Monday, November 25, 2013

a giggle filled monday walk...

 i think i'm packed...i'm not good at packing for non camping type trips.  what to wear?  i don't have much for what i'd call lower 48 clothes or shoes.  oh well, i got stuff in a bag and hopefully my bag and i both arrive safely in texas tomorrow sometime.  i could use a nap, but i'd prefer to make myself super tired and pop some benedryl.
 speedy and arika were out in force with their 3 cute kids.  so we had two sleds and the kids enjoyed their little runs down the downhill bits.  i think they all had a great time.
 saw a hilarious commercial the other night. my stretch of work i did adult icu, then i was on a 1:1 as a sitter the next night and the last night i was in the progressive care unit.  not sure i've worked there since i oriented several months ago.  had a good night and great co-workers.  anyway.  when i was on the 1:1 this commercial came on for beef jerky i think.  anyway.  these people pull up in a car and run up a hill to where a sasquatch is sleeping.  they paint his face with makeup then he wakes up and chases them back to their car.  cracked me up for some reason.
 the house is pretty quiet.  i miss the dogs already.  they are dropped off at their homes for the next week.  blossom went to lena's, she just took her from the dog walk.  i took rio to shells place after the walk.  i sat and visited until rio settled in which i hope will help make her week without me a bit easier.  she's very sensitive.
 katie is going to check in on the cats...hope she at least sees them once or twice.  katie is also being kind and getting me to the airport tonight...thanks to everyone for helping me out this next week.  there are many generous and kind people on this earth and i'm pretty lucky to know a good many of them.
 i'll have to look at my camera settings. these were coming out dark.  not sure what i did.  i do enjoy having a black and white day though.
 went back and forth about whether i should take the rebel at all on this trip...would have to not have it though and then be kicking myself.  chances are my little snapper will do fine, but it is nice to try and get some decent photo's of the family.
 i'm currently coughing after nearly choking on my english muffin...seems silly to be worried about flying, right?  i could just as easily go down in the comfort of my own house for swallowing incorrectly.
 watched several shows on JFK and the assassination on my night as a sitter.  never bad to watch tv and get paid for it.  interesting stuff.  i have been to the museum there in dallas before but we may hit it again with it being the  50th anniversary of this event.
 felt a bit better after i actually verbalized the ridiculous scenario that was circling my brain.   i tend to imagine these horrific events before i travel....i do always survive the events but somehow saying it out loud made it even more ridiculous.  still always nervous flying, in truth though, i think often my travel anxiety is more related to just leaving. i'm happy in my nest here with my dogs.  i miss being home when i'm away and i miss the dogs when i go.  so maybe the anxiety is more about leaving than traveling itself. i avoid packing and planning due to this anxiety.  once i start that process the anxiety seems to wane a bit.  i'm a strange human.
 would have liked to clean the house more, but there is only so much one can do.  my sheets will be clean for my return and house won't be a total mess.  emptied out the old crap from the fridge and even checked expiration dates in the pantry cabinets.  that is always a bother so that is done.  perhaps i can do a good wipe down when i get back and then restock everything.
 lots of the kids in the sleds...cute kids!!

 i think sasha may have been a baby the last time arika made it to the monday walk.  she's 4 now...and has a baby brother who is 2.
 a friend from the adult icu joined us today as well.  just got peeks at her new baby boy, liam. so happy she joined us.  it was a fun day to have all the kids.  rio even came. i kinda made her come as i wanted to wear her out a bit before i left her at shells.  anyway, liam is just 7 weeks old.  anna had him bundled up...only heard a few squeaks out of him.
 we had a good crew out at the coffee shop as well.  sandra and katie came and i was happy that anna joined us for a bit.  hopefully arika and anna come again.
 there was also lena, myself and karen.  haven't seen karen out much this winter...she has a lot going on with her folks.  that is always tough from several states away.  great that she could join us today as well.
 i think lena had fun with the little kids today.  she pulled one sled for a bit.
 not really sure where i'm staying in Texas.  sounds like there are several choices.  hopefully i can spend some time with my niece at the hotel.  haven't heard from my eldest brother yet to confirm that there is room for me there.  may end up there for part of the week.
 i think my lens got a dog nose print on this shot.  kinda funny.  i think we had 4 kids and 5 dogs. arika brought her little bull dog. i think it's a bull dog.
 blossom should be a bit tired, she chased her tennis ball most of the walk.
 guess we were going to slow for the bull dog.  thought he looked cute up there on the trail ahead.
 here he is...they have a hard time looking happy.
 arika got the big work out.
 i think karen or lena noted that she was able to squat with the kid on her back and then just pop back up...i do miss those days.
 more kids.
 some days i just take more photo's than others. i  think the kids got me snapping away.
 anna seemed to enjoy her day out there on the trail with us.  she's like me in that she walks alone a lot.  it's why i have come to really love the monday walks.  it gets me to socialize more, which is not always my most comfortable state.
 speedy and karen looking fine out there on the trails.
 we attempted a few group shots.  tough between adults, kids and dogs.  haha!!
 still fun though.
 a few from the other days...hit north bivouac a few times, different loops
 caught the cats snuggling together a few times as well.
 miss breezy chatterbug on the left and pogi on the right.
 took the dogs out in the field...did i take both, yes, i believe i did.  rio has bowed out a few more times this winter.
 it was a first that i actually slept in between shifts for two days in a row and skipped the walk.  felt guilty though.
 it's rare that i skip the walk at all, let alone two days in a row.  thankfully, dogs are super forgiving.
 hopefully, i have everything i need, a few gifts for the family and that the dogs and cats are set up for the week.
 at some point it's just out of your control anyway.
 i have my tickets, a have a blanket and pillow for the plane ride and stuff to do while flying.  still hoping i can just sleep this first part...i'm terrible at sleeping on planes usually though.  it's worth a try though i guess.
 syd shows off the hat that katie made for cute!!
 these are a few photo's of family that one brother posted on facebook today.  above are my three oldest brothers, jeff, ross and eric.  eric kinda looks like ellen degeneres in this shot?
 here is one of the seven of us.  top row eric, jeff and ross.  next row, joel, tom and linda, then there is little me in the yellow dress.  i'm guessing i'm around 2 years old here.
i'll see both these guys this week as well.  tom and joel, the brothers just older than myself.  they were both here this summer.  love their bow ties.  well, happy thanksgiving to all.  i'll sign off until i get back.  god willing as they say.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

potters and the coastal refuge...

 another freezing cold day out there...
 but freezing cold also meant great ice skating at potters marsh.  i took my kicksled and wandered around a bit.  the east side was the most stable ice.  i spoke to a few skaters who each had one wet leg because they had gone through.  both said the ice looked so beautiful and clear...that is where they both went in.  these were two different people.  so be careful out there.
 the temps at the sign near my place were neg 7.  there was a bit of a breeze out by the water so i'm sure that took it closer to neg 10 or 15.  i couldn't stay out too long and taking pictures is always a bit more challenging in those lower temps.
 it was fun to watch the other skaters and fun to try and get a few photo's of them out there.  the willows are always cool photo ops as well.
 the ice got more busy as the afternoon wore on.  hockey players just cruising about.  nothing formalized like a game, just pucks and sticks and batting it around.
 several boots began to pile up at the edge of the ice.
 i had come here after walking with my friend nelly out at the coastal refuge. she'd never been there so i figured i'd show her one of my favorite spots.  she made me dinner tonight which was great!!  love a home cooked meal and i rarely get invited any place so i was pretty excited about that.
 headed to potters to try and catch the sunset.  worked out well.  especially liked the light with these skaters on the ice.  pretty cool.
 everyone on the ice was saying they wanted to take advantage of the great ice before another snow comes in and covers the ice.  potters is a pretty sweet place to ice skate, so close to town.  i guess for the most part it isn't really very deep...just a few spots.
 have gotten a few things done, never as much as i hope for though especially since i'm going to be taking off next week for Texas.  so much more to do.  my Christmas letter is written though so i can get the calendars for family ready to take south..the only hitch will be if my luggage gets lost i guess.  it's tough to get motivated to get back out to do shopping or hit the gym once you are back home after being out in this extreme cold.
 tonight after i got back from Nelly's i just filled up the tub to warm up.  i never understood what it meant to be chilled to the bone until i moved north.  sometimes the only way to really warm up is to get in the tub or curl up under the covers.  i love my heated throw from cost co.
 i did get a chance to chat with a few good friends as well tonight which was wonderful.  Quinton caught me before i headed to Nelly's and Carla and i finally caught up with each other after.  we've played phone tag for several weeks it seems.  i agree with Carla...nothing beats an actual phone conversation except actually being with the person and talking live.  texting is okay, but you really don't get into the meat of a discussion.
 love this shot above as you can see the skaters in front of the Seward highway, the rail and then Turnigan Arm sunset.
 these were shot from the road above.
 cruised around a bit getting different angles of the sun and ice.
 even somewhat "boring" sunsets are made majestic over the water.

 lots of little cracks on the ice at potters. i really didn't get near anything that i would have been concerned about though.
 also my kicksled can cruise over these cracks easily.  i left the dogs in the car as i figured they'd had enough for the day out at the refuge. we saw nobody else out there walking at the refuge today.  guess they were all ice skating.
 i think the little dark spot in the sun on the ice was actually an ice skater...i was trying to capture them passing over the ice.  should have taken a few more as clearly they are lost in the reflection...sort of looks other worldly though.  haha.
 sleeping lady in the background.
 rio was a bit less than enthusiastic to go for a walk today and to test out her new neck scruff.  not sure she really appreciated the thing. although it did fall off once when we were out in the wind at the refuge and i think she maybe did gain some appreciation for the thing at that point.  i do know that her ears were nice and warm when we got home.
 funny to bundle up a dog to this extent, but it really is chilly out there and i'd rather her warm and looking a bit ridiculous.
 blossom and tye didn't seem to mind the cold temperatures though all the dogs were slipping a bit on the ice in the tidal zone.
 Nelly is bundled up against the cold.  there was quite the wind chill out there.  brrrrrrrr....
 always beautiful though.
 loved these bumpy designs in the snow/ice.
 blossom never gets cold it seems.  she is pretty dang cute i must say.
 the neck scruff didn't stay in the right position very i'll have to do some tweaking. i think if i put a hole for her leash that may help. when walking she tends to have her collar up high on her head and i think it's gotten that i lead her around with the leash.  she is blind and it's what we do so maybe if i put the whole up high it will help hold the scruff in the right place.
 two days in the bitter cold and i suspect rio will opt out of the walk tomorrow.
 i head back to work for 3 nights starting tomorrow and then i will have to get stuff done and catch my flight out.  haven't worked out the how to get to/from the airport details.  i just tend to avoid these details as part of my brain remains in denial.  i love being other places and seeing family...i just hate the getting to/from.  it's so uncomfortable.  the waiting, the flying, the packing...the horrible details.  once i'm at the airport all the details go away as it's all out of my control.  if it's not done, it's too late at that point.
 Nelly on the beach.
 a few bubbles, not too many out there today.  you never know what you will find anywhere. that is why i love cruising around to different places and seeing what is out there.  it's always a surprise.
 you can see my shadow with my kicksled on the ice.
 the sun bounces off potters marsh.
 for those who don't know what a kicksled is, this is it.  it's pretty simple, but lots of fun.
 one last shot of the skaters...
back to work tomorrow.  enjoy your day...hope it's a wee bit warmer wherever you are!!