Wednesday, June 29, 2011

hike ends abruptly...

luckily, my dogs avoided the porcupine encounter, but these two headed to the vet this afternoon to be de-quilled. we heard nothing, just looked down and saw the quills. poor pups!! looks quite painful.

boddhi seemed more bothered by it than indy. he had quills on his chin too though. my dogs and i apparently got pretty lucky today. tanya's dogs work as a team though and that may be why they got into mischief with the porcupine. blossom has proven she will chase them. the porcupine usually wins in these encounters.

beautiful day though and we enjoyed our abbreviated walk. this afternoon i napped with the sunshine warming me. felt great...even had this sweet, happy dream. my house kept getting bigger and more grand. though i'd purchased a modest home it seemed to grow into a more and more spectacular version by the minute. there were rooms i never had noticed before and they were filled with freezers full of food and museum pieces with great value. there were even some exotic animals that had been put on the property by the previous, eccentric owner. the yard even grew. there was a huge entry room and i kept running and running and doing cartwheels, which i was pretty crappy at. you'd think in my dream i would have been a great cartwheeler. anyway, it was a fun dream. i am back to my smaller version now that i am awake. could be a cool kids book though.

busy packing and getting ready for the big trip. two nights of work to go still though.

sarah palins daughter wrote a biography. seems like a load of hooey from what i read about it. but it will no doubt sell loads and make her a bundle. always seems to odd when these young people write autobiographies. 20 years doesn't seem long enough to impart the wisdom one expects to find in an autobiography. i won't be buying it.

this room is so much brighter now. my neighbor came over this morning and put in the new ceiling fan i bought. it sits up higher and takes 60 watt bulbs. he seems pretty excited to be getting a ceiling fan in his room. everyone wins!!

just had to share the pictures of the dogs with the quills in them. so sad...poor pups!

errands and painting....

am feeling a wee bit wiped out! busy day for me. did manage to get a walk in with my friend lena and two or her boys. her puppy manny is now 6 months old and looks bigger than blossom. he's for sure taller than her. he's gonna be a big malamute i'm thinking. cute dog! always fun to get out with lena. she had guests in town and was ready for a nice stretch. manny was happy to see his old dog pals, though he did crash into rio once, we figured he remembers hiding underneath her before.

above us was blue skies and loads of mosquito's but if you looked back to my neck of the woods on the east side of town it looked pretty bleak. 5 day forcast in juneau is for rain, rain and more rain. that is southeast alaska for you. taking all my rain gear and fleece. have been trying to do an organized packing job. want to keep the kayak stuff kinda seperate from the other days. i'm used to packing my gear in the kayak so it will be weird to be limited. they may make me switch out of my dry bags. i like to pack little bags though so they may just leave them as they are and stuff them in little empty spots. i'm in battery charge mode. stopped by best buy and they wanted over $70 bucks for a spare battery for my canon rebel. i actually will have 2 batteries. i ordered a third on amazon. it said it would arrive before i left but after i purchased it, it said it would arrive by july 5 or 6th. not sure what is up with that. will leave it up to fate and just live with what happens. have the solar charger, extra batteries...nothing else you can do. maybe i'll wrap my camera gear in my down jacket as i sleep so the cold doesn't have as much chance to suck the batteries dry. that cold damp southeast weather could be trouble.

another errand i had on the docket for today was to stop by lowes and pick up all the flooring. didn't really think too much about fitting it all in with the dogs in there. we did manage, though rio was a bit distressed being trapped in her little hole there. took some time and energy to haul all the boxes (there are 16 of them, plus 2 big long boxes of baseboard stuff). it's arranged to be installed on the 13-14 of july so right when i return. still have a pretty long to do list. nice to get a few things out of the way. chatted with my neighbor and he'll switch out my ceiling fan in this office room so that i can have one that is a better size and gives off better light. i'll give him the one that is in here for his trouble. i think he's excited as they have no ceiling fan in thier rooms and it gets really hot in these upstairs rooms.

kitten still seems to enjoy snuggling up with her dogs and pogi more now as well. heard a crash awhile ago and have been unable to locate what has fallen. probably should investigate that further again. i'm wanting a bowl of ice cream anyway.

pretty dull post i'm sure. my days off have been spent with errands and painting. here is the office. i'm really liking the colours already. amazing how colour can make a huge impact on the feel of a room and how you feel in it. i just feel so much more relaxed in this room now.

this is the guest room colours. i'm liking that as well. can't wait to see how it all looks with the new flooring installed. saw some new blinds that i think i will buy for these windows. want ones that can open from both top and bottom so i can get privacy but sunlight. also want to get rid of the strings which always seem to attract the cats attention leading to the destruction of the blinds. will look into that more when i get back.

i'll let all the chargers do thier thing tonight.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

the babies are getting bigger!!

just finished 4 nights of work, it was rainy/breezy out and so we took a neighborhood walk over to cheney lake to check on the baby ducks and baby geese. love to watch them growing up. they are just so dang adorable. lots of them out at cheney lake and it's a pretty busy little local lake so they are used to all the activity so easy to photograph. these guys weren't much put out by rio and blossoms presence. if off leash blossom would surely have chased the heck out of these guys in and out of the water....she isn't given the opportunity though.

as i returned home a neighbor pulled aside to let me know that there is a black bear roaming about the neighborhood. was almost home so i never saw it, perhaps he's in the bog.

it is strange that it's lighter outside than inside. at 2 am i noticed the light returning already. should be asleep at 2am but after 4 nights of work apparently my body is liking the night. was feeling exhausted this afternoon after the walk and while i ran errands. have obviously gotten over that. i spent my evening painting in my office here. the one wall is a colour called pine bark, which looked alot like melted milk chocolate as i painted it one. the other walls are a colour called green grapes. turned out realy nice. i know that my house has loads of green in it and i was going to try and avoid more, but i do spend some time here and hey...i like green. i find it a relaxing colour. i already love my office more. still more crap to move out, just the leftover bits that i should just toss. my flooring is in, they probably left that message at my house as i was at lowes picking up my paint.

that is a loon above. they do hang out at cheney lake.

for this home project i decided to use lowes for most of it. my own little thank you for their crew being brave and kind and on the ball and potentially saving a life. it is no easy thing to call in a case of suspected neglect. in a work context it's part of what we do at our work, but out in the real world, it is always difficult to know if a situation merits a call to the police. it's so much easier to just not get involved. mostly i think we convince ourselves that we are over reacting or just wrong. it takes some courage to make a call on a total stranger, but i think we have that gut instinct that tells us when something is not right; in general i find anytime i follow that inner voice, it leads me in the right direction.

i'll try and pick up my product in the morning..i realize it actualy is morning right now, but you know what i mean. it has to sit here for a few days anyway before they put it in so it will still be put in when i return no doubt. highly unlikely they will just be waiting for me to call and pop over and drop it in friday. i leave saturday for the trip. will be good to set it up for right when i return though. that and a massage...both seem like a good plan.

ended up in the adult icu the entire stretch. got floated back there for my fourth night. week went fine. was in the older part of the unit which i haven't been in for awhile. i like it better as you are more able to work as a team in that older part. we lovingly call it "the ghetto" but we have been discouraged from using this. i get so sick of politically correctedness. when did the dang world get so sensitive.

think this is a poppy. saw them at work on my way out to my car one morning. they do have lovely flower beds around the place. below is from a walk in the bog on one of the days between shifts. mosquito's were abundant, but not as bad as they were a few weeks ago. could just be time of day though too.

watched a movie from netflix, "walk to beautiful". really more of a documentary. follows several women in ethiopia who go to the fistula hospital in hopes of a repair. i had always figured the fistulas happened primarily because the women were married off so young. apparently, those girls out in the remote places are hefting 5o# jugs of water on thier backs and such by the age of 2-3. with their poor caloric intake they are tiny women, short in stature and thin even in adult ages. add to this being young and they are often not physically able to pass a baby through thier birth canal. lack of access to medical care means these women/girls may be in labor for 5-10 days even before they get any help. at that point the dead baby is removed and they end up with fistulas from thier long labors.

leaking urine and/or feces makes them quite undesirable in thier villages and they are put out and shunned. thier husbands if they have one drops them off at thier parents home and leaves them there. their families may build a small hut for them to stay safe from hyena's, but away from the main family living space due to thier odor and constant leaking.

there is a fistula hospital and hopefully more are being built as many of these women live very far from this hospital. i believe it's all funded by donations. the one doctor stated that she and her husband came to ethiopia as gynecologists in '59 and were told that the fistula cases would break thier hearts. ultimately, the cases did break thier hearts and they created this safe haven for care, compassion and hope. still many women never have the opportunity to have a repair done or don't even know it's possible. most of the women they spoke to had felt that they were the only ones with this issue.

the cats were entertaining me when i woke one afternoon and the camera was handy. pogi above and ms breezy below.

documentaries like this one i saw are such good reminders of how grateful i am for the life i live. i live in a beautiful place, have a home that most people i share this earth with could never afford. i remember a friend was looking at homes and kept complaining about how terrible all the places she looked at were. we always seem to want more in this country and we forget to see things in terms of the rest of the world. my little home could easily house 5 families in another nation. the idea of running water, plumbing, electricity would make this house a home only the very wealthy could afford. my dogs live better than many humans on this earth. it's all very humbling. not sure why i am here and they are there, but i always figure lessons are learned and ways are created to aid is the process of learning the things we have come here to learn.

it's also easy for us in the land of prosperity to assume that people who live thier lives in huts with no running water or electricity are somehow miserable. that having those things would make them happy. people living all sorts of various lives have happiness and joy. who are we to decide what brings happiness to another. their lives look difficult and indeed they are challenging. our lives have thier own challenges. i suspect that once your basic needs are met there are other challenges that come from not being so focused on hunting and gathering, finding shelter. i suspect our society has many of the issues it does have because we haven't evolved enough to cope with having our basic needs met. now what, who am i, what does it all mean....these are things that i suspect don't come up very often when you live in a desert and are struggling to find food and water.

these last few were taken at a school along my walk. they have remoded and updated this grammer school. loved all the pretty lilacs they planted. lots of flowers. looks nice. have always thought it funny that these measures come up all the time in elections. upgrades to our schools. not that i'm opposed to upgrading schools it's just that the educators talk like having a pretty building and equipment will educate kids. then i see children in villages in africa that are having lessons in places where walls may be missing on the classroom. yet, those kids seem to know the value, they dress up and are very focused on the task of learning. they seem to have a sense of the value of getting educated and what it could mean for them and their families. learning doesn't need a pretty building to occur. it needs willing participants, it needs parents who are supportive and involved. this school did need an upgrade by our standards as does another school in the other direction. looks like that one has started to get some work done as well.

when i get annoyed is when the schools get vandalized by students. irkes me to no end. my tax dollars go to making these changes and the place looks lovely then you hear some kids have trashed the place. too many of our students do not respect their education, thier teachers, the buildings and supplies. too often parents do not instill that into thier children either. hopefully, this building will not fall victim to vandalism. if you notice there is an rv on the property. actually i saw two out there. this is very common in anchorage. not sure if this is what other communities are doing in the lower 48 but there are often rv's at schools and trailheads. lots of folks live up here in rv's over the summer, they have a place to park thier rv's and the schools and trailheads get a human presence to disuade unlawful acts. i think it's a great idea.

perhaps i will try to go to sleep again. it's coming close to the official sunrise and i do have a long list of stuff to accomplish before i head out of town this weekend. good night....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

actual beach in anchorage, who knew!!

so it's only taken me like 7 years to find a beach i can walk up and down. didn't really do that much today. think i'd pretty much wore poor rio out getting to the beach. not too difficult. i'd figured out it existed so just a matter of finding the right paths to get there. i suspect there are several ways to get down here now that i'm in the know. i'll have to investigate more. do love a stroll along a beach at sunset.

of course, it's not a beach for wading. blossom headed right out to where she saw water. it's still mud flats beyond this sandy then rocky beach. sand-rocks-mud. there was a large group of people out there having a party and all that. i could feel the evil dog owner looks in my direction. probably another reason we didn't hang too long today. would have been dangerous for me to attempt to come down the loose sandy part with two dogs on leash though, one that is blind.

another rainy day, but seemed to be clearing out kincaid way. have wanted to explore other loops. there are miles of trails out there and i've only wandered a few loops over and over. so today i looped the andrew lekish trail...locating the side trail into the woods and down to the beach. easy enough. besides the main trails there are tons of little side trails out there.

that is the trail down to the beach. doesn't look as steep as it did from above. it's pretty sandy and loose sand at that. my big concern was getting rio down and back. she was her usual trooper self. great dog! blossom had no issues with it and was down the hill before i even started with rio. had to call her back to me.

had a staff meeting at work so i went for a swim afterwards. kinda funny as the diving class was in session so there were all these divers below me. entertaining. got in 50 laps. water was much warmer today.

am off my schedule for my painting project. have been so undecided about this rooms colours. think i have chosen. would have liked to have at least gotten this one prepped and primed. still stuff to clear out though. lazy days of summer, right?

had the tv on and an emergency warning system was activated. it's always been a drill, but this time it was real, an amber alert. apparently a 15 year old was abducted from her home. she is found again. sounds like it will end up being a bad boyfriend situation or something. not sure. happy she is okay anyway.

rio got attention at rei today. i came out and a couple apparently were waiting to chat. they just adopted a fila that is 4 months old. they thought rio looked like a fila. so we chatted fila. they were nice. hopefully, they will be as happy with thier mastiff as i've been with mine.

should work more on the room, but i think i will crash soon. snuggle in with the book i'm currently reading. i have the kindle but i try to read a real book at times so that i can decrease my real book, donate, read, donate. i'm into downsizing. i still like books, but for general novel reading i'd rather do it via the kindle. resource books are still best live with big pictures and stuff.

to get to the beach you turn off the main trail onto this little offshoot trail. it looked pretty closed in at first. there were bear signs posted at the chalet. none spotted today. this beach is actually quite popular, it was just me that was unaware of it.

stopped by lowes on the way home to get a replacement fan for this office room. better light, higher up. anyway, there is a park by the library and there was some kite flying going on. these are huge kites. looked pretty cool. watched a few minutes and took a few pictures.

happy to have found a beach to walk. hopefully, once i get back from my trip i can head out there for a real beach walk. no tidepooling, but should still be great for a sunset walk maybe i should wait til the sunsets a bit earlier. off to read, work be damned!! hate that i'm lazy but i'm too lazy to change so there it is. stuff eventually gets done, usually at the last minute. i work best under pressure!

happy summer solstice..goodbye light...

guess that sounds a bit negative. i'm always a little depressed at summer solstice as i know after this week the light will begin to fade away. i get more excited and happy at winter solstice. everyones summer is officially begining, but it seems to odd that at the start of summer we hit peak light. it's 12:30 am and still dusk. won't get much darker before it starts to lighten up again.
looked rainy today so i crawled back in bed with my book. some days i enjoy my time alone. ended up taking the dogs to kincaid for a loop around beer can lake (known officially as little campbell lake). the sun came out at that end of town first. still looked bleak at my end of town til after 9pm i'd say.

my friend tanya gave me this lovely himalyan poppy for my birthday. it's still on the deck, blooming. will have to plant it soon. i have a few around the house, most have come back again this year, but i have a spot selected for my new plant. i'm behind on gardening this year. busy with other stuff i guess. did get out there for a few today in an attempt to de-weed the front planter. that dang clover crap has infiltrated everything already. one day i should hire a landscaper to clear it all out and do it right. luckily we only have a few months of yardwork before the snow returns.

these two were taken in kincaid. it's all so green and lush. just amazing. no moose sightings of late. did spencer loop yesterday with a few friends. erin, amy, tanya and maddie all joined in the walk. not sure maddie was very thrilled with it all, but she's leaving for summer vacay in maine so i suppose that got her through. i tried to sing some camp songs, but i forgot words and it's hard to sing when you are hiking uphill. kelly called while we were hiking so she caught up with us as well. always a great treat to see her and it's been awhile.

friends came over last night and we ordered pizza delivery. scott and jacqui live in cordova and there's no delivery anything. bob and tanya joined as well as sandra. it was a fun gathering with lots of laughter. did straighten up the house a bit, though it will be in disaster mode for a few more weeks. lowes called and they expect my flooring material to be delivered on july 1st. hopefully, i can pick it up before i go and arrange a time for the floors to be placed right when i return. i want to schedule a massage for when i return as well. i'm sure i'll need it.

after kincaid the dogs and i went over to lake hood. i have always loved watching the planes come and go. the dogs didn't mind the extra walking and then we just sat down and chilled for a bit. lake hood is supposed to be the busiest float plane airport. something like that. ketchikan waterways always looked way busier. used to love to go down there. of course, that wasn't a lake, but a channel and it wasn't just float planes. those planes had to dodge other planes, boats, cruise ships, ferries, was crazy. still do miss living on the waters edge as i did in ketchikan. perhaps one day again i'll return to southeast for good, or the aleutians. always beautiful out there as well.

the day turned lovely as we sat out there.

of course, as i was loading pictures i was kicking myself for not taking any black and whites and also for not practicing following the planes motion and blurring the background. being that the lake is in the city with wires and buildings that would make for some nice pictures. i'll have to return again. could always bike around as well.

watched my netflix movie last night, "bliss". set in turkey. a girl is raped and so she is unclean and an embarrassment to the village and her family. her father sends her with her cousin to istanbul with the plan to kill her. in the end he balks at that and they take another path. eventually, they are free to live thier own lives. sadly, there are many places in our world where women are seen in such low terms and are easily tossed aside or killed. where they aren't even free to wander about as i did today.

this office doesn't look any emptyer than it did before though i did remove a great deal from here. so much crap. can't wait for this projec to be over. haven't liked any of the colours i've painted on the wall and have decided today that i'm going with 2 colours of green. i love green and won't go wrong with green. the light in here is abyssmal so i think i will buy a regular light for this room and though i like this ceiling fan it's way too low for this room and i think i will just get my neighbor to take it in exchange for him doing the labor of taking this one down and putting the light of my choice back up. i never use the fan in this back room.

they just had an article in the paper about these butterflies. tiger something. the paper may now be in my garden. who knew you can layer newspapers in the garden before you plant to help prevent weeds from coming through. i need to layer my entire lawn though. not enough newspaper in anchorage to help my lawn at this point.

i think this is a robin, working on nesting material.

the lake did seem fairly busy. not much down time. planes coming and going.

when i got home this afternoon the cats had somehow managed to get the catnip package off a high counter and had spread it all over the place. they must have been happy cats for a bit. no ill effects noted.

so many different planes. i love flying in float planes as well. perhaps we'll be able to do a little fly to glacier bay the day we have out there. i'll have to check on that one. if it's nice weather i'm all for it. i've never been out to glacier bay.

there were several duck families out there. they must just get used to dodging planes.

not sure how many slips they have out there, but i think a few hundred as well. some are very nicely maintained. have always wanted to learn to fly these float planes. i just think it would be so much fun to just take off and get out remote whenever you wanted...well in the summer anyway.

there were all sorts of young dragonfly's out there today as well.

was a lazy day so didn't even bother to change lenses.

they do look pretty cool though. that blue is awesome.

played fruit ninja for a few minutes on a break today. i'm pretty pathetic. my high score is now over 200 finally. it's so stressful not hitting the bombs. you can play in zen mode with no bombs, which i do on occasion.

i'm sure several of my friends celebrated solstice with a midnight hike or drink. not this girl, cleaning and cleaning. should have done all this in the winter. see what happens when you procrastinate! you pay for it later!

blossom enjoyed some swimming in beer can lake. she's such a great dog. "marley and me" was on the tv as i worked around the house. always makes me tear up in the end. dogs are wonderful companions no doubt about that!

just a few wild rose buds from kincaid today.

always have to take a few dandelion shots as well. they are beautiful and i'm amazed at thier survival ability. this is the reason for the dandelions dispersal and survival. if you pull the plant with it's flower yellow and forget to toss it immediately, it will rapidly metamorphasize to this and disperse itself. when the world ends all that will be left is dandelions and cockroaches.

and from those two things the world will begin anew. maybe we didn't actually come from apes but from dandelions and cockroaches.

a grouse or ptarmagin. i'm no longer confident in my ability to identify them blossom scared it up as we were in kincaid. they usually scare the crap out of me flapping out of hte brush. you never know what is coming out of there and they make quite the ruckus. i'm always slightly annoyed at them for scaring me so! good night, enjoy the light.