Sunday, April 29, 2018

Week 17: 4/23/2018 - 4/20/2018

I haven't done a quarterly tally to see how much less I've accomplished since this time last year.  Maybe I'll put that on my to-do list that never gets tackled...  I'll add Yarn Bra for Leslie to the list too...

Monday (o)  It was beautiful out, I didn't get out for this reason or that reason.  It is what it is.

Banana bread in the foreground, dried to make banana bread french toast for dinner,
Founders Sumatra to pair!
Breakfast for dinner win!
Tuesday (4.5 + 1.8 )  Another beautiful day and I did get out and run the back side of campus down to Jupiter Point and back.  Nice south breeze, makes that a nice out and back.  I walked a bit on the way back, just not feeling it.  My knees are definitely creaky and felt every step.  Euflexxa shots start up again on Friday.

The crazy black dog, excited about a new place.
He stopped and waited for me A LOT,
So much easier to see a white dog in the woods.
Took Jax to Caonchet, for some reason I thought it was 2.8, it's 1.8.  Found out Seth was out there and we just missed each other!  Strava fly by here and now I know what Nick drives.  Jax did head down the white trail with some interest so the trail was fresh.  Seth would have been a friendly to meet up with, Jax is a bit of a wild child, Gus was pretty mellow and laid back.  Probably would have been a good experience.  I still don't think I'm ready to meet up with people, I will have to eventually.

Wednesday (3.1) It was supposed to rain and I had to drive to NJ.  I didn't make it out of Groton on time to make it for dinner with the group in Short Hills. I wasn't completely disappointed.  The run was nice one of those soaker rains you are happiest in when you wear a hat.  Germaine didn't and she regretted her race walk, she lives 1/2 mile from campus too and said she kicked herself for not stopping by home to pick up a hat.  She was glad to keep me in her sights, not exactly hard with international yellow shirt and hat.  I really have a thing about not blending in with the road.  Germaine blended in, I tried to be kind, but she knew she shouldn't wear back and blue in the rain.    Kinda sad my pace is so slow a race walker can keep an eye on me.  I enjoy my conservative run and if it doesn't meet someone's expectations of acceptability, that's on them not me.

Finally starting to look like spring, it is a month late!!

Thursday (2.6 + 2)  I was going to meet Faith at Beer'd for the 5K but I kinda let the Imaginary Husband down, I felt like that, he didn't seem to think I did.  I offered to take Jax on a hike so he could get out on the bike.  It was scheduled to rain on Friday and rain and mountain biking is bad for the trails.  What's not to love about someone who cares for the state of the trails?  I messaged Faith that there was going to be a change in plans, we'd be hiking with Jax.  She's been getting over a serious chest cold and this was her 'easy day' and I really don't think she cared much what we did, just that we did something and went to dinner and then to a book signing.    We did a bit of the hill and a bit of the flat at Riverwood.  Jax was lagging because of the heat, but happy to have our undivided attention. 

Colleen, Sean, and one of their pups Sneaky Pete!
Sneaky Pete was tired of me and Faith petting him.
We went to see Colleen Alexander talk about her book "Gratitude in Motion"  She was run over by a freight truck when she was on her bicycle and this her story of reconstruction back to a fully functioning human and then to a fully functioning triathlete.    Truly amazing story.  I highly recommend it for being able to get inside the mind of someone at death's door and how they came back to life.  The part that touched me the most was her husband Sean's never-ending support and dedication.  You could see the love and respect he has for Colleen when he looks at her.  That was as overwhelming as what she overcame/worked through being shredded outside and in and mentally from a freight truck.  I am far from a romantic, brutally practical when it comes to most things, I have a very big heart.

Friday (2.6 + 1) Ro and I got out just as the rain started, hoping the skies wouldn't open up, we had a ton of catching up to do.  We got about 1/2 mile in and ran into Germaine who really wanted to talk about returning to running and really needed some company.  She's a sweet gal, a once upon a time super runner who had to give it up due to back issues.  The never-ending pain with each step brought her to race walking.  She tried running again, one mile off her usual 6-mile loop and the pain was unbearable and she was hoping it would recede.  Probably not...  she is still going to try, it may be better for her to start with the one minute run 9-minute walk routine and adding one minute each week or every other week until you are running for 10 minutes.  

Found on my walk.  Gus would have been so psyched, a trip to DQ for him and Grey Sail for me!
I am very sad it never dawned on me we could do both in one trip.
 I wasn't supposed to exercise as it was my first of the Euflexxa shot series.  The 2.6-mile walk doesn't count as exercise, right?  Neither was the walk downtown and back, right?  They are only miles?  Two more shots will do me for 6 months.  I think now that the joint pain due to the Lupus is under control I'll see some more results faster.  I won't be running more than 10ish miles a week but I can run and that is fine.  Walking fills in the gaps and biking will take over the big adrenaline rushes.

Saturday (3.5 + 2.6)  Met up with Jess to mountain bike at Rockland in Madison, CT.  About an hour away for each of us.  It was mostly laughing and at the Jess saying "Jeasus Beth, if no one has ever seen you road ride they'd think you didn't know how to ride a bike the way you handle your mountain bike."  I thought that was pretty funny.  I feel like a fish out of water on Barney, clearly, I look like one!  She did say that same as road riding I make hills look like a piece of cake.  (I think she is too kind, there are plenty of people who murder me on hills)  Bottom line, we all have different skills.  I think years of riding dirt bikes with her brothers helped her off-road skills a lot.  I need to learn to go a bit faster.  Ok, a LOT faster.  It will come in time.  I don't ride off-road often enough.  I may be better off looking for more gravel grind than single track rides till I can handle Barney a bit better.  Or I'll just keep plugging away at it tire rotation by tire rotation, as is my MO.  

And I'm off and not falling over or walking my bike!
Photo by Jess

Slowly I'm coming to the realization biking is going to be my go to rather than running.  This is a hard pill to swallow.

Me and Jess
She is brave, no knee pads!
When I got home Dave let me know he went on one of Bill's 50-mile single track/gravel grinds and please please please would I take Jax on a hike?  Sure, I was really beat and really wanted a shower, but I put on some non-biking clothes and took the crazy boy out to Riverwood.  As we approached the gate, usually locked, it was open.  Oh christ on a cracker.  The family was out in the yard and the guy said: "Yeah the cub scouts are having an event."  I said "Do you know if they are all over the woods or in the campground?"  he said that they usually stay in the campground.  He did have to tell me though that about 20 minutes before the cub scout families arrived the Westerly PD came screaming through chasing a suspect who was on foot.  He grabbed his mountain bike and rode down (from his house it is 1/4 mile to the trailhead) the police asked him to just go home they had the dogs coming.  The suspect was apprehended and then the stream of cub scout family cars came through.  He said it was all rather exciting.

What on earth are all these cars doing in my woods?  -- Jax

Jax and I did our flat loop and by the time we got back to the trailhead all the cub scouts and families were gone, the fire completely out and soaked with water.  Jax scoured around for some tasty things, and found none, good campers!

Well, they could have at least left me some tasty things.  -- Jax

We did see a long black snake, and it slithered off into some brush.  We did try and see if we could find him, we did and, he was rattling his tail at us, I don't think there are Rhode Island Rattlers, but all in all, it was best to just keep moving.   I'm pretty sure snakes can move pretty fast and I didn't want either of us on the wrong side of this guy, even if he is harmless.  It's more the shock than anything.   Jax kept wandering back to the brush pile, I guess the tail made a noise he could hear, to investigate.  It took a while to get his attention back to staying on the trail and moving forward.  

In the brush is a 5 ft long black snake, he was waggling his bum at us so we decided to move along!

Jax is crashed on the couch snoring up a blue streak.  I'm glad, he got enough activity after being alone for a few hours today.   It's scary to have a soon to be 8-year-old boxer knowing their lifespan, and yet it's nice knowing he can get enough activity with a short hike and not go bonkers at night.  He was darn near impossible to wear out his first 5 years!

Sunday (2.7)  Not a good start to the day and even after the sun came out and I got some gardening done, still not quite sure. An off day sums it up. It is what it is. 

Dave and I took Jax out on an adventure in Riverwood, no snakes, no cub scouts, no bears, no turkeys, pretty boring, just a bunch of rocks and trees.  I felt human after, yeah, me!

I love photos where you capture the subjects unaware, ambling along doing their own thing,
The few after this Dave knew I was taking pictures, oh well.

Dave was productive:

The fleet is organized and won't topple over on to each other or crash through a window.  I've been giving the task of finding out if my old Dolce (Dolly) can accommodate bigger tires to make her a gravel grinder.  Dave is hell-bent on getting me OFF the roads.  I'm good with options, the first one being road biking.  Running is something I won't be able to do often or for long distances.


A bit of progress on the Red White and Blue socks.  Not a lot of downtime this week to knit.


The Thousandth Floor
by Katharine McGee

Well, it's a YA novel about NYC 100 years in the future.  I was more drawn to NYC of the future, this was the same old same old drug-addled rich kid poor kid stupid teenage crap 100 years in the future with genetically perfected girls, blonde, blue-eyed being idolized for their perfection.  The NYC of McGee's future has a 1,000 story tower where most everyone lives and the higher in the tower, you guessed it, the more well off you are.  Those not living in the tower live in the shadow of the tower.  1,000 floors it has to be a couple miles high and imagine the size of the base of this tower plus the mechanicals to keep it climate controlled. I'll pass on the rest of the series, not my thing. 

Beth, clearly there are very few dull moments in my life, and I kinda like it like that!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Week 16: 4/16/2018 - 4/22/2018

More beer and dog photos!  Got it!  Jax it so hard to take a picture of, poor black doggie, well he is called a reverse brindle, but you can only see it in bright sunlight when he looks redder and browner.  I'll keep trying!!  

Not a bad week, the weather really does play havoc with us mere mortals, doesn't it?

I prefer the darker beers....
The rest are flavored water...
ha ha ha

Monday (0) What a crazy weather day!  Congratulations to all who ran Boston!  Far more impressive accomplishment during a monsoon!!  Unfortunately, capitalism has hit NBC and the race could not be streamed online unless you were hooked up to a cable company, or at least not that I could find. I'm not anti-capitalism, had I known I may have 'worked from home'  *SMIRK*  I carried over 9 vacation days from last year, I need to use them!!  I could see the finish line camera but who knows how that was against the finish times of the runners I was tracking.  I am really disappointed to not see the start of the race.  One of these days I’ll be able to watch the race in person, Monday was not that day.

My weekend was an experiment trying to see how much I could do and not get sick.  While I felt run down on Monday and a bit on Tuesday, I’m chalking a bit of Monday's lethargy to the weather and Tuesday because I didn’t get any exercise on Monday…  all in all not bad.  Guess if I slowly amp up the activity and make sure I schedule rest I’ll be less frustrated with myself.

This is the way Beth.  OUT let's go OUT! -- Jax
Funny I can still see Diesel's scratches on the door!
He was a wild child we have scratches on damn near every door in the house!
We really need to finish it!

And in the background, because I know some of you study these things, 

  1. PVC Pipes that fit together to hold Remote Control (RC) plane body and wings in the back of the truck
  2. Stand for RC Plane
  3. Backpack, for mountain biking, Dave's new one
Dave and I finished up the taxes, what a nightmare.  A frigging penalty from RI because of underpayment and a huge refund from CT, I thought there was supposed to be some sort of reciprocity between states netting this out as a wash, apparently not for us last year.  Crap.

Tuesday (15) Got on the spin bike to pedal to one of the CTS videos on Strava, the Amgen Tour of California, this was an endurance ride with some intervals.  I did manage to get my at work bike shoe cleats adjusted so I can point my toes out a bit and take the pressure off my knees.  This is what works for my kinetic chain, yours may be different.  Definitely did not feel the pressure on the left knee I was feeling.  Yippiee.  Took a while to dig out all the crud in the hex bolt to get the Allen wrench in there, worth it!

Sunny Sunday, Jax, who NEVER just sits in the front yard,
hanging on the front walk and admiring Dave and his Evil Wreckoning. 

I’ve been seeing more and more articles about the accumulating trash, poop, and bodies on Mount Everest. What a shame.  I get wanting to do something few others have the ability or resources to do, but to ruin it in the process.  What will be the long-term ramifications for the environment?  Will there be a clean-up day on Earth Day? Probably not.

Wednesday (5.7)  Hills with Ro, and we were back to our 14:30's pace!  Yeah!  Only took a few weeks.  I guess I haven't lost a lot of fitness since I did rebound to the usual pace during the workout, plus I didn't feel as exhausted.  I'm pleased, ok, thrilled, some semblance of what I feel is normal returning. 

The evening was spent mostly driving to and from Worcester MA to take the MIL and FIL out for the MIL 77th birthday.  I'm glad my husband asked me to join, I enjoy their company more when it is the four of us rather than the rest of the crew.  I believe he feels the same way.  Since I seem to be causing more pain to my shoulder by knitting I didn't bring it with me for the drive up (I drive back) the Imaginary Husband had my undivided attention to let me in on what he's been thinking about.  Always a fun time.  Usually when I say "I've been thinking Dave sits down and says, oh good grief."  Sarcasam.

WVA Mountain biking coal country - 1998

Surprised the hell out of me when he said he's been thinking about trailer campers!  I think it sounds like a good idea, we haven't vacationed together since we were dating nearly 20 years ago, and that was camping and mountain biking or white water rafting or going to bluegrass concerts, with one horrible ski trip (the people we went with and the house - clearly not camping - was not so much fun) so it's about time we went retro (ha ha) for a change of pace.   I'll bet I can use up my carried over vacation days quick!!

I'm pretty psyched about this, I haven't been psyched about something in a long time.  It really is a nice feeling.  I forgot what it felt like!!  Woo hoo!

Thursday (0) Tired lethargic achy my watch kept telling me it was time to move, lunch meetings, new computer to set up, blargh.  The most exercise I got was grocery shopping and hauling the stuff in the house.  Whatever.  I slept like the dead on Thursday night so I'm good with that.  

I had a great dream about Gus, it's the second one I've had.  I was glad he finally started visiting me.  In this one, he talked to me for a bit.  Hey, it's my subconscious, don't judge.   It was nearly a month since Gus passed that I had my first dream about him.  With Gizmo it was pretty immediate.  I can't honestly remember with all the rest of the fuzzy family members, but I do know I had dreams with them, some we did stuff, some they talked to me.  It is all rather comforting.  I'm glad Gus decided to visit me, I was getting a little worried he really wasn't telling me it was time to go.  I think maybe he needed the time to recover from how bad he felt before he passed?

Gus and me at Quonnie Beach April 2012

Friday (3.1 + 3.3 )  Got myself out for a run at lunch, when will the icy wind let up?  Nothing peppy about the run, I needed the movement, seems my shoulder feels better when I move it while running or walking or hiking, good to know. I should probably start taking myself out for a walk after dinner.  Maybe I can find a podcast to listen to or something.  That seems lonely and boring though.

Made sure Jax had an open dance card so I could take him on a hike.  Dave was glad to know he could ride without guilt. Jax found a new trail!!  Well it's always been a trail but I never noticed and Gus never veered that way!  So that was very cool.  There were a few sharp drop-offs which Jax enjoyed peering over.  

Let's go down this way, it looks quicker - Jax

Saturday (36.5 + 2.5)  Second group ride, upping the miles and the hills.  OMG.  I was nervous.  I know even on my best days I can't truly keep up BUT the group regroups and we all BS for a bit and continue on.  That's how it works.  I don't know if there will always be this gap in my fitness versus the groups.  It definitely takes me 10 miles to 'warm up' so I'm not sure what that is all about, or if they just slow up after 10 - 15 miles.  

Relive the ride here.  I love this app and totally forgot about it!

9 of the 10 from Saturdays - "Rolling hill ride"
I'll screw up the names:
Me, Bill, Jon, Martha, Betsy, Cord, Joy, Kim, George,
missing is Cory (you can see him veer off towards home in the video)

After Dave got back from his ride we took Jax to Riverwood and slowly hiked the flat trail, we were both feeling the days activities and poor Jax had been alone for nearly 5 hours.  I don't think the dog crack (greenie) really made up for it but the hike sure did, he loves having both his peeps undivided attention.

Sunday (15) A short bike ride, the wind is still whipping, but it was nice to not feel like crap after OR have a blowout during a ride.  I think my streak of blown tubes is really over!  Crap, I'm sure I jinxed myself.   I was going to stop at the new bakery in Watch Hill, but the wind got the best of me and I was more interested in getting the day progressing and my chores were done because we were going to look at an Airstream Cloud in Scituate, MA

Bargain basement pricing, better hurry the lots getting full!!

Darn if those things aren't easy to find.  The closest dealership is 3 hours away in NJ, that seemed a little frivolous of a road trip.  There aren't many used ones for sale.  We did take an awesome virtual tour of a trailer and all the trimmings, but still, that is not the same as seeing and touching.

On the drive up Dave had to remind me we were there to look not to buy.  He knows me pretty well.

He went on to tell me his buddy Bill was all, so are you going to buy it?  Dave said, No we are looking.  And after that he told Bill he was pretty he would never send the two of us anywhere to 'just look'.  He recalled the first trip we took for me to 'just look' at bikes at Stedmans, we came home with a bike.  I liked the sales guy and the guys in the shop and the bike, what was the big deal?  Other than it didn't come in red.  Dave was mortified when I asked 'So does it come in red?'  And other trips where I was just going to just look for a couch and a new car and well...    Pretty sure when I'm 'just looking' my mind is already made up the thing just needs to speak to me.  Pretty much like the house we live in. The picture in the real estate listing drew it to me, and when I walked inside, despite it being wrecked, it smelled and felt like home.  And truth be told, even the night I met him, the Imaginary Husband, complete with the girlfriend (or were they engaged at that point, I can't remember) Andrea in tow, I knew.  

Since the Imaginary Husband knows me so well there was a lot of research done before even committing to look at.  The burning questions we answered:

  • Will the town let us keep it in the driveway?  Yes
  • Will it fit in the driveway? Yes
  • What does it cost to insure?  Reasonable
  • Would Dave's truck be able to tow it?  Yes  
  • Would I be able to sit closer to the dashboard in the truck so Jax had room?  Yes, BUT I'd be willing to take one for the team and get a new vehicle so Jax could be more comfortable.

I'm sure there were others; those were the big deal-stoppers.  We have enough battles with the neighbor we abutt, and he's always looking for something to drag us back in court so he can do just one more thing to make his 2,500 sq foot (you read that right) two-story garage capable of being lived in.  So we thought, what would the troglodyte think, and went from there.

We had a long talk on the way home, figured out where we could go for the first few trips, and he called and made an offer and the buyer accepted it!  

It has been so long since I've had something to look forward to.  

Training for my second ultra (2016) was when things started becoming unraveled.  I think if I hadn't decided to do the traditional Pan Mass Challenge in 2016 I may have completely imploded.  I need a challenge.  As arrogant as this sounds, century rides have become passe, something to do on Sunday.  It really is time for the next stage or something like that.  The planets aligned, and here we are.  It isn't a physical endeavor it is an endeavor of us actually getting involved in this marriage we entered into 18 years ago.  Doing the things we talked about in that tent in the rain (yeah, I apologize in advance, every time we camped it rained, we even had a tornado once! ) and so many other places.  Time to make all the talk reality.  And there you have it.


Saddle:  67
Feet: 15


American Gods
By Neil Gaiman
Good a little hard to follow at times, but that's my scattered mind.  I like it, the mysteries wrapped in enigmas and trying to figure out why the author has gone on a side track to then have it BOOM pop up and make sense.


Hooo boy what a week.  Dave mentioned the toes and heels looked too pointed.  I said, but that's the formula.  Well no, ding dong, it wasn't.  Well, it was but I flipped it.  How many fricking socks have I made, like 20 pairs?  30 pair?  I should just do and not think.

So I did something I've never done and unknitted the toe to make it correct!  Mostly this was ripping out the starting stitch and tink (knit in reverse - cool eh?) or froggin (ripp it ripp it)  Ok so many knitting humor doesn't fly with more than two people who read this, ha ha!

After weaving in a #1 needle into the row I wanted to be the start of the toe, I clipped out the end of the pointy toes, think Madonna or 1960's bra, see Seth you were on to something!!  and tink/frogged back to those needles.  And did the OMG, dreaded Kitchener Stitch.  They look pretty ok, no?
Top left - too pointy
Bottom right - the process of tink
Bottom left - No I had no idea how to reorder these. Everything ready for Kitchener Stitch
Top right - Done!

I started some for me that are supposed to work up into an American flag pattern.  Not a BIG fan of anything but an American Flag looking like an American Flag, but we shall see how these turn out.  I THOUGHT when I wound the skeins into yarn cakes I had them set up so the dye on the yarns matched and the pattern would evolve the same on both socks, not so much.  Whoopsie doodle doooo...

At least they are for me.

Beth, can I say we are both excited for Spud (he comes named) to join our family.  I hope I don't jinx it by saying it before we have him home!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Week 15: 4/9/2018 - 4/15/2018

Wow, I really need to do a better job editing my posts.  Last week was like listening to me try and tell a story a few beers into the night, sorry about that!  I'm sure it all made sense while I was typing it and my first three proofs, but later in the week, I'm figuring a few people are scratching their heads on a few parts.  Sorry! 

That quote really spoke to me this week.  

Monday (3.1)  Took myself out for what was a peppy run, surprised me to see that pace on the watch when I stopped it!   The unfortunate thing, my shorts and heavy running shirt were purple, I looked like an eggplant or a bunch of grapes.  Mikey chuckled as he pointed I grabbed one of the purple stretch straps and said I needed to use the purple kettlebell.  Nice to get a laugh out of him, especially as Boston is approaching.

The week started with sun, that was nice!  A short workday on Monday was welcome but didn't end up being short as I had a few things to do for a work project after I got home from an appointment.  Working at home at night isn't a really big deal except for the keyboard on my laptop is dead so I couldn't bring that home, I didn't have a spare external keyboard because the one I use at my desk is locked to the docking station.  I guess I could have borrowed #1 Smart Guy's wireless keyboard?  Anyhoodles, I was able to send the documents I needed to work on to my home computer and finish up what I needed to finish up and get that to the person who needed it for their morning meeting to hopefully get my idea approved to move forward.  But then again after a couple hours working on the proposal I'm not convinced it should go forward. 

Tuesday (0) I wasn't sure I wanted to go to spin class, it really is boring.  So I didn't.  Plus the weather is less than appealing to want to do anything, I think someone said it snowed... Decided to start taxes.  I love that everything can be electronic, not so much the fact I have to have passwords and still a hard copy to get the 1s and 0s from one system to go to another system.  It all came to a screeching halt when I didn't have one document (W-2) or a way to get that not being at work.  Or at least not that I could figure out, plus Dave had made dinner, and I was hungry.  Manana

Well, lazy neighbors leaves may have protected my poor crocus from the frost?

Wednesday (5.7) Hills with Ro.  A little peppier than last week.  I've been so thirsty so I brought water with me, that definitely helped.   I had a work event in NYC for the evening, it was a dinner at the NYC Bar Association put on by the City Bar Justice Center, and I kept calling it the Justice League, ha ha ha.  A magnificent building.  I always feel like I'm walking into either the set of Mad Men or Gotham when I walk in the old marble buildings.  This was more a Gotham feel.  The mostly dead hanging plants from the ceiling gave it that feel plus, well, lawyers, slimy lawyers. 

The most difficult question was "So, Beth how many miles did you run last week?"  I stumbled a bit and said I've had some setbacks and my miles are very low.  And I was urged to fess up and was reminded most of the people in the group attending don't run.  A much-needed perspective.  

Thursday (0)  Traveled back from NYC to CT in the morning, so not much physical activity was accomplished while it was such a beautiful day balancing work and activity was filled with merely enjoying the sun from the train window.  I'm feeling less and less worthless when I put in a 0 day.  Guess that's good.  

Might as well do something productive, Bake!

Friday (2.8) Really not feeling like running, so I didn't.  Jax asked Dave to text me and find out if I'd be up for going on a hike with him.  Sure thing buddy!  I let him lead for a bit of the hike, he found a new trail and walked us in a circle.  I'll take it!  Jax isn't as adventurous as Gus was and certainly hates all the briars and thorns, he waits for me to move them so he can walk through the trail!  I should remember some clippers next time we go!  That Jax is a character, for sure.  

Saturday (31 +2.5) First group road ride organized by Sir George.  Betsy, Sue, Kim, Bill, George, and I.  Sue and I were bantering about who got to bring up the caboose.  She held her own for the first 20 miles!  Sore ass got her and she dropped back.  Ugh.  Mine wasn't feeling so hot either but I wanted to be done, done, done, done, done, done!!!  Felt like the first real ride since the fall.  My body was tired and sore and after a good lunch and a beer and sitting on my ice pad for 20 minutes I took a couple acetaminophen (I could feel the fever coming on) and took a nap.  I knew that would set me up well for the rest of the day and to get Jax out for a hike.

Jax and I took Dave with us on our hike!  We did the flat loop and Dave was pretty impressed with how well the Westerly Land Trust keeps up their property.  It is an old granite quarry, which struck up a conversation on what was it called when you mine granite, it's called quarrying! 

Sunday (7)  The 4th race in the track club's Clamshell series!  5M or 5K at the beach, out and back course.  The wind was whipping and the temperatures dropped.  Oh goodie.  Had I not signed up and volunteered to work registration AND Faith was going to run with me I may have bagged the whole thing.  The good parts were that the first 2.5 miles were into the wind (the last 2.5 would be with the wind at our back) and I had Faith to keep me company.  The first half of the race tired me out.  That and the amount of activity yesterday.  It was a big experiment in how would my body handle all of this activity.   We finished up the race as the last people across the finish line, Faith took the honor of DFL (Dead Fucking Last)! 

We don't look too miserable!
Yes, my lips are blue.  Gak.
I felt a little tired and sore after the race, my trusty acetaminophen with lunch got me through no worse for the wear.  I'm happy to report Monday morning was just fine!  Pshew.

Jax got a slow hike in Burlingame and fortunately as the mist was starting.  Fortunately, he was ok running back and check on his Peeps, constantly.


Feet:  21
Saddle:  31


American Gods
Neil Gaiman

Entertaining!  I get a little lost from time to time but manage to pick the story back up, there appear to be three going on at once, wonder how they will merge.


Still working on Dave's socks, slow knitting week.

Beth, thankful for supportive friends and family. 

Monday, April 9, 2018

Week 14: 4/2/2018 - 4/8/2018

I'm this close to calling UNCLE on the weather, I've managed the best I can with everyone around me complaining ad nauseam about how much it sucks, I'm trying desperately not to join the ranks, I'll keep grasping at wet dental floss to keep my yap closed.  UGH!!!

Monday (0) it snowed, it took over an hour to get to work, it should take 20 minutes.  I guess it was slippery because there were quite a few cars in the median or buried in trees, whoops.  Wasn't feeling like dealing with the cold and damp so I didn't run, didn't even go down to the gym and pedal the spin bike for an hour... feeling crappy and unmotivated.

A tennis ball, a beer, sunglasses, wallet, and a thank you note, no wonder my purse is so heavy.

Tuesday (3.1) Still feeling crappy and unmotivated and that really means I need a nap and fresh air; another day of moping wasn't going to make me feel any better.   There was a lovely 11 MPH Southern wind which would make running up the back side of campus rather pleasant.  I could have managed nearly 5 miles going down to the dreaded Jupiter Point and back (the Mikey Loop).  Instead, I went down to Eastern Point Beach and back for a 5K.  I knew I'd be power walking hills with Ro on Wednesday and back to back days aren't so great on my knees.

During the long recovery after  Heidi's spinal surgery.
Two titanium rods put on either side of her spine to straighten it.
I would visit her and we would chat for like 10 minutes, turn on Lord of the Rings, and nap.

Wednesday (5.7) Ro and Mark are back from Colorado, we are back to our usual Wednesday Hills.  I wanted to hear more about CO but she was going on about their trip to hike New Zeeland for a week+ and then a 12-day cruise around Australia Jan/Feb of 2019 for her milestone birthday.   The workout was a bit slower but not as slow as I expected.  I'm not feeling it and was happy to be outside and I have not been keeping up with hill work and felt it in my hips on Thursday.

Knitting with Rory, always a good time.  I think for her third project ever she will knit two socks on two circulars.  It took me a while to build up to this, with what she has accomplished so far and her amazing patience and attention to detail with sewing, I think it will be just fine.  She is making a Channel style jacket, they are beautiful works of art and the process to get to the point of even cutting out the pattern in the final fabric was a month long of a muslin draft and alterations.  Finely tailored clothing really is a lost art.  This was what she wanted to do in retirement.  I'm happy to have two retired friends with time for their working friend and doing retirement how they envisioned it!!

It has been years since he shredded a box. 
He picked this one up and was wandering around the house.
When we spied him he was running around the house.
He never did try and eat it.
Tissue, that he still has the tasties for!
 Thursday (3.1)  The Beer'd Running For Rescues fun run started back April - October, $20 donation to Running for Rescues, a 3.1-mile loop, beer, and chit-chatting with friends, always a good time!  Amy and I have been stalking each other on Strava, so we met up to run.  Good match, she didn't push my pace and I didn't slow her down too much and we gabbed the whole time for an average pace of 11:11.   The brewery opened up their space a lot, it was very nice with more room for more people.  I was pleased with that change, it always felt so cramped and not very relaxed.  

Got a little superstar award for some help I gave to a colleague in a different division!
I am always surprised how unhelpful people can be, what he initially wanted to do couldn't happen,
there was a reasonable alternative.  That alternative gave him far more control than his original proposal too!

Friday (3.1)  Jax took his Peeps on a hike.  Dave says Jax would never say Hooomans like Giz and Gus did, fine...  so we are his Peeps.  We were all not really much into the hike, it was nice to be outside and look around and be quiet.  We all appreciated the hour of fresh air.

Since we are an only dog family we decided to stop by the pet store and pick up some Greenies, I think these are dog crack.  When we had 4 we would have to separate them by rooms and floors to give them Greenies, and once that box was gone that was it!  Jax enjoyed his dog crack after dinner and crashed out and went to sleep once he got a bit of pizza crust (Friday people dinner).

Miss that mug and that little brown tail.

My Facebook memories produced my recap from the Big River 1/2  most days these are filled with dog pictures or dog commentary on their walk...  I really needed to see that and to read the comments.  I know what I had to overcome for that training run and to train for my only ultra, reminding me I can do what I set my mind to and succeed.    Funny I was telling Dave I was in a panic about meeting the step challenge at work to save a few more bucks on our health insurance, despite a drastic reduction in activity, I've met the challenge numbers 350,000 steps in 8 weeks, we are finishing up week 6, and while I put on a few lbs due to inflammation as a result of my latest Lupus flare.  I'm calling it a win all the way around, and won't look in disgust at my moon face; it will go away and I will feel better. 

Saturday (3) I slept until 9 a.m. this fucking weather, I've had it, this fucking feeling of shit, I've had it.  I need some sun.  Eventually, the little yellow bastard came out.  In the meantime, I cleaned out my personal eMail in-box (what a fucking mess that was, and I am dubious that unsubscribe actually works), cleaned out my bookshelves, who keeps the crap I keep?  Lots of stuff for the shred bin at work.  I did find some cute card and drawings from nieces and nephews, that eased my surliness for a few seconds.  

I commented to Dave how clean the stupid dark rug he wanted so badly looked and he said "Yeah I miss Gus too." all that fucking white hair everywhere.  I even had a dream I was cleaning up Gus and Giz hair and it kept multiplying!  HA!!  I'd get it cleaned up and go into another room and it looked like a bale of it exploded everywhere.  That was kind of funny, Dave got a kick out of that dream.  At least it wasn't one where I woke him up swearing like an angry itching for a fight drunk sailor at someone (he hopes wasn't him) or singing off key.  When my husband says I'm fun to sleep with he isn't talking about, well you know...  

It got sunny Dave went off to a mountain bike ride and I took Jax to Riverwood.   

It is a game of where's Waldo taking Jax to the woods....

I love Riverwood, it was where I took Gus a lot.  I'm getting used to seeing Jax where I used to see Gus.  Well, when I CAN see Jax.  Black dogs, UGH so hard to see.  

Sunday (2.5)  I spent the day sitting, driving to Boston, in a conference, and then driving home.  I got home earlier than expected and after yelling for Jax for a few minutes I finally heard his"Whappa doodle doo" as he shook his head after rousted himself from our bed to see what it was I wanted.  Great guard dog, eh?  Wonder if he even moves when we aren't home and someone comes to the door?  Be a fun test for you local people, ring the doorbell and see if Jax starts barking?  Stop on the front porch and see if his little face peers out from the window?

So why was I in Boston?  I decided to attend the Lupus Medical Education and Symposium put on by the Lupus Foundation of New England.  It was the choice of losing what may have been a good day to clean out the leaves from the loud exhaust truck neighbor too lazy to clean the leaves in their yard that blew into our yard and wintered there or possibly learn a little bit more about my diagnosis and disease.    The session was very much directed at nursing students in the nursing program at Simmons College, helping them understand the disease and dealing with the patients.  The symposium consisted of three sections the first, a talk by a Rheumatologist, on what is Lupus and how to diagnose; the second, a clinical researcher on Lupus; the third, a panel of Lupus patients – and that was very well done.  I say about the panel that because what I say next and how my thoughts evolve to where I landed I think deserve some air time.  This is an evolution of my thoughts, watch it play out before reacting, or just skip to the last paragraph of this section.

I still have a lot of anger issues with this diagnosis. I’d imagine that is normal?  What really set me on my back foot was listening to the first speaker, a 40-year-old diagnosed at 23 going on about how she lost her life.  Her life?  Life? She was freaking 23 what exactly did she lose?  In my reactionary mind she wasn’t 50 with 50 years of life behind her and experiences and goals to then all of a sudden have everything ripped right out from under her at the point in life when your own mortality hits you in the face and you want to experience even more life has to offer and live each experience to the fullest.  I took a step back and realized that when she is 50, she will have never had all the experiences I had from 23 to 50.  Next, a woman in her 40’s spoke, she got the raw end of the deal with Lupus for sure, whatever could go wrong, short of death, has.  Next, a College JR got up and talked about her childhood and how no one ever believed she didn’t feel well, how her single mom didn’t have the insurance to get her to the right doctors, spending Christmas in the emergency room when she was 14 led to a lot of doctors saying she was faking and then an emergency room visit on Superbowl Sunday a few years later landed her in the ICU and turned up a compassionate doctor who listened to her and ran some tests and got her the treatment she needed.  Clearly NOT faking it.   Last up, a High School JR diagnosed with Renaulds at 9  (where your extremities turn blue due to lack of oxygen) to a Lupus diagnosis at age 12.  She thought it was cool at 9 to have this cool disease where her fingers and toes and sometimes lips turned blue.  By age 12 and the Lupus diagnosis, it was no longer cool to be different and she did all she could to hide her disease.  

Each and every one of the women talked about being kind to yourself, be kind to others, recognize that invisible illnesses are tough for people who can't see you've broken something or clearly look like you are going through chemotherapy for cancer (bald),  take time for yourself, in most cases this equals a nap, balancing their time, between activity and rest.  Well, I can get behind napping for sure!  A worthwhile investment of my Sunday, the leaves can be removed and I can dig in the dirt another day.

Jax and I hiked the inner loop of Riverwood.  I shorted him by 1/2 mile or so but he seemed ready to go home and have dinner.  We had a good time and at one point I thought I lost him and was going to have to use the recall collar.  He appeared when given his command.  Good Boy!  I'm glad he is enjoying that preserve, Gus and I very much enjoyed it.  More so because it was a short car ride and Gus hated being in the car.


Feet:  19
Saddle: 0


Magpie Murders
By Anthony Horowitz

A mystery in a mystery, stick with it, it's worth it in the end.

American Gods
Neil Gaiman
I am glad the author isn't reading this.  He pulls a bit from other books he's written, so far so good.


As of Sunday, I was ready to turn the heel on the latest pair of socks, or wacked bikini top!

Beth, coming to terms with all life has handed her in the last 6 months. Please, no more for a while, my plate is full.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Week 13 (lucky 13?) 3/26/2018 - 4/1/2018

Week 13 ending on April 1st?  What could be better, surely a harbinger of better things to come?

A few sunny days seem to have perked up the whole household, hopefully, it sticks around?  It's been a SE Michigan or Buffalo sun all winter, varying shades of gray, some bright some dull.  The first few winters in RI it took Dave and I a few winters to figure out why we weren't our usual grouchy and lethargic selves in the winter, sun, glorious SUN shines out here.  While the Nor'easters may suck and the fact the snow does not stick around more than a couple days sucks the sun shines most of the winter, except this one.  :(

Jax is getting used to being an only dog, he has decided it is OK to snuggle under the blankets for 5 minutes in the morning.  He's not a snuggler or a blanket guy, but he enjoys wrestling, and if he does that we wrestle.  Seems fair right?  Dave is so adamant about no second dog.  I said I'd sneak one in the house and he wouldn't know...  ha ha ha.  I don't know that I'm ready for a new to us dog, but it is a fun thing to antagonize my husband with!

Monday (4.3) - a real run!  No intervals walking, 12-minute mile pace overall, not exactly mind-bogglingly speedy (well it is for a turtle or an inchworm) but it is a good start.  I was tired at the end not sore and not hobbling.  It was a bit windy and the sun was out, it was a nice day to be outside, for sure!

Tuesday (1.8) - I bailed on the spin class to get outside and take a walk with Jax.  He would rather hike, I really wanted to wander around the neighborhood.  I won this time.  He was into it for the first mile and got bored until we saw a scary looking dude (black clothes with a hoodie and a beard, not really a scary dude, but he set off Jax's alarm bells) and then Jax was all Mr. Macho keeping an eye peeled for more trouble.

I hid the clean sheets from myself!
Someday it would be fun to wander around in my subconscious, but I think even I would be a bit terrified.
Wednesday (0) - Had my appointment with my primary care Dr. B.  He suggested I stop collecting doctors, I asked if he was jealous?  Ha ha.  I did ask for a referral to a Rheumatologist at Yale New Haven, Dr. B asked if I didn't like Dr. D I explained it wasn't that I don't like him (other than the 'who goes for a bike ride in February')  I want a second opinion and someone with more current knowledge and associated with a research and a teaching hospital.  I pay a shit ton of money for insurance I'm getting what I pay for.  Oh and ANOTHER lunch for #1 Smart Guy.  My only opportunity to run would be after 3 but I had knitting with Rory and well I didn't run or even really get outside for more than a walk to and from the car. Social time is important as exercise, right?  I certainly have felt like being a hermit for a long time and it's nice to actually want the company of other people.

The Bobtailed Squirrel made it through the winter!

Thursday (7.3) -   No spin, it was too nice to wait till 4 for class and stay inside, I went for a run! I decided to go right out the back gate and see how I felt by mile 2 and the dreaded Jupiter Point. I didn't feel too bad plus the breeze was from the south so it makes running out of the point more appetizing. Mile 3 clicks off the entrance to Avery Point, and I knew if I did all three points I'd end up over 6 miles and I'm really not ready to push my joints THAT far... I skipped Avery Point and ran around Easter Point and then back to work 5.3 miles.  Whoop! 

My laziness of Wednesday was taken care of with a walk with Jax after work.  The theme music for in town walks with him should be Mission Impossible.  I had enough time to take him on the short loop at Riverwood Preserve, another day.  He was very well behaved after the first 1/10th of a mile and only one time where I wanted to strangle him.  All in all he sniffed and peed and led the walk, I was kind of surprised he started this already, but maybe he has learned the neighborhood enough to know what is away from home and what is towards home?  Dunno.  I'm pleased we had a good walk, he's not the conversationalist Gizzy and Gus were but we will manage.  

I'm happy to report the bob-tailed squirrel made it through the winter, and Jax seemed to know that was Gus' favorite squirrel and didn't even try and chase him!

I've been digging back into my family history.  It is interesting to know where you come from, the people and their experiences. 

Searching for death notices in Cleveland OH I came across this about my Uncle Tom

Cleveland Plain Dealer January 24, 1959

Not the greatest quality picture.  I remember my father telling us all about the various pets they had growing up.  It was super cool to see this picture and the story!  My father has always had a special relationship with all the pets, except my cat Bells who lived with him for the years he lived in MI and we lived in WI.  She would stand just out of reach and scream for attention.  Cats are assholes.  

Bells is part of the willow tree now.  She has a quiet resting place where few people bother her.

Friday (3.2)
My knees felt the mile from yesterday, not unexpected.  I brought my stuff to exercise but really didn't think I would.  But if I left it at home I'd kick myself.  Anyone know how that goes?

#1 Smart Guy's last day. It was bittersweet.  He's the one retiring and while I did find him a unique bottle of bourbon, unique like him!  He brought me a present!!

There is a story behind this plant.  When my company shut down one of its offices and moved the people out a lot of stuff got left behind.  I was on a lay off wave, working on various projects to continue to extend my exit date hoping to find a permanent job.  One of my projects was to assist with information sweeps of the vacated spaces, ensuring no information was left behind and if it was to then find it's owner and determine what should be done, archive or shred. This plant came from a set of 5 plants in the executive offices, all 5 were nearly dead.  When people left they left behind everything, pens, paper, information, and their plants! OMG!  I brought home as many plants as I could fit in the back of my car and revived all but a few of them.  Fast forward about 5 years, I brought back most the surviving plants to the workspace I'm in now.  #1 Smart Guy had been taking Bonsai classes and was intrigued by the umbrella plant.  I had a couple more at home and brought them in for him.  They don't grow very fast, however, they are amenable to being manipulated and growing without dirt.  Now to remember to soak the moss every other day so it doesn't die.  YIKES!!  While Bonsai is Japanese art I think it will be OK with the Chinese stuff.

The Imaginary Husband and I took Jax on a hike.  I took an hour-long nap before this.  I haven't had a Friday Afternoon Nap in a while.  It was refreshing and definitely recharged me.  The humidity was high and the temps in the 50's this does slow down Mr. Crazy a bit, but he did have a constant level of energy through the whole hike.   He is getting used to being an only dog, in the mid-afternoon, Dave says he wanders around the house looking for some company.  When he came to live with us he was one of four, seven years later he is one of one.  

Saturday (15) - This was going to be a good day for a bike ride.  Shoot!  I only have my boots and I didn't ask Dave to help with putting the new cleats in my new shoes.  Hmmmmm...  an allen wrench, cleats, and shoes.  I can do this!  So I installed them, realizing the micro adjustments on the attachment point are well infinitely adjustable.  The cleat on the left foot was a bit too high up on the ball of my foot, I thought I might stop and adjust it while riding but then I thought of all the things that could go wrong - mostly losing a part... It was a good ride, a little cold to be as close to the shore as I went.  I should have done the farm loop, but I really didn't want to be out much more than an hour.   Got home and Jax and I napped, I've been tired lately so napping is the best cure for that. 

I love SPD mountain bike shoes, I doubt I'll ever get road shoes. 

The afternoon I spent spectating at my first Criterion Race at Ninigret Park with Faith.  Her husband was racing and it was his first race, so this was new to all of us.  I knew the park as it was a place we used to take the dogs when we had 4 it is a big open flat space and easy to keep track of 4 wild and crazy boxers.  The race was cool!  Definitely, a strategy associated with how to race it and people who knew what they were doing and people who didn't.  It was the first of the season.  I was happy there were no crashes.  Joe had a few lessons learned and will be looking forward to future Crits.

Sunday (o) - Easter for those who celebrate Dave was busy cooking stuff to bring to his parents and Jax and I stayed out of his way.  Jax napped and played with his ball and watched me vacuum.   Always makes me remember Sage and the vacuum. it was years of her trying to bite it or attack it until she finally stopped and then Jax came on the scene doing the EXACT same things, except this time Sage was looking at him and then with this look of disgust and "what a dummy" look on her face.  Like she hadn't just stopped doing that exact same thing a year earlier.  Jax mostly looks at it now with a bit of suspicion while perched atop a piece of furniture.

Dinner at the in-laws was good, filled with its usual drama and far too much food. 

A few Bunny Ear pictures from 2016, no one was thrilled with this!

Gus - why does The Girl torture me?

Jax - not amused

Gizmo - When do I get my treat?


Feet: 19  

Saddle:  15 


"Magpie Murders"

By Anthony Horowitz

This truly is a who done it within a who done it...  I'm confused and now it seems like they've added in a third book... gahhhhhhhh who killed who in which story.  I'm confused!!


Finished the Easter egg socks and started a pair for the Imaginary Husband.  As an aside he is getting accused of having invisible friends by his friends!  HA HA!!

Dave wanted a tighter knit pair of socks so I went down to a 2.5 mm or US#1 sized needle.  As I'm knitting along with this it is tight but I think I may switch over to these for all my socks, I think the fabric is going to be a bit more sturdy...  but my shoulder is giving me hell with all the fine work.  We shall see.

Funky Christmas colors

That is pretty much it for my rambly week. A bit more miles, a bit less whingeing, normal amount of knitting, a few lost loads of laundry, and the return of the bobtailed squirrel.  Oh, and there was beer drinking.  I should do a collage of all the pictures.  I miss seeing Leslie on the beer page!

Beth not feeling so much like avoiding people she knows.