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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I know the dermatologist thought I was being silly in wanting the cyst removed. But I was getting tired of hitting it with my hairbrush every time I brushed my hair.

This was the second cyst to appear in the same spot. I lived with the first one for about twenty years before I had it removed. This one popped up about four months ago, and grew much faster. It was just a pilar cyst, but it was a nuisance.

I had it removed last Tuesday, and it took longer than the first time. Lots more lydocaine, and it hurt more afterwards. My entire head was swollen. The swelling didn't recede until Sunday night, and at that point the stitches started bothering me as I sleep on my back.

Yesterday afternoon the doctor's office called to confirm that it was a pilar cyst. But they went on to say that they discovered some squamous cell carcinoma, and that they were referring me to another doctor who would do a more invasive procedure to determine the extent of the carcinoma.

Ignoring her lousy bedside manner, I managed to ask whether I shouldn't be concerned about having the rest of my body examined. I was assured this would be done in three months when I returned to my regular dermatologist. I decided there was not much point in trying to get information out of this person. So now I wait for the specialist's office to call me after they've reviewed my records.

Serendipity? You bet! If I hadn't insisted on taking care of a nuisance, I'd have no idea whatsoever that there was anything wrong. But I'm really shaken. I have no real facts at the moment except what I can find online. I've been bursting into tears at odd intervals. My usual strength in dealing with problems seems to have vanished. I keep reminding myself of other people who have dealt with far worse, but that doesn't stem the tears. I guess that's what I need right now. I'm just tired of being strong.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWMS48 5/11/2010 8:57AM

    Years ago, I fell and broke my elbow. The x-ray showed a cancerous tumor in the radius of my arm. I choose to think that falling saved my life. Perhaps the irritation of catching the cyst in your hairbrush has saved yours. And, needless to say, I shed many tears on the way to health. You are a strong person who is facing a scary situation.

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DEE797 5/7/2010 7:37PM

    There are times when tears are necessary to get us through a particular situation. I'm sorry the person giving you the news wasn't more sensitive. emoticon emoticon

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PALMTREEGIRL1 5/5/2010 9:19AM

    You're right Dee, I hadn't read this one.....hummmmmm.....another curve ball from good old life. Pisser category for sure!

One time I had to take a blood test because I had unprotected sex. It came back undetermined if I had HIV. I had to wait 6 or 8 weeks to re-test. That was the longest period of time in my life....The re-test showed negative but my point is, that 8 weeks - could I do anything about it - no - did worrying change it - no - did worrying make it go away - no - did worrying make it worse - yes - I made a decision to not think about it and as soon as I could, I was re-tested.

I suggest you proceed with what you need to do - have the rest of your skin looked at because it will make you feel better and try to get the appt. sooner if you can. (ask to be called if there is a cancellation). That's about all you can do - any worrying is futile (easy for me to say).

Oh, one more thing - pamper yourself!

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JLITT62 5/5/2010 5:28AM

    Crying doesn't mean you aren't strong -- quite the opposite, it means you're allowing yourself to feel, and that IS being strong. I know this has got to be terrifying, but you are strong, and I think you're going to be just fine. You wouldn't have been if you hadn't followed your instincts!

Big hugs & vibes for a clean removal.

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MNABOY 5/4/2010 10:18PM

    It is natural to have the concerns you are experiencing in this situation. Great that you moved to have the work done so timely. You are in my prayer for strength and healing.

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TINKMCD 5/4/2010 8:00PM

    Oh, Deirdre. Of *course* you're frightened and weepy. I'd be worried about you if you *didn't* react emotionally to such news--particularly when it was delivered with such insensitivity and with no attention to providing you with empowering information.

Let yourself feel whatever you need to feel, and trust that when you're done feeling it, you'll square your shoulders and get on with *this* battle.

Meanwhile, know that we're all here for you.

Sending you love, light, and hope.

--Tink from Blue Squad

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 5/4/2010 6:20PM

    I am so sorry to hear that you must go through this. I have been there (not skin cancer but a malignant cyst) and I know how hard the waiting and uncertainty is, much harder than dealing with whatever the facts turn out to be once you have them all. If you can, don't let yourself think about it while you wait. That is not being weak. That is actually the strongest thing you can do, since thinking about it won't change or help anything and will, in fact, wear you down. Tell your thoughts -- "not now; we'll deal with it when we know what we must deal with." And then think about something else. Be firm and persistent. Go for a run. Play with your dog. Dance. Do something you really love that you have been putting off.

You are strong. You will be able to cope with whatever you must cope with. And you will do it with grace.
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/4/2010 6:22:35 PM

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LYNNES6 5/4/2010 5:26PM

    Squamous cell carcinoma are scary words to string together. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. I am so glad you took care of your nuisance cyst and the doctor found the nasty stuff.

Your blogs are filled with life and joy. You can live through this challenge with life and joy. A friend of mine always says, "I'm not going to let the enemy steal my joy."

You and your doctors are in my prayers. It's okay to cry.



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WORKINGSTIFF 5/4/2010 4:30PM

    You're in my thoughts and prayers. Consider the situation a blessing in that you found out what you needed to in time.

Never think that your inner sense isn't what you need to listen to.

My best to you! Cry if you need to; even the strong shed tears now and then.

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MSWEEZER 5/4/2010 3:18PM

    It is good you got it addressed and catching early. You are strong and healthy. I agree with the others, the "C" word is not a pleasant one any way you look at it but until you know more, save your energy. A good cry is always in order. Your Spark friends are here for you!!!

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TUFFYBIRD 5/4/2010 3:15PM

    The word 'carcinoma' terrifies us all. I would react exactly the same way you are, and the waiting would drive me stark raving mad. However, it sounds like Mary 1313 and KAT have both had personal experiences with this, so hopefully their advice will help you feel a little better. In the meantime know that the rest of us care about you and wish only the best.

Please keep us informed.

emoticon emoticon

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    Aww, hugs for you, Dee! I am confident you will find your fierceness as you deal with this!


- Sunny

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MARY1313 5/4/2010 2:06PM

    this would be bad if your instincts hadn't kicked in, but you are smart enough to insist instead of letting some one pooh pooh your needs and wants! Good for you! My ex has had untold squamas cell carcinomas removed and it's only bad if you don't get them taken care of. I know this is scary. chin up, dry your eyes. what a lousy person that was that called you. Time to find a better dermatologist!


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PORGY_58 5/4/2010 12:40PM

    Keep your chin up and know that your friends will keep you in our thoughts and prayers while you wait ...

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FITKAT2010 5/4/2010 12:35PM

    You took charge of your health and you did great. Yes, there is a procedure called Moes that is done-pricey if you don't have insurance. I've had 2 such surgeries.

Get this handled asap. No biggie unless it isn't taken care of.

You are fine. All you need is some emoticon emoticon

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MSPLACEDAGAIN 5/4/2010 12:18PM

    Hang in there! And you are right, it is lucky that you took care of this. I would want to have an overall look-see. Perhaps the specialist will do that too. Keep us posted, you are in my thoughts.


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PHEBESS 5/4/2010 12:04PM

    Wow, I hope you get good news! Please keep us posted!

And yeah, sometimes we have to insist that drs check things out - I find too often that male drs write off women as "complainers" when we really have legitimate medical issues! So good for you for insisting!

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Would someone please tell my left brain to shut up?

Sunday, May 02, 2010

When I signed up for the Galloway training session and then the Galloway seminar, my intent was to train for a half-marathon - San Antonio in November. As the day drew near for the kickoff meeting, my runs slackened off due to other priorities intervening. That's life. So when I headed out for my run Friday afternoon, it had been ten days, and I was concerned. Sure enough, it was a rough time. There are a lot of reasons why this happened - if I look at it logically - but I suspect a lot of it had to do with expectations (read fears.)

When Saturday morning finally arrived (I've been waiting since February for this day), we started with an 'organizational' meeting and pancake breakfast. Not exactly what I had expected, but so it goes. I'll have to admit to being totally intimidated, and all we'd done was eat!

With an hour to kill between the meeting and the start of the seminar, I sat in my car to read some of the material I'd received. There I discovered that our schedule, if followed, will have me able to run a marathon by the time of the Houston Marathon next January. I headed back in for the seminar, where I found Jeff Galloway in an upstairs meeting room with one other person. We sat and chatted for about fifteen minutes until the others arrived, and he assured me that no, I wasn't too old to start, and yes, I would be able to do this. It seems that out of some 250,000 who have signed up for these training sessions, they know of 100,000 who have successfully completed marathons, and that includes folks who literally went from the couch to a marathon in six months. Well, I'm no couch potato so I should be able to do this.

So here it is: I'm training for a marathon. There, I've said it.

I enjoyed the right brain 'thinking' yesterday, and envisioned myself doing this. It's really just like SP: trust the process and you'll get there.

I was plagued with dreams last night in which I lost things and in which I was expected to do for others, but they weren't there for me. A disturbing bunch of dreams.

I took advantage of driving my daughter to work this morning to go run at my newly discovered location. Today was the first time I would truly try Galloway's run-walk-run method. Well, the blasted left brain kicked in and all I could focus on was how terrible I felt, how much my neck hurt, how much trouble I was having with my Gymboss (yes, another new toy) and how anxious I was for this to be over, and oh how glad I was that I only had to run for 30 minutes today.

So it's time to tell my left brain to just shut up, let me enjoy the process. Let me envision each new week's achievement and go for it. Let me envision the totality of the achievement and not focus on each blasted step along the way. I want to enjoy each of these steps, not dread them.

And enough of the dreams in which no one is there for me, because that's not the reality. You've all shown it time and again.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LISANANCY 5/4/2010 8:46AM

    Here's to you enjoying your success, Take that Left Brain, just relax and go for the ride. emoticon

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PALMTREEGIRL1 5/3/2010 9:13AM

    You can do it and you'll love doing it, too!

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MARY1313 5/3/2010 12:14AM

    Turn up your music when you are doing this and don't let your brain have half a word in edgewise. You are doing a great thing for yourself! You can do this, I know you want to do this, so let yourself do it.


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LIBBYFITZ 5/2/2010 8:10PM


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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 5/2/2010 7:45PM

    Of course you can do it! We all struggle from time to time with our left brain-- as you can see from this blog I wrote last summer, about two weeks after I "graduated" from Getting Started Running and began training for the Austin Marathon:


You are in great shape and you love to run. What more do you need? Just some time.

Comment edited on: 5/2/2010 7:46:25 PM

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ISLANDGIRL2013 5/2/2010 4:33PM

    I think your left brain will settle down once you get back into running consistently. Where it feels good to run and you're enjoying the journey.

I hope you got the Gymboss up and running (hahaha small joke). I love mine!

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MERRYFJL 5/2/2010 3:42PM

    What a great opportunity to have a one on one with Galloway! You know he would tell you to shut that left brain up and that you can do this!

You should check out a podcast called the Extra Mile Experiment. They are a group of runners using Galloways method for fall marathons. And there have been two interviews from Galloway on the show and I expect more.

Here's the website though I get it through I-tunes.

I find that listening to the podcasts help me focus on something other than the.... my neck hurts, my legs are dead, can I really do this... internal dialogue.

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LYNNES6 5/2/2010 3:00PM

    Okay, D's left brain, it's time for you to take a break. Or join forces with D's right brain to let her accomplish her newest goal.

emoticon on the decision to train for a marathon. emoticon The San Antonio run will be good training for the January run.

Keep up the good work.


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DEE797 5/2/2010 1:57PM

    Okay Left Brain be quiet. Dee you can do anything you set your mind too and I know you can do this. Good for you in looking over the materials and talking it out with Galloway. Just take it one step at a time. emoticon

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TUFFYBIRD 5/2/2010 1:41PM

    The walk/run technique (a.k.a. wogging) really is effective.

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STLRZGRRL 5/2/2010 12:15PM

    Hush, D's Left brain.

It's NOT your turn.


*This is my finger-waggling emoticon...

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JLITT62 5/2/2010 11:56AM

    I think probably the only sure thing about running is that there will be bad runs. Hopefully, the good runs make up for the bad ones.

I get the whole accomplishment thing, but I just never really get why anyone would want to run for 26+ miles. What I like about running is how I feel afterwards -- and I can't imagine feeling all that great after running a marathon.

Sorry to be Debby Downer! Well, we're all different and what motivates each and every one of us is unique. I have absolutely no doubt you can do this, and I'll cheer you every step of the way -- just don't ask me to run with you!

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38BABYGIRL 5/2/2010 11:49AM

    Ok... "Left Brain, that's enough out of you!" We are all here for you... always. That's one of my favorite things about Spark people. FYI... my first audition for "Chicago" is tomorrow night... say a little prayer.

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MSWEEZER 5/2/2010 11:31AM

    I have no doubt you are able and I'm with you in spirit. I plan to try to do this on my own from the info I've gotten online. I will go out today and try a 3/1 split. My DH is even joining me which surprised the hell out of me.

I, however, am focused on running a 5k. I know I can walk it and a 1/2 marathon so once I get the 5k run accomplished, then I'll go from there. Wish my schedule would allow me to get into a 'formal' training of sorts but it won't and the temps are not condusive to me being out in them. I can't do the heat. Not even gonna kid myself into that one.

You will do great and your mind will quiet and you'll show it whose boss. Keep us posted!!!

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Lots of challenges, excitement, realizations and lessons learned.

Friday, April 30, 2010

I didn't feel the euphoria this time. Although by all accounts, the dance camp was a huge success, I was almost detached by the time it ended. In truth, while being very involved all weekend long, I also observed what was going on with myself all weekend. Regrettably, most of the pictures of me reflect this: almost a dead-pan instead of the usual grin.

This Kochavim was fraught with challenges, starting with the volcanic ash that stranded one of my teachers in London where he lives. We agonized for a week beforehand but the earliest he could have gotten a flight out was Sunday, the day it ended. As this was going on, I came up with a contingency plan to make certain everything that needed to be taught would be handled.

Then on Wednesday, another teacher (and my evening DJ) called me at 4 pm to tell me he was going to miss his flight as he was stuck in traffic. Oh, and he hadn't been able to find the mic he was to bring. After getting him off the phone, I rescheduled his flight for the next morning, called him back and sent him home for the evening. I then got online, found the mic we needed, arranged overnight shipping to Wimberley, after making sure UPS would be able to find the location. All it takes is money, right?

So it seems I can handle challenges. But I knew that. What I didn't realize is that I could do it calmly, almost as a matter of fact.

I also discovered that I can be fierce when I choose to be. A week before camp, the director informed me they'd changed their rules about meal times, requesting that I rearrange my schedule. I pushed back, and would have stood my ground if I hadn't been able to rearrange my schedule. But I pick my battles and this wasn't one I had to win.

The next day, just six days before the event, and about six weeks later than I usually get it, the revised menu arrived. I only expected the one change I had requested, but the new menu was entirely different. Given the number of lactose intolerant and vegetarians in the crowd, it was not acceptable. This battle I fought and won handily.

Thursday finally arrives. I get confirmation my DJ is at the gate and so is his plane. Good news! I arrive at the camp, meet with the director, and discover that the dance floor we bought the previous year has been attacked by termites. I made a beeline for the dance hall, and notice that one of the panels dead center is crunchy: if you step on the damaged part, you'll go right through. I seek out the director and insist the floor be taken apart and the panel removed. This is a multi-hour job, but we can't take a chance. Another battle won.

In the meantime, just to make matters interesting, I get a call from my daughter-in-law and find out my son has been hospitalized in Las Vegas where he went for a 'guys weekend'. She's headed out on the next flight. It's a good thing I can handle stress!

Fast forward to Saturday night, and only one of the teachers (out of four) is on the dance floor. One of the 'requirements' of a teacher is that he or she be on the floor dancing with the participants. One in particular is AWOL, sitting in the next room and talking with two young dancers. So I head in there to see if everything is OK and to find out what's going on. He assures me he's only been gone two hours (!) and that's he's teaching the two girls' some line dances. I thank him for doing so and remind him there are more than two dancers at this camp. Much to my surprise he agrees with me, and for the rest of the evening is seen on the dance floor where he needed to be. I'm stunned to discover that one can have difficult conversations calmly and that they yield results. I mean, I'd always been told that, but didn't know I could do it.

And it continues, as I'm still have billing discussions with the director. The jury is still out on what the result will be, but I'm saying what needs to be said rather than just retreating. I'm being fierce!

And the biggest surprise of all is that I'm creative. Don't get me wrong, I've always done things like sewing, knitting, quilting, oh yes, dancing, but I've never considered that creative because I'm merely following directions. My contention has always been that anyone can follow directions. The only creativity I allowed myself to claim is creativity with time: managing to fit a lot of activity in too little time.

This year, as every year, I came up with a theme for the Saturday party - dancing among the stars. I asked all dancers to send in a picture of themselves at age 5 or 6, mounted the pictures on gold or blue stars, and arranged to have them posted on a wall with prizes awarded to those who recognized the most. Everyone was asked to dress for the theme, with interpretation left to the individual. Everyone loved it! And as I looked around the room at all the decorations, including all the pictures of dancers from prior years (everyone loves to tour the room to see what's new that year), I acknowledged that I am creative. I'm still not artistic, and leave it to others to take my ideas and arrange them in space, but I create the concept. I found the hot pink lights that surround the dance floor, I ordered the bandannas we handed out the year we had a Texas theme, I planned the dinner music for each theme night, came up with the concept for the T-shirt we ordered, for the water bottle we handed out last year. I'm not artistic but I have ideas - yes, I am creative. You have no idea what a huge thing it is for me to acknowledge this.

Perhaps I'm not euphoric because there is so much for me to take in.

Although there were moments when I allowed the joy to show through......

(Oh, no clear diagnosis but it seems my son suffered from pancreatitis, and it responded to antibiotics.)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWMS48 5/4/2010 8:29AM

    What a wonderful feeling to discover new aspects of yourself like creativity and fierceness. I'm sure they were in you all along, but now you are acknowledging them in yourself.

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TINKMCD 5/1/2010 3:48PM

    Wow, Deirdre! You were fierceness (and creativity, and self-awareness) personified!

No doubt you're still reeling (pun intended) a bit from the aftermath of the weekend and all the planning, troubleshooting, etc., beforehand.

Give yourself a few days to rest and recuperate, and I'll bet you'll be suffused with pride at what you pulled off--and what you learned in the process!



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38BABYGIRL 5/1/2010 2:50PM

    I read LOTS of Fierceness in this blog! Good for you! emoticon

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PATTYSH 4/30/2010 7:41PM

    Gosh---I am so impressed! This sounds like a HUGE endeavor, and that it was a HUGE success! Way to go! Give yourself a pat on the back, and big yippee and go have a glass of wine!
You deserve it. Whew---its over!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEE797 4/30/2010 6:17PM

    WOOHOO you did it! emoticon And your fierceness is showing through as needed. So glad to hear your son is doing well.

emoticon emoticon

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LYNNES6 4/30/2010 4:50PM

    I enjoyed reading this blog from start to finish. You are one busy lady. You definitely earned blue ribbons emoticon for being calm, fierce, determined, flexible--literally and figuratively--and CREATIVE. Isn't it wonderful to discover new attributes about ourselves?

Beyonce' has already taken Sasha Fierce. Deirdre Fierce?

So glad your son is okay and recovering. Have a great weekend!


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JLITT62 4/30/2010 3:11PM

    Wimberley! Dang -- so close to where I used to live -- far South Austin, which some of my friends joked was north San Antonio. Altho it's clear we would never have had time to meet, it just brings back memories. I really loved Winberley . . .

Anyway. People think I'm really creative, but like you, I'm good at following directions. Occasionally I do get some really great ideas. I think we're both probably too hard on ourselves.

Hope your son feels better soon.

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TUFFYBIRD 4/30/2010 2:58PM

    No wonder you felt detached ... a few days like that would put anyone on overload! It sounds and looks, like a very successful weekend. You clearly did a great job and people obviously had a wonderful time.

BTW - just from reading your blogs over the last few months - I had no doubt that you could be fierce if the situation required it emoticon and creative and all those other things too. emoticon

I'm glad your son's pancreatitis responded to antibiotics. It is incredibly painful! Mr. T had it a few years ago and he was so sick!!!

Comment edited on: 4/30/2010 3:00:04 PM

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MSWEEZER 4/30/2010 2:45PM

    Congratulations on a job clearly well done. You are by all counts fearless, tactful, and creative. emoticon emoticon

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Kochavim: a snapshot

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

For the sixth year in a row, I've organized an Israeli dance camp weekend held in the Texas Hill Country. Every year it's attracted approximately 70 dancers from Texas and the rest of the country. Unlike other Israeli dance camps, we don't invite the choreographers to come teach, we invite some of the best teachers and dance session leaders. Kochavim means stars, and at this camp, the dancers are the stars!

In honor of our five years (and six camps), we asked the dancers to send in a picture of themselves at age 5 or 6. We created a wall of stars, and had everyone try to identify them.

What a weekend! I'm still so exhausted I'm going to keep this short, but did want to share the excitement.

We danced.....

and danced some more.....

We rested......

but clearly not enough!

We had a pool party and went down the monster slides

We played Israeli dance Jeopardy....

and tried to identify all the Stars!

Lots of challenges, lots of excitement, lots of realizations and lots of lessons learned.

But all of that is for another blog.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMITTY4RL 4/18/2014 5:29PM

    Dee, this looks like so much fun--and a way to keep up culturally, too. I can see why you might be exhausted, though! Love the photos ;-).

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38BABYGIRL 5/1/2010 2:49PM

    Loved your photos!

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DEE797 4/30/2010 6:24PM

    Looks like you all had a GREAT TIME! CONGRATS on putting it all together.

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LIBBYFITZ 4/29/2010 9:40AM

    Thanks for the photos'! wow!

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DEUSMACHINA 4/28/2010 11:48PM

    LOL! Love to pic of the folks passed out on the table!

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    Thanks for sharing! I think you and I might have simliar senses of humor! :)

- Sunny

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PALMTREEGIRL1 4/28/2010 5:41PM


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JLITT62 4/28/2010 1:51PM

    Sounds like such a good time -- even if it's exhausting!

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TUFFYBIRD 4/28/2010 12:41PM

    What a fun weekend! I love the pics ... and you look fantastic, Dee.

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WENDYSPARKS 4/28/2010 10:49AM

    FUN!!! Pictures look GREAT!! :)

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LAURIE5658 4/28/2010 10:45AM

    This is so cool! I love the pic of everyone pooped out at the picnic table.

emoticon emoticon

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MSWEEZER 4/28/2010 10:43AM

    How fun indeed. Thanks for sharing!!!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/28/2010 10:39AM

    This looks like so much fun. Great photos!
emoticon emoticon

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Texas wildlife

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I've complained about the things that go bump in the night,

but I have to admit that running has given me a new appreciation for Texas wildlife.

I grumbled some last Saturday because I had to take my daughter to work, when what I really wanted was to go for an early run. On my previous run I'd seen a blue heron in the bayou.

When I got out to Sugar Land to drop her off, I saw a trail running along the water course. I'm not sure what to call that water course, it's not a lake, it's not a bayou, maybe it's a creek. Who knows! In any event, I decided to go run there.

As I worked my way around, I became aware of some interesting black birds that had scarlet patches at the top of their wings, on what I guess I'd refer to as a shoulder (do birds have shoulders?) It was like a wide red swatch, with either a white or yellow thinner line below, and the bottom half of the wing was black. I tried to take a picture but only had my Blackberry so you can't really tell.

A little bit farther on, I heard a large bellow and looked down to see a huge bullfrog sitting half submerged. My Blackberry was NOT up to the task, so no picture!

All in all, it was a very interesting run.

As I drove in to my subdivision yesterday after work, I noticed two turkey buzzards sitting on top of a house. There was a car behind me so I didn't stop to take a picture. There they sat, just surveying the neighborhood! I bet they were looking for that possum that was up the tree in my back yard....

After yesterday's run, I came home to find my youngest sitting with her laptop in front of the TV. I went in to change clothes only to hear her yell at me to come back, there's a bird in the house. Sure enough, a small black and yellow bird had gotten in and was perched on top of an antique Chinese wall hanging. That bird had good taste!

Not sure what to do, I left it alone. But a while later, another Texas critter became concerned. The one with the bows.

So I opened the window to try to pry the screen off to allow the bird to fly off, but I didn't succeed in getting that blasted screen off. In the meantime, the bird is sitting on top of the window as I'm pushing the sash up, and Sophie is bouncing and barking. I reached up, and the bird allowed me to pick it up. I carried it outside and released it on a bush by the window.

I've always been told that the amount of wildlife in an area is a clue to the health of the environment. By that measure, I'd say my neighborhood is still pretty healthy.

Oh, I almost forgot: my house is suffering yet another invasion of tree roaches. Now I know what you think, but these things come in no matter what you do, and it doesn't matter how clean you keep your house. Not that I do.....

When I first moved to Texas, I was horrified by these things. Let's face it, they're big enough to saddle and ride! And I'll never forget the first time I stepped on one in the middle of the night.

These giants come in if it's too wet out, if it's too dry out, anything's an excuse. All I can say is that it must be tree roach season. But I don't think my house is all that healthy an environment, because a lot of them are lying on their backs with legs up, and I stopped exterminating fifteen years ago! There's still that much residual pesticide in my house?

OK, here goes. Not for the squeamish!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAMONA 4/26/2010 5:15AM

    Regarding ILLBESTRONG:

NOTE: This person STOLE another Spark's pictures and text... see her comment and check out HER page:

"Take my picture down and remove the text you stole from my spark page and others' spark pages, I recognized the side columns from some of my spark friends pages. I do not understand why you would steal these things and use my picture as your own. It's creepy, please stop now. Also I am reporting you to the site administrators for theft and harassment." ABSTRACTBUG


... scroll to the bottom of 'her' page... in the bottom right corner there is a link to report an inappropriate page. Click on it and leave a link to your own blog, where the inappropriate post was left.

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LN7777 4/25/2010 10:51AM

    I enjoyed reading your blog. In Florida we have bugs big enough to ride too. LOL

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38BABYGIRL 4/24/2010 11:16AM

    Neat blogs. Love the pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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CJROMB 4/23/2010 2:20AM

    What a cool blog! I love observing what's going on around me when I go for a run. So many amazing, interesting things to check out, eh? Thanx for reminding me!

And thanx for the relaxation goodie. I've been very scarce on SP lately because of the demands on my time, but I really appreciated it when you sent it. In fact, it made me turn ON relaxation music. :)

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MSPLACEDAGAIN 4/21/2010 9:53AM

    I remember my first tree roach. I was *elected* by my room mates to kill it. I approached it with a shoe and screamed like a girl when it started to fly! I turned around to run and discovered they had run out first and shut the door, trapping me inside with it!

Now I am matter of fact, and usually my Texas cats get to them first!

Thanks on the story and pictures!


Comment edited on: 4/21/2010 9:53:40 AM

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 4/20/2010 11:23PM

    Ah, tree roaches. I still remember the first one I saw when I moved to Texas about 38 years ago. Actually, what I remember was it's taking off in flight. I think I screamed. We had a lot in the house during last year's drought, mostly in my utility porch where I think they come in via the washing machine drain. I was remarking the other day that I hadn't seen any for a long time. And then last night I saw one up on top of my 140 gallon fish tank, daintily sipping. The cats do dispatch a lot of them.

Do you ever run in Memorial Park? We drive through the park on the way to the Wortham Center when we come up for the opera and I see a lot of runners and walkers -- looks like a nice place to run.

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TUFFYBIRD 4/20/2010 7:43PM

    Hey ... I posted a comment earlier ... where did it go? SP seems to have eaten it! It didn't really say anything other than what everybody else said, so I won't repeat.

All I can say is that I've never seen a tree roach; I do know the other kind though, and have to say I'm not fond of them! Red-winged blackbirds, on the other hand, I love! We get a lot of them here (especially in early spring) and they always cheer me up.

I'm glad you're enjoying your runs. That makes it all worthwhile.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 4/20/2010 5:50PM

    I'm not sure Palmetto bugs can fly, but these rascals certainly can.

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CUBANJELLY 4/20/2010 5:42PM

    We call them Palmetto bugs, cats help...

Today my husband saw a hummingbird fly by our door, I missed it, of course.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 4/20/2010 4:35PM

    I'm told the little yellow and black bird is either a female Yellow Warbler or a female Hooded Warbler.

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PALMTREEGIRL1 4/20/2010 3:50PM

    The black bird with the red bar - Red-winged Blackbird - the first sign of spring in Ohio - Love them and have tons.

Possum - a common sight in Ohio....as are the Turkey Buzzards or Vultures. They come back to Hinkley Ohio on March 15 every year - a national event to Hinkley-ites!

I've been invaded by teeny tiny ants - can't get rid of them....pisser!

I just love wild life - add coyotes to my list.

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SEKSUNSHINE 4/20/2010 3:35PM

    So glad you are enjoying your runs and the wonder that comes with them in and out of the house.

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JLITT62 4/20/2010 1:48PM

    The only possums I saw while I lived in TX were roadkill -- just like those were the only armadillos I ever saw.

We had palmetto bugs -- I don't think they're quite the same thing as tree roaches? Those look even bigger, and God know the palmetto bugs creeped me out!

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TINKMCD 4/20/2010 12:45PM

    Heavens, that tree roach is bigger than my cat!

Thanks for the guided tour of Texas wildlife--even the kind with the bows.


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MNABOY 4/20/2010 12:02PM

    Nature is a magical kingdom that we get to play in.

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BAILEYS7OF9 4/20/2010 11:50AM

    OMG emoticonthat is hideously huge and I would be screaming!!!

We deal w/ Box Elder Bugs (size of fire flies) and the stupid stink bugs (orange lady bugs that stink when you kill them).

Makes me laugh, the other day I squished a bug and got bug guts on my finger and I am grossing out. My BF laughs at me and said 'I don't believe you. You can stick your hand inside an animal carcass but don't like bug guts.' I just looked at him and said, 'but the guts are gone!'

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LYNNES6 4/20/2010 11:45AM

    You turned lemons (not being able to do the early morning run) into lemonade--sugar free, of course (running on the Sugar Land trail). Love your pics.

I live in Houston and know those giant tree roaches well. It's been suggested we call them "pets" and name them. emoticon
Even though I hate to kill any living thing, these are just not compatible with my home decor. Spraying them with hairspray enables me to give them a proper burial in the toilet.

Thanks for an enjoyable blog!

Green Squad

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AQUAJANE 4/20/2010 11:42AM

    Love the marsh story with the red-winged blackbirds. I enjoy walking Tara along our nearby creek, which often has egrets and herons and usually the red-wings and various ducks. I have two tiny prefab ponds with a bullfrog and couple of goldfish. Fortunately, Tara doesn't consider them a snack, nor do our nearby waterbirds (perhaps scared off by the pink flamingo lawnart left by the previous homeowner!).

Sophie's reaction to the probable chickadee reminded me of Tara's yesterday as I tried to connect my laptop in an outdoor wi-fi area. A sparrow hopped along behind the bench and Tara lifted her head to watch. Clearly, she's not a retriever! I also don't know what she'll do if our neighborhood possums come back. My previous poodles went crazy when it foraged in the trellis by the front windows, but Tara only barked at me and other dogs last summer. And I wonder if your roaches are like our waterbugs. Definitely creepy to see on the sidewalk during night walks, though thankfully Tara doesn't try to eat them!

Comment edited on: 4/20/2010 11:51:08 AM

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TUFFYBIRD 4/20/2010 10:32AM

    I've never seen a tree roach ... we don't have them here ... they don't sound any more pleasant than the (other) kind. Those I have seen!

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AMYSUE20 4/20/2010 10:24AM

    I lived in Houston! I went to Sam Houston State University and taught in Spring..I miss it very much....(now in Florida) yeeehaw and keep on running ;)

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LIBBYFITZ 4/20/2010 9:58AM

    Looks like a great place to walk/run.

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LINDAKAY228 4/20/2010 9:56AM

    Loved the blog but I would never get adjusted to the roaches. I can handle spiders but roaches are my phobia! But the rest of the area looks absolutely beautiful!

By the way, I've heard that roaches would be the only living thing to survive a nuclear war.

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SHEDDING123 4/20/2010 9:52AM

    Nice trail!!! Adorable woofer.
And how sweet that the bird let you carry him out.

Nice diversion. Now I gotta get back to work!
Love those Red Winged Black Birds- they love marshy areas, have a song that's sort of like brrrrrrrrrrr-ing (with up turn to song on the "ing") emoticon emoticon

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