Susan WonderStone's Blog


Pollution is a crying shame
April 8, 2020, 12:27 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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We are living in a changing world different than I’ve ever known. I remember the commercial from the 70’s of the Native American man crying over the amount of pollution in the environment. With most of us quarantined in our homes and not driving our cars or flying commercially and most factories shut down, hopefully the air is cleaner.

Still having active cancer, I’m considered high risk for the scary virus or any cold or flu for that matter, so I’m doing a great job social distancing. I have people grocery shopping for me and haven’t gone to work in a month. I go in the woods just before dark to avoid people. The forest is my happy place. Since the quarantine started, there have been a lot more people swarming to the woods. Along with people, come people’s stuff. With virus stuff and my current situation, I try not to touch anything, including trees and sign posts I’ve used in the past to assist me on steep hills or tying my shoes. When people approach on the trail, I find myself standing in the nettles and blackberries waiting for them to pass.

I don’t know if things are falling out of pockets, but the amount of garbage has greatly increased. Intentional garbage is also in abundance. Do people just not know? Ladies, there is a funnel we can use to pee standing up. I talk about it, but use it even more. The back can be used as a squeegee to dry off and no toilet paper is necessary. Also, you can just pull the front of your pants down instead of showing passers by your bare ass. Leaving toilet paper along the trail is gross and nobody wants to pick it up. If you must use toilet paper, please bring a ziplock bag and pack it out. I have found a poopy adult diaper, a pair of bloody underwear with a pad stuck on it. Snack wrappers, bottles, cans, gum… please don’t turn my woods into a freeway off ramp. Please don’t throw your garbage out of your car window either.  Like my friend in the picture says, people start pollution. People can stop it. Let’s make America beautiful now and tomorrow!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Oh yeah, the man of my dreams
April 7, 2020, 3:17 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

We woke up on the couch and Rosey wanted to go outside. Since it was nearly 2 am, I wasn’t going to let her go out alone, summon her raccoon friends and play bark, hiss, growl and chase for an hour. I leashed her up, grabbed my funnel and we both went out to pee. As I got off of the deck, she stopped to listen. I got my female urinary director (funnel) in place. I had a quart of water since my last pee, so the sound of the torrential splash on the rocks drowned out any other sounds. Rosey wouldn’t come to the grass, so I’m pretty sure she was only out there to play, although it could’ve been because she didn’t want to step in my puddle. It’s “that” time of year, so her raccoon friends  are probably in the woods having turf wars. 

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I looked up and saw the giant, bright full moon. I wanted to howl, but didn’t. Rosey refused again so we came in. I asked Alexa to play Oh Yeah, by yellow. It’s my favorite  full moon dance song! I danced and posed in my favorite bodybuilding poses, alternated pull ups and angled flys on the gymnastic rings and balanced on each leg. My own Zumba kitchen class at 2 am! I was having so much fun, I repeated the song two more times, then Playground by Mome. When Playground began, I intended it to be a cool down, but the man of my dreams appeared before me. He was wearing a sunflower printed fabric mask, covering his nose and mouth. He knows I love sunflowers! He smelled good. No cologne, just him. He was wearing a white flowy shirt and white yoga pants. I don’t know why, he just was. The squint of his eyes confirmed I was feeling his smile.  My heart rate wanted to stay high. Slight moans vibrated through my heavy breathing. He mirrored the flow and movements my body was making. We danced like we had been dance partners before. An ecstatic, sensual experience. We slowed with the end of the song. Next, I requested Amazed, by Lonestar. We held each other close, continued dancing and sang along as we gazed into each other’s eyes. Since I first heard the song, I’ve dreamed of a man, with a fully open heart, holding me and singing it to me. I felt his love. He felt my love for him. As the song ended, I removed his mask and received the most tender yet tingly kiss.

It’s my dream, where no virus wants to live in me. I opened my eyes with a giant smile on my face!  I checked my watch. I got 1,700 steps, 21 intensity minutes and burned 371 calories.  What an awesome way to go to sleep. Tonight is charging my stones under the full moon, dance to the same songs and hot tub night. I hope he shows up to the hot tub party…

I love you!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Fight, Flight or Freeze?
April 6, 2020, 1:24 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Weekends in the woods seem too crowded for social distancing 6 feet apart. Usually most people leave by 5 or 6. Last night, a couple with their off leash dog approached. They said nothing to their dog, so I picked Rosey up. She’s 56 pounds and squirmie, so it’s not easy.  They let him run all the way up to us, trying to sniff Rosey. I’m doing everything I can to keep myself healthy, so having a dog who has been cuddled by someone who’s potentially sick, jump on me or my dog, might not be good for me. It was about an hour before sunset.

Cameron and Rayla have been meeting us in the woods, maintaining our 6 feet apart. Even though I’m not getting hugs, I’m thankful I get to see them. Rosey doesn’t seem to understand why they won’t pet her, but we enjoy our walks. Tonight, we met about 20 minutes before sunset, hoping to see less people. Cameron and I have been going in at night to avoid people for years. We decided to go to the ridge to see the gorgeous sunset, pushing our limits, because Rayla doesn’t particularly like being in there in the dark. We know there are creatures in there and our friend Kevin was attacked by an owl in 2018. 

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We only stayed a couple minutes before heading back up the hill. The fuchsia and orange were so much brighter in person! Something we’ve noticed, is that when a jet takes off or lands near dusk, the coyotes yip and howl. Tonight’s take off wasn’t a little commuter jet, but it was loud and sounded like the Dream Lifter. It was quite dark already and I panicked a little. I don’t want Rayla to be too scared to go in there. We always stop after a jet goes by to listen for the coyotes. As soon as it passed, we heard 3 or 4 of them a short distance down the hill. I looked at my watch to see what time it was, because I guess people are howling outside at 8:00 pm in support of doctors and nurses. It was 8:16. Rayla yelled “Dogs!” I knew they were coyotes but didn’t say anything. We only made it a few steps before 2 or 3 more started singing. They seemed  to be no more than 20 yards away on a trail we had just passed.  They’re not usually so close! I froze! Apparently that’s what I do when I’m freaked out. They started running and almost barreled me over. Apparently flight is what they do when they’re scared. Cameron yelled at me to go. Rosey was sniffing and looking in different directions as we started going faster, but not quite a run. Another 1 or 2 coyotes yelled off to our right, on the trail that borders a neighborhood. They were so close to us. In my football coach voice, I yelled “NO” as we went even faster. Cameron and I kept laughing. Rayla asked what we were laughing at. Apparently, we laugh when we’re scared! She screamed at us, calling us adrenaline junkies, which made it even funnier! It took about 15 minutes to get to the road. We continued to laugh, talking about why we all did what we did, believing there were probably a couple coyotes watching us from the darkness. Fighting never crossed any of our minds. When you’re scared, do you fight, flight or freeze?

It was the most fun I’ve had since quarantine!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Refrigerator reminders
April 1, 2020, 1:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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My refrigerator has a lot on it. Not shown here: when I had my breast implants and scar tissue removed, my plastic surgeon took before and after photos. She handed me an 8 1/2 X 11, with 3 different angled befores and 3 afters and said “Put this on your fridge.” It’s been there ever since.

As you probably guessed, that’s me on the bottom left. I started growing hair at 12 months and I’m in the high chair I later gave up for baby Scotty, so I must be a little over a year old. Who would’ve thought that girlie little girl would grow muscles like that 30 years later?! I never liked those toxic breast implants, so my back side has been my favorite focus! No scars on my back in the picture! Scars can bring back fun memories too though!

The mirror magnet has been there for 20 years. I am irreplaceable because I am me. I’m the best at being me! Nobody can be me better than me! I also have the best hugs! During this quarantine thing, I’ve been practicing my hugging. I’m perfecting my one minute hug! By myself of course!

My favorite part of this picture… the ring! One day in the daycare at the gym, I was going through magazines looking for pictures for my dream board. I found this ring and cut it out. I cut out a lot of things, but they never made it onto my dream board. I found them in the bag I put them in, about 5 years later, realizing I was wearing the ring. I didn’t remember ever seeing it on paper before seeing it in person. My ring used to be a ‘67 Chevelle, but that’s a story for another time.

Do you use photos to remind yourself of good or bad parts of your past? What’s on your fridge?

Praying for all of us to be better, more compassionate, loving people after the quarantine is over. I’m finding joy in the little things hiding right in front of my face.

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Who are the people in your neighborhood?
March 12, 2020, 12:42 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Tonight on our hike, we went to where if the sky was clear, we would see Mt Baker. As you can see, that didn’t happen. Worse, I don’t usually go up that area in the dark, so I wasn’t familiar with the rocks, roots and mud puddles. In the area with the owl attack sign, a coyote started howling as an Alaska Air flight took off.

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It was already dark in there! I could tell that it was about 200 feet below near the creek. I wanted to go faster, but kept stumbling on roots I couldn’t see. Rosey the pittie stepped up her pace too! I started laughing loudly, because that’s the best thing to do when you’re scared! We kept walking. I knew it was getting dark, but I didn’t realize how much darker it would seem in a rarely traveled muddy trail.

As we approached the exit to the neighborhood, a jet landed and set off a couple of screaming coyotes. Not the howling we heard before, but yipping and screaming. I tried to imitate it. The next scream was closer. I think I started the game too soon! It sounded like 2 were chasing us and getting closer. As much as I could, we ran the rest of the way out. Only once, has one followed me onto the pavement. My heart rate was high and it felt good! I always take a deep breathe and thank the forest for an amazing adventure as I leave. The streetlights were on without a trace of the sunset in the sky. At one neighbor’s house, all of the lights were off, but she was inside screaming. No words, just screaming. “WTF is that?!” I might have asked out loud. I realized that’s the neighbor who’s known for that.

Tonight, I was karaoke’n, belting out Live Like You Were Dying, by Tim McGraw. It was the first time I’ve gotten the full length of the long “dyin”. I had to sing it again to be sure, and that time it was even easier! My lungs are happier than ever! The bigger question…am I known as the woman who passionately sings loudly in the middle of the night? Next up, drumming!

How are you known to your neighbors?

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Baby Jake
March 11, 2020, 2:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

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Tonight in the woods, six teens were walking toward me and Rosey on the trail. One said he liked my shirt. It’s a colorful hoody  with strings attached to the hood that don’t do anything. I told them I bought it the last time I was in Mexico. When I got it, I didn’t know that kids refer to them as drug rugs. Apparently, marijuana dealers wear them. Another kid was smoking a fatty. They seemed to think I was cool.

It made me think about when I came home from the hospital that time. My partner of over 5 years had moved out, telling me he couldn’t stick around and watch me die. I think I’ve talked about it before. Today, the only significance is that he and my wasband Ty, had used the exact words before they ran away. I had open tumors on the back of my head, the giant “mother ship” on the back of my neck, my left leg and the bottom of my left foot. The pain had gotten so intense, I drove myself to the walk in clinic. It was April 19, Ty’s birthday. The doctor wrote me a prescription for a narcotic I was allergic to. When I asked about it, he told me I’d be fine and to take it anyway. 20 minutes later at the pharmacy, the pharmacist told me he wouldn’t fill it. He told me to go home and he would call after he spoke to the doctor. Whether it was true or not, I believed the doctor was trying to help me die. My death certificate would have still said metastatic melanoma, but it would’ve really been an allergic reaction to the drug. Who would’ve questioned it? I had 2 men, who claimed they had never loved anyone as deeply as they loved me, run because they thought I was dying. The partner, who no longer gets a name in my writings, was angry when he showed up with the prescriptions because I wouldn’t take them. I had taken 3 hefty doses of Rick Simpson oil and passed out. I was sad, in disbelief, then pissed! I reminded myself that both of them had said “I can’t stick around and watch you die.” Fuck them and the doctor! Ain’t nobody but me going to decide when I die. At that moment, a new fire was lit in me! Ty had a massive heart attack and died last year. I am determined to outlive the other past love and the doctor, even though I’ll probably never know.

My last post, I told you about baby Jake, Cameron and Rayla’s 120 pound mastiff. He had his left leg amputated last year due to osteosarcoma. The first 3 weeks were hell! He would scream out in pain and nobody knew how to help or comfort him. He learned to get around with 3 legs quite well. Keta the rottweiler and Lucy the bullmastiff, both died with tumors on their legs. I had a couple of friends on separate occasions tell me that the dogs were trying to take the cancer from me. I have felt responsible, believing that if I didn’t have the cancer, nobody could try to take it from me. Many years ago, when I was telling someone about Keta, Cameron admitted that he had tried to take it too. I explained to him that it doesn’t work, because then you end up both having cancer.

It’s common for dogs with osteosarcoma to later have it spread their lungs.  Last year, Cameron lost his step-dad, Ginger the shelter mix dog, a friend and his step mom. Jake had also started coughing. We were all worried that he had more cancer, but they kept him on his anti cancer protocol and taking him for walks. Lung issues, especially cancer, is associated with grief. Jake had lost his best friend Ginger and possibly his favorite leg. Don’t tell me that dogs don’t have emotions, they do! Cameron’s step mom, died of lung cancer, having fluid build up in her lungs and multiple cancerous nodules.

As soon as I got to work on Saturday, someone yelled “What are YOU doing here?” I kept walking up the stairs. Another coworker saw me and asked why I was there. She followed me to the office, suggesting that I go home. Friday, there was a message on Workplace, saying that anyone over 60 or anyone with immune issues should be staying at home until March 20th, because of the corona virus. It also said “You will be paid.” They all know I’m not over 60, but they also know that I wouldn’t still have cancer if my immune system was functioning like it should. I showed up because I’d rather be at work than at home, avoiding decluttering and purging.  5 people in the breakroom agreed that I shouldn’t be there. Another thinks that everyone is overreacting. A friend asked me if they hate me and just don’t want me around. I hope it’s the opposite and they like me and don’t want me to get the virus and die from it. I see myself as healthy with a side of cancer, but how do I know if my body can fight it? I don’t think it’s fair that I go home and they all still have to work. I’ve never called out sick when I was healthy enough to work. I asked a customer what he would do. He immediately said “Go home!” My manager told me I could change my mind and come back if I wanted to. I was so confused as to what to do. I’m the store “mom” and wanted to be there. I decided to go home.

Last week, I had a woman wipe her snotty nose with a tissue, then reach in her wallet and try to hand me her credit card, while it was touching the tissue. I don’t care if it’s a simple cold, I don’t need it!

On my way home, I started to get a headache and nausea. I rarely get headaches.

The kids had taken Jake to the emergency vet hospital that helped him after his amputation. He had been coughing more and wasn’t interested in eating. Tests showed that he had cancerous nodules in his lungs with fluid building up. The vet suggested they take him home and spoil him until he let them know he’s done.

They called and told me Jake’s news. I went to the store and got hamburger, bacon and string cheese, 3 of his favorites, making sure not to touch my face, pick my teeth or my nose. They got home just before I got there to deliver his treats. I pet him for a couple minutes, then they doused my hands with lavender hand sanitizer and  took their tired boy inside. I cried the whole way home. The headache was turning into a migraine. I was still able to walk Rosey, but only a short one before wondering if I was going to puke. I kept crying, wondering if I could’ve done more for him and them. I searched stuff on the internet, realizing I was probably too late. I took a shower and cried myself to sleep. I slept 10 hours. The headache was awful! I made it downstairs for water and to overdose on my mineral supplement.  I intentionally gave myself diarrhea, hoping that I’d flush out whatever was causing it. Rosey and I went outside and fell asleep on top of the hot tub. Our back yard is protected by trees and the sun had heated up the hot tub cover. At some point, I took off my shirt. I woke up in the shade, slightly pinker 2 hours later. We went inside for more water and went back to bed. I got a phone call, only to find out that since I live outside of King county, the pay I’ll be getting while at home, won’t be from the emergency fund, but from my sick and vacation pay. It definitely sucks that those living a few miles away don’t have to use their sick or vacation pay, even though our store is more than likely, the store the people affected with the virus would shop at. I have cool adventures planned for my vacation pay.  Since the virus is a huge unknown, I realize that if it takes me out, I won’t get to go on those adventures anyway. I’m still planning on living 88 more years though!

It was dark when I woke up. I thought I had slept straight through, until later I saw I apparently had conversations on the phone with people I didn’t remember having. I was shivering. I was so cold! I was wearing a sweatshirt, sweatpants and wool socks and covered by 2 far infrared comforters, another blanket and snuggling my 99 degree Rosey dog. The headache was so bad I wondered if my head would explode. 2 friends had aneurysms a couple years ago and I have no idea what that might feel like. I thought “If I don’t get up now, I may never get up.” It felt like I was losing my life force. I went downstairs and turned the heat up. Cameron called. I told him how I felt. They’ve been on lockdown for over a week because of potential corona virus in the household. They had found out that day that the results were negative, but still didn’t want to come over, just in case. I was drinking hot bone broth, hoping to warm me up. He told me to take my temperature. I told him I’d do it, but needed my mouth to cool off from the broth first. He insisted. I use a basal body thermometer, because they’re supposed to be the most accurate. It showed I was at 96.78. That’s closer to hypothermia than a normal body temperature. Was it even lower because I just drank hot broth?

Shit! Was I dying? I knew I had to do something, fast! I was too weak to plank on the vibration machine, so I just stood on it. I searched ways to increase body temperature from my phone while I stood there shaking. Low body temperature, is common for cancer patients, although the doctors never seem concerned when it’s low, only when it’s high. My quick reading, also showed that it makes for ideal conditions for viruses and bacteria to thrive. WTF?!! I needed to eat more, but wasn’t hungry. I got out the food I made for work on Saturday, heated it up and forced myself to eat it. I drank water with apple cider vinegar and several drops of iodine in it. I swallowed cayenne pepper capsules. I didn’t feel like I was strong enough to spend time in the hot tub or sauna and be able to make it back upstairs, so I headed for the shower. I washed my hair, wondering how it got so long! It seemed like the first time I noticed it was stuck in my butt crack in years. I used my ginger/coffee body scrub, hoping that it too would warm me up in the hotter than usual water. When I felt like I couldn’t handle any more heat, I held on to the door, turned the water all the way to cold and braced myself. It was in the 30’s outside, so the water was fucking cold! It scared the shit out of the headache, which vanished within seconds of the cold water cascading down my head. I tried to sing, but ended up yelling for the 2 minutes I moved around, letting the cold water run down every part of my body. I switched it back to really hot for 2 minutes, then back to cold again. After 4 cycles, I turned the water off and got out. I felt so different. Everything was tingling! I felt very alive! I danced naked til I was dry and put my pajamas on. I checked my temperature again and it was 97.3. Not great, but my normal!

I drank about 32 oz of water before going to sleep, thinking I’d get up in a couple hours to pee and then drink my redox supplement. With everything going on, I had forgotten to drink it and no longer had an empty stomach. When I woke up Monday morning, my bladder felt like it was pushing on my diaphragm. I wish I could have seen how big it was! I pee’d for over a minute. If I knew the flow rate of my urethra, I could figure out how much liquid was in there…or pee in a measuring bucket. (I once had to kegel it shut when I was about to overflow a big gulp cup.)

I drank 4 servings of redox, holding each in my mouth for nearly a minute before swallowing. They say 20 seconds, but longer sublingual should be okay, right? A couple hours later, I did it again. I drank a full bottle throughout the day. When I woke up today, I drank some more. I definitely need to be drinking more than the normal serving size. I called Cameron. Today was the day.

They brought Jake over for one last pet and for us to say our goodbyes.

Our sweet, sweet, boy, Baby Jake, left to wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge. My kid has been through so much! He knows I’m going to live another 88 years. I know I have to make it happen! ❤

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Dated memories
July 31, 2019, 5:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

24883D8D-7C55-47A3-9625-7A952FF50A313 years ago today on July 31, 2016, I woke up to a text from a good friend in North Carolina. “Are you okay?” My first thought was “I was, since I was sleeping.” My second thought was “Oh shit! What does he know that I don’t?” I googled “Mukilteo news”. Immediately, I found a story about 3 teens murdered at a Mukilteo house party. I kept reading, to find out that they were having a quiet get together before returning to college. Returning to college meant that they had already been to college. Teen meant that they were  Cameron’s age. There was a picture of the house it happened at. In that moment, I knew that I knew the homeowners and most likely some of the kids who were there. I started crying and called Cameron.   Someone had contacted his girlfriend, so they knew, but at that point, they didn’t know who had been killed. Cameron checked his phone and saw that Jake, one of his best friends since 4th grade had texted him the night before, inviting him to hang out with the old summit crew before they went back to school. We later found out that Jake was one of the kids who had been killed. 3 amazing lives, gone at 19. The rest of the kids at the party and friends and families of all of them are forever changed. Cameron and I had 3 more friends die in the second half of 2016.

July 31, 2017. The whole summer was a blur. That day was just another day I spent wondering why I was still alive. The pudendal nerve pain I was experiencing made life not worth living. I had found a website that said the sooner you accept that the pain is your new normal, the better your life will be. Fuck that!! If the surgery didn’t fix the pain, I was going to schedule a date for one of my pilot friends to go with me to Hawaii, rent a plane and struggle with me a little as I got out of the plane to skydive into the active volcano. If a person goes to hell for committing suicide, I figure I might as well go straight in! If that story is bs, it’s still an awesome way to die compared to dying in a hospital bed. Recently, Cameron said that 2017 was the worst summer of his life because of how sick I was and neither of us could figure out how to make it better. Ultimately, surgery worked and life started getting better again.

July 31, 2018 I hiked with a friend to Snow Lake. Almost everyone had gone home by the time we got to the lake. It’s imperative I go skinny dipping in every alpine lake I hike to. It was a great day!

Today…

A few months after Jake was killed in 2016, Cameron’s girlfriend Rayla, went to the animal shelter with a friend. Neither Rayla nor I should ever go to animal shelters. We suck at coming back home alone. She found an adorable healthy 120 pound puppy. His name was Jax. By the end of the day, everyone was calling him Jake. Cameron and Jake have been inseparable. Jake is their baby. He’s a sweet, sweet boy. We found out recently that he has a fast growing osteosarcoma. Keta the Rottweiler died from metastatic osteosarcoma 9 years ago. I kept her going with the same supplements I was taking for 4 years. Lucy the bullmastiff had a big lump on her leg and cancer too. Jake’s tumor is faster growing and he can no longer put any weight on that leg. The veterinarian had a cancellation. Baby Jake is scheduled to have his leg amputated today. Cameron and Rayla seem to be doing better than I am. Jake is the third dog in our house to have cancer in the last 10 years and I’m seeing myself as the common denominator.

If praying is your thing, we could use a few extras today! I hope Cameron will always remember 2017 as being the worst summer of his life!

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



I’m still alive! Another birthday! Yay!
June 17, 2019, 1:50 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Oh my! It’s been almost 2 years! I’m still alive, but better than I’ve been in a long, long time!  My redox family has adopted me and has been providing me enough redox to be drinking 1/2 bottle a day and using the topical gel too. My health is steadily improving!

About a month ago, I asked for the Monday after my birthday off, so I’d have 3 days off in a row. I wanted to hike up to Camp Muir at Mount Rainier. It’s the base camp to adjust to altitude and summit the next day. I’m nowhere near ready to summit and Camp Muir is as high as you’re allowed to go without a guide. My 2 regular hiking partners were both going to be out of town. I posted on Facebook, asking if anyone wanted to go. I got a few private messages saying yes. I asked on workplace to see if any of my coworkers wanted to go. I called and asked a few friends if they wanted to go. As the date approached, only one guy I’ve never met was going to go with me. I wasn’t sure if going with a guy I’d never met was safer than going alone, but he seemed okay. The plan was to go down Sunday morning, set up camp and rest, then get up around midnight and start the hike to be at Camp Muir for sunrise. By Sunday morning, I had confirmation from everyone who showed interest, that they weren’t going. As I got my food ready and loaded my van, I kept hoping someone would change their mind.  There’s no cell phone service from almost an hour away from Mt Rainier National Park and it took another hour to get to Paradise from there. I don’t like hiking alone in places where there’s no cell phone service, just in case something happens. It’s a popular place in summer, but being able to call out makes me feel safer.

My son, tried to make a deal with me that he’d go to Mailbox Peak with me on Monday if I didn’t go to Mount Rainier. He had already said he didn’t want to go to the mailbox. 4,200′ elevation gain and 5-9 miles depending on which trail, didn’t sound like a lot of fun with someone who didn’t want to go.

Around 8pm, I made my final decision and started driving. I stopped at Fred Meyer in Maple Valley (I think) and got sunscreen, more snacks and filled my gas tank. There were a bunch of kids in pickup trucks hanging out in the parking lot. I didn’t feel safe, the way they were squealing tires and goofing around. Continuing on. After passing Buckley on highway 410, the road was quiet. I was following a car.  Nobody was behind me and nobody passed us for miles. They were going below the speed limit, but knowing there’s no phone service, I didn’t want to go faster or be in front with a higher risk of hitting a deer. As we went through Greenwater, they slowed down after the flashing Elk Crossing sign.  They pulled over to let me pass, then make a u-turn. I felt really alone. For months, I’ve been telling people I wanted to go to Greenwater to search for Bigfoot, since there have been more “sightings” there. I freaked myself out, “knowing” I’d see Bigfoot if I had any car problems. There was almost no radio reception, so I listened to static, to avoid hearing anything outside of the van. By the time I got to the sign “Mount Rainier National Park”, I was about to pee myself.  Just after the sign, was a giant elk statue. Wait, it moved. It wasn’t a statue, it was a giant elk. It could have been a normal size, but it looked giant to me! I kept driving. A little mouse ran across the road.  I don’t think I hit it. With no lights and the moon hiding behind the trees, it was hard to see what was on either side of the road. In many places, my headlights were shining on the tops of trees as I rounded the curves. The speed limit was 35, but that felt too fast. There were no other cars and the last thing I wanted to do was accidentally drive off a cliff. I got to the gate where you pay. It was midnight and nobody was there. I had my America the Beautiful pass, so proceeded past the gate. There was a picnic area with bathrooms, so I stopped. It was so dark!  I opened the door to get out and heard something crunching through the woods behind the bathroom. I jumped back in the van, shut the door and locked it. Holy shit!  What was out there?! I was afraid to walk to the bathroom. I had my “Freshette” (pee funnel) and pee’d in a bottle in the van. How the fuck was I going to do this hike if I was afraid to get out of the van?! I got up enough courage to pour the pee out on the pavement and quickly shut the door and locked it again. I continued driving the 19 miles up to Paradise. By the time I got there, I had to pee again. I have a habit of not eating or drinking enough while I’m hiking, so I was drinking water the whole way there. I was excited when I saw lights. I drove over to the suv with the lights on. There were 2 guys. I asked them if they were headed up or leaving. They were getting ready to hike up. They showed me where the trail was. I drove around the parking lot, then looped around and parked about 6 spots away from them. There were about 20 cars in the parking lot. I didn’t see a bathroom. The moon was shining bright. I got out and heard one of them ask “Should we take the acid now or wait until the sun starts coming up?” I quickly decided I’d hike alone, but was glad there were people around. I pee’d, then got back in the van to eat. Less than a minute after getting back in, I felt the van get bumped. It startled me! I looked up to see a giant elk almost trying to move the van in order to lick my pee off the curb. She was as long as the van is wide. She lifted her head and we made eye contact. I wanted to take a picture through the windshield, but didn’t want to scare her. She was beautiful!  She went back to licking the salt I left. I heard people talking. She looked up and saw them, then put her head down and slowly walked to the bushes.

I wondered how many other animals were lurking in the shadows watching me that I was completely unaware of. Was Bigfoot out there? After eating, I decided to set an alarm and sleep a couple hours before hiking up to at least Panarama Point to see the sunrise. The guys in the suv left for the trail. It was so quiet. I could hear the blood wooshing through my ears with every heartbeat. Sleeping wasn’t going to happen, so I did my “go to” meditation. I had everything ready to go. I got up and changed into my layers. One of my coworkers downloaded the route he takes onto my phone and linked it to my watch. I tried for almost an hour to get my watch to navigate or track me. It worked the last time I did it and worked fine 2 days later, but up on the mountain, I couldn’t figure it out. The buttons I normally push weren’t finding it.

I got frustrated enough to no longer be concerned about Bigfoot, bears, mountain lions or guys high on LSD.

As soon as I stepped from the parking lot to the trail, I was on snow. The trip reports and people I talked to last week, said they didn’t need their microspikes, crampons or ice ax. I left the ice ax in the van. The trail was not clearly marked. I followed crunchy boot prints. I had a headlamp and looked around as I walked. The moon was bright enough to show the outline of Mount Rainier, even though it was then on the other side. It was still so quiet. I kept following boot prints. I should’ve gotten my phone out to see that it was tracking my route, but didn’t want the distraction. After an hour of hiking, the sky started to lighten. So many varieties of birds started chirping.

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5:16am Mount Rainier from Paradise enroute to Camp Muir

Just after taking the picture, a giant owl swooped down and back up into a tree, just for me to see her. She may have had another reason, but I think she knew how much I love owls and wanted me to see how beautiful she was

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Almost sunrise

After taking that picture, 4 people were hiking up behind me. I called out to them and pointed out Mount Adams. They invited me to hike with them. It was their 4th trip to Camp Muir in the last 6 weeks. They had also summitted Mount Adams and Mount Saint Helens. They are planning to summit Mount Rainier in 3 weeks. One was from Olympia and the others live in LA. I walked with them, but told them I had a turn around time. I had told Cameron not to worry about me unless he hadn’t heard from me at noon. With no cell service, I knew I needed to head back to get to the car by 10 to prevent him from calling 911. Their focus was getting to Camp Muir. Mine was taking in the serenity of the majestic mountain and all of its beauty.

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5:29 am Mount Adams from about 6,500′ elevation on Mount Rainier

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Darren from Olympia assured me it wasn’t as bad as it looked. I totally disagree! It was much steeper than it looks in this picture!

 

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This is not a white sandy beach. It’s a snow field near Panarama Point enroute to Camp Muir

My new friends continued on, while I explored the snow field.

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It looks like someplace on a sci-fi movie. I could hear waterfalls, but didn’t see them. As the snow melted, the waterfalls got louder. It had been so quiet before the sun came up.

 

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I love all the layers of rock! But why has the snow melted off of them?

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Marmot footprints

 

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Mount Adams, Mount Hood and Mount Saint Helens

 

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It’s roped off for a reason, but it’s how I got up, so that’s how I went down. Just before I got the camera out, I saw a coyote or wolf down below. It’s so far away, I can’t see it in the picture.

 

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Apparently straight was the trail

 

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Mount Saint Helens back there

 

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While backing down this little hill, I noticed the spaceship hiding behind that cloud

 

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This picture shows my almost life threatening mistake! Never try to slide down a hill with micro spikes or crampons on your shoes! I scooted to the left to slide down the butt track, but…

I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Not being a skier or snowboarder, the hill was bigger and steeper than any hill I’ve ever gone down. On the way up, I asked one of the guys “How (TF) am I going to get down this?!” He said “Just sit on your butt and slide.” Safe glissading requires more education than I had. As you can see, there are boulders down there. I guess they look like little spots, but they’re big. Hitting one could break things! All I could think about was the woman who told me her friend was glissading, crashed and has permanent brain damage from hitting her head. Someone else showed me how to use my trekking poles to maintain control, since I was told I wouldn’t need my ice ax and left it in the van. Nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen. Symbolism for coyote is to trust your intuition. Seeing her was telling me to be careful, because I already knew this wasn’t going to go well.  I could tell by the crunchy snow, that the boot track was going to be really bumpy, but I needed to sit there and pray before scooting over to slide down the trail the butts before me left. I had already backed down about 1/3 of the hill, hoping that by starting here, I’d avoid hitting the boulders down below. I sat for what seemed like 10 minutes, praying and asking angels, my dad, calling on all of my dead dogs by name, Ty, Dee, Lizabeth, Lisa, Elizabeth,Mary, Derek, Jake and anyone else who died that I may not have realized they actually liked me…to help me navigate this without getting hurt. I decided that keeping my feet up regardless of how fast I got going, was going to be safer than trying to use my feet to slow me down. There was about 1/2 mile of flat -ish snow before a drop off at the other end of the snow field, so I knew I had plenty of stopping room. Just as I attempted to get in position, I started sliding. I leaned back to keep my feet up. I thought I tried to use my poles, but before I knew what was happening, the microspikes on my shoes must have grabbed the snow. I cartwheeled over and continued tumbling down the hill. Without poles in my hands, I hugged my body with my arms and kept rolling. I didn’t know how I lost the poles. When I finally came to a stop, I was on my back. I slowly moved, feeling if anything hurt. I couldn’t put pressure on my left wrist and my left shoulder hurt. I looked up the hill. My poles were higher than I thought I started, about 50 yards back up the hill. My hat too. My Nuun bottle was 20 feet to the left and my sunglasses were off my face. I knew I couldn’t safely get back to the van without my poles and didn’t want to have to cover my forehead and neck with sunscreen. I crawled back up to get my stuff. I found my sunglasses and my magnesium oil that I didn’t know had fallen out of my backpack. Instead of attempting to glissade down again, I went backwards, kicking steps in with my boots. I collected all of my things, then took my pack off to eat, drink and re-secure everything.  I “heard” Ty laughing, saying “Duuuude, that was awesome! Are you okay?” I responded “Thanks a lot motherfucker.” Terms of endearment, you know.

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Mount Saint Helens after my crash

 

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Almost back to the parking lot

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4 marmots entertaining me. The one on the right would stand on its hind legs and another one would push it. It fell and slid down the hill. They did it 3 times while I watched and laughed.

After seeing the marmots playing, people started coming up the mountain. I probably saw 40 people headed up before I got back to the van a little after 10am. Most were fully loaded down, attempting to summit Mount Rainier the following day. I don’t know if that’s something I want to do or not. If it makes it on my bucket list, I’ll get glissading lessons and master it until I think it’s fun!

Had I decided not to go…

I wouldn’t have seen either elk, the owl, the coyote, the playful marmots, the most beautiful sunrise I’ve ever seen, heard the waterfalls I couldn’t see or experienced any of the many things I didn’t tell you about. I wouldn’t have been afraid to get out of the van and did it anyway. Doing things that scare me, make the other scary things not so scary.

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan

 

 



Rat, bunny, cat or raccoon
July 1, 2017, 12:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This morning while watering my garden, I stepped on a board that I thought had hammered down nails in the end. Nope! Two of the straight nails, went through my shoes and punctured my foot. I screamed the entire F word and quickly jerked my foot up! The force knocked it off my foot. I dropped the hose and jumped up onto the hot tub to see how bad it was. I was hoping for a lot of blood, but instead, there was only a little dripping out of both holes. I squeezed my foot, trying to make it bleed more. I’ve always thought that extra bleeding might help clean out the wound. It stopped after I wiped it off. No, I just thought it stopped. I ran upstairs to clean it, leaving left bloody footprints all the way. After running hot water over it and washing it, I slathered it with a charcoal, turmeric, castor oil poultice I made for the cancer on my leg. About an hour later, I applied a cayenne tincture and another coat of the charcoal mixture. As the day progressed, my foot got more and more tender.  It feels really bruised. Tetanus shots are supposed to last 10 years, aren’t they? Apparently I had one sometime after I broke my back on 07/07/07.

All of that so the piece of wood makes sense.

This week, I have seen a rat, a bunny, a cat and a raccoon in my back yard.

Two nights ago, I was on my side yard and heard something on the wood fence. Lucy the bulmastiff was on the deck gnawing on a bone. I said “Helloooo”, to alert the creature of my presence. The little masked face struggled to switch directions and climb over the other corner of the fence. It was the first time in 18 years, that I had seen a raccoon in my backyard. I’m guessing that maybe it smelled Lucy’s bone. I went inside the house. A few minutes later I got one of those weird feelings. Something wasn’t right, Lucy was still chewing and 10 feet away, glaring at Lucy, was a young looking raccoon. I asked “What are you doing?” Lucy turned to look at me, with a confused look on her face, probably wondering what she had done wrong. The sneaky raccoon climbed the retaining wall and back over the fence.

Tonight, I went out on the deck to assess the temperature. It was a quiet night, until something moved a few times in the gravel around the hot tub.

In a split second, visuals of the piece of wood that had already bitten me, the rat, bunny, cat and raccoon, all trying to attack me, flashed across the screen of my mind. I screamed and ran inside, quickly shutting the door behind me!

Five minutes later, Lucy and I went out the front door, to spend an hour, walking in the woods. There were noises along the way. Owls in the trees, crunching leaves and branches. Why did I scream in my backyard at the thought of a creature, but knowingly went out of cell service into the forest?

Somehow, there’s a lesson there! For now, it’s past my bedtime.

Love, gratitude and blessings

~Susan



Happy Birthday to me!
June 9, 2017, 12:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

What an amazing day! I went to the naked spa, then to the Kamiak choir concert to hear them sing a song for Anna Bui. Her favorite composer put it together and was there to conduct the choir. Several of Anna’s friends sang too! They all did a great job!

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Next, I remembered I got a redbox email for a free Birthday rental. I got A Dog’s Purpose. Apparently I’ll be up awhile.

When I got home, there was a FedX box on the porch and a balloon and card tied to the front door! I love surprises!

The kids met me at the woods for a night hike, but within about 30 yards, Lucy had gotten herself stuck in the bushes. Cameron got her out, then she ran back to the street where we came in. It was really dark in there. I don’t know if she was afraid of the dark or something or someone was in there that she was avoiding. Either way, we took the warning and just walked around the neighborhood. When we were in an open field, I looked up at the sky. I “felt” Derek. I “heard” him say “Suzi, Suzi, Suzi. I love my little Suzi” I smiled and really felt like he was standing behind me with his arms wrapped around the front. Derek was a homeless guy I let move in with us in 2008 -2009. Lucy and I split off from the other 3 humans and 3 dogs we were with. They drove to the house and motioned for me to come back to the car. The humans sang a different Birthday song to me and gave me roses. Cameron had one more thing for me.

A silver dollar.  There’s a long story that goes with the Silverdollar. I will tell it to you sometime, but for now,  it’s movie time! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the birthday wishes! May your world be filled with as many adventures as mine!

Love, Gratitude and blessings,

~Susan