Running Away 2 (to, too, or just two?)

At the Sea Life Center, I wandered all over the place and completely enjoyed myself. (On my last visit, Pippi was rather young and got a bit bored in a short time. I wanted to just bask in birds and fishes and the ocean dwellers!)

I think my favorite place was next to the aquarium where the birds were on top and fishes were on the bottom. It was soothing to sit there in a dim relative calm watching fish float along, knowing that up above was daylight and busy water fowl. I did feel sorry for the super long wolf eel. (she’s in the second photo, flash is bad for the critters)  She’s gravid, but since there isn’t a male, her eggs are infertile. Being pregnant and not fitting into her den and it is for naught. I didn’t ask how she got pregnant, I was too surprised and then the center employee left. Before she spoke to me about the eel, she told me about a young horned puffin who is a year old. You can sure tell how much these animals are loved. The woman acted like a doting aunt as she shared stories about the young bird with me, videotaping the little busybody diving and swimming to the glass as if to say hello!

I spent time with sea lions and the biggest male was roaring, so apt where they got their name. The littler seal are so pretty, they do look human. It is easy to see how they can become a selkie.  The Center had only two sea otter. (It seems otter are too mischievous to keep). The pair at the center are on their way to Denmark eventually, I believe. They were hard to take photos of because they are in a pen outside and I was inside behind glass. Sea otters are more common than land or river otter, so facilities in the rest of the US don’t have sea otter, making room for land ones that might show up. (I think I’d like to stay at the Nauti Otter hotel next time I visit-unrelated to the center, and probably also quirky!!) Another creature hard to contain is the octopus. Octopi are sneaky and can crawl out of their water habitat and into others to eat the residents inside, then return back to their own home without anyone the wiser!!! Thank goodness for security cameras!  This is Ophelia. She’s made up of ocean debris. I love her, but it makes me so mad the things she’s made up of that are used almost every day.

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All in all, I had a beautiful time. I’m very glad I did this. It was worth every penny.

That night I stayed at a bigger, slightly more expensive, place. The room was on the second floor with enclosed stairs, it was quiet, it was spacious, it had great internet and outlets, and its shower head was nose crinkling. BUT, it was so nice to be in a tub with warm water that wasn’t going to flood anything. I only wish I had taken a bath!!! I was so sore and tired, it was good I waited til the next day to leave. Eating in the lounge that night was also very cool. It seems they support Turning Heads Kennels cuz pictures of the teams and logo were on one wall! (oddly, it appears their logo was’t loaded onto my laptop!!) The jukebox left a lot to be desired (a neon rectangle that looked entirely too high tech!). I also had excellent fries again (Fish and chips the night before was stellar, the chips this day were just as yummy!)

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In the morning, after waiting for any ice on the roads to melt (it was very chilly!), I was on my way. I met some friends from CA when I got back and they helped move a couple of boxes. Later, my sister interrogated me cuz I’d been too quiet on FB and seemed depressed (insert eye roll!). And she wondered why I wanted to run away!!??!!

I probably should have saved the money. (It is crazy how a couple of hundred dollars seems like a fortune!) I’m glad I didn’t, though. I’ll find the pennies to get things ready for me to leave. It will work.

Running Away Part 1

I’m a bit sad at the moment. I was wrong and I’m cold. (I didn’t realise I had an estimate of where the problem was for Digman. I told him the wrong spot. He was close, but not exactly. I’m also saving pennies by not turning up the heat, I spent too much last week!) So, since I’m sad, I am going to share a smidge of my running away in a few posts. It was an absolutely splendid incredibly expensive time!

Wednesday, I decided I needed away. I didn’t want to go where I knew anyone (I did know one person, TnT.  Great fun and  tons better than many!). So, I started out that morning. It was a meandering trip north!!! I had to make an appointment for mom’s car (The Craftsman told me I should check the oil, which told this non mechanic nothing. I sent a picture and he said he was pretty sure I’d be ok, but to make an appointment for it). That is for next week. I then went to a bakery that is closing and spent almost 100$ on presents and a couple items of baked goods. It is called The Moose is Loose and sells only baked goods and moose merchandise. It will be a much missed spot in the area. After that I stopped to get a bra fitting. I’ve never ever done this, I’ve always wanted to, and so I did! (It was also expensive!) I’ll write up a post for that stop by itself. I learned a great deal!

While I drove, I stopped where and when I wanted to. It is pretty late in the year, so there isn’t much out there. I did see a flock of swans. It was a lovely day and I was entirely enjoying myself. However, I discovered I was taking too long and got to Seward much later than I’d anticipated. So, I resigned myself to staying two nights. (I wasn’t planning on it, but I had sort of thought I might!)

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I hadn’t planned staying anywhere. I really should have. The first night I was in a quirky place with a bathroom that left a lot to be desired. Even at 5’2”, I had trouble sitting properly on the toilet! The internet was good, but when I plugged in my iPad, the outlet sparked!! The shower was lovely, however. I very much liked that!

The next day I visited two local dogsledding spots. The first was for the Seavy team. I didn’t get to see any of them, I did hear the dogs. As you can see, you need to go online to make reservations. I wasn’t sure I’d have enough money, but tentatively thought about trying to get in the next morning. I had been texting a friend and she told me about another team nearby. These guys I had wanted to meet, but never imagined I would. I drove in their lot and Sarah was outside with a bunch of puppies! She let me in the pen free of charge and was a dear. When you see Iditarod mushers and their teams online, you don’t really actually see how nice a person is. As I was leaving, her partner, Travis, showed up. TWO of them in one stop!!! I was in Iditaheaven!!!! I met several wannabe sled dogs and a couple of adults. I should have taken more photos, but I was in a bit of a …I cannot even say what I was!!! Excited is too understated. (I’m still excited just typing about it!!)

Before I left, Sarah had suggested I stop at little place in town for lunch and said to definitely have the cake. I ate in my car, but since I my next stop was near the shop, I did get cake. Strawberry cheesecake that took my two days to eat!! (8$) After that, I went to my main destination. The Sea Life Center. Which will encompass the next post!!!

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Outside/Inside (part one)

(written Thursday night)

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I’m sitting at a folding TV tray overlooking the lake. I’m inside, but my view is most wonderful. I do prefer a larger spot to ‘write’ from. I have a good sized table in the basement and upstairs in Oregon I use an old dining room table. Yet, here, it is what is in front of me that is huge. (Although, to be honest, if I’m here much longer, I will definitely put something else in front of this window and I will also have my tall niece clean them. She won’t like it, but I hope I can keep her doing it for more than 15 minutes.) At the moment, it is raining. I’m not sad. The ground off the drive is an expanse of nothing due to last year’s septic excavation. So, I purchased a bag of seed. (I was a tad skeptical. The bag came from ‘that store’ and is 100% guaranteed. If you follow the directions! It also has ‘sparkly’ bits that change color to tell you if the ground is wet enough or not. Those can’t be safe for fowl!) At any rate, the rain will mean I don’t need to attempt to dig out the hoses from where they might be stored.

My trip up, as I mentioned took ages. I was incredibly glad to have on warm leggings. In the 80 degree temps, it was too much. In ANC, it was just right. I’m not sure if I mentioned in my other post how I was sitting under a vent. SEATAC didn’t have on air-conditioning, but Alaska did!!! Arriving home, I found just a smidge of snow, an incredibly tidy house with a lovely guitar on a chair (not mine, but it adds to the room!!), and nary a domestic creature to greet me. Definitely odd, but soo nice and quiet!!

I was able to get to the beach this week. Twice. In the same day! The first time, I brought back a few rocks. I was careful because rocks can get away from a picker upper! (They are as addictive as chocolate, but the heavy ends up in your pockets, not on your hips.)  The second time, I was drawn to green rocks. Over and over I thought of different friends and picked up green rocks. I also found some other really nifty ones and had a bag with me. The tide was out a bit, I had to be careful because the silt was not only mucky, but gave one uncertain footing. (Nor did I want to bring home inlet silt on my shoes!)

On that inlet visit, I attempted to record the sounds around me. I’ll need to try it again and set the phone so it records more than balancing on my jeans leg! I heard so many different parts of life. Liquid sounds of ravens and song birds and the props on a plane lifting off from the water. There was the thrum of the big boats or something nearby and the gentle lapping of waves on the shore. It was a superb calm day on the water.

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A Bit

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Just a short note. I’m a bit annoyed. A bit really busy. A bit tired. OK, most of those are more than a bit, but whatever!

I have been going full tilt most of the day. I did take a break and read while I had lunch and sat in the sunshine for 10 min after clipping my toenails (amazing how much better I can see in full sunshine!! I didn’t snip anything but nails. Very cool!). Anyway, we were sitting down to the dinner I’d made at the table I’d set. The Craftsman asked if there was anything I needed done. I mentioned after dinner the dishes needed unloaded before I could completely clear up dinner and the kitchen, I said the stuff in the dryer needed folded and put away, the shower curtain outside needed brought in and hung back up, I’d purchased some plants that needed planted in pots (one I still need to put dirt in, I’ll do that after I get done with my rant!), and then I’d need to sort what I need to take with what I want to take and what I have to take and pack it. His response? ‘Those are things you need to do all the time, what can we do to help you get ready to leave?’ (he did say he’d help with the shower curtain) Needless to say, all of that except the plants and my packing, is done. I did it by myself. The guys went up to Grandma’s. Little Bear needed to mow and it is finally cool enough. They did take up the trash (grandma has a dumpster), but I put in a new trash bag. (It is the little things that take the time. Le sigh!!)

It appears they are spending all day tomorrow with me-I know there is a drive to the next town and a meal at an old drive in. We are taking the Mercury and they might go shopping somewhere. I hope I have everything done by tomorrow!!! It is 8 pm now…. Yup, running out of time! (that was an EXCELLENT book!! Margaret Haddix. it’s about a family who were living in a historical post Civil War town. Some of the children in town were catching diphtheria, so a mom sent her daughter out for help.)

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What is health?

I’m constantly tired. My body often aches. It hurts to move. I have care professionals who ordered tests and I am fine. It is like I’m my mom all over again! On paper, mom was great. It was in reality where she failed. (OK< that was actually true in more ways than her health, but I digress!) I found out today from my endocrinologist that results from my blood and urine showed I’m perfect. Cholesterol, thyroid, not my A1C (that was a bit higher, as is my weight), but all in all, I look good. I was told not to eat much at dinnertime (it appears my best glucose tests from the report downloaded from my machine are at ‘lunch’. Since I don’t usually eat anything from 8 pm to 11130 am, it turns out food is the main culprit in glucose). There is a meme I love–I fixed a type in it, so I love it even more now!!! (I may post infrequent Diabetes memes instead of cooking while I’m north!)

And this experience. I’m still annoyed about it and I’ve shared my frustration in a couple of places. I mentioned I’d gained weight, well, I also mentioned that to a well meaning male individual (Not The Craftsman. He doesn’t acknowledge it either way.) This person wanted to know how my appointment had gone. So, I shared the information. Then, I get the response back. ‘I thought you looked bulgy the other day.’ This is the SAME person who told me I looked puffy after seeing a winter photo I’d taken. I know I’m fat. I’m not fond of it, but telling me so isn’t going to endear me to you, either.

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On the positive side, I have a doctor appointment in AK. My endocrinologist suggested I see my Alaskan primary to try and get MS assistance. I called that clinic today and they will see me next Thursday and we’ll see what they can do in a few months! Especially since, due to my own stupidity, I won’t be able to see one til the end of November.

So, I arrive north on Monday morning at midnight thirty (why I keep scheduling these ridiculous flights when I hate them, I’ll never know!) and arrive at the home airport at 7 am (I believe). I’m a tad nervous because the gal picking me up is supposed to work that morning, but she is insisting on picking me up. I hope nothing has gone wrong up there, but I reckon I’ll find out in a few days! I have an appointment with the bank on Wednesday and then the doctor on Thursday. I’ll see if I can consult with a tax person and the financial person, too. (It is as if mom is still there driving me bonkers!) The clock is ticking!!!

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Return to Oregon

It has been ages since my last real post and I am sorry. I do follow thru those which show up via my email, but I don’t reply outside of my head! (and thus, no one gets to see what I am saying. Probably a better form of not communication….)

Since the septic saga, I cleaned and made mom’s house ready for someone else to stay in. (I did forget to put my shampoo away and get out the new stuff in the basement vanity.) I packed and repacked and sorted my own things to take back to Oregon. I did a million errands in that last week I wasn’t supposed to be there. The security system is in place and I ate some of my favorite things. (Except for Thai food, the truck closed down for the season a while ago!) Mom’s mail will be forwarded, the electric company is sorted, and Mittens got her travel papers (see link for that horrible experience!)

Packing was crazy. I am always very organized when it comes to traveling. I make a list days beforehand, including everything I might need. By the time I actually get the items in my bags, I have crossed off things on my list and often put the list in my bag. (TSA could use that paper to see what is in there, but they’d rather rifle thru personal belongings) This time, I had no plan. I couldn’t even find a plan! My lists were vague and I’d often start a task and stop in the middle confused. It eventually was done. Almost everything was eventually finished, but before that, it snowed. (I did dress for it later!)

I was so happy to have snow for my last weekend in Alaska. I even played for a while on Saturday night. Granted, it made a bit of a mess and I didn’t get to go to the church to say goodbye, but it was lovely. TnT and Jewel and her dad came to visit and help me on Sunday. The neighbor’s plowed (there was a lot of snow!) so we could have some ease in our movements. One of my security guys dropped in to get a key. My sister texted and it was decided she’d stay at home. But, I had celebrated her at a birthday gathering a few days before. I didn’t sleep well on Sunday, since I had to leave dark and early on Monday, but I managed!

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Jake’s Birthday-she’s holding the drink. 

The next day started well. Nancy took me to the airport and regaled me with stories of flying with 4H chicks and laying hens to their fish site every summer. She told me about living in a tent with a cat when she first moved to Alaska and made me realise how much I appreciate a modern lifestyle. TnT met me to say goodbye and I didn’t have time to be as sad as I might have been normally. Mittens was no thrilled with the experiences she was having! (Travel with a full grown cat not used to it is probably similar to traveling with a teething toddler)

I was glad I’d packed a couple of breakfast bars, they compromised most of my food intake that day! I drank my last can of diet Pepsi in Nancy’s SUV, had one bar before the flight to Seattle (I also had a cookie I was given on the flight out of town), one during the flight to Seattle, and a half a glass of white wine from Seattle to the small town I was disembarking in.

I was met when I got off the tarmac by a grinning Little Bear and a smiling spouse. I actually got a whole hug from the kid (we are working on those) and The Craftsman lightly kissed me hello and put his arm around me while we waited for luggage. It was nice to not have to manage more than Mittens, my bag, and her empty cat carrier (we had two carriers by the end of the trip). At the rig, I climbed into the back seat with the cat and smiled. The last times I arrived back there were flowers. Not this time. Then, Little Bear mentioned they’d stopped for dinner at McD’s and had gotten me a hamburger. Since it was 730 AK time and 630 in the PNW and I’d lost blood and was tired, I opted to eat it while The Craftsman finished his own meal.

On the way to the house, they pointed out things that had changed in the last two years. (the roads in the next town have definitely been modified. I was glad to have a head’s up on that one!) At the house, I noticed that even though a great many things were different, many were the exact same. Mittens was happy to be released from her confines and I made plans to go shopping the next day. (I’ll continue with the story of this first week in my next post!)

Home is melting!!! The lake the neighbor’s skated on last Saturday is now rather wet! TnT sent me a photo and my nice frozen drive is a quagmire of muck. Any burglars who visit will get stuck!!!!!

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