Monday, December 29, 2008

How to get back to Eugene in 30 hours

Take my last entry... replace the long delay due to fuel line on plane with lacking crew but having plane, make the location Atlanta. Then take the overnight in Cincinnati and replace it with Salt Lake City and you have a rough story line of our trip back.

But... we are home.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How to get to South Carolina in 30 hours

So we are in South Carolina, but it definitely was not the smooth trip that I wanted! Prayers worked for clear weather in Eugene. It warmed late Wednesday, then rained all night, not dropping below 35 degrees. We arrived at the airport at 4 am, got through security no problem, then boarded our plane on time, and left Eugene at 6:05 A.M.. On to Salt Lake City we headed, grateful for our good fortune with the weather. We arrived at Salt Lake City, where our smooth trip went down the drain. Our connecting flight to Cincinnati was delayed about an hour because they needed to fly a part in from Atlanta. We settled in the chairs at the airport, knowing that with the delay we'd miss our connection. The airline had already rerouted us to go to Cincinnati, then Atlanta, then finally Charlotte, and also put us on standby for the final direct flight from Cincinnati to Charlotte. We knew it would be a much longer day, but had faith we would make it.
Well... then we watched as our flight delayed further. Then the part from Atlanta did not work. They then decided to replace the entire fuel line of the plane. An hour longer of repair turned into a half hour longer, than a half hour more. Finally 5 hours after our flight was scheduled to depart, they decided that the plane in fact could not be repaired in a timely matter... and they got us another plane. At this point, everyone on our flight was unable to get their connections in Cincinnati. We landed in Cincinnati at nearly 10 PM... where we were sent downstairs to collect our accommodations in local hotels, paid for by the airline since it was their fault that we found ourselves in Northern Kentucky. Yes, you read that right... the Cincinnati airport is in Kentucky. We "lucked" out with our accommodations and ended up at the Hyatt. Some of our fellow "distressed passengers" were sent to budget inns! We also were unable to lay hands our our checked bags... so all we had was our laptops, my medical stuff... and well, that's about all! Matt didn't even have his coat, figuring the bulk of our time outside was spent in Eugene, so he checked it! 32 degrees and waiting for a hotel shuttle was not fun for him! The airline provided us with a small bag with a toothbrush, hairbrush, a packet of toothpaste, q-tips, cotton balls, a t-shirt, and most baffling of all, a packet of laundry detergent. I suppose they expected passengers to find a washing machine and wash the clothes on their back while wearing only a t-shirt? The visual image of that had me giggling pretty good.
After a short rest at the hotel... where my body decided I was napping and not sleeping, so I didn't sleep much at all, we found ourselves at the airport at 615 am, ready for our 8 something departure to Charlotte. At this point I wasn't sure what time it was, let alone what time zone I was in. It's a good thing we got out of Eugene, as the weather turned nasty again after we left, dumping more snow on the city that sees it maybe once to twice a year, and almost never before Christmas.
Our plane in Cincinnati boarded a few minutes late, but we thought we were finally on our way... only to get stuck on the tarmac waiting for a place in line to take off... then Charlotte grounded all incoming flights for fog... finally after sitting on the ground for about 30 minutes, we took to the air... and finally arrived in the Carolina's... only a day late!

But we are here, and happy!

Monday, December 15, 2008


It snowed last night and today! I love the snow, but hope it doesn't interfere with our travel on Thursday. Right now they are calling for more snow and freezing rain on Wednesday night and Thursday, so things don't look so good! But I'll enjoy it while it's just pretty and not messing up my plans!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I know I have not posted about my health in awhile, so I'll be doing that, after I make a few random musings!

First, as to my last entry, Carleton University did reinstate the CF Fundraiser. This, however, was not the biggest issue in my mind. It was the terrible spirit in which it was removed, the lack of research that went into it, and the lack of foresight by the students of the board to not realize how badly the motion would reflect upon them. The writer of the petition has since resigned, but it took nearly a week before any real apology was issued by any of the principle people involved. That to me is disgusting. But I digress...

On the non-health front, life it pretty darn good. My roommate Richard moved out, leaving just Matt my husband, myself, and our roommate Tyrone. A change, both good and bad. Thanksgiving was at my house, celebrated by Matt, Tyrone, my parents, my Grandma Vickie, and my Great Aunt Flora and her daughter Susan. Food came out very well, and then I spent 14 hours sleeping off my hard labor :) This Christmas will find Matt and I, along with my parents and sister in South Carolina at Matt's family. It will be the first time that they've really met, as only Matt's mother and aunt were able to make it to our Reno wedding. I am so excited for this trip, as the days tick ever closer. I love Matt's family so much and I'm so happy to see them and have one big meeting of people that I hold near and dear to my heart.

On the health front...

The last several weeks have been tough. I've not been well, but I've not been sick. It started with a severe cold a few weeks ago, that settled in my chest. I was never sick enough to say "I'm sick and I need antibiotics", but I was also never well enough to really feel good. With our upcoming trip, I decided that if I was not in top form, I'd get really sick, so I went on oral antibiotics and prednisone last week. I feel a lot better... better than I've felt in a few weeks :) Pray that my body can handle the long trip and the stress that undoubtedly comes from being away from the home environment.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Major CF Misinformation

Hey all,

I came across This Article from Carleton University in Canada. Apparently, they dropped fundraising for CF because, "It primarily affects men and exclusively white people". The inaccuracies of this statement are so amazing, that I am flabbergasted it would come from anyone, let alone those going to University. I wrote a letter to the student newspaper, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Below is a copy of my letter.

To The Student Board of Carleton University,

I am writing about your recent decision to drop fundraising efforts for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The facts used to make this decision are so off base, the action taken is deplorable. The presentation summary alone was full of misinformation and a such a lack of factual basis, it is shocking to me that it comes from a University organization. "And Whereas Cystic fibrosis has been recently revealed to only affect white people, and primarily men." Cystic Fibrosis is an inherited condition that affects men and women equally. The cystic fibrosis gene is carried on the 7th chromosome. It takes two bad copies of the gene to cause CF. Anyone with a basic understanding of biology would know that this has nothing to do with sex. How the writer of this proposition got this idea is beyond me.

It is true that CF primarily affects those of Western European descent, but this is not always the case. I could point you at the Stenzel Twins, who are 50% Japanese. I could point you at Milan, an African American girl living with CF. You could even visit the American branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and find the entire site translated into Spanish to address the ever growing population of Hispanics with Cystic Fibrosis. Straight from the website for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation it states, "The disease is most common in Caucasians, but it can affect all races.". To further provide researched statistical data, I have provided a breakdown of races and their chances of having the CF gene.
Chances of Being a Carrier
European Caucasian, Ashkenazi Jewish 1 in 29
Hispanic American 1 in 46
African American 1 in 65
Asian American 1 in 90

Changing a fundraiser to a different charity is something that unfortunately happens from time to time. However, doing so based on information that is so far from factual is absurd. It would almost be funny if it were not so hurtful to so many, from those that have Cystic Fibrosis, to those that care about someone to CF, to people who value making decisions based on fact.

You may be curious as to why a person from Oregon, who has never heard of Carleton University is writing. You may have guessed that I have Cystic Fibrosis, and you would be right. This letter is not out of anger that you decided to drop funding for life lengthening and someday life saving research, but the lack of facts used to make this decision. Being University students, you would think that you would value finding correct information. If any of you were to write a paper using the facts presented about CF, you would be failed in a heartbeat. Voting with such fanciful information is completely deplorable, and if I were at your university, I'd be asking for the removal of board members who believed it was okay to vote without any factual basis.

Lastly, CF research does not just impact CF patients alone. Because we are such a large group for a genetic illness, cutting edge genetic research is often started in the CF population. Research that could one day also cure Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, and a number of other devastating genetic illnesses. The world is a community. Saying that one group is unimportant because they are not large, is a very shortsighted and dangerous point of view.

Talana Fairfax
Eugene, OR

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Am I American Now..........

I've stayed away from politics here. I prefer to have a lot of give and take when I talk politics, and it couldn't possibly be good for me to just go off on my own. If you feel you need to leave my blog because of this... than that is your choice, although I question the wisdom of only reading material that agrees. I spend hours each week reading material that agrees with my views, and does not. Small shifts happen in my viewpoints because of this, and I am able to feel stronger in my convictions. This most likely will be the only time I touch on this subject.

That said, I'm ecstatic. In President-elect Obama I see a quality that I've not seen in politics that has overlapped with my life... but I see the potential in him that I see when I look at FDR, Lincoln, or JFK.

That said... I'm disgusted by things that people are saying about our President-Elect now that it is over. First off, many off them are filled with a vitriolic tone that should never come out of the mouth of someone that claims they are Christian... sadly most do. A Christian should accept what has happened, because as they always say "all in God's plan". What if this is God's plan... no one is able to say. It is this hatred, the spewing of biblical passages to slander, that helps turn people away from faith. I believe in God. But when I hear the bible used to hate, to slam, to judge anyone that disagrees with a select group of "Christians"... I wonder how many people they turned away, if I am disgusted. I pray for these people, that use their faith to wage harsh judgments. Who walk around with a sense of superiority. Jesus preached to the least among us. He did not judge... and as a Christian I am led to not judge others. So instead, I quietly pray for these people. That they will look at themselves and see if they are helping people find light, or find another reason to turn away.

There has been another question ringing in my ears since Tuesday night. The last 8 years have been filled with the slander "unpatriotic" the second anyone dared to question a Bush policy. "Your either with me or against me". If I was not happy about something happening in this country, my love of it was automatically questioned. Strange, when the foundations of this country were built by those seeking asylum from countries that ruled with such policies. However, many that threw these labels, are now the ones saying they will never be able to work with Obama. That no matter what, they will not be happy. I've read probably 100 blogs, ranging the spectrum from left to right, red to blue, in the last few days... and I never saw the question of patriotism of those that "refuse to work with Obama" questioned (I'm sure they exist, but out of my sample, I was unable to find one). The Mary Sunshine in me would love to believe that as a country we have moved past using such a misleading term, but I know that probably is not true. Because those that fervently pointed their fingers with their lips wrapped around the word "unpatriotic" are now wrapping their mouths around words of hate and discord. But, I would never call them unpatriotic. Just as it was my right, dare say, my responsibility to evaluate and question my leaders of the last 8 years, it is now their turn. But I hope that they are able to set aside their preconceived notions, and evaluate Obama by his on the job performance and not from their fear. I speak from a land of experience here. I was terrified when Bush was elected... but the most dire, most frightening predictions, never came true. Remember that when you read predictions. Did I agree with very little that the administration did in the last 8 years... yes. But I also tried to judge each step along the way. As the 8 years progressed, I did not lose a love for America, but I did not like our direction. It is possible to have both.

And a quick note to what I read in several blogs today. That they would not vote for a candidate who was not anti-abortion, and that is why they would never vote for Obama. That is fine, as that is their choice, but McCain also does not support the abolition of abortion. Yet, I only saw Obama's name mentioned. I wonder if they did enough research to know, or played ignorance. If you are going to be "pro-life" then by logical reasoning, you should support all diplomatic options before engaging in war that is very anti-life. You should support the health of your fellow citizen, as so many die in this country because of everything from lack of access to health care, improper diet, often spurred on by economic conditions, to countless others that choose between heat, food, or medicine. I don't know if full government funded health care is the answer, but we obviously have one that does not work. We are only as strong as our weakest links... and when a person can be denied insurance for a pre-existing condition, a disabled person has to wait 2 years before they get any insurance help from the federal government, and children who go years without seeing a doctor because a family cannot afford it with or without insurance... we have a lot of weak links.

And to those who wonder how people who voted for Obama could be so blind... I wondered the same about Bush. I gave him a chance, now it is your turn to do the same. It's all I ask of you... but if you don't... you are no less American.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Yucks

So I definitely think that I had a stone. I'm feeling a lot better now, and all is back to normal in my back. However, right when the back pain started to die down, I have found myself battling a nasty sinus cold that has crept into my chest. Clinic is a week away, and I'm honestly scared to go. My breathing is shallow and painful... and I really do not want to do a lung function test (PFT). I may be back in a week, but I don't bounce back very easily or quickly anymore...

We'll see....

Monday, October 20, 2008

No Fun...

I have not updated in awhile. I am working at getting better about it... after all I have 16 people subscribed to my updates through google reader which shocked and amazed me!

I need you prayers tonight. I am having a lot of pain that feels very much like a kidney stone. I went to the after hours clinic tonight, and despite one test showing blood in my urine, a second test on the same pee did not show it, so the doctor decided I was fine. Really, it was a terrible experience, and I'll probably go to my real general doctor tomorrow. I hurt so bad, and it sucks that I was completely dismissed... like he didn't even bother to care that I have a history of stones, CF, and can barely walk or think straight from the pain.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Not good...

So my culture that was "clear" for MRSA finally grew it. To say I'm upset would be an understatement. I just want to go and hide in bed and just forget about the world. 2 more weeks of home IV's now. I was really excited about getting off on Monday... now no more. I was excited that maybe all my prayers to kick MRSA had been answered... and now I just don't even know. I still have faith, but I also don't even know if I should bother to hope that this inscesant bug can go away. I'm just so over it...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Million Prayers Answered

So Friday morning, I was going about my buisness, feeling better, wondering if I would be able to get out on Monday. As early mornings are known for in the hospital, people were bustling in and out of my room... why hospitals think simulating Grand Central Station at 7 am is good for anyone's health is beyond me. Anyway, my nurse casually mentions that they are discontinuing my Vancomycin, one of the most powerful IV antibiotics, and one of the very few that have any efficacy against MRSA. MRSA... the big bad boogeyman bug that had the media all in a tissy in the last year has colonized in my lungs for the last few years. While it did not cause a great change in my health, it was a complication that was unwanted all the same. Once MRSA colonizes, it is very difficult to get rid of. So when it was mentioned they were pulling my vanco, my mind started reeling... could it be possible? Could MRSA not have shown up in my cultures? I eagerly awaited the med team arrival that morning. Sure enough, my cultures came back, MRSA free... and I gave an amazing sputum sample. While I am not saying that it is gone until I have a few more cultures under my belt... I feel like great prayers have been answered. I never prayed for my CF to be gone, as I would never feel okay if I was the only one cured, taking this one small burden from me was something that I hoped for in my darkest times.

With the news of my MRSA being gone, and my general energy level increasing by the hour, my cough no longer roaring, and mucus no longer coming up with every hack of my warn lungs, they released me today to continue my IV's at home. My shortest stay ever... one where I did not have the constant worry of my weight, where I did not struggle to heal. I know not every visit will be like this, but a bright spot is something to illuminate so many other times.

Tonight, when I got home, I immediatly looked to connect with my husband, roomies, and kitties. I was told that my Hazard had not been seen since Friday morning, not unheard of him to be gone so long, but not normal either. I called him a few times, then decided to wait until night when he normally comes home. On our way out to dinner, only a quarter mile from the house, I saw a sickening site. The body of a pure black cat was laying on the side of the road. My heart rate quickened, but I did not feel an instant pit in my stomach... hope despite the evidence. Matt and I pulled over to take a closer look. The cat was in bad condition, you could tell they were gone instantly. I looked for Hazard's distinctive qualities... and found some on this cat. Long black hair and no color patches... but I also did not see his long hair sticking out between the pads of the paws and the ears did not seem to be the same as my baby's. Matt and I could not definitively tell if it was Hazard, but I let the cat know whomever he was he was a good kitty. I was sad, but okay if it was my Hazard. I knew that my boy could still be alive, but wouldn't believe it until I saw him. After dinner we came home, and I called him again... no answer. Thirty minutes later, Tyrone opened the door to talk to his cat, and my big black fuzzy boy came bounding into the house. He meowed when he saw me and immediately nuzzled his mom, who'd he missed for the last few days. I hugged him tight, and he couldn't understand why we were all fussing over him, but tonight I am so happy to have my boy back.

So tonight... my prayers are full of thanks... and I thank all of you for the ones you have sent my ways!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tune Up Time

Hey all!

So I'm writing this from the lovely confines of OHSU hospital... as is normal with CF, it was time for me to get a "tune-up". Some CFers rarely need them, while others need IV clean up several times a year. My body seems to need it about every year, and it's that time of year for me. I started feeling worse about a month ago and was put on oral antibiotics. They helped, but I declined rapidly after our return from Seattle (another forthcoming post). At my clinic appointment on Tuesday, I knew it was probably time, packed my bags, and my doctor and I decided it was time. Amazingly enough, despite how bad I feel and how bad my cough sounds compared to my normal, my lung function tests were not down. Usually an infection of this magnitude would make them terrible, and I would have a hard time gaining back what I lost. This time, by catching it before I decrease, I hope that I may even have improved function after. On another positive note, I have also gained a small amount of weight... unsual when I have been dealing with a persistant infection...

So even though I find myself in the hospital, I find myself incredibly blessed!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Update a Long Time Coming

I know I haven't posted forever. Honnestly, I don't have a good reason at all. I haven't been in a depressive hole that keeps me from updating. I've been busy, but not every single day. Life has just settled into a comfortable pattern, and for some reason writing just seems nearly impossible.

I had a good birthday... that was over a month ago. I had a good visit with the diabetes doctor where I found out that the pill that I've been on is working, so I won't have to go on insulin :D My sinuses threw me more issues, I had to go on prednisone, but I think that already they are starting to go downhill again. I also came down with a pretty intense chest cold that I got antibiotics for. They knocked down the infection, but I really don't feel like I bounced back all the way. My body feels a bit weaker... I think that I'll probably need a hospital stay after we get back from Seattle... Yup, we're headed up to Seattle on Wednesday and getting home on Sunday. I promise to try my hardest to post stellar pictures. I also became an aunt again in the time that I haven't been posting. Matt's sister had a beautiful baby boy, who I cannot wait to meet in December when we go out to South Carolina for Christmas.

I know I've been missed :) I also need to share pictues of my BEAUTIFUL new bedroom set. My garden has also started to produce a lot of good food... mmmm food. Today is a lazy day on the couch... reserving my energy to have as much as possible for Seattle.

Love to all my friends...


Monday, July 14, 2008

Quick Update

I had a great weekend, a great birthday, and a good time all around. I'll post more later, but right now I'm recovering from my very full weekend!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Birthday To ME!

Exactly 26 years ago, at the moment this blog was posted, I was born! I am 26 :) Any birthday is a huge celebration for a CFer. I also send birthday wishes to my grandma. Even though she is not doing well, and this will quite possibly be her last birthday, she's my special, birthday sharing Grandma.

Time to go play on the beach!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Reunion

Right now Matt and I are on our was to Pacific City, OR to my yearly Lyda family reunion. A yearly tradition that I've grown up with, always the second weekend of July, and except for a brief break, it's almost always at the coast. This is the spot that 3 years ago Matt proposed to me. Below are a few pictures of what I'll be seeing this weekend.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I love summer in Oregon. Sure, we're known for our rain. The dreary days stretch out endlessly, but that is only in the winter. When summer comes around, the clouds run away, the sky turns blue, and the days warm. Sunny day after sunny day stretch out, lasting the entirety of July and August. Over two full months with only a trace of rain here and there. And while it may get warm, it hardly ever gets hot like so many other places in the country. Triple digits are rare, maybe a few times a year, and the humidity almost always stays blissfully low. A "muggy" day here would be laughable by the standards set by the rest of the country.
I never realized my favorite part about summer here though until I spent summer days in Maine, South Carolina, and Florida... my favorite part, is that every night brings relief from the warmth of the day. The crystal clear skies bring in cool air. Houses are thrown open, welcoming the coolness. It's almost average to have a low in the 50's, even in the heat of August. Air conditioners are rare in homes here, because of our cool nights. If you open up the house at night, and close it up in the morning, it will stay livable most days.
The landscape also stays fairly green, even though it doesn't really rain. Our months of rain before it creates a high water table, that is fed all summer by the melting snow from the mountains.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What do you think?

So what do ya'll think about daily 3PM posts that I have been doing the last several days? Do you mind that some posts may have been written a few days before?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I know I have not introduced many aspects of my daily life... so here is the first..

This is my baby boy Hazard.

Right before Matt and I were married, we decided that we wanted a kitty for me. He already had Lil' One, who was devoted to him for life, and while she accepted my existence, she definitely was not a kitty I could call my own.

After much difficulty with the Willamette Humane Society in Salem, we decided to go to the Oregon Humane Society up in Portland, to see what they had. We already decided we probably wanted a kitten. While we are fine adopting older kitties, we wanted someone small to make the adjustment on Lil' One better. We showed up to the very busy Humane Society, as there was a mass adoption of Labradoodles going on. All of their kittens were spoken for, except for one black baby. We asked to visit with him and were escorted to a private viewing room. Soon they brought the kitten to the room, placed him down, and left, giving us a chance to interact with him. However, the little fur ball was not interested in us at all. He was not scared of us, but would not even feign interest in the toys that we dangled, did not want to be petted. No, instead this kitty needed to check out the room. He sniffed every surface, wiggled into all the corners, and got the lay of the room. As soon as he did, he switched into an entirely different kitty. He became playful, loving, and like any other friendly kitten. This personality quirk of fully exploring his surroundings when changed became the first of his many endearing traits.

That very first night, he taught us his name. We were driving him own, on a rain drenched, wind swept, dark night that signals the start of the stormy season in Oregon every late fall. The freeway was covered in water, visibility was bad, and the wind shifted the car like it was a small child's sailboat. Hazard was restless in the car, again showing his need to explore every surface inch of his new surroundings. He climbed out of my reach in the passenger seat, up Matt, the driver's shoulder, and out on his head. Two paws onto Matt's hat bill, chaos broke lose. Suddenly, in slow motion, I watched as the hat fell to cover Matt's face, his glasses tumble into his lap, quickly followed by a black furry streak. I grabbed the wheel with one hand, picked up the cat, popped the hat off of Matt's face, then handed him his glasses with a flair and coordination that I can only exhibit in situations where my livelihood is on the line.

After we were safely piloted by a driver who not only no longer had a hat across his face, but could also see with the aid of his glasses, I turned my attention to the small black cat. Exactly what type of cat would try to kill the people who just saved him? He didn't even let us get home before he tried to kill us! You would think that cats would know that part of being adopted was not to kill the adoptive parents... shouldn't they have a class or something? I held his face firmly in my hands and looked deep into his eyes.....

"Hey little guy, you can't be a road hazard".

As soon as the word hazard left my lips, the cat lunged forward towards my face, head butting me with a force of a big bear hug. I pulled him back and looked at him again...


He responded with another emphatic head butt, and another, and another. We had found his name... and another of his endearing qualities. The number of times that head has butted against mine are numerous. Soon we found that he communicated by varying his meows, able to express exactly what he thought about any situation. Him running in one morning, meowing a blue streak, telling me that Matt dared to feed them pate food was probably one of the funniest moments of my life.

My sweet, fuzzy, wild Hazard. There is no question in my mind how much he loves me... even if he did try to kill me!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Maybe They'll Still Know

First, I've added a couple more links on the right sidebar. Please visit them and show the great support to other blogs like you show me!

I've lately noticed a little habit of mine that I'm not sure how it started, and while it may have the greatest of intentions, probably looks a little funny.

There is a an interesection of two highways in town where it can be very difficult to get on the westbound highway, especially at rush hour. It's a difficult place to get on at, merging into traffic, hoping someone will let me in. You have to usually hope that people will give you a gap, and slip your car into it. Being a friendly person, I always wave once I've merged in, in a sign of my apprecation. That's normal, friendly thing to do. However, I've noticed that whenever I'm in my car alone, I mouth thank you while I wave. No one hears me, but I swear, they won't be happy with me if I don't say thank you! Yes I know the can't see my mouth, but I feel really guilty if I don't mouth it!

Maybe the universe tells them for me!

This quirk brought to you by the fabulously quirky me!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Across the Country 2007 - Part 2

After starting our drive in Eugene on Sunday, July 8th (actually you could say we started at the Pacific Ocean the day before), we reached my sister's place in Kentucky on Tuesday morning. Not bad time at all! Heidi, my sister, lives in Kentucky, where she attends Asbury Seminary where she is working for a degree in mission work. Matt and I spent most of the day sleeping in a real bed. After we felt more rested, we went out to dinner, then to the Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets Premiere. Matt and I slept again, ready to leave on Wednesday, make the final push to South Carolina, and get there before day's end, so we wouldn't spend Thursday the 12th, my birthday on the road. Here are some shots from this leg of our trip.
Matt and Heidi, hanging out.

Me, getting caught up with the world.

Did somebody say chicken?

Navigator's tools.

Hey, that's the state we were looking for!

A rainbow, right as we arrive at our destination.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Simple Things

I'm snacking on a whole pile of fresh pea pods from my garden. They are so tasty :) So far we've been able to harvest peas, strawberries, chives, radishes, lettuce, spinach, and one deliciously sweet onion. I love being able to go out and just much and graze :) Today I noticed my blueberries, slowly growing plumper by the day, and my first tomato, starting to turn color. I don't like raw tomato that much, but I love to cook with them :) Still growing and maturing in my garden I have rhubarb, peppers, squash, zucchini, celery, eggplant, pole beans, bush beans, artichoke, cauliflower, carrots, and kohlrabi. Points if you know what kolhrabi is! I leave you with a picture progression of my garden, from a few months ago to pictures from this morning.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth!

Note - Pepe has pulled through her transplant, but had to go back to the OR after a few hours to stop bleeding. This is not unexpected with the severity of her disease, but it was concerning none the less. She has made it through the second operation and is recovering... my thoughts are with her, her family and friends, as well as the donor family.

Happy Fourth all :)

Enjoy the fireworks... especially if you are in South Carolina which has fireworks that are so illegal here! Here, nothing can fly off the ground, the fountains are super limited in height... but oh the fireworks my brother-in-law, Josh, sells in South Carolina!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Across the Country 2007

(Please read my last entry about Pepe!)

In the Summer of 2007, one of my "always wanted to do" came true, and Matt and I drove across the country. I've always wanted to be able to go across the county, in a car, with the miles of road stretching in front and behind of me like a ribbon. Below is a small portion of our trip, with more portions hopefully coming.

A fully loaded back seat, all the essentials for a 3 week trip :)

Our first mountain pass, over the Cascades. I took the slightly longer route, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway as Matt had never been over it before. Winding between mountain lakes, bending around mountains, then falling into the city of Bend, it is a great drive on a sunny summer day. In Bend we had lunch with my Uncle Bob, Aunt Momi, Cousin Gerad, and Momi's mother Fumiko. It was great to touch base with them before heading out on adventures untold. The day before, we had seen my father's side of the family at the coast at family reunion, so seeing a bit of my mother's family as well was a great way to head off.

A stop for those little things you don't really think much about before heading out at Target in Nampa, ID, where the history of my family in the area is deep, with most of my father's side of the family working the land there in generations previous. I think we ended up buying batteries, extra sunscreen, a new CD player (as mine was terrible) and even a gift for Matt's brother while we were there.

We got back on the road, the sun setting at our backs, as we continued our journey eastward. Around 10pm that night, I was done driving, as I had been at the wheel since we left Eugene, and we were now approaching the Idaho/Utah border. Matt and I switched places, and I climbed into the passenger seat, curling up under my favorite blanket, and catching a night of sleep. We were in a hurry, as we needed to be in South Carolina by Friday, as Matt's cousin was getting married that Saturday. We made the decision to only stop for food and walking around on the way out to Kentucky, where we would spend the night at my sister's place. I took the day side driving, Matt tackled the nighttime. Sunday turned into Monday as we crossed the Rocky Mountains. At the Wyoming/Nebraska border, after we ate breakfast, it was time to trade off again. I drove across Nebraska, stopping at Cabela's to pick up my my father a few items from one of his favorite vendors.

Granted I didn't expect to see an elephant inside!

I like how they appreciate the fact that, well, places are a little spread out in Nebraska...

And signs directing us to well, ourselves, Fairfax, and in case we wanted Oregon, Missouri... there we go!

More to share later!