Saturday, June 30, 2007

Attack cat!

The people two units down from me were a little...loud and excitable tonight. Had guests over. They have an indoor cat that looks a lot like Loki. Well anyway, the cat got out. The guy came out and dragged it out from under the car sitting right in front of my window. It was yowling and carrying on. Dread, who was inside goes whipping outside as fast as I've seen him ever move! He headed straight for the guy carrying his cat back inside. He was going to attack this grown man!

I hauled myself up and got out the door before Dread could reach him yelling "Dread, it's ok, he's fine!" He was all puffed out, hissing and doing the scary cat dance in front of him. I don't know if he thought the cat was Loki...since they do look alike, or just didn't like the cat being manhandled like that. Either way....way to go Dread! :) Hee hee.

Who needs guard dogs when you've got attack cats!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Well, hello there!

Last night I was sitting on the couch...I got bored of lying down, reading my book when there's movement beside me at the open window. I leave that window open during the day so the cats can get in and out. I look over expecting it to be Loki or Dread, and

ACK!!!! He's getting really bold. This raccoon comes by every night to clean up the outside cat dish. He hasn't been inside, as far as I know...but he really thinks I should put more food out for him. He just sat there looking at me. Not making a move to come in, just twitching his nose and staring at me. Let me take his picture then wandered away. Hee hee.

So this is where I've spent the last week. Sigh. It's good...but I'm BORED!!!!! I've done a couple 1/2...ok, really 1/4 days at work. Even that is difficult. I don't know what I was thinking that I'd be back at work last Monday! :) Still going pretty good though.
This weekend is the Sugoi Dirt Series clinic. I'm so sad that I can't participate, but at least I'll be able to help out Sat evening. Next year....

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Paying for it now

After sitting around for a couple days, I felt really good. I figured no problem, I could go to work this morning and do a couple hours. Heck, I can probably do the whole day. I'm doing fine!!!! Wow, I'm amazed how much the very little bit of walking I did at work hurt! My legs are pretty swollen now and quite painful. Sigh. Guess I need to take it easier. Mom was right... don't you hate it when mom's are right???? :)

I went in today to do story time, while April volunteered to "host" the Sunriver performance of Tony the Magician up at the school. He's part of our summer reading program line-up. Well... he uses a pigeon in his act, and it got loose! So, there's a pigeon in the gym up at Three Rivers. One of my staff is going to go over later and see if they can catch it. Poor pigeon.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Legs...before and after

I unwrapped my legs yesterday, like I was supposed to. Gotta say, it looks a whole hell of a lot better than I thought they might. The muscle hernia is quite minimal, and the incision is pretty small. It'll still be obvious, especially since I scar easily...but overall I'm very happy! :)

Here's before:

And here's after:

See, they look pretty good. I'm still really only able to shuffle, but they don't hurt as much. Yesterday they hurt a lot! I think most of that was because the numbness left and I was feeling the incision. My ankles still hurt, and I have very little flex in them. But, as I said....I'm happy with them! :)

Friday, June 22, 2007


Well, it's all done! :) Hurts, but I am able to hobble around. Yesterday, about 15 minutes before I was to leave for the hospital I found this discussion board on CS recovery...but people who had had the surgery. It's fascinating. People have SO many different experiences with this syndrome and the recovery. Kinda freaked me out 'cause some were really bad...but others are good. I tried to post before I left, but you had to register and the registration didn't come through in time. I'll post there today.

Julie dove me to the hospital, which was very nice. Got all checked in, and headed off to pre-surgery. So, I had to stop eating at midnight, from then until sic hours before the surgery clear liquids only. Then for the six hours before the surgery nothing, not even water. I was very dehydrated and it took them four tries to get an IV that worked. They've bruised quite nicely! :) Dr Smith cam in and talked to me, and then we were off!

The surgery itself was only about 1/2 an hour. Another hour to come out of the anesthetic, the really waking up and getting all the aftercare instructions. Shannon came and drove me to Julie's, where her mom took care of me until Julie got home. This is me lying on the couch.

Ok, I'm tired now. Gonna go take a nap. Tell ya more later....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Tomorrow came all of a sudden...

Tomorrow is my surgery!!!! I tried to take a couple pictures of my legs, 'cause after tomorrow they're never going to look the same again! :( I'm ok with the scar. There is no shame in scars. In fact, I think most scars look adds character. However, I hope the muscle hernia won't be too obvious. I've got nice legs...that's not being's true. It's my "feature" I like most and think is the most attractive. And after tomorrow....sigh.

Still really excited. The possible hernia isn't going to stop me from fixing the problem. I can't wait. Maybe I'll even be able to skate again!!!! :) So, wish me luck. Next time I blog it'll all be over.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I'm having surgery!!!

And I'm so excited! I can't wait. It may seem odd to some that I'm so looking forward to surgery ... but this is my opportunity to fix a painful problem that's been plaguing me for years! I finally have a diagnosis for my leg pain. Well, the front "shin" pain, anyway. My calf's are another story we'll deal with next year.

So when I started doing roller derby, the leg pain that I've previously gotten skiing and hiking/walking REALLY became much more intense. I could no longer avoid it. Four laps and I'm down on my hands and knees crying in pain. That's not normal. After a bunch of tests, and about 4 months of PT...I finally know what it is!!!

Chronic or exercise induced compartment syndrome. Most people know compartment syndrome in the acute form, caused by trauma or a poison bite. Chronic is a bit different. The pressure within my muscles increases with exercise far beyond the normal range. The fascia, the covering around your muscles that makes them look smooth and sleek, does not stretch enough and the result is a squeezing of the muscles. It hurts like a son-of-a-bitch, and in the long run it destroys the muscles.

To diagnose, you have to measure the pressure in the muscles. This is done by sticking an 18-gauge needle into the muscle and measuring it. Ouchy, it hurt! Anyway, normal resting pressure is under 11. Mine is 22. Normal exercise pressure is 25....hmm, seems that my resting is almost the exercise maximum! :) After a bit of exercise with just started to make it hurt, my pressure was over 50. If the muscles had been fully triggered the doc thinks it would have been over 80. Yea, that's not good! :)

We tried the conservative approach...PT, rest and deep massage. Didn't work. Surgery is really the only "fix." What they do is go in and cut the fascia. It's a fairly simple procedure and has a very high success rate. And I'm getting it done this Thursday! HOORAY!!!! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Before...and after

Ok, I preface all this by saying my parents are amazing! My mom is one of the kindest people you could meet with a heart of gold. Her one....idiosyncrasies is that she's....frugal. Well, to be honest, cheap. Now, this frugality is what allowed my brother and I to do so much as kids. We both want our parents to spend money on themselves now. And to be honest, some of the kitchen stuff I want to change/fix for health reasons. Since my mom retired she's done a great job of clearing out the crap. I just wanted to help in a couple areas that I knew would be much more difficult for her.

So here are the before and after shots of the fridge. This is the door. As you can see...packed full. And only about 1/4 of them are actually used. The rest are just 1/2 full from when I was there, or friends coming over. This is a close-up of the saved ketchup, relish, vinegar, sot sauce etc things that have collected over the years. True...there might be a use for them some day...but some of those packets are 20 years old!!!! So out they went.

Here's the inside. This looks MUCH better than usual...I think 'cause they were away on vacation. Usually it's so stuffed you can't fit one more thing in it.

And after:

I also did a couple of the drawers and cupboards. Unfortunately I didn't take before pics! But you can see the results. You might not know what an improvement it is...but it is! :)

So mom was a tiny bit pissed...but she'll get over it! :) It was a great surprise, but I'll tell ya about that next time.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I love this city

When I'm away for a while I forget just how much I love the city I grew up in. Vancouver is amazing and I just LOVE where my parents live within Vancouver. I grew up in the area called "Mackenzie Heights" which is squashed between Shaunnesy and Kerrisdale. Fabulous area. Growing up I took the view for I do when I've been away. Then I come back and look out our windows....and see this. This is the view from the 3rd floor balcony off my bedroom. That's downtown in the back, and on the slopes of the mountains are both North and West Vancouver. The morning clouds make it so you can't see the tops.
Looking to the left from my porch you can see the harbour and the cruise ships and freighters coming in. That's West Vancouver behind the harbour. To get to Whistler you do through downtown and head past West Vancouver and follow the coast up.
See, the sun was coming out. That's my high school, which sits about 2 blocks below my house. Prince of Wales High School.

And this is our WILD backyard. Granted, my parents have been away and so the grass is really long...but it's usually pretty wild anyway! :) There are apple trees, figs, raspberries, rhubarb, tomatoes, plums...and a ton of flowers. It's pretty crazy, but it's beautiful. Our house is on a steep-ish hill, so the backyard slopes down. My parent's built a carport instead of using the garage in the house (which was turned into another room), to avoid those slippery icy hills.
So, my first morning I decided to get out there and go for a bike ride. I'd brought both my bikes, but I wanted to road ride. There's a great route out to the University and along the really wide bike lanes all along that peninsula. So I get my bike out, and notice that the tires are very slightly soft. Oh man, I should have just left it!!! :) I grab my floor pump that I brought and try to pump it up. Well....the hose on my pump has several cracks in it which I've tried to tape shut with electrician's tape. Still leaks though. So after many struggles I let out more air than I'm putting in! Twice the tire goes almost flat and I have to work like crap to get it filled again. It's just NOT working, so I try the hand pump...which you ALL know is a lot harder than a floor pump!!!!! But eventually it's filled enough. I go to pull the pump off...and THE FERGIN MERGIN STUPID @!#@&$*^!%!$&^&*@!# TWISTY SCREWY THING FALLS OFF!!!! Sigh. You can't put it back on.
So, I decided to mt bike. I don't know the trails here, but I went online and found a map for the trails in the UBC Endowment Lands. These aren't North Shore biking. They're not even to the level of Phil's. There's really NO hills in there. Well, I shouldn't say that. There are a couple really intense ones that go down to the beach/water on the far end of the university. But in the Endowment Lands... this is a "hill."
But I still had a great time. On my way home I snapped a picture of the sky to show y'all that it DOESN'T rain all the time! :) What a beautiful day.
This is the street I came down to enter the trail. I love these kinds of Vancouver streets. The street I grew up on and where my parents still live is not like this one, it's open. I love these streets though.

And I also love the monkey trees you find all over Vancouver. This one is a couple houses down from my parents. I don't know why I love them so much...maybe 'cause they look nothing like other trees. They're hard spiky's kinda like a huge...not cactus, but... well, look at the closeup and you'll see.

Anyway, having a good time relaxing, biking every day and just getting ready for Summer Reading when I get back!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

32 laps, 32 lengths...what's the difference?

Had the last swim session last night. The "final" was to swim a mile in under an hour. Now, I already knew I could do that, but we went and did it anyway. It was a combined class of COCC students and community members. The pool was full length. I started out, knowing that I had to do 32 laps. Whew! At lap 12 Bob, the coach/teacher asked how many I was at and then said, oh good, only 5 more! Huh? Hee hee hee. 32 LENGTHS, not laps. I would have done 2 miles! No thanks. It was too cold. I mean, it wasn't too bad, but taking your arms out of the water was a little chilly.

I did the mile in 39.29. Heidi says I cheated 'cause I did 3 laps (6 lengths) with fins on. Humph. So, I did 2 extra laps (4 lengths) to "make up" for it. I'm kinda sad that it's over, so now that I'm in the routine I'd like to continue it and swim at least a mile twice a week.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Saturday was Pickett's Charge, the 5th mt bike race in the Oregon XC Classic Series, and I was helping out at registration and usual. And boy was it HOT!!!!! I didn't burn like several years...but we roasted. Pickett's is usually waaaay more disorganized than the Chainbreaker, but it all works out in the end. Getting set up for morning registration was a bit of a mess, but finally we were ready. Here we are after the initial crush.

Here is the last wave of beginners waiting to start.
And here we are trying to get out of the sun while we wait for finishers. For those not familiar with how we do it, all riders have two pull tags pinned to their back. After they cross the finish line, we're waiting down a bit and pull off the pull tags. One then goes to the official timer, and one goes on that white board you can see in the back, so that people can see their placements immediately.
Like I said, it was HOT HOT HOT!!!!!! Over 90 degrees down in the flats below Phil's. I continually slathered on 50 block sunscreen, but I still got quite brown. Attendance was way down, and I'm not really sure why. Chainbreaker had more, but that attendance was down too. Interesting.

Sunday was the Heaven Can Wait breast cancer walk. I've done that every year, and despite my legs I wanted to try. So I met Cheryl and Rachel and we headed down. There were over 2,600 people there, a 10% increase over last year. I started off OK...but it quickly became apparent that it was going to hurt. I made it the entire way (5k), but man it hurt! I cannot wait to see Dr Smith on the 15th and get this surgery show on the road!!!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

One step closer....

Friday I had to go Portland to get my biometrics taken for my Green Card. You may be asking yourself the same questions I did: 1) Why do I have to go all the way to Portland? and 2) What are biometrics? :) All it means it to have my fingerprints and photo taken. That's it. Really, there's NO ONE here in Central Oregon they can partner with? Evidently not.

So I took the day off and drove up for my 10:00 appointment. Got there early, but still had to wait until they called the 10:00 time slot. Then there's a mad rush of about 30 people to line up. Sheesh. Good thing I did sit close-ish to the entrance, so I was only 3rd in line. Was out of there by about 10:30. Nice! :) Then went to Trader Joe's and the outlet mall, and then headed home. It was a gorgeous day and Mt Hood looked especially spectacular.Now I'm one step closer to my Green Card. Next step is the interview....