Wednesday, February 29, 2012


other than that i must admit i accomplished very little. but again another amazing day. save the to do list for a rainy day, right? of course, if the rainy day never comes, then nothing gets done but the fun stuff. i'm listening to an old favorite cd, mary chapin carpenter. "state of the heart". i always loved her voice and always enjoyed singing along. i'm still coughing and my voice is still pretty shakey. bummer. i'll probably play the guitar and sing a bit tonight. luckily as far as i can tell the dogs are tone deaf or just too sweet to let me know thier pain. if it wasn't after 9 i'm thinking playing the drums is a good substitute for singing!! tomorrow morning that is what i'll do. went snowshoeing with amy and tanya up at prospect heights. beautiful day out there. the clouds were there but there were breaks and some sun burst through at times. loved the sun being framed by these branches. now sheryl crow...another favorite. watched american idol, the girls. always enjoy the show. i think because i have sang and written music. everyone had that dream at some point. so it's fun to watch the possibility. it does give people a chance who would have no idea how to go about making thier dreams come true. sad to see someone's performance be a bit of a trainwreck when so many others were sent away who could have totally rocked it. would be tough to weed everyone out, things change when you are on a stage with a huge audience. you can't always predict that. my stages have always been small. little open mikes at cafe's or the monthly grind in ketchikan. tried to get to the pool early enough to beat that pm crowd. my last few laps though i hit the masses. suddenly my lane was being shared with 3 other plump white boys. felt a bit like combat swimming. was hit by the chick in the next lane several times as well. a few laps i was alone, but the person i shared with changed several times. i think in 25 laps i shared with 6-7 different people. feels good in the pool though. probably still have a bit of a walking pneumonia. the stuff i'm coughing up these past few days is back to not so pretty colours. more antibiotics or just hope it passes on it's own. gotta keep up on the inhalers. i think laika and ekko were scenting out rabbits. always lots of tracks up there. they kept going off trail with interest in thier eyes. no rabbits spotted. will have to just take my girls tomorrow so blossom can just have a fetching day. also no blood. monday her ear was bleeding, today it was her eye. she tries to play with the malemutes and i think she enjoys it at first, but she is no match for the level of roughhousing those dogs engage in. at one point i just put her on a leash for a few minutes. it seems to break the spell and then she goes back to just chilling with the humans while the other dogs wrestle. her tiny wounds are fine by the way. nothing major. leap year day. i'm just happy that the sun is staying out later and later. was nice to be able to add that ski in this afternoon. by the time i left the gym and hit the closest trail, which isn't lit at night, it was about 5:15. i was able to enjoy a good 1/2 hour of easy skiing with daylight. sweet! the snow had great glide to it. my skills at cross country are not very impressive. i tend to mostly walk or snowshoe as it's easier with the dogs. i've attempted skijoring with blossom, but she doesn't get pulling and i'm really not a good enough skier to pull it off. it is nice to get out for these short ski's and awesome to live someplace with so much access to groomed trails. it's not a problem to just pop out and ski for a few minutes. should try to get out there and shovel more. i did just a bit. at some point you almost give up with this much snow. i'm just telling myself spring will soon arrive and nature will melt it all.'s just going to be march 1 tomorrow. there was an article in the paper about not just feeding hte moose but relocating them. seems like alot of stress and expense to me. doesn't even sound like they will move them far enough. or possibly just by moving them they will just cause their death so that seems a bad idea...either by stress or by putting them out there in deep snow and making survival nearly impossible. if you are going to do that just shoot em here. not saying that is what i want, but i just think moving moose would be counter productive at this point. yes, the valley has lost over 400 moose this year. part of that is just ignorance on some of the drivers. people drive too fast for the winter conditions and don't take into account the moose population.on an average year we lose 200-300+ moose to road kills. wonder what the average deer kill numbers are in states with alot of deer? iditarod dogs will now be required to have kennel cough vax. seems kinda odd that it wasn't required before, but happy for this change. sounds like a good idea to me. that kennel cough is brutal and sounds terrible. i feel a bit like i have an extended kennel cough though. probably good that i just stayed home this evening and put the fire in the fireplace. i think rio was happy to have me home as well. this weekend will be rough on both dogs as i will be gone alot.the big mountain was starting to peek through as we hit the powerline trail headed back down to the parking area.eventually the range unveiled itself. always great to get a peek of the big mountains.these next pictures are out on the ski trails near the gym. started at the ball fields just sound of tudor road. some amazing views from there. like to bike around there in the summers as well. just gotta watch for moose and bears in the ski's. was exploring the trails this way a bit so see where they connect up with the campbell airstrip trails. this is just warning of a dog sled crossing. the iditarod dogs will actually take the trails i'm on for the ceremonial start from downtown anchorage. they only go about 12 miles. i just went to the bridge crossing over tudor road and back to the ball fields. a pretty easy ski. the teams will come over that bridge on thier way to the airstrip in campbell. usually i come to the bridge area to watch the dogs after working all night. this year i get to do whatever cause i'm not working. of course, all day i've been worried that i actually am working and just am confused. i do this whenever i take days off of work. neurotic moments. i'm sure we all have those. like driving to work and getting worried you left the stove on. shit like that. our brains don't seem happy unless they have something to get stressed about. apparently, north korea wants to talk about stopping thier nuclear program and letting inspectors in. will believe it when it actually happens. would be nice though. that whole nuclear power stuff makes me nervous. too many things that haven't really been sorted the waste. the japanese plant that about blew still has all the waste there on the campus as they don't have a plan in place as to what to do with the waste. that just always seems crazy to me. this planet is pretty special. i'm always amazed at the diversity that exists. however you believe it all formed and got here it seems valuable to protect all the resources and diversity that exists here. i still shudder at the thinking in that movie, "jesus camp' where people think that when jesus comes again we'll just be given another planet earth so we should use all the earth has as it's here for our use. and abuse apparently. if god just created this earth for the practical use of humans, why have hundreds of thousands of types of butterflies, why even have a butterfly. why not just have a flat land mass for growing vegetables and only cows and chickens as animals. i figure if there is a god, that god worked pretty hard on each and every detail and thus i believe the expectation is for us to use with respect, sparingly as possible and to appreciate the amazing beauty which has been created and placed in our stewardship. this last picture was taken by my friend tanya in the parking lot. that is my element. i guess honda stopped with the 2011 models of the elements. bummer. great little cars. will have to keep mine as long as possible. these cars are all over anchorage. perfect dog car. my friends dogs seem to always jump in after the walks. of course, today i had little treat bits in my hand so that may have less to do with the car style and more to do with turkey jerky. me on the left, amy on right. should get my tax stuff together and get that done. the to do list calls, but so does the bed. my mini triathalon has made me a wee bit sleepy!!

blue skies were back for a few hours...

not too much fresh snow last night, but enough for us to get out and test out my new snowshoes. they worked like a charm. we did about 4 miles. not too deep so not too rough. beautiful out there with that fresh coat of snow though. amy joined me as well. got my massage this afternoon. always a good thing. after that i met my friend sharon for dinner. she is recovering from shoulder surgery. looks painful. she isn't one to complain and she is tough as nails so when she complains it must really hurt. i'm watching a movie called, "frozen river". just finished. people in desperate situation that are just trying to keep afloat. can't imagine living such a desperate life and having others dependant on you. much of it starts with bad choices. people meet and sometimes they actually become friends against all odds and help each other. in that it's a good lesson. they break laws, eventually they get caught, they pay for thier crimes and find the light. it's not like they were asking for the moon, but even a small ray of sunshine can just be too difficult to obtain.i enjoy an independent flick. they aren't bound by the spend major bucks to make major bucks by appealing to a relatively small population rules. characters can sometimes be developed more fully. guess it's hope that even people doing bad things can be decent people in thier own way. it's easy to just judge. there are alot of selfish people out there, but a few are just trying to feed thier family. above blossom is amy and linda. we ran into linda out on the trails. she had decided to snowshoe as well. was just such a beautiful day out there. rio joined today as well. i probably wouldn't have gone that far today, but it was just so dang pretty and warm. who wants to stay inside in that weather. my mini cuisanart died after all these years so i bought i new small one again. does come in handy. tested it out with some old apples. when you live alone and in alaska fresh fruit doesn't last too long. i chopped em up and tossed them outside for the birds and my pet squirrel. we'll see if they go for them. sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. last time i put them too close to the deck and i think that made the creatures nervous. this time i tossed em behind the shed. i know it's been a rough year for all the creatures up here being how much snow we've gotten. they surmise that this may be one reason the owls have kinda congregated. apparently, the big owls don't usually chill near the small owls and vice versa. guess they can hear little voles move under the snow, but with the snow so deep it may be much harder. looks to be an abandoned nest above. looked pretty impressive though. too small to be an eagles nest. still, quite large really. some areas have put some feed stations up for the moose in an attempt to keep them clear of roads. lots of roadkill moose out there. a system is set up where groups sign up to harvest the meat. npr was interviewing one school out talkeetna way that is involved. the kids come in and harvest the moose. biology lesson. beats frogs i guess. muscles are bigger and easier to see. they were saying it was sad, but one of the 5 moose they were given to harvest was preggers. the biology teacher was contacted and he was pretty excited from an instructors perspective. so at least the moose are teaching and feeding. have taken care of many patients over the years who have been involved in car crashes involving moose. some pretty bad injuries and even deaths. the moose don't fare well either. they are tall though so usually the car clips thier legs and they land on the roof or windshield. it can happen really fast. i've had a few brushes with moose running across the road. not a good feeling. i drive like a little old lady. it'd be much safer if everyone else did though. i'm always amazed at how crazy people drive out there. no rondy activities for me today. kept busy enough with the dishes and laundry and playing in the snow of course. i know, my life is quite exciting. chatted with a friend back east. has been awhile so always great to catch up. she and her husband are dealing with his elderly mother who is ill and no longer can really care for herself at home. the tough part is that she doesn't believe she needs help. so many people out there are dealing with these issues. when you live far away it can be tough to gauge how bad things have gotten as the phone calls don't always reveal much. my brother jeff was always the best at flying out to check on my parents. he'd tell me about all the medications, so disorganized. he'd do what he could to try and organize and help, but i know my dad was one that wasn't always open to help. so independent and stubborn. i can say that as i know i have those same traits. a few years after my dad passed my mom married a wonderful man that she'd fallen in love with. they cared for each other. i think thier dates were mostly dr's appointments. at least that was what my mom said. it was a gift that my mom had someone who truely cared about her to help her live those last years of her life with dignity and happiness. more snow shaking. blossom didn't seem as loaded today. not sure what difference a day makes. perhaps she just wasn't rolled in the snow as much today.after my mom's passing my one brother and i had words. emotions run high after a death. my brother assumed it was about money, like i was greedy. for me, it so wasn't about the money. he just only seems capable of seeing things from the money angle and since there isn't any other angle, well that must be what it is.
after my dad's death i was helping look for papers in the house. my parents house was large and they were not true hoarders, but they had alot of crap and it was totally disorganized. my mom was going to have to sell the place so i was helping as much as i could before i headed back to alaska. i remember being in the sunroom with this brother and another sibling. the stuff was there, i suggested we give things to charity, my brother wondered what we could make off of this and that, and the other sibling was like i could use this or so and so could use this. i had heard that this same brother was not sure i should be invited to talk at my mothers funeral cause one never knows what i'll say. i have no idea what he thought i'd say at my mothers funeral that would be inappropriate. strange. guess it's good to have people wondering sometimes. my mothers widow was great in this moment as what i heard was that he stopped my brother and reminded him that i called my mom nearly every day. i was still in alaska when this whole conversation took place. guess it's proof that i would be the blacksheep of the family. i was close to my mom though despite our differences of opinion on things. we spoke pretty freely with each other. she had told me a few things that i had voiced my opinion to her about, not really knowing why she was telling me. after she passed and the tiff happened with my brother i came to believe that she had told me that stuff knowing that i wouldn't just sit back silently. i was insurance. tricky woman...tricky, but wise. people in general are strange during death. i remember being at the graveside service of my moms, it had ended and a friend from high school, whom i mostly exchange xmas cards with started to tell me about her marriage issues. i mean really, do i care about that. often you are in a fog at a funeral and some people just say such bizarre stuff. at my dads funeral these people came up and were telling me they were parents of this girl from church from when i was a young teenager. i honestly had no idea who they were talking about at the time. they just kept going on and on. it was so weird. they even pulled out a photo. i was just blank. another guy, a good buddy to my dad called the house and i felt badly for him as when he called he was all apologizing for not calling earlier with condolences as he had stopped attending church several years back. hopefully, it gave him peace to know that i had also stopped attending church several years back as well. the guy they got to speak was a big guy in the church that my dad had been in the bishopbric with years before. it wasn't like they hung out or played tennis together. he was big in the church though and most of the family was thrilled that someone so high up came out to speak. i would have preferred if one of his true friends would have spoken. his talk was very churchy and not much mention of my dad. in the end people are gone and you have your own memories of them and that is all that matters. stuff doesn't keep them in your heart, you do. i remember talking to my mom a few weeks before she passed and knowing that she would be gone soon. i could just tell from our conversation that she was tired. perhaps it helps that i've been around people who are dying often, i just knew from that conversation that she wouldn't live to her surprise birthday party that the family was planning. several times i had said we shouldn't make it a surprise, she might have stuck around if she'd known everyone was flying in. that day as i drove myself to work though i said my little prayer. i remember saying that i would love to see my mom one more time, but i didn't want her to suffer anymore just for me and my wishes. i'd be okay. i asked god to take her if she was suffering and was ready. the next week she was gone. felt badly that several of my siblings were so surprised. not sure how i got on this whole death discussion. oh, talking to my friend. it is kind of a relief to have those stressful days behind you. waiting for a phone call saying something bad has happened. i had worked the night before my father passed. i was home sleeping. i remember i was having a very vivid dream about a code. it was so vivid that i woke up and got my nursing books out to go over what to do if a patients heart stops or goes into vfib or something. i just felt this code so powerfully, it woke me up. soon after i woke, my phone rang and it was my brother telling me dad had died. we took some back trails today just so we could get into some fresher snow and use the snowshoes a bit. more fun with deeper snow. guess i should head to bed soon. just started a book by wally lamb. i have really liked the books by him that i've read in the past. tells a great story. this came in the mail today. my thank you from providence hospital for 10 years of service. i like a simple necklace and the little jewelry box is nice and simple. your welcome providence. i do it for the patients. when i worked on animals and was going to nursing school i really wasn't sure if i could handle working on people. one day in clinicals i had to do the whole arse wipe thing after a patient had evacuated themselves (such a pleasant way to say took a dump, right?) anyway, i just remember thinking no matter how bad this is for me, it has to be worse to be the one in the bed having to have someone wipe your arse. on that note...good night.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

monday walks and snow sculptures in the snow!

nice crew for the monday walk. andrea came with little nash. haven't seen him for a few months and it's always amazing how fast little kids grow. i think everyone had fun keeping nash entertained with the snow. luckily, it was a nice warm day out there and andrea didn't mind getting covered in snow. warm of course, is relative, it was in the 20's or 30's.
blossom got rolled in the snow several times. occasionally she had to give it a good shake to try and the snow was falling i figured i'd better get downtown and see if i could see the snow sculptures in thier finished states. would have been better with either blue skies or lights, but rio had opted to stay home today so i hated to leave her too long.
this walrus is breaking through the ice and above a bear is playing the piano and entertaining a few native kids. liked the detail on the walrus. i'm a fan of the walrus. you can already see the snow building up on the sculptures. they won't last long. there were two dragons sculpted right next to each other. kinda a bummer as this one was far superior. nice detail. there was another octopus out there, but the snow was covering the details, just didn't photograph well. the polar bear sculpture i had liked the other day has added a few polar bears. this cute little baby on the back wasn't there saturday.not too many people out there looking at the sculptures and the rides looked to be at a standstill. like that you can see the walruses back flippers below the scene. of course, a whale. i should check and see if anyone hasn't seen "big miracle". want to see that before it leaves the theaters. it was filmed up here. lena, amy, andrea, tanya and i had a good time out there today. tanya didn't bring either of her dogs. apparently, there was an incident involving an ice bug boot. so a few less dogs out there today. the malemutes still romped about as usual. buddha was pretty excited to be out there i think too. blossom got a nip on the ear. just noted some blood on her ear pinna at some point. never heard any screetch. no idea who nibbled on her ear. i think lena and tanya had more fun than nash playing with the snow, but nash seemed to be all smiles!! watching a bit of big bang this evening. gotta get my fix. perhaps it's the wine, my brain is on blitz. either that or i have no intelligent thoughts running through my brain. it could be the cotton candy i ate the other day. or it could be watching episodes of big bang over and over. they are at caltech though so shouldn't i become more intelligent? got my nursing degree at the community college that is nearby the caltech university. i was definitely not caltech material. knew some techies. it is a university unlike any other. not the typical frat house activities. not that i doubt my intelligence, just that i know my limitations. my limitations were in the math area. i never learned my times tables in grade school. i am currently able to do basic math, but it did hinder my plans to attend vet school. confusion could have had something to do with it. i changed my major alot. of course, at age 5 i stated i wanted to become a vet. perhaps i had it more together at age 5 than at any other age in life. 5 year olds totally are clear headed about the big questions of life. i am extremely well educated despite my lack of degrees. i have 2-2 year degrees. one in nursing and one as an animal health technician. i also trained as a zoo keeper and took a graphology class. i think some of my majors were writing, recreation, marine biology and pre-vet. i'm sure there were others. i mean i've been to 4 different universities and 2 jr colleges. utah state, cal state los angeles, los angeles pierce college, cal poly pomona, pasadena city college and university of alaska, anchorage. it's hell everytime i try to transfer all of those credits. i really need to get some ambition and finish my 4 year degree at uaa here. i guess they do the nursing adn-bsn online. i do recall one finals week being stressed and having a random stranger in the halls of the university look at me and say, " you have til you die to graduate". guess i took that a bit too literally. i know that getting a degree isn't necessarily a reflection of intellect, it does reflect stamina. one must simply go through the steps to get the degree. it's just a matter of getting in there and getting started. i watch people start and finish all the time. it's painful during the process but eventually it ends and you have that degree.
do love learning about stuff that interests me i just hate having to write papers and be in group projects all the time. was laughing at blossom on the walk today. her feet had all these snowballs, she looked a bit like a clydesdale. just a few malemute shots.and buddha gets a look at the camera.of course, university costs are a hell of a lot higher now than they were when i first started. i could have gotten 10 degrees back in the day for what it will cost me to just get the one finished now no doubt. loved this one of andrea and nash. blossom is a bit covered in snow, but she does look happy. below is a picture taken by tanya. my nose is getting larger. great gramma harriets gift. cruised back down the airport road as i thought i might run into amy out there. i think she went later. i thought she was headed there from the walk. a few of us met up with sandra out at the coffee shop so i cruised down after coffee. made the loop, owls, sculptures, grocery store. was hungry so that was pricey. did eat some pork chops and applesauce. that owl was in the exact same spot. i took a few more pictures, slightly better than yesterdays. saw #77 out there again today. didn't stop to watch him and didn't see his buddy there today. this is probably as good a shot as i will get of that owl. off to bed...after this episode of big bang. night.