with over 20 years in this amazing place. it's never dull. i hope to enjoy years of exploration here.
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 earth..now 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!!
have lived in alaska since 1995, lived in ketchikan for 6 years and here in anchorage since 2001. it's a wonderful place and i enjoy getting out nearly daily for a walk/hike/stroll or ramble. enjoy the pics