April 2014
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Quote for April 16, 2014

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Photo by Zoe Castle

“The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month, ” Henry Van Dyke

 

Quote for April 14, 2014

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“The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring,” Bernard Williams

 

Quote for April 11, 2011

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“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush,” Doug Larson

 

Quote for April 10, 2014

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“I am going to try to pay attention to the spring. I am going to look around at all the flowers, and look up at the hectic trees. I am going to close my eyes and listen,” Anne Lamott

 

10th Annual Seattle Dragonslayer for NW Sarcoma

 

10th Annual Seattle Dragonslayer for NW Sarcoma

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It was our 5th year participating in the Seattle Dragonslayer for the Northwest Sarcoma Foundation. This year was different but the same in one way as the first year when it all began.  Our son Conner wasn’t with us. At the first Dragonslayer,  Conner was too sick to come. He was fighting his own Ewing’s Sarcoma dragon.  This year Conner remained at Washington State University busy studying and enjoying his life as a college freshman his dragon slaying days far enough behind him to take on some new challenges and enjoyments of university life. Now  we were here to celebrate our son’s life, his victories and give back to our community and friends who had so dearly supported us along our cancer journey. We also wanted to acknowledge and lift up those who had loved ones who  had given their lives fighting cancer. This day was for all of us, a day of celebration, acknowledgement, support, solidarity and most of all hope that one day this terrible disease will be far behind us.

As I secured a parking spot right near the entrance to Greenlake, I looked up at the cloud smeared sky and hoped the rain would hold off for a few hours. “Just a few,” I thought out loud and began to tug at one of the 20 cases of water bottles I’d volunteered to bring to the event.  This year was different too as I was also involved in the set up and clean up of Dragonslayer event and received an “education” on just how much work went into putting on a fundraiser.  The more help in the form of volunteer hours and donations you can collect to defray the cost of the actual fundraising event is the more money that can be channeled directly back into the charity.

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It’s also important to make the event fun and meaningful for the people attending, so the tents went up providing  beverages and snacks from healthy fruits to frosted chocolate studded muffins, face painting for the children, t-shirts with this year’s dragon emblazoned track shoes and registration area  for participants, a dedication and tribute banner, D.J. booth appeared to announce the raffle and rev up the crowd and a Ginormous balloon arch was hoisted up over the front of the entire event to showcase our Dragonslayer Walk/ Run around Greenlake. We had over 1,300 participants-  a record number.
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Assigned to help out at the food tent, I worked with a wonderful volunteer Patty who is an adult sarcoma survivor and a physician. She brought her dragonslayer cookies, donated coffee and lots of baskets of muffins along with her family and their great ideas of how to serve and arrange the food so people could easily grab and go.  I was eager to learn and amazed at how efficient the table was run.

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Soon our D.J. was announcing the start of the Dragonslayer. We had an M.C., a young woman who had survived sarcoma.  She spoke of how life was a gift and each day was never to be taken for granted.  She thanked those who had supported her and how often caregivers have the hardest job, watching their loved ones suffer when there is so little they can do to help. I thought about the caregivers book I have nearly finished writing and know the big impact it will surely make.  Her message was one of hope and encouragement when I had half expected to shed a few tears and feel sad. I felt surprised at how suddenly  uplifted and empowered I felt.  I looked over at the team that organized our event and smiled.  Soon we were ready to start our walk and this giant amoebic crowd engulfed Greenlake in throngs.  It was fun to be a part of something so much bigger than myself. Our good friend Jeanne joined us, she had been a part of Team Opie for years, and today I was grateful that she had decided team or no, to still come down and be a part of our celebration. We walked with our friends Dee and Kiyo and  in memory of their son Josh and Team JD2. Josh had just passed away in July of 2012 at age eighteen.  He is forever in our hearts as one of the most brave, loving and caring young men I have ever known.

I saw my friend Anita and her daughter Ava age 9 who is a Ewing’s sarcoma survivor she and team Ava came dressed as the Wizard of Oz. The night before they had had a fundraiser and raised over $800 for NW Sarcoma. I also saw our friends Suzanne and Marty who were walking on Team Prayin and Slayin for a young woman of 24 who lost her battle to sarcoma nearly 2 years ago, their daughter Lauren and our daughter Jennifer are closest of  friends. Karen the social worker from Seattle Children’s Hospital and her family joined us,along with so many others. and so our community all together and as one to walk and make a presence known against Sarcoma cancer.

 

Back at the starting area we held our raffle and Chappie, the founder of NW Sarcoma Foundation spoke of how it is so important for patients to be their strongest most vocal advocates for their care. People must be vigilant even adamant, Chappie stressed,  because the first treatment is the most important in attacking this terrible disease. He also spoke of hope and how together we can make a difference “please walk with us and not to walk away,” he said.  I think we all heard him loud and clear.  An award was given to the team who raised the most funds. It was named after a man who had lived passionately and had never let his cancer define him. His widow came on-stage and implored us to live our lives to make the most of each day.  That would be my take away- So when the D.J. started playing line dance music and I saw my very gregarious, outgoing friend Jeanne take off to join the other dancers I decided “why the heck  not”- and had some fun dancing up there too- two left feet and all- I had fun living in the moment because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring…. I do know this, hope and support can be there for all when we come together as a community.
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Quote for April 3, 2014

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“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems,” Rainer Maria Rilke

 

Quote April 1, 2014

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“Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come” Robert H. Schuller

April’s Theme is Spring

 

Quote for March 31, 2014

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“Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality,” Ralph Marston

Grapefruit Avocado Salad

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Grapefruit Avocado Salad-

My daughter shared this delicious, light and  easy to prepare salad with me. It goes great as a side salad, with brunch or topped with either chicken, fish or tofu for lunch.  Serves 6. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

3 ruby grapefruits peeled, sectioned, remove outer  membrane, cut or tear into sections

1 large mango cubed

2 large avocados cubed

salt and pepper to taste

The grapefruit citrus keeps the avocado from browning and the salt and pepper add a bit of punch to the salad.

Quote for March 19, 2014

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“A goal properly set is halfway reached,” Zig Ziglar