Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's my party, and I'll sling snot if I want to.

Last Saturday was my birthday. I normally take my birthday off from work, so this year I decided to take Friday off instead. On Tuesday afternoon, I felt poorly and hoped I wasn't getting a cold. On Wednesday morning, I woke up to a sore throat, my early sign of almost anything wrong with my body. All day Wednesday, I added lemons to my tea and prayed that it would be a mere cold and not a flu. I knew I'd know the next morning. On Thursday morning, I woke up to a cold--snotty nose and sneezing. No chills, aches, nor pains. I went to google:

Score! It was definitely a cold and not a flu.

It had been so long since I'd last gotten a cold that I experienced each symptom as a phenomenon. I was astonished to find that I could not smell or taste anything, and strangely enough, I mourned the unpleasant smells as much as the pleasant ones. One of the dogs farted, and it was weird not to smell it. I stuck my nose into Starbuck's paw and got no Fritos. Of course, I was sadder not to be able to taste my homemade pesto, or the flavors of the meat in the gyro I had for lunch, but I came to realize that dog farts and trash and school bus exhaust are as much a part of the fabric of life as gyros and the vanilla in my lip balm. I missed them all.

On Thursday, I stayed home most of the day, and attempted to take a nap with the dogs on the couch. Autumn and Linden are great napping buddies! Starbuck, not quite as much.

Friday was my day off, as planned, so I did laundry, and took TB out for a sweet sixteen lunch! Her birthday is the day before mine. At a Greek restaurant, I failed to enjoy the aforementioned gyro. On Saturday, I slept in, and DL and I took a short walk on our neighborhood trails. I had planned a White Mountains hike, but didn't feel up for it. We went back to the Greek restaurant, and my sinuses had cleared out enough that I could taste my gyro!

On Monday, I returned to work and found that my coworkers had planned a party for me the prior Thursday. Seeing as they are awesome like that, they had my party without me, but hung the decorations all over my cubicle and saved me some of the cake:

Astonishingly, the store-bought cake still tasted fresh... preservatives, man. Gotta love 'em.

MC presented me with the office card, signed by everyone, and a gift bag from herself, full of cheese and crackers and wine and chocolate-covered fruits. MC is one of those friends that makes you thankful you are alive and sharing a world with her:

Here are cute photos of the girls:

How cute is Booger??

I'm feeling much better now. I've consumed one (1) box of store-brand tissues, one (1) bag of Ricola cough drops, nine (9) lemons, and half of my rose hips that I picked and dried last fall. It'snot a big deal. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

More photos 'round the house

Autumn sez, "I love my pawpaw."

Booger sez, "My favorite color iz... corn? Snuggle! A squirrel!"

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Photos 'round the house

Moose-po tofu:

Starbuckeroo and her pawpaws:

Starbuckeroo feeling roo-ful:

Linden smiling:

The ladies on the couch:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Notes from here and there

1) A new SPCA shelter is opening in Anchorage. It will be able to take in homeless pet animals from around the state, including villages that have no such facilities. Warm fuzzies! This is especially great news considering how poorly dogs are sometimes treated in rural communities.

2) Um... I think I only have one "note" for you today. Have a lovely week, loyal readers!

Friday, October 16, 2015

An alarmed grouse in dim light is scary-looking

These days we are running with the sunrise, partially in dim light and partially under an explosion of gorgeous pink and orange.

This morning, we were still in the dark part, when I saw a little silhouette in the dim light. My headlamp caught a pair of bright yellow eyes, boring into my soul. It looked like this:

What could it possibly beeeeeeee? A little hoodoo spook? Some kid's abandoned toy, that happened to be standing in the middle of the road all creepy-like?

Nope, it was a grouse:

Apparently, when grouse are alarmed, they do this:

photo credit:

Apparently, three large dogs and a human with a glowing head are... an alarming sight.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sightseeing with BT

What a treat! BT and N came to visit last week. BT is quite horribly allergic to dogs and other fuzzies (although, fortunately, not to DL), so she and N cannot stay with us, nor be in our cars for very long (BT and N have a pet tortoise). She pointed out that Alaska, like California, is getting ever more dog-friendly by the year, which is difficult for people with dog allergies. Hotel rooms, apparently, contain pet dander even after being cleaned and vacuumed.

BT was also kind enough to give a lecture to the UAF science and engineering community, entitled, "Intellectual Property Law for Engineers and Scientists (Stuff I Wished My Clients Knew Before They Called Me)".

On their first day, I packed my fuzzies and we took a walk at Creamer's Field. Creamer's Field used to be a dairy (and "Creamer" is the actual name of the family that owned it!). People noticed that migrating birds were flocking there, attracted by the grain spread and the open wetlands and fields. When the family closed the business in 1966, the property was purchased and converted to a refuge as described by the Friends of Creamer's Field:

As the dairy grew over the years, migratory waterfowl congregated at Creamer's Field in increasing numbers. The grain and large open fields provided prime habitat. When the dairy went up for sale in 1966, local residents met to plan a way to purchase the property. Along with money raised by the community, the State legislature provided funds (25%) to match with the federal government's Pittman-Robertson funds (75%) to purchase the 250 acre farm. Management was given to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG). In 1970 an adjacent 1500 acres of state land was added and the entire parcel was designated "Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge" in 1979. Since that time, additional acreage has been added to the Refuge, bringing its total size to about 2000 acres.

In the winter time, I've skied there. But I've got to admit, I'm not a huge fan of Creamer's Field in summer, when mosquitoes take as much delight in the wetlands as the birds do!

Leaders exploring the boardwalks!

The pretty golden slanting light:

The standing water was juuuuust starting to freeze, and there was a LOT of it! What a wet, rainy summer it has been!

Creamer's Field has some large pockets of non-permafrost, where large trees grow!

The next day, we decided that BT and N needed to experience that crazy beautiful Richardson Highway, even though we could only do 10 hours' worth of drive since Black Rapids Lodge was closed for repairs, and there were no other dog-hair-free places available to stay. The upside is that as a day trip with no hiking involved, we could leave the dogs behind and pile into their dog-free rental car and visit during the drive.

The day after that, we drove out to Chena Hot Springs. It was another gorgeous day:

We did a short hike to the top of this dome:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Squeezy photos!

In my house, fuzzy things get squozen.

Linden and Starbuck get squozen!

Linden and Autumn get squozen!

DL gets squozen!

Poor Charcoal just visits, and gets squozen!

How cute is Booger?

Look! Three pounds of cheese!


I guess it's still fall if the snow is gone, the grass is green, and the light looks like this: