Friday, August 31, 2007

Circumnavigating Hayden Island

One of my friends and I have talked about doing this circumnavigation and so on Tuesday we said - Thursday it is! [It was supposed to be a bit cloudy - it wasn't :- )]

The trip around is about 12 miles or so and wasn't a "walk in the park" or an easy kayak paddle!

Here is a shot of the I-5 Bridge soon after we rounded the Eastern end of the Island.

This was the easier part...then we had to paddle to the Western end - all in the main channel of the Columbia River which has a strong current and much traffic. Neither of us had ever paddled on the North side of the Island - and it interesting to see the industry in both Portland and Vancouver and many of the barges at rest.

Nearing the Western end of the Island we encountered WAVES....we made it around but it was work! Not sure why waves but it has to do with the confluence of Willamette River and Columbia which is near there.

It was then definitely time for lunch, a swim and a long break....

Lunch on the West end of Hayden Island.

After lunch we paddled back toward home - taking a break to get wet as it was very hot out on the river. [Winter seems like a good season for this trip when we do it again - especially a rainy winter day : -)]

When we saw the railroad bridge we cheered as we knew we were nearing home. As we passed under the I-5 bridge and got to see closer-up the familiar condos and floating homes - we knew we had done it!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Great fun if......

If you can stay awake or get up early : - )

There is a total eclipse of the moon early Tuesday AM.

For an animated view and some time info for different time zones in the USA and some other parts of the world look here:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Stress and pets

Do you have a pet? Yes? Great!

Pets are stress reducers..
Having that live entity to care for gives meaning to your life...

Also - getting that unconditional love is great...
Yes - even from those independent cats!

I walk my dog every day - admittedly the walks vary in length depending on the weather and my schedule - but I always feel better after that break - and I know he does! So we both reduce stress. He gets to run and play - so he is happy..and I get exercise in addition to the happiness he imparts to me and everything he sees along his walk.

And when we are out walking, we often meet neighbors and their dogs - so more stress reducers - friends, conversations and exercise - all at the same time.

And when I feel less than super - my dog knows that and stays near my feet. sometimes on my feet!

My cat is a hunter and summer is her "hunting season." But when she deigns to come home and sleep, she snuggles up to me or the dog and purrs like mad...

and that makes us all less stressful.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

New scam using IRS as "bait"

This came today...
After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of $109.30. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process it.

A refund can be delayed for a variety of reasons. For example submitting invalid records or
applying after the deadline.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here :


Internal Revenue Service

© Copyright 2007, Internal Revenue Service U.S.A..

If you get this DO not fill out the form..they want your VISA, MC number, expiration date and get your "refund"

The IRS does not have your email address - if you were getting a refund - you would get a notice in the MAIL saying that and stating why the refund!

Beware - there are new scams every day - I keep being asked to fill out forms for banks that I don't use...guess the scammers hope to hit a live one...

Update on the 23rd...

Now I have received 3 or 4 of these IRS refund be more aware - they are ALL scams - the IRS does not hound you about sends them out!

Monday, August 20, 2007

been busy?

I have...but I am not always sure why I was so busy : - )

Been doing more art and photography as my group has another show in late October and I need some new art.

I've actually been having fun making paper - but am still figuring out what to do with it...any ideas?

It's been suggested that I use the paper as a background for a photo collage, or just frame the paper itself ..

When it stops raining I'll take some photos of the paper...I've been adding grasses and flowers to the pulp and the papers made with lavender and nasturtium smell so neat..

More on stress reduction later...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Reducing stress - part 2 - exercise

A few posts ago I said that proper nutrition lessened stress...

Now - exercise.

Exercise is good for any number of reasons. If work hard enough you actually create a "good" feeling. Often when I am in the locker room after exercising - many of us say how good we feel after working out but how awful we felt during [or before] that exercise. It's that "good" feeling that helps you relax.

Exercise also helps you stay lean and keeps pounds from accumulating - and for anyone who has ever had an "extra" weight issue- that alone can make you feel stressed.

Mental health is important to feeling less stressed and exercising helps one's mental health - so the more you work out the better you feel about you - and the better you feel about you - the less stress you fele..

It is cyclical - and it works for the bad as well as the good. No exercise leads to feeling less happy about one's self and that negative feeling creates the lack of desire to exercise, etc.

I'll be the first to tell you that even though I am a mental health expert and one into healthy aging , eating well and exercise - I know that when I am busy or feeling stressed - the fist thing I want to drop is my exercising!

So at those times I literally have to force myself to get out the door and go to class - remembering how good I will feel a few hours later... I know it's hard - you need to find at least one form of exercise that you love - so that you will at least do that a few times a week.

I know I hate weight machines and will never go to the club "just" to work out. But I love the cycling classes and playing squash and will get there for those - and since I am already there - I use some of the machines...

Works for me - everyone needs to find their own way of making sure they exercise : - )

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More toy recalls

Again if you have young children around - or know of any with Mattel toys in the house - please read and take action if necessary...

If this weren't so serious, the saga of ongoing recalls of products made in China would be a running joke..... Today's recalls are about toys - again...from Mattel - again.....

One recall is due to lead; the other due to small magnets....

The company, in a statement issued from its headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., said it was recalling a total of 436,000 Chinese-made toys, more than half of them marketed in the United States, that had “impermissible levels of lead.” The toys are die-cast vehicles featuring the Sarge character from the movie “Cars.”

Mattel said the hazard in the products, made between May and July, was discovered as part of an investigation of all its toy manufacturing that began in July after it received a tip about lead-based paint. The latest move involves toys from a different Chinese contractor than the one that produced toys recalled earlier this month, it said.

The separate action today involving a design flaw in 18.2 million magnetic toys, about half of them sold in the United States, expanded a recall initiated last year after reports of deaths and injuries to children who ingested magnets that had come loose. Mattel said the recall covered 63 varieties of toys, made since 2002 and sold before January of this year, including 44 Polly Pocket toys, 11 Doggie Day Care toys, 4 Batman toys, a One Piece toy, and two Barbie toys.

Here is a link to the Consumer Product Safety Commission listing all recalls [so far] for this month

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hoping for a clear sky tonight

It never rains in Portland in the summer - that's what I was told anyway. It only rains in the Winter - all Winter...and Fall and Spring...but that was before - and now we have had rain a few times this yesterday and it stayed clouded over til at least the time when I gave up looking at the sky.

But today is a normal summer day and I am hoping the sky is clear tonight and I can see the meteor shower - and take some video footage and take some photos. If not- there's always next summer...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Perseid Meteor Shower

I love these "heavenly" phenomena - when one can see them it is not to be missed. Here is some brief info and a link for more ..

The next meteor shower is the Perseids on August 12. This year there’s no moonlight to interfere. The best time to watch is from 11 p.m. August 12 until dawn the next morning. The best direction to watch is wherever your sky is darkest. If you have a dark sky, you may see a meteor once a minute on average. The shower is also active for several days before and after its peak.

More info here from StarDate:

Enjoy these showers....

Recent photo - Lynn at 67 1/2!!

I told some of you that I'd post a full face - well I finally have a photo of moi

This was taken in the same part of my house as the ones where I showed the mouth and eyes.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Stress reduction

Let's chat about eating...

Food is a necessity for life...but not eating properly is a recipe for stress.

Too many of us eat more -and eat more of the "wrong" foods - when we are stressed and all that does is increase the stress level.

I know we have food we call comfort food - it takes us back to when mom took care of all our problems. But that comfort food mom fed us does not exist anymore. The current versions of those foods we loved are filled with chemicals and highly processed and refined "food stuffs."

For reducing stress and overall taking care of your nutritional needs so as to make stress less all the time you need one important nutrient.. And what is the most important nutrient?

That's a trick question - it is the one you are lacking in your diet.

So how do you get all the nutrients you need? By eating supplements. Few dispute the need for supplementing our foods and few dispute the need for anti-oxidants. Why?

As I have said before, we have created a toxic environment and we have depleted the soil of nutrients - the ones it contained when some of us were kids...and eating mom's comfort food.

Do we have greater stress today? I think so - due in large measure to our hurried lives, lowered incomes, and poor foods.....

More on stress reduction next time : o )

Monday, August 06, 2007

We all need less stress

What age experiences the most stress? I'm not sure but I might guess that at any given time some age will "win."
And this is not a good thing to "win" as stress is not good for our bodies...[well lots of stress is not good - some stress can be energizing.]

How do you deal with stress?

These are good ways to reduce stress [in no particular order]:

Adequate sleep
Eating properly: right foods - right times
Chat with friends/family

Over the next few weeks, I'll go into each a bit more detail as to why each works.

If we are stressed, we are not functioning at our peak levels, and we then ony increase the stress...
It's a vicious circle.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

My mom

Born on this date in 1906, my mother would have been 101 today. She died a few days after her 95th birthday back in August of 2001.

I have often wondered how she would have dealt with September 11, 2001 had she stayed alive for a bit longer. She who was born before we had planes, cars, skyscrapers, and the Internet, etc. and did not take a flight until in her 50's, 60's or thereabouts when she flew to Boston to visit me.

She was quite curious about the Internet and we had many conversations about what it was - but as she was legally blind by then, computers were never going to be part of her life.

It is amazing to think about the progress we have made in technology and other matters in the last 100 years.... [and sadly - the messes we have made in that time as well ]

[Photo from the 1930's]

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

If you are around children read this Fisher-Price toy recall

This in the news today:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Mattel Inc.'s Fisher-Price division is recalling almost 1 million toys made in China because their paint may contain too much lead, marking the latest in a string of recalls that have fueled U.S.-China tensions over the safety of Chinese products.

Mattel said the 967,000 plastic toys, which include popular preschool characters like Elmo, Big Bird, and Dora, were made by a contract manufacturer in China using a non-approved paint pigment containing lead, which is in violation of its standards.

Full article HERE

Why are all these dangerous products still coming in? We have had bad pet food, bad people food and bad children's toys. No one seems able to stop them because no one is monitoring our safety! We have few person who do the actual inspections - in fact there are fewer food safety inspectors than back in 2002 and we import more and more stuff - with fewer and fewer inspections!

This from an administration that pretends to be concerned with public safety - when they are in reality more concerned with scare tactics and keeping people afraid.

After all - Fear is good for republicans...