Tag Archive | Happy New Year

On the Mend in the New Year!

I’m about ten days after surgery and I’m finally starting to feel more normal again!

I think I’m one of those people who is sensitive to anesthesia.  I’ve been feeling super lethargic and sleepy ever since I woke up (oh the irony!) and am just finally feeling like I don’t automatically need a long mid-afternoon nap even after I sleep 10-11 hours at night.  I get it, my body is healing, but wow.  My recovery nurse John summed it up perfectly when I overheard him on a phone call to the folks that assign hospital rooms after surgery.  “She likes to sleep when you aren’t interacting with her.”  Oh boy, do I ever!  He explained that he needed to qualify his statement, because if I were just sleeping all the time, then they would have left me down in recovery until I woke up and interacted more appropriately.  Everything is always a test…

As it were, it felt like I was in recovery for a long time…  I was wheeled into surgery shortly after 8 am, the first time I remember being awake and looking at the clock it was about 12:40 pm, and I finally got my own room sometime after 2 pm.  I didn’t really care though, because I just slept when John wasn’t interacting with me.  When he was interacting with me, it mostly consisted of him poking my hips, legs and feet with a sharp metal object to gauge how numb my body parts were and how quickly the spinal anesthetic was wearing off.  It didn’t hurt though, because I was still numb.

My night in the hospital was fine but not very restful.  I’m one of those people who apparently has a very low resting heart rate after anesthesia, so every time I fell asleep the monitor would alarm and wake me back up because my heart rate was only 49-50 beats per minute.  I got a lot more sleep after the nurses responded several times and decided that I wasn’t going to die if they set the monitor to only beep if it fell below 48.  Problem solved.  Talk about wanting you to stop interacting with me so I could sleep!  Of course they still came in every 2 hours to check my blood pressure and temperature, so there’s that.

I was released from the hospital the following afternoon after I had passed all my milestones.  Getting out of bed, walking, talking, peeing…  They even let me walk down the hall and out of the building to the car.  No wheelchair for me!  I will admit it was a very slow walk and that hallway did seem pretty long, but nothing a half-marathoner can’t handle.

My Christmas was quiet; I’m sure that Jeff and my family will tell you that I was semi-catatonic.  But that just means surprise gifts!  You open it on Christmas, and a few days later it is like getting the gift all over again because you didn’t remember it the first time!  Mom and I watched Miracle on 34th Street, and Jeff and I watched a cute movie about a woman whose husband leaves her, and who decides to spend Christmas in Africa caring for orphaned elephants (spoiler: she falls in love with the bush pilot/tour guide and lives happily ever after).

I still have a bit of bruising on my belly around my 7 inch incision, and on my hand where they did a blood draw, but I can finally roll over in bed more easily and sleep without too much discomfort.  My skin is numb both above and below the incision, which is normal, but annoying.  That should go away in a couple of months.  I have one spot on the left side of my abdomen that hurts more than anyplace else; my doctor thinks I am feeling the knot where the line of internal stitches starts, so that should go away when they dissolve.  I passed my first post-op check with flying colors, and have one more in early February so I can be cleared to do strenuous exercise and things like yard work and heavy lifting.

The really good news is that even though I still feel a bit like I was kicked multiple times in the abdomen by a boxing kangaroo, I do feel so much relief from the symptoms I was having.  I’m on the mend, and just need to get through this recovery phase!

I went out for a longer walk yesterday and enjoyed an unseasonably sunny day in the Pacific Northwest.  It was flat, and I’m still not moving all that quickly, but I did get 5,000 steps in!

Happy New Year!

Good Riddance 2017!

To say 2017 sucked is a bit of an overstatement.  But only slightly…  A wee bit…  A smidge…
I learned a few things…  I learned that some people truly go to incredible lengths to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.  I already knew that of course, but 2017 brought it into laser sharp focus in more ways than one.
I also learned about enabling.  My divorce was final in June, but it was an incredibly long and bumpy road to get there.  I had originally hoped to remain on good terms with my ex, but his and his family’s behavior made that impossible.  For the sake of my well-being I cut ties completely, and have not regretted that choice.  Because no one should tolerate what he dished my way.
This blog is generally my happy place, and I know it may appear that I have a pretty blessed life, but it seems disingenuous to remain completely silent about the struggles I have endured this year.  I DO have a REALLY, BLESSED LIFE, but there are also the hard, ugly, raw wounds that every life has.  I don’t have any intention to turn this blog into a rehash of my life’s low points, but I also want to be real and truthful about the fact that my life, just like any life, has some low points.  So if my sharing this little bit here helps someone feel like they are not alone, then maybe I can feel that I did some good. 
I have learned that life is too short to put up with being mistreated.  Again, I knew this before, but 2017 kept that in razor sharp focus.  Just because someone “says” that they love you does not mean they will behave in a loving way, and it may mean that they just want you to let your guard down so they can slip that knife between your shoulder blades…  Life is too short to continue to swim in your mistakes.  Move on.  Cut your losses.  It’s hard, but there is something better coming once you do. 
So with that, let’s move on to the rest of my year…
  1. Oliver is still chugging along in his old man way, after having two surgeries to remove his fibro-sarcoma.  So far, after the second, massive surgery, it doesn’t seem to be coming back.  He is on supplemental fluids a few times a week and holding his own. 
  2. I snowshoed with a girlfriend a couple of times at Mount Baker last winter, and had a fabulous time!
  3. I’m not convinced this item belongs in the “good in my life” section, but here it is anyway.  I did my 9th Half-Marathon, a grueling 13.1 Whidbey Island Half Marathon experience up huge hills and sections of frigid, battering winds.  I had been extremely ill the week leading up to the race, and between mile 9 and 11, when I was dizzy and cramping and felt like death warmed over, I seriously considering stopping.  But I did keep going and did finish, although we’ll just keep that finish time quiet for now… 
  4.  I took a trip to Hawaii in May for a week, and enjoyed it thoroughly.  Sun, warmth, and fun with a combo of relaxing and sightseeing!
  5.  I did a long weekend in Walla Walla for Memorial Day weekend, and did some relaxing, wine tasting, exploring and we ate some pretty darned good food! 
  6.  I spent the Independence Day long weekend at the Hood Canal with friends, exploring the area, visiting Olympic National Park, hiking, collecting sand dollars (don’t worry, they are already dead), eating my fill of BBQ oysters and sunning myself on the deck.  OH, and there was ice cream!
  7.  I did a road trip in late July/early August with my brother and his family.  We went to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Craters of the Moon.  We ended our 12-day spin with a few days in Sisters, Oregon, seeing the High Desert Museum and the Dee Wright Observatory. 
  8.  I did a lot of hiking this year, and hiked several “new to me” hikes here in my neck of the woods.  I hiked Oyster Dome, Pine and Cedar Lakes, Sauk Mountain, Monte Cristo, Mount Si, the Stimpson Preserve, Ape Cave, the Big Four Ice Caves, Lake Ann and Fragrance Lake. 
  9.  My girlfriend Shelley and I, along with her son, took a trip down to Portland in August to go to Antiques Roadshow again!  The experience, for a second time, did not disappoint!  We detoured on the way down to hike Ape Cave.  While we were there, we went to the Portland Saturday market, the Kennedy School for dinner, and visited the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum (that’s a mouthful!) in Everett, WA on the way home.
  10.  Oscar died in September after suffering from acute kidney failure. I miss him…
  11.  I took a trip over Veteran’s Day Weekend to Annapolis and Washington D.C.  I visited the Naval Academy Museum, saw a play, went to the National Mall and the Museum of Natural History, and visited Ford’s Theatre and the Peterson House.  All of these sites in D.C. have been on my bucket list for a long time!  I only barely scratched the surface, and really need to get back to D.C. again for a week or two to feel like I have gotten anywhere near my fill.
Posts to come on a lot of this – as I keep trying to get caught up! 
2017 was one of the hardest years of my life – a continuation of a rough 2016.  But I’m out of that dark tunnel now and things are getting so much better!  2018 is going to be a good year!  Happy New Year to all of you!

Hasta La Vista 2016!

While I can’t say that 2016 has been the best year, it has become a tradition to do the annual year in review.  Although in some ways, I won’t be sorry to see 2016 go, I still have to remember that even with its ups and downs, I do live a truly blessed life.  So without further ado…

  1. My beloved grandmother passed away in February at the age of 98.  She lived a long, blessed life, filled with God, family and good friends, and she was ready to go be with my grandfather again.  I was lucky to have her for the first 40 years of my life, but I will miss her always.
  2. I took a wonderful girls trip to San Diego in April, full of bonding with friends and relaxing in the California sunshine.  We celebrated Allysa’s 50th birthday and saw the sights.  I tried SUP-ping for the first time too!
  3. I did quite a bit of local hiking this year.  I hiked Fragrance Lake twice, the Ozette Triangle at Olympic National Park, and the Chain Lakes loop at Mount Baker.  There is a peace found on the trail that is unmatched elsewhere.
  4. I took a long weekend to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins in Oregon and Southern Washington.  We went to a small town rodeo and went white water rafting on the stunning White Salmon River.
  5. My mom and I took a 10 day road trip through Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming in August.  It was wonderful to spend so much time with my amazing mother, seeing the sights and laughing throughout our adventure.  More posts coming soon!
  6. I completed my 8th half marathon, the Woodinville Wine Country Half Marathon, in September with my dear friend Katie, with our friend Shelley providing support.  Even though the weather sucked, my 13.1 mile slog through rain and wind ended with a new personal record and a definite feeling of accomplishment!  And wine!
  7. My horse and the kitties are all happy and healthy.  Biz is down to just three old man teeth, and gave me a scare recently when he suddenly lost a ton of weight, but he is now on the mend and making me feel more comfortable about him weathering the winter.  At the ripe old age of 29, I am keenly aware that time with him is getting short, but the memories I have with him will last a lifetime.
  8. In November I took a long weekend trip to revisit Astoria, Oregon.  I went to see some old sights and some new, and relaxed over a beer at some of the town’s best breweries.  Even though the forecast called for a weekend of rain, I walked everywhere and stayed completely dry!  The rain began as I got into the car to head home.
  9. I am close to the two year anniversary at my job, and continue to enjoy the challenges and successes.  My staff are second to none.  And the vacation accrual is wonderful, as is the summer schedule!

I didn’t post as much in 2016 as I had hoped to, but still have many posts coming about my West trip, the half-marathon and Astoria.  I am hopeful that 2017 will have me back on a more regular posting schedule, as well as experiencing many new adventures.

Know that I am eternally grateful for all of you that I count as readers, family and friends.  Here’s to peace and happiness in the New Year.  Cheers!

Ciao 2015!

Each year, I feel blessed by the life that I’ve been given. I’m healthy, and happy, and have the ability to spend much of my time doing the things I enjoy. I get to spend my days with my husband, friends and family. As I reflect back on 2015, I’m surprised at how quickly it has flown by, and what amazing things I’ve done! 2015 was certainly a year full of travel – so much that I had to expand my Top 10 list to 12!

In no particular order:

  1. We welcomed a new niece to the family in early February, and this little one is busy exploring the world and is just days away from walking!
  2. The El Niño phenomenon brought us a crazy-mild winter. We are talking temps in the 60s in February. Which was perfect for a Valentine’s Day getaway to the first-ever Bubbles Fest at Anne Amie Winery. Eleven Oregon sparkling wine producers, about 25 wines, oysters on the half shell, chocolate, and gorgeous “sitting on the patio” weather! I hope they do this festival again!
  3. Jon and I took a mini-getaway in late March back to Moab, Utah and Salt Lake City. We hiked Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and we visited Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. And, I zip-lined for the first time and loved it!
  4. We knocked another National Park off our list by visiting Mount Rainier in April, on an unseasonably warm weekend. Temps were in the mid-60s! We snow-shoed for the first time, and did several great hikes, in addition to staying at the National Park Inn, our first “in park” accommodations!
  5. We spent a fun long weekend with my family on the Oregon Coast. Jon and I also had a chance to visit a few of the area’s attractions – beer, wine, a lighthouse, and Lewis and Clark’s Winter Fort! The beach at Nehalem Bay State Park is also where I experienced the most beautiful sunset of the year!
  6. There were no major illnesses or injuries among our “herd” this year! Biz is 28, and rocking his mostly toothless smile, after having four more teeth removed in June. Oliver is doing well on his kidney food, and is healthy, other than a random couple of days of vomiting in early December. Oscar still loves getting love on his terms, and Coraline got even pudgier, despite a year on diet food. Time to crack down on portion sizes!
  7. After having such a nice long weekend with Jon’s parents last year, we decided to take a week-long trip to Colorado in August. I planned an epic road trip to see five National Parks and Monuments, and lots of other fun stuff! We had a great time!
  8. I completed my 7th half-marathon in September – the Woodinville Wine Country Half-Marathon. The cool temperature was wonderful, the course was fast, and I shaved 18 seconds off of my previous personal record – despite not having trained for it! Jon got second place in his age division too, and we enjoyed some nice wines and beer at the end!
  9. Our big trip this year took place in October – a trip that has been in the works for three years now! We had almost two weeks to tour Virginia (with a couple of stops in other states). We saw Shenandoah National Park, four Presidential homes, five Civil War battlefields and the place where Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia. We also saw several other historic sites, and we finished off with a trip to Chincoteague Island to see the ponies made famous by Marguerite Henry and her children’s books. The memories will last a lifetime.  More posts on the trip are coming!
  10. I’ve been at my new job almost a year, and am enjoying the work (and the vacation accrual!) and making new friends. I miss seeing my old friends every day, but that’s just a reason to make sure we get together.
  11. Jon and I were feeling a bit sun deprived in December with all the rain here in the Northwest, so we booked a last minute weekend getaway to Joshua Tree National Park, in southern California. We hiked to our hearts content and added yet another park to the notches on our belts! The weather was dry the whole time, and it warmed up each day; it was the perfect sunny respite from our torrential downpours!
  12. And last but certainly not least, I celebrated two milestones this year. Jon and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary in June, and I turned 40 in September. I’m getting used to the 40 thing…
A stunning sunset at the Nehalem Bay Campground.

A Fabulous Sunset!

I know I have a tendency to gripe about the weather (and wouldn’t you if you had moss growing in your ears!), but in reality I know how lucky I am. I hope 2016 brings as much joy as 2015 did. And dear readers, I wish all of you all the best for the New Year!

Farewell to Another Year – See you later 2013!

And just like that, another year has flown by and it is time for another annual recap.  The top 10 for another (mostly) great year in chronological order, rather than order of importance, are:

1. Jon and I took our first trip to Walla Walla wine country, after Jon ran his 3rd half marathon in Richland, WA.  He placed 3rd in his age division and 11th overall!  We had some great food, great wine, and visited the Whitman Mission National Historic Site.

2.  My dear sweet bitchy kitty Martini went home to the angels after losing her battle with lymphoma on March 1.  I’ll never know how old she was, but I will always remember the nine years I got to spend with her.  And unless you are Oliver, to know her was to love her…

3.  Jon and I took a fantastic road trip to California, down the coast through the Redwoods, the Anderson Valley wine country, San Francisco, Monterey and finally Sacramento.  We saw huge trees, big elk, lighthouses, one of the world’s most awesome paintings, and we ate great food, tasted great wine, and saw great views.  And I puked.  Several times.  Ten days and almost 2,500 miles later, we came home exhausted and thoroughly spent, but happy and with memories to last a lifetime.

4.  On April 20, this sucker for a cute baby brought home sweet Coraline, a six month old kitten who was brought to my vet’s office after being dumped on a farm.  She doesn’t have a mean bone in her body, but she does love her kibble.

5.  I got to indulge my inner nerd in June with a trip to Antiques Roadshow in Boise!  We didn’t make it on the show, but if you are interested in watching other people from the Northwest, the 3 hours are airing on January 6, January 13, and January 20 (who knows, maybe the back of my head will be on!).  Although we can’t fund our retirement by selling our treasures, we had a blast, and had a great time seeing the Old Idaho Penitentiary and the World Center for Birds of Prey.

6.  I completed my fourth (on September 1 in wine country!) and fifth (on October 5 at home for a great cause!) half marathons.  Next year, I will have several friends testing their resolve with me!

7.  Jon and I enjoyed a weekend trip to Olympic National Park, where we hiked in the Hoh Rain Forest and listened to the crashing waves of Rialto Beach.  Although Hurricane Ridge gave us the finger with a huge downpour, we’ll be back to see those views.

8.  I had a scare with my horse Biz, who had a scary bout with colic after his most recent dental x-rays.  At 26 years old, I am aware that my remaining time with him… well… you know…

9.  Jon and I welcomed our newest nephew on November 13 (that makes two nieces and two nephews now!).  He is sweet and perfect and cuddly.  His parents love him dearly (at least until he starts talking back).

10.  Jon finished his first full marathon on December 8, in Sacramento, California.  I got a trip to California out of the deal (no more trips to California Jon!), where I got to visit the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, the Governor’s Mansion, and the John Muir National Historic Site.  Posts on the trip coming soon, I swear!

This annual recap reminds me of how truly blessed we are to live the life we do.  We are surrounded by awesome friends and family, loving animals, and we are lucky to have the freedom to enjoy our travels to wonderful places.  Although there are always the highs and lows, I am thankful that there are many more highs…  I hope you have all been blessed by 2013, and that all your dreams come true in 2014.  So bye, bye 2013 – you have been good to me!

Farewell 2012 – Can’t Wait for 2013!

As I sit here on the couch listening to the washer and dryer run, waiting for Jon to finish playing with paint samples and put the movie in (yes, I’m well aware of how lame we are…), I decided to do a little 2012 tribute blog.  Some of the year was great, some not so great, but I suppose it can’t all be rosy.  So here goes, in no particular order…

1.  I hit my one year anniversary at my new job, a job where I feel valued and appreciated and love my co-workers!

2.  I went on an amazing trip with Jon… nine days in Georgia, North and South Carolina.  The longest trip I’ve ever been on with him!  You can read about it from the beginning here

3.  My wonderful Martini kitty, my feisty girl with a protein allergy who loves sneaking meat and hates being brushed, was diagnosed with low grade diffuse alimentary lymphoma.  Cancer of the blood cells.  We started chemotherapy treatment in November, and I was heartbroken.  So far, Tini is hanging in there.

4.  I celebrated my two year wedding anniversary with my fabulous husband Jon.  We didn’t do anything special, but our trip was our anniversary celebration (see #2 above).

5.  I went to Michigan to visit my Grandma, who is 95!, and to attend my cousin’s wedding.  And I got to see many of my aunts, uncles and cousins!  I’m really lucky to have the family I do.

6.  Jon and I got to visit some fantastic exhibits at some great museums.  Gauguin at the Seattle Art Museum, King Tut at the Pacific Science Center, all the wonderful collections at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the interactive musical experience at the Motown Museum.  And all the amazing historic home tours that we visited on our Grand Tour!

7.  I completed my third half-marathon!  And it was for a great cause!

8.  Jon and I went a fun wine tour in Washington and Oregon for the President’s Day long weekend.  Wine, historic hotels, and even some antique shops!

9.  I got a promotion at work!  Talk about felling valued and appreciated!

10.  We went on a fun long weekend trip to Chelan, where we tried lots of great wine and had one of the most fun and memorable drives home ever!

So, while the year certainly wasn’t perfect, and there were some ups and downs, I feel pretty blessed to live the life I do.  Here’s wishing that 2013 is an even better year for all of us.  Happy New Year!