Scatter my ashes here...

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

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Life's a Beach

Like the Californians, we took the 605 to the 210 to the 105 to Vista Del Mar and ended up a few steps away from the beach in Playa del Rey this year. And here we are.

I've been running like a bent over old lady along the bike path between Marina del Rey and the Ballona Wetlands and Hermosa Beach. Not for any particular reason other than I move like an old lady these days. I've been tired, mentally stressed, and I'm heavy. Gotta lay off things like donuts and margaritas when I get back. My body belongs to someone else. I've achieved a girth I've never experienced before. It does not feel good.

But it's been a relaxing week, lots of naps at the beach, burning my kneecaps and the tops of my feet in between my usual sandal tan.

We watched a lot of the DNC convention this week while here. Lots of good speeches, knowing the undercurrent of disappointment of those who hoped for even more progressive change, but these things don't happen fast. As long as that narcissistic and megalomaniacal creep does not get elected President, I know we have the best possible person in charge of the country. Nothing will ever be ideal and compromise is what politics are made of.

For some reason watching Hillary accept the nomination doesn't affect me the way Barack Obama did when I watched his inauguration nearly 8 years ago. I just don't feel right now that the fact that she is the first woman in this position is that exciting, maybe if she wins I will feel differently, but somehow it's not hitting me very hard.

Last night we celebrated my nephew Jim's 21st birthday, he and his girlfriend, my brother and his girlfriend, Dennis and I, and my parents were here. It was great to see everyone. Lots of stuff to celebrate this year. For one thing, just being here, and having reasonably good enough health to be able to enjoy this time together, especially for my dad and Vivian, my nephew's girlfriend.

The first of the Aussie litters was born the other day, we are now 12 puppies closer to becoming parents. There are three more litters to be born over the next two weeks. We're behind about 40 people on a waiting list at this point. There is a slight possibility that we could end up with puppies as soon as mid-October but most likely we'll be waiting for the next round sometime in early spring. One project we do need to do when we get back is puppy-proofing the yard and house.

Mostly I need time to think and regroup and that has not happened on vacation, which is okay. I'll need to do it at some point, probably requiring a long trek by myself on foot somewhere.

Time to go to the beach...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Vicarious Vlogging: DoNut Stop...

Last Friday was my friend Connie's 60th birthday. We had a special donut run planned for her, all caught on video. Watch a bunch of runners try to figure out how to light a candle on top of a donut.

Between becoming a card-carrying member of the frequent donut club and celebrating the long-awaited M Day, it's been a busy couple of weeks and we're getting ready to go on vacation soon. We'll be going through Las Vegas on our way to LA. As long as Pokémon Go players don't destroy it by then. As long as Sushi Koma is safe, I don't care.

Some crazy F#$@! was playing this stupid new obsession in the empty Mormon church parking lot last week and nearly ran me over. I was walking on the sidewalk, crossing the exit drive from the parking lot , and this dumbshit in a Subaru screeched to a halt right in front of me. I looked at him like, WTF? and he had his head down, looking at his phone. I don't know if he saw me, or if he was stopping to get one of the characters. I wanted to go over and bash the shit out of the side of his car, Beyoncé style, but I didn't feel like dealing with him. And I didn't have my baseball bat, left it home. Damn.

Exciting news, we are a little closer to becoming parents again. There are four litters expected by mid-August and depending on how many puppies there are, that means by October we will either be near the top of the list for first pick or first pick for the next breeding cycle. One of my favorite girls, Spark, is having her first litter. We'll see what happens there. She's a black tri and the dad is a blue merle.

Last week I spoke to a gathering of about 30 people at a local nonprofit event for cancer survivors in the community, it went well. I could go on and on about healthcare and why we do such a lousy job with post-treatment care for people, and why this moonshot is still missing a huge target: earth. That's where real people are.

Between ignoring the fact that there are millions of people who've been through cancer treatment and need help living with the ongoing effects, and the fact that our horrible approach to educating people about the basics of health and taking care of their bodies is creating more disease that threatens to destroy not only our economy but our entire species...but no one is going to listen to that because the powers that be know they will make more money off of the "moonshot" crap in the short run and their philosophy is "I've got mine, screw you." Sound familiar? Cleveland, anyone?

I'm sure there will be plenty of laughs in Cleveland this week, I just hope no shootings or violence. Seems like the world is going batshit crazier these past few weeks. More crazy. People are so stupid. People are just really freaking stupid. Guns don't solve anything. Live human beings could, but that seems to be out of the question these days.

I got my 3D mammogram done, all turned out okay, fortunately. And tomorrow I have an appointment for my DEXA scan. Last week I also had blood drawn for a clinical trial, and a robotic front desk clerk couldn't figure out what a clinical trial was. But it's all done and figured out now.

I've been screened to the hilt, so I hope to be done with being squeezed, poked, and prodded for a while.

I'm working on a grant application I need to finish before I leave. For that, I need to make a video and I am struggling with it. It takes so long to make those damn things. If I wouldn't stumble over my words so much it would take less time.

And I need to pull up all the lettuce that's going to seed and plant more so we'll have some big salads this fall, to go along with the tomatoes and cucumbers that should be out of control by the time we get home. My neighbor is so lucky, she'll be eating our raspberries and cherry tomatoes while we're gone. This year we got some black raspberries, which only happens every couple of years. I can't figure that out.

Last week I slacked off just a little on the running. It was so miserably hot and I had so much to do that I didn't get out in time and it sucked. I still managed 60+ miles but didn't run very much of it. Maybe this week I can get some miles in.

And I am still waiting for my official DoNut Stop Running tank top to arrive in the mail.

Off to brave another week before heading to the desert...

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Celebrating M Day! and 15 Random Facts...

My friend and fellow blogger Nancy Stordahl writes a great blog about breast cancer and is a two-time author of books on her experiences with cancer.

Today happens to be a very special day for me, a day of celebration about a milestone in my life.

Today, July 13, 2016, marks the exact day I officially have arrived at menopause.

They say after you have not had a menstrual period a full year, you are considered to be in menopause, and today is that day. YAY!

I am happily and unapologetically celebrating this milestone in my life and moving forward into this next phase of my life. This is what menopause looks like. No makeup, no dye, no fake.

This morning I slept in late, then drove up to Estes Park to do some hiking and a few live videos in some beautiful spots.

Then I came back to town and stopped off to eat lunch at my favorite sushi place.

And while I was there the owner, who knows me, without my even having to tell her that today was a special day, brought out this little treat after I was finished.

I don't know why, it must be a woman thing, unspoken, we are clued into each other? I didn't say a thing.

So now I am enjoying my afternoon, after doing quite a bit of thinking on some marketing challenges I am having, and blogging, and making videos from the footage I shot in Rocky Mountain National Park this morning.

I am scheduled for a DEXA scan next week if my insurance will pay for it. I want to see how my bone density is, going into this, because the years around menopause can be among the worst for losing bone mass, once you have that drop in estrogen. I'm pretty sure I've been low in estrogen for quite some time, though, thank you. I don't need anyone to tell me that, since I seem to have my own personal sauna installed.

So...let's get on with the 15 random facts this year, some things you might not have known about me: (see last year's post here)

Fifteen Random Facts About Me for 2016

1. I have already named our next generation of Australian Shepherd puppies, due sometime this winter. I cannot wait for those baby girls.

2. I absolutely detest the smell of perfumes and colognes. It feels like someone stuck daggers up my nose and it is so offensive to my sinuses. I find it so offensive that I don't even like to be around a person in the same room if I can smell it. I'd rather smell B.O. or even poop, even GI bleed poop, than perfume. I'm not kidding. Why people can't just be okay with smelling like humans, I'll never understand. And why, oh why, do they have to use that stuff when they're about to workout? Why do they insist on sharing their stench with the rest of the world? I can smell people on the trail as they go by, and sometimes it's enough to knock my off my feet. What's wrong with fresh air and pine trees? It's even worse when you're in a race and you get stuck behind someone who stinks, and you keep having to run through their cloud...Ugh!

3. I only like to go to Las Vegas for the sushi at Sushi Koma. We're driving there later this summer and I'm not looking forward to any of it except for a visit to the Neon Museum, which Dennis has never seen (he's never even been to Vegas!), and of course, Sushi Koma. Both ways!

4. I want a kayak. A simple, lightweight, one-person, flatwater kayak. I saw a really cool inexpensive one up in Buena Vista last month and wanted to buy it, but we are saving money for the puppies.

5. I would do more activities on the water, like kayaking, but I get very seasick, easily. I'd have to pre-medicate myself for days with meclizine, and it makes me spaced out and drowsy, and I can easily sleep for 14 hours at a time, which I hate, so I don't do much on the water. Sort a of a bummer because I do love kayaking.

6. I like glazed donuts. I didn't remember this until I re-discovered them by doing the long runs that led to Donut Friday runs. Now I look forward to Friday morning donuts. Bad. Very bad.

7. I have a bad habit of biting my lip when I'm stressed. I hate it when I do that.

8. I have discovered Facebook and You Tube Live and I really like them, I'll be doing a lot more live video both at work and in life in general in the near future. I always consider myself an introvert, but I like being on video and I like public speaking. I have to work hard and rehearse, I'm not too good at being spontaneous, but I'm working on it. I know, I'm weird.

9. I make kickass margaritas. No, I don't use mix. I make them from scratch with real stuff.

10. My bachelor's degree is in Forestry. I worked for two years after college doing forestry work, living in the back of my truck, doing a type of forest survey measurements called stand exam. Eventually I got tired of it, covered with spray paint and sticky pine sap, and one shower a week when I went into town to re-supply. I also got tired of eating what we called "fart swill", a thick mixture consisting of beans out of a can, peppers, onions, cheese, and salsa, that we could stir up fast over a camp stove, and a can of Coors Light for dessert. I also discovered that ski towns were a great place to hang out in the off season.

11.I lived in Steamboat Springs one winter, and in Crested Butte for 2 1/2 years, but I am not a skier. I ran through the winters in both places. Even though I don't like the cold, I loved running up there.

12. Speaking of extreme temperatures, I have lived in Gunnison, Colorado and it was 46 below zero one day, and I walked to work. And I lived in Arizona, and of course, have run in Death Valley. The hottest temperature I've ever experienced is 133 degrees, in Death Valley in July of 2003, while pacing my friend Ken Eielson across the valley floor.

13. I don't go to movies very often because I hate the Hollywood template...same plots, and how they portray women. I prefer documentaries or independent films. But my favorite trash movies I can think of were Tank Girl and Fried Green Tomatoes.

14.For our next generation, Dennis wants two black tri puppies, and I want one black tri and one red tri. I hope I get my way. But I'll love them no matter what color they are. I can't wait for puppy kisses!

15.I have a lot of bad brain days. I don't know if it's hormones, or the medication I take, or what. Maybe I just have too much on my mind. But I have a lot of days when I have the hardest time organizing and concentrating. Sometimes I feel like I have no executive function ability whatsoever. And then the next day, I'm fine. I used to never have this problem, and then, for a long time I thought it was my thyroid. But I don't think it is. I have very few ADHD characteristics so I really don't think it's that, either. When I have those days, I have learned to not get frustrated and just do something mindless, like running. Regardless, I wish I didn't have so many of them. I'm not so frustrated that I want a brain transplant. Yet.

So those are my 15 random facts for the year. What are yours?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

DoNut Stop Running! Donut Friday, Redstone Saturday

I did the unthinkable...woke up at 4:15 am before my alarm, and ran across town in the dawn rain, to meet a group of runners at Lamar's Donuts at 6 am, go for a 4 mile run, and come back to eat donuts. It was a great start to what turned out to be a cool, drizzly, 17 mile day.

This all came about because Melody and Nelly are donut freaks and decided to start meeting each other, with a few others, at the donut shop on Friday mornings. I've resisted, because normally there is no way I'm going to get up that early in the morning unless it's an all day run, and for 4 miles it is not worth it. I don't even like donuts very much. I like plain glazed donuts and that is about it. But Melody and Nelly already have donut tank tops.

I figured it would be those two, me, my friend Connie, and maybe one or two others. When I woke up to the rain I wondered if no one would show up. But when I got there, there were 13 people, plus Melody's dog, Faraday, all ready to run in the rain for donuts!

We headed out on the Spring Creek Trail and did an out and back, to the owl tree. Then we all sat there and these people are serious about their donuts. They even have frequent donut cards. They've figured out how to get the most donut for their money- they get free donut holes, and they know all the special deals on donuts.

Up the Spring Creek Trail, to the turnaround, then the miraculous burst of speed on the way back, downhill to the donuts.

A group of sweaty, rain-drenched runners took over the inside of the quiet donut shop, raising a few gray eyebrows of the regulars...

We sat there on the patio, overlooking Drake road and early morning rush hour traffic, along with Faraday, who impersonates a miniature Australian Shepherd and is the donut run mascot.

Later after I got home and went out to the lake to do a few more miles, the pelicans were out again. It continued to rain all day, what a nice relief from the heat.

This morning I met Dale, aka Sasquatch, for a run/walk up Redstone Canyon. It was cool and cloudy again, looked like rain, but it didn't rain.

The wildflowers were out and we had a nice view of the west face of Horsetooth Rock.

We had the canyon pretty much to ourselves, it was a holiday weekend and there were tons of cars up at the Horsetooth Mountain Park and Blue Sky Trailheads, but no one once you went down the hill toward Redstone and Masonville, just a few scattered cyclists.

At one point a couple of hotshot fast young runners, probably from the university, came flying by us, and on their way back down, they brought a stampede of cattle with them, which startled us.

Sasquatch had never run Redstone before so he was having shutterbug moments.

Nice day for a cool low key shuffle with the Sasquatch.