"Choosing trust over doubt gets me burned once in a while, but I'd rather be singed than hardened." -Victoria Monfort

Friday, September 27, 2013


Mr. Magoo kept a close watch on Miss Tai during her last night at home. 

Tai only made it two days, until her mouth was affected by paralyis, and she couldn't eat, or comfortably close her mouth properly. She purred the whole time we were at the hospital. I waited until she was gone to bawl my eyes out, I wanted so much for her last moments in this world to be peaceful, and comforting. She deserved that much.

I am very lucky to have such great friends. After laying Tai to rest at my Momma's, one of my bff's came over with a bottle of wine, and a box of beautiful chocolates from Lily Chocolates in Tremont. She got me to laugh, and forget about reality for a while. Where would we be without girlfriends?

This whole time, I was not only dealing with onset of Tai's illness, and her death, I also noticed another of my cats, 14 yo Fizzgig, was hanging around the water bowl an awful lot. Amisdst all the Tai vet visits, she was also whisked to the vet for a battery of tests. I couldn't imagine losing two furkids at the same time!

Poked, prodded, and voilated, Fizzie was not happy..

The good news is a urinalysis uncovered she had no diseases, and it was just a UTI. Phew!

She got an antibiotic shot and we were on our way. I thought it was pretty sweet, a shot that lasts two weeks, and NO PILLS!!

When the lab opened on Monday, my vet called to tell me her infection is in fact, bacterial and she needs to take a different pill for two weeks.

Q: Who likes to pill a cat? A: Nobody!

You think I'm stupid, lady? I ain't eating this shit!

After doing the kitty burrito and still getting bit, the next day I smashed the pill up to a fine powder. Then, I mixed it with half a can of albacore tuna, and all the juice, and spun it thru the food processor. Then I warmed it in the microwave. Smelled deliciously fishy to me!

Fizzgig sniffed it and gave me the "fuck you" face you see in the above picture. I tried to force her to eat the tuna...eh....no!

I knew that a cat was too smart to be fooled. But I had high hopes! So...I'm back to pilling the cat, and keeping band aid in business.

It's been such an emotionally draining week. On top of the sadness of the furkids, I've incurred a pretty hefty veterinary bill, that I simply cannot afford. Luckily, I qualified for Care Credit, and my awesome landlord is going to hold my rent check a few days until my next pay day.

I've had enough kitty drama for a while. Now, I am going to focus on my next race in a month, and try to get back to ordinary life!

Friday, September 20, 2013

When Cat's Break Your Heart....

I got Miss Tai Ming in 1997. Three years after I graduated. I mean, I was still married back then!! I found her in the paper for $60! A small price to pay for 16 years of unconditional love!

She's been a pinnacle of health. Her one and only trip to the vet was to get spayed.

Never a sniffle. Never an infection. Not an itch....Not a bad tooth in her mouth. Easiest cat in the world!

When I returned from vacation the beginning of September, I could tell she was just different.

At first, I thought she was being the normal cat. You know, pissed off at me for leaving for a week, and giving me the cold shoulder. Then an entire day went by and it occurred to me..."I haven't seen Tai today".

Now, she's always been a loner. The other three cats are family, and inseperable, but Tai always made her presence known. She would visit, and she loves to talk, as any respectable siamese mix would!

In just two short weeks, she took a rapid decline, she started hiding more than usual. And since she usually hid most of the time, and I have three other cats...it took me a while to notice she obviously hasn't been eating, she's lost weight! And then I noticed that her coat wasn't so pretty anymore.

I just knew something was very wrong.

A trip to the vet revealed that she also had partial facial paralysis...the left side of her face wasn't responding to touch. Her left eye was blind. And she couldn't blink. She was very dehydrated. Eating was likely difficult for her because of the paralysis.

None of her symptoms pointed to any one thing, and her blood work revealed nothing. Without a CT scan (which I inclined not to do on my 16 year old cat) the vet's best guess was that she had likely suffered a stroke recently.

After IV fluids, and lots of tears, I took Miss Tai home with me. I got her to eat some fancy tuna fish, but not much. It's hard to eat with partial paralysis.

I will only have a few days left with my precious little kitty. Once she decides that even eating delicious tuna is too much for her, I have to let her go.

I have had to make that awful choice for a few of my pets in my lifetime. You always wonder what if...and you never forget how hard it was to do.

But me and Tai had the joy of caring for each other for 16 years! I can't imagine the amount of tears she's soaked up in her fur from all that life has tossed my way, from job losses, to lost loves. She was there with me for the vast majority of my life's events! She knows all my deepest secrets!

She's always been a staple in my life...."My Tai"  I like to call her.....

I am lucky to have had her for so long, and I am going to shower her with extra love over the next few days.

Hug your pets a little tighter tonight.

You just never know when their time is up!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

No Place Like Home...

Home made chicken noodle soup

After a few days of being sick after my vacation, I'm back to life as I knew it. It feels good to be home.

I am in love with the cooler, "fall-like"  temps here in NE Ohio. As long as it stays sunny, I'm a fan.

Home for me is scary movies que'd up on my Netflix, my favorite snuggly blanket, and my long comfy pants at the ready. I mean seriously, I'm living the dream here!

I made the best chicken noodle soup in the world last weekend. I had fresh veggies from my Mom and Uncles gardens, whole wheat noodles, and my favorite rotisserie chicken from Acme.

I ate it for an entire week. It was so good, I decided that I needed to make another pot this weekend! Local sweet corn is almost gone for the season!! (insert sad face)

Aside from that exciting news, I helped one of my bff's move into her very own apartment after 7 years in a less than stellar relationship with someone I've probably said 10 words to in that entire span of time.

No love loss there, and I'm so super happy for her to learn what happiness is all about, outside of a relationship with someone you are just not meant to be with.

And soon, she will be able to enjoy the same peace and happiness in her own home.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Virginia Beach Rock n' Roll Half Marathon...

I am home from the amazing high that vacation brings!

The convention before the race was exciting! I entered a contest, and won a spot on the Geico race team...which just meant that if I wore their swag for the race, I'd get a free massage afterwards. I didn't wind up doing it, and I also didn't see one person wearing any of those bright green gecko shirts. But I have a cute running shirt for around town now!

Me and sis got this sweet milk mustache pic at the convention

And then, it was RACE DAY!

I was ready to go!

We set our alarms for 4 am. My sister couldn't believe it. She has never gone to a race, let alone a big one! we got up early so we could drive a bit out of the way to take a shuttle to the start line, so we didn't have to worry about walking or parking, which wound up being the best decision ever.

It was so nice to have my sister there with me for the experience, I usually race alone, and having someone with you just enhances your experience.

getting into the zone before the start..

The temperature was 92 and humid. Don't ask me what the heat index was, probably over 100. I hadn't trained in that sort of heat, and I was worried about it. I was also concerned that I hadn't pooped. I dunno about you, but more than running 13.1 miles, the idea of running full of poo scares me way more. I don't think non-runners understand the importance of a bowel movement. Everyone thinks it is a joke, but it is very real. 

My pace group taking off!

We had a wave start, which was a first for me. Usually the fast people get the fanfare, and the rest of us walk slowly til we reach the start line. I liked this change, because we all got the countdown, and it was not as congested when we took off. 

The first 5 miles were cake. It was all along Atlantic Avenue, so we could sneak a peek at the ocean in between hotels. The sunrise glistening on the ocean, along with all the supporters, and bands was so motivating, it was beautiful

Then the first hill, a bridge over Rudee's Inlet. 

For someone who trains flat, this is daunting. So, I walked it. I was doing good at around an 11mm pace, and I was afraid of my time, but I had to keep in mind, finishing was my goal. 

That's about the time the heat really hit home. I took advantage of every water and gator aid station, as well as my own water I had in my belt. I bought a cooling bandana, so I got it wet and started to try to cool off my neck and face.

Hearing all the sirens, and seeing all of the "downed runners" along the road, reminded me that my goal was finishing. I didn't need to break any PR's this time. It was HOT!

Mile 8. It. Was. Hot. My face was on FIRE. There were a lot of people outside their houses with hoses, and sprinklers. A few volunteer groups with rags soaked in ice water. (heaven!!) I just thought, I'm over halfway there. The rest is a breeze!

We ran through the naval aquatic base, which was awesome because I thought there would be some men in uniform.. and I didn't want to look like a wuss. They had pitchers of water to refill our water bottles, and pots and pans full of ice cubes! I grabbed some, and thanked them profusely, and wrapped the ice in my bandanna and used it to try to cool my face and neck. 

Getting back to pace is a struggle. I slowed down. 

Mile 10. ONLY 3 MORE MILES!!  There were some people on bikes that rode along us for a while, and as they said "if you can run 10 miles, you can run 3". Yes. This is true

But mile 10 is around the time that my being hot turned into being cold. I got goosebumps, and seeing that it was ridiculous hot, I knew it wasn't a good sign. I had to stop worrying about my pace, and focus on the finish.

Luckily there were a few cooling buses along the route, and one was just up ahead. I veered off and spent a few minutes inside an air conditioned bus stretching and reading inspiring texts from my friends that urged me to keep going!

I got back out on the course, and was faced with that bridge again, which I walked. At the end of the bridge was the boardwalk. The final 2 miles, all along the ocean. 


I crossed the finish with all my wits about me. A lot of pain in my hamstrings, exhausted, covered in sweat, and right my ankle was killing me, but I didn't stop. And I didn't push past my limits to prove anything, and I finished strong. 

Finishing at the beach=awesome! Third half under my belt=priceless!

My official time was 2:57. My run keeper time was 2:52, which I stopped when I got on the cooling bus, and should have stopped when I took a potty break..But under 3 hours was my ultimate goal this time, and I squeaked by! I had a 2:20 my last half, but I'm happy to have finished this one on my own two feet!

I spent the rest of the day doing this...

By the way, did you see my bling? A sparkly starfish? Priceless!

This was a great race, a great course, and so well executed! I'm already considering centering my next year's vacation around running it again!