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Putting sickness in perspective

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm sick. I resent the down time, but it occurs to me that my annual fall rhinovirus reaction mirrors the season.

August was go-go-go. Even the weekends we were home had obligations scheduled into them. Now the weather is turning. It's a delightful time to be active outside, but I'm not partaking. (Being sick tends to really wear me out. I crave sleep. This is no time to work out.)

But the weather is also signalling that we're moving toward nature's slumber. Soon enough, we will have picked the last of the tomatoes and beans. Not long after that, the plants will freeze. Nature needs its break to rejuvenate; so do I.

Soon enough, this cold will have run its course and my immune system can put another mark in the "win" column. I will be relieved to have only put on a pound or two after not working out for a couple weeks. My heart and lungs will feel like bursting when I start running again, but my legs will feel fresh. I'll be back to appreciating the gift of a healthy body that largely does what I ask of it.

Sooner than I like to think, winter will hit. I'll stop commuting by bike for a few months. I'll be pulling on stouter layers for my morning run, eyeing my first triathlon in June. I expect to join a gym, too, to get in swim workouts. Maybe this will be the year I develop enough discipline to ride a trainer indoors.

And then the cycle starts again. Life is beautiful (and that's not just the DayQuil talking!).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOYCRN 9/27/2013 8:43PM

    Maybe your gym will have spin classes ? They make indoor cycling bearable. And a little strength training can help triathletes too. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HILLSLUG98239 9/26/2013 10:01AM


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GHK1962 9/26/2013 9:34AM

    Sorry you're feeling sick, and hope you get back on your feet soon.

Saying that, I like that most of your blog looks in the future and predicts all the good, positive things.

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I'm voting for a relaxing weekend

Friday, September 20, 2013

My allergies have been bothering me the past few days. Mostly, it's just heavy post-nasal drip. It's fall, and we have things that release pollen in the fall. So I checked the pollen report: zip. Nada. Nothin' to see here, folks.

This lack of pollen made me fear that I am allergic to Tuffy. I was allergic to Magic, but I kept him for 16 years. I'd keep Tuffy, despite allergies. I buy diphenhydramine in large bottles. It's my beautiful pink miracle.

I mentioned this fear to my legal assistant. As it turns out, her allergies have been bugging her the past few days, and today was especially bad. Another legal assistant reported the same. So I'm guessing it's not Tuffy (although I wouldn't put it past them to lie to me in the interest of seeing me keep Tuffy!).

I've taken plenty of drugs this morning. I'm still sneezy and a little dull around the edges. I have the deep fear I'm coming down with a cold. (Which would mean all three of us have come down with the same cold. That is not outside of the realm of the possible, though. My office seems to be an incubator for pathogens. One person gets sick, and it works its way through the entire office over the next 4-6 weeks.)

I have the afternoon off, so once I'm done with court I will head home. I think I'm going to indulge in a little Nyquil and lie on the futon and let the cats walk all over me. I was going to mow the lawn, but if it's allergies, mowing the lawn will just make it worse.

I'm still planning to go camping this weekend. I'll just bring along my arsenal of drugs and spend my time relaxing and napping. The boys can go play without me. So I won't be going for a swim or a run or a ride. Yep, I'm just going to relax.

So why does the thought of relaxing make me so panicky? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APONI_KB 9/24/2013 8:55AM

    My allergies are acting up now too. Ah fall.

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CLEARNIGHTSKY 9/21/2013 8:11PM

    FUNNY--"and let the cats walk all over me."

I relate about getting panicky about relaxing. For me, it's that I don't trust myself yet that I'm not actually sliding down the chute into No-exercise Land.

But I'm very happy that it sounds like you're hearing the inner voice to take it easy. Makes sense to me with the congestion. I second the motion to "take it easy." All in favor, say "Aye." "AYE!" All opposed--(crickets chirping.)


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GHK1962 9/20/2013 5:30PM

    That is good news that it is likely the Mr. Tuffy that's the issue emoticon emoticon

Though being sick is not walk in the park either (so you had better rest in the park!)

Hope you have a good camping trip.

PS - thanks for the info about the winter footwear....and mos were clipless pedal useable...yeahhh!

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Another brick in the wall

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tuesday night, I debated riding home. Felt kinda ooky - headachy, slightly nauseous. Decided to just ride; I rarely regret riding my bike. It was a great ride: slight tail wind. I felt like I was flying!

My ride in to work yesterday morning was equally perfect, but for the bugs. The bugs are a consequence of the cooling weather in the fall (and the warming weather in the spring). I swallowed at least one. Mostly they just pelted me.

At some point during the day, I decided to do a brick workout. I'm working on the transition from the bike to the run as much as I am working on prepping my legs for it. I decided I would quickly switch shoes, swap out my bike jersey for a running top with a pocket in the back, and switch to a running cap. Good idea in theory. But that running top is very snug, and there was no easy way to get it onto my sweaty body. (Another reason to buy a tri suit!) So I ended up running in what I'd ridden in, with a pair of running shorts over my bibs.

The run went better than I'd expected. I'm currently running 1:30/walking 1:30. Every time - EVERY TIME - while I was running, I looked at my watch at the :42-:43 mark. I managed to run for 1:30 each time, but it was a struggle. I ended up running 1.23 miles in just under 14 minutes.

This morning's ride in was average: 14.1 mph. It was chilly this morning, so there were no bugs. My legs are tired, but I'm feeling pretty good overall. We're going camping this weekend. No cycling, no running. I may try to get in a swim, but the lake may be too cold. Or maybe I'll just relax and let my body heal!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLEARNIGHTSKY 9/19/2013 9:29PM


And hey, that bug's just extra protein.


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No takers on the kitten

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Well, that's not entirely true. Several people have offered to take him, but no one has called in response to my "Found Kitten" sign, and it appears no one reported him missing at the local shelter.

Spike, the 10 year old, does not like this new interloper. She's one of those cats that does not respond well to change - she's still not thrilled with Cheeto, the cat we adopted after Magic died last spring. Spike mostly just hisses at this indefatiguable ball of fluff. She tries to sniff at him, but if he notices, he views her proximity as an invitation to play. That doesn't end well.

Tuffy & Cheeto play & fight almost constantly. I have to believe Spike is happy Cheeto isn't bothering her anymore. Tuffy appears unconcerned Cheeto outweighs him by a 6:1 ratio. I guess he'll live up to the name "Tuffy"!

My legal assistant says Cheeto sounds like a gang member's moniker. Spike and Tuffy do not, unless you're talking about the gangs in West Side Story. Let's hope the Menacing Tabbys don't decide to claim certain turf, then declare war against the Kitchen-area Birman.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HILLSLUG98239 9/18/2013 7:00PM

    Magic was 10 when I adopted the then 2-month old Spike. He HATED her. Ultimately, he became very nuturing. I think he even taught her to hunt (he was an amazing hunter when he was younger). But alas, they all have their own personalities. Spike is easily offended. Cheeto is a big goofy kid. Time will tell what role Tuffy plays.

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ARGENTPUCK 9/18/2013 6:04PM

    This is very typical cat behavior, unfortunately. Older dogs get along great with puppies and often become playful as a result. Cats are a completely different story, though, and introducing young cats to older ones is generally an uphill battle. As you've already done it once with Cheeto, though, you've paved the way to make it easier with this new one. Just give Spike some time and eventually she will merely loathe the interlopers.

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HILLSLUG98239 9/18/2013 5:25PM

    Thanks for the compliment. I really enjoy writing, but I'm too lazy to attempt to make a living doing it.

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2BHALF1 9/18/2013 4:08PM

    This was great! You are. An awesome writer, you should write a book about your "gang!" emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/18/2013 4:08:51 PM

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*Another* cat? :roll eyes:

Monday, September 16, 2013

We've been adopted.

I arrived home last evening after being gone since Wednesday. Our cats (Spike, 10, and Cheeto, 1) were happy to see me. Well, so was the Hubs, but the cats were more demanding. I opened the garage door to start unloading the car. Within a few minutes, a kitten wandered in.

My guess is that he's about two months old. Certainly too young to be on his own. (Spike was a foundling who was rescued at about two months.) He looks like a Birman. OMG he is adorable! I walked him around the neighborhood, and no one I spoke with claimed him.

I put water and a towel out on the front porch. I was not about to let him take up residence in the house. Cheeto was very interested in the interloper on his front porch, so we let him out (with supervision).

And then the storm front came through. It was a severe thunderstorm, but with a haboob in front of it. I've seen dust storms before, but this is the first honest-to-goodness haboob I've seen. It was a wall of dust about 150-200' high that hit ferociously. We couldn't leave a tiny little kitten outside in that!

We decided he should sleep in the garage. I put food, water, the same towel, and a little litter box out in the garage. And then, after I'd gone to bed, the Hubs said "he doesn't really need to sleep in the garage." So Tuffy (named for the tufts of fur on his ears) spent the night inside, mostly in our bedroom.

I put a "Found Kitten" sign on the mail box closest to our house. I'm going to send an email to the animal shelter describing him. I will ask my vet to check him for a chip. I'd love to find the people he belongs to, but I won't mind too terribly if he stays with us. Spike is kind of an old lady now, and Cheeto is just over a year old. Cheeto could use an energetic playmate. Three cats is a lot for our 1000 sq. ft. house, but we have a fenced yard.

We saw him use the litter box last night - that's why I had no objection to him spending the night inside. Tuffy's small enough to hide under things so Cheeto can't get to him. And he fights back, so there's no telling what I'll find when I get home tonight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARGENTPUCK 9/17/2013 5:58PM

    This makes me wish I could have a cat in my apartment. Actually, I probably could (my neighbors do), but it is a tiny, tiny place and I'd worry about the poor thing while I was at work.

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GHK1962 9/16/2013 8:44PM

    Hehe ... sounds like the little guy found a home if no one claims him.

We had a little kitten wander into my wife's lap one day ... and the interesting thing was that our dogs did not even bat an eye, and they were all laying on the sofa that night. However, as my wife volunteers at the humane society, we decided to take her in to see if she was chipped (she was not) ... but a rescue cat group agreed to foster her (in the event that no one claimed her).

And ... I just heard about that haboob just now on npr.

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HILLSLUG98239 9/16/2013 7:29PM

    Annie sounds like a fun cat!

I adopted Magic from a shleter in 1996. He was probably about three at the time. He died last January. We still miss him terribly. Our pets have unique personalities, and when they're gone they leave their paw prints on our heart.

We have Magic's cremains. We planted a catnip bush in the back yard. We're going to get a little statue we can keep his cremains in and create a little memorial garden out back. That way, we can take it with us when we move.

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MOTTAMAMALOU 9/16/2013 7:00PM

    I love your story. What's one more cat?
My daughter found an abandoned cat at the water plant where she worked. She called to ask if I would adopt the poor thing. I had just moved in to my new house with new wallpaper and paint. I worked the 2nd shift at the hospital so I left her alone for over 8 hours. I named her Annie after "Little Orphan Annie." When I arrived home from work she had a bit of the wallpaper down on the floor and my curtains, rods and all, off the windows. When she did something wrong she would hide under the bed.
I loved that cat and when she died I buried her under my Mimosa tree.

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