Monday, March 31, 2008


We've both tested negative for Hep C & B, and HIV! We'd been waiting for my results, which arrived in the mail over the past weekend, just opened last night!

Now we just get tah test again in another 6 months... (*sigh*) However, I do believe we'll be juhhhst fine (fingers still crossed).

BIG Thank you to everyone for all the well-wishes and heart-felt hopes and prayers ~

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Purty Zion Nat'l Park Pics

Minus any identifying-family shots [so sorry, but those don't happen here], here are some of our favorite non-family-featured pics from our camping trip this past weekend with the angel boy-O!

I don't know what these are called [UPDATE: Indian Paintbrush, but it looks slightly different from the kind I've seen in Northern Utah & Southern Idaho - Thanks, Don!], but they and several other kids of wild flowers were everywhere!!!
A gnarly tree! (duh!)
Another gnarly tree, nearing the top of Watchman trail...
The end of the 'Temple of Sinawava' trail
After hopping around the mid-river rocks, I sat n' watched the angel boy-O practicing how to skip rocks on water...
More from the Temple of Sinawava trail...
How I wish I had had something to indicate the scale of this!?!

Beneath the Weeping Rock
Beneath the falls found at the Lower Emerald Pools
From above the Lower Emerald Pools
Some balanced rock art [UPDATE! This lil' pile of rocks is called a CAIRN - Thanks again, Don!] we found along the trail to the Upper Emerald Pools, along with a spectacular view of the Zion canyon...

The lil' waterfall above the upper Emerald Pools...
And down below... (the boy-O for scale)
The view from the Upper Emerald Pools trail
View from the bridge at Zion Lodge
And this moment at the Virgin River was amazing - -
There were about 10 mule deer and the boy-O was absolutely mesmerized.
The gargantuan tree at Zion Lodge (again, the boy-O for scale)!
Watchman Campground:
Along the line of tents seen here, just right of center, the light green one with the purple bottom was us.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wees Iz Goin' Campin'

Bright and early tomorrow morning, we'll be off to Zion National Park with the angel boy-O in tow! Our first camping trip of the year! I'll be posting purty pictures by Sunday! Yes! I will! With lots more exclamation points too!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Eastah Sunday Flowahs

This one's a little late in posting: For the last four years, I've spent my Easter weekends in Burbank, CA ~ And for the last four years, we've gone to the somewhat historic 'Smokehouse Restaurant' for their FABULOUS Easter Brunch buffet with the angel boy-O and his mommie, Wendy and her lovin'-man. There have also been a few others who have joined our lil' party in the past, including one particular regular, Wendy's niece, who lives only a few blocks from the Smokehouse. Sooo, for the last four years, post-Easter brunch, we've walked to her house as our after-brunch gathering place... And the walk there has always featured a number of gorgeous flowers along the way! Here's this year's collection ~

Friday, March 21, 2008

Everythin's Comin' Up Something Daisy-Like

Saw these on my way out to my car, having finally left work after 6:30pm... I had my arms full of stuff, so I first placed my coffee cup balanced atop a barrier post, I gingerly placed what I could around me on the ground, camera already in hand, car keys between my teeth, and my purse wedged between my knees...

Three different people, who were each about to walk right past me, each stopped to see what I was up to, and consequently, each stopped to also admire these lil' sunny blooms.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

When She was Thirty-Three

Hi Mum, *Big sigh*

How's it been going these last 21 years? Can you believe it's now been 21 years? And I had thought 20 years, just last year, was well enough time to have lived without you. Of course, I realize the time just gets longer and longer, compared to the 12 years I did have with you... I know.

As a child, I had believed you'd live to be 65, just one year beyond "When I'm Sixty-Four." No one set me up with this expectation. I made it up on my own, and although I did not share this with others, I had convinced myself that you would last that long. See, I had figured that by the age of 65, my children would have all been born and would have all had the chance to have met you.

I think I may have mentioned this before, but when I was 24 years old, I had thought that that year would have to be the very worst, realizing it was the 'half-way point' of no return; having lived half of my life without you, and that from there on out, my time with you would be forever growing smaller than the time I'd continue to live without you.

This year though? Well, this year may actually be the worst thus far, although I don't think I can bawl my eyes out for hours like I did when I was 24.

I'm 33 years old, newly and happily remarried for 6 months now, working full-time while contemplating another masters program (?!?) on top of my MPA, and I'm an absentee step-mom with no other babies, except furry lil' feline ones, and my hair is short by choice, and for the time being, it happens to be hot pink. In stark contrast, when you were my age, you'd been out of college since you were 21 years of age, and you'd never worked full-time since your teenage summers. You had been married for 13 years and had a 12 year old daughter, and you'd spent over half of your life sick with Hodgkins disease. You were experiencing the third regrowth of your hair, post-treatment. You were 33 years old, and you died 6 months before your 34th birthday.

This year will be the beginning of my outliving you.

I really miss you, mum.

Your Squirreleta oxo

Monday, March 17, 2008

No News Yet...

I've had a few friends call/write in the last week, asking if we've gotten our HIV and HEP test results. My honey-man should receive his soon - - we'd thought he'd have his back last week though.

One other thing, while we're on the subject: Even if we both test negative for HIV and HEP B and C, we have to test again in 6 months to a year... and Then? If we both test negative on the second tests, we'll still have to test again a year from then! Overall, we'll have to keep this 'chance of infection' in mind for potentially the next 5-10 years. No joke. See, some don't understand this part... I could test negative, but be a dormant carrier for years until either virus - HIV or HEP - were to become an active infection.

Ohhh yeah, and here's another lovely perk resulting from this whole ordeal ~ [BEWARE: THE FOLLOWING ADMISSION HAS OVERBOARD 'TMI' POTENTIAL] ~ Because either one of us could be a dormant carrier of HIV, HBV or HCV, we have to use 'protection' from here on out in order to avoid potentially exposing the other, were either one of us to move from 'dormant carrier' to a positive infection, undetected between blood testing. So yeah, when the time comes to get pregnant, hypothetically, we will be required to test on a regular basis to monitor the chance of infection.

Oh then there's this general question: "What if you're infected and you're preggers?"
There are soooo many "If this ______, then _____" answers to that one. Go Google it!

The chances that either one of us will be found positive are pretty slim - - but then read this (8 positives) and this (71 positives).

P.S. Happy St. Pat's!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just in Time for Easter!

Soooo, my hair has grown out [over 2 inches] since my last hair cut in December. I have done a bit of maintenance trimming here and there for the last month or so to keep it manageable (also in order to maintain my ability to see!), but I plan to get a real haircut in the next week. Soooo, I had my friend, Daly, come over to add some spice to my hair before it's too short for her to get a grip on it!

We were aiming for a deep 'crimson' red, but instead?
These pictures DO NOT capture just how freakin' HOT PINK my hair is...
And what does my honey-man think? - - He says he likes it!?!
(I think he's just a good actor, frankly!)
Daly will be coming over again tomorrow, and we'll see if we can tame these flames before I have to go to work on Monday!

P.S. I went to a team penning event in Boulder City (my honey-man's first event!?!) right after my hair was done, and lemme' tell ya, I got several dozen triple and quadruple takes!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Denial Transforming into Anger

I went to get my blood tests for HIV and Hepatitis C and B. SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: The plebotomist I had this morning, I'd had her before a few months ago, when I went in for the required blood work for my colonoscopy, and I was so thrilled to see her again! No joke. From here on out, any blood work to be done, I'll be at that same lab location and will call in advance to ask for her by name! She was fabulous ~ absolutely no digging around for a vein! She gets it the first try, every time, which is big deal for someone [that'd be me] who's been repeatedly told she has the veins of a child. END OF TANGENT.

So, having finally been called in after waiting for over two hours, I sat down, Xochitl did her magic, and I watched each glass vial fill with my blood, and I began to space off, wondering which movie my Grams and I would try to see together later tonight. Once it was time for me to press the cotton ball over the point of needle entry on my arm, I glanced left and the printed blood work order was there for a thorough look over. There was all my contact info. and some technical mumbo- jumbo that meant nothing to me, and then four particular lines detailing 'HIV' and 'HEP C AND B', written in ALL CAPS and some notes typed about the
endoscopy clinic closure as the reason for the ordered blood tests... At this point, my eyes began to well with fat tears and my throat began to tighten.

With great enthusiasm, I then thanked Xochitl for her fantastic skills and smiled broadly and thanked her again, and I told her I'd be asking for her next time 'round. I then got up, walked out of the lab and into the lobby, and out the front door, striding fast as I could toward my car - - there was a feeling of hot anger surging through me, and the tears began to pour.

I'd like to write
Dr. Dipak Desai a letter. Yeah, I think I'll do that.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"How 'bout we develop some healthy coping skills, eh?"

Last Friday, I stayed up all night long despite trying to settle down for bed four different times that night... I wasn't fretting over anything I had in mind; I wasn't thinking about anything in particular at all; I was just feeling it - - I was absolutely ridden with anxiety, simply wired outta my mind and could not settle down! And Saturday, although I laid down to sleep two different times, both kitties ready for me to finally get some sleep, I just tossed and turned and wound up staying awake all day long... I didn't get to bed and actually get some sleep until 1:30 a.m., Sunday morning.

I'm pretty sure this is not a good thing.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Out of Nowhere

Over the last week, I've had all these posts about last weekend with the angel boy-O that I've wanted to share, and a few others, but they've all taken a back seat to the one I'm about to write.

Have you heard at all about the multiple endoscopy clinic closures in Las Vegas? and the 40,000 patients potentially exposed to Hepatitis C and B and HIV?

Both my honey-man and I will soon be receiving our written letters of notice in the mail from the Nevada State Health Division that because of our recent visits for pre-op measures and colonoscopies, me in December, and him in January, we both now have to be tested for Hepatitis C and B and HIV.

The endoscopy clinic I had gone to was the very first one closed for gross health violations, responsible for this whole mess and now the general health scare in our valley.

Wish us luck.

P.S. I'm trying not to get upset until after we've tested and there's actually a reason to be upset.