The Journey – New Mexico thru Arizona

by Tiffany in Tidbits

New Mexico: There are alot more mountains and red clay soil here. There are also lots of green bushes and trees. Some of the trees look like Palo Verde (Green Stick) which is the state tree of Arizona so I was surprised to see them but of course a tree doesn’t have to be exclusive to one state to be the state tree.

Unfortunately there was a lot of construction on I-40 through here so I was mildly annoyed for much of the drive. The kids also started getting restless. We stopped in Moriarty, 3o minutes from Albuquerque for the night. I had to buy Parker a new car seat because had an accident in his and we had no way of washing the cover. He was also due for a bigger one so we upgraded while we were here.

Arizona: Back in the Grand Canyon state! I lost my notes for this state…must have accidentally given that paper to the kids to draw on :( Ooops!

About 3 hours after getting back to my house in Phoenix I realize that the air conditioning is not working. The temp outside is 114 degrees! So I spend two nights in a hotel in Anthem. Once the AC is fixed I move back in and try to organize. Just after leaving Arizona I had the carpet redone and it is now a bright white. The kids now have to adjust to new rules which include absolutely no food or drink outside the kitchen. So now I have the monumental job of unpacking. I also had to stock an empty kitchen. I have spent $530.00 at Whole Foods and Sprouts within the last 2 days. Yikes! That was with about $18.00 in coupons.

But the place is starting to feel like home again :)


A New Type of CSA -Backyard Gardener

by Tiffany in Eating Local, Environment, Gardening

fresh farm foods

I just came across a very interesting idea that takes on the idea of a CSA and mixes it up a bit. It is called Your Backyard Farmer. Apparently the owner, Donna, got a degree in horticulture so that she could operate her own CSA farm (community supported agriculture) and be a part of the sustainability movement. The skyrocketing price of land though, made that dream difficult to realize. BUT still determined, she developed a business model that overcomes the land issue and is now providing organically raised fruits and vegetables to numerous families through the business she calls “Your Backyard Farmer”. She and a partner install mini-“farms” right in people’s yards, plants and nurtures the crops on weekly basis and leaves a harvest basket on the back porch. The annual cost is similar to a share with a CSA and eliminates the need to transport the food. And how can you eat fresher, and more local then that?! Brilliant!


The Journey – Oklahoma thru Texas

by Tiffany in Tidbits

Oklahoma: Lots of hay and lots of cows here. The references to Will Rogers are also plentiful. The kids have a lot of fun looking for cows and the occasional herd of horses. Our route takes us through Tulsa and Oklahoma City. We stopped for the night in Tulsa and swam in the hotel pool again. All in all, I like Oklahoma a lot. I think I wouldn’t mind living in Oklahoma or Missouri.

I loved the fact that I saw so many free-range, grass fed cows. I am sure the beef is much better then that obtained in factory farms, something I strongly oppose. I am not much of a meat eater but when I DO eat beef on rare occasions I opt for free range, grass fed beef.

Texas: It is amazing how barren and flat Texas is compared to Oklahoma. We passed through the northwestern corner, under the Oklahoma panhandle, and straight through Amarillo. We saw that eatery called The Big Texan that offers a 72 ounce steak for free if you can manage to eat it all and all the trimming that comes with it. I also saw many of the sprawling ranches that Texas is famous for.

The kids and I tried to sing as many songs about Texas as we could remember. They also looked out the window for any sign of Sandy from Bikini Bottom, who is originally from Texas (if y’all watch Spongebob then you will know who that critter is).

My oldest son was elated to finally see some cactus, which he loves. I could hardly get excited about Cholla though. They are my least favorite species of cacti. Compared to the state we traveled prior, Texas is significantly more dry…no lush greenery here. But it is still beautiful.


Organic Fashion that Looks Good Enough to Eat

by Tiffany in Eco Fashion, Organic Bites

Organic Veggie Dress

The contest, Fashion Entrée was hosted by Capers Community Market in vancouver. The mandatory ingredient was natural, sustainable materials. The goal was to create a wearable piece of clothing inspired by or incorporating organic foods.

Corrina Suveges took first place with her Salad Dress. Reminiscent of a celery stalk, this body-hugging evening gown is made of organic-cotton sateen. The bikinilike bust emulates two leaves of radicchio, and the mermaid hemline has layers of wild-greens–shaped panels made from hand-felted, hand-dyed Merino wool and organic-cotton batting.

This dress is absolutely gorgeous!


My First Oncology Appointment

by Tiffany in Tidbits

I went for my first oncology appointment yesterday. I really like Dr. Halepota and his office is right inside the cancer center which is more like a fancy resort then a medical center. It has serenity fountains, reflection courtyards, upscale boutiques that sell wigs, scarves, knitted hats, clothing, etc. It is amazing. The part that was a little upsetting was the fact that all of the other patients I saw looked SO sick! Seeing all the bald heads, pale faces, and bodies with huge red ulcers and sores was a little it much for me. And of course everyone commented that no way should a 28 year have colon cancer. Dr. Halepota said his average colon cancer patent was 70 years old!

The Dr. outlined what he wants to do:

1. Six months of Chemotherapy (once every 2 weeks via 48 hour infusion)
2. Genetic testing
3. A Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan. It is a medical imaging technique that can search for cancer anywhere in your body.
4. Blood tests every month.

I am in agrreement with his plan so away we go. I am scheduled on Wednesday for outpatient surgery to have a Port-a-Cath put in my neck which is a device for intravenous access in patients who require frequent or continuous administration of intravenous substances, like Chemotherapy drugs. I have included a picture below. Then I have an appointment the next day for chemo training. All aspects of my chemo will be discussed at length. I will have more to tell after that appointment I am sure.

A portacath for my Chemo treatment