, but the dogs enjoyed themselves as always. just tanya, lena and i showed so we got a nice walk in. it wasn't too wet and we all stopped for coffee and what not after. i brought my pumpkin bread so everyone could have a slice. i stopped by the gas station and refilled my tire with air. still leaking. still staying close to home. scheduled my tire changeover for wednesday so that will be a relief. hopefully, the tire can be easily repaired.
more of charley...
the folks who work at costco photo know me well. i'm not there as often now that i am digital. there was a total novice there trying to get photo's made. she was so annoying to the staff there. i was annoyed by her. some people are perpetually in a hurry.
tomorrow will be a busy day. got the guy coming to reglaze the tub, must swim(no excuses) and i have to pop in to work for a quick health screen. weight, blood pressure and cholesterol check. we get money off our insurance if we are healthier. course i just read that some companies are trying to find thier way around having to pay for employee's health care. apparently it may be cheaper for them to just pay the fines than to insure their employees so they may just opt for that. nice.
the world goes on, the bears are oblivious to all the politics and such and when you are out amongst them you are also completely isolated from what is going on in the world. no cell phones, no texting, no newspapers, news's quite nice to get disconnected from the strains of human life and just revel in the joys of animal life.
nature has always been such a place of peace and rejuvination for me. i'm so grateful to live in this place that affords me so many opportunities. can't wait to get planning on next years adventure. we are off to kayak with the humpback whales at point adolphus. just gotta get started on the planning of it all. it's always my winter project, planning the big summer trek.
looks like i may get to bed again at a reasonable hour. goodnight.