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

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