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Sunday, June 28, 2009

I've hardly had coffee recently. Expense, health are some of the reason. Typical now is to get decaff, if at all.

Today, I was dragging. After having a headache yesterday, there were so many things I needed to do before Monday. I needed to renew my ARRT license, gas in the car, cash, laundry, water plants, help Dan get ready for some of his interviews.....

I could see nothing was going to happen. The answer COFFEE!

About 2pm, I ran over to the drive-thru. I forgot what this stuff is like. I instantly was racing and getting so much done. It made me feel all was possible. I also was laughing at myself for internally wanting to take on 100 other new projects.

No wonder people get hooked on this! I'll save it for when I really, really needed it in the future. Right now, I know it was the thing that saved the day. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KUNGFOOD 7/5/2009 1:37PM

    Ah! The restorative power of Joe.

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One at a time

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Today my diet was simple, neat and clean. Just one thing at a time.

I started the day with a headache and thought I need water, but drinking water was upsetting my stomach, so I ate some fresh harvested melon. It tasted so clean that I just kept eating it and started to eat another. I ate 1 1/2 of these flavor filled tuscan ? cantaloupes and I felt refreshed.

Later I ate one cup of low fat cottage cheese. Then a cup of almonds. Then an apple. I strung this out through the day. I've felt full and I just kept washing off the same dish, so easy on the clean up.

The ice cream man came and his tune from the String rang out over the neighborhood, so Louis and I ranged out to share an ice cream bar and then took a relaxing walk. I've still not gotten over 1,200 calories and I'm not interested in a thing more.

I'm not sure if this is lazy eating, or just 'mindful', but I'm going to have to do this again...just easy grazing through the day. I never felt I had to cook, do dishes and I did very well on my nutrition count. I wish eating like this came easy in the winter.....I'll have to try this as my menu for Thanksgiving!


Dead Fish Update

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Just when I think I'm a crazy woman for having tested the water at my local park (see June 16 Blog), I come home and read this:

Kirklandís Juanita Beach Swimming Area Closed Until Further Notice Due to High Bacteria Levels
Tagged with: Juanita Beach Park
Posted by Rob Butcher on Friday, June 26, 2009, 17:19

I was just a little ahead of myself on timing, but my nose was good.

You know what I love about my Spark friends? They never once threw it in my face. I may have doubted myself, but you were the best of support and encouragement to "be me".

Thank you.


Sparkle News at the End of the Week

Saturday, June 20, 2009

* As anticipated a busy week. I almost stepped forward to write the con statement for annexation. I still have not completely decided my stand, yet I see the pro side being completely organized and that people will not get a complete view of the problems (assuming prior debt of the city - amount still not disclosed in meetings), slower fire response times, split neighborhoods, a switched position on allowing a casino, and a huge on going city budget debt (5 - 8 Million).

* For the last two weeks, I've started to feel the edge of joint ache and pains and increased headache, rapid heart rate. I did a blood donation this morning. My old level five weeks ago was 33 and today 38 (hematocrit levels). I'd been hoping to wait until next week when I could coordinate with my new doctor that I see Wednesday, but last night I was feeling so bad I didn't think it wise. Of course, today because of the draw I feel tired. For my own record, symptoms that I felt: dull headache, sharp pains in my shoulders, elbows, hips and hands, feeling like something is in my eye - ?dry eye, drop in libido, drop in energy, drop in appetite, irritability, feeling of dread, increased dreaming and sense of smell.

* Father's day will take Dad out for sushi. He is doing so much better. I always love when he answers the phone because I know he is feeling well enough to get up.

* Dan and I had a date Friday night and saw the StarTrek movie. Finally. I thought it was very important in the middle of me rushing around on annexation and him on job search that we spend some time together. We were both so tired that we hardly talked, yet it did feel good to "be" with him.

* School just down the street is being taken down, probably on Monday. I so wanted to save plants, but they've now put up a fence so I can't -- I'm sorry green buddies. (I called to attempted to arrange this, but the big whigs wanted to charge dollars for them and the little guys just saw that I'd be blocking their progress). I'll hide this in here, I've also been playing detective on a local crime that occurred. I got up the guts to call the police on the number listed in the paper, as now I'm 75% sure, and they wanted name and location. I had more vague information (I now have the name and will follow up Monday), and they didn't want to hear what I had to say....what's with that? Ah, Katherine let go....

* Daughter Crystal is home for a month after finishing summer school. Most of her friends are graduating, so she is saying goodbye to many. She initially started a year later so she could work and earn money first. Now she has a new roommate moving in. It will be a very different year - I'm so use to her "gang" of friends.

* Dan is going to California for a job interview. Crystal and I will fly along to check out the area for a home, cost of living, but due to my daughter's resourcefulness we also get a bonus.
We both were born on the same day in July and she pointed out that Disneyland is having a promotion in 2009 for a free day at the park on your birthday. So while Dan is interviewing, Crystal and I will get to party like the kids we are with Goofy, Mickey, Cinderella and all the rest of Disney wonder -- I'm WAY EXCITED!!!

I think I'll end there........With a Tinkerbell touch of Sparkle!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIKOLYNN 6/23/2009 6:50PM

    Give mickey a kiss- on the forehead- from me!!!

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WILLBOYWONDER 6/22/2009 1:06PM

    Oh, I understand what you mean about being the detective in your neighborhood. Sometimes, if we citizens donít do that, many crimes never get solvedÖ.but unfortunately, when you do call in with information, youíre made to feel like your information isnít relevant. In some cases, they make you feel as though YOUíRE the criminal. They ask for your help but when you try to give it, itís a hassle. Thatís a big reason why many people donít report things they see or things they know. However, Iím glad you at least tried to help.

Glad you have things going on that make you so excited ďwith a Tinkerbell touch of SparkleĒ and I wish you all much good luck with the new home search and the job interview.

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91DILIGENCE 6/21/2009 11:47AM

    Hey Nancy Drew - you got to fill us in on the crimfighting!!

How did you like Star Trek? I saw it a few weeks ago, too.

Keep going!!

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Dead Fish

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On Sunday night I went for a walk to my fav park, O.O. Denny.

There are so many things I love about this park. First, the local citizens put together an alliance to tax themselves for maintenance of the park, so that there was local control of the park. Second, it has a wonderful mixture of landscape - quiet woods, a bridge over a stream, old-American covered BBQ shelter, a fenced off bird nesting area and a long shoreline with Lake Washington. The people that come are mixed too - to the South end are the people that routinely bring their dogs for swimming, towards the middle of the park mom's with kids swimming, in the back of the park families coming for picnic, just a small distance north the teens hang out (with an occasional beer), and to the far north a separate section of lawn for quiet drifting couples and local homeowners. The park lacks the over regulated feel of other parks in the area. There are just enough structures to make it usable, but not some many that nature loses her voice.

So it was with curiosity when I first looked down and saw some small dead fish at the shoreline. Was it bait left by someone attempting to catch some local trout? I walked along and they continued - the count being over 1,000. I noticed birds had been taking advantage of this well served feast, and there were a few dropping side by side to the dead fish.

I'd intended to let Louis wade along the shore, but now drew him back and asked Dan if he'd noticed these fish. He also dismissed it as being just some left over bait, or possible a sound shock. As we walked further North the line up of dead sardines continued. The smell also increased - slightly dead fish, slightly ammonia. Something was very wrong. The water was full of more algae than normal, could an over bloom of this combined with the hot weather caused a lack of oxygen in the shallow waters? Was it some kind of red tide? There were some scummy bubbles in the water...was it some detergent run off? But there were so many fish and the lake is vast - the second largest in the State of Washington.

For a moment it took me back to my childhood. The lake was a great source of summer fun, yet pollution in the 1960's lead to beach closures and milfoil over growths. If there was some type of pollution problem it was surprising that I'd not hear about it. And there was only one type of fish...

As I started up the beach, I asked people if they knew what was causing the dead fish. Because they were so small, the few people that were there hadn't noticed them and had no clue. How could they not smell the difference in the area? It was the first thing that made me look down.

At the very far end of the park, we saw more and more fish floating out in the water, until we came to a small cove behind a concrete wall with every inch covered in floating, decomposing fish - the stench was horrible. There were a few large fish floating there as well. At that point it hardly mattered why the fish were there, rather I could smell possibility that the bacteria levels might be a risk. I returned and posted a quick sign warning that the water quality might be a problem (signed and dated it from a private citizen). My husband problem thought I was crazy, but I was concerned that I was seeing dogs drinking from the water and children playing in it.

The Internet is such a great boom. The dead fish were sticklebacks that spawn at this time of year normally. It is typical for them to die this time of year, however, with our warmer weather the decomposing bodies floated to the top of the water rather than being consumed by the trout. The wind and wave action carried them by the thousands to the shore. The one local paper from the previous Thursday reported it as just being normal spawning.

It still didn't take away my concern over bacteria levels. Monday I got ten little plastic cups from a terriyaki shop and went to the park and took water samples. As I collected them, I was amazed that the kids had more concern than the parents watching their children sitting right among the decaying fish. One little girl asked me (she was probably around five), "Are you a scientist? Should I get out of the water?" Her mother responded, "It's probably ok, they would have told us if there was something wrong."

It told me a lot about myself. I've never trusted the "they". I always want to know for myself and when it comes to safety, I want absolute answers. Besides the "they" was not out taking samples. Dead fish on Thursday look very different from fish that have had four days to rot in the hot sun.

I took the water samples to our local Pet/Aquarium store - ironically in name Denny's Pet World. Hats off to these guys for helping me out and said no to taking the money when I offered. As the one guy said, "I swim there". I had them test each sample for NH3, NH4, NO2 and NO3. At the store, it was a relief to find none of the samples were in a unsafe zone. One sample had a higher NO3 level, it was the one taken near a stream that dumps into the lake and this would be consistent with fertilizer run off.

I went back and posted a sign reporting the testing findings, the cause for the fish and how and where I'd done the testing. So now at least I can sleep at night not worrying about kids and dogs.

But the thing that lingers with me, is why am I always the one to notice, why am I the one that acts, what makes me different? What allows others to drift in calm, while I race around attempting to solve global problems. You would think I'd be happy to be a behind the scenes "super hero", but in so many ways - the woman on the shore was right, it probably would have been posted if it was a bigger problem. Why can't I just leave it alone? By taking action I leave myself as a target. I cause myself extra work and grief. So often I feel I've come from another planet, as I find myself in a crowd of people that are not reacting to things that I feel impossible not to react to. Was it all the 1950-60's scare pollution, world unrest that I grew up around? The world has not changed so much. Post my aneurysm clip, I've tried so hard to learn a new inner peace. Yet I find it hard to sit back and trust the "they". Harder still to walk past dead fish.

I could try to blame it on having too much time on my hands, but just the opposite. The need to react gets me involved in political issues (three annexation related meetings this week), community involvement (VP for our homeowners board meeting last night), family (helping with housework/yard Friday night), and running around testing water samples!!! I wish I could put on blinders and not see so much. Ok, so I'm off to clean graffiti off the park fence and ask the school what is happening to the plants when they clear off the old building this Friday.....I might be able to save some for the park.... It's no use, it's just who I am.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLOWINGWATER 6/19/2009 12:54AM

    It's people like you that make the world a better place. I don't trust the "they" either. I'm sorry, but the "they" are often more motivated by money, or selfishness, or politics, or media, or ??? The bottom line is, unfortunately, not everyone is motivated by compassion and caring. I'm glad you are!


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KUNGFOOD 6/17/2009 11:51PM

    Thankfully you are looking out for someone's some one special.

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SLIKOLYNN 6/16/2009 8:29PM

    My dear spirit sister,
to make a difference is your calling :)
You are God's grace to others.

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SEVERUM 6/16/2009 4:43PM

    Kudos to you for testing the water and taking the time to figure out what was wrong with the dead fish! I don't trust the "they" either. Someone should slap that mother!

Good luck on the stress management though!

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