Saturday, September 13, 2014

Denali Highway...Fall 2014!!

 much of this is the big mountain of Denali ( or McKinley to those in the lower 48).  as you can see my road trip started with stellar sunny weather and fabulous views of the big mountain.
 it's a big mountain..that is for sure.  at these stops for photos i can assure you there were many very happy tourists.  they say only 25% of tourists will actually get a glimpse of Denali on their visits north.
 these first ones are at a stop outside of Willow
 of course, i look at these houses across this lake and think...those people built their homes on the wrong side of the lake.  their view is of the highway not that beautiful mountain behind them.
 have driven a ton in the last few weeks...was tempted to jump in the car again tomorrow and head north.  Fairbanks appears to be the only clear weather and my aurora app predicts amazing aurora activity as far as the thing lists...sadly, the Anchorage forcast is for rain, rain and more rain.  there could be a break and today the wind was picking up and some blue skies peeked through.  don't think it lasted though.
 got my usual late start today.  3 nights of work...all in the adult ICU.  that place has been hopping of late.  overall good co-workers...the second night there was one nurse who seems to get in those moods...there is always one of those people everywhere.  she is short with everyone, refuses all assistance, doesn't let anyone know what is going on...she must have been asked 50 times by all of us other nurses if she needed anything...some of those people will later complain that nobody helped annoying.
 often i just think people like that fear that by accepting assistance they look weak or people will see them as not being able to handle it.  this job can be tough and the assignments are sometimes crazy busy...just take the help when it's offered.  better for you and the patients.  my last night was fairly busy as i got one that had just showed up from OR right before the shift changed.  not much of a report and so you just gotta get a lot of stuff done in a short time.  it all got done, but i for sure got some assistance.
 friends crashed at my place last night while i was at work.  i guess they didn't get in from Homer until like 1 am and were gone before i got back as they had a plane to catch. they did leave behind some peaches, homemade raspberry jelly and some salmon i had a lovely dinner tonight.
 we about busted a gut last night at work. i went to open my only soda of the week and since i'd been carrying the thing around all week it exploded as i opened it.  it sprayed out sideways. lost over 1/3 of the contents of the bottle. i was coated in cherry flavored Dr Pepper.  it was quite the mess!!  i try to avoid any soda at work and stick to water, unless i'm on the tired side.
 walked the dogs in the bog that day, did some stuff around the house to make it presentable for my friends.
 Today, Rio opted out of walking in the rain.  it was coming down pretty solid when i got to the dog park and mine was the only car in the lot.  it slowed and then stopped so then others began to show up at the park.  Blossom had fun chasing her toy and the fall colors are coming in nicely there.  after that walk i had a few short errands, then it was so nice out i did another loop at Cheney Lake on the way home.
 i have been anxious about these stickers i ordered for WARIS.  it's the first donated money i have spent.  i'm not too keen on parting with my own spending money donated by others is more stressful.  clearly all donated funds are safe with me.  the stickers arrived today though and though they aren't huge, they came out nicely and are a good start at a fair price.
 plan is to give those to folks who donate at least $15.  if you already have donated that much and want a sticker, let me know where to send your sticker!!
 on the WARIS front i also got a list of people who got permits from 2005 to present from Fish and Game so we can hopefully combine the envelope stuffing/addressing gathering to include both the past permit holders and marine biology program directors.  have slacked a bit with these little road trips on my WARIS work so i really should get some stuff done these next few days. i would love to drive to Fairbanks, but it's also a long drive after 2 weekends of long drives...sometimes it's nice to let the rain give you an excuse to stay close to home.  i need to finalize these letters and then i can get speedy to set  them up for printing with our letterhead.
 when ready....we will have a pool/pizza party at my place!! work is more fun if we turn it into a gathering.  we can start to plan our first event...will have to make calls to places and see what if any fees we can expect from different places for gathering?  i have planned events/parties in my day.  will give the Mormon church credit for learn at a young age to plan that training will come in handy.  i'm sure my family will be happy to have me express something positive about my Mormon upbringing.  haha. it wasn't all bad...i just went another way as an adult.
 the scenery was clearly quite beautiful for day one of my drive.  you hit patches where the fall colors are peaking and others where it hasn't really started...or is past prime.  that is why one must chase fall around.  would like to hit the fall further would be spectacular to hit the colors up the Dalton Highway.
 my one patient got a bit confused in the middle of the night.  i was trying to give her a bath and she starts pushing my hands away and telling me, "no, i'll wash my own potatoes".  this continued on so her bath wasn't not very complete.  was able to at least get the potato discussion moved to cooking and thanksgiving but still i wasn't allowed to wash her potatoes.  haha!! no night is dull around my place.
WARNING GROSS NURSE TALK:  some patients with really bad edema get these huge blisters...i'm talking 4-5 in long, 2-3 inch wide blisters..i had suggested we do a contest to see who could guess when my patients blister would burst...couldn't get any was 3 am by the way.  at the same time i think she was farting out carrots...don't people chew their food?  another nurses patient was farting some of the smelliest farts...OMG!!  what did that dude eat?
 nothing like a good shower after a day of work!!  they think i need a masters degree for this?  i'm an ADN trained nurse.  the push now is for bachelors trained nurses.  though i often point out,those with the more advanced degree are actually ambitious and rarely stay long term in a job...they'd be better off with ADN's as we have less ambition and will stay longer.  this should spur me on to return to school and people all around me are...i suspect the peer pressure will get to me eventually.
 while i looked at this pictures from this trip i had "jerry MaGuire" playing the background.  overall i find that Tom Cruise has gotten more nuts over time, but i still enjoy a few of his older flicks.  i suspect that anytime you get that well known and have that many people fawning over you it impacts you and you either have people around you who keep you grounded or you sort of get lost.  this will never be an issue for me.  i will not be well known and i have plenty of folks around me who have no problem making sure i don't get too full of myself.
 i'm in need of a late night snack.  the dogs were happy to share that salmon with me tonight.  none left.
 chatted with a sibling.  i try to keep in touch. one niece is talking of a visit north next summer...FUN!! hard to convince my siblings and their families to make the trek north..with scenery like this it's hard to imagine why...okay it is a spendy trip.
 always looking at the latest news stuff.  apparently the Palins got into a brawl this past week at a party.  not sure exactly what happened, but the word is a few of the kids were involved in the fist fight and Sarah was just valley...haha!! it's good to find news occasionally that can make you giggle.  most of the news these days is just bad.
 there was also a blip about things people report regretting as they are near death...always find those sorts of things interesting.   so things they wish...1.  they wish they'd had the courage to live a life true to themselves and not the life others expected them to live. (i feel like this isnt' something i'll find myself regretting when that time nears)
 2.  they wish they hadn't worked so hard ( again, since i'm work as little as possible to live as much as possible this should not be a regret) 3.  they wish they'd had the courage to express their true feelings.  ( i may wish i'd been smart enough to not ALWAYS express my feelings. haha)  4.  they wish they'd stayed in touch with friends.  ( i feel i'm pretty good at trying to stay in touch with friends, your efforts do not always do much if the others do not reach back towards's worth it to keep trying i think though.  i got this from my Mom ) and 5.  i wish that i had let myself be happier (not sure about that one.  don't think i stop myself from being happy, i for sure probably get in my own way by feelings of not being  worthy at times.  have always battled self esteem issues).
 will i have regrets at the end of my life.  so far i don't feel much by way of regrets...if circumstances were different would i have lived things differently?  perhaps. in an ideal world i would have had better grades and a more decisive plan and went through 4 years of college followed by vet school, but the life i've lived has gotten me to the live i live and i'm pretty dang happy with that.
 seems you just have to be ready to adapt to the path that presents itself.  as in the picture take the road that is laid out before you, but you don't always know where that road will lead you.  it may be washed out or there may be diverging paths that you get caught up in.  or you will stop and just take off walking.  ultimately you embrace the world around you... helps to be open to the changes in course that present themselves.
 these scenes are just amazing....and i'm sure don't really do justice to the incredible beauty that is out there.
 nice to be able to have such great skies that first day especially.
 may have to get a snack here and then continue on...cheese and apples...don't worry i always chew my food.
 after 2 am..snack time.  cloudy out there so no northern lights tonight i think.
 apples cheese and thanks to Miss Maddie...sliced pepperoni.  they took these camping..i guess these are the new kids snacks.  pretty tasty actually. travel well too.  so snacks this week are leftovers from road trips
 sleep when i'm tired, eat when i'm hungry..that seems reasonable.
 worked with a travel nurse this week.  it was funny...we just had a lot of things in she is me when i was her age.  walked away from pretty intense religion, life made easier by brother coming out of closet... fun to laugh and chat with her.  you do meet many nice people working in nursing.  i suppose you can in any job, but staff is pretty fluid in a hospital so you get to chat with new folks all the time.  you can learn so much from each person you meet in life...if you are willing to ask questions and listen to the answers.
 too often people are just trying to think of what they want to say rather than actually listening.
 need to find a new dentist if anyone knows anyone...want more of a spa much of a spa experience as a dentist can be. i want the gas and movie options during procedures.  feel guilty switching dentists but i work with the dentists husband and ever since their marriage issues came up it's been strange for me...
really loved how this last shot came out.  sometimes you get lucky.  will be more from this journey over the next days. don't think i'll make the trek north this weekend as there is lots to here, WARIS stuff, house cleaning, bills to pay...i can't play all the time.  i can be grateful all the time though...
1.  grateful i can clean my own potato and am healthy and independent.  2 seen twice is most awesome 3. funny video's, cartoons, the little silly things in life that crack you up.

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