Sing Me A Song Of A Lass That Is Gone….

…..say could that lass be I? Merry of soul she sailed on a day, over the sea to Skye. Billow and breeze, islands and seas, mountains of rain and sun. All that was good, all that was fair, all that was me is gone.

~Robert Louis Stevenson‘s poem Sing Me a Song of a Lad That Is Gone. Modified Version From Outlander’s Theme song.

You may have noticed this is the opening theme song to the wildly popular Outlander Series by Dannia Gabaldon. It is true that I am a huge fan of the book series and the Starz TV series, and I believe the love story between the two main characters is better than the love story told by Fifty Shades of Gray. But this not a post about me being a huge fan of Outlander, more of a post about why this song is stuck in my head for the past twelve months. Am I the lass in this song? I could be.

 Being Walked Away From…..

I’m so sick of that same love old love, that sh*t it tears me up, I’m so sick of the same old love, my body had enough, that same old love. Feels like I’ve blown apart, I’m so sick of the same old love the kind that breaks your heart. That same old love. -Selena Gomez Same Old Love.

 It seems like ages ago when I last saw or talked to him. I believe it was never meant to be, and other priorities took the place of him after he walked out of my life forever. I had other plans with my life, and things I needed to accomplished for me without him being around to hinder the progress. Yet him being selfish was truly the best thing for me in the end. Looking back I realized I was not really putting myself first enough times in the relationship and he never full there for me. He was just passing through my life, and never really meant to stay long. Another lesson on the path to finding the person I meant to be with. Making the choice to not be friends after the breakup is and always be the best decision I have made after the breakup. I wanted to move on without him hanging in the background. As I said in a post, I wish him the best of luck in his life and that he find happiness along the way.

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 Finished A 5k Run…..

The best feeling as if you are invincible and breaking all the limitations you put on yourself come right off after crossing the finish line. Seeing the numbers of how well I did for a beginner still amazes  me. I did that? WOW! After this, there was no stopping me from enjoying running and participate in fun runs and other races throughout the year. Running has tough me a whole lot about myself and how to deal with life’s disappointments. I am thankful for a friend in telling me of this fun run. Made all the difference in healing. I am hoping to run my first half marathon soon. Will have to see!

Must Be Something In The Water….

In front of family, friends and a whole congregation, I gave my life to Jesus. After three years attending church I decided to be baptized and I thank a dear friend of mine who helped me see I was ready to do this. I will not lie it did change parts of my life for the better and paved the way for a very wonderful thing to happen later on in the year (scroll down to see what it was). A new life has begun.

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 Beautiful Smile Is Born Again…..

I have had braces in the past, and over the years my teeth have decided to move on their own accord. Now as I write this my pearly whites are now straight! Adult braces are not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. I believe it is starting to become more common for adults to have braces, and having them on even gives you better confidence then when a teenager. Not to mention the fact that I had to go through countless job interviews smiling with them. Thank goodness for advancement in braces since I had them as a teenager. Instead of two years of metal in my mouth, I had them for only eight months! Time to flash those beautiful teeth!

 Accomplished Whole30 and Began Paleo….

I think I fell off the wagon two times before the third time stuck with me (you can thank having braces for getting me to finish!). Just getting a hold of the book It Starts With Food from the local library and The Whole30 Cook Book spelled out more about how to be successful then just reading pins off of Pinterest. Just seeing other people’s results was just amazing to drop all that bloating weight on Instagram. In the end I managed to stay on the diet for thirty days on the diet and lost a lot of health problems I had after completing the program. Was not easy to do, but I am glad I stuck through with it for as long as I did.

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 One Career Door Closed, Another Will Open…..

There are times where you can no longer ride the roller coaster any longer. At the beginning of this year that was as true as ever. For the past three and half years I had been riding the ups and downs at a company that was struggling. One day it sold to another larger company. Walking into a job every day and not knowing what will become of you is the most stressful situation you could possibly be in. In the end I was laid off and in itself was a blessing for being let go, I was moving on was for the best. As heart breaking to leave people who became like family to you for three and half years, and knowing the team built through those times will never be the same. I will never forget what each and everyone taught me while working with them.

  Went Back To Finish My Bachelors Degree….

If you had asked where I would have been twelve months ago I would never had said I went back to school. After being laid off from Dendreon and going through a string of disappointing interviews,  I decide on a whim to apply to Northwest University’s biology program. To the surprise of me I was accepted to the University two weeks before classes began. In this a new journey began, and a new beginning was starting to take shape. I’m still amazed at what has transpired over four months studying, and learning what it means to realize a long-lost dream was about to be accomplished. Three years are going to go by fast, and judging by how fast time flew when at Dendreon, it means this too will past quick. Maybe this time I will continue to reach higher in my career with the completion of my dream.

Sophmore At Northwest University Fall 2015
Sophomore At Northwest University Fall 2015

Life takes us to unexpected places we never thought we would go. Plans we thought we had go to the wayside, while other plans are made. Dreams happen, old goals are reignited and most of all, things we thought would last forever or awhile come to an end. In one year everything in life changes and you are never the same again.

The more I reflect on what has all transpired over the last twelve months, there has been a lot of changes and a lot of new beginnings happening all at once. I never thought I would be where I am today as I am right now.  “For every new beginning comes from another beginning’s end” The Closure. I guess that is what being in your twenties is all about and learning to be the lass that is gone. Gone to become something more then she has ever been before, and new adventures to go on.

Thanks(Friends)giving Week Adventures

What?! No cookbooks this year?! This is what my dear mother said at Costco on Black Friday when she realized there were no cookbooks to be passed out this year. Honestly Costco you could have announced it to all your members before Thanksgiving. So another Thanksgiving tradition has come to an end after a few years. RIP Costco Holiday Cookbook, RIP. And that is just be beginning of the Thanksgiving week of disappointments. Yep after only having a laptop for three months before the dark screen of death happened,and the laptop gave out. Now into the final two weeks of classes, what a suck this is. Then again you get what you paid for, if it is a $200 Chrome book, then yes it is going to be a piece of crap! So I bought myself a proper laptop this Black Friday, and it is a Christmas gift to myself (also can write it off for taxes since it is a school expense). The third thing as the cherry on top of the above happenings, the FDA has stopped all shipments of English fruit cake from Australia. WHY?! It was the only fruit cake worth eating! Not the American disgusting, radio active cherries on top and what the heck filling type cake! Seriously why? No go on the only fruit cake worth eating during the holiday season. Such a disappointing realization.

But the weekend was not all gloomy and depressing…..

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Beautiful Thanksgiving Day!

I don’t know what compelled me to do this, but I blame it on Pinterest and reading a post off of Anderson Ever After. I decided to propose the idea of Friends-giving for our church’s young adult group get together. This meant rounding up people to bring stuff for the dinner and to make sure we had a feast at the end. It was. We ended up with sweet potato casserole, turkey, cranberry sauce, rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, mash potatoes, stuffing, and all the other fixings. By the end the night we all where stuffed and ready to go home happy-full. Next year there will be another Friends-giving, and it will be epic (do they still use this word?).

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the whole group

Thanksgiving was a small affair since my Nana came up from Oregon to visit. Thanksgiving was at my parent’s house which meant we all chipped in to help with the small feast. Ham, turkey breast, cheese scalloped potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, rolls, and sparkling cranberry juice for a feast. But…. we celebrate Thanksgiving with English Christmas crackers! Yep during desert we open or more like pop, crackers full of paper crowns, cheesey jokes and some surprise gift inside. I love wackiness of wearing a brightly colored paper crown and eating chocolate! Not the typical American Thanksgiving at all.

I have posted before I do not do the Black Friday thing at all. After spending three Christmas seasons in retail, I no longer partake in this crazy tradition. Black Friday is spent going to Costco for their free cookbook (which as you can tell didn’t happen this year), hunting for the famous European fruit cake (another disappointment) and relaxing. I did shop for a new laptop in the comfort of home, and will be getting a Surface 4 Pro tablet for Christmas.

Saturday morning I rounded up the gang and went to decorate the Church for the Christmas season. Like the two years before, our group was assigned front lobby tree decorating duty. This time we out do ourselves again with the trees.

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Church Lobby Trees

After tree decorating, I decided to make a huge batch of Butter Shortbread Cookies from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Oh my goodness the best homemade shortbread I have made and tasted! I will be using this recipe from now on.

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Homemade Shortbread Cookies

Later in the evening we all hopped into the car to stand in the cold to Edmonds Tree Lighting Ceremony to see the tree in the town square light up. I froze my butt off standing there waiting, and wishing I had stopped at the Starbucks on my way to the event. Oh well next time I will stop. Nice clear crisp day and evening made for a beautiful display for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone! Now on to Christmas and seeing what the end of the year brings. Two weeks until finals, and three and half weeks until Christmas!! Time has flown by!

Unexpected Door Opens

Each day is a new beginning. Yesterday is gone...never to return. Close your old doors, look to the future and live your life with love and compassion.

I have stared too long at a door to my future that was not supposed to open anytime soon for the past five months. While looking hard at the door closed in front of me, I saw out of corner of my eye another door opening slowly to reveal a place I never expected would happen to me again. For the past five years I wanted to be accepted to the University of Washington to complete my bachelors in biology, and every time I applied for admissions I was rejected (at total of six times). I gave up on the dream of one day finishing my bachelors degree until I received an acceptance letter from Northwest University. After enduring six months of interviews with no outcome and given the advice of going back to school, I decided why not apply to this small university and see where it would take me. Surprise! An unexpected door opened. Within two weeks I was scrambling to get ready for the first day of classes and new student orientation. The whole acceptance took me by surprise in a very good way!

To those who have never heard of this small Christian university in Kirkland Washington, it is a college where there are small classes, and lots of friendly people who want to see you succeed in the classroom as well as the field of choice you have embarked on. Northwest has an excellent Biology program that is small enough for the professors to know each student by name and this is the main reason I choose to accept admissions here. Also I will be applying to their summer research program in the biology department for helping with oncogenic viruses which create cancer tumors when they infect cells. With my background in cancer research I am hoping to learn something completely new in cancer research.

Sophmore At Northwest University Fall 2015
Sophomore At Northwest University Fall 2015

A new journey has begun for this eagle (schools mascot), and in three years I will be back to being a research associate in the Seattle biotech industry. The possibilities that await me are endless. Cheers to a new adventure and realizing a dream come true is just beginning.

Hiking Wallace Falls

2015:

Looking back on all the hikes I have done over the years and I can say I have hiked Wallace Falls in all seasons. Strange to think that it is the primary hike that I have done with others. This past March I hiked this very same trail with Megan for her college geography project. I have hiked it in the middle of winter with the rain pouring down, in the middle of a hot summer

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Wallace Falls: Upper Falls

with lots of people crowding the trails, in the early spring with snow still on the ground and now early fall with all the trees peppered with fall blowing in the breeze. I think I need to find a new favorite hiking trail after this.

Our adventure started out with a detour that ended up taking us through the back country roads because as I found out last-minute SR-522 was closed for bridge construction. The drive ended up putting an extra thirty minutes to our already hour-long drive. Once we go there, there were lots of people starting out for the rail head in the parking lot and the weather looked like the rain was going to hold out. Another disappointment while hiking was the closed Rail Road Grade trail, so we had to hike the Woody Trail instead to get to the Upper Falls of Wallace Falls. The problems did not stop there, at the beginning of the hike my water bladder line leaked all over the front of my shirt resulting in me finishing the hike with my tank top (thank goodness for that!) and I started to over heat from all the exertion. Since hiking this trail many of times before, you would think I never have a problem. Wrong! Apparently the trail was more difficult this time around then the last three times. I felt half way through I was going to die from all the exertion I had to put forth to get over tree roots, and lift myself up to reach high steps on the stair parts of the hike. Michael realized how vertically challenged I am when it comes to certain heights and had to in the last bit of the hike hoist me up so I could get up the trail.

Apparently I have thought the Valley Over Look was the upper falls part of the hike. I was surprised to find that I had not made it to Upper Falls before. So we trudged up the steep switched backs to the Upper Falls area. When we got up to the falls, of my goodness! I have to say I missed out all those time when I didn’t make it up. The falls were beautiful.

The hike going down was not as bad except the last stretch where the stairs came back! But over all I’m glade I made it finally to Upper Falls of Wallace Falls.  Took us both 3 1/2 hours round a trip to hike the trail. I think next time I will aim to hike further up to Wallace Lake using the Rail Road Grade trail when it reopens again next summer. The trail is popular, but not as popular as Rattle Snake Ridge trail (believe me, people who have gone said it is very crowed in the day, and so go as early as possible for Rattle Snake!) and since it was free entry day for national and state parks, there were a little more people this time.


2014: Geological Hike

I have been Wallace Falls a few times and each time it has been a different season. In the past I have blogged about my trip up with a great friend of mine  and this time we both went again for a geology project she was doing for her geology class in college. The point of the trip was to hike up to the falls and take picture of her standing next to or near geological important markers for comparison in size. We decide to do it at Wallace Falls since it is an easier place to access and one of the few state/national parks open for visitors this time of the year.

The adventure started at 7am in the morning with a forty-five minute car trip up past Gold Bar on the way  to Steven’s Pass. When we left the Seattle area that morning, there was a little bit of sun starting to peek out from the clouds. By the time we reached the Gold Bar, there was rain and snow mixed coming down. The last two times I have been it was the middle of summer in 80 degree heat, and the other time in the fall where it was raining. This time I hiked with snow coming down! We started out on the trail as the only people hiking up there on a Monday morning. By the time we were heading out, more people started to show up.  For our hiking adventure we decided to be safe and hike the Railroad Grade part of the trail instead of the Scenic River trail because as we were driving up, the Skyhomish River is currently running very high on its banks, and some parts of the river are flooded or in flood warning.  We started out with a few flurries of snow coming down between the trees. By the time we were half way to the Wallace Falls Lake,  the snow was coming down in big flurries and at that point we both thought it would be better to turn back  for safely reasons.  Hiking up in the snow was a peaceful and tranquil experience. Hearing the sound of the water in the distance rushing down the side of the mountain, and hearing the gurgling of the small streams running down towards the river below. My friend and I kept think why we did not bring our nice DSLs with us for the beautiful snow shots. The trail had a lot of running water, puddles and soft gooey mossy mud. I am so glad for great sturdy hiking boots! I will admit the hike was wet and cold since we did hike it in early spring. So there is no surprise with snow and large amounts of water along the way. At some point, trees made parts of the trail bare to snow, and some parts of the trail started to see accumulation. Thank goodness we did not have to plow through the snow!

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Snow on the path!
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Snow and green moss!

Every so often we would stop and take a picture of something along the trail to mark the geological timeline of Wallace Falls. This would be anything from tree trucks, boulders, puddles where water over time accumulated, rock walls, large rotting tree trucks, and the falls themselves. I took a total of ten pictures of my friend standing next to all of theses things (except the falls, that would have been very dangerous!). As we traveled along there were sections of the trail were the falls/river could be seen, below you could see the massive amount of water coming off it was very impressive. I would so not want to be swept away by the sheer force of all that water.

It took a total of two and a half hours to hike up, and back. The total amount of miles we hiked was about four miles, with it being two and half miles both ways. I really like the Railroad Grade trial better than the Scenic one. The elevation up was not a killer, and being short, I don’t have to climb up stuff just to go further along the trail.  So hiking Wallace Falls in early spring in not as bad, but being prepared for possible snow is a factor everyone should note. Plus it is that time of the year where there could be bears coming out of hibernation. We were luck to not run into one along the way. Thank God for that!


2012:

Hiking through the woods to Wallace Falls was one of the best hikes so far this year I have been on. I have been planning on doing at least one major hike by the end of the summer, and just needed someone willing to go for a whole day. My friend Megan and I headed out to hike this wonderful trail outside the small railroad town of Gold Bar WA. This hike is around three-hour at least if you are going up to the Middle Falls part, with the hike at around a medium endurance level. This endurance level, you will need to carry a water bottle with you so you don’t get stuck without some hydration.

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Upper Falls look out. Looking out on Cascades National Forest and Gold Bar
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Megan at Middle Falls
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Me, Upper Falls

We started out on a gray morning in Shoreline WA with the possibility of rain (Seattle- what do you expect). I was the driver for this trip this time since I have a Discover Pass needed for parking at the trail head. I have not driven out to Gold Bar in a very long time, and when I saw it again, lots of memories started flooding back again. Some were bitter-sweet, and some bitter at the same time. When we started out, there was some sun, but still had clouds in the sky. Silly me had a rain coat on when I started out. I ended up having to take it off around one mile into the hike because I was becoming very hot. I will admit, this hike kicked my butt with having me stopped when the stairs became too much. Megan being tall, had no problem with the hike, well-being short like myself, I have to exert more energy to keep up.We made it to the top off the falls in no time. Drench in sweat and knowing this was the best workout ever, we both where very happy with how much this felt to both of us. The sun did come out making the forest glow a greenish tint on the way back down from the falls. While up at the falls eating a power bar a small squirrel was trying to climb up Megan’s leg to get a hold of her peanut bar in her hand. The poor creature wanted to have a piece of our bar for burying.

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Upper Falls of Wallace Falls
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Falls from the lower falls point
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Wallace Falls

Will I do this again? Heck yeah I would! I would like to go hiking and fishing at the same time too. I know I need to work out more due to now having my butt muscles hurting as I write this.

 

Volcano + Roman City = Pompeii Exhibition

Just imagine what would happen if Mt. Rainier ever decided to wake up one day and take out Tacoma. Even to this day after Mt St. Helen’s erupted back in the 1980s, we in Seattle live within the shadow of a four deadly volcanoes in the in the Pacific. This past weekend I visited the Pompeii Exhibition at the Pacific Science Center and looked at all the traveling artifacts from the site.

IMG_1264[1]The morning started off with a Seattle monsoon downpour. By the time I arrived at will call at the Pacific Science Center I was soaked to the bone! Getting to the exhibit was a challenge since I forgot that the Seattle St. Paddy’s Day Dash/Run was going on early that morning ( now looking at how much fun the runners where having, I wished I had signed up for it. Oh well I can always run it next year!). There was not that many people starting at the 10:30am time slot for the exhibit which was great since large crowds make it more difficult to see the displays.

Majority of the exhibit was devoted to how the city of Pompeii and Herculaneum came to be a famous thriving city in the Roman Empire. Most of displays were done up to show how life was like leading up to the mass eruption from Mt. Vesuvius.The exhibit opens into a room with a large marble statue ( the statue I later found out, was naked just like Michelangelo’s David with out the leaf!) and walked you through the daily life of Pompeii.

After the eruption, artifacts were the plaster casts of the bodies they had found when the city was excavated. I was disappointing about this since I was expecting much more from what happen after the disaster, how the city was discovered, and what it took to raise the city from the ashes. The casts on displayed were found together in the same area with a very tragic story like most of the bodies found in Pompeii.

After walking through the gift shop to the other side, there was an exhibit about the volcanoes in the northwest and how their eruptions would impact the locals and the cities in the area. There were maps of where each of the volcanoes are located, and the evacuation routes that would need to be taken in case ever one of them blew. One of the maps was missing. The map where Seattle and the surrounding communities. One man said the possibility into why it was missing is the map was causing people to become very scared so they took it away. I can tell you, if Mt Rainer went, parts of Seattle would be effected, but majority of it would have the massive ash clouds rain down on it. Glacier Peak and Mt Baker are the ones I need to worry about more since those two are closer to home for me.

I guess I will have to travel to Italy to see the real Pompeii and all the real artifacts that come out of the excavation, and get a real sense of what it was like to walk the streets of Roman city. I should see it soon before Mt Vesuvius erupts again.