Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Shoe hacks

So I have a confession. Despite my Carhartt-wearing, axe-swinging, log cabin lifestyle, I'm actually something of a shoe snob. My feet cover 40-50 miles a week, between leisure activities and bouncing around campus. I have no room in my life for shoes that hurt.

It's easy to find running shoes and hiking boots that fit my criteria because That is the Direction in Which Our World is Moving. Macy's is struggling and rebranding, while REI is opening new stores right and left. Dress shoes are more of a problem. The better dress shoes all tend to come with leather soles, and that means no traction. I finally found a solution while browsing through AIH. Tread tape!

You wipe down the sole with the degreaser of your choice (windex, plain isopropyl alcohol, hand sanitizer, vodka, etc), trim the tread tape to fit, and voilà! Traction better even than rubber compound!



Starbuck sez, "So now I can wear your nice dress shoes?"


I am certainly happy to be able to wear these beautiful boots year-round now!


P.S. This post is dedicated to JK, without whom I would definitely be a full-time lug-booted gal. JK keeps me feminine. :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Single Life!

Now that DL is gone for the week, I can... um... I'm not sure what, exactly. I don't seem to do much that annoys him. He is very tolerant!

However, I do use him as a living teddy bear, so now Starbuck has to fulfill that duty:


Me: I luuuuuuuurve my Starbuckeroooooooo!
Starbuck: gggnnnmmmmnnnffffnnnggglllhhhhhhhh...

Weeeellll, one thing I do differently in his absence is eat very little meat. I like meat, but it takes some effort and extra dishwashing. Here is a typical Arvay-alone meal:


I boil some pasta, sautée veggies with garlic in olive oil, and medium-cook eggs at the same time. When the pasta is done, I toss it with the veggies and set the eggs on top. While the noodles are still hot, I break open the eggs, and the thickened-but-still-runny yolks make a sort of pasta sauce:


Since I knew DL was headed to Texas and restaurant food for a week, I loaded him up with veggies before he left:


Yum! I am very good at choosing avocados.

Since this post has become something of a dump of miscellaneous photos, please enjoy this one of Autumn and her giant bone:


And this one of candles glowing during our short power outage:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weather whether we're ready or not

When we all left for the weekend, the weatherpeople were warning of another scary storm coming. "Scary" for Fairbanks doesn't mean cold, or snow. It means warmth, rain, and/or wind. All three of these things are very unusual and consequently very scary for us (because ice).

For once, the weather predictions were spot-on. It snowed lightly but steadily all day Saturday, for a total accumulation of under 3 inches, and then the snow stopped and the wind came that night. The wind blew all night, and we lost power. However, after the experience of having lost power for five days after the last windstorm, I had plenty of candles and a Coleman lantern on hand!

DL was due to fly to a work trip that night, and we were given the utterly frustrating experience of finding it impossible to reach a local person at the Fairbanks airport. All of the office numbers listed, led to literal offices, whose occupants had gone home at 5. All of the generic numbers to the airlines went to automated services, who informed us that the flight was "scheduled to depart" at the time it was scheduled for. I had planned to drive DL to the airport, but he told me to stay home instead; he'd drive in and leave his car at the airport. As it turned out, his flight *was* delayed, although only by a few hours, by which time the wind had died down. In the meantime, power was restored to our 'hood, and I was jolted from a light, fitful sleep by the Toyo and refrigerator whirring to life.

I'm impressed that the weatherpeople correctly predicted the timing and quantity of snow, and the exact timing and strength of the wind. The power company had linemen ready to deploy as soon as anyone lost power, and our power was restored within a few hours. DL's rescheduled flight took off almost as soon as the wind event was over, and he arrived safely in SeaTac. It's almost as if modern conveniences actually work! :)

As for me, I still had a restless night. I've disliked wind since I was a small girl, imagining the roof of our townhouse blowing off and our little family being sucked into the sky. Not being able to snuggle against DL didn't help, but toward morning, the surprisingly intuitive Linden came into the bed and snuggled against me, and I fell asleep immediately. When I finally got up this morning, I found myself blinking into a calm, clear blue sky and snow winking back at bright beams of sunshine. The girls and I enjoyed a peaceful ski on fresh snow, which had blown across the trails and covered weeks' accumulations of tracks. When I went to shovel the driveway, I found that the bottom layer of snow had packed into place, covering the ice from last weekend. Ice, sleepless angst, and windstorms are all now nothing but memories covered by forgiveness.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Linden's biopsy results

Well, first of all, I misunderstood the situation. Both tumors were cancerous. The one on her arm was a hemangiopericytoma, and the one on her belly was a "mammary complex tubular and papillary adenocarcinoma". Both are unlikely to metastasize (woo hoo!), but the one on her arm was, as I reported earlier, not able to be removed completely and is likely to recur. The one on her belly was removed completely and "lymphatic invasion is not observed". :)

The incisions are healing nicely:




But these little slits up her arm?


They were not exploratory, as I had assumed. The vet made those to relieve tension so he could close the major incision. Jeeze, that sounds painful! I can't believe booger wanted to go bouncing around the yard while those were fresh!

In the meantime, Autumn's eyelid has healed completely:


I can't believe I didn't have that done sooner! Why live with a blob on your eyelid for eight years?!?

Booger sez, "I like dis place. Well, actually, I like all places. Everything's great! I love everything! I'm Linden!"


So the plan is to let Goober be Goober and not put her on any drugs. If the tumor comes back, we'll just have it removed over and over until she's no longer fit for anesthesia and surgery, and we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, I've decided that from now on, whenever I see tumors on pets, I'll just bring them in immediately and have them aspirated and biopsied. If they turn out to be cancerous, I'll have them removed right away. If not, they can wait until they are bothering them mechanically.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Linden's stitches come out tomorrow! (warning: photos of incisions)

Today is Day 14, so I took the girls on a several-mile off-leash trail run this morning. Linden's first time off-leash since surgery! It was glorious... she bounded around with a big ol' smile on her face!

Only one more day and one more night of the cone!


The incisions are healing up nicely. Here are photos from two days ago. They are even more healed today.

The benign tumor removal from the belleh:


The exploratory incisions, which the vet used to probe the spread of the bad tumor:


The incision from the bad tumor removal:


A mama moose who's been bedding down with her calf in our yard:


She and her behbehmoose sleep in the *exact* same position--on their right side, with their heads folded over to use their own left shoulder as a pillow. I am amazed that meese are so flexible!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Warmth and Ice!

It's been so warm (40s F/ single digits C) that we lost our snow, and Starbuckeroo even shed a chunk of fur:


I took that photo on Saturday. That night, rain started falling, which is very annoying! It ruined the snow for skiing, and covered the roads with a slick of ice! So we stayed home all day Sunday. This morning, schools were cancelled. The Minor News reports:

The rain began falling shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday night as temperatures hovered around 32 degrees. As the partially melted slush falling from the sky hit the ground, it froze, forming a layer of ice over the snowpack. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the central Interior as the rain kept coming throughout the night, falling and freezing until 5 a.m. Sunday.

Linden sat on the couch and posed like an adorable supermodel dog:


Starbuckeroo sez, "Hoooooold me, papa!"


This morning, I heard cars driving back and forth, so decided to come to work. I left the ladies on the cowsch:


Campus had been gravelled, iced, gravelled, iced, and then gravelled again:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Trying to hold the tide...

... that's what it's like trying to get huskies to "rest"! Autumn is supposed to be resting for 7 days, Linden for 14, post surgery. However, I learned when I had them spayed 7 years ago that it wouldn't be easy. For one thing, neither of them will poop in our yard. They won't poop until we've walked at least half a mile. Also, they hate the short walks and are reluctant to turn around! I also find that they have an abundance of energy, bouncing here and there and straining at their leashes! Well, this weekend, we'll see if we can sneak out with just Autumn and Starbuck for a long ski and leave the Goober on the couch.

No results from the biopsies yet, but here are photos.

"I would prefer not to wear this cone, but I don't really put up too much of a fuss."


"Without the cone, all three of us fit on the couch!"


"I'm still awfully cute!"


It's difficult for me to imagine Linden having cancer in her body, since she's still bouncing around like a baby goat! However, when I change the dressing on her leg, it's pretty obvious how alarmed the vet was. There are exploratory incisions halfway up her forearm. :( Please keep your fingers crossed for a positive prognosis for my bouncy little puppy/old lady! :)