Great News!

Heard from my sister-in-law today that her friend Patty had her surgery... As it turns out, they were able to get all of Patty's cancer without having to do a mastectomy, found NO cancer in the lymph nodes and will NOT have to do chemo! She'll still have to go through radiation, and has just been through surgery, of course, but all of this is very good news!

Very wonderful to hear! So glad they caught this in such early stages! Thank you for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers through her radiation and recovery!

Last day of April...

But not quite the last day to Nowhere...

Today's miles: 6.57
Total so far: 495.63
Still to go for goal: 4.37

Saturday is a good day to finish. May Day. Sounds loverly.

Spent some time with a long-time friend today. It's been far too long but it was delightful to see her. I dropped by her workplace on a whim and she happened to be there and spent over an hour with me. Good to see you, Pooh! Let's do it again soon. And next time let's not wait so long. Now that you're running, perhaps we could run together sometime. Of course, I'm awfully slow, I doubt I could keep up with you.

Hope you are all having a good day and have a terrific weekend. May it be a nice day tomorrow for the finish of the run. It would be cool to finish outside.


Stupid Question Thursday...

Which Muppet are you most like: Ernie, Bert, Cookie Monster, Grover, Kermit, or Big Bird?

and if you don't like that one,

What would the world be like if we had to select our careers at age ten? Would the world be better or worse off? (Issues to consider: the prevalence of firefighters, ballerinas, cowboys, and astronauts; personal satisfaction and happiness)



Happy Birthday, Erin!

I would be remiss (and was) if I did not wish my dear Niece a totally HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I hope it was really special, Erin!

No more cakes on the blog for my family and friends... sniffle....

On the road again...

On the road again...

I've said this before but running outside is nothing like running on a treadmill. There are the obvious things to deal with like the hills and the rocks, the traffic, the people and the bugs, the weather and the pounding on the very hard pavement. But the things I've missed out on doing all those miles on Lurch too!

  • The anticipation the first couple of miles going today's route, wondering if I'll maybe get a glimpse of Sam Shepard out working on the fence or checking on his cattle at his writing studio, or maybe just driving away in his pickup truck (no, I'm not a scary stalker fan, I've never asked for an autograph or honked or go out of my way to drive by or anything, just enjoy the occasional accidental glimpse)...

  • The happy surprise realizing the family with the scary old malamute have moved out of the old farmhouse so I won't be chased by THAT old dog anymore...

  • The sound of the water rushing in the Kinni at this time of the year and the splash of the occassional trout when I stop on the bridge to stretch...

  • The croaking of the frogs in the swampy area at the second bridge where the creek runoff is particularly high...

  • The honking of the pair of geese that are scared off when I run over the third bridge...

  • Stretching my legs and really being able to run! You just can't do that on a treadmill without preplanning and getting the speed just right and everything coordinated just so...

  • The weather! (yes, I know I mentioned that as a negative, also - you understand, I'm a Wisconsinite and I've been stuck in winter for months! It's 85 degrees and SUNNY here today... gorgeous!)...

  • There is this jingling sound just past the farmhouse where the crabby old dog used to live on the opposite side of the road on a windy day... It sounds like the most beautiful windchimes you can imagine. I believe it is an old barbed wire fence that is now cut apart and rolled up and just hanging there blowing around in the wind. It sounds magical.

  • The birds!...

  • I still have to go how far to get back home???

  • Thanks for my new running shoes mom and dad! They are really comfortable. I probably should have broken them in a little slower than taking them straight out and pounding the pavement for 5 miles, but the road was calling me today. It was fun!

    Calling all fellow runners (are there some of you lurking?)... What do you do to break in new running shoes? Especially shoes that are a totally different brand and type than you have ever worn before?

    Today's miles: 5.2
    Total so far: 489.06
    Still to go for goal: 10.94

    Going to get the kid from school now. Guess that means I'm finished with the computer for the day. Or until around 11 pm at least.


    Tuesdays take...

    I did better than I thought I would today...

    Today's miles: 5.39
    Total so far: 483.86
    Still to go for goal: 16.14

    Whoa. That doesn't leave much!

    Tomorrow Mum and I are going to pick up those new running shoes. Guess I'll be running back from Nowhere during the remainder of the year to complete that thousand! :) Of course! I knew that. The real question is, will I blog it, and will anyone care?

    Party was much fun tonight, therefore, a big success. Now to get some sleep because we're exhausted. No homework getting accomplished, but it's final quarter. Who accomplishes that anyway? Just kidding. I'm going to help her get some of that done before we crash. Must go.

    And how do I begin to thank all of you who are donating to this cause? You are so generous and kind. Together we will make a difference and a cure will be found! I can feel it. Someday soon...


    Monday Miles...

    Well, what will I do when it's over???

    Today's miles: 2.6
    Total so far: 478.47
    Still to go for goal: 21.53

    It was a very busy day today... I had to go to town and partake in my annual physical (fun fun...) and even though it's a year early, my doc and I decided that I would have my baseline mammogram this year so I'll get to have that in June (first available appointment). My blood pressure was still super low even with the bp lowering meds cut in half at that last appointment, so that was great news. We're watching for a little while longer and I may get off them altogether in the next couple of months.

    After that appointment I had mailings to do for the people who have pledged per mile to update them on how things are going and a post office trip to make. Then I had to get to the school to pick up Kel and Lauren and take them to the florist for an errand they needed to run. From there it was home to do some serious prep work for a party Kel is having tomorrow night so it just wasn't your five-mile-run kind of night!

    And tomorrow is party night, so I think tomorrow is going to be a short one, too...

    Besides, I just don't want to see this end! It's the journey, not the destination, after all.

    And as Keith says, what am I going to do when I get to Nowhere, and how am I going to get back???


    Weekend Winddown...

    And it'll be quick because I never get the computer anymore!

    Patty's Sunday Miles: 6.84
    Total so far: 475.87
    Still to go for goal: 24.13

    Keli's concert last night was wonderful. I still haven't seen AMW from last night, though. Hope they get some action on the case from it. Thanks to everyone who watched it. I'm hoping to get a look at it tomorrow.

    Thanks to Robert for promoting it! And thanks for Mark and Busy Mom and the Pondering Princess for letting me take over little bits of their blogs to promote it myself! :) Ya'll are special people! Now Robert, since you figured out that whole Trackback thing, you know you're going to have to teach me how one of these days...

    Hope everybody had a great weekend.


    Do me a Favor?

    Tune in tomorrow night to America's Most Wanted (Saturday 4/24 - 8 pm Central but please check your listings for time and station). They will be highlighting a murder case that means a whole lot to me and all of the people in my little home town. We want to see it solved. You remember those families I ran for back in February? Danny was loved by everyone in the town. His funeral was the largest I know of in the town history. If everybody, everywhere watches this show, maybe somebody, somewhere will see something or hear something that will trigger some little memory of something they heard.

    I don't know. It's a long shot.

    All I'm asking is that you watch. And that you tell everybody you know to watch.

    Fellow Bloggers? This would get even further if you would all put in a plug, too. You can link back to me for the explanation if you want. I'd so much appreciate it and owe you all a Blog it Forward or something.

    Please. It would mean a whole lot to me. And everybody in my little hometown. And two families torn apart by a senseless murder still unsolved.

    What's one more hour of television in the scheme of things. Most everybody watches television, right? I'm just asking that people do it with a purpose in mind.


    More running for Patty...

    More running for Patty...

    Running once again for Patty today, I got a few more miles under my belt...

    Today's miles: 5.5
    Total so far: 469.03
    Still to go for goal: 30.97

    Heading off to deliver Kel to a concert and pick up Keith. Hope you all enjoy your weekends!

    Thanks Marn!

    Thanks Marn!

    Thank you for pointing your visitors my way, Marn! I love visiting your site. You're always giving me chuckles... I appreciate the plug for a great cause - the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.


    For Tim...

    I haven't been a great communicator. I changed computers and didn't transfer my e-mails that had downloaded to the old over to the new and didn't end up replying to those e-mails. But that's a lousy excuse. As a result, we ended up missing out on communicating with one of the great BT warriors that we had the distinct pleasure to meet.

    During the early fall of 2002, Keith and I attended the National Brain Tumor Foundation's Brain Tumor Conference in Denver. It was a great opportunity for us because he had family there so it was a chance to see them, plus there was this great conference there so a good time to get information and meet other BT survivors. And to top it all off, David Bailey was performing there besides! So it was all good.

    Well, we flew out to Denver, and family met us at the airport and delivered us to our hotel. We got checked in and took the elevator up to our room, sharing it with another couple who were obviously also there for the conference. The husband was very tall and forbidding looking with his shaved head and walking stick. The wife was shorter and very friendly looking. We got off at different floors and found our rooms.

    There was some preliminary stuff going on for meeting other conference goers which we skipped out on that first day because we just needed to rest up a bit, but finally we decided to wander down toward the conference to get our bearings and see what we could find. While we wandered down the hallway, we again bumped into the couple we'd seen in the elevator. Keith and I are pretty shy meeting people, but we did introduce ourselves and began searching for the conference rooms together.

    I tell you, they couldn't have picked a worse venue for that particular conference. Take a bunch of people who've had surgery to their brains and are suffering from short term memory loss, have difficulty with map reading or following directions, and other such problems, and put them in a hotel where all of the conference rooms are spread out so you have to go down varying hallways, different sets of elevators, and even different buildings because the hotel has been added onto over the years! Luckily, these BT warriors also have a great sense of humor for the most part!

    We met more people there with big open hearts full of love and laughter. As the conference went on, we got to know Tim and Sharon a little better. They were wonderfully open people. Tim was being treated for a stage IV GBM, the same tumor type as David Bailey. Those are the biggies, folks. They don't get any scarier than that. He was so funny and made you feel so comfortable and at ease talking with him. He was always threatening Sharon that he was going to have a tattoo put on his head to cover his scar. :) That just sounds darned painful to me.

    As I said, I wasn't a great communicator. I e-mailed them after we got back from the conference. I heard back from Tim in January of last year and we exchanged a couple more e-mails that month. He sounded pretty good at that time but said he wanted to talk with us some more about things and that he hoped to hear from us soon.

    I got an e-mail from Sharon today. You can imagine how I feel tonight hearing that Tim lost his battle in December. Our love is going out in waves to you, Sharon. I'm so glad you got in touch with us. We'll be lighting a luminaria on June 18 at our Relay in his honor. He'll be walking with us in spirit. We remember you both well.

    For Patty...

    For Patty...

    Today's miles: 3.5
    Total so far: 463.53
    Still to go for goal: 36.47

    I know that isn't the five I said I was going for, but we had homework challenges tonight. I'll make it up - don't worry. I'm doing enough of that for all of us! Besides, the original goal was June 1st. There is still plenty of time for THAT!



    The beast strikes again. One of my SIL's just learned that a friend of hers (she's had since birth!) has breast cancer. No details are really known yet. They found it during a routine mammogram. Keep Patty in your thoughts and prayers, please. She'll be having surgery next week. She'll be the focus of my run for the rest of the week. And you too, Di, because I know how worried you are.

    I'm off to school to pick up Kel. I forgot to report that there was only minimal eye-rolling at the airport when I showed up with the giant butterfly balloon. I think Nat was doing more of it when she saw her Dad there with a baby wrapped in a blanket. While she was in Japan, her only sister had a baby a month early, so Dad thought he would be clever and fake her out with a Care Bear wrapped up at the airport. She had him pegged right away.

    More later. I have much to do yet this afternoon. Including a five mile run!


    And I almost forgot...

    Today's Miles: 5.03
    Total so far: 460.03
    Still to go for goal: 39.97

    Good thing there was a special extras disc with The Matrix Reloaded. It was full of goodies that took me a full run on Lurch to watch. No boredom involved at all. Agent Smith makes me laugh.

    And I keep forgetting to ping. My traffic is way down the past few days. I need to remember to do that from now on!

    More AOL chatting with Marge...

    More AOL chatting with Marge...

    KinnicChick: is this you?
    Marge: dead silence
    KinnicChick: (smiley who has that annoyed puss face) waiting. drumming fingers on desk.
    Marge: not a peep...
    KinnicChick: ...whistling...
    Marge: stares back unblinking...
    KinnicChick: (singing)...fly me to the moon ... and let me sail among the stars...
    Marge: Obviously unimpressed...
    KinnicChick: too bad girlie... you're missin' the whole dinner show tonight.
    KinnicChick: (Joe Cool smiley...)
    Marge: total quiet

    One of these days she's going to shock the heck out of me and really be there. Waiting until just the moment I'm about to give up on her and sign off. Then she's going to pop out and scare the bejeebus out of me. Not tonight, though. Nope. Not tonight. Cuz pretty soon I'm going to give up and sign off.

    Yep. Pretty soon.

    KinnicChick: Okay. I guess I'll be going then.
    Marge: silence
    KinnicChick: G'night.
    Marge: .........
    KinnicChick: Talk to you soon...
    Marge: nothin...
    KinnicChick: bye.

    Yep. She'll get me good one of these days.



    I haven't done one of these in a long time and I found this one over at Krush's place and thought it looked interesting. Curiosity got the best of me and I had to find out...

    I'm Pocahontas!

    Which Disney Princess are you?

    Not a bad result for me at all!

    Updated for Alta! Kida is the Defender of the Empire! She's from Atlantis. I had no idea what you were talking about because I'd never seen this movie! I had to Google her! I'm still waiting to hear what Princess my Dad is most like, too! :)
    + + + + +

    Many thanks to Bill for again sending people my way from he and his wife's place yesterday! I totally appreciate the plug as I'm getting down toward the finish line on my run. I would like everyone to know that I'll be accepting donations for the Relay for Life right up until the relay, too! You can click on my donations button over there on the right and know that every penny you donate will go to the American Cancer Society. Thank you so much! It means a lot to us to be doing something after what we experienced with Keith and what we have seen since then in getting to know other cancer survivors and victims.

    + + + + +

    Today was DoS at Kel's school (well, nationwide actually but I just mean that her school also participated) for those who signed up to participate. She said it was pretty tough being quiet for so long!

    + + + + +

    Well, I've put off today's run for a while here, eh? Guess I'd best get to it. A very tired Kel is napping and I told her I'd wake her up around 6:30 for some dinner and to help her study. That gives me a little over an hour to lurch along on Lurch (my treadmill). I haven't picked up the final Matrix yet because I forgot the coupon. *sigh* Guess I'll have to watch something else.

    I'll be back with mileage.

    Thanks again Bill!


    Rainy Day Feeling

    Another gray and rainy day, but we need the moisture, so I won't complain. Kel was wide awake when the alarm went off and up and out to school on time for the bus. Guess she was happy to get back to her friends. I don't think tomorrow will go quite as well. She's exhausted and full of headache (and homework) tonight.

    Finally watched The Matrix Reloaded today while I did the run and was so sucked into it that I broke my cardinal rule and even sat down and finished watching it after I finished the run. I usually only allow myself to movie while I'm running. I should have saved the end for tomorrow's run because I have no movies for tomorrow. I do, however, have a coupon for Mr. Movies - rent a new release and get a second movie free... Might be time to go rent the third Matrix now that the second is fresh in my mind!

    Today's miles: 4.5
    Total so far: 455
    Still to go for goal: 45

    Had a Relay meeting tonight. It's getting close! I'm getting excited!

    Working on postcards to get out to the people who pledged per mile now that I'm within 50 miles to let them know I'm down to the wire and to be looking for a pledge envelope from me soon. Really soon. In just a couple of weeks. I'm bringing it home.


    The world travelers are home!

    So of course my online time is severely hampered.


    Today's miles: 5.5
    Total so far: 450.5
    Still to go for goal: 49.5

    Adding the final duck (because in the end I get a blue ribbon)!

    Going to bed.



    Today's Miles: 4.5
    Total so Far: 445
    Still to go for Goal: 55

    I'm getting back on my game, kids. Watch out!

    And the storms tonight? They may have been scary, but they were nothin' compared to the hail we had hittin' the house last night. Summer has arrived with gusto. And gustin winds!

    I'm looking for those names to go on my shirt! Keep on sending 'em! I know you have battlers of cancer in your lives to tell the world about. Let me put their names on my shirt! Tell me about them in my comments, please! I will wear their names with pride! I'm compiling my list...

    My kiddo comes home tomorrow. As always when she travels, she's coming home sick! Hurrah... This is one of my favorite shots of those sent from abroad... The Japanese school children constantly ran up and asked them if they could practice their English with them. Keli got to practice very little of her Japanese!

    Teaching English in Japan

    Stormy Nights, Gorgeous Days...

    Stormy Nights, Gorgeous Days...

    We had quite the storm last night. It woke us up around 2. Thunder, lightning, and hail that hit the house and windows so hard, I was certain there would be damage to something. Some of the hail wasn't only the size of marbles, they were as big as shooters! But I went out in the lovely heat today and worked in the yard for a couple of hours while Keith soaked in his much-cooled hot tub (storms frequently trip the breaker to just the hot tub, and we frequently don't notice it until the temperature has dropped several degrees) and didn't notice any damage to any of my plants even. On an unrelated but thrilling springtime note, I did get to pull a deer tick off my shirt at one point.

    Yesterday after my walk I wandered around the field looking at the growth in the pines we've planted and ended up pulling five wood ticks off of myself. They are definitely thick this year. The veterinarian told us it would be a banner year for them. He said he saw them earlier than he could ever remember seeing them before (February). I wondered after having five easy-to-spot wood ticks, how many deer ticks I must have, but I couldn't find any. They can be such hard little buggers to find, though. My dog *Satanic creature* loves to bring them as gifts and deposit them in the bed for us in the night. We sometimes find them the next day creeping toward us on the dark purple blanket.

    If we're lucky enough to see them.

    *devil dog*

    Well, it's time to take Keith back to his apartment. I'll be back and post my mileage later. Hope you're all having an enjoyable Sunday.


    One Small Step for ...

    I didn't go far... I'm not feeling tip top yet and jogging the body around just isn't what I'm up for yet. I did a slow walk. Very slow. As a result it didn't get me very far, but I had to start putting the miles back on. So here's how I did. Gulp.

    Today's miles: 2.5
    Total so far: 440.5
    Still to go for goal: 59.5

    I know what you're thinking. I'm thinking the same thing. But don't sweat it. I can still do it. Thirteen days is a long time. We all wanted this to be a fight to the finish, didn't we? I know I did!

    Going to bed now.

    Moving for Elsie tomorrow. Didn't know she was a survivor. Glad to know she is. (in rereads this sounds a little strange - not surprised to know she is because she IS survivor like... does that make sense? I hope so...) You go girl! :-)

    Oh, before I go...

    Heard from my lovely daughter tonight. She says everyone in Tokyo has adorable shoes.

    So she bought some. Like mother, like daughter (like grandmother should be in there, too...)!

    I love that child and look forward to seeing her. She's sounding under the weather. And her back is bothering her. Sounds like I should contact her fabbo chiropractor now and get her set up for an appointment toward the end of the week. I think she's going to need it. I can't wait for the big hug I'm going to get at the airport on Monday!

    I'm back. Sort of.

    I'm back. Sort of.

    Still in some pain both behind my right eye (migraine) and in the abs (food allergy???) but I will put some miles behind me today.

    Mum and Jan and I went shopping on Thursday. We had many laughs and I may have found some new running shoes (thanks Mum!). I'll know more when I try on a different size this next week.

    I learned from Jan that according to an interior decorator she knows, you must have at least one wall in your house painted with your favorite color. I'm lucky enough to have two rooms in my house painted in the coolest shade of green with white trim. My whole mood changes (improves) when I walk into them. Her decorator is right!

    Did you know that when you are standing in the vicinity of a turkey vulture's nest (aka too close for comfort), they may decide to circle overhead so close that they break branches off the tree tops above you and you can hear them swooping through the air with their gigantic wingspan? A little something Keith and I learned on one of our spring walks.

    I'll be back later with my miles for the day.

    I'm planning to steal Marn's idea when the Relay arrives and write names on my T-shirt for anyone you would like remembered who fought the battle with cancer. If you would please send me their names in my comments section, I will happily begin compiling a list of those names so that when I get my t-shirt I can begin to get the names on it. Obviously, all those names on the right for whom I have run so far will go on it, but I know there are names I haven't heard yet. Send them on, please!


    Sorry for the extended break...

    After a day full of allergy headache followed by a day full of migraine, I'm knocked on my butt with ab pain.

    I'll be back when I can.


    Rest in Peace, Gerry C.

    I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad, Kathy. Big huge hugs of peace and love to you and your Mom. I know that you were all together and that he has found comfort and rest now.

    May you be wrapped in love and surrounded by friends and family in this time of loss. I love you my Diva Sister.


    And finally for today!

    I do not know what my dog managed to find that was edible during his adventures outside the dog run, but he sure is gassy now...

    + + + + +

    Also, Alta updated the comments down in the "Winding Down" post with a great idea for the finale' of my run... I think we should go with that. Since nobody else came up with anything. Unless ya'll are still thinking. Anybody?

    + + + + +

    Today's miles for Dana!!!: 3.51
    Total so far: 438
    Still to go for goal: 62

    I'm going to go do some writing now with paper and pens in my favorite coffee shop. Because I can. Because I don't have to take anybody anywhere. Or pick anyone up and wait for them. Mmmm. Coffee. Scones. I'll be back. But don't wait for me.

    And tomorrow? Shopping. With the girls. And lunch! On Grand Avenue! Yeah!

    + + + + +

    But before I forget, I just wanted to let you all know, that Newman's Own Ginger'N Creme Ginger-O's are the best cookies in the world and you should all run right out and get some. They have a crunchy, zippy good ginger cookie sandwiched around a creamy sweet (and light!) filling (way better than the oreo filling you find these days).

    Tell 'em Keri sent you! (I've always wanted to say that)

    Besides, there's the added bonus of a handsome picture of Paul on the package looking quite sweet in a pair of bib-overalls and holding a pitchfork!

    (No money has changed hands in the endorsement of this product. I just think they make a darned good cookie).

    Furry Critters

    Furry Critters

    Today I'm putting in the miles for Dana at Think Pink. She's a survivor with a great story and she's all about cancer awareness and, more important, life awareness after cancer. SURVIVAL! Go pay her blog a visit and tell her I said hello!

    While I was sitting here visiting blog sites and catching up on MSN with Keli and doing other various things online this morning, I saw a little furry critter moving down my driveway. My mind buzzed through a few billion bytes of data thinking about the various critters we've had in our forest during the past several years since we built the house... racoon? possum? fox? woodchuck? ... as I moved my chair around into position so I could look out the window to see what it really was.


    No, not that kind of bear.

    My dog, Bear. Slowly sniffing his way down the driveway in a relaxed, "Oh yeah, I'm free and I've been this way for hours" kind of way.

    I jumped out of the chair and ran for the front door. I ran out onto the front step and said, "Hey Bear! Do you want a marshmallow?"

    These are his very favorite treat. He sprang into action and ran pell-mell toward me and into the house, straight to the kitchen and the cabinet where the marshmallows are kept. I gave him one and said, "Wow. I guess the holes you have been digging in your dog run have gotten really deep, eh?" thinking he must have escaped by digging under the fence, to which we added an eight or ten inch wire fence down into the ground to prevent this type of thing from happening! He looked up at me happily, hoping for more treats and I told him to stay.

    I went out into the mudroom, shutting the door behind me, slipping on a pair of sandals. I headed into the garage and then to the dog run... the holes looked about the same, certainly no deeper and they didn't appear to be deep enough to go under the fence. I glanced to the far end of the run and the gate at that end was standing wide open.


    This happened once in the middle of winter.

    I think my dog has developed opposable thumbs and the ability to stretch four feet in the air so that he can reach up and unlatch the gate. Or someone is coming in the night and opening it to let him out. Someone who doesn't like it when he barks all night perhaps?

    It's beginning to freak me out.

    Hey Kent, could it be your flag culprit? My brother has a bandit who stole his American flag off the side of his house some weeks back. Today someone stuck a tiny little flag on a stick in its place. Are they out to get us?

    And now, the dog who kept me awake much of the night is lying here on his side sleeping so hard that he's snoring. And has been for over an hour. Spawn of Satan.

    Yes Virginia, there IS such a thing as too much fresh air.

    Yes Virginia, there IS such a thing as too much fresh air.

    Especially for a girl with allergies. Well, maybe not too much fresh air, but too much dust, mold, leaf bits, grass bits... something got kicked up yesterday during my time with Hutch. We spent a few hours yesterday at a park having a picnic and chatting in the sunshine. The entire time we were there, a very industrious woman rode around on a lawn tractor mulching up leaves and cleaning up the park. When she was finished it looked fantastic but the entire time, there were little bits of leaf and dust swirling through the air on the wind blowing right at us and we were breathing it in the whole time.

    By the time I got home last night, after the rest of my day's tasks, which included picking up frozen food at the high school that Kel sold during a band fund-raiser, delivering that to the people who had purchased it, stopping last at my folks' house with their food and asking mom if she wanted to put on some miles with me as I hadn't done my run yet. She did, so we set out together and did the four plus miles. There was a little MORE fresh air and pollen my body didn't need. I probably should have gone home and run on Lurch instead. Afterward, we had a little bite to eat there before I went home and collapsed into bed. I had a project with a pen and some paper to work on then (if you're wondering Hutch, it involves sitting on the dock at the cabin - remember our cabin? - peeling the skin off my mom's back after a sunburn... and a turtle who's been run over by a car... I digress) but couldn't give it much concentration as my head was beginning to pound.

    The pounding raged all through the night. My dog didn't help much. He refused to come in and go to bed, so I left him out there, but then he barked incessently throughout the night. I would go get him thinking he wanted to come in, which he would, just long enough for me to fall asleep, and then he'd insist on going back out again. I don't know what his problem was. I guess his wolf ancestry or something was kicking up. He goes through a night or week of this every spring. Devil Dog - hound of hell. I've taken my claritin now. I'm hoping it helps. Soon. My eyes hurt - sure sign that the sinuses are hurting...

    WOW! The pileated woodpecker is right here at my window! I love to see this bird - so prehistoric looking. But I hate seeing it on a tree so close. Hope he isn't trying to tell me this tree is dead. Good. He didn't stay or even peck at the tree at all. He moved on to another tree. But he came flying right at the house before he did. I was afraid he'd hit a window before he did. What a mythical looking creature!

    Our crocuses are blooming after the warm temps this week. We're supposed to have 70 today. And with the pounding in my head I won't feel much like running. A nice walk perhaps to get the miles, though. Hope you all have a great Wednesday.

    Conversations from Japan...

    Conversations from Japan...

  • ahhh... GUESS WHAT I DID TODAY? I SAW SANJUSAN GENDO! ... NAH NAH NAH NAH BOO BOO... nothing has put me in more awe.

  • there was even a monk chanting....

  • THEN GUESS WHAT I DID?.... i went to kiomizu temple and drank the water!

  • oh and the green tea here is out of this world... i want to dump out my clothes and pack my suitcase full of it.

  • they have bottled ice tea that i tried to get at home ALL OVER. UNSWEETENED.... it's awesome.

  • any downtime i have consists of sleep... *soooooo tired.*

  • today dianne and i got laughing so hard i was crying. natalie has had the hiccups all day and we all "hate" bill for "composing" his pictures.

  • I think we were annoying others on the train, but they eventually smiled as well. you can't help it. four stupid americans laughing their asses off.
  • 4.13.2004

    Today's mileage...

    Today's miles: 4.3
    Total so far:434.49
    Still to go to goal: 65.51

    Long day. Exhausted. Going to bed. G'night.

    Because it shouldn't be hidden in the comments... (Keith's Story)

    Here's a conversation that happened 3 years ago today:

    It was a Friday the 13th at exactly 2:34pm. The phone rang. I ran from the shower to the phone in the kitchen.

    The voice on the phone said, "Is this Mr. K_ K_ ?"

    I was annoyed. I figured it was a telemarketer who had just gotten me out of the shower. Ready to hang up, I answered, "Yes."

    "This is Dr. S_ from Dr. O_'s office - the neurology clinic."

    Hmm. I wasn't expecting a call from them. I wondered what was up.

    Dr. S_ : "I have been trying to reach you on your cell phone and work phone."
    Me: "I had the day off."
    Dr. S_ : "Your neurologist, Dr. O_ is on vacation today. But, I thought I had better not wait until he got back. I thought I had better call you today."
    Me: "Oh, okay, thanks."
    Dr. S_: "You just had an MRI of your head, right?"
    Me: "Yep."
    Dr. S_: "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but the MRI of your brain was abnormal."
    Me: "Oh"
    Dr. S_: "We see something that appears to be a lesion of some sort. Could be an old injury. But, could be a brain tumor."
    Me: "Oh"
    Dr. S_: "We need to get a better look with a more detailed MRI and with dye. I've already set up the appointment for the MRI. It's 10:00 Monday morning. Do whatever you need to be there."
    Me: "Okay."
    Dr. S_: "If this is a tumor, we should be able to get it."
    Me: "That's good."
    Dr. S_: "In that location it is very likely causing seizures. Tell me your pharmacy name. I want to call in a prescription for an anti-epilepsy medication. I want you to start taking them right away."
    Me: "Okay."
    Dr. S_: "On the good side, it looks like we found the cause of your symptoms."
    Me: "Yep."
    Dr. S_: "We'll call you in the middle of next week with the results of Monday's MRI. Please make sure you get to that."
    Me: "Okay."

    Keri and I had been raking leaves all day. I walked out on the front step where Keri was still raking leaves. I called to her. She put down her rake and came to me. I began to cry. I could barely tell her. "The doctor called. They say I might have a brain tumor." We held each other and cried.

    Later, we spent more time silently raking together. That memory of raking together, lost in deep thought and deep hoping is so vivid. We knew that life was maybe about to change. I wondered if I would ever see another Spring.

    That was 3 years ago today. What an amazing 3 years. What a roller coaster ride. The surgery, the recovery, the doubts, the medical foibles and medical heroes. I don't think we'll ever be quite the same.

    And, it lingers on. It wasn't until just a couple of weeks ago that we got the final word on the pathology. They said that it was extremely hard to classify, but they thought it most likely a "Grade 2 Astrocytoma" - fairly wimpy on the malignancy scale. My current doctor said my situation lacks enough studies to have final answers on how best to treat this. He said that the lack of research leads to doctors having to base treatment more on gut feel than on scientific evidence. I'm glad we have the gut feel of such an incredibly good doctor working in our favor. He said that some doctors would recommend brain radiation now. But, he recommends that we save this "in our toolkit" to be used in case of a recurrence - since the brain can only be radiated once in a lifetime. And, he said that in my case he gives it about an 80% chance that I would permanently lose all ability to turn short term memory into long term memory, if I have the radiation.

    3 years later, I have 15-20% less brains. But, aside from the continuing episodes that the doctors say is mild epilepsy, I'm doing really well 3 years later, all considered. Driving is a problem. But, I can work. And, I can be with my family. I can remember my family and recognize them. I have my hearing so I can hear the wind and the birds in our forest. I can think enough to help my daughter with her math homework. I have my sight so I can see a sunset, and maybe better understand the value of sharing it, sitting next to my wife.

    I remember a doctor telling me after the diagnosis that I was really fortunate that this was happening to me then, and not 10 years earlier. He said that technology had advanced tremendously in that 10 years, giving me a much better chance.

    So, things are progressing in the area of cancer and brain tumor treatments.

    I know everyone has a story. This is my story for this day. And, I guess all I can say is "Thanks for supporting efforts to continue the progress." And, "Thank you, my wife, for this run."

    And, thank you, thank you, thank you for all the support, prayers and well-wishes from family and friends.


    A Question For Your Comments... Please Do!

    Have you ever left anything in a public restroom intentionally or unintentionally that would have been thought unusual had it been found or didn't belong there?

    (I know, this is worded weird. I could have said, did you ever forget anything or lose anything but sometimes you leave things there on purpose! This way I'm hitting both sides of the coin).

    My answers:

    1) Many moons ago, before I even met Keith, I went to a company Christmas party just for the division I was in - a pretty nice ritzy affair. I went out and bought a fancy black velvet dress, stockings, pumps, purse - the whole nine yards. I had a sitter for Kel for the night, a hot date also in the division, and I "borrowed" a ring from Mom, only she didn't know it because she was off on a fancy trip with a bunch of friends and couldn't be reached. It was a little gold ring with three little diamonds in it. She had it for a pinky ring, but it was a little too big for that for me. However, it was too small for me to wear on my ring finger, so I also had to wear it on my pinky.

    During the course of the evening, eating hors d'oeuvres and drinking the bottles of wine that were just sitting around on all of the tables and dancing every dance, requesting all my favorite songs like Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers (most romantic song of all time - don't argue), I may have gotten a little tipsy. At one point, I wandered into the ladies room, did what all ladies do after drinking beverages, and then I washed my hands, dried them and threw the paper towel into the trash can. It wasn't until halfway through the next day at work that I realized I no longer had my mom's ring. So I called the hotel where we'd had the party, told them my dilemma and they alerted the housekeeping staff, who was at that moment, cleaning the ladies room.

    The delightful young woman cleaning the ladies room had not yet emptied the large trash can, and she took out each towel, uncrumpled it, and searched for the ring, working her way through it until she found it. Wasn't that lucky?

    Upon further remembrance... Phew! What a stressful day that was! I've been thinking about the drive over to the hotel during my lunch break with my date to see if they had found it because I didn't know yet and how totally freaked out I was... (mom is gonna shoot me... mom is gonna shoot me...) and then the total relief that she had not only been kind enough to look through the trash for it but that she had found it and was honest enough to turn it in. (WOW! Mom doesn't ever have to know that I lost it or even that I wore it in the FIRST place! Yippee!!!)...

    pssst, dad - she hasn't been reading much lately... she doesn't have to know a thing about this little story, right? RIGHT??? heh heh heh... just our little secret...

    I'll tell my other story later. I do have another. Yepper. First I wanna hear yours, though.

    I'm waiting!

    Another Week Begins...

    Another Week Begins...

    Hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours went quickly. The first without Kel around and without the extra dashing about to take her to this party or that movie and it still went by fast.

    We enjoyed brunch in Red Wing. We had many laughs, took a family portrait (minus six missing family members), ate too much food, saw some people we knew which surprised us considering we were several miles from home, (I saw my first boss at the corporate IT job I had in St. Paul - that was a big surprise - and he even remembered me), and then we dashed back home for a nice Sunday afternoon before getting Keith back to his apartment. On the way we made a pit stop at Dunn Bros. and enjoyed a plate of vegies and dip before indulging in a mocha brownie and some coffee. Yum.

    Once at the apartment I spent a bit of time assembling his new vacuum cleaner, following directions and putting all of the pieces together. There were no spare parts or missing pieces. It was great. And it even ran right once it was finished. Afterwards there was no rush to get Kel back home to finish homework so I stayed there and watched the sunset over the lake with him and we laughed at our silly jokes for a while. I took off when I could no longer see the sun. I planned to run when I got home, but decided instead to go to bed early. I think I'll do two workouts today if I'm in the mood later to head to the old hometown and head to the school with mum. We'll see. That will make up for it, I figure.

    Here's today's stats...

    Monday's miles: 4.25
    Total so far: 430.19
    Still to go for goal: 69.81

    Those miles are just moving down there! I'm liking it!

    Got more photos and updates from the traveling kid today! I'm so jealous! They sound like they're having a great time...


    Peep Show

    After many laughs with Bill in the past over Peeps and the many iterations they've been through in their marketing twists and turns over the years (not that I'd ever eat them, mind you), I had to laugh today when Keith and I went into our favorite coffee shop in the old home town and found the front page of the Express section of the cities paper covered with photos of Peeps in dioramas sent in by readers competing for prizes. A funny little contest by the paper. Here's a link. Hope you get a kick out of it. Make sure you scroll through the photos. They were priceless. And the article was pretty humorous, too!

    Peep show

    On with my workout.

    Update: Man, did I have troubles trying to publish this! I spent many frustrating hours hopping in and trying to get it to take. Thought I was going to have to spend all week next week re-vamping my site just to get things going again. Thank goodness things are finally moving this morning (Sunday). I'm changing date and time to reflect the time I actually wrote and ran to reflect truth in publishing. :) I'll be back later today if I have anything to report from a running standpoint, but Keith and I are off to Red Wing, Minnesota now to celebrate my parents' 51st Wedding Anniversary with them and one of my brothers and his family. The other bro' is entertaining his in-laws for Easter. Happy Weekend to all... And here are the stats from yesterday...

    Don't worry Sue (if you actually found the site)... I took it easy, despite the numbers...

    Saturday's Miles: 4.0
    Total so far:425.94
    Still to go for goal: 74.06



    A day of rest...

    No running today as ordered by Sue my magnificent massage therapist. Got a massage from her too! And in all honesty, she ordered a week of rest. Well, if she ever finds this website (Hi Sue!) and manages to comment on it... I'll know that she found me out and discovered that this one day was my week of rest... ahem.

    In other news, she pointed me toward some arch supports to help with the foot problem, realigned my twisting pelvis (I swear I'm just doing too many Elvis moves) and got me on the road to recovery. I'll be fine tomorrow.

    Got e-mails from Kel and Bill (one of her fabbo traveling companions...). He sent photos! So I've decided to post one. I'll leave the rest (unless I get a really great one that can't wait) for her to share with her friends before I post any more later. Perhaps when he makes a photo CD for them, he'll also make one for their parents who may never see that CD again, or any copies of the photos from it! (hint hint)

    So here are the girls, climbing the stairs to their seats in the First Class section!

    Heading to Nippon!

    Now I'm going to join my hubby at whatever he's going since I just got him home from his apartment for the weekend.

    See you tomorrow when I'm back to post my miles for the day!


    Winding down.

    Well, kiddo has been on the plane for about five hours so far. I just took a look on the airline's website to see what the plane layout is. There are twelve seats upstairs and a galley and a private bathroom for the twelve people sitting up there. Nice. I don't suppose they are suffering much. They have another eight hours or so to go. Rough journey, eh?

    Don't worry. I'm not going to give updates every few hours. In fact, this is going to be my second to last post of the evening. I'm going to go do some more putzing perhaps. Yes indeed, Mark! We runners putz all the time! Not only around the house, though. I'm a putz pretty much every where I go. Ask my brother. He'll agree whole heartedly. yuck yuck.

    Okay. Enough. Good thing I've got a massage tomorrow. I needs it my precious.

    Watching those miles wind down? I've got two things going through my mind.

    1) What will I do for that last mile? I'm picturing friends and family gathered up at the track where the Relay will take place with some streamers stretched across it - me running down the track breaking through at the end (in slow motion)... Music playing, can't you hear it??? I'm hearing Chariots of Fire... (hehehe... good grief what a melodramatic sap I can be) What do you see?


    2) What will become of this blog when the 500 has been reached?

    I said I was giving myself until June 1 to reach my goal, so do I keep on running to see how far I get until June 1? Some of my pledgers?/donors? said they were pledging a certain amount per mile up to the 500 and a few of them said that they would give me over and above if I went over and above by June 1. Well, I made a personal goal for fitness of running a thousand miles this year, so I'm obviously going to keep running, I guess I can keep the blog going and keep reporting on my progress so those who've pledged in that manner can keep track of me. Also, the Relay doesn't take place until mid-June, anyone who might come on board reading the blog later, may want to make a donation to a great/fantastic/fabulous/important cause at some point after I reach 500 but before the Relay and would still be able to do that if I keep blogging until then.

    Hello, my name is Keri and I'm a blog addict.

    The first step is admitting you have a problem. Time for that shower. I'm making some ramen and going to go soak in a tub after that shower. Mmmmmmm ramen. Mmmmmmmm soaking in hot epsom salt water. With ramen. And candles. And the music from Chariots of Fire. Okay, maybe not. I bet I can find something better than that. Later kids.

    Thanks for your support. And comments. Notice I'm not asking for more. Because that always bites me in the butt. Which I no longer have because I ran it off tonight! Woooohoooo!

    For Dawn!

    For Dawn!

    In celebration of Dawn's final radiation treatment, I ran my butt off today...

    Today's miles: 7.08
    Total so far: 421.94
    Still to go for goal: 78.06

    PS... my foot felt fine today.

    Congratulations, Dawn! I hope you and the family had a wonderful happy party today! Many loving thoughts coming at you from here!

    Conversations in Space

    Conversations in Space

    KinnicChick: testing testing. is you on or is this the ghost???
    KinnicChick: woooooooooooo calling the spirit of marge.... are you there????
    KinnicChick: come in marge...
    KinnicChick: (lighting candles and incense... turning out lights... closing eyes) mmmmmmmmmarge...
    KinnicChick: mmmmmmmarge...
    KinnicChick: come on! You just sent that e-mail! You've GOT to be online!!! (breaking concentration, eyes flying open, nearly falling off chair and onto floor)...
    KinnicChick: MARGE!!!!
    KinnicChick: Hey, wait a minute. I'm not getting a message back saying anything about her. Don't I usually? Or do I add those witty silences and stuff later when I post them into my blog? Hmmmmm. Feeling stupid...
    KinnicChick: insert huge stupid smiley face grin here - :D
    Marge: (Complete and utter silence)
    KinnicChick: I'm so bored. Ho Hum.
    Marge: (The kind of silence that hums in your ears)
    KinnicChick: She really did just send me an e-mail so I don't understand this at all.
    Marge: (Silence so deep you begin to wonder if you really are alone in the world and everything else is just a dream)
    Time passes
    KinnicChick: Well, now it's been about 15 minutes since she sent it and it's getting rather late at night, so I suppose she has gone by now and signed off. Brat. I guess I may as well give up on her. Snot. Your loss, Marge. You had this great opportunity to chat with me but you blew it and got off line right after sending me an e-mail without waiting five minutes to see if I would bring up my buddy list and find you first. Oh well. Maybe next time. See you tomorrow! At the challenge write-off!

    Keri sits there quietly looking at her screen for several more minutes wondering if perhaps she should just wait a little longer because maybe Marge is watching the one-sided conversation and laughing at her, but then she decides that if that is the case, it's best to cut her losses now and turn off the computer and go to bed.

    Why do I wait so long?

    Why do I wait so long?

    Had a call from Kel a couple of hours ago... from the plane!

    Kel: Hi.
    Me: Hi! Where are you?
    Kel: On the plane.
    Me: Oh. Are you comfortable?
    Kel: You knew?
    Me: Yeah.
    Kel: I hate you.
    Me: Well, I didn't actually find out about it until after I left you at the airport yesterday. Is it cool?
    Kel: We had to come up a staircase to get to our seats!
    Me: I hope they are taking lots of pictures.
    Kel: They are. They took pictures of us coming up here.
    Me: Were your jaws hanging on the ground?
    Kel: Yeah, pretty much.

    She sounded uber excited. I could hear the other three chatting and Nat giggling in the background. God this is going to be an awesome trip for them. What an experience.

    Good news in the old hometown this past week. An old school chum of mine is home from Iraq. Glad to see it. Welcome home, Chris. Haven't seen him since my ex graduated from high school or before, but I've thought about him plenty during this war when I'd heard he was over there. Spoke with the ex on the phone for a while the other night (that was a trip after about 10 years or so of non-conversation) and told him about Chris's return and did some reminiscing about their high school wrestling days.

    After my late night last night I need a jump start to get moving this afternoon... maybe I should make a little coffee - medicine of our pal David Bailey???

    david m. bailey

    Java Junkie
    David M. Bailey 2002

    I like a caramel cappuccino with a double shot of jo
    And a white chocolate mocha, you can make that one to go
    See, I'm a coffee connoisseur, a Dali lama of latte
    A genuine java junkie every hour of the day

    Columbia and Kenya, Ethiopia, Peru
    They all make a fine roast, the French do too
    Cubans drink it sweet, the Turkish drink it strong
    Me, I just drink it,
    All. Day. Long.

    Most drink it for breakfast, some after they dine
    Guess they just don't know you can drink it anytime
    Pre-brunch, post-lunch, afternoon tea
    Perfect coffee breaks if you're asking me
    I like to brew a pot before the lights go out
    Some say it keeps me up, I say it helps, no doubt

    Now, some of you are thinking it's gonna make me sick
    That I should switch to decaf as though that would do the trick
    But I've learned a thing or two in my 30-something years,
    Life is short so stay awake before it disappears
    And if that means that I should drink an extra cup of Joe
    Well sign me up, fill my cup, let it overflow

    It's more than just a beverage; it's better than a drug
    It's like an old best friend who greets you with a hug

    Okay, headed off to lurch run my butt off on Lurch...

    I've been putzing around here and hoping that the beautiful sunshine would bring the temps up enough to make me want to run outside, but it never did.

    Back in a bit to post my results.

    Flying FIRST CLASS...

    Flying FIRST CLASS...

    Now that they've headed off to the airport and I can't imagine any of them checking my blog for any reason, I can tell the big surprise...

    My spoiled brat adorable daughter and the rest are flying first class in those luxury seats that slide out into beds to and from Japan. Oh yeah. This will be a trip to remember.


    And for today...

    Today's miles: 4.5
    Total so far: 414.86
    Still to go for goal: 85.14

    I was all about taking it easy on the foot because Sue, my all-knowing massage therapist and guru-extraordinaire said so. And seeing as how I'm going to have a massage on Friday, I didn't want to be getting in trouble with her when I go see her so I thought I'd better listen up and listen good. So these were easy miles, not my usual running miles. These were cool and calm walking miles that didn't require an immediate shower afterwards.

    Okay. I'm outta here. I have lots to do before bed that don't involve sitting here catching up on my blog friends. Honest. I want my house in ahhhhhhhhh shape still before I sleep. I'm working on that as my goal tonight. It's coming along nicely. And I'm not doing anything that I need to post helpful hints about, either.

    Listening to: Ghost in the Machine by The Police

    If everything stayed on schedule...

    If everything stayed on schedule...

    and if I kept my facts straight,

    Tomorrow is Dawn's last radiation!!!

    Okay everybody... Snoopy Happy Dance - Now! Do it! Come on, let's go!!!

    So I'll be running my BUTT off for you tomorrow Dawn!

    Huge pain-free hugs of happiness, sweetie. I am so happy for you!


    Happy Birthday, Jody!

    Happy Birthday, Jody!

    Hope you enjoy your day today and your empty nest this next several days... ;) Hope you find something fun to do with your baby out of the house.

    They're off!

    They're off!

    Kel and Nat are on their way! In fact, they're probably already in Seattle by now, as that leg of the journey was a short one. They'll spend today doing a little site-seeing there with my cousin Dianne and her husband Bill, spend a night at their place and fly off to Japan with them tomorrow afternoon! I'm so excited for them! What a fun trip. Wish I could be there! I hope they have a great time. I can't wait to hear all about it when they get back.



    So here's the dilemma...

    My left foot is starting to hurt a little bit. The arch, you know? Like maybe it isn't getting enough support or something.


    Just to forewarn you, foot?

    I STILL HAVE NEARLY 90 MILES LEFT TO RUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Okay. That outta fix it. The foot has been warned. I'm sure it will be fine from here on out.

    I'll say it again...

    I'll say it again...

    Bloggers are the shiznit.

    shiznit: (def. from urbandictionary.com) adj. 1) the best; 2) the greatest, in a certain category or universally; 3) gaddam' phenomenal, bi-atch!

    Yesterday I had Bill pointing readers in my direction and telling them good things. Today it's Kim. (If I knew anything about the trackback feature, I'd be taking advantage of it, gang)... What did I do to deserve such lovely friends in cyberspace?

    Thank you.

    I'm gonna stop

    I'm gonna stop

    telling ya'll how much I love reading your comments on here and how supported I feel when you write stuff.

    Because everytime I do you all clam up on me.

    Can someone please tell me

    Can someone please tell me

    why I'm more nervous about this trip than Keli is? She seems cool as a cucumber. She just skipped out the door to go hang at her friend's house and watch tv for a few hours. She's going to 'pack when she gets home'. I'm nervous enough for the both of us I guess.

    It's more excitement than nerves, though.

    And she's always been one to play her stress pretty close to her heart. That's why she gets to hang out with a chiropractor once in a while. She holds her nerves in her back. So Di, if she gets a back ache while she's there, you'll know why!

    You all are going to have the best time!

    It's a Beautiful Day...

    It's a Beautiful Day...

    Wow. Blue skies and the temps are climbing. The forecast says it should be near 70 today. I can handle that. Got some errand running to do so I thought I would get my run out of the way earlier than usual...

    Today's miles: 4.5
    Total so far: 410.36
    Still to go for goal: 89.64

    Wow. The numbers are dropping so fast! I can almost see Nowhere, Hutch... It's a little hazy with all this near-sightedness and my old contacts, but... I wonder what it will look like?

    Japan bound!

    Japan bound!

    24 hours from now, Kel and I will be at Nat's house ready to head off to the airport!

    Let's go to Japan!

    They look like they're going to have a great time together, don't they???

    Okay - enough play time. Going to go run now.

    Listening to - U2: Beautiful Day


    More mileage...

    Decided to move a little further today after the niceties of my blog-buddies. So here's my updated stats for tonight...

    Tonight's miles: 4.4
    Total so far: 405.86
    Still to go for goal: 94.14

    Later, mates...

    Countdown to Japan...

    Countdown to Japan...

    My baby is flying to the other side of the earth in just a day and a half. Without me. It isn't the first time she's been off for an extended vacation without me. And she's growing up and will someday in the not-too-distant-future leave the nest for college and the great beyond. But Japan! Lucky little tyke.

    Okay. Let's face it. I'm jealous. And filled with gratitude for this opportunity provided for her by my cousin and her husband. Kel is totally fortunate. She knows it and her dad and I know it. We're all very thankful for it.

    Now if we can just get her ready for it in time! Rushing out the door for last-minute shopping experience with grandma...

    Thank you...

    Thank you...

    Bloggers are some of the nicest people on earth, as demonstrated by Bill. Thank you, Bill. I shed some fat tears of gratitude reading your blog this morning. You and your family are good people. You make my running so much easier. You and my folks' and Hutch and her kids and that list of people over on the right of my blog, and the Kathies, and Marge and Marn, and all of my regular posters who make it so much easier to update here every day, and Kel who gives me some of my best material to post about, and of course my husband without whom I never would have gotten this whole thing started because I may never have gotten involved in the Relay in the first place.

    Thank you. Thanks for donating. Thanks for your words of support. Cheering me on helps me immensely. I don't have a lot of time to go read up on what's happening in a lot of your lives, so when you come here and give me your words of encouragement, you can't imagine what it does for me. But you can see the numbers! Bloggers, I ran for you today.

    Thank you...

    Today's miles: 5.25
    Total so far: 401.46
    Still to go for goal: 98.54

    Adding another duck to my progress chart!


    Lost hour...

    Yep. Daylight savings time. Gotta love it. Lost an hour. One hour I could have been running. Or sleeping. Or laughing. Or eating. Or whatever.

    For me I guess sleep is most important. I hate losing out on sleep. So yeah, I guess I lost out on sleep. That's the hour that disappears anyway since the big change happens at 2 am. Kel can attest to that. She was online at two. She was chatting with friends and suddenly noticed it was after three. She realized she had totally missed out on the two o'clock hour but Spense assured her that it hadn't really happened so it was okay. It was just DST. She was relieved. And yes, she slept until after 1 this afternoon.

    She and Keith really rocked on the Algebra II this weekend. They finished six days worth in just a few hours. He taught her the concepts and sat with her while she did the homework. She's now finished with her homework for the Japan trip with the exception of some reading of novels and the journal that she has to write during/about the travels. With 20 hours on the plane, the reading should get done in flight, hopefully.

    To all of you spring breakers here in RF - have a safe and happy vacation!

    Well, since I lost out on that sleep last night, I guess I'll go grab a bit now. Kel's down cleaning her room so I don't think she'll be getting any very soon. She has laundry to accomplish for the trip so I think I'll hear the washer going in the wee hours once she has gathered things together...

    Here are today's stats toward my 500 miles to nowhere. Just to say thanks once again for all of the support, the sponsorships are still coming in the mail - I'm so grateful for your generosity... THANK YOU!!!!!!!

    I ran again today for Mary M... This was her weekend!

    Today's miles: 4.25
    Total so far: 396.21
    Still to go for goal: 103.79

    No reason I shouldn't be under 100 miles after tomorrow! Should be reason for celebration!


    Blustery Day!

    Sitting here in the office to write this out I'm just amazed listening to the wind in the trees. Unfortunately it isn't a nice warm southerly wind, either. Keith and I had some errands to run in town this morning and with the sunshine and blue skies, I assumed it was a decent enough morning out there to wear jeans and a t-shirt, light jacket and a pair of sandals. It would have been had we drove everywhere, but we parked the car by the market and walked to the coffee shop when we'd finished our shopping. At least we didn't have to walk to the post office and bank, too. We used the car for those stops.

    We were literally blown from the coffee shop back to our car and really had to fight the wind on the way up to it. Once we got there, we listened to a grandpa complaining about how the wind was going right through his fleece jacket and that he didn't want to go back out in it and then he and his little grandson waited there for someone to pick them up while we had our drinks.

    Here are the miles I ran for Marge's friend Mary! (and for Marge...)

    Today's miles: 5.0
    Total so far: 391.96
    Still to go for goal: 108.04

    I'm so ready to be under 100 miles. I may need to head to the school a couple of nights with mom this week after Kel leaves for Japan so I can get extra miles in at the top of the month. We're gettin' down to the wire!

    Keli was off to the MOA today with a friend who had a school project to do there. They spent about six hours there. Sounds like it was fun. She came home with a few trinkets that she likes. She's back now and anxious to check the blogs of her friends. Keith is out walking to the mailbox in the blustery wind. Bear is outside barking pathetically because he wanted to go along. And because he is hungry since he thinks it is dinner time. He'll be happy for the start of daylight savings time as he still hasn't become accustomed to the time change from last fall.

    I want to go see the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Sounds wonderful. Sometime soon maybe.

    I need a shower. Guess it is time.



    Busy day yesterday with writing and running around, so that means I have to get lots of running on the feet in today!

    Yesterday while meeting with Marge, I learned about her friend Mary M. who has been fighting cancer for quite some time. And I'm talking about really donning the suit of armor and going into battle. She has been a tough cookie! I'm running this weekend for Mary. And for my friend Marge. Because she's a honey with a really big heart. Smooches, Marge. I love you.

    I'm off to lurch along on Lurch now. I'll be back.


    Happy Birthday, Birthday Boy!!!

    Happy Happy Birthday to Every Boy and Girl!

    But mostly to my MUCH OLDER BROTHER!!!

    It's a big important birthday, too! He's 45 today! Woohoo!!!!!!!!!

    Love ya, bro! MMMMMMMMWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Cyberkisses!

    Edited to add:

    (From the comments) "You may remember hearing that our first daughter, Kimberlie, was born the same day as your brother Kent, and your mother and I were room mates at the Hudson Hospital. Tom always said
    "your brother Kent was the first boy his daughter ever slept with." ( at age 1 day). ....... Kimberlie is finding it hard get old.How is Kent taking it????"

    My reply - I stopped over to see him this afternoon... He's in pretty good shape for a guy his age. He seems to be taking it fine, but with this many years' experience, he's gotten to be a pretty good actor. Who knows?

    I completely forgot, Carol! Thank you for reminding me... here's a slice of cake for the first girl Kent ever slept with... HUGE GRINS... Happy Birthday to YOU, Kim!

    Happy Birthday Kimberlie!


    Look What I Found in My Comment Box!

    Found, but almost missed! Good thing I have Haloscan e-mail all of my comments to me so that I can go through them each individually or I would have missed this one completely! I started doing that after nearly missing one from a friend that was sent late last year...

    Okay - I will up my anty by 10 bucks if you make it by the first of May!
    Kathy C

    Don't I have the most incredible and awesome friends? More incentive! Yeah! Gotta get moooooooooovin'!

    Thank you, Kathy! Love you, Diva Sister!!!

    and finally...

    and finally...

    In closing for the evening, I just need to say -

    Today's miles: 3.1
    Total so far: 386.96
    Still to go for goal: 113.04

    Thanks for all your insightful input today! It was fun... See you tomorrow after my writing with Marge and other running around. Kel gets to see Hidalgo tomorrow night.

    More hints...

    More hints...

  • Josh Groban rocks my socks. Listen to him while cleaning and you may or may not get anything done. You may just stop everytime he hits a great note and clasp your hands together at your chest (or spread your arms wide - both are great) and hit it with him... at the top of your lungs... this house has great acoustics for singing. And the spawn of satan is a great audience. Really.

  • David Gray also rocks my socks. Listen to him and cleaning flies by. If you can get anything done while dancing. Truly.

  • Bare feet or shoes are best for dancing on hard wood floors. Socks alone are far too slippery. Danger! Danger Will Robinson!

  • When hungry and cooking a lunch of ramen on the stove, don't leave it there for the requisite three minutes to update the blog without setting a timer. You will not remember that it is boiling. Until you smell it or hear the results of the water having been boiled away. Bad idea.

  • Ramen that has been cooked for 20 mintues tastes more like paste. No matter what you top it with.

  • Back to work...

    Great news!

    Great news!

    Hey, guess what? In doing all of this cleaning today, I've discovered that I think I'm going to need another garage sale! Isn't that great?

    I'm so dreading it excited. Dad already said I can't have it at his house again back when we had the last one there. Guess this will be a country sale! Yippee! I bet you almost anything Keith will stay at his apartment that weekend. Unless he gets nervous about what I might sell out from under him. That might bring him home.

    The one good thing is how I'll feel when it is all over and the house is back to its good old normal pared-back and simple feel. I'm so tired of piles and clutter. I can't think with all of this stuff - wonderful as some of it is. How did we acquire so much? Somebody needs to cancel Christmas and birthdays and all of the rest of the holidays for a few years. Then we can stop spoiling each other with too many gifts.

    Back to work...

    Hints... cont.

    Hints... cont.

  • Always remember, when standing on a barstool to change lightbulbs, if the phone rings and it is mid-morning? It's most likely a telemarketer and not someone you know who is in critical need of getting a hold of you. How many critical phone calls do you get in the middle of the morning anyway? There is probably no need to panic and drop the lightbulb and/or fall scramble down from the stool to rush for the phone.

  • Even better, get out the ladder when changing lightbulbs. It is only a few feet away in the garage, after all.

  • Having a lightbulb moment (the kind in your brain - not the kind listed above) while standing atop a barstool, is also not a great idea. Hey MOM! It was Gloria Bunker Stivik (thanks Hutch)!!! The other night while watching Gilmore Girls (must see TV Tuesday night... it was a repeat I've now seen three times thanks to the miracle of videotape, and the one with Lorelei joking about Sylvia Plath being cold, ironically enough - anyway, I digress again), I asked you who that woman was that Lorelei and Rory were visiting and having cocoa with and you didn't know (but you also didn't get to see her very much after I asked you that.) It was little Gloria, all grown up and many years later!

  • It's best if you have pets that scurry underfoot (especially spawn of satan pets) to let them outside and leave them there when you'll be climbing up and down on barstools. 'nuff said.

  • Back to work.

    Hints from Helo... er... Keri

    Hints from Helo... er... Keri

  • Don't argue with your teenager first thing in the morning as you are sending them off to a hard day at school. You'll feel horrible about it all day and it will be pretty much the only thing you can think about no matter what else you are doing.

  • When cleaning a sink "to the nines" and soaking it in bleach water for that extra shine and sparkle, don't lean over it in a not-tucked-in t-shirt to clean the mirror that is behind it. You may dangle said t-shirt in bleach water and then wander around the house for twenty minutes or so before noticing that you have bleach water dripping from your body.

  • Do not wear your very VERY favorite jeans while cleaning your house "to the nines". You may end up doing something really stupid (see above) and dribbling bleach water on them, leading to much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not that anyone around here would do that over something as silly as a pair of jeans, but you never know. You might, and I'm giving you hints.

  • Do not sneeze at the very end of cleaning a gigantic mirror unless you happen to also be smart enough to turn your head, or have time to cover your entire face with your arm or something. Unless of course you enjoy cleaning gigantic mirrors over and over again and it makes your day to feel like you are spending inordinate amounts of time doing the same job twice when there are miriad jobs still ahead of you. Then by all means. Take that sneeze and let 'er rip. All over the mirror. TMI. I know. Allergies. Welcome to Spring.

  • To be continued as the day goes on. Because I just know that I'll have more brilliant flashes of inspiration every 45 minutes or so when I get to take a little break from my work.

    Thursday Question...

    Thursday Question...

    Okay. Here we are with my fascinating question of the week hoping to generate some additional comments because you all know how I like to hear from people.

    Mwaaa to my regular comment posters!

    This week's question comes to us from The Little Book of Stupid Questions (and yes, I do actually own this book; a writer must have all sorts of research and idea material)...

    Is it more time efficient (and just plain better) to put on both socks and then both shoes, or one sock, one shoe and then the other sock, the other shoe?

    I actually saw this situation argued on an episode of All in the Family between Archie Bunker and his son-in-law, who's name - other than Meathead - totally escapes me now. They must have argued about it for a good 10 minutes! I won't tell you who was on what side of the argument or what his view was until after I hear your comments, good people. I DO hope I hear your comments.

    Okay. I have work to do. I hope you all get back to me on this very serious issue in our world today.

    And by the way - Happy April Fools Day! Hope it is a good one for you and someone is able to play a great joke on you. Because everyone needs a good laugh in life.