Life 103

Monday, September 01, 2008

life on the refuge

Very early this morning, I went to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge with some of my Fawver friends. This is some of what we found.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

so, what did you do for the church fast?

For a moment this evening, I thought I’d forgotten how to log onto my own blog. Yes, it’s been that long… And if you’re curious, here’s why.

If you've read below, you know that late in May, I was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma – the kinder, gentler form of skin cancer that doesn’t cause permanent damage to any vital organs except your head when the doctor tells you that you have the ‘c’ word. What you don't know is that I scheduled my surgery ASAP and on the day of, Tuesday, May 21, 2008, our son stayed home from school with a “stomachache.” Being the ever attentive mom I am, I said something akin to ‘let me know how you’re feeling tomorrow...’ Being absorbed with my own post-op issues, I failed to notice that his stomachache was intense, shooting pain on his right lower side… I thought he had the flu. Lucky for him, he still looked sick the next morning so I took him to see a competent professional at 8:30 a.m. And, he was in surgery having his appendix out by noon…while I was back at the skin cancer surgery center getting a new 3 ½ inch zipper where a dime size tumor had been. Intense.

Then, my doctor called because my PAP came back abnormal and told me not to worry about it (does that amuse anyone else?) but to come back in August for a follow up, oh, and BTW, you're due for a mammogram. Are you kidding me? Then, I got a migraine headache. Then I got depressed because I was on light duty, my son could have died and I had a migraine. Then, a huge oak tree at the back of our property fell for no particular reason on our fence just when neighbors planned to move their cows into our pasture. Then, when Steve and I took an evening walk TO RELAX, our big dog got hit full on in the chest by a skunk. Then, we had a graduation party for our beautiful and talented daughter who graduated with honors from high school.

On a lighter note, since graduation (Yea AJ!) we vacationed in Seattle where I lost and found my cell phone at Joey's and ran not one but two red lights downtown looking for a place to eat, I co-taught a workshop at Northwest Yearly Meeting, our son turned 16 (Yea AW!), and I shared about my work with Faith in Action in all 3 (final) services at Newberg Friends. And now, I fully expect life to return to normal.

So that’s what I did during our church fast. I wouldn’t recommend it.

Enjoy a picture or two from this era of our lives:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

some of our relay stars

Saturday, June 21, 2008

relay report

Friends for Life (several not pictured)

When I signed up with my buddies to walk in this year’s Relay for Life, I didn’t know I had cancer. I went to my doctor late in May and bugged her about a suspicious spot on my back for the last time. With only a minimal amount of exasperation, she said, “Well, if you’re that worried about it, go have it biopsied.’ So I did. And it was the ‘C’ word. Not the bad kind. It was the garden-variety kind that people with my kind of skin get from being out in the sun too much before sunscreen was invented. A wart compared to what so many others are dealing with even now.

My friend, Pam, talked me into getting a survivor shirt and walking the survivor lap with her at the Relay this weekend. Putting the purple shirt on elicited much more sympathy than I deserved but I wanted to be with Pam and the lap meant a lot to her. Unfortunately, she wasn’t up for it when the time came so I walked with some other precious friends instead (Bonnie and Cindy are mother and daughter).
By the time she finally made it to the Relay, Pam was as beautiful and cheerful as ever. She inspires me because C hasn’t been her only challenge and she’s this chipper all the time.

Special thanks to Steve for getting up with me at 3:40 a.m. and walking both my shifts with me then going with me to buy a little tiller so I could attack the weeds in our garden before needing to be somewhere else himself.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

tagged again

Five things in my bag:
1. My Providence Newberg Medical Center photo ID that I only wear when I’m in the facility to get mail or need to look official when getting coffee at Chapters
2. My favorite mellow yellow highlighter (don’t care for neon yellow, thank you very much)
3. My favorite Parker ballpoint pen with my last perfect refill purchased before they were ruined by someone’s dumb idea of “new and improved”
4. A pouch of necessities that contains several $1 coins and other loose change, mechanical pencil lead, small post-its, a travel size bottle of Ibuprophen, Claritin, Tylenol Severe-Cold pills, a baggie with half an unidentifiable pill, business cards with our old address and logo on them, Band-Aids, and a miniature “to go” pack of pink emery boards. (It might be time to clean that out)
5. A free lunch card for Ruth’s Café that my boss gave me for being a good sport

Five things in my bedroom:
1. My husband. Scratch that, he just got up. Um...the bridesmaid dresses from two very good friend's weddings that were over 20 years ago. (They are hanging on the "what should I do with these" hook because I recently cleaned out my closet)
2. An antique, cedar lined, trunk sporting a leather tag with my maiden name hand tooled on it and stuffed to the gills with childhood treasures – mine, my mate’s, our offspring’s, and our ancestor’s.
3. An obscene amount of dust
4. An aerial photo of my Uncle Bill’s farm in Alberta, Canada
5. Books. Several. Mostly read. One new and not yet opened

Five things I have always wanted to do:
1. Ride in a hot air balloon
2. Look through an 800 mm camera lens
3. Recommend a piece of legislation that actually makes things better somehow
4. Write a book
5. Get my masters degree

Five things I’m currently into:
1. Photography
2. The class of 2008
3. Facebook (thanks Shan)
4. Medical appointments, co-pay vs deductible, clinic locations, EOBs, prior authorizations, stitches, non-stick gauze, paper vs cloth tape, and polysporin vs neosporin
5. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Five People who need to do this too:
1. I’m sorry. Due to #4 above, I have no idea who has already been tagged. If you are friend enough to read this all the way to the bottom and haven’t been tagged yet, please, do us the favor!

Thanks Denise - you're my hero too!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A funny thing happened in church today. At our table in Sunday school this morning, I spoke in reference to a scripture that helped me through the hard days of a child's illness and how that particular promise of God has helped since in times when my faith has been thin and God is being especially quiet. Then, our pastor closed the worship gathering with the same reference to the same scripture and spoke out the same promise.

The reference is to a story in Luke 12/Matthew 6. It is a story about how God takes care of the birds of the air and the lilies of the field with a resounding assurance that you and I are more valuable than these to him. The promise; God will take care of you. And me. He will. He does. He will continue to. So we can, do, must depend on God for everything.
The trick is to remember that God is alive and well in the hearts, minds, and bodies of his beloved, very human, children and we cannot continue to fail each other by failing to dispense his care, love, and encouragement to each other. Asking for help is ok. Asking another person for help is sometimes the same as asking God for his divine help. And, that’s not weakness. That’s wisdom.

I wish I had believed that a lot sooner.

Friday, May 16, 2008

seattle summer

Hello Friends and Acquaintances,

How sweet is the view from my kitchen window?

If you were going to vacation in Seattle this summer with your teenagers, what would you plan to do? Where would you stay that is near the PSU campus but not enormously expensive?

We want to explore the city so AJ is familiar with the territory and do something fun so AW isn’t bored out of his mind. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It’s been decided. The housing deposit is paid. The financial aid package is signed. She has a student ID number. Our firstborn is going to SPU next fall. Her goal is to become a registered nurse and start a free clinic in India or Africa for mommies and babies. If she is half as determined to do that as she was to get Steve to take her to Fred Meyer this evening, she’ll have no worries. :) We're very proud. She's an amazing girl; beautiful inside and out.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending GFU’s Mr. Bruin Contest. The sophomore boys donated everything they raised from the silent auction to Faith in Action so I got to be present to plug the program and accept the check. I must say, Mr. Jay Miller makes a very…well…how should I say…I’m not sure if I can…actually, um…As Esmeralda, he was stunning. And I don’t mean in a good way. Jay was fine (although his hairy armpits weren’t) but as Sarah Baldwin said to one of the others, “There’s a line. And you were over it.” I wonder what the students at SPU do for fun. Hopefully what happens at SPU, stays at SPU.
Thus we enter a new chapter, again seeking new ways to care for and pray over our kids who grew up too fast, who have made us appear to be great parents, and who are both wonderful human beings.
(I leave out all the other stuff about raising kids because, well, my kids can read. We all know Steve & I aren't perfect parents and there's no sense in belaboring that fact.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

spring cleaning

Today was brilliant. Perfect day for spring cleaning, working 'round the house and yard as a family, taking a picture or two, and following it all up with an "insanely delicious" Bruschetta Chicken sandwich at Red Robin. Too bad 'the family' didn't agree with the spring cleaning part... things look great around the little farm even if not done with completely happy hearts.

Quote of the day. Said 15 year old son with learner's permit to mom who told him to relax while driving: "You know, I could pull over right here and you could walk home." Point proved, if you ask me. :)

Last week I saw a woman talking on her cell phone drive off from the gas station with the hose still inserted in her van. She jerked the hose completely off the pump, coming to a shocked stop after the nozzle crashed loudly to the ground. Fortunately, the pump has an emergency shut off valve. Hang up and DRIVE people.

Available: 1 year old miniature American Eskimo dog. Owner loves but is allergic. Very happy, friendly disposition. Basic training completed, knows fun tricks. Plays well with large breeds. Needs practice greeting visitors. Owner's children would like visitation rights. Call now and I'll connect you with Frostfur's loving family to start the adoption process.

Pictures from the Portland underground tour last weekend - Shanghai tunnels, stories of unsavory characters (is that one I see below?), white slavers, ghost stories; the seedy side of the Rose City. Nice way to spend an afternoon with kids and friends. If you decide to go, let me know what you think the dead girl's perfume is - if you can smell it, that is.

Dear Trustees,
The Suburban needs its own set of jumper cables.

And, guess who turned 18 with attitude?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

happy birthday sis

I hope you enjoy this little tribute to your life journey thus far:

Kay is the clean one above on the right...

Kay is the well behaved one above on the right...

School Days

A very important acomplishment!

Kay is the one with the gorgeous smile above on the right...

again, with the smile, above on the right...

With daughter and first grandchild (above), first and second grandchild (below).

You're still looking' good!