Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Update - with photos, even!

I'm afraid I haven't really followed through on the February challenges as I had hoped to, but I've been busy otherwise! I had a friend visiting for 11 days (she left this morning), and so haven't had much computer time since shortly before she arrived on the 10th. So, to hopefully keep things short(er) & sweet, I'll do a bullet point update.
  • No change in the clutter situation. I haven't removed anything I've collected, but neither have I brought anything in. My friend did bring me a couple of gifts, but other than that, I've managed to refrain from refilling any empty spaces on my shelves and in my closets.
  • Actually, that's not true. I did buy Season 2 of "Hot in Cleveland."
  • And I have spent a lot. Every day since my friend arrived, actually.
  • But it was fun! 
  • Having my friend here was great, although I am glad to have the place to myself again. I've known her a number of years, but not well, and you learn a lot about a person by spending time with them, you know? She calls herself a night owl, but I would lean more towards insomniac. Up at all hours of the night on the computer. Lights on. Lights off. Lights on again. It's a small space and sharing with someone who puts stuff everywhere pushes a few buttons. She had a great time, however, and I think really needed the time away, so I'm pleased she managed to relax and have some time to herself. Here's some photos of what we did:

Bundle up for a day of dog mushing! I got a gift certificate for Christmas and it was a perfect day for it. Temperature was only about -2C - a bit warm for the dogs - but the sun was out, the sky was blue...Beautiful!

Ginger (l) and Strider (r), our lead dogs.

The dogs spent a lot of time cooling off in the snowbanks when we stopped. It's hot work for them on such warm days.

Away down the Takhini River we go. I'm driving and my friend is in the basket.

Resting dog in his harness.

I think this one's name is Bear. He was on a different team. Isn't he gorgeous?

Penny (l) and Boober (r). These two were our wheel dogs (closest to the sled).

Getting ready to return after our lunch break.

Lovely day for it!

The return journey.

The beautiful Strider (l) and lovely little Ginger (r). Lead dogs. Check out Ginger's booties!

Puppies!! They attacked anything that moved - and didn't. Adorable.

We also spent a couple of nights at the Hotsprings Valley Retreat. There was a Japanese fellow who'd come all the way to see the Aurora and when we got there hadn't had any luck so far. The day after we arrived, there was quite a beautiful display, so we were all very happy for him. It was my first attempt at taking photos of them - it's a bit of a challenge - so apologies for the blurry outcome!

The cabins. Electricity, but no washrooms or kitchens. You have to go the main building for those.

Tracks in the snow. Small, so perhaps a weasel.

Snowshoed up to this point - my first time in snowshoes! What a view.

I think I might get myself a pair of these. It was a lot of fun.

My first attempts at capturing the aurora borealis (aka Northern Lights). I gave up after a while and just enjoyed watching them dance. They are amazing - far better than anything man made.

Ice crystals on the trees.

Elk at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve.

Short horned sheep.

Stone sheep.

Musk ox. We were hoping she would turn to look at us, but she was too busy scratching an itch with the stick to pay any attention to us.

Mountain goats in their natural(ish) habitat.

One of three lynx in their new enclosure.

More goats coming down to investigate a little closer.

One of two Arctic Foxes in their new enclosure. They're tiny things and turn brown in the summer.


Wood bison (male). He was simply enjoying the sunshine.

These are photos from the area where the warm river (which heats the hotsprings pools) flows into the lake. This accounts for the lovely ice crystals on the trees in the above photo as well as the steam and ice crystals around the area below.

It was a lovely weekend!
  • I've decided that I want out of my job desperately enough to enrol in the office administration program at the college. I'll be taking it online and can take up to two years to complete it, but am hoping I can be finished in less time than that. There are two new streams that have been added recently - legal and medical - so once I'm finished the main program, I'm going to take the Medical Coding stream so that I can get out of the public domain and work from home instead! I'm still waiting to hear whether or not I've been accepted into the program, but I'm very excited and it feels right. I took it as a sign when I was screened out of yet another job application because I don't have the education (although I do have the experience). I decided that being proactive about things would smooth the road better than moping about it and getting depressed.
  • I'm already halfway through my English course. I have my mid-term exam tomorrow and a second essay due on March 2. I'm fairly happy with my first mark (B+), but I know I can do much better, so need to organize and review more thoroughly for the next one.
  • I booked a flight for another friend to come and visit me for a few days in May. I can't really afford it, but I can afford it much better than she can and much better than if the airfare was at the regular price. I am so excited to have her here.
  • I've already booked my holidays for the year and they're spread out quite nicely. My birthday weekend; a few days in May; a week in July for a trip to Ontario; and over Christmas. I took 4 days holiday at Christmas and because of regular closures and time off, I get 16 days in total!
  • This will be a busy weekend as I get caught up from the last two weeks! Including reading all your updates and blog posts. Looking forward to it!


Michelle P said...

Wow awesome pictures!

Jolie said...

Beautiful pictures!! especially the Auroras. thank you so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, wow! Much as I love cities I would love this kind of trip. Lovely :)