Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Ian and I had a lovely 4th of July holiday weekend this past weekend.  We went down to Portland on Saturday to visit dear friend L (who helped us on the dacha over Memorial Day Weekend), stopping in Lacey to check in with T&A and their kids C&E.  In Portland we met up with L&S at L’s, and the five us of proceeded to have quite the 90’s revival weekend.  We supped Saturday evening at Chez José, the first restaurant I remember going to once I’d left home at 17; breakfasted at the original Original Pancake House on Barbur Blvd; enjoyed ridiculously lavish Royal Feet massages at The Barefoot Sage and then snacks and naps or floor repair back at L’s; and finished off with mouthwatering jambalaya at Montage under the Morrison Bridge (I ate at Montage when it was still in a small garage somewhere up on Belmont, I think)  and the Rimsky-Korsakoffee House for dessert.  

It was the end of my two-weeks-on Xeloda cycle, and various things take over my body at such a time, including increased (but still pretty minimal) nausea, and occasional bowel disorders.  In the case of this particular weekend, I seemed to be doomed to carry around my waste with me, my guts getting heavier and heavier, my lower abs bulgier and bulgier, as time went on and more and more deliciously reminisceable foods were enjoyed (there were good reasons for frequenting the above listed eateries).  

I tried my best to take in things that would help clear the spillways—I drank a lot of water, and ate buckets of cherries, sipped lots of milky coffee, and worried that the rice with the jambalaya wasn’t, in fact, such a good choice (rice can be very damming).  I kept having false alarms, but as they were happening later and later in the day (and once in the middle of the night) I didn’t really hold out much hope.  I am on a morning schedule, when the trains are running.  

As it turned out, I awoke raring to go at 10:30am yesterday morning, and gleefully left the bathroom after my morning ablutions 2 ½ pounds lighter.  A couple more well-timed deposits left me on top of the world, as it were, by bedtime last night.  

This morning, unfortunately, the evidently over-generous buckets of cherries and milky coffee caught up with me (ameliorated not at all by Sunday evening’s spicy rice), and I’ll be sticking close to home slightly longer than previously expected before beginning the 6-hour drive back to Idaho and my Wilderness Bliss.  

There are certainly complicated ins and outs to this health-wellness-life-management job I have.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Delayed Gratification

The last several days I have been feeling like I would very much benefit from joining CJ in prison, just so I, too, could get a rest.  I, of course, don’t have time this morning to go into any great detail about what’s been happening around here in the last ten days, but I’ll give a brief rundown. 
  • ·        MS is recovering nicely and, while she’s accompanying me to Idaho again on the 5th, she won’t be riding at all until later in July back in Woodinville.  She will be in Idaho merely to hike and sunbathe and relax with dogs.
  • ·        My own riding lessons have been advancing at a new pace—or maybe, I leapt up (ha ha) to a new level recently and now I am continuing to advance at my slow pace but over the higher jumps and with more of them in a row.  Very exciting!
  • ·        Starting tomorrow I will be essentially away from Seattle for the month, except for three days near the end of July where I will have 1. an MRI and follow-up visit and then my legs sugared (starting at 6:30am, this day will be); 2. a visit to Dr Specht and a blood draw and Herceptin, so, several hours at the SCCA, followed by a massage; and 3. an eye doctor appointment where probably I will get only my right eye dilated—to see how it’s recovering from the needle—then I will be driving out to Maple Valley to drop dogs and pick up our boat trailer, because on day 4 we will be up early-early to haul out the boat and drive up to Orcas Island to begin our week-long San Juans vacation.
  • ·        Yesterday was my first post-bed/chair-issue-resolving infusion and I arrived just before 7:30 and without having to say anything they gave me a lovely bed in the new wing with a memory foam mattress AND a door that closed all the way.  Bliss.  Of course, my next one will be mid-morning after the doctor visit, so, fingers crossed, but I don’t hold out too much hope.  Still, most of them should follow the new plan.
  • ·        We helped a friend move and had a small gathering to warm our new deck, and, perhaps most significantly,
  • ·        We decided to delay building on Orcas for about five years.
There are several reasons why we made this decision, although it seemed to take me only about 3 hours and one dog walk to do all the mulling. In part, I recently received back a huge loan that I had made, and our money managers recommended that, if we wanted to use it in the next year or two, we manage it ourselves in a money market account (i.e. stash it in a couple banks) so that its value wouldn’t decrease.  We thought it was generous of them to suggest taking funds away from them, but nevertheless, I don’t want to be in charge of it myself, even in something so mundane as a short-term CD.  
Also, we had meetings set up to get the final plans from the architect, then talk to Big Todd to figure out how we could cut costs . . . and we don’t want to cut costs.  We don’t, for example, want vinyl windows or composite roof shingles or all oak floors.  But as it was looking, if we didn’t cut costs, we would have no income left from my investments . . . because I would have no investments left.  So . . . no more travel.  No more leg-hair-pulling.  No more expensive organic food, unless I grew it myself which, to be honest, I’m not that interested in doing.  And perhaps the biggest yet—I would be tied to my own farm, and therefore not able to take care of K&A’s farm, and most specifically, Shadow, my favorite horse. 
Shadow is already 26 years old, which is ripe old dame-hood in the horse world, and it’s unlikely she’ll have more than 5 rideable years left.  And K&A themselves are entering their 70s and may not have more than 5 years left of needing the kind of house/horse-sitting I can offer.  And I want to go to Bhutan and Antarctica.  
So, with five years to work with, the money managers will reinvest my chunk of change, our Wallingford house will presumably continue to appreciate in value (or RE-appreciate), my golden years of sawing and riding my way through the Clearwater National Forest will likely run out, I will add a couple more interesting stamps to my passport, Ian will continue to build contacts and skills with his fish math, and maybe the Feds will even agree on a Universal Health Plan.  
We’ll continue to work on comfortizing the dacha (better place to camp than a tent, I say!) and taking good care of the Wallingford house; and the next several years will continue on more or less as the last few have.