The one in the hospital: Spilling over tea/coffee May 2019


If you follow me on Instagram here, you already know that I ended up in the hospital at the beginning of the week. I am basically ok (well, getting better), and if you’re squeamish, you might not want to read on!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date — I have lots to share, as it turns out, none of it running-related.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you I woke up Monday running a low grade temp with the accompanying muscle aches, and nauseous. When we were fairly newly married, I once passed out when I got very dehydrated from being sick. So I was very mindful that even though I just couldn’t eat, I need to stay hydrated — and I absolutely did.

I didn’t feel terrible; I just didn’t feel good. I thought maybe it was something I ate.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that that evening, even though I still wasn’t hungry, I felt I should try to eat something, so I made myself some toast. Only suddenly I got extremely nauseous. I remember turning to go into the bathroom, you know, in case . . . and the next thing I knew I was waking up — not even really sure where I was.

On the floor, as it turns out. Yup, I’d passed out. Mr. Judy was on the phone with 911 and my first reaction was “really???”.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you knew I was going to throw up, so I got to the bathroom (and almost got it all in the toilet). It was about then that the ambulance arrived. They wanted me to sit up & I just couldn’t. It made me nauseous and I just didn’t have the energy.

So I got my first (and hopefully last) ride in an ambulance.

I’m glad I happened to put these socks on Monday morning — sometimes when I’m sick I just stay in slippers (like today) — they made everyone smile & kept me from freezing!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I think the EMT really thought I was having a heart attack, which never really occurred to me. Even though I knew that women’s symptoms are different from men’s, even though Mr. Judy and I had actually just had a discussion about that very topic recently.

I agreed to go to the hospital. Somewhat reluctantly.

BTW, in case you missed my IG post, here are some of the symptoms women tend to experience with heart attacks:

  • Tingling in one/both arms/legs
  • Nausea/vomiting + other heart symptoms
  • Shortness of breath
  • Racing heart
  • Jaw pain
  • Dizziness/light headedness
  • Discomfort chest/back
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Cold sweat

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that my official diagnosis after all the testing was “vasovagal syncope due to viral illness”. Which is a fancy way of saying I fainted because I had a virus. Some unknown virus — not the flu, btw, they tested me for that.

They kept me overnight and gave me fluids — I guess I had gotten dehydrated despite my best efforts, because that seemed to take care of the nausea — other than in the ambulance, they never gave me any anti nausea medication. In retrospect I really don’t think I needed to be admitted, I just needed those fluids, but better safe than sorry right?

So how am I feeling now? Better. Still not eating a whole lot, but I am eating, I am keeping it down, and there have been no other episodes. Very tired, no doubt because I haven’t eaten a whole lot over the last 5 days, but getting better — I haven’t really had the energy to sit up at the desktop before today.

Well, I’m sure I’ll have more to share on the Weekly Run Down, because God knows I have pretty much no activity to share. Go big or go home, right? Definitely hope to never experience anything like that again!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that often fainting can be due to low blood pressure (which was probably the case for me), sight of blood, or some other shock (not the case for me).  It actually runs in the family. My grandfather passed out at my Dad’s wedding, which caused my Dad to go down. My sister almost passed out at hers.

I was born crossed eyed, and when they gave me to my mom after the operation to straighten my eyes, she passed out.

BTW, I posted my runfessions last week here.

Ever fainted?

Ever been in an ambulance?

Ever been in the ER? Just last week I could have said no to two out of three of those questions.

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.


We’re waiting: Spilling over tea/coffee April 2019


For Spring, that is. Wait, wasn’t that my subject last month? Why yes, yes it was — the graphic above is from March!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date — we are already a quarter of the way through the year — what would you like to tell me over your favorite cuppa?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
All your glorious sunshine filled, flowering photos . . . they make me jealous, I can’t lie. Our weather has been rather normal for this time of year, heck, it didn’t even snow on April 1 as it does on many years.

I come alive on the warmer, sunny days. The problem is there’s still so few of them. Broken meet record. At least there is no snow on the ground (at the moment, could still happen but I don’t think it will).

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that a funny thing happened as I started to run again. I was sick — actually much sicker — last year around this time. I didn’t run at all for a couple of weeks. When I started to run, I had a sudden (short) bout with runner’s knee. I realized that I needed to go back to shorter run intervals; I’d been working on longer intervals before I got sick.

Fast forward to 2019: on a whim I’ve been running without walk breaks at all after very little running in the month of March. At a normal pace for me. In fact, Monday’s pace was actually speedy for me (it was also only 2 miles, so don’t get too excited).

So far, knock on wood, my body is feeling okay. No runner’s knee, at least not yet. The only difference I can really think of is that there wasn’t actually any week this year that I didn’t run at all. I kept up with my Yoga and Pilates except for the one weekend I was really sick. Perhaps it’s just the prolonged period of recovery?

I really don’t know, and I suspect that as I run longer, I’ll revert back to my run/walk — endurance is always my weak point. For now, though, I’ll just run . . . unless I don’t.

Mr. Judy has a grow light on it that’s why it’s purple. Strong like Giz?

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that the acorn that was supposed to become an oak tree (someday) our vet sent us on Gizmo’s passing did . . . nothing. Literally for months. I got tired of watering the damn thing, so I stopped.

Well, the above does not look like a weed to me. And there’s nothing else sprouting in there. It’s awfully delicate, though, no doubt due to lack of water. I’ve begun to water it again, but my gut is saying that much like Chester’s tree, it’s just not meant to be.

He stares at me all the time. Hunts for me if he doesn’t know where I am. Yet rarely lays on me.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that after almost 3 years, I’ve noticed that most of the time Bandit only lays on us when he wants something: food or a bathroom break, in general. He often lays on Mr. Judy while I get the dogs’ breakfasts ready. Which seems so wrong to me.

There were a couple of days when Mr. Judy slept a little late, and Bandit actually sat on me for a change. Which of course was counterproductive to what he actually wanted: food.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you forget skirts, at the moment I’m still just waiting to wear capris!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
Thanks to Kim @ Kookyrunner for my most recent aha! moment: why not look for halfs that somehow involve chocolate? She was talking about the Hot Chocolate races, but I’ve already run one chocolate themed half. Why not search out some more?

My Chicago friends — this one caught my eye — ever heard of it?: Ooh La La Chocolate Half Marathon in Geneva, IL. These smaller races are what Mr. Judy prefers.

Any chocolate themed halfs to share with me?

Do your dogs only lay on you when they want something (Lola just likes to lay on us, in fact, she no longer likes being by herself that much — unless there’s a kong involved)?

Who’s racing this weekend? I can’t make up my mind! But I did . . .

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.


Where’s my Spring?: Spilling over tea/coffee March 2019


The groundhog said it would be an early Spring. Tell that to the wind, cold, and snow we’re having lately. What does a large furry rodent know, anyway?

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date, cause I have lots to share with you and want to hear what you have to say, too.

February 2018. How long ago that seems. Always in my heart, Giz.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
Almost all of the cat stuff (and there was lots) has been sucked out of our house (well, into the garage/storage). The house is so much more open. Life is easier. I can wear clothes without worrying too much that they’ll be shredded.

Life is also a lot emptier and sadder. There’s just a huge cat-sized hole in my life. For a variety of reasons it’s not a good time for us to be adopting a new cat/s.

Still, when we went to pick up the bag that Mr. Judy had left at the pet store, there were cats waiting for fostering/adoption. I may have said we could foster, after all the room had been set up for a cat for months (but of course now all signs of cat has been removed).

Then as we were walking the dogs this beautiful Maine Coon came stalking towards us. I may have said that obviously the cat wanted to come home with us. He was also walking towards us the next day, too. He is not a stray; I know where he lives.

Yes, I’m very comfy, thank you. It’s MY couch.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that Lola has begun to act super clingy (which was happening before Gizmo “disappeared”, and we had Lola & Bandit sniff his body anyway). She just seems to be somewhat reverting to the super anxious dog we adopted (although thankfully not that bad).

She used to love to lay on the bed, but now she’s rarely found there. In fact, she’s driving me bonkers because I get into bed, turn off the lights, and suddenly she wants to go downstairs (where Mr. Judy is — Chester also started hanging out with Mr. Judy at night as he got older, and he was my little shadow). I thought maybe it was the diffuser which is somewhat new, but I’ve tried leaving it off and she still does this (unless she doesn’t, but that’s rare).

She stays on the bed when Mr. Judy comes to bed later. I am now making sure she goes downstairs before I get into bed so I don’t have to get up.

In addition, she is picking up bad habits from Bandit. She now drags the dogbed on the couch from its corner to the other end of the couch. She never did this before Bandit arrived in our lives. Why can’t they pick up good behaviors from each other?

This was just one dessert on race day. I never did take pic of the Chocolate PB Cupcake. 

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that I enjoyed every decadent, rich, fried, chocolate bite I had in Savannah.  I’m also glad that essentially we only ate there four days. As it was I felt as though you had to roll me home (although thankfully the scale wasn’t too bad — and again, lucky it was only four days!).

Originally I’d planned for it to be a week’s vacation. I had visions of visiting Tybee Island, too, and staying there a couple of days. I feel like we barely scratched the surface of Savannah, but there are still so many places to see in this country — it is actually part of why I am trying to run a half in every state.

Doesn’t that scream beach to you? Well it does to me!

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
I’d tell you that the mug I finally settled on is a winner. I’m extremely picky about my mugs, I have a whole set of criteria I am aiming for when I pick one (see my post about choosing mugs here).

As if my criteria didn’t make it hard enough, there’s also just the whole feel of the mug, and much like running shoes, you really don’t know if it’s right until you drink from it (or run several miles for running shoes).

No dribbling.

I was afraid I would have trouble with tea spilling from the lip, as I’ve found lips like that have a tendency to dribble, but the first drink was a success. I have found when the mug goes in like that, even if it’s larger, it tends to keep the tea warmer longer. And I just love the design — it reminds me of the beach (even if we never went to the beach in Savannah!).

I further runfess that some of my walking-too-much the day before the race (read about it here) may have been in search of the perfect mug, but at least I was successful.

If we were enjoying tea/coffee . . .
This should have been a runfession, but of course I already had plenty of those to share last Friday here. It occurred to me one day that it’s not so much that I hate running in the cold — even if I’m not very fond of getting started — who is?

No, the problem is that I’ve always been a heavy sweater. It doesn’t matter how little clothes I wear; I sweat. It’s the getting sweaty, and then getting super chilled afterwards as the sweat dries (because after all that’s the job of sweat), that I just have trouble facing.

I am chilled for hours after a cold run. Even when we have a mild winter, there are usually a lot of cold runs here. I get tired of being that uncomfortable!

Do your furkids pick up the bad habits from each other?

Have you worn something new on race day that was a problem?

How long do you think people can really improve with running?

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.


Adventures with a creamsicle cat

I’m sharing more stories about Gizmo (for those that don’t know, we helped him cross the Rainbow Bridge last week — read more about him here).

As I was sorting through photos and trying to choose them for the post above, there were so many that told stories.

Giz enjoying some spring weather too from the safety of his kennel . . . 

Gizmo enjoying some time outside safely
This photo above doesn’t really tell a story, but it was in my last TOLT post. OTOH, it’s Gizmo in his outdoor kennel. Back when the boys were tiny little kittens, we decided we would build them a kennel outside that they could access via a cat flap in the house. It started out somewhat small, and it grew . . . and it grew . . . and it grew . . . and furntirure moved in . . . and it moved with us from TX to NY.

The kennel in TX

The boys just loved this kennel. So did my elderly cat, Puss. Simba was in it on his last day on earth — Gizmo hadn’t gone into it in the last several weeks, though. In the photo at the top I am sitting on the bench next to Giz.

Fresh air. Sunshine. Little critters. What more could a cat want?

My first two cats were strictly indoors. I wanted the boys to be able to enjoy fresh air . . . safely. There was a price, though — the critters they caught & brought in! They were mighty hunters.

Which leads me to one our most told stories about the boys: the time when I came home to find them staring intently at my treadmill. The space between it and the wall. I took a look, and I thought I saw one of their little furry balls. And then it moved.

Too big to be a mouse, I thought ewww! It’s a rat. Eventually they lost interest and wandered away. A few hours later, though, when Mr. Judy got home, they were back at it. And then we heard squeaking.

We managed to get the 3 cats (Puss was still alive) into separate rooms, and then we lifted  the treadmill. And it went from ewww, a rat, to awww! a baby bunny!

We eventually managed to get it, and Mr. Judy was concerned that it couldn’t fend for itself — so he put it out in my garden! The next morning there was no bunny, so I’ve always assumed somehow it’s mama found it. I just believe that it survived — poor thing had quite the adventure to tell!

Cats’ agility is amazing thing to watch

How’d he do that?
I never tired of marveling at the acrobatic capabilities of the boys. I mean, I knew he jumped onto that little corner shelf, then jumped from there into the window — but how? They used to jump from the floor onto the top of our 6 foot entertainment center, too. Gizmo used to give me heart attacks jumping from our top floor here straight down to the bottom floor!

Gizmo supervising my painting

Eventually Mr. Judy built this shelf for that back window and a ramp up to it. We don’t have windows like that here in NY, but we do have a big bay window in our living room and the boys spent many hours snoozing in beds there.

I remember the one time a tornado actually got quite close to us in TX . . . I was able to easily get Gizmo in the bathroom, but Simba was just sitting on that shelf staring out at the storm; eventually I got him, too, and we rode it out in our bathroom. It wasn’t a big one, but it did get somewhat close.

Puss was still alive and I wasn’t able to find her. After we got out, I found her behind the dresser in our bedroom — against an inside wall. I had no idea she could squeeze back there, but she was a smart cat — that was a good place to ride out the storm!

Literally bouncing off walls

Speaking of acrobatics . . . 
We used to throw balls up against the quilt for the boys to catch.

Training is fun

Who says you can’t train cats?
Before we ever had dogs, we trained the boys to sit up, lay down, high five, jump over a hurdle and jump through hoops. They loved it. They got so excited when the clicker came out — the dogs did, too — except Bandit. He’s afraid of the clicker. Not the vacuum cleaner, but the clicker. Weird dog.

Jumping hurdles. Lola used to love this, too (we did agility with her when she was younger, just for fun)
C’mon Simba, it’s fun in here!

Double Trouble
I remember the time that one of them got into the wastebasket . . . I fished him out, only to turn around and see the other one get in. This went on for quite some time. I’m sure they were laughing at us. I’d had two cats before, but this was the first time I’d had littermates — they were so much fun.

We want to choose our own toys!

And so much trouble! Into everything! We actually had to put child locks on the drawers in our kitchen in TX because they figured out how to open them. In better days, every time I opened that pantry door (where the treats were), Gizmo would come running.

Looking for trouble

This photo reminds me of the time the boys got out. Our windows were low to the floor in TX. They had solar screens on the outside, and we had some bars we’d prop up in the open window so we could get some air and keep the boys safe . . . or so we thought.

One day, when I was sick, I heard that yowling you only hear from cats when they see another cat. I got up to investigate, and they’d gotten the bars down, popped open the screen, and both of them were outside — as was some stray cat.

Gizmo always listened. I told him to get back inside and he just hopped right back in. Simba, OTOH, took off after the cat, who made a beeline for our neighbor’s yard. The one with the Chow Chow behind the fence, with Simba in hot pursuit.

Thankfully Simba had the good sense not to jump the fence, but he sure didn’t want to come back inside, either. I had to go in, get a crate, and eventually I was able to lure him into it and get him back inside. That training really comes in handy at the darndest times!

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Have you ever tried to train a cat?

Every had littermates?

What would you tell me about your furkid?


Goodbye my sweet boy: Spilling over tea/coffee February 2019


If anyone in my life ever “personafied” unconditional love, it was Gizmo. This was not the post I’d planned to write today, in fact a week ago I was expecting to still be hand feeding Gizmo every few hours. Over tea today I’ll be sharing all about Gizmo, and I understand if that’s not your cup of tea, but it’s what’s in my heart this week.

We renamed him Gizmo because he was a dead ringer for the Gizmo from Gremlins

This will probably get really long, and it’s really more for me than you, so I understand if you don’t read it much, much less all.

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up a chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date

Most of the time he was in Bandit’s crate, not on top of it!

NY has not been kind to our furkids
We lived in VT 7 years. No furkid losses (the girls were only 8 when we left). We lived in TX 17 years, and both the girls crossed the rainbow bridge — but they both had long lives: Cleo was 16 and Puss was an amazing 21. They are still there; we buried them in our backyard and planted a rosebush by them. It used to comfort me to go out there and talk to them.

I have photo after photo of the boys curled up together

However, we have lived in NY for 10 years, and this is our third loss. The first two, Simba (Gizmo’s brother — he was gone before I started this blog) and Chester (many readers remember Chester, I’m sure, as I wrote about him frequently, especially after he passed — read his story here) were too young — almost 12 and 10 respectively. I know that’s not really young, but both seemed far too young to go to me, and both suffered a lot towards the end.

Gizmo had a good, long life; he was almost 18. He was never sick a day in his life until this last year, and it’s really only in the last 6 weeks that he really started to decline. I miss him terribly, but I am consoled that he had a great life, and that I helped him to pass while he could still enjoy lap time with me.

Normally I probably wouldn’t share this photo, because it’s definitely not my best photo. But it captures perfectly the love we had for each other. Gizmo was most definitely my cat. (And yes, this was during the brief time I colored my hair).

Loving that Gizmo is still purring and curling up on my lap
The above is what I wrote last month. Yes, he was still purring and curling up in my lap til the very end.

He also was barely eating. He really couldn’t stand for very long, which is why he would lay down to drink water, and why after a few bites he’d go over to his hammock and I’d have to spoon feed him to get him to eat a bit more.

He could have lived longer, but he no longer had the quality of life I wanted him to have. It was very, very difficult to make the decision to help him cross while he still wanted to lay on me, but I knew it was the right choice.

A sign?
I was stretching out after my run on Monday, and oddly enough I heard a lot of bird song. It’s the middle of winter, there’s snow on the ground, and it’s damn cold. I looked over and I saw what looked like a flock of Robins — I’m not sure they were Robins, I wasn’t close enough, but a few flew back and forth to a nearby tree and they definitely had red bellies (and were not cardinals).

Was it a sign for Gizmo? A sign that Spring is coming, despite the cold and snow going on? I have no idea, but I do know that it brightened my day — something I would never have seen if I hadn’t opted outside to run, which as you know I don’t always do — it was actually a lovely day to run (for winter).

At this point I was still grappling with the decision, and I would make the arrangements after I got home from this run.

Coming to peace
I woke up Monday crying. I’m don’t cry easily; ask Mr. Judy. I also woke up in the middle of the night crying. I didn’t feel like I had to use the bathroom, but I wasn’t falling back asleep so I did anyway. I spent some time praying to be at peace with my decision.

Eventually I fell back asleep, and when I woke up, I wasn’t crying any more. And I was actually at peace with my decision. It was still hard, and yes, I did cry later on, still do, but my prayer was answered.

Like most cats, he loved his boxes and could squeeze into the smallest places. He also had what we called his OCD behavior — obsessively pushing down on the flap of a box over and over and over. Yes, we have video of that.

All his favorite things
It’s very, very difficult to make the decision to let them go while they’re still eating (even if only very little), still want to be with you (sometimes, there were days he spent mostly hidden away), and still purring.

I didn’t question myself (much) after making the decision, but I set out to give Gizmo as much happiness as I could on his last night/day on this earth. Mr. Judy grilled a steak — yes, outside — sort of, he has the grill pulled close to the house and uses a method where he doesn’t have to be monitoring it constantly, and while Giz didn’t eat much of it, he did eat some.

My habit over the last few weeks was to get up, scoop the litter boxes, feed Giz, then go downstairs and do some yoga, then meditate, then pray a little. On his last day I wanted to spend as much time with him as he wanted, so I sat down after feeding him and let him lay on me until it was time to feed the dogs. And then I let him lay on me some more.

I got up to make a snack of some yogurt and granola. I really wasn’t hungry, but Giz loved yogurt — and he actually went to town pretty good on what I left for him. After that Gizmo went to his bed in a box (literally a cat bed we’d put in a box), so Mr. Judy and I took the dogs out for a very short walk (it was really cold).

Then I cooked a big batch of chicken thighs in the Instant Pot — I’m planning to make chicken noodles soup later this week — and fed him a bit of of the chicken. Again, he didn’t eat much at all, but he really enjoyed what he ate.

I am grateful that he was able to enjoy some of his favorite things on his last day.

Best toy ever
I didn’t used to feed Gizmo when I got up. It’s a really good way to get a cat scratching at your bedroom door. So for about 16 years, the first thing we’d do in the morning is play with his cat dancer (the Website is here, but you can buy it many places and it’s very inexpensive).

Best cat toy ever. Seriously. Very few cats don’t appreciate it (Simba wasn’t really impressed with it, but he’s the exception); I used to volunteer at a small cat rescue and few cats could resist the cat dancer.

Gizmo never tired of it, day in and day out, not until he got very old and arthritic.

Where’s mom?

Although Gizmo was annoyingly attached to me — seriously, when he was healthier, he would follow me around the house just willing me to lay down — occasionally he deigned to lay on Mr. Judy. He did so this past weekend. Mr. Judy felt he was saying goodbye.

Trying to nudge Bandit out of the bed

Giz really was not happy when dogs came into his life. Every time we went away and came back and there were no dogs, he was so happy. Towards the end, though, he really didn’t care. He’d walk all over them to get what he wanted — usually me or a bed.

Cats can sleep in the most uncomfortable looking places

Long ago I painted this on my large suitcase. It kind of comforted me to “take Giz with me”. That suitcase is also coming to the end of a long life, so I guess I won’t be able to take Giz with me anymore, except in my heart.

A thoughtful gesture

Our vet sent this Live Oak acorn to plant. They did the same when we lost Chester. We actually got that to grow into a small sapling, but we could never seem to decide where to plant it, an early snow came, and that was it. Oy. Can we keep this one going?

Mr. Judy has been trying to remove all the cat paraphernalia. We had boxes all over the house. In fact, it made me sad when I opened the box for the oak plantling — we almost always put down the boxes for Giz to play with before we recycled them (and some became permanent “furniture”). But now there is no one to play with a box, to jump in and out of it, to curl up into it even though it doesn’t look like it would hold him.

There are multiple cat trees. Multiple litterboxes. Beds. Scratchers. It didn’t make me happy to see them around, and it definitely makes our house much more open with them gone, but it doesn’t make me happy to see all signs of a cat in my home disappear, either.

For many reasons, I don’t plan to be adopting a cat in the near future. It’s the first time pretty much in my entire life I haven’t had a cat. Some day, I hope that we will have a cat/cats. For now we are once again settling into our new normal.

The boys, in better days (and before cell phones!)

I still feel you
Gizmo was put to sleep in our home — if you’re local to the Albany, NY area, In the Comfort of Home — find their Website here—  will come to your home and they’re very kind and it was quick and peaceful; I do recommend them. It’s not the first time we’ve had furkids put to sleep at home, although the first time a stranger has done it.

I still kind of feel his presence, or maybe it’s just wishful thinking. I keep thinking I hear him or see him out of the corner of my eye, and just feel him doing the things he used to do when he was younger and healthy. It both comforts me and saddens me.

I also know he is reunited with Simba, and with all the many cats (and dogs) I have loved in my life. That is what I choose to believe, anyway.

I could go on and on for days. Seriously. When they were kittens I had an entire Website devoted to them. Yes, I am that crazy cat lady. People were so shocked when I wanted dogs, too, but that’s how I grew up, with both.

I actually started to work on copying that Website into a new blog when Chester passed, but it’s time consuming work. I didn’t finish and I hadn’t made it public.

So many photos. So many memories. 18 years is a long time, of morning and evening lap time, playing, feeding, scooping, and just purr/pure love.

I actually do have more I want to write, but I think maybe I’ll join up with Amanda’s Talking Out Loud next Thursday for the first time in a long time hereand share some more photos and more stories.

No questions today, just give your furkids some extra loving from us

I am also linking up with the  Fridays with Fairytales and Fitness from Fairytales & Fitness.


Dog Days Running: Spilling over tea/coffee August 2018


July was a busy, busy month, but it culminated in a much needed racecation. I’d tell you I’ve added yet another tea mug to my collection (I try to get a mug from each state I run a half in — read more about that here).

ID Mug
Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I would tell you there wasn’t a lot of chafing going on . . . until there was. In all sorts of odd ways. First there was my half — the hydration vest did end up chafing me, but I was completely unaware of it. Some was on my shoulder, some was on my back. And here’s the really weird thing: I never felt it, not even when I showered after the race.

And then there was more on my 15 mile run last week. The problem this wasn’t the hydration vest. First there was chafing in an unmentionable area — that one I could definitely feel developing, although not until the last few miles. It wasn’t too bad.

I also chafed underneath the pocket where I had my phone. I ran a half with my phone in the very same pocket, for cryin’ out loud, and no problems. I have done a lot of shorter races and some long runs in that skirt. No problems.

Again, I didn’t feel this at all. Not until I took my skirt off. In fact, I could swear it wasn’t there when I used the restroom after my run but it suddenly appeared at home.

Actually none of these are Happy Girls, but you get my drift

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you you’d think I have plenty of Skirt Sports skirts. And I do . . .except I don’t. I like to wear Happy Girl Skirts in the summers pretty much every day (use code 522CRJ for 15% off of non sale items). They’re awesome for walking the dogs, for instance — enough pockets to stash my phone, plenty of poop bags, and treats. Or going to the store — again, enough pockets for my phone and a couple of credit cards. Not to mention I can do yoga and strength training easily in them.

The only problem? I have about five of them. I usually run out of them before I do the next batch of laundry. I fill in with Mod Quad on the hotter days. But it still just barely gets me through the week. #firstworldproblems — for sure!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that our heatwave before we left for ID made it difficult to eat. Despite the fact that I don’t spend a lot of time out in the heat, that I ran more on the treadmill, I found most days while it was really hot that I actually had trouble eating enough. So not like me.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that before my ID half, I felt like I was running so strong. I don’t know if it’s just something to do with the dog days of summer — which seem never ending this summer — and even though I’m not running badly, it seems like it’s more of a struggle.

Quite frankly I’d rather struggle in training and do well in my race, and my only goal for my race is to finish within the time limit — well, actually, I would like to keep all my toenails and not get injured. So there’s that.

He looks so innocent

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you we did have one disturbing incident with Bandit this week. Gizmo was markedly weaker when we got back from vacation — he was having trouble jumping on things — although he seemed to rally after we were home a few days.

Anyway, one day I was on the couch, watching tv. Bandit was laying in his bed at my feet. Gizmo walked by, Bandit narrowed his eyes, and just jumped off the couch towards Gizmo. I was able to stop him, and I made him do a little training. He really doesn’t respond well to negative reinforcement (aka punishment), so I have to be careful to be firm but not too firm.

It was clear that he knew I wasn’t happy with him, but also clear he had no idea why. I’ve no idea why he did it, either. It was scary because there was no warning growl.

The odd thing is that he seemed to have accepted Gizmo as his alpha. Gizmo lays in Bandit’s crate a lot, and Bandit won’t go in there — even if it’s dinner time — when Gizmo is in there. Did Gizmo smell differently because of his illness? Lola hasn’t seemed to notice anything.

So it was a little nerve wracking to go out to brunch and leave them all together, but everyone was just fine when we got back. Thankfully. And then we went out to the movies, and again, everything was fine.

Then one day we heard a strange noise. I thought maybe Gizmo had got locked in the bathroom and had knocked something over, but when I went to investigate, turned out Bandit had knocked over a small (closed) trash can in the bedroom and was happily coming towards me with a tissue in his mouth (and tissues strewn all over the floor).

I guess he’s feeling pretty darn comfortable here now. He’s never gotten into anything before — other than socks, if they’re available.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Green smoothie?

What running clothes can you never have enough of?

Do the furkids suddenly do something out of character that surprises you?

Are you constantly being surprised by new areas that chafe?


Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy. I’m pretty sure this won’t be readable in five minutes so I apologize in advance!

Let purring cats lie: Spilling over tea/coffee July 2018


I won’t lie: the last couple of weeks have been tough. Some of the stress going on I’m sharing here, others I’m not yet ready to share on the blog. In the scheme of things, though, I’m still pretty lucky and I’m still writing my gratitude list every night.

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.

Yes, he still loves his boxes

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I took Gizmo to the vet for a long overdue annual, which was part of my stress this week, but the one nice thing from that visit is the vet said he has the teeth of a seven year old cat. He’s 17. He only had one dental, when he was five. Aside from a very short time when he was a wee kitten, before he came to us, he never ate kibble in his life.

We raised him on raw, although we switched back to canned several years ago when his brother got sick, but over the last few years we’ve fed a mixture of canned and raw — it gets harder and harder to keep him eating all the time, although inexplicably he’s actually a little overweight for the first time in his life. He doesn’t eat much at one time, and I’ve actually cut back on his food somewhat.

He’s not very overweight, though, and at his age, they can lose a lot of weight quickly so being just a little overweight isn’t always a bad thing (but it’s never a good thing if they’re really overweight, of course) — the vet didn’t seem worried.

Unfortunately, as I suspected, he’s in kidney failure. The good news is he’s still eating okay and keeping himself hydrated so at this point in time he doesn’t need fluids — very good, considering we have a vacation coming up!

Funny story: Gizmo has never been into people food, unlike his brother Simba who had some really weird tastes. Chicken, turkey, beef — of course. The one real exception is melon — which is not so uncommon with cats. Simba once ate through the rind of a cantaloupe I had ripening on the counter.

Anyway, if I eat melon he’s right there demanding some. If Mr. Judy eats melon? Crickets. The other day Mr. Judy was having some with breakfast — nothing. So I got the bowl from him and sat down near Giz and he immediately demanded his share.

The “family” all together

He’s still purring and happy, thank goodness.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I am making a real effort to get in a little more strength training. Those downhill races require strong legs, and I also have my longest race ever coming up just a short month after this month’s half.

As so often happens in our racing calendars, I’m wondering what the heck I was thinking? But sometimes I thrive on that kind of pressure, and training for the half kind of hid the fact that I need to start running what are — to me — a lot of miles.

I was not unhappy to say goodbye to this hill!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I’m happy the downhill repeats are over and done with. Now I just have to struggle to make sure I keep up with the aforementioned strength training so my legs are strong!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that my resting heart rate has been higher this year than it was last year. Not a lot, maybe 4-5 beats. While I struggled with a long (although not serious) virus in the winter, I’ve been feeling much more like myself finally in this training cycle. Training is going well and I feel as though I’ve recovered well from my workouts.

It was interesting to me that my RHR was much lower Tuesday morning, the day after I went swimming for the first time in many months. Coincidence? I have no idea. Stay tuned.

Hopefully he’ll be this chill at the pet sitter

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you we left Bandit with a pet sitter we’ve used for Lola in the past when we went to see Andy Grammer. It was only one night. We’d already done a meet and greet, but this was a test to see if she wanted to take him for our trip to Idaho which will be long (and includes a side trip to see my MIL).

We had told her not to pick him up. We can do it, but he’s not super fond of it and that’s when he nipped Mr. Judy way back when they first met. As we were leaving she just bent down and hauled him up (so he wouldn’t run out the door) and he snarled at her, but was okay. She said she picked him up later in the day and he was fine. So that’s where he’s staying when we go.

As I told her, I wouldn’t have brought him if I thought he would be a problem, but he’s still a sensitive dog who doesn’t always adjust well. It definitely makes things easier to take both dogs to one person!

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Green smoothie?

Any funny furkid stories recently?

Any funny stories at all — I could use a good laugh!?

Does heat cause you to eat less? Stress, too?


Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy. I’m pretty sure this won’t be readable in five minutes so I apologize in advance!

I need shoes! Stat!: Spilling over tea/coffee June 2018


I seriously can’t believe that I am striking out finding the running shoes I need at a decent price from all the usual suspects. Our local Fleet Feet doesn’t carry my Newtons. There is another really local store (as in not a chain) but it’s a good thirty minute ride from here.

I’d tell you I just might have to break down and go there!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I am kicking myself for not buying a couple of pairs of my beloved Newton Motion running shoes last year. Or running in my current pair so much. It’s time for a new pair. I can barely find them, and I certainly am not finding them cheap. But I need them.

Brooks Ghosts have gotten me across the finish line of more than one half, but I absolutely prefer the lightness of my Newtons. Excuse me while I have a mini panic attack here!

It should be easy to just get into this and run . . . 

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I’m actually beginning to believe that it’s harder to get ready for a run in the heat than a run in the cold — just don’t ask me why it’s taken me nine years to come to that conclusion.

The clothes are pretty easy, although shimmying in and out of a shelf bra is a workout in and of itself. Then there’s the sunscreen, the antichafe cream, and the bug spray. And I often braid my hair, too!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I was planning a run at the path near the bakery all us locals love last Friday. Haven’t been in forever. Certainly not since 2017. Partly because I just needed a change of scenery and partly because, you know, bakery.

Except they closed down until early June for remodeling! The horrors! Or maybe I was saved. It was only a 5 mile run. Did I really need to visit a bakery for that?  Especially considering the holiday weekend and Mr. Judy being home for four days (and eating a cookie the size of my head at my parents’ Memorial Day picnic).

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that Rachel @ Runningonhappy has been taking it kind of easy on me. I hate writing that, because no doubt she’ll see it and I’ll regret saying that!

I have yet to run more than 7 miles this year. I trust her completely, I’m not worried, and I’m confident I’ll toe the start line of my first 2018 half well trained. And there have definitely been plenty of hard workouts — 10 x 400m repeats, I’m looking at you! I used to think I liked speed work!

This dog that barely ate when we got him has developed amazing laser like focus when it comes to training now (this involved some hamburger)

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that a bird has nested underneath our deck and there are definitely some baby birds in that nest. We can’t see them, but we sure can hear them. It’s actually quite near the door we go in and out with the dogs, but they haven’t seemed to notice.

Until one night when we were grilling and eating outside on the deck. Bandit was mesmerized. He kept looking down, occasionally scratching at the deck, cocking his head this way and that, trying to figure out how to get at those baby birds.

He couldn’t of course, and it kept him from begging for some of our steak as he normally does, not to mention it kept us entertained, too. I’d call that a win-win.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Green smoothie?

Have you had trouble finding your favorite running shoes when you really needed them?

Which is worse — dressing for a cold or hot run?

Have a favorite place you run to?


Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy. I’m pretty sure this won’t be readable in five minutes so I apologize in advance!

Who knew air drying clothes would be helpful?: Spilling over tea/coffee May 2018


Well, the first thing I’d tell you is that we apparently had two tea dates in February because I forgot to change the subject for March’s tea date. It was that kind of month.

I’d also tell you that Gizmo, at 17, isn’t our oldest cat ever — in fact, he still has a long ways to go. Puss lived to 21. Females tend to live longer than males, just like us humans. If he does have more years, I hope they’re happy, healthy ones.

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that my Dad’s main hobby is sending in donations to pretty much any charity that asks for it (and there are many — it’s just horrible how they target the elderly). Well, that and Publishing Clearing House — because he’s going to win $1 million, of course (he truly believes he will).

It is frustrating and heartbreaking to the whole family. We keep trying to figure out other things to occupy his time, but so far all our suggestions have fallen on (literal) deaf ears. We’re considering giving him a prepaid credit card, to limit the donations, but I have my doubts as to whether or not he’ll use it.

If anyone has dealt with similar issues and has suggestions, I’m all ears.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you our dryer stopped drying last weekend. Hopefully someone is fixing it as you read this (actually, it’s already fixed). Mr. Judy tried but was unsuccessful this time.

The good news? I air dry most of my running clothes anyway. But there will be even more stuff hanging around this week (like I wrote about in this post here).


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell I wasn’t real happy when the person running next to me in the training group asked me when it’s okay to start running after the flu, as she was coughing. Good thing mentoring makes me happy, otherwise I would’ve been tempted to say never if you’re running next to me!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I started looking through some race recaps for the 18.12 Challenge, hoping maybe someone would mention where they stayed. Because I need to decide where to stay!

The race still scares me, I won’t lie, but reading through recaps, I started to get excited! Of course, there’s a bunch of shorter races and a half to run first.

He knows who to listen to
If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that Mr. Judy has problems getting Bandit to come inside — often I call him in after Mr. Judy has been trying for 10 minutes and he runs right in. That dog knows which side his bread is buttered on.

Now Lola, OTOH. I have no trouble getting her in, but she is more problematic with accidents inside, so I usually don’t. But she makes it her mission to sniff every blade of grass — and then often decides not to do anything anyway. Or she goes out and does #1 outside, I leave, only to come home to #2 inside (thankfully it doesn’t happen often, but it’s majorly aggravating when it does — she had the opportunity!).

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Green smoothie?

Who’s the disciplinarian in your house?

Do you look through race reviews for races you’re considering?

Any tricks for finding race reviews — sometimes I have a hard time finding any!?


Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy. I’m pretty sure this won’t be readable in five minutes so I apologize in advance!

Catterday: Spilling over tea/coffee April 2018


Well, the first thing I’d tell you is that we apparently had two tea dates in February because I forgot to change the subject for March’s tea date. It was that kind of month.


But he thinks he’s a dog (Bandit’s crate)

I’d also tell you that Gizmo, at 17, isn’t our oldest cat ever — in fact, he still has a long ways to go. Puss lived to 21. Females tend to live longer than males, just like us humans. If he does have more years, I hope they’re happy, healthy ones.


Confessions of a Mother Runner

Pull up chair and mug with Coco and Deborah and me for the ultimate coffee tea date.

So cute, but so much work


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I am constantly having to hunt down where Gizmo throws up. We hear the noises, but when I get out there, there is curiously nothing to found. Until Mr. Judy steps in it, because apparently doing so once wasn’t enough to get him to wear slippers (sorry, honey, you know it’s true).

Or someone manages to throw up in the fifteen minutes it takes me to make the bed. I have no clue who it is (well, I have a clue, but I’m never sure). And it’s always harder to clean up unless you manage to catch them in the act.


Happy Birthday my sweet boy

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that Gizmo just turned 17. He is way overdue for a vet appointment. In general he seems t be doing fairly well, but he is definitely drinking more water and peeing more so I worry about his kidneys, of course, because I’ve had cats with kidney disease in the past.


The good news is he wants to eat. Like all the time. Thankfully he hasn’t taken to waking us up in the middle of the night yet, but I can hear him pacing in the hallway outside our bedroom before I get up most mornings (which often bears the brunt of the above paragraph’s problems).

Could be hyperthyroidism . . .

Feed me & no one gets hurt


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you it’s actually a good thing he’s hungry all the time. As annoying as it is, I’ve had more than enough of my share of furkids who won’t eat for whatever reason.


He does get protected outside time

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you Gizmo is a very sweet, biddable cat. I could give you many examples, but this story illustrates his nature well:


I was sick one day, in bed, when I heard cats yowling. Tempted to ignore it, I knew I had to investigate. And I discovered both Simba and Gizmo outside, yowling at some cat. Yes, the window was open, but there was a sunscreen on the outside and some bars propped up on the inside. And they managed to pry off both. Our windows went almost to the floor in that house, and that’s how we let some air in without letting the cats out — or so we thought.

I told them to get in, and Gizmo hopped right back in. Simba went tearing off after the offending cat, and almost followed the cat when it jumped the fence of our neighbors; there was a large dog in that yard. Eventually I did manage to coax him into a carrier.

Of course, all bets are off when it’s time to get into the crate to go to the vets.

I ran on the treadmill so I could look presentable

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you it’s all about the hair. Well maybe not all, but it definitely comes into play. I runfess that I have chosen the treadmill on iffy weather days on more than one occasion so that my hair wouldn’t look horrible. Like when I needed to run before going to my parents’ for my mom’s birthday.

Obviously I often have horrible apres-run hair, but there are times when I’ll do almost anything to keep it looking good.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Green smoothie?

Do you even care what your hair looks like after you run?

Tell me something amusing about your kids/furkids?


Today I am also  joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy. I’m pretty sure this won’t be readable in five minutes so I apologize in advance!