DRAFT TODAY, POST TOMORROW: Some posts may be in draft status until I (aka procrastinator extraordinaire) get around to posting them.

Friday, December 31, 2010

What not to wear, and other news

Seventh Generation highlights its chemical free detergent, noting that it does not have optical whiteners like so many commercial detergents. Optical whiteners do not take dirt out of clothes but rather leave chemicals in the fabric to make clothes appear brighter. Clothes washed in conventional detergent will glow purple under a black light. Because of this, the military has instructed that uniforms are laundered with detergents that are free of optical brighteners.

Perhaps more commonly known is that formaldehyde is used in clothing, especially no-iron shirts, one of the reasons that clothes should always be washed prior to wearing. And sports clothing sometimes has triclosan, an antibacterial chemical, which is also found in toothpaste, although it is a pesticide. Um, yum?

The EPA has slightly altered the instrutions for broken CFL bulbs, which have a "small amount of powdered mercury in them." Mercury is toxic and dangerous, and I can't understand how or why these light bulbs have been permitted and promoted.

As the public becomes more aware of BPA in product packaging, companies are looking for alternatives. This report names names and grades companies based on their transparency and their efforts to reduce BPA in packaging. One of the more interesting tidbits is that a company (in this case, GE) can choose to use BPA-free can linings for one product line (Muir Glen) but not the rest (Progresso and Green Giant). I'm not surprised to see Kellogg's gets a D--I can't remember the last Kellogg's label I read that didn't cause me to put the package back on the shelf. Stores are not going to take action until, as Costco says, until "a safe alternative becomes readily available."

I'm a little late but here is A cute picture story for Christmas.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Catching up on message boards

I'm catching up on emails and notifications.

  • The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will be donated to Habitat for Humanity for the fourth consecutive year. It will be milled and processed into a house for a family in need.
  • A time capsule was recommended for an eco-craft for kids, maybe using a cookie tin from the holiday season. I wonder if we should do one and bury it in our backyard when we start work there.
  • On my "new" commute, there are a couple of those fancy new digital billboards. I noticed that one had a concert ad still showing from last month and was a little confused--how is that not changed out yet? But my primary reaction to these signs is annoyance. They tend to be in driving areas that are busy, accident prone freeways. While they are probably more profitable, they also may be worse for the environment than traditional billboards.
  • No, I don't want to start my own organic gardening business, but thanks for the resources and tips.
  • A post on a website I don't want to share or promote in any way did have an interesting post about the "junky gift syndrome" or "plastic disaster." How much STUFF did we exchange during the holidays that wasn't wanted or needed this Christmas?
  • Someone recently questioned my use of sea salt in my kitchen. I explained that I actually use both "regular" salt and sea salt--they are right next to each other by my stove. This person felt that I would not get any iodine (maintains thyroid glands!) if I used sea salt. Table salt is fortified with iodine, but there are other sources of iodine.
  • A thread on a message board discussing the worst excuses for not getting healthy and I ran across this possible tidbit: "People diagnosed with Celiac disease are eligible for a tax deduction on gluten-free foods (because of the extra cost) a search for tax-deduction for celiacs."
  • Study suggests that consumption of cranberry juice cocktail does not decrease UTIs. Commentors on the message board were concerned with the HFCS or other artificial sweeteners that could impact the effectiveness, as many have moved to either pure cranberry juice (YUK!) or cranberry pills. I take the pills and I think (anecdotally) that they are effective.
  • Red No. 40 is not safe for consumption, but it is one of the most commonly used food coloring in the US. Those candy canes are good enough for American children, but as of this summer, several countries have banned the use of this artificial food dye, along with Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 and something called Cochineal Extract. Great, more things to add to my list of groceries to put back on the shelf instead of in my basket.
  • My sister and brother have been visiting and we had to go to the grocery store. They drink whole milk--a lot of whole milk. A Harvard Study shows "Whole-fat dairy products may lower diabetes risk." In related news, "Confusion among nutrition experts: High-fat dairy product eaters have 40% higher risk of mortality." I would question the validity of either study, as many factors do not appear to be controlled. But if both were valid results, does that mean that drinking whole milk will keep you from getting diabetes but you will die sooner?!
  • Find a registered dietitian! I've been trying to find a good source, not for weight loss, although that would be a great side benefit, but for better health and digestion. I think that some of my pain and health issues could be addressed through diet if I just knew how and could work with someone to figure it out. So now, do I look for someone who works with immune disorders (MS is thought to be an autoimmune disease), oncology patients (my medicine is a cancer drug), digestive disorders, or do I select based on another criteria such as location or use of metabolic measurements? I looked at some of the websites and I don't want someone to give me meal plans or recipes--I have plenty of both.
This very cute picture story "Let it dough" is worth a view or two.  I'm off to allocate my assets to sprinkles...

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Depression and MS

A small study in Norway shows a link between depression and people with benign MS who do not continue to work. It was unclear if the depression was caused by unemployment or unemployment was caused by depression. The article notes that Norway "has well-established social and welfare systems which may make it financially easier for people to leave work at an earlier stage than in other countries."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why do you want to lose?

Seen online: A list can serve as an inspiration, a reminder....just the right thing to get someone off his/her duff and into the groove! Why lose weight?

So the reasons I want to lose weight:
1. for my health
2. stamina, strength, energy
3. self-esteem--I know I look better thinner and can dress better (is this the same as vanity?)
4. sense of accomplishment--I did it before without MS, I can do it again with MS
5. So doctors will take me seriously when I try to discuss pain with them, rather than dismissing it as something that would go away if I lost weight.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Woman's Way

My sister and brother are visiting. I saw one of my best girlfriends this weekend after not seeing her for a few months. I'm making new girlfriends near my new house. According to this article, one of the best things women can do for their health is connect with other women. I make an effort to nurture my friendships, although time and distance can be obstacles to overcome. Apparently, I am doing something really great for my health while I'm watching TV with my sister!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Survey says...

Monthly survey is complete.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Agility class

Our course tonight was the same for both classes. It started with a tire jump to a jump to the walk it, where I had to rear cross. Then to the right over a jump, U turn to another jump, switch to the teeter. Then a panel jump, out to weave (technically a line to not cross, but that wasn't happening), then a left into a chute. Then come in to a jump, into the tunnel (under the walk it), to the A frame (I did a front cross but most didn't, and I had trouble getting all the way over). From there, a right turn to a jump, then a kind of circle over a triple jump, single jump, single jump--facing the A-frame--but going into a serpentine of jumps, then one double right at the end. 20 obstacles, and Teka was excited about it. She did well except popping out of the weaves, and taking the frame when it was in front of her but I had called HERE. Cassi was spaztastic her first time through, but she slipped and fell between the two jumps after the walk it. I realized later that she was bleeding from her back foot, so she must have done it then. It didn't seem to boher her at all. She would not go out to the weaves but otherwise did them very well. She did the teeter great too. They both seemed to have FUN. Oh, they were giving out those plastic candy canes full of candy, and Teka totally thought it was a toy for her.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Agility - Contacts

We are starting to learn the clicker board, a fun "touch" game. We are using the Aframe, dog walk, and teeter at a very low height and letting Cassi turn around, sit, and get comfortable on them.

Agility - Weave 101B

I did not blog Teka's class....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Trial update

I saw Dr. M first. He seemed pleased by my balance tests. It's all relative! Next was Dr. G, with a medical student. I think he thinks I'm doing better than I am--he seems to think all his patients are doing great on the trial. He said my MRI was fine but I didn't get anything more specific or tangible than that.  And then it was off to Sonora for blood draw and Hope Research for the rest of my vitals.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Agility class

I didn't blog it soon enough to remember the details!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Contacts 101

Cassi had her first Contacts class. This is typically to teach up- and down-contacts on "contact" obstacles: dog walk, teeter, A-frame. For Cassi, this class will be to get her comfortable on the obstacles while making sure her contacts are solid. I am behind the rest of the group since I'm coming in near the end of this session.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Agility classes

Tonight was a Snooker course for both dogs. (no time to blog....)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Agility - Weave 101B

Had class with Teka. (no time to blog...)

30 Days of Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. ~ William Arthur Ward

I received a thank you card from one of my bosses. He just wanted to let me know that he noticed some extra effort I was taking for our clients.

Monday, November 29, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

I'm grateful my 30 days are almost over! I'm tired. I can't blog every day. How do people write those really insightful, funny blogs with daily posts? I may go MIA!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Weekends, helpful in-laws, bowling, getting stuff done, ignoring the rest.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

We didn't get a tree last year. I had already started packing, thinking that we would be moving soon. We have finally moved, but I wasn't sure we would get a tree since we're still unpacking, shuffling boxes, and getting things in order.

We got a tree today and it is up, watered, and decorated. I'm grateful for the smell of a fresh Christmas tree--love it and hope it lasts.

Friday, November 26, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

A long day doing a lot of things that were not on my list for today, but on my list anyway. A long trip to The Home Depot. (How do men spend so much time at The Home Depot but claim not to like shopping?) We have decided to use some Christmas decorations that we already had, but some will not work at the new house. We got new outdoor icicle lights--LED, blue and white, pretty cool. At this point, I'm just grateful they are up. And working. And looking good.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Ahhh, Thanksgiving. Plans for four stops, but only made three. First, Grandma's--a small group of relatives, black olives and sweet pickles, amazing rolls, moist turkey, peppery mashed potatoes, buttery yams, followed by (made by Grandpa) chocolate pie, lemon meringue pie, and pecan pie.

Next, J and E's. The kids were great (even the visitors) and I had a little (very good) ham, mashed potatoes, and green beans, followed by coffee with Baileys.

We planned on a stop at J's next, but the group was breaking up by then, so we headed to the D's. They were just sitting down for dinner, so we joined them. I had a little butternut squash soup, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and corn bake, followed by more wine by the fire.

Okay, I ate way too much. I'm grateful I have places to go and people who want to see me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

The office was a little light on staff today and the boss decided the rest could leave early. So I was walking out with my supervisor after 5:00....

I had some things to do, but the impending task: making cookies. I got the first batch (my most requested cookies) done and realized I didn't have any oats for the second batch. I had already prepped the butter, so I looked for a recipe that used the same amount. And they turned out nice and chocolaty. I'm grateful that there are people that love my cookies. I'm barely a good cook or baker, but I have a few things I do well enough to keep everyone coming back for more.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Just grateful for happy moments and laughing about the rest. Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy.

Weave 201B

Cassi had class and we were able to work a bit on our own as well as paired up. The exercises were very similar to the ones from Teka's class last week, but more weave repetitions by increasing the length of the sequence. She did very well and seems to be getting her stride in the weaves.

I signed them up for the next session. Teka will be in a weekly Weave class; Cassi will move to Contacts until my Wednesday class is done and she can move to Handling. I just need to schedule a private session so D can evaluate what Cassi needs to work on in the Contact class.

Monday, November 22, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Laughter is the best medicine, they say. I had a long day that started and ended in pain, but had a good amount of pain-free-edness in between, and spent the evening laughing. Rules of Engagement and How I Met Your Mother (this week's and last) in addition to this hilarious video a friend on Facebook shared, from a Conan episode last year (Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy). And then I found the ABC's of Spoonie Thanks. At the start, I thought it wouldn't have anything for me, and there were quite a few that didn't ring my bell. However, laughter, naps, and zzzzz are easy choices. Here are my favorites:
  • Kumquats – For no reason other than it makes me giggle.
  • Obituaries – This one’s simple folks. Read them. Are you listed? If not, then be thankful you have tomorrow.
  • Pill Boxes – When you take enough pills per day to keep half of Glaxo Smith Kline’s employed for generations to come, it’s easy to confuse them. I can’t be the only one who has accidentally taken an Ambien at 8am and ended up face planted on a keyboard. Pill boxes keep the a.m. pills straight from the p.m. pills and guarantees that you won’t be face down in a puddle of your own drool at the corporate lunch meeting. [My note: I can't believe that I have pill boxes at my age.]
  • Yesterday – Because it means I made it through, am living today and looking to tomorrow. Bring. It.
I'll have to remember the Ginger Tea tip for my next infusion. I am grateful for laughter! As often and as much as possible.

Bring. It.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

I love to read but don't do it as much as I'd like. I have accumulated quite a few books, and have a lot that I haven't read. Today, I got them unpacked and on the shelves. They may end up moving around a little as I continue unpacking and organizing, but I love seeing them all lined up and ready for me. I am grateful for (good) books.

Trial update

Monthly survey is complete.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Today--unpacking, completing projects, and family visits. Kids say the funniest things--the nephew commented on our "plastic grass" in the front yard. We had beautiful weather for the kids to run and play outside. I'm grateful that everyone (including my grandparents) made the drive and had a good time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

A long day at work, followed by grocery shopping and intermittent pain. I'm grateful it's intermittent, not constant. And that I accomplished some of my goals for the day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

It was a hard day, but I did take a lunch break to share leftovers from yesterday's office potluck. I am grateful to enjoy the company of my co-workers. And that some of them can cook!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Agility class

Tonight was a course night. Teka did very good on her turn. She made the broad jump. She popped out of the weaves at #10 both times, but was pretty quick. We need to work on her switch more.

Cassi was very excited and had some trouble focusing. The tire gave her some trouble at the beginning but we were able to practice a few times. After her first run, it was lowered--apparently the new rules are that the tire jump is the next height down. (So for dogs jumping at 20", the tire is 16".) Hopefully this helps her improve. I had to watch my arms, that I didn't have both up when I was trying to get her to follow my hand. She did excellent on the teeter.

30 Days of Gratitude

Had a little fun chatting with my sister, M and a high school friend on FB. One knew that a nerd and a geek ARE the same thing; one was offended. Um, all Chuck fans know that Nerd Herd = Geek Squad. I guess the offended is not a Chuck fan. Nerd. ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Tonight, I had a phone call from my niece, J, who I haven't talked to since she was a little girl. And now she is a grown woman with her own little kids. We're going to get together over the holidays when my sister and dad are in town. She also invited me and M to come by on Thanksgiving. She lives near our new house; her brother lives nearby too. It's so exciting to get back in touch! I am so glad she wanted to talk for a while.

Weave 101B

Tonight's class had two sequences, a three pole exercise, and a toy torture (and body torture) exercise.

First was a sequence with a tunnel, U turn to a 6 pole weave, 3 jumps in an arch with a front cross between the last two, wrap around to a 6 pole weave, front cross into a tunnel and back out to those same weaves. Teka did pretty well, but I had to open the first weaveomatic to help with her entry.

The second exercise was a tunnel into a channel weave entry at the 10:00 position, front cross to a jump, wrap back into the weaves. The first time Teka came out of the tunnel, another dog was running by on the 3 pole exercise, chasing his toy that rolled by. She came within inches but just seemed surprised, didn't snap or anything. She seemed a little nervous after that but once we started playing again, she got over it.

On the 3 pole exercise, she kept stopping at the third pole, so D told me to click and throw the treat simultaneously, and make sure I do it early enough that she's still moving. It's a lot of timing--I'm not doing so well on that yet.

Last, we did the weavomatic with a couple toys laying nearby. Teka went through without looking at the toys, and started to even figure out that the treat frisbee was her goal. (I forgot her treat bag.) So next was the body torture--I skipped and waved my arms. She didn't care at all. Then I stopped halfway down--she did not like that. We tried again and I stopped when she had 3 poles left. She really thought about it, and then she finished and went to her frisbee. Awesome.

Trial update

I was overdue for my appointment but didn't realize it. At the new house, the answering machine is in a spot that I forget to check it. A from the Research center finally left a message on my cell phone that I was almost out of my window for the blood test. Oops. When I talked to A, she scheduled me with N. I asked if E would be there, but no, so she made a "just in case" appointment for me at Sonora Labs.

I went today and N started with the blood draw. She stuck me and decided that was not going to work. So the rest of the tests were done and N sent me to Sonora. She met me there and we got in pretty quickly. The lab tech just rammed that needle on in there and got the blood draw. You know it's bad when the other nurse cringes! I managed to not cry until I got to my car. Minor pity party. I decide to run by Dutch Bros to get a frozen latte. The guy there remembered me and was super upbeat. As I was leaving, Dancing Queen came on the radio. Pity party over.

I have so many blessings and I am reminded to look for them.

Monday, November 15, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

A friend was in town this weekend, and we spent time last night hanging out with our "new" west-side friends. So this weekend was filled with professional friends, old friends and new friends. :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Last night, we enjoyed a great night with some old friends. I'm glad they came out to our side of town to hang out. It was fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

I belong to a professional organization and volunteer on the Board of Directors. I have met some wonderful people, very kind, considerate, and generous.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

This morning, I sent the November Grayline to the Valley of the Sun Weimaraner Club members (and the courtesy newsletter list). I generally send the newsletter each month sometime in the week before the club meeting. It usually feels like a huge task to get it done and I'm always running late getting it out, although this was probably one of the latest, since the meeting is tonight. I had some issues with Microsoft Word disappearing off of my laptop. I sent what I could to M and asked him to take care of a few things to finish it, which he did last night.

As the newsletter editor, I am sometimes concerned that I may offend someone or not provide relevant information. On the other hand, I have been completely unsuccessful in getting anyone to provide any content for the newsletter in the two years I've been doing it. The great thing about emailing the newsletter is that I get some updates from members in response and I love hearing about everyone's dogs and lives. And there are a couple of club members who respond occassionally to let me know they liked something they saw in the newsletter. Today, in response to the membership update I sent to the members, I got an email from a new (returning) club member with a correction who was appreciative of what I do for the club. I also got an email from a new club member who also had a minor correction, and wanted to let me know how much he and his dog are enjoying their new activities. Their nice comments made me smile!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Agility class

I am trying an 8 week session with Contact Zonies. Teka's Advanced II class is first; Cassi's Handling class is later. Their exercises were about the same though.

The first sequence was a circle (or horseshoe) of obstacles, but not taken in that order. The tunnel was on one end, and facing it, there was a tire hoop and a jump on the left and a serpentine of 3 jumps on the right. For Teka's class, we did the jump, tunnel, tire, the right end jump, round to the middle jump, and out to the left jump. She did it perfectly. Her last time through, we did the opposite sequence and she dropped a bar; the instructor said it looked like she got lazy. (tired?) In Cassi's class, we switched it up more but she did really well in each case. The tire proved to be the challenge. We had it lower (16"?) but she kicked it every time; in one case, hard enough that another student asked if she was okay. I have to get my tire fixed or get a breakaway tire to practice with her!!!

The next sequence was an A-frame with a curved tunnel underneath, headed out to a jump on each end (45 degrees from each other, so one was a discrimination), with a tunnel to the 3:00 from the end of the A-frame that did not have a tunnel discrimination. Teka's sequence was the A-frame to the jump, wrap to the tunnel open next to the A-frame, coming out to the jump on the side, switch to the teeter. She loves the teeter, so she made that part look easy! We also did it with a couple of front crosses, which actually made it more smooth for Teka. Cassi's class did more variations, such as starting on the side jump, into the side tunnel, out the tunnel by the A-frame exit, out around the jump to come back over it, over the A-frame. We had a LOT of trouble with that "out" and I had to basically block her from going over it. We also had a couple rounds with the teeter at the beginning (going around to the A-frame entry, out around the jump, into the tunnel, over the side jump) or end (like Teka's sequence), and she did the teeter with NO problem, no hesitation. And lots of treats.

Our last exercise was two pairs of straight tunnels next to each other (yellow, blue, then a large space, then green, and orange) with a purple curved tunnel at one end and two jumps at the other end, kind of angled, one from each pair of straight tunnels. We did a lot of variations, but essentially working on "out" without blocking the inside tunnel. We ran down the middle while they took the tunnel or out tunnel and so on. Teka had some trouble and actually went between the pairs of tunnels a couple times, but mostly got it. Cassi did really great except at one turn when she kept coming back out of the tunnel after she entered it. (Basically backing out!) I started telling her to go on while she was inside and she was able to complete it.

These seemed to be fun exercises for both the girls. The only incident worth noting is that during Teka's class, a young boxer decided to take a run around to find someone to play with, and he got into a bit of a scuffle with the dog in Teka's group who was on the teeter at the time--he jumped off when the boxer approached. Teka started to act like they were playing and she wanted to, but when they started scuffling, she started growling and lunging, so I grabbed her and held on until the boxer was under control again. I'm glad (I think) that she wasn't the one on the teeter. But maybe since that's her favorite obstacle, she would have stayed and I could have dealt with the boxer instead of dealing with her. I am her protector, after all!

30 Days of Gratitude

Tonight, I returned to the Contact Zonies Agility Club training. I decided to try it for this 8 week session to see if I can make it work. I generally have a good time with my dogs and I enjoy a lot of the people. Like most of the training clubs, the participants help with setting up equipment (for the early class) and putting away equipment (for the late class) and the trainers are volunteers (with perks). That is in contrast to private training facilities, which generally do their own set-up and tear-down and of course, the staff are paid.

My options for getting to class every week are: work at home and drive the 40-60 minutes to class (defeating the purposes of working at home--no commute and more time to add to my hours); work at the office and M brings the dogs (he will only do this as an exception, not every week); or board the dogs while I work at the office (adding another expense, in addition to needing to find an appropriate kennel for both Cassi's and Teka's issues). So, for now, I'm going to try working at home and making the drive, although M will have to run the dog bus at least once during the session.

I got a very warm welcome back. It seemed that everyone was glad to see me and the girls.

Oh, before I went to class, I went by the old house and one of my neighbors said she missed us and was sad to see us go. I thought that was very sweet.

I'm grateful for relationships, however brief or lasting they may be. And dog people--we're crazy, crazy about our dogs!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

So there were only two students in my class tonight, including me. We got all the attention of both instructors. And Cassi was on fire. It was a great confidence boost to see her having fun and being excited about whatever was next. I may have to get her into a trial pretty soon.

Weave 201B

Cassi and I had a great time tonight. We did a sequence with two jumps--she had to jump over one, round to the other, then come between--then on to the weavomatic with a jump and a table at that end, and back through the weaves, to the jump out to the right (front cross) and around. It took a little practice.

Then we moved to a sequence with a tunnel to two jumps, round to the channel weaves (she got the entry perfect!!!), then an odd out/round to the "wrong" side of a jump, back to the tunnel, weaves, round to 2 jumps. We worked on the weave to odd jump a bit, but I was really happy about her weave entries.

The last was a circle sequence like we did last week with Teka. There were 2 6-pole weavomatics separated by a good space and 3 jumps. I had to stay far from the weaves and let her get it, and she did all but once. She rocked it so well that D said she needs to get into handling class. (I didn't tell her that I'm doing a semester with Contact Zonies, my previous training group.)

Monday, November 8, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

Today was not a good day overall. Besides dealing with work stress, I was in quite a bit of pain most of the day. M was in the garage when I got home and he knew right away that I wasn't feeling so hot--I could barely walk from my car into the house. I went and laid on the floor with my feet up for a while, until I felt a little better so I could make dinner. As I was laying on the floor, Cassi and Teka took turns making me laugh, acting goofy, wiggling their bodies, trying to kiss me, plopping down "next" to me--which for Cassi means halfway on top of me, rolling over on their backs and looking at me upside down. I'm grateful that I have goofy dogs and a pretty understanding husband.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

One of the most frustrating things I deal with is Teka's attitude towards other dogs. We don't want anyone getting hurt or traumatized by her, but we also think she needs more socialization (I'm not sure that's the right word) to get over her issue. We took Cassi and Teka to the hunt test and put up the kennel and playpen around the back of the truck so they would have a little room but be protected from loose dogs.

Yesterday, while I was walking Teka around, she got excited about a Weimaraner named Zeke who we know and she used to play with. He was in his pen with his "brother" Max. Teka and Zeke flirted through the wire pen. She made herself into a cashew shape and showed him her butt and tried to kiss him and playbowed and otherwise acted silly. She went to Max and he growled and she just left and went back to Zeke. (Okay, she may have grumbled under her breath, but I didn't hear it and she didn't bare her teeth or anything that appeared aggressive.) Just to test that it wasn't a fluke, I took her back later and she still flirted with Zeke. Today, she was still a flirt with Zeke.

The enclosure has worked so well in the past, so I was surprised to see her come around the trailer into the secretary's station this morning. She was running with Greta, an intact female Weimaraner that she has been snippy with in the past. She was trying to kiss her and being very playful. I didn't even realize it was Teka until I saw her collar.

A short time later, she and Cassi both got out of the enclosure and came running up to look for M. (Take us hunting!) They ran right through all the dogs hanging out and she didn't pay any attention to anyone. I put their kennel up front by the trailer and they hung out. She did snap at Cherry through the wire mesh front when Cherry ran up to the kennel; otherwise, she was such a friendly dog all weekend.

I'm glad she is showing signs of possibility!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

The desert is so beautiful. People who don't get it just see, well, as my cousin said, rocks and brown. But I see shades of green on a brown base, against a background of mountain ranges, under a blue sky like no other. And the sunrise is gorgeous. Why am I awake during the sunrise on a Saturday? A hunt test at Robbins Butte--only a 25 minute drive from the new house. A day with dogs and dog people. Flying the flag over the test site, watching it blow in the wind. A hill behind us, made up of dark colored lava rock and green brush growing in between. A challenge to come back to see if the stranger (stranger danger?!) who stopped by is correct--he said you can see Indian ruins if you get to the top. (We're a little doubtful since we've seen people go up, but maybe they didn't go all the way.) It's a tough climb, so we'll come back another (cooler) day.

Friday, November 5, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

The truck is in the garage! One vehicle in, two to go. My awesome father-in-law finished the paint for us and it looks awesome. (MIL is pretty awesome too.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

There are some less-than-desirable things about Facebook, such as the games, the spam, the questionable security policies. However, I like keeping up with my friends and family who post photos and updates about their lives. Sometimes, they post funny or interesting links. I like several pages that post medical or other news information, too.

This has to be one of the funniest things I have seen as a status update on Facebook:

1. Go to Google maps. 2. Go to 'get directions'. 3. Type in Japan as your starting location. 4. Type in China as your ending location. 5. Go to step #43. 6. Laugh and repost!!

I added (based on one of the comments left on my friend's update):

When you're done laughing your arse off, try Japan to Seattle, step #27. You're welcome.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

We went to dinner with friends to celebrate K's birthday. We had a great time having pizza (K's fave!) and beer. While we were there, the boys overheard a couple at a nearby table who were apparently having a first date. He made a comment about something she said--he felt he could not be with her because of whatever it was. (Secondhand stories are confusing, aren't they?!) It wasn't going well for her, but he kissed her anyway.

I'm SOOOO grateful that I no longer have to date. Okay, really, I'm grateful that I am married to M. We get the best part of dating without the worst part of dating. Most of all, he's my best friend; he props me up and makes me better. But don't tell him I said so!

CFLs are killing us

I may be considered a treehugger, but I have issues with CFL bulbs. We don't have them in our house. We had a few in our old house and they sucked. They burned out within a year or two. In a bathroom. And made a popping sound with a horrible smell and visible fumes when they quit working.

I soon realized that people don't know they have to dispose of them "properly" so the mercury is ending up, well, wherever it ends up. If it is slightly inconvenient to properly dispose of them, it won't happen!

And now, add this to my list of why we don't have CFLs in our house: dirty electricity.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude--Election Day

Today: Election Day. We moved just in time to NOT get our mail in ballots. I checked online with both my drivers' license number and my voter ID number, and was told to go to our old polling place. At lunch, I made the drive, to find out that I could NOT vote there since I no longer live in the area. They sent me to my new polling location. So after work, I headed home and stopped at the school to vote.

The volunteers at both locations were helpful and kind, even when I was annoyed. I am grateful I live in a country where I have the right to vote, or not vote, just like everyone else. USA!!!

Weave 101B

Teka liked the first part of class. She got to run on the dog walk on her way to the weaves. After working on shaping, she got to take a turn on the teeter. Shaping was challenging; D helped out with getting her around the third pole.

Next we worked on channel weaves with toys and she did well. We moved on to a sequence of tunnel, 2 jumps, turning into weaves on the left, back to the tunnel left side, out the right to two jumps, into the weaves on the right. The weaves were the weaveomatics and I started with them too open, but D closed them up. Teka did better when I did NOT use my hands around the weaves. Hmmm!

Last we did 2 6-pole sets with 3 jumps making a circle. Teka had very good distance, and again I had the weaves open too much but closed them up and she did well.

At the end, Teka and I played with her toy and I ran her through the weaves again.

Monday, November 1, 2010

30 Days of Gratitude

I follow "but you don't look sick" on Facebook. Christine of the Spoon Theory has challenged those of us with chronic illness to a month long celebration of gratitude. She says:

Sometimes it is easy to focus on all the pain in our lives when we live with chronic disease, but in the month of November, let's try once a day to find at least 1 thing to be Thankful for.

Some days it is hard to be thankful, but I certainly am, for so many things. So let's get it on!

Today, I am grateful for my favorite clients. They are a cute elderly couple, so obviously each other's best friend and life partners. They seem about 20 years younger than they are. They are active, long distance bike riders. He has been battling an illness; the treatment has caused him to lose some weight (that he didn't have to lose), but he is getting back to normal. When I said that today, he said, laughing, that he is back to normal, but we can see that his clothing is not filled out yet. I dread the day either of them leaves us, and it frightens me that it might be sooner rather than later. I pray for their good health and am grateful that he has pulled through this challenge so far.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Last night, we went to a neighborhood costume party. It was interesting to talk with some of our neighbors. There were some great decorations, many animated. After getting home late, we overslept this morning.

We made it to bowling, and I got a new high score of 131! (Last time, my first time with my new ball, I got 101--twice.) During lunch, we invited a few friends to come over to watch football and/or give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

We had about 30 trick or treaters in about 9 or 10 groups. The best costume was the blind referee, but we also liked the flying Superman. It seemed that a lot of the kids were being driven around in cars or golf carts, and some did not stop at our house. We made dinner and ate, and then went for a walk with the dogs. It was nice to have help in the kitchen--I always have to remember to delegate to minimize the singing and dancing. (J/K, Ms. K!) Next year, we either need larger decorations or less candy!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Osmonds and MS

David Osmond (yes, THEIR nephew) and his dad have MS. David was diagnosed four years ago in his 20s. He has remitting relapsing MS, so it completely attacked and disabled and then gave him his life back, more or less. He attributes his recovery at least partially to his attitude.

David, who lives in Orem, Utah, says the power of a positive attitude helps him cope with the pain and adds that his life is much better because of a major lifestyle change: He has switched to an intensive program of all-natural nutrition and dietary supplements. But more than anything, David credits his wife, their baby, and his famous extended family for helping him find the strength to live with MS.

I struggle to understand how he had a baby knowing that his dad has MS too, but that is a personal choice that I just don't understand obviously. I hope his attitude keeps him well. He is making nutrition and dietary changes--a big "I should" in my life.


Fall survey completed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Indecision kills

I am an indecisive person. I think it is a fear of being wrong. During my childhood, all choices were wrong, and I'm sure the after effects are still following me around. What do I fear that causes this indecision?
  • What if I need this? (so I don't throw something out)
  • What if I don't succeed? (so I don't try)
  • What if I make a fool of myself? (so I hide, don't say anything, try to blend in)
  • What if I don't really know? (so I second-guess myself, defer to someone else)
  • What if they don't like me? (so I hate myself for not being more--something else)
I work at overcoming many of these things. I know that I can't succeed if I don't try. I know that I'll make mistakes, get laughed at (with?), have to find a replacement for something I threw out. I am still super-insecure, but generally, people like me (or they like M and tolerate me!)

This newsletter reminded me that:

life is created through action. The worst thing you can do to your spirit is to live in a place of indecision. Indecision drains, disempowers and disengages us from life. If you want to create your best life ever, just decide.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weave 201B

Cassi was having a class clown night, very excited and having fun, but goofy too.

We did the weave-a-matic (slanted poles) with a tunnel on one end and 2 jumps at angles from the other end. This allowed us to work back and forth with crosses and different entries. I worked with Cassi on our front cross. That jump before re-entering the weaves was pretty far forward, so I had to front cross ("mentally change leash hands front right hand to left hand") and then really get on her to come to my left side instead of flying by on my right. Her speed is really picking up and the bars are only slanted a little.

Then we worked on the 3 poles. She is getting it but she is still not consistently wrapping back around the third pole. We've been doing the entry in four positions, differing distances, the 45 degrees (3:00 to 6:00, with 6:00 being the starting pole). She told my partner to start doing the 45 degrees from 9:00 to 6:00, still doing both left and right sides. Cassi can start working on that too, but Teka is probably not ready.

Then we did a "course" of jumps and 6 pole set ups. Cassi did really well once I figured out the front cross. D had to walk me through it--Cassi comes out of the weaves on my left, the jump is perpendicular on my right, Cassi has to wrap around the far side to get back to the weaves, so I have to change from left hand to right hand, and go down the weaves on the left. There was another set of 6 poles next and I had to rear cross to get to the jumps on the right of those poles. I know--confusing, and I was there!

Our last exercise was a 12 pole channel weave with a jump on one end and a tunnel on the other, with a jump off to the side for entry into the tunnel, or not. Cassi was really picking up her speed on this one. It was the toy-torture exercise and my partner left her dog's toys out. I put Cassi's out too, but she became VERY excited about her treat tube, so I swapped it out for her treat pouch, keeping the tube in my hand to throw at the end. There was something around one of the tunnel entrances that she (and the other dog) wanted to sniff, but other than that, she was really excited and working with me and speeding up. The channels are only an inch open now. D recommended I treat her more during the exercise, such as after she went through the tunnel after having so much trouble entering it.

My partner and I both ran barefoot. That was my first time running barefoot, but it's on a padded floor and I've seen others do it. I think I liked it but would prefer to run with socks with a sole grip. (Update: The next day, I went to work and a co-worker showed me some "moon boots" she got and gave me the catalog--they are socks with a rubber sole.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Housewives of MS

I've never heard of Michaele Salahi before today. She is a "housewife of D.C." a reality show that I don't watch. She has some controversy, which I generally expect with anyone on a reality show. It sounds like she has been accused of having an eating disorder due to her thinness. I think this makes her sound pretty typical of a star, but about halfway through the video, she admits she has MS. And she is suddenly very emotional. I was touched by how hard it is to tell the world (however big or small one's world is) about MS.

And then she actually shocks me. She's had MS for 17 years and she JUST told her best friend. Why? Why hide it for so long from the people who care about you? Yeah, I understand that people might have pity or judgement--but your friends will get over it. I imagine the people she is "close" with who have been excluded from this aspect of her life will feel that she does not trust them. Someone we know has been having (not health) problems and didn't tell us about it, and that was certainly a feeling I had to work through, that we couldn't help or support him (or them?) while this was going on.

On the other hand, I struggled with the decision to be completely open about having MS, and it took me a while to get there. I don't let MS define me, so it's hard to start out a relationship or conversation by confessing my problems, and I don't run around making it an issue, so there are certainly people who know me who don't know about the MonSter. But anytime it makes sense, I tell people--especially if they have misconceptions about living with chronic illness. I think that just being me and living my life, I am a "Face of MS." I think this is important because people with MS are depicted as handicapped every time they are written into a script--and that is SO annoying! I have MS, MS does NOT have me.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yuengling is coming west!

Okay, it will be a while before we're buying Yuengling kegs in Phoenix, but WSJ ran an article about the oldest brewery in the nation (181 years old), still family owned, expanding. I introduced M to their beer in Pennsylvania and we've been waiting for its westward journey ever since.

According to the article, Yuengling is the 7th largest US beer supplier, not a micro-brew but a regional beer company. They bought a Coors manufacturing facility in Memphis. The article talks about the fifth generation Mr. Yuengling, a very (VERY) frugal man in his 60's, driving a dirty old American-made car for his commute. The commenters on the online version either thought he was awesome--a real American icon, or a cheapskate. He's probably some of both--they aren't mutually exclusive terms!

So move over Coors, and make way for Yuengling!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dog food dilemma, again

Since moving, I am looking for a good place to buy my pet supplies. I previously stopped by Pet Food Depot on my way home. They had my cats' grain-free canned food, the dog's dry food and frozen raw food for mix-ins, cat litter, and a good selection of soft dog treats for training. I haven't found a tack store like that yet on my way home now, but I found Pet Club, which carries their brands of food, so that's a decent start. (The location is not my favorite for getting on/off the freeway when I'm headed home.)

Both times I have stopped in, the cashier has reminded me that Innova was bought by P&G, which is not good news, based on when P&G bought Iams. So I need to find a new food. I did a lot of research a few years ago, so I'm not thrilled about going through this again. She recommended Pinnacle, which I've never heard of. That could be a good sign!

Well, it may be all for nothing. This preview of some disturbing, horrible news about pet food testing makes me wonder about an industry that puts out this insanely contaminated product.

The author quotes: "The quality of many of the ingredients used for pet food is often considered to be inferior or unfit for human consumption. "Premium" brands claim to have superior ingredients and quality. Claims of the quality of premium ingredients do not offer data as to the potential toxicity of elements which may be found in those ingredients. The purpose of our study was to examine pet foods from various sources to determine if they contained potentially toxic elements and if high quality ingredients equated to less toxic elements present in the food."

The author goes on to say: The most powerful information provided to us in the abstract (poster) preview, is the comparison made to canned human foods. All human foods tested significantly lower than the average results for pet foods. We can safely assume this means that many of those 'human grade' claims stated by some pet foods are nothing more than words. Almost all of the pet foods that tested minimal ppb (parts per billion) were lower than what human foods tested at. From this we can safely assume there are some high quality pet foods out there.

Since the tested foods are not/will not be identified, there is no way to know which foods are killing our pets. How disgusting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Leashes, anyone?

Cassi has always been a friendly dog. When she was young, I would take her hiking, often with friends and other dogs. Sometimes, we would let the dogs off leash or let them drag their leashes when no one was around. She quickly learned that she could go out ahead but had to come back in when I said too far. M is still giving me grief that I ruined his hunting dog (he didn't decide she was his hunting dog until she was 2) by teaching her to yo-yo.

When we were out and about, I would get a little annoyed with people who were out with their dog and did that panicky "my dog isn't friendly" thing. I'd think, why do you have your dog out in public. Well of course, we got the lovely Teka, a very social and friendly puppy, who grew up to be a great dog with people and a real bitch with other dogs. I obviously brought this on myself--now I understand those people with the unfriendly dogs.

In our old neighborhood, I had to be careful about taking the dogs (Teka) out for a walk since several people on my street didn't own a leash. In fact, the guy down the street got upset because his dog came through our yard, up to Teka in front of our door, and Teka snapped at the offensive dog. It's hard being so vigilant and I hope to cure her someday, but until then, I hope that people can control their dogs.

In the new neighborhood, I have been walking the dogs and have had my first dog-off-leash encounter the other day. I was yelling so the dog stopped before getting all the way up to us, and my dogs didn't lunge forward, surprisingly. The dog must have been in the garage with her people; the guy came out to get his dog and said she's never done that. Hey, I have sympathy--I didn't give him any crap, I just said one of my dogs is friendly and the other one is not.

So I laughed a little at this encounter. I feel her pain and thought she was much more articulate than I could ever be when I'm in panic mode. And I don't always put my dogs on leash when I'm just taking them to the truck. And I'm still working on teaching Teka manners when other dogs don't have them, but I think it might be a losing battle.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Weave 101B

A new eight week session of classes has started, and we're still doing weaves. Teka did get stressed out a little so we played more and tried to keep her motivated and I think we did pretty well. She is getting some speed on the weaves when she isn't being dopey. Near the end of class, she seemed done, but hadn't really been super-successful or happy, so I ran her through the tunnel a couple times, lots of treats, then tunnel and weaves and she did well so we ended there. She's a special character. :) (Note: I posted this a week late, so I don't recall the details!)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Trial update

Today was my short visit. Um, yeah. When I got there, N was talking to a couple that walked in just before me. It appeared that the guy was pimping his wife out for a trial. She said they'd been married a week. After they left, N was ready for me. She took vitals and asked the standard questions. Then she tried to take my blood; she was not successful. She went to get N2, who proceeded to stick me in the same arm but an inch over. She was also not successful. N, N2, and A discussed what to do--A had just returned from Sonora Labs and said it was a long wait, so they didn't want to take me there if it wasn't necessary. So they poked and prodded until they agreed on a new location. I have never had anyone take blood from this one: left forearm, halfway between the wrist bone and the elbow, on the side, almost underside of the arm. So, N2 was able to get the blood draw. It is sore and I'm pretty sure it's going to bruise.

I drank two glasses of tea (after my normal morning water) before going to this appointment, so I was ready for my last test. Unfortunately, I was still a little distracted by the poking and prodding and did my test in the toilet instead of the cup. Yep, I've done that before! Anyway, I was able to get a little in the cup. Whew. Another one done.

I am NOT a pincushion. Really.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Say goodbye to the food journal

Okay, I really am not into this and am not keeping up with it. So instead, I have updated my blog list to include some food blogs I found interesting.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weave 201

Cassi is picking up the speed on the weave poles!

Our first exercise, she was a little flaky the first 2 times and then she started doing really well. We started with a tunnel, then weaves (slanted outward), a jump and back to the weaves, working in front crosses where possible. Then we had more of a handling section, starting with a tunnel to weaves (6), jump to a kind of U turn to the weave entry (without going with her), jump to the tunnel to the weaves and a jump. Then we worked on channel weaves and we closed them to an inch and she rocked it. Last we had another group of jumps with a tunnel and we worked the channel weaves in.

Food journal

189.5: so apparently I lost 2.5 pounds in a day. Hmmm. What is wrong with my body? (Besides the obvious...)

M and I split a Yoplait frozen smoothie mix with added Cascade Fresh blueberry yogurt, frozen strawberries, flax and milk.

handful of cashews

Lunch was a potluck at work: pulled pork and pulled chicken with BBQ sauce, small amount each of beans, cole slaw, pasta salad (with artichokes), macaroni salad. Also salad, a cornbread muffin. Small piece each of confetti cake and carrot cake and chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate ice cream.

I don't remember what I had for dinner, but I had something quick and small before class and I think I had milk afterwards.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Food journal

Wow, I've been absent for five days. During that time, I've managed to get back to 192, but I don't know that this journal is making any difference. AND I'm always my heaviest on Monday.

Yesterday--Sunday, I had a banana and miniwheats before bowling. (High score: 94, new personal best.) Lunch at Red Robin: one onion ring with chipotle mayo; chicken alla caprese platter (chicken, mozarella, salad) and mint brownie shake. Oh, a few parmesan fries, too.

An apple on my way to grocery shopping. Panda Express for dinner: half fried rice, half steamed veggies with orange chicken and mushroom chicken (just ate the zucchini and mushrooms). 2 fortune cookies.

I'm not going to try to recreate the previous days!

Today, I had a Yoplait smoothie (frozen mix) with added Cascade Fresh blueberry yogurt, a frozen sliced banana, flax and milk. M had the other serving.

For lunch, I had Chipotle--bowl with rice, pinto beans, chicken, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes and tomatillo salsa, and lettuce; ice tea.

Banana laffy taffy and smarties

Wasn't feeling very good (okay, I was in terrible pain at the end of the day, although I had been fine earlier) when I got home, but made dinner. Had potatoes and zucchini with parmesan; ice tea; and a frozen eclair.

I made a carrot cake for tomorrow's potluck, so I had a bunch of cream cheese frosting before I went to bed at 11:30.

Washing produce

I have a spray bottle of veggie wash, and occassionally, I remember to use it. Usually, I am in a hurry and I just scrub my produce under tap water. Well, maybe I had it right after all! (Disregard the article name--it is not in line with the article!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I like it on the counter or the chair at the kitchen table

I did not get the email, but there is a Facebook trend of women posting where they put their purse--to raise breast cancer awareness. I'm not sure what my purse has to do with my breast health, but I didn't get the connection when I heard this during a conversation today. The previous breast cancer awareness Facebook status was bra color. I did not understand why men were supposed to be left out (although I understand they had their own boxer campaign) since men DO get breast cancer also. My main issue with many of these non-profits (HSUS as a shining example) and campaigns:
"...more money is spent on salaried employees creating a marketing campaign than is spent on research and patient support."
While I'd like to say FB posts are all in good fun, I have to agree with both articles: these Facebook status updates do nothing to raise awareness of breast cancer, breast cancer is not the number one cause that should be promoted for women (see heart disease), and all this pink crap imported from other (often quality deficient) countries is not significantly (if at all) making any difference. I've walked and donated for causes, but I am getting (cynical) to the point that I don't think enough money is going to the cause when so much is spent on marketing and fundraising for more marketing and fundraising. Is there really anyone left in this country that isn't aware of breast cancer? Can we work on the causes and cures for diseases now? Can these non-profits stop funding drug company research and development and instead fund independent research and prevention programs? Too idealistic?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hail storm!

I left work early so I could get home, get Teka, and go to class. After I left the office, I noticed the beautiful rainbow to the east from earlier rain. Then it started raining. Around I-10 and I-17, it started hailing. Everyone just stopped--there was no visibility. I could see the car in front of me and to my left, but not the one behind me. I just sat there and prayed the person behind me was stopped and wasn't going to run into me. I was also concerned about my convertible top ripping open! The hail was about golf ball size (according to reports) and the sound as it was hitting my car and those around me, even bouncing off the pavement, was incredible and scary. When visibility improved, everyone started moving slowly. There was about a foot of hail on I-10! The storm was moving east, and I was going west. There was still a lot of hail on the ground for many miles. People were stopping under the overpasses to get out and take pictures.

I got a call that class was cancelled, so I ran some errands on the way home. As I opened my trunk to grab a shopping bag, I noticed the hail dent marks. Although the top didn't rip, it is damaged--it appears stretched out (saggy) but it's still wet, so I'll wait to see what it looks like in a couple of days. That certainly made for an interesting drive home, hopefully to never be repeated.

Food journal

Dutch bros medium annihalator
Pei Wei--some new Thai noodle dish (ate about 2/3); mandarin orange green tea
cashews and sour cream crackers
chicken with potatoes and zucchini
4 Late July sandwich cookies

Yoplait smoothie with apple juice, greek yogurt, frozen banana (makes 2--had half)
leftover Pei Wei; orange mint lifesaver
Wildflower half sandwich Chicken Continental on 9 grain with broccoli cheddar soup (it was a soup kinda day!) and tea
Cucumber slices with leftover (greek) hummus, pita, feta and tzaki, 2 olives

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Food journal

Mini wheats and milk; banana
Michelob Ultra
avocado, bacon and tomato omelet with cheese and hollandaise; 2 pancakes with butter and syrup
salad (lettuce, tomato, Caesar dressing); green tea and 2 slices pepperoni Digiorno pizza (and a little Ranch dressing)
4 Late July cookies
Mike's hard lemonade (Raspberry)

Alice or Daria?

If I were a comic strip character, who would I be? Well, I like this answer: Alice from Dilbert. But I really like Daria Morgendorffer the best. She got her own spin-off show from Beavis and Butthead, where I originally encountered her smart-ass commentary. I don't think I could handle being that swarmy and negative, but I certainly admired her spirit. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Food journal

mini wheats and milk, apple
Panda Express orange chicken and white rice bowl with low-sodium soy sauce; ice tea; fortune cookie
crab cakes (1.5) and Pasta Roni angel hair with herbs
chocolate pudding with banana and whip cream

Friday, October 1, 2010

Food journal

Dutch Bros latte and apple
Babbo sausage pasta lunch special with mista salada and tea
Dinner with Barb: we split a sampler plate of hummus, gyro meat, flaming feta cheese, pita, grape leaves, some kind of stuffed phyllo, and greek salad; green ice tea

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Food journal

Pumpkin latte, banana
protein plate and Dutch Bros freeze
lettuce and tomato salad with Caesar dressing; leftover lasagna and cheese Chiabbata toast; green tea

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Food journal

Frosted mini-wheats with milk
red bell pepper with artichoke spinach hommus
(My FIL shared his lunch): 1/2 Cousins ham and cheese sub with lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles; BBQ popchips and green tea
lettuce and tomato salad with Caesar dressing; lasagna and cheese Chiabbata toast; green tea
(everyone was talking about ice cream on FB today): Breyer's chocolate ice cream with banana and caramel

Brain Fog

I follow the "Spoonie" website and saw this about brain fog, a common ailment for those with diseases like Lupus, Chronic Fatigue, and MS. I felt a little emotional reading the paragraph on fatigue (this is ME!) and knowing others are experiencing what I go through.

Fatigue is one of the main causes that result in brain fog and let’s be honest….when was the last time that you felt really rested? I’m guessing if I asked for a show of hands, I’d see one or two of you reaching high. The rest of us would sit quietly. The sad truth of the matter is that Spoonies never get enough sleep. We never get enough sleep because we never stop hurting. Oh sure, sometimes the pain can be dulled to a low roar, but it never goes away. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night because you have to use the bathroom. Most of you would jump up, go in the bathroom and then happily jump back underneath the covers and drift off back to sleep. Not Spoonies. Nope, we fight to open our eyes that feel like they had been rubbed on with sandpaper for the last hour, slowly roll off the mattress as if our limbs were frozen and useless. Eventually, we make it to the bathroom only to return to bed and turn on the tv…knowing full and well that there would be no more sleep to be had for the rest of the night.

(emphasis mine.) And then she makes me laugh, actually and truly, laugh out loud. While I do not have much of an issue with insomnia (relative, of course--I still have times as she describes, but more so when I first hit the sheets, completely exhausted and yet wide awake), the rest rings so true. So when I'm not 100% there with you, don't take it personally--I'm giving you what I've got, but MS got the rest of me. (That's why MS is my bitch!)

Footnote: if you are new here, Spoonie is a person who lives the Spoon Theory.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Food journal

189. Breakfast was a small bowl of Raisin Bran with milk and sugar. I took Greek yogurt with kiwi berries and strawberries. I had a few bites but it was gross; I added sugar and tried a few more bites, but it was still gross. So I had a pluot.

For lunch, I went to Miracle Mile Deli to satisfy a beef craving. I had brisket on a kaiser roll with french fries and a regular root beer. I had two banana laffy taffys later.

For dinner, I was planning on halibut but M wasn't excited about it. We ended up having fish sticks and Velveeta shells and cheese. I also had an iced tea. I took my evening meds with some Good Belly beverage.

Weave 201

I was running late to class and everyone was paired up already, so we got to work alone, with some help from D. Cassi and I started out a little off. She went through the tunnel but missed the weave entries, but we were able to correct it. The first exercise was a jump to a tunnel to a weave, back around over the jump, through the other end of the tunnel (front cross) and back into the weaves. Our next exercise was with 2 sets of 6 weaves with jumps between. The entry to the second set was like a U from the jump. I was stepping into her line of sight for seeing the first pole but we got corrected again. Then we worked on the 3 poles and Cassi was looking at me for her treat bag (which she is getting very excited about playing with and shaking now), so D started throwing it after the third pole, working on getting her to turn her head close to the pole. So that's our homework. The other half of that exercise was the weave-o-matic and she had no problem at all.

D and I talked about next steps after this series of classes ends. It seems that we will continue Weave classes but she will be considering moving me to a handling class at some point. It sounded like novice. I explained Cassi's teeter issue and she said it's okay to use our homemade teeter, but I should use some weights on it so she gets used to the pivot always being different. She has open practice Monday through Thursday and thinks we might benefit from a private session followed by practice either there or at home. I'll need M and dad to make sure the teeter is in appropriate shape for use.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why Companies Should Insist on Napping

When I worked closer to home, I used to drive home at lunchtime to let my dogs out and eat a quick lunch. Fairly often, I would lay down and rest my eyes while listening to TV; sometimes I dozed off. I didn't have a fear of oversleeping as the dogs would occassionally come in to check on me. This article talks about the general benefits of napping. I took a 2 hour nap yesterday and obviously needed it after the last week of unpacking and cleaning and so on, but it did take a little time to get going again. Those 20 minute lunchtime "eye-rests" really did the trick for me. I know a woman who takes her shoes off and naps under her desk. If anyone sees her shoes, they know she'll be under her desk for a few minutes. I may have to try that in my office (I can bring my yoga mat in to lay on) so I can make it through these long days and longer commutes.

Food journal

I haven't been reporting and I'm not going to try to go back to remember! Today is the first day of my monthly visitor, so I'm bloated and feel yucky. Breakfast was Cascade Fresh strawberry yogurt (the big container, not the little fruit on the bottom container) with banana and Grape nuts. This was my fourth time eating this breakfast.

At lunchtime, I was having cramps, so I went to Wildflower for tomato soup and a half Chicken Pesto sandwich on 9 grain bread, with ice tea.

I went grocery shopping on my way home so I just made ravioli (Fresh & Easy Spinach and Ricotta) for dinner. I attempted an artichoke but it didn't cook well. I finished the last serving of chocolate pudding with whipped cream.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Food Journal

Breakfast: banana and vanilla milk
Lunch at Bertha's Cafe with 2 co-workers: turkey sandwich (no mayo, the bacon and avocado were great) with salad (has fruit and cheese with 1/2 container of balsamic dressing) and mini chocolate cookie; ice tea
Social hour (networking): 1 glass Cabernet, 3 small Swedish meatballs, tiny dog in blanket, and 2 mini quiche
On way home/dinner: Dirty brand Maui onion chips (leftover from lunch special) and Dutch Bros. Cocomo freeze ($2 special)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Food journal

Still grabbing breakfast on way to work--need to get unpacked and organized: Starbucks protein plate (2 apples slices, 10 grapes, hard boiled egg, 2 small pieces of cheese, and some kind of biscuit, and peanut butter) with a small pumpkin latte (skim milk, no whipped cream--BTW, they don't use whip cream on lattes at Dunkin or Dutch Bros.)

With the big breakfast, I wasn't too hungry and expected to get home early so I thought I would just have Jamba juice: small strawberry something and low-fat blueberry muffin

I didn't have a key for the house and M wasn't there, so I went to Bashas and got a chicken salad sandwich on multi grain with lettuce and tomato; ate about a half bag of Lay's BBQ kettle chips (yeah the big one) and half a jar of Tejava (I was thirsty and had no water with me, and it's unsweetened.)

It was quite a rough day, a lot of pain until late afternoon, emotional meltdown when I couldn't get in the house or get in touch with M. Just seemed things weren't going my way, for anything, no matter how big or small. I guess that's my Tuesday Tirade!

Weave 101

There was only one other dog in class, so D paired us together and we got her full attention. We worked on the 3 poles--Teka is still being rewarded for turning back around the second pole. She took some reminding and it's only been a week since we practiced. (I was moving--I haven't set up the poles at the new house.)

Monday, September 20, 2010


This was my quarterly visit, so I saw Dr M first. I was in a lot of pain today, coming and going, but it was starting to be more go than come. I think my vision was blurrier than usual, just a little. The balance tests he does after the eye test--he had me re-do them at the end of my visit. I was in less pain then, so I think I did better.

Dr. G made his comment again about losing weight will help with my pain issue. Just shows that no one is listening to me. Hello, this issue started when I was thin and recently diagnosed. Yes, I do need to lose weight, but I don't think we are all on the same page here. He also asked about my sleep patterns. I'm trying to change them with the move, but last night, after I got home from work (I had a meeting till 6, got home near 7), M made me go to Home Depot, fed me at In N Out, and then took me to the old house to clean. Between exhaustion and my general emotionalness, I was crying by the time we left. I went to bed around 12:30. Dr. G did not like that time! I am trying to go to bed earlier and only getting up a little earlier than before. I know that sleep is a factor in weight gain or lack of weight loss.

The research center went pretty smoothly. Lots of vials of blood, but N did a great draw. The entire process from Dr. G through the research center took a little over an hour and a half. I think that I will need to take 2.5-3 hours away from the office every quarter for this, including drive time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Moving, moving, moving...

Long day, 2 moving trucks, 4 guys (and us and M's parents), not everything made it to the new house yet, but the cats and dogs did. The cats went in my car--M forgot to leave room for them in the truck and that I have no A/C. Jill was drooling and Kachina was panting. Then Jill started licking Kachina on the head and back of her neck. Later, when we let them out of the laundry room at the new house, Kachina looked like punk rock kitty. The dogs settled right in. This place is a mess!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Food journal

mini wheats and milk


Bertha's cafe: chicken pesto half sandwich and cup of potato chowder with bacon; mini choc chip cookie and ice tea (YUM to all of that! Kept chips for a snack tomorrow and bought muffins for tomorrow's breakfast.)

Frozen pizza for dinner, Digiorno flatbread and one slice of 3 meat rising crust

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Food Journal

started the day feeling alright but that didn't last long. About a 6 all afternoon.
leftover jambalaya for breakfast with vanilla milk
lunch with boss: BLT salad with balsamic dressing, small roll, turkey chili soup, and jasmine green ice tea (the soup and tea were great, the salad was blah, although the bacon was yummy.)
Hungry cause I had salad for lunch! Kashi go lean bar (yep, they still suck), 2 banana laffy taffy and an orange mint Lifesaver
Mahi-mahi with spicy sweet dry rub and potatoes and zucchini
chocolate pudding with redi whip

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Food Journal

Yoplait smoothie with banana and strawberries
frozen burrito (Cedar Lane beef) with avocado and sour cream; green ice tea
chips with nacho cheese (was actually going to have carrots but they seemed old, kinda slimy, grossed me out)
Dream Dinners jambalaya
vanilla milk

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Asthma drug for MS?

This article talks about part of the MS puzzle and how Albuterol may have a positive impact on MS patients. It creates more questions than answers--that's normal for drug trials, right?!

Food journal

189 and feeling kinda okay
miniwheats with milk; Dutch Bros medium Chai latte (after picking up my car, again)
Lunch meeting: Papa John's veggie pizza--2 slices; lettuce with Drew's tomato dressing
handful each of cashews and Annie's sour cream bunnies
Yoplait smoothie with apple juice and milk, strawberries and banana (before class)
2 Simply chocolate chip cookies

Weave 201

I forgot to blog this class, but Cassi and I went, and I'm sure we had fun. :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Food journal

Monday, Monday....started out kind of okay and progressed to some pain throughout the afternoon. 191.
Dutch Bros large Kicker latte and pluot
Wendy's small chili with 2 packages saltines, and small spicy chicken nuggets (no sauce) with medium (really, that's a medium?) unsweetened ice tea.
small apple
mahi mahi with smoky sweet dry rub; potatoes and zucchini sautéed in basil oil
vanilla milk and one Simply chocolate chip cookie

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New house

I spent today at the new house. I cleaned out all the cabinets (using Seventh Generation all-purpose spray cleaner) in the kitchen and bathrooms as well as a couple of hallway closets and the pantry. I lined the pantry shelves and unpacked most of the stuff that has been moved already. It's exciting to see things coming together. The tile is done, the painter has started, the electrician was there all day and is finished with his pre-move stuff, and M and dad are getting close to done with their big project. Quite a few workers will be in and out of the house this week. We still have a few things to schedule though. I'm trying not to stress out. But I'm stressed out! I have 5 days to finish packing. Everything. With my normal schedule of work and dog class and stuff. Almost done.

Food journal

The weekend.
Saturday: cheese omelet my DH made for me, with large glass of apple juice.
Leftover Italian sausage pasta from Babbos, with bread.
RSVC meeting--2 slices supreme pizza, cookie and piece of german chocolate cake.

Sunday: vanilla milk and banana; half a gigantic Costco size blueberry muffin
turkey and havarti cheese with tomato and mayo on wheat; BBQ popchips; green ice tea
Annie's frozen enchiladas with sour cream and a third of an avocado

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Today I completed a NARCOMS survey called Patient Decision Making. It included some of the normal questions but had more interesting questions about taking drugs with certain hypothetical side effects (such as death) with different probabilities. For example, would I take a drug that would cure my MS if there was a 1 in 1000 chance I would die that night; if no, what if it was 1 in 10,000, etc. Some were to reverse disability rather than cure MS. They also used Tysabri specific examples for questions, since that drug is associated with PML (potentially fatal) but is potentially the most effective drug for MS right now. I guess they are trying to determine how desperate we are!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Food journal

189.5 and in pain most of the day. (the seeing stars but not nauseous pain.)
Raisin bran and milk
Babbo's lunch special Italian sausage pasta (half) and mista salad with ice tea and bread with oil and vinegar
2 slices Digiorno 3 meat pizza with a little ranch dressing; salad (lettuce, tomatoes, green pepper) with olive dressing; ice tea
strawberries and nutella

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Food journal

Okay, I don't really like the title "Humiliation Diet" although it made sense when I started. But I know that I'm just writing this for myself, so how is it humiliating? I may go back to Spark People eventually and just use the blog for the food log instead of the time consuming food input. But for now, I'll share here.

Today: 190, and a lot of pain the first half of the day--did NOT cry. somehow.
Mini-wheats and milk
low sodium V8
Wildflower pick 2: half chicken pesto feta sandwich on 9 grain and chicken gumbo (I was really hungry going in, but once full, I saved half my soup for later and ate it in the late afternoon.)
2 banana laffy taffy
chicken with kickin chicken spice (too hot for me, I only had a small serving) with red potatoes and zucchini (I used too much basil oil) and green ice tea
still hungry, one serving rice pudding (the last one)

Vanity sizing

The size on the tag is a starting point for what to try on--this is what women have dealt with for years. I was recently shocked to purchase a pair of shoes in a size 9. I haven't worn size 9 shoes since I was in high school. I currently wear 3 different numbered sizes of clothes. I generally consider the largest size the "true" size. How can this be? It is known as vanity sizing.

Men are subject to vanity sizing too. It never occurred to me since men's pants are sized in inches. I bought a pair of 5.11 pants and they were sized in inches, whether women's or men's. I think I tried on 5 pairs before I got down to my size. It was the first time I bought pants sized in inches in many years. When waist size is considered an indicator of health issues, should clothing manufacturers be able to mislabel pant sizes?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Humiliation Diet

190.5 and not feeling so well the first half of the day, but it finally clears up
Breakfast: mini-wheats and milk
Lunch: Low sodium V8 (not feeling well enough to eat before doctor appointment)
After appointment: Chick-fil-a 8 nuggets, waffle fries and unsweetened ice tea; I was going to have the Polynesian sauce but realized after the first nugget that the ingredients included HFCS (first ingredient) so I had the honey mustard instead
Snack: one serving Kozy shack rice pudding with a little caramel sauce and a tiny Reese's cup
Dinner: salmon with dry rub, Ricearoni, and broccoli
Snack: box of vanilla milk

Doctor, doctor, give me some news?

I went to the endocrinologist's office today to review my latest blood test (TSH) results for my thyroid. The T3 is down from 8 to (I think it was) 1.9, which she said is very good. She said the T4 was within the norm but was on the edge so we'll see what it looks like in a few months and I'll continue on the medication as is. It's too soon to retest the Vitamin D. She mentioned that I should consider a B complex with some other stuff that I forgot already but I didn't really understand why. So my next ultrasound and blood work will be in January.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Humiliation Diet

mini-Wheats with milk and a peach
frozen entree ravioli (it was gross but I didn't have time to go out and get something else) with broccoli
handful each of cashews and Annie's sour cream bunnies (like goldfish)
package of pretzel M&Ms (only 150 calories and they were awesome)
apple and slice of sharp cheddar cheese before class
spinach cake with Drew's salsa
leftover rice with milk, sugar, and butter (sweet rice)

Weave 101

Teka started with the channel weaves, about an inch open; the purpose is to close them. I ran with and sent and called and she was very bouncy, especially on the call and send. I think I make her nervous when I run with unless I run ahead of her, which I've started doing with Cassi to get her to go faster. I've been babysitting Teka through the weaves for so long, I have to break this habit!

Next we did the weave-o-matic to work on focus by using toy torture. We played tug with her "rabbit" toy beforehand and she actually did really well ignoring it for several runs until it was very close and then she popped out and grabbed it.

Next we worked on the two pole exercise, clicking as she turned her head around the second pole. We are now working on distance and my homework is to get her (and Cassi) to 15 feet, with the four positions in the 45 degrees, basically 3:00 to 6:00 and back, with her on both sides of me.

Last, we worked on a sequence in a circle. It was a jump, 6 weaves, tunnels, 6 weaves, jump. D told me to STOP CHEERLEADING, which is going to be very hard since I've been trained to do this with her to keep her going. She said to think about doing a problem while someone is constantly in your ear saying yes that's it, yes that's it, over and over. So NO clapping or let's go, etc. Hmmm, we'll see how that goes. Teka does seem to be gaining some confidence.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Humiliation Diet

Raisin Bran and milk
(I forgot what I ate for lunch by the time I blogged--must have been really good!)
Dream Dinners chinese chicken with jasmine rice and salmon

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Humiliation Diet

Low sodium V8
chicken tenders and french fries and root beer
McDonald's cheeseburger and apple pie
leftovers from Arriba and green ice tea

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Humiliation Diet

Okay, I haven't been keeping up. Here's what I had in the past week....

Saturday: cereal and banana
Subway 6" ham and turkey with pepperjack, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, olives, pickles, oil and vinegar on wheat; Sunchips and chocolate milk
2 beef tacos (I made) with green ice tea

Sunday: cereal
1 chicken tender with fries and ranch
Native New Yorker honey hot boneless wings with Ranch
BJ's chicken parmigiana with spaghetti (half order)
shared a Pazookie (cookie and ice cream)--ate about half

Monday: Miniwheats and milk
Wildflower tomato soup and chicken pesto feta sandwich (on Ciabatta; I forgot to change it.)
Leftovers from BJs and potatoes and zucchini

Tuesday: miniwheats and milk
Went to lunch with some ladies from the office--had chicken taco and carne asada taco with rice, beans, and guacamole, and ice tea
half package coconut M&Ms
turkey and havarti on wheat and chocolate milk

Wednesday: D'lights egg mcmuffin and Dutch Bros medium kicker latte
spinach cake with Drew's salsa
2 glasses F&E green ice tea with orange slices
tilapia vera cruz frozen entree
artichoke with mayo
a few bites of rosemary chicken with rice, green beans, and carrots (frozen entree--sucked)
2 scoops chocolate ice cream with banana and frozen cherries

Thursday: Dunkin Donuts egg white and turkey sausage flat bread and iced caramel skim latte
Kyoto bowl teriyaki chicken bowl, 2 California rolls without the wrapper, with soy sauce, and ice tea
chicken, potatoes and zucchini
chocolate ice cream with bananas and frozen cherries

Friday: miniwheats and milk
Fuddrucker 1/3 pound Cheddar burger and french fries with honey mustard, ice tea
salmon and salad with vinaigrette

Saturday: mini wheats and milk
Macayo's (ate half) carnitas enchilada, green corn tamale, veggies and rice, guacamole and cheese crisp slice, 1.5 chocolate mini chimis and mini sopapilla, ice tea
Arriba's (ate half) mixed burrito with beans and rice and sour cream, small margarita
Glass of red wine and some snack mix

Agility Coached Run Through

Today was our first time at a coached run through. There is a fun run on the other side of the facility, where people were running dogs on a standard course without any coaching. The run through is essentially a jumpers course with some extras (a tire, tunnel, chute, and weaves) but no contact obstacles. The course had 17 obstacles, starting with the tire, chute, jumps, and so on. Cassi and Teka each ran 3 times, alternating with the other two pairs running the course.

With the tire being the first obstacle, Cassi's tire issue was on display right up front. For the 2nd and 3rd runs, D had me work the tire (low) with Cassi a couple times, then start the course at the chute instead. After "class," we discussed Cassi's structural issues--I know that she kicks up with her back feet and kicks the tire on top. D says that Cassi is hyper-extending her back too, which is not good for her. Anyway, she said we should work on getting her to put her head down more when she jumps and it will improve (not correct) her jumps. She showed me how to use a low jump to direct her head down by giving her a treat lower than the bar as she goes over and comes back around. By keeping her close and treating low, she will learn to turn in the air and lower her head. She worked with Cassi, who is very food motivated, so she had to sit before every jump.

I also learned with both of them to treat by my thigh when they come into my side (and I want them to). There were 3 places we practiced this. The first was when we had jumps in a U, and after the second, I needed to front cross to bring her back around the jump 3 after taking it to take the jump 2 the other way. Then we sent out to a jump, brought back over a jump, and wanted her to essentially wrap the jump to go to a tunnel. After coming out of the tunnel, she had to come over a jump at an odd angle before going into the weaves.

Teka did really well on the weaves the first time, hesitated the second, and skipped a few near the end on the last try. Now that I've started running out ahead of Cassi on the weaves, she is doing really well. Pretty good overall.

D also talked about lining up the "dots" (tape wrap or stripes) on the jumps and pointing at those. She pointed out that I pointed higher on a jump so they both went over expecting to continue in that direction; by pointing lower, they both collected more afterward for the turn.