Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bad Bad Blogger

Yikes, I've been a neglectful blogger. I got sidetracked with all the vacation stuff, and kind of bored writing about it, so for anyone who is still interested here are some lovely photos, with little accompanying snippets.
Housekeeping Unit G521, this is the space I will request every year from now on.

I know it is kind of blurry, but way back through the trees you can kind of see illilouette falls, which is accessible from Glacier Point. It is a less touristy water fall and a perfectly lovely spot to have a picnic on  the Panorama Trail.

Sentinel Dome, Yes I hiked to the top, Yes there was snow!

Yosemite Falls from Sentinel Dome

Yosemite Falls reflect in the Merced River taken from the Swinging Bridge (which BTW was closed due to flooding, but we walked on it anyway)

Miss A and her Uncle Harer pumping water at the Pioneer History Center in Wawona

Sheila is ready for next year. 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Yosemite Recap - Day 1 and 2

June 5, 2010 – Day 1

8:00a ~ Want to leave by 11am, but realistically know it will be more like 1pm. Pack suitcases, be sure not to forget any Diabetes supplies (see here.) 

1:00p ~ Load the car and were on our way.

4:15p ~ Sudden traffic on the I-5, smoke billows over our heads and fire engines race up the median. Car fire.


6:00p ~ Arrive at Harris Ranch, check in, eat cookies. Make reservation for dinner.

8:00p ~ Dinner.  Prime Rib, Yum nothing like beef! Vegetarians, you have no idea what you’re missing.

9:15p ~ Swimming, there is a slightly pungent cow odor in the air overwhelming the scent of chlorine. After a long day in the car, the pool feels awesome. Meet a lovely couple from Madera, they are at Harris Ranch for a wedding reception.

10:30p ~ Low blood sugar, could be from swimming? Snarf down a chocolate dipped coconut macaroon and some chamomile tea; wait aren’t all macaroons coconut?

June 6, 2010 – Day 2

9:00a ~ Head to breakfast. Check out time is 11a, so there is no need to hurry. Belgian waffle, Yum with strawberries.

11:00a ~ Check out and hit the road. We will need to stop in Fresno to get groceries to stock the cooler.

1:30p ~ Super Walmart! We make it as far as the hygiene aisles when the cell phone is suddenly glued to Mr. Harer’s ear. I assume it is his mom, so I browse up and down the aisles. Hmmm this conversation is taking too long, what is going on?

1:45p ~ I overhear him saying flooding and asking about our 2nd reservation. Uh-Oh this isn’t good. We’ve been watching the weather reports and knew the Merced was flooding but never expected it to affect us.

2:15p ~ After some drama with dead cell phone batteries and reconnecting with a live operator we are assured that we will have a place to stay tonight, just not in the Housekeeping Camp, it is flooded. As for tomorrow reservations, wait and pray.

2:16p ~ In the middle of the Super Walmart soda aisle, “dear Lord, please look over us and don’t allow our vacation to be ruined, make the weather cooler, so the river will not continue to flood.”

3:00p ~  I am starving, Oh goody there is a Sonic Burger in the Super Walmart parking lot. I love Sonic and we don’t have one anywhere near home.

5:14p ~ Approaching the Wawona Tunnel. First glimpse of Yosemite. It always takes my breath away. I hop and squirm in my seat, so excited (and I have to pee.)

5:45p ~ See a deer with furry antlers, that means it is a boy. Bridal Veil Falls is so alluring in the late afternoon sunshine, we stop to take some pictures.

6:10p ~ STOP! Mr. Harer looks over at me like I’ve lost my mind, swerves to the curbs and glares out the window. “Shhhh a bear,” I whisper. There in the meadow, just a few feet from the road is a Black Bear. Now Mr. Harer and I have seen a few bear in Yosemite before, but never manage to have the camera handy. This time was no exception. “Darn!” I exclaim as the bear saunters off into the woods.

6:45p ~ There is a long line to check in at Curry Village. I keep reminding myself to be thankful we have a place to stay tonight. The counter staff is very nice, although many people in line do not share the same pleasantries.

7:32p ~ Finally get to our tent. We have never stayed in Curry Village, so this is kind of exciting and kind of disappointing. It is cool that there are sheets for the bed, and fresh towels and the room is maintained by a maid. The bear lockers, however are not so cool. Our cooler doesn’t fit. I hoof it back to registration to find out what can be done.
8:15p ~ Stow our cooler in an non-locking community bear locker and unpack the car. Since we won’t be using our sleeping bag, or cooking accompaniments. We don’t have much to unpack, NOT!

9:30p ~ I am starving, the only thing open is the Curry Village Bar and Pizzeria. So pizza it is, and it is the best tasting Pizza ever! Nighttime in Yosemite is animal time and I get a rare glimpse of a Raccoon. I will call him Robert, because he kinda looks like this guy I used to work with at Macy’s. Anyway, he is stealing an empty ranch dressing packet, that someone missed tossing in the bear proof (and raccoon proof) trash can.

11:00p ~ Bedtime

Join us tomorrow for Day 3 and 4. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chain Store Fish

Mr. Harer and I couldn't decide where to eat last night. I wanted Sushi, he wanted, well I am not sure what he wanted. We ended up at our friendly neighborhood  Applebee's.

We tend to avoid the Redlands Applebee's because usually they have poor service and even worse food quality. But about every couple of months we apparently decide to torture ourselves and try it again.

** note to self, stay away from Applebee's, they have nothing you want. It will only make you sick.

I was debating between the Asian Shrimp on their seasonal menu or the Fish and Chips (I know healthy choices right?)

I chose the Fish and Chips because I wanted it more. Mr. Harer ordered too. We waited, and waited and waited. After nearly 30 minutes I was started to get concerned. Really how long does it take to fry some fish sticks.

I joke that they ran out of Fish so our waitress must have had to run across the parking lot to Walmart to get some.

Finally our food arrives. Now this is what the Fish and Chips looks like on Applebee's menu (I got this photo off their website) Looks yummy right, beer battered and crisp.

Wrong! What I received was veiny soggy and square. And to top it off my fries were cold.

I forced myself to eat one piece of fish (I am so stupid) then Mr. Harer and I walked over to Walmart to buy Alice in Wonderland on  BluRay.

That is where I saw this. This is exactly what my Fish and Chips looked like.

Now I know this is totally a silly rant, but really I think they did get my Fish dinner from Walmart and I am so disappointed. But to top it all off, by the time Mr. Harer and I got home, I was sick and not just a little sick, but making real friendly with the porcelain sick.

I am not claiming it was the fish, but it is all I ate and once it was gone I felt much better.

Just fair warning to whoever is lurking out there.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sticks and Stones

You would think that living complication free with Type 1 diabetes for nearly 25 years would make me immune to the mean uneducated things that people say, but it's not true. Those nasty comments hurt my feelings, very much.

I want to put it out there again for those who just don't get it, my type 1 diabetes is not a "bad case" or a more severe form of the disease.

It is simply a different form of diabetes! I did nothing to cause it. 
(for the record, neither did my parents, grandparents, God or anyone else)

and since I am on my soapbox (as are many other D-bloggers this week; Kerri @ Sixuntilme, Kelly @ Diabetesaliciousness, 1LittlePrick, and others )

If there was a cure to Type 1 diabetes, I would not be attached to my pump right now!

okay I feel slightly better.

Now if you made it through all of that, on to the good stuff......

Yosemite was so much fun! The weather was great and I have got some beautiful pictures to share. So this coming week will be vacation recap.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Guest Post: Got a Degree, Now What?

Jamie and I have been friends for nearly eight years. We first met when I compete in the Miss California Sweetheart Pageant, which she directed. I am proud to see how she has grown over the years and look forward to sharing in her future successes. 

Hi everyone! I’m Jamie, guest blogger for today. I recently graduated from Moorpark College with a degree in Photojournalism and also Liberal Arts. So…. now that I’m done with school, what’s next? Good question.

Ultimately, I would love to be a freelance photographer specializing in NASCAR.  But there seems to be a catch 22 when it comes to NASCAR. Most NASCAR photographers are freelance, however, you need to work for a publication in order to be granted photo credentials. So how do the freelance photographers do it? I have yet to figure that out.

Photography is a difficult genre to make a constant living at. I could open my own studio, but I hate shooting portraits. I just don’t like posing people. It seems so fake and unnatural to me. Plus, I’ve never been really comfortable using equipment that can potentially kill me (aka lighting). Weddings are also out of the question. The pressure of the “big day” would make me crack. They are easy money though… from what I’ve heard. The only other option for a steady living would be to work in one of those chain photo studios. It might be a steady income, but it is also a way to quickly start hating photography. Everything is all preset and there is a total void of creativity or vision.

One of my biggest fears is that whatever I do wind up doing will kill my love of the art. Being around the photo lab at school had that effect on me. Too many people always looking down on you because they think they are hot shit. I found though, that the bigger their ego, the more mediocre there work was. Maybe that’s why the “top dog” of the photo department has been a community college student for 8 years now. You know the saying “those who can’t, teach”? Yeah, that’s going to be that guy.

So I’m not sure what is in store for me now. I’ll probably just get regular job to pay the bills and continue to do photography on the side. Just shoot whatever interests me at the time. Maybe I can figure out how to get listed on Getty Images. I think I could do some nice stock photography. Who knows, maybe there’s a living to be made there and I don’t even know it. Only time will tell.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Guest Post: Fashion, behind the label

Matthew Pluma is an up and coming fashion design student. I have personally seen his work and it is fantastic! Whenever I need style advice, I know I can trust Matthew's opinion. 

Mrs. Harer has asked me to write a blog while she is on vacation; of course I had to say yes. Why would I not want to write a blog about fashion?

We all know fashion and we all know the trends. Nude and blush are the in colors of the moment, clogs are making a comeback, and since summer is more than just right around the corner, skin is in. Now, I am not going to write a blog of the dos and don’ts of fashion, we’ve all heard those lectures; besides, do these rules apply to fashion anymore? It seems to me that people tend to march to the beat of their own drummer by mixing colors, prints, and different styles of clothing pieces.

With all these choices and trends some of us become concerned about the designer labels we wear. We also let magazines, movies, and celebrities influence us on what we wear and how we wear them. What we lose sight of is the unseen; the unseen talent that is behind the label. Yes, it does take talent to have a vision and put graphite to paper and design some of the most amazing garments anyone can ever imagine, but it also takes talent to do the work SOME don’t get the opportunity to see. Now this isn’t to say that some of the greatest designers cannot do this work, I do respect their talent and artistic views, but, there are people “behind the scenes” that do deserve some credit by the people who are unfamiliar with the process.

Now as a fashion design student I have come to have a greater appreciation for what most people don’t get the opportunity to see, and yet there are people in the industry that know the process of what is done, and yet, still feel that their title is far superior than the next person. They need to realize that without a team their label would be nothing. I feel that the patternmakers and seamstresses do not get enough credit for what they do.
Primarily, some design students don’t understand the concept of being a great designer, they expect to wake up one day and make it famous in a world consumed of self-absorption. I have discussed my love for fashion with many (I refuse to use the cliché "passion for fashion" quote) but unfortunately I have only discussed my goals and aspirations in this industry, as many aspiring designers tend to do. I have realized that in order to be a great designer (like the many I aspire to be) one must have a great team and a great attitude towards them and life. This is not to say I’m a great designer, I still have a lot to learn and a long way to go.

On a side note: start dusting off those clogs.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Packing with Diabetes

It's been blogged about by nearly every D blogger on the planet. Packing with diabetes. Which means 30% of my suitcase is full of diabetes supplies, there is a smaller case of supplies in the carry-on (or my purse) and there is yet a third set of supplies in Mr. Harer's suitcase.

You might wonder why I would want to carry so many extra supplies when the airlines charge per bag by weight, but trust me I have lost/forgotten enough supplies in my lifetime to know the importance of having extras.

A ten day vacation requires:

10 infusion sets
10 reservoirs
3 CGMS sensors
2 sof-serters
2 sen-serters
2 packages of syringes
3 bottles of insulin
100 lancets
6 bottles of strips
1 bottle ketosticks
1 box water resistant bandaids (to hold the sensors in place)
25 alcohol swabs
1 extra meter
3 AAA batteries
1 glucagon kit
3 bottles glucose tabs

and 1 happy healthy Mrs. Harer.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Guest Post: Life with MS

Misti and her husband Corey were our first "couple" friends. They have a lovely three year old and a dog who wears eyeliner. Misti was recently diagnosed with MS and I have asked her to share her story here. 

It's been about 10 months since I have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  Its been a life changing thing.  Judie asked me to share a little with you about my journey.  Hope you enjoy it.

In August 2009, myself, my husband Corey, my daughter Miss A and the Harer's decided to go on a bike ride.  I think it was a 12 mile bike ride around lake Perris.  Everything was great.  We were almost done when I noticed my arm was going numb . This was NOT out of the ordinary for me.  I started to have this problem about 6 months after Miss A was born. So I wasn’t to alarmed.  Then my leg was going numb, and I became very confused, (and might I add scared to death.)  As we drove home I noticed that it was getting worse.  

Corey assured me that I would be OK, and that it was probably my anxiety having a flare up.  He dropped me off at Redlands Community Hospital, and asked me to call him after I was seen.  Thinking that I would get the typical " it's your anxiety", he took Miss A home to get her fed and ready for bed.  The nurse brought me straight back, my speech became more slurred, and the confusion was more then what I was experiencing before. The doctor ordered a CAT scan of my head. 

 In the mean time, the numbness was now my entire right side. I could hardly speak.  The doctor came in 15  minutes after the scan was completed and said that they would have to admit me.  There were some spots that were found on the scan and they want to do an MRI.  They do the MRI The following morning.  At this point I can't walk because my leg, along with the rest of my right side, is completely numb.  I can't even feel them poke it with a needle!!  

The doctor tells me that there are 5 lesions on my brain.  They are not sure what they are.  There not typical to the MS lesions, so they don't think its MS.  So the tests proceed.  He orders a spinal tap to be done.  A full body scan to be done.  A series of blood tests to be done. Every 4 hours to be exact.  In the mean time, I have to sit in this bed, and wonder what in the world is wrong with me.  I start to think "what will my daughter do without a mom?"  I sat in that hospital bed for FIVE days not knowing what was wrong with me!!!  They discharged me saying, "well it's not cancer, it might be MS, but your lesions do not look like it." I still couldn't walk and was wheelchair bound.   

Home life was so different for me. Since I couldn't walk, who was going to help me in and out of bed?  Who would take care of Miss A when Corey is at work?  How was I going to shower or get dressed?  Luckily, for me I had family. My sister came over and helped me take care of Miss A, she helped me bathe, and get dressed.  She would make our meals, do the laundry, and the grocery shopping.  All the things that I took for granted! 

I quickly went from wheelchair to  walker!  Yay me!! I used the walker for home and a wheelchair when we went out.  Its amazing the looks people give you when your in a wheelchair and you don't look disabled.  I slowly got the confidence, to try to start walking by myself. Three weeks after being discharged I was able to walk by myself!!  PRAISE GOD!!  

I finally went to a specialist where he diagnosed me with Tumefactive MS.  Which means the lesions are not typical lesions for MS.  He put me on a daily injection that is supposed to help prevent any more lesions from growing and prevent the ones I have from growing and possibly shrink.  Matter of fact, the last time I was admitted the doctor told me that some of my lesions have shrank.

In February I returned back to work, which I thought I would never be able to do.  In March, I participated in the MS walk and did 3K!!  Amazing, considering I had thought I would never be able to walk again!! Might I add, I am typing with BOTH hands, which took forever to be back to normal! The Lord has truly blessed me! I know I have a long road ahead of me, but with my faith in God, and the love and support of my family and friends, I can get through anything!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Check Your Ego at the Door

I had nearly finished writing out a post yesterday, but decided it sounded like I was fishing for compliments, so I tossed it. Now after today's events I feel like it is okay to post it.

I am very secure in my self-worth. I know I should lose a few pounds for my overall health, but my self confidence is stable. I don't need to compare myself to other women to know that I am beautiful. I truly believe that I have a special purpose here and that purpose does not change whether I weigh 110 lbs. or
185 lbs. That being said there a really wonderful local restaurant that makes me super uncomfortable to go into.

Each of the staff
members in this place appear model perfect, they are so thin and so beautiful, it makes me feel like an ugly duckling. But that is not even the part that really bothers me, what bothers me is how I react to this discomfort. I turn hostile, total wicked witch. I try to smile and be nice to these girls, and instead it comes out snarky and sarcastic. I don't like behaving that way. What is wrong with me. Maybe I should avoid eating there, but there food is so yummy (not that I think any of those girls eat it.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Gum Chewers Anon.

Hi, my name is Mrs. Harer, and I am an addict. It has been 3 hours since my last piece of gum.

I am not sure how I picked up this habit, but I am going through a pack of gum a week, sometimes more.  I guess there are worse habits to have right? Right? But gum isn't cheap. I think I need an intervention, before this habit spirals out of control. I have even stooped to bumming it off people (mostly Annie, 'cause she always gots the goods).