Friday, July 25, 2008

This has been bothering me ...

Why am I in such a minority? I fully expect to live out my life without dying of breast cancer. It looks like something else will get me first. Survival? Pure luck, random event.

Who are these "positive attitude people"? They had a lot of high tech medical care for a disease that is not all that lethal and they attribute their survival to a "positive attitude"? Keep these women away from me

Thursday, July 24, 2008

thoughts on weather and dogs

Gloomy summer headed toward infamy
CHILLY: Anchorage could hit 65 degrees for fewest days on record.

Snow on the mountains this morning. I didn't actually see this because the skies were so overcast. But here is the Anchorage Daily News photo. With a long story about how this may set all records for the coldest and rainiest summer ever.

Everyone complains about the weather. But to put this in perspective, we had snow from early October through late April last winter.

Summers are usually brief but so glorious that no one is ungrateful enough to complain. This cold, overcast drizzle is hard to take.

Last night I watched a documentary on suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge. I'm not sure why - I think Netflix told me I would like it. In a way I did. The bridge was so gorgeous against the sky and the water. There were interviews with the families of some of those who died there. These were people with severe and long-standing mental illnesses, and the stories of their lives were more painful than the stories of their death.

One couple described the unbearable story of their son's life and death in a dozen different scenes. In each scene, they were sitting on a comfortable couch in a cozy living room with their dachshund.

The dog moved back and forth between them. Each person petted him, rubbed him, cuddled him. The dog sat quietly, or rolled over to show his belly, or carefully licked their hands. He never barked or made eye contact with camera.

I tear up thinking about the dog. He was a working lap dog, providing comfort to people who were suffering an intolerable loss. Working with tact and skill. A heroic little wiener dog.

I want a bumper sticker that says "lap dogs are working dogs too". Mine do their work with great dedication and sensitivity.

Rocky once gave me career advice. I was working a nursing management job with 24 hour call and lots of clinical time. (Except for working all the time and being paid less per hour than any of the people who worked for me, it was a wonderful job). One night I came home late as usaul. While I was making dinner, Rocky went into the closet and got up on his hind legs to get to my parka. He took the beeper out of my pocket. Then he hid under the bed and chewed it to pieces.

The next morning I went in to work and turned in the fragments of beeper and my resignation.

Everyone should have such a good dog.

Friday, July 11, 2008

beware the ferns!

This summer has been cool and overcast - perfect fern weather. I have some ferns in my garden and struggle to keep them under control.

But Linda has this glorious fern garden on her east wall.

I don't think I could sleep with these gorgeous prehistoric creatures filling up the garden and blocking the exit and threatening the house...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of July in Alaska

The Fourth is always a big holiday here in Alaska. In the gold mining days, the mine closed only for Christmas and the Fourth of July. Every town celebrates with enthusiasm, but Juneau's holiday is my favorite.

I flew down Thursday night and got to my friend Alena's house in time to mix a batch of margaritas and watch the fireworks from her living room. Perfect view out over the harbor.

Then the parades. There are two parades every year, the first in downtown Juneau and a second smaller parade in the center of Douglas - the island across the bridge. Parades included pipers, a Tlinkit Elvis, and a pack of marching pugs and their humans.

This year I've been thinking about how much the Filipino communities in Alaska add to the Fourth. The best float (Anchorage). The best marching band (these eagle-costumed folks in the picture in Juneau). Then, of course, there is the traditional Fourth of July lunch of chicken adobo, steamed buns, and panncit.

Fifteen years ago I had never eaten any of these wonderful foods. Moving to Alaska was like moving to New York only better -
diversity and great stuff to eat!