Stubb Stewart Park

Don’t Even Know…

It’s Saturday afternoon as I write this. Just poured a glass of white wine after doing a bunch of chores. Listening to Kate Bush. Logan is watching Wreck It Ralph. Bella is snoring on the couch. Michael ran to the store. First the bad news.

Michael got laid off Friday morning. I guess in a way we should have seen it coming since he was a contractor and lots of people are being laid off, and lots of companies are freaking out right now. But it was still awful. We are crossing our fingers it’s temporary and he’ll be back with his same company/team when this is all over with. His team was unaware of the plan to lay him off. It sounded like an HR decision. It’s still devastating and upsetting and stressful.

Logan’s birthday party was supposed to be Saturday but we cancelled that, obviously, so we decided to go for a little drive Saturday and then hike and have a picnic as a distraction for everything and it helped.

We had breakfast and did a few things then packed the car and drove out toward the beach to LL Stub Stewart Park. It’s a great place, that we’ve gone a bunch of times for hikes and day trips.

I picked it because it was about an hour drive from our house. It got us out of our house, out of the neighborhood, and I figured that with the social distancing it would be an ok place to go to. The park is huge. And I assumed most people would go to local Portland places (like Forest Park) or out in the Gorge to go hiking. (I was sort of right.)

There was still a fair amount of people at Stub Stewart but everyone was doing a good job of distancing themselves from each other. Families stayed together and away from other people. We went for a hike in the forest and didn’t see any other hikers (but did see a few mountain bikers out there–like two pairs).We were there early enough to miss the crowd apparently. I was honestly surprised at how many people were there after we left…

It was so empty we even took Bella off leash! (And you know how I feel about off leash dogs!) She did great. We were out in the woods alone.

It was a little on the chilly side, since it was kind of towards the beach. But we warmed up with our hike. The park was free. The bathrooms were open and had soap and toilet paper and smelled like bleach, so they were cleaning. That was nice. I still used Clorox wipes after using the bathrooms.

It was really good to get out of house after working from home for 5 days, not going to the gym, not going swimming, not seeing friends or family, cancelling Logan’s birthday party, and Michael’s bad news. We all needed a reset. Fresh air, hiking, getting a change of scenery was good for our mental health!

Then we had a picnic lunch on a table in the parking lot. The picnic tables were all spaced out really far from each other, so that was good. There were more people at the park by this time and I saw a lot of people on the other trail (not the one we did), so it was kind of defeating the social distancing thing with that many people. SIGH. This was when we packed up quick and left.

It was a pretty good day, despite everything. I was glad we got out, I was glad there were no people near us. I was glad we weren’t potentially spreading anything or catching anything. We just got a hike in, cleared our heads, and went home.

We came home, unpacked, I took a long hot bath and read a book and made huli huli chicken and roasted vegetables for dinner. It’s a super stressful time and it’s hard not to resort to old patterns dealing with stress. But trying.

QUESTION: HOW ARE YOU!?!?

90 Degrees and Picnic in the Park

SUMMER!

I love summer in the NW! It’s so picturesque and usually pretty comfortable–not TOO hot (although, local Pacific NW-ers may disagree with me, seems a lot of them like the cool 60’s much better). This past weekend it was going to be clear skies, bright sunshine and hot weather. Saturday we made plans with our friends we went to Bend with in January to go for a hike and have a picnic lunch at Stubb Stewart Park. Our friends Sean and Margie had never heard of Stubb Stewart and it’s not too long of a drive from their neck of the woods, so it was nice that we could expose them to such a cool park nearby! (From where we live it’s a little less than an hours drive. From Hillsboro area it’s about 30 minutes.)

It also turned out to be National Park Day so the entrance was free!Β We met them at the park on Saturday morning and got started on our hike. Most of the hike was through the forest (near the horse trails and the disc golf course). It was a good little hike because the ground is nice and soft and it’s really shaded (which was good for a hot day). The day was much cooler in the trees.

We hiked around the looping trails that all connect and got a pretty decent workout in! Even though the hike isn’t super strenuous, my heart rate was at a great rate for most of it.
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Because it was such a hot day I was super aware of Bella the whole time. We stopped to rest in the shade a few times, gave her water and I poured water on her body to cool her down. She was panting but not abnormally so. For the first part of the hike she seemed to be doing pretty well and had a lot of energy.

The place was full of wildflowers blooming. I just love the wild flowers that grown in Oregon!

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Don’t you love wildflowers? I know it’s not a really interesting subject matter but I really could just take pictures of flowers for the rest of my life and be pretty happy. πŸ™‚

After hiking for a bit we found ourselves back at the Hilltop parking lot and picnic spot so we grabbed the cooler and sat at a bench in the sunshine to have our lunches. This was the view for our picnic:

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This was my calorie burn for the hike:

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Sweet number! Lunch for us was a Subway sandwich I’d bought before we left (we were out of everything to make something at home). I got us ham sandwiches on flatbread and we had some Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn and sugar snap peas. It was a really nice lunch break. Bella hid under the picnic table in the shade and relaxed.

After lunch we walked a little bit longer to show Sean and Margie the cute little cabins that you can rent. I was hoping they’d be interested in renting one out with us sometime this summer and they were! How could you not? They are super cute looking. I hope we can make this happen (even though last time I checked they were pretty booked this summer).

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We walked a little more through the forest. The trail we’d done last time we were there was closed and even though it was shaded in the woods, we could tell Bella was getting hot. She was slowing down and just didn’t seem interested in hiking anymore so we called it a day.

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We went back toward the Hilltop parking lot and ended up on the park road. I could really tell that Bella was feeling the heat now. She was much slower and so we decided the hike was over and went back to the car area. When we got there Bella kept trying to hide underneath the picnic benches for some shade. πŸ™ My poor baby! We probably should have called it a day after lunch. But she was a trooper and was acting pretty normal (other than being tired).

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Here is the calorie burn for the little hike we did after lunch:

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We stopped in the shade and I poured water over Bella and we tried to get her to drink. While Michael was in the shade with B, I got the car started with the AC on full blast to cool it down before we got inside.Β We said our goodbyes to our friends and then we were hitting the road.

Of course, we had to make a stop at Dairy Queen on the way home for the Orange Julius smoothie. I got the pina colada flavor just like last time! πŸ˜€ It was fantastic! (And less than 200 calories so on a stifling hot afternoon, it was a nice treat.)

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Total calories burned for the hike: 867 and we did just around 6 miles! We got home and I gave Bella a bath and a big dinner and she just chilled on the couch for the rest of the evening (as per usual). She seemed to be doing okay so I was glad we didn’t overdo it on the hike. When it’s that hot you never can tell.

Sunday

Sunday was NOT as great of a day. Β πŸ™ It was that time of year to take all the beasts to the vet for their annual check-ups. Usually it’s an all-day thing (which kind of sucks because I hate how quiet and lonely the house feels without my babies) and I also hate the idea of them being stuck in cages at the vet’s awaiting their turn.

Bella was all good and just needed her exam and a refill on her monthly flea/heartworm etc meds. The kitties were getting their exams as well as dental cleaning. It’s part of their pet insurance package and while they are indoor kitties and in good health, I signed them up for the dental package because a few years ago Maya (who had a cracked tooth) ended up needing to have two teeth removed. My poor baby! That was an awful experience and I felt so bad for her. She needed antibiotics and pain meds twice a day for 10 days (imagine trying to give a skittish kitty meds twice a day…yeah!).

Anyways. There was some kind of emergency at the vet (another pet) and so that pushed all the other pets back and my kitties didn’t get their cleanings until late in the day. The hard part about the dental cleaning is that they have to put them under anesthesia in order to do it. I absolutely hate that and I shared my concerns with the vet. Last time Fat Kitty had a very negative experience to it (he became like a crazed feral cat). So this time she used a different kind of anesthesia.

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When I got them home I took them into the office where their litter box and food and stuff is and closed the door. I let Fat Kitty out and he was a like a drunk sailor–he could barely walk. He didn’t fall down but he looked like he was about to at any moment. I sat with him for awhile and monitored him. He was so high. It was really distressing. He definitely wasn’t the feral crazed cat like last time, but I might prefer that to this high-drunk-sailor-wobbly-kitty. πŸ™

I let Maya out of and she was a little goofy but not too bad and she even let me pet her! And she came up and rubbed against me and wanted cuddles (coming from the cat that always hides, this was abnormal). They weren’t allowed to eat for a few hours but could have water. I tried to get them to have water but they were both too loopy.

For several hours I sat with Fat Kitty while the anesthesia wore off. He didn’t have an appetite (VERY abnormal) and wouldn’t eat the wet food or dry food I put out once it was okay to eat. He kind of sniffed it and licked it and that was it. I hated it! I was so stressed out. It’s no fun seeing our babies hurt or sick. I wish I could make them feel better.

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Despite all that the vet said they were all in good health. Fat Kitty was on the borderline when it came to his kidneys. She said it could be a combination of not eating anything since the previous night (no food/water after 8pm the night before) and the stress of being at the vet. She wants to check his kidneys and blood work again in a month to be on the safe side. She said at that time he might be put on a prescription diet for his kidneys if they weren’t better. I decided to go ahead and get the special food now and start mixing it in with the other cat food just to be safe. She said she wasn’t TOO worried yet but a little concerned. On the drive home from the vet I cried a little bit when I thought about my baby possibly being sick.

I stayed up pretty late monitoring my baby. The anesthesia was wearing off–he was walking normally by like 9:30pm and starting to eat. I stayed up to make sure he wasn’t going to vomit or anything.

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So yeah, Sunday kind of sucked.

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