Tuesday, June 29, 2010

pups at work

I mentioned earlier that I am fortunate to work in a dog friendly office. There are many benefits to this for me and my co-workers as well of course for the dogs. Having dogs in the work place ads a definite family feel to any setting.

Four legged pals can really reduce stress for employees. What better than petting a pup to make those nerves relax! Additionally, since dogs have to go out and do their business during the day and of course need some exercise, that ensures that we will do the same. Making for ultimately more productive employees. I know I am more productive when I take a break to get outside during the day to stretch my legs, clear my head and breath in some fresh air.

All sorts of large corporations have started to allow dogs in the work place because they recognize the benefit to their employees, even to the one's who don't bring a dog. Google is a dog friendly employer.

I am fortunate to have a dog who's office manner's are very good. Rosie spends most of the day snoozing on her bed next to my desk (as you've seen in some past pictures). She loves to say hello to people, and aside from occasionally stealing Sam's bone, and then not letting him anywhere near it to get it back, she's good with the other dogs as well, although she will sneak their food if given the chance!

Anyway, if your work place is dog friendly and you have a dog who is safe for an office setting, try it out! If your employer isn't dog friendly, it might be worth sharing some of the benefits with them! If you do bring your dog to work, or have co-worker's who do, what do you see as the benefits?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

when you know what it is you're doing

I saw a play in college entitled "When You Know What it is You're Doing." I don't remember what the play was about - I only remember the title and how it made me feel - how it still makes me feel.

Sixteen years later I wonder if I've remembered it all this time because I don't know what I am doing or because I don't remember the moment when I realized that I knew what I was doing.

As it turns out, I am surprised to realize that what I think I am doing is pretty basic and not nearly as interesting as I might have thought it would have been 16 years ago. I am trying to be a good wife, sister, daughter, friend and community member and I am trying to find that peaceful centered place in myself where it is easier to do all of those things from. I can't really imagine a better thing to achieve. I feel confident that I will be working toward this for the rest of my life as I am often slow to pick things up and as simple as it may be, it's not always that easy. With that in mind, maybe knowing what you're doing isn't a moment. Maybe it's a process.

So, I guess the question is, what does it mean to you to know what it is you're doing?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

a very rainy day

It is dumping rain here today. Rosie just arranged her office bed into
this little tent and crawled inside. What could be better on a
blustery wet day? My thoughts exactly!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Today is summer solstice. With our very short summer season, it's always a shock when solstice arrives. The marking of the first day of summer and the peak of our long days, also means the slow loss of light and always sort of feels like "what, summer is almost over?" It's not of course, but it isn't uncommon for it to rain all of August, the earlier months always more likely to be dry and brighter.

This time of year our forests are filled with the bright greens of Devil's Club, Skunk Cabbage and sprinkled with white Dwarf Dogwood. The ferns are huge and the ground is covered in bright green moss. Everything seems to be glowing.

So, happy solstice. Enjoy the light. Enjoy the blooms and the greens. Here is Rosie on our hike into the cabin this past weekend doing just that!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


We just got back from an overnight at Peterson Lake cabin. It's a drive "out the rode" here in Juneau and then a hike that's a bit over four miles. It's peaceful and quiet there and there's a little row boat on the lake that we spent a lot of time playing with. It was, as the cabins always are, a perfect retreat from the worries and stressors of every day life.

For me, there are few things more satisfying than a walk in the green woods w/ my husband, my dog, and a correctly fitting pack. The lush colors and chirping of song birds just can't be replicated. We are so lucky to have places like this in our backyard. Places where we can listen to the silence and breath in the crisp smells of the earth.

Rosie and I went for a row early this morning. We listened and watched as a loon cried her haunting song on the lake and the other birds chirped and chattered in the stillness of the new day. It was the quietest and most settled I have felt in quite some time and I found my mind NOT wondering! Rosie and I just sat together and enjoyed the moment. Perfect.


Thursday, June 17, 2010


Rosie and I are both learning about gardens and yards this summer. I am learning how to plant and care for them, Rosie is learning how to stay out of them and in them respectively. It has been so fun and unbelievably therapeutic.

A really great trick I learned from another "dog person," is to tie a long cord to Rosie while she's out in the yard. We don't tie her up, but if she starts to go somewhere she shouldn't we tell her no and reel her back in, giving her a treat when she get's to us, and lots of treats when we don't have to reel her and she does it on her own. It has really helped teach her the boundaries of our yard (which is not fenced) and we rarely have to reel her, but we can in a pinch and that is great. She has freedom and we have a safety mechanism to keep her from going where she shouldn't.

This has allowed Rosie and I to spend a lot of quality time in the yard this summer. I am amazed at how good I feel mentally after digging in the dirt. The excitement of harvesting our first salad from the garden filled with lettuce, mustard greens and arugula was about the coolest thing ever! Since then we've harvested broccoli and radishes and are patiently waiting on beets and carrots. So fun! Truly I don't really know what I am doing, but I am learning and hopefully, over time I'll figure it out bit by bit and the process is definitely as yummy as the salad! Here is a peak at some of the garden.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Well, we aren't going to be able to hike the Chilkoot Trail this summer. The reality is that we just have too much to do on our house over the next two months. The thing about being a grown up, I suppose, is that sometimes you have to make the responsible choice, not the fun choice. Bummer. We are committing ourselves, for that time frame anyway, to be grown ups. Which is probably a good thing, given the heating situation in our 100+ year old house.

We needed to simplify, to take something off our plate. These days everyone seems so busy. Two year old's have "play dates," a term that clearly has developed out of our overly packed schedules and the need to "pencil" it all in on a given date and time. As I am working to not freak out over little things, simplification is becoming more and more integral in the way I strive to live my life - and mind you, I am not there yet!

One way I notice if my life is out of control is when I get too busy to take Rosie for a walk. That's when I put on the breaks and try to regain control. I need those walks just as much as Rosie does and that's the truth. Those of us with dogs get the added bonus of religiously getting outside, rain or shine, to walk our four legged family members. What a joy! When all the responsibilities of being a grown up hit me over the head, going back to the simple task of taking Rosie out for a walk lightens my load and refreshes my brain.

We won't get to hike the Chilkoot Trail this summer, and that is too bad. We will however, make strides toward the long journey of making our home into what we envision it to someday be. We will take long walks with Rosie, harvest fresh greens from our garden and do our best not to pencil in all our spare time. The Chilkoot Trail will have to wait.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I just started a great local book that I'll tell you all about when I am done reading it. It's called "Take Good Care of the Garden and the Dogs," by Haines author Heather Lende. She references a lot of traditional prayers in the book, including one I have always loved.

"Dear God, have mercy on me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small." It's a fisherman's prayer of course, but it fits for all of us. Our lives are so wide. Some days are easy and the wind isn't blowing and some days are a storm. Either way, it's nice to have faith that God (whatever we perceive God to be), will take mercy on us in some manner as we all try to stay afloat.

I think sometimes about the faith that dogs have, that they must have - in us. Faith that we will keep them safe, faith that we will treat them well and meet their needs and I wonder if this is related to the general happy state of dogs who are given reason to have faith that we will do the right thing for them. A bit of faith is a good thing for all of us I suppose. It certainly helps to weather the storm.

Monday, June 14, 2010

so much to learn from our dogs

In my life I am working hard to be more aware. To appreciate what's around me and to accept things as they are without working myself into a tizzy about it. For some people, this is an easy task, for me it's often not.
One thing I have found most amazing about Rosie is her ability to roll with whatever comes her way. For the most part, Rosie appears to be quite happy and secure in her life. It doesn't matter if she's having a good day or a bad day. Even if she isn't feeling well, she's happy to see those she loves and it shows. She enjoys nearly all adventures we take together, always taking time to stop and smell the stories that came before her. Rosie does not judge new people, she finds out if they like her by showing them she wants to be friends. If it doesn't work out, she moves on. Simple.
Here is a shot of Rosie on a recent row boat trip in Sitka. This was Rosie's first time in a row boat and she embraced it as she does most everything else. She looked around at the beauty and sniffed out the stories.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

cuddle day

After what seems like weeks of sun, the rain and the wind have come
back. For those if us who live in Alaska, the long sunny days of
summer often mean frantic work outside trying to get it all done
"while the weather holds." While we nurture our gardens, split and
stack wood for the winter, hike, bike and play...the insides of our
homes get slightly neglected and we rarely take time just to cuddle up with our loved ones and a cup of tea. Today, our household is enjoying some much needed down time in front of a crackling fire as the wind blows the rain into our windows and the earth gets the good soak it has been waiting for.

Friday, June 11, 2010

happy friday!

We are all glad it's Friday. It has been a long week...Rosie is
exhausted from all the work...here she is in one of her office poses.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Rosie accidentally goes for a swim

Rosie's office mates look on as Rosie surprises herself with a swim.
Guess that water wasn't as shallow as she thought!

More on the joys of dogs in the work place soon.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

a cruising angel

Another lovely day in Southeast! Here is Rosie Mae biking (or rather riding) to work this morning. It's been a great way to get to work and home this spring. Rosie get's goodies as we peddle and seems to be perfectly happy cruising along. Hurray for summer and 8lb dogs!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Getting it together

How do people keep these blogs up, anyway? Stay tuned as we're getting it together and hope to get back to making regular posts this week! The Chilkoot Trail is sneaking up on us and we have lots to do! Rosie is working on learning the boundaries of the yard, how to stay out of the vegetables and not bark at the other dogs cruising by the house. So much to do! Here is a shot of Rosie Mae enjoying some sunshine in the yard. Gardening is hard work!