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Fall means Fresh HOPS!

While some people think of fall by the changing leaves, the cool crisp mornings and hot afternoons, pumpkins, apples, corn mazes, etc.

Jessie and I think of the best fall harvest of all, HOPS! The best way to enjoy them is the Portland Fresh Hop festival at Oaks Bottom. It is a fall tradition to gather on a glorious fall morning (well noon) and drink Fresh Hop Beer.

If you are interested in joining we will be there this Saturday Oct 1st from noon to …. enjoying my favorite festival of the year.

This will probably be my last hurrah before my next round of Chemo. Hope so see some of you there.


Wow, what a weekend (Labor day weekend post)!

Sometimes, when I have a few moments to reflect on what we do I have no idea how we do it.  These moments of quiet time I cherish.

Note: sorry this is going to be a long post as I am not as good as Jessie typing up quick updates.  One, you will see we have been rather busy,  two, I don’t really like typing on my phone to post a message, and three, I like to reflect a bit about what I am going to say.

It all started last week on Thursday when my niece Amy and her boyfriend stopped in on their way to the coast.  We had a “mini” pub crawl through Tigard.  Not our best showing but it sure was easier than going into town.  We finished by watching the Beaver game at Big Al’s and while it looked like they had a shot to win it.  They could not follow through.

Next day we had to get up for work and that afternoon we flew to Spokane for the start of our Labor Day whirlwind tour.  Friday night went to dinner with my mom and sister once we got into town.  Saturday we had a fun BBQ at my sisters house and got to meet my (ugh hate saying it this way but you know you are old when your nephews and nieces (the ones that YOU changed their diapers) start having their own kids!) Great Niece, Allie, new dog.  What a great demeanor.  She was playful and loving and goofy and fun.  Perfect for a teenage girl (or a brain cancer survivor – hint hint Allie).  A mix of a belgian malinois and blue heeler so you know she is going to be smart.  She had the malinois coloring but the blocky head and smaller stature of a heeler.  At some point Jessie and I will get a dog and something like this little gal would be a good fit.

Once everyone went home we went to visit Jax (Jaxon) and Tara.  We always seemed to have a conflict on past visits so I have not seen him since he was a baby.  It was fun to play with him kicking the ball around on a wonderful Spokane fall night.  We got to play with some bugs and he just loves to run.  Damn these kids grow up fast!!!

We then made a trip over to visit mom one more time before we had to get up at 4:45 to catch our 6 am flight to Boise.  It was great to see her and let her know I am doing well.  I have found it is one thing to talk to people on the phone or via email.  When they actually get to see you it really sets in that I am currently doing quite well and expect to continue this way.

Sunday morning off to Boise for Tyler and Haley’s 16th birthday (Jessie’s nephew and niece).  Seriously, this was a weekend to make both of us feel old!! Once we got into town we had a quick lunch and off to Idaho City and the hot springs.  I guess there used to be a place here for quite a while but it got rundown.  Looks like they got new owners (or an influx of money) and built a new facility that is very nice, TheSprings.  If you find yourself in the area I recommend checking them out.  After a good long soak we went back to town for cake (our second boont cake that weekend) and ice cream followed by dinner at a pizza place.  Monday was hang with the twins time with Jessie being the math tutor and changing the word problems to have a “Portland Theme”.  Haley is learning quadratic equations and here is Jessie explaining how we have goats to eat the blackberry bushes in vacant lots and wooded areas.  (this replaced horses in the original problem as Jessie felt horses were not nearly as interesting as goats).  Jason and Becky prepped for a BBQ (two in one weekend, nice!) as Jessie and I did our fantasy football draft.  After the BBQ we visited Jessies family then headed to the airport for an 8:30 flight back to Portland.  I think everyone got in at the same time as the airport was PACKED.  I have never seen so many people waiting for buses to the economy lot.  We had two red buses come in and both filled up and there were still people waiting to get on.

While it was a fun trip and great to see everyone – I was pretty pooped and ready to rest. Sadly, it was the start of going back to work full time and a packed week so the rest would have to wait.  Will continue the week in another post to break these up a bit.


Back to mountain biking!

Another big milestone today-Tom’s return to mountain biking! I’m nervous but excited for him and this return to normalcy. It will be the longest time we’ve been apart since his surgery and the farthest distance. We bought him a new helmet last week that should be one of the safest out there. He’s been feeling really good these past few days and sleeping better now that he’s off the steroid. I know he’s in excellent hands as he’ll be going with Dr. Jerry and some of his best mountain biking buds. Take good care of my Bird you guys!!!

Tom’s finishing day!

Tom’s finishing dayThanks to facebook memories we discovered that August 15 is an auspicious day in Tom’s life. 4 years ago today Tom finished his Supply and Logistics degree and we were out celebrating. Tonight we celebrate the finish of the end of his radiation treatment and first round of chemo. He is a fighter! He is strong. He came through this better than we ever could have expected. He is relentless in his efforts to understand this tumor and everything he can do to fight it. He didn’t wallow in pity or fatigue but rolled up his sleeves and decided to give it hell. Tonight we celebrate his victory in the first round of this war. 5 weeks off and then we prepare for the next battle. Cheers to you my love!

Tom’s surprise

Tom’s sister Anita designed these awesome shirts and they surprised Tom with them at the walk today. I got one too!!! Tom’s niece Nicole and her boyfriend Ty also joined us. We are so thankful they all journeyed from Spokane for the event! Mot is Tom spelled backwards and as his mom retold it on the phone tonight he was a little boy who wrote “Mot” all over the place, walls, etc. ❤️❤️❤️

Quick update and thanks

The steroid they gave Tom seems to be working and his spasms are decreasing in frequency and severity along with the dizziness, though he still has some of the dizziness. We are tentatively looking at a part-time return for him to work next week. Work in the morning-workout, then I will take him to radiation and he can rest in the afternoon. 
And again, thank you to everyone who has taken the time out of their busy lives to send texts, emails, messages, cards, phone calls, presents, come to visit, brought food, stayed in hotels to see us, helped in the yard, signed up for the Tumor walk and those who have donated. More thanks to those who have driven in our crazy traffic and construction to get to us and those who have reached out across time zones. I know cancer and hospitals really aren’t most people’s cup of tea, but it really means so much and really does wonders for our spirits that so many of you have shown your support and continue to be part of our lives during all this. Big thanks to Frank Enderle and Jeff Torgerson for making weekly visits-Endo for even helping get Tom to some of his appointments when I have work conflicts and Torgy for keeping me sane. You all are so appreciated!

Heads up for visitors!

Heads up for visitors!!! They are doing construction around our place at least for the next week so your best bet to avoid is to come in from the south on Gaarde and then turn onto 121st. Thanks to everyone who has come to see us or meet up with us! You are all wonderful and appreciated! We are pretty open in upcoming weeks so if you want to see us suggest a date or two that works for you!