Wednesday, July 27, 2016

'Tis blueberry season again!

It's so nice the way the weather almost always turns particularly lovely around blueberry season... a heat wave will cool; smoke will clear; a rainy, wet spell will dry up; dark clouds will whisk away. Autumn is not up for long hikes any more, and Linden also gets tired easily, so we limit her to two long walks per week. Starbuck is a good berry picking buddy because she is very alert and attentive and would alert to a bear.

It was so clear, we could see Denali on the drive up to the top of Murphy Dome!

The little installation on top now has a wind turbine and a solar panel!

Denali from the trail:

Starbuckeroo sez, "Why are you stopping again!"

Wow so many berries in our favorite patch!

Berries with a view!

Starbuck sez, "Roo?"

She keeps a watchful eye:

She looks so sooooffffttt lying in the tundra that I need to go squeeze her:


*GASP* A WOLF in the berry patch!

Now this is a nice sammich!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Notes from here and there

Last week, after visiting her elderly friends at the Denali Center and Pioneer Home, Starbuckeroo and I took our Roo 'n me walk on the trails north of UAF campus.

"Me and Roo, and Roo and me, no matter how they toss the dice, it had to be..."

It was difficult for me to get the shot above. Whenever Starbuck hears my footfall stop, she stops and turns around to look at me.

"Whatcha doin'?"


The forest:

The raspberries in our neighborhood are ripe and ready!

How cute is Booger?

The elderly ladies got new tags last weekend! The top strip, which dangles against the ring on their collar, wears to nothing... I decided that at 17, it was time for Booger to embrace being Booger! Starbuck's next tag will say "Starbuck A. Roo". :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Miscellaneous photo dump

Schweet Schweetie sleeps with her rawhide, so her sisters don't steal it!

She likes to bury them in the yard, too. I dig them up and leave them on her upstairs bed (where Starbuck doesn't go!). When she goes up to sleep at night, she finds a surprise. I wonder if she thinks she is digging teleportation holes...

What to do with freezer-burned salmon? Chowdah!

Tomato-beef chow mein and stir-fried garden greens:

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Miscellaneous photos around the house

Has it been a while since I've posted a cute photo of Booger? Yes, it has been a while since I've posted a cute photo of Booger. Behold:

And has it been a while since I've posted a macro shot of Roo's schnozz? Yes, it has been a while since I've posted a macro shot of Roo's schnozz. Behold:

Poor sweet, patient Autumn. Still getting squozen:

For some reason, my friend AL saw this card, of wolves on a couch, and thought of me...

Soooooo... my friends and neighbors the Bs plant a beautiful vegetable garden each year. This year, I decided to "contribute" with the "gift" of Asian vegetable seeds. I'm so thoughtful, am I not? The bok choys are coming out beautifully:

I stir-fried them with green onions, garlic, beef, and nian-gao:

Monday, July 11, 2016

A beautiful article about a chance encouter

Author Sonia Luokkala has a chance encounter with one of the Higgs Boson team in Homer. Mingming Yang is traveling the world in search of compassion. She also has the heart of a poet and a gift for quotable sound bites.

Her name, she says, is Mingming Yang. Four years ago, near the Swiss-French border, she had taken a different journey. As a Ph.D. student at MIT, she was one of the central figures in a team of scientists who searched for the Higgs boson, a long-theorized but never-before-observed subatomic particle. It exists for less than a fraction of a second, and yet its discovery, possibly the greatest of modern physics, helps explain the origins of mass in the universe.


"The fundamental purpose of science is to enrich the human spirit, to pursue the truth and beauty of this world," she told me.


Her message seemed clear to those assembled: "Our humanity is where our brilliance lies," interprets Dylan Braund, a Bristol Bay fisherman who'd come to hear her speak. "We are here to do the best that we can do and thereby contribute our verse to the symphony of humanity."


In the days after the Higgs boson findings were publicly announced, Yang remembers, the whole world was swirling. But the center of the storm — the students and researchers whose devotion had led to the discovery — was silent. Sleep-deprived and physically exhausted, they continued their work while the rest of the world celebrated. Though no honors or credit were given, she says, they smiled from deep inside.

"We had already been awarded by nature itself."


"I am often asked, 'What is the use of the Higgs boson?' " she says. "I want to say, 'It is not to make use of.' "

This woman is what I dreamed of being when I was 16 or so... Ssssssiiiiighhhhh.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Long weekend!

Charcoal stayed with us...

He is so huge!

He sits patiently by the screen door, watching the world go by. The screen door opens outwards, and as soon as we open hit, he shoves his head outside. So we have to be careful not to slam it behind us or else we'll smack his schnozz!

Goober Linden looking cute and gooberdy:

The elderly ladies relaxing:

Elderly lady walk update:
It now takes us 50 minutes to walk two miles. Oh well, time to enjoy the scenery! After we take our elderly lady stroll, Starbuck and I run another 2-mile loop. :)

Starbuck and I are now also a full-fledged therapy team, and we can set our own schedule to visit our friends at the Denali Center and Pioneer Home. Starbuck lays her head on their laps to be petted. One woman told me, "You must have spent a long time training this dog to do this!" To which I replied, "Yup! Some people just have a gift for training dogs!" :)

After we make our rounds, Starbuck the Roo and I take a short visit to a local park. Fairbanks city parks are quite different from walks in our 'hood. I need to keep a leash handy and pick up all her poop, like the civilized people! I tried to take a photo of her walking into the distance, but as soon as she hears me stop walking, she stops and looks over her shoulder.

"Are you still coming?"

"What're you doing?"

This park has an informational sign on mosquitoes!

Ugh! That drawing of the arm is making me want to scratch my own arms! Ugh!

I have a new charity in my rotation list: K-9 Comfort Dogs of Lutheran Church Charities. I first learned of this team of trained golden-retriever-cuddler-lovers when a group of them were deployed to Sandy Hook after the shooting. Then I saw them show up in Boston after the marathon bombing. Most recently, of course, they showed up in Orlando, visiting memorial gatherings, churches, and the LGBT center where people had gathered. I went to their website to make a donation, and found that the Comfort Dog program is just one arm of a well-organized and effective charitable organization. They do all kinds of disaster response (donating both labor and love, as well as canine love). Anyway, I found that not only can you donate directly via conventional means, but if you donate $35 through this link, they will send you a stuffed comfort dog, and "one additional stuffed LCC K-9 Comfort Dog will be given to someone who is suffering and in need of comfort." And who has nothing fuzzy to cuddle. :((((


Whooooooo are these people who don't even have Roo's paw to hoooold? RRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOooooooooOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

SO OF COURSE out flew my credit card, and here he is! My very own golden retriever puppy!

I also noticed that his bandanna is tied hanging over his chest, instead of over his back. I had Starbuck's tied over her back, until another woman with Companions, Inc. advised me to tie it the other way around, since people lovelovelove to pet the ruff of fur on the back of dogs' necks. And she was right! People cannot get enough of Roo's fuzzy shoulders!