Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Dogs Smell Like Popcorn, Let's Keep It That Way

It's been a while since I've posted a good rant. One is overdue.

I have written before about my aversion to things that stink, like perfumes, colognes, and all the other overly scented crap that people put on their bodies trying to smell like a, I'm not sure, anything other than a human being. Note number two, which is exactly how it smells to me...way at the top of the list, of Fifteen random facts about me.

When you come near me, I can smell you. If you're on the trail and you run by, I can smell you then too. You've already fouled my air, albeit temporarily. At least you didn't physically contact me with that crap, and it will eventually dissipate in the wind.

If you want to stink up your own space, that's fine. You probably can't even smell yourself because you've overloaded your scent receptors.

But don't put it on my dog!!

People stink. If they would just allow themselves to smell like human beings without trying to cover something up- what, I'm not sure, but whatever odor comes from body cannot possibly be as offensive or obtrusive as something you buy and put on yourself for the scent.

It drives me absolutely insane when I want to inhale the perfectly intoxicating puppy scent of my little girl, her popcorn scented feet and all, sometimes she smells like maple syrup, sometimes like popcorn, sometimes like dog food farts. But all of these are preferable than the scent of some human who patted her on the head and in doing so, wiped their scent onto my dog's fur, and I can't get rid of it.

If I wanted to smell YOU on my dog, I would send her over to visit you, to take showers with you, while you soap her up and shampoo her with your disgusting fragrances, your deodorants, your dryer sheets, your sprays and lotions and detergents and who knows what else you smear in, on, and around your body and home.

Yesterday I was at the vet and this bozo in front of me checking out at the front desk came over and without asking, started patting Velcro on her head. I could smell the wafting stench when he reached for her and I pulled back. Instead of respecting that I didn't want him to touch her, instead, he moved closer, as if SHE had moved away. "It's okay, I'm just going to pet you, you're so cute."

No, dude. I moved back to keep your foul fragrance off of my dog so she doesn't have to suffer through it and I don't either. We'll both have to deal with that smell until I can find some way to get it off of her. And that shit stinks! The oils in that crap don't come off easily with soap and water, and I don't want to torture my puppy with a bath just so I can breathe!

This guy needs to go back to kindergarten and learn not to touch strange dogs and to keep his hands to himself.

I think I might have to make some kind of a service dog-looking vest with a sign on it that says, please do not touch me without asking my mom if you pass the scent test.

That's another pet peeve of mine (love the pun), when you go to the vet and one of the staff has something stinky on them and it stays on your dog. Fortunately yesterday they were scent-free as far as I could tell.

At the vet it's always a crapshoot. Usually it's one of the vet techs and I need to ask them to please wash their hands because they have some holy hell awful flowery smelling garbage on that lingers for days on your puppy's ears or somewhere, not what you want to smell when you want a face full of puppy.

And I'm not the only one... here and here and here.

My dear friends, I might love you very much and tolerate your fragrance, but I can't take it anymore. If you want to come see Velcro, please, as much as I love you, don't assume I want her to smell like you.

What about you? Do you find some scents offensive and what do you do about it, or do you suffer in silence?

Monday, December 5, 2016

2016 Goal: Attained

I did it. I reached my goal for the year this weekend. Dennis photographed it for the record. I can now bite my toenails on each foot. Thought you'd enjoy reading about that. I actually have 10 toenails right now, well, 9.25 to be accurate. There's that one that never will grow back past the cuticle.

That means I have to think about setting some goals for 2017. Right now I am completely absorbed in being a puppy mom. Velcro is 11 weeks old today and next Thursday we'll be bringing Gypsy home. Photos to follow, of course. Velcro is getting so big! She's still a little puppy but she thinks she's a big dog, and she has a BIG personality. She goes for walks and is surprisingly good on the leash. She can be very sweet but she isn't into cuddling for too long. She'll turn into the Tasmanian Devil Dog in seconds.

Other than being a stay at home dog mom (SAHDM), I've been moving forward with my plans to make changes to my service, Cancer Harbors, and to start working on my book. The break has been good for me.

Last night we were able to leave Velcro in the crate to go out to dinner at the Rio and have margaritas. It's going to be a repeat for the next several weeks until Gypsy gets to this point, but it sure felt like a luxury to be able to leave the house and do something for ourselves!

Biting the left side. That took a long time. I was a lot tighter on this side.

I've been doing a lot more trail running, my ankle has been cooperating with no pain. I'm still only running 30 to 40 miles a week but I feel good when I do it, since I'm only running 4 or 5 days a week.

This morning I had to get up and get one of my tires checked because it keeps losing air, so I parked at Discount Tire and went for a run before they opened. The sunrise was awesome. I'll share some pictures here.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sticking with Velcro

There is not much running content here, but there is someone new in our lives. We went to pick up Miss Velcro in Ogallala, Nebraska last weekend and she has taken over our lives.

Warning: Many cute puppy pictures will follow. She's cute and sweet, and she also has a diabolical side. She can go from sweet innocent puppy to devil dog in a split second. She's an athlete, already has figured out how to climb and descend the stairs, jump over boxes, play fearlessly with dogs three times her size, and knows how to demand things.

I won't spend a lot of time writing this, just showing you what's new in my life. I did have two consistent weeks of running with 30+ miles per week. And we've been doing the Donut Friday runs, except for during our first snowstorm last week, which we made up for today.

Velcro got to see her first snow, and became the boss in a week's time. Her sister Gypsy will be coming to live with us in another 4 weeks.

And this morning at the Donut 5K predict, I placed third at correctly predicting my 5K time without a timing device. I was only 8 seconds off. I guessed 29:30 and ran 29:38. I won a frozen turkey.

I'll have more to report on soon. I have so much more to say.

Right now I can only do things during puppy naps, so it's hard to complete long tasks. Enjoy the cute puppy pictures. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

POWDERphobia

I am seeking peace with myself. I am trying to live with the fact that Donald Trump will be President.

I have accepted that as a fact, but it's like swallowing poison.

What kind of people have I been sharing this country with?

Someone who lives on my street was remarking on the mild weather we've been having this month, and she added, "Glad we don't have to worry about global warming anymore." She really meant that. She's a Trumpeteer all the way.

I cannot believe WTF I am seeing and hearing about, even though I have done my best to avoid social media and the news. Trump won't live up to his promises and he has a bunch of Neanderthals ready to start in his cabinet. I'm terrified of these same neocons, with the same agenda, recycled from the W administration, same players, same old POWDERs. Pasty old white dudes explaining righteously, except now they are proselytizing too, trying to force their Christianity down my throat.

I'm angry now. I've had a week to digest this news and I have seen enough and heard enough that I'm terrified. We need education, intellectual curiosity and stimulation, not entertainment. Too much dumbing down for too long. Ever since Reagan initiated the dumbing down of America, took away the fairness doctrine, we have been headed downhill and setting too low a bar. Then we got Rush Limbaugh. And Fox News. And CNN. And iPhones. And Facebook. We've created a society of imbeciles.

I'm not being PC but I don't give a fuck anymore. Call it what it is. I'm not going to be nice. A bunch of crazy stupid motherfuckers hijacking the country, the Constitution, after having achieved, over more than a generation, a dumbing down of a nation sufficient to make it acceptable to have a neo-Nazi, white supremacist, woman-hating, Bible thumping bunch of scoundrels responsible for running our government.

There is not too much that pisses me off more than someone telling me this is a Christian nation. I was worried about Mitt Romney four years ago, that he would follow the LDS directives before the Constitution, but I am even more afraid of Pence. He has close ties to the Blackwater CEO and I know these crazy hawks are licking their chops for another war. Repeat Bush Cheney, except worse. And then blame it all on Obama. Seems like the collective memory of the years 2001-2008 are completely gone. Washed away like a Big Mac with a Supersize Coke chaser.

It seems like everyone has forgotten about the war crimes and irresponsibility of the Bush Cheney players like Rumsfeld and Ashcroft and their questionable contracts with the war industry. Here we go again, but this time we have a dictator paired with a holy roller instead of an idiot paired with a sociopath. Bush Cheney on steroids, as if they needed them.

I can't keep quiet and I know these words are inflammatory and vitriolic, but speaking of vitriol, if you feel the need to be the self-appointed guardian of the sacred testicles I have no intention of stopping you. But I would like to continue having my first and fourth amendment rights kept intact...but to these people the second amendment is so important they forget about the others... Maybe they can't count past two?

And healthcare...that's going to be even more fucked up. If you think they've been greedy and shortsighted under Obamacare, just wait. This administration will not be doing ANYTHING to help labor. (unless it involves giving birth to fetuses)

Pretty soon women will all be wearing tattoos of numbers, rating them on a scale of 0-10, as long as they are young enough to be fetal incubators. Once you can no longer incubate fetuses, you no longer matter, because you lack stamina for anything other than being a grandma to the fetuses. And they're gonna need those grandmas after the fetal incubators die by coat hanger.

Yes I'm spouting off a bunch of crap but I'm so pissed, so hurt, so ANGRY!

Hillary was too centrist and too establishment for me. But now they are wasting their time trying to revive the DNC when they ought to gut it and start over with a new, Progressive party, and it pisses me off to see Keith Ellison being fast-tracked, when he'd do better in Congress, and Howard Dean? I used to like him way back when he ran his primary, but now he's been destroyed by his run with the DNC. Let's start from scratch.

All week I've seen people walking around, staggering, stunned, eyes down on the sidewalk, not talking. Quiet in the coffee shops.

I've seen women supporting each other, it's saved me over the past week being with my women friends. But it has to go beyond the platitudes: honor each other, express appreciation, thank Hillary, and wear safety pins.

That won't be enough. We will have to be vigilant, and can no longer afford to get lost in our cell phones and social media distractions.

I didn't like Hillary so much, but I could live with the moderate approach. She would have been a hell of a lot better than taking us back 60 years.

But most of all, I don't understand the lack of empathy. I don't understand these people who can't understand the fear and the feelings that people have. As if it's not OK to have those feelings. I think a lot of people see things that way, can't possibly allow someone to express a feeling that is different from theirs. They can't just be OK with people disagreeing with their point of view and verbalizing it. They have to be right.

That's a consequence of poor education and lack of critical thinking skills, beliefs are more important than facts, the Bible is the only book you need to read.

I'm so glad my life is half over or more, I am so glad I do not have my own human children to worry about going forward. So glad I lack stamina and I'm no longer visible. I worry about my nieces and nephews, their world will require so much more work to fix their pathetic predecessors' legacy.

I don't know what else to say, my brain's been a jumble between sleep deprivation, the grief of this horrible event, on top of my usual state of intermittent brain fog.

It just sucks, and I don't see a way to improve things without risking my life with these concealed carry-toting wackos.

Time to find some POWDER-B-GON.

This really, really sucks. People are stupid. People suck. Maybe only half of them do, but dammit, thanks for fucking up the rest of our lives.

But we can always blame it on Obama, right?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

No Glass Ceilings, Only Blue Sky

The Trumpocalypse happened.

And here we are.

I am trying to type these words without hyperventilating and it's not working very well. Wednesday I was consoling Dennis. Today, I'm a mess.

The night of the election, things started to look a bit unfavorable for Hillary as we approached 9 pm. We went to bed early. We both woke up around 12:30 and decided to check, even though we didn't want to. They had just called the election for Trump.

I was okay on Wednesday. I decided I wasn't going to worry. I decided that if we got through 8 years of Bush Cheney, we can get through 4 years of Trump. I was hanging on to desperate hope.

I ran for 4 1/2 hours today, starting at 8:30 this morning. I had to get out. I went up to Horsetooth Mountain Park and ran the trails, took Southridge and Westridge up to the Towers, down Mill Creek, back up Mill Creek, down Spring Creek to Wathen, up Wathen back to the Rock Repeat route and back down to the trailhead.

It was more like running about 3 hours, with long, 15 or more minute breaks in between whenever I felt myself hyperventilating with anxiety. I was thinking about everything, another existential crisis. Good vertical, not a lot of miles but I took my time. Hopefully I won't be too sore after not doing that much vertical for a while.

I kept wiping the tears from my face, I was a salty mess between the sweat and tears. No blood, fortunately. It's hard to run or even power hike uphill and cry.

I canceled all my appointments today. I just couldn't face it, I was supposed to talk to a breast cancer survivors group tonight and I just didn't have it in me. I couldn't force myself.

After the run I went home, ate some food, then got in touch with Crisann and we went out for a beer at Odell's. It was a beautiful afternoon, sitting there on the outdoor patio, soaking up rays, in mid-November. I had sandals on.

The sunset on the way home was a reminder that another day went by, the sun is still rising and setting.

On one of my run breaks today, I looked at Facebook and one of my friends posted something about glass ceilings. So I commented, "Off the grid, there are no glass ceilings, only blue sky."

I decided I liked the way that sounded.

I'm trying to understand my acquaintances, even some friends, who voted for Trump, knowing they are not hateful people. Trying to understand what was so bad about Hillary Clinton, and knowing she was not my favorite either. I think we need to do away with the electoral college and also the DNC and RNC should be dismantled and the people can form their own new parties, progressive, conservative. Politicians are entrenched, tone-deaf, bought off, corrupt, and only self-interested. But still, how could they support Trump? Was Hillary THAT bad? Was it just total disgust and frustration with the establishment?

If it was, then we had to face it sometime, might as well get it over with now. We do need reform, but having all Republicans taking the country down paths that don't serve the people well, is my big fear. They could seriously set us back a long way. Maybe we need to let the Republicans run things, let them show us if they can be reasonable, if they can run things, if they can lead. Let's see it. But...

We need to be concerned about more than the second amendment- the first, fourth, fourteenth, and all of them, dammit.

And most of all, when empathy is missing, that's what I don't understand.

Best thing I think each of us can do is to talk with someone who voted differently from the way you did, listen to them, don't judge, try to understand their point of view. You don't have to agree with them.

Just have empathy. We need peace. But we don't need silence and fear. Remember their life experiences have played an important role in shaping their point of view. But when you cannot empathize with another person's experience, there's trouble.

Here's an example.

When the story broke about Trump on the Access Hollywood bus with Billy Bush, the "grab 'em by the pussy" story- that was a glimpse into a sexual predator's mind. That kind of abuse, and yes, it IS abuse, is what so many women have been subject to for all these years. And it is a crime.

I really thought, at that moment, there was no way any woman could vote for him. I was wrong.

"Smile" "Loosen up" "Get over it" and the idea that a man is entitled to force himself on a woman, or anyone else, is the same kind of crap that we've dealt with for years, women of my generation, street harassment, feeling like you're being undressed by someone's eyes as you walk by, having to listen to rude and lewd remarks, wishing I were in a burqa just for that moment to hide myself from their leering eyes.

Do you know how many women have been subject to some kind of sexual assault in their lives- whether it's groping, touching, verbal assault, outright rape? Do you know how many women have feared for their safety or been threatened with sexual assault?

Most of us, if I count all the women I know. It's not okay. It doesn't go with the territory. And it's not a man's birthright to harass or assault women.

People must not realize how traumatic that is for women, or the extent of re-traumatization that occurred when that story broke. Or maybe they just don't have empathy.

I don't need to go into any more stories or details here. There are enough examples from what we've seen during the 18 months of hell of this election, and I am sure there are plenty more that haven't come out yet.

Personally, I don't like Hillary all that much, but I didn't think Bernie was going to win if it was him. Though I know Hillary would have made a great President, had she been supported by at least the Senate. Even if Trump doesn't last the four years, Mike Pence scares the hell out of me. So does Paul Ryan. So do Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani and Ben Carson and Michael Flynn and whoever the damn hell else he is going to have on his Cabinet. Peepol R stoopide.

People are upset. I have seen some ugly discussions on Facebook and I've had people try to pick a fight with me. I don't fall for it.

I am worried about healthcare. I am worried about what will happen to immigrants, what will happen to people who are not white, straight, men, Christians, wealthy, and willing to be silent and compliant. I am worried about hate. I am worried about young women's reproductive health and options.

Being on the "wrong side" of most of those categories, I worry about those who cannot "pass" as I can. Those who don't have privilege that I have as a result. I am afraid that the ugliness we saw from the extremists covered by the media will become more prevalent. I am hoping it was the media stirring things up for a story because that is what they do, but that most people are not that way. I don't think they are.

What I think is that people are lazy, ignorant, and don't think very deeply about anything. I think they are fearful as a result, and I think they are shallow and distracted and have allowed themselves to become that way because it hurts too much to think about what our lives are like, and it hurts even more to think about how they could be if we made the effort. It would be a hell of an effort at this point. But still possible.


I think this is true for both Democrats and Republicans, and across all of the possible categories you could think to label someone.

There's always the possibility of a meteor. Talk about shattering a glass ceiling...

I'm trying to be positive here, but I'm not very successful.

WTF, tomorrow is Donut Friday and I need to get up early.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Girl Named Velcro, and Random Thoughts

I have puppy brain! We are announcing the arrival of the newest member of our family, Miss Velcro. She is a red tri and she was born 5 weeks ago. We will be bringing her home in another 3 weeks.

We are so excited! As soon as I saw her picture, I knew she was the one. It was love at first sight. I could not stop thinking about her, and as things unfolded with the litters at Sky Blue Aussies, she was available. We have our eye on another pup who is only 3 days old as of today, so I will fill you in as soon as we know everything is certain with our second puppy. Velcro will have a sister, and most likely she will be coming home a month after Velcro.

Running is minimal but more consistent. I'll talk about that below, after I get the shitstorm off my chest.

Recent Random Thoughts

I haven't been writing on my blog much, it's been hard with all the distractions, between puppy brain and it being Pinktober, the month where cancer and pink become intertwined and there are a lot of things going on. I spoke 3 times in one week, and I have more coming up before the month is through.

I had somewhat of an "aha" moment yesterday when I was thinking about my struggles with getting my program off the ground. It's a challenge to get people to want to do something. Everyone I talk to about it, including healthcare providers, sees the obvious and intense need for this type of education for patients and their caregivers. But there are a lot of barriers to people being able to use it in the way it is intended. I've been barking up the wrong tree trying to get it through the traditional healthcare channels.

One thing I am doing, that should help, is writing a book, which will not only have the program in it, but will also discuss why everyone needs to be in on this. Healthcare is so screwed up and it's only getting worse. Absolutely unsustainable. Yet cancer is about to overtake heart disease as the number one killer of Americans, and our healthcare costs are rising at an insane rate, and our health outcomes and general public health are getting worse. We have more obesity and diabetes, more lifestyle-related illness, and our administrative costs of running the healthcare system are exceeding our ability to put our resources into patient care and education.

Healthcare Heretic Again

I am being the healthcare heretic again, and working to make nurse groups aware of a documentary film project. Health 3.0 is a concept that goes beyond this transactional model, we call it 2.0, of healthcare where physicians or providers don't have relationships with patients, instead they are more of a factory, cranking patients through appointments in 15 minute intervals. Check this out for an example.

This short video is being mild about it. What I wish I had time to say is that all of these cancer centers and freestanding emergency rooms popping up everywhere are only being built because the current system incentivizes it. The hospitals get paid more. They can get reimbursed at a higher rate for emergency room visits and can charge a facility fee for setting foot in a cancer center, rather than an independent oncology practice. This disincentivizes patients from visiting their oncologists for follow-up visits. The hospitals can charge up to $400 for a facility fee alone (not including the doctor's bill) just for having an appointment in a room at the cancer center.

Had I realized just how slimy this whole process was, I would never have supported the local facility as I did half a decade ago. The Big Heist is right. It is a heist, to the tune of 20% of our GDP. Not acceptable. But people need to wake up and get off their obesified butts!

Remember how when we were talking about the need for the Affordable Care Act just a decade ago, lamenting the overuse of emergency rooms because people didn't have insurance for primary care and preventive medicine? Well, now we have high deductible plans again, with rates rising, driving people out of the market, but hospital executives can clean up on higher reimbursements and facility fees. And we're not doing a better job for patients. Dumb and dumber.

Here we are again. The vicious cycle of healthcare, now has consumed independent physician practices, has doctors all working as part of the giant healthcare factory, working at the whim of their employers, being told what to do by insurance companies, and nurses are understaffed and miserable again, physician suicide rates are rising, and nurses are leaving the profession because of burnout and injuries from overwork. There's no nursing shortage, just a shortage of nurses willing to put up with the abuse.

And the people who wrote the ACA: lobbyists for the pharmaceutical industry, hospital executives, and insurance companies, have ensured they will rake in big bucks while starving the masses.

General Random Thoughts about Running

I've been running about 4 days a week on the average. About 6 or 7 miles each time.
I know!!!

It feels good to run when I feel like it and I feel refreshed afterward. My friend Emma is training for her first ultra, so doing long runs with her has gotten me out on the trails. I'm so enjoying this.

I miss my hair color. I now have a streak of reddish brown in the front of my scalp. It's a deep brown with a reddish tint, but it's my natural color. People pay a lot of money to get their hair tinted to that color. Now I have just a streak of it to contrast with my grayish white. What are you gonna do?

I refuse to dye my hair. I am getting too many thumbs up when I run, and I need that for the motivation. Plus it keeps the creepos quiet. Nobody catcalls their grandma. Much preferred this way.

Oh, and one more thing- one day I was actually able to reach my mouth with the toes on my left foot. I haven't been able to do it again, must have been a good flexibility day. I'll keep working on it until I can do it consistently. Then I will post pictures.

photo credit: Donna Rohde, Sky Blue Aussies

Sunday, October 9, 2016

DoNut Hunting...

This morning was the Fort Collins Running Club Tortoise & Hare 4K at Rolland Moore Park. Team Donut Hunters showed up in full force, pith helmets, donut hunting license, and all. This is about my speed these days.

It is really nice to get out in the morning and do a few miles, and not feel obsessive about doing double digits in miles or hours of running! This morning was amazing with the running club though- it used to be we'd have a dozen runners show up at these things. This morning there were over 150 runners! There was even a backup at the finish line! It was a gorgeous fall morning, the leaves are bright, the air is crisp and cool without being too cold.

One thing I was really pleased about was that I ran a faster than usual, but relaxed pace, didn't push it, and felt good the whole way. Ended up averaging 9 minute miles. Didn't know I could do that. I have lost a couple pounds, maybe even more than that. I've been trying to be good, cut out the beer and margaritas for the most part, and just the other day I had my first donut in a while.

I'm still going to work on dropping the rest of this weight because I'm pretty uncomfortable and my clothes are still tight.


The big exciting news is that our new babies could be born any day. We are waiting for word from the breeder in Nebraska to find out if there are any red or black tri girls in the litter due tomorrow, and there is another litter due in two weeks. It's the same blue merle dad for both litters, and both moms are red tris. I'll let you know as soon as I know. We will be able to bring the puppies home at 8 weeks, so we're looking at sometime before Christmas, if all goes well.

I am definitely in mom mode, I was shopping for puppy things yesterday, looking for agility equipment, baby gates, thinking about what we will do with training them- making my home schooling lesson plan, etc. My friend Joanne just got a puppy about a month ago and he was at the T & H this morning, her husband was watching him while Joanne ran. He is adorable, and he'll be more than twice the size of our girls when he grows up.

I even had a dream the other night that I was giving birth!! That's really weird.

I have been stretching consistently in the mornings, and been somewhat consistent doing my core exercises and hip exercises, and some weightlifting. I got my DEXA scan results back and the only thing they found was very mild osteopenia in my lower lumbar spine, which is probably not all that unusual and is unsurprising to me. I'll just continue doing what I've been doing, maybe more lifting and making sure I stay on top of the vitamin D, thyroid etc. I won't be able to get re-scanned for a couple of years at least, and the first few years of menopause tend to be the worst for losing bone, so I'll be curious to see what happens.

I am still missing my mouth with my toes on the left side, a couple of inches to go with my flexibility goal. I can easily bite my big toenail on the right side.

I've been busy doing local speaking engagements and preparing for tweetchats and an international online summit for breast cancer recovery. I've been so busy I haven't had time to work on the book manuscript but October is a busy month in my line of work. Pinktober.

I'm tired today after a long week and another busy week ahead of me. But I'm feeling generally pretty good, much better than I did in July and August.

I'm busy planning a birthday run this year, too. Yes, another crazy birthday themed run, something to do with donuts. Stay tuned!