Friday, February 6, 2009

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Kayaking is expensive

As most of you who read BB's blog last week know, he bought me a kayak for my birthday. It is a nice, tandem, inflatable kayak that strongly resembles a canoe to me. Last week, taking it out on the Sandy River at our camping site was quite beautiful. The Sandy River Gorge is a gorgeous place to camp and kayak. The river is not that deep and the scenery is breathtaking.

But yesterday, we decided to take it out on one of the rivers that run through Portland, the Willamette, since BB is on call and we couldn't go very far. It is large and deep and patroled by oregon state patrol. I find it remarkable that no one that we had mentioned we bought a kayak to told us that there is a huge fine for not having a life jacket. Not even the guys who sold us the kayak. And no one from our home group knew or they would have mentioned it last week.

Now we know. Being brought back to shore in the police boat and being handed a ticket for $242 started to ruin the afternoon. Then we tried to go biking from the park we were at and BB's tire was completely flat so he went and got a few life jackets and we tried again. This time, we made it to the island we were originally headed for. It was a small little island, Ross Island, in the middle of the Willamette. Some people were camping there and when BB walked by, they told him he had been voted off the island and all of the kids started chanting "Drunken Sailor" at him. I didn't witness this, I was by the kayak with the kids playing in the sand. So he was quite offended. All and all, a very strange, rather upsetting day that BB and I never wish to repeat.

Friday, August 22, 2008

More Weekend Fun

I did a hike by myself last weekend up at Mt. Hood. So I had to take a picture of myself to prove to BB I did it. It was a 6.5 mile hike up to the top of a small mountain next to mirror lake and Mt. Hood.
This is the early morning view of the lake and mountain. It was breathtaking.

This is Woogy at the air show here in Portland two weeks ago. He loved his daddy taking just him.

This was the Clark County Fair 3 weeks ago in Washington State north of Vancouver. Nibbles still loves the horses or "moos".
We are going camping with our church group this whole weekend. This is a first for our family. Wish us luck.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Insomnia Curse

I have had insomnia off and on most of my adult life. It started in college when I was in a really stressful semester with a heavy duty schedule. It really got bad my first year of teaching. I even started sleep-walking and having night terrors, waking up screaming about teaching. I only know because BB told me about them. I would come out and have entire conversations with him asleep.

When I began my first lab job, my insomnia was so bad I went to the doc and he put me on anti-anxiety medicine for a while. The problem with medication, for me, is I get psychologically addicted. Let me explain. When you have serious insomnia, you get a certain feel to your brain before you fall asleep that you recognize. The only way I can describe it is this: your brain is wide awake. After a few days, you start to be afraid of the moment you lay down, if you are going to get this feeling like your brain is wide-awake. So it is a perpetual cycle. The original cause of the insomnia may fade, but the fear continues and feeds the insomnia cycle. When I went on medication, I immediately felt better because the cause of my insomnia, at that point, was probably my fear and the doctor telling me this would help caused my fear to ease. So when the doctor tells me it's time to go off the medication, I immediately fall into the insomnia cycle again because my fear returns.

Can anyone relate to this or am I totally losing it? Yes, I am going through another bout of insomnia. And of course, something big happened at work to probably set it off. My technician was let go due to lack of funding so I am doing the job of 1-2 people, somedays 1 and somedays 2.

If it continues, I will have to go back to the doctor and see what new advances they have come up with in the 7 years since I have needed something to help me sleep.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Weekend fun

This is what we have been up to for a month or so. This was 4 weeks ago at the Silver Falls State Park by Salem. We had just dropped off Woogy with grandma for camp that week and we stopped here on the way back to Portland. This is the South Falls.
This is the North falls at Silver Falls State Park. You can hike down to the bottom.

Nibbles loves getting in the water. She actually fell in and was completely drenched.

This was last weekend at Cascade Head on the Oregon Coast. It is a mile walk from a forest road trailhead to this bluff overlooking the coast north of Lincoln City. We have done this hike 5x.

The marine layer was coming in off the ocean. You never can predict that.

This was Drift Creek Falls in the Coastal Mountain Range on the way to Newport last weekend. Woogy got quite adventurous and climbed all over that day. Nibbles fell in again.

BB didn't take a picture of the suspension bridge on this hike, but there is a huge one overlooking the falls. Monty refused to cross without help. I wanted to go on this hike because this was our first hike in Oregon 5 years ago on our first trip out here for vacation. We also did the Cascade Head on that trip. Now you can see why I feel in love with Oregon on that trip.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Depending on grant money

Work is going ok, challenging though. The other technician in the lab is here for her last week and I am learning all of the dissections and experiments she does so I can take over. I am going to be really stressed out, possibly, when she is gone and I am doing the work of 1 1/2 people-2 people at times. We are finishing the project she is working on, but we are not quite done so I have to finish.

When the lab shrinks down a little more, we can get by with just one technician. But as it is, it's still just as big with 5 post-doc fellows. My boss got a few little grants so we are doing somewhat better, but he will still have to let more people go soon. The grants are too little to pay salaries, just buy supplies. I wish my boss would let me know the full picture, as it is I don't know who will be let go next.

Monday, July 21, 2008


My favorite part of Seattle was the Seattle waterfront and aquarium. The octopus was fascinating. They gave it a jar with a fish in it and the octopus opened it and ate the fish.
As BB said, we go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium all the time, but they don't feed their fish by scuba diving with the fish. BB and I were watching this wondering if the small sharks (not in picture) ever bit too hard on the diver, mistaking him for fish???

BB hated this picture, but the seals were performing tricks for us and of course, this is not Sea World, so there wasn't bleachers or anything. You watched from behind the fence. I didn't know seals could be trained to jump up and touch a ball like a dolphin or orca.

Puget Sound has several pods of orcas that live there year-round, probably because of the extensive seal population there. We didn't see any orcas, but I got to ride a pretend one.

As BB said, I loved the market, mostly because of the gluten-free bakery that had fabulous muffins!!! But it was the most sensational farmers market I have ever imagined or seen. It was 6 city blocks long with some of the cheapest floral arrangements you will ever see!

I loved our waterfront cruise. BB and I were wondering why so many ocean fish lived there, then we found out it is mostly salt water, even though it's 80 miles from the ocean. How does that work???

I thought this was cool because I have never seen a policeman on a horse before. I asked BB where the poop went and who cleaned it up. The answer was apparent in a few feet. It laid there and no one was cleaning it up. Yuck! I am torn between the green aspect of saving the economy with the disgust of it. Absolutely, one fabulous weekend and too short.