Tuesday, March 31, 2015

night of fun with aurora's...

 i probably won't drive to Talkeetna in the wee hours very often. it's worth the drive for sure. just very tiring.  happy i went this night. when the numbers are showing really good potential...well then for sure worth the drive.
 thanks to KR for my rapid training session in aurora photography.  my pictures pale in comparison to hers and many other folks out there..but still lots of fun to get some shots of this amazing gift from mother earth!!
 they should be on everyones bucket list.  the mountain range in the background here is the Alaska range and the big mountain is Denali...pretty sweet!!
 shooting star in this one.
 it's pretty amazing sight.
 i wandered around a bit in the place we were at trying different settings.
 did make a few appointments today.  not all of them . how much can one person actual do in one day...if it's this person it's not much.
 pretty stars..
 i made the dreaded tax appointment.  so that will be Monday and Tuesday i will get the tires changed over and put a tow hitch on my car so i can put on my bike rack thing and get out biking more this summer i hope. those seats are still dang uncomfortable but biking is good.
 goal is to be in better shape by the end of 2015..can't stand this fat...!!  i have no expectations of having some 20 year old body, but then i never had that anyway.  i think i was in pretty decent shape in my late 20's-early 30's for sure.  i was hitting the gym, biking, hiking...
 swam again today.  it always feels so great.  i did 52 lengths.  funny my little app for tracking this stuff doesn't know that a lap is different from a length.  thought the mileage seemed off.
 not too long of a walk today so i didn't get my 10,000 steps in these past few days.  bummer. met with a friend and we did a loop around westchester lagoon.  have never done the loop around so that was cool.  always fun to walk with a friend too
 back to work tomorrow night for 3 more so i'll have to up my walking and get some mileage i tomorrow.
 hit REI after the walk. had my eye on some new hiking boots. i walk quite a bit so i like to keep fairly new on those for the sake of my feet.  so i bought some new boots. wanted to wait til i could use the 20% off and the dividend.  so that meant i got boots costing nearly $250 for $54.  i was cool with that.  i don't have any bigger items i'm looking to buy.
 well, i do, but they would be a remodel in the upstairs bedroom.  make it more of a master suite with a walk in closet and maybe even a tiny 3 piece bathroom.  would be great to have an extra shower for when i do have guests.  will need to do some research as to costs and contractors.
 and if i do that i can't ignore the roof that needs to be done. neither is cheap so sadly i may have to work some overtime if i do this.  maybe i could pull partial shifts in the ER.  i think that would be easier than full shifts.
 the kitchen is desperate for a remodel as well, but i think the upstairs may come first.  we shall see. a few years back now i did paint and flooring in my office and guest room, those weren't too spendy and came out nice i think.  i also got all the new california closet inserts, which are super nice.
 my place is small, cozy i think is the way one would describe it.
 liked the aurora through the trees.
 long way to go on my skills in this but it was still a fun night out there!!
 i think these next few are just when i pulled over on the way into the main town of Talkeetna.  they lights were dancing so i got sucked into pulling over and attempting more shots.  hard not too...the lights are pretty addictive and just draw you in.
 some women was accosted and stabbed on one of our local bike trails. Anchorage is growing as a city which can mean more crime.  hopefully, we select a new mayor that isn't going to cut the police force.  early in March a convicted rapist with a cruel and violent history escaped prison.  he was only out a few hours apparently but was already attempting to take another woman.  she escaped and a brave 16 year old tracked him and thus helped police recapture him. always scary.

 i pulled over again on the side of the road as the lights really went nuts for a bit.
 there seems to have been many nights like this of late if the "aurora notifications" page on fb is any indicator.
 today i also finally stopped by the local Sees Candy store at the nursery.  it is pretty small but they do have my favorite milk patties.  i got 1/2 pound, which didn't seem like very much candy.  :-)  haha.  i was pretty excited though.i also bought some tiny suckers which are also always tasty!!  i can now get my milk patty fix locally...how cool is that!?!
 hope you have enjoyed my little light show.  perhaps i will be able to bring you more in the future now that i have caught a wee bit of the bug.
 thought i would take a day off of the dogs and Fairbanks.  will get back to it and just mix it in with other fun stuff.  there is just always cool stuff out there in Alaska and so i can get behind some times...
 above is from a walk out at Campbell Airstrip. i think it's gotten more slushy than icy at this point. i may be making my way there tomorrow.  perhaps start to test out my new boots.  break em in a bit.  there were some other hiking boots for over $500...for one pair of shoes!! WHAT?  that is crazy!!
 one last from Talkeetna...the Roadhouse...a popular eatery there.
 with these warm spring days i gate off the front porch and let the animals chill while i read or whatever on the deck with them.  would close this off with glass i think or something similar after my "remodel" happens so that it would become more of a sunroom?
 miss breezy really enjoys her deck time with the dogs.
 i now have an old bed out there so that makes Rio super happy.  the dog beds get rotated.  house, car then finally deck bed...then trash.
 a guy was using a drone to follow kids home from school in Eagle River a few weeks back..nice.  pretty sad that everything that gets invented gets twisted and used by idiots.
 a day at the beach with Blossom.  beautiful day as you can see.
 a stop at my favorite tree.
 took a nap this afternoon before hitting the pool.  i dreampt that i bought a new car and drove it home and then returned to the dealership to pick up my element, which i had no intention of selling.  a salesman there seemed to have decided he wanted it.  it had a trailer attached to it and was tinkering with it.  as i went to take it, he tried to get me to sell it to him.  i gave him an outrageously high price and he walked away.  i started to drive off and then the brakes weren't working so i was driving in reverse for some reason trying to get the car to stop and it wouldn't.  finally got it stopped and then the guy was walking around in his underwear...totally nuts. that is typical of my dreams.  always strange and disjointed.
 i get chased a lot in my dreams.  not sure what that means.
 a happy pup...just before we hit the beach.
 that clean dog didn't stay clean long.
 this is the beach here.  many beaches that i have seen are rocky or have black sands.  especially southeast.  Nome had more lighter colored sand.
 Anchorage has mud.
 will have to sit down and pay bills tomorrow. this month is almost over...where did it go?  time sure flies. the seasons change fast and it's summer, then fall and then right back to winter again.  we have meltage, but the soil is still frozen.  probably be some early planting this year but it's still a ways off.
 ice is still melting on the beach as well.  it was low tide and the ice had been left by the tide.
 fun to explore...the beach looks so different when you go.  huge tides up here so beaches come and go.  nothing like the tides i grew up with in California, those seemed like big tide changes, but compared to this place, they seem pretty small now most days.
 California does have some beautiful beaches too.  used to love driving up and down that coast camping out and walking the various beaches. probably wasn't always safe then or would be now but i felt and continue to feel like you can't let the evil in the world totally dictate how you live your life.
 shouldn't avoid all things on the chance that something bad could happen.  prepare, be smart and then just go for it.  most of the time nothing bad will happen and if it does, you react.
 did bad things happen to me....a few, but not bad enough to make me stop venturing out there in the world.
guess i should head to bed. bills tomorrow, walk and back to work.
grateful for:  1.  living where i've been able to witness the aurora...it's pretty amazing.  2.  milk patties...nummy, thanks sees for coming to Anchorage 3.  new boots, i'll feel like a princess on the trails..my old boots actually squeak when i walk.  haha.

Monday, March 30, 2015

my hero!!

 had MW snap this shot with my iphone.  hehe.  came out pretty sweet...it's a keeper.  through the year I try to get a few fun photo's for the annual Christmas card...this one is for sure in contention i'd say.
 more from Fairbanks and the trip.  always fun exploring.  Denali was peeking out despite the not the best weather or road conditions.
 fun having all these dog teams on the road with us.
 you can see the constant line of cars headed to Fairbanks for the restart.  for Alaska interior this is traffic.  we can probably expect much more of this coming this summer. with lower fuel costs i'm guessing many are planning their road trips north to Alaska!!
 stopped at this wood carving shop headed back from Portage Valley today, was chatting with the guy in there.  he's figuring the road will be packed this summer.  great to have this pre-tourist season of an early break up to get out a bit without the hoards of tourists and RV's.
 the ugly igloo "hotel" looks better in winter than summer.
 as i drove towards Portage the rain came harder and harder...good choice, right?  oh well.  i think nature may have taken a layer or two of dirt and grime off of the element.  still lots of dirt left on it.  also Blossom got to go swimming in the little lake thing before you get to Portage lake. our goal was to walk the blue ice trail and we did a bit...it was windy and wet and some fool hiker didn't think to bring rain gear.  time to switch over a few things in the day pack.
 Blossom swam and chased her tennis ball so a stellar day for the girl..Rio came along so she was happy to be out and about.  sniffing stuff...always fun.
 we cruised into the Wildlife Conservation Center.  so strange and empty with nearly all the wood bison gone!!  eerie!! i hope they keep a few around and re-build the stock for future releases. not sure of the plan that way yet.
 all of the animals they flew up last week are doing well in their new temporary enclosure.  they will keep them in for a bit to let them destress and settle.
 rain or shine, it's always a pretty drive anywhere you go in this state.
 a few less steps than planned the past few days but my week overall still averaged over 10,000 steps/day!!  yeah!! had one slacker day yesterday when i didn't walk the dogs and just rested.  it happens.  today i didn't make it back home in time for the pool...tomorrow i shall swim. can't wait!!
 may have to head out aurora hunting if it's not cloudy tomorrow, it's supposed to be nuts again.  solar flares..gotta love em!!
 watching caribou at the center today and i started singing Neil Diamonds, "sweet caribou"!!  okay so i changed a few of the words a bit.  hehe.
 these are in Fairbanks...the team above was staying at my hotel.  just a few teams stayed at my place.  loads of teams were at the other hotel that my friends were at.  i think they were in heaven!!
 that evening i felt the need to walk...having been trapped in a car for several hours.  i had to explore our viewing options.  above is the trail in front of my  hotel, i followed it down another street to the river...Chena River.
 i'm still chilled from my walk in the rain today.  may have to just do a tub soak in a bit.  rain is always a chill inducer. i think we foolishly think it's relatively warm outside so we really won't get too cold but that rain will zap your warmth if you aren't careful
 another team at the hotel.
 drove to my friends hotel to eat that night. they had this cool mushing ice sculpture...!
 look how open the water is here...this is why they re-thought their plans and took the first bit to the streets and hit the river past my hotel.
 thanks KH for taking my photo here...
 3 nights work down.  a few nights and then back for three more.  tomorrow morning i really need to just make a bunch of appointments.  just realized it's almost April...taxes are coming due.  yikes!!  when did that happen?
 worked ER the first night and then ICU the next two.  same patients two nights in a row...so odd.
 not much iditarod news to share anymore.  a dog that has already been returned to it's handlers apparently got loose here in Anchorage. hope it doesn't have the same fate as the other dog that got loose here.  scary.
 i still have pictures to post so i will share those, maybe start to mix them with pics i've taken the past few weeks just out and about.  not too much out there to take shots of with break up which makes it nice to have all these fun dog pics to share.
 the morning of...such a beautiful location to watch the dog teams go by.
 my friends attempt to get and stay warm out there.  temps were about 0, a bit of the wind on the river which of course, makes it colder.  fun to run into this pair and have a few laughs over the next few days.  they turned out to be my travel mates...i had a car and they were unable to find a rental!!  totally easy going folks...
 great news on the WARIS front.  outside funding is coming together it looks like.  very hopeful for this summer and perhaps next summer as well.  none from the State of Alaska, so will have to try and guilt them into returning at least some of the funding in the future..
 happy to get some positive though. not sure if anything i've done has helped this to happen or if it would have happened whether i started WARIS or not. i'd like to think our group had a positive impact on this, but we may never know.  you just do what you think is the right thing and then hope you make some sort of difference.
 i can be pretty fearless to a degree in many aspects of life. it's made my life very happy...being brave, moving forward despite nerves and anxiety.  it makes all the difference.  not sure i've done that in every aspect of my life.  i still say fear is one of the biggest things that keeps people from  being truly happy.  often it's just easy to stay with what you know, being miserable can be comfortable i guess.  best to break away and be who you are meant to be.  some may be alienated from you, but if people can't accept you and who you are then you are probably better off finding new people to be around.
 life takes different tracks for all of us...what a dull place this world would be if we all lived the same life.  what would we talk about?  we only have so many days on this beautiful earth.  they shouldn't be wasted waiting for this or that to happen so that you can finally be happy.  i'll be happy when...really means you have allowed your happiness to be taken away from you.
 some days it's a battle to accept myself for who i am.  self esteem is a hard fought internal war.  in the end, i try to just be the best me i can be.  i try to be kind and compassionate with those around me.  you just never know some one else's path or story.  you may never know but we all have different lessons we are meant to learn and we are given opportunities to grow in the way we need to grow.
 sometimes i think i was just meant to learn to be independent, to stand alone and not be lonely.  to learn to be brave and harness my fears and overcome them.  harness my doubts.  trust in myself.  i have for sure learned to be a more caring and kind person through my work as a nurse and as a vet tech in the days before that.
 i really wasn't sure i could do all the nursing stuff we do. the first time i wiped someones arse i remember it occurring to me that no matter how bad it may be to wipe up someone elses poop....it's always worse to be the poor person in a hospital bed, humiliated that someone has to wipe your arse. that thought changed my whole attitude.  tasks are just that...it's what we do...but it's how we do those tasks that makes all the difference to the people we care for.
 i feel sad for so many nurses who seem to be sucked into their phones for such long stretches of their shifts.  they are missing the opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of those in their care.  like the WARIS stuff.  i may never know the impact of just a few minutes here or there, words spoken or written...you do the good stuff anyway  because every so often, once in a while...the impact is huge.
 we are all super hero's to someone.  we may never know it but i have discovered that often, when you least expect it, you have made the lives of others better. a joke, a kind word, a touch...the truth...all you need to do is engage...put down the phone, turn off the tv, smile at people on the street, chat with strangers...
 this super hero ice sculpture was my favorite i think.  pretty cool.  so much details.
 there were some pretty awesome wood carvings at that store today. there was an octopus that was crazy detailed and amazing. the guy i spoke to does more of the furniture, which was also beautiful.  he said his son does the majority of the other carvings. loads of little bears...the money item for the shop not doubt when the tourist come through. there was a walrus head out by the work area.  i was chatting with the guy and forgot to take the photo.  maybe i'll look through those pics when i get out of the tub and am ready for bed.
 snow had fallen on the ice sculptures. you can see the detail underneath.
 on to Chena this day.
 cool sun dogs at the Freddies.
 all info out there was written in both English and Japanese.  i'm more used to the English/Spanish...
 make shift refrigerator in the window.  low temps out there.
 a few from the "ice museum".  fun place, wouldn't pay the money to do a return trip, but it's one of those things to check off the list of stuff to do in Alaska.  haha.
 the ice bar...kinda funny looking at the building it appears to church like and then the bar is the focal point of the place it seems.
 i'll have to meander over to the Anchorage Museum.  they apparently have a captain cook exhibit of his exploration of Alaska.  should be interesting.
 better enjoy the museum while i can...everything seems to be on the budget chopping block.  well all the good stuff it seems.  we have money to have free pregnancy tests in bars and  fancy legislative offices but a program to train and maintain MD's in Alaska and the Walrus and Public Broadcasting...those apparently aren't worthy.
thankful for:  A.  a safe journey for the wood bison to Shageluk. best wishes on a successful re-introduction in the weeks to come B.  a potential return of funding for the near future for Round Island...it's not over, there is more to be done to help protect this place and the animals there but i'm over the moon with joy for positive news.  C.  rain and spring...bring it on!!