Friday, January 27, 2017

Nos. 4 and 5

My wonderful extended winter break gave me lots of time for reading! I finisehd No. 4, Diane Mott Davidson's Sticks and Scones, while cuddled with my cat and my Christmas quilt:
Another culinary mystery to keep me entertained.

At the same time, David Baldacci's The Forgotten kept me company while doing chores during my snowed-in days. I also listened while I ran 18 miles in the snow! It was an awesome way to distract from the miles :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day Three: I'm glad you're my neighbor

About a week before the inauguration, I heard about a group of (F)friends organizing a rally for Sunday. They didn't want it to be an anti-Trump event but rather a way of letting the Newberg community know we care.
As I said previously, Friday's protest in Portland was an expression of raw anger. Saturday's Women's March PDX was an expression of power and hope and determination. Sunday's gathering was a way to put some actions to our words.

Newberg Friends hosted the event, though it was arranged by several Newberg groups. Downstairs, we snacked on coffee and cookies while getting information on local organizations focused on peace, justice and support for the vulnerable in our community. Brad, Eryn and I were on cookie duty, keeping the snacks flowing :)

Upstairs, the sanctuary was set aside for quiet contemplation, prayer and meditation:
After a while, we all gathered briefly upstairs for prayer, then we moved to Francis Square and heard powerful words by community members:

Then we marched. About 200 people walked a loop along Highway 99W, showing support for our Newberg neighbors.
I am so thankful to be part of a faith community that strives to live Jesus's teachings of loving their neighbors.

... he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:29-37 NIV

Day Three.

I will not be complacent. It's time to fight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day Two: Women's March

Friday was absolutely amazing, but Saturday was the big day: the Women's March.

While hundreds of thousands of women (and children and men!) were descending on Washington, D.C., they were also gathering around the globe. Small towns, big cities, single demonstrators, dozens, hundreds, tens of thousands - coming together for women's rights.
My parents, aunt and cousin flew to D.C. for the big one, but after much internal debate, I decided to attend the Portland march. Part of my plan is to donate the money saved to organizations who will continue this fight in the legislature and in the courts.

We had extra room in the car, so former student, Alex, and bestie, Lindsey, joined Brad and me for the downtown gathering. Knowing crowd expectations of 50,000+, we left really early, parked on the east side and walked to the pre-rally hosted by Families for Peaceful Protest

Speakers addressed the growing crowd as we stood in the pouring rain, watching people stream across the Hawthorn Bridge and into Waterfront Park. Soon it was time for the main event, including more speakers and then the march.

The crowd became a bit restless because of the cold, heavy rain, problems with the sound system, and delays in the program. Finally, it was time to hit the streets.
It was overwhelming. Estimates put the crowd at at least 100,000! And the sea of pink Pussyhats was awesome! I even saw police officers donning the hats :)

I was also amazed at the creative signs! I didn't take a lot of photos, opting instead to live in the moment. But I had to snap this one:
And this one. Yes, that's what that looks like. And yes, Lindsey and I could not pass up the photo op :) My favorite part is the flexing biceps!
The positive energy was stunning as we walked and chanted through Portland.

Friday's protest was an expression of raw anger. Saturday's march was an expression of power and hope and determination. It was beautiful, and I will never forget the experience.

It was also a really long day, and we refueled with Mexican food at a favorite taqueria in Sellwood. (miss you, Sean!!)
Day Two.

I will not be complacent. It's time to fight.

Monday, January 23, 2017

This is what democracy looks like

"The time for empty talk is over."

Trump said that Friday in his inaugural speech, and I can't agree more.

I will not sit by and watch my country crumble under this man's rule. I will put action to my words and do whatever I can to stop his disgusting bigotry, sexism, racism, homophobia, etc., etc., from spreading to our American people and into our American law.

During Friday's inauguration, I sat in meditation and prayer at a vigil hosted by West Hills Friends. The space was calming and life-giving, and I'm so glad I chose that as my first action in the new presidency.

I LOVE this message from West Hills:
After, I worked out some nervous energy with a 10-mile run on my treadmill. Sweat and endorphins are magic.
With a peaceful, recharged heart, I put on my rain gear and drove downtown to protest.

I stood in a packed Pioneer Courthouse Square with others outraged over Trump and what he stands for. We listened to powerful speeches calling for action to protect the vulnerable, those who cannot stand up for themselves. I am proud to stand for them.
Soon, it was time to take to the streets. For hours, thousands of us peacefully marched through downtown, displaying our outrage. It was a truly awesome experience.

Brad couldn't get away from work for the day-time rally, but he surprised me later in the evening by finding me in the crowd and joining the march. I loved marching next to him! I also marched briefly with friends Rick and Mike - a true honor!
It was not a permitted march, and police were there to block access to bridges and certain routes. There were a few clashes between protesters and police, but it was mostly peaceful.
Our car (red hood above) was briefly trapped by one of the clashes, but the crowd and the police eventually moved on, and we were able to escape :)

Day One.

I will not be complacent. It's time to fight.

Friday, January 20, 2017

I did not consent

Even two months later, I'm still at a loss for words. This is not the norm. I inherited my mother's gift of gab, and getting out my thoughts has never before been a problem.

But my heart remains so very, very heavy. I am hurt and scared and so many other emotions that I can't even name. 

I read a powerful post yesterday by John Pavlovitz. Instead of using my own words, I will re-post John's words, as they express my heart so well. (source)


Let the record show that I did not consent to this.
Let it show that I did not vote for this man, that he did not represent me, that I did not believe he was deserving of being here, that I grieved his ascension.
Let History record my objection to him, to the ways he humiliated women and vilified Muslims and threatened protestors and disregarded people of color.
Let it record my repulsion at his tremendous cruelty, his lack of compassion, his contempt for dissension, his absence of simple decency.
Let witnesses mark down my disgust at the way he boasted of infidelity, at how he ridiculed a disabled reporter, at the way he attacked female opponents for their appearance, at the way he marginalized immigrants.
Let the record show that I looked on with disbelief as he spent countless early morning and middle-of-the-night hours following the election on social media, broadcasting a steady stream of petulant, insecure, incoherent messages instead of preparing to do a job he was ill-equipped for and seemingly not all that interested in.
Let the record show that I watched him assemble a Cabinet of billionaires and bigots, of people woefully unqualified to steward our children, our safety, our healthcare, our financial stability—and that I was horrified by it all.
Let History record my grieving at the racism and bigotry and homophobia that characterized his campaign, marked his supporters, and is evident in his assembling Administration.

I do not believe he is a man of faith or integrity or nobility.
I do not believe his concern is for anything outside his reflection in the mirror.
I believe he is a danger to our children.
I believe he is a threat to our safety.

Right now I am worried for my country, concerned for our planet, scared for the future of my children, and greatly saddened that 62 million Americans seem okay with all of this.
Not at all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Nos. 2 and 3

No. 2, Joanne Fluke's Sugar Cookie Murder, was finished under my Christmas quilt with snow falling outside the window. Perfect!
These books are always full of recipes, but this was a bit different. The murder and crime solving took place during a Christmas party where the townspeople were trying recipes for a cookbook. So the first half of the book is the story and the second half is the recipe collection. I'm excited to try some :)

No. 3 was David Baldacci's Zero Day:
I listened to this audio book while doing chores around the house and while driving around town. LOVING this :)


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Molalla River Trail Race (11/12/16)

Because we had such a great time last year, and because we can't resist a good deal, Brad and I signed up again for the Molalla Running Club's run series. The final race was the Molalla River Trail Race.

The event was scheduled for October - remember the weekend of the big wind storm? Well, since it was on BLM land, the government shut us down. Apparently they didn't want anyone getting conked on the head by a falling tree!

SO... it was rescheduled for Nov. 12, and our nice fall trail race became a winter trail race! 

We didn't read the pre-race e-mail closely and missed the part where it said the last shuttle bus left about 8 a.m. When we arrived shortly after 8 a.m. and saw a bus pulling away. As we were getting out of the car, one of the organizers happened to see us and told us we'd missed the last ride. But he was heading to the trail head and told us to follow.

Fortunately, there was some parking left, and we snagged a spot right by the park potty. After a quick stop, we jogged to the gathering spot:
Dad joined us!
It was a wet morning, but the precip stopped, so I ditched my hat and sleeves at the starting line.
Ready to run!
Brad and I decided to run this at our own paces, so he ditched me as soon as the gun went off.

A couple miles in cam "The Wall" - a very steep, very long hill that most everyone walks. I walked.
And took some blurry photos while walking and breathing very heavily! Beautiful woods:
The rain returned mid-race, and I couldn't see through my water-covered glasses! Should have stuck with the hat :) BIG HILL:
Recent rains left the trail really muddy in parts, and I had to take it a bit slower after cresting the big hill. Still, I beat feet down, down, down, passing a handful of people in the process. I spotted Dad just as the 10K course met the 5K course and decided to run the end with him. It was hard to watch those people I'd passed pass ME in the final stretch, but it was fun to finish with Dad :)

I finished with an 11:21 pace, good enough for third place in my age division.

Brad was waiting for us at the end, and we snagged a photo with Big Foot. I was soaked!
We enjoyed the hot, salty finish-line soup before jumping back in the car and starting the real adventure.

A few weeks before, we traded Brad's Mazda Protege 5 for a Nissan Leaf. The all-electric car has a battery range of about 80 miles. I checked the directions to the race shuttle site and calculated that we had plenty of range to get there and back. But, I wasn't thinking that freeway miles tick away faster than in-town miles. So we arrived at the shuttle site with less range than I anticipated - just about enough to get home.

BUT... we missed the shuttle. By the time we drove the 10 miles (uphill!) to the trail head and the 10 miles back, we did not have enough battery to get home! (And there were no charging stations in the small town of Molalla)

The car's heat system draws battery, and we didn't have any to spare. So we all bundled up and tried to stay warm while I drove down the mountain with the heat off, windows open and air blowing to keep the windshield clear. BRR!

Using his cell phone, Brad found a charging station in Canby and quickly set up an account while I pointed the car in that direction. We all crossed our fingers that the station was available and functional - and that we'd have enough battery to get there.

We rolled in to town with just a few miles left, found the charger open at Walgreens and plugged in. To make up for the detour, Brad and I bought Dad lunch across the street at Burgerville while we waited for enough charge to get home to Tigard.

Several lessons learned with this adventure! :)

Friday, January 6, 2017

Important lady stuff

OK... time to get a little personal - but for a good cause!

I turned the big 4-0 this year - that means it's time to start my annual mammograms! Different agencies and experts have different age recommendations, but my doctor and I feel there's no reason to put it off. So I went in yesterday for my annual gyno exam and my very first mammogram.

I was slightly nervous, only because it's a new experience and because a lot of people talk about how painful it is - especially for women who don't have giant boobs :) But the lady (I think it was Suzanne?) was super nice and guided me through the whole thing.
I have to say, it was SERIOUSLY NO BIG DEAL. It's not exactly comfortable to have your boobs squished, but I had no pain at all - and no real discomfort. My clinic uses 3D imaging, and the machine took three pictures (at different angles) on each side. Surprisingly, the whole thing took just a couple minutes, and I was back in the little room changing back in to my sweater.

At the end, Suzanne congratulated me on having a baseline reading :)

I share because I want to help stop the stigma and encourage my like-aged lady friends to go in and get scanned! 

If you need a clinic, I'd recommend Women's Healthcare Associates. I go to the Tualatin location at Meridian Park Hospital. The view in the waiting room is a bonus:
If anyone has questions, I'd be happy to share more details of my experience. Just ask :)

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ho ho ho!

Before Christmas, Eryn, Mom and I made our annual trip to Bi-Mart to load up on toys!
We filled several carts and then delivered the loot to the King City fire station for the TVFR toy drive.

We love this annual tradition that hopefully brings some joy to children and families in our area who need a little help.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

No. 1

My first book of 2017 was How to Meet a Gorgeous Guy by Marjorie Sharmat:
This oldie was another castoff from the THS library. The checkout slip in the back was full - but no checkouts for a long time. I don't think students these days dig that cover art :)

This was a teen drama, but it was a lot deeper than the title would suggest. It was an easy book to  read while cuddled on the couch in front of the fire.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!!!

Best wishes for an amazing 2017!!