Saturday, December 18, 2010

enjoying the christmas season....

went to get my tree at alaska mill and feed. they are a garden/pet place. i tend to get my trees there each year as they seem fresher than others. trees in alaska tend to drop needles pretty fast as they get barged up from the lower 48. while i was there i stopped in THE ULU FACTORY. looks like a shop that is kept busy with tourists in the summers, pretty quiet in there when i stopped in. never been in before, but they have nice lights out front and i had a few presents left to buy. that is downtown anchorage in the background.
enjoy all the lights that brighten up the darkness this time of year. i drove around a bit near my place to look at the homes that have been decorated. i always like the trees the best with thier lights glowing through the blanket of snow. always so pretty. i obviously didn't spend a great deal of time getting perfect photo's....just for fun. i may have to wander other neighborhoods over the next week and see what else is out there.
no work til the christmas stretch. i work next thurs, fri, sat. enjoy my days off. work was long on wednesday and busy on thursday. i'm always amazed at how well kids can compensate for airway least for awhile. the retractions are hard to watch though. eek! i generally can get any doctors attention when i tell them the retractions are so bad it looks as though the kid is doing chest compressions on themselves. looked better by morning so hard work, good drugs, and lots of oxygen pay off eventually. still....painful to watch.
this was probably the most decorated home i ran across tonight. there is usually a guide in the anchorage daily news. i see they had some homes listed online. this one probably gets on that list. they had the lights synchronized to some music they had playing. i know there is another house where you tune your radio to a specific station and then the lights are synched to those tunes. of course, my radio seems to have gone on the blitz. apparently, when you change the battery i'm thinking the radio shuts down. it's asking me for a code to re-boot it. what code? i have no idea. will have to see if there is any clue in the owners manual. the temperature as i drove home this morning was minus 13. it warmed up above zero, but barely. i seem to move rapidly from the car to the house so have yet to check that owners manual for hints on this code thing. would think there would be no point in putting this code in the owners manual that is always with the car, we'll see.
the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, with many doubts that any reindeer will appear. santa seems to have forgotten i exist of late. those stockings never seem to get filled up christmas eve...i miss the good ole days!! maybe i've just been very, very bad for years and just hadn't noticed.
obviously, i usually go earlier to get my tree. the place was nearly empty. there were a few 6-7 footers standing out...rejected looking. usually the trees are rolled with twine and stacked. it's not like the lower 48 where you go to a lot and the trees are all out there for you to peruse through. tree shopping in anchorage is more luck. they aren't going to pull every tree off these piles to help you find that perfect tree, not enough room. they all end up looking pretty once the lights and decorations are up. i've gotten way less picky. the trees were probably stacked up to those signs a few weeks ago.
often i do the debate with myself about real vs fake tree. the needles are a bother and the real trees are pricey at times. mine cost $50 today. i had a coupon for $5 off. love that smell though. you can't fake that.
once you purchase your beloved tree the trunk is trimmed fresh and your tree gets bagged. then it's stuffed into the back of your car. blossom is always a bit curious of this strange tree coming into the car. i think the bag protects it from the chill a bit, it does keep the needles contained before and after christmas. i always hang onto that bag and then just wrap up the tree before i take it out of the stand. less needles dragged everywhere. often after that i drag the tree 4-5 blocks to the supermarket that collects them for recycling. the dogs enjoy the walk..though i suppose we look odd draggin the tree.
the strange creature is now in the house. getting trees into the stands can be a bother, but i do like my current tree stand, much easier. must say, it's nice to have another eye to see if it's straight...or would be i guess.
random picture of pogi, he is always booted away from the food by mufasa and has to wait. there are two bowls so i'm not sure how this really happens. besides, mufasa is frail and old, pogi could totally take him. must be some kindness among the cats i guess.
my tree stand is cute, eh? the stand is also heavy which is a bonus when you have pets around. happy i picked it up several years ago. it's been great. growing up our tree always had a star on top. it had white arms and a red light in the center. have no idea what happened to it. i remember my mom asking me one day if there was anything of hers that i would want upon her death. the star was the only thing that came to mind. no idea where the star ended up. stuff is just stuff in the end it matters litte. as long as i have a memory i have my mother with me. i have looked for some sort of star though as a reminder and found this at walmart a few months back probably in september when the christmas stuff no doubt was put out. it's not the same, but i do like it. it should work quite nicely.
the last two days i took the pups to the dog park at university lake. actually, rio opted out today. she hasn't been too enthusiastic about the extreme cold. she occasionally just settles in on the couch so i don't force her and instead just let her settle and give her some peanut butter stuffed bone to entertain herself with. i have booties for her for this colder weather. a few years back we had a cold snap and i noticed some sores on her pads...frost bite. now she gets bootied.
the lake is all frozen except the little bits where a creek enter/exit the lake. today it was cool as there was steam rising at the open site. must just have been so cold that the lake water was warm by comparison. just looked that is what these next pictures are.
several folks out at the lake enjoying the day despite the cold. i must say anchorage, even on cold days is pretty easy to live in. the wind is rarely an issue so wind chill is minimum. i remember living in rapid city, south dakota and there were many days it just wasn't safe or comfortable to walk outside. in anchorage i can do pretty well even at minus 15 to minus 20. below that i think walking would be a bad idea for anything more than a quick potty break for hte dogs. i'm always surprised at how active people are in this town no matter how cold. this city is just well planned for outdoor recreation. miles of lit trails and unlit ones as well.
hopefully, the election gets certified. wish miller would just give it up, but it doesn't look like he has any intention of losing the election he already lost. makes me even more happy he did lose, he's looking more like a nutcase to me.
the peds unit has been having annual tree decorating contests night vs day shift. i didn't work on the trees but i do like the night shifts tree better. they really do work hard on it. i was standing by the elevators where the trees are on display and i started to hear music. the night shifts tree sings. they made it hawaiiian themed this year. all the ornaments must be handmade. so it plays that hawaiian christmas song. very cool. hope it wins though there may be some ballot stuffing. the days never seems to win. nights is trying hard to defend thier title and days is trying to beat nights. not sure when the final decision will be reached. i'll have to try and get pictures of the trees next time i work.
think i mentioned my new car battery. with these cold days my weakening battery gave out. i had loaded the dogs and was ready for a walk and nothing. i took the girls to the bog and tried the car again when i returned, nada. so i called AAA. when i moved my mom insisted i get AAA as she was quite worried about her little girl striking out on her own. i rarely use it, but it did come in handy wednesday. they come over and can just jump the car or they can test the battery and change it on the spot if needs be. my battery had some life in it, but i knew it wasn't enough to be able to restart after another 12 hour shift. the last thing you want is to come outside after working 12 hours and have the car not start, especially when it's less than 0 outside.
been more moose hanging around, the moose numbers in anchorage increase through the winter. was one at the dog park the other day. luckily rio didn't notice it right off.
got an email this afternoon from a biologist. at wildlife wednesday the other week i signed up as a volunteer to assist with necropsies on sea otters found dead. part of thier research. they are already looking for my assistance. i wrote back that monday should work as long as i'm out of there before noon. can't miss my monday walk, cutting up sea otters. they said the necropsies usually take about 3 hours. should be interesting. i'm always scanning the papers volunteer section to see if anything interests me. i'm a bit chicken to involve myself with things that i fear could bring harm to myself. this is one where i can be helpful but not worry about some psycho homeless person stalking i paranoid..yes i admit it. not sure if that makes me evil or not. when i lived in southern california i was trained at the los angeles zoo as a keeper. once you've gone through thier keeper class you can volunteer as a keeper. i did quite a bit of that through my 20's. it was fun. i guess there is risk from the wild animals in the park, but i'd prefer that risk over the crazy person risk.
dog park pictures of the girls. rio above in her booties and coat, blossom below uneffected by the chilly weather.
she's happy to have her frisbee making a more regular appearance. she hasn't lost it, though i try and keep the frisbee at a level where she doesn't do the crazy jumps she used to do. i think she gets a bit sore now more than before. she's 5, but for a dog, that isn't so young.
not many people sitting on this bench these days. too cold, you gotta keep moving. below is some random biker. i always think it's odd that these people commute by bike year round. they get those fat tires and the big handlebar glove things and off they go. impressive really.
was bad about plugging in the car for a bit, but now that the temperatures have dropped seems crazy not too. a friend moved to arizona and she was telling a story about being pulled over one day. the policeman obviously had never lived in a cooler climate and was very concerned about this plug coming out of her car. it made him very suspicious of her. thought it was funny.
the dogs are sleeping and so should i. fun to be feeling better and getting into the christmas season a bit. getting back my appetite so perhaps i'll even try baking this weekend!!

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