Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My life with K9's

As most of you know I live with my old man and a pack of six canines. Now, four of those canines are actually mine and they are all less than 8 pounds each. In my personal pack there's Ally, 5 lb Pekapoo, 7 years old; Wiley, 5 lb Chihuahua (rescue), ~9 years old; Deni, 3.5 lb Maltese, 6 years old; Tina, 7 lb Chihuahua (rescue), 6 years old. The two remaining canines are both my grand pups...Charley, 10 lb Shih Tzu, 2½ years old and Ricky, ~40 lb Texas Heeler (aka Australian Cattle Dog/Australian Shepard mix), ~2 years old.

Ally is the queen bee of the pack. Even though she's one of the smallest everyone else let's her have her way. She is a bit of a bitch...literally as in moody. She can be chilled out and in a second can spin around to snap at someone because they looked at her the wrong way.

Deni is my baby. As small as she is, if she is on the bed high above everyone else she becomes second in command. There's no competition for alpha position with Ally, but Deni comes into her own when she can look down on the others. She protects the bed like it's her own personal turf! Too funny to see this little off white (can't keep her clean) dog bouncing around with a high pitched bark going. It is a cute little bark! She even howls and sounds like Chewbacca sometimes. I'd love to get her trained as a psychiatric therapy dog eventually.

Tina is a rescue we got in 2006 and was only supposed to be a temporary arrangement, but we ended up taking her with us on our 2006 western states/British Columbia tour and fell in love with her. She is the most submissive of all the K9s and is a definite licker. She does have a tendency to get a little chunky but at least she is a Chihuahua that is relatively calm about getting her nails trimmed.

Wiley (AKA Ted)
Wiley is our newest rescue who came to us by way of our son who found him wandering the streets in the area he lived. He kept him for a week or so and then asked us to keep him until he could find a place to live that accepted pets. That was back in December 2008. Wiley is now totally attached to me and will not be moving out should the son ever want him back. The major problem with Wiley coming into the house is that he was a marker...thus with the marking the other little dogs tend to follow suit so their previous housebreaking was somewhat undone but mostly rectified with the addition of a small doggie door in 2010. Ah...he is a Chihuahua who hates having his nails clipped!

Charley is our daughter's dog. She got him in 2009 while she was living here in town but ended up moving to Albuquerque later that summer. Since she had no real living arrangements set up he came to stay with us when he was about 6 months old. He is the sweetest, most loving, yet non-clingy dog! I actually dread the day that he'll actually move to live with his mommy.

Ricky at 11 months
As you can see, I'm pretty much a small dog person...Ricky, the son's dog, has thrown a glitch in that little dog lifestyle. He lived with us for about six or so months at the end of 2010 and into 2011. He came back to live with us this time in October after his dad moved to Tempe, AZ. I know the son knows that we would never relegate any pets to the shelter, so he's probably a permanent member of the household now. He's much calmer than he was the first time he lived here but the little dogs are wary of him because he's so big, yet they bully him at the same time. I have to admit that things are much better now that we've put a doggie door in for Ricky. He's finally learned to go in and out of the door all by himself after two days of trying to get him to learn. However, he still wakes me up in the early morning to go out...even though all I have to do is walk into the hallway and say "outside" to which he just goes through the door! Hmmm. He still has his puppy days and is great fun to watch when he plays with his toys and tosses them or shakes them so hard that he whacks himself in the face...over and over and over. One negative is that most of the little dogs are afraid to go outside while he's out there so their housebroken-ness is not quite so effective...again. Surprisingly he's not much of a runner...he's only able to go about 3-4 miles before he starts to give up.

Since the son moved to Arizona, traveling is a bit difficult since we have so many dogs. When he lived locally we'd have him (or the daughter when she was in town) come and check/feed the pack. Now we can manage an overnighter but are a bit wary of leaving for more than 24 hours. Perhaps with both sized doggie doors and some feeding dishes with timers we may be able to stretch out a full/long weekend. The cost of boarding 6 dogs really is a bit prohibitive!

These K9 kids are my stress relief and can usually make me smile even when I'm in a bad mood. No matter what, even with the mess, the dog hair all over (and I do mean all over) the place, the noise and the occasional chaos these canines are family and are safe with us no matter what. Really, I'd give up stuff before I let anything happen to them. Hopefully, they stay happy and healthy and we all have a long life together. The average life span of the small dogs is about 16 years...for Ricky about 12-14 years. I don't see any new canine family members being added to the family in the future...I think this is it. I think it's enough! lol!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas preparation...or lack thereof...

For the second year in a row we're using a Christmas tree poster as a stand in for our artificial tree. The reason is due to our big grand pup who seems to now be living with us on a permanent basis...if our boy is reading this, are you even still trying to re-home him? The grand pup is a 40 pound Texas Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog/Australian Shepard mix) who tends to occasionally fly through the house at full speed and slides into various furniture pieces when trying to stop from a game of "chase/toss the toy" (he slings the toy in the air without regard to what it may end up hitting) or in some cases "let's see how much I can piss off the little dogs" (aka "chase the little dog until he/she starts growling and biting at me"). Such inability to effectively put on the brakes or understand that a thrown toy can do damage does not make for a good thing when you're talking about a tree and glass bulb ornaments! Hopefully, if he is still with us next year all the puppy behavior will be a thing of the past. Anyway, I have to thank my high school friend, Ranel, for the photo as I can't find mine from last year when we used blue painter's tape to hang the poster up! lol! Ranel was the one who gave me the idea for the poster tree. The only problem with having such a portable "tree" is that I don't remember what I did with it!! That means I may possibly have to hunt down another poster, at least this year I have a fairly good idea of where I can find one

Now, when the kids were young...into their early teens...we used to decorate for the holiday a fair amount; a tree, lights, stockings, stacks of presents, outdoor lights, etc. But once they got old enough that Christmas became more of a commercial enterprise rather than one where you could see a real childlike joy and true happiness when they opened presents we toned things down. I remember tree decorating being a family affair and stacks (and I do mean stacks) of presents primarily for the kids. For us now, we're lucky to have a tree (I think we had a tiny 3' tree back in 2008 or 2009), only 1-2 presents per person and we typically only have a special meal on the day and that's about it. Since it's only the hubs and I this year, the plan is a small fried turkey (maybe even just a chicken instead), a ham steak and maybe a 2 bone standing prime rib roast...can I help it if I'm a red meat person?? Yeah, we'll have small portions of accoutrements such as stuffing, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole but just like any other holiday nothing special will be going on. There will be a couple of presents to mail out to the kids but the old man and I have decided no presents for each other this year. It's not like we really need anything...sure there's wants but it won't kills us not to have them. Heck, if we did get the stuff we want truthfully, they probably wouldn't even get used much! My favorite saying when it comes to celebrating holidays and birthdays around here is "It's just like any other day" with the exception of a special meal.

So, how do you plan to celebrate Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate? Are we the only ones that take such a lackadaisical approach to the holiday? I hope not! lol!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who's shopping Cyber Monday?

I am so, definitely, not a proponent of shopping Black Friday nor have I ever participated in Cyber Monday. I do have to admit that I do look at the sales flyers every once in a while but I rarely ever take any action on what I see...never in fact, in at least the last 10 years. However, as far as Cyber Monday, or the week that follows when many online retailer maintain special sale prices, goes this year I may end up participating at some point.  I just happened to check some online sites and found a couple of things that I need for Christmas presents (only buying for the kids this year, so a couple of things is literally my shopping list) at some fairly decent prices. I also found a couple of things that would be useful in the house, especially if we ever finish up the freakin' living room!! So, I may break down and do a little online shopping this year. Either way, I'll be done with Christmas shopping this week. Sounds like a, I just need to find our Christmas tree poster to put up to finish getting ready for the holiday! lol!! with a rambunctious canine. Joy.  ;-)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

After life...donating my body to science

Decades ago, early in my pre-nursing education I had the opportunity to learn human anatomy and physiology in part by dissecting the cadaver of an 80+ year old female. It was amazing how bad her lungs were even though she was a life long non-smoker but had lived in the city all her life. It was during this experience that the thought of donating my body to science first came to mind.

I've thought about finding an organization to do this donation through thinking specifically of bequeathing my cadaver to a school that I have attended so that other students could have the same experience that I had as far as being able to work a real body before attending medical school or whatever. I decided to finally look up such companies today and found Science Care, which accepts whole body donations. They will transport the body to be harvested and will then cremate the body and return it to the family at no cost. They will coordinate with organ transplant procurement teams which will have first dibs on organs before Science Care takes the body.

I see this as a win-win situation for everyone.

For the family: There will be no need for the old man or kids to make funeral arrangements and once the cremains are returned all they have to do is find a nondescript place to dump the ashes since I don't want to have a burial plot or to be interred. You know the saying..."ashes to ashes, dust to dust"...that's exactly how I see my body. It's just going to be the leftovers after I'm baked to dust so just mix me back into/on top of the earth and keep going about life.

For a stranger: Someone in need of an organ may have the chance to live a fuller life.

For education: Students will have a chance for a hands on education whether it's as a brand new anatomy and physiology student or an EMT student learning how to intubate a patient or a medical student being able to handle a real artery that has plaque buildup within it, etc.

I might as well be useful in my death...rather than just sitting in a box in the dirt or in a mausoleum decomposing without benefiting anyone. At least that's my own opinion and plan. My family can take this as my notice of my plan...the old man already knows and I'll have to update my will and advanced directives as well. Ugh. More paperwork!! lol!

If you're interested in donating your body for science you may want to check out these other websites: (Partial list)
Medical School Body Donation Listing
Anatomy Gifts Registry
Lifequest Anatomical
Life Legacy (non-profit) 
University of Tennessee - Knoxville Body Farm

Register in your state to become an organ donor:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Interesting least to me! lol!
10 Uses for your body after you die

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Smaller might be better...

I was reading this article via the Nissan Innovations for Endurance blog, Nano Houses: Big Living in Small Places, which outlined these extreme mini houses that are eco-friendly and green. Now, I had thought before that in this time of economic downturn what we would do if we had to sell off our house to make ends meet. My basic response is that we would sell off our furniture (or give them to our kids) and pack up the canine kids in our 13' travel trailer and just drive around the country. Doesn't sound like a bad plan actually, aside from the fact that we'd be living with 6 dogs in the trailer! It wouldn't be bad if it were just the little ones...after all we did travel for a month with 3 little ones, but when you add a 45 pound dog to the mix it would tend to get a bit crowded!

Anyway, just out of curiosity, I decided to visit the website of one of the manufacturers of an mini house outlined in the article. I went to the Tumbleweed Houses website and found a portable, trailer mini house that I love...the Fencl House. At only 130 square feet, it's just big enough for two of us. The added bonus is a loft area that could be converted to an area for all of the dogs to live in. Actually, some modification would have to be made since a ladder is the method of getting up into the loft, but I'm sure something could be arranged.

Another mini house I like are these Eco Pods which are made from recycled shipping containers. While the website doesn't have any real good interior pictures of this, I can imagine this in a backyard as a guest house that can be extremely securely locked up when not in use. If only they were truly portable like the Fencl House is..

There are other prefab modular eco-houses that can be designed, added to and re-arranged as needed such as the Clayton iHouse which I would seriously consider if our house was ever demolished by a tornado or whatnot...

We don't entertain almost at all so we have no need for huge amounts of space. We have too much stuff that we don't really need and could stand to get rid of. I mean really, how much room do we need? Since our living room has been out of service for the past 2+ years (that's another story) we've been living basically in the master bedroom and kitchen...that's it. To be able to get rid of all our excess stuff and just travel around with our own home...what could be better? Sounds like a plan to, I only need to get the plan into action! lol!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just call me...Crafty

No sew tutu for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon, Jan 2012
I finally got around to making the no sew tutu that I'm going to wear while running (or walking if I'm still not cleared to run) the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January.

I loosely followed the instructions on this blog making changes where I felt that I needed to. I had never worked with tulle before and let me tell you, it took me a while to figure out how to handle the stuff! Once I did figure it out though things went much smoother. Here are the steps that I actually did to make my tutu:

Supplies - 
5 yards of shiny purple tulle (88¢/yd)
2 yards each of shiny lime green, shiny red & shiny orange tulle (88¢/yd)
1 roll of 2" purple ribbon ($1.98)
Tape measure, ruler or yard stick
Note: This was way too much tulle for what I wanted. I used all the purple, all the lime green and only 1 yard each of red and orange. I'm taking out some of the strips because I don't want it as full as it is, but if you want a fluffy tutu by all means use it all!

Steps -
1. Fold each piece of tulle in half so that selvage is as even as possible.

2. Cut into smaller sections if needed. (I cut mine down to easily handled 1 yard sections.)

3. Cut to desired length or simply trim selvage so that it's even. I wanted my length at about 15" so I cut my tulle at 16" from the fold which allows for 1" in the waistband.

4. Fold the tulle in half along the length (selvage to fold) and repeat until it gets to a width of 3-4".

5. Using your measuring device and scissors cut the folded tulle into strips at a width of 3-4" wide. Save the two end strips as standbys since they tend to be a little uneven.

6. Measure the length of ribbon needed to tie around your waist. I suggest leaving an extra 6" on each end which you can trim as needed when you're done making the tutu.

7. On one end of the ribbon at approximately where you want to tie the tutu on your waist (leaving a tail) tie a knot. You'll use this as a "stopper" of sorts for the first tulle strip.

8. Tie the ribbon snugly around the back of a chair so that the tulle will hang loosely after tying it on.

9. If you will be using more than one color, determine the layout of how you will spread out the colors and put the strips on in that order. Alternatively, you can do what I did...which was to put the dominant color on first, then determine where the other colors will fall within that. For mine, I put the purple on first, then determined that I'd use all the green and place it before every third purple strip. From there I decided that I'd put a red strip between every other set of purple strips and orange in all the other strips.

10. To apply the strips hold the fold in front of the ribbon waistband. Reach behind the ribbon and pick up the ends of the tulle and pull it through through the loop created by the fold of the tulle. Pull to desired tightness...I'd recommend leaving it just loose enough that you can slide the strip to adjust if needed. Slide to the knot in the ribbon.

11. Keep applying the strips as above until you either run out of strips or feel that the tutu is as full as you want it.

12. Try the tutu on and make sure that there will not be a gap of tulle when you tie it on. If there is a gap, you'll either need to add more tulle or spread out the tulle on the ribbon. The fewer tulle strips and the further spread out the strips are, the less fluffy the tutu will be.

13. At the point that you want to tie the ribbon closed tie a knot in the ribbon after the last strip of tulle.

14. Finish off the ribbon however you want (cut off the end in whatever design you prefer).

Now, I'm not quite happy with how the waistband looks because I don't every piece of ribbon covered up with tulle since I don't want it extremely full. So, here's a tutorial out there as to how to wrap the waistband (based on a child's tutu) using 7/8" ribbon to make it look cleaner so that's what I'll eventually do...that'll also help to maintain an even spacing between each piece of tulle.

All in all when I look at what I actually used of the supplies, this tutu cost less than $12 to make and less than 2 hours to put together (including the time it took for me to figure out how to work with the tulle). Not bad for someone who does not have a crafty bone in her body!! lol!

I am now all set "costume"-wise for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. Now, I just need to be able to run and train again!! :D

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Turkey Day everyone! We don't have much planned, for the first time in several years I'm not cooking anything at all (OK, well maybe I'll bake a pumpkin pie...from the freezer). We're going to be in Lubbock at the Turkey Trot 12K which I was supposed to run until I got sidelined. The old man is going to go ahead and run the race while I volunteer at packet pickup and on course direction. We'll probably go to Furr's or Golden Corral (or Joe's Crab Shack if they're open) for lunch, possibly a movie (The Muppets, Immortals, Happy Feet 2 or Puss in Boots) and then head back home for the normal night of watching TV, vegging and some homemade, traditional recipe (pork and shrimp) won ton soup. I guess it's a good thing we're not parade or football people! Anyway, from my family to yours have a Happy Thanksgiving and try not to get caught up in Black Friday tomorrow, I know I won't!

Addendum: The hubs finished his first solo race, the West Texas Running Club 12K Turkey Trot. He was at the back of the pack, but at least he finished. Final time 1:45:00.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A bad choice repeated...again

Lithium carbonate capsules.
Lithium is effective in all phases of BPII..
OK, so...I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, type II (BPII) in 1997 and since then I've been good and taken my cocktail of meds and at times I've been bad and not taken my meds. I've been okay without them and at other times I've crashed and burned big time. I'm supposed to be on quite a few meds: lithium (mood stabilizer), bupropion (antidepressant), quetiapine (antipsychotic) and lamotrigine (anticonvulsant/mood stabilizer) so without these meds I know that my brain chemistry (one of the major factors affecting mental health) has been out of whack.

Since I started exercising in late May I have to admit taking my meds has been a challenge. I was pretty good at the start and maintained my meds into June, but I got to feeling really good (not manicky, IMHO) and by the end of July was totally off of them. Anyway, I already know that fall, winter and spring are the worst times of year for me as far as mood swings...primarily extremely severe, major I have tried on and off since July to get back on my meds with no luck. I've tried at least three times but the meds made me feel so low in energy that I stopped so that I could continue training for the half marathon.

With the recent change in my own ability to work and train, or lack thereof, plus the husband's recent layoff a few weeks ago has things have seemingly affected me a little more than I had realized. I was talking with my therapist today and for the first time in a long time became tearful. Not like me. I guess I'm beginning to feel the pressure but have always been real good at internalizing and hiding my feelings/moods. So, on the way out of his office we had to go past my psychiatrist's (p-doc) office. Today she was between patients and saw me start to walk past and my therapist asked her if she had 5 minutes to see me, which she did, so he ushered me into the office. Now, you have to understand that I have avoided my appointments with my p-doc since I wasn't taking my meds and feeling pretty much okay. However, with my failed attempts at starting back on the meds and the tearfulness today, I reluctantly 'fessed up to my poor choices and we decided to start from scratch again.

So...tonight I begin back on only my lithium at a lower dose since I've lost almost 20 pounds since I last saw her. Hopefully, the lithium will do the trick but I'll most likely have to start back on an antidepressant for awhile in the near future. One antidepressant that I don't think I'll ever take again is the quetiapine (Seroquel) since I think that had played a part in my vertigo attacks. That old adage that "Doctors make the worst patients" is true but it also applies to nurses...especially nurses that are too familiar with their own illness and make poor choices because of that knowledge. Oh wait, that's me! :-X

So, here's to new beginnings...yet again. Hopefully this time I'll stick with the meds instead of ignoring them again...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My 100 Day Fitness Challenge

On October 24th I started a group on Facebook with some of my online friends and their friends to maintain 100 days straight of fitness activity for at least 30 minutes a day. I was doing really well until a few weeks ago when my ITBS started getting the better of me. So for the past two weeks I've fallen off the wagon myself but am very happy to hear about others who continue on daily and are finding a new routine in their lives to help them be more fit. It's not about losing weight, although that is an added benefit, but rather to change our lifestyles from what may have been a predominantly sedentary one to one in which we take responsibility for our own health and well being without just "hoping" that all will go well. So, as of last Thursday when my official PT sessions began I have completed my 30 minutes of activity daily whether it be the dreaded elliptical to take the place of my running, walking the dogs or a vigorous cleaning of the house, but I will continue with my activities no matter what!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cancer...I hate it!

I got some terrible news from a friend this past week. This particular friend has been fighting cancer for the past nearly 3 years with periods of remission and recurrence. Right now, thankfully, a more peaceful time of year is coming up for her as she has to go through another round of chemo. While this break is short it will hopefully allow her time to get through the worst part of her treatment. It's a feeling of helplessness when someone you know and care about is going through such a terrible time. Please don't be surprised if you see me fundraising again after I finish with my commitment to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society/Team in Training. I have decided that I will be switching gears and going back to my roots with the American Cancer Society to lead a team for the Curry County Relay for Life in May 2012 in honor of my friend. I'm just giving fair warning...after May I'll definitely take a break from fundraising until probably a full marathon in 2013 again with Team in Training. Please keep my friend in your prayers/thoughts as well as any other patients and families that are having to deal with this disease in all it's forms. Thanks!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

After 19 years...maybe it's time to do things

We've lived in this area for 19 years...well, it will be as of December 28, 2011 @ 11:03pm. We spent much of the first 2 years here doing anything we could to get away from this small town putting thousands of miles on our vehicles going places obscure and metropolitan. After all this time we no longer try to get away nearly as often as the nearly every weekend trips we used to make. We got used to small town life after a few years but would still make those occasional trips to larger nearby cities like Lubbock, Amarillo and the nearly four hour jaunt to Albuquerque or Santa Fe. But in that time we haven't partaken much in concerts in those cities just because of the need to drive at least 1½ hours to get to them. There are not near as many concerts or cultural events as back home in the San Francisco Bay Area but there are a few spatterings here and there of interest. Most of the events locally are in Lubbock, primarily because Texas Tech University is there and they have a nice, large arena...I guess that's one of the perks of being a Big 12 Conference. One of the events is the annual concert by the Trans Siberian Orchestra. For many holiday seasons we've said that we'd someday go see this concert but work requirements, school, etc. usually got in the way. The concert was this past Monday, and since I'm actually authoring this post on Monday and scheduling it for a later publishing date, I don't actually know if we went or not... I'm still hemming and hawing on purchasing tickets.  Other events I have my eye on for the future:

Lubbock - Young Frankenstein (actually this weekend), the Nutcracker ballet (Ballet: Lubbock), Mannaheim Steamroller and Cinderella (the ballet).

Amarillo - Stomp On Tour, The Sleeping Beauty (the ballet) and The Nutcracker (The Lone Star Ballet).

Albuquerque - The Lion King, Jeff Dunham, Mary Poppins, TAO: Art of the Drum, Cirque du Soleiel - Dralion and hopefully EWF will be making their annual stop in Albuquerque again (had tickets this year but had a major vertigo attack less than 20 miles from home and couldn't make the trip...lost $300 on that concert between tickets, pre-paid hotel and gas).

Since it's just the old man and myself now, maybe it's time we got our culture on. We've attended the local cultural events off and on when they interest us so maybe it's time to add a little travel into the mix.

Edit: We didn't end up going to see TSO on Monday, I was just too lazy to drive the 1½ hour one way trip and back. Maybe next year.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

6 Hour Zumbathon Fundraiser!!

I'm sitting here watching the long lasting Zumba die hards during the 5th hour of a 6 hour Zumbathon to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We started with a field of close to 50 people and now we're down to about 22! So much activity!! It's been a great day although I would have liked to join in I did sneak in a few shakes and shimmy's here and there but I may have done just a bit too much because my hip is aching a bit. The final tally of the funds raised needs to be determined still but I sure that it's enough to have brought me over my minimum of $2,750 in my fundraising. I'll post an update here and on my training page once all the counting is done but I'm thinking it's over $800.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the instructors from the local area who volunteered their time to teach free to support this endeavor:

Robin Haislett - formerly of ENMU HPE Dept, currently a graduate student/instructor in mass communications at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

Brienna Scott - Zumba instructor at Clovis Community College and Pure Energy Fitness Studio and Zumba Toning instructor at First Methodist Church, Clovis, NM.

Ashley Pyle-Goldbaum - Zumba/Zumbatomic (Kid's)/Family Zumba instructor and owner of Pure Energy Fitness Studio and Aqua Zumba instructor at Clovis Community College.

Monica Vigil - Zumba/Zumba Toning instructor at V's Sports & More

Nicole Stine - Zumba instructor at Clovis Family YMCA & evening Zumba instructor at Cannon AFB Fitness Center

Nora Swanagan - Zumba instructor at Clovis Family YMCA

Brienna Scott

Ashley Pyle-Goldbaum

Monica Vigil
Without these ladies this event couldn't have been possible!! Many deep thanks for your support!!

I'm hoping that everyone who attended had a great time and a great workout!! Let's do this again one will be before May 2012!!

I'll post more pics after I get settled back at home later today!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Black Friday...NOT!

Next Friday is Black Friday...I really don't remember the last that I participated in that madness. I really hate the craziness that occurs on this specific day the waiting in line for a supposedly "good" or "great" deal, the fighting to get what you want, waking up before dawn to ensure that you're at the front of the line to enter, etc. In recent years people have died in the stupid! Instead, I'll be at home chillin', probably watching some TV or playing on the laptop. Heck, for all of Christmas we're buying a total of 5 presents...that's it. Christmas is not what it used to be. Sales beginning at midnight on Black Friday...when I was a kid they started at 8am! Christmas goods up and out weeks before Thanksgiving. I'm not a religious person, but I do certainly believe that each holiday has their own season so why don't retailers follow that flow? Crazy. So good luck to you that are making your strategic plans...sending family members to different departments or even different stores. Better you than me!! lol!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First official day of PT

I survived my first day of PT! Not that it was all that, but I wasn't sure what to expect since the only other time I'd been to PT was when I had tendonitis in my right shoulder. Anyway, we started out with eight minutes on a recumbent stepper...I had no idea such a thing existed. No problems with that although I did break a bit of a light sweat averaging 130 steps/minute; note to self, bring a towel with me to the appointment on Monday. Next came some serious stretching using a strap (calves & hamstrings), knees to chest and sitting crossover pull stretches...couldn't do them laying down as my hip is too tight. Next we moved onto exercises, first squeezing a bolster between my knees and doing a pelvic bridge holding for 5 seconds and doing 10 reps. The standing adductor and abductor machine was next...we'll probably use the rubber straps next time as the machine was a bit awkward. 

Can you imaging doing a squat on this,
standing on the flat part?
The one exercise I totally sucked on was doing squats on half of a foam log with the curved side balance is fairly I've already been warned that that'll be something we'll be working on as that'll help strengthen my glutes and other small hip flexor muscles. Manipulation was next, not in the full realigning as in a chiropractor but by resistance. John, the therapist, would support my left leg while I pushed against him for 10 seconds at a time for 10 reps. Apparently that exercise helps to move the hip back into the correct position. We did have to do a second set after he checked my alignment and to my surprise, I could actually tell that there was an improvement because his thumbs were almost at the same exact level when he checked the tops of my iliac crest on both sides...yay! I spent the next 15 or so minutes on the diathermy lamp, deep penetrating heat, before finishing up for the day. 

My hip hasn't been bothering me much today but I haven't been on the elliptical yet. I need to try to do 39 minutes to take the place of my running...that should be fun since it usually knocks me on my butt in less than 5 minutes! So, here I go...get back into my workout gear and onto my arch nemesis...the elliptical! Wish me luck! lol!

Update: I was only able to do 20 minutes on the elliptical tonight. meh.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Is the term "anonymous" politically correct in terms of addiction?

Here's a CNN article I shared on Facebook about battling and beating addiction: "Risen from the gutter, he whispers hope to Hollywood's junkies". There's a specific quote in the article that stood out to me...
He believes the "anonymous" part of Alcoholics Anonymous is outdated, especially in Hollywood. Rather than protecting an addict's identity, he says, it now implies a stigma.
I found this to be a very interesting statement. I am a huge proponent of fighting the stigma of mental illness and that is exactly what addiction is. Mental illness is now known to be a chronic brain condition typically associated with a chemical imbalance...
The point was embraced recently by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, which updated its definition of "addiction." It is now considered a chronic brain disorder, not simply a behavioral problem.
I mean, really, after ingesting all the toxic alcohol and drugs how could one's brain chemistry not be affected?  Anyway, I digress.

Like I said, I never considered that the terminology of "anonymous" in any of the addiction groups whether it be AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), OEA (Over Eaters Anonymous), etc. would contribute to a stigma, but now the more I think about it I can see how it does. It makes me wonder if these organizations have ever considered this? In this modern age of political correctness should we be using such terms that can be construed as negative still? I wonder how the attendees of such groups might think of this? I guess I'll have to ask one...Maybe it wouldn't be such a big deal for those who have been sober for years but it may be a big deal to stay anonymous for those who are just starting out. What would be other term options that might be used in the place of "anonymous?" I don't have any suggestions myself, but the article just made me start to think that maybe it's time for a change? After all AA has been around since 1935...maybe it is time for an update? We're in a different time and place nearly 80 years later. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sidelined for 4 weeks...minimum

Ummm...yeah. So I went to my physical therapy appointment this morning and pretty much got the news that I had been dreading. I have to stop running completely for the next 4 weeks minimum. The findings by John, the therapist, pretty much confirmed what I had already determined for myself. Iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) most likely caused by the tilting of the left side of my pelvic bone. Basically when you walk/run the pelvic bone on each side rotates just a tad with each step. My left side has essentially frozen in the forward position and locked in...PT will be to get it to loosen up and back to normal position. Leg length measurement showed a ¼" difference (minimum) with the right leg being shorter; remember before it was the left leg shorter by that was just a visual exam, this time a tape measure was used to get an accurate measurement using bony landmarks. Flexibility in my left leg was noticeably less than the right leg as well as a slight difference in muscle strength.

I'm restricted to non- or low-impact activities. Since I don't swim...long standing phobia based on a near drowning incident when I was 5 years old...that means only the elliptical, cycling or ARC trainer. John said that as therapy continues we'll try to add some moderate impact activities. That means no Zumba or running at all. Ugh. I also can't participate in my 12K Turkey Trot  on Thanksgiving Day nor my Reindeer Run 10K on December 1st. Hmmm...I'll contact the race organizer and see if I can switch to a walking category...that should be doable but I'll check with PT on Thursday to be sure. As far as the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at the end of January is a maybe for running but whatever happens I will at least be walking the way I'm gonna work this hard and not participate!!

Yes, I am totally bummed, but I have to make the best of things. Gonna be working with my TNT coach on a new training plan and going to PT three times a week for the next four weeks with a re-evaluation on December 19th to see if things have resolved or not. So, I'm dusting off my bicycle and will begin doing some riding, dusting off the elliptical (which kicks my ass in less than 5 minutes) and doing whatever exercises that PT gives me to hopefully be ready to run at the end of January. Wish me luck!! I'm definitely gonna need it! *lé sigh*

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mental Illness & "Two and a Half Men"

You know, I do enjoy watching Two and a Half Men but today's episode focused on Jon Cryer's character, Alan, having a bad dream while in the "stress clinic" or "looney bin" after being admitted to a mental health hospital after the death of Charlie Sheen's character. The use of the term "looney bin" grated at my nerves a bit. I am under no false pretense that the stigma associated with being an inpatient on a mental ward is not still prevalent in people's mind but I find such terminology distasteful. It's not only degrading to those, like myself, who have been a patient on psych wards but it's fueling the stigma associated with mental illness.

To further this negative view of mental illness, the failed suicide attempt by Alan I thought was a bit over the top. There must have been a different option than pushing the character to the point of attempting suicide, don't you think? I mean, really, times are rough for a lot of folk who are dealing with a lot of different issues and I just see this story line as being a bit morbid even though the attempt eventually failed. In the past 15 years that I've been diagnosed with bipolar disorder I have attempted suicide multiple times. Thankfully it's been several years since I have attempted although I always have a plan deep in my head that I can pull up and utilize. I don't keep it (or the other 3 or so plans) in mind for posterity, it's just that I've attempted that plan(s) in the past and they are ingrained in my mind's eye. So why "glamorize" suicide on a sitcom?

Maybe I'm just being a bit oversensitive or overzealous in my assessment of the episode, but people need to be reminded that mental illness is just like any other disease. The only difference is that it is based in the brain and involves chemical imbalances rather than elsewhere in the body. Come on you makers of sitcoms, television shows in general and movies...try to approach mental illness with a little tact! Rather than minimize the effects of mental illness try to approach the subject with at least a little information that would provide even a sliver of education regarding the fact that people with mental illness are just that...PEOPLE.  We are just like the "normal" people out there (really, is there such a thing as being "normal" any more?) and we have emotions/feelings just like everyone else, sometimes we just don't have the capability of coping with stressors or may not have found the right combination of meds if we're on them. Don't propagate the stigma!!

ITBS...the bain of my training thus far

Well, I'm going into week three of not being able to do much of anything active due to the pain in my left hip. I've tried to at least do my runs up until last week when I started finding that the pain began worsening even less than a block from home if I attempted any running. I can manage to walk through the pain but running is a totally different story. I know that I don't have a fracture of any kind in my hip because I can hop on the affected leg without any major pain, some mild discomfort but nothing I can't make it through. I'm getting a bit frustrated, flustered, annoyed and concerned that when I see physical therapy tomorrow that they may tell me that I can't run for an extended period of time.

I'm fairly positive that this is all related to a tight iliotibial band or ITB AKA iliotibial band syndrom (ITBS). I'm feeling the snapping sensation over my greater trochanter (the big bony bump just at your lower hip) with certain positioning and my pain is located in both the greater trochanter and the lateral iliac crest (top edge of your pelvic bone at your hip) where the ITB connects. Don't you love reading the technical writing of a nurse/runner? lol! Anyway, the pain is significant enough that I can't lay on my left side for more than about 2 minutes which sucks because that's the side I sleep on most. It also seems to be spread between the two points of pain usually with one position being more painful at times than the other. Then, to top it all off, my ITB issues in my right knee are acting up again. Every once in  a while a certain position will trigger the snapping of the ITB over the lateral epicondyle (outside of the knee) and/or a sharp, stabbing pain will have me pretty much yelling out in pain for a minute of so before it goes away.

So, here I patiently await my appointment tomorrow doing what I can as far as stretches and such to help alleviate the pain as much as possible. Hopefully the news won't put a halt to my training, especially since I have a 12K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. So, keep your fingers crossed for me. Hopefully I'll be back to training within the week!

My areas of pain are in green and on the left leg rather than right.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hair-y indecision...again

I think I"m going to try to grow my hair out again. Yeah, I say that at least a few times every year. Right now my hair is in a longish pixie cut so its going to take me awhile to get it to the point that I can put a ponytail in it. Truthfully it'll probably never get that long because I get to the point where it just gets on my nerves so I get it chopped off. In late 2009 it was the longest it had been since I shaved it off in 2007 to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Relay for Life 2007
December 2009

3 years old

4 years old

The longest my hair has ever been was when I was three years old when it was to my mid-back. By the time I was four it had been chopped off into my first pixie cut.

9th grade
Through elementary school and junior high my hair grew back to shoulder length until I hit ninth grade and decided to join the "stacked perm" revolution. 

From there I went through a series of bad hair years from looking like one of the school counselors (both Filipinas and with a similar haircut), to a bad afro type perm, to a choppy short cut trying to get rid of the bad perm and finally a decent loose perm 
for my senior pics.
10th grade
11th grade
10th grade (2nd semester)

Senior year
 When I went into USAF basic training, I did cut about 2 inches off just to make it easier in the morning. My hair has since been permed and un-permed, cut boy short and worn in a longer short cut. I feel like I look better with short hair, but there's the odd occasion that I'd like to be able to put my hair up into a ponytail...especially since I started running. So, I'm looking for some input. Should I try, again, to grow my hair out or keep it short? Of course the final decision will be mine, but I'm open to suggestions from everyone. Just comment to let me know what you think.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Wish list item #1: GPS watch for running

While I'm nursing injuries from ileotibial band syndrome (ITBS) and trying to figure out if a leg is really shorter than the other I find myself thinking of things that I want to have as my training picks up again. Of course, I have to see what PT says when I see them on Tuesday first. Anyway, I'm getting really tired of having to carry my phone to use the GPS tracking app to record times, distances, routes, etc. It would make no sense to get an iTouch either because I'd still have to carry that around too. I do use a running waist pack, but it rides up and can be a bit bothersome during a long run. The easiest fix for this is to get a GPS watch that will do all the above, transfer information onto the computer, act as a trainer, etc. I've got a few choices to look at and decide over, but I'm really having a hard time deciding. I'm vacillating between a NIKE GPS Sportwatch, Garmin 610 or a Garmin 910XT. So let me go through the pros and cons that I see in each one as far as I can tell through reading user reviews:

NIKE+ GPS Sportwatch 
Pros - Seems lighter and not as bulky as the others; easy to read, large display; virtual workout partner; upload to Nike+ website; cheapest option at $199.
Cons - Reviews seem to be mixed; GPS tracking is reported to be a bit flaky; no altimeter to measure elevation.

Garmin Forerunner 610
Pros - Touch screen; virtual workout partner; vibrate notification mode; download info to Garmin website; can track health info like body fat, body water and other measures with link to a special scale; virtual trainer; auto pause.
Cons - Pricey ~$350 for the watch alone...extra for a heart rate monitor and foot pod for indoor training (can be purchased with both options for $409 on eBay); battery life questionable; GPS accuracy issues; bulky; altimeter readings  
                                  off; special scale is ~$249.

Garmin Forerunner 910XT - This is the newest addition to the Garmin line.
Pros - Clear reading screen; training partner; training mode; accurate GPS/altimeter; can be used swimming (hope to get over my water phobia and do tri's eventually); download to Garmin and laptop; can connect to multiple scales and gym equipment; auto pause; optional heart rate monitor and foot pod.
Cons - Most expensive at ~$400 for the receiver alone; probably way more than I need; too big to wear as an everyday watch; poor battery life.

Decisions, decisions...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day!!

Well, it's going to be daylight soon...almost time to go put the flag out. Today we celebrate Veteran's Day...a day that highlights the service of current, former, retired and those service members who have given their lives to protect the freedom of this great nation and our allies. Let's also not forget those family members that have sacrificed in order to support our veterans as well. Since I proudly belong to both these duty USAF 1982-1986 & USAF spouse 1983-2008...this day has a special part of my heart and is a great source of pride for me.

The question of the day is "How did Veterans Day get it's start?" Well, the signing of the Armistice of WWI was signed on November 11, 1918. One year later an official holiday, Armistice Day, became official as a way to celebrate the veterans of WWI. It wasn't until 1954 that this became a day to celebrate all veterans.

Veterans Day Trivia:

  • In other countries this same day is celebrated as Remembrance Day.
  • In the UK, red poppies are worn to signify blood spilled during the wars. This initially began after WWI's battle at Flanders where a field of red poppies were in full bloom and coated the ground with a blood like appearance.
  • From 1971-1977 Veterans Day was celebrated on the fourth Monday of October to comply with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act and is the only one of four holidays affected to be returned to it's original date of celebration.

A moment (or more) of gluttony

**Side Note: Oh buggers! (Reverting to my days living in England.) I fell asleep early last night and missed my blog post for the day, so here is my catch up!**

Well, last night I finished off the last of the Old Fisherman's Grotto clam chowder that I had made on Tuesday night. This is a recipe from the restaurant of the same name on Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California. I spent three days there last month to run the Big Sur River Run 10K (my very first 10K) and ended up eating at this place three times in as many days...well, actually two days because I had to go do the race on the third day then drive back up to Oakland. Anyway, it is THE best clam chowder anywhere...even better than stuff I had while in Boston! This recipe is very, very close to the restaurant's own should be, as it's supposed to be the actual recipe they use!

The recipe resulted in about 12 nearly two cup servings and I must confess that I ate 11 of those servings!! I finally finished the last two servings in one sitting last night, along with almost half a loaf of sourdough french bread. This morning I've awakened several times because my stomach wasn't very happy with me. Evidently eating that much (I think especially the bread) is not a good thing just before falling asleep...within 20 minutes of eating. I'm finally feeling better after my meal having made it's way through the digestive system.

So now I sit here wide awake anticipating my stress level to begin increasing in anticipation of my next big fundraising event on the 19th...a six hour Zumbathon. T-shirts to be ordered today and aside from filling goodie bags with the shirts I really think that that's all I need to stress about. Hopefully. So here I go to begin the day by having to clean the kitchen once again and at some point this morning throw together the crockpot BBQ chicken that I'm going to try for lunch. So farewell for now...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A conversation with my grand pup

I was in a sound sleep about 30 minutes ago when the little grand pup began "talking."   I thought that he just wanted someone to put him up on the bed but since he can jump up on his own I just ignored him. After about 5 minutes of him trying to get my attention, I finally rolled myself down to the end of the bed to lift him on the bed. That's when I realized that he was asking for help because the big grand pup was blocking his running path that he uses to give him the extra "ooomph!" to jump up on our rather high bed.

Now, you might be thinking, "Why is this blog worthy?" Well, I really don't know that it is...but when you have a little Shih Tzu litterally "talking" to you it can be a bit entertaining (if only I hadn't been so tired). I guess it was the intermingling of low voiced short grumbling growls (not a mean growling...more like a growl with a southern drawl), the punctuating low toned barks and the pitiful "Why me?" whines that interplayed within the 5-10 minutes or so that I tried to really ignore him. I can only imagine what was actually coming out of his mouth in human terms. Maybe something like this...

Charley: "Gramma...gramma...gramma..."
Me: "Shhhhhh!! No, I'm trying to sleep and grandpa's asleep! Be quiet!"
(A minute or so passes)
Charley: "Gramma...I want up on the bed...come on now, bring me up on the bed!"
Me: "You know how to get on the bed just do it!"
(Another minute or so pass)
Charley: "You don't love me anymore!! (whine) All I want is to go to sleep on the bed! (whine) Please, pleeeeeease let me up on the bed!"
Me: "Charley!! Stop that!! I'm tired!!"
Charley: "But Gramma!!! Gramma, look at me...See, Ricky's (my big 45# grand pup) blocking my launchpad!! I can't get on the bed!!"
Me: "Oh, OK, sorry. Come here..."
(Lifting Charley onto the bed.)
Charley: "Thanks grammy...ahhhhhhh!"
(As he curls up next to me and falls asleep.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A moment of candor...or is it just frustration?

I'm not one to shy away from putting my life on the internet. Facebook has been my saving grace through many a crisis in the last 2-3 years as it gives me a place to vent when things get rough. I've lost contact with some people because they think I'm too open about things, but that's how I am so deal with it or un-friend me!

Anyway just last week the old man got laid off from his job. In 2008, he retired from the Air Force after 26 years and went into a major depression which brought out his inner demons as far as addiction is concerned. He started drinking and wasn't motivated to do anything within months of retiring and not finding a job. I found him the job that he was just laid off from and hoped that would bring him out of his funk, but unfortunately it didn't. He ended up drinking excessively and actually ended up hospitalized for a BAC of 0.43 where he was at the point of basically being non-responsive. Rehab followed and things seem to be okay other than a relapse early in 2010.

Anyway, with the layoff he's not had any gumption to do anything. I mean, I might be slow getting around to things, but I do eventually get things done. All he does when we don't go to the gym or run is sit and watch TV and/or read. Granted it's only been a week, but he's talked about going back to school to use his GI Bill and looking for a job...neither of which he's really followed up on. Last week while I was running around with my head cut off trying to get ready for the 5K fundraiser he never asked if I needed any help. Today I had to ask him to take the trash out even though the took the bag out of the trash and set it next to the kitchen trash can. I need to light a fire under his ass even if it's just to get him to apply for unemployment or start back to work on the living room (which is still sitting in demo mode after 2½ years...I blame depression on both our parts and alcoholism on his part).

Ugh. I'm stable so far, but this is one of the worst times of year for my moods...hoping that this phase for him is just temporary because I don't need any additional stress right now. Really, I should get my meds back on board...

Monday, November 7, 2011

Medically speaking...

Dread...I hate feeling like this -

After a terrible 7.2 mile run on Sunday I'm at the point of dreading the pain that I've come to expect on my runs. I have an appointment next Tuesday for my first evaluation by physical therapy for hip and knee pain (iliotibial band syndrome or ITBS) that may be directly linked to a leg length discrepancy (LLS) that was noted last week on visual inspection. My left leg appears to be up to a ½" shorter than my right and may explain the cause of pain in my left hip. I'm hoping that they can figure out what's going on so that I can get back on track and get that great feeling of accomplishing a run. It's been a couple of weeks now since I've had a good run and I miss it. "Good," "run," "miss"...three words I never would have ever thought I'd use in the same sentence!

Haven't been spinning lately -

Not spinning as in cycling (although I haven't done that for months as well), but no issues with vertigo since the end of May when I had my last major episode. Tomorrow I have an MRI of the brain scheduled just to make sure I don't have an acoustic neuroma which may be a possible cause of the dizziness. I'm beginning to think that it may be related to the Seroquel that I was (and still should be) taking. If I never have another vertigo attack I'll be more than happy.

Bipolarity vs stability -

Well, as I mentioned I should be taking meds...a lot of meds...for my bipolar disorder. I actually stopped taking them shortly after I began running because I felt so good...not manicky but just good. I've tried to start them up again a few times, but they just made me feel so sluggish that I gave up. I've avoided going to my psychiatrist because what good would it do anyway? I'm not taking any meds so no labs to be done, I'm not having any mood swings (yet...although I know that I should be because fall, winter AND spring are the worst times of year for me), so why bother? Ahhh...yes, nurses do make the worst patients. At least I'm still seeing my therapist. I guess I'll have to try to start up again, but I'm really hesitant to because I don't want to affect my training...even though it's already being affected by the ITBS. Oh, the joys of being unwell. Whatever.

That is all.

Greatest invention for dogs that pull on leash

I've used this Holt Head Training Collar to walk our big grand pup, Ricky...a Texas Heeler (Aussie Heeler/Aussie Cattle Dog mix) for the last two days. It's made walking him so much easier and the walks significantly more pleasant. Prior to using this he would pull/drag me behind him as we walked or ran. Now, he wasn't too happy when I put it on for the first time yesterday...even fighting it, trying to get it off and nearly chewing through one of the straps; but after about 30 minutes of fighting it he I think he realized that he wasn't going to win. The first walk was jerky at first with him stopping every now and again to try to get the thing off, but after about a mile or so I think he just gave up. I allow him a couple of feet and if he tries to pull away a gentle tug on the leash that's attached to the head collar forces him to slow down and stop pulling. Now, I don't just walk him with this collar alone, I have a full harness on him and a second leash attached to that as a primary lead with the head collar and leash as a secondary control lead. It's working great and he barely fought it during today's walk. Best invention ever! Just wish I had thought of it sooner!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Organized my first 5K race...Lessons learned

Today I hosted a 5K race to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society / Team in Training. I had been stressing all day long yesterday hoping that I had gotten everything right. Well, this is how the day went...

The hubs and I met the daughter at the college where I was holding the race. It was 6:30am and cold, but at least the full expected wind of 20-25 mph with gusts to 50mph hadn't hit yet. First off, I set up the tables at the wrong finish line, luckily hubs noticed and we only had to move about 75' to the east. It took a little while to find the starting line as spray paint on asphalt is hard to see when it's dark. Finally we got tables set up and started setting out waivers and registration slips. Thankfully I had thought to pick up some big stones from the front yard to use as paperweights since the wind had started picking up since we arrived. The daughter tried to help but says that I didn't delegate...that I have control issues and tried to do everything myself. It was only the three of us working the other volunteers didn't show up. As we continued to set up we found that of the two timers we had the newest one wasn't charged (didn't think to check it last night) and when I plugged it into the inverter in my car it needed too much power and smoked the inverter! Well, that made that particular clock unusable. Thankfully we had the charging station for the second, older clock which worked but took the old man awhile to figure out how to get it running in the right mode.

We were just about set up and I had the daughter putting together bibs with safety pins and stuffing t-shirts into the pre-registered participant's goody bags. The pre-registered sign in went easy enough, but same day registration was a bit rough. I think it would have been easier with more people working the registration table, but we muddled through. Next time (if there is one) there will be a specific table to same day and another for pre-registered check-ins. Another thing we found was that I'm apparently missing some t-shirts...I made the mistake of not counting them yesterday because I was so stressed and when it came to passing out shirts for some participants that I knew would be registering the same day I didn't have them. I'll need to check with the printer on Monday to see if they have some floating around the shop.

Once we got everyone and everything set we got the race started nearly on time and everything went smoothly thereafter. I managed to get times and pass out medals for  overall, women's and men's first through third places. We had bottles of water to pass out at about the midway point as well as at the end of the race with mini donuts. We had several people hang out after they finished running (most were walkers) and I spent some time talking to a couple of women who had been running for a while. One was training for the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Antonio and another had lost 40 pounds and is loving running having run several marathons, halfs and such. Very inspiring!

We were all cleaned up and ready to go by 9:30am. Not bad...short and sweet event but I'll have to think hard about doing it again. Why? Well,  I'd need to be sure I had at least a dozen volunteers...even though the turnout was small more workers would have made the process easier. If I did have it again, it would be held in warmer weather...maybe September or early October. I also think that I would put out mail in registration as well as online and same day.

I haven't counted the funds yet...and I also have to figure out how much in out-of-pocket expenses I had. I also need to figure out how to claim those out-of-pocket expenses for tax purposes. At least I see this as a learning experience and did have some fun in the process. Quite of few of the participant said that they enjoyed it and so I think some fun was had at all. I have a week before stressing out again for the Zumbathon on the least that will be inside where it's warm!! LOL!!

If you'd like to support me in my fundraising efforts, please donate online at my fundraising/training page, "13.1 Miles to Never Never Land". If you wish to mail in a donation, please contact me via email at ClovisTNT(at) Thanks for your support!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I hate feeling stressed...

It's just past 5:30am right now. I'm not awake because I have a scheduled training run...I'm awake because I'm stressing out over the 5K fundraiser that I am organizing for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society/Team in Training. Been awake for over an hour. The event is tomorrow and I only have something like 13 people signed up on line. I'm hoping to get about 50+ at the event with most being same day registration. Another 5K a few weeks ago had about 66 show up, so I'm crossing my fingers that I'll get at least that many.

I have so much like I feel I need to do to prepare. I'm feeling a little behind the eight ball. Let's see...
  1. Get bottled water for post run.
  2. Get snacks for post run.
  3. Print extra copies of waivers.
  4. Print copies of registration forms.
  5. Pick up timing clocks from the base.
  6. Find some folding tables for registration/refreshments/packets/hydration station. 
  7. Set up finishing time grids/display.
  8. Pick up t-shirts...hopefully this afternoon.
  9. Figure out a way to do set up of the chute at the end of the race. Idea: Get cheap empty paint cans, fill with dirt or rock, get tall stakes and set them in the filled cans...use construction tape to make chute. Since I only need to worry about runners finishing times, I only need one chute that will be set up to force runners through an exit route to fill out cards.
  10. Make stringers for pull tabs.
  11. Ensure that finishing time recording is adequate. Using pull tabs, cards, computer & video.
  12. Gather things together for registration:
    • Pens
    • Sharpies
    • Safety pins
    • Put together participant bags
    • Colored dots 
I'm pretty sure that there are other things I'm probably forgetting right now, but hopefully I'll remember them during the day. Crossing my fingers that all comes out well! I think it's time to get ready and make a run to Wally World for the water and snackage...

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My "Mouse" moniker...

OK, those of you who've known me online for a long time already probably know why I refer to myself as "Mouse", "Mrs. Mouse" or "MouseRN"...but for those who don't know it's not because I'm quiet or meek, typically once you get to know me in real life you'll see that I'm definitely not that. As for in online's almost impossible to get me to shut up! Anyway, here's the basic story...When I met my husband we were both active duty Air Force at Mather AFB in the Sacramento, California metro. When I met him he was a quiet, shy, guy who basically just went with the flow and didn't throw up too much of a fuss. Because of his quiet nature the guys in his shop nicknamed him "Mouse." Then he hooked up with me...bad news. lol! Anyway, his quiet nature didn't last for long afterwards, but the nickname stuck. So after we got married 10 weeks later, I automatically became "Mrs. Mouse", no one really called me that it was just something I chose for myself.  After I got my RN license I took on the online moniker of "MouseRN" which is what I go by most of the time unless someone beaten me to the name on a website  (and someone out there has). So if you ever see a MouseRN on a website you frequent...there's a pretty fair chance that it might be me...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Changes upcoming...

No, not changes to my blog but rather changes to me. You see, earlier this year...mid May to be exact...I started exercising again after nearly a decade of minimal to non-existent exercise. In July I decided I wanted to run a half marathon, so I joined the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training to train for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in Disneyland in January 2012 plus raise funds for the fight against blood cancers (check out my training/fundraising page at 13.1 Miles to Never Never Land). My goal since than has been to get fit enough to run/walk this race and lose weight/firm up. I've looked at many, many images of women's bodies on the internet and thought "That's what I want to look like...", but this morning came to the realization that I have to decide what is right for myself and attainable for me. There have been many photos of women and girls who have lost 50+ pounds in 5-6 months...I only have about 20-25 pounds more to lose depending on the day and if I'm traveling (I've already lost about 25) to reach my goal weight in the low 120's. So...rather than base my perception of what/who I want to look like when I reach that goal or even earlier these are the changes I want to see in my own body from head to feet:

  1. Total loss of what remains of the double chin.
  2. Lifting of the chest area...reverse the early sag! LOL!
  3. I want to be able to see my abs...they don't have to be perfect or really cut, but I want definition.
  4. Smaller waist...I do actually have a waist now, just want it a bit smaller.
  5. Smaller hips...again, I just want them a bit smaller.
  6. I want an ass!! I have Asian ass...flat, no roundness! It's getting better, but has a long way to go.
  7. To be able to see totally between my thighs...those inner upper thighs just won't go away!
  8. Lose the small saddlebags.
  9. I want to look FIT, not skinny!
I'm going to keep looking for pics that exemplify how I see myself looking, but it's up to me to get to where I want to be...I don't want to compare myself to someone, I just want a visual as to how I want to look as a goal. Does that make any sense??