Thursday, August 27, 2009

Willamette Queen

Salem and West Salem (the place we call home) are divided by the Willamette River. The dock that Mike has done much of his fishing from is on the Salem side of the river and the dock is home to the Willamette Queen, an 87 foot, 86 ton, twin paddle-wheeler that sails from the dock up and down the Willamette River.

Having spent so much time this summer around the Willamette Queen, on Sunday we finally decided to go for a cruise on the paddle-wheeler. We skipped the $48/per person 2-hour Sunday brunch cruise and opted for the 1-hour no food cruise with a full bar open for soft drinks and adult beverages. So at 3:00 we boarded the boat for our tour on the Willamette. The weather was good and we got to see a side of Salem that we hadn’t yet seen. Hope you enjoy!

The boat

Mike on the outside deck

The gangplank and Mike's beloved dock

Looking south with the slough to the left and the river to the right

The giant ecological globe located in Riverfront Park

Lots of water toys

The ole railroad bridge that I ride over on my bike on the way to work

And Capt. Mike at the wheel

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Stainin' the Deck

I’ve noticed some of my other blogging friends are writing about their homes and showing pics (Babs' girly-girl bedroom, Nancy and Paul's sala fresca, Felipe's grassy yard, and Constantino's backyard) so I thought I’d share my Saturday morning at home that is now Sunday morning...

We are lucky to live in the basement apartment below the home of our “new” friends and landlords, Betty and Ron. The apartment includes a sunroom off the kitchen and a deck off the sunroom. The deck is covered and we have enjoyed sitting out there in the heat of the day, in the evening when I get home from work, and in the rain watching the trees swaying in the wind.

But the deck and lattice-work fence are new and they hadn’t been stained yet.

So yesterday morning at 7am the 4 of us set out to “get her done.” It was quick and easy thanks to Ron’s foresight in getting a good sprayer for the paint. He sprayed, Mike held giant pieces of cardboard to cover the plants and things that we didn’t want sprayed, while Betty and I followed with paintbrushes to spread the paint evenly.

By 9:30 we were sitting in the yard enjoying the beginning of another sunny day in Salem. This morning I moved the furniture back to the deck and now we’re ready for more enjoyable time out on the deck.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pearl Jam in Vancouver, WA!

Hee hee hee…does anyone remember my post from last year about Mike’s surprise birthday party?

Well, I must admit that this year I have outdone myself…

Yesterday I bought 2 tickets to the Pearl Jam show on 9/26 at the Clark County Amphitheater (about 20 minutes north of Portland)!!! As a member of the Ten Club, I get the opportunity to buy Pearl Jam concert tickets prior to the sale of tickets to the public - and we get really good seats. Tickets went on sale via the Ten Club website yesterday afternoon at 3:00. I had told the other Legal Secretary about it and we made sure I was available to purchase at 3:00. As always, it was fast and easy, and by 3:01 I had confirmed tickets.

Even better is that my cousin Mary and her son Jordan (from Seattle and a Ten Club member) ALSO got tickets so we’ll be going together!!! Mary and I only recently found that we both are big PJ fans and I am very happy to share the excitement with her.

Now how in the world do I manage to keep this secret from Mike until his birthday on 9/18???

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Salem Garden Vegetables

Betty and Ron put in a fairly large vegetable garden this spring and we are enjoying the bounty. Look at this! Green onions, tomatoes and a curly cucumber. Nice, huh?

Paired with goodies from our sunroom – lettuces, basil and, Mike’s cheddar cheese addition...

and we have a colorful salad. Since we’re missing the reunion festivities we’re celebrating at home tonight with our fresh from the garden salad and...

broiled lobster tails with lemon butter.

On another note, Mike had one more blood draw today and he’s doing very well. He helped lug all the groceries downstairs, carrying the largest and heaviest bag. Thankfully, he is back to his regular self. I was really worried about him!

Bon appetit!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

1974-2009 35th High School Reunion

It was the “dawning of the age of Aquarius” – well, a few years later...Lynnwood High in Lynnwood, Washington was about 20 miles north of Seattle. It was the latest edition to Edmonds School District and the campus was completed in 1971. Just recently the school was demolished and a new Lynnwood High will arise.

Our class was joined by the Class of 1973 and together we “broke in” Lynnwood High and our class graduated in June, 1974. Wow. That sounds like a long time ago.

Our 35th high school reunion will be held this weekend. The main “party” will be Saturday evening at Red Hook Brewery in Woodinville, Washington (close to Chateau St. Michelle winery.) Mike and I planned to go, but we have decided to stay home. It just seems so scary to think Mike could have another seizure. If that’s his fate I’d rather be in Salem. For now anyway.

So if anyone from LHS is lurking around, leave a comment! And have a great reunion.

p.s. My best friend, Cheryl, facilitated the organization of this event and I know it will be FAB!!!
p.p.s.s. Felipe – I am tempted to post a pic of Cheryl flopping around on a “bouncy house” thingy (those big inflatable things for kids’ parties), but then I remembered your comment about her wanting to throttle me…

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mike’s At Home Tonight!

Mike was released from Salem Hospital earlier today. He just ate steak and tater tots. And now we’re watching a video with Sonny and Cher doing a skit with Milton Beryl. It is hilarious.

Mike has to have more blood work on Saturday, take his meds as usual and make appointments to see his neurologist and his primary care provider. He looks good and he’s in good spirits.

Thanks for all the positive energy sent our way!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Update on Mike

Mike had a good day in the hospital, gaining strength, eating and resting. His neurologist came to check on him this evening and he will adjust Mike’s anti-seizure meds. But he wants to see blood test results in the morning before talking about releasing Mike from Salem Hospital.

It’s hard to have him in the hospital, but it’s the safest place for him. And if his anti-seizure meds aren’t at the level needed to prevent seizures there is no sense in Mike going anywhere. (Now…if I could only convince Mike of this…)

Thanks for the calls, emails and comments. The support is very much appreciated. I thought we were past all this darn seizure nonsense, but the last few days serve as a reminder that Mike has an arachnoid cyst that can raise its ugly head at any time. Ugh.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mike Had His Fourth Seizure

Mike did not feel well most of last week and he didn’t eat much. Toward the end of the week he was vomiting and not eating at all. But still we went to River Romp. By Saturday morning he needed to get into a bed so we left in the early afternoon, heading home to Salem.

It was hot when we pulled into the driveway and we both went inside to nap. Later I woke and unpacked the truck, while Mike continued sleeping. We were sitting in bed watching the news around 11:15 when Mike had the seizure. Firefighters responded very quickly and then an aid car took Mike to Salem Hospital and I followed in the truck.

He stayed in ER for a while and then was moved to a room. The docs did blood work and found that his anti-seizure meds’ levels were 50% of what they need to be to prevent seizures. And he was dehydrated with a very low potassium level. So they have been “rebooting” him and he’s much better today.

We’ll stay in the hospital again tonight and hopefully his neurosurgeon will be by to check on him early tomorrow. With any luck he’ll be home with me and Sitka tomorrow evening.

Mike’s 1st seizure was 2 years ago while the 2nd and 3rd seizures were over a year ago in Mexico City. We are surprised that he had a seizure – the implant and the meds are supposed to control the seizures. But he also has to keep the meds down for them to be effective. I’m headed back to the hospital. Hopefully, we’ll have good news tomorrow.