This week

End of Summer

  1. It’s a little surreal to realize that in a few weeks it will be 1 year since our 100 foot tall Oak tree split in half and fell on our house. Last year, we had no idea how long or stressful the process of recovery would be. This picture was taken a few days after, when a crew with a crane took it off our house and then felled the remaining half. That was just the beginning of water damage and structural issues with the house. Long story short: we froze our way through the snowiest winter in a long time with a partially tarped roof; we moved out for months, living in one place after another; our house got a new roof and new windows; and 7 or 8 or 9 rooms got new floors, walls and ceilings. Construction pretty much took over the first half of this year and settling back in has taken months. I’m only just finishing cleaning the construction dust out of the last remaining closet. And then there are still a couple boxes to unpack.
  2. A proper summer recap will be happening soon. I spotted this glorious bloom on Wednesday. One joy this summer has been our roses. They must like upheaval and construction dust.
  3. A woodpecker was a fun sighting on a walk earlier this week.
  4. Peach Pie on Thursday with friends. The best peach pie I’ve ever had. And yes, I made it. And yes, I enjoyed it tremendously. I use Rose Barenbaum’s recipe for the filling and Alan’s Pastry for the Crust.
  5. And last but not least, I have a man in my life. I can’t imagine him not being in my life. Or how I lasted this long without him. We both like to dance and went to Bridgetown Swing last weekend. We also both really like eclipses. Seeing the eclipse with him this summer was probably my favorite thing ever.

Also, you know my last blog post? In January? That was the weekend he asked me to be his friend on Facebook and pretty soon after we started dating (we had met a month earlier). Apparently I can either date or blog.

Snowed in

We had a surprise snowfall this week. A 10 mile wide band came through our area and dumped 2-6 inches of snow. We were right in the middle, so it was a lovely surprise. It came on so suddenly that friends visiting us Sunday afternoon ended up staying the night. I had been scheming as to how to visit Mt Hood this week and instead Mt Hood came to me!

Nephews have been sick, so I spent a bit of time hanging out with them. It also helped with my cabin fever from being snowed in.

And then I escaped the freezing temperatures and went to Astoria. It was cold and clear and beautiful.

We spent a lot of time at a coffee shop at the end of this pier watching the boats go by and playing dutch blitz. It was heavenly.

And I managed to squeeze in reading this heartstring-tugging book. So good.

And then I came back home and promptly got snowed in at a friend’s house with another friend. I saw Jurassic Park (for the first time!) and we watched Far Away from the Madding Crowd and Austenland. We also played lots of Canasta and I managed to fit in another book, Virtuous Minds. It was one of my best weekends ever.

That week between Christmas and New Year

Tonka’s pretty sure that the cat bed was a present to him.

Met up with a dear friend for brunch and posed in front of an antique fire truck we found nearby.

Somebody’s getting an early introduction into the history of the Corvette.

We’ve had some beautifully crisp and clear mornings. 

Andy and I went on a brother/sister date to Purrington’s – a cat lounge in Portland.

The mural was pretty spectacular with space kitties.

A thoughtful present from a dear friend’s trip to Ireland.

I had an adventure tucked up inside the chicken coop repairing the egg boxes. The coop is short, so it was a squeeze to get in there!

The week ended with a quiet New Year’s Eve at home. We got a dusting of snow during dinner, watched After the Thin Man, played a game of Colt Express, and finished it off with a Grand Tour special.

Christmas week

It started off with the little kids Nativity play after church. My nephew is the confused little sheep.

Speaking of sheep, they looked so cozy and content when I went down to the barn to let them out one morning.

Happy boys play twister before dinner.

We celebrated three birthdays two days before Christmas. Fate had thwarted us from the family getting together earlier.

 In reality, most of the week felt like this. Bleary and a little blurry, thanks to a cold that affected my hydrops ear giving me balance issues and Christmas shopping that desperately needed to happen. Thankfully, Christmas Eve was cozy-like and made up for it.

Finally Fall

Fall has been teasing us in the Northwest. It has been so warm. In fact, this week we had record highs. I’m so thankful to be well enough to enjoy it!

Getting up early has its perks! This was taken right after sunrise. I’m enjoying seeing the sun rise and thankful that daylight savings is finally over so that I’m driving to school in the daylight.

Had a cozy time visiting with friends yesterday afternoon. There was much to catch up on and the fire was delightful. Also, finishing a 12 page lab report right before made the afternoon even better!

Weekend Update


This week was filled with lots of spring time activities. Because of the week of sunshine we’ve had I’ve spent a lot of time outside working in the garden and the barn.

We also have a bummer lamb this year. She’s a week old and was enamored with tulips this afternoon.

Spring term also started! I’m finishing up my Chemistry sequence and am starting Anatomy and Physiology. I’m excited.

And, well, I manged to bang my forehead hard while working down at the barn yesterday. One of the reasons I’ve been paranoid to work around the farm is  for that exact reason and it finally happened. I barely noticed it last night, but it’s been pretty sore to day. Praying that it’s just my forehead and that the ol’ noggin is still okay! I’ve been taking lots of neuroflam and white willow so hopefully that will keep my brain from getting too upset!

Weekend Links & Updates

I don’t have many pictures from this week, so here’s Topaz playing with some string.



  • This evening my right ear is feeling full. Not sure why. Perhaps I had to much salt at dinner? It just means I’m laying around not doing much.
  • This week I spent two days “working” as an Extra for a tv show filmed in Portland. I put “work” in quotation marks as it’s not really work, it’s mostly sitting around and waiting for them to need you to walk across the street, etc. I did it once last summer and it was fun. If you can bring stuff to keep you occupied and you don’t mind it being a little unpredictable, it’s a very nice way to earn a bit of money. The only downside is that the hours can be really long. Both days I was on set for 13+ hours. And it can stretch even longer than that if there’s a crunch to finish an episode. On the plus side, you might get to watch the actors acting and you get a upscale restaurant-worthy lunch.
  • Today, I spent time finally adding up my concussion related medical costs for 2014. And then I cried. It’s surprisingly emotional going through old receipts. And it’s humbling.


  • Melissa is doing a give away! I found her most recent post to be just what I needed to hear after dealing with money and memories this afternoon.

Weekend Links & Updates




  • My grandparents were visiting this week. On Monday I took them to the Portland Rose garden for a picnic lunch. The unusually warm weather that Portland has been having this summer has made for a spectacular display of roses.
  • My grandparents are avid bridge fans and have taught their grandchildren how to play. It was a good challenge for me to re-learn how to strategize. I know the last time I played I needed help figuring out my strategy.
  • We also spent time listening to my grandparents talking about their World War II experience. We got most of it on video so that was a definite highlight of the trip.
  • On Wednesday we took them and some friends to the river for the afternoon. My grandmother (at age 89) even got in and floated around on some pool noodles. Love their spirit of adventure!

Weekend Links & Updates


Met up with a friend for a picnic dinner by the Willamette River



  • This week I dealt with a lot of dizziness from trying to switch up my diuretics. It was starting to get better, but then on Wednesday, I think I ate some moldy cashews, and the next day I woke up with a really foggy brain and my sensitive ear and nose were all congested. Which as you might imagine, was not helpful at all. Thankfully, last night I finally started feeling better and not so consistently dizzy every time I moved.
  • Because of the dizziness, I’ve spent a lot of time resting. My eyes don’t work well together when my ear is flared, so I’ve enjoyed listening to Mrs. Mike.
  • I did go blueberry picking! I don’t think I went at all last year.
  • I did manage to do some sewing that I had promised for a friend’s wedding gown sash. She’s getting married in a couple of weeks so I couldn’t put it off on account of not feeling well. It’s the first sewing project I’ve done for two years, so that was exciting!

Experimenting with diuretics and secondary endolymphatic hydrops

This week has been a discouraging one so far. Not anything very dramatic, but I’ve been dealing with quite a bit of dizziness thanks to experimenting with my prescription diuretic that’s for my Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops. As I mentioned here, I was hoping to slowly work my way off of it and replace it with a natural supplement. But it didn’t work. After a week of being at half dose on the diuretic and slowly increasing my natural supplement, my right ear was steadily filling up, and by Friday I was getting waves of dizziness, so I broke down and took another half of my diuretic and I’ve since gone back to my normal dosage.

However, what I just assumed would be a simple matter of my ear draining in a day or two, has now stretched out to four days. I went in to see the functional neurologist on Monday as I was hoping they could do a quick fix, but it turns out to be more complicated than that. The appointment did help, but Dr Z reminded me that it could take up to a week for it to finish draining out (and I now remember that it took about two weeks when I first got on it). So yes, I might have another week or so of dizziness issues.

Also, interestingly enough, he said that when you start messing with the system it also can encourage inflammation that can take a while to resolve, so I seriously increased my anti-inflammatory pills. Hopefully that will help too, but it’s a little harder to see direct correlation.

Today, I was able to do acupuncture and that always helps me stabilize. And I think it keeps my ear draining better. I’m also having more stamina; I can do more for longer before I start feeling like my world is moving when I’m not!

And I do keep on waking up feeling a little better so I’m hoping by the end of the week this will just be a good lesson learned.