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"Just a Rat" (applicable to all furbabies)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Just a Rat" Written by Richard A. Biby

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a rat," or , "that's a lot of money for just a rat." They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a rat."

Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a rat." Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a rat" but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a rat" and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a rat" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day..."Just a rat," brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust and pure unbridled joy. "Just a rat" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person...

So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a rat" but the embodiment of all the fond memories of the past and the pure joy of the moment. "Just a rat" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a rat," but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a man or woman." So the next time you hear the phrase "just a rat", just smile ... because they "just don't understand."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUEBEE42 9/26/2009 10:28AM

    Well said! *high five*

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EM4488 9/23/2009 4:27PM

    Love this!!

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JLITT62 9/23/2009 3:56PM

    I always feel sad for the people who can't understand our bond with animals, because I know they've just never felt that unconditional love, that deep connection -- and their lives are poorer for it.

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RHINODOG 9/23/2009 2:09PM

    Right on! I have some relations who describe me as just an in-law.

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IAMPREACHER 9/23/2009 1:48PM

    Little furry friends! How cute! I have 2 fury friends, but they are your fury friend's enemies. I have 2 cats for kids.

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SCHWINNER! 9/23/2009 1:32PM

    Hear, hear!! emoticon (that's me raising my glass to you and your ratties!)

I get that from people too, who don't understand the frogs. "What's the point of them?" "They just sit in the cage??" I even get the same things about cats - I have no kids; these ARE my kids, people!!

Thanks for sharing that, it's great!

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New Ratties! Say 'hi' to Prairie.

Monday, September 21, 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFzogwmbeKg

Video of me, my SO and Prairie, one of the new family members. :)
She is super adorable and wants to stick her head into Aaron's mouth.
At the very end of the video you can see her almost get me! She grabs your lip and pulls down to open your mouth and then wants to go spelunking! Super rodentist!

Enjoy.
:)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUEBEE42 9/26/2009 10:31AM

    She's GORGEOUS!

Even though she's a rescue girlie, she's VERY well socialized! No fear! Love it! :D

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MANDYCOOT 9/22/2009 6:56PM

    Eeee lookit the badgerface! Prairie is totally adorable. She's a Pabu-style rodentist. Watch out for teeth marks on your upper lip. ;) Aaron is so skinny too! Wow! You guys are such a hot couple. :)

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HEZLIZZIE 9/22/2009 1:51PM

    I've seen this video at least 3 times through and I still can't get over how fit and beautiful you are, my friend. It makes me miss you so much more!

(oh, and say 'hi' to Aaron and your new fuzzy kiddo Prairie for me, okay?)

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FUN50146 9/22/2009 8:18AM

    Wow, he's really cute. And he likes animals too. How cool. Oh, are we supposed to be admiring the RAT? Never mind... emoticon

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JLITT62 9/22/2009 7:44AM

    Good lord, she looks huge! Are they all that big? Don't know much about rats.

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SCHWINNER! 9/22/2009 7:44AM

    Ahhhhh she is too cute! I love her markings - beautiful! I've wanted a rat for so long :) Congrats on your new addition!

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DOLMADEZ 9/22/2009 12:15AM

    Wow! She's very active! I'm guessing she's in good health?

Nice shirt, by the way. :)

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RHINODOG 9/21/2009 10:38PM

    I agree, she is adorable. Have you known her for a while, it looks like she is very comfortable with you.

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I swear, my middle name should be 'too much, too soon'.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sooooo... I've got another (mild) running owwie.
Because, again, I pushed it too much. You'd think I'd have learned by now that that's a Bad Idea but I guess I have trouble tempering my enthusiasm.

We were doing really well training for the 10K. We started small as my PT suggested and started building slow. We were doing 3.25, 3.5, 3.75 sorts of weeks. Small quarter mile jumps were working well for us. The problem started on vacation, honestly. We went for a run on our first full day at the cabin and intended to jump to a 4 mile run. Since we couldn't map the road we were running on without internet, we decided to base it on our usual pace. We tend to run easy runs at about 11 min miles so we set a watch to beep at 22.5 minutes so we could turn around and head back to the cabin. We figured 45 minutes would give us approximately 4 miles at 11 min/miles. All good. We thought we were VERY clever.

Run went well. We were a bit shaky/tired afterwards but felt good. The next day I ran again (since I'd gone over calories a bit the night before and was a bit wigged - yeah, I know, silly). I ran to the turn around point (assuming 2 miles) then did run/walk intervals back home. Figured I did about 2.75/3 that run.

Later in the week, we drove to the Bear Center and Wolf Center in Ely proper and as we headed out, I decided to use the car's odometer to track how far we'd actually gone. I zero the thing out and watch as it ticks... 1 mile, 1.5, 2... it finally stops at 2.3ish and we realize we'd actually run 4.5 miles. In 45 minutes. This also means my run the next day was more like 3.5 than the 2 or three I assumed.

This is where I started being DUMB. I think "well, we already jumped mileage to 4.5 - might as well just go to 5 now!" So, on Saturday we did a run back at home. Aaron wasn't properly prepped for the run so he stopped at a bit over a 5K distance. I was DETERMINED to do 5 (and in at least 11 min/mile speed) so I pressed on. And finished my 5 miles in about 54.5 minutes. YAY. No pain that day/week so I figured things were going well.

Rested Sunday, biked 12 miles Monday and then decided to do a 4.5 mile run (11 min/mile pace) Tuesday night. It was dark, the ground is uneven and it was a relatively long run. About midway through I had mile groin pain right where my thigh attaches to the hip on both sides. It didn't get worse from running so I pressed on. We finished our run and, while I was a bit sore, I wasn't in agony. At worst, it felt like my hip needed to pop. I had to potty and that was WAY more pressing than the leg pain! LOL. Did CT Wednesday - lower impact stuff since my left leg was still a bit sore right at the groin.

Yesterday evening we did a 3.5 mile run since only my left leg was sore and it wasn't bad. It didn't get worse during the run, really, but my right side started to twinge again. Again, it's a tight feeling more than a rip or a tear or a sharp pain. I noticed some knee/foot discomfort on my left side, too, and I assume it's due to my gait being biffed by the groin stuff. I did feel about a 4 level of pain/discomfort after the run. It was alleviated by walking longer and stretching more during cool down.

I'm sore today and have flares of pain (2-4 level) when I would turn over in bed, use my foot to push open doors (I do this a lot, apparently, I now realize!) etc. It's totally the abductor muscles and it feels mild still. I'm taking at least 4 days off running to give the inflammation time to heal and then I'll start back at an easy pace and only around 3.5 miles for the first few runs. If I increase slowly again, I should be able to get back to around 4.5 - 5 miles before the 10K on Oct. 3. I feel like if I can run 5 or 5.5 on a daily run I will be able to manage 6.2 for one day during the race.

I'm seriously bummed, of course, and worried that I won't be able to do the race.
However, I caught this early and wasn't too stupid about running through the pain. It feels better by about 90% after one day off running and didn't get dramatically worse when I ran on it again, so I'm hoping it's a nice mild issue that some rest can help.

I also really need to start doing my PT again. I fell off the wagon and went from 6 days a week, to 4 to 1 to none(!) and I need to keep building strength in my glutes and hips because it's obviously an issue that is causing me troubles. Lesson learned. I'm done being lazy with my PT strength stuff. Just because my stress fracture feels better and the inserts help with 99% of my plantar fasciitis doesn't mean I should stop doing the PT.

Once I do the 10K I think I'm done building mileage.
I love running but I don't love injury. If I can safely do 3-5 mile runs 3-4 times a week without causing injury, I'm content to do so. I'll run 5Ks and be a "short distance" runner if that's what it takes to run without hurting myself. The half marathon can be left to those whose bodies can take it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEZLIZZIE 9/20/2009 10:06AM

    * hugs * I'm sorry to hear about your injury :( It's a good thing that you're so in-tune with your body and are taking care of it with a lot of thought and intention.

I hope that you recover faster than expected, and I know you'll have a great time at the 10K regardless of your finish time!

Are you back into doing your PT exercises/stretches? Is it helping lots?

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EM4488 9/14/2009 2:09PM

    Oh noo too much! Definitely get back to your PT and get on the right track. I'm so sorry you're still not up to par. Don't over do it! And don't over do it b/c you go over calories either! Thats lose-lose!!

I hope you feel better soon!

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JLITT62 9/11/2009 3:33PM

    I have to agree -- worst comes to worst, you walk & run your 10k. It's not the end of the world, and there will be lots more 10ks or 5ks or whatever.

I think you need to get a 10% tattoo. Never up your distance or your speed by more than 10%! Or maybe just put it on your sneaks. And don't forget that it's ok to eat a little bit more now & again -- you don't necessarily need exercise to balance it. You really just can't wipe out an imbalance with more of one or the other, they've got to work in tandem.

Most of all, be well!

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MANDYCOOT 9/11/2009 3:05PM

    Oh no, sorry to hear that! I think we share the same middle name, honestly... On the plus side, isn't it cool to think you're running *less* than you actually did?!

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LAFEMMEDELALUNE 9/11/2009 2:59PM

    Sorry to hear that you are ouchy again. emoticon

I think it's great that you are planning to continue at a pace/distance/etc that is healthy for *you* rather than giving up or worrying about what other people do.

As far as the upcoming race goes...even if you need to cut your runs back between now and then, the worst that can happen is that you will walk a little, right? (Maybe that's easy for me to say, since I am a walker?) You will still cross that finish line a winner!
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Vacation time - goodbye for about a week!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hi folks.

It's FINALLY here! We've had this vacation booked/planned for 8 months (yes, literally) and I'm so completely jazzed that it's finally time to go! *bounces about* *wiggles*

We've rented a cabin in Ely, MN near the Boundary Waters. We're on Burnside Lake and can see the lake (and hear the loons!) from our cabin. It's a really pretty little place with a nice kitchen, two bedrooms and a cute deck. We're in the middle middle of nowhere and you can't hear anything but the wind in the trees, the loons on the lake and the critters in the forest around you.

Another couple who are a friend of ours are coming along, we're bringing all our bikes I'm borrowing a mountain bike from Kristina (Kristina, if Aaron didn't ask you for me, I'm borrowing your bike! Sorry!) since my bike is HUGE and has HUGE baskets and won't fit on the bike rack that Scott and Abby bought. I'm bringing my running shoes and running gear (trail runs, WOOT!) and I'm dragging lappy along so I can do Tae Bo or kbells if the mood strikes.

We're packing only healthyish foods. I'm making an exception for s'more fixings because we have VEGAN marshmallows at work and I haven't had a "cooked over a fire, crispy, melty honest to goodness S'MORE" since I went vegan nearly 6.5 years ago. Perhaps longer, as I didn't eat a lot of smores as an omni and I didn't eat gelatin for most of the four years I was just veg. I'm even making a special trip to a conventional grocer for some non-fancy graham crackers. All the organic/high quality ones have honey. Boo hiss.

I'm a bit worried about getting off routine but I know deep down that I won't let myself go crazy. I plan on staying within calories, getting in 2-3 good length runs and being active while there. I may eat a bit higher in my range (1500-1600ish) but I still intend to stay in range the whole time. I haven't, to my knowledge, eaten over my calories in all the time I've been sparking, I'm not about to start now! We're bringing things like bunny grahams, hummus and pita chips, salsa and (baked, if I can get them) chips, baby carrots, fruit, soygurt, dark chocolate, homemade pickles, popcorn, etc. for good snacks. No things like cakes or cookies or candy bars or candy. Dark chocolate and those vegan marshmallows are the naughtiest I'm letting myself be. Heh.

Going to be doing a lot of vegan camp food... roasted corn, veggie burgers, sandwiches, homemade pizza (mmm), roasted veggie and bean tacos, tofu scramble or nummy oats with dried peaches for brekkies. I'm going to sleep late, stay up late, crochet and knit my BRAINS out (Hez, I'm going to get cracking on that shrug! Ohhhh... and a shawl done on circs. Yeah, trying again with the dang circs! It's even got really basic lace and it's made of homespun, so it'll go fast) and do some fun reading.

As I'm a hopeless addict, I am bringing my laptop so I can watch SG1 eps. I can't go a darn week without DANIEL!!! *sob*

I've got a friend from work watching Jack, Oy and Molly and my sick rats have been dropped off with a rat saavy pal who is cool to medicate them. Of course Eddie and Jake had to get sick right before I left. LAME. Now I'll be worried about them. :/ They are in good hands, though. :)

So, we leave Sunday AM and aren't back until Friday PM. WOO HOO.
Gosh, I need this vacation. Work has just been crazy lately ... not to mention how the Whole Foods boycott is stressing us all out. :(

See you all when I get back!
Have a great week, spark buddies. :)
Cross your fingers that I manage to maintain while getting some R&R.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAXFOCUS 9/3/2009 12:09AM

    Your vacation sounds wonderful! I can just imagine sitting out on the deck in the middle of nowhere listening to loons. Sounds like you have some good food planned and some great activities.

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MANDYCOOT 9/1/2009 4:10PM

    Have fun!! Your planned food sounds amazing, and yay for trail running! Our Boundary Waters vacation was sooo refreshing and awesome. We saw the STARS! It was entrancing. We didn't even do s'mores; we ate all the Dandies on the car ride up, haha.I'm glad we went right when the "John Mackey is teh DEVIL OMG" thing started out, but nobody in Chicago actually cares, fortunately. It's big news in MN?

Sorry about the sick ratties. They'll be well taken care of, though! Enjoy your R&R. :)

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HEZLIZZIE 8/31/2009 10:36AM

    Hope you're having a fabulous time! I love, love, love the Boundary Waters and getting some real, honest-to-goodness peace and quiet. Sigh!

Hooray for starting the shrug - yay for a project for yourself! The homespun lace shawl sounds cozy and beautiful. I'd love to see WIP pictures if you have time.

Enjoy your well earned time off :D

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KVARNLOV 8/30/2009 6:21PM

    I am so glad that you guys are taking this vacation. I would love to do the same, and you can borrow that bike any time (unless I have dibs in it! (: ) I can't wait to see the shrug you make. Enjoy the trip and Whole Foods boycott? You and Aaron will need to explain this to me, when you all get back. HAVE FUN!!! RELAX FURIOUSLY!

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JLITT62 8/30/2009 5:57AM

    You will do awesome, and you will have an awesome time -- I just know it.

I was thinking the other day we need to get ourselves some marshmallows to make s'mores . . . haven't had them since I was a kid. DH was unimpressed, but how could you not enjoy a s'more? I mean, really?

Here's some good vibes for all the animals.

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Sponsors needed! 5K walk to benefit Farm Sanctuary. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

So, I'm doing Farm Sanctuary's Walk for Farm Animals again this year. Farm Sanctuary is an amazing group that does a lot of good work promoting veganism/vegetarianism, rescuing animals from slaughterhouses or other disasters and running tours, cooking classes and other great educational venues out of their two sanctuaries.

I really want to visit FS some day and meet the wonderful volunteers, 'owners' and the animals. They are passionate, compassionate and one of the best animal groups out there. They do not insult or shock, just educate and rescue. They truly are a wonderful organization and I hope this years walk is a record breaker for total donations!

If you'd like to sponsor my walk (any gift is great and the animals appreciate it!) check out my firstgiving page here: http://www.firstgiving.com/leonalioness

For more info on Farm Sanctuary, go here: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEONALIONESS 8/28/2009 12:45AM

    Sept. 19th!

There are like a billion 5K runs that day, too, which is a semi bummer since I can't do a walk and a run due to conflicts... BUT Farm Sanctuary is AMAZING and I've already raised over a hundred bucks for them. YAY.

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KVARNLOV 8/27/2009 9:20AM

    Awesome. You have my donation! When is this walk?

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