Sunday, November 30, 2008

Trimet video

Very good video on how to ride your bike around buses and trains in Portland. 

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Leading a group ride

2008_0927 RCB ride leader-4Today was a beautiful (although chilly) day to lead a ride from River City. My first ever official lead. Kronda assisted in co-leading. There were five women who showed up to ride: Emily, Emily, Cherene (new to Portland), Laura (a new rider), and Therese. We took a NoPo loop, heading up the Esplanade, to Williams, Ainsworth to Interstate, through the Expo Center, west on Marine Drive to Kelly Point Park, through the industrial area, back down Willamette Blvd to Interstate and back to the Esplanade. Total miles--approximately 28.

All went well with some help from Kronda to Laura about a few riding techniques and lowering her seat height. Then, just after the industrial area in NoPo after Kelly Point Park, there were some RR tracks around a corner and Cherene took a dive on them head first and Emily and Therese also took a spill as a result of Cherene crashing. Cherene remarked that she was bleeding badly, so I yelled for someone to call 911 and for someone else to watch for traffic, even though it was a low traffic road, we were still in the middle of it. Soon after, we were able to sit her up and see that the bleeding did not appear to be too bad. She did a face plant so her lip was bleeding and she felt that her front tooth was damaged. She decided she did not want an ambulance, so we told 911 not to send anyone after all. We moved her off the road and Therese conveniently lived very nearby in St Johns and offered to ride to get her car and come back to pick up Cherene and take her home. So Kronda and Therese picked up the car, some ice, and other essentials. When Therese came back with the car, she shared some awesome apples and some sour gummy pumpkin candies with the group. One of the Emilys also worked for Kaiser dental and had a great connection to call and get Cherene (who just moved here from Canada to be a student and did not have health insurance yet) some phone numbers of dental clinics that provide low cost care to the uninsured. It sure was a team/group effort. Everyone really did provide support of some type. It was great to see a bunch of strangers jumping right in to help each other out.

So after Therese and Cherene were on their way, the rest of us headed back toward River City, as originally planned. One Emily cut out in NoPo where she lived and did not head back with us to RC. At the Rose Quarter, I noticed I had a flat. Since we were already running late and there were only two more girls to lead back, I told Kronda to head back to River City with them. Boy, was I glad I had an awesome co-leader! So on the side of the road, I fixed my flat. One biker who rode by even asked me if I was ok. Just as I finished fixing my flat, Kronda was back at the Rose Quarter so we could ride home together.

Monday, September 8, 2008


I know it has been a really long time since I have posted anything.  And still, there won't be much I will be writing for today.  However, I must link to K's blog because she posted a video and short story about my bike commute the other day.  I actually bikepooled.  Yes, I said bikepooled, not CARpooled.  I picked up one of my coworkers on K's new Surly Big Dummy bike and biked her in to work.  It was tons of fun.  You should watch the video. 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Let me roll...

J's first rideLast weekend I did a couple of cool things, but the most notable was my first ever bike ride since breaking my wrist.  It was the first gorgeous spring weekend, starting with Friday.  I told K I was going to ride around the block per my physical therapist's suggestion.  Since the weather was so nice, of course I wanted to go farther.  We were going to head to Little Red Bike for our first spring ice cream, but we called and they were closing the bike-through window in a few minutes.  :(  They are now closing their shop at 2pm instead of the usual 3pm.  So instead, we just headed out through the neighborhoods north of our house.  It was a good route since getting on and off my bike and breaking proved to be the most difficult tasks.  I held myself up mostly with my left arm, but getting on and off a bike really requires the rider to put equal pressure on both the right and left arms.  Huh.  Well, I still managed to ride 3 whole miles! 


On Sunday, we decided to go to Little Red Bike, again, this time for breakfast.  So we headed over there on our bikes to find out they were closed due to refrigeration issues.  Boy were we bummed and starving.  Now I had to make a decision about where else to go and could I make it there on my bike our would we have to go home to get the car.  Well, there was a place, John Street Cafe, in St John's that I had been wanting to try, and the bike route there was mostly non-stop (not too many stop signs/lights).  So I decided I could probably make it there and back since we would be resting in between by eating breakfast.  I managed pretty well both there and back.  Breakfast at the new place was decent, but nothing to brag about.


I then spent the afternoon in the yard--weeding and planting.  I got some more raspberry plants from my friends T&L and some new ground cover.  Along our sunny new fence, I planted the raspberries.  And in the back, shady part of our yard, I have a plan in my head for how I would like to landscape that area.  I need to consult a few people and get ideas on what plants would work back there.  I also repotted my tomato seedlings into their own pots so their can grow their root systems properly.  This gardening thing is entirely new to me. 


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


Going back to Saturday...since it was such a beautiful day, the best we have had yet this year, I wanted to get outside.  The weather was predicted to be sunny and temps in the high 70's.  K had gotten up early to lead the Sorella Forte ride from River City Bikes.  I sure wish I could have gone, but since I cannot ride that far, I planned a hike with T&L.  I decided we should go to the gorge since I had been to Forest Park for the past several walks/hikes I have done.  The Triple Falls hike was gorgeous, but seeing that the weather was amazing and it was a weekend, there were TONS of people on the trails.  The people ranged from serious hiking children using their fully-loaded new backpacks to train for backpacking this summer to people in flip-flops carrying their coffee cup and cigarettes.  The hike was definitely worth dealing with the crowd.  Afterwards, I went to T&L's to pick up our very desirable raspberry suckers to plant in our yard.  I cannot wait to have those succulent right-off-the-plant raspberries in our backyard.  They are to die for.


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.


It was an awesome spring weekend.  Much unlike this weekend which consisted of cold rain, lots of hail, some sun, and not much outdoor time.  I did have a great time at the Ani DiFranco concert on Friday (read K's blog for our night's event) and at our friends L&S's for dinner on Saturday. 

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back to Work

Last week was my return to work after being off since January 15th.  That was a long "vacation".  Certainly not the way I had intended to spend my vacation time or money.  But oh well, I keep telling myself, it is not cancer.  And it certainly is not, which is a very good thing.  Just a bump in the road we call life. 


Everyone at work was very happy to see me, so that was a warm welcome.  I have done a few computer projects and am in the process of checking off all of the yearly competencies for all of the nurses.  This involves watching them do all of their IV related work and checking that they are doing things correctly per our protocols.  It is a bit of a tough job after being off of work completely for so long and also still feeling sort of new to the job.  Although, one of the nurses who has been there a while pointed out that I am probably better at knowing how things should be done since I more recently received training.  That made me feel a bit more comfortable with this role I originally thought might be better suited to someone who has been doing this job for a while. 


On the home front, K has very kindly and diligently been working on our new raised garden bed.  I found the plan on the internet, we modified it to fit our smaller space and we went and bought the lumber and materials together (K hauled it all) to build it.  K then built it (and I requested one minor change which she kindly and willingly made).  I am still unable to use heavy equipment and power tools.  We were ready to buy some healthy soil when K discovered her ex-housemate had bought too much dirt and she offered us the rest if we hauled it away.  So we used my Zipcar funds and rented a Toyota Tacoma pick-up truck for a few hours.  And again, K did all of the lifting and I provided the moral support.  She not only shoveled it into the truck, she then shoveled out into our driveway, and then again wheelbarrow by wheelbarrow to the back yard and into our newly placed garden bed.  But before being able to put it in the garden bed, she had to spend a day in the rain digging out the ground it was going to sit on since the ground was very uneven.  I assisted, with my one arm, moving the garden bed into its eventual place several times before the ground was level enough and the right shape to hold the bed.  While K worked on digging, I worked on weeding the mulched area of the yard and coming up with an eventual landscape plan.  However, I am definitely not a landscape designer, so we'll see how this goes. 


So far, we have sugar snap peas and two kinds of tomatoes for our garden bed. 


Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quickie wrist update

Tuesday, I went to see Barry, my physician's assistant who has been watching over me for the most part during my broken and now mostly healed wrist.  He has been great.  I cannot say the same for all of the staff in that office.  When I arrived, he asked me how it was going.  I said, "good and bad".  Just the day before, my physical therapist said that she cannot diagnose me per se, but I was showing signs of tendintis in my wrist where my thumb joins.  Barry indeed confirmed that, but does not want to put me in another restricting splint since I was just in a cast for about five weeks.  News to me, that tendinitis can happen as a one time event if the event is bad enough.  Well, I guess a blow that causes a broken bone would be something bad enough. 


So now it is additional and different physical therapy.  If that does not help, likely a cortisone injection (icky!).  Also, this means back to work.  Barry wanted to send me to full time light duty work, but both I and my physical therapist think that is not wise, especially with this new discovery of tendinitis.  So I will be returning to part time light duty work on Monday.  I am looking forward to getting back into a more daily routine and to see some of my work people and do something outside of the house.  I am sure K is ecstatic (even if she is only celebrating internally).  :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Baby cheek

Today I woke up to banging outside.  They are building a new house behind us in the tiniest lot ever.  Sure, we too have a "skinny" house (as we call it), but at least we have a bit of a front yard, and a small, but decent sized backyard.  This house will only have enough room in the backyard for the tiny slab of concrete that we call our patio, if they even provide the patio space.  So I am a bit short on my sleep for the day.

2008 03 17_Essex homecoming_0003_edited-1.jpg

I spent part of the afternoon helping Lisa, new mommy, sort through clothes they received for Essex, their new baby.  I was extremely happy to help and pleasantly surprised that Lisa asked for help, as she, like most Virgos do not like to ask for help.  I like being a new Auntie.  :)   Essex was being a bit fussy today, but he has much be fussy about.  Many many changes in his life--new parents, new surroundings, new time zone (three hour difference), new teeth arriving.  Lisa said from the beginning, that he is a pretty good baby, but does not like change.  I met Essex for the first time on Monday night when we had the absolute privilege to pick them all up from the airport.  He was in fairly good spirits considering it was the middle of the night for him--11pm here, 2am on the east coast.  I probably would have been more cranky than him. 

So to distract Essex, Lisa has resorted a few times to putting in the DVD of "Baby Van Gogh".  She demonstrated how when he is inconsolably fussy, that he quiets right down with his eyes glued to the TV.  It was pretty amazing, but of course she is not very keen about this.  It is one of the ways the previous caregiver entertained him.  I am sure they will be able to wean him from that once he is a bit more adjusted.

After a few minutes of quiet with the TV on, I started to play with him to distract him, then Lisa turned it off.  To keep him quiet, I suggested we go on a walk.  She thought it was a great idea since he loves the stroller and being outside.  By this time, Kronda had ridden over on her bike after finishing her JAVA final exam.  The three of us headed out for a quick stroll in the neighborhood.  Around the corner, we ran into Lisa's neighbors who have a few kids so we chatted with them.  Of course, we ran into someone Kronda knew.  Well, actually she knew both of us.  She works at REI and recognized us both because we are there so much.  It was a lovely afternoon and I cannot wait to get some more baby cheek soon. 

2008 03 19_Essex homecoming_0001.JPG

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Home Sweet Home

This adorable and apparently sweet boy will be arriving home tomorrow. I cannot WAIT to meet him, hold him, hug him, and kiss him. Our friends, Lisa and Spike, adopted this little gem, Essex. They went to DC to pick him up last weekend and hope to arrive home with him tomorrow night. K and I are going to pick them all up from the airport. We are so excited for L and S!

In other news, today K and I had the last of our Church of Waffles (CoW) for this winter. For those of you who may not be familiar, K started CoW just before I met her after she got dumped by her previous girlfriend. She needed a way to stay busy and see her friends, so she decided to start her own "church". Every Sunday she invited all of her local friends (and yes, she knows tons) to her house for a potluck where she would provide the waffles and everyone else would bring something to share. That started back in the winter of 2005. CoW is now a bit of a tradition, although due to busy schedules and the fact that K now has a girlfriend she loves spending time with :), we only host CoW once a month during the winter months. In lieu of CoW during the more temperate months, we will be hosting game night, hopefully once a month. Not sure yet when those will start, but hopefully soon. To warm up, K and I played a game of Rummikube last night. If you have not tried it, you should, it is fun.

In wrist-land, yes, I have been doing my exercises. They are getting a bit easier, but still pretty uncomfortable. But let me say that K is ecstatic that I am able to do many of the dishes and other chores now. In fact, after everyone left from CoW today (and some help from some special friends before they left), we cleaned the entire downstairs and all the dishes in less than an hour. She said, "wow, I forgot how quickly the cleaning up goes with two people!" It was really nice to be able to help and feel useful again.

Backing up a bit...Friday, we mostly had a lazy day around the house. But in the late afternoon we headed out to go to MacForce where K bought some more RAM for her Powerbook. It was getting too slow with multiple large programs open that she needs to use for her websites and various other homework. After that quick stop (they installed the RAM in less than 10 minutes!), we headed to Roots Brewery for a social. We were probably one of the only ones arriving by car. But of course, I have a good excuse, so I was not feeling too guilty. It was a pretty cold and rainy day out there, but normally, that would not stop us from riding our bikes. We then headed to Hodas for some Mediterranean food. This is where K had the unfortunate beginnings of horrible food poisoning last year. No, it was not from the food at Hodas (it was from Sushiland), this is just where she started to get sick. At that time, we were also on our bikes and pretty far from home (probably a good 8 miles). Poor K. So we tried to erase those bad memories and she said she had a good dinner. On our way home, we sinfully stopped at Burgerville to split a chocolate hazelnut shake--one of our forbidden fruits. Mmmm it was good. But dairy and I do not mix well, so I paid for it later.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mood: sad

Today was a bit of a rough day. Got a package in the mail from my grandma, sent with a letter from my aunt. It was a sweet and nice letter, but mostly talked about how my mom is missed and what we should do with her remains (ashes). It has been over 4 years since she died, but dealing with some issues doesn't seem to get much easier. The family wants to be involved in spreading my mom's remains where my mom requested, in New Mexico. Right now, I would like to just have them (when my grandma is ready to give them up) and then spread them on my own time, when I am ready. Up until about a month ago, I was not sure if I'd ever see my mom's ashes again because my sister had them and no one had heard from her in years. She is still not wanting to be in touch with anyone. Wonder what she is up to. I think about her often and do wish I could have her back in my life, but that is not up to me. My grandma has the ashes because someone in the family requested them from my sister to give to my grandma on her 90th birthday and my sister followed through. Also in this package were a few photos of my mom, including a photo of her all dressed up for work the day before she had her stroke. She does not look like someone who will not be around tomorrow, especially by natural causes (yes, accidents happen every day). I miss you, mom. K was awesome and comforted me during this sad afternoon.

Then tonight, K and I went to see a play, Rabbit Hole. It was very well done and we both enjoyed it very much. However, the play was about a family who lost their 4 year old son to an accident. It was a very real play and did a good job of portraying some of the things that might and do occur among family members during grief. It was comical at moments and tragic at others.

So most of my day revolved around grief. Except this morning I did start physical therapy today. :) The therapist is very optimistic that I will progress quickly. Mostly, I just need to get moving my wrist and hand, get past some pain, and then strengthen it. The Dr and physical therapist both think I should be able to be back on my bike in about a month. So that is my goal.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

See my wrist!

 We woke up late again. I had time just to make (yes I made real breakfast today for the first time) and eat "breakfast" at around 12:30pm and get ready to see my doctor (well, physician's assistant), Barry for a 2:30pm appointment. The waiting room was pretty full and the wait was, well, a wait, including a smelly guy who came and sat next to K. We felt like we were on the local bus. Once I got in and got my wrist x-rayed, Barry said my bone is healing well, but I need to start some physical therapy. I felt good about it, but nervous at the same time. The pain has mostly subsided with rest, but it definitely hurts with movement. I got the ok to start doing chores (yippie!) around the house. I know K was happy to hear that. He gave me the authority to make my own judgments as to what I should and should not do--lifting, pulling, pushing, etc. Up until now, I had been wearing my brace 24/7 except showers and minimal movement of the wrist a couple of times a day. Now I need to wear the brace less and less while doing more and more. Still no work yet, as he does not want me to increase my activities with my wrist all at once.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Our SHORT walk

Since it was such a nice day today, mostly sunny and mid to upper 50's, yet felt more like 60s, we decided to go for a walk. We left the house by late afternoon (with the time change) to go on our SHORT walk. We ended up at our friend's house, R. Hung out with her and her girlfriend Jen. We had already made plans to meet up with our other friend RT to hang out with her and meet her newish girlfriend, J, for the first time. So instead of walking home from R's house to get our car, R let us borrow her car to go meet up with RT&J for dinner. Then we headed back to R's to watch Jen do some of her awesome fire spinning. You can see the photos by clicking on the one posted below. After the fire spinning, we finally walked back home, returning from our SHORT walk by 10:30pm.
Fire spinning

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Big news and visit with J

 I could not sleep at all last night. But today, I woke up to find an awesome email saying my friends have been chosen as the adoptive parents of a cute little 6 month old baby boy! I was ecstatic for them! (Maybe that's why I could not sleep.) They are picking him up this weekend! Yikes, that was fast. They have been waiting for a bit less than a year to adopt and they have had a few possibilities fall through. This week they got word that they were in the running to adopt this baby, but were not holding their breath. Well, now the time has come. I cannot wait to see the baby and hopefully get some good baby cheek or tummy.

Early this afternoon, I headed out to catch the bus to my friend J's house. I unfortunately saw the bus drive by as I was trying to cross that very same street to catch it on the other side. So I got there about 30 minutes late, but we had a great visit. We chatted while her son (featured in the above photo) was napping. After he awoke, he ate lunch, played, and we went on a walk with baby and dog in tow. When we got back, she asked if I'd like to stay for dinner. Now, while I wanted to stay, I was also thinking about how many times they have already fed me (and my girlfriend) on MANY occasions. They are very generous and sweet people and I enjoy eating with them (the food is always good too). So I stayed, again, without any regrets. It was nice to catch up with A during dinner. He has decided to pursue one of his personal goals of building a bike, a recumbent. Wow! Ambitious. He hopes to use it as his commuter bike. I am excited to see it when it is complete.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cycle Seen 2008 submission

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

I decided to submit these photos for submission to the first ever Cycle Seen this year. There are many submissions already, 400+ photos. I have no idea how many they are choosing, or what they are looking for. It was fun finding some of my best biking photos and will be interesting to see what types of photos they will choose.

First photos from Canon, hot off the press


Enjoy! I just received my new Canon Elph SD870IS. I have been playing around with it and now I am posting my first photos here. So far I am extremely pleased with the quality of the photos and, for the most part, the automatic settings of the camera. I do wish it had a few more manual settings and fun things to do, but all in all, it seems to have some great features.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Lindsay Mac

For those of you who have not yet heard me rant and rave about Lindsay, listen up. She straps her cello to her body and plucks it like a guitar. How sexy. I love her music! You can check her out at her website, or her MySpace. You can listen to her music and even download a few of her songs on those websites. On YouTube, you can even see her play live which is incredible to watch and makes listening to the music even better. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

First post

I know I am being original here. A lot of people blog, and I never thought I would, but here I am. Maybe someone will want to read it. I hope to be posting more photos here or at least links to photos I have taken. My first and trusty digital camera, the Casio QV-R40 has decided it does not want to work with a memory card inserted. That thing took pretty good photos. Now I am on a quest for a new small point and shoot. I think I am going to get the new (yet to be released) Canon SD1100 IS, probably in blue, maybe the brown. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed. I really enjoy taking photos. I have not been the best at cataloging them or posting them for others to see. So I thought maybe along with blogging, it might help me get that more organized.

Right now, I also have extra time on my hands since I am not working due to a broken wrist. I broke my wrist on January 17th, 2008, snowboarding at Mt Hood Meadows for our two year anniversary. I have not been able to do much since then and my truly amazing partner, K, has been awesome in helping me do the things I cannot do. Typing has been very difficult and is still not easy with the brace on and mild amounts of pain. I am not supposed to do much with my hand yet and I am also supposed to use pain as my guide. So instead of babbling more, I am going to attempt to get some of my photos organized and posted.