Thursday, February 16, 2017

I'd Love to Change the World, but I Don't Know What to Do.

Just so you know...Heidi is doing much better, thank you. Last Saturday, John woke me up and he was crying because she hadn't eaten yet and it had been 4 days, and he was going to take her into the vet to have them run some blood tests. He was so sad for her. I said, "Before you do that, give me a minute. I have one more trick up my sleeve..." When I was sick, I didn't want to eat because I couldn't taste anything, and as we all know, I rarely eat just because I'm hungry, so I thought a stronger taste might help. I also remembered my college years, and that weed was a great appetite inducer. I went out to the garden and found some fresh catnip. Since we apparently don't experience real Winter in Iowa anymore, it was warm enough in February to have new catnip growing. I picked a bunch and tore some up in front of where Heidi was lying. She sniffed it and for the first time in 4 days, I saw her actually eat something...Or at least lick it. I wasn't sure if she actually ate it.

I headed out for a run and while I was running, I thought, "Please, please, please, let Heidi eat something before I get home." When I got back, John was waiting for me with tears in his eyes. This time he was happy crying, because Heidi ate some tuna. Yea!

By Saturday evening when we got home from our ride, she even came downstairs and tried to eat food out of Archie's bowl. You know, because...Reasserting dominance. Anyway, she's pretty much back to normal and we couldn't be happier.

As for us? Well, we had a great weekend. Again, since we don't seem to have much of a Winter here anymore, we decided to make the best of our plus 50 degree weather in February to go on a long bike ride.

We rode 50 miles there and back to Sutliff Bridge.

When we got there, we saw that they were having their golf tournament thingy. It used to be a fund raiser to fix up the bridge, but now I'm not sure what they use the money for.

They put a bowl like thing in the river. It's usually frozen in February, but not this year, so they tied the bowl to the bridge and it moved with the current. People paid for three tries and if anyone actually hit it in the bucket, they would get some kind of prize. We didn't see that happen before we left.

The ride was lovely. We rode with a friend who hadn't ridden outside at all over the Winter, so we went a little slower, but that was okay for me, because I wasn't feeling all that strong.

On the way back, we stopped at Big Grove for an early dinner. Since I've cut way down on my drinking, I had a root beer - which I know is sugar, but I'm still working on my sugar consumption.

When we got home, we watched "Kubo and the Two Strings". I really liked it. You don't see too many fables as movies anymore.

Sunday was in the forties, but it was crazy windy. John was going to ride his bike around the campgrounds at Lake McBride. At first, I thought I'd try to run around by our house, because I wasn't feeling great, but then I really wanted to run around the lake, so I risked it and got lucky.

John dropped me off at the parking lot by the boat house and I ran into the wind to check out the spillway.

As you can tell from my bangs, the winds were strong...

I turned back and ran the other way down the trail toward Solon and had the wind at my back the whole way.

My goal was to try and run 7 miles, but I got a little over 8 miles in. I was pretty tired by the end of it, so I went home and bathed and then took a nice, long, nap.

This weekend is supposed to be even warmer. Seriously - 65 degrees in Iowa in February. All I can do is take advantage of it and play outside as much as possible and try not to worry about what is happening to our planet...

Friday, February 10, 2017

See These Eyes So Green. I Can Stare For a Thousand Years.

Sorry I haven't written this week. It's been kind of rough around our house lately. Our girl Heidi has been really sick. I'll warn you that the picture under this is graphically gross.

It all started when I fed the cats at their normal time and right after that. Heidi jumped on the couch to get even MORE sleep, when she suddenly projectile vomited all over the cushion. She then freaked out, ran into the kitchen, puked some more and then crawled under the kitchen table where she became a mouth breather. John didn't think much of it, since cats puke and then we clean it up and they get over it, but you know how it is when you obsess over your pets...You can just feel that something's wrong.

Warning: Graphically gross photo after this point -

Heidi actually slept in our bed all night that night. Normally, she will tolerate us for a little bit, but what with my nighttime hot flashes and the throwing off of covers and then the throwing back of covers when the flash is over and I'm sweaty and freezing (pretty) about a hundred times a night, Heidi is usually way past annoyed and out of there after the first hour or so.

When I left for work, she was still breathing through her mouth, but we thought that maybe some of the puke went through her nose and that it would clear up within the day. I was still worried enough that I asked Stinky to come by on her way to class and check up on her. Normally, Heidi runs and hides when Stinky comes over, because she sometimes has that pesky puppy with her. This time, Stinky said, Heidi let her come up and pet her, so she knew something was way off. She took the above photo so we could see how sick she was.

John took her to the vet and they gave her some anti-nausea medicine and some anti-biotics. They said she had an upper respiratory infection. Poor baby. Her temperature was up to 104.5. John brought her home and she immediately hid, which isn't strange for Heidi.

The other strange thing is that Archie kept his distance and when he did get close to her, he started hissing. Archie loves Heidi more than he loves us and we feed him. I was so mad at him, but John said it's an instinctive response. It probably helps cats avoid getting sick themselves, when they sense a sick cat and avoid them. He said dogs will attack a sick animal. I suppose that's because dogs are pack animals and a sick member could mess-up the entire pack...Anyway, it was just sad to see Archie reacting to Heidi that way, especially when she was feeling so crappy.

So, as of today. Heidi's temperature is back to normal, but we still can't get her to eat or drink. John got some lactated ringers to inject something to hydrate Heidi and she is still taking her anti-biotics. I hope she's better through the weekend. I love her so much.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Welcome to the Working Week. Oh, I Know it Don't Thrill You. I Hope it Don't Kill You.

So, I haven't been the best about writing this week and I STILL haven't done an end of the year post for 2016. I've been a little busy for some reason, but I promise to get on that.

I'll just write about my week up until now, since I'm sure it will shock and amaze you...Or just put you to sleep. On Monday I got to work and they had a surprise happy wedding party for me. It was really sweet of them. That got that frame in the first photo for me, made with bike chain. How cool is that? They also got me a cake with a bike on it and some of my favorite Chicago style popcorn. The got me a Visa card and so I took John out for dinner for his last hurrah.

Archie is an idiot.

And when I say "last hurrah", I mean it was his last meal where he could eat anything he wanted, before he gets his colonoscopy on  Friday (OPP - old people problems).

Just in case your were wondering, Archie is just as big of an asshole as ever. He's still "helping" John do his yoga and trying to wake me up in the middle of the night, because he apparently doesn't get enough attention during our waking hours. Jerk.

Sooo, John had to eat low fiber food for two days and then just clear liquids today and until tomorrow afternoon. The low fiber diet was hard for him, since he doesn't eat much meat and mostly eats veggies. I tried hard to think of what I could make that didn't have much fiber, then I remembered homemade macaroni and cheese. Sure our cholesterol will go up 100 points, but at lease we're following his diet.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Is It Love that Brings You Here? Or Love That Brings You Life?

So, we went ahead and did it this weekend. Since it was a weekend of scariness and bad politics from our orange leader, it was nice to have something to be happy and excited about.

We got married in our reading room. It was pretty stress-free, except having to clean our house before everyone came over. Our house can get a little messy, what with us opting to go outside whenever we can and having bike parts on our kitchen table and then there's the damn cats...Well, the cats don't really mess up our house much, but we like to use them as an excuse whenever we can...

The girls and their boyfriends and their dogs (the most important guests) got there right before the justice of the peace. Our ceremony was short and sweet and very nice. We managed to put each others rings on without dropping them. A big feat for me. Our justice of the peace was very nice and dealt well with the noise and the dogs.

After we signed the license, we all went out for sushi for lunch. You know we like to celebrate everything with food. We got back home and Stinky and her boyfriend went home to take naps. John worked on the book  he was editing, and Coadster and her boyfriend became one with the couch and watched the Iowa State basketball game. I took that time to take Coadster's pooch on a long walk down the bike path. She was one happy dog.

 What we didn't have to do is greet a whole bunch of friends and relatives, make a bunch of small talk, uncomfortably open gifts we don't really need in front of people, have people waste grains or seeds by throwing them at us, and John didn't have to put his back out by trying to lift my 51 year old ass over any kind of threshold. Whew!

We decided to continue the celebration at 5:30 by going out to get BBQ and beer at Mosely's and then meeting some friends at the Dublin Underground. We even got all crazy and stayed out past 9 o'clock...Okay, not much past 9, but still.

The next morning we watched the Cyclocross Worlds race and I got to spend some time with Coadster's dog before they took off back to Des Moines.Then I went for a nice little run.

We found out the mountain bike trails were actually open. That rarely seems to happen in the Winter. We knew how we were going to spend our honeymoon - playing bikes outside with our friends!

There was some ice on the trails, so we had to be a little careful. I made it through almost 2 hours of riding without crashing once. It's a wedding weekend miracle!

We ended out weekend with good food and a couple of beers at Big Grove. I highly recommend the simple, quiet wedding ceremony, with close family and friends and as much bike riding as you can handle.

Friday, January 27, 2017

I Think It's Time We Stop, Children. What's That Sound. Everybody Look What's Going Down

Before we start this weekend, I want to write about last weekend. Last weekend was the first time I felt hope for this country in a while. With the women's march, I finally got to see democracy at work again. If you don't understand why we have to march, please reference my last blog post. One of the first things T. Rump said when he got into office was that he was cutting funding for The Department of Justice's Violence Against Women Project. Since Trump's good buddy Putin just decriminalized domestic abuse in Russia. What is wrong with people? Anyway, tons of women were out marching and it was lovely. My friend Annie even put my name on her sign for the Washington March in solidarity. It sounds like there will be more and more marches in the future too. How else do we fight fascism? Anyway we can.

Since it was in the 50's, we decided to go on a nice, long, bike ride to Kalona. As you can see by the mud freckles, it was a little wet, but not too bad.

We rode to the brew pub and had a wonderful meal. While we were there, some friends of ours came in. They were at a pool tournament in Riverside and went to Kalona for lunch. While we were there, I mentioned to them that we were engaged, but we didn't want to tell a lot of people. Of course, our friend Dawn asked if she could take a picture of us and announce our engagement on Facebook. John agreed as long as she didn't tell people when we were getting married. In his head, if our friends knew where to find us, they would all crash our wedding and he wants it to be as small as possible. Like he says, "they require two witnesses and unfortunately, they won't let us use the cats for that..."

We headed home and saw many horse and buggies, but also a ton of bald eagles. We stopped to get a better look at one and John said, "Look at him. He's sizing us up to see if he can carry us off..."

We got home and Burne and our other friend, Adam came over and ate black bean chili and cornbread with us.

On Sunday I ran my 3.5 mile route and then got ready for another bike ride. It was colder on Sunday and the winds had changed and were coming from the North, so we headed for a very hilly 35 mile bike ride to Solon.

Man, am I out of shape on the big hills in January. We usually can't ride there this time of year, so it was "interesting" (read: sad) to see just what kind of shape I'm in...Or not. It did feel good to get out and ride for two days in a row and we got 85 miles in for the weekend. Probably the best I've ever done for the 2nd to last weekend in January.

We were happily surprised at Big Grove's Winter menu. The had excellent new salads and a Borscht soup. It had some kind of meat base, so I couldn't eat a bowl of it, but our friend Burne did and let us try it and it was really good.

On Sunday night, John went to play pool with his friend Bryan and I had a night alone with the cats. It was so nice to just chill out at home and read my bike and rest my weary muscles.

I Wear My Sunglasses at Night, So I Can, So I Can, Watch You Weave Then Breathe Your Story Lines

Those who study authoritarian regimes suggest keeping a list of abnormal events after a demagogue is elected, as a way to remind yourself that this isn't normal and to keep from being overwhelmed into acceptance by the onslaught of attacks on our rights.
Here is a list below. We are 4 days in.
As the author says, "when you see all of this in one list, it is easy to get overwhelmed, at first-- it is also easy to see a pattern and to finally, finally recognize that none of this is normal, nor is it ok."

* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the DOJ’s Violence Against Women programs.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Minority Business Development Agency.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Economic Development Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the International Trade Administration.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of the DOJ.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
* On January 19th, 2017, DT said that he would cut funding for the Office of Fossil Energy.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.
* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after RTing factual, side by side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.
* On January 20th, 2017, roughly 230 protestors were arrested in DC and face unprecedented felony riot charges. Among them were legal observers, journalists, and medics.
* On January 20th, 2017, a member of the International Workers of the World was shot in the stomach at an anti-fascist protest in Seattle. He remains in critical condition.
* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 cheerleaders to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.
* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”
* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.
* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.
* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.
* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.
* On January 23rd, 2017, it was announced that the man who shot the anti-fascist protester in Seattle was released without charges, despite turning himself in.
* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he says depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is of the 2009 inauguration of 44th President Barack Obama, and is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day AFTER the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.
* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts.
* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.
* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.
* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”
* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.
* On January 24th, 2017, it was discovered that police officers had used confiscated cell phones to search the emails and messages of the 230 demonstrators now facing felony riot charges for protesting on January 20th, including lawyers and journalists whose email accounts contain privileged information of clients.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Nothin', Don't mean Nothin', Hun, If It Ain't Free, No No

Poor John.

There are many ways that John and I deserve each other (take that any way you want). We've been together 6.5 years now and he is the only guy I've ever been with who hasn't made me feel like I had to cut off certain parts of my personality in order to be in a relationship with him. Most importantly, we think we are hilarious. Here are just a couple of conversations we've had in the last few weeks about our impending nuptials.

First conversation:

Me: You have two more days of freedom left. How does that feel?

John: This is freedom?

Me: (singing) Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose...

Second conversation:

Me: What did you say?

John: Nothing. I'm just being strange right now...

Me: Good. If you weren't strange, we wouldn't have anything in common.

John: I said, STRANGE, not PSYCHO.

Me: Okay, then. If you weren't BITCHY, we wouldn't have anything in common.

Oh, but we have fun...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Oooooooo, Sugar Pie Honey Bunch. You Know That I Love You...

Me and my girls in D.C. This really has nothing to do with my post, but I didn't have a photo representation that worked.

I've been trying hard to be better about a few things for my health. One, is what I've been speaking about and that's alcohol intake. I'm not completely dry now, but I've got it waaaay under control. Good on me!

My second thing is trying to drink as much water as possible. I'm usually okay about it at work, but I get lazy with it at home. So, now I've been trying a lot harder to drink more water, and I'm doing better at that. I have asked John to remind me to drink water and I've been making sure I have a full water bottle sitting beside me when I'm reading or watching TV.

My third thing is the hardest for me. I have always loved sugar (salt too, but sugar more). I know it's bad for me and I feel like crap after I eat it, but that apparently doesn't stop me. Since it's hardest for me at work, where people bring all kinds of sugary treats, I started bringing a bag of raw, unsalted almonds with me and every time I crave sugar, I eat a handful. It's been working pretty well. As with the alcohol, I still eat some sugar, I just don't go ape shit over it...Right now, anyway.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

And When the Dark Clouds Arise, I will Stay By Your Side.

Us with silly props looking crazy.

So, this weekend we finally let the cat out of the bag. We had been talking about it for a couple of years on and off and decided it was as good a time as any...With John's condition that he's all for it, as long as we didn't have to have a party to celebrate it.

Of course, we look even crazier without the props...

A few weeks ago, we decided to get married. We've both already been married before, so we are keeping it as simple as possible. We will get married this Saturday with a justice of the peace, my girls and Archie if he wants attention (duh). We will then go get sushi for lunch with all of the above mentioned people, plus Stinky's boyfriend and our friend, Burne (our adopted son, when he doesn't have a girlfriend). Nothing will really change for us, except I get to change my name back legally for free and if I get bumped out of my health insurance, I will be able to use John's. Also, we're hoping for a tax break.

So, yea us!  We're pretty damn happy and we'll continue to support each other and love each other and call each other on our respective shit. It sounds romantic, huh?

Monday, January 16, 2017

Our Home, Yes I Am Home, Home is When I'm Alone With You

So, I wrote my whole travelogue posts, but what have I been doing since then? Inquiring minds want to know...Or else they can't be bothered, but I'm going to tell you all anyway.

I got back on Friday evening. We dropped Coadster off at Union Station, so she could catch a train for NYC to spend NYE there with a college friend. Stinky and I took turns driving home. We had a great time on vacation, but man was it great to be home. John and I stayed up talking until after midnight that night and that is REALLY late for us.

I also didn't run or ride bikes at all on vacation, even though we did average about 21,000 steps per day and one day walked over 23,000 steps. I didn't read a book either while we were gone, but I did educate the hell out of myself in other ways for that week.

The first thing I did on Saturday was ride bikes, go for a run and read 100 pages of "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn".

The other big news is that Coadster got engaged the day after she got back from her trip. They had picked out the ring in May, so it wasn't a huge shock to any of us. She isn't a fan of diamonds, so she wanted her birth stone. I'm not one much for jewelry, but even I know that it's gorgeous.

 I have spent the last couple of weeks spoiling cats...

...And reading books.

I also got to meet my friend Burne's rescue donkey named Mojo. I love him ever so much. Apparently, I'm a fan of jack asses.

So, things are getting back to normal at our place.

We even got my commuter bike all set-up. The cables broke, so we took it to the shop and got a new chain on, it's recabled, John put on new brake pads and I had the bike shop dude put on some bright red bar tape. Sexy!

I'm hoping to hunker down, start training for running and bike races coming up, get some work done around the house and get some book reading hibernating done during the next couple of colder months. There's no place like home. There's no place like home...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

And Now My Mind is Working Overtime, It's Been a Looooooong Day.

On our last day, we got up and got moving by 9 so we could get to the Air in Space Museum before it opened and hopefully not have to wait in line very long. Although the line was long, it was a good plan, because I wait was easily doable.

We checked out the gift shop and I bought a pair of Einstein socks. When I went to put my card in the machine, it gave me the screen for a debit card, even though it was a credit card and not a bank one. the woman told me to put my car d back and try again, so I did.

We looked around at the flight stuff and then got a snack before we headed to the space stuff.

The space stuff was really cool too.

And my girls were very sweet about posing for dorky photos.

We headed to the Holocaust Museum and past an Art Museum that had some really cool sculptures.

The Holocaust Museum was very well done and of course, really intense.

I thought the section where they take you through the life of a Jewish child during the Holocaust was the most powerful. You really feel it as you walk through and follow the story. It's such a sad, sad chapter in world history.

While we were at the Holocaust Museum, I got a call and voice mail message. I checked it out and called back my credit card company because they said that someone made some weird charges. I thought it might just be that we were in D.C., but when they told me what the charges were, I knew I had been hacked. $300 on clothes? Me? I might spend that much on food...So, I instantly spazzed (one of my "strengths") and they stopped my card and took the charges off, but I only had one other card with me, which was Mine and John's joint account. We only put so much money in it to take care of bills and mortgage, so we only had $100 dollars left. It was our last day, but we still needed money for food for the rest of that day and the way home and gas to get us home the next day.

I texted John to ask him if he could slide even $100 more into our account, and because he is so wonderful, he said he just slid the money he was going to put in for next month a little earlier. Whew! I had to take the girls outside because the Holocaust Museum is cavernous with tons of background noise and I am quickly becoming a deaf old woman.

Because the lines were so long and we still had a few things we wanted to see that day, we never got to see the rest of the Holocaust Museum. We did, however, go to the National Archives and see one of the Declarations of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights AND the Magna Carta.

We headed to the National Gallery again. My friend Annie had told us about a great gelato cafe right before you get to the underground tunnel to go to the other art building. Since we never got lunch, we decided gelato would be a lovely meal.

The tunnel between the two building was its own art installation. So cool.

The other side of the National Gallery was most of the abstract and more modern art. Coadster doesn't really appreciate art that's just a colored piece of cloth or other things she could just do herself, but she does love Pop Art.

 Apparently, it was my day to see car art.

We headed out of the museum and went to the National Cathedral to meet my friend Kit. I met her back in the 80's during my activist days and haven't seen her since 1987. She asked us to meet her at the cathedral, but sadly, it was already closed. The outside was pretty damn impressive, though.

We walked over to a Mexican restaurant and had a lovely meal and a great conversation. The girls and I headed home early, so we could clean and pack and then we all just passed out in our respective beds. It may not have been as spectacular as our first day, and there were certainly some problems (one BIG one), but it was a very nice way to end our trip.