Scatter my ashes here...

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

Monday, November 30, 2015

NaRunMoMo finish...

I did get out and run today, my first run in 2 weeks. Thought I would die the first mile and a half but I managed to keep going. I told myself 30 minutes, and at 30 minutes I was only at 2.6 miles, so I told myself to go for an even 3. 35:28. I did it. See you next month.

Day 30: Finish Line

It's supposed to be a nice day, it's getting sunny. I want to get out later and run or at least walk. I also have the bike set up and ready. Maybe some of the ice will melt. I have big plans for stretching and all that later on, but first I have to get through some work and I don't know if I'll have a chance to blog later, so here it is now.

I found these squirrel tracks this morning, leading across the brick walkway under the arbor to the front steps to the woman cave. I think Iris has come back as a squirrel. She ate so many of them during her lifetime, it wouldn't surprise me one bit.

Tomorrow is December 1, and to me, that's the lead-up to spring. January 1 is the first day of spring in my world. I need to set some kind of goals going forward. Even though I have no desire to race or compete, I feel like I need some kind of thing to build up to. I'll need to think about that one, maybe a birthday run or something, but not for miles per year. I don't want to force myself into running that far by early March. I'll figure out some arbitrary adventure to do sometime in the next few months. I'm sure there are some weirdos around who will join me. Maybe between all of us we can run 52 miles.

NaBloPoMo was good for me because it got me back to the blog, though I wasn't happy with writing posts about basically nothing for a month. It did get me into the habit again. If you don't hear from me for a few days, don't worry, I'll be back more frequently than I was doing most of this year.

On the other hand, NaRunMoMo was a disaster. I have never been a fan of running streaks, and probably jinxed myself into getting sick as a result. I won't try that again. Better to move a little each day, and I didn't even do that on some days. It's only a month until spring. My clothes don't lie, though. They tell me when it's time to get moving.

My jeans have spoken.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Day 29: A Visit

It's 20 degrees outside, which is a good thing. It's been cloudy and the temperatures haven't gone so high as to melt the snow, but it hasn't been so cold that we lose Internet connection. I woke up to a cloudy morning, but it looks like they are breaking up and we could get a spot or two of blue and sunshine later.

Last night I woke up around 2:30 feeling hot, as usual, and went into the guest bedroom to lie down on the bed in there, where it was much cooler. I was just starting to find a comfortable position, and I felt a sudden weight land on the end of the bed, near my feet. Nothing could explain it except Iris. She would have jumped up on the bed with me in that exact spot if she were here. I know it was her paying us a visit.

I think she hangs out at the top of the stairs, watching over us, the way she used to. Isabelle is always looking up there, even when she knows that Dennis and I are both downstairs. Iris is watching over all of us.

Since my NaBloPoMo effort has been mostly a success, while NaRunMoMo turned out disappointingly due to my respiratory crud, I will attempt to re-start, if not all running, at least regular workouts, tomorrow. Mondays were always the beginning of my training week. I have the bike set up, and I feel like the crud has mostly subsided, except for still coughing up nasty looking stuff in the mornings.

My legs feel like they want to jump out of my skin and my body feels like it's been tied up in knots and needs to be stretched and moved, and I absolutely MUST get back to something. I have a lot more desk work to do before I can start spending more time up and active at work. I feel like a pile of melted butter from my ribs to my knees.

There's only more day in November after today, and then spring is right around the corner, on January 1. It might be too cold for Isabelle to be in the cart some days, but I can load bags of mulch in it for traction on the snow and start getting my outdoor workouts in.

Iris would not have let me idle for so long, she kept me moving all the time. I have a busy work week ahead, but I'll set my phone to prompt me every day that I need to get the workout in.

The bark tone on my phone sounds just like Iris's bark. Get your butt out the door, mom!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Day 28: In The Cave

Not much to report. I worked all day. It was cold outside and it snowed. I ran back and forth between the house and the woman cave when I had to print things out. I ate leftovers. Cranberry sauce with peanut butter on a rice cake. My bike is on the trainer. Now I have to go use it. I'm hungry. See you tomorrow.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Day 27: Stop Black Friday

It's 18 degrees outside and lightly snowing. We got 4 or 5 inches accumulated since yesterday. We had a quiet Thanksgiving and enjoyed our time with Bella. Simple meal, just a few things, but delicious.

Usually we spend the holiday with our friends here in town but this year they were visiting family on the Western Slope. We knew Bella would appreciate not being left at home alone, and we know it's her last Thanksgiving. We took the Bella to Starbucks for a pup cup yesterday, wrapped her up tight in an extra blanket. She loved it.

I have decided to mount my bike on the trainer in the living room this weekend, so I will have additional options for getting some movement in. The other day I was walking down the stairs and felt a twinge in my left IT band. It felt like a rubber band snapped. Just a tiny twinge, but I can feel that something in there is not quite right. It's not the whole thing, just the edge of it.

It's just a reminder that I need to get back to moving and stretching. Minimal hacking this morning so maybe I've finally got the worst of this bronchitis thing over with. No more excuses.

I try really hard every year not to buy anything on Black Friday. I really resent what it has become, it's like the worst of all the Walmart and Costco shoppers come out of the woodwork, parasites, crawling into lines at dark hours. If you are a Black Friday shopper, whatever your reasons, I don't mean to offend you personally, if you have a good reason for braving the flu-infested crowds, snotty kids, and people wild-eyed with greed, willing to draw blood and brawl on the filthy linoleum floors in the cash register lines for $20 off the TV they want so they can sit around and eat more crap in front of it.

I was so happy when REI announced its #OptOutside campaign. I know it's just another way to market themselves but it really would be nice if most companies would stop forcing their employees to endure the shopping frenzy on one more day when they could be taking care of their own families and well-being. Going outside and breathing some fresh air...what a concept.

I tend to abhor shopping for anything, even groceries, from November through December. Walking into a grocery store and being smacked in the face with the pungent, nose-frying smell of fake cinnamon-scented pine cones and whatever else they have parked near the doors and endcaps is enough to make me turn around gagging and walk out the door. Why we must all be subjected to such scents when some of us find them offensive even in their real form...I do not like cinnamon. And fake cinnamon is even worse.

I don't care about the blank red Starbucks cups. I really don't care about the holiday symbols, they don't bother me. Not a Christian here. I just don't like the greed and overconsumption that goes along with the holidays. Just 38 days until the first Monday after New Years, when it will be safe to go into a store and breathe again!

Bah Humbug and enjoying the fresh air!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Day 26: Thanksgiving Morning

I woke up to this scene. An inch and still falling, 23 degrees. It's a good day to be indoors, cooking. Isabelle can't get enough of the snow. She doesn't know when it's time to come in now. I have to go out in the middle of the yard, coax her into standing up and walking toward the house. I know she'll enjoy the smells and tastes of Thanksgiving.

Last night as I was going to bed, it was raining. I'm sure that has turned to ice. A good day to not be on the road. I love the snow and how it makes everything so quiet. Part of me wants to be out running in it. But my better judgement has kicked in. It won't be a good thing, between the ice and my lungs. It's supposed to be super cold the next few days. Whenever it gets into the single digits, Internet access is poor. It will be a challenge.

Yesterday I pulled handfuls of thyme, parsley, cilantro and oregano out of the garden before it got frozen and buried by snow. I can use it to cook and make the turkey soup afterward. The only thing I don't like about winter here is the ice. Other than that, I can deal with it, even the occasional subzero temperatures. The reason we get so much ice is that our daytime temperatures in the winter tend to be above freezing, or the sun is intense enough that it melts the snow during the day and then it freezes when the sun goes down.

The other day in the grocery store I ran into an acquaintance, a woman I've met on my runs near the lake. We stopped and talked for a while. She's about my age, and we've both been struggling between being busy and in her case, injuries, and trying to motivate ourselves to do even the bare minimum. I know I need to get back to at least doing the cross training and the resistance work. I am turning into such a pile of mush.

The challenge for me is developing a program that I will stick to, which means, it has to be something I can do in just a few minutes, that doesn't require me to stop and take a block of time out of my day. But I have to be able to remember to do it. That means making it a habit. Where did my motivation go?

I do feel motivated to cook and eat today, which is a good thing...

and it's good for my little snow Buffalo too.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Day 25: A Girl and Her Buffalo

We're just hanging out. I'm getting some work done, going out to lunch today with an old friend from my ICU days, all the Thanksgiving shopping is done to cook for tomorrow, and I'm working on bits of the new website. Still coughing, but it's getting better. No Turkey Trot for me this year, though.

I feel like going for a good walk and I might have to do that later because it's supposed to get super cold, like single digits, and maybe snow, over the next few days. I'll have to bundle up really well and I'm not sure how my lungs will respond to the intense cold air. I'll try though. I'm really hoping I have the worst of this behind me and can start on somewhat of a regular routine next week. I'm uncomfortable in my clothes, my body feels like a big blob.

I love my little Bella. She's looking forward to the turkey smells and tastes. She needs a break from salmon. I'm looking forward to the time to hang out with Dennis and Isabelle and not have to do much of anything. Wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving too.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Day 24: A Day Trip to Denver

Again, very little to report as far as running goes. I do miss it. I don't feel deathly ill, but I don't feel great. I'm able to get through a pretty full day, but I just don't seem to be able to get going yet. Maybe after this weekend. I'm coughing stuff up in the mornings. It helps, at least I feel like I can get the oxygen in.

Today I had a business meeting with someone that lasted nearly 3 hours, but was very worthwhile and enjoyable. I met a woman who is well-connected in the patient advocacy and cancer survivorship community, and we had a great talk. I went over my content with her and she gave some great ideas and feedback. I'm so excited for this. It all takes longer than you want it to, but this was a great opportunity to meet a very knowledgeable and resourceful person in my line of work. Turns out we are both originally from the same area outside of Philadelphia.

Afterwards I drove home up I-25, the full moon was rising in some pink clouds to the east and the sun was setting over the Rockies in the west, with some awesome cloud formations. I pulled over near Loveland and took some pictures.

I am looking forward to running again.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Day 23: Return of the Geese

Like groundhog day, only better, because it only has to be repeated once.

I took my car back into the dealer today to get the airbags done, hoping their computers would be working. Fortunately they were. A friend picked me up and we went out to breakfast and talked about our businesses, then she dropped me off at home, and I walked back to the dealer later to pick it up. Yay, done.

Today the geese were flying overhead in their V arrangements, and I saw them at the schoolyard and other places where they like to hang out. It made me sad, I miss Iris. She loved to check out the geese, and of course, she loved goose poop. Isabelle never was much of a fan of it unless Iris was around to set an example. Otherwise Isabelle would have ignored it.

I tried taking The Bella for a walk this afternoon and she didn't want to go. She wandered around in the yard, front and back, but wouldn't go down the street. I know this will be a one day at a time thing from here on. She's still eating, and she still likes to talk to us, beg for food, and sleep between us at night.

Thanksgiving is coming and it's also a reminder that at this time last year, that was when Iris first had a problem with her eye, we took her to the vet the evening before Thanksgiving hoping to get something to help her get through the holiday. At that point we were treating it like an infection, but the vet told us the possibilities, and I conveniently tucked that brain tumor idea in the back of my mind at the time. Nine months later it became real for us, but who knows how much Iris was hiding that whole time. We saw signs like her tripping while walking, drinking a lot of water, and being more lethargic around the house than usual, but she never missed a walk or a treat. Easy to chalk it up to age when you don't want to think worst case scenario.

I had to go through my pictures today too, I've been looking for images for my new website, and I flipped through hundreds of pictures of the girls. I can't play the videos when Isabelle is around because she hears Iris's voice and it upsets her.

I know eventually Isabelle will "go see Iris", but she hasn't given us any indication that she's ready. So we will continue to spoil her with salmon and chicken broth dinners, occasional trips to Dairy Queen, and weekend rides in the cart to Starbucks for a pup cup. Here's a video of Isabelle enjoying a pup cup at Starbucks this past weekend.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Day 22: Schoolyard Tree

Yesterday afternoon I was going stir crazy and needed to get out of the cave. I am still feeling tired and coughing up junk from my lungs. But I walked over to a nearby schoolyard, about a mile from my house, where there is a distinctive old cottonwood tree.

I have this thing about trees out in the open, by themselves. I love to photograph them and used to paint them in pastel, but I don't have time to paint these days. My ultrahypo blog features lone trees as the post images.

I thought I'd share my photo exploration of the tree with you, for something different. I don't know if next week I'll be running again or headed to a doctor appointment. Sort of depends on how I feel when I wake up tomorrow. But for now, I can at least enjoy the close up, slow view of the things I usually run by every day. ABC: Always Bring a Camera. So here it is, close up.

Approach on land
the geese have returned
My usual view
Getting closer
The crown is so wide it doesn't fit without a wide angle lens
Roots of wisdom
The circumference of this tree is bigger than me
Up close and personal
In awe of these limbs
In all directions
Reaching for the sky
How many years did it take
Bark design
Way above my head
Old roots
So much detail
Color and shadows
Each crack tells a story

In the bright sun
Twigs and clouds
More wisdom in here
Shady side
Interior design
Looking in
Walls and carpet
North wall
South wall
Come back again

Walking away, excuse the tree selfie. It was really cold outside, I wasn't trying to look like a badass.