Memories of a five year old zombie wanna be....

I must talk about Michael Jackson a bit. I almost feel like I would be remiss to ignore his passing in my blog/journal. I was not what you'd call a huge fan, but he was of course a very large part of my childhood music world.

We had lots of records. Loads and loads in these wood crate things, but the special ones, the ones we listened to often lived on a shelf on the ginormous entertainment center my parents owned. I can distinctly remember the Thriller album cover being on top of the record stack for a large portion of my time at the apartment on Hacienda Avenue. It was always there, right along with my Dumbo record and eventually my Madonna record. I thought my mom must have a crush on him because he was laying on his side trying to look all sexy (or what a six year old perceives as trying to be sexy). Though the music taste varied greatly in my house - Grateful Dead to Journey to Rolling Stones to Patsy Cline to Elvis - there was always a place for Thriller.

I can also remember trying very hard to learn each and every move to the Thriller dance, just like every kid my age. I've never been a terribly coordinated dancer (ask anyone who ever saw me try out for a cheerleading squad, thank goodness I could tumble and stunt!) so I probably looked more like an actual zombie than a cool dancer dressed up like a zombie. A five year old zombie. But the point is I tried, because it was so freaking cool. He was cool. The video was cool. The song was awesome! I wanted to be his date and wear the cute poodle skirt. In fact now that I think about it, I think I can rightfully blame Michael Jackson for my obsession with said article of clothing that has carried with me to present day. I am always looking for a 50's-ish skirt!I heard that song six times yesterday and I never got tired of it. I think I could listen to it as many times today and still get a kick out of it. And still want to wear the skirt, but not the spandex outfit later in the video...

I actually found myself flipping stations in search of more Michael Jackson music on my way home last night. I couldn't get enough and every song gave me goosebumps. I didn't realize it was that important to me until I heard "We Are the World" and I teared up.

I'm not here to judge the man, his actions or what his life eventually became. That's God's job and I suspect they are talking it over right now. What I can do is remember the joy and fun his music brought to my childhood and so many others. I'd like to remember him as the shy speaking, moonwalking, bleeding heart that he was before he got all weird.

I may even try to learn the Thriller dance again so I can participate in the Thrill The World mass dance this coming October. You know you want to do it too! We can all dance like zombies together! Check for your local time and spot here:

The world is heavy...

Do you ever just want to avoid the news completely? Too much violence, too much sadness, sometimes not even a trace of a feel good story?

The world seems so heavy right now. Heavy burdens on shoulders. Heavy hearts.

The plight of the Iranian people, the story if Neda and her death is painful. I made myself watch the video of her shooting. It was horrifying to watch, but I made myself do it because I felt like I owed it to her and the others who want to see equality and peace in their country. I don't want to dismiss it as another horrible thing going on out there, like I do far too often. She is one of many. They are one county of many, seeking freedom and equality. I am not a middle east expert and I don't know what the answer is, but I do feel for them, want them to find peace and learn to live in harmony again.

The argument about renaming 39th Ave, here in my own city is extremely frustrating and hurtful. I've been following the story for months now and watched the city council hearing on it last night. In all honesty I felt like neither of the sides (pro/con) made valid, educated points, and reading the comments posted on local news sites make me sad and somewhat sick. Cesare Chavez was a civil rights worker who did wonderful things for the migrant farm workers in our country. He was a US citizen, and believer in following the law, but also changing it to make work safe and equal for those hard working people who put produce on your table. Reading the hateful comments about him, accusing him of being illegal, of helping illegals, of being Jimmy Hoffa, it's just plain stupid. That is not who he was. I don't want to rename the street, it's a numbered street in a grid system. It's a navigational thing, not to mention all the business' that would have to spend money to change all sort of marketing materials and address related items. I even live in a neighborhood that would be directly affected so I feel like I have a valid say in it. But, Chavez deserves more respect than he's getting. The ignorance and bigotry of my fellow Oregon residents makes me sad. I thought we, the city of Portland, were better than that.

And then there is cancer. Greg is doing better. Thank you to everyone who sent a prayer and good thought. He has improved greatly, though is still in the hospital fighting infection. But in even more unhappy news, my Aunt has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is having surgery today to remove a lesion. My Aunt G was my "summer mother" I spent many a summer day and night in her house while I was home in Illinois, and as my mom's only sister is probably the closest relative I have besides my own mom. Her husband, Uncle R, walked me down the aisle. I know her survival rate is high, and it was detected early, but it's scary and means my mother and I are greater risk. It's just bad, sad, ugly, nasty and frightful all in one stupid package. Cancer sucks.

Sorry for the bummer of a post, but it's all been weighing on my own heart. I want my world to be a better place, a happier, healthier place and sometimes it's hard to find evidence that there are good things happening around me.

An extra hug for you all

Tonight I came home and made dinner and now am just waiting for Scott to get home so we can spend some quality time on the couch. I feel the need tonight to just be with him, give him an extra hug or kiss.

Scott's friend and former business partner is back at the hospital, complications after his most recent bone marrow transplant. Complications were to be expected, he has no immune system on purpose, but I think this is extra scary. He has pneumonia. His organs aren't working so well, so his body is taking on fluid. He's not completely lucid and the nerve damage from the chemo has gotten worse. They are now saying the nerve damage could be permanent. At this point he can not stand on his own. I don't know that the severity will be permanent but knowing he may not regain full use of his hands and feet must be extremely hard to hear. He is 32 years young.

Greg and Shana are the most resilient people I know and yet today, I could hear in the words Shana types the stress and fatigue she is feeling. There is nothing I can do to make it better for them. No magic wand, no shooting star wishes, but Lord knows if I could I would.

What I can do is ask anyone who reads this to say a prayer, send a kind thought, put a positive vibe into the universe. It doesn't matter what God you pray to, or even if you pray at all. There is something about people focusing on one thing, a positive thing that makes it feel better. And I know that Greg and Shana would appreciate any help they can get. If you know of a prayer chain add them too, if you think of it.

I personally will be spending a lot of time talking to God in the next few days.

I've been teary for a large part of the day. I reread the updates, reread the notes people leave in their guestbook. It's hard to read, but I find some comfort in knowing they have so many people that care for them. So many people pulling for them.

I know I've said it before, but it really does make me rethink my priorities and pull myself out of any pity party I had planned.

Yes my goal for a family in on hold now, but their lives are on hold, their entire lives. It's so easy to get wrapped up in the little things in a day, when really our energy should be focused on helping those who need it most.

Cancer sucks.

Hug your loved ones, maybe a few times. And thank you for passing along the need for prayer.

Trauma at the pool

I realize that the gym is open to anyone and everyone who is willing to pay the membership fee. I realize that I need to be tolerant of things. I realize that it's not my gym so I have no say over who uses what machine or room at the gym. I realize I might sound like a total nut log for saying this, but no man over 60, scratch that, no man no matter their age should ever wear this to the pool:

Furthermore, no man should wear this, then take extra large, lunge like, steps around said pool deck and whistle while doing so. It's quite traumatizing for a gal who is just trying to get some exercise.

It's called a banana hammock for a reason guys! And ladies don't want your banana hammocking around them!

I'd never wished for my goggles to steam up before...

Back in the swim of things....

I had grand plans to make it to the gym this morning at 6:30AM for a brisk swim.

It didn't happen.

Dog woke me up at 2am, 3:06am and 3:30am. I didn't sleep well. Dog had a great time playing in the yard at 3:07am.

I did pack my bag for a trip to the gym after work.

Things needed to swim:
- New suit that boobs will not pop out if swimming breast or butterfly stroke CHECK
- Swim cap to protect pretty shiny hair CHECK
- Goggles to protect contacts CHECK
- Accountability....not so CHECK

Accountability is my worst problem. I'm hoping if I log my exercise efforts here I will be better about them. But perhaps if you read this on a regular basis, and you notice that I haven't mentioned my swimming you might post a comment like...

"Hey Erin, did you get your fat ass to the pool today?"

You can say it nicer than that if you like, but I think it's fun to say "fat ass" so I won't hold it against you if you use the term.

Friday Photograpy

Yes it's a real building in Portland, just around the corner from my house actually. Apparently it's not all that well known because people are always surprised to see this picture. I found it one day while Charity and I were in Sellwood shopping. I went back later with my step ladder to get a better shot and this is it. I'd like to go back and get an even better shot someday.

Currently I have this hanging in my was just too funny not to!

I am home from our trip to the mid-west. Happy to have seen family, but happy to be home. It had been years since I last saw some of my cousins, so it was wonderful to see them, reconnect with them and realize that we're still great friends. There is something about people who have known you since the begining and spent those formative years with you. They just get you.

Other than that I don't have anything to talk about really. The IVF road is closed for now. In fact I think I've decided just to postpone until at least January or February. That way no one (mom and me) is stressing about it constantly and we can enjoy our summer. I don't want to get all worked up again and have it not pan out, it's an emotional drain and I'm already an emotional person. The subject was approched with my cousins and Aunt as they too know what it's like to struggle with infertility and I must say it was so comforting to have their immediate attention and understanding about it all. They knew the right things to say and do and that was so refreshing. I can't tell you how hard it is to hear people say "if you just relax it will happen" or "when God is ready you'll have babies". I know statments like that are meant to be helpful, and the people who say them mean absolutely no harm, but they do hurt. It implies I'm not doing something right either for my body, or for God and that's just not the case.

Both my Aunt and cousin adopted after trying for years, then both got pregnant. Their families are so wonderful, I can only hope we're as lucky some day.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Friday Photograpy - Illinois

We've been in Illinois now for two days, I feel like we've been driving for most of it. Everyone here lives so far from each other and so far from things. In all honesty it's probably not all that much further than normal, but it's so flat and empty that it feels like you are out in the middle of no where.

I'm going to try taking some pictures tomorrow that show the flat vastness of it. It's quite pretty in it's own way. The sunset was beautiful tonight, the sky lit up to a brilliant pink and the sun was firey red. Just beautiful!

My photo for today is from the Ingrahm Cemetery in Ingraham, Illinois. My mother grew up in Ingraham and a large part of our family lived here many, many years ago. In fact my Great, great, great Grandfather Benhard is burried in this cemetery. I had no idea that he was a civil war vet until I found this stone next to the large family stone. My grandfather told me that he was originally in the Illinois infantry then moved over to the Indiana infranty.

Tomorrow is the wedding and I'm hoping to get out early to get some more pictures. Then on to St. Louis for the ball game! I'm so excited to head to a ball game I can't stand it! Go Cards!


First the peonies sprouted in early spring. They are odd looking little spouts.

Then the peonies bloomed,

and along came a bee....

Mr. Bee came out just as I was taking pictures of the big blooms. He wasn't the brightest bee. He spent quite a bit of time in the wrong folds of the flowers, but it allowed me some time to capture him in a photo.

I leave for Illinois on Wednesday night. My youngest cousin is getting married. That makes me old. We share a middle name and I remember when she was born. I guess I've always thought she was a little extra special. Now she's all grown up.

I'm hoping to take my laptop so I can do my Friday Photography from there...oh who am I kidding, I can't live without Facebook.

Still quite sad about the IVF cycle, but no sense in dwelling. It will happen. Someday. Not as if my body is cooperating anyway. I was supposed to go in for tests on Friday but they were canceled when the timing was off, rescheduled for today and had to cancel again. Perhaps it is a sign...