Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another fun adventure with Lucy.

Lucy and I set off last Saturday morning at 7:30am for a day of road tripping. I was feeling antsy and needed to get out of the city and Lucy wanted to test out her new camera. Out goal for the day was to head to Oregon to see Multnomah Falls then head over to see a replica of Stone Henge in Maryhill Washington. This was the plan for the day but as we drove we decided to add to it a bit by heading to Tillamok for ice cream then end the day with dinner in Astoria. I will get back to that little adventure later.


Multnomah Falls is a beautiful place surrounded by trees with a lot of trails surrounding the falls. There were plenty of tourists roaming about which made walking the trails slightly congested. I was really looking forward to taking pictures but was disappointed to find that my camera had been left on all night and so the battery was dead. Thankfully I have learned to be prepared so I brought a second camera with me...which I left in my car in the parking lot across the street. I was being too lazy to walk back and figured I would get pictures from Lucy. The picture you see above is what I took from the parking lot.

Our next stop on our adventure was Stone Henge in Maryhill, Washington. Stone Henge is a world war I memorial created by Sam Hill in the early 1900s. The project began when Hill was mistakenly informed that the original Stonehenge had been used as a sacrificial site. He thus constructed his replica as a reminder that “humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war.

The dedication plaque on this American Stonehenge reads:

"In memory of the soldiers of Klickitat County who gave their lives in defense of their country. This monument is erected in the hope that others inspired by the example of their valor and their heroism may share in that love of liberty and burn with that fire of patriotism which death can alone quench."

Not only was this an interesting place to visit on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but it was also a fun way to learn about Maryhill's history. Lucy and I
spent a little time at the Maryhill museum where they house some of Rodin's sculptures and artwork. I am not a huge fan of Rodin but it was worth seeing.

In the parking lot of the museum Lucy and I pulled out our map and figured out which route we needed to take to get over to the coast of Oregon. It was 4:30 in the afternoon and I started to question whether we would make it to Tillamok before it closed for the day. Lucy and I decided to bypass Tillamok and head straight to Asotria. We were feeling really proud of ourselves for being able to navigate so well and actually reach our destinations without getting lost...we probably should have waited until we made it back to I-5 before we got too excited.

We made it to Astoria by 7pm and we were pleasantly surprised to find that the local stores were hosting an art walk. Hunger out weighed our need to be culturally filled so we found a little Italian restaurant and hunkered in. It was prom night in Astoria so we found many scantily clad girls roaming the streets. There was a couple sitting close to up where the girl, in her pretty, barely there yellow dress spent most of the evening trying to keep her naughty bits from making an entrance of their own. Apparently Astoria has not heard of double stick tape. Lucy and I wondered whose parents let them leave the house like that.

With our tummies full and a very long drive ahead of us, Lucy and I headed on the 101 toward home. It was about 9:30pm at that point and we were both getting tired. We were doing really well until we came to a point where we could either go straight or turn right. Neither sign said 101 on it so we guessed as to which way we needed to go. Well...we guessed wrong. About 30 minutes later we were driving down what seemed to be a residential street and I jokingly said to Lucy, "wouldn't it be funny if this ends up being a dead end"? A block or two later Lucy says, "are we on Joe John road? Did that just say Joe John road"? (by the way, who names a street Joe John road?) Sure enough we were on the road of Joe John which confirmed our suspicions; we were going the wrong way!

I turned around and made my way back to highway 103, which we could not find on the map at first. We made sure to back track to the fork in the road we had come across earlier and found our way to 101. Feeling a little relieved to be on a somewhat familiar highway Lucy and I started chatting. It was right about then that a cop pulled up behind me and pulled me over...nice. Well, if you are anything like me you don't take out your old insurance or registration forms when you get the new ones. I proceeded to hand the police officer one expired registration/insurance form after another. When I finally found the correct forms it was all I could do to keep from laughing at the situation. The man took pity on me and let me go with a warning, which I was incredibly thankful for.

Adventures aside, I finally dropped Lucy off at her house at about 2:30am and crawled into my own bed after 3am. We had a great time visiting new spots and creating new memories. Hopefully this will inspire you to go visit some of these places, it is worth the drive.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stem Cells

As you know I am preparing to donate stem cells on Monday for a 62 year old woman. To prepare for this procedure I have to go in and get one injection in each arm for four days prior to the donation. Before you even begin this process the doctors go over every possible detail of what you may experience, what could go wrong, basically what to expect. In all of my optimism I thought, I can handle anything, this won't be hard. It is less invasive than donating bone marrow, so how bad could it be? Well...six injections later I am feeling like a 90 year old arthritic woman whose body is not happy with what I am putting in it.

Last night Jeff and I went to a wedding reception and there were several moments when I had to stop and wait for my chest to stop throbbing. When I woke this morning I felt like my head was going to explode and my heart was doing loop-de-loops. I figured that I would ask about these new symptoms when I went in for my injections this morning. (I seriously thought that I was going to end up in the hospital) Thankfully, everything that I am feeling is considered "normal". I am feeling this way because the growth hormone is creating more cells in my bones and the sternum, being a larger bone will "ache" more. They told me before I started this that the fourth and fifth days were the worst and that the symptoms would go away as soon as the injections stopped. I am only on day three...

I must say, I am extremely disappointed. I was expecting to have grown at least 3 more inches but it just hasn't happened. I guess I am stuck at 5'4 & 3/4s. (That's what heels are for, right?)

All in all this has not been a bad experience, just uncomfortable to say the least. I just keep thinking about why I am doing it; call myself a wimp, take some Tylenol and get on with my day.

My next post is going to be much more exciting I promise. I still need to blog about my trip to Stone Henge with Lucy last weekend. It included a waterfall, an unplanned trip to Astoria, getting pulled over, and getting a little lost. It was quite the adventure.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I have been thinking a lot about why I continue to ride the weight loss/gain train. Just when I think that I have cured myself of the cunning ways of carbohydrates, I find myself being wooed, senses dulled with the promise of mouth watering pastries. It could be something as simple as a wafting smell of popcorn at the movies or the sight of fresh out of the oven chocolate chip cookies and I am back in their loving arms…I am such a push over!

I think that I have finally figured out why I am so weak when it comes to food, pure pressure. Yep, you heard me right…pure pressure. Now, I can’t really blame my friends and family for my food weaknesses, after all, it is not like they are forcing food down my throat, heck, I think half the time its my idea to go get something to eat. What is wrong with me? (That was a rhetorical question) I have decided that I suffer from a sad case of wantingtoeatwhatIwantandbeskinnywithoutdoinganythingaboutititis. It is a sad reality I know, but that is the crux of it; that and the fact that I think that I relate to others through food.

When you don’t have a family to cook for you tend to eat out a lot and when you are the only one eating healthy there is a feeling of not quite fitting in. It is like we, or I bond with others through food. I seriously need to change this way of thinking. My problem is that I do not know how to be that girl who eats the same way at a restaurant that she eats while at home. Scratch that…I do eat that way, just not in the healthy sense. Please don’t think that I lack the desire to be healthy and thin…In my mind I look gooooood!

If you have any advice as to how to take this insight and turn it into healthy thinking, I would appreciate it. Until then I will try to reclaim the shorts that my thighs are currently holding hostage and attempt to counteract my eating through exercise.

Monday, May 4, 2009

While I've been away...

Sorry that it has been soooo long since I have updated my blog, I have had some computer issues. Let me update you on the goings on in my life.

1.School has kept me busy, busy guessing that is. The program that I am in seems to be flying by the seat of its pants. Is how most grad programs are? No yearly calender to say when classes begin or end, registration is done through your counselor, just finding out that quarters are done on an accelerated program so they only last 4 weeks. All of this information would have been good to know before I started the program. :) (not that it would have changed anything)

I just finished my last class yesterday so I am anxiously waiting for the results of the final. I have to maintain a 3.0 GPA to stay in the program and while I am confident in my abilities, I still get a little nervous.

2. My good friend from work just found out that her 2yr old grandson (with whom she has been raising since he was 6mos) has Leukemia. She walked into the er on a Tuesday morning thinking that maybe he had an infection of some kind, would get some antibiotics and be on their way. By Tuesday evening he was admitted to the hospital, told he had Leukemia and started on chemo the next day. Such a devastating day. The good news is that of all the strains of Leukemia out there, his is the most curable, though he will be doing treatments for the next three years. Right now he is home and as he puts it, "mama, I happy now".

3. As some of you may know I donated bone marrow three years ago to a 16 year old girl with the same disease. Unfortunately she passed away shortly after the transplant, but I was thankful for the opportunity just the same. Last Friday I got a call from the Puget Sound blood bank telling me that I have been requested to donate again. This time I will be donating my stem cells which will require a series of growth hormone injections done over a week followed by an extraction. Blood is taken out of one arm "sorted" then put back into my body through the other arm. On May 18th, yes, the anniversary of Mt. St. Helen's' eruption I will spend the day doing this donation-much less invasive then what I did before, which I appreciate. The only information I know about the recipient is that she is a 62 year old woman.

4. Finally, my 4 year old laptop has decided it no longer wants to play so I am forced, yes, forced to go buy a new one. I hadn't realized how attached I am to my laptop. I have been forced (there's that word again :)) to use my parent's desk top which, is a little too bulky to rest on my lap. Today I am off to go search out my options, sadly MAC is out of the running (Jeff, Ken and Lucy) as I am looking for a laptop that is UNDER $800. Call me cheap, but I really would rather spend my money on fun things like traveling, or shoes.

So there you have it, now you are updated on some of the things that have been going on with me.