April 28, 2010
The Northwest Solar Expo and Technology Showcase will be held from April 30 through May 2, 2010 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.
You can get information on Solar Electric Panels or Solar Water Heating panels as well the latest on the alternative feed-in tariff that pays participants for all of the solar energy produced by their systems.
For more information go to : www.PortlandGeneral.com/Events
April 27, 2010
Unusual traffic signal lights are showing up around the Portland area. They are legal and are a “new” development toward traffic safety; although personally, I think they make the current situation more dangerous because drivers cannot figure out what they are supposed to do. Hopefully this will answer some of your questions.
You may have noticed a new style of left-turn signals being installed in the area. these new signals are known as ‘Flashing Yellow Arrow Left-Turn Signals“. Like a stop light, the arrow uses red, yellow and green to let drivers know what to do.
A Steady Red Arrow requires you to stop and wait. You may not turn.
A Steady Yellow Arrow warns you that the left-turn signal is about to turn red. You need to stop and wait behind the white line or finish making your turn.
A Flashing Yellow Arrow allows you to turn when on-coming cars and pedestrians are clear. On-coming cars have the green light.
A Steady Green Arrow allows you to turn left ~~~ on-coming traffic is stopped.
April 26, 2010
A new state law says that computers, monitors, and televisions cannot be disposed of in the garbage or at disposal sites such as landfills, transfer stations, and incinerators. That is because these electronics don’t biodegrade and can leach hazardous waste into the environment.
You can however dispose of these items through Oregon E-Cycle, a free easy and environmentally responsible recycling program.
To find an electronics recycling spot, go to www.OregonEcycles.org
Let’s all do our part to keep our beautiful earth ‘green’!
April 23, 2010
When the cancer attacked my body, I started to lose weight. I didn’t like the cancer, but I liked the idea of becoming a little thinner. Then I started Chemotherapy.
When the Chemo drugs are administered ( via my port-a-cath) they are not given alone. There are several other what I call ‘supporting’ drugs that are also administered at the same time. These drugs are administered in order to attempt to cut down on the seriousness of the chemo side-effects.
One of them is an antihistamine which is meant to prevent any acute breathing problems. Another is the bag of saline fluids which is supposed to help hydrate you while getting the poison that kills the cancer.
And another drug that is given is a steroid. Well, athletes use steroids to ‘bulk up’. The reason the steroids are making me fat is that I have become ravenous. It doesn’t matter what I eat, I am hungry just a short time later! Add to that the extreme fatigue and inability to exercise and there you have it! One year later … A true couch potato!
But now that I have decided to go off the chemo, I am not nearly so hungry all the time and with the better weather, I will feel more like getting out and getting some exercise. So I expect to lose a few pounds. Lets hope that I do; I’ll be working at it.
These are the drugs that I get with each chemo session:
1. Benedryl/ Allegra
2. Ranitidine histamine blocker -antihistmine
3. Aloxi anti-nausea
4. Decadron Steroid anti nausea –energy; increases appetite weight gain
April 22, 2010
Last month, I decided to take myself off of chemotherapy. It was a big decision and one that my doctor and I had been discussing for four months.
The reason I say that “I” took myself off chemo is as follows: Last month I had my regularly scheduled appointment with my gynecological oncologist set for a certain day. The doctor would be out-of-town that day so we moved the appointment up 4 days. But…the day before my appointment, I received a call from the scheduling nurse stating that my doctor unexpectedly couldn’t make her appointments that day and she wanted me to be seen by her colleague.
Normally, that would have presented no problem at all. But…..This was a very important appointment for me because I was going to discuss with her exactly what it meant for me to discontinue the chemo at this time.
I started crying on the phone with the appointment nurse. Not sobbing, but again that pitiful deep in-breath “I really don’t want to cry” controlled release of deep emotion. I explained how this was a VERY IMPORTANT appointment for me and that I really didn’t want to see anyone except MY Doctor. We decided that I would just skip the March appointment and wait until the next month to see my doctor.
Well, last week was my April appointment. My Son accompanied me as he has many times; to provide moral support ( and physical should it be needed); to ask questions that I wouldn’t have thought of; and to help me correctly remember what was said. I am always grateful for his gift of loving support and time that he gives willing when I am in need. He has made me extremely proud of the responsible man he has become and I have expressed these sentiments to him and his wife many times.
April 21, 2010
At the last Hanna Anderson Outlet sale I saw a lady that reminded me of my Mother who passed away several years ago.
This woman had the same hair color and style that my Mother generally wore. And she was the same size as my mother and dressed in a fashion that my Mother would have chosen.
Initially I saw this woman from the back and I automatically headed in her direction. It took me a minute before I realized it was not my Mother! I remember thinking “Why is my Mom here?”. “How did she get here?” ….And then I realized it was someone else.
It doesn’t matter…. that woman gave me a gift… A chance to see in the flesh once again my Mother. It was so good to see her again — even if it was not really her!!!!!
I didn’t realize just how much I have missed her.
April 20, 2010
When I was working as a Flight attendant, one of our favorite layover hotels was the Beverly Garland Hotel in Burbank, California. I’ll write about that hotel in another post.
But, when we stayed in Burbank we had a favorite restaurant where we would go to eat. This was a Chinese restaurant ‘up the hill’ from the hotel. Our favorite item to order was their delicious Chinese Salad. It was so large that we always had enough for our lunch the next day when working our flight back to St. Louis. It had lettuce, chicken, some other goodies, a clear crispy rice noodle that I loved and a fabulous dressing. I was never able to find a salad anywhere that compared to it.
Until I moved to Portland……………………..
And began to shop regularly at Trader Joes……………..
And one day I picked up one of their ready-made salads …. a Pasadena Salad to be exact.
I was ecstatic! I had found my ‘Burbank’ Chinese Salad!
The Trader Joe’s Pasadena Salad has a little packet of almonds and clear crispy rice noodles that you get to add to the salad when you are ready to eat it. The dressing is a ginger dressing.
I had found my salad after all these many years!! And it is still my favorite salad!
April 17, 2010
Monday, April 19th, KGW will offer another free paper shred day in conjunction with Ikea.
Monday, April 19 from 5am-2pm there is a FREE SHRED DAY with KGW Northwest Newschannel 8 and Cintas. Drive-up and drop-off up to two boxes of paper to be shredded on-site and recycled FREE. The first 500 cars to drop-off shredding during the event will receive a random prize envelope with an IKEA Gift Card inside ranging from $5 to $250!
April 16, 2010
Yes, the Portland Red-tailed Hawks have hatched all three of their eggs this year! Last year one egg failed to hatch so this is exciting for everyone. Also, all three chicks hatched within one day of each other — so cool!
To watch the continuing live feed, click on this link: http://www.kgw.com/lifestyle/raptor-cam
There will be lots of action now because the Mom and Dad will be busy feeding the hatchlings most of the time, so you have lots to look at! And, yes, that is a white plastic bag in the nest; there is also a part of a bicycle tire and other ‘garbage’ in their nest. The parent hawks put those items there and the Audubon experts said to leave them alone.
For a slide show of the hatching, go to this link: http://www.kgw.com/news/slideshows/Slidshow-3-hatched-chiicks-in-raptor-nest-90947089.html?gallery=y&c=y&ref=%2F
Portland Firefly sometimes keeps the live feed on minimize in the corner of her computer screen while working on something else. Then if there is a lot of action, I don’t miss it. The two stronger chicks were just fed and then they had a ‘fight’ with each other. It was so cute to watch! The third little chick didn’t get fed this time and it looks like it woke up just in time for Momma to settle them all back down for another nap……
Earth Day 2010 will be celebrated on April 17th, 2010. The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970.
Earth Day Global Days of Service – will be April 17-18 , 2010. Join millions around the globe to make your community and the world cleaner and more sustainable.
Forty years after the first Earth Day, the world is in greater peril than ever. While climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, it also presents the greatest opportunity – an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean energy economy now and for the future.
Earth Day 2010 can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is galvanizing millions who make personal commitments to sustainability. Earth Day 2010 is a pivotal opportunity for individuals, corporations and governments to join together and create a global green economy. Join the more than one billion people in 190 countries that are taking action for Earth Day.
KGW is having another free paper shred day on Saturday, April 17, 2010 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. The address is 4790 SW Watson Ave in Beaverton (Corner of 3rd and Watson). Since this is right after the tax deadline, it’s an ideal time to clean out your old files, bills, and sensitive documents. There will be a secure shredding truck on hand from EFI. The limit is 3 banker size boxes per person. Paper clips, rubber bands, staples, and hanging file folders DO NOT need to be removed. No three ring binders please.
April 15, 2010
Wow! Portland has had an abundance of free events these last few days. And it isn’t over yet!
Mount Hood will have free skiing this Sunday, April 18th from 9:00 to 4:00. They ask that you bring 4 cans for the food bank. That’s it — 4 cans of food for someone else and you get to ski for free –all day! That sounds like a win – win situation for all!
On April 14, 2010, the first red-tailed hawk egg hatched! Here is a link to the video so you can see how the proud Momma steps aside to admire her new little one and to let the camera (and us!) get a good look at the little newcomer! Then she settles back down to continue brooding her clutch of eggs. I wonder when the little brothers and/or sisters will make their appearance. The eggs were laid three days apart, so maybe we will see another one three days from now.
SOLV IT — April 17
In honor of Earth Day, roll up your sleeves and pitch in to take care of Oregon. For the first time, SOLV IT, the annual SOLV Earth Day event sponsored by PGE, is going statewide. You can join PGE employees and other volunteers at more than 100 different sites to help clean up litter and illegal dumpsites, remove invasive plants, and enhance green spaces and watersheds. See the list of projects and register on the SOLV web site (link below). PGE sponsors SOLV IT because we care about the environment and the communities where we live and work.
SOLV web site: .http://www.solv.org/programs/solv_it.asp
This Friday, April 16, 2010, Jack in the Box will be giving away free french fries. The free fries event is to publicize the fact that Jack in the Box now serves french fries. They are calling the giveaway ‘Free Fryday”.
April 14, 2010
On April 15, bring in a reusable mug and get a free brewed coffee.
Join the movement. On April 15th, bring a reusable travel mug into your local Starbucks and get a free brewed coffee.
One person can save trees, together we can save forests.
For the good of the planet, Starbucks is encouraging everyone to switch from paper cups to reusable travel mugs. One day in March thousands of New Yorkers made the switch. Join them now by taking a pledge to do the same.
This global movement is taking place in locations around the world including East China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, Ireland, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico.
Offer varies by country, ask your barista for details.
My entire life growing up in Southern California, I can remember my Father advising me to be cautious of the riptides and instructing me to ‘swim sideways —parallel to the shore’ if I ever got caught in one. I remember being in some strong surf several times and one time I came in looking for the family’s beach blanket exhausted from the swim and happy to be on the beach once again!
But I never really understood the term ‘riptide’ until I was at the Waipi’o Valley Overlook in Hawaii and could see one from above. The riptide shows up as the lighter colored water in the center of the beach.
A current generally goes along the shoreline, but a riptide travels from the shore out to sea. Swimmers get exhausted trying to ‘fight’ the riptide by trying to swim into the shore which is against its strong outward pull. It is generally not very wide (maybe a hundred feet) and that is the reason you should swim ‘parallel to the shore’ in order to swim out of it.
Portland Firefly was really excited to see a riptide and is grateful to Marcus for pointing it out to us!
April 13, 2010
As you may recall, Portland Firefly is on a mission to help educate women about the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. My cancer, Primary Peritoneal Carcinoma, is what I call the deadly, aggressive sister to Ovarian Cancer. And to that end, I am available to speak before groups. Several groups have invited me to speak to them and it has been very gratifying.
At one such program I presented, one woman had all of the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. She went to her doctor within the week and had surgery shortly thereafter. Luckily for her, there was no sign of cancer. But she did tell me that she would not have sought medical treatment as soon as she did if she had not heard my presentation.
Portland Firefly is also on the speaking board for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Oregon and SW Washington. One of our objectives is to speak before health care professionals all over the country. Last week, I was part of the panel that presented our stories before third-year medical students at OHSU. I made it a point to customize this presentation especially for these soon to be doctors. Since doctors in six different medical specialities were involved one way or another with my particular case, I stressed how even if you are an ‘urgent care’ physician, you may one day have the opportunity to diagnose a case of Ovarian Cancer.
I also related to them how my compassionate doctors gave me the news of my cancer. Afterwards, several of them came forward and thanked me personally for my presentation. That made me feel very good because I really wanted to give them something very positive to keep in their hearts as they finish up med school and start their medical practices. And it appears that I did just that. My manager also complemented me on my presentation.
And so Portland Firefly is encouraged and inspired to continue her presentations which are done free of charge.
April 12, 2010
On my recent trip to Hawaii, my girlfriend picked me up and took me on a tour of the Big Island.
Our first stop was one of the many beautiful beaches that mark the western coast of Hawaii.
Then it was up and across the island to the well-known overlook at Waipi’o Valley. This valley has been inhabited for centuries and with the fresh water and fertile soil, the inhabitants were self-sufficient.
There is a beautiful ever-changing beach and the entire valley is protected by cliffs that are at least 1500 feet tall and straight up!
It was here that a local offered to take our picture. Marcus is a former Southern Californian surfer who is now a writer living just a few yards from this remarkable overlook. He is very knowledgable about the valley and his command of words as he described the various geographical points led this writer to ask him if he was a writer. He acted surprised and told us about the (very technical) book that he is working on. He has had writers block for several months and has been unable to write.
We continued our conversation and he invited us to have a lemonade with his wife and mother in law at their house. We had lot of things yet to see this day and Portland Firefly was not anywhere near 100% of her desired energy level. We were perhaps a little too cautious at this invitation and politely declined. However, if I return to the Big Island and Marcus invites us to visit his family this time I will not decline the invitation. Soon after our conversation, Marcus left and disappeared to his home.
My friend said that we had released his writers block and he had hurried home to once again write! We continued on our sightseeing day adventure!
April 10, 2010
As some of you know, Portland Firefly took herself off of chemotherapy about three weeks ago. Through a series of unusual events, I did not have the opportunity to discuss this completely with my respected Doctor. My appointment is later this week and at that time we will again go over all of the consequences of going off Chemo which I’ll relay here next week to you.
So now it has been about five weeks since my last Chemotherapy session. How am I feeling? I am feeling good. My energy level increases each week and I am always excited when I don’t have to sleep for 12 hours.
And, an expected good result of going off chemo, my hair is just barely starting to grow back. I can almost see it now. It is still too baby fine and sparse and short for me to tell what color it might turn out to be and if it might grow back in curly like it did last time. I’m hoping for curly and I’ll take any color because I can alway make it the color that I want it to be!
I lost all of my eyelashes and all of my eyebrows this last go around and they are still gone. I cannot even see my eyelashes. I do apply mascara where my eyelashes should be, but I think I am just putting it on my eyelid! My eyelashes have been gone for such a long time that I am a little bit concerned that they might not ever grow back in. And that would make me sad. The eyebrows I can always draw in (even though I don’t like having to do that), but I don’t want to have to wear false eyelashes every day for the rest of my life!
April 9, 2010
With the seeming increase of worldwide earthquakes, Portland Firefly feels the necessity to give some advice to her readers. Especially since Portland is on possibly one of the most active areas for a possible quake; it is not a matter of IF; here in Portland, it is a matter of WHEN. So….we need to be prepared.
At the first sign of a quake, you should exit any building that you are in. Get yourself and your children and your pets OUTSIDE IMMEDIATELY. During Southern California earthquakes, my Father would always hurry the family to stand in the open front doorway…. the strongest structural place in the home he had built for us.
There is something called the ‘triangle of life’ in case you are caught inside of a building. You should lay down NEXT to (not necessarily under) a heavy object, such as a refrigerator, a bathtub,a bed, a strong heavy piece of furniture. The reasoning is that if the roof falls on you, the heavy piece of furniture will support the roof (slanted to form a triangular space) enough so that you will have an air pocket in which to breathe.
Also, every family should have an emergency kit. If you go to this link, you can print a copy of what you should have in your 72 hour (3 day) emergency preparedness kit. http://www.portlandonline.com/oem/index.cfm?c=31663&a=39103
In Portland you can sign up on the city’s Public Alerts system to receive email, text or phone alerts about major events that would impact the public. http://www.publicalerts.org/
For more general information about earthquake preparedness, go to this page to print suggestions. These suggestions will be valuable for any part of the country, not just the Northwest. http://www.portlandonline.com/oem/index.cfm?c=31813
You will remember the old adage — “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Just think of the poor people in Haiti … they were not prepared at all…..
April 8, 2010
This afternoon at my resort, there was an ice cream event which I attended. Choice of Mud Pie, Vanilla or Macadamia Nut ice cream served around the pool. M-m-m-m delicious!!!
Immediately after everyone was served their ice cream, the program began. There is a Hula School nearby and the beautiful teacher brought her students to perform for us. They performed several dances each one with a complete costume change. The costumes were authentic, yet simple and the music was again authentic and interesting.
The students performed a variety of dances, beginning with the story of how the original settlers arrived in the islands. The instructor narrated the story of the dance prior to each selection being performed so we mainlanders could appreciate the movements of the dances.
As the rhythm of the drums varied, so the movements of the dancers varied. They were in perfect synchronicity. Which came first….the rhythm of the drums or the rhythm of the hips? Or did they develop together into the mesmerizing dance we were watching? It didn’t matter to me. It was entertaining and a young Keiki (young girl) quickly stood out because of her obvious talent.
Besides being entertaining the thing that I appreciated the most is the fact that there is someone willing to teach this art form to young people and that there are youngsters who desire to learn the precise movements of these ancient dances so they do not become lost in the hustle and bustle of our fast paced lives.
You may recall that each dance tells a story. Some of the stories (dances) are centuries old and had their roots in the dances of Polynesia. But one story (dance) was a contemporary cowboy story. Yes, there are cowboys here on the Big Island. There are horses, cows, goats, pigs, donkeys and I’ve even seen some turkeys! It was the story of two cowboys sent to Wyoming in 1909 for the World Rodeo Championships because of their roping skills. As a joke, the two Hawaiians were given wild stallions to ride in the roping contest. They were able to break the stallions and one of them became the World Rodeo Champion and the other took third place!
Portland Firefly completely appreciates the talent and dedication that is needed to bring such an extensive hour-long program to island visitors. To me, a vacation should include the cultural as well as the natural beauty of the places we visit. For it is in understanding the culture of another country that we begin to have a better understanding of the person and in the end we realize that we have more in common than we have differences.
Oh, the gecko? As I was sitting in the lobby writing this post, a little lime green gecko kept scurrying across the floor into the stone wall and out again. I guess I chose to sit in his favorite place and he kept checking me out!!!
April 7, 2010
Portland Firefly went to the Big Island of Hawaii a while ago for a little vacation. But she had to leave a day early because of the poor air quality caused by the Vog and because of the high velocity of the Trade Winds.
I believe that Vog stands for Volcanic Organic Gases. Vog is a form of air pollution that results when sulphur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight. It hangs in the air much the same way fog or smog does. It is a clear gas that can present unique symptoms. It is unique to the Big Island because that is where the active volcanos are located.
I believe that my body felt the effects of the VOG much more readily than the average person due to my Chemotherapy. I was dizzy, had a funny taste in my mouth and I became tired very easily. Afternoon naps were a must every day and the last few days, it was so windy that it just was not any fun to go outside. Portland Firefly felt bad just about the entire time she was on Hawaii, but that didn’t prevent her from having a lot of fun!!!!
Portland Firefly felt much better once she was back on the mainland, actually, the airplane air was even preferable to the Vog! Give me my Portland rain and clean crisp air!!!!!
For more information go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vog
April 6, 2010
Recently, Portland Firefly made the trek across the ocean to the beautiful state of Hawaii. It was a long trip to make and I actually did quite well. I found that people were very kind and helpful as I made my way from the Pacific Northwest to sunny California and then to beautiful Hawaii.
I am discovering that the more I travel, the more I am refining my packing procedures. On a recent weekend flight I was able to travel with just one carry-on suitcase ~ and my purse was packed inside of it!!! For this trip ~~~ which required a more extensive wardrobe ~~~ I was able to get everything into two suitcases which I could manage myself. I always make sure that my medicines and one change of clothes goes with me on the plane just in case of a ‘luggage delay’!
One item that I discovered prior to my trip to Spain last fall are ‘packing cubes’. They are little flexible mesh containers that have a zippered opening. The ones that I have, have a little bit of structure to them so they hold their shape. I love them because I can roll up all of my scarves and pack them into one cube and I know where to go to look for a scarf! I usually put underwear in another one. In the larger ones, I like to pack my rolled up tops so it is easy to choose which top I want to wear.
When packing cubes aren’t quite appropriate, I use ziplock plastic baggies to contain smaller items. It is easy to see what is inside and easy to move out-of-the-way if it isn’t what you want. Put like items into those baggies for convenience. I keep my travel scissors inside one little baggie and it just lives in my ‘checked suitcase’ even when home; that way I always have them when I need them and they never get confiscated by Airport TSA Security.
I will sometimes use a large ‘spacebag’ to pack large items. These are the plastic bags with a special zipper that you ‘roll up to force all the air out’ after you place your clothes inside. It is amazing how much air we pack! When you take the air out of your clothes (in a spacebag) your clothes take up a lot less room. I always travel with these bags and I tend to use them more on the flight back home when I need more room in my suitcase because of the souvenirs I have purchased!
I also use large ziplock baggies to help organize my suitcase. They work great for family vacations because you can pack a complete childs outfit inside one. Then you just grab a plastic baggie and that is what your child wears that day! Have a special plastic bag ready for dirty laundry.
I hope this gives you some helpful hints on packing. Enjoy your vacation!
April 5, 2010
The KGW Raptor Cam 2010 watch is in full swing. The momma red-tailed hawk has laid three eggs again this year. You may recall that she also laid three eggs last year, but only two hatched. We will see what happens this year!
The hawks are very interesting to watch, because you will see them (the male and female) take turns brooding (sitting on) the eggs. You will often see prey being brought to the nest so don’t become alarmed when you see half a pigeon in there! It is the natural order of life that you are watching! Oh! Even though it may look as though the birds are in a cage, they are not. They are on a metal fire escape in downtown Portland and are completely free to come and go as they please. And yes, they are in the wind and the rain and yet they never leave their eggs unattended! The above photo was snapped as the parents were changing places March 22, 2010.
The three eggs were laid three days apart, March 4th, March 7th, and March 10th. Incubation period is 28-35 days which means the first egg should hatch somewhere around the end of the first week in April!
Go to this link for your real-time camera view of the events as they unfold. http://www.kgw.com/lifestyle/raptor-cam