Tuesday, September 29, 2015

never married and no there isn't anything wrong with me...

 at least nothing more than the average person.  it's always so funny to me that when people discover i'm single and have never married they immediately begin to try and uncover what is wrong with me.  surely something must be wrong with me....apparently everyone who has ever married is perfect, they have no flaws...i mean they got married didn't theyn so they must have been flawless.
 this hunt for my failings began in my late 20's-early 30's and has continued.  patients often ask me if i'm married, do i have kids...the usual small talk.  this hunt for my failings is across the board though.  i recall having a bit of a heated discussion with a sibling years ago.  he began speaking of a woman at his church...she was nearly 40, pretty, smart...yadda yadda, but she had never married...what was wrong with her.  of course, when i dared to point out that perhaps she didn't have a fatal flaw i was deemed to be overly sensitive...of course there was something wrong with her...she had never married.
 often people will begin to ask you questions, probing at times..eventually they seem to settle on something that they decide is a flaw enough to justify the fact that nobody wanted to marry you.
 may i just point out that there are plenty of people who are certifiably insane who are married, drug addicts and alcoholics are married, people in jail are married, serial killers are married.  putting a ring on a persons finger and getting legally bound to another  human does not in any way make a person more normal than the next.
 it never seems to occur to people that perhaps people who are single and never married, just never found an appropriate match.  divorce just never appealed to me and i had seen enough marriages go bust and bust bad that that didn't appeal to me.  ultimately for myself i found that either you find someone that you really feel is an excellent match for you and you for them or you don't.  it wasn't worth marrying half ass just to say i had gotten married.
 these pictures, by the way, are from past the Matanuska Glacier to the Tangle Lakes campground on the Denali Highway.
 for an independent woman..and man i suppose...being single isn't some death sentence.  i have dated many men but none of them seemed a match worth giving up my freedom for.  they weren't men i'd want to raise kids with.  just seemed to me it was better to stay single and hope for a better match than to see it all go to hell down the road.  i figure i should be applauded for not marrying the wrong guy or becoming impregnated by the wrong guy.  instead...i am analyzed and found to be flawed.
 i am flawed.  we all are flawed.  i don't think i'm any more flawed than the next person.  what are my flaws.  i can be sensitive.  i am outspoken.  i can be lazy and often procrastinate.  i probably swear more than the average.  my homemaking and cooking skills are not stellar, my house can be a bit cluttered at times.  i'm not afraid of a few dust bunnies or dishes in the sink. i sometimes spend money on silly things...i have too much stuff...thus the clutter.  i'm sure my friends could chime in on a few more of my flaws.  i've met plenty of people who have more flaws and plenty who no doubt have less...
 i am who i am.  love happens when someone sees your flaws and your quirks and accepts you as you are and you see their flaws and quirks and accept those as well.  a person who loves you can see past the silly flaws and knows the person you are beyond the silly flaws of day to day life.  mostly, i think i can be a pretty complicated person and it can take time to get to know me.  most people don't bother to take the time to really get to know people.  socially, i can't say i'm very good at the small talk and the games that seem to go along with this process called dating.
 it would be great to have a kindred spirit to chill with and to have fun with and to talk and laugh with...but perhaps there was some great lessons i was meant to learn in this life and perhaps those lessons were best learned by me standing alone.  i try to take life as it comes, adapt to it, embrace it.
 i took the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.  the things i have done in life i may not have done if i had followed the path that was laid out for me as a child.  it's just the way my life has gone.  some people can find happy no matter what and some people are never happy, even if they have been given every gift.  some sabotage their happiness and some just live in fear of change so they settle or stay in unhappy situations.
 i've seen some bad marriages that came from people just wanting desperately to be "married"...i've seen some sad marriages of people who chose wrong but stayed.  heard and seen people stay with partners who are really horrible to them and bad people...but apparently normal because they managed to get married.
 sometimes patients have asked me out or even this week offered to marry me....usually they are pretty drunk when they do. i guess i can say i have been proposed to on many occasions...it's gonna take more than a drunk proposal to catch this girl though  i remember one patient who had shit all over himself and was throwing up blood asking me out.  he had pee and poop all over him...i'm always impressed at the confidence of some men.  amazing...of course, i do recall looking at him and saying something like, "i'm not sure what makes you think you are attractive at this moment, no thank you".
 Shell has decided to stop oil exploration in the Arctic.  this is good news for walrus, whales, polar bears and all the other life in the arctic.  it's not that i'm totally against oil exploration but we do not have the means to protect the arctic and the plants and animals of the arctic in the event of a major oil spill and believe me, spills happen.  even a small spill can be disastrous in such a delicate environment.  the reports were that they wouldn't do anything for walrus or whales and would only be able to help a few polar bears if they could find them.  so this is good news in my opinion.
 getting a few WARIS calendars ready to ship out hopefully tomorrow.  i also ordered more calendars....can we sell them?  so far the few we have seem to be finding homes.  perhaps next year i will see if anyone who had been there has a favorite photo to add in to the calendar.
 it was a wet Monday walk but we got out there and let the rain fall on us.  once you are out in the rain it's not really that bad. it can be tough to get motivated.  i actually love the rain though.  so we had 3 for the walk and 5 for coffee.  i actually made some brownies.  now i'm eating some leftover milk duds from the movie last night.  also snacking on some honeycrisp apples.  :-)  love me some honeycrisp.
 watched a few ted talks this afternoon as i took a rest.  of course, i was dozing through some of the talks.  one was by a guy Samuel Cohen.  he's researching Alzheimers Disease.  he was saying that not much has happened in research since the first case was diagnosed over 100 years ago.  one MS Deter.  he was saying this is a curable disease not just a part of aging.  he was saying that many people in the audience would be battling Alzheimers themselves in the years to come or would be caring for someone with Alzheimers.  the numbers are getting worse.  the proteins in the brain clump. his group was working on treatments, some meds are showing positive results in worms and such.  he implored people to fight for increased funding for Alzheimers research.  it is a horrible and sad disease...would love to see cures and treatments found.
 there was a woman who writes poetry and she had written about having Parkinsons.  she seemed to be making light of all the struggles and changes her body was trying to adapt to.  how things that were so easy before were now things that she had to focus on intensely in order to get the task done.  writing, opening a door....it all takes added focus now.  i heard the first poem and then i think i must have dozed off.
 i should probably eat a salad instead of the milk duds...just another of my many flaws.  i like junk food sometimes...well often times.
 some flaws i've managed to turn into positives...oddly my stubborness and outspoken nature make me pretty good at advocacy work.  i don't back down.  it helped that i can write fairly easily and the pictures i've taken have really been a bonus.  couldn't have afforded to pay people for the use of their photo's.  i've been able to donate my time and photography and my writing skills to help the walrus.
 may never know what impact we have as a group..i hope that we have helped and continue to help.  it can be tough to know at times. tonight i did read over a handful of kind notes written to me by a variety of people who appreciate what we do...that is always great.
 we all can make a difference in the world.  it may be small, so small that it passes by unnoticed, but we should all still try...you just never know.
 i find that is true in all our interactions.  at my work especially, you just never know when a moment of kindness and compassion will have an impact on someone.  if you can treat someone with respect and dignity who rarely gets that treatment you may make a bigger impact than you know.
 it can be tough to not get jaded in our work.  it's easy to see the drug seeker or the chronic drunk and only see the drugs and the alcohol...but you have to push past the exterior of people and remember that they are all suffering and struggling.  we all have our flaws, we are all damaged in some way by the life we live.  if we work together we can all help to pull each other up and we can all make it.
 i like the current Pope and i also like the Dhali Lama.  with all the hoopla of the Pope coming to the US someone had asked...why do we care about the Pope.  leaders of these religions have a lot of power and always have. to hear leaders use this power to try and make things right and better can only be a good thing in my opinion.  many listen to these religious leaders...they can calm and they can redirect.  as in all power it can just as easily be abused...more often than not it seems like it is so when you see a world religious leader who seems to be able to use this platform in an attempt to calm and inspire and educate...i for one will embrace it.
 i always am a fan of reflections. these below are from walking around camp and the little trails in the campground

 Blossom was happy to be out of the car and exploring.

 it was a cold night...i didn't sleep much.  temps into the 30's.  frost on the ground in the morning.
 you can see some remnant blueberries in there as well.
 snow is falling up north and will possibly fall in town here this week.
 the campground below.
 my car needs to get it's big 100,000 mile check...we are almost there...oh the places we've gone.

 hopefully, i sleep well tonight.  haven't accomplished all i set out to for today....need to buy those plane tickets still, but every day i get something accomplished and that is good.
 another of the campground below....a morning walk with Blossom before we did the crossing of the Denali Highway.

 Blossom enjoys the day.

 loved that small patch of trees...the fall landscapes in Alaska are amazing.
 three more nights coming up....
thankful for:  A.  the rain.  we need it and it's relaxing and peaceful  B.  friends...so happy to have the Monday walks back  C.  opportunities. i have had many in my life.  haven't always done all i could with them, but so many do not have so few options or opportunities.

Monday, September 28, 2015

moose and mountains

 goals for this week.  order more calendars.  buy plane tickets for Thanksgiving trip to CA.
 these are some kincaid shots and then the start of a drive north earlier this month.  hope i don't bore you with all the scenery shots.  fall is short here and i tend to chase it around all i can.  winter drops in fast though...there is some talk of snow by later this week.  Fairbanks and Denali have gotten quite a lot of snow already.
 the house smells delicious as i am baking brownies. hopefully, i can keep from burning them.
 busy three nights....all in the ER.  that place can wipe me out....and occasionally test my patience.  last night it was testing my patience with fellow nurses i was giving report to.  some nurses are so silly, it's like they want to catch you up or something.  one nurse i nearly said, "you realize i am an ICU nurse?".  she seemed hell bent on proving me incompetent or something.  funny thing was, she was the one who was confused reading the orders.  my ducks were in a row
 then, this ICU nurse calls me about 45 min later to tell me the patient had left against medical advice and was angry with me for not warning her of his agitation.  guess he'd thrown urinals at her?  not sure but i informed her that the patient had not caused me any trouble at all.  wanted to say that either the patient had been too ill to cause trouble or maybe...she'd set him off.  either way, i informed her i could not inform her of something that did not exist when the patient was in my care.
 a few minutes later we got a call from EMS who were outside to pick up said patient who had called 9-1-1, apparently he wanted to go to a different hospital.  no idea what happened, but this is not my fault.  thankfully, i have no problem speaking my mind and people who try to bully me find themselves backed into a corner.  growing up in a big family one learns to defend oneself.  back off...had a few of those that night.  silly people.  no i'm not called for an as needed order based on one abnormal blood pressure.
 finally, the last patient i called report on i spoke with a lovely nurse up in PCU.  so easy, so pleasant....this is how it should be and how it is most days.  often i think when people are all picky and detailed and trying to slip you up it's really their own lack of self esteem.  only people who have little confidence try to hide it by berating others.
 was in a room with a patient who was clearly distraught and my phone kept ringing.  when i came out it turns out someone was trying to save me from this frequent flyer and generally drug seeking patient.  i know those patients can be tough but honestly i am usually pretty good at escaping rooms.  i try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
 kindness costs nothing and as long as you don't let yourself be taken advantage of and set limits you can do alright.  you just never know what people have been through in their lives and what has gotten them to the place they are at.  kind of a there but for the grace of God go I kind of thinker.  i took all that do not judge stuff to heart.  i figure we all have different lessons to learn in this life and different paths to get to those lessons.  you just can't understand anothers journey.
 Matanuska Glacier and Valley.  always so beautiful in the fall colors.
 munching on iceberg lettuce.  my mom used to get upset with me when i was a kid and i'd be off just munching on a head of lettuce.  of course, i do find it ironic that later in my teen years i was a bit chided for being overweight....if she'd only just bought loads of lettuce perhaps i never would have gained the weight to begin with.
 it's been awhile since i hit a movie.  tonight went with a friend to see "Everest". i thought it was really well done. i've read other books by Kraukaur but haven't gotten around to "into thin air". will have to sit down with it.
 not really sure what drives people to want to do a trek like climb Everest but sometimes things go terribly wrong and it can happen very quickly in a place such as that.  too often these days people who are ill prepared but well off can experience adventures that would have been off limits to them.  they just hire others to risk their lives getting them to their goals.  probably goes along with our instant gratification society.  many don't necessarily want to do the work but do want to reach the same goals as those who do the work.
 in this event there were a few businesses that were guiding folks up the mountain. one leader seemed to have the feeling that if you couldn't reach the top on your own then you had no business going on while the other seemed to earnestly want to help others  reach their goals, even if they needed some coddling.  on this adventure sadly, several died.  the one guy had relented against all common sense when his one client insisted that he could summit even though he'd missed the window for timing.  they both died.
 often the most important thing in life is to know your limitations and to be willing to fail.  many in our society are not learning to fail.  everyone is a winner,everyone can do everything...but everyone can't. it takes technical skills to climb a mountain or do other adventures, it also takes an emotional element and even a fool hardiness.  arrogance is also required.  i remember watching this ted talks about a guy who had done this solo trek.  some said in the comments they thought he was arrogant...it occurred to me that true adventures need to have a crazy arrogance to them or they would never even attempt the crazy things they do.  you have to have enough confidence to dream.
 those who live in fear will never be the adventurers.
 the movie has a 3D version though we did not see that version.  i'm happy we didn't.  it almost seems disrespectful to those who died to show their story in 3D.  watching a re-enactment of people falling down the mountain in 3D just seems a bit wrong to me.
 anyway...it's a good movie about a sad event.
 mostly got my steps in this week, though more at work than on walks these past 2 days...i owe Blossom big.  just a few days off and then back to work again.
 one night i got all my hold patients shipped off and was able to leave work about 45 minutes early...always nice.
above was tourists lined up to take pictures of the glacier at the viewpoint.
 one night i forgot my badge. i rarely do this but what a bother it is when you do. we have to scan stuff with ourselves...thankfully, i really didn't end up needing my badge that much and a friend lent me theirs just in case i needed to transport patients and needed to get through doors.
 these are from a short walk at the Matanuska viewpoint/campground.  always  a good place to stop and stretch my legs..and the dogs as well.

 sent a friend at fish and game a text just saying if anyone at fish and game wanted stickers or calendars to let me know...he called and left a message so i called back.  could hardly understand anything he said...i think he was saying i can't take those things to the office and sell them as it would be a violation.  always so funny to me.  sometimes these guys just seem anxious that interacting with me may put their jobs at risk.  this at the same time that they want me to help out with Round Island.
 when we did the petition i remember just saying i understand you are anxious to sign these things yourselves, but surely you can encourage your friends and families to support the place through WARIS efforts.
 so many strange political aspects to trying to protect this place that i just wasn't really aware of when i jumped in. working with fish and game is just an aspect of that. working with the native culture when it comes to this seems delicate proposition to me as well.
 they hunt walrus, they eat walrus, they carve ivory for sale.  guess it always seems to me that they should be totally committed to saving and protecting walrus populations in order to preserve their way of life.  often though, there is anger at intrusion into their way of life, of our government dictating how many of this or that they can harvest, of how to use their land.  i want to try and be inclusive and respectful of their way of life and their traditions while trying to protect this animal and place that i have grown to love.
 i have ivory carvings in my house. when i first came up to Alaska i discovered the beauty of native art.   at some level you have to trust that the artists have the ivory from a legal take of a walrus or from combing beaches for ivory and finding a walrus that has died of natural causes.  i wonder if in the future there should be more of a way to track these art items so that the buyer could have more assurance that there is no poaching involved.  no doubt most of the art out there is legal take and when you buy from legitimate sources the risk is low i guess...but still how do we assure ourselves and others of the legality of the ivory.
love the sheep mountain area....those mountains are just so beautiful.
 check out those fall colors.
 rain today....pretty hard at times.  i still got a few things accomplished.  i was trying to kill time because we can do our schedule online after 9 am.  after working all night i figured i'd just stay up and get that done.  cat litter, laundry....i was so sleepy. i probably should check and make sure i didn't sign up for day shifts or something.
 dang thing didn't come up at 9 am though.  i think it was well after 9:30 am when they popped out.  that was irritating.  if you don't get in there on time your schedule could get pretty ugly.  so far it hasn't been much of an issue, but then i always try to get on in the first few hours it's open.
 i will probably crash pretty hard today.
 i gotta get my PALS done for work and get a TB test.  did manage to get my flu shot this week.
 this is Lions Head..a prominent little mountain on the drive.
 not sure what news events happened this week.  work/sleep/work and more sleep.  in between i tuck in some WARIS stuff and then it starts all over again.
 these are headed to Glenallen.

 there was so much screaming in the ER this week.  people get nuts and man can they make a racket when they do.  they can get pretty violent too.  for sure more risk of personal injury working in the ER.  now all this crazy spice stuff. i'm not the most expert on the whole drug world.  this spice crap seems pretty bad. almost like the old LSD paranoid/delusions or something.  you would think people would avoid that crap. it's almost time for PFD's to hit the streets of AK.  (Permanent Fund Dividend).  that money is distributed too all and until i worked ER it hadn't really occurred to me that this windfall would be spent by many on illegal drugs and alcohol.  overdoses all over the place.
 it's pretty sad how many people's lives are destroyed by drugs...such a bad thing to get hooked on.  such a waste.
 amazing colors coming through.

 guess i should really settle in for the night.
 another Monday, another Monday walk . no speedy this week.
 hope you enjoyed the colors of fall in Alaska...i know i always do.
thankful for: A.  help...plenty of it in the ER last night B.  nurses and other staff who are kind with each other.  C.  that i never got lost to drugs or alcohol.  what a mess....night.