Today

Today, I have a few weeds in my yard. But I finished staining the fence before the rains came.

Today, I have kicked but in technology.

Today, I still have a full desk with tons of filing to do!

Today, I have dry rubbed ribs in the crock pot.

I'm going to go home, eat ribs and watch football with my beloved.

It's a pretty good day.

For a Thursday...

Namaste...

On the Road Again

TOG and AG hit the road for yet another bout of inexpensive hotels, hit and miss meals, turn by turn navigation, amazing scenery and more togetherness than any two people should enjoy.

And yet... we love the road trips. We love the spontaneity and surprise of what's around the corner. Last year I made a book of our photographic journey for TOG, and I may do the same this year.

Life is full of adventure. We're going to get ours on.

See you on the highway!

The Journey

If any of you have known me for a over a year, you'll know that I love football in general and the Seahawks in particular. I absolutely love the game and all the competition and coverage that surrounds NFL football! I love being a season ticket holder and attending the games even when my lungs have other ideas!

For the last two years, I've been combining my love of writing and love of football and writing for a fan blog called 12th Man Rising, part of the Fansided network and contributor of NFL content to SI.com. I've been lucky enough to have a feature called The View from Section 333. It's been a fascinating journey, learning to be a sports writer and being fearless in my opinion while other fans agree or disagree with me!

Last month, I had the opportunity to represent 12th Man Rising at the Seahawks All Pro Cornerback Richard Sherman's Charity Softball game. I loved being part of the press and catching the excitement of the game, the competition and knowing it was all going to help Homes for Heros and Richard's Blanket Coverage Foundation!

Following the game, I spoke with former Seahawks Joe Tafoya and Kerry Carter, co-founders of JumpIt Media. They produced the Richard Sherman foundation events, including the softball game which was sold out and well covered here in the Seattle area.

Kerry and Joe offered me the opportunity to work with them on their newest project, Volume 12.

Volume 12 is the power behind the Seahawks fan's attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records record for loudest fan cheer in a sports stadium.

I'm excited to be a part of this process. Part of the joy of football for me is how much it involves the fans in the stadium and throughout the televised audience.

The Official Volume 12 website will be going live in the next few days and you'll be able to catch up with me via the Volume12 blog.

All of which leads me to the future of Asthmagirl. I don't know right now that I'll be able to devote the time I should to Asthmagirl in coming months. But I'm in no hurry to decide right now.

Feel free to leave me your thoughts. I'll be around!

Sending out love, joy and blessings...

Namaste,

AG

Happy World Asthma Day

Today is World Asthma Day. Mmmph.

This year is my 10th Asthmaversary. Thrrrp.

I'm now on some of the strongest meds available to us wheezers.

I have degenerative hip disease.

I've got a husband whose term of affection for me is "Lunger." (Between you and me, I find this charming)

I also have a really wonderful life, a great job, darling daughters, dingbat puppies and a camera fetish.

I guess it's all about balance.

Sometimes I have asthma. Sometimes asthma has me.

I just need to make the most of the times when I'm in charge.

So screw you, asthma. I'm not done yet.

Sincerely,

Asthmagirl

Celebrating a Life

I had to step back for a few weeks and just gather myself...

In March, my beloved Mother-in-law of 32 years died. It's hard to put her life in words but she was a remarkable woman.

Married at 15 and a mother at 16, she had a lively sense of humor, an extraordinary capacity for forgiveness and an often under-estimated 10th grade education. She lived for her children and eventually her grandchildren and great grandchildren. When I met her, she didn't drive and had never had a job. Yet she'd raised 3 children, kept a house, a yard, a checkbook and a smile on her face. After losing her first husband to cancer, she was left with nothing but a mortgage. She got a drivers license, cleaned houses for money, bought a car, got two jobs and finally found a career with excellent benefits where she worked for years before retiring. She met and married her second husband a little over a year after pulling her life together. As a couple, they worked hard, traveled, bought a beach cabin which she loved, and spoiled their grandchildren. After 18 years of marriage, she lost her second husband to cancer. By this time, she had her own health issues including a bad heart, which she rarely talked about. After a series of health scares early this year, from which she appeared to be recovering, the angels took her quickly and mercifully on a Saturday afternoon in late March.

I had the chance to talk to her twice in her last days. And it was comforting to know we'd said all we needed to say to each other before she left.

The one regret I do have is that I didn't hug her when I saw her earlier in the day before she left us. She looked uncomfortable and I didn't want to make her more so.

The promise I made myself after she left us was that I would try to say the words that should be said, hug as often as possible and appreciate my loved ones even more.

So if I haven't told you lately how much I appreciate you, consider yourself warned!

Hugs to all!

AG

By and By

I had started a number of posts a couple weeks ago. They are all still in draft mode as finishing them became the last thing on  my mind with a sudden and unexpected death in our family.

We're healing, but it's a slow process when someone is so beloved.

Just saying that I'll be back soon.

In the meantime, a bit of advice: Make sure you hug your loved ones. Always get that last hug in. It's so important.

AG

Interlude in Paradise

In many ways, Florida was paradise.

At 75 degrees, it was perfect for hanging a sundress on my pasty white frame.

The wild life was more than willing to put on a show!

I loved the "roadside gators"!

The sunrises were to die for... (and how odd it was to see the sun rise out of the ocean instead of setting into the ocean!)

But the humidity as it warmed the day we left, convinced me that while my lungs had enjoyed the brief interlude, they weren't destined to linger amidst the palm trees and alligators in Florida.

So happy to be back in the Pacific Northwest!

And how are you?

Packing Priorities

It doesn't matter whether I'm going on a road trip to the desert or flying to Ireland.

The first thing I think about when I pack is my hair care, because the last thing I want to worry about when I get there, is whether my hair is going to behave... (and it's ability to misbehave is legion). And since I travel with TOG, no hair delays can be tolerated.

That means that two weeks ago, I went looking to restock my favorite hair products, Identity1.

Designed by hair care professionals who know the ins and outs of naughty hair, these products have stood by me from the heat of the Utah desert to a windy ferry ride across the North Sea to Amsterdam to a rainy pony cart ride through the mountains of Killarney, Ireland.

And because they're such smarties, the folks at Identity1 have come up with products I didn't even know I needed... like the quick dry spray. Because who wants to spend 20 minutes blow-drying their hair with a harried husband jiggling his car keys? On top of the fact that it really works, they played a trump card and put a leave-in conditioner in it. Talk about silky!! And don't get me started on the never-greasy nourishing oil which my hair sucks up like a sponge in sea water. Talk about calming it down after a blow dry. Manageable, brushable, touchable...

And then there's subtle products like the thermal protecting gel that provide a little 'slip' for easy blow drying or flat ironing. And let us not forget the illuminating mist to put the shine on your style.

I haven't even talked about the shampoos and conditioners, which are lovely... but here's the most important thing to me:

The products do what they say they will and they do not weigh my hair down. I can easily go two to three days between washes with polite hair. And in a pinch, I could use their hair powder to add volume and fluff the roots.

So, thanks Identity1! Your products are making yet another trek with me! This time we're going to do the humidity test!

Stay tuned!

AG out!

Snap!

The cold snap with the ice fog is finally over. The lungs are a little twitchy but I'm hoping they'll get over their bad selves!

I'm thinking this morning, not about summer, but about the waterfront. Ocean, seaside, beach, whatever you choose to call it. I love being next to the water. It's a bonus that my lungs love it too! It's the best air condioner ever with the breeze keeping the air fresh for optimum breathing!

And then there's the beauty...

What do you like about the beach?

Contrast

Shot in the eastern Sierras in September. I love the contrast between the up to date fences and the broken barn. A life well lived.

A few miles later... your average rest area next to a dry lake in central California, a seldom used turnoff off a less traveled road. The silence broken by a weed eater in the distance....and off to the side, this bloom...

A volunteer, a splash of remarkable color popping up in an unremarkable place.

Live from 12/12/12

Welcome to a wild and wacky Wednesday...

Today is 12/12/12 and happily it's my birthday.

And here in Thoracic Park, the gifts runneth over...

  • I am not as sick as I was
  • Seriously, I am improving
  • I hear I am going out to dinner tonight
  • my daughter sent me a Monty Python spam sketch on Facebook!
  • I threw caution to the wind and carried my Seahawk purse to work today!
  • Best of all, Saturday morning, my beloved and I will climb in the car and take a little mini vacation to one of our favorite places in the whole world....
  • It's not Ireland
  • But we will enjoy a lovely Irish Pub!

We're off for two days to Victoria!

Quiet, early morning walks around the harbor and Beacon Hill park...

Photo adventures....

Lovely pub food...

Massage...

Holiday lights...

This is our little deep breath before the holidays.... a time to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary which is later this month. Since he'll pretty much be working the rest of December, we'll squeeze as much celebration into a quick weekend as possible!

I would just like to take a moment to thank The Old Goat for making it happen. There's no one I'd rather climb in the car with for an adventure!

AG out!

 

Donner Pass

TOG and I enjoyed our first road trip so much, we took a few days for a mini road trip in early September. This trip took us back over the Sierras and we stopped at Donner Pass in Northern California. There are some lovely little hikes at the top of the pass and we took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery....

Even though neither of us had hiking boots on, the loop we chose was very ill-prepared-hiker friendly!

The trees were utterly fascinating and I loved looking at the dead soldiers on the forest floor. And then TOG pointed up...

I swear this tree had the most perfect branches!

TOG was enjoying his camera as well. I love shooting with him because we see things so differently at times!

But we both agreed on these last two shots... TOG and I loved finding this boulder field in the middle of the forest... So stark and grey in the midst of the trees. But a half mile further....

And here was a beautiful mountain pool soaking up the sun!

One of things we love most about road trips are the little side adventures waiting for the curious traveler. All you have to do is stop to have them.

Wishing you a beautiful weekend in your neck of the woods!

AG out!

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.  ~John Muir

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

I'm ever mindful that as damp as things are here in the Northwest, there are environments where my lungs would be even more miserable.

As TOG and I drove though the Sierras in September, fire season was in full swing. We drove though an actual stretch of one of the fires on the way toward Shasta and even though the signs said not to stop, we slowed waaaaayyyyy down so I could lean out TOG's window and shoot this.

Needless to say, my lungs were in full rebellion and even our getaway was difficult...

Smoke was so thick, it almost blotted out the sun. All I could think of was the poor people that lived there and had to breathe that air 24/7.

So even as my lungs are throwing yet another holiday lung-fest, I'm mindful of my blessings.

And whoever gave me this lung crap... I hope Santa puts some coal in your stocking... or a nice switch.

Yours in rattle-y lungs,

AG

Thankful

I was doing a whole series of posts on Facebook about what I was thankful for... but I think I can do a better job here with some visuals!

I am always thankful for my Old Goat... prickly, nature loving, vivid, appealing... these are all words that describe him!

I'm thankful for my camera, through which the world is an ever present canvas to be explored...

I'm thankful for the Brute Squad who spend their time keeping the fence under surveillance and entertaining us with their antics...

I'm thankful for family...

I'm thankful for the beauty I see everyday on the way to work...

I'm thankful for all the little gadgets that keep my lungs on board...

And all the things unexpected in life that make you smile!

I'm thankful for football! And coaches!

And friends that make life sweeter!

Wishing you all the blessings in life as you head into the final month of the year!

AG out!