Monday, August 30, 2010

Breathing Easier!

Grandson Milo is breathing easier, so that means we are too!

Several hours after a fast but otherwise normal birth last Wednesday morning, Milo developed some breathing problems that lead to poor oxygen levels.  He was removed to the nursery in the local hospital to receive oxygen, an IV for nutrition, and for  close observation.  There was some talk of transfer to a NICU in Portland, but consultation with doctors there said they wouldn't be doing anything more than the care he was already receiving.

Patience.  I was allowed to see him on occasion through the nursery window, but I haven't held Milo since an hour after his birth.  Casey and Richard were allowed into the nursery to visit and touch, and eventually hold Milo. His numbers rose dramatically whenever Casey held him, and especially the 'kangaroo hold' which put him skin-to-skin.

When Casey's doctor came to discharge her from the hospital on Friday, I was able to ask a little more about what was happening with Milo. (This doctor delivered three of my children, and this was the 4th of my GRANDchildren she delivered!)  She said he had symptoms of Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn, which should have resolved quickly, or Respiratory Distress Syndrome.  He was improving much that day, and a big signal of that was his annoyance with the nose tube delivering the oxygen.

His numbers improved steadily and yesterday he was allowed to move into the room Casey was using.

And within the past hour, I received a text saying that they were on the way home!  Yes.  We are all breathing a little easier now.

Now Milo's challenge will be learning to deal with two very active siblings.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Zack - Drop me an Email!


I lost your card about 20 minutes after you all left yesterday!  (Always surprised me how one can LOSE things on a 45' boat).  Do have 3 laptops if you are still interested, drop me an Email!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Day of Decadence !

Today Kristi and I enjoyed a day of relaxation.  No Baby Watch, and as we were NOT at a city dock (instead at Sand island in the middle of the Columbia) we had no incentive to get off the boat and go somewhere to spend $$.  However. . . .

Did we use resources!  . . . . Electricity and Water.

Yesterday I  ran the generator almost all day (mostly because I fell asleep and left it running) fully charging the batteries, and we filled up with water last night when I picked up Kristi after her time with the kids.  As of this evening (1830) we had used 412AH of electricity!   Now, this is about 2x what we normally use in 24hours, but then we were on the computers all day (access to high-speed WiFi thanks to the long range repeater and a local Samaritan who beams WiFi over to the island for boaters to use) plus we took showers (heating water) and did two loads of laundry.

Now, to put things into a little prospective for those still shore-based.  400Ah is around 5Kwh, or about the same amount of electricity a couple of 100W bulbs would use in a day.  And on shore it would cost around $0.50

On the boat.  400Ah is still around 5kWh, however it translate into 4 hours of generator (or two hours of main motor running).  And with the generator it would cost around $3.00 at today's cost of Diesel!  Plus, it is about ½ of our total power reserve of our batteries (to be nice, or perhaps 1/3 if we wish to push the batteries) which were DESIGNED to last 4 to 5 days between charges. . . .

A day of Decadence, a day we really enjoyed:
·         Showers at will
·         TWO loads of laundry!
·         Computers and WiFi repeater ALL DAY!
·         TV at night
·         Radio all day
·         TWO pots of coffee
·         Dishes and Vacuuming

And I also re-caulked some seams on the deck, plus changed the oil in the generator.

Ah, now it is Katie news, Jeopardy, and then 2-1/2 men – plus Drinks. 

Yes, this is the life!

Baby Pictures

Turn down the lights!  Too bright!

Papa takes a turn
Grammie gets to hold Milo

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And Baby makes 6!

Milo Jacob Miramontes was born this morning at 1:37am, this makes a total of 6 Grand Kids!

So now we will shift from Baby Watch mode into Watching Baby mode!  Should be a bit easer we we will not have to keep the car trailing us.  Will post photo as soon as we get our camera back from Casey (HOW could they forget their charger!!!)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

In Search of Chocolate

Yesterday I walked uptown St. Helens in search of fudge, and found only one measly chunk of Rocky Road, which I left at the store.

I found a book at the used book store and struck up a conversation with the owner/operator who invited me back and said she could hook me up with internet if I needed.

Today I AGAIN had a yen for chocolate, and decided a mocha and a computer session would fit the bill.  Unfortunately, this shop, which does not open until noon, does not have decaf!  So I may find myself lying awake until midnight, because I just could NOT do without the chocolate today.  And it's Ghiradelli chocolate!  Yum.

Anyway, I just wanted to make a plug for the Word for Word book shop and it's pleasant owner Susan Conn.  She is very gracious, even though we can connect to their network, but not to the internet.  Al WAS on his way up with me, but was waylaid by boat buddies who have been playing with their radios all afternoon, inputting MSSI numbers and calling each other--new technology!  He needs to get here soon and see if he can diagnose my connection problem!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Land Cruising

This past week we have been doing quite a bit of land cruising.  We are still on baby watch, so have kept the car in a parking garage nearby while at the RiverPlace public dock.

We have also been grateful for the air-conditioning in the car, as those trips have offered respite from the heat wave of the past few days.  (I have learned that you must have three days or more in a row of 90 degrees or more to be considered a 'heat wave')  And we HAVE had a heat wave.

In addition to Al's dental visit, we one day made a shopping expedition to Tigard and Willsonville, and then on to Hillsboro for a family gathering to visit with my neice Melissa and her new fiance, Nick, visiting from Colorado.  They had gone to Multnomah Falls for the day, and soon after they walked in the door, Melissa presented her hand for oohing and aahing over her new sparkly accessory.

The next day we went to a movie to escape the heat of the day.  Since we have both recently completed the Steig Larsson 'The Girl....' trilogy, we wanted to see the movie of the first book 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'.  We were too late to catch it at the Living Room Theaters, but Al found it was playing at the Laurelhurst Theater on E. Burnside.

We recommend the Laurelhurst for a great deal!  We got two tickets for a mid-day show, pizza for two, a beer and a soda, and a small popcorn for a total of $21.00!!!  Granted, it is a small, older theater, so there is no 'stadium seating', but there WERE tables so that you could take your pizza and drinks and relax in the theater.

And we agree with another friend who has read the books and seen the first TWO movies, that the actress cast as Lisbeth Salander did an excellent portrayal.

Took a break from land cruising yesterday to host Melissa and Nick for a RIVER cruise.  We took them upstream of RiverPlace to the Willamette Falls and back.  Time did not allow a trip through the locks on this excursion.  It was difficult to avoid the heat in the middle of the sunny river, and we exhausted our supply of ice to keep drinking water cool.

Melissa and Nick spent the night with us on the boat, and rose early to continue their trip up the West Coast to Seattle.

So today I took another land cruise to Hillsboro to pick up the oldest grandchild, Troy, and we met Al and Viking Star in Scappoose.  Al is working on a friend's generator.  Troy and I made a trip to the store, and we are looking forward to ice cream cones for dessert!

Tomorrow, another land cruise to Hillsboro for an oral surgeon's evaluation of Al's tooth, and to return Troy to home.

We are still anticipating the land cruise to meet the newest grandchild soon.  He/She has given two false alarms so far, and Mommy is quite uncomfortable with heat, size, and contractions.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Like a True Boat Bum

Wednesday night Kristi and I met up with my Son Michael and his girlfriend Stephanie for a great dinner at a hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant that we have had bad luck getting to while they are actually open.  It was good times.  However, as we were sitting in their apartment for the evening digesting, I continued to play with a tooth that had been acting kind of funny for a few days.  All of a sudden there was a 'pop' and I felt the tooth move!  Wow, flash backs to being 6 years old!

Long story short:  A tooth that had a crown placed on it a few years ago broke off at the gum line.  A trip to the dentist yesterday where he grabbed it with his fingers and with a small tug pulled the whole tooth out confirmed things could not be repaired.  

Oh Well.   I will have it fixed (implant) over the next few months, but for now I am taking on the appearance of a True Boat Bum - Missing Teeth!


Monday, August 9, 2010


It was a weekend for grandchildren!  The 6th seems a little anxious to get out--it is still a month until it's due date, but Casey spent a few hours on monitors at the hospital on Friday evening.  This one's older brother came FIVE weeks early, so at least this one has waited a little longer.

Saturday I spent with Casey and Evan, and I got to visit with Richard a bit before he was off to  work.  Madalyn stayed at her other Grandma's house to ride her bike.  Saturday evening I spent with Ryker and Emrie.  Troy was at his dad's for the weekend.  Lindsay and Robby went to the Vernonia Jamboree.

Back to the boat last night, for a much better night's sleep.

We've spent the morning at Starbucks where Al had an excellent French press and I had my usual Chai Tea latte.  He is now on a business call, and we will be leaving to go shopping after that.  He has a couple of things to pick up for projects.  We haven't decided whether we will be anchoring out this evening, or find a dock to tie to.

All for now,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Best Coffee in the World...

Our adventure began several days ago, when the River Maiden coffee shop announced on Facebook that they would begin serving 'the Best Coffee in the World' today.  Since adopting our current lifestyle, one of the things we most enjoy is visiting coffee shops, and since I was already a 'fan' of this store, we began to make arrangements to take part in this special offering on it's opening day.

Tuesday night we moored at Hadley's Landing on the Multnomah Channel, and last night we moved closer by anchoring in the North Portland Harbor.  And this morning we weighed anchor (and Al nearly 'caught' another anchor BUT, it would have taken too much effort to free, and we were already in our 'nice' clothes, and we were on a mission.  So it was a 'catch and release' this time.)

So, we motored to the Vancouver City Dock, which had big company again.  A few times back, the Spirit of '98 was our neighbor, but this time the Queen of the West was at the dock, provisioning and preparing for passengers to board tomorrow.  This is their first cruise in over two years!  

And, back to the coffee.  We walked 31+ blocks to our car, and drove to the River Maiden on Devine in Vancouver.  We were number 11 and 12 to be served the Panama Esmerelda Especial today, it's debut.  

The total experience included sniffing the freshly ground beans before brewing on the Clover.

This is MY cup brewed, 

And served

It did taste very good!  It was quite fruity.  $10 for an 8 oz cup this year, $15 two years ago.  $100 for a 12 oz package of beans ($200 two years ago).  No inflation!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

All is Calm, All is Bright...

Again, after spending a few days in downtown Portland, with all it's traffic and people and activity, and before going to Vancouver for an event scheduled for Thursday, we were looking forward to a nice private, quiet place in between to hang out for a couple of days.  Hadley's Landing off Sauvie Island seemed the perfect destination.

We had hoped to be the only boat at the dock.  But there was a small boat already there, with a man and woman who emerged, ready to assist us with docking.  We all introduced ourselves and Bill and Carol returned to their boat.  While we set up chairs in the shade of the boat and waited for the engine heat to rise and dissipate, I could hear the noise of a meal being consumed and the clean-up that followed.  We then did our own food preparation, consumption and clean-up, and set up to watch a movie.

It takes alot of effort to be quiet.  If this other boat had not been present, I am sure that we would have gone about our activities with abandon, unconcerned about disturbing anyone else.  But the mere presence of one boat had subdued me.  I did not want to disturb them--they HAD been there first, after all.

We do lots of reading, which is a quiet activity.  But as it grew darker, and the mosquitoes began their exploring, we moved inside to watch a movie borrowed from my daughter so that we can return the stack of them this weekend when I go to babysit.  Was our volume up too loud?  There were no lights visible in our neighbor's boat, and it was after 10:30 before the movie ended.  I moved to a seat at the back of the boat while Al took care of the disc and computer.

The water on the Multnomah Channel was very still and smooth.  I could actually see the stars reflecting on the water!  I am not sure I have EVER seen that before.  Can a place be TOO quiet?  Every sound was magnified.  A heron's cry startled me--I always think of Pterydactyl's when I hear them.  A mosquito whined in my ear.  A jet plane flew overhead, lights flashing among the stars.  I leaned back and looked to the stars.  I was facing north and easily found the Big and Little Dippers, and Polaris.  Twice, I saw the streaking flash of falling 'stars'.

Though it is a Christmas song, the words 'All is calm, All is bright...'  came to mind.  But it certainly wasn't a Silent Night.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Bridge was HOPPING!!!

This is the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland Oregon.  It is 100 years old.  Last night, as part of a celebration of bridges in Portland, and in particular the Hawthorne, this bridge was closed to motor traffic, except for a bus that housed the Mobile Groove Bomb.  On TOP of the bus, which parked below the bridgekeepers house on the lift span, there were 3-5 people playing music and dancing.  There were interactive stations where the audience could direct the lights for the show, or create an animated screen to go with the music.

There was quite a crowd developing.  We heard that a marching band was on the bridge and was slowly working it's way to the bus.  There was quite a crowd, and it was difficult to move about on the bridge.  When we arrived on the bridge, security directed us to stay on one side of the span, and bicycles on the other.  But when the marching band arrived, that guidance seemed to go out the window.

Now, I get kind of freaky at heights anyway, but when you add that it is a bridge, with a grate through which you can see water, AND the crowd  you are among is dancing so that the bus, and the whole span, are BOUNCING !!!!!---I got just a BIT more freaked!

I just wanted OFF that span!  

It took some doing, but we did work our way through to the nearest edge of the lift span.  Then the MC came on and said something like 'Hey, the people who know math are getting freaked out!  Let's not break the bridge--it's 100 years old, and it's tired.'  We heard comments like 'Don't dance rhythmically.'    

Yes, I didn't feel right until we got to land.

(8-3-10, here is a pointer to an OPB news story: