Sunday, December 30, 2012

Getting The Party Started

Ok, so it's no party, not really. But I realize I haven't been eating well. I'm not pigging out, but I'm not eating healthy. I need to cut back on frozen pizza.

I went ahead and ordered myself a harvest box. Haven't done that lately. I went with foods that I know I like to eat. Some staples that will last a while, like potatoes and sweet potatoes, some fruit, and some greens. I will base my meals around using up these fruits and veg before they go bad. Oh, and half a dozen eggs, because what the hell.

I got swiss chard, because I know I can cook it easily with some chopped onion and balsamic vinegar and it makes a good side. Could even crumble some cooked bacon in it. Spinach is great for so many things, and I could start making my own little pizzas again. Probably a lot better for me than frozen pizza. With my appetite now, I could get 4 pizzas out of 1 package of naan. That's half a piece for each pizza. I love fresh spinach on my pizza. And winter squash. I get whatever they send, but I love squash. All squash.

I just need some protein options. If you know me at all, you know I don't eat a lot of meat. I like meat well enough, but I just don't like to eat it all the time. So I need some good protein options that aren't meat. I think I'll raid my vegan friends' blogs, and allrecipes.com. I like that site. And my Gordon Ramsay cookbook. Mmmmmmm, I should make those blueberry muffins again.

So what brought this on? Even with the skinny supplement, I noticed that if I don't work out somewhat regularly, I don't lose weight. So I ran 3 days last week. I plan to run at least 3 days this week and start my new strength training routine, also 3 days. Want to help? On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, ask me if I've done my SimpleFit. Don't nag, don't lecture, just ask. If I haven't done it, I will feel guilty all on my own.

Oh! So I got my new sports bras in the mail. Mom gave me money for Christmas, and J sent me a gift certificate for the exact amount of a bra-tank from Lynx Sportswear. I read about these online and wanted to give it a try. I still love my Enells, but 2 layers of fabric under a tank top is a lot in El Paso summers. I took my measurements and checked the Lynx size chart. Of course I was right in-between sizes. I went with the smaller one, knowing how sensitive my chest it. I placed the order on Christmas day.

Surprisingly, I got an email that same day from Lynx. They were working! She told me that they've been giving us between-sizes women the option to try both sizes and return the one that doesn't fit. They even include a pre-paid envelope. So sure! I'll try it. Like Enell, they have their own sizing system based on your measurements. Their sports bras each have a number and a style. The styles are based on how large your chest is compared to your rib cage. You have the Sprint, the Dart, and the Zoom. Of course, I'm right between the Dart and the Zoom. The tanks aren't offered in the Zoom yet, so I only really had 1 option there.

My package was actually delivered on Friday, but I didn't check the mail that day and didn't realize I'd gotten my bras until it was dark and cold out. Remy and I walked to the mailbox Saturday morning to get them. Yes, I tried them on right away. Well, I let them warm up first. It was cold.

I tried both the Dart and Zoom, and definitely like the Dart better. The Zoom looked a little odd on me, could the shortness of my torso a little, and seemed to have just a bit extra fabric. I honestly wondered if I needed a smaller band at first. But I tried the Dart back on, and tried on the tank. I made sure everything was well adjusted and in place. I just wore it for a few minutes, then did a test. Jumping, running back and forth in my hallway, jiggle, jiggle. Very little to no movement, and the band stayed in place even on the loosest setting. That's one of the pros with this bra - adjustable band.

So I will keep these, send back the Zoom. My only complaint at this point is that my sports bra has more white than the ones on the site. If you look at them, they have a white center, color sides, white back, and black trim. Well, mine has white trim. You know me, I like things dark. I only ordered blue so Amber wouldn't nag me. (Just kidding, Amber. You know I love you.) But hey, I had color options other than black, white, and pink, so I'm not that upset by it.

So this is a single layer of fabric, and the white pieces are actually a mesh fabric, which means VENTILATION!! I'm looking forward to cooler runs this summer! I might have to order another tank top if I love it as much as I think I will. I'll run in my sports bra today or tomorrow (whenever I get out to run) and give a formal review over on Bra Crusader. With pics. Maybe I'll double post it, both here and there. We'll see. And yes, I can actually get much more detailed about the bras and how they fit. Cuz I'm like that.

Well this post ended up longer than I expected. Not a bad thing. I'm kinda having a lazy Sunday. I thoroughly vacuumed my couches yesterday. Haven't done that in a while. I even took off the seat cushions and vacuumed under them. On the big couch I found a pencil and 2 cat toys. On the loveseat, I found a yarn needle and another cat toy. Duke came out when I was done (he hates the vacuum, it's too loud) and played with one of the mice I found off an on the rest of the day. So cute.

Last thought. I promise. Remember my post about listening to more music? I'm doing it today. Nothing good on TV, and I wasn't really paying attention to it anyway, so I put it on a music channel. Classic Alternative. It's actually channel 666 on my TV. I love that. (Yes, that is my sense of humor. If you know me at all, you know that.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oh Yeah! Shoe Review! (Vivobarefoot Neo)

I found a great deal on the Vivobarefoot Neo from the Clymb (if you want to sign up, ask me and I'll send you a referral!). Vivo is a brand I've been looking at for a while because they have a lot of zero drop minimal shoes.

I got them and of course tried them on right away. J even got to help me pick the color, which it seems they don't make anymore. Glad I got my blue! I really wore them first for our FRG holiday party. On my feet most of the day and no soreness. They slip on easily and fit wonderfully. Lots of room in my toes, nice and snug on the heel. They are more of a cross training shoe and just a running shoe, and have a simple design that looks cute for everyday wear.

I have worn them for 2 short runs now (3.5 miles) that each included some walking (stupid cold and laziness). But the shoes have been amazing. No hot spots. No discomfort. Feet feel great. They don't pick up pebbles and thorns like my New Balance do. They have a removable insole, which some people apparently replace with orthotics. I personally think that makes no sense. Buy a minimal shoe and then stick an orthotic in it? Whatever.

 I haven't tried them without socks yet. It's cold out there. Don't know if I will. My underarmor running socks are rather nice and very lightweight, so they aren't too much in the summer. We'll see. These shoes do have a thicker upper, so my feet might get hot when it warms up out there.

I am very much in love with these shoes. I will be doing more long runs over the next few weeks, and a half marathon on January 12.

This is the same half marathon I wasn't able to run a year ago because I picked a fight with a sidewalk and lost. I am not letting that happen this year. I will run it. And it's right here on Bliss, so no travel woes.

Oh noes! Almost forgot pics!

Yes, that's Remy lying next to me. And an old shoe in the background.

Outside (and Rem)

Inside

Top

Getting Back On Track

I admit, I've been slacking on my running. Like, a lot. But I got out with Remy on Christmas Eve and ran. We'll head out this afternoon as well. And next week, I'll start the Simple Fit program. Week will consist of 3 days of running and 3 days of strength training. At least at first. Then I'll start adding swimming and biking back in to alternate with running. But I really need to stick with a strength program.

I have also started another health regime - lotion. Simple, yes? But I just now started putting lotion on my arms and legs every day, instead of just when they get so dry that they itch. What started this? Getting fed up with my ridged fingernails.

The vertical ridges in my nails have just gotten worse over time. I of course did my favorite thing and researched it on teh interwebz. A couple sites suggested dehydration as a cause. Kinda makes sense. They've gotten worse since moving to this dry climate, and my cuticles have always been rather dry and cracked. So I'm trying to drink enough water during the day, and using lotion. At night before bed I slather aquaphor on my hands and rub it all in.

Along with my ridgey nails, I had a bad eczema flair up. It's mostly on my right foot, and mostly on 1 poor toe. A little on the left foot, and one little bump on my finger. My toe actually got stiff and sore and was all red, swollen and itchy. I think the run on Monday irritated it a bit. Again, I turn to teh majykal interwebz. Some people recommend soaking the area in vinegar. One lady actually drinks 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar every day. My favorite? Mentholatum. I'm already slathering it all over my nose every night.

So I created my own treatment. Morning and night, I use a cotton ball to swab the toes with apple cider vinegar. Then I slather them in mentholatum. I love that stuff. Yesterday, the toe was still sore, and just the toe seam on a sock hurt. I wrapped 2 of the toes on my right foot in gauze. That way they could breathe, but it would soak up any sweat. Socks and shoes were fine. It looked better last night, and looks a bit better than that this morning. Yay!

My cold seems to be doing better. I stopped the drugs and just have a stuffy nose sometimes. One side of my nose got very sore and even swollen a little. I was kinda worried when it looked like I was getting some sores, but then it itched, and I realized it could be a new location for eczema. Oh yay. I put mentholatum on it a few times a day and I'm gentle with the tissues. It's looking better. I've been using my neti pot as well. I cannot use plain water in it, but have to add a little salt. It's saline or nothing for my nose, apparently.

I'm also going to try to get back on track with my sewing. I have that damn quilt that I haven't finished yet. And a skirt that I really want to start wearing, but it's in 2 pieces with no waistband. Must Finish! After that, I would like to finish my pineapple wreath (called that because of how the fabric is pieced on, similar to the outside of a pineapple) so I can hang it up next year. And I never did make Misty's quilt. I have all the material, so it needs done.

I'm having fun crocheting hats. Making them for little kids only so far. I think I want to find a nice lacy style one for myself. I have some pretty alpaca yarn that would look good, as long as it's enough. Worth a shot anyway.

Since today is the day after Christmas, and I don't have to be anywhere, I think I might stay in my PJs all day. I could stand to do a load of laundry, and then dirty my running clothes again right away, but oh well. Looks like 1 to 2 pm will be the least windy today, so I'll aim for then. Hmm. Better get that laundry going. OR, I could wait and do it after the run......

Yeah. that rather makes more sense. Instead, I should probably put all the wrapping paper away so I can use the dining room table for sewing again. :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Music

Today is Christmas Eve. For J, it's Christmas Eve evening. Since he already opened his gift that I want to talk about, I can, well, talk about it.

There isn't much you can send to your husband for Christmas when he's deployed. There's nothing he needs, not much that he wants and can use over there, so what do I do? I came up with the idea a couple weeks ago.

I recorded a little video of me singing J's favorite Christmas carol, The Little Drummer Boy. I found a karaoke track on youtube that was in a good key and at a good speed. You wouldn't believe how many versions are out there, some fast, some slooooow, and in all vocal ranges. Crazy. But I found a good one at the very last minute.

I had three options for recording my video: my laptop, my phone, and my digital camera. I did a short test of all three to see which had the best sound quality. The iphone won, hands down. Then I had to find the right place in my house. I ended up in the dining room. I set my laptop on the table, plugged in the desktop speakers, and propped my phone up on the monitor like I do when J and I facetime. I just used facetime as a verb *shutter*.

Anywho, I ended up having to set my laptop on a box to raise it up. And then another box. But it put it at just the right height. I start recording, and Duke jumps up on his table, which is in the dining room, and noisy. He scratched at his collar, which makes noise, and then Bosco (our doggy visitor for Christmas) whined. Stop, reset, take 2. Bosco whine pretty early on. Stop, reset, take 3. Duke comes to my feet and meows. Ugh! really?

I took a break, let the dogs outside to play, and tried again. I made it through the song without interruption, but decided that I didn't like the camera angle. This is when I added the second box. Final take, made it through, no interruptions, and it was the best yet. It wasn't going to get any better, and the dogs were ready to come inside.

I noticed something at this point. I was in a good mood. I had woke up a little depressed, but making this video for J really cheered me up. I had forgotten how good singing can make me feel. Anymore, I really only sing to myself, usually in the car. And since I haven't been doing much driving around, I haven't been singing much.

A while back, I looked around for a community choir I could join. I found a small one that was pretty new, and decided to go. I stayed for 1 semester (it ran on a school-year schedule). I couldn't go back. There were people with no pitch, many who didn't read music, and it was so unprofessional, I couldn't take it. I know, it's a volunteer thing, but if you say that you want to appear professional, you should at least try.

I haven't found anything to replace that, and I sing less often than I used to. Of course I still head back to Kansas every Easter for annual Good Friday date, but that's once a year. There's this talent "show" here on post. Most the "talents" are music, of course. Part of me thinks I should audition. But what the hell would I sing? Should I go classical? Should I try something more modern? I don't know. Would I need to supply back-up tracks?  I don't know. Auditions are in January.

One way or another, I think I need to add more music back into my life. Even if I just turn the TV to a music station (like musicchoice, not MTV), and listen, if a song I like comes on I'll start singing along. So yeah, I'm going to sing more. I still have stage fright, so no, I probably won't sing for you. But I need to start singing for myself more often. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Project Update: Good Health

Is that what I called this project? I don't remember, and don't feel like looking it up.

So I guess I didn't blog about starting the feverfew? I looked back and couldn't find it. Quick review then, mom and I were talking about my migraines during my last one, about a month ago. We thought it would be worth it for me to try feverfew. It's an herb. It's natural. I bought some at GNC and started taking one pill twice a day. The pills are 380mg each. I stopped taking the verapamil.

This all took place about a month ago. I don't remember when exactly. Since then, I have had some headaches, but I take ibuprofen and they go away, or at least stay under control. The worst headache I've had since I started the feverfew was a sinus headache a few days ago. And it really was just a sinus headache. Today I'm having some icepicks. I ate breakfast and I'm drinking some green tea. I will take ibuprofen in a little while if I have any more.

Wait. Strike that. I just remembered last Wednesday. My head was kinda hurting during the day. By evening, ibuprofen wasn't working. I had a holiday party to attend, lasted 2 hours, then I went home and took some tramadol and went to bed. I felt so much better the next morning. That was during my period, so I'm sure it was hormone based. I know there isn't much I can do for menstrual migraines. I'm already using the pill to limit how many periods I have.

BUT, other than my hormone triggered migraine, that only lasted 1 day, I have been migraine free. So I'll keep up the feverfew. It seems to be making a difference. And yes, it makes me feel good to know its an herb and not chemicals.

In other health news, I have a cold. It started with a scratchy throat, then my nose got stuffy. I'm taking mucinex and using afrin nose spray. My cold cocktail. It's getting better, but my nose is still pretty stuffed up.

Also, weight loss! I weigh 146 as of this morning! So close to my original goal of 145! I have been slacking quite a bit in the fitness department. This cold sure didn't help matters. I found a strength training program that I want to try. I just have trouble motivating myself. It's called Simple Fit and uses pull-ups, push-ups, and squats. All you need is a pull-up bar, and I have J's that I can use. No, I cannot currently do a single pull-up, but they do give options for those of us that can't do those.

In non-health news, we are dog-sitting this week. Bosco's family flew home for a funeral (during the holidays, sad news). He's with us for a little more than a week. He's about the same size as Rem, but older and fatter. I can say that because his mama told me he's fat. He's a sweetheart. He was checking out my bedroom this morning, saw Duke laying on the floor in the corner, kinda sniffed in the cat's direction, then moved on. So Duke is actually staying downstairs and not hiding the whole time. Remy really likes Bosco and will choose to sit by him instead of by me.

And now that all this is in writing, I need to shower so I can go run errands with the Smiths! 

Friday, December 7, 2012

On Being A Dog Owner

*WARNING* Talking about dog puke. Be careful if that grosses you out. Scroll down and I'll let you know when the yuck stops.


My dog has a bit of a sensitive stomach. He's been known to get emotionally upset to the point that he gets physically sick. He used to eat so fast that the food didn't stay down. He ate so many june bugs once that he coughed them all back up.

He's lucky that I don't gross out easily. J is also lucky, since I do all the cleaning up and treating of the sick critters. I've learned, with Rem, that I have to give him a little time and be patient when he gets sick. He'll often just sick up once and get over it. I look for signs, like not wanting to eat, lethargy, or differences in his poop before getting too worried.

There was one time when Remy was getting sick in the middle of the night once a week. Just once a week for a few weeks in a row. I couldn't find any connection to anything he was eating. It wasn't always the same day, or the same time of night, but it would be towards the middle of the week, and just once. We ended up going to a vet because we were taking him with us on a long weekend trip. We also went to a different vet than our usual one. They gave him, like, 4 different meds and a bland food diet. I stopped all but 1 of his meds the next day. The 1 I kept? Pepcid. The same as your or I would take. He only gets half a pill at a time, but it really seems to make a difference when his stomach is upset.

Why am I talking about this? He puked up all his food at 0230 last night. I'm very lucky that he prefers to be sick outside and will head to the back door when he doesn't feel good. Keeps the yuck off the carpet and makes it much easier to clean up. He'll usually stay outside until he feels better. Well last night he came back in, we tried to go back to bed, but he then rang his bells to go outside. Before I could get to the back door, he was puking up the grass he'd eaten after the first time. Ugh. OH, and this was after I stepped in some of the first yuck. Le sigh.

So we cleaned up some more, and he stayed outside for a while. By "we" I really mean "me." He didn't come back in until I made him come in. He was barking at something, maybe someone walking by, and I didn't want to disturb the neighbors. Finally went back to bed an hour after all this started.

This is the second time this week. He did the same thing a couple nights ago. Tuesday morning, to be exact. Now part of me wants to rush him to the vet and see what's wrong. BUT, there's a good chance that there is nothing wrong. I've been trying to remember everything he's eaten the past few days, to see if I gave him anything that could be making him sick. The only thing I can think of right now is his soft dog treats. They're chewy milkbone treats that he's been getting most of this year. But it's the only thing I can think of that I might have given him on days before getting sick, and not the days in between. I checked the treats and found out they were expired, which adds to the suspicion.

He's not acting tired or mopey. He ate a sick puppy breakfast (dry food mixed with some soft food). He won't be getting anymore of those treats (I threw the rest away), and I really think I won't be seeing him get sick anymore. On Tuesday, he ate a normal dinner with no problem. I expect the same today.

*End of Yuck

Let's talk more about owning a dog. I don't mind being the main caregiver for the dog, because I really really wanted a dog. Like, REALLY wanted one. Yes, I get tired of cleaning dog poop, I don't like cleaning up puke, I get annoyed with how much I have to vacuum. But the benefits of this crazy mutt make it all worth it. He can always make me smile, even if he was just getting in trouble. He obviously loves me and needs me. He even loves the cat, and hell, the cat has become a little affectionate with him.

I'm part of a facebook group for helping military families in my city with pets. They search for lost pets, search for owners of found pets, and try to find homes for strays. They make sure people follow the city laws about rehoming pets. The sad part is that you see a lot of military families who would rather give away their pet than move with it. You see the same excuses over and over again: I'm pregnant, my husband is deploying, pet A doesn't get along with pet B (even though they've only been together for a couple weeks), I just can't give it the attention it needs.

When I adopted Duke, he had some separation anxiety. He would cry when I left and cry when I came home. He probably cried all day long. I worked an 8 hour day and had a hour total of drive time, so he was home alone all day. Over time he realized that I kept coming back home, and that anxiety eased. We moved with him, from apartment, to small house, to duplex, then to another state, and again to another house. He hates travel, but is so glad to be with us. He's even traveled with me before. He stayed at Grandpa Weigel's, where he was scared to death of the cuckoo clock, and at my parent's place. He still gets excited when I get home. He still greets me at the door. And if I've been gone overnight, I can hear him meowing from the garage. I would do just about anything for that damn cat.

Now that Duke is FeLV positive, I know that there is very little chance of him coming with me if we were to get orders overseas. I can't imagine not taking him with me. We don't even have orders to leave here yet, and I've made arrangements for the just in case scenario. My mother assured me that they would take in Duke should that situation arise. I told her I would buy them a self-scooping litter box so that she would just have to empty the basket or whatever. But you know, should that day come, I will be in tears over leaving my kitty behind. I love that little stinker and can't imagine him not being part of our lives.

Yet these people will have a dog or cat for years, will raise it from a baby, and then decide they don't want to drive that far with it, so they'll just give it to someone else. It's mind boggling. I cannot comprehend how these people can just give up so easily.

Now don't get me wrong. I have surrendered a pet before. Our first cat, Lenore, A.K.A. Spawn of Satan, was my first kitty. We got her as a kitten. We raised her. We had her spayed. We got her declawed (front only) to save our arms and legs. She was a very violent cat. She loved to fight and would always come back for more. She had some weird, unexplainable habits, like eating clothing. I mean it. Especially knits and fleece, she would chew a chunk out and eat it. We had her for 2 years and she just got weirder and meaner. I reached a breaking point when she ate a whole in my brand new sweater that my sister gave me for my birthday. She pulled it through the holes in the laundry hamper to eat it. But even then, I couldn't bear to take her to the humane society. J did the dirty deed for me. He felt horrible because he ended up taking her on my actual birthday.

I was miserable about that decision. I felt like a failed her.

When I got Duke, I was careful to pick a cat with a personality that fit with my life and my needs. When we picked Remy, we looked for a dog that fit our personalities and wasn't just a hyper bundle of nerves. We worked with Duke and the pup to make sure they would get along. We put a lot of effort into these pets, and it makes me so happy to know that they are happy with us. I still wonder sometimes if they ever found a home for Lenore. J told them about her violent nature and they witnessed it first hand. We suggested someone with a farm, since she would have been an amazing mouser, but I never would have let her around kids.

This is probably the longest post I've written in a while. I like animals. I like animals better than people. Animals don't judge. Animals don't talk behind your back. Animals don't cause drama.

As I write this, Remy is lying at my feet and Duke is in the bedroom, probably on my bed. I will take these critters with me everywhere I can possibly take them. They make my life more livable, and I will make sure they have a comfortable life in return. I can't wait to see how they react when J gets home. I know they will both be excited to see him. Even Duke, who was afraid of men when I first got him. Duke is my proof that love and patience can change an animal's whole attitude. And we are proof that animals can change our attitudes.

EDIT: Let's add some photos, just for fun.

He seems to think he still fits in the cat bed.

PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

holding his chew for him

I honestly don't know. That's the dog's food bowl.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Skinny: Month The Second

Down one more pound this week. My body seems very happy with a pound-a-week weight loss. I've settled into this every time I've lost weight. I am perfectly happy with it. However, it makes for a rather boring weekly blog update. So! From now on, let's make it monthly. Or whenever I remember to do it. Or somewhere in between.

I have been having some dry mouth stuff. It's mostly right around the inside of my mouth and on my lips. Gets pretty bad some days. Aquaphor seems to help the most, so I'm going to pick up one of the aquaphor lip tubes that will fit in my pocket.

In other news, my first migraine since starting the fever few is trying to start, but it's hormone based, so it doesn't mean the fever few isn't working. Just means I'm PMSing like hell. Ugh. Fatigued also. Don't want to do anything.

So now I'm not updating The Skinny weekly, and I've finished My Body, so what do I write about? Suggestions? Ideas?

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Body: To Top It All Off...

The head. You have all heard about my head. Oh yes. But I will finish this little blog series I started.

Let's start with what you already know. I have been getting migraines since I was 17. I very clearly remember my first migraine. It happened in Denver. Mom and I had gone down for my Great Aunt's funeral. I got the worst headache I'd ever had. Mom asked me some questions and knew it was a migraine. She gave me one of her nasal imitrex. I ate black olives to wash out the taste of it draining down the back of my throat. Ate the whole can. Then I slept for a while and felt better when I woke up.

That was my senior year of high school, and I had more migraines after that. I carried a cocktail of OTC painkillers in my backpack. I wore sunglasses in class because the fluorescent lighting hurt my eyes. I also often wore stretchy gloves in class because my hands were cold. People thought I was either drunk or high.

I used my mom's imitrex through college. Or maybe the doc gave me my own prescription. I don't remember. After college, when I started working, I was having migraines with a low pain level that lasted days, sometimes a whole week. I'd have lots of symptoms like sensitivity to light and sound, vertigo, nausea, tingly fingers, and for a while tenderness at my temples. I saw a doc who ordered an MRI. Results were normal. She gave me imitrex pills. The pills were a higher dose than the nasal kind, and I experienced tightness in my jaw and throat that were worse than the migraines. I started to only take it if I could go lay down right away. I tried some other drugs, but none seemed to really make a difference. You know what did finally make a difference? I got fired. 4 years at the same job and I got fired with no warning. My stress level suddenly dropped and I got fewer migraines.

Since then, I've tried losing weight, getting in shape, and even more drugs. While I like the weight loss and getting in shape, they haven't really helped the migraines. Right now I'm taking feverfew, and haven't had a migraine since I started it. Let's see how long that lasts. I now get a higher pain level and fewer symptoms.

Ok. Other things about my head. I have hair that is fine, on the thin side, and straight. It has no body. When I wore it long, it would just hang there, so it was often in a ponytail or messy bun. It has never held curl well. I went through stages of perming it. Once as a kid and once as an adult. The adult me called it a body wave. Haha. My hair has now been short for 8 years. And by short I mean never below the bottoms of my ears. What I consider short, most "short hair" style magazines call very short. I also have 2 cowlicks; to the right of the crown, and along the nape of my neck. The hair on my neck grows to the left. It's also medium brown naturally. It was dark blonde as a kid and has slowly darkened to medium brown. With hair dye, it has been every natural color and some unnatural colors. It has been just about every shade of red possible.

What else? Piercings! All my piercings are on my head. First was the usual lobe piercing when I was 9. Aunt Debbie got them pierced for my birthday. Second lobe holes I got in Switzerland when I was 18 and touring Europe with the Wyoming Ambassadors of Music. Next was the cartilage on my left ear when I was, oh, 20? That one got a bad infection once that I got antibiotics for. I got my nose pierced when I was, um, 27 I think. Misty went with me. Finally, I got my conch pierced on the right ear. When was that? Last summer? Here in El Paso at any rate. I love it.

Also on my head, I have acne. At 32 years old. And it's not going anywhere. I've been using the honey mask I blogged about, and I like how it makes my skin feel. I figure it's something I'll be dealing with for a long time.

If you want to know about the inside of my head, it's a mystery still to me. I can't tell you why I'm a cynic, or why I often dream about paranormal things and violence. I can't tell you why I love to count things but hate doing math, or why I love to edit but can't write for crap. I can't explain why my mom and sister and I often know just when to call each other, or when something very emotional has happened to one of us.

And that wraps it up. My body, from head to toe. Or toe to head. Whatever. 

Half Marathon #4

I took it easy, I took pictures, I even posted one on Facebook during the race. I walked when I felt like it. I finished at 2:36:?? and don't really care.

I was very disappointed in the race organization. This is part of a series of half marathons over a range of States. I paid quite a bit for this race. I know it was to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, and yes I totally support that organization. However, it was the worst race bag I have ever received. With all the sponsors on the back of the tshirt, you're telling me that none of them had any free crap to give out? None of them wanted to put something with their logo in the bag to draw in new customers?

The water stations were oddly placed, not at regular mile markers. They did have enough cups though! But the finish line could have used a few more people guiding runners in, and they were completely out of fruit when I finished. I really just wanted half a banana, but all the had were granola bars and mini M&M cookies. Yes, cookies.

The race website said there would be music on the course. The only music was from 2 vehicles that volunteers had parked, opened the doors, and blared music from. The "live music" at the finish was 2 kids, looked like they were from the local university, with guitars and a keyboard. They did covers. Yes, they were talented, but I had been expecting more. They talked it up and then didn't deliver.

I won't be doing this race again.

I went to lunch afterwards with some other runners I know, then headed home. Remy was happy to see me and started napping as soon as we got home. He and his friend Javvy have a great time together, even when getting in trouble. Their first adventure Friday evening was to head a block over from Javvy's house to their friend Bella's. They literally knocked on the front door.

Bella's parents invited me over for dinner last night, which was very welcome since I didn't feel like cooking. I got to play with the kiddos and talk running with Eric. Good times. Oh, and Eric's homebrew Irish Stout was delicious.

Since yesterday morning was anything but lazy, I decided this morning could be a lazy one. Remy seems to agree. Later today we will do a short run or long walk, depending on how my legs feel.