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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.

Search Results for: “fleece

Hunkering down with Chunker or how I learned I do, indeed, have two Brains

Chunker Munker and I have not had the best of weeks and it’s all my fault.  She is very happy to agree with that and seems pleased to lay the blame squarely at my feet; she isn’t enjoying life to the fullest following a long overdue visit to the vet.  Mo, the little sweetheart, sadly went along with the plan with a minimum of argument as I shoved the unwilling little things into their carrying cases and off we went.  Quiet little Mo evidenced a new side when we got in the car and he became extremely verbal about the situation, even resisting the vet which surprised me.  Chunk acted resigned until we got home.

I opened the carrier and she scrambled out like it was on fire.  I opened Mo’s, he jumped out and headed toward Chunk to share misery.

The little witch turned on him, soundly smacking him in the head repeatedly while yowling and hissing.  I yelled “CHUNKER!” and she turned on me, then poor Murphy crossed her path and she tried to smack him, arching, hissing, yowling.  Dammit, girl.  We gave her wide berth.  She was pissed off all night and half the next day, jumping, hissing, howling every time someone moved.  At first I thought it was because Mo and I smelled like the vet but by the next day and a change of clothing that seemed iffy.

I think she was insulted and embarrassed by the vet and taking it out on us.

I have to say, I would not be happy having my weight control issues discussed openly in front of my mom and an entire office full of staff people.  It has seemed to me lately that she’s getting a bit … fluffier, but I ignored it.

Yeah, no kidding.   She’s gained over 2 pounds since last year.  That’s a 16% weight gain.

Ooops.  My bad.  Apparently feeding on demand is not going to remain an option.  We will not mention whether I feed my own self on demand or not.  Do as I say, not as I do has been a fine motto to live by.

I told the vet my unsuccessful attempts to get her to play and that I’m feeding them both indoor cat weight control food.  He said that it’s possible her metabolism has gone into protect mode and is slowing down.  Interesting thought.  He told me about a new food that somehow increases metabolism and I bought a small bag.  I trust the vet, I’ve known him for 20 years but I still felt a little bit like I’d just bought a vacuum cleaner at my front door.

I mixed the food half/half with their old food and started the new menu Friday evening.  Sunday evening Chunker walked up to me and started batting at my legs, skittering around.  Eh?  what are you doing, little girl?  She jumped around a bit more.  I pulled out a toy.  She started jumping to catch it, chasing it, crouching, attacking.

Well who are you and where is my kitty?  It’s been a couple weeks now, I don’t think she’s lost any weight but she’s like a kitten again, chasing the laser light, running through the house with Mo, playing.

So I’m going to be doing some thinking on this metabolism idea; I know it will slow if enough calories are not consumed regularly.

Our bodies are designed to protect us, I know that.

In fact I got a really great lesson in that just this month.  Yay.  I always like learning new things.

I’m lying.  I do not like learning new things.  I like staying in my own little comfort zone doing the things I like to do.  I want my life wrapped in my squishy soft blankie in my awesome plaid bell bottom fleece pants and Chocolate Glazed Donut in my coffee cup.  I prefer being closed-minded and I want you all to shut up, most particularly the ones inside my head.

But, there you go.  Catch 22.  Which I read when I was in high school.  I was home, sick, cuddled in bed (I did not own awesome plaid fleece bell bottoms at the time or I’d have been wearing them) and as sick as I was, reading that book I started laughing out loud.  My mom came running down the hallway.  “Are you OK!?”  She apparently thought I was choking.

Maj. Major Major Major: Sergeant, from now on, I don’t want anyone to come in and see me while I’m in my office. Is that clear?

First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir? What do I say to people who want to come in and see you while you’re gone?

Maj. Major Major Major: Tell them I’m in and ask them to wait.

First Sgt. Towser: For how long?

Maj. Major Major Major: Until I’ve left.

First Sgt. Towser: And then what do I do with them?

Maj. Major Major Major: I don’t care.

First Sgt. Towser: May I send people in to see you after you’ve left?

Maj. Major Major Major: Yes.

First Sgt. Towser: You won’t be here then, will you?

Maj. Major Major Major: No.

First Sgt. Towser: I see, sir. Will that be all?

Maj. Major Major Major: Also, Sergeant, I don’t want you coming in while I’m in my office asking me if there’s anything you can do for me. Is that clear?

First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir. When should I come in your office and ask if there’s anything I can do for you?

Maj. Major Major Major: When I’m not there.

First Sgt. Towser: What do I do then?

Maj. Major Major Major: Whatever has to be done.

First Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir.

There are days right now that I feel a bit like Chunk when she jumped out of the carrier, I really feel like yowling howling and smacking random people crossing my path and I don’t want anyone let into my office until I’m not here.  My back is on strike.  This happened once four years ago and lasted for three months.  I could not reach my feet to put on my shoes, my back in nearly constant spasm.

I went to see Dr. W.  He walked in and I slowly stood.  “What happened??” he asked.

“I’m not sure, but last time this happened it lasted three months,” I said, with a little catch in my voice.  OMGod in Heaven, Little Baby Jesus in the hay with the cows DO NOT let me go through last year again.

“I’m not doing any steroids.” I announced.

“Oh, no – nope, this isn’t lasting three months and we’re not doing any steroids,” he intoned.

He sounded so serious that I actually believed him.

He did a little poking and prodding, a little stretching and showed me a small back extension/crunch I was to do 10 times as often as possible throughout the day, then hooked me up to the machine which is like something from Heaven, electrodes taped to my back shocking the sh*t out of the damn muscles and I hope they are sorry they ever started this.  Damn muscles.  I know I said that twice.  Damn muscles.

When everything was done I stood to leave and bounced down the hallway like I was drunk.  Why am I thinking of Florida?  Anyway, I was walking and my back was not screaming like a girl, damn wussy little back.  Waaa waa waa.

Over the past 2-1/2 weeks the visits have stretched from 2 days apart to a week.  This week I was able to go three miles, jogging 2/10’s of a mile 9 times with a 1/10th mile walk between.  Dr. W said things should return to normal quickly.

Apparently, however, phoning in the core workouts is no longer an option and I am newly committed to the stretches and core work – planks, side planks, glutes, hip flexors because what done did happen, as they say in the south, is I outran my core’s ability to function and when that happened Brain 2, the Idiot, shut the entire system down.  Done, stupid Brain 2 said, and turned on the electricity.  Meanwhile Brain 1 and I are arguing that everything is fine and would you please quit trying to be the boss??

It makes sense though.  Metabolism compromised?  Start protecting.  Muscles being damaged?  Start protecting.  It is incredible to me that our minds actually take care of us when we think we’re the ones in charge.  I’m running along thinking I’m in control of my body while, in fact, the very brain with which I’m thinking everything is copacetic is doing something else against my wishes.

Yossarian: Ok, let me see if I’ve got this straight. In order to be grounded, I’ve got to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I’m not crazy anymore, and I have to keep flying.

Dr. ‘Doc’ Daneeka: You got it, that’s Catch-22.

(If you’d like to read more about how fatigue – overdoing it – leads to poor form and results in injury, check this out:  http://thefunctionalgolfer.blogspot.com)

I’ve been right here, where were you?

Well, here’s a surprise:  it’s another grey, drizzly overcast day.  I have the heater on and am wearing Uggs, jeans, a sweatshirt and a fleece jacket while I drink moremoremore coffee.

A couple Mondays ago dawned grey, stormy and depressing and I felt the same way.  I’d spent part of the night with Murph T. Dog dug head first under the blankets, crammed between me and hubs, me teetering on the edge of the bed as the poor thing shivered beside me in terror at the thunderstorm, his butt uncomfortably close to my pillow as house vibrated with every nearby CRASH of thunder.  I held him tightly, partly to calm him and partly to keep from sliding off the little sliver of bed left to me.  Doze off BOOOOOM doze off BOOOOOM … repeat.  I finally sort of oozed out of bed and foggily tried making some coffee.  Note to self:  put the K-cup IN the coffee maker if you prefer coffee over a mug of hot water.

The previous Friday hubs had directed the house painters to sever what he thought was a dead DirecTV cable coming into the house and, yep, soon as he sat to watch the news it was sadly discovered the wire had been, in fact, and as you’ve already guessed:  Live.  I’m gonna bet you also know which of us spent 45 minutes on a Friday evening calling customer service numbers only to be told to call a different customer service number only to be told to call a different customer service ad nauseam.  I did finally connect with a charming young man named Andy who was originally from South Dakota and who sounded just like my family; within a minute I was pronouncing it South DahkoatAH and yep you bettin’ all over the place.  It was old home week in a customer service phone center microcosm and I suddenly desired thick black coffee in a china cup and lemon pie with a meringue top sweating slightly where the sugar had been sprinkled, served on a mismatched china dessert plate.

At 7:37 am Monday, while I was still trying to figure out why my coffee tasted like hot water, the phone rang.  What.  The.  Hell?  DirecTV, scheduled for 8am-Noon, was on their way – and actually showed up at 7:59.  I don’t know what kind of business they are running there, hiring nice young men to effectively handle your service call and then sending a nice service man out – on time – to fix your cable – without telling you that he needs something he doesn’t have on his truck and he’ll be back in an hour only to return next month.  They cannot continue to do business like this, it is not the American Way of Truth And Justice and Liberty For All Amen Baby Jeezus In Your Little Wooden Crib Filled With Straw Where Is The Remote.  (You don’t have a remote, Baby Jesus, remember?  It wasn’t invented yet.)

Meanwhile I had a morning appointment scheduled with Dr. K because who actually thought DirecTV would really show up?  So now their promptness and fine customer service have caused me a problem because I’m a cynic.  I do believe it is my right to remain cynical and I do not appreciate them trying to disabuse me of my hard-earned cynicism.   I was forced to read Letters to the Editor twice at lunch just to restore my lack of faith in humanity.  I called and – of course – Dr. K’s fine office staff promptly answered the phone and graciously re-scheduled me for noon, which, for all I know, was Dr. K’s lunch time.  It would be just like them to be really nice like that.  And I bet they don’t read the idiot Letters to the Editor and yell at the newsprint, either.

So two Mondays ago I had a little extra trouble with the whole brain thing.  As you both know, I have a little bit of a daily fight with depression.  Whenever I finally see Little Baby Jesus in His Crib His Daddy Made Him we are going to have a talk about the issue.  However, and until that time, I’m stuck with this damn brain, made of cells and electonicals and neutriniums and chemicals that all function on some scientific level, leaving me to expect it to be rational which, apparently, once filtered through the physical composition of a body, it can no longer be.  Created to be rational, born into irrationality.  Grey rainy cold days don’t help.  More caffeine does.  Social media helps.  People post uplifting crap about being Zen and smelling the roses and putting your best foot forward helps.  They post stupid pictures and videos that make you laugh, which helps.  I can’t prove it, but I have also begun to suspect there are people out there who actually post stuff – on purpose – that will make me either LOL or say dammit.  Dammit.

After a bunch more grey cloudy drizzly days that week, Monday dawned last week:  grey, cloudy, drizzly and miserable.  This time, however, I didn’t even have internet to lift my flagging spirits because, as opposed to the DirecTV people, AT&T was desperately trying to reach new lows in customer service and doing a damn fine job of it with little or no apparent effort whatsoever.  Flushed with success after the TV issue, I decided to call AT&T about the irritating and increasingly loud hum in the phone which also disconnected internet for a couple of minutes every time I answered a call.  Fortunately the only people calling are debt collectors and that guy from prison in the Philippines, but, still.

I knew it was a mistake, I’d known all along not to be expecting this to be a quick fix and sure enough the guy they sent out Thursday, the Invisible Man, who never actually showed up at my house, asked me any questions or checked back after invisibly not fixing the issue: didn’t fix the issue.  What Mr. Invisible Serviceman did, actually, was leave us with no connection whatsoever, as I discovered Friday morning when my internet and phone were dead.   Another 45 minutes of AT&T service call hell YES YOU SORRY @#&^%&!!! PIECE OF @#&^$$$!! THAT YOUR MOTHER CREATED IN A FRYING PAN, AS I’VE SAID 87 TIMES, THAT IS MY CORRECT PHONE NUMBER, do you have trust issues??? (I’d like to point out here that at this time I was yelling at the computer that answered the phone, not a real person from India.)  (I would not yell like that at a live person.  I might say to them, “I’m so incredibly frustrated, here, and I’m kinda mad, but I understand it is not your personal fault.”)  (Then, when I hung up, then I would definitely yell at them.  YOUR MOTHER WAS A HAMSTER AND YOUR FATHER SMELT OF ELDERBERRIES! I would yell, randomly shoving my fists in the air in a slugging motion.)

Picking up the first index card in the pile, the service person read carefully, “Yes, Mrs. Upset Person, your phone line does appear to be dead.”  NO SHIT, SHERLOCK!!!! I screamed silently in my head, my eyeballs bulging.

“Yes, I understand I have no service.  This is why I am calling you, my new favoritest person in the world.”

Looking through their alphabetically ordered index cards, the phone answering person found the Conciliatory Reply index card and replied, reading slowly, “I am sorry you are having this problem.  We here at AT&T value you as a customer and think you are probably a fine upstanding person who does not yell at people inside their mind, and we want to help you because we value you, and we are here to help you. How may I help you?”

If I continue typing the rest of the conversation I will A) have carpel tunnel syndrome B) scare the poop out of Mo again and C) have to beg the doctor for a Zanax which I don’t really have time to wait for since their office is closed on Wednesday, plus driving to the pharmacy is difficult once your head has completely exploded.

It turns out that my valued, cherished, esteemed and highly regarded relationship with AT&T was of such importance that they eventually scheduled a service call – for the internet THEY broke – for Tuesday no later than 6pm.  Five days hence.

And they weren’t kidding.

Hmmmm. I see what happened there…

…when I left the house for thirty minutes to help a desperate friend in need.

Chunker and Murphy will be spending some hours in time out.  And I’ve taken away their phones so don’t bother trying to text them.

Becky and I both work from home, alone in our lonely, cold garrets, surrounded by wadded up Taco Bell wrappers and discarded K-cups, huddled in the chill in our pajama pants and Uggs, wearing our favorite sweatshirt emblazoned YIPPY SKIPPY RUN 2001, the fleece covered with pilled lumps of thread, talking to pretend people on Facebook and blogging with our animals who are treated better than any child ever was.

Becky’s job requires actual work, as opposed to mine, and she has to type many very big words that have a lot of the alphabet in each one and include many z’s, x’s and y’s – which are the hardest keys to find, you know, stuck down in the corner of the keyboard like an afterthought.

After 7 straight hours of transcription Becky sat back, stretched, and her eyeballs fell out onto her desk.  She managed to find them although she did accidentally knock one off onto the floor and it rolled under the credenza which took her a while; she finally slid it out with a yardstick.  She wandered crookedly into the kitchen for a cup of coffee to help wipe the cobwebs from her addled brain.

Her brain intoned, “I spy with our dusty little eye that we only have three K-cups.  This is nowhere near enough to fill the IV bag.”  Then her brain started to scream, “NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Becky wandered back to her desk, frightened and alone, all alone with only Brain and three K-cups in the house.  “I only have three K-cups to last me until tomorrow.  Good-bye.  I loved you all.” she typed to her imaginary friends on FB.

I’LL SAVE YOU!  I replied! and I leapt or lept or leaped in my trusty Explorer, Babs, and brought her coffee and saved her life and that of her family and probably several neighbors!  I was a hero!  News Channel Zippy wanted to interview me!  But I’m humble and loving and giving and told the reporter than I needed no reward or recognition for saving my friend, her family, the neighborhood and, probably, actually, the world.

And you know the rest of the story.  I left the computer open in my haste and apparently Chunker and Murphy had a little verbal sparring contest with my blog.  I apologize and I would make them write an apology too but I believe they would enjoy that too much.

Flush with her success, Chunk has become a terror today.  I heard a faint mewing and tracked her down in the closet, on a pile of boxes, trying to climb up and walk across the hangers.  When she saw me she jumped down and wandered regally down the hallway.  “What?  There’s nothing to see here,” her tail twitched.  She jumped up on the bathroom counter so fast she skidded into Mo, knocking him into the sink.  Ignoring him, she then tried to grab my arm to turn on the water, which I did just so I could watch her shove her snooty nose in the air and jump back down.  She’s terrorized Mo, attacked the bedskirt, tried to eat the fern then turned, jumped on the desk and slid to the other side falling off onto the chair, smacked Murphy on the nose for no reason whatsoever and then, when I came upstairs to work, I found this:

chunker 2.19.13

And her royal highness, seated on my laptop, was searching online:

print job

Apparently she either needs glasses or needs to dust her eyeballs because she had enlarged the screen.  And she doesn’t seem to know exactly how to spell oy vey, but I have a feeling I know what her next comments about me were going to be.

happy freaking friday. at least my socks match.

On behalf of the Blah Contingent everywhere, I have this to say:

happy.  freaking.  friday.

And how are both of you, my loyal and faithful blog followers, may the gods of insurance continue to approve and pay for all your meds?

I was flying pretty high after last Saturday, it took me until Tuesday evening to crash.  Wednesday Becky started buddy training with me at Killer’s.  Killer would give me a set to do – “Terri, do three sets of these four exercises 16 to 20 reps.”  Then she would work with Becky.  Actually it was more that she worked Becky over.  In the nicest way possible, of course, because Killer is a very sweet person upon whom I have an enormous Girl Crush and she would never do anything to hurt someone.  She might do things to help them get stronger which would have the side effect of lasting pain and the inability to raise your arm high enough to brush your teeth or put a hat on your miserable unwashed hair, but, heh, shit happens.

Still suffering delusions of grandeur I figured if I could do a half marathon I could certainly do 25 lat pull downs.  If 20 is good, 25 is better, right?  And since my hip flexors and glutes are a source of trouble, let’s just show them and do 30 monster walks instead of 20, dammit.  When Killer put the bands around my ankles for the monster walks Becky’s eyeballs boinged out of her head like a Looney Tunes character.  “What fresh new hell is THAT?” she asked.  I think maybe Becky needs a Xanax before our next workout.

one louder

It’s one better.

Thursday when I woke and considered going swimming and realized that would include having to raise my arms high enough to put on the swimming hair condom, and that swimming involves kicking, which means my legs would have to actually move, I decided I would sit that one out.  Becky and I messaged each other, careful not to raise our arms any further than needed to reach a keyboard.

I cheered Becky up by noting that her post #fatass #slacker  should be #F’ingawesomemarathoner #Killertriedtokillme.  She laughed and then cried when her abs engaged.

This morning I woke at 7:30am, reluctantly, and had about 13 cups of coffee which had no beneficial effect whatsoever.

Becky couldn’t join us today and when I tried to do bicep curls and couldn’t lift the weights Killer called it a day.  I went home, had some more coffee and took a nap for an hour.  Then I made some green tea with lemon just to switch up the caffeine source and sat around looking at the dog hair floating up off the stairs.  I tell you what, the hair all over this house – and I’ve started brushing him daily, so in theory a lot of that hair should already be in the trash, but, no – he should weigh about 8 pounds and be completely bald.

hairless dog

His mother would still love him, however.  Probably she would love him even more since it would save so much vacuuming.

I know, that looks like a cat. It’s not.

(ed. Note:  yes, those are too cats)

(dammit.  I searched for hairless dogs.)

(cat note:  Cats Rule.  Dogs Drool.)

(DAMMIT CHUNK QUIT HIJACKING MY BLOG)

I need to get some more socks.  They’ve started getting saggy and they bunch up in my shoe.  I only wear one kind of sock, Thorlo running socks with the knit-in cushion.  Also I wear them inside out.  The knitting is softer on the outside.  It’s like when they put all the seams on the inside of a running bra.  Gentlemen manufacturing jog bras:  No.  Stop that.  No inside seams.  Or, go ahead and continue doing that, but wear that sucker on a long run your own self.  Preferably a long hot sweaty one, and let’s see how that chafing feels when you get in the shower.  Why waste all the softness on the outside?  Do you put the fleece blanket on fleece side out?  I think not.  Guess what I figured out?  I wear the jog bra inside out too.  With brains like these I should not be able to carry the weight of my head on my poor tired shoulders.

Oddly, since all my children have left home all my socks have stayed.  I do the laundry.  All the socks match with their mates.  Running socks, hub’s black socks for work, funny little bicycle socks – they all hang around and match up.  Every single time. You’d think I was running a coffee shop with a dating match-up event for socks.

I clearly remember it was so unusual that all the socks in a load of laundry for six people would match up that one day when they did and there were no orphans to shove in the corner with the rest of the orphaned socks, I was so excited that I called my friend and announced, I just washed 27 pair of socks AND THEY ALL MATCHED.

She did not believe me and accused me of lying.  Well, OK, maybe she didn’t say outright that I lied.  But her snorts were quite obvious.

This is what I think.  I think socks hate children.  My kids moved out, all my socks stayed.  I’m just saying.

The other side of this is children think their parents had sex exactly the same number of times there are children.  It’s obvious that socks are sexual beings.  It’s also obvious that they have very loose morals.  And I believe that is part of the disappearing issue.  The socks are leaving the house in order not to corrupt the children.  Once the children are gone, no need to hide their socksuality.  Also they are much older socks, now, and a Friday night spent with you, propped on the footstool on your feet, while you eat 98% fat free popcorn and watch the five episodes of the Colbert Report which you recorded this week – this is a wild and crazy time.  You spend a crazy Friday night like that and on Saturday morning you do laundry, you’ll find those socks are much to tired to go roaming.

Finally, here’s my friend Julianne’s take on the issue:

  • Look! There’s a dating service for them! Let’s pray the Thorlos never get wind of this!
    Photo
    Terri Lee:   YAY!!! I wonder if they are seeking casual sox?
    Julianne: Well you see them hanging out just asking for it.
    Terri Lee:  True.  I hope none of them act like a heel.
    Julianne:  They should all toe the mark.
    Dan: Looks like they’re instep with each others desires.
    Terri Lee:  Well.  I’ll be darned.

Got a lotta d@mn nerve…

It’s 45 degrees, windy, solid grey skies.  I’m sipping some Gingerbread K-Cup and looking at the lake.

At least now, while I’m looking at the lake, the pontoon is tied to the dock.  As opposed to earlier, when it nearly wasn’t.

Lazy Saturday morning, I’m warm and comfy in my fleece, sipping the Nectar of Gods Keeping All Humanity Safe when I notice the pontoon is sideways to the dock and trying to escape.  Maybe it has a crush on the party barge across the cove.  They do have a ladder to the roof, where they have a slide down to the lake.  I’m rather jealous, myself, of that slide.  The pontoon had managed to slip every moor but one and had enlisted the wind to assist in its escape.

It took hubs about four tries to get the boat parallel to the dock without the wind blowing it back sideways and we were able to get a rope around the back end.  Meanwhile Murphy barked and ran back and forth like he was on the Titanic and we were all going to die.  “SHUT UP!” I yelled, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ON THE DAMN BOAT!” which did exactly nothing to improve the situation.  It’s now tied to the dock like a gangster tied up in a trunk and hubs is at Lowe’s buying some heavy-duty hardware.  At least he won’t be bored this morning, just sitting around enjoying the newspaper or something, right?

Oh, and while I sit here my a$$ and hamstring are pinging like I’d just stuck my toe in the lake while holding a live wire.  ZZZZZat!  ZZZZat!!!

I’m an adult.  I’m over 21, I’m an adult and still I find myself constantly having to remind myself that I need to pull up my big girl panties and act like one.  After Dr. Googling and icing and stretching and grumbling and basically acting like a whiny baby jerk I finally folded.  I went to see a local sports ortho.

What should my next tattoo be?  on my eyeballs?  “Go to the experts, SmartA$$?”

She thinks I have a nerve issue, possibly a pinched nerve.  I have a Medrol dose pack, muscle relaxer, Lidocaine lotion, PT, and an appointment for a nerve conduction test.  She has told me to run short and slow Sunday, and report back Monday.

I GET TO RUN TWO MILES!!!!!!

WE’RE ALL GOING TO LIVE!!

I LOVE POLITICIANS!

Whoa, slow down girl, get a grip.

I’ve promised Our Lady Queen of Pain that I am going to go see her every month for the rest of my life.  I’m going to give up cussing.  I’ll quit drinking coffee.

Obviously the muscle relaxer is working, at least on my brain.

Murph lends hubs moral support.  No opposable thumbs so he’s not very good with the knot tying, though.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:  Cat, Coffee Mug, Kahlua K-Cup and *sigh*

So, like, you’re not wearing that out in public, right?

Long, long ago when we still carved letters in stone with other stones I was driving a couple of my precious offspring to school.  This was a really nice thing of me, since they could have taken the bus and saved me about 45 extra minutes trying to get them to school and me to work, but, hey, I’m not asking for special treatment, and I understand you have your monstrous Science Fair Project (may the inventor of Science Fair Projects rot forever beneath tons of poster board, dead plants and teeth decayed by Coca-Cola) which won’t actually fit on the bus.  No one ever mentioned all this in the contract in the Labor & Delivery Department of the Hospital, but that’s my fault for not reading the small print although I could point out that I was IN LABOR AT THE TIME, hello?? and kinda busy.

As we were driving down the street the school bus pulled alongside.

“DUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” screamed my female offspring, scooching down in the seat and covering her head with her arms to avoid the incoming shrapnel.

‘WHAT??  WHAT???” I asked in a panic, searching rear view mirrors and traffic for incoming runaway trains or out-of-control Cadillacs driven by white-haired ladies whose eyes are only 3″ above the dashboard.

“THE BUS! It’s THE BUS!  They’ll see you driving!”

Ahhhh.  The car is supposed to just drive itself?  Levitate?  Beam up Scottie and deposit him at the school steps?

Do I have three eyes?  Frighten small children and dogs?  Severe halitosis?

She used to look at me when I came into the kitchen dressed to go somewhere.   She was in high school, she knew styling and profiling.  “You’re not wearing that are you?” she’d ask.

I’d look down.  Clothes: check.  Shoes:  check.   Boogers hanging out of nose:  no.  Check.

“What?” I’d ask.

“It’s black.”  “It’s long.”  “It’s not black.”  “It’s short.”  would be a reply.  The truth was, I looked like a mom.

She went to college for a year and then moved back home from the dorm.  Having decorated her dorm room (etched mirror resembling a bar sign, donated coffee table, mis-matched chairs hidden under matching throws, wine bottle vases with dried, dead roses) she knew quite a bit about everything and insisted the bookshelves should be re-done; that pillow didn’t look right, there; what is that plant thing on the table?  She’d come in at 10pm with her friends and start making dinner.  In the kitchen.  Which was next to the bedroom (poor planning, I know.  I didn’t build the house).  Eventually I had a talk with Hubs.  We figured out the cost of the dorm and meal ticket and paid her to leave.  Dorm and meal ticket, or an apartment split with a friend, whatever she wanted, $xx was hers monthly, love ya, buh-bye.

The only thing worse was when I hit menopause the same time Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum hit puberty.  That all three of us survived is proof there is a God and He doesn’t want me doing time.  I would go to pick them up.  I was not to leave the car.  Preferably the tinted windows would be rolled up and I would remain, still and quiet, hidden behind glass.  Apparently my children wanted their friends to think they were spawned in a pond somewhere.  One time I had business to do at the school and got out of the car.  I visited for a minute with another mother.  They came out, horror evident on their faces.  “MOM!  What are you doing??  LET’S GO!  Get in the car!”

I began walking back to the car.  As I crossed the parking lot I shouted, “I’M (KID ONE) AND (KID TWO)’S MOM!!!”  Other mothers shouted back, “HI Terri!”

And yet, they lived.  The earth did not swallow them up despite their fervent wishes.

Now they’re grown up and gone, it doesn’t matter if I get out of the car, and no one cares what I’m wearing.  Including me.  When it’s warm:  my favorite shorts (I have two) and my favorite t-shirt (I have three) or leggings and my favorite baggy t-shirt (one of each).  Flip Flops.  When it’s cold:  jeans, sweatshirt, Uggs.

Sometimes after I’ve been working out I stop at the grocery.  I’ve got on wet running shorts, wet running t-shirt, I’ve thrown on an old men’s fleece jacket that I picked up off a race course once (I WASHED it!) and keep in the car for these emergencies.  My hair is a sodden ponytail on my head and I’m red-faced and make-up free.

It’s incredibly liberating.  I don’t care.  I’ve thought carefully about this.  Where is my pride?  Where is my honor?  Where is my sense of shame?

Last night I had to meet the hubs downtown at Fancy Hotel for a trade association reception and dinner.  I actually fixed my hair instead of cramming it into a clip on my head.  I wore a new dress, which I spent about 74% of the evening desperately pulling down since my knees were showing and I felt it was far too short.  I put on makeup.  (Note:  When you jab your eye with a mascara wand it stings like an SOB and you look like a raccoon.  Do not do this.)  I wore some cute slip-ons with a 2″ heel.  Pearl earrings.

I parked and immediately nearly fell over getting out of the car; my heel slipped off the shoe and I was standing there with the front of my foot in the shoe and the heel of the shoe sideways next to my foot.    It took me ten minutes to get to the hotel from the car as I carefully stepped, slipped, tripped, repeat.

Slip slidin’ away
Slip slidin’ away
You know the nearer your destination
The more you’re slip slidin’ away

Hubs kept saying how nice I looked.  He didn’t duck when other people saw me and he held open doors.  I just kept walking slowly and regally so I wouldn’t fall on my ass, making my too short dress slide up to my armpits and causing the eyeballs of many people to be permanently scarred from the view of my foundation garments and overflowing white flesh.

Anyway, Ciao!  I’ve got to go, need to run to the grocery.  I have on one of my favorite shorts and t-shirts, flip-flops, my hair mashed on top of my head with a clip and no makeup.  Where is my pride?  Where is my honor?  Where is my sense of shame?

Crammed in the corner of the bedroom next to the little black dress and those damned shoes.  BUH-BYE!!!

Cooooffffffffeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…… Endorphinnnnnnnnnnnnsssss

I had not realized until I returned from Arizona after my father’s funeral how much I’d been focused, in the past year, on constantly getting the most important things done as much as possible in case I had to leave in a hurry again, and leaving everything else for later.  Now that I’m also newly resolved not to work weekends I find I’m enjoying things a bit more.  I don’t feel so overwhelmed and I am energized about cleaning out drawers, closets, piles of paper I’ve stuck in a corner, the shoes I threw in the closet and whose laces have now intermarried (which makes me sound like a potential candidate for Hoarders but truly it wasn’t that bad.  No towers of newspapers have crushed any family members or pets).

It’s been interesting.  I’ve found I never ordered child #4’s college graduation pics.  Do you think it’s too late now?  I need never buy another pair of nail clippers, tweezers or scissors. And THAT’S where my daytimer is.  Maybe it will be more useful now that I know where it is.

Update on Chunker:  SHE USED THE LITTER BOX.  Then: SHE USED IT AGAIN.  And she repeated the process repeatedly!!  YAY!  So guess what.  I’m leaving town again Tuesday through Saturday and that will probably throw her back over the edge.  I’m hoping #4 isn’t too upset about the unordered grad pics since he’s house sitting and I need to convince him to spray the pheromones everywhere, which will probably cause his eyeballs to roll so far back into his head that I’ll have to smack him so he can see again; he’s not really into catering to animals.  He thinks we’re supposed to be in charge, not the dog or cat.  I keep telling him I am in charge but he doesn’t seem to believe me.

Just a second, I have to go give the dog a cookie, be right back.

OK, I’m back.  By the way, while I was in the kitchen I decided I wanted an orange.  It was reeeeeellllly good.  Yum.  Murphy likes oranges too.  He waits beside me while I eat it so he can have 1/2 of the last section, which I always save for him.  So anyway for some reason my kids all think I spoil the animals which I think is extremely cynical of them.  Hopefully #4 won’t be so cynical that he won’t spray the pheromones.  Also he’ll have to let her sleep with him.  And Murphy too.  They both need to sleep with him so they don’t get lonely.  Speaking of animals, #3 offspring has this habit, when you’re out somewhere with him and he wants to get your attention, he whistles for you just like you were a dog, that dog calling whistle, you know?  And it’s so irritating because every. single. time. I turn when he whistles.  And then – he laughs.  dammit.

Since I was in a funk yesterday I kept thinking, “I don’t want to do that”  “I don’t want to do that, either” so I made myself take the pile of little naggly stuff that needs to be done, and none of it will take more than 5-10 minutes, but you’re doing something else right now so you’ll do it next and finally the pile is like 3″ tall and now it’s looking at you going nanner nanner nanner you need to take care of me and you think, stupid pile of stuff to do, I HATE you.  Then you realize you just said I hate you to an inanimate pile of paper, which is something you should probably definitely not bring up with the doctor at your next physical, so you decide to go eat a nice sweet juicy orange to feel better.  And this is why, when you return to your desk the next morning, the creepy pile is still sitting there making weird eyes at you like that money used to do in that Geico commercial.

But this time I looked it straight in the eyeballs, pulled it over to me and started working from the top down.  YAY!  No more creepy To Do pile staring at me!!  Great feeling of accomplishment.  I was so energized that I went to Lowe’s and bought some plants.  That was fun.  This morning I putzed on the patio and got them all in pots.  Now on top of spraying pheromones everywhere #4 is going to have to water my plants.  And I wonder why none of my children have ever wanted to come back home to live.

I’ve been thinking I haven’t posted any drawings on my world-famous blog lately and I bet both of you, my faithful followers, are pretty sad.  I bet it’s pretty much ruined everything for you and I want to exhort you to please get out of bed, take a shower and put on some clean clothes and cheer up because while cleaning out things, I found a post I’d written in January and drew a picture for but never posted.  So now you can read a blog that is five months old.  But just think about those days in January when it was so cold outside.  That will make us all feel better tomorrow morning on our run when it’s 90 degrees and 50% humidity.

Ciao!  Gonna go vacuum!! FUN!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

4am and the cat is on my head.

The hubs has sometimes indicated that he does not believe I am an optimistic person.  I refute that.  Anyone that can spend the last 6 months going to bed every single night thinking surely this is the night that the cat will not be on my head at 4am tomorrow has to be an optimist.  Or too lazy to put the cat out of the bedroom, but I refute that too.

4:39am and I surrender.  Cat has the tenacity of a two-year-old after another cookie.  If I have to get up and carry her down two flights of stairs I will be wide awake and unable to go back to sleep anyway sooooo……

I get up and, in the dark, put on the first clothes I can reach which feel like pants and a shirt (later, downstairs, I notice that today I am looking 4:39am Fine in my rocking awesome plaid fleece bell bottoms, an XL flannel shirt and inside out Thorlos in Nike slides – I don’t know, I like them inside out –  later hubs mentions I might look a bit like I’m homeless – this time of day I should look like I’m Miss America with a cat on my head?) and I head for the stairs.

Immediately I trip over Cat who is bouncing up and down the steps in glee and joy Crunchies Crunchies Crunchies spinspinspin in happy circles Crunchies MOM Crunchies MOMMOMMOM.  Having done this every day since she learned to go up the stairs you’d think by now I’d remember to look for her under my feet.  But this is pre-caffeine and we’re all just happy I’m still breathing which, if it weren’t a reflex, I might also forget.

I visit the Shrine of Mr. Coffee, Oh Great Coffee Maker that I love, you Grinder of Beans, you Haven of dark steaming caffeine goodness, you.  Pour rich blackness into my favorite handmade mug, spinninghungryCrunchiesCRUNCHIES!PAIN!ANXIETY! Cat now desperate for food before she dies, underfoot and climbing my leg in desperation I’m starving NOW!MOM!  I turn toward the stairs and she is off, a blur of calico doing 90 to her food dish.  Crunchies finally in her bowl, safe from starvation for another day and I rock.

At 5am in January it’s dark and it’s cold and while I know others that run outside this time of the morning, I’m bagging it and going to the Y and run the hamster track.  You can catch endorphins inside as easily as you can outside.  They vary in size, but the effect is the same.  Inside endorphins are smaller and more densely packed in the atmosphere of a gym; they don’t have as much space so they can’t grow as large, but since they are more densely populated you end up with the same effect.  Outdoor endorphins, on the other hand, are larger but also spaced further apart – they have room to grow and to roam.  You can see that the end result is the same:  fewer large endorphins or more small endorphins.

I fire up the iPod and hit the track, sympathizing with Pink that someone’s gonna get in a fight and I’m feeling the legs loosen up, my lungs opening, stride starting to smooth out.  I shake out my hands and loosen my shoulders while I visit with Credence down on the corner and by the second mile Lady Gaga and I are discussing her bad romance while endorphins start sticking to me.  I think highly of anyone who runs or walks or walk/runs or whatever they do for fitness – but the guy running in front of me is much younger than I and for some reason today that irritates me.  I don’t want him in front of me being all young.   However: miles 3 & 4 are slated for some intervals and soon I’m flying past, striding to Blitzkrieg Bop and thinking that I may be closer to 60 than 50 but I can pass your a– I mean, I can pass you up.  Two miles of intervals and I have a bunch more endorphins stuck all over me, I think I’ve even got some in my hair.  Two mile cool down, some Motown pops up and I give ear to the Temptations talking about their girl.  By the time I’m done I’ve got endorphins clustered all over the place and they are buzzing.  Grab some coffee at the counter and head home to the day –

Coffee and Endorphins, Breakfast of Champions.

Here’s a nice picture of endorphins in case you don’t know what they look like:

Plotting my demise?

It’s Tuesday morning and I am not obligated to be anywhere today.  I can run later this afternoon when the sun comes out HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  Weather.com says the sun will be out this afternoon and I am basing my plans on that, innocent trusting idiot that I am.  Yesterday weather.com promised us rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow, sending the citizens of this fair city into a spiraling morass of fear, concern and confusion about the predicted state of the roads, closing of schools and did they have enough loaves of bread to live through the night when they got snowed in, all while secretly hoping it would, indeed, be The Storm of 2012 and we’d all be forced to sit in our warm homes doing nothing but FB and Farmville.  Since it never got below 32 degrees we all sighed resignedly and went back to being adults.

So anyway, here I am at the desk avoiding anything remotely resembling grownup work and blogging instead.  I’ve probably never mentioned this, but I have a pair of plaid bell bottomed fleece pants that are without any doubt The. Most. Awesome. Fleece. Pants. Intheworld. which I am wearing right now, sitting at my desk, warm and comfy with my cup of coffee, thank you baby Jesus in your little wooden crib that your daddy might have made for you.

Chunk is being horrid today.  I do not know what is going on with her.  Last night she treated the bed as a trampoline, my undercover toes as batting practice and pummeled Murph’s poor head like a tether ball, then sweetly climbed on me, put her little soft nose up to mine, sniffed, and plopped down, gazing up lovingly.

Chunk gazing lovingly at me.

At 2am she was awkwardly crawling across my head and trying to attack the night stand which I can promise has never done anything to her and she ended up shut downstairs.

This morning she played undercover cop with the bath towels (like I don’t know she’s here?  eh?  look at the size of that butt!)

Later, returning from the Lourdes of coffee pots with a fresh load of brew in my handmade pottery cup, I see the monkey asleep on my keyboard (she jumped when she saw me)

She bolted out of the room like her ass was on fire and I couldn’t get a pic of that.

Five minutes later she was back, sucking up, crawling on my lap and kneading my incredible fleece pants into a bed.

Here’s the thing.  I’ve been thinking about this and I’ve been assimilating all these clues.  And then one of my BRFF’s, LisaO, sent me this chart (Below).  Suddenly I see.  (background music for your listening pleasure:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tlU-1u1JC8)

1.  Kneading on me – every day, and while we’re at it, is she really accidentally awkwardly walking across my head every night…?

2.  Hiding in dark places and watching me – I did see you under that towel, girl.

3.  Excessive shoveling of kitty litter – I decided no photo of the littler box, I know both of you will be grateful.

4.  Sleeping on my computer – –

5.  Staring contest – – –

6. Sprinting at light speed out of any room I enter – – – –

She’s plotting to kill me. 

If you don’t hear from me in the next few days, someone send help.  Meanwhile I’ve shut myself in the office with the coffee pot.  I figure I can always call for pizza delivery, they can pass it through the window.

Running is Community, Part 2

“Running is not, as it so often seems, only about what you did in your last race or about how many miles you ran last week. It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.” – Richard O’Brien

I’m really happy right now with my running.  I’m feeling pretty lucky and pretty blessed.  When I think about running it is a warm, happy, comfy feeling, like sitting on the couch in the early morning, watching the sun come up, holding a cup of coffee with the dog and cat next to me.

Thinking about the actual run I’m going to do today:  Not So Much.

I’m tired.  I’m physically tired every day right now, which I expected when I committed to this training plan.  My legs feel tired and heavy when I get up.  I shuffle off to the Shrine of Coffee, Cuisinart Automatic Grind and Brew Thermal™  in my awesome plaid bell bottom fleece pants, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt.  Hugging my mug of coffee I go to get the paper and think, well, it’s not horribly cold out.

However:  I will not be doing my run in the windless lee of the house wearing  my awesome warm plaid bell bottom fleece pants, I will be running in the open (damp, grey, breezy) 32 degree air in tights and a tech shirt.  Today I feel like being Rocky Balboa and putting on heavy grey sweats which weigh about 10 pounds.  Every run lately – while I happily and freely admit that we’re having a warmer and drier winter than usual – is cold.  The last time I ran in the sun was a week ago and before that I don’t know (and don’t want to, it will just depress me).  Grey skies, windy, damp air; I never feel warmed up.  I feel hunched and pulled in and my fingers go white and numb even in gloves.

Yesterday it was beautifully sunny when I left the house to work with my trainer, aka The Boss.  90 minutes later when it was time to head for the run?  Grey.  SURPRISE.  Windy.  SURPRISE.  Cold.  SURPRISE.  And there I was in shorts, singlet and L/S tech shirt.  Did I not just do the same thing on Sunday?  Will I never learn?

And do I have a windbreaker and gloves in the car?  No.  They are clean and folded…in the laundry room.  At.  Home.

But I’m holding an ace:  one of my BRFF’s is waiting in the parking lot for me.  Beckybee and I head into the wind.  Every time we changed direction on our course the wind came along with us.  After the first mile we got the kinks and the sighs and the groans shook out and when the 6 dogs rushed into the street at us and we found ourselves maxed on adrenaline we had each other to laugh shakily at, and when I forgot to turn my Garmin back on Beckybee still had hers running and we talked and ran and forgot the wind and in a couple minutes we’d covered four miles.

I’m holding the same ace today.  I have 7 to do and Beckybee is doing the last three with me, and that will get me out the door when the grey skies push down on my head and I want to go back to bed.

“It is, in a much more important way, about community, about appreciating all the miles run by other runners, too.”

I do appreciate the miles of others, the miles that push me out the door so I won’t leave a fellow runner stranded in the parking lot, the miles that runners post on FB and on challenge pages, the miles taken to reach the finish line for charities, the miles I see run in every weather everywhere (weather a lot colder, wetter, snowier and icier than I’m dealing with).  When I do run alone – and I like that too, I like the time for my brain to sort through everything and throw out the trash – I’m still held up by this community of runners.  Thank you all.

As pointed out by a concerned friend…

…there could be a valid reason to be concerned about Chunker’s motives.  Her earlier defensiveness, which I interpreted as desire to remain cuddled on my lap out of love and devotion for me could be, in reality, the fact that she believes she is involved in a relationship with my awesome Plaid Bell Bottom Fleece pants.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

*SOB*

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