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!

Just call me bologna: Spilling over high tea March 2017


Just call me bologna. As in, the sandwich generation. Well, I don’t have kids, but I do have the furkids and I seem to attract the needy ones. And of course I also have one big kid. Yes, still feeling a bit squeezed over here.

According to my research, the average American will have consumed 1,500 PB&Js by the time they graduate high school. Except I almost never eat a PB&J. I eat nut butter all the time, but rarely jam/jelly with it — and my parents didn’t even like nut butter, and only had it in the house to bait the mouse traps.

So how’s that for a little trivia?

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Today I am joining up with Coco and Deborah for their ultimate coffee tea date.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that the three sexiest words in the English aren’t “I Love You”, but “You were right”. Just sayin’.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I’m driving to my parents house every Saturday — that’s 3 hours in the car — to work on cleaning it out to get it ready to sell.

My sister puts in a lot more time, since she lives there, but I’m giving up the whole day . . . the day before my long run . . . by the time you read this I’m probably driving down for the fourth time.

Just when I was getting back into a groove of keeping my own home neater, now I’m losing a day I can’t afford to lose. And tired, too.

As my Grandma Rose would have said, though, this too shall pass.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I am tired of the treadmill (although thankful I have one). I am tired of having so few places to run. I’m tired of still running in all the layers. I’m tired of those icy patches that don’t melt until June (slight exaggeration here — only slight).

I can bit#@ with the best of them

Except by the time this publishes, even though it’s cold again, the snow is gone!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that while I am tired of all of the above, I am also thankful that when all is said and done, the winter was relatively mild. That I only had two long runs in Yaktrax. That I didn’t have to resort to the treadmill for a long run!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that it could be another 5 years before I seriously train through a winter again for all of the reasons above. It’s actually been 5 years since the last time I did it — which was just my second half — and I still have some pretty vivid memories of how hard that was 5 years ago!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I don’t really understand tendinitis — it’s an overuse exercise, but it feels worse if you are sitting too long. Really?

And mine struck while I wasn’t running much, although I suppose it could be a cumulative thing. Except I actually didn’t run as much as usual, weekly mileage wise, last year. I did race a lot November/December, but it didn’t really start until January.

It’s better, that’s the main thing, but I still just can’t wrap my head around the fact that resting doesn’t help an overuse injury. It kind of seems wrong.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

What are you tired of right now (maybe me complainingventing)?

Are you with me on the “You were right” thing?

What’s your favorite season to race?

Finding the silver lining: Spilling over high tea February 2017


Do you know where the quote “every cloud has a sliver lining” came from? I didn’t, so I looked it up. Don’tcha love google?

Turns out it’s a quote from John Milton. From the 1600s! That Milton’s clouds were a thing. That it got changed to the quote we knew in the Victorian era. Who knew? Well, now we do.

I do try to hunt out the silver, and sometimes it’s found in really surprising places!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

Today I am joining up with Coco and Deborah for their ultimate coffee tea date.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that while I am sorry for the skiers, I am so not sorry that overall, so far, the winter has been rather crazy and mostly mild.

I would also tell you that we are not out of the woods yet. It is February, the month I was almost born in a car due to a snowstorm — yes, February is usually the worst month of the winter.

Sometimes March gets that honor. And we are traveling in March.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that, as I’ve been saying all along, I am a bad daughter. I think my sister and I try to fight over that honor. The reason I had to take my parents to the doctor, despite the fact that my sister lives right there, was that she was taking a little staycation and just couldn’t bear devoting the better part of a day to my parents. Again.

Which is fine — she has born the brunt of caring for my parents, and I have yet to take them to the emergency room. She was absolutely due a break.

It never even occurred to me to stay overnight so I didn’t have to do so much driving. Of course, then there’s the problem of the dogs, but the truth is . . . I don’t want to stay over night with them in their now much smaller apartment which only has 2 bathrooms.

My Dad suggested it out of the blue while I was down there, but of course I didn’t have any clothes with me, I hadn’t brought food for the dogs . . . was that a conscious or subconscious decision?

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I know my life will continue to be a little crazier, too, because of my parents. More trips, less time, more stress.

So of course I am contemplating running 4 halfs this year.

They always say you should carefully consider your stress level before signing up for a race. But here’s the truth: running destresses me (when it’s not stressing me out how to get it in, of course). Having goals to work towards and exciting vacations to dream about destresses me.

Until I totally get FOMO over your beach vacation photos in December, when all my trips are finished and winter is sinking its hooks into us.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that mom guilt is real, even for furkid moms.Don’t worry, I’m not equating being a furkid mom with being a mother of little humans. I can leave my furkids, after all.

Still, I crate Bandit when I am not home. Lola hasn’t been crated in years (although she still goes in her crate when nervous or afraid). And although Bandit seems quite calm in the crate while I am out (Mr. Judy has a webcam trained on him), he is super anxious to get out by the time I get home.

So it’s hard for me to go out for more than 3, maybe 4 hours tops, unless Mr. Judy is home.  Because of mom guilt!

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that sometimes the hardest things might actually be the best things. You hear that all the time, of course, but it’s hard to believe while you’re in the trenches. And some things really do just suck.

The boys helped me through a lot of tough times
We got the boys (Gizmo & his brother) after losing Cleo, and while Puss was declining with kidney disease. They got me through so many tough days; they made me laugh every day (until we lost Simba to lymphoma, too early, of course). They definitely helped heal the hole in my heart.

Are you my silver lining (and my cloud)?
Dare I say that Bandit is doing the same thing for us? Oh, he’s still not an easy dog, obviously (hello, occasional growling at Mr. Judy). I was so desperate to get rid of him when we got him — short of ending his life, of course, as we’d been advised to do (or assured we weren’t bad people if we chose to do so).

The first few months were definitely hell, too, and there were many tears shed and I’m not a cryer at all. But now he does make us laugh. And the pain of losing Chester has definitely faded a lot . . . perhaps that’s just time, but I like to think that Bandit had a paw in it; I still do really feel that Chester sent him to us.

Don’t worry buddy; always in my heart

Now when I think of Chester, there’s a little bit of a wistful smile on my face.

Why couldn’t Lola heal that hole? I really liked having just one dog — I still kind of miss that. It was far easier. Maybe Lola was just too inextricably intertwined with Chester in my mind. Maybe it was the fact that she began to get depressed, too. Or maybe sometimes you just need something new and “fresh” in your life.

Don’t click on that!


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you I came downstairs to exercise after being away from the computer for a while to see this lovely message on my screen, and any tab I clicked on in Google Chrome just made a bleeping noise (hence the Bleeping Noise malware name).

All the instructions to get rid of it were long and complicated and involved downloading more software or had steps that didn’t work.

I ran a quick virus scan. Then a complete one. I’m not sure it’s gone — I’d bet money it’s not — but at least I was finally able to close Chrome, reopen it, and finish up this post. How’s that for a silver lining? They’re everywhere, if you look for them (just don’t come talk to me if it happens again).

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

What helps heal your heart?

Do you have mom guilt over your furkids?

Do you sign up for all the races when you’re stressed?

Bandit/Houdini: TOLT

I’m Thinking Out Loud about the shorter days, the benefits of someone cooking for me and the furkids — of course.

Did you catch what I did?
With my subject for the Weekly Wrap? There’s no place like home. It made sense — it was nice to finally get home and stay home after just about two weeks away.

I didn’t even think about it at the time, but it also made sense in the point of view of my parents. Their new home is not home. Not the dream home they lived in for 45 years and just left (even if they could no longer keep it up).

Maybe I need to live in a retirement place
My jeans felt a little tighter going down to my parents. Small wonder, what with running a half, refueling, and flying across the country.

By the time I left my parents, though, they were feeling really loose again. They don’t serve large portions there (and I did my standard bring food for breakfasts and lunches). Plus they tend to be lower in sodium and a sugar free dessert was always available (that sugar free chocolate mousse was good, y’all!).

So maybe maintaining my weight would be easier if I was being served at least one nutritious, portion controlled meal a day? Lately it seems that every time I visit my parents I lose weight. I used to have the opposite problem!

Being busy is the solution to SADD?
I swear I’ve been so busy the last couple of months that while I noticed how early it was getting dark, I didn’t have time to brood about it.

Life should get a little easier now that my parents are moved. There’s still a lot to do, though — we didn’t move everything; they were downsizing from a large house to a much smaller apartment. Maybe about the third the size of their house (not even counting the attic and basement).

And my father has become something of a hoarder/packrat. So there are just piles of paper that need to be gone through still. There’s a lot of work to do to get the house ready to sell/rent. There will be many more visits to my parents and much more work to do in their house.

I’m holding on to the hope that keeping busy and training for my March half *might* keep those winter pounds off. A girl can dream.

A funny Bandit story
Did you ever read Mr. Judy’s Stop, Chester, STOP post?

He re-enacted it last weekend with Bandit. So while I was down moving my parents, Mr. Judy was at home taking care of the furkids. And one day he was doing some yard work and managed to let Bandit escape.

The recall training? Nope, he was deaf and dumb. And he took off around our cul de sac (we live on a dead end), eventually escaping Mr. Judy altogether (and he’s not microchipped).

When Mr. Judy finally turned dejectedly back to the house, he found Bandit sitting by the gate to the backyard. He didn’t tell me any of this until I was home.

He’s staying (just not on the furniture)

Bandit update
I also told you in the weekly wrap that we had big news for Bandit. Wouldn’t you know that last weekend was the time the rescue Bandit is listed with contacted us to let us know they had someone interested in him? Finally? After 3 months?

We had just assumed by this point that we were stuck with him. And he really has come a long way. The frustrating part is getting him over the last little bit — letting him be free in the house more.

To let him on furniture or not? But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Mr. Judy’s immediate reaction was that we should at least meet with the woman. His exact words were: he makes you miserable. Which isn’t exactly true. He makes my life difficult. And he came into my life after a difficult time, not to mention not long after we got him my life got even more difficult with all the family drama.

But I could just tell Mr. Judy wanted to keep him. He wouldn’t admit it, but I could read between the lines. I didn’t really have much time to think about it while we were moving my parents.

When I came home on Sunday, and was sitting petting Bandit, Mr. Judy came in and said “so are we keeping him?”. There was a bit back and forth, but in the end, that was the decision we made.

I sure hope we don’t regret it. And I definitely hope that we are able to at least get to the point where he doesn’t have to be gated into rooms all the time. Some people live that way forever, but I’d really rather not. Part of my problem is that this is a problem I haven’t dealt with before: can we train him to stay off furniture even though Gizmo and Lola have full access? Will he be able to be on furniture and coexist peacefully with Gizmo and Lola?

We had actually trained Chester and Lola to stay off the recliner where I used to sit with the cats in the mornings (and still sit with Giz when we watch tv at night). It wasn’t until we moved here, in fact, that we started to allow them on the recliner. We also used to crate the dogs when we were feeding the cats, but eventually we trained them to stay out of the kitchen (most of the time) while we were feeding the cats.

Only time will tell.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Ever had to chase down a furkid?

Ever wish you had a chef preparing healthy meals for you?

How are you dealing with the shorter days?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

Epic trip, epic fails: TOLT

I’m Thinking Out Loud about all the shenanigans on our most recent epic trip. And there definitely were some!

Missing all the bloggers
When it came to blogger meetup, my recent trip was an epic failure. Patty @ Mynoguiltlife lives in Phoenix — but guess was she there when I was? Of course not.

Then I saw that Debbie @ Coachdebbieruns was also there for a workshop. We were actually there at the same time. But we couldn’t hook up either. I really wanted to pick her brains on integrating dogs into the pack, too.

And my friend Paula @ Neveradullbing? We met last time I was in Seattle, but couldn’t manage it this time.

The trip was epic
The trip, however, that was epic. Best vacation we’ve had in a long, long time. In case you missed all my Instagram updates, we visited with relatives in Seattle, where Mr. Judy met Alton Brown at a book signing.

We went to the movies twice — “The Queen of Katwe” and “Sully”. While you might think “Sully” wasn’t the best movie to go see a couple of days before flying across the country, it’s also about trusting your gut and your training. Good reminders before my half.

Yoga on the rocks


We spent several days in Sedona and I loved every minute of it. The highlight was definitely hiking up a hill (a steep hill — a little foreshadowing for my half?) and doing yoga on the rocks with the guide. It was amazing looking through my legs during down dog!

Then it was on to Fountain Hills (Scottsdale area of Phoenix), which is named hills for a reason. It was a tough half marathon that I’m proud of.

Maybe it’s the angle? Outfit fail

This outfit was an epic fail
Well, it served its purpose — comfortable enough to fly in, cool enough (once I removed the sweater I wore on the flight) to travel up to Sedona in.

But flattering? Nope, I’d say this was not a flattering outfit on me. Sometimes you need the photographic evidence!

I can only hold out so long . . .
Well, yeah, that goal of watching the sugar I wrote about in Tuesday’s blog post? I’ve been watching it alright — watching it march right into my mouth (and probably adhere to my stomach and thighs).

Don’t get me wrong, I was on vacation and I ran a half and I did a lot of hiking, too. So I expected some sugar consumption.

That cinnamon roll we bought in Sedona? We shared it. As I said, we gave some to a woman at the next table. I think we both ate some more of it the next couple of days. That wouldn’t have been so bad, but then there was also dessert the night of my half (remember, I indulged in more cinnamon roll shortly after the half), then fudge pie at Z Tejas, some Pinkberry on the way home . . .

Eating all the carbs (and some salmon for recovery)

10 days is a long vacation, y’all! I start out with good intentions, do pretty good for a while, but usually somewhere towards the end the dam breaks and I start indulging more than I really ought to. It is time to slam down those floodgates again!

Bandit update
Well, obviously we haven’t been dealing with Bandit while we were away. Or any of the furkids.

The pet sitter said he was doing really well. She was able to clip his claws. She used his muzzle, but she didn’t think that she needed it for the nail clipping.

Unfortunately I’m doing a quick turnaround and heading down to my parents (probably there as you read this), so it’ll be a few more days before I see Lola or Bandit.

Gizmo is demanding why were you gone so loooooong?

Gizmo made it very clear this morning that he needed some lap time, and as I type this on Wednesday, he’s wandering around meowing at me. Unfortunately for him I have a ton of laundry to do, need to get some food in the house, and oh yeah, pack again to go to my parents.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Do you cats velcro to you after vacation, or give you the cold shoulder?

What was your last epic fail?

Ever think you looked really cute until you saw the photo?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

Why race?: TOLT


I’m Thinking Out Loud about my potential race this weekend; about whether or not it’s wise to do it. It won’t be decided today, not unless I wake up feeling a whole lot better than yesterday (doubtful, but you never know), but hey, it’s what I’m thinking about.

And I’ll never be number one. But still . . .

Couldn’t we just always have good health for a race? I suppose it just wouldn’t be racing if there weren’t mishaps (and you can peruse some of mine on Tuesday’s blog post).

To race or not to race?
That will actually be the title of my weekly wrap this week. I am spending a lot of time sucking down tea the last few days. Mr. Judy thought he was suffering from allergies last weekend . . . he was wrong, unless I’ve suddenly caught his allergies.

So there was the hilly 10k I was thinking of doing Saturday. The potentially hilly, rainy 10k. But I was going with friends, and Darlene would be there, and it’s been more than a month since we’ve managed to meet up.

Hoping to knock out this crud

Right now I am resting. A lot. And drinking lots of tea (Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat, Breathe Easy, and Cold Care PM, *all affiliate links). Not to mention taking oscillio (also an *affiliate link), because I also have a low grade temp and mild body aches so it seems more viral than cold.

Of course I have no idea how I’ll be feeling by the weekend yet.

And if I don’t race . . . 
Then it’s a question of do I still do my long run. And do I meet at o’too early to run with the group, or sleep in a little bit and run solo (since I’d be running solo with the group anyway).

Again it just all depends on how I’m feeling. It’s a head cold/virus, so technically it’s okay to run, but I do feel like crap. I’m hoping a few days of rest and all that tea will rectify it enough to get a long run in.

And the last question would be do I keep to the 9 miles or shorten it up. Oh, and Monday we have to get to my parents, by the way, which will be a very long day. And did I mention it’s supposed to rain basically from yesterday through Monday?

My world keeps getting smaller

Why am I in jail? (Bandit update)
One of the hard things about Bandit (and there are just many, many hard things) is all the time it takes letting both Lola and Bandit out, because Bandit can be iffy when they’re goig through a small place like a doorway.

So we got an xpen yesterday. That allows me to put Bandit into the xpen, let Lola out, and then either let Bandit out after she’s done her business or after I’ve let her back in the house.

It still takes more time, but it’s much less than getting Bandit into the bathroom so I can let Lola out, get Lola back into the house, and then let Bandit out.

It isn’t all bad news with Bandit. If you’re not following me on Instagram, you missed the short video I posted of Bandit giving Mr. Judy kisses. He’s actually quite good with us. Bandit and Lola have played together a bit without incident.

He still guards: his crate, the kitchen; he again more than growled when Gizmo walked by him while baby gated into the kitchen. But they walk by each other (with Bandit leashed) often with no incident.

Would he actually do something if he wasn’t on a leash or separated by a baby gate? I’m not ready to find out yet.

Does your dog ask to go out (to potty)?
All of my dogs I have had to learn to read the signs, and they’re subtle. They don’t really ask to go out (which is how I ended up cleaning out Bandit’s crate at 5:30 am one morning).

Of course I’ve only ever had small dogs. Thank God I don’t work — how the heck would they manage?

Do you thrive on competition?
My friend Mawli1 @ Mawli1’s Blog and I were “chatting” back and forth the other day about running, the need for speed (or not), and competition.

My parents raised me to be competitive — in pretty much anything I pursued. Not win at all costs competitive, but show up and do my best competitive.

It’s why I train hard and race. I don’t have a lot of areas in my life to be competitive, and although let’s face it, I’m never going to win awards running, I like trying my best and seeing the occasional improvement.

As I commented to her, at one point, improvement isn’t linear (you don’t just keep getting better and better). It could take a training cycle, several training cycles, or even years to reap the benefits of your training.

So you have to keep the faith and keep on reaching for those stars.

Mr. Judy made me chuckle
Hes’s going to hate that I shared this, but I just can’t help it (you may want to skip this one if you’re squeamish about doggy bodily functions).We were walking the dogs one morning. Lola had pooped. Bandit was getting all set to mark (pee) over her poop, and I was going to let him, when Mr. Judy cried don’t let him pee on that!

So I didn’t, but when I asked why not, he said because he had to pick it up.

Okay, you’re picking up dog poop with a plastic bag around your hand — does it really matter that there’s dog pee on top of there?

Notice the cat mirror behind Gizmo, to the right

Every time I think I’m getting back on track . . . 

. . . something  happens. I was going to really concentrate on some strength training this summer. Then Bandit happened. Then I decided to start exploring Pahla B Fitness, and now I’m sick. Pretty darn sure that race isn’t happening.

I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

On the other hand, I did finally get started on the first season of Outlander and watched all of the previous night’s Olympics. I always know I’m sick when I lose my appetite!

* Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link. I make a very small commission if you buy this product from Amazon after clicking through my link.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

How important is blogging to you (see this blog post)?

What about competition — yea or nay?

What causes you to bail on a race?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

Maybe life is random . . : TOLT

. . . but I doubt it
–Steven Tyler

It’s what Thinking Out Loud is meant to be: totally random this week. Just those little thoughts that occur to me at random times: shoes, running, swimming, and of course TOLT wouldn’t be complete without the furkids.

Why is multi person planning so hard?
And no, Darlene, I’m not talking about just you. I’ve got several things going on that involve multiple people. You would think in this day and age, with all the ways we can communicate, that it would be a snap to get things settled.

You would be wrong.

The shoe mysteries
Is it only me, or does this happen to you: you wear a pair of shoes. They’re totally comfortable. You walk all over the place in them and you have no problems with them.

Then one day you wear them to take the dogs on a short walk and they cut into your ankle, or your heel, or rub your little toe — all things they’ve never done before.


I know that weather can come into play, with your feet swelling (or not), but I’m talking about the same weather conditions. It happens!

Have you ever gone for a run . . . 
. . . and just wanted to run away from everything going on in your life? Not just run off the stress, but go for a run and never come back. It seems appealing sometimes.

The track is closed!
Our group training starts out with about 6 weeks of hill repeats, and then goes on to track speedwork. The track they’ll be running at is about a 20 minute drive, and basically, I’d get home at the time I’d normally be in bed.

So I decided that I would just do my speedwork solo at the high school track that is just a mile down the road.

Except it’s under construction! Arggh!

I’m in good company — again
Thank you, Kristina @, for putting me on your Top 25 Running Blogs You Should Be Following in 2016Many are familiar faces, but there are quite a few blogs there I was not aware of — and need to explore!

But heaven is a pool to your self
I got that last week: I was the only person swimming. This week I didn’t get out quite as early, so I had the pool to myself for about half my swim. This pool doesn’t put out lane markers, so when it’s crowded, there’s also a lot of waves splashing you.

Then the older people who just stand there talking came in. I’m not sure that I get that — I mean, you can talk anywhere, why go to all the trouble of changing into a swim suit, then struggling to get back into street clothes, all to just stand in a pool and yap? Whatever.

The sad part is the pool closes for 2 weeks for maintenance in a few weeks. I will miss my swims!


But ma, it’s so comfy and big!

Gizmo has totally taken over Bandit’s bed
I used to tie Bandit to the desk that’s over the bed, but I decided at some point that considering his separation anxiety, it’s not a good idea for him to be with me all the time.


Now that Bandit’s not occupying the bed, and since Gizmo discovered it that night he was sick, he has taken to laying there. Probably to just get away from it all.


Tail’s wagging — lemme out!!!!

Bandit update
I used to do Chester updates all the time — Bandit is actually settling in quite well. Gizmo has now been totally free in the house for several days. One day Bandit did growl at Gizmo while Gizmo was playing with a box, but Bandit was crated.


We still keep them mostly separate, but we have walked Lola and Bandit together a few times — with Mr. Judy walking Lola and me walking Bandit. I’m not sure I’m up for walking them both together by myself.

We have also let them into the backyard together (Bandit did lunge at Lola once when we were getting them out there, so now we don’t take them out at the same time). Lola is free, Bandit is on a long lead. Lola tries to get him to play, and he chases her a little, and then stops. I’m not sure if that’s because of the lead or if he’s unsure.

Bandit has played a little tug and likes to chase a ball a little bit. We’ve finally found some food he seems to like and he’s actually eating breakfast and dinner without me having to feed him off my fingers anymore (Wellness Core* & Freshpet Select Nuggets — the kind they sell at Target, although I didn’t buy it there for anyone that wants to know).

He is slowly progressing with the muzzle. No nibbles on him from the rescue site that I am aware of, though.

* Disclaimer: this is an affiliate link. I make a very small commission if you buy this product from Amazon after clicking through my link.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Do your shoes randomly injure you?

Do you care if you do speedwork? Does it have to be at the track?

What is something you always take with you on vacation?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

For to be free . . .: TOLT

. . . is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
–Nelson Mandela

Today I’m still Thinking Out Loud animals. I know, shocking right? It’s so easy to get consumed with our own troubles. Lauren wrote a great blog post, Beating Running Burnout, that advises one of the best ways to keep running fun is to share your love of running with other people.

You should check it out!

I keep burn out to a minimum by taking off seasons, chasing my goal to run a half in every state, and running with friends when I can.

I’m also thinking about freedom. Nelson Mandela’s quote definitely spoke to me — that’s what we need to teach Bandit.


Finally a reCaptcha I enjoyed!
reCaptcha is usually so totally annoying. Especially the ones where they make you keep choosing images until you’ve chosen all of them, but even the ones that make you choose three or four are often quite annoying.

The one with waterfalls was quite lovely though — I actually enjoyed it! Could I have that one more often, please?

You don’t look so fierce here, Bandit

Are all male dogs protective of female humans?
Or is that just me?

Chester is the only male I had for a long time. But there was Chekov, the trial adoption we had before him. And now Bandit. I seem to bring out the guarding instinct in male dogs.

It’s not because I let them get away with anything, or am not a good leader (at least I don’t think so). Chester always listened to me and he knew when he was in the doghouse. We didn’t have Chekov long enough to figure him out, and we definitely haven’t had Bandit long enough to figure him out, even though we’ve had him significantly longer than we had Chekov.

I’m sure there are male dogs out there who aren’t the least bit interested in protecting their humans, right?

This girl was worth the work

Let’s talk a little about visceral again
I did have a visceral reaction to Lola. Mr. Judy was on a business trip. I was surfing the Web one night, looking at rescue sites. We weren’t planning to get a second dog. Chester already cost enough and was enough work!

And then I saw Lola’s photo.

I had an overwhelming feeling she was meant to be our dog. It was really weird. And when we adopted her, she was such a mess — not house trained, not crate trained, reactive to other dogs on leash (except Chester).

Mr. Judy spent quite a few weeks walking around grumbling “I didn’t sign up for this“.  It turned out well in the end, obviously, through a lot of hard work. It’s definitely how I feel about Bandit — I definitely didn’t sign up for this.

Relaxing inside again

We are trying to give Gizmo some freedom again
We met with the trainer again last night to learn how to train Bandit to wear a muzzle. Just when I think I’m overreacting, Bandit really went after Lola while he was in his crate yesterday.

Granted, he was in his crate and he couldn’t actually do anything to her.He didn’t have any treats in there (not any more) and it was way more than growling.

Anyway, no one was bitten (the time he bit the vet she was trying to muzzle him). He’s doing well, but we’re still fairly far away from being able to actually muzzle him. He’ll stick his nose in for treats. Slow and steady.

The trainer also suggested that we ought to try walking Bandit and Lola together, that if we want to adopt him he needs to be kept up on his socialization. The same trainer who last week suggested we continue to keep them all separate.

So we did walk them a bit together this morning — we won’t be able to to do it every morning, and I’m not ready to walk the both of them together yet, so Mr. Judy will continue to get his exercise. Lola was a little nervous, but Bandit seemed to really enjoy it, and we had no incidents despite the fact I forgot the cheese (a high value treat).

And I didn’t feed Gizmo in the laundry room or lock him in there — yet. I’m hoping he goes out at some point in the afternoon so I can relax a bit later on when I’m sure to be more tired without having to be vigilant.It’s giving me the chance to actually do some laundry right now. And it’s going to be interesting when I go up in a little while and gate Bandit into the kitchen with me and do some baking.


Gnome app

Gnome was a bust
Unless I’m missing something. I couldn’t really hear it/feel it while running on the treadmill. And it doesn’t run with the running app on my Vivoactive. So sad. So I can run the running app (which tells me things like pace and elapsed time and distance), or I can run Gnome, which helps me run a certain cadence.

Could you guys make it so it could be a data field?

Why is it so hard to get into your clothes after swimming?
Well, I googled it, of course. Let’s just say all sorts of interesting subjects, most not even remotely related to that question pop up.

I finally got this answer from Yahoo:

The water is absorbed by the clothing and the fabric shrinks temporarily

Except why would absorbing water cause clothes to shrink? I mean, a soggy shirt is actually bigger. Sort of. Right?I guess we can chalk it up to some of those weird, unsolved annoying problems, unless you have an answer for me.

Nuff said

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

How do you keep from getting burned out on running?

Are your male dogs protective of you?

Do you ever wish that you knew how to create your own apps?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

I don’t recommend the stress diet: TOLT

Today I’m Thinking Out Loud about generalities and how much I hate them.

If one more person says to me that little dogs are just nippy, I think I will scream. Little untrained dogs can be nippy, yes — although it’s still not a given.

Or all the people saying “well, it’s just the adjustment“. Of course there is an adjustment, but a well adjusted dog is not going to bite without provocation even when his world is turned upside down.

How about “don’t worry, he’s friendly!“, even though the dog has made it pretty darn clear that he wants to eat you.

Or all pitbulls are dangerous. They can be — but again, they can be the sweetest dogs ever. It’s all about how they’re raised.

Speaking of raising, too many people ignore the warning signs. I’m quite sure Bandit’s previous owner did. In fact, she told me he’d sometimes lift his lips and snarl at her other animals when he was on a chair (after we’d had him a couple of days, of course), and that it didn’t mean anything.

Except it really did. You don’t want to train out growling, because a dog that bites without growling (growling is a warning sign that they are uncomfortable with something) is unpredictable and scary.

People make excuses. They’re in denial. They don’t want to put in the hard work.

Train your puppies
And I’m not talking about housetraining, although of course that’s important. You can never get that puppy time back, that time when you can properly introduce them to all sorts of people, noises, objects.

Yes, it takes time. But the years you’ll have with a well adjusted dog are priceless. Sure, all dogs have their quirks and always will, but proper training when they’re young is crucial. I can’t emphasize it enough.

And God forbid you should ever have to rehome your untrained dog for some reason — it can be very, very, very very difficult to get rescues to even talk to you if you have a dog with issues. You just never know what life will throw at you.

Crates are not the devil
Again, you just never know when your dog might have to be crated. A vet stay. A vacation. A new animal that comes into your home and needs to be separated. God forbid, being rehomed.

The whole point of crate training is to give your dog a safe place.

Every single dog that has lived with us is crate trained (we’re working on it with Bandit). Of course they don’t like it at first. You have to liberally treat them when they’re in their crate, and it can’t be just any old treat, either (see last week’s TOLT for what worked wonders for Bandit).

Give them something yummy to chew on when they’re in there. Don’t use the crate as a punishment. Get them used to being in it when you’re not there. Feed them in their crate.

When Lola is scared or nervous, she goes into her crate. She was no longer crated until Bandit came into our lives, and now we only close the door briefly sometimes when we want to make sure she’s not in Bandit’s face.

Lola came to us at 10 months old. Some previous owners would put her in the crate with a puppy pad until she used it. Wrong on so many levels — not only was she not house trained, she was not comfortable in a crate, either; she’d circle and whine until I wanted to slap her.

And today, when she’s nervous, as I said, she goes into her crate and just curls up.

Crating is not punishment; it’s safety.

So back to the title
The first couple of weeks with Bandit were so stressful I could barely eat. Yeah, I lost a little weight but I really don’t recommend it.

On the other hand, my weekly mileage got up to 15 miles, and somewhere between that and 20 suddenly I can start eating more and still lose weight.

I don’t really know which was responsible, but I do know I made a real effort to eat healthy as much as possible because I knew eating crap was a one way ticket to sickville (not that I’m sure I’m staying away, but so far, so good).

Recuperating — both of us!

I swear Gizmo took 9 years off my life!
Above we’re relaxing in his outdoor kennel after his ordeal (read about it in my Wednesday Word post).

Lola being her sweet, goofy self
I was taking a break and playing with her one day in the bedroom. Somehow she dropped that toy on the way up the stairs.

Gnome app

Excited to try out Gnome tomorrow
I recently updated the software for my Garmin Vivoactive (affiliate link). And that got me to thinking I should really look to see if there’s a metronome app — yup, it’s called Gnome. I meant to try it out last night on our walk, just to see if it works while you’ve got an activity app running, but I forgot.

Tomorrow I’ll probably run on the treadmill, so I can at least try it out then. Why it didn’t just come as part of the watch, which does track cadence (silently), I’ll never know.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

If you have a dog, is it crate trained?

Every successfully trained a dog to wear a muzzle?

Ever considered creating an outdoor enclosure for your cats?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

My Sophie’s Choice: TOLT

Today I’m Thinking Out Loud about rescues. I worked — well, dabbled, really — in cat rescue. I volunteered at the Humane Society when we lived in Austin. My friend had a very small cat rescue and I helped her with that, coming once a week to socialize all the cats/kittens, scooping, and helping out with fundraising things like garage sales.

I get it: rescue work can be very rewarding, but it can suck, too. And people working in rescue burn out, too, because there are a lot of crappy people out there when it comes to animals, folks.  So yeah, I get it.

Looks can be deceiving, folks

One person suggested we should just drop Bandit off at a shelter if we were going to crate him so much. He sleeps in his crate now, has since last Friday. To protect Lola and Gizmo (it’s really unfortunate that he’s taken to guarding his crate, too, but OTOH, at least that means he also kind of likes it).

And he doesn’t seem too upset, right?

And yes, he’s crated off and on throughout the day so I can spend some time with Gizmo and Lola and eat — but he’s probably with me more than he’s crated, more than either Lola or Gizmo get to be, even though I make a huge effort to be with all of them. I’m able to blog because he stays quietly in the office with me.

And if we dropped him off at a shelter? Most likely he’d be euthanized (I’m searching for no kill shelters, but I’m not sure that’s the answer either). And if he wasn’t, no doubt his issues would just worsen in that environment.

Another person suggested that we should just hire a trainer, that she didn’t give up on her own dog that quickly. Well, I’ve called two. And called again. I’m still waiting. And what most people seem to be missing is that while I may have made a commitment to Bandit when we decided to adopt him, the commitment I made with Lola and Gizmo trumps that.

It’s a Sophie’s Choice, people — obviously one his previous owner wouldn’t man up and make. In some ways, I’ve never felt more isolated. All the places that are supposed to help either can’t or won’t.

And after I wrote all that, and left a rather desperate plea with both trainers, one of them did call me back (she works full time, and just does the training on the side, but she also came to me with high recommendations). So we have an appointment on Monday.

Well, not all of this post will be quite this heavy, I promise.

What a difference a week makes
By the time I wrote last week’s TOLT, Bandit seemed to be settling in well and my life was almost back to normal. I guess I should have been waiting for that proverbial other shoe to drop, and boy, it dropped like a sledgehammer. Or is that a wrecking ball?

If you haven’t been following me, what happened last Thursday afternoon and its aftermath is pretty much all I’ve been writing about since, so you can catch up with my previous posts.

Thank goodness for turkey and brisket
Bandit was pretty good about being crated, but he made it clear he wasn’t real happy with it. Until I found we still had some leftover Thanksgiving turkey in the freezer. Now he eagerly goes into his crate, even though he still doesn’t particularly like staying in it.

We grilled Monday night, and I thought we had some pretty old steaks in the freezer, and I wanted to grill those because we were rapidly running out of that turkey.

We didn’t have any old steaks, but we did have a frozen, really old (like a couple of years old), really large brisket in there. I had Mr. Judy throw it on the grill. I swear he practically cried at the thought of just grilling that brisket, but it works as well as turkey and anyway it had been in there a long time already.

But there are benefits to an older dog adoption
Despite all the problems, so far, knock on wood, Bandit is accident free. And that has made a very stressful time just a little less stressful. He also rides great in a car, so much better than Lola ever will. He doesn’t chew (sort of a problem, we haven’t found anything he will work on it a crate yet) and he doesn’t get into things at all.

Which of course doesn’t mean that all older dogs are house trained, but they are far more likely to be. They are often more settled.

But obviously they come with their quirks, too. Usually they’re not that big a deal . .  .

And Thank God for Facebook messenger!
Because Mr. Judy and I have been using it a lot to communicate. Because Bandit’s separation anxiety revolves around me, rather than yelling down as I normally would (we have a raised ranch) , we message back and forth a lot so that we don’t have to make Bandit anxious by hearing my voice if he’s with Mr. Judy.

Darlene was the unwitting recipient of one of those messages, since I had just messaged her before trying to message Mr. Judy.

And Mr. Judy and I joked yesterday about handing her Bandit’s leash and running away, which wouldn’t work because:

  1. She reads the blog and knows what’s going on
  2. She runs faster than me

Are all dogs Houdinis?
I mean, I already know cats are. Have you ever gone looking for your cat, totally unable to find them, and suddenly turn around and there they are?

The same thing seems to happen when I let the dogs out into the backyard. One minute they’re there . . . and the next they’ve totally disappeared.

You can kind of understand it with Lola, she’s chocolate colored and she blends in well with the trees in the back. But Bandit is a light tan color, for crying out loud, and somehow he still disappears sometimes outside!


I’m getting busy in the kitchen
The first few days AB (after bite) I could barely eat. Where once I was a stress eater, now I tend to lose my appetite when extremely stressed. I’m still not super hungry a lot, but boy that craving for sweets sure kicked in.

So I crate Bandit early morning or midday and I’ve baked cookies, blueberry banana bread, and put together no bake granola bars yesterday. Don’t worry, all healthy stuff and all stuff I actually needed.

My weigh in today should be interesting, however. It’s hot again, I’ve been able to get my runs in but not my strength training, I’m stressed, not sleeping great, and I’m usually up if I do a lot of baking, even if it’s healthy stuff. It is what it is.

And I’m losing my mind again
I had a whole day where I couldn’t find my keys. I just knew they were in the house somewhere. Thankfully I did eventually find them.

I keep leaving my cell phone downstairs when I need it upstairs, or the treat bag upstairs when I need it downstairs.

I think my hair might even be turning whiter . . .

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Do you remember Sophie’s Choice?

Got an amusing furkid story for me — I could use it!?

What would you do if you didn’t have your current job?

There I go, being random again

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud