Sunday, October 29, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Ron loves Christmas. Most people love Christmas, but Ron LOVES Christmas. So, when Ron made an unconventional suggestion regarding our costumes, I was not suprised. We entered the Dollar Tree the morning of two Halloween parties looking for inspiration and supplies to make a costume. Ron saw the wall of Christmas decorations and found his inspiration. "I'll be a tree and you can be a present!"

I have to tell you...we had SO MUCH FUN making our costumes. We spent all day long working on them. You can't see really well in the photo, but Ron had a full string of battery powered LED lights on, along with over 150 feet of garland (plus tinsel and countless ornaments). My present was hand-crafted from a Home Depot moving box, some Dollar Tree wrapping paper and some strategic thinking. It even had a break-away panel in the back, so I could sit down.

Our costumes were a huge hit. When we entered both parties, people stopped and applauded.

Our Christmas season started early this year!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Relaxing Weekend

Friday night started here. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (downtown) was hosting an evening lecture with Walter Bruggeman. Excerpt from the flier, "For Brueggemann, faith is grounded in Scripture that transforms human life through the telling of stories, in vivid images and analogies, stirring the human imagination to receive the word of God. In this presentation he will consider biblical traditions that ponder God’s gift of beauty and the ways in which violence defeats beauty. Brueggemann will also probe the ways in which our contemporary world is sated with violence and how communities of faith may continue to bear witness to the gift
of beauty." It was a wonderful lecture.

Friday evening we saw one of our groomsmen, Cory (not going to attempt the last name!). He just moved from Alaska to a suburb of Hood River to work at Mt. Hood Meadows. It's been great being able to see him more often. Saturday we went to a housewarming party for Jessica (Howard) & Matt Gassaway. (They have completely updated this house and it looks incredible). Then we headed home to make dinner for Amanda & Scott (Ron's sister & boyfriend). We ate Ron's new specialty, Grilled Stuffed Burritos (don't be fooled by the ripped off Taco Bell name...they're much better than that!). Then we partook in these new Chocolate Lava cakes from Trader Joes - highly recommend them.

Not many weekends do I like Sunday better than Saturday...but this was one of those weekends. We started at Trinity Episcopal and the service was so rich. We came home, took a nap, and leisured our way through the afternoon. We went to dinner at the Ram for our favorite French Dip sandwiches.

All in all a very relaxing weekend.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Colonoscopy - Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid

But I've (Ron) never been one to do so...

This story has two stories to it. I will tell my story, and then hopefully Trina will tell hers. The drugs involved meant I was silly and can't remember most of what I did that was so entertaining to her. Have no fear, here I am!

My version, though, goes like this. I was met with some unfortunate symptoms, involving a notable amount of blood. It was one of the few times in my adult life where I've been truly afraid. After much assurance from my medical professional friends and family, I decided my death was not imminent. Still, I needed to get "checked out", something I wasn't looking forward to. After a visit with the doctor, she said what I really needed was from a Gastroenterologist...a flex sig. I met with said specialist, and she suggested a full colonsocopy, which is unusual and alarming at 26. True.

Ironically, one of my favorite coworkers, who is exactly twice my age, had one scheduled for the same day as me. Different locations...

First I started out by having to cut seeds and red dye from my diet. Harder than you think, especially with my job. Don't really think about tomatoes having seeds, do you? Needless to say, I had to call the doctor multiple times and see if I could still do the procedure on the scheduled date. He means multiple multiple times. Thankfully, the gastroenterologist was the forgiving type.

Next I had to move to a clear liquid diet. That was fun to do while working. Then that coworker and I traded Jello and Gatorade during our sales meeting. What fun. I was SO hungry. Like kill-a-squirrel-for-meat hungry...when he arrived home I was finishing my dinner - I feared for my sandwich and my hand. I went home and drank fleet phospho soda. Boy did that take care of the rest. It cleaned me right out. No cramps or spasms. All in all a pretty comfortable, if not strange (water coming from the wrong place!) experience. I brough our almost never used TV into the bathroom and watched Remember the Titans...while I went to the gym. We decided for all parties involved, it would be best for this to be a solo experience.

Anyway, got to sleep in the next morning and then did the laxative thing again. Regarding the actual procedure...

Mostly, I just remember asking for a significant dose of the drugs, and I have a vague memory of seeing a picture of my small intestine.

Amnesiac anesthesia loosens the tongue. The nurse brought me into the recovery "room" (curtained off area), where I found Ron groggy and chatty. As soon as I arrived he began talking absolutely nonstop. I'll admit I derived some entertainment from the content. He began with a story about how much anesthetic they gave him. About 3/4 of the way into the story, he started his story again. I couldn't resist finishing the story on the fifth time through. Eventually, Ron explains that his doctor "didn't really look like a doctor," "he wasn't wearing doctor clothes" and that he "had dark skin...I'd say he was half Italian, half 'Mediterranian'". After the doctor walked in our curtain room and gave Ron a clean bill of health, we were getting him dressed.

Next thing I know I'm arguing with my wife--I wanted to put on my shoes before my underwear and pants--so I wouldn't slip and fall since I was drugged. I thought I was being quite rational and circumspect, and I didn't care for her condescension. I've got to work on my patronizing, bullying streak.

On the way home, he explained how "I can remember every detail of the procedure, I don't know why they said I need someone to drive me, I mean I can remember every detail of the procedure, I don't know why I need someone to drive me, because I can remember every detail..." She took me home and fed me (oh did I love food!). One problem--they pump you full of air so the camera can move around. They tell you not to be shy about passing it. I am certainly not shy. But I actually couldn't. So we called the doctor and they taught me a funny little move where you get on all fours and sort of stretch out and then clamp your body in toward itself (knees to chest) and OUT it came! Trina and I were quite entertained.

After the air explosion, Ron fell fast asleep in a chair in the living room. I had to run to the store to get a few ingredients for dinner...I didn't want to wake him, so I wrote a note instructing him not to drive...and then I took all the sets of keys with me to the store =). He was quite insulted when he realized this, because he was "perfectly okay." I'll admit that post-nap he was a lot more himself. But, for the duration of the weekend, we'd still come upon "new" stories he was sure he'd never told me.

All in all, I perfectly clean bill of health, and no worse for the wear. Hopefully it will be another few decades before I have to do all that again.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Oops.

I forgot to blog for a few weeks. Sorry about that. A lot has happened. Let's see, where to start...

Well, last weekend (10/1 to be exact), Ron ran the Portland Marathon! He finished in 3hrs, 24min, 49sec (3:24:49), running an average of 7min, 49sec miles. Absolutely incredible. While not quite making the Boston goal (3:10:59), he improved on his time and has been recovering at record speed.

....interrupted by Ron.

We decided I should write about this, and since I haven't written in a while, I owe it to my friends out there in the blogosphere. So here goes.

The marathon was the usual adrenal high, albeit a little bit less so, since the novelty is all but gone. Still, starting out was a hoot, and the bands, crowds, and cheerleading squards were a shot in the arm. Unfortunately, although heavy clouds were predicted, it was brilliantly sunny. Sounds nice, I know, but not for 26 miles. So, at mile seven I was squinting, sweating, and feeling a little numb in my head. Not a good sign!

Nevertheless, endurance is my gig, and so I pressed on through the pain, with a very quick first half, and a not-entirely-detrimentally-slow second half. I didn't get to that psychological hell-point, where every step is an excruciating decision, until about mile 22 (last year it was mile 19). So I guess that was a good thing. Finishing was the usual relief, tears in my eyes since I could finally psychologically relax--and the usual cramps, fatigue and uncomfortably cold feeling. To see me at the finish line, click here.

I have to be honest, most of my photos this year weren't as flattering as usual. Usually the camera catches me on a better "bounce".

It was a lot of fun, and and yet, I'm very glad it is over.