Friday, February 28, 2014

tired and fur rondied out...for the moment anyway!

 goals of today, walk dogs and get to dimond mall.  i had also hoped to get to the gym, but time was not on my side.  also sleepiness won out.  i am now the proud and poor owner of one beautiful and small baleen basket!!  i have wanted one for ages.  mine is from an artist out of savoonga.  you can spend hundreds to even thousands of dollars on a decent baleen basket.  this one was well crafted and i liked that it had fossilized ivory for the decorative top piece, the bear you see.
 i headed to University Lake with the dogs and was surprised to see a bunch of folks out there on the ice, playing golf. strange indeed. appears to be rondy related and some sort of fund raiser for something.  you just never know what you will find when you take the dogs out for a walk . tomorrow the iditarod teams will run through the park on their way to campbell airstrip during the ceremonial start.  i will have to set my alarm very early so i can get out down town and wander about.  haven't decided whether i will stay down there and watch all the teams take off or if i'll pack it up and head up here closer to the airstrip and catch the tail end of it all.
 either way, i'm looking forward to a weekend of dog watching!!  there are 71 teams.  i know brent sass dropped out due to a concussion he got during the yukon quest. he was in a race for first when he nodded off i think and fell off his sled.  he had to drop out of that race.  jeff king has announced he will be sporting a helmet this year in the iditarod....a first.  king is always trying out stuff.  it does make sense really, they don't like to add extra weight and he may not wear it at all times, but the trail is no doubt dicey in some bits so a helmet is probably not a bad idea.
 my brain felt most clear last night post my own concussion.  mostly back to normal, occasionally i notice that slight fog/fuzziness or loud noises will be bothersome.
 baleen is a fibrous material, an  extension of the gums.  i think it's material is like horns or fingernails.  some whales are filter feeders so these hard fibrous plates have on one edge the more hairlike bits that catch up plankton. it's always amazing to me that these huge beasts can consume enough tiny plankton to survive.  seems impossible.
 not sure exactly how they make the baskets, but i assume there is probably some blood involved and many sores.  sounds like you soak the baleen and then it can be pulled into thread like lengths.  it doesn't sound like baleen baskets were every used by the natives in their day to day lives and instead have developed purely as an art and craft.  i think they are beautiful though.
 2 nights of work and now i'm off til tuesday. i took one day off to enjoy the iditarod.  it's always fun.  love taking pictures of the dogs and "reporting" about it all on the blog.  work was busy for me.  i do laugh as all the newer folks in the icu are required to take these classes to take care of the open heart patients. i must have been grand fathered in as i've never had a class and i suspect several of the more long term nurses such as myself haven't either.  we just learned on the fly. so it's funny to me that i get these super sick hearts while their regular staff wait to take these classes.  i don't want to speak up too much as they will then no doubt make me take a class.  haha. i'm as smart as i want to be....i know that's terrible. i'm fine reading about baleen basketry and world events but as far as work i tend to see myself as being on a "need to know basis".  thankfully, i had good crew around to answer questions if and when i had them and the cardiac surgeon never gave me any guff when i called him a few times in the wee hours.
 at this point i feel pretty capable.  you can throw pretty much anything at me and i'd muddle through quite well.  i'm not good explaining the physiology of everything i do or giving you details about how each drug works.  i can look up stuff and i have pretty good instincts from all my years. my patient was very sick...on rocket fuel you may hear a nurse saying.  that just means a patient is on a shit load of drips/drugs to keep them alive.  i was managing 12-15 different drips on this one patient.  it's a dance. i've always  been a good dancer i guess.
 first thing i bought was this pretty necklace. since i lived in ketchikan for 6 years i'm partial to the artwork from that region.  love the colours and designs
 had a photo session with my basket this evening though. hope these allow you to get a feel for these baskets.
 my friend and my nephew are slowly improving. good to chat with my brother a bit.  they have tough issues to contemplate, i can't imagine having to make the decisions they will need to make.  hopefully,  things can continue as they have for some time to come for the sake of them all.  spoke to another brother today.  he keeps talking about coming up here for the iditarod.  not this year...hopefully, they get up here at some point, i think he'd have a great time.  i'm always surprised that more of my relatives haven't taken advantage of me living in one of the most beautiful places on i'm a bit bias on this and i really haven't seen a large percentage of the earth really so i can't say as i'm really an expert.  there are amazing places all over and i am ever thankful that there are things like the internet and nat geo and such so that where we can't travel to physically we can make it to in our hearts and minds.
 there were apparently great aurora these last two nights that i was working.  looks like we were shrouded in clouds anyway. clear tonight. i'll peek out a few times.  if i see anything promising i may get excited...mostly, i suspect i will be asleep within minutes of putting my head on the pillow.
 a close look at the weave of the basket.
 bib numbers were drawn at a musher banquet last night.  69 teams will be out there.
 a bit of the sunset from the other day.
 before work i headed out to gasline to tank trail.  took a side trail instead of going all the way up to powerline.  change is always nice.
 this one tree had bark chew all the way up the trunk. too high for moose so i suspect porcupine.  never saw the beast though.
 in between shifts i headed to the bog.  no moose sighted.  a few girls were out there making a snowman on the trail.  doing a fine job of it too.
 back to the rondy events.
 above golf on u lake and more crafts below.
 paddles are another southeast alaskan art. i have one nice paddle in my office. looks pretty cool
 the one above loaded sideways.  i was talking to the aunt of the artist.  these are snowboards and skateboards.  i just loved that he is putting the native art designs into these items.  i think they are really cool looking.
 many of the artist themselves and their immediate family are at the tables.  i watched many use the time to work on other projects.  they are always lovely and enjoy talking about their artwork and the villages they live in or came from.  it's why this is my favorite native craft show!!
 cool cedar hat above with a ulu knife in the box.
 lots of dolls and furs made into hats, gloves and slippers.  didn't find just the right hat or perhaps i would have bought that instead of a basket.  if we were in the middle of a cold spell instead of a warm one it may have swayed me more in that direction. i did run into the very nice woman who i had bought my seal half gloves from last year.  those were perfect for picture taking at the iditarod last year and she seemed happy with the feedback...guess business had been slow today.
 cute kids slippers!
 the lady on the right made these dolls...they are so adorable.
 she is wearing one of these which are very common in the villages, kupsuk i think i'm spelling that right.
best hit the hay, it will be an early day tomorrow.  set the alarm and hope for the best!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

beach day...

 had a class from 10-12 today so got a late start....well, not really that late compared to normal probably.  still didn't want to waste another beautiful day so i got out there as soon as i could.  blossom and rio both joined me.
 the hill down to the beach had a few slick spots and coming back up was a bit of an's a pretty steep trek back up that little bit.  rio kept going wrong directions.  i neglected to put my camera away before making the climb and blossom kept running down and dropping her toy at my feet.  at one point i was slipping backwards down the hill.  i believe there may have been a few curse words that came out, but in the end we all made it back up to the top.
 lots of skiers out on the trails it looked like, though not really on the direct trails that i was on.  when i first arrived i ran in to a few folks from norway.  there were 4 buses and as it turned out it was a tour group for blind people up in Alaska for a ski adventure.  who knew...!  it was the dogs that got the conversation started.  i could tell they were tourists and that they wanted to pet the dogs.  i was explaining and a few were translating what i was saying...i mentioned that rio was very sweet but that she was blind..the usual explanations.  she sometimes doesn't see the people who want to pet her and they look all sad that she walks past them . once i explain she is blind, well everything changes.
 it changed today as well.  that always perks people up.  especially blind folks...we've run into a few blind folks while out on trails.  blind people all seem to respond very positively to running into a blind dog.  rio was a good will ambassador to anchorage today.
 continued on my work out quest today.  hit the gym.  going easy this week and sticking to 10 minutes of rowing, 15min stair stepper and then 15 laps in the pool.  the jacuzzi after the work out was the best part!!
 it's good mentally to be hitting the gym.  i have spent a lot of time over the years in gyms.  i do like how my body feels when i've worked out regular.  hopefully i can keep it up and get back in the habit.  it is a time commitment but it should be worth it.  if i can drop a few pounds and tone up even better.
 the gym makes sleeping even easier.  burned a few calories today between the gym and the walk.
 the dogs are happily sleeping as well.
 the class i took seems ages ago.
 4 of us for the monday walk this week.  last evening i went out on the skies for a short ski.  just went to the ball fields near here.  i'm not the most coordinated skier but i still have fun.  i've never really improved.
 happy enough to be mediocre at many things, skiing being one of those things
 lots of nice ice melt on the ice bergs out there. there was some slippery ice between me and the ice so i didn't attempt getting much closer.
 the big mountains were out and quite pretty. above is susitna, below foraker i believe.
 and of course, denali was also out.
 old hut someone built, falling down slowly
 bit of a breeze out there.  not too horrible, but a wee bit chilly.  didn't stay too long.
 liked these dried grasses/plants

 before i left i wandered over to the main arena where cross country ski races start.  they were having middle school races.  there were loads of kids.
 it's a good exercise and i love that anchorage is involving the youth in this activity.  seems smarter to try and work with the seasons we have and the weather rather than play a few football games in summer.  they were asking to build some huge football field for high school.  football/baseball/soccer fields always seems a bit of a waste of time, money and energy up here considering how our weather doesn't really make it practical.
 people insist that their kids just have to have the options.
 there were a few chunky teens at the gym.  i sometimes feel badly for my out of shape body and then i realize that there are loads of teens out there who have my same out of shape body.  they don't seem the least bit conscious of it...why should i.  i do feel bad for teens who are already battling weight.  you should be able to look back on that great body of your seems like you should be able  to. these kids will have no memory of being anything but overweight.  strange.
 not many from the monday walk but we were out there.
 syd bundled up
 the trees at stumphenge.
 a few from the ski. this bridge goes over these mushing trails
 not too exciting of a sunset shot from this trail. oh well.
 my skies were happy to get out and play
 for sure a good glide out there.  there is talk of warming and melting.
 there is also talk of aurora's over the next few days....while i'm working.  boo hoo.
 one of these days i'll have to find some lights and attempt to get a few photo's
 night photography and indoor photography are not my strong suits
 back to the beach.  none of rio...she's always too close for me to get photo's of

 blossom had fun chasing her toy
 who can complain about trees.

 aww, it loaded sideways...i did take a moment for a quick smile in moose poop...
off to bed...i've once again worn myself out doing nothing