Saturday, February 28, 2009

Weekly Winners....Fur Rondy Edition

Weekly Winners courtesy of the Sarcastic Mom!

It's been an exciting weekend here in Anchorage. Thursday night we had a moose visit...



The whole story, complete with the dog trying to protect us from this moose, is here.

It's also Fur Rondy time -- The Anchorage Fur Rendezvous celebrates Anchorage's history. We went downtown today, to watch the sled dog races and check out some of the other events.

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A musher about to cross the finish line.

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Dogs pulling.

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Musher. If you look closely, you can see that his right foot is off the sled. He is pushing along with his foot as the dogs race toward the finish line.

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A race to the finish.

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The dogs looked like they were having a really good time.

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Tess watching the race.

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Snow sculpture contest.

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model for the snow sculpture above.

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Waiting for the hatchet, machete, saws, shovels, picks, and creativity.

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Ready for a long day of hacking and sculpting and chopping.

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Most interesting and unique sculpture. (I think it is modeled on some kind of fruit or vegetable, like in the photo on the sign in front.)

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It was snowing pretty heavily all day.

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Snow building up on Tess.

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Fur auction. I have never seen so many fur hats.

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The carnival. First time I have ever been on a Midway in the snow...

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Thor and Tess went on the Ferris Wheel. There is a guy hanging off the thing pounding on a wheel with a hammer. I don't know why, but it made Mark and I a little nervous. Thor and Tess thought the ride was great.

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Heading back to the car.

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Thor throwing himself down the hill so I can take a photo. What a guy.

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I shoveled the drive. I hope Mark wasn't planning to use his Jeep before the snow plow clears our street...(also, you can see our dogs watching us in the living room window.)

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Mark removing the pile of snow in front of the Jeep. Guess he thought he might want to use it.

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Lots of snow. No snowplow yet.

And finally, last Sunday we took the Suburban through the car wash. (Everything is grimy and filthy, because we had some warmer weather...lots of slush and muck.)
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Water being blown off the windshield. I really really like this shot.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Daily big backyard!

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For some reason the mountains around us the past couple of days have seemed bigger. It could be that they have more snow on them again, or that I get used to them and just don't always see them. As in really pay attention to them, not in as they vanish or anything. I am still not used to seeing mountains out there every day. Right there, out my back door.

Last night, right out the back door, we had a visitor. She ate some of our bushes, and left a little pile of poo by the neighbor's fence. Tess was working at the computer when Abe started barking, around 8:30, I think. She looked out the back door and saw a moose reaching over the fence eating our bushes! Moose! No wonder the dogs were getting excited. There was an interloper in their yard. (In the photo above, the bushes on the right were the same height as the bushes on the left before the moose showed up...)
Moose! This was taken from upstairs...I like the enormous shadow of the moose behind her.

The moose snacked on several of our bushes, cropping close to a foot off of a couple of them. Then she wandered along the fence to the neighbor's yard, where she laid down in the snow for quite a while. We could see her ears sticking up. She was just laying there. It's really quiet around our neighborhood on winter evenings.Moose!I too this photo this morning. Those are all moose tracks, the area to the right is where she laid down for a while -- we thought it would be a bigger area. The brown up to the left I believe is some poo.

When the moose got up, she nosed at our bushes a little more and then wandered around the side of the house. Tess and I and the dogs were looking out the window at her, and she stepped closer to the window, seeming to look at us. It was a little freaky, she was just a couple feet from us. Then Mojo jumped up at the window barking furiously and she spun around and walked off across the street. Moose! Mojo startled the heck outta Tess and I, jumping up like that. It was dark and hard to get any good photos, but there are moose tracks leading from our window, and the moose is standing eating a tree across the street.

A while later the moose was right in front of our house, two feet from the front window. We locked the dogs in the bathroom at that point, because I was rather concerned for the windows and the woodwork. I took a couple photos, but they really didn't turn out too well because it was so dark. (They all have a yellowish cast because our outdoor lights are yellow. They also come on slowly, which is great when there is a moose around, because it doesn't flash on and startle them. Handy.)Moose!
One of the last photos I took turned out to look like there is the ghost of a moose walking through our yard.

It was pretty dang fun and exciting to have a moose wandering around last night, although I think it is a little hard on the dogs. They were quivering with excitement or something while we were all standing looking out at the moose. And it was lucky we have a DVR, because we had to keep rewinding and pausing whatever it was were watching, because the moose was far more compelling than any TV show...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daily Alaska -- weird and random edition

It's been filthy here. Grime and road spray and yuck. I would use some snow to clean off the back windows of the Suburban and a mile down the road I couldn't see out of them again. mush_3764_edited-1(The window on the left is the side window, the one on the right is the rear window. Can't see a dang thing through it...)

It's been hard to tell what color some cars are, and also, license plates are unreadable. On the plus side, all the stupid political bumper stickers are not visible. Which is okay with me.


So last Sunday evening on our way home from Costco -- where we got Tess a new pair of Sorel boots, black, which she was very happy with, unlike the gray ski pants we got for her (we truly did not notice the pink lining. Tess HATES pink. She is not at all a girly girl...) but we did not get spinach. Both the commissary and Costco were out of spinach this weekend. Which is awful. I love spinach. I need spinach. Although I was reading a book yesterday which reminded me that I should really be eating a variety of leafy greens, like romaine and arugula, so I want to add those to the spinach, not give up the spinach...back to the point! we stopped at the car wash.

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I took a bunch of photos in the car wash. The best one was this shot of the water being blown around on the windshield.
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Yes, I do take my camera with me most of the time, and I will try to take pictures of just about anything.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Daily Alaska, Days are Getting Longer Edition!

This is a photo I took on the 6th of February. It's a gloomy cloudy day, but it was also still pre-sunrise at around 9 am. The street lights are still on, and everybody had their headlights on. You can even see the headlights of the snow plow shining on the road ahead of me.

And yes, I took this photo while I was driving. I point the camera in the general direction of what I want to photograph, and hope for the best. When my sister and I were driving from San Diego to Tucson last February, we took a bunch of photos this way...many of them ended up being shots of the sky with just the very tops of the rocks and trees and mountains. Sometimes it works better than others.

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This is a photograph I took at around 9am on Monday. We are gaining almost 6 minutes of daylight a day right now. Which is awesome. Sunday night we were surprised to be driving home at 6:15 pm and it was still light out. Before we know it, we will be having the all day all night sunlight thing happening. Once again we will lose all track of time, and find ourselves preparing dinner or thinking we should run to the store and realize that it is actually 11 pm...At least I have made curtains for our bedroom so we can block out some of the light. I had trouble sleeping with all that light last summer. Funny how i can nap on the couch in the middle of a bright sunny day, but any light at night makes it really hard for me to sleep.

See? It's light out! Sunrise is already happening, we don't need our headlights, and woo! some of the snowpack is gone from the roads, because we have had more days with sunshine than snow lately. The freeway (that's right, we have a freeway in freeway, that ends in downtown Anchorage) is bare and dusty. There are long stretches where the lines are completely hidden by dirt and grime. Which sometimes makes it a little exciting to drive, since people wander between and straddle lanes.
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I have lost 7 pounds, I feel compelled to use the elliptical trainer every day, and I am keeping track of every calorie I eat. I have more energy and I am still excited about the whole idea. And, amazingly, I still love spinach, even though I eat it almost every day...

Mark came back from Thailand, was home for about a week, and is leaving again for several weeks very soon. I will be relieved when he stays home for a while. I am so done with him being gone.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Daily Alaska -- the yucky slushy mushy dirty edition

It's snowing today, so we are not having the slushy mucky day that was yesterday. Everything on the ground is white, everything else is gray. Not a faboo sunshiny day here in lovely Anchorage, AK.

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Last week Thor and I spent hours (well, okay, an hour at least) on the driveway, dealing with all the ice leftover from the ice coating we got in January. It was not fun fluffy easy-to-shovel snow, it was the grimy mucky nasty dirty stuff.

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I am so proud...this is Thor wearing his pajama pants while shoveling. He takes after me, for sure.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm still here!

I am just adjusting to the changes in lifestyle I have instituted lately. I am still (starting my third week! A couple more days and it will officially be a habit...) tracking everything I eat, keeping my daily total calories below 1,700 for the most part (I accidentally first typed 17,000 calories. That would be a really really easy diet...) and using the elliptical trainer almost every day. For an hour.

Lucky for me Thor hooked up his portable DVD player to the TV in the garage, so I can watch DVDs while I kill myself...Today I watched Hairspray! while I ellipticalled away. It was great. There is so much music and so much music with a fast tempo it helped me go faster.

The first time I saw that movie, during the scene between Christopher Walken and John Travolta as the Dad and Mom (Travolta plays a hefty woman in the movie, plays her really well in fact) I was distracted by the thought that "oh, man, they are not really going to kiss, are they? " I am very open-minded but that is a step too far even for me, I think. If you haven't seen it, I won't tell you if they do or not...

Anyway. Keeping track of everything (absolutely everything. Every bit of margarine on my toast, every tiny little Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Mini, even the creamer in my coffee.) and using the elliptical and cleaning out the closets (I started spring cleaning early this year, I guess) is using up alot of my energy. To the point where even looking at a blank "create post" page is too much work, never mind filling it up...

But Mark will be back from his latest trip to far off countries today, so life will be back to more or less normal (and I can sleep a little later in the mornings, since Mark gets up with Thor, who has to catch the school bus at 6:30 am. I know. It's crazy.) so I will be back to trying to post something, at least my daily Alaska photo, every day. You lucky lucky people.

(Plus I really need to catch up on your blogs. I have been neglecting them shockingly lately. I am all apologies.)

Terri tagged me for this meme. Fifth folder, fifth photo. For some reason my fifth folder only has one photo in it -- my digital photos are horrifyingly unorganized, chaotic like the rest of me, but it's one I really like. It's me and Mojo, the day we brought him home. Valentine's day, 2005. I think it was 2005. Pretty sure it was 2005. This was Mojo back then, back when he had been starved and neglected. He weighs about 20 pounds more these days, and is very secure in our home. He's such a good dog.
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I need to get to the airport now, so I will hopefully be back in a couple hours to post my Daily Alaska!

The Daily Alaska...Thor and I were using snow to "clean" the back windows of the Suburban...and since we were standing there with all that grime blank slate...

DIe CaPITaliSt PiG

Yup. It said "DIe CaPITalIsT PIg" for a couple days, until the road grime got too think. Oh, yeah, we are having a heat wave -- it's hovering around freezing -- and so we are dealing with grime and muck and slush and all that wonderful stuff.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Because for no discernible reason I feel compelled to post everyday...

Here's another photo from the toilet.


I have started using a new app on my IPod touch, called Lose It, which is awesome and wonderful and amazing. You tell it how much you weigh, how much you want to weigh, how much weight you want to lose a week (unfortunately this is no Biggest Loser, no Bob and Jillian to make you work out for twelve hours, so the most you can hope for is two pounds a week. Bummer.), and it tells you how many calories you should eat every day to meet your goal. Then you enter everything you eat and all your exercise (vigorous sexual activity burns 55 calories an hour. I am thinking the people doing the figuring weren't doing it right, if that's all the calories they burned...).

I started using it a week ago, I have been tracking my food for a few days before that, and I have been using the elliptical trainer almost every day since the beginning of January. In the last week or so, I have lost three pounds. Woo! And lost it without "dieting" -- I still eat chocolate and salsa con queso (but with multigrain baked chips, not tortilla chips), Doritos, Coca Cola, pastrami sandwiches, and my hotdish made with breakfast sausage and pasta...I just am careful about how much of the junk I eat, and I love apples and spinach and sweet mini peppers, so there's lots of food I can eat as much as I want.

It's feeling like a real change -- I love being able to figure out if I am eating too much fat or not enough fiber, too many calories (or freaky! not enough calories, according to my daily log, I can still eat 1,000 more calories, but I had a huge salad for supper and am so not hungry! Weird.)

And I have actually started needing to use the elliptical trainer. I feel better when I use it.

The big question is, can I keep this up?