Scatter my ashes here...

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

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Back Up...Unloading!

Yeah, that's me. I have a lot to say. I've been hiding out, buried under piles of work. I needed to breathe, so I'm indulging myself in a little creative writing and unloading today.

It's been nearly a month since I've posted here! I don't like that, I try to be consistent, but I thank my readers and followers for sticking with me.
First, feast your eyes on South Park and the Arkansas River Valley near Buena Vista. Last weekend we went up to the shed, on our property overlooking Pikes Peak and South Park.

The reason for the long break is, as usual, work. I've been extra busy because I picked up a small project on the side in order to bring in a little income and that helped. Starting a business requires constant investment and re-investment, and when there isn't anything coming in at the beginning, it depletes your reserves quickly.

But that's okay because I am doing what is important to me.

So first, a few minor orders of business. I finally, after 8 1/2 years, bought the domain so now you can find me without having to type in the extra blogspot stuff. Takes you right back here. No change.

I haven't been running much. This morning I did run for an hour and a half. It finally got hot, in the 90s, and might hit 100 by the end of the week. I guess that's what it takes to motivate me to run?

I am planning on running/walking an event over Labor Day. My friend Marissa is putting on her 12 hour fatass "There Goes the Sun" on September 3, and I'm "training". That means I am getting out and walking with a little running mixed in. Shooting for being able to stay upright and moving forward for the entire 12 hours.

The weekend before last I went running/hiking Round Mountain with my friend Emma and we encountered two unhappy snakes, one bull snake, one rattlesnake. Got a good closeup of the rattler.

You know where this is going...Orlando, of course. And I am so disgusted, but something feels like this was a turning point. It's disgusting to see the party of homophobia suddenly saying all these platitudes (because you know they are only posturing in an election year)about the LGBTQ community. Just last month they wanted birth certificates to go to the bathroom, and so on.

The gun thing is finally shifting too. #NRASTFU is what I say. The refusal of the gun lobby to have a mature, intelligent conversation about reality, and their endless excuses as if the second amendment is some sort of divine ruling from the heavens. They freaking worship guns, and the second amendment is their god.There is no reason why any group should have so much power, that they can even prevent research into gun (safety) violence as a public health issue. That is insane. And we continue to have all these shootings and gun deaths day after day. Like little boys throwing a temper tantrum. There are some girls in there, too, but the leadership is mostly men. That's part of the problem with everything in this country, and it looks like it's about to change in a big way.

And I'm sure those misogynistic pasty old white dudes explaining righteously(M-POWDERs) will be just as obstructionistic toward Hillary Clinton as they were toward Barack Obama. Except they might lose their majority after all the nonsense and putting their clown lineup on display, to show the pathetic lack of substance and outright denial of the real issues facing the people of this country. A breath of fresh air, that would be, if the whole damn Republican party imploded. And let's clearcut and burn the Democratic party too. Start over. With real people, who look like the ones in the general population, not a bunch of POWDERS! We could finally make some forward progress.

Okay, back to earth. What's real. Good news first.

A Twinkle in the Eye...

After searching for several months, we found an Australian Shepherd breeder we like in Nebraska, just 5 hours from here, and we decided to splurge and put a deposit down on two puppies, to arrive either late this year or early next. They are not even a twinkle in the eye of some Aussie dude yet, but we are expecting.

We plan to get two girls again, at least one black tri, maybe one black and one red. We are looking forward to puppy-proofing the house and some of the work we will do this summer involves checking out garage sales for things like baby gates, agility equipment and toys for the girls. We'll have to puppy-proof parts of the house and the garden.

We miss Iris and Isabelle so much, every single day. We were going to take their ashes to the place we planned, but we weren't ready. We're not ready for pups yet, but we are moving closer. I miss having my buddies around!

Life & Death

Three of my running friends have been diagnosed with cancer in the past few months. It's been tough seeing them go through their separate situations. One of them, an ultra buddy of mine, is fortunate to have had an early diagnosis, and I hope the outcome will be as good as it can be. The other two have quite advanced cancer. One is young, the other is older but not old. Also, one of my neighbors, in his 80s, also received bad news about his own advanced cancer. He's been active, walked everyday and we had many occasions to walk together and talk. He always was a friend to Iris and Isabelle. He's a fascinating person, and he is the most spiritually healthy person I know.

I'm going to miss him and my other, older friend who is being treated to manage symptoms. She has prepared herself too, and I am proud of her for taking the steps to do what no one wants to do.

Death runs in the family. It does in mine, anyway, I don't know if your relatives are immortal. I certainly wouldn't have wanted some of mine to stick around forever. I definitely don't want to. We're all going to die. Let's confront it, accept it, and plan for it, before we find out the end is closer than we expected, so we can have a good death as the end to a good life.

I wish that more people would examine their own mortality and face it, because it makes things so much less chaotic, it's better for everyone around them to know that they've thought through it, decided what they want, and are okay with it. But we have a long way to go in this country. Our collective immaturity has deemed us the world's teenager. Impulsive, without a fully developed frontal lobe. Thinking only of ourselves and not of the person next to us, or how our own actions, or lack thereof, affect them.

Clinical Trials and Boob Smashing

Speaking of life and family and cancer, I just enrolled in a clinical trial, because of my extensive family history of cancer, especially leukemias. The trial was looking for people over 50, never diagnosed with cancer, with a strong family history of it. It involves genetic testing and looking for early cancer markers. I'll find out the results, too. I realize that I might find out something I'd rather not know about or have to deal with, but knowledge is power.

I'll be getting my blood drawn next week for that. I'm excited to be a lab rat. It's so hard to get subjects for clinical trials, and they are absolutely necessary for us to advance our state of knowledge about cancer and how to treat it. So if you have the opportunity, please participate in one. You never know who, down the road, might benefit or even have their life saved by your participation.

Since we're on the subject, I decided to also splurge on a 3D mammogram when I go in next month. Breast Tomosynthesis is the name of the screening. It gives a 3D picture, actually about 11 different images from different angles. Also I heard they don't smash your boob as hard, which is good news for me, because that hurts! It's a good way to get a better image especially in people with dense breast tissue, like me. I'm dense. I'll have a report on it here, of course.

I have some other topics to touch on. Mental health is another one. And I have more, much more to say about healthcare, as you know it's one of my favorite rant topics. But I'll get to that later. I'll be back, I've missed blogging and I am starting to miss running. I wish I had more than a few days a week where I felt motivated to take running steps rather than walking. But I still feel fine when I run most of the way in a 10 mile outing, like I did today.

Scroll down and enjoy the rest of the photos from last weekend. Most are from our property but many are from the Colorado Trail and areas nearby. So great to live here, and to hang out in the shadow of the Buffalo Peaks and looking out across lower South Park at Pikes Peak.

When I have those difficult days, I just need to remember I am surrounded by so much good. Working alone, feeling like it's a forever uphill climb, and feeling like the world wants to duct tape your mouth so your voice is muffled, and they pretend they don't understand you, but really, they do, but it's just too hard for them to gather the courage to climb out of the box.

I'll keep being myself, even if I'm a lone voice (which I know I'm not) and at a distinct disadvantage because of power and resources (which I will not allow to stop me) and I'm just going to keep getting louder.

Thanks for reading!


Ultra Monk said...

Last year, you went on about colonoscopy. That procedure is a no go for me since I am single and don't have anyone to drive me around. 30% of adults are single by the way. Then a couple of months ago, I read a blog about someone dying of colon cancer and resolved to figure out something. So I learned that sigmoidoscopy provides the needed screening but you don't need anesthesia and it is less painful after. I am now scheduled for that.

So why don't they publicize that?

And I agree about the GOP, guns, etc.

Alene Gone Bad said...

Laura, a few comments on your comment: first, if you have a family history of colon cancer or other known mutation or risk factor that increases your risk of cancer, colonoscopy is probably the best option. That would give you a complete look at your entire colon. Sigmoidoscopy uses a shorter scope and doesn't examine the entire colon, just the distal end and rectum. For peace of mind a full colonscopy would be ideal, at some point...and if they go in with the sigmoidoscope and find polyps, then they might recommend a full colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is not painful afterwards, and I'm pretty sure sigmoidoscopy isn't either. During the procedure there can be discomfort, especially with a colonoscopy, which is why they sedate you. But if they do the fecal testing and sigmoidoscopy and everything looks good, then you are probably okay. Here in Fort Collins we have a group of friends who take turns taking each other to colonoscopies and being the "responsible adult". Yes, a large portion of adults are single and you're right, there needs to be a way to accommodate them. Organizing a group of people you know can be helpful. The reason they don't publicize it is probably because they are finding more and more cases of colon cancer in younger people who are below the recommended screening age, so they are considering lowering the age for initial screening to 40 or 45, is what I've heard. Also, sigmoidoscopy is not ideal for everyone. Me for example. You would think that with my fairly clean diet and lifestyle I'd be okay with just a sigmoidoscopy, but when I got the colonoscopy done, I had two potentially cancerous polyps removed, which I never imagined would be there. So now I have to go back in 5 years (which is now just 3 years away!). Still hoping they come up with some kind of prep that doesn't taste like paint thinner! I hope your procedure goes well. Do consider organizing a group of people to take turns driving each other, because as everyone gets older, there will be more likelihood of needing each other for that!

Amelia Roberts said...

"Starting a business requires constant investment and re-investment, and when there isn't anything coming in at the beginning, it depletes your reserves quickly. "

I am finding out the best way to fund a start up is with a JOB, ha! I loved the update + pictures!!!

Alene Gone Bad said...

Thanks for reading, and commenting! Yeah, I would have preferred to be able to stay in a job, but, I value my health more than my job and they were conflicting! (see my newer post!)

Looking forward to talking with you in person soon!