Run. Dog. Cat. Cat. Me.

Everything you need to know about running and life and any other random crap I find bouncing through my mind like a ping pong ball. And always be sure your shoes are happy.

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Back in the saddle again

Sunday morning, it’s beautiful out – and I slept until 7:30 and did not run.  So now the world will end, we are all going to die and probably Chunk will chew my toes off in my sleep when she turns into a Zombie Cat.

Actually I do have my suspicions she already has (turned into a Zombie Cat, not that she chewed my toes off, because I can still see them all right now) but that she is currently able to maintain the facade of normalcy for good periods of time.

Along the lines of this digression, after which I will return to our regularly scheduled blogging, I submit for your review and input the picture I managed to get this morning when I accidentally came upon her trying to eat my table.  Note the glowing eyes which, the instant I snapped the picture, quit glowing and she looked at me ever so innocently, “Oh, hi.”  “Who, me?”  “Why, no, not eating the table legs, just um…stretching.  Yes, I was stretching.”  Below that, the “I’m so innocent” picture.  Which is the truth, and which is a lie?  Please submit all votes before midnight CST Monday, April 30, 2012.  I worry that votes received after that time might be counted by the Zombie(s); I fear I may not have much more than 24-36 hours left.  Also, I leave my favorite Smushy Pillow to the hubs who steals it all the time anyway, along with my half of the bed linens which he also always steals.  To the children, anything you can find that looks good, take it.  Since the fanciest thing we own is one flat screen TV and it’s 19″ and I got it at WalMart for $199.99 plus tax you’ll just have to take your chances on finding anything  in the house of great value.  I do love you all deeply and somewhere there are some cute baby pics of some of you.  Not all of you, I ran out of time.  But some.  Somewhere.  I did truly mean to get them in a photo album at some point in the past 3-1/2 decades.  General Hospital was quite good for a number of years, tho, and I got distracted.

Chunk:  The Truth or the Lie? V.1

And, Chunk:  The Truth or the Lie?  V.2

I want both of you to carefully review these photos and let me know which is the truth and which is the dare.

So that’s my story of how I’m worried about Chunker.

In the meantime while I was waiting for these pics to load and then I would get back to our regularly programmed blogging I wanted a snack so I got an orange.  A couple of weeks ago while I was out of town the hubs bought some navel oranges at the local unsupermarket (it’s not that great a store, but the salad bar is pretty awesome.)  I’ve tried repeatedly this spring to purchase oranges, all of which promised juicy drippy sweetness in the unsupermarket as I squeezed them in a lame attempt to look like I knew what I was doing, trying to ascertain if this was a good orange to purchase.  Arriving home, however, my hopes were constantly dashed as one after another was revealed to be dry, pithy and sour.  At last I gave up on my search for orange-y vitamin C goodness – until I returned from out of town and found the basket in the kitchen full of yet another load of oranges.  Being the innocent believer in goodness that I am, I tried one last time.  Peeling the orange revealed a fruit which was deeply, brilliantly orange, a shade of orange making the University of TN football team look pale, dripping with juicy goodness, sweeter than baby kisses.  I stood over the sink making involuntary nom nom nom noises while I shoved the orange in my face, juice running off my elbows into the sink below.  Hubs arrived home to the wreckage, orange peels everywhere, Murph the Wonder Dog stuck in one spot, his paws unfortunately glued to the floor in dried orange juice, and me in a stupor slavering over the last delectable section of the last orange.  “Fwhere didshu get fthese ornjuzz?” I managed to gasp, trying not to look guilty and shoving the last bit of orange behind my back.

“At the store,” he replied, looking vaguely confused.  No, that’s a lie, I’m sorry.  He looked completely confused.  Why was I asking him about oranges the minute he walked in the door?  Was it a trap?  Was I going to blame him for the juice all over the floor, even though he was pretty sure he knew it had not been there when he left for work?  Or was I going to ask him to pry the dog loose, despite the fact that it was obviously my fault Murph T. Dog was stuck and additionally I’m the only one who can find the mop, for, as Rosie O’Donnell pointed out once (when she used to be funny), apparently the uterus is a homing device.

“They’re so good!” I replied.  “Where did you get them??”

“At the local unsupermarket in a great big bag for a dollar.”

Oh, sure.  He waltzes in, grabs a big a$$ bag of oranges for a buck and they’re great.  I stand there sniffing and squeezing each individual orange at about $32 apiece and my oranges suck.

So anyway, that’s the story of my orange that I just ate.  It was really good.

I’ll get back to the regularly scheduled blogging in a minute but first I have to tell you what else happened when I was uploading the pics.  I need to tell you both that I am very afraid that Zombies have probably managed to annihilate the staff of Yahoo! News.  For days now every time I go to open one of my yahoo email accounts all the highlighted news is THE SAME.  It hasn’t changed for DAYS.  “Kate’s Princess Transformation” “Angelina and Brad are Engaged” “What Men Find Attractive About Women” (uh, duh – if they’re still breathing) and the one that has been catching my eye, “How Often Should You Change Your Sheets?” which then provides this sinister hint:  If you’re only washing them once a month, you could have some unwelcome visitors in your bed. 

I’m already having a lot of issues with the whole Zombie thing which is EVERYWHERE now – more on that in a minute – and suddenly I learn that if I don’t wash my sheets I could have Unwelcome Visitors In My Bed, and I don’t think they’re talking about the guys they interviewed about finding women attractive, none of whom, I’m sure, had an entire set of their original teeth and probably drive a ’74 greenyellowred pickup truck with a bumper sticker proudly announcing that you should definitely not pass on the driver’s side ‘cuz Ah Chew and Ah Spit.  So I am totally washing my sheets.  Right. Now.  Then I thought, well, I should probably wash the comforter too.  I grabbed that fluffy down-filled king-sized sucker, dragged it down two flights of stairs and crammed that baby into the unsuspecting washing machine.  Setting it on “Large Load” “Heavy Duty” I fired that little GE baby up and sat down to blog because first, now that I’ve newly committed to not working on the weekends I now have nothing to do, and second I thought you both may have been missing me.  I know that you know that I’m there for ya tho – I got your back.

Chunkermunker, however, doesn’t trust me to quite that degree.  While waiting for my pics to upload she decided once again to play the innocent and jumped up on my lap.  Looking precious and sweet she put her little nose to mine and closed her eyes, her little paw on my shoulder.  I can’t do anything with her like that, of course, particularly anything like reach the keyboard and reveal her Zombie Secret to the world but I’m sure that’s not what she was doing.  I’m sure she just loves me.  Not a whole bunch, but a little bit, I bet.  Because at that moment the washing machine went off load with the king-sized comforter full of probably 87 pounds of absorbed water and started trying to walk out of the laundry closet.  Which is right next to my office, so the walking thumping pounding washing machine was pretty loud and Chunker looked at me with her eyeballs as big as oranges (really good oranges) and she was under the bed in one half of a nanosecond, leaving me alone to deal with the attacking washer.  See how she has my back, how my safety and security are always uppermost in her mind?  Murphy would have saved me, I bet, but he was upstairs sound asleep on the newly washed bedding, letting all his little fleas have a picnic in the hills and valleys of the wrinkled sheets.

So that’s my story about that the Yahoo! News staff is probably already Zombies and also what might be in your sheets if you don’t wash them, so don’t blame me if you get eaten tonight by Zombies stuck in your sheets.

In just a minute I’ll get back to the regularly scheduled blogging about getting back in the saddle again, but first you both need to know something else about Zombies.  You know the part (above) where I mentioned that the Zombie thing is, like, EVERYWHERE NOW?  Wellllll…..I’m pretty sure I maybe be among The Chosen.  Maybe you don’t know about The Chosen since I’m sure neither of you are.  Chosen, I mean.  But when the Zombie Apocalypse comes there will be some of us who are prepared and we will be the ones who have to save the rest of you idiots who act all nice about everything – but I know you don’t really believe me about the Zombies.

This is what happened so that I know I’m one of The Chosen.  I was at my mom’s house and the neighbor invited us both to her house for dinner.  They’ve only lived there since last fall and my mom was pretty busy the past few months with my dad, so she never really got to meet them other than the times they see each other outside and shout HI! and the time the brother and his friend shoveled all the snow off mom’s driveway which was very nice of them.  So we sit down in the dining area and begin visiting with the neighbor and what do I see????  OMG.  The Zombie Survival Guide.  Right there on the shelf in front of my eyes.  Yes! it’s EVERYWHERE NOW.  So I know it’s a sign right away and I jump up and say, OH MY GOSH! and they all ducked because maybe they thought I was having a seizure or something and they looked pretty surprised and I shouted ‘I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!  YOU HAVE THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE!” and they nodded that they did, indeed, have The Zombie Survival Guide.  AND – they let me borrow it!  Can you believe that?  Something that valuable, and they let me take it out of their home and all the way to Memphis and they didn’t even charge me a deposit.

So that’s my story of how I learned I was one of The Chosen and that it’s all EVERYWHERE.  Also, I do have my own copy of the book, I do.  But I kinda lost it, maybe.

Now I guess I’ll talk about being back in the saddle some other day because all this worrying and all my efforts to try to make you understand about the Zombies and Chunk and Murph and oranges and being Chosen and washing your bedding has completely worn me out and I’m going to go take a nap.  On the couch.  Which the Yahoo! News Zombies did not indicate is inhabited by unwanted creatures.  Other than Murph and Chunk, of course, who, the minute I thought the word “nap” in a tiny corner of my mind immediately raced each other to the couch, leaving me half a cushion and part of a pillow.

The circle closes

Monday, April 16, 6:13 am, New Orleans (business trip with the hubs, I got to tag along.  Had great plans for some really good food tonight, but first coffee and Beignets at Cafe du Monde after a run this morning)

Instead my cell phone rings. Soundly sleeping and jolted awake my first thought is why is my phone ringing at this time of the day? followed almost simultaneously by where IS the phone?   I fumble out of bed…realize I’m in a hotel…where’s the light…light on…where’s the phone…purse…dang, missed it, phone quit ringing…ringing phone this early in the morning…wrong number? – or, no – not good – it’s mom.

Even after all that’s happened the past year-plus (It’s as it is) I’m still surprised by her call.  I somehow thought Dad had a few more weeks, a month?  Maybe two?  And I wanted to be there.  I wanted to be there for me, and I wanted to be there for her.  I didn’t want her to be all alone.  That’s what I keep saying to the hubs and to the kids as I call them all.  I wanted to be there.  I didn’t want her to be alone.  Funny how you focus on something rather inane at times like this.

Hubs hurriedly booked a trip for me from New Orleans to Arizona.  My flight got in about 9:15pm but I had to wait until 10:30 for the next shuttle, which didn’t actually leave the airport until 11pm because guess what?  If your flight is delayed, you’re delayed – and that sucks…but the pilot is delayed, too…and if he needs the shuttle, you’re still delayed and you weren’t even on his flight.  Thus it was I finally got to mom’s house at 1:15am, at which point I’d been up 21 hours.  I wanted to be comforting and supportive and say all those things you should say to be comforting and supportive at a time like this but instead I mostly felt like cotton balls were stuck to both my eyeballs and my tongue didn’t seem to work right.  I’m pretty sure mom felt the same way; we vaguely patted each other on the shoulders and mumbled something like “nuhnuh see you inthemorning”.

You know how it goes.  We spent the week doing the things you do at times like this:  funeral home, church, calling family, making arrangements, getting phone calls, having family arrive, looking for extra bed sheets, occasionally finding ourselves standing in the middle of the room staring with confusion at whatever we were holding in our hands, wondering why we had a spatula in the bathroom or the mail on top of the car.

Of the entire time this is what stands out in my mind most:  how easy it was.

Which probably seems an odd and perhaps cold thing to say.

First, it was easy to feel relief my dad was no longer trapped in that body which didn’t work; unable to eat or swallow, unable to turn over or even change position in bed, unable to sit up, unable to figure out how to work his beloved TV remote; the relief that mom no longer had to watch dad fail, no longer had to wake in the night once he was home on Hospice, the relief that she no longer had to spend most of her days before Hospice going to the care home to be with him.  Plus the joy that she had been able to do all those things.  Mom is a nurse, it’s her gift.  It’s what motivates her, to care for others, and this entire past year her greatest gift was to care for dad.  Which was also my greatest gift, seeing that and knowing that she was happy to do so and that he was so well cared for.

Second, my dad had a good life.  It’s a blessing to know that someone has had a good life.  We can look around at this world and it’s easy to see that many people do not.  He grew up in a happy stable family, the 8th of 12 children, all but one of whom made it to adulthood and beyond.  He grew up with brothers and sisters that to this day can laugh at all the pranks those 11 kids pulled, climbing on the top of the barn, running through the yard naked just as the preacher drove up, unable to go to school for days (one-room schoolhouse in rural South Dakota) because when he and his brother checked the traps they got the unexpected surprise of faces full of skunk spray and NO ONE wanted them anywhere near, throwing dozens of Grandma’s eggs (her egg money!) against the cellar wall just to see them splat.

Third, it was in no way, shape or form as hard as when my brother Bret was killed in a car accident when he was 17.  Last week at one point I said to mom how sorry and sad I was, but this was absolutely nothing like dealing with that.  And she agreed.  When Bret died with all of life before him, so suddenly – this young man who had so many cars in the funeral procession that the funeral home director said he’d never seen one so long – and why?  because he loved everyone.  He loved life, he loved everything, and everyone that knew him was touched by him.  And when he was gone the hole that was left was like a canon shot through my chest, a giant gaping hole of pain that made me feel that no air could get into my body.  We talked about it, mom and I, last week, and we felt three times blessed.  Blessed that we had had Bret, blessed we had had Dad, and blessed we knew they were now together.

I’m not saying it was easy like getting a massage or spending a day at the park.  It was easy like how running a marathon is easy – if you’ve trained for it.  And then it just hurts like hell instead of hurting more.  But it only hurts most at the end, instead of all the way.

Today, April 25th, is my dad’s 80th birthday.  He’d had a long time to get ready for this final journey and he prepared himself well.  He and my mother are both deeply faithful people and he was prepared for the next stage of the journey.  They had time before and after his last surgery to talk about the important things, to say whatever needed to be said.  I was able to be there for two weeks recently, and since January of 2011 I’d been there with them for 9-1/2 weeks total.  That’s pretty awesome, to live almost 1,500 miles away and yet be able to have that much time with them.  In those weeks I had time to say the things I needed to say.  I’d also had lots of time and lots of nights at home at 2am and 3am and 4am when I would wake, thinking of them, worrying, doing those things your brain does when it’s dark and you’re tired and no one else is awake and you get the chance to realize with half of your brain that what you’re doing is completely non-productive but you somehow need to do it anyway.  I had the chance to get all the sad, mad, hurt and scared parts over with.

This Saturday, April 28th, is the 37th anniversary of Bret’s death.  I think most of you have gone through something like this and you know how it is.  You wonder how it can possibly have been that long and yet it seems in some ways like yesterday.  You remember with so much joy – more joy now, than pain – and yet at some point the pain hits for just a second, a stab that makes you choke a bit and you remember again that canon ball sized hole in your chest and for a minute you can’t breathe.

But this time you see the entire circle.  You see the son, the husband, the father, the grandfather and great-grandfather and you know that it all comes together.  You know that you ran the race and they ran the race.  You spend those months training – waking, worrying, planning, scheming, questioning – the months of good days and bad days, good runs and bad runs, runs with friends and runs alone and you know that it’s only a microcosm of life itself.  You can plan and train and make the journey or you can wait for the journey to happen – but either way it will happen.

Zombie Update

I’m sitting here in Prescott, another abfab beautiful morning with the mourning doves cooing and the spoiled brat of a scrub jay turning his rotten nose up at my offering of the watermelon rind but happily eating all of mom’s peanuts the little sh*t.  Not that I’m bitter.  Stupid bird.  (Interesting side note: watermelon left out in the Arizona sun with -12% humidity turns into a substance quite similar to dried gorilla glue.)

I haven’t run since Thursday – been a little busy this past week but more on that later when I’ve had time to ruminate – and I will head out soon for a jog.  It will be interesting to see if I’ve managed to finally acclimate to the altitude.  Hopefully so, I need to keep up my stamina and fitness because you never know when the zombies will show up and I for sure intend to be ahead of the rest of you all when we have to run from them.  Probably I need to start incorporating a bit of speed work too.  I bet the adrenaline will help once it kicks in, though.  Hopefully the rest of you have been pretty stressed lately and your adrenal systems are shot.  I mean that in the most helpful and positive way possible.

So anyway, the zombies, as you know:  you never know when they may show up.  This morning, however, I found a very helpful post on FB and I wanted to share it with both of you because I’m like that, generous, thoughtful, caring, selfless.

Apparently what you need to do is find a really cute innocent little kitty and offer it as a sacrifice to the zombies:









and if that doesn’t work, you might try renting a baby:

So…I’m there for ya, got your back, always ready to help a friend.

Ciao – gotta RUN!

Henri, Ennui

Not all of you know this  but I suffer with/struggle with/live with (depending on the day) depression.  You don’t need to feel you should know this, it’s not the type of thing where I see you and say, “Hey, love those jeans!  Where did you get them?  I’m depressed.”  I don’t try to avoid talking about it but it’s not something constantly on my mind either.  I seldom go about thinking, “wow, I’m soooo depressed”.  Mostly I just live each day and my life involves a certain amount of frequent and nearly unconscious assessment of where I am mentally and how my thought processes are going.  Over time, with counseling, medication and self awareness I’ve ended up in a pretty good place most of the time.   Of course it’s a bit tougher when life circumstances get challenging, in which case people who aren’t depressed would have some issues feeling OK, too.

A lot of people think depression means you go about feeling sad.  That may be true for some people but for me it’s a problem of no feeling.  When I’m having trouble with depression happy things happen and I try to act happy, but I don’t actually feel it.  Inside I feel flat and rather dead and I’d prefer to be home alone in my bedroom reading a book, which takes up a lot less energy except when I have to turn the page.  It takes a lot of energy out of you, always feeling flat and dead when the people around you appear to be energetic, enthusiastic and basically enjoying what they have going on, even if it’s something simple like watching TV.  This is more particularly true when it’s holidays or something special – times you’re supposed to have a ‘feeling’ of ‘happiness’ and ‘enjoyment’ but mostly you feel vaguely tired and a bit brain dead and once again wish you were alone with a book and the pressure of turning the page.

The fortunate thing, as I mentioned, is that there are good medications now that help a lot, and if you can find a bit of counseling from someone whose approach is not letting you wallow in self-pity every hour you meet but allows you to say what’s on your mind and then promptly asks what you intend to do with it, you can get to a place in your life that’s fairly normal.  This is especially effective once you realize no one is normal and nothing is normal, so as soon as you feel pretty normal you can relax and rest assured you are in the same boat as everyone else, which relieves a lot of pressure, mentally.  Try also to surround yourself with friends who are basically crazy, or a least a brick shy of a load, and you’ll feel even better.  Not that I do that.  I’ve just heard it suggested.

This comes up for two reasons.  First, someone I’ve known a long time once again mentioned the words ‘addictive’ and ‘controlled substance’ in a conversation about anti-depressants, in particular the one I take which is an SNRI (Seratonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor).  This has come up in conversation before and this well-educated upper management individual has, for at least the past 10 years, continued to believe that anti-depressants are addictive, that drug companies put something in them that make people addicted so they’ll always have to take them (ensuring the drug companies a lifetime supply of ready cash, apparently) and which can have value on the Black Market for persons addicted to it.  Perhaps this is true.  Perhaps even now there are people roaming the streets desperately searching for their next hit of Pristiq, in which case I need to find them now and make some money.  NO JUST KIDDING.  In the past, and repeatedly, I have quit taking antidepressants because 1) I hate being labeled ‘dependent’ and seen as someone who simply needs to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and put on a happy face and 2) well, never mind, there isn’t actually a 2, just the first point.  So anyway, I’ve quit taking them.  I’ve never had a problem doing this and I’ve never done it with medical supervision, I simply left them in the drawer and went about my daily life.  The only thing that happened is about 6-8 weeks later I felt exactly like Henri with Ennui and eventually I would go back on the medicine.

Secondly, my friend Lisa O posted a couple vids of poor Henri (who suffers with ennui) on FB; poor Henri whose thumbs are not opposable and yet he opposes everything, who is free to go yet he remains, whose 15 hours a day of sleep have no effect as he wakes to the same tedium.   I think humor makes a good defense, if you can make something funny it loses some of its sting.  So, for instance, if you can make up a story about your Hard Rock Classics-hating cat, and then you can write about it on a blog so all your friends can make jokes about it and laugh with you, it’s even better.  And if you get to 1) watch a funny and well-made video 2) pretending your cat is depressed 3) AND it’s in French, plus 4) you experience depression so you totally identify with the cat and with the humor and 5) when you’re having fun you are not having Ennui and 6) you then get write about that on your blog, you end up with a sixfecta of awesomeness.  Also you get to make up the word sixfecta.

Now all I have to do is get Cat addicted to anti-depressants so I can make some money.

And here’s poor Henri: and part 2:

This is why you need good friends in bad times. Not that I have any.

For the listening pleasure of both of the followers of my World Famous Blog while perusing this very important information: (you will want to copy and paste into another window so you can listen and still read my very important blog)

One thing I’ve learned in life is it is imperative for one to have good friends.  Friends that are there for you, that have your back, who will support you in every way.

I have none, but apparently some people do and that’s a very important thing, to HAVE FRIENDS that support you and are there for you (HINT) not that I’m naming names.

I realize Chunker is adopted and that even biological children will sometimes greatly differ from their parents but sometimes, when it seems you fit together so well, that you kind of jell – mesh in your interests, so to speak – and suddenly something happens and you realize they are not a mini-me but are their own person with their own interests it can take a while to adjust.  That would be the time that a person would reach out to their dearest friends for support IF THEY HAD ANY. I’m just sayin’ and not naming names.

Yesterday I made a devastating discovery.  I’m still reeling from this and to say my heart is broken is not far from the truth.  To find that my own little Chunker doesn’t share a love for the same thing I do – the thing that defined my youth, that colors my life to this day, the thing I turn to when I need it most…that in fact she does not just dislike it, but actively (and actively is the active word here) HATES it.  (Murph T. Dog is now my favorite, lying under my chair, tripping me every time I try to stand up to get more coffee – but I don’t care because he’s hanging with me while that little traitor Cat abandons me, not that I’m bitter.  Altho my legs have finally decided to cooperate, and I do really need more coffee, and I could get up the stairs to get it if the dog wasn’t in my damn way.  But I digress.)

When work gets boring and my brain is about to fall out of my head and land on the desk bouncing about like a walnut…when I’m stressed to the max and I get in the car and crank the radio to 1,000 on the volume and nudge the bass up 1 extra … when I need to get the house cleaned and the car washed and have no energy … I turn to my first love(s).  And this, (below), is what happened yesterday when I turned to my SUPPOSED FRIENDS for support on Facebook (and I know!  Turning to friends for support on FB is like standing on a corner at 40 and Germantown holding a sign:  “Honestly, I really want to work hard for a living but instead I’m going to stand here on this corner with this sign asking you to help me.”  Basically:  you’re going to get the response and support that is not always what some unamed DEAR FRIENDS would give you.)


Post to FB:  This is absolutely horrible. I cannot believe this. Chunk does not like AC/DC or Metallica, Bon Jovi or Aerosmith, Van Halen, The Who, Black Sabbath…none of them. I cannot understand how my child could have gone so wrong. I’m devastated. Not to mention I can’t play Pandora while I work now, because as soon as I turn it on her tail diameter increases by 300% and she starts attacking everything in the room.

Responses from SO-CALLED FRIENDS (no names, keeping it anonymous)

Jay Chunk can never be my friend.

Rachel Rose It just goes to show – ALL OF THAT STUFF IS THE WORK OF THE DEVIL!!!! Cats know these things…

Terri Lee *SOB* Highway to Hell just sent her running into the den. *sniff*

Cindy Sounds like she doesn’t like you very much either. (thank you for your support, “friend”)

Rachel Rose Terri, you’re not dancing around the house wearing devil horns, are you?

Terri Lee You’re all poopyheads and I’m just going to sit here all by myself listening to War and I hope you’re happy.

Cindy But Chunk won’t be and you will be the one to pay for that –

Terri Lee lalalalalalala I can’t hear you


Rachel Rose It’s Friday the 13th, Terri’s wearing devil horns, Chunk is going berserk!  I hear the twilight zone theme song…

Terri Lee ok FINE. I turned the music OFF are you happy?! Rachel, the Zombies are coming tonight.

Carol Plug in the head phones for you…..and….maybe some ear PLUGS for Chunk. (“friend” wants me to bleed to death from a thousand scratches)

Heather Try Lithium on XM. (did my “friend” just say that I need to try some Lithium?)

Elizabeth I do love my friends. I think maybe when you run it’s your brain that’s falling off of your butt.  (Ok, this “friend” may have a point)

Sherry Just give her some catnip and she won’t care what you do!  (“friend” suggests I drug my Cat)

Norma Yeah, headphones for you and maybe some counseling for Chunk. (“friend” suggests my Cat needs psychological help)

Terri Lee  I’m just so devastated that she hates my music, the sounds of my soul.

Mary One thing is for sure. Your life is never boring.  (“friend” is making fun of my lonely life, abandoned by Cat and repeatedly passively-agressively tripped by Dog)


Which is how I ended up on a Saturday morning sitting here all alone in my little garret surrounded by a bunch more pizza boxes containing dried up crumbs of crust and several empty boxes o’ wine, talking to my two imaginary friends on my blog.  Now I’m going to queue up a few favs and smile through my tears, here all alone, friendless, thanks so not.  (In the interest of full disclosure I will confess to what my daughter pointed out:  I went through a Yanni phase.  Not proud…but there it is…it was just a fling; I discovered my error and returned to my true love) (too bad the movie sucked so bad)

One friend did point this out (below).  Every generation has to rebel, I guess.

Terri, this should explain everything about Chunk’s taste in music. Kits these days, sheesh

Coffee and Zombies, Yet Still You Scoff.

Yesterday rubber band legs, this morning I can’t walk and I think everything from the top of my hips to the top of my knees has solidified into cement – cement which can feel pain.  Cement which I believe may have become sentient and seems to be making its own decisions, and I’m rather concerned.  For instance I just went to get more coffee and the cement which used to be muscles, tissues and bones decided it didn’t care about coffee or not and will be damned if we are going to pick up our knees and set our foot on the next stair.  So there we stood at an impasse, me gazing forlornly at the kitchen floor, only 6 steps above me, the kitchen with my most awesome Cuisinart Grind ‘n Brew, the Shrine of coffee heavenliness, the holder of all that is best about the world of 4:30am, the heady smell of caffeine wafting down toward me, out of reach…never again to know the goodness of that nirvana…*sob*

“MOVE YOU DAMN LEGS, I SAY:  MOVE!” I entreat my legs.  I exhort them to remember me, the one who has always fed them, massaged them (ok, fine, whenever I remember the foam roller.  Once a month is good, seriously, guys, I’m trying here), the one who, in high school, resorted to wearing men’s button-fly Levis because nothing else came in a 32” inseam and you two looked like idiots in those high-water jeans I found at Sears.  Consider all I’ve done for you, and you can’t get up the stairs for A FREEKING CUP OF COFFEE OH MY GAWD I NEED COFFEE.

This concerns me on a couple levels.  For one thing I could eventually starve to death down here because all we have is a bedroom/office, a bathroom, and a den.  None of these rooms contain anything edible unless I finally get so hungry that the vanilla lotion in the bathroom, in my hunger-crazed mind, begins to resemble a vanilla shake.  In a plastic bottle with a squirt top.  Hey, they could be putting vanilla shakes in bottles with squirt tops – you don’t know.

Secondly, and I don’t think either of you actually realize this, but I’ve long had a carefully hidden fear of zombie attack.  This possibility is real and the world doesn’t pay any attention to it.  Why do you think I run so much?  So I can wear this t-shirt (below) which informs you “if zombies attack, I’m tripping you” and I can stay ahead of the rest of you zombie fodder.  But now:  I’m stuck downstairs, weakening moment by moment, nothing to eat, no coffee to keep me from dozing off and the next thing I know, I could be under Zombie attack and helpless to save myself with my useless damn legs on strike.

And still you scoff.  There are no zombies you two say, snorting your coffee out your noses while you laugh at me (serves you right I hope your nose burns all day long and that is a horrid waste of good coffee, by the way).  Now I offer you this helpful chart (below) so when the zombies DO attack – and they will – you might have a chance of survival unless I’m near you in which case I will certainly outrun you and leave you for zombie fodder.  (DAMN LEGS, AGAIN I SAY:  MOVE!!)

16. RE: Zombie Behavior

Let’s enter the brain of a ZED.

1) Is there prey around that I can see?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go to 3

2) Go toward the prey, is something in the way?

yes…..go to 4

no ……keep going

3) Is there prey that I can hear?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go to 5

4) Can I go over or around it?

yes…..keep going

no…….go to 6

5) Is there prey I can smell?

yes…..go to 2

no…….go wander

6) If I pound on it for a considerable amount of time, is it weakening?

yes…..keep going

no…….go to 1

And it cycles through this list at a persistent pace.

But, no.  With all this proof still you scoff.  I know.  I can hear you with my super sensitive Zombie hearing.  OK then, check this out:

Yes.  The GOVERNMENT is aware of the Zombies and you aren’t.  Who are you going to trust?  Yourself?  Or the Government?


Got you now, huh?!

I immediately purchased the following items which I secured in a secure place in the house so I would be safe when the Zombies come even though neither of you believe me, nor do you actually care, so when the Zombies do figure out the answer  to #6 (above) and the answer is yes and the answer is you it won’t be me and as long as I have the coffee pot, the book and the emergency kit I will be fine and you will be Zombie fodder.

Additionally I will have food to eat:

And Cat will have toys to play with:

While you two run down the street screaming for help which will never come:

Don’t say I didn’t tell you.  If the TN Dept. of Transportation can figure out there are Zombies (and they can’t even figure out if there is an accident or road closing when a semi is upside down in the middle of the freeway) then you are in serious trouble and it is not my fault..

Pretty Day for a Run (Or) Pain is only Temporary but Rubber Band Legs Last all Day, “They” say.

I made it back to Memphis in good order and spent the past couple days trying to catch up on work, so how it’s gone so far work-out-wise is that I did 20 miles on Sunday March 25th, got a call from my mom that evening, flew to Arizona the next day, didn’t run again until that Thursday, got a bit of mileage in last week, and I haven’t worked out with Cheryl for almost three weeks.  You use it or you lose it They say, but what are you going to do?  It can’t be that bad, it wasn’t that long a time frame.

So – today is Wednesday and I worked with my trainer, Cheryl, for the first time in nearly three weeks.  She’s pretty, blond, petite and very fit and I have a huge Girl Crush on her, so I try to act all fit too when I’m working out with her.  This means mostly that when I feel like I’m dying I try to be real cool like it’s really easy.  Probably the gasping for air and the bulging eyeballs and the quivering muscles give me away but she never indicates she sees what a wimp I am and we end up doing 47 sets of fortythousandhundred reps all the time, which takes about 17 hours, but I’m a strong fit runner so I’m good with that, I’m not complaining even though my arm fell completely off and landed on the floor once.

I figured that since I was already in workout clothes, working out, I may as well get a run in afterward.  It’s a beautiful day, clear blue sunny skies, all the trees leafed out in fresh spring-green foliage, lots of happy birds and squirrels all flitting about chirping and making whatever little happy sounds squirrels make, and I was ready to get some fresh air.  The fresh air thing has been hampered the past couple weeks by the fact that I apparently managed to get allergic to something in Arizona the day I arrived and I spent two weeks blowing my nose at 3 minute intervals while my swollen red itchy eyes watered and I broke out in hives on my legs one day and my chest another day – all complicated further by the fact that I cannot take allergy medicines *sniff* *sniff* *blow* *eyes water* *ha-choo* repeat and also those damn hives are itchy.  So a pretty run in the non-allergenic Memphis air sounded really nice.  (yes, honestly, I’ve been tested and have no allergies … in Memphis, Allergy Capital of the  World … I know you will not believe me but there ya go.  I’m the only living person in the mid-south with no allergies.)

I’d originally planned to do five but had decided to cut it back to three (miles).  I headed down the street and after three (steps) realized that an hour of working out with Cheryl is an hour that lasts as long as Christmas Eve for small children and my legs felt like overstretched worn-out rubber bands.  Pride, however, kept me going.  I wasn’t going to come to a complete stop and walk back to the car in front of my girl crush, no ma’am.  I made it to the end of the block and walked.  I trotted, the legs wobbled like a cheap camp chair underneath a gorilla, I walked, I trotted, the legs wriggled like overcooked spaghetti, I walked, I trotted … a mile in I turned around.  2-1/2 weeks ago I did 20 and felt better than I did at the end of that mile.

They are not kidding when they say you use it or you lose it.  I just didn’t know they were speedtalking.

Also, here’s a picture of me working out with Cheryl and also one of my run.  Even though my butt didn’t end up falling off when I did the 20 miles it felt like it might and I’m still the Posterchild and National Spokesperson for BFOS and the paparazzi are still loving me so they took a bunch of pics and gave them to me, free.  Because when you’re famous that’s how things work.  Altho I’m still waiting for that Lamborghini.  I didn’t know they were on backorder for three years, did you?

Here’s a picture of my run.  Apparently my legs not only felt like overcooked spaghetti, they looked like it too.  And those damn Birds were making me Angry.

Winter and Spring, Endings and Beginnings

Friday morning in Prescott, Arizona and it’s a beautiful day.  At 5,500 ft elevation the sky always seems crisper and brighter to me.  I see Ponderosa pines from every window and the early sun glints off the pine needles as though the tops of them were glass.  My mom feeds a scrub jay unsalted peanuts in the shell and he is currently flitting about wondering what is taking her so long to get outside.  This early in the spring he is already familiar enough with her that he will take the peanut from the table even if she is standing in the doorway.  By summer he will probably be taking the peanut from the patio table as she sits there.

I haven’t tried to fit in runs this week; I could, mom would not mind, but I don’t want to carve out 1-1/2 or more hours right now.  Mom visits dad twice a day, usually staying until he falls asleep in the morning – maybe 10:00, 10:30, 11:00 – then runs any errands she needs, eats lunch, takes a nap and back to the care home until dinner time, so I have been following her routine.  The care home is 2 miles from their house, however, and my solution has been to walk there.  I’m getting 4-6 miles of fast walking daily and since I’m not training for anything right now that’s working out fine.  At 5,500 ft it takes a week or so to acclimate to the lower oxygen level anyway, my run last Thursday was a pain fest of asthmatic gasping for air and I walked every half mile, I think I managed to run about 1/2 minute faster than I’ve been walking … I felt like a newbie! Which is a good thing, I never want to forget what it feels like to be a beginning runner.

So, while I see my father failing, I am also spending part of each day watching the springtime world come alive.  In northern Arizona the soil is sandy grey/brown and most of the trees are some shade of evergreen, it’s a rather monochromatic world that I love, the Arizona desert in which I grew up and weekends camping in the Arizona mountains, but spring brings bright pops of color: deep purple, bright yellow, reds.

I leave my parents house in the shade of the pine trees.  They live in an older part of town and every house is different.  First a two story traditional cabin, next is a clapboard, pale yellow with white and maroon trim and a yard full of wild daffodils and one brilliant red tulip.  Next, and one of my favorites, a chocolate brown Swiss-chalet with white gingerbread trim and a natural stone yard with pines guarding the corners.  There is a brilliant orange/yellow flower that grows wild, the blossom is twisted tightly shut, shaped like a teardrop, and then unfurling in the sun, the color bright against the grey soil.

This morning there’s a crisp bit of breeze but walking fast in the sun it feels good.  My route is becoming familiar, I see the house with the three black dogs, already when I come near the yard they run to the end of the fence to greet me, two wagging tails and one doing a token bark so he feels he earned his keep.  They trot along the fence beside me.  Then the house with the little barn behind it, a cultivated field to the side where I saw two Pygmy goats one morning.  Mom said one day she saw the owner taking the goats for a walk.  They don’t bark at me.  Next door is where, one sunny afternoon this week, I saw a cat sitting in every single window – except the window owned by what was probably the Head Cat, as he got to lie in the sun splayed out across the back of the couch.           

I pass the field with two horses, one a young frisky guy who is usually trotting about tossing his head or rolling in the dirt.  Finally I pass the tiny ancient little house with the tiny ancient little lady who apparently spends nearly every waking hour sitting huddled under a blanket on her tiny ancient little porch either talking on her cell phone or smoking.  I have not seen her do both at the same time so apparently she is not a multi-tasker.  Her dog sees me coming and barks me all the way past the house while wildly wagging his tail; we’re friends, lady, but mom needs to know I’m keeping an eye on things, you understand.  And I do.

I arrive at the care home and see Help Me Lady, who spends all day motoring the hallways in her wheelchair doing fine and every evening in her bed shouting “help me…help me…” continuously.  Bruce shuffles down the hallway with his walker, thinking he just arrived and which is his room, he doesn’t have his wallet, can he pay for the room tomorrow?  I’ve made friends with Joanne, we are in cahoots because I watered the bone dry plants bearing the sign loudly proclaiming not to water them and she saw me and approved.  

I did not like coming here at first, it felt sad and mostly dead and depressing.  But I’ve come to appreciate and rather cherish these dear people at the end of their days.  I’m a person of faith although I do not talk about religion or politics; I’ve done that a couple times and it always ends badly with some sweet person insulted and indignant about what they think I said which is not what I said at all but there’s no telling them that now, now that they know what I said that I didn’t say.  I am not at peace seeing my dad struggle and suffer, of course.  I’m very grateful he is not in pain but no one likes seeing the once strong man who was their father unable to eat, unable to move half of his body, confused and disoriented.  

Mom will get him home today with hospice and some in-home help, and I will fly home Sunday. He will last as long as he will last, and it will be as it will be, neither of these statements easily learned or embraced but they are the tenants I believe and I am fortunate that I have struggled and fought my way to a firm faith and belief that there is something more, something better and I have no fear for my father who is in the winter of his life now, but who I believe is also in the spring of his life.  

Sent from my iPad

Hurry up and wait

As it always goes, you are never standing next to the tree when your child falls out and breaks their arm, the guy who rear-ends you is the one car you failed to check in your rearview mirror, and your mom is not going to call you in a panic thinking your father has pneumonia on a day that you’ve cleaned the entire house, bought groceries, done all the laundry, paid all the bills, cleaned all the work off your desk and had a nap.

And so it happens that the same day I crammed 20 miles into the bag, did not get a nap, struggled to get some laundry done, had a 13″ pile of work on my desk and the hubs was out of cell phone reach … Mom called in a panic thinking dad had pneumonia.

Thus it is that I’ve been in Arizona for over a week now and will be until at least this Sunday.  I’m trying to help mom get dad home on hospice and in-home health care this week, and occasionally trying to get some work done on an iPad.

It’s stressful for everyone, of course.  And I could really use a run right now.

But – I’ll never regret not getting the run.  I will regret not spending as much time as I can with my parents.

Sent from my iPad

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