Tag Archives: View

Giving Thanks

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Poster from the window of Susan’s Store Room, San Anselmo.

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Molly and I took a walk this cold, frosty morning and I gathered leaves, berries, nuts and pods for the center piece at my mom’s house.

I’m grateful for my health and for the health of my loved ones.  It is precarious for some and I’m aware of that.

Wishing everyone a warm, safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

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And Then This Happened (Grand Canyon, Part 2)

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One of the things we wanted to do at the Grand Canyon was watch the changing colors at sunset. Because we were driving an RV we found an over-look that was fairly quiet.

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We couldn’t resist dinner with a view, but after taking some pictures from inside the RV, we moved outside to just soak it all in.

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Click on any of the photos to get a closer look.

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We’d had a full day and it was so peaceful watching the rocks change from orange to purple as shadows crept across the canyon.

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The next morning we were up early so we could drive back to the canyons South Rim to watch the sunrise.

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The moon hadn’t set yet.

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After breakfast in the RV, we drove to the Visitor’s Center, parked, and caught a shuttle to enjoy more beautiful canyon vistas.  On Tuesday we’d driven one direction to the Desert View Watchtower near the East Entrance to the park.  Now we went the other direction, riding the shuttle to the last stop, Hermit’s Rest.

We browsed the gift shop and made a few purchases, enjoyed the view then back on the shuttle to Pima Point.

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And then this happened.

Rem had a seizure.

It’s important to know that he had a bicycle accident in 2002 and knocked his head badly, cracking his bike helmet. He suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as other injuries.  That is a whole long story, but since that accident he’s been on disability. He’s done a lot of rehabilitation and healing. Then about six years ago he had three seizures in one day. It’s possible that a bad reaction to an antibiotic he was taking, combined with the brain injury, were what triggered those seizures. Or it could have just been the TBI.

It is very distressing to see someone having a seizure, especially someone you love. Rem fell while he was seizing, cutting his lip, scraping and banging his arm and his hand. Almost as quickly as I got to him, and I was crouched over him, holding this head, two people were right there behind me, and the woman asked “how can we help?”

At the moment, of course, I was flustered and anxious, adrenaline pumping as I grabbed Rem’s dropped backpack to put under his head. But even under these extremely stressful conditions, I was amazed at her next words: “We’re both neurologists.

Wow.

I could not have imagined having this happen while we were on vacation but if it was going to happen, especially at an out-of-the-way location, who better to have standing ready to help but two doctors who specialize in the brain and nervous system?

This couple, tourists vacationing from Germany (and I only caught his name, Tobias), kept me calm at a time I was afraid. They reassured me and one of them, when she couldn’t reach 911, spoke to a shuttle bus driver who radioed in the call. They asked questions about Rem and his condition and when they learned he had a TBI and had previously had seizures, they said it was quite normal to have another seizure.

Although it felt like like a very long wait for the ambulance with Rem unconscious on the sidewalk and me on the ground with him, leaning over his face so my sunhat provides him some shade, the two doctor continued to reassure me about the typical symptoms he was exhibiting.  They were standing to provide shade as well. We could hear the siren echoing on the canyon walls and it seemed to be close than would fade as the road turned.

Rem would stir and blink his eyes a bit than sink back down. When he more fully regained consciousness he was very disoriented, again, quite normal under the circumstances, and what I’d experienced when he’d had the other seizures. But it was so reassuring to have these two angels with us for the whole time letting me know it was to be expected.

The EMT’s are park employees and the two doctors helped answer questions about what happened.  I couldn’t even remember how old Rem was and finally said “I’m 55 and he’s 7 years younger!” One guy was asking Rem if he wanted to go the the clinic in the park and Rem was saying “no” but I was saying “yes!”  Of course part of the questioning was to help them ascertain Rem’s condition. When asked if he knew where we were he said “Yosemite.”  I thought that was actually pretty good – it’s a National Park that we’ve visited.  He knew the President but not the day of the week. We were on vacation after all, so I’m not sure if I even knew the day of the week.

Rem was completely confused to be lying on the sidewalk with people leaning over him asking him questions. I kept telling him “You had a seizure and fell.” He finally said indignantly, “Well why didn’t anyone tell ME?!”

Soon enough he was on a gurney and I stood up and looked into the faces of Tobias and his wife/partner. I thanked them profusely and they explained that they see seizures and seizure patients every day in their work, and hadn’t expected to be involved with any on their vacation. As we walked out to the ambulance they explained that they’re not allowed to practice in the US. I assured them that making a 911 call and staying with Rem and I was not against those rules and that the care they had provided with their knowledge, calm presence, simple questions and explanations, and even standing close to provide shade had all been so helpful. I was so grateful and am still amazed that these would be the two people who were right there when it happened.

I was able to ride along to the clinic. Rem kept asking about “the car” and wondering how we would get back for it. I reminded him we had the RV and it was safely parked and we could get to it after he’d seen a doctor.

The doctor at the Grand Canyon clinic was wonderful.  She was calm, reassuring, and thorough. After an exam, lots of questions, tests and their results, she sent us on our way with a prescription for an emergency “break through” seizure medication.  She urged us to contact Rem’s GP and neurologist that day, which we did. The possibility that both the heat and the elevation (around 7,000 feet) could have been contributing factors was discussed.

Our day had changed course from our original plan, and it wasn’t exactly fun, but it could have been so much worse. I thought of a number of people I’d seen on the rocks at the edge of the canyon in the past few days.  They ignored signs and climbed over fences to pose for photos.  In many places alongside the canyon there are no fences.  That morning watching the sunrise, Rem and I had been sitting on rocks four or five feet from the edge. I’m so grateful that his seizure didn’t happen there.  Or he could have been driving our 25-foot rental RV when he had the seizure, another frightening thought.  In fact, he couldn’t drive for the remainder of the trip or for at least three months. I’m glad that I’d already been driving the RV.

We left the clinic and got a taxi-van to the market place to eat lunch. Then a shuttle ride to the visitor’s center where we watched a movie about the canyon, relaxing in the air-conditioned theater.  Even after this little rest we were both pretty worn out.  We took a short walk to the parking lot and our home-on-wheels. We climbed in, turned on the generator and the AC, closed the blinds and took a nap.

After the nap we caught a shuttle for one last trip to the rim at Yaki Point, and a final look at the canyon.

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On the drive out of the park we stopped at the entrance to get one more picture.

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Then back to the RV park in Tusayan for a good night’s rest.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

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Happy Spring!

Plum Blossoms

I pulled myself away from my desk to walk around the campus and enjoy the first day of spring.

My office

Iris

Little purple flower

Pink Flowers

Rooftop Meadow

This meadow of wildflowers in on the roof garden of the Fine Art building.

Blue flowers

Strawberry Plant

Our building has a roof garden too but it isn’t doing as well.  There are some flowers but less color and greenery.

Bee in Rosemary Blossom

A huge patch of rosemary is in bloom and it’s buzzing with bees.

Pink Toesies & Green Grass

I’m very grateful it is warm enough to be wearing sandals.

Pearls

I tried to think “Spring” when I got dressed this morning: pale pink embellished sweater, aqua print top, freshwater pearls.

It was hard getting back to work, so I decided to give you a little tour of the inside of my office.

Perpetual Calendar

Calendar #1 is on my desk. A gift from my friend, Nicole, I think of her every morning when I change the day and date.

Paper Source Calendar

Calendar #2 is on the wall behind me.  It is from Paper Source and has wonderful artwork plus templates on the back of each month to recycle it into folders, cards and gift boxes when you finish using as a calendar.

Bird Tile Art

My friend Shook gave me this picture.  It goes beautifully with the perpetual calendar.  I love the color scheme, the bird and the collage-like layers.

The bulletin board

Special notes and cards from special people around me.  A feather that reminds me of my dad.

View out my window

One more peek at the view (looking out to the “orbit court”) before getting back to work.

Thank you for your visit.

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Day 1: Happy Birthday

Day 1: Happy Birthday

First Day of 2013 30 Days of Creativity!  Happy Birthday, Rem!!

View from hostel window

The view from our hostel room window.  We’re staying at Pt. Montara Lighthouse Hostel.

Last year: Washi Tape Banner Birthday Card

Two years ago: Birthday Pennants (I brought them on our trip and surprised Rem with them in the room this morning).

Thanks for stopping by!

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Seattle At Last

I can’t believe we’ve been back from our vacation for over a month and I’m just now sharing pictures from the Seattle portion of our trip. We left Portland on Amtrak and enjoyed a little picnic on the way.

Some Tillamook cheddar, a Pink Lady apple, some popcorn chips, a Dagoba chai chocolate bar and a Powell’s anniversary Pear-Raspberry soda packed in my new Powell’s book bag.  Rem augmented the menu with a Deschutes Brewery Black Butte Porter.

I think the fact that we were only halfway through our vacation made our train ride and little picnic all the more relaxing and delicious.  We also enjoyed the scenery en route. This pair of bridges reminded me of the Golden Gate Bridge. Of course they’re green, not International Orange, but a similar design.  The pair is called the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed due to aeroelastic flutter 4 months after it opened.

Also on the train to Seattle was a large group of Green Bay Packers fans (aka Cheeseheads), on the way to a football game against the Seattle Seahawks, some wearing Cheese hats.

The Amtrak station is adjacent to CenturyLink Field and the crowds coming to the game delayed our friend Carson who was coming to pick us up but she made it and welcomed us to Seattle.

That evening we had a marvelous spaghetti and meatball dinner prepared by Andy on the last day of her visit with Carson, Ian and their little Bub.  A wonderful round of crafting followed (sorry, no photos), an early morning ride to the airport the next day to leave Andy for her homeward flight and to pick up our rental car and then a really boring time getting a new laptop…

Before it was finally time to see some of Seattle.

What better way than by DUCK BOAT!?

The Bub wasn’t too sure about this whole thing.

Was it a bus or a boat?  It has wheels AND life jackets.

The captain played loud music and the vehicle is open-sided so it was noisy and windy as we started our tour: some comedy schtick and local trivia accompanied by various themed song, plus some sight-seeing and Bub was not having anything to do with it.

For the most part he sat on his mom’s lap, closed his eyes and covered his ears.  But once our bus transformed into a water craft and we got off the noisy road and into Lake Union, the tour became something special.

A duck’s view of the Space Needle.

Floating was much more interesting than driving.  It was more peaceful too.

Gas Works Park (below) in the background with a man on the beach playing his guitar.

Rem enjoying the cruise.

Floating homes and a pair of canoes.

Soon we were back on land and saying goodbye to Carson and her Bub so they could go home for lunch and a nap.  We continued our sight-seeing at the Space Needle.

We enjoyed beautiful views along the waterfront, including the new Ferris wheel: The Seattle Great Wheel, then on to our next stop.

…and I’ll save that next stop for my next post!

Thanks for coming along.

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Room With A View

Sometimes you go out to eat and you know you’ll be paying a little extra for the view.

Sometimes it’s worth it.

Rem and I enjoyed our dinner at The Caprice in Tiburon, CA the other evening.  We especially loved the view.

The weather was beautiful.  Boats went by right outside the window.

Angel Island was just over my shoulder.

There was a little regatta.

Dinner was good too.  Not great, but very nice.

But the view…

It was worth it.

We drove around Belevedere before heading home, stopping to take another look at Angel Island.

You can just see the restaurant in this picture, right there at the tip of the land.

We returned home relaxed and well-fed not only from our meal.

Thank you for checking out my post.

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Where In The World Are You?

Check out this cool new feature that WordPress has added to the stats for a blog: a list of the countries of the readers who have viewed the blog along with a world map showing those counties highlighted!  Sadly, I haven’t figured out how to share the map, but the list of countries is below.

This list represents people who have checked out my blog in the last seven days:

Country Views
United States FlagUnited States 348
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom 35
Australia FlagAustralia 26
Germany FlagGermany 22
Canada FlagCanada 18
India FlagIndia 13
New Zealand FlagNew Zealand 12
Italy FlagItaly 9
Malaysia FlagMalaysia 6
Turkey FlagTurkey 6
Philippines FlagPhilippines 5
Romania FlagRomania 5
Indonesia FlagIndonesia 4
Pakistan FlagPakistan 4
Egypt FlagEgypt 3
Serbia FlagSerbia 3
Mauritius FlagMauritius 3
Brazil FlagBrazil 3
Spain FlagSpain 3
Maldives FlagMaldives 3
Ireland FlagIreland 3
Brunei Darussalam FlagBrunei Darussalam 2
Bulgaria FlagBulgaria 2
Malta FlagMalta 2
Bahrain FlagBahrain 2
Peru FlagPeru 2
Argentina FlagArgentina 2
Netherlands FlagNetherlands 2
Lebanon FlagLebanon 1
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland 1
Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of FlagMacedonia 1
Ukraine FlagUkraine 1
Taiwan, Province of China FlagTaiwan 1
Czech Republic FlagCzech Republic 1
Belgium FlagBelgium 1
South Africa FlagSouth Africa 1
Croatia FlagCroatia 1
Hong Kong FlagHong Kong 1
Nepal FlagNepal 1
Guam FlagGuam 1
Denmark FlagDenmark 1

Do you see your country on the list?  I can’t tell you how delighted I am to think of all of you out there reading my blog.  I’m sitting here in my little apartment in Northern California, writing on my laptop and you are reading it in Croatia or Peru or India.

So I’m starting my “Reader Roll Call”.  I request that you take a moment and add a comment.  Write down your first name and the county you are in.  If you are in the US, go ahead and put the state in too.  Feel free to add any other comment, but I’d really like to see some of you comment who have never done it before.  Go ahead, stand up and be counted!

A big to the folks at WordPress for putting up these cool country stats.  You guys rock!

For my readers: thank you to every single one of you for stopping by! If this was your first time, please come back for another visit.  If you decided to comment, you have my gratitude. I’ll be watching for YOUR country in my stats.

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