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Torn Meniscus

Monday, December 14, 2009

Here's the background:

A meniscus is a disk-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber inside a joint. Each knee has one lateral meniscus under the outer knob of the thighbone and one medial meniscus under the inner knob of the thighbone. Each meniscus acts as a natural cushion between the thighbone (femur) and shinbone (tibia). The two cushions prevent excess wear and tear inside the knee joint by keeping the ends of the two bones from rubbing together. Each meniscus also absorbs much of the shock of jumps and landings and helps to distribute joint fluid evenly to lubricate and nourish the knee.

In the United States, a torn meniscus is the most common reason for knee surgery; approximately 850,000 operations for meniscal tears are performed in the U.S. each year.

The symptoms of a torn meniscus can include: Knee pain, usually on one side of your knee, tenderness at the side of the joint, knee swelling within the first 12 hours after injury, a "locked" knee that can't be bent, a knee that catches during movement, or can't be fully straightened, a click, pop or grinding inside your knee when you move it, a knee that buckles, gives way or feels generally weak.

Yep. That's been my situation for about six months now. Last week, the knee locked, during a cardio challenge for Hogwarts no less, and made my life really uncomfortable. I've been hobbling around with a cane, earning me a lot of ribbing from my colleagues. Then yesterday, while walking around in my home, I heard a wet popping noise, and I went down. Hard.

Today, I saw the orthopedist. He says I pushed through the pain of the torn meniscus, creating the "edema" I thought I was dealing with, which was actually a growing cyst -- that - you guessed it - burst yesterday. He shot it up with cortisone, gave me some strong pain killers, and I'm scheduled for the custom brace fitting tomorrow. More time with the cane, then the MRI to see what kind of surgery will be needed.

Good times.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOTSLADY 1/13/2010 6:22PM

Thought about you. If I know you, you'll do some homework first. I wish more of the interview were there, but I remember the doc said something about avoiding surgery in certain instances, but I don't remember how (gee, thanks?!). Maybe find his book through the library/interlibrary loan?

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    Oh, that is terrible. I hope the shot helped. Acupuncture helped my knee, but it's hard to sit in a chair for an hour with 8 long needles in my knee. How did you make it through the holidays?

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FITTYTIF 1/3/2010 1:40AM

    OH mY cat I am so sorry. Some how I missed getting my email saying you had posted a blog. And I was going through my emails today I found this! I hope you are doing better! I sure know how it feels to not have a leg!
I am hoping all is going better. I would love to hear an update. Hope your holidays were good.

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BRAVAH 1/2/2010 5:04AM

    Oh Cat! I am so sorry to hear this! But hopefully you'll be able to get better soon - and better than ever, now that they know what the problem is. I'm sending healing energy for your recovery!


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50FITNFUN 12/24/2009 10:01PM

    Cat, I'm so sorry to learn of your knee issue! How terrible for you. Have you learned anything new in regard to treatment/surgery? Has there been any speculation as to the ability to compete in future events after treatment? I wish you good thoughts and lots of well wishes for a speedy recovery. emoticon

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MAPLELEAFMOM 12/22/2009 2:24AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon That sounds very painful ! I hope that you can get it fixed very soon. Wish I was closer and I could help you out with things... take care and I'm sending lots of prayers and thoughts your way. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSEMBERSTORM 12/20/2009 9:08PM

    Cat I hope you bounce back from your injury soon. Take care of yourself!!!! I love the way you have broke out your goals. I do believe you can so accomplish them. Keep moving forward gal! Big hugs!

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DISPATCHER04 12/18/2009 9:44AM

    Oh, Cat! How awful! I'm so sorry. :(

But this is just a temporary setback. You'll be back on your feet and running again, I know it. You're too determined of a girl to let this sidetrack you for longer than it has to. I admire you bunches for that.

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IZZYBUBBLES 12/15/2009 11:35PM

    Oh no!! I'm so sorry to hear about your knee injury. Ugh - so frustrating! I know that surgery is never fun or good, but I hope that they can get you all fixed up now that you know exactly what the problem is! **Hugs**

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HRDWLBY 12/15/2009 9:45PM

    Sorry to hear about that, Cat. It sounds like exercise has not been good for your body.

I love your background picture.

Try to have a nice Christmas, just take it easy on yourself, for a change!

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BEAUTIFLDZSTR 12/15/2009 7:54PM

    OW and I think you need an errand/helper boy lol. Take care and hope you heal soon/easily/well/well you know

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MS5835 12/15/2009 12:36PM

    So sorry about your knee. I had a torn meniscus in my knee last year and had the surgery. What type of custom brace are you getting? I just got a custom off loader or unloader brace which is giving me some relief. Sending positive thoughts your way. emoticon

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FLORIDAFAN 12/15/2009 10:42AM

    Ow Ow Ow....just reading this makes me want to cry. Do take care of that knee. To think you did the disneyland and the TOT this way....ouch! OK you just gave me the motivation I need for the Princess.

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L*I*T*A* 12/15/2009 10:29AM

    so sorry to hear about your knee i had torn meniscus in each knee as it turns out and had scope surgery to correct it .....................wishing you well and hopefully your dr's will be able to correct the problem soon.......keeping you in my prayers..........blessings and hugs................lita

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 12/15/2009 8:26AM

    so are they going to fix it? if they do you tell them...loud and clear they have to REPAIR it not REMOVE it like the butcher i had did. believe me you NEED that meniscus, and not having one is pain beyond belief. welcome to the pain killer sorry you had to join it.
Please let me know if there is ANYTHING i can do!! and if you need some exercises to strengthen it let me know...i have an arsenal..

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FIENDISHSARAH 12/15/2009 6:58AM

    Owwww! I am so sorry, I hope you are feeling a tad better and you can get this sorted out as soon as possible! I'll be thinking of you!! {{huggs}}

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FIRENUT34 12/14/2009 11:40PM

    You sound like me. If I'm going to do something, I'm not going to do it half ass. That is sure the reason why you have had so much problems. I was in pain myself listening to your story of the Disneyland half. At least most people I know have had the surgery and gets better in no time. Lets pray its the same for you.

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NIMAWEYGH 12/14/2009 10:46PM

    Oh sweetie I am so sorry for you. DH sympathizes as well for your use of the cane....................
Oh how me and the bun buns wish we were there to help around the house and make you plenty of healthy meals. But you are in our thoughts and prayers.

I have a friend on here that just had that surgery and she is doing really well with PT now. So chin up Charlie.

Love, bunny snuggles and prayers headed your way.

Nimma and the G girls

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AMUNET_RA 12/14/2009 9:58PM

    Ouch ouch ouch!!!
((HUGS)) Take it easy and relax as much as you can!

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DDUNKIES 12/14/2009 9:47PM

    Holy cow- what a horrible injury- you poor thing. get some rest Cat- love ya donna

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DAMSELFLY_DOXY 12/14/2009 8:38PM

    Holy Moly! Get serious drugs...and if you can a hot cabana boy to bring you peeled grapes. meow!
Seriously...i hope you get some relief soon!

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CASSIEMARY28 12/14/2009 8:23PM

    Oh, Cat. That sounds horrible. I'm so sorry!! Sending healing and positive thoughts your way!

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RAVEN1025 12/14/2009 7:26PM

    Oh noes! Please get some rest m'dear! I will send all the healing vibes I can muster your way.

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KIMCATUS 12/14/2009 7:24PM

    Oh ouch ouch ouch!!!! :( That sounds very painful and I hope the brace and the painkillers will help! I'm so sorry you're having to go through this!!!! *hugs*

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ESBELL 12/14/2009 7:18PM

    Owie!! That explains why you haven't been healing and have had this pain for so long. P&PT that you can finally get relief, and that you won't be off your feet to long following your surgery!

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CJBAGGINS 12/14/2009 7:17PM

  Oh damn. What a shame. So sorry to hear of the knee troubles, Cat. I hope the brace can alleviate some pain and discomfort before they can figure out what they're going to be doing.

Take care.


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    Oh no!!! I am so sorry. I will definitely keep you in my prayers for a speedy recovery and success with the surgery. *HUGS*

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DEBULACLARK 12/14/2009 6:50PM

    Ouch Cat! Prayers that the surgery is not a bad one and big, big emoticon just cuz I love ya and I wish I was there to help you out!

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DANIMITE2 12/14/2009 6:33PM

    FOLLOW YOUR DOCTOR'S ORDERS!!!! We have many more Disney races to participate in girlie! And could you PLEASE stop oozing??? I mean between the blisters and the cysts...geez! Surely Professor Sprout has something to dry you up!

Seriously though, get some rest, take the term break at Hogwarts for some SERIOUS down time, and take care of yourself. HUGS!

Comment edited on: 12/14/2009 6:33:58 PM

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SLCOLMAN 12/14/2009 6:05PM

    Oh no!!! Please take care of yourself!! I hope that the surgery will help get you back to pain free living!

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SUETINGE 12/14/2009 6:05PM

    OUCH! I do hope the painkillers and cortisone help.

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HPTHATBME 12/14/2009 5:58PM

    Ouch! I am so sorry to hear that! I do hope you heal quickly!

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LUV_VICKIE 12/14/2009 5:55PM

    Dear Cat
I am very sorry to hear that. Take care and keep us updated. You have many friends and admirers here at Spark.
Hugs, Vickie emoticon

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COLEISMYSOUL 12/14/2009 5:41PM

    Prayers being sent to you my friend that things will go smoothly! emoticon emoticon

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    Ouchie, ouchie! You poor thing!!
I hope the mending process is swift and as painless as possible!

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SIXFULLERS 12/14/2009 5:24PM

    Oh dear Cat. Sorry for pending down time. But remember to take the time to heal as best you can. What a lousy "Merry Christmas" to you. :(

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MDMNINA 12/14/2009 5:10PM

    It sounds so painful. I guess the Princess Marathon is out of the question!

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ZIRCADIA 12/14/2009 5:03PM

    OW!!!!!!!! *HUGS* I hope the changes going forward help to relieve the knee pain once you've recovered.

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INDIE_V 12/14/2009 4:59PM

    Ouch is right! I'm so sorry you're going through all this, Cat. Did the doctor say how long you'll have to use the cane? I truly hope that you feel much much better soon. Take this time to rest a bit and don't push it!
Huge hug!

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SHORTTOOTH1 12/14/2009 4:56PM

    Ouch, and ouch. That SUCKS!!! I know this isn't a Get Better injury.... get better anyway.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonand get some sleep to help heal

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WANT2CHNG17 12/14/2009 4:52PM

    Oh no, Cat! That sounds just awful! Be sure to take care of yourself sweetie; I hope you only need minimal surgery to get yourself back up and arunnin'!
My Lovah and I send our deepest concern to you...

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VEGANLINDS 12/14/2009 4:49PM

    Aww, Cat, that's a lot tough stuff to go through!
I hope your knee gets patched up and feeling better very soon.

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

800 Days

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I've been Sparking for 800 days. In that time, I've completed a 5K and two half marathons. I've lived in four countries, moving three times. I've made wonderful friends, and have even met a few of them in real life. I started Hogwarts, one of my joys in life.

What I haven't done a lot of is losing weight.

Just as I've decided that losing 100 lbs. is too daunting to be attempted but losing 10 lbs. ten times is perfectly achievable, I've decided that I need to look at my life and break it down into achievable goals, because to be honest, there is no area of my life that is going especially well right now.

Immediate priority goals

1. Finances. Make a budget. My medical bills are sinking me, and I need to pare down other parts of my life to accommodate that fact.

2. My home. My things arrived in September but I've been so busy that I have yet to unpack anything. The clutter and mess literally drain me. It just needs to be cleaned up and put away.

3. Complete the Tower of Terror race. I am super excited about running a night time race in Disney World, and I love this bling! However, I took a nasty tumble on Wednesday and have been laid out on my sofa ever since. I badly bruised my tail bone and injured my back. I don't know if I can do the Beirut - Frankfurt - Toronto - Orlando flight in cattle class, and the doctors think it would be a bad idea for me to try to run. ... Of course, they told me not to run the Princess Half, too, and thank goodness I chose not to listen! emoticon

Just as I'm breaking down my weight loss, I'm going to specify my timelines.

The Next 100 Days

1. FINANCIAL: Pay off Citicard. Consumer debt is a tool of the Devil!

2. HEALTH: A) Lose 20 lbs. B) Log absolutely everything I eat. C) I have had trouble sleeping and often operate on 3-4 hours of sleep. I'm going to make a real effort to get at least 7 hours a night.

3. PROFESSIONAL: I need to re-sit an exam if I want to advance professionally. There were a lot of politics with my last go-around, and I got shafted. I'm in a different work group, and it's time to re-focus and pass that exam. I will devote at least 10 hours a week to preparing.

4. EMOTIONAL: I spend a lot of time looking after other people, and I think I need to focus more on myself if I want to succeed in making these changes and achieving my goals. (BONNIE, remember our deal: pinkies!)

Right. I00 days. Making changes. Working towards my ultimate goals.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIMAWEYGH 12/14/2009 10:49PM

    There is no doubt in my mind that you can and will do anything you set your mind to. I look forward to reading about your progress.

You are one remarkable woman.

We love you and I personally want to thank you for Hogwarts as it has given me the best friends and sisters in the world.

emoticon Nimma

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 12/2/2009 12:23AM

    What an amazing person. I hope all your dreams for the new year come true.

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MAPLELEAFMOM 11/1/2009 1:17AM

    You can definitely do anything you set your mind to!!! You are totally amazing emoticon I hope that you heal quickly and that (if you go) the Tower of Terror race is totally amazing for you!! I soooo wish I could go to that as well but alas it was not meant to be. I will be meeting up with you at another race some day though emoticon

Also I LOVE the 100 day thing, I may have to try that myself! Take care and know you are thought of often!! emoticon

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SLCOLMAN 10/28/2009 12:36PM

    I love the concept of 100 days and breaking things down into smaller goals.
I think that I probably need to take your advice on this one :)

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DANI1855 10/26/2009 10:25AM

    I can't wait to hear all about your latest race. We get very little phone reception in this school, but it was great to here from you. I've got to go - the monsters await!

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BRAVAH 10/25/2009 10:52AM

    Wonderful blog Cat! I really like the idea of breaking things down into more manageable chunks. I know that you can achieve your goals and am looking forward to sharing your successes with you.


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IZZYBUBBLES 10/22/2009 12:24PM

    You are completely fabulous. I love you to death and if there's anyone I know that can set her mind to something and accomplish it - it's YOU!! I will be praying for you that you heal quickly and that your ToT trip is just as fabulous as the bling you're going to get after the race!!

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LIVINHEALTHY9 10/21/2009 9:06PM

    I really enjoyed reading your blog.

I hope your injury heals soon. Take care of yourself.


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WANT2CHNG17 10/21/2009 2:53PM

    You my luv are an inspiration. Wow - you've done a LOT in 800 days. You've forgotten to add a few things to your list though:
1. You have provided thoughtful, sometimes comical blogs.
2. You have inspired a great many of us.
3. You have given lots of support and help!

Good luck on your goals - I know that you will reach every one of them!

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YOOVIE 10/20/2009 4:51PM

    You are such an adventurous and inspiration person!!!!!!!!!

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MARGOMCP 10/20/2009 3:52PM

    Love it!

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MIS2101 10/20/2009 10:23AM


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ILOVESP 10/20/2009 7:36AM


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MSEMBERSTORM 10/20/2009 12:28AM

    You are an extreemly smart cookie! You can so do this! I love the way you broke this down.

First priority!!! Get to feeling better!

Hugs hun!!!!

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NEWSTART127 10/20/2009 12:06AM

    I think you've had an AWESOME 800 days!
You've set some great goals for yourself for the next 100, too!
Buena Suerte, my dear! emoticon

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CAROLJ94941 10/19/2009 11:03PM

    Great doable goals. I look forward to hearing about your successes.

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KCKERRY 10/19/2009 9:55PM

    Good luck! You know what you want and have a plan to get there. There are MANY of us who haven't made it that far!

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LUV_VICKIE 10/19/2009 6:23PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
You can do it. Just take one day at a time.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 10/19/2009 5:36PM

    I love it- - love the breaking down of goals, love the goals for the next 100 days, everything. :) Good luck!!! :D

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NIMAWEYGH 10/19/2009 12:53PM

    You know me Cat, I am the queen of 5 new mini goals every month and it sure is working for me.

So make those goals (don't make them to big to eat through) and stick to them and you will do it.

I am so sorry about your back girl, I have real sympathy for ya, you know cause I hurt mine recently. But only you know if you can do your race. Now that is a plane flight for sure 8 hrs to Hawaii just about killed me. But you do it often so you know what you can do.

Listen to your DR but listen to your body as well.

What ever you do Cat we are here to support you 150% and cheer you on.

I know you will do what ever you set your mind to.

GO CAT GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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FIENDISHSARAH 10/19/2009 10:45AM

    You're a very busy girl, so kudos to you for keeping up with all of this at one time!! I know I'd sure be overwhelmed! You seem to have your goals laid out very nicely in front of you though, which is an awesome attitude to have. I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again- you're an inspiring girl and I love having you as a friend. Keep positive and I know you'll do fantastic! emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 10/19/2009 8:33AM

    Wow - you have an excellent plan. I'm sure you can do it!

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LADY_KATHY 10/19/2009 8:32AM

    you can do it. It's GREAT that you have specific goals written out. Keep them in front of you and you CAN do them. : ) I know you can... best wishes....

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GXROXY 10/18/2009 9:11PM

You once again have inspired me tp keep going. You and your plan are in my thoughts and prayers. We can do this!

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HRDWLBY 10/18/2009 8:46PM


You have accomplished so much! Moving and living in various foreign countries is a feat in itself. It sounds like you have developed some good strategies to help you move ahead in your life. Take care of yourself sobthat you are healthy enough to run your next race!

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ESBELL 10/18/2009 4:43PM

    Cat - you are such a wonderful and vibrant person. You deserve to be first in line in your life. I hope that you do take the time to put yourself first for a while. That alone will forward all your other pursuits.

I'm in for a food log as well - I haven't been doing it, and it shows on the scale right now.

Let's do it together, 'k?

And while running ToT will be an awesome experience, please don't hurt yourself any further by pushing to hard to get on that plane!

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JUSTKIMBERLY 10/18/2009 1:07PM

    Just know you have all my support and love. emoticon

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DANIMITE2 10/18/2009 1:02PM

If anyone can do this, its you. Yes, you have health issues slowing you down, but you have an incredible resolve on your side. Every step forward is an advancement, no matter how small.
I, too, recommend Flylady. There's even a Spark Team for her, although I know you don't need any more teams!
And you have to stop worrying so much about others and focus on YOU. Spark Teams are supposed to be just that - a TEAM. You and Bonnie can't pull the weight for everyone. You don't have to take on all the responsibility all the time. AND, like we've talked about in the wee hours of the morning in California, you can't want it for everyone else. They have to want it for themselves.
You are such an encourager! I could not ask for a better HOH, or a better Spark Friend. But, like I've told you in about 10 blogs, 10 chats, and several face-to-face conversations, you have to take care of YOU too.
These goals are awesome, and I'm so proud of you for creating a "doable" plan! You can do this...You are AMAZING!

Comment edited on: 10/18/2009 1:31:13 PM

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CJBAGGINS 10/18/2009 10:36AM

  As you've often told me, Cat, having a plan is the first step. I wish you well in achieving those broken-down (car trouble anyone?) goals. Remember, you need to do this. For you. You're worth it!

All the best, dear.


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50FITNFUN 10/17/2009 10:37PM

    LOVE THIS BLOG POSTING!! Cat, you are an inspiration to many, now it's time to be an inspiration for yourself. Laying your goals out into manageable steps will get you where you want to go. It won't be easy, but then, nothing worth having is easy to achieve. The advice posted by RAZMATAZ*SHAZAM seems to be very good; I may find myself employing a few of those tactics as well! You can do this, and you have plenty of friends in your corner cheering you on...including me! you go girl! emoticon

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FITTYTIF 10/17/2009 10:27PM

    Sounds like you have a plan. May I also suggest, to help you with your clutter and unpacking. And Pam whom flylady is an extension from has a new book to help with your debt!

I also understand that this book is a big help with other life getting in order. I not personally listened to it yet how ever I know those who have and besides it helping with there debt they have found it to help with theit wieght. I am debt free how ever I am considering listening to it as well. Maybe we can start a book club :)
Also you are right 100lbs is too daunting. However 10 lbs at a time is much more reasonable.
Pam (Mentioned above have this daily message that goes out in email on one day she sent a message about a story of some one wanting to lose weight and 5lb bags of flour! I wish I could find the full story for you but I am little bit of it on my spark page. Which is also the idea behind my back ground picture!

as for the injury! I feel for you I so wanted to do the Disneyland 5K and did not make it but that is my goal for next year. So hang on to those goals. We are going to make it!!!!!

Comment edited on: 10/17/2009 10:28:30 PM

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FIRENUT34 10/17/2009 9:51PM

    Sounds like your getting well organized to me. I hope you can make it to the Tower of Terror. Can't wait to see you there.

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BOVEY63 10/17/2009 9:36PM

    Sounds to me like you've got a great plan and plenty of motivation. You can do it!

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DISPATCH91 10/17/2009 8:35PM

    Good for you. You do so much for everyone else you have forgotten to take care of yourself. Little steps, baby steps first, just like you did when you began to run. A little at a time.

You can do this, sweet friend.

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    Wow, you are a real go-getter!

I think most people in your situation (all that moving around!) would have *gained* weight and not gotten in even one ounce of fitness. Instead, you have transformed yourself into an athlete (I am serious about that title!!). Give yourself credit! :)

Just because you may not be able to do the night race this year doesn't mean you won't be able to do it another year. You have a long life of running fun ahead of you! :D


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NO-41_RAZZYS_PL 10/17/2009 3:05PM

    Cat, I am IMPRESSED.

1st- LOVE how you broke down the 100 lbs into a 'do-able' 10 lbs 10X's. I am sooo using THIS!!

2nd- Listing your priorities- a few suggestions........?

s- Double your payment. If that's not do-able' keep chipping away at it with an extra $10+ each month. Put all loose change in a jar and when it gets full, take it to the bank, and apply it to the debt. Remove subscriptions to magazines, movies, cable (or whatever you're willing to sacrifice) and start applying that money to the debt.

Home- If you don't have a portable kitchen timer, buy one. Start by walking into your WORSE room in your house. Stand there scanning the room. What is the WORSE 'thing' IN that room to you? Set the timer on 15 min (no more) and see how much 'stuff' you can get done in that room b4 the timer goes off. NOW, go to the next WORSE room (if you're not done, don't worry, you'll be back tomorrow) and begin. Continue to use your timer each day, each room, each WORSE, for 15 min.

Tower of Terror Race- Gold's Gym Inversion Table: Exercise & Fitness. I know you're talking about debt, Cat, and this is $119.77, but... READ the comments and consider the alternatives. Purchasing this may have a two-fold benefit, Cat, and LOWER your medical tail-spin.


3rd & last is, your Timeline- I think you've got a gr8 handle on this, Cat, but I want to add my 2 cents worth on your #3 & #4.

#3 Professional- Try this. Schedule 1 hour each early morning, or break it up into 1/2 hour morning, and 1/2 hour evening, STUDY time. That's gonna' WHACK 7 hours off of that 10, leaving 3 hours. If you can swing an afternoon STUDY during lunch, there's another 2.5 hours off. I think you can whip that on your Saturday or Sunday, Cat.

#4 Emotional- Last, but certainly NOT least. YOU (like sooo many of us, Cat) have put yourself LAST on the list. TRY cutting your selected teams in HALF for starters. This will be hard because it IS 'emotional' but... you must focus on WHERE you get your MOST happiness. Eliminating the rest doesn't mean you're abandoning anyone. IF... they are friends... they'll swing by your page & blogs... if not... then don't worry about it.

Love, yer'
..*) .*)
(. (. *Annie

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DISPATCHER04 10/17/2009 3:00PM

    Cat, you have really put some time and effort into the planning. That's half the battle done right there. You can do this!

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COLEISMYSOUL 10/17/2009 2:35PM

    I know when you set your mind to do something you can do it. Like you said you did the princess run and completed it. What a goal to achieve with the odds having been laid against you. So, I know that you can and will succeed with your new goals. You are your best supporter! I have the faith and confidence that you will succeed. I hope you are feeling better soon - epsolm salt baths will help the healing process. You, as always, have me in your corner cheering you on - you can do this!

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KIMCATUS 10/17/2009 2:05PM

    I think it sounds like a great plan and if ANYONE can do it I know you can!!! You still amaze me and inspire me everyday with everything you go through!! Ouch on the tailbone...I cracked mine many years ago (like 30) and it STILL aches so I know that pain. :( Anywho I know you can do're a strong woman to needs to remember to put yourself first!!! *HUGS*

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    Isn't it interesting that once we take ourselves out of the equation, things kind of go to pot? Good on you for putting yourself back in. I know you can do this-just look at all the things you've accomplished so far! This realization you've got here is one powerful tool in your arsenal for success. You're going to make it!!!

Love ya!!

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BEAUTIFLDZSTR 10/17/2009 1:14PM

    wow hey girl excellent goals and you got "something big" (think along IF you were a guy lol) to post it. I am afraid to even blogg anymore cause everytime it is a happy one I swear I defeat myself. GOOD LUCK GIRL

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SUETINGE 10/17/2009 1:09PM

    Wonderful goals, Cat. I love the way you've broken them down in to do-able steps. It's time for me to do some re-evaluating and goal setting as well.

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SIXFULLERS 10/17/2009 12:20PM

    I like your mindset. I hear echoes of an old me. Where did I go???? Thanks for the shake to bring me back to the present.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/17/2009 10:35AM

    you are inspiring me to make a list too, and i think the small goals are just the ticket!!!
thank you...and i still think you rock!!

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AMUNET_RA 10/17/2009 10:18AM

    Excellent goals, Cat! I love breaking it down...I think I need to take things one step at a time, too!

You know that I am here for what ever you need. If you want to share your food logs, or keep on you about sleep or whatever!!

((HUGS)) pinkies!!!

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DEBULACLARK 10/17/2009 9:01AM

    Cat - I am so here with you....I feel the same way. I've met you and many other wonderful people. I love Hogwarts and my other teams, but I haven't lost any weight either....I love what you just did to prioritize things...and you've inspired me to do it over the weekend..(I was supposed to do something similar last weekend but it never happened) and I will pinkie swear with you and Bonnie that I want to get this weight off and I will be there to support you both too!....xoxo

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FITKAT2010 10/17/2009 8:43AM

    Where is accepting support from others, especially here on Spark?

You are a member of the JUST DO IT! team. I would recommend that you put daily interaction in this team and all others you have joined as a to-do of top priority.

What I gather is you are use to being on your own when it comes to goals. That is a recipe for staying where you have been.

I am not disregarding what you have achieved. I am adding to what you want to accomplish. YOU have to do it, but, you can't do it ALONE.


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INDIE_V 10/17/2009 6:11AM

    First of all, congratulations on all you've achieved. They're certainly no small things to have achieved in 800 days. You should also add to that list the courage and inspiration you give to others every day by trying your best, by giving good advice and by being a great friend. I know I wouldn't still be here trying if it wasn't for your words of wisdom!

Secondly, well done for a well made plan. It certainly looks feasible to me and I'm sure you can do it if you set your mind to it. (hey, that rhymes!) I look forward to visiting your blog again in 100 days (not that I won't visit before but you know...) and reading everything you've achieved!

Huge hug!

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FLOWHITE1 10/17/2009 5:47AM

    you have a great plan

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Blisters, Buddies, Bling, and sneaky Business

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together. emoticon

Last weekend, a number of Disney Distance sparkers came together in Disneyland for the race weekend. It wasn't always fun, but it was memorable!


MAPLELEAFMOM, IZZYBUBBLES, DANIMITE2 and I had dinner in a restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It was a lovely way to begin the festivities.

Of course, as much as we enjoyed the food, it was the bling that was the weekend's real motivation, and DANI was ready!

Unfortunately, the Beirut - Frankfurt - Boston - Washington - Charlotte - Los Angeles routing over a few days had left me stiff and gimpy. My injured knee was acting stroppy and giving me doubts. At the Expo, I discovered an ace bandage wrap that was soaked in lineament or something equally stinky. DANI almost passed out from the sinus-clearing smell, but it really did wonders for the knee.

Saturday - the 5K

We warmed up with a gentle 5K. Unlike the congenial atmosphere of the Princess race in March, there was loads of pushing, shoving, elbows, and uncouth language, even though it was billed as a "family fun run". Dani and Della could have jetted off and been done in five minutes, but they stayed with me as I tested my knee and worked out the kinks. We enjoyed company and conversation and finished in 51 minutes, or about a 16:30/mile pace.

A long time friend and her mother had visited me in Tunis earlier this year. I was surprised to learn that my friend had been inspired by my running and had run four marathons. "Mom" got all excited while she was visiting and decided to do the Disneyland 5K. She did great, and we all went out for a fun-filled character breakfast afterwards.

Two old friends of ours who live in LA also joined us. Neither of them is much interested in anything that requires physical exertion, but being good sports they oohed and ahhed over the cute little 5K medals. Mila announced that a half MARATHON was simply out of the question - she was going to invent the Half MILE race. We'd run around her block, she'd give us medals, and then we could all have a BBQ. emoticon

The Disney Distance Spark team met on Saturday for pre-race food and laughs. IZZY and Della (MAPLE) made light of their height difference.

Yeah, we were all smiles then. Little did I know ...

Sunday - Race Day

DANI and I goofed off before the race. My knee was feeling better, and I was feeling pumped for the race. We lined up in the front of Corral D because there is a pace requirement for Disney races, and I didn't want to risk getting taken off the course.

The race began well enough. I ran the first two miles at a 14:30 pace. Then the problems began.

Mile 3 - blisters. By the end of the race, I had a blood blister on one toe, blisters across the bottoms of my feet, and along the outsides. When I later went to see a doctor, he was surprised at how deep they went, much to my discomfort. I didn't quit, but I stopped running and just tried to walk fast enough to keep ahead of the pacers.

Mile 6 - I saw the pacers for the first time. They assured me that I was still ahead of pace -- but not by much. I redoubled my efforts and limped faster.

Mile 8 - The pacers told me I was now behind pace. However, they did not remove me from the course, so I kept going.

We ran through the Magic Kingdom early in the race and were then out on the streets of Anaheim. The local people came out and livened things up with marching bands, cheer squads, funny signs, a mariachi band, and even Polynesian dancers! (I thought of you, HELEN!) The volunteers were incredibly encouraging and friendly and kept me on the course when my body was begging to quit. In fact, truth be told, I was hurting so much by mile 8 that I was secretly hoping the pacers would take me off the course. I was too proud to quit, but I really didn't want to keep going.

In Mile 9, we ran through the big baseball stadium. (Is that Honda Stadium?) They packed it with thousands of boy scouts, etc. When we entered the arena, they announced our names and fun facts about us, and we ran the field, our pictures were on the jumbotron, and the crowd cheered and screamed like we were winning. I got a huge cheer, but I think it's because I entered with a 73-year old man ... who later passed me! Energized by the crowds, I tried picking up the pace -- and my left calf promptly began to spasm. The right soon joined.

Both calves spasmed through the rest of the race. I hobbled onwards. in Mile 10, the pacers told me that they needed to open up the road, and did I want to come off the course? I looked from them to the two police officers blocking the road and took off across the street, with the cops both screaming, "That's right! you go, girl!" The pacers sighed and made a point of slowly tying their shoes and other things to delay catching up to me.

I cried and trudged through a couple more miles. In Mile 12, the pacers came up to me and asked if I could finish. I simply hadn't come all that way to fail and asked to stay on the course. They let me.

I was hurting so much that I completed that final mile at a 27-minute mile pace. I couldn't even run across the finish line. I was so exhausted and in such pain that I seriously wondered how I was going to manage to get back to my room.

Imagine my surprise when I saw IZZY, DANI, and MAPLE waiting for me! They'd finished ages earlier but had kindly hung around, waiting for me! The medics iced the more problematic leg, the ladies guided me to the medals, and I tried to stop crying long enough to pose.

I honestly don't know what I would have done without them.

Just one of the many

Once I'd decided that I would, in fact, live, it was time to celebrate. DANi and I went out for a fancy dinner. I'd burned over 3200 calories on the course, so I felt entitled to eat pretty much anything I wanted to. (But I didn't eat dessert!)

Here I am, celebrating by trying to turn the "Cal" in "California" into "Cat"! emoticon

I wasn't done having fun with Sparkfriends yet! I flew from Los Angeles to Washington because Hogwarts friend BEXTRESS was getting married on 09/09/09.

JUSTKIMBERLY and I conspired to crash her wedding. JKIM met me at the metro, and we GPSed our way to the right courthouse. We had some trouble finding the correct building and room, but we made it, and boy was BEXY surprised! When we strolled in and announced ourselves (by Sparkname, of course), she looked utterly gobsmacked!

Look at that beautiful bride with the cute dimples! That's our BEXY! Then JKIM, BEXY, her new DH and I all went out to breakfast.

This trip was really hard in some ways, but it was also tremendous fun to see IZZY, DANI, and Della (MAPLE) again, as well as meet JKIM and BEX and the Disney Distancers in person. I consider myself lucky to know so many terrific Sparkers in real life now, and I've already begun scheming as to how to meet others!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLCOLMAN 10/4/2009 7:06PM

    You are such an inspiration!!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS on finishing the 1/2 despite it all!!!!!!
Sounds like a truly awesome trip overall!

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LIVESTRONGH2 9/21/2009 6:52PM

    Wow! What an awesome blog! You should be soooooooooooooooo proud of yourself! I had tears in my eyes reading the part about you running through the stadium and the crowd cheering you on! I'm amazed! I'm going to Disney World in November for my 30th bday. I won't be running any 1/2 marathons though! I only live 2.5 hours from Disney! I can't wait!!!! CONGRATS TO YOU!

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    Ohhhh Cat. (((HUGS))) I don't think there is any more motivational person here on Sparks than you. You rally people together, you push yourself to do amazing things.

I hope, that sometime in the future that you are able to cross through Cleveland, because meeting you would definitely be a wonderful time!!!!! We can get a whole Spark Party together. *grin*

SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!! You have true grit my girl!


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DANIMITE2 9/21/2009 11:54AM

    First and foremost, the pictures do NOT do the blisters justice. Ow and yuck...thats all I have to say about that!

Secondly, I had an AMAZING time with you! I'm so glad we were able to room together and share this experience! It will always be one of my fondest memories.

And by the way, I would have sat there all day waiting for you. I'm so happy to call you my friend!

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FITTYTIF 9/19/2009 10:55PM

    Okay I may not have been there with you (I was only 10 minutes away though :(
But reading your blog had me in tears!!! WAY TO GO!!! I AM so proud of you for making it through to the end.
WOW you did a whole half marathon. I was only hoping to the 5K at disney and did not make that.

I hope next year if you do this again I will be able to meet up with you and your friends. I live close by and my goal is to do the 5K


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INDIE_V 9/16/2009 5:28AM

    Really really well done on the race! You really make me want to start running/walking!! emoticon I hope your feet are feeling better. When's the next one?

I'm so jealous that you got to meet all those people from SP. Bexy looks absolutely beautiful!

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SWEETSWEETPEA 9/15/2009 1:38PM

    Wow.. What an inspirational story. I just started running this year and completed my first 5K. My dream is to hopefully run a 1/2 marathon in Disney world in either 2011 or 2012. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope your feet healed! Congratulations on finishing and getting your metal!

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ZIRCADIA 9/14/2009 8:17PM

    I almost cried reading your tale of the half!!! You are such a tough cookie, and a true inspiration. *HUGSHUGSHUGSHUGSHUGS* Also - BEXY and her man are too freaking adorable -- she looks gorgeous, he's cute, and a cute couple. YAY for them! AND YOU MY FINE FRIEND!!!!!!! I don't think I've ever really seen a picture of you before. You are so freaking cute!!! :D Why did I not realize you were a blonde??? Anyway. I love your smile and it's so good to see you!!!! Someday we will meet!

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FIENDISHSARAH 9/14/2009 3:10PM

    You are truly an inspiration Cat and I am so happy to call you my friend. Next time I whine about a workout I'm gonna take a look at that blister of yours !! O_o

You're an amazingly strong woman, and I am gonna try the hardest I can to be up to par and be able to run the BLUENOSE with you when the time comes. There's no way in heck I'm missing that!!

I truly enjoyed reading this! Only thing better would to have been there with you!!

Love you!! xo

(PS- were the police officers smexy? emoticon)

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IZZYBUBBLES 9/14/2009 1:35PM

    Awww, I got all weepy reading many good memories of this race. I'm a little sad that I missed out on doing the 5k with all of you, I won't do that again! And I really wish I would have been there to see the interaction with the sweepers and those police officers, I can TOTALLY picture those officers in my head cheering you on as you were running away from the sweepers! How great is that?

Ugh on the blisters but yay on that fabulous drink you were having! And what fun to have crashed Bexy's wedding, I bet she loved that! What a way to make a special day even more special. You're one amazing woman! Hope that I get to do lots more races with you in the future. emoticon

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SUETINGE 9/14/2009 11:43AM

    What an amazing trip you had. I cried when i read parts of it, but your words stuck with me and a when I wanted to wimp out during this morning's walk, I thought of you and actually picked my pace up. Any plans to do the St. Louis marathon?

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SHORTTOOTH1 9/14/2009 9:58AM

    OMG, that sounds like an amazing trip. How much fun was it to meet so many sparkfriends!? I LOVE the wedding crashers story.

The only part that could have used some improvement was the whole foot pain thing. Have you ever gotten your running shoes fit by a professional? One of my runner friends swears by what they told her about how her feet work. You are definately not missing in determination!

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NEWSTART127 9/14/2009 2:17AM

    Your blogs always seem to make me cry! You are AMAZING!!!! Your whole experience is wonderful and I'm sure that you motivated sooooo many people by pushing through the pain and finishing the race! YOU totally are a Princess! emoticon

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NIMAWEYGH 9/13/2009 10:52PM

    I hardly noticed that blister as I was to taken with the terrific toenail polish...................owwwwww ahhhhhhhh SEXY!

You know girl you just down right amaze me and I am so proud of you for "trudging on" and going the distance. This is proof to you that there is NOTHING you can't do if you set your mind to it.

And if ever your around Arkansas you come on and visit. Or a bunch of us want to meet in Orlando at the new Potter theme in Disney, you meet us all there.

I want you to know I have so much respect for all you did. YOU REALLY ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hugs and emoticon Nimma

Comment edited on: 9/13/2009 10:53:33 PM

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AMUNET_RA 9/13/2009 9:45PM

    I am so proud of you, Sweetie! Although I keep wincing every time I look at that blister! ow Ow Ow!!!!

You're a true friend and a true inspiration!


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50FITNFUN 9/13/2009 8:25PM

    Your recount has left me all choked up with happiness for you, my friend. Even knowing already that you had finished, as I read about the pacers telling you you were too slow, I was in suspense about what would happen next. When you wrote of the girls waiting for you at the finish line, I got the warm fuzzies all over. I've said it before and I'll say it again...these are the best team mates ever!

Cat, I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to sharing the Tower of Terror 13K race experience with you in October. You are the picture of determination and a true inspiration to those of us fortunate to know you. emoticon

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    I am SO proud of you, my friend!! Just look at what you've accomplished! You're amazing! (and your toenail color is fabulous!)

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FLORIDAFAN 9/13/2009 6:09PM

    I am so glad that you stuck it through and finished the race. You are far as the blister pictures.....ooowwwww! emoticon

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HRDWLBY 9/13/2009 5:04PM


The pictures are great! It's always nice to see what the people on SP look like. It's wonderful you were all able to race together!

You are such an inspiration to finish despite all the pain you were in!!! emoticon

It's nice you thought of me when you saw the Polynesian dancers although I'm really a rank amateur compared to the dancers Disney has.

Thanks for sharing the pic of Bexy and her new DH. She does look beautiful!

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DEBULACLARK 9/13/2009 4:41PM

    I am so glad you finished. Like I said - you are my hero!! It is uber-awesome that you and JKIM got to BEXY's wedding too! How fun!!

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COLEISMYSOUL 9/13/2009 4:39PM

    All I can say is - you are remarkable!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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MSEMBERSTORM 9/13/2009 4:37PM

    CAT I sit her in tears just reading this. You really are inspiring. You are an amazing person and I hope you know that you push really is awesome. You are wonderful! Keep moving forward! You will do this!

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KIMCATUS 9/13/2009 3:35PM

    Awwww you are truly one amazing know that?? There's nothing on here that I could say that hasn't been said, so I'll just say you truly inspire me to never ever quit! Love ya!!! *HUGS*

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CJBAGGINS 9/13/2009 3:19PM

  Wow. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: You truly inspire me.

I am so very pleased that the pacers did NOT remove you from the course and you could once again assert that you had given your all and finished another half marathon! I suspect that they, too, considered you an inspiration and realized your determination to finish at all costs.

emoticon - chocolate bar guy just for you.

eta - and I love Mila's idea for a race. Let's do hers next time, 'kay?

Comment edited on: 9/13/2009 3:19:37 PM

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FIRENUT34 9/13/2009 1:40PM

    OMG what a story! Unless I have a bone protruding through my skin, I will never quit again. That was so inspirational. I really enjoyed meeting you guys on the Saturday and can't wait till the ToT where I won't have the in-laws rushing me and can stay longer. Izzy was just behind me at the end and I didn't see her. I did run into THSLogan. I was about 15 feet from the front in coral D and missed you guys. I think the nerves of running it was one problem in the beginning and the holy crap I did it was at the end. Hope to see you guys soon. Barry
P.S. Hope your feet and knees are better now.

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RAVEN1025 9/13/2009 12:27PM

    I am so insanely proud of you. It would have been easy to quit, but you hung in there.

When I see you at ToT, I am going to give you the biggest (belated) congratulatory hug ever!!!!!!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 9/13/2009 12:14PM

    I am awed and inspired. I honestly dont know as i could have done it!! i'm glad the pacers were nice and let you go deserve to win it ALL!!
ok off my fat ass and on to greater things! wish there was some way i could win a medal for something and stand along side you!
Love you!

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BRAVAH 9/13/2009 12:01PM

    You are such an inspiration! My eyes are brimming with tears of joy. I am so proud of you for finishing the race - especially through all of your obstacles and physical difficulties! You are truly an amazing woman! I would be honored to be among those sparkers that you eventually meet in person.

Thank you for sharing your stories with me, and for being a friend!


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MAPLELEAFMOM 9/13/2009 9:22AM

    I LOVED meeting up with you and the other ladies! I can't wait to do it again emoticon You are an AMAZING person with a dedication and drive that inspires me and so many others around the world !!! ROFL about being a wedding crasher though!!

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Settling in

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Wow. It's been three weeks since MacDuff and I arrived in Beirut. The time is flying by! I arrived and sort of jumped right into the work, but MacDuff and I are trying to find a good groove.

MacDuff is adjusting well. He is such a little trooper. He sleeps in when I get up to work out. Then we go for a walk when I get back. He keeps busy during the day, napping on his various chairs and sunning himself on the balcony until I get home for another walk.

As some of you know, MacDuff has already had to go to the vet. He has benign growths which the vet says are hereditary. Somehow, he cut one, and it got infected. Its right on his tushie, so he runs in circles, trying to reach it. He also looks ridiculous because he played in a pricker bush and got the prickers emeshed in the fur on his face. I couldn't bring myself to hurt him, so I just cut them all out. Now he looks sort of like a white fox with a sore butt.

My apartment is fab. It's very umm ... 70s. I call it Mr. Brady's Bachelor Pad, because it looks like where Mr. Brady would have lived if he hadn't married Mrs. Brady. I picture him with his curly perm, in a polyester leisure suit, throwing wild fondue parties!

How to describe it? It's a loft, and it's pretty much one large space. I have four balconies, one off the bedroom, one off the kitchen, and two off the main room. Once it cools down, that should be super fabulous.

Here are a few pictures.

I took thee pictures from my bedroom. Wild, huh? Go, Mr. Brady!

Like the show, my place only has one tiny little bathroom. *LOL* It's a powder room with a shower stuffed into it. Ah well.

Here's MacDuff surveying his new surroundings on one balcony, and I took the picture from another.

The views from the balconies facing the sea:

The swimming pool is practically next to my office:

It's wedding season, so almost every evening, MacDuff and I sit on the balcony and watch the celebratory fireworks.

Let's see ... what else? Well, when I arrived, my blood pressure skyrocketed to 180/100. So I adjusted my meds but also hired a personal trainer. We meet at 5 a.m. because it's the only way I know our meetings won't be preempted by work demands. I hate getting up at 4:15, but it's a great way to start the day. Also, there are no secrets here. We're all under armed guard and reporting our movements, so it's hard to keep anything to oneself. As the only fat woman here, it has actually worked to my advantage for people to learn my habits, as it seems to have negated the fattism I iniitally encountered.

So there you have it. I get up, work out, walk MacDuff, go to work, work all day, come home, walk MacDuff, and go to bed. I eat lunch and dinner at work because of the hours, and making healthy food choices remains a toughie for me. Unlike Tunis, there is all kinds of fast food here - Burger King, McDonalds, Appleby's, KFC, etc. The driver picks up the orders. I should be sending him out for salads, but I've noticed that when I'm tired and stressed, I get hungrier. And the salads aren't doing it. I'm still evolving a routine, but I'm trying to incorporate more snacks inbetween meals to keep my hunger in check.

Also, the Lebanese are enthusiastic social eaters, so to preempt forced eating, I told everyone straight up that I have diabetes and numerous food allergies. It has greatly reduced the number of sweets waved under my nose! emoticon

The heat and humidity are unreal, but my colleagues assure me that this summer is one of the hottest ever, so i hope to see more pleasant weather soon. Oh, I hope! I have FIVE air conditioners in my house, just to keep comfortable!

So there you have it. I'm still in a state of flux, dealing with things like the fact that my stuff is still stuck in Tunis, but overall, I'm grateful to have a good job and groovy digs! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAVEN1025 8/18/2009 12:09AM

    I'm finally catchng up. Are you going to get a ducktail hair-do now, and work some poly-pantsuits??

The views from your place are pretty fantastic. Seems almost enough to counter dealing with the heat.

Give Macduff some love for me, I hope his bum gets better!

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GXROXY 8/7/2009 3:08PM


What a great looking place! Hang in there girl, everything will click into place. Give Mcduff extra hugs from all us campers!

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BRAVAH 8/6/2009 7:03PM

    OMG! I have just been catching up on a few of your blogs... you really should put this in a traveler's guide or write a book. CRAZY! I am soooooo happy that you and MacDuff are settling in okay now and that you've got a good gym routine going. I was really worried about your move - and now it turns out that I had those feelings for a reason. I am sorry you and MacDuff had to go through such an ordeal.

I'm sending good energy toward your clothing arriving sooner than expected!


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WANT2CHNG17 8/6/2009 10:16AM

    Woo Hoo Cat - Lovin' the groovy Mr. Brady Bachelor Pad!! OMG, your views are just phenomenal. Just think of how wonderful it will be to sit out there when the weather is a bit cooler. I have to hand it to you - I can't stand the heat; I commend you for being able to survive there!

Glad to hear you are setting in; poor MacDuff! Hope he's feeling better!

4:15 AM and a personal trainer? You go girl! I am impressed.

Hope your blood pressure is under control - and way to go on the avoiding the shoving of sweets under your nose (clever girl!)

Keep us posted; when will you receive you things from Tunis?

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SLCOLMAN 8/4/2009 4:59PM

    Sounds like you are settling into a groove :) Personal trainer!! Woo Hoo!! The 70's style pad does have stunning views though :)!!! You sound happy!

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CJBAGGINS 8/4/2009 3:07PM

  Love the groovy digs! Go Brady!!!!!
The views are beautiful and I would love to have those balconies!
Sorry to hear the weather is so hot and humid, but pleased you have not 1 but 5 air conditioners. That way, if one conks out, at least you have others running!

It must be difficult to have to report all your movements (that sounds like you have to let them know when you use the toilet! *snort*) but as you say, if it helps to counter potential 'fattism' before it starts, all the better.

Enjoy your new part of the world! Give MacDuff a hug for me, hope he's all better soon!


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MSEMBERSTORM 8/4/2009 12:37AM

    Wow woman! I had to giggle and poor little MacDuff. It sounds like you have awesome digs! I love hearing about your escapades and all that you accomplish. Wise choice on the blockage of sweets. Whoo hooo on the trainer. You go gal! Keep up the awesome work you are so going to rock it! Glad to hear your bp is down. That is scary. Take care and big hugs! (scratch lil MacDuff on the tushie for me!)

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ZIRCADIA 8/3/2009 8:08PM

    YOUR PLACE LOOKS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D COOL! hehehe And YAY for having a personal trainer, that is AWESOME. :)

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NIMAWEYGH 8/3/2009 11:17AM

    Oh my gosh I love the place.............I can see you doing a wild fondue party there yourself........okay so it would be you and MacDuff for now.........I bet he loves fondue. emoticon
It really sounds like you are doing so well and adjusting so well. I am so happy for you.

But poor baby MacDuff and his prickly encounter...............(good idea for a Dear Gracie and a porcupine.......LOL) Hope he is find now.

When will your stuff arrive, how long will you be there? The view is absolutely breath taking. I can see you sitting out there when it cools and really enjoying it.

It is wonderful to hear that you are adjusting so well and I know that MacDuff helps in that area as well, there is nothing like a good furbaby cuddle to make the day right.

Love and hugs,

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NEWSTART127 8/3/2009 1:41AM

    Wow, your space looks fabulous!!! And the views are stunning!!! I'm so glad that you and MacDuff are settling into a routine! I hope the rest of your "stuff" makes it to you soon! And congrats on your training sessions! I hope that goes well for you! HUGS!

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MAKOTODFW 8/3/2009 12:33AM

What GROOOVY digs!
(This coming from a guy that ACTUALLY owned 2 leisure suits in High School)
As we said in Colorado in the 70's, "Far OUT!)

I kind of like the upside of constant monitoring and no privacy you mentioned.
Nobody can call you Lazy, and they pretty much know what you eat.....
Also, a nice touch with the health comments to cow-orkers.
I know from experience that they push a lot of food on you for the sake of hospitality.
Kind of like throwing a drowning girl a glass of water init?

I hope McDuff is well on the mend, and that you are enjoying the change of scenery...and WHAT SCENERY!!!
It looks absolutely gorgeous there. I'd be jealous, if Texas wasn't at least a couple
degrees cooler (only up to 108 at the worst this summer...and now having useasonably wet weather with cooler temps into the 90's).

Good luck in your new endeavor!

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HRDWLBY 8/3/2009 12:06AM


Your place looks "mahvelous. sweety"! Did it come furnished like that? The views of the sea are wonderful! It's too bad you have such a small bath.

I'm glad you like your new job so far. I hope it remains a good experience. It sounds like eating healthy may be a challenge but you shoud get some excellent humus there. (If you're not allergic to it)

I think it's terrific you have a personal trainer. Is he cute?

I'm so glad MacDuff is settling in well! Let's hope his butt clears up quickly and he stays away from things that get stuck in his fur.

Here's to you getting your things there within the next month!

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SUETINGE 8/2/2009 9:38PM

    Love the new place! The views are fabulous. Hope MacDuff's starting to feel better. I'm sure you'll get yourself into a routine soon.

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HPTHATBME 8/2/2009 8:18PM

    Oh it looks so pretty! I am glad you are enjoying your new place!

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AIMEE_B 8/2/2009 7:42PM

    Mike and i love to read your blogs together. You make our life seem so mundane... and we thought we were busy! LOL

Truly though, it sounds like you are adjusting. i'm confident that your food concerns will work out as you find that much-longed for groove. Hence next week's challenge, i presume?

Did i ever comment on your ISO blog? i found it poignantly hilarious.. mostly because it wasn't that long ago that i was in that same predicament and asked myself many of the same questions you posed!

Looking forward to the next installment of "MacDuff's Adventures in Beirut."

Love ya!!

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DEBULACLARK 8/2/2009 4:00PM

    Your apartment is very nice. I like the layout a lot. I'm glad you are getting into a routine and that MacDuff is adjusting....I hope his little bottom feels better soon and his face grows back the fur too!

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MDMNINA 8/2/2009 2:37PM

    Oh, I love your apartment! And it sounds like you fallen into a good routine. Can I come and visti YOU? I have never been to that part of the world. Give McDuff a hug for me.

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DISPATCH91 8/2/2009 2:34PM

    Love your apartment, glad you have gotten settled in. You know my friend gets salads but she gets the chicken breast from Burger King to go with it. I think it is called the chicken pouch. Only the breast and it works real well for her to keep the hunger at bay.

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 8/2/2009 1:03PM

    Hey thanks for sharing...what a gREAT place!! sounds like you are happy there and thats GREAT!!
i want a trainer too. but not at 5 am!! you are one wild woman!!
hi macduff...hope all is well with you too you furry little fluffbucket you!
is the trainer cute?
how can you be the only fat woman there if they eat that much? whats their secret? enquiring minds want to know...
love you!

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FITTYTIF 8/2/2009 12:00PM

    It is great to see your place. It is actually very lovely. I am sure it will feel more like home when you get your stuff finally!
Poor MacDuff. He is been through quite a bit! But seems to be coming through it well!
Sounds like you are making pretty good choices. Way to go getting a trainer. I like to work out first thing in the morning as well. As for the Salads not being enough. I say still get the salad and then add something to it. I agree sometimes a salad is not too much. So For example at McDonalds I will get a grilled wrap.
Good Luck. and Thanks for all the pictures

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    I LOVE your apartment! Totally fabulous! And the views?! Amazing! MacDuff is such a cutie! I love seeing pics of him.

I hope you're able to settle into your routine quickly. I'm glad you were able to get a trainer and that it's helped with work. I think when people really understand and can see what you're trying to do, they might just be more supportive. I'm crossing fingers that it'll work that way! And woohoo on fewer sugary foods being offered! That's victory #1!

Love your guts!

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KIMCATUS 8/2/2009 10:57AM

    Hey that looks like a gorgeous place!!! Maybe you can get lucky like Mr. Brady would have...bow-chicka-wow-wow!!! LOL The balconies are gorgeous and it's so good to see MacDuff!!!

I've been told by friends who were stationed in the Middle East that the temperatures compare to Houston, and I know it's hot here so I feel for ya girlie! It's tough when you're not used to it!! I think we're about the same I feel your pain sweets! I remember when I first moved here I thought I was gonna die!!!

Anywho I'm so glad you're settled in to your new swinging pad, baby!!! Thanks for sharing the gorgeous does look like a beautiful place!!! I'm glad you and MacDuff arrived safely!!! *hugs*

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MAPLELEAFMOM 8/2/2009 10:26AM

    ROFL laughing at your Mr. Brady's pad apartment emoticon Your views are incredible !! It looks like a great place. I am so happy that both you and MacDuff are settling in. He looks adorable... Guinness and Watson say 'woof' and wish they could play and they send their love!

Take care and keep us updated on your adventures. You really will have to write a book one day!

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NMUDDIE 8/2/2009 10:21AM

    This is great. We get a glimpse of your real-life experiences. I wish I knew how to print this so your Grandmother could see it. ??? emoticon

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DAMSELFLY_DOXY 8/2/2009 10:06AM

    Wow! I adore your views! It looks so amazing there. I'm glad things are finally settling in for you. You are a fascinating read woman!

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AMUNET_RA 8/2/2009 9:25AM

    LOVE the photos! Great to see McDuff! ((HUGS)) what a sweetie!!!

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COLEISMYSOUL 8/2/2009 8:48AM

    emoticon Wow, what a place. Glad you and MacD are settling in. Your experiences are so fascinating, most of us dream of. Glad you are well. emoticon

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JUSTKIMBERLY 8/2/2009 7:53AM

    Your apartment is adorable... your view is beautiful... McDuff is a sweetie... and thank goodness for drivers and personal trainers!


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Greetings from Beirut!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I have to dash this off, so fasten your seat belts - the transfer was a rough ride.

When I last blogged, the company had lost my medical receipts and expenditures. Both were found and credited! Yay!

And the packers had taken all my clothes. Sadly that bit is unchanged. I won't see my clothes until October.

So on Friday, MacDuff and I headed to the airport to begin a three-hour flight .... a threeeee-hour flight *cue Gilligan's Island music*

In Tunis
Mac Duff was booked. Smiling people greeted us and told us everything was great - just pay the excess baggage, and even gave me a discount.

We went to counter one. Stood in line. Got to the front. Oops, sorry, this queue is for something else. Go stand in that one.

Stood in that one. got to the front. She decided to go to lunch at that point and told us to go stand in a third queue.

Stood there. She announced that the fare was three times what I'd been told - literally hundreds more. I didn't have the money, and she wouldn't take cards.

Off to find an ATM. Out of order, Found another one. Got more $$. Returned to queue. Waited again. Got to front. Paid. Got receipt.

Went back to initial queue. Found out receipt was incorrect. Sent back to last line. Now 1 hour and 40 minutes has gone by, and I'm in danger of not making the flight myself. Refused to politely queue. Pressed to the front, got it sorted.

MacDuff loaded. Headed through security without incident.

Flight delayed. Concerned about connection. Told if connection missed, everything would be taken care of.

Take off 90 minutes late. As I board, AFTER I am ALREADY on the airplane, I am pulled aside and personally searched. The bastards. During the flight, I'm told that air crew phoned ahead and flight being held for me.

Arrive in Amman. Flight not held. No other departures that night. No arrangements made. Nice woman told me to "sit over there" and wait for it to be sorted.

A half hour later, see nice lady leaving for night. Run after her. Airily tells me she's off for the night and to talk to her boss.

It's now 9 p.m. Tired. Hungry. Worried about MacDuff. Find boss. Boss happy to help. Books me a hotel - free. Ask about luggage. Surprised. Says can get luggage. What about MacDuff? MacDuff has to stay in airport. Oh, they'll take care of him?

Blank stare. The dog has been crated for over 10 hours, and they want to hold him with no food, water or comfort break until he's loaded the next morning, flies to Beirut, clears customs and is unloaded, some 14 hours from now.

Hours of negotiations. Money changes hands. As I'm leaving the airport, with four men flanking men, a security buttwad decides to search my suitcase and paws through my stuff with all the men watching. Finds my teddy bear, Bully. Strained mental powers to will Bully to bite him. Special magic powers let me down. No joy.

Midnight. Luggage and dog go to hotel. Hotel won't take dog but will allow him to remain outside, in his crate. MacDuff shaky and super stressed. Long walk. Accidentally walk into military range directly next to hotel. Minor altercation with guard who is stunned to learn I speak Arabic and allows MacDuff to pee on military grass.

Unable to leave MacDuff alone because little boys whose parents are nowhere to be found terrorize him the moment I walk away. Luggage spends night in hotel room. Cat and MacDuff spend it outside the hotel, on the pavement.

5 a.m. Cat, dog, and luggage return to airport. Stupid *&$#@ Royal Jordanian never booked MacDuff. Cargo not pressurized. Major drama. Almost miss flight. Another humiliating personal search. Clear security. See, of all things, a Cinnabon. Believe it to be a hallucination. In fact, real. Buy cinnabon from nice man and eat it.

Arrive in Beirut. Met by expediter. Immigration is a breeze. Luggage arrives. MacDuff arrives. Customs a breeze. Transportation is waiting. Dropped off at new home.

MacDuff wobbles out to the grass, does business, drinks a liter of water, and collapses on the sofa, unable to even muster interest in his new surroundings.

Our new place is a tad unusual but has personality, and we are very grateful to be "home"!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRENUT34 9/13/2009 1:53PM

    Sorry I'm so late in writing this, but I just noticed the blog when I wrote on your latest one. My trip to Beirut was a little easier than yours. I was part of the Multi-national Peacekeeping Force in 1983 from January to June. I was there and responded to the bombing of the American Embassy on April 18th. I stayed in the Marine Barracks while there so I wasn't there for that bombing or I wouldn't be writting this as all the Hospital Corpsman had died. The only thing Arabic I can remember is Muddah Hubba (don't know if right) for hello. I have enough problems with English. Glad you and your dog is alright.

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MAPLELEAFMOM 7/29/2009 10:05AM

    I am sorry that I am sooo late at responding to this (just catching up with life this week!) but OMG!!! I would have done the exact same thing and spent the night on the curb with my dogs! I can't believe all that you went through!! ( I mean I totally believe you but WOW!) How horrid that you were searched so many times! Mean people suck! I hope karma works quickly on those folks!!

I hope that you and MacDuff are enjoying your new home. We have to decide if we are flying the dogs out to California when we move but after your story there is now way, I am definitely driving them... even if it's just me and them LOL!

You could send this story to the MacDuff story writers and see if they make it a book LOL!

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FITTYTIF 7/24/2009 8:44PM

    WOW That was some trip! I am glad to hear you and MacDuff have finally arrived safe! I hope you are settled quickly and best of luck to you!

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    Oh my goodness! What an experience. I'm SO glad that you made it, even after all the nonsense that you endured. Hooray for unexpected Cinnabons!

emoticon emoticon

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50FITNFUN 7/21/2009 11:50PM

    HOLY COW! You seem to have kept your wits about you as all else faltered around you. I'm glad you and Mac Duff are now safe and comfy(?) in your new digs. emoticon

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    Oh my gosh!! Poor you and MacDuff!!!
Travel always seems so romantic and exotic...except for the actual traveling, eh? ;P

I am soooo glad you and doggie are safe in your new home now!!! emoticon

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HRDWLBY 7/17/2009 11:28PM


Your experiences sound like a made for TV movie. Nobody can write stuff like that. I'm sorry you had to spend the night outside but I would have done the same. Nobody wants to leave their pet alone in an unsafe situation. I can't believe the hotel wouldn't make an exception rather than you have to sleep outside!

I'm glad you finally arrived safely! I hope you both adjust to your new surroundings soon!

Are you sure you're not ready to return to the good old USA to work?


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MSEMBERSTORM 7/17/2009 11:06PM

    Wow talk about a heck of an ordeal! I am glad you finally made it home. I love that you shook up the guard. Poor MacDuff. You two get rested and take care of yourselves. Big hugs !

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PUTTITAT 7/16/2009 10:22AM

    Sorry to hear about your troubles on your trip. With as much traveling as you do (and me & hubby too) it is bound to happen, but when it includes pets...Oh my!

Our last flight, (from Prtland, OR to Atlanta, GA was mostly uneventful--other than the fact that Jon got upgraded to 1st class, & I was stuck in coach. emoticon Even though I am Silver Elite & Jon is Gold Elite, they said no upgrades for rewards travel . I saw--if it is available and you qualify otherwise--why not? I arrived a little grouchy--but nothing like your situation...
HAPPY HOUSEWARMING! How long for this one?

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AIMEE_B 7/15/2009 9:05PM

    Oh dear Cat and MacDuff!!

What a comedy of errors that really isn't funny! i'm hoping the next installment of the tale is nicely mundane and uneventful!!!

Rest up!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/15/2009 9:06:19 PM

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DAMSELFLY_DOXY 7/15/2009 12:38PM

    Wow. I've said this before...i'll say it again and again: I am not sure how you do this. You are the most impressive person I've met. I'm glad this all worked out for you and your furkid. ...still shaking head...
hugs woman

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SLCOLMAN 7/15/2009 11:34AM

    OMGosh what a trip!! So glad to hear that you all did finally make it safe and sound!!

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JUSTKIMBERLY 7/15/2009 8:24AM

    I don't even know what to say. Wow and hugs.

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NEWSTART127 7/15/2009 1:36AM

    OMG - I'm sitting here reading this and need to pick my chin up off the laptop keyboard so that I can type. I cannot believe what you and MacDuff had to endure. Bless you for taking such good care of him. I would have been outside with my "kids" too. I'm glad that you have both finally arrived at your new home mostly safely and sound! emoticon

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GWEEBE 7/14/2009 11:48PM

    emoticonAw Cat,
You guys must be completely pooped! I am glad that you both finally made it "home" safely. How you keep your sanity in such situations I'll never know.....
Rest up, Bexy's gonna give you a special "Welcome Home" dance on the pole later...

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RAVEN1025 7/14/2009 6:16PM

    Oh my! I am glad you made it in the end, safe with your MacDuff.
Hope your settling in is smoother :)

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SUETINGE 7/14/2009 5:56PM

    Galloping Gargoyles! What a frickin' nightmare. I'm so glad you and MacDuff are there safely and in one piece. No way I would leave a fur-baby outside under those conditions, either.

Big hugs, sweetie!

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NIMAWEYGH 7/14/2009 4:18PM

    Cat it would have been me and Gracie & Georgie on the pavement as well. I stand up and applaud your love for MacDuff...........................w
hat PRATT'S you had to deal with...........UGH! Makes you want to go postal or something along those lines.

I am so happy (doing the Snoopy dog dance) that you and MacDuff are there and safe and sound.

I cannot wait to see pictures of are one amazing WOMAN.

The G girls and I are thrilled you are there and love ya dearly.


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    I'm always so terrified of traveling with animals. I'm so glad you're all safe and sound!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ZIRCADIA 7/14/2009 3:33PM

    Poor you and POOR MACDUFFF!!!!! I'm so glad you're finally arrived and you and the doggie are safe -- what an ordeal!!!! *HUGS*

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COLEISMYSOUL 7/14/2009 2:56PM

    ARGGHHH! Is the politest way to put it on how your trip went. I am glad you and my furry friend are now settling in! Hugs to you both.

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MDMNINA 7/14/2009 2:55PM

    Yes, yes, there is definitely a book in this. Glad you and McDuff are safely in Beirut. Will you get to see new Harry Potter anytime soon. I made Raven a hat and scarf in Ravenclaw colors, which she will wear this evening, even in mid-summer. She says it will probably be cold in the theatre!

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NMUDDIE 7/14/2009 2:42PM

    And the book will be published when? You rival Ripleys!
I am thrilled and relieved that you are safe and that you have both Bully and MacDuff. I can't wait to hear about your digs. It sounds like, however unusual, you might at least be comfortable. I hope you also got my other message and that it is complete enough to work for you.
Love you very much,
Mom emoticon emoticon

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DAS92687 7/14/2009 12:40PM

    So glad to hear everything ended well. Hoping your furry friends appreciate all you did and that everyone is settle today :-)

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FLORIDAFAN 7/14/2009 12:35PM

    Wow I dont know how you hold it together. That would of been enough to send anyone over the edge. I am so glad to hear that you both made it safe. Yeah for Cinnibon

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PRSEIDA 7/14/2009 12:22PM

    What a trip! Many kudos to you for great thinking and keeping your head through the whole thing. I'd probably be in jail somewhere having shot off my mouth at the wrong person.

Glad you're finally "home" and hope you get settled soon. *hugs*

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BEXTRESS 7/14/2009 12:18PM

    What a nightmare! I'm glad the last bit went smoothly, or else I can't even imagine Cap'n Cat cracking a whip at some immigration officer...LoL Glad to hear you arrived safe and that MacDuff is not too insulted.

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KIMCATUS 7/14/2009 11:40AM

    Oh honey. I am so sorry for all that crap, but I am SO very sorry that you and MacDuff are home safe! I too am amazed at your Cinnabon?? But they wouldn't let macDuff inside the hotel??? What freaking crap!!! But at least you are safe and sound and can get settled. We have missed you!!! *HUGS*

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AMUNET_RA 7/14/2009 11:36AM

    Yikes! Sounds like a nightmare, Cat! I am so sorry but SO glad that you and MacDuff arrived safe and sound! Hopefully you've both had a chance to rest it off!

Yay! For the Cinnabon! ;-)

How can these airlines stay in business with this kind of incompetence and horrid customer service!

Welcome home, Sweetie! You've been missed!!!


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NIGHTSKYSTAR 7/14/2009 11:32AM

    I am aghast. If i EVER complain again slap me or hit me with a jaw binding curst please. You are totally my highest of the the high heroine. I dont know how you do it...big hugs to you and MacDuff...and i hope the filthy bastages that searched you have the fleas of a bazillion camels light on their hair and armpits and unmentionable places and torture them forever!!!
Oceans of hugs and comfort to you both. I wish i could apparate there and let you relax and let me do the unpacking!!

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DEBULACLARK 7/14/2009 11:31AM

    Cat - I am so sorry for your ordeal...I can't believe you stopped at 1 Cinnabon....I probably would have eaten them til I puked!
I'm so glad MacDuff is ok and you are both going to be able to get settled in now! Welcome "home"! We've really missed you around the castle. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHORTTOOTH1 7/14/2009 11:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Sending you some love since things have been insane lately. Way to make it through everything. I'm impressed that you made it through everything without yelling at anyone. You're a bit of my hero now. Again way to survive!

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