Monday, January 30, 2012

Duke the Daredevil

Well, maybe. Yesterday evening I was cleaning up so some friends could come over for dinner. I took Duke's bed off of the little chair he's been sleeping in all week. I brushed off the seat with my hand and saw something bigger than dust stuck in the lip of the seat cushion. Naturally I picked it up.

It was Duke's tooth. Not the whole tooth, but most of the tooth. Apparently, he broke his bottom canine. I looked in his mouth and saw right away where the root was still stuck.

So, of course, we went to the vet today. She was shocked that he could have broken a tooth as thick as that and not be in pain or have bled all over. The weirdest part is that I have no idea how he did it. I haven't seen him fall or run into anything. I haven't seen the dog getting any rougher than usual when they play.

And as I type this, Duke bites at his tags. Could that be it? Could he have broken a tooth trying to get his collar off? I just don't know. I don't even know where it happened. He could easily have picked up the tooth and took it up in the chair with him. Yeah.

The vet gave him an antibiotic shot and he'll go in Wednesday morning to have that root extracted. I am sure she will look for any other damage while she has him under anesthesia. She's cool like that.

And the crazy bugger still loves his hard crunchy food, too.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Son of a Gun 2

I know it's not Tuesday. It's Saturday. But J didn't get home in time on Tuesday to go to the gun store. We waited till today.

I had decided the Kahr was expensive, and my chances of ordering one from Maryland were slim. In the store today, they had sold their Beretta and didn't have any more in stock yet. So I handled the Springfield and the Bersa. I couldn't release the slide on the Springfield. Not good. The Bersa, however, I could do everything I needed to do while keeping the gun pointed forward. So I got that one.

Unfortunately, Jason's Glock was sold out. Apparently it's the recommended gun for the local Sheriff's dept. and they just got some new guys. We even called another store and they were also sold out. Our store took J's name and number and will call when they get more in, probably this week.

I also got 2 boxes of ammo and a cleaning kit. The clerk was great and showed me how to take it apart and pointed out one spot to make sure and keep clean. He was the same one we spoke to the first time and was super helpful again this time.

I decided to go shooting tomorrow, so we watched a movie this afternoon. Tomorrow we'll go to the range and shoot my new gun. Then we'll come home and learn how to clean it. I'm not going to let J do much with it though, except shoot. I need to be able to do it all myself, so I may as well do it now. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Soy Un Perdedor

I didn't post last week, I know. I ate way too much Thursday night and was at the same weight Friday morning. I stepped on the scale again Saturday morning and - low and behold! - I was down a pound. Well too late buddy!

Which leads me to this week - down another pound. Although on my WW it looks like I lost 2 pounds this week. That puts me at 153. since starting WW I've lost a total of 15 pounds! And I'm only 4 pounds away from my healthy goal of 149. That is totally doable by Easter.  I will try to keep going down after that, but like I've said before, 149 puts me in the "healthy" BMI range according to the charts. If I can get down to 140, or even 135, that would give me a little room to go up and down in maintenance. I like that.

I also did a new thing today - Power Pump. It's a class at the gym. My friend Jessica is doing it so I tagged along. Wow! Totally kicked my ass. But that's what I was looking for. It's kind of like circuit training, in that you get strength and cardio mixed together. We ran around the little indoor track, ran up and down stairs, used the step thingies, and used weighted bars. We did burpees (hiss) and sit-ups with the bars. I can already feel some of the soreness in my arms. Tomorrow will be fun. Especially since we will probably be buying our guns tomorrow and going shooting. No arm strength here. None at all.

It felt good, and I plan to go again on Monday. It's only the 2 days each week, but that works for me right now. If I can stick with it, I plan to do Power Pump Monday, run or bike Tuesday, belly dance Wednesday, run or bike Thursday, and Power Pump Friday. Then, as usual, a possible long run or bike on the weekend. And maybe some dog walking in there, too. Busy bee, that's me!

Of course, if the damn pool would ever open, I would be there at least once a week. I miss the smell of chlorine. *sigh*

So yay for weight loss! And yay for strength training! And yay for the super awesome brownie I had today!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Son of a Gun

J and I went gun shopping today. We've known for quite a while now that we want to get me a handgun and concealed carry permit. With the way his plans are going, he wants me to have it and be comfortable shooting it by next winter.

We went to a gun show this morning and looked at quite a few guns. We didn't buy anything, because our buddies said the prices were too high. They were right. After lunch, we went to a local gun store and the prices were much better. J found a handgun he likes, and we will definitely get it for him.

As for me, I'm deciding between 4 different guns. The one I want most (right now) is the most expensive and I don't even know if I can get it in Texas. The Kahr PM40 with external safety was made specifically to meet Maryland requirements for handguns. The Kahr 40 was the most comfortable gun I held today, but it has no external safety (except for the MD model). For those who may not know, the safety is a little switch that won't let the trigger pull, i.e. it won't fire. We think and external safety is a good idea if I want to carry the gun in my purse. I would probably have to special order the version with a safety, if I could even do that.

So anyway, I also liked a Springfield Armory, Bersa Thunder, and Beretta. All .40 caliber, all sub-compact, all with external safety. All seem to be reputable. If it really just comes down to reputation, I would probably go with the Beretta.

We won't be able to go back to the store together until Tuesday. I may go back by myself on Monday to look at the guns more closely and ask about the Kahr. I need to handle the Springfield and Kahr to see if I can handle them easily. I tried the Bersa and Beretta today and they were easier than I thought.

Of all these, the Kahr is most expensive, and I think Springfield is the least. *sigh* I kinda wish my dad was here to go with me on Monday. He wasn't much help on the phone today, except to say go with the one that is most comfortable. So I hope the guy who helped us today is there on Monday. I liked him.

Why is choosing a gun so hard for me? Whatever I decide to get, we will probably take it to the range next weekend. I also have to take it apart and learn to clean it. I'll let y'all know what I decide!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm a Performer

Disclosure Statement: I have migraine brain, so please excuse any typos/mistakes I miss correcting.

Today I did my first ever performance of belly dancing. My tribal troupe, Hodge Podge Tribal, did a rather impromptu performance/class at the officers' wives luncheon. The instructor was asked yesterday, and had some of us perform with her before doing basic drills with everyone there.

I think it went well. I was worried that not many would get up and dance with us, but quite a few did. I hope our performance was inspiring. I know the teacher's solo dance inspired me! We did 2 slow songs as a group, and I actually took the lead once in each song. It must have been the adrenaline.

I also didn't have any migraine issues during the dancing, and for just a bit after. I've been fighting this migraine off and on all week. If I can make it through tomorrow's stitchers (at my house), then I can pop some strong meds if I need to and just rest.

But back to belly dance. I borrowed a top from the teacher, and because it was so stretchy, the medium actually fit quite well. It stretched a lot to fit my bust, so the band was a little loose, but friend Amber and I decided I could easily put a slit in the band and add a drawstring to cinch it tight. Time to go shopping! I do plan on trying to make my own skirts, though.  Yes, skirts, plural. And harem pants.

We may get an opportunity to perform again at the end of April, at a Hafla. I'll let you google that. I'm tired. And since I let this sit for 5 minutes before remembering I was writing a blog, I think migraine brain is getting worse. I have a hot pad for my neck and my relax tea. Then it's bedtime.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

I've made one.

My knee got tired in the middle of belly dance class yesterday. I decided that doing the half marathon is not smart. I told J last night and he agreed that I would have a big chance of injuring the knee further.

*sigh* It was a tough decision to make. This was going to be my first big run with J cheering me on. We even talked about him taking his bike to meet me at certain points along the route. I was going to get a Tshirt and finishers' medal. Bleh. I suppose we could go, and I would still probably get the Tshirt since I did pay, but I would only do the 5K. I guess I need to take the running slowly and let the knee finish healing. This would be a little easier if the damn pool was open so I could swim. (Rumor says it will be open the end of this month, when my knee will already be healed.)

Instead, I'm trying to focus on the excitement I get with belly dancing. We're learning Black Sheep Tribal style. Example here: That is THE Black Sheep. My instructor is going to Tribal Fest (where that vid was filmed) and getting her teaching certificate this year. Let me 'splain it to you.

Tribal belly dance is an improvisational style. The dancers learn a repertoire of moves and cues, then put them together to fit the music as they perform. They take turns leading the group. You can even have a chorus and cycle through the dancers in the main group so everyone gets a turn without wearing out. In the video I linked above, the girls standing in the back doing simple moves are the chorus.

I have a lot of fun at our classes. I love the other girls in it, and it makes me feel good. Belly dance gives me body confidence as well. You will see all shapes and sizes of women doing professional belly dance. My first instructor, back in KS, had an amazing body. She didn't have 6-pack abs or huge biceps. She had soft curves, not fat, but shape. She would demonstrate a belly roll by isolating each section of her abs individually. So that 6-pack was there, hidden behind a layer of soft. I loved it. Not a muscle chick, but still muscular.

OK. I'm done. I hope you enjoy the video. If I do a performance with this group, I will let y'all know the when and where. Time to shower and start my day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just a Little Brain Dump

I had a bit of an "I can't believe I ate that" moment this morning. I went out to lunch yesterday and made probably the worst possible options. Holy crap. No wonder the scale was high this morning. I'm glad I have a 2 hour belly dance class today.

I'm also going to try to get a long run in this afternoon. This worries me a little because of my run on Monday. But let me backtrack a little further and take you to Sunday morning. J went for a bike ride. I got on my bike, and went on a very short ride. The cold air made my hand hurt and I had trouble braking with that hand. So I went back home and changed into my running clothes.

Remy and I headed out on the 3 mile track. I had to stop and walk a few times, to work out some tight spots on my left side. No biggie. I was able to get into a slow run within the first mile and keep that up, except when the pup needed to stop. In general, I felt good. It felt good to get out there and run again.

So Monday afternoon, I took Remy out again. We started out strong and did good, but just barely over 4 miles into it, I felt something in my knee. It was a twinge, a little muscle tweak. I slowed to a walk for a bit, then tried to push back into a run. That twinge was still there, so we walked the rest of the way home.

I'm going to try again today. I'm not going to take Remy because I want to focus on my running form. I need to get an idea of how far I can go. The half marathon is on Saturday, and as much as I want to do it, I don't want to hurt my knee. I'm still debating whether I'll head over Haan bridge or just keep it flat.

My knee is taking longer to heal than the rest of me. My nose and chin look so much better, although the nose is still the tiniest bit tender. I'm sure it bruised. My hand still gets cold and is tender, but I have most of my movement back. My knee is healing, but the bruise is huge, and it's still very tender. I can't even seem to have any material over it or it brushes on the bandaid and makes it uncomfortable to walk.

I've been cleaning it in the shower, and using neosporin and bandaids on it during the day. It actually feels better bandaged up than it does in the shower. It's always on my mind, my knee and my running. I want to do this half marathon, but if I hurt my knee even more, it will push me back even further.

I also still get pretty tired in the late afternoon, and I wake up still tired. I know I haven't been eating very well, which could be part of it. Could my body still be healing so much that I'm tired? I wouldn't think so, but I don't know.

Oh, I did go to my doc appointment last week and found out I have a form of eczema. It started on my toes, then moved to my hands and even my face. I scraped most of it off in my fall, but I think I got a new patch now. The doc gave me steroid cream for it. He implied that it's just from dry skin in the winter, since it only shows up in the winter. He also said that nothing was broken from my fall.

I guess that's it right now. I think about my running, my knee, my weight/diet, and the TARDIS apron I need to start making today. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Healthy Eating in 2012

J and I talk about being localvores. We love the idea of it, but find it hard to follow through with in our current location. 

I also love the idea of using all fresh produce in my cooking, but again, find the follow through difficult. 

So I'm going to push for something I considered a while back. I want to start shopping through Los Poblanos Organics. You can order a weekly "Harvest Box" that has regionally grown fruits and veggies. Most of them are grown at their farm in New Mexico. They have one location for pick-up in El Paso. 

I was checking them out, and found their blog. They are going to start offering different sizes of harvest boxes this year! We can order a small harvest box and choose to only pick up every other week at first, to see how quickly we go through it. 

I'm hoping this will give me quality produce (which I don't see at the Commissary) and also push our boundaries a bit. If we get a veggie that we have never tried before, we'll have to look up how to use them. Try some new recipes. It will keep us from just relying on our usuals, like asparagus. We eat lots of asparagus. And zucchini. 

The blog said it would be a few weeks to get the box sizes set up, so I'm giving them the month of January. Then I'll sign up. I liked the idea of this when I first discovered them, but I like it even more now. 

The pick up in EP is on Tuesday afternoons, but they should be putting out a list of the weekly harvest boxes on Thursdays. So I can see what they have, and possibly even change it up a bit; say no to more potatoes and ask for more apples. We could start planning a menu on Thursdays, so I could probably even keep my Monday grocery shopping day. Or maybe I'll switch to Tuesdays. We'll see. 

I can order other organic things as well through them, including some delicious sounding baked goods. I might try some out, but I think we'll mostly stick to produce. Their beef is very expensive, so I'll stick to getting freebies from my folks for now. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I Picked a Fight With the Sidewalk...

...and the sidewalk won!

First - the story.

I decided to go for a long run yesterday afternoon, after Duke's vet appointment. The half marathon is in 2 weeks, and I haven't been running. I felt pretty good, but didn't want to push too hard so I figured 6 miles, with the Haan bridge in the middle. Meanwhile, J took Remy out for an easy 3.

I got over the bridge and right where it levels out, my toe caught on some bit of sidewalk that sticks out the tiniest little bit. I had this horrid sensation of slowed time. I knew I was falling. Then I knew I couldn't catch myself and that I was going to go down hard. WHAM! My face hit the cement.

The next few minutes felt like much longer, but I know in reality it was just a few minutes. I sat up and tried to wipe at some of the blood coming from my nose. I had to catch my breath and consciously slow my breathing. I pulled my cell phone out from my water belt pocket and dialed J.

Lucky point #1 - I don't usually take my cell phone with me on runs, but randomly decided to grab it for this one.

No answer from J. Another runner came by and stopped to see if I was OK. He helped me up and I told him I was going to walk over to my friend's house. Somewhere in all of this, I don't really know when, I picked up my sunglasses and put them on my head. I called Rebecca and asked how to get to her house. Turns out I just had to walk across the dirt lot and - voila! - there's Rebecca's house!

Lucky point #2 - Fell a few feet from a friend's house, and she was home.

Rebecca cleaned me up a bit and stuck some bandaids on me, then took me home. I had since left J a voicemail and text. Tried a few more calls with no answer. On the way home, I grabbed my sunglasses off my head and notice that the right lens is all scratched up.

Lucky point #3 - My sunglasses got scratched, not my eye. I don't know how bad it would have been if I hadn't been wearing those glasses.

We pulled up into the driveway, which J was walking around in. He said at first he thought I might have just gotten tired. Then, as he walked around the truck, he started seeing more - bandages, blood. Finally I opened the door and got out and he saw it all.

Problem was, We'd accidentally locked ourselves out. Rebecca called her husband who got us the number to maintenance. They sent someone out to unlock our house. Of course, that took almost half an hour. And the sun went down, so it got cold. We were shivering out front, waiting, so J told me to walk over to the Shopette just 2 blocks away and get warm. I made it 1 block when I saw the maintenance van come by and turn on our street. I turned back around.

They got us in, and were very nice. I went to the bathroom and inspected myself some more. I really looked like shit. I mean really. I looked horrid.

I started cleaning up a bit, got my pajamas on, and J ordered some pizza. He made me a cup of tea, since I was still rather cold, and I sat on the couch for a while. We ate pizza, ate dessert, which J ordered because he thought it would make me feel better, and it did, then I was ready to try a shower.

Talk about pathetic! J had to wash my hair for me. The hot water helped me feel so much better. I took some pain killers and went to bed after a nice chat with my mom.

At one point, somewhere between pizza and shower, I noticed that my nose ring was gone. I believe my sunglasses may have scraped down my nose, catching the nose ring and pulling it out. It was a bead style ring, which means a straight pin with a bead at the end. I cleaned up the piercing and put my old nose screw in it.

Now for the fun part - pictures! I took pics this morning.

This is my nose. There is a big gash at the top which bled quite a bit, and scrapes down both sides. You can also see my fat lip and the road rash on my right cheek.

My chin got a big scrape, and you can see more of the lip here as well.

My left hand is scraped, bruised, and swollen. All around the pinkie knuckle. I have road rash on the heels of my palms as well, both hands, and on my right shoulder.

This is my left knee. It did this through my running tights. You can't really see the bruising yet, but I know it's there. It's very tender, as is the left hand. The right knee just has a little scrape.

And here I am the next morning, with clean bandaids to go grocery shopping. I got many strange looks, but no one said a word to me about it. I'm sure more bruises will be showing up in the next few days. My jaw is rather sore, probably from hitting it on the pavement.

I feel much better today and even made myself some scrambled eggs for breakfast. Grocery shopping wore me out, though. I'll be taking it easy this afternoon and just working on the newsletter that I need to get out. I had already scheduled a doctor's appointment for Thursday morning for something else entirely, so I may as well have him check how I'm healing when I go in.

I really do look like someone beat the shit out of me. I'm lucky I didn't break my nose. I'm kinda lucky in general. This whole incident could have been so much worse. I have no clue right now if I'll be able to run the half marathon on the 14th. I'll give it a couple days and see how I do. It's mostly my knee that would hold me back in that area. I'll let the scrape heal up and see how I am then.


I need to blog about 2 things today and decided they should be separate posts. First is Duke.

Got back from Vacation on Thursday evening. Sunday morning, I find that Duke has been peeing outside his box. I don't think it had been going on long, probably just that night. But the big problem was the little brown spots. He had blood in his urine, and was peeing tiny bits all the time.

So Monday was a trip to see the vet. He has either a UTI, some urinary tract inflammation, or both. They gave him some fluids, an anti-inflammatory, penicillin, and gave me some antibiotics to give him. We pushed his teeth cleaning back by a week to try to clear this up.

I think he is doing better already. Not going potty quite as often. We'll go back in on Friday for a check up to make sure he's OK for the teeth cleaning next Tuesday.

I suspect this came on from him not drinking as much while we were gone. He does that and always has. What I don't understand is why it waited till Saturday night to show any signs. Or maybe he was hiding the signs until then. I'm not sure. But we have medicine and a great vet.

Last Friday, J and I had taken Duke in to get his antibiotic shot that he gets before a teeth cleaning. While waiting, an older woman showed up with her cat. The tech told us that this lady's cat was leukemia positive, but she had other cats at home and couldn't keep it. It was an obvious plea for us to take this cat.

I couldn't.

Duke does not like other cats and never really has. That was part of why I adopted him. We are only supposed to have 2 pets in our house, and while I know they won't really care if we have more, J insists on no more than 2. I rather agree. Finally, the thought of getting attached to another cat only to watch her get sick is painful.

It broke my heart as I said it, but I said no.

The poor kitty was being put down. I just didn't know how to help her. There was no one I could call to take her in. *sigh*

This experience made me extra glad that we have a great vet who wants to let Duke live as long as possible, who didn't see his leukemia as a death sentence. He's about 8 years old, which puts him on the young end of "senior cat." I know he won't be one of those 20 year old cats, but he will live longer because he has people who care about him, because he is my only cat.

Speaking of Duke, I need to give him his medicine.