Kayaking with Beloved in La Jolla, California Lots of PICS

My fabulous birthday present/adventure from my Beloved was an ocean kayaking trip with Everyday California tours http://www.everydaycalifornia.com/tours-rentals/kayak-tour.  We chose the Seven Seas Cave Tour within the La Jolla Ecological Preserve.  We suited up in the provided dorky helmut and protective life jacket and follow our knowledgeable, friendly tour guide down to the beautiful beach.  There are a number of folks playing in the water, which was 72 degrees this day, some laying out in the sun on the clean, light soft sand under slightly swaying umbrellas.  There is a slight small surf, the sun is sparkling off of the water.  Beloved and I shared a kayak – which, to me, is more fun. The water is crystal clear! It was amazing.

Go Eliza.  She is my avatar!
Go Eliza. She is my avatar!
Kayaking Mid-Day.
Kayaking Mid-Day.

Our tour guide points out areas of interest under the water – the sand with sea life within it,  the reefa bit further beyond,  fleshes out interesting stories about inhabitants of the estates along the shoreline  and what it’s like to there.  We see Girabaldi –  golden and  a bit larger than, but colored like goldfish.  We paddled as a group over to the cave area which looked like a painting, even in real life.  The colors were extraordinary – I believe they were sandstone.  The walls of the cave had tones of green, red, sandstone, some yellows and were dotted with Cormarand and there nests.  You have to really look, but there were also sea lions flattened on the rocks, sunning themselves and just being being generally darling.  The final cave we entered two kayaks at a time and it was beyond awesome! Inside were three sea lions that I didnt’ even notice initially lounging about.  What a great way to spend my birthday!  I highly recommend a visit!

 

 

 

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They Say It’s My Birthday! 49 Today

Today, is my 49th year on the planet.  Some years have been okay, some pretty rough and most fantastic.  The last few years have been an extraordinary time of personal growth.  I attribute the extraordinary years to three thing 1) When I purposely (finally) took my paws off of the steering wheel of my life,  lo and behold, God immediately took over and Wow!  what a driver. Thank you Thank you Thank you. 2)  I’ve made it a habit to step OUT of my comfort zone.  One of my biggest fears/obstacles has been heights. I am a nurse and once my children matured and were beginning their lives, it became time to expand my career/life and get my rear on a plane!  I sat at the airport back home repeatedly over the course of years watching grandmothers and 5 year olds confidently board and deplane and I was terrified!  Finally screwed up the gazongas to board a plane (carefully choosing mid-plane inside row away from windows) and my life changed!  I love flying.  Now I press my face to the window and watch and listen to take-off and landing – marveling every time it is happening.  It’s beautiful up there, I can’t imagine never experienceing it.  Fying opened up the world to me, truly.  I’ve met the most diverse , interesting people from all parts of the world, experienced cultures that I would never have imagined.  Yes, I have seen beautiful places and I am grateful. The people that I have known in these 49 years are like exotic flowers in a beautiful bouquet and I love love love them!  This has been such a blessing. 3)  Life sometimes gets overwhelming/stressful (surprise).  It turns out that when I focus on others, helping or caring about them, my problems get really small.  Life gets bigger and better.          May I now request my birthday present? 1)  Face your area of discomfort or fear head on!  Look at one area in your life that you think  “I can’t do that, I am afraid to do that” and just do it (thanks Nike).  I have heard wonderful sermons that state “Your blessing is in the area that you are most afraid.”  This has proven to be true in my life. Take one small step and your life is going to change, I promise.. 2)  Travel!!            Look around you now and realize the beauty and diversity of the landscape and the people.  Experience other ways of approaching situations and life and appreciate it all! 3)  Find a cause that you are interested in and believe in and get involved. Chase your passion. Keep at least one pair of new, thick socks, a new toothbrush and toothpaste in your car and GIVE IT AWAY to a person in need. Thank you for 49 wonderful years! Thank you for sharing your wisdom, your friendship and your time.  I am truly blessed! Thank you God for my wonderful children! Thank you for my Beloved! Let the party continue…49 birthday agian 49 birthday

MY BIG Little BUCKET LIST

I have a mortal fear of speaking in public.  I go completely blank.  Here’s the thing. It’s kind of necessary.  I had an epiphany about a year ago and did everything required to teach CPR, everything until it came time to be monitored teaching a class on a subject that I have specialized in for 15 years – I froze!  I love Zumba, survived 8 straight hours of intense Zumba instructor training and earned my certification.  Have I taught it?  Nope – freeze.

So, I joined my local ToastMasters recently, they seem like a knowledgeable and friendly bunch, right?  I volunteered to be the “speech timer” person tonight and was certain that bought me safety and anonymity.  Um, no. I was called on in front of everyone in the room to give an impromptu speech of about 2 minutes regarding travel.  I know travel.  My face beet red, my heart racing, I gracefully (not) ambled up to the lecturn and proceeded to babble something about travel,” no I won’t sue Toastmasters for calling me up here” and I’m pretty sure that I jumped in my boots when the green sign was up to tell me I was done.  At the end of the meeting, they are giving out awards for “table topics” “prepared speeches” and “evaluators” and I hear my name.  (insert Da Da Da) I froze, turned beet red, cackled in disbelief and worst of all, teared up.  Oh no!  I was shocked.  People clapped and my body again gracefully (not) floated up front to have my teary face photographed.  These people were being kind.  But…I did it.I

Joined local ToastMasters to overcome my fear of public speaking.  Look at what they gave me:>
Joined local ToastMasters to overcome my fear of public speaking. Look at what they gave me:>

Happy Flash Mob Small Group One Great Group Pic post Flash October 23, 2014Last week, dramatic double chin pre flash mob Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles my Beloved and I performed with a Flash Mob in a fancy schmancy hotel in Los Angeles with fancy schmancy dressed up folks to the tune of Pharrell William song “Happy” with Flash Mob Nation.  That was wild and fun.  The black jacket and scarf are to cover up the bright orange T-shirt we are all wearing.  There were about 600 attendees at this charity fundraiser and we were interspersed with them.  They are still mingling (kind of where we need to dance).  There was this nice young-ish couple that I had been talking with a bit while waiting for our part. The music started , so I said “look up there” as the core group of mob was beginning their dance at the top of the stairs.  I begin unbuttoning that jacket as I have to jump up behind core group in a minute and the look in that ladies eyes was priceless!  “I knew it!! she exclaimed. Beloved and I took our places and proceeded to bust a move.  It was a blast! BTW, I will be 49 years old in a few days and life is fabulous!

“Life is a Highway and I Wanna Ride it All Night Long!!!

How Are We Now Going to Respond to the Survivors of Ebola?

MY TWO CENTS WORTH…

I am so happy for this nurse that stepped in to care for another human being with an uncertain and definitely frightening diagnosis in the face of an inadequate system??  What are her job prospects now? Should she be penalized for a systemic failure, for stepping in when most wouldn’t? And why, oh why, oh why are we identifying these people? HIPPA!!

Why is she being referred to as Name…The Ebola Nurse and the patient who passed, identified by name as “The Ebola patient?”  We are taught in nursing school not to refer to people as “the kidney patient” “the DKA” etc, instead as “Mr or Mrs So and So”. These are sons and daughters, aunts and uncles, neighbors and coworkers…with hopes, dreams, faubles like all of the rest of us.  They shop at the grocery store, buy gifts, wear goofy clothes, like the rest of us.  They deserve respect and admiration!  This professional nurse deserves the same respect, as does the unfortunate man who passed.

 Nurse, now Ebola free, receives thanks from Obama

Associated Press
JESSICA GRESKO1 hr ago     http://a.msn.com/01/en-us/BBaWXqg
Barack Obama, Nina Pham: President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in Washington. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. Pham's mother Diana, center, and sister Cathy watch. © AP Photo/Evan Vucci President Barack Obama hugs Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in Washington. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man… BETHESDA, Maryland (AP) — A nurse who caught Ebola while caring for a Dallas patient who died of the disease walked out of a Washington-area hospital virus-free Friday and into open arms.

Nina Pham got a hug from President Barack Obama in the Oval Office at the White House. And outside the hospital where she had been since last week, she got hugs from the nation’s infectious disease chief, who oversaw her care.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the meeting with Obama “an opportunity for the president to thank her for her service.” But the close contact between the president and the former patient also came as officials in New York tried to calm fears after a doctor was diagnosed with Ebola in that city.

Pham said she felt “fortunate and blessed to be standing here today,” as she left the National Institutes of Health’s Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, where she had been since she arrived Oct. 16 from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

Pham thanked her health care teams in Dallas and at the NIH and singled out fellow Ebola survivor Dr. Kent Brantly, who recovered after becoming infected in Liberia, for donating plasma containing Ebola-fighting antibodies as part of her care.

“Although I no longer have Ebola, I know it may be a while before I have my strength back,” Pham said at a news conference.

Dr. Anthony Fauci,, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters that five consecutive tests showed no virus left in her blood. Five tests is way beyond the norm, he stressed, but his team did extra testing because the NIH is a research hospital. He had walked out to the news conference with his arm around Pham and later gave her a big hug.

“She is cured of Ebola, let’s get that clear,” Fauci said.

Pham stood throughout the approximately 20-minute press conference and was joined by her mother and sister. She read from a prepared statement and took no questions, but she called her experience “very stressful and challenging for me and for my family.”

“I ask for my privacy and for my family’s privacy to be respected as I return to Texas and try to get back to a normal life and reunite with my dog Bentley,” she said, drawing laughter with the mention of her 1-year-old King Charles spaniel. Bentley has been in quarantine since Pham’s diagnosis but has tested negative for the virus.

Pham is one of two nurses in Dallas who became infected with Ebola while treating Thomas Eric Duncan, who traveled to the United States from Liberia and died of the virus Oct. 8. The second nurse, Amber Vinson, is being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which on Friday issued a statement saying she “is making good progress” and that tests no longer detect virus in her blood.

___

Associated Press writers Lauran Neergaard and Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington contributed to this report.

Barack Obama, Nina Pham: President Barack Obama meets with Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas hospital is free of the virus. The 26-year-old Pham arrived last week at the NIH Clinical Center. She had been flown there from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. © AP Photo/Evan Vucci President Barack Obama meets with Ebola survivor Nina Pham in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Pham, the first nurse diagnosed with Ebola after treating an infected man at a Dallas…

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  • For this photo challenge, show us what “refraction” means to you. It could be an image taken in a reflective surface, it could be light bent from behind an object, or it could mean remedial math homework: the choice is completely up to you. I’m looking forward to seeing how you interpret “refraction.”

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