Monday, October 31, 2011

sometimes all you need is silly eyewear!! Happy Halloween from anchorage!!

bought some silly eyewear a few weeks back when i realized that our monday walk was falling on halloween. turned out to be a fun and simple way to seize the day as it were!! no matter how old one becomes one never wants to lose the ability to just be silly from time to time. i probably have more than my share of silly but there are so many serious people out there that there is no doubt extra silly to be had. blossom was only tolerant of this photo session for a brief time. cute mug though!! the silly eyewear that was leftover from todays walk went into the candy bowl. i live in a neighborhoods of zero lot line homes. these are attached a duplex but they are purchased seperately. i was adamantly against buying into a zll when i was house shopping. they are common here because despite the fact that alaska has vast land, much of it is federal/state or native owned. anchorage has some limits to building space. eventually i came to see that i would have all i needed in this home, they are great starter homes so that means loads of younger families around me and thus loads of trick or treaters. a tight community also means it's a shorter hop from porch to porch. considering all the snow falling down on the trick or treaters less time in the cold is always good. rio got up from the couch to greet kids with blossom but after so many kids and doorbells, she started to choose to just stay on the couch.the costumes are often tough to see as the kids must bundle up to go out there. they also must be watchful of moose who share the streets with the trick or treaters. the kids loved the candy i handed out, but those leftover glasses were the biggest hit. a few saw them in my candy bowl and requested them special. perhaps next year i will have to re-think my candy only past and add some cool trinkets. one mom from down the street stopped to take pictures of her kids with their new eyewear...they were so excited! she rang my bell again to show me the pics. it's a fun way to meet the neighbors. as you can see i put a baby gate up on my front door. this allows the dogs to be the ones that greet the trick or treaters. mostly the kids love this. only one dad seemed anxious about the dog thing. blossom was in a new costume this year. i tried on an older jester costume i had for her but i think it must have been from her baby days as it was a wee bit too small for her. she has a cute grape costume from last year, but should a dog really wear the same thing year to year? of course, rio is wearing the same thing from last year. hard to find costumes made for dogs in her size category. this outfit on blossom was marked as XXL. she's only 80 pounds. luckily dogs are not aware of thier size and are not bothered one bit about going up or down. she was quite tolerant of her halloween digs. as long as it's not on her head she seems to be chill about it.lit the pumpkins and waited for the kids. was actually going to try and sneak in a shower, but the kids started up pretty early and i finally just turned off the lights at 8:45. once the older kids start coming it's time to close up shop. i've never had any issues with older kids, but i figure from 5:30 to 8:30 is enough. the dogs really were quite exhausted from all the greetings. i suppose that could be stressful for a watchdog. i think they had fun though. i could tell blossom always just seems baffled by it all! as you can see snow fell over the weekend. the ground was frozen when i walked on saturday in the bog. once the ground freezes any snowfall is going to stay. we will be a winter wonderland through late april, early may now. lots of slickery roads and lots of cars sliding about. nothing too major as far as accidents a call from a co-worker this evening. apparently my patient last night had a bit of a lice issue. i didn't feel at all itchy til i heard this news. now to treat or not to treat, that is the question. i'm sure i've been exposed many times and never gotten it, but it's just such an icky thought. great to hang at home and enjoy the fire and kids. no point putting a movie in as the doorbell never seemed to stop.blossom popped in and out. all the dogs at the dog walk today were revved up...they all just love snow!gotta say i love amy's new's perfect for her. she brought her new puppy, lyca rose, out on the monday walk. everyone was totally excited to meet the new puppy...oh we all enjoyed her friend sri as well, but hey, people will always be upstaged by an adorable puppy!we stopped at the creek on the way back to the cars for our eyewear halloween photo extravaganza! lots of fun. blossom took another turn with the glasses.lyca looks so tiny at boddhi's feet. she was a wee bit frightened in the parking lot but eventually she was running with all the big dogs feeling pretty happy with herself i think!family picture with lyca and ekko...loved it. i didn't take the picture, pj did, she had my camera to take the picture below. it's one of my favorite of the day though. so cute!!blossom had no interest in taking a family portrait and rio was a bit less than cooperative as well. it was still a cute picture. i was going to figure out some sort of costume for myself but in the end the glasses were simple and effective.a few group shots that came out not too badly. pj, lena, tanya, amy, sri and me and the various dogs that showed up...kiska, saffrom, manny,boddhi, ekko and lyca...where are my dogs? blossom is behind the camera, literally and rio is wandering. probably not good for a blind dog. oh well. all was okay in the end.this fun picture of lena and tanya was another favorite. fun and relaxing walk after working 4 nights. wrestling alcoholics in full blown withdrawl is not an easy task. they just don't show that stuff on those happy hospital shows. guy was strong like bull. took loads of drugs to manage him. with the bad withdrawls you end up intubating, which we did. these patients will stop breathing before they stop hallucinating and thrashing about. looks horrible. i have no desire to ever put myself in a situation where i would marry or date someone who has issues with alcohol. it's a very ugly thing. oddly, these people always seem to have partners. i told them, if this guy was my fiance i'd bring the engagement ring in, put it on the bedside table and walk away. of course my male co-workers thought that was harsh and laughed.the little creek has overflowed. the bridge is a bit flooded. ice dams form in waterways, big and small and when those break the water flows rapidly over and floods whatever is below. blossom was thrilled. she wore her little jester collar, which was simple and cute!we have interns in the units. so often now it seems they are planning thier next step. the icu is just a place to get the required icu experience before moving on to greener pastures. i realize this happens frequently, but i also feel that often the young nurses feel obligated and pressured to do this. almost felt like i wanted to give one permission to just enjoy being an icu nurse. he really likes it, but is trying to figure out what he should do that will meet his criteria...which by the way sounded very much like being an icu nurse. if you aren't upwardly mobile in our society you are apparently a loser. so i'm a loser i guess. families do seem to look relieved when they ask how long i've been a nurse and i'm able to give them a fairly respectable resume. i remember seeing the light in nursing school. some of my fellow classmates were so not going to be icu quality...but i realized that most nurses don't actually work in icu's. there are so many nursing needs and those needs can be filled by a wide range of people with various skill/intellect levels. i'm in no way saying that nurses that aren't in the icu are less skilled or intellectual, just that not every person that graduates from nursing school is going to be good at all area's of nursing. there are tons of options available which is why nursing is a good career. lyca walked almost the entire way unaided. amy had prepared to carry a tired pup, but she wanted out and wanted to walk again rather shortly after being picked up.boddhi spent the walk on his leash. he can be a bit of a brute if an unfamiliar dog is at all alpha. mostly, he just seems protective of his pack. we are introducing a new pack member to him here. hoping i haven't gotten lice. that would be so disgusting. did get ring worm from a feline patient once. that was gross enough.blossom in a rare position of power. she still would never grab that tennis ball from this tiny pup and instead waited for the pup to walk away. lyca is not aware what a passive dog ms blossom is yet.lots of puppy pictures...puppies are cute though, who could resist!lyca did the same thing that manny did on his first monday walk...took refuge under the car! my girl blossom is always a happy dog, gotta love her!!the pumpkin contest at providence happened today. this year i was working all weekend so was not involved in the prep. the peds units are pretty competitive with these things and it looked like they took a great deal of time prepping for this challenge. i do hope they are rewarded for thier efforts. it was quite impressive.this was one from the lab. most of the other departments focused on thier one pumpkin...that isn't the case with peds. they start talking pumpkin late summer.
they had an angry birds theme. i must admit that i do not have an angry bird app so in that way it was a bit lost on me, but obviously i am aware of angry birds. it was quite impressive. i was encouraged to head down and support the team...i did. easy to support a team that is as motivated and engineering as this.below is the full table display. it's alot to take in. there were still a few empty tables, so i'm not sure what those pumpkins looked like. not sure who won yet either. this was the entry from the other department i work in, the adult icu. nicely done chest view. the pharmacy pumpkin was original as of our docs is always real fun. she was in the spirit of the day! in can generally get away with having a bit of fun and cheering everyone up!!again, i don't think i wore anything halloween ish last night. oh well. the kid i had would not have been the least bit impressed.the before shot of the frost...and frozen...before the snow. the potential tiny riders and i will now turn in for the night. ick!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

another day another pumpkin carved!!

thought this one turned out cool. the jack-o-lanterns won't last long in this cold weather. cleared a bit today. the snow is further down, but still not here in town. the moose also enjoy destroying pumpkins as they are apparently a good snack.
got the dogs out to the bog. was going to go longer, but blossom put the brakes on and wanted to just do the loop. i was easily manipulated today. some days i'm sure i would have just kept walking and she would have been forced to just join me and been fine. choose your battles they say. okay, maybe not with a dog.
got these 3 loafs of pumpkin bread in the over while i chatted with my sister and then carved the other pumpkin. i was in a race to boil up the pumpkin pulp before meeting a friend at zumba. now i've never done zumba, but i do love to dance. it seems my dance experience is not salsa. i consider myself a pretty good country dance girl and i have been known to tear up a dance floor in los angeles in my day. perhaps i needed the tight jeans. i felt pretty pathetic out there. from looking around i wasn't surrounded by dance pro's and i did love the music and the idea of just dancing for an hour even if i didn't exactly follow what the instructor was doing.
is it bad to say i was wishing i had the instructors ass and mourning the ass i had several years ago when i was one of the hotties at the nightclubs. alas...aging. that could have been all the weight lifting and dancing i did back then too. doubt i could get that ass's fallen too far to ever return to it's previous location. tried with the pumpkin seeds again. i'm begining to think i just don't really like pumpkin seeds. i enjoy sunflower seeds but even those i will only eat a handful and then pass on the rest.
swam 20 laps post zumba. shoulder is still sore, but i think that is part of aging as well. aches. was a girl doing some physical therapy in the pool post hip surgery. she looked younger than me.
as i cooked the pumpkin seeds the only thing tolerable on tv was mtv's real world. hadn't seen that for years. they always have a few gay roommates. there is one rednecky sort of guy who wasn't wanting to hit the lesbian bar or gay pride activities. sometimes people push issues too far and in the wrong way. trying to sway someone to support differing lifestyles may go easier if you don't throw them into something as over the top as a gay pride parade. some gay bars are just nice places to hang out with friends as are some non-gay bars. some bars are ripe with a sensuality and sexuality. the lesbian bar the one girl was pissed he opted out of was having party where everyone wears white and then other people come up and write on them. that can put people in an awkward position and make them uncomfortable. i wouldn't want to hang out in a swingers club nor would i feel comfortable having total strangers randomely walk up to me and write on me. i don't think that makes me evil or not supportive of gays and gay lifestyles. gay pride events can often times also be places where people go over the top. probably not the best way to introduce your new roommates to the gay lifestyle. the guy seemed to be a bit of a jerk anyway, but in my world there is never black and white, only shades of grey. pushing peoples buttons and screaming at them rarely will bring them around to your viewpoint. change is more insidious than that. life has changed dramatically over my lifetime in terms of gay rights, womens rights, minority rights. none of it happened overnight. for some things people can only be changed one at a time. some people won't change, but society will change and eventually make them kinda obsolete in thier viewpoints.
hell, this zumba class with it's multinational music and movements wouldn't have been accepted 20-30 years ago. when i was in grammer school it was just the begining stages of having sports opportunities for young females. a law was passed in california that made it mandatory to have equal opportunities for females and males in school sports. it was also just becoming open for boys to take home ec classes like cooking and for girls to take wood and metal classes if they desired. before that all girls had to take cooking and sewing and all boys had to take wood and metal working classes. anyway...guess that is enough of my soapbox for the night. i'm kinda annoyed with blogger as now that my computer wanted me to do an update i can't easily post my stuff. catch up blogger!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

pumpkin gut carving night!

more talk than pictures today. have been totally lazy this past stretch off. have wanted to swim, but have been sore so i'm forcing myself to take a break from exercise this week. it's not an easy thing for me to do. i have a bad history of working out through pain, i realize this is not always a good plan. the plan is tomorrow to attempt to meet up with friends for a zumba trial and then hit the pool. my right shoulder has been the sore spot. still loads of knots. today was a dark, windy day. rain and wind made for a great day to get the tires changed over and carve my pumpkin. debated popping to the grocery store for a second pumpkin and may do that tomorrow. i can prep more pumpkin guts for bread and bake some bread at the same time.
had my work wellness check today. my cholesteral was a bit high last year, this year it's 204 which i can live with. my hdl is nice and high too though. bp great, weight...well we won't go there.
enjoyed a nice long chat with my neice, claire. we call each other from time to time and catch up. always fun. rather chat than go to the grocery store anyday!
so it's not that i didn't do anything today i guess. had to call the bank, which turned out to be great. had some dealings with a manager there who had helped me at the bank one day, but then never called back with my further inquires..i called several times over a month and she never returned any of my calls. her message always said nicely, "i'm in the office and will return your call promptly" or something quite similar. so she happened to be the one they put my call through to. it was so nice to be able to confront her about her never returning any of my calls. at first she started making excuses and then she finally apologized. love to confront and win a few of those small battles in life.
i always attempt to cook those pumpkin seeds. all looked great until the last bit when i followed the directions and found my seeds getting burnt to a crisp. burnt pumpkin seeds are a bit nauseated to smell. place should smell better tomorrow if i can get to the bread. the pumpkin guts are in the pot getting all mushy. i never would have thought i would like anything pumpkiny, but i love the bread and i love pumpkin cheesecake too. tis the season! bake, bake and more bake!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"a shine of rainbows"

should be sleeping. just watch a movie, made me cry. "a shine of rainbows". a boy is being adopted and the dad to be is slow in signing the papers, in the meantime, things change. an adorable seal and some help from above help the boy find the dad he always dreampt of. sad and happy at the same time. a few friends have lost thier parents these past weeks. one lost both parents within a few short weeks of each other. i usually see that as a sign of a true love. one can't bear to carry on without the other and simply joins them in the next place. so sad, yet so sweet. one can only dream of such devotion. it's a rarity. my thoughts and prayers to both these friends and thier families at this time. i know how difficult the loss of our parents are. i am just happy that i had so many days with mine. so many lose thier parents when they are so young still. it must be so painful.

i miss my parents, especially my mom every day. i miss talking to her and knowing that there was someone on this earth who always put me ahead of themselves. that is what parents do. it's a great deal of sacrifice to bring a child into the world and raise them. i appreciate all that my parents did and tried to do. it can't be an easy task and i'm sure i made it more difficult than necessary at times.

the wind is blowing tonight and we all are waiting for the snow to fall. any day now. the snow will come and will stay for months and months.

another successful dog walk today. tanya, andrea, lena, amy and karen joined me. the dogs all had a great time. well, it's always a bit rough for poor blossom as that tennis ball is rarely in her mouth and that makes her a wee bit sad. she is ever hopeful and we can all take a lesson from a labradoodle who is patient in her quest for tennis ball time. gotta love her.

rio will be happy for snow. the walking is tough for a blind dog, she is a trooper though. it's after 1am and i really should be off to bed. great little movie if you are up for a good weep.

Monday, October 24, 2011

the day i paddled 22miles and more polar bears

met with my friend amy for a loop out campbell airstrip way. felt great when i woke but the day pack started to get my knots worked up by the end of the hike so i decided perhaps i should just chill today. pretty day though. blossom and rio were happy to get out and about. not much to take pictures of this time of year so i loaded a few more oldies but goodies. these first ones are again from churchill, canada. it's a great place to see polar bears...while they last!

i was mesmorized by the paws. of course i'm hoping all predictions are wrong and these great bears will live long on our earth and not just in zoos. i'm not against zoo's. i was actually trained as a zoo keeper at the los angeles zoo and volunteered as a keeper there for many years. it's just not the optimal way for these animals to exist. i prefer to see them roam free. nothing beats seeing wildlife, wild.

cooked up a nice beef stew in the crockpot while i went out walking and later tonight i baked some chocolate chip cookies. i'm a bit cookied out right now. cookies always make me thirsty. the dough is the best though. i debated other cookies, but went for the classics....just like my mom used to make. i'm happy that she taught me how to cook her favorite and thus my favorites.

the bears roamed around the mothership quite a bit so we always had something fun to watch even if we were eating or trying to get some sleep for the night. our bunks had a little window and i could lay there and still see polar bears by the light of the moon. they could walk underneath the mother ship. i'm sure we were a curiosity for them.

maria shows off our individual quarters.

maria and sue in the dining car.

we roamed about town for a bit before boarding the tundra buggy bound for the mothership. no polar bear sightings in town.

we found some cute puppies to visit.

and i liked this cool rock painted with polar bears.

the compound is referred to as bear jail. problem bears will eventually get put here if they don't stay out of town. they will be released when the ice comes in.

more of the trio of mom and two cubs trying to stay out of the storm.

watched alot of useless tv today. a show on coupon clippers. i really should use more coupons in my life, but these people are kinda nuts about it all. most of them have several spare rooms filled with stuff they got free really, but will never be able to use. loads of medications and vitamins that will no doubt expire before they are used. i mean it would be great to have a neighbor who is a coupon maniac in the event of a natural disaster. they are stocked. my place is too small for that much inventory and one must also consider how many hours it takes to organize and plan a shopping trip. it is impressive that these people have grocery bills that total up to over $400, but pay maybe $15.

another show, sister wives, is a reality show about polygamy. having been raised mormon a show such as this always gets my interest. overall i think marriage in general is a better deal for most men than for the female of the species. though many women work outside the home it seems the work details in the home are not that equally divided. mormonism started out as a polygamous organization. mainstream mormonism has tried to steer clear of it's history in this fact. they still do practice polygamy in the next life though again most mormons, especially converts, seem to ignore or deny this. when the church did away with the practice on earth they were careful to not denounce it. the founder, joseph smith, was a firm believer in the practice, though his wife, emma was opposed from what i've read. don't think i'd do well in a polygamous marriage. i'm sure i wouldn't be able to control feelings of jealousy and my self esteem would be low to say the least.

from what i see about modern mormonism it is pretty far removed from the vision of the founder, joseph smith. more and more the main church seems to want to blend with the other christian religions, which is funny since the message joseph smith got in his vision was that none of those churches was right. most of these largely organized churches have become just another corporation in my opinion. still people seem to enjoy having a church to belong to and rules to follow and raise thier kids with so as long as people are happy with their chosen religion and do not negatively impact those who believe differently, what do i care really.

i haven't attended the mormon church with any regularity since my earlier 20's. after that i helped run girls camps for many summers after i'd officially left and when i moved from ketchikan to anchorage i officially had my records removed. it freaked me out that each time i moved the church was able to relocate me within 6 months. when i moved to ketchikan a guy from the church contacted me at work while we were both working which i thought was very inapporpriate and unprofessional.

it wasn't the polygamy issue that drove me away. not any one issue at all. i just read and studied all that i could find and asked questions, read books. in the end i just didn't believe in the mormon faith. it's not an easy church to be part way in...or part way out. since my whole family remained active it was frightening to break away on my own. at first i started just working on sundays, skipping out. my family wasn't one to confront, though i think i tend to be. did get a long 5 page typewritten letter from one sibling, in it i was told that nobody is truely happy who isn't mormon and i can't remember it all, but i know i cried a great deal over it.

eventually in life you must be true to yourself. fear is not a good way to live. you must make a choice and stand by it. only then can you be happy. i don't think there are many rewards for martyrs who are simply martyrs out of fear and not for true convictions. i left and i'm more happy. have there been repurcussions. i'd say yes. there will always be a divide with my family, but then as i've seen over the years, that divide exists even amongst those who have stayed in the church. the church itself creats the divide. you are beholden to your individual ward and all the responsibilities there. i used to laugh at all those "family first" commercials...from what i saw it was really always, "family first...after the church".

not sure what these guys are. we saw them out of whittier on a kayaking trip to blackstone bay. must have been early spring so the birds were probably transistional. appear to be geese of some sort, snow? not sure.

we didn't take too many pictures on this trip as it rained and rained and rained. luckily the water was flat and calm over all. just 4 of us on this little journey. scott, bob, natalie and i. it was natalies first trip and almost bob's last. it was pretty miserable out there in all that damp, cold, wetness.

we were supposed to camp out at decision point and then head back to whittier the next day, but the weather was miserable, we were wet and when we got to decision point it was over run with like 50 campers...a super sized group. they were nice and boiled us some water and got us warmed by thier fire. we decided to paddle on. that meant we did 22 miles in one day. when we got to whittier i noticed that my friend scott had put a rope on the back of his kayak for towing...i asked him if he had done that for me? he had, but i proved to be tougher than he expected..or me for that manner. that summer i also hiked the chilkoot trail. a good year for me.

a few random dog shots that turned up on the rolls. blossom is checking out the moose on the other side of the fence. you can just see it's ears.

out hiking in the bivouac trail system.

below you can barely see rio's brace. she wore that for 2 years to protect her knee. it seems to have done the trick and she has been brace free for some time. we still have the brace. sure was better than putting her through surgery. she was still able to hike and play.

back to kayak pics.

always glaciers when you hike in prince william sound. haven't seen any obvious signs of the spill left when i'm out there, but i probably am not observant enough for that. there are over 100,000 glaciers in this state. they are unable to research all the glaciers or moniter all so we don't really know what is happening with all. most of the glaciers that are monitered are receeding though there are a few that actually are growing which is perplexing. i know over the years that i have paddled out in pow i have noticed the glaciers receeding dramatically at times.

we camped on the snow, above the tide line. it can be a bit chilly to camp on snow, but it's also very soft. no rocks!! we were warm enough in the tents. i think this picture may show the only blue sky we saw all weekend.

didn't pull the camera out when the rain was pouring down so this was one lucky moment of a break in the rain. after this the pitter patter increased to full on deluge. thank god scott brought his big walrus tent thing for us to chill under and try to cook.

home sweet home....

no chance to allow anything to dry out this trip. we drove the road back to anchorage and unloaded in our damp clothes. not easy doing stuff when you are so chilled.

the snow was out late that year. the cd said june, but with the old film days it could be weeks before you actually took stuff in for development. i was usually pretty quick.

hanging glacier. tidewater glaciers are still calving into the water...this one has receeded back.

so hard to show the misery of this trip in the photo's. i have always hated camping in the rain. i am cool with hiking in the rain all day, i just want to be able to return someplace warm and reheat.

this bird i know. an oyster catcher. they are pretty common in prince william.

almost 2 am. was up late last night watching a movie. i think i had seen it before but since i'd just read the book it was "suggested" from i was interested to see it. the movie, "simon birch". the book, " a prayer for owen meany". they did take a great deal of liberty in altering the story from the book. i did love the book and i enjoyed the movie as well. people can be cruel, but there are enough people who aren't that you can get by.

3 sad paddlers in blackstone bay!

these are just a few pictures i had taken of the dogs as soon as i had my little new digital camera. i suppose people with kids always test out their new gear on thier kids, for me it's the dogs.

wanted to have a few pictures of the dogs to take with me to churchill. considering i was at risk of not getting back it was a comfort to have the dogs with me. of course as we were getting our instructions for post crash i had determined that if i survived a crash i was taking all my film with me. they say leave your stuff on the plane, but i had just payed some hard earned cash for a polar bear trip...the film was coming with me if i had to evacuate the plane. it is funny the stuff that goes through your head when you think you may perish. i was in a panic about the gum i was chewing. my fear was that i'd survive the crash and then choke on the gum. eventually, i squished the gum in the emergency card.

i really wanted to return home to these faces. i still love coming home to these sweet faces!