May 2016 in Photos

I didn’t do so well at blogging in May, but I was taking snapshots constantly. Here’s my May in photos:

  • Cocktails at Bit House Saloon, which is probably my current favorite spot for happy hour. They have great drinks, mellow atmosphere, and a tasty fried bologna sandwich (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!).
  • Spent Mother’s Day with my Mom-in-law and Mom, who came to visit for a long weekend. This specific shot was taken at the Oregon Garden, that we set up to jokingly caption it “Happy Mother’s Day, Birches!”
  • Enjoyed a beer at Bailey’s while the Moms shopped downtown.
  • Collaborated yet again with Halsted on a delicious dinner. She made a Chicken Tagine, and I made a Mediterranean-inspired salad. Cooking with a friend is one of my favorite things to do!
  • Went to see Tycho at the Wonder Ballroom. It was a great show and experience. The sound was really good, even from the mezzanine!
  • Enjoyed Matt’s BBQ with some XOXO friends. Coincidentally, this was on WordPress’ 13th birthday (WP’s founder is named Matt).
  • Planted our garden seedlings in the ground. This year, I have two types of tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, fennel, leeks, English thyme, French tarragon, basil, and nasturtiums. Hopefully they survive the excessive heat that we’re supposed to have this weekend.
  • Made a Strawberry Basil Pink Peppercorn Shrub with Hood strawberries, by Andrea‘s recommendation. It’s a tasty way to welcome summer!

Falling for Oregon

H&D at Wahclella Falls

This past weekend, we took Halsted and Darren on one of our favorite hikes, to Wahclella Falls. They’re newly minted Oregon residents, and we’ve been enjoying sharing our favorite local spots with them. I love this photo that I took of them while we all enjoyed the reward at the end of the hike.

It was also really nice to be active outdoors. I feel like I’ve been a bit of a lump lately, and the lovely spring weather has made me more motivated to be outside.

There are so many more hikes to be had, so many more waterfalls to discover, and I’m thankful that I’m able to share it with good people.


Hello again.

I’ve sat here with my WordPress dashboard open for weeks, thinking of what to write. I was thinking I needed to make some sort of grand announcement, write a massive catch-up post, or write something extremely witty and insightful.

Then I realized that this was holding me back. What I love about personal blogging is having a chronicle of where I was at, physically, mentally, and emotionally, at any given time.

Time to get over any anxieties that my writing isn’t good enough, that my creative projects aren’t polished enough, and if my daily life is interesting enough. Time to just write!

Vitamin D

I had my Vitamin D Levels tested the other day, which my Doctor originally told me that I wouldn’t need to worry about till I was older. But she ordered the test anyway. The results were surprising – I have a fairly serious deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency is common to some extent, but serious deficiencies are hard to diagnose aside from a blood test, as symptoms can include fatigue, muscle/joint pain, and weakening of the immune system.

Vitamin D levels — what’s really optimal?
>100 ng/mL – Excessive vitamin D (see note on toxicity)
50–70 ng/mL – Proposed optimal range
30–50 ng/mL – Suboptimal
<30 ng/mL – Deficient
<20 ng/mL – Overt vitamin D deficiency
<10 ng/mL – Seriously deficient

I’m at 11 ng/mL, which hovers right over seriously deficient. Luckily, it is easily remedied… I am starting off with 8 weeks of a prescription strength dose of Vitamin D (50,000 IU/week), and I should regulate my Vitamin D intake (both supplements and sunlight) thereafter in order to stay at an optimal level.

Why am I telling you this? Because even though a a slight deficiency is normal, an overt or serious deficiency can lead to more problems if it is not addressed early enough. Have your doctor request this test next time you have a routine blood test to be sure.

Also, I just wanted to set it straight after my Twitter post set off a whole chain of replies commenting on my situation.