Archive for July, 2007

Tell congress to require clean sources of energy

We have the best opportunity we’ve ever had to get this country off of polluting energy like oil and coal and onto real clean alternatives like solar and wind. This week, Congress is voting on H.R. 969, a bill that will require electric suppliers to increase their fuel mix of clean energy to 20% (from a nationwide average of 2% today). If it passes, it’ll be like taking 37 million cars off the road.This will not only help curb the climate crisis, but save consumers money and create new jobs.

I signed a petition urging Congress to vote for to give solar and wind the support they need to assure a clean energy future. Can you join me?

Picture of a wind turbine being erected at the Nine Canyon Wind Project, on the hill overlooking my home.  The 63 wind turbines at Nine Canyon is one of the largest sources of public wind energy in the country.  Regardless of its proximity and importance to the local economy, the city of Richland, where I live, has elected to put 0.00% wind energy (and 0.00% solar energy) in its fuel mix.  I’ve written letters and gotten ahold of the local media with zero results - I’m afraid it is going to take federal law to get them to act.

River trip pictures

Head on over to my flickr account to see pictures from the river trip, as promised. I’ve had to edit out some truly inappropriate and incriminating ones…as we say, “what happens on the river stays on the river”. But never fear - there are still some gems in there.

Confirmed: A link between breast cancer and hormone replacement therapy

Kaiser Permanente in Portland, Oregon has confirmed it: hormone replacement therapy that was so popular only a few years ago then was stopped suddenly did, in fact, have links to breast cancer, and was not, as many suggested, just because of the increase in the use of mammography that caught more cases of breast cancer.

But does hormone therapy-once touted as being heart-healthy and preventing bone-thinning osteoporosis-offer any benefits? “To get rid of hot flashes and to make it through the night, it’s probably a reasonable thing,” Berry says. “But don’t count on it having any long-term beneficial effects.”

Glass stresses that there are other treatments for cardiovascular and bone health that are more effective and less risky. “The only reason to take…[hormones]…now is for menopausal symptoms,” he says, “and it should be the smallest dose for the shortest time.”

It’s just one more example of how no treatment is often the safest and most effective treatment.

Congratulations to new domestic partners

Congratulate Lisa Brodoff and Lynn Grotsky, whose relationship, after 26 years of being a committed couple are now officially recognized, accepted and validated by the State of Washington.

But they are not alone - yesterday was nothing short of beautiful.  More than 150 couples lined up yesterday in Olympia to register legally as domestic partners, giving same-sex couples and unmarried senior citizens a few basic rights: hospital visitation, inheritance and the right to make funeral arrangements.

There is still a very long row to hoe, but at least the ground has now been broken.  Yea, Washington State!

Back from birth

Everyone congratulate my client on her beautiful birth (she does read here)! I’ll share the full birth story at a later date (once I’ve shared it with Mom) but here’s the quick run-down:

- Cytotec for 5 hours which did very little to get labor going

- Water broken and immediate active labor (possibly immediate transition!)
- Asked for epidural 45 minutes later - anesthesiologist busy with another mom and didn’t make it in for 45 more minutes

- Anesthesiologist arrived as mom was pushing so no epidural

- 3 pushes and he was out
- Beautiful babe almost 8 lbs. healthy as can be! Mom and baby are doing great and she’s rightly very proud of herself seeing as she’s the only person she’s ever known to give birth naturally…she looked very strong and beautiful and used her voice and body well. Yea Mom! For all intents and purposes, this was a very intense 1 1/2 hour labor.

On solid ground again

We’re back from our kayaking adventure.  I’m always surprised to find that though we were among the youngest there, I drink less, go to sleep earlier, and rally less well than most of the group.

This year I had a pretty clean run and only spilled twice.  The first was a run-of-the-mill flop when I went through a crested wave sideways; the other a spill in a hole where I was churned underneath for a few long seconds before I figured out which way was up and found the sun.

I did manage to surf a couple of waves this year - one backwards on Lower Whitehouse on purpose, and one forwards when I didn’t get the momentum to get over the large wave and stayed on top for 4 seconds or so which looked cool although it was completely by accident.

Really, riding down the river is much like a birth - it’s completely unpredictable.  Each time is different due to many different circumstances.  The level of the water, the placement of the rocks, the cresting of a wave in front of you, and the shifting of the breeze can make your ride scary or disappointing or thrilling from day to day or moment to moment.  You just never know which turns in the river from run to run will be give you a bigger ride or be smooth as glass.  Sometimes a strong headwind picks up unexpectedly over a slow moving stretch and you have to augment your progress by paddling hard for miles and miles.  At other times you might come across a stretch of frothy whitewater that spilled you last time and you, white as a sheet and nauseous, make it through clean with only fear, determination and pure adrenalin as your guide.  Sometimes you spill and an experienced arm yanks you out of the water and places you back into your boat.  At other times you spill and climb onto your boat all by yourself mid-rapid, picking up your gear confidently as it floats through the churning water.  At the end of the ride, no matter how easily you sailed over the waves or how many times you got your ass kicked, you have your stories to carry with you and share and embrace with pride.

I came home surprised and excited to find out that my client is, in fact, still pregnant.  She’s scheduled an induction for today at noon, although at the local hospital it is very likely it will get kicked back to later today or even tomorrow or the next day.  I’ll share her birth story, but not before de-briefing with the client.  She does read this blog and has given me permission to write about her, but I feel that it is important that she solidify the story in her own mind before I impression her memory from my side.  Wish her luck and a safe ride through the waves, whatever they are!

Pictures of the trip to come.  Just keep in mind that river water does not make good hair product.

Leaving for vacation tomorrow

I’ll be kayaking in Idaho for four days and will obviously not have access to my computer, much less my phone.

My doula client was aware of the vacation when she picked me, however I will feel pretty awful if she goes into labor on one of the five days that I’ll be gone.  Honestly, I’d rather stay and attend her labor than go on the river trip - I’ll be thinking and wondering about her constantly.  She declined the idea of a backup doula, but she does have a close friend who will be with her, and we had that little informal childbirth education session so she’s at least got a few tools on how to support her friend.  Mom and I have been talking and emailing a lot and I feel really confident that she’s in a great mental place to really “enjoy” her birth, although that may seem like a strange word for it.

In any case, I’ll be calling her the second I have cell phone access when we come out of the water on Sunday!  And yes, yes, I’ll enjoy the trip.  Last year we had a blast.

“See” you all on Monday!

How much is your body worth?

I’m stealing this from At Your Cervix. (She’s a labor and delivery nurse - you’ve just gotta love that blog name!)

Imagine you’ve just kicked the bucket. Your family is much smarter than the average grieving brood - instead of paying for an expensive funeral with all the stops, they decide to make a profit on your death and sell your corpse to science. How much would your body be worth?

Apparently my body would bring $6225. That’s enough for a nice vacation for the rest of my family. Since I’m primarily a stay-at-home mom and have no real income, at least financially speaking I’m worth more dead than alive. Isn’t that a nice thought.

Now no one get any funny ideas…if I have anything to say about it you’ll have to wait on your vacation for quite a while. I actually do enjoy my life.

(Coincidentally, I was playing around with this and if I were an albino paraplegic with elephantiasis and dwarfism, I’d be worth about $8440.)

Money karma

I have a religious theory about money.

It seems that when we (Rich and I) spend our money foolishly and don’t watch our budget, large, somewhat unexpected bills land in our lap.  Bills like homeowner’s dues and the irrigation bill coming on the same day, or the shower breaking (last month), or what have you.

Then when we watch our spending and are more  prudent, it seems that whenever we are up against an unexpected cost, extra money finds its way to us.  Maybe I get some marketing consulting money, or we pay off a bill forever (no more student loans as of this month!) or I realize I paid the water bill twice and we don’t have to pay it this time around.

We call this phenomenon “money karma”.

Anybody else notice this phenomenon, or is it just a result of poor long-term financial planning on our part?

I’ve been memed!

I know some people hate this sort of thing, but I actually LIKE memes. They mean that someone thought of me, and that I get to fill out a form (yes, I’m strange like that), and that I get to usually talk about myself. What’s not to like? So, after a year and a half of blogging, I’m actually a cool kid. Kaitlin at primum non nocere has tagged me - for the first time. Oh, sure, I’ve filled out memes before, but I’ve searched them out - I’ve never been actually given the task by someone else. So I’ve lost my meme virginity to a woman…does that mean I’m gay? Even if I am, I could have done much worse. Kaitlin is a really cool gal who’s currently in medical school, and thinks I should be a doctor or a politician. So again, what’s not to like? :) Pop on over and visit her blog - you won’t be disappointed.

  1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Nope. But legend has it that my parents decided to have me while watching a Shirley Temple movie. Sorry Mom and Dad that I don’t have rosy cheeks and tap dance…I guess you got the blonde hair though…
  2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I cry all the time. But it was probably my labor support class at SMS. I’m pretty sure I am incapable of watching a birth without sobbing.
  3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yeah, I have disturbingly neat penmanship, and I like it that way.
  4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Turkey, I guess. But I’d rather take a salad.
  5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yep, two of them, and a furry baby, too.
  6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? We would have a lot in common…so we’d either love each other or hate each other, I guess.
  7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Yes, but sometimes people think I’m actually serious so it doesn’t always go over so very smoothly.
  9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Nope. I get motion sickness. Although I wouldn’t mind hang gliding…
  10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I only eat cereal when I’m in a serious hurry. Then it’s something like Kashi. But if I allowed myself to eat more sugar I would probably pick some kind of granola muslix-ish thing. Generally I save my sugar for things like raw cookie dough and tubs of icing - you know, the important stuff.
  11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Seriously, who does this?
  12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I’m stealing Kaitlin’s answer - some days, yes. some days, no.
  13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? 1 scoop of Baskin & Robbins chocolate and peanut butter and 1 scoop of either world chocolate or fudge brownie chunk.
  15. RED OR PINK? red
  16. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I’m working on being a better listener.
  17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? There is someone I miss very much…someone who used to be close to me…but I think I’ll leave out the name of said person here.
  18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? If you feel like it, sure
  19. WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Grey sweat shorts and no shoes
  20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A square of semisweet chocolate
  21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Rich is watching tv
  23. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SMELLS? an evergreen forest, a field of wildflowers, the smell that tells you it is about to rain.
  25. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes, I really do like Miss Kaitlin…
  26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? I like to watch WSU football, but mostly it is for the beer
  27. HAIR COLOR? blonde
  28. EYE COLOR? blue
  29. ARE YOU: OVERWEIGHT, UNDERWEIGHT, JUST RIGHT, OR NEVER RIGHT? about right, although I’m not as fit as I could be at the moment
  31. FAVORITE FOOD? Hummus and veggies
  32. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Neither. I’ll pick drama or documentary.
  33. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Unfaithful. (Hard to watch, but well done.)
  34. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? mint green (Hey! It’s a t-shirt I got for free!)
  36. HUGS OR KISSES? Depends on who ;)
  37. FAVORITE DESSERT? ice cream
  38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? I have a laptop.
  40. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T. V. LAST NIGHT? Some of the sign the pledge!)
  41. FAVORITE SOUND? my kids’ laughter. The wind through the trees. A waterfall.
  44. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Rich says I do, but I’m not going to share it here ;)
  45. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Madigan Army Hospital, Tacoma, WA.
  46. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT? Wherever I’ve never been.
  47. WHAT’S THE ONE THING THAT YOU’VE BEEN DYING TO DO BUT HAVEN’T DONE YET? be with a woman in labor. (soon!)
  48. WHAT’S THE ONE SIMPLE THING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY? listening to Rich snoring beside me in our bed.
  50. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BOOK/AUTHOR? Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. (How’s that for polar opposites?)
  51. WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO BE? In the mountains on a sunny day.
  52. WHAT’S YOUR PERSONAL THEME SONG? Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls
  53. ARE YOU REGISTERED AS A REPUBLICAN, A DEMOCRAT, OR AN INDEPENDENT? Registered as a republican in college (seriously, what was I thinking???) but definitely left-wing, independent/democrat.

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