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(no subject)

I spend more time on Facebook than I do here, but because of the great diversity in political beliefs among my friends I refuse to talk about politics there. So I'm going to say it here instead because I have to get it out.

I'm not sure I've ever felt as personally connected to a candidate's stance as I am this year. I cannot support someone who supports personhood amendments. I have spent too much money and time and emotion and pain these past several years trying to have a baby to feel comfortable with a president who can wave his hand at me and say "eh, you can't have one." Especially when he can wave his hand at a rape victim and say "now you, you HAVE to have one."

Life is full of varying shades of gray. And for those who think that I stand with a pro-choice candidate because I don't care about the precious life of a child, think again - I stand with a pro-choice candidate because I care so much about the precious life of a child that I WANT to spend thousands of dollars and five years (and counting) and emotion and pain to MAKE a precious life.
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(no subject)

We went back to Camp Adair this evening. I needed a very high-energy dog to get tired without chasing a ball through a muddy field, and it would make for a good level spot for Cory to run at the same time. (You can walk along the old camp streets; they're concrete but all cracked and with moss and grass growing here and there.)

So we all set off at the same time, and after a warm-up Cory started running and left Linus and me in the dust. We walked half a mile or so through the rain, me fighting with the umbrella in the wind and Linus smelling the grass and moss at the edges of the street. When Cory was just a tiny, barely-seen speck, Linus suddenly ran off after him, leaving me all alone in the twilight.

For the next ten or fifteen minutes I walked alone, hoping Linus made it to Cory, that he didn't get lost on the way. Then since I had some time, I started getting more and more worried and playing fun scenarios in my head and how I'd deal with them. Cory fell down somewhere and I'd have to call the police and have them come out with flashlights. Linus got lost and would have to spend the night out in the rain and the cold because he couldn't hear us calling for him. They both got kidnapped and I never told them I loved them before they went running off.

When I reached the halfway time (we were each doing 15 minutes out and back) I started back towards the car. I turned around every 30 seconds or so, focusing my eyes on the spot where they had disappeared in the distance and seeing nothing.

And then I saw a tiny black speck. For a moment I was concerned because Cory was wearing a bright blue jacket and it would have been easy to spot him.

And then the speck got a little bigger.

And a little bigger.

I decided Cory had taken off his jacket and tied it 'round his waist. So there he was, that was a weight off my shoulders. But I didn't see a little orangey-brown speck with him. Admittedly, it is difficult to see a dog in the distance when it is getting dark and the dog is the same color as some of the vegetation.

And then the speck got bigger and with it was a tiny orangey-brown speck. A speck which, upon seeing my green-jacketed speck, came barreling towards me and became a giant happy wet Linus.

And then Cory caught up with me and we all went home.
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(no subject)

This morning I took Linus for his morning walk. I let him go into a yard and he started peeing. Then suddenly I heard "Sir?" I looked up and an older lady was looking at me from her front door (it was her yard).

"Do you need a bag for your dog's poop?"

"Nope, he's just peeing, and see, I have a whole roll of them attached to my leash!"

"Are you suuuuuuure?"

"Yep, I hate it when dog owners don't clean their dogs poop out of my yard, so I would definitely never leave poop in someone else's yard!"

She kind of looked at me incredulously and slowly went back inside. I don't think she believed me.

A block later, Linus pooped, so I picked it up (like I always do) and then walked back by that lady's house, swinging my full poop bag, so that she knew I was telling the truth.
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(no subject)

It always amazes me how suddenly I'm thrown headlong into autumn. I think it's because in spring I steel myself for a long hot summer and then it's over in a blink. The weather turned wet as if cued by the equinox, and though we've had some nice days since then, they have a different feel. The other day I was walking under the neighbor's gigantic maple tree and could smell fall for the first time.

So here we are in my absolute favorite time of year. I'm utilizing my newfound creativity (the heat tends to turn it off) by making Halloween costumes for Cory and me. I'm excited; though someone has got to have thought of my idea before, I can't find any photographic evidence for it online. My Halloween costume ideas always have to be that fine line between "everyone recognizes what it is in a moment" and "nobody else has thought of it" - which is why I never dress up, I suppose. Next weekend I'll get the decorations out - I want to try a Pepper's Ghost in the upstairs window but I'm not sure I want to buy glass for it, so maybe I will do something else interesting. I just spent an hour looking at DIY Halloween decorations and now I can't wait to buy a house so I can haunt it. :D
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Gabfest Girltalk Camping Trip

solteronita and I went camping this weekend!

We never really plan to go to a particular campground, or reserve a site; we just go where there are several campgrounds in an area and find a good one. The last two or three years that we've been camping we have had spectacular luck.

Friday morning I set out from my dad's house where I'd spent the night, and got Nicoal and we grabbed some groceries and got going by around 10. The plan was to take 99W to McMinnville and then west to the Nestucca River Recreation Area, where there were five campgrounds in a row way out in the middle of nowhere. Nicoal doesn't have a car and I haven't been on 99W in a long time, so even though we both thought the scenery looked different than we expected, we didn't think about it - and therefore didn't realize we were actually on 99E until well south of McMinnville. In fact, we were about five miles north of Keizer when we figured it out.

So we cut through Salem and got on 22 going west, and then 99W going north to McMinnville. We passed the turnoff to the Nestucca River Road but turned ourselves around in just a couple of blocks.

Awhile later, we found ourselves in the Nestucca River Rec Area. We passed a car going the other way here and there, and generally had good feelings about not having hardly any neighbors for our camping trip. We got to Dovre, the first site, which was right next to the road and full of tents. So we passed it. We got to Fan Creek, the second site, which was right next to the road and full of tents. So we passed it.

We got to Elk Bend, the third site, which was heralded as the best one by some camping guidebook we found on Google, and we only saw three cars parked on the side of the road so we got out of the car with Linus to see if there were any spaces. Not only were there no spaces, but suddenly a giant bulldog came running towards us as fast as he could. I didn't even notice that he was tethered until he suddenly did a 180 from running so fast and coming to the end of his rope. Poor Linus got very concerned about the angry dog barking at him, and one of the ladies sitting in her lawn chair said "he's not used to other dogs!" and left it at that. We used the vault toilet and got out of there pretty quickly.

The last two sites were about the same as the first three. We drove through one and were stared at by big-bellied men in tank tops and shorts standing around with beers.

So we pressed on westward after a stop for lunch (since it was 2 by then) and another stop at a map on the west edge of the Nestucca Rec Area. (Remind me to get a map. iPhone map apps are kind of useless when you're not in cell range.) In Beaver I called Cory quickly to let him know Nestucca was a bust and we were going to try Cape Lookout up by Tillamook - they had 130 sites; one of them must have our name on it. We weren't thrilled by the thought of having to share a campground with that many people but we looked on the bright side of life and hyped ourselves up. And then the sign pointing the way to the campground said "FULL."

Northward again, and then eastward from Tillamook on highway 6 we went, very discouraged. With the few moments of cell service we had, Nicoal saw that there were a few places on the way back to Portland, so we crossed our fingers again and drove. And then 20 miles or so east of Tillamook, I passed a sign for Keenig Creek Campground. There was no warning that it was coming up, just an indication of the turnoff, but since we were there I turned around and we investigated.

There were a couple of loops, all walk-in camping, and down a (kind of steep) path was the Wilson River. We explored and found a few empty sites, so we settled there. It was about 3:30 - boy, was I tired of driving!

Wilson River.

We spent an hour or so down at the river before we came up to make dinner and build the evening fire. Linus had fun splashing around in the water and getting soggy. Dinner was Nicoal's invention: pizza dough with veggies mixed in, baked in foil in the fire and dipped in pizza sauce. It was yum, though it took so long to cook that we were already thoroughly buzzed from the wine we'd brought and started drinking on empty stomachs. We went to bed relatively early, partly because of the long drive and partly because of the wine.


Saturday was a leisurely day exploring and playing by the river. After a breakfast of home fries, we went down to the water until lunch, and then went back down after eating until it was dinnertime. Now that Linus finally knows how to swim (he learned how the previous weekend!), I threw sticks into the current for him all day long. In the morning, I'd throw it and he'd run into the water; by the evening he'd walk into the water. Yay for tired dogs.

New Swimmer.

Dinner on Saturday was rice and veggies, and more wine, but this time we were more careful with our timing so we weren't fuzzy-headed all evening. We also stayed up late enough to roast vegan coconut marshmallows - mmm, burnt sugar.

This helps.

This morning I was the first person awake and up in the whole world, which was fun. I wandered around with Linus off-leash for a little bit until the rest of the campground started waking up, and then we went back to camp for a leisurely breakfast of dutch oven coffee cake. And then we packed up and drove back to Nicoal's - which took about an hour.

Morning has broken.

And that was our camping trip. It wasn't long enough, but it was tons of fun and I can't wait for next time!

Balancing Brazils

Lots more photos on my Flickr page as well as Nicoal's!
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Raw Food Day 8

The beginning of week two didn't get off to a great start, planning-wise - I would have preferred to go to the store on the weekend but I was gone. So we got what we needed for today at lunchtime.

Breakfast: Big tangerine, a handful of nuts
Lunch: Salad with half an avocado
Snack: Whole Grain Odwalla (the grain was brown rice I believe), 2 dates, a dried hibiscus or two


Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Zucchini "pasta" with sun-dried tomato pesto. (I'm getting good at cutting zucchini noodles without a mandolin!)

This morning at the all-staff meeting at work there were bagels and cream cheese. I feel like I am getting better at saying no to such things; I am finding that it is not the end of the world if I cannot eat something that might be tasty.

I'm also finding that coffee makes me feel weird. It might be because I'm not eating as much, or that what I am eating doesn't "soak up" the coffee, but I kind of feel lightheaded now. I should probably cut down or stop drinking it for a bit, but it does make me stop yawning in the mornings, which is nice.

Valentine's Day is coming up - this is the first year in several that I haven't had any Conversation Hearts (which is just as well as Lisa told me they changed their recipe this year and they're not nearly as good). If you've read my LJ in years past you know I usually get two or three bags of Hearts every Valentine's season.

V-Day should also probably involve some kind of romantic dinner. I'll have to see what I can find...
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Raw Food Day 7

Today was kind of a mixed bag as far as emotions. It was wonderful to hang out with Nicoal and just talk about food and be all excited about it together! And then I said goodbye and went down to Salem and had lunch with Erin and her family. They eat a lot of meat and cheese and not a lot of veggies, so I felt lucky that I was there on a day that they had taco salad. They each had a really yummy-looking plate of chips and ground beef and all the taco-y trimmings (including lettuce), but I wasn't that tempted, even though the smell of the beef cooking was nice. I had salad with tomato and onion and one black olive. And I shared my dried mango and hibiscus flower and raw nuts with her older son, who enjoyed them.

Dinner was a quick little photo-less salad, because we have an empty fridge again. But this evening I made up a raw shopping list and will go brave the grocery store tomorrow.

I ran into a tiny bit of trouble while looking for recipes. I had a hard time finding anything that sounded good to Cory and didn't involve 8 hours of dehydrating. I really want to find a good falafel recipe so I can approximate the best part of last night's dinner. But I found some good recipes and am excited to continue!

Week two of raw food, here I come!
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Raw Food Week, Day 6

Day 6 was super easy to be raw, which I was only slightly worried about. I went up to Portland in the morning, and was worried I'd eat too much because of being around friends, but I was around Nicoal, who's vegan and loves raw food as well so I shouldn't have been quite so concerned. Heh.

Breakfast - I got on the road pretty quickly and had remembered to bring an apple with me, but had forgotten that I'd brought it, so it is still in my bag. I went to a coffee shop to meet Nicoal and another friend, Erin, and they had no raw food so I got a yogurt with granola and fruit and ate about half of it. And an americano. Yum.

Nicoal and I watched Anne of Green Gables and had some raw trail mix from Trader Joe's, as well as some dried mango and dried hibiscus flowers, which we saw on the shelf at TJ's and had to try. (They're good, but not good enough for me to buy them without the novelty of them being flowers.) We also had to try some red currant wine, which is a big scene in Anne, but it was so sweet we couldn't drink more than a few sips. Too bad.

Lunch was more pad thai; we used up the sauce Cory made for Friday's dinner.

And then dinner. Ohhh, dinner.

Blossoming Lotus

We went to Blossoming Lotus in north Portland. They are (as far as I know) the only raw restaurant in Portland. About half of their menu is raw; and it's entirely vegan. We shared:
* Live Sampler: a taste of each: tahini-cilantro pate, live falafel, live pasta and eden salad, served with savory flax crackers and crudite.
* Live Pizza: hempseed & basil pesto, cashew cheese and marinated vegetable topping on spiced tomato & walnut crust, served with a mixed green salad
And then Nicoal had a raw strawberry cheesecake and I had a raw chocolate tart that I couldn't finish. (That is very odd to say - in the past, I have definitely not been one to leave any dessert on my plate!)

And now we come to day 7! I'm going to be on the road most of the time, so I'm not sure how it will work; I haven't planned anything and I'll be visiting people along the way. But I'm sure it'll work out.
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Raw Food Week, Day 5

Up a pound today. Not surprised, not unhappy. :)

Breakfast: a big orange-sized tangerine (with eighty bazillion seeds), a kiwi, and a handful of almonds.
Lunch: Plain salad and an apple with peanut butter
Snack: Dates, of course (they're almost gone now)

Pad Thai

Pad Thai!

OMGYUM. That's all I have to say about that. Granted, it wasn't 100% raw (it had maple syrup in it, and I'm pretty sure the peanuts in the peanut butter are roasted) but was it ever good. And zucchini noodles taste like real noodles. It's weird and wonderful.