Hair or Tennis?

    With my second chemo treatment looming this week, and several doctor appointments to make sure I have enough blood cells to kill off, I had to leave the Mamma Mia! tour and fly back to Vegas. That is where I am now, home sitting on my bed with my laptop and trying to grasp what I am feeling.

    My hair has been thinning each day since last Wednesday, but tonight in the shower it was coming out in handfuls. Wet gobs of hair. I stayed in the shower letting the hot water spray my body and knew this was it now, that I couldn't imagine it was going to be a pretty sight. I wondered how much had come out, what would I look like when I looked in the mirror. I had visions of big bald patches and whispy strands of hair sticking out here and there. Scary. I wasn't in a hurry to find out. I wondered how long I could stay in the shower before the hot water ran out.

    I didn't get emotional, I didn't cry, I just kept grabbing wet gobs of hair and wadding it into a ball to place on the edge of the tub. Okay this is it, what I had been dreading.

    I decided I couldn't stay in the shower forever, I just needed to face it, get it over with and deal with it. I turned the water off and slid the shower curtain open with a determination to be strong and face this new me. I looked in the mirror and it was frosted with steam. I was thankful for the blurred image. A slight reprieve. I took my towel and wiped a circle clean and saw whispy hairs here and there and a nice bald spot on top. I stared at myself for a long while and realized that at this point I had two choices. Hang on to every strand for as long as I could and deal with the irritation of the stray hairs that continued to shed, or whack it short and prepare for the eventual shave. I run my fingers through what's left, open the drawer and grab the sissors. I pulled up hair and cut the remaining hairs to an inch of my head. I stare at my reflection for a while to get a feel for this new image. Not so bad.

    I keep thinking I should be feeling really depressed about this, but I'm not. I had a great day today and this evening I was back out on the tennis court with my team for the first time in 7 weeks. It felt great running around and smacking balls. Given the choice, I'd pick tennis over hair any day. I think I need to find a cute hat. A tennis hat! Yea, it's not so terribly bad after all, just another day in the life! And life is what it is all about....the living, not the whining!Source URL:
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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

    It has started. A few hairs here, a few hairs there, falling gently on my shoulders, getting caught in my fingers as I run my fingers through my hair, or catching on the brush. I wonder if it just continues a few at a time or escalates to clumps on the pillow? It got me wondering if I will wake up in the morning (or one morning soon) sans hair, and if so, what will I look like without my flowing tresses? Actually, I have already cut my flowing tresses to a short bob in preparation of 'the fall.' How bad can it be? Thanks to Photoshop I can have a preview and prepare myself for what may await me one morning soon. Hmmm. Thank heavens I bought a hat while in DisneyWorld last week! Who loves ya baby and where's my lollipop?Source URL:
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New Wrap Skirts at Patchwork Underground!

Hurricane Fay...I'm there!

    We jumped on the Mamma Mia bus (yea, they go by bus when it's a short trip) this morning and headed to Tampa. Yep, Tampa, Florida where Hurricane Fay is supposed to hit tomorrow. Announcements were made to "be prepared." Be prepared? I live in the desert. I don't know nothing about birthing babies or hurricanes! They are giving weather updates on almost every channel every 10 minutes. I wasn't really worried a few days ago, because I knew they were giving all these updates. But now, as tomorrow is looming, I started paying more attention. The news is showing that they are requesting recommended evacuations tonight in 'Level A' and mandatory evacuations tomorrow morning. Okay, that's good, if I had a effing clue where the hell level A" was!!! I just know I am in Tampa!

    So, I move online. The site gives updated info, but also gives a cool demonstration in photos on the damage done by the various levels of a hurricane. Check out level 1 and then level 5. I shouldn't have laughed, I know, but for some reason, I thought it was pretty funny.

    The Local News shows lists of schools That will be closed tomorrow... by counties, again, means nothing to this wild west, desert-dwelling girl.

    We just get a call, the Mamma Mia tour has canceled their show for tomorrow, now that I know. The theatre's right across the street! Maybe I should go find a flashlight and some water....a couple of candy bars, beer?

    added tuesday am: all is well. fay entered land way south of tampa and all we may see is some "scattered squalls." Dang, I was so wanting to see a cow fly by or a surfer dude.Source URL:
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    Okay! Alright already! Yes, I am fine. Just have been unable to connect to the internet....seems like my new life line! I have joined the hubs on tour with Mamma Mia! We have been having a wonderful time in Orlando and then go to Tampa on Monday, hopefully where we will be in the real world with internet connections! I am currently sitting backstage of Mama Mia! trying to catch up on email and blogs. How cool is that? All is well, all is well!Source URL:
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Don't Take That Picture!

    Did you know it's against the law to get within 75 feet or yards, not sure, of an abandoned seal? They can put you in jail for that! I found out the hard way when I saw what I thought was a dead baby seal pup and went to take a picture of it. It wasn't too much longer when some guy started to yell at me and telling me about the jail and so I left, said "sorry, thought it was dead!"

    I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY!!!! I couldn't resist though because I just read this book called "The Year in Fog" And it starts out with a lady taking a picture of a dead seal pup (and it didn't mention anything about jail ) and the next thing you know her little girl vanishes. I wanted the picture to show my mom who also read the book and tell her I was afraid my hubs was going to vanish if I took the picture, he didn't but it was a close call.
    Okay, okay, now I know, I won't ever do it again! I feel so guilty!:(Source URL:
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    A day to remember. Yes. it is the opening of the Beijing Olympics, but today was a milestone for me as my first Chemo treatment. I got to the hospital at 8:30am and was out at 3:30pm. 6 hours. The good thing is that with all the stuff they give you to keep you from having an allergic reaction or to prevent nausea, I fell asleep after about 20 minutes and didn't wake up again until it was over. Nice comfy chairs, a blanket to cover up with I snuggled in and let them pump me full of whatever they wanted to. My hubs and I played one game of cribbage, (I won)and then I sent him on his way. No reason for him to sit and watch me sleep. He was there when I woke back up and that was pretty sweet.

    What I didn't like was all the other people who slowly filled the room as the morning progressed. I didn't like the idea of people looking at me and thinking "poor girl" and I didn't want to be looking at sickly cancer patients either. One was a chemo patient like me, but most of the others were getting blood transfusions...YUCKY. didn't like to be seeing all those bags of blood, it really grossed me out. Probably because I just read the script for a new musical--Dracula, so I had visions of blood in my head already.

    But, it is now a little after 9Pm I have drank a large containter of Gatorade and ate some broth with noodles, ate a coconut ice cream bar, and am feeling a little tired but for the most part damn fine! I see how the night and the next couple of days goes. They are to be the toughest.Source URL:
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Shelves, walls and doors

    We've been busy bees these last few summer-end days. Getting out and working on the bus has felt really great after talking for weeks about the projects we want to get done but never having the time to do them. Every new thing we complete truly feels like a giant step towards getting our bus mobile. We've been focusing most of our energy on tying up loose ends, creating places to store all our "stuff" and securing everything for the coming earthquake of trundling down the road. We're gearing up to move to a new spot in Eugene hopefully within a few weeks.

    In other news, we've been getting a chance to work on some exciting side-projects lately. Erin is writing a how-to article for Threads Magazine and she's also been working with Ecobuilding Collaborative of Oregon on a fiber-related research and design project. I've been doing some work with this website called The Point, dabbling in the world of online social network organizing - you can see my two campaigns on the bottom of our links, feel free to join if you're interested!

    On to the pictures:

    Here is part of our unfinished new wall. Drop dead gorgeous, right? =) We took out the three windows behind the wood stove and closet to help with keeping the bus cool/warm. Sheet metal on the outside again with our fancy recycled denim insulation and a moisture barrier. Then plywood. We'll put up more wonderboard before we use the stove.

    Here's our new living room shelf.

    Detail of our new securement for our main shelf. When we're driving, we'll put bungee cords up between these eyelets to keep all the stuff in. We have these funny metal grids we can weave into the bungees at certain spots, too. See all those sideways books? We'll put a metal grid over stuff like that to keep it from sliding inbetween the bungees. Erin wants to make some curtains to go over the shelves so that we don't have to look at piles of stuff all the time.

    Framed in kitchen shelf!! We've been wanting this one for a long time. You don't realize how much of a difference it makes to actually have somewhere to put your things. We haven't decided how we want to finish it yet. Bungees? Doors? Hmmm....We have been wanting to invest in wooden plates and bowls for a while so that we don't have to worry about ceramic breaking. Yet to come.

    Another angle of the kitchen cabinet.

    The full "range hood" effect - we still need to replace the fan with a quieter one (ours sounds like an airplane taking off) and also install some mechanism for closing it off. We eventually want to decorate the heat shield....metal cutouts? Flowers? Circles? Decorative grille? Flames?

    Our new bi-fold bathroom door that we got from Bring Recycling. The old one didn't work out too well because it was hollow, so the hinges didn't actually stay on. This one's solid wood and pretty classy. We even recessed the hinges into the wall. Oooo-ooo.

    Interior view of our newly re-vamped bathroom. We put those cute shelves up (more shelves!) and fixed the whole composting chamber section (not shown). We basically had to re-do the whole thing. We took out the false floor that used to be there and lowered the buckets/trays to sit on the floor. That way, there was enough clearance for the whole funnel & fittings & hose apparatus for the diverter. Yay! Works a lot better. We ended up taking a gallon milk jug and cutting the bottom off, flipping it around, cutting off the handle and sealing off the hole and super gluing it onto a PVC coupler. Works good.Source URL:
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Less Gas, More Ass!

    Today, the annual World Naked Bike Ride takes place in St. Louis. The WNBR has been taking place across the world for many years and unfortunately, I haven't participated. I really love the body art, don't you?

    The Objectives of the WNBR are:
    * To protest oil dependency
    * To promote comfortable body image
    * To increase awareness of cyclists in a motor-driven world
    * To provide exercise and fun for all those who participate

    (added note: if the video doesn't play,I'm sorry. This is the third one I have put on, apparently someone complains and it keeps getting pulled, so if it doesn't play just picture a bunch of naked people riding bikes down the street. That's pretty much what it was!)

    I was thinking Las Vegas seems like the all time perfect place to host the WNBR, but then I don't know if there would be enough aloe vera to take care of all those sun-blistered butts after the race!!! Now this is an activity I can really get behind, um, no pun intended!

    Today also starts the 50 day countdown to INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY! Peace and Love everybody! Peace and Love!Source URL:
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Rembering Randy Paush

    On July 25, Randy Pausch died of Pancreatic Cancer. Last year I was sent an email with an attachment of an abbreviated version of his Last Lecture. If you haven't seen this please take a moment and watch, it's about 10 minutes. There are life lessons for all of us. I have always been a pretty positive person, but this video confirmed in me, that we really need to have fun in this life and stop complaining about the cards we are dealt. It inspired me then, it has helped me keep a positive focus this past month, and I hope you will like it too.
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