Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Crafty Christmas

A couple years ago my husbands family started this gift exchange where you had to make your recipient a gift.  I hated it.  We did it twice and I hated it.  We drew names at Thanksgiving and the time between then and Christmas is so short and so busy that I felt too much pressure trying to come up with something to make.   This year they let us opt in or out of the gift exchange and it didn't have to be made.  But we opted out.   I was done with the gift exchange thing.  

But then it turns out that my husband and I got our craft on.  

First it started in November when I decided I was making every girl in our families some vanilla extract.

First you buy a LOT of vanilla beans (I had to order more).  And you slice them (but not completely) to open them up.

We bought 2 big bottles of vodka from Sam's and I wanted to make it in two big batches, but we didn't really have big containers.  So we decided to put the beans straight into the vodka bottles.   We lost some vodka that way, but it was the easiest and we were pushing a deadline of it being done in time for Christmas. 

We sat the bottle in the sink and dropped the beans into the bottle letting it overflow as necessary. 

This is a bottle full of beans!

This is after we shook it up.  

The bottles sat in a room we don't really use, covered up.  It said a cool/dark place.  We shook the bottles twice a week to agitate the beans.

On Christmas Eve we got the bottles out. . .  look how dark they were!  You couldn't even see the beans.

We tried straining the vanilla through a coffee filter. It didn't work all that well.  Some people say you want the bean floaties cause that's where the flavor is.  We met in the middle and did some straining, but it wasn't that well done.  I'm ok with the bean floaties though.  I want that vanilla flavor.

We started bottling them up. . . 8 oz in a bottle.  I was worried I wouldn't have enough and I did really cut it close.  I actually put a few pieces of beans in the bottles.  Just to increase the flavor a bit.  As long as the beans stay covered in vodka they are good.  So I put pieces instead of a bean standing up in the bottle.

Then they got labels and cutesy ribbon.

I will admit that I tasted it.  I will also say that I never tasted vanilla plain and not in a baked item before.  Lol.  I also tasted the store bought vanilla in my cabinet.  I didn't like either.  I liked mine better but barely.  Lol!   So. . . . it smelled wonderful and I hope it's good when it's put in a cookie.  But I won't be drinking it any time soon.

I ordered my beans here.   If you wanted to try this on a smaller scale you could order this kit.

Then last week my husband decided to get crafty. . . he made his family members these little snowmen. Each family got one.

We did the same for my family - giving them to the girls.  We did a slightly bigger version for my family.  I just wanted my mom to have one and her house is big so a bigger version would look good standing in her house. . .  but he made three so everyone got one.

This is my mom's.   Might be hard to tell the size difference in photos but this one is about twice the size of the ones in the above photo. 

I was joking with my husband and I said clearly when the pressure is on we suck at being creative.  But when we aren't being forced we rock it!!!  Next year we'll go back to being boring and uncreative :) 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve!

It's Chrismas Eve and I feel like I'm about to lose my mind! I over committed to too many things.  I'm tired. Legit tired.  I wake in the AM and I feel like I'm melted into my bed and I can't move.  I think it's just stress and too many commitments.  

Our PTO cut off was the 18th.  So I was off last week, but I'm working this week.  The PTO policy at my work is such a pain in that way.  And I don't want to use 2016 PTO while it's still 2015! So here I am at work this morning - for 4 hours. We have an amazing owner that often gives us "early shoves" when there are holidays.  Today we get 4 hours off.  So I came in at 6 Am so I can leave at 10 AM.  Why?  Because we have to drive to Columbia MO to get Eli from the Mizzou vet clinic.  Last week Tuesday (when I was off) we took him to the vet for further evaluation and we couldn't find anything.  So the next step was a bone scan.  But they didn't have any appointments till Monday.  So we brought him home and took him back on Sunday.  Ugh - just what I wanted to do my last day off work and just what I wanted to do today on Christmas Eve.  But the bottom line is that I will do anything for my pets.  I just didn't "plan" this and so I have to fit it in.  What it really means for me is no relaxation.  I have every minute planned from now till 11 AM tomorrow when we have to be at my mother in law's house for Christmas.   That being said - the bone scan for Eli revealed neck and back arthritis and he got both injected.  That's all we can do.  If that doesn't help him he will be on a daily anti inflammatory to keep him comfortable. 

In the meantime I've been trying to finish Christmas shopping and wrapping and baking.  I *love* wrapping gifts.  I have most of them wrapped.  I also love baking and I hate that Christmas is a Friday this year.  With working all week I've been baking at night.  I felt like last weekend was just too early to bake it all and keep it fresh. 

Last week Friday I made this cake for the barn where I board Eli.  It's a Tie Dye Christmas Wreath Cake that I make every year for the barn.  I love it!  It's fun to make and I add some almond extract.  It was yummy this year and it's gone in the blink of an eye. 

I made these cookies.  They are called Almond Balls, but I need a new name.  They are like a sugar cookie with almond extract.  I got the recipe from a previous coworker.  I hate calling them almond balls because people seem to think they are full of nuts and they aren't.   Have I mentioned I love almond extract. I could drink the whole bottle!  As it is I double (at least) the amount in every recipe.  I count like this: 1 tsp . . . 2 tsp . . . whole bottle.  Ha ha! :)  That stuff is the bomb!

Then I made my Grandma's thumbprint cookies.  She made these every single Christmas when I was a kid.  They bring back such memories and now I will carry on the tradition.  

And last night I made these cream cheese rollups.  They are made with white bread if you can believe that.  I don't have a nice fancy photo of them cause I was cranky as heck last night and snapped a pic when they came out of the oven. I could have used some help from my husband last night make these, but he sat in the recliner surfing facebook on the iPad.   I got this recipe a *long* time ago from my Aunt. She passed away 12 years ago when she was 36.  So this recipe has been around a long time. They remind me of her and while they aren't hard to make and take very little ingredients,  making them alone sucks. 

So the clock is ticking and I have 3 hours till I can leave work and go pick up my baby!  I promised him he'd be home for Christmas.   

Merry Christmas everyone!  Hope it's an enjoyable time with the ones you love. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hot Chocolate 15K 2015

This was my third year running this race.  I LOVE this race!  This year when I got sick (first post here), I had already signed up for this race (we signed up in May).  I was worried there was no way I'd be able to do this run.  But I was determined that somehow I'd cross the finish line.  

The first year I did this race, the high was 20 degrees for the day and the race was under a weather advisory.  This year we are unseasonably warm with highs in the 60's (yesterday we hit 70) and today's forecast was all rain.  It's grossly hot in my opinion and unhealthy for animals, but many people are happy that it's this warm.  I was really worried about the rain and watched the forecast non-stop.  I was so worried about getting soaked.  I've been caught in the rain, but never voluntarily started a long run knowing I'd be rained on the whole time.  Needless to say I was stressed. 

Yesterday we went to get our packets.  If you were in the first 15% to sign up, you got special city embroidery on your jackets. 

See the "St Louis 2015 Finisher" below the Hot Chocolate logo?  I thought the StL skyline was nice addition as well.  I love this race - it has one of the best goodie bags that I've ever had. 

We got up bright and early this AM, and it wasn't raining.  Woo hoo!  But the forecast was rain and the radar didn't look good.  I forgot to take a screenshot of the radar before the run - but this was around noon and you can see that basically we are having an all day rain. 

We drove to St Louis for a 7:30 start time and it was dripping by the time we got there.   I started to worry about how exactly I'd get through 9.3 miles with wet shoes/socks.  We walked to the Soldier's Memorial, where the race and post-race set up was.  We immediately used the ports-potty and it was about 7 am.  It was windy, damp and I was chilled.  We headed towards corrals but I wanted to use the bathroom one more time.  It was the whole "I'm cold and need to pee" feeling.  We got in a line and I knew there was no way we'd be able to make it before the start.  So we gave  up and got in our corral.  We were in corral B and I'm not sure why.  There were pacers from 10:30 - 11:30 in our corral, but there were pacers in the 9:xx range in corrals behind us.  I didn't understand that and when those group passed us on the course it really wasn't all that cool.  I felt like I was getting passed by a large crowd. 

The race started on time and it was dripping. I made the dumb decision to put a plastic poncho on while waiting in the corral.  That didn't last the first mile.  I felt like I was in a sauna.  I took it off and trashed it.  I basically got too hot to start and I paid for it.  My face felt like it was fire red through mile 5-6.  My husband ran the 5K and we didn't stick together at the start.  I can't stick with him knowing I have such a long race before me.  But I have to admit that he did amazing and we actually both crossed our respective 5K markers (the course split at mile 2.6) at the exact SAME time.  I thought that was CRAZY.  The time (the actual time of day) was 8:08 that we both crossed our 5K markers.  34:43 was my time.  His was 1 second behind me, I think cause he was a second later across the start.  My husband does NOT run or train at all.  He just does these runs with me for fun and he rocked this 5K.  I was kind of jealous of his time.  I train for this and he practically beat me!

I did really well through the 6 mile and 6.2 mile split.  But then things went down hill.  I walked a few times and then right after I crossed the mile 8 marker we hit a rather long hill.  I think it was about 1/2 mile of hill.  That's why mile 9 was the worse time.  All StL races that I've done end up hill.  Once we got over this hill and headed back near the finish we had a few small hills including up to the final turn to the finish.  It really sucks when you have 0.2 miles to go and are just getting killed by a hill!  I was really proud of my splits through mile 6.  I really need to train on hills more often in order to really improve my time in this race. 

 I beat last year by 52 seconds.  That wasn't as much as I hoped.  But I will say that my only goal was to finish this race!  I always want to beat the time from the previous year, but I was so thankful that I was healthy enough to run this race. 

The chocolate fondue finisher mug is fantastic.  This year it was hard to eat because we couldn't sit on the ground - it was a muddy mess. So holding the mug and eating was a challenge. I should say that the weather held out in the sense that there was never more than a light drizzle.  My shoes only got wet really when I stepped in a puddle or kicked water onto my feet myself.  I'm so thankful for that!

We really had a great time and are already talking about next year.  I asked my hubby if he wants to do the 15K?  Ha!!  Or if he actually trains for the 5k - he'd whoop my butt!!!!

My final finish time was 1:47:06 and a pace of 11:30/mile.  My Garmin was actually pretty close this year.  I tried not to weave like a crazy person through the crowds. 

Here is a close up of my medal and my jacket embroidery:

We continued our tradition of eating breakfast at Cracker Barrel following this race. I always get Eggs in the Basket.  I call them Hole in One Eggs when I make them at home.  I get them with runny yolks and it's so good.  I get turkey sausage cause quite frankly their turkey sausage rocks and their regular sausage does not!

They say that time heals all wounds.  Well it also fades your memories a bit.  I sometimes tend to "forget" just how much pain I was in during that time I was sick.  I tend to forget how painful it was to put my feet on the ground in the morning.  There were mornings I couldn't put my hair in a pony tail.  There were morning I couldn't get my hand to my mouth to take medicine.  I had pain in almost every single joint.  It was horrible and I think about it and try to take myself back to that time every now and again to remember just what it was like.  People are sympathetic to those with chronic pain, but until you experience you really truly cannot imagine what it's like. Even now. . . even when I've experienced this. . . it's faded and I take my health for granted somewhat now.  Whatever I had hit me with no warning.  I know the date, time and exactly what I was doing when it hit.  I have no clue if it can happen again.  Not getting a diagnosis sucks cause I just don't know what happened or if I'll have to go through that again.  I'm so thankful I'm "healthy" right now.  I'm so happy I was able to run this race.  Don't take your health for granted.  And if you are thinking of taking up an activity like running - do it!  Start small.  But just do it!  There are people that wish they could and they can't.  Be thankful for every little step you can take.  Doesn't matter if you walk or run.  Doesn't matter if you move 1 mile or 9.3 :)  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Pre-Race Update

I'm 3 days out from the Hot Chocolate 15K.  Training wise I'm doing really well.

I had my last long run this past Saturday.  What a hot mess that was.  I woke up to a dense fog advisory on my phone. I rolled over and thought "let the sun burn the fog away".  I couldn't really relax enough so I got up 20-30 mins later.  No fog!  Told my mom when I was leaving (she was going to pick me up in town at the end of my run).  I over dressed.  At mile 1 I was ripping off my hat and jacket.  I was sweating as the sun was on my back.  At the hour mark (mile 5-ish) I was freezing cause I was in the shade.  Suddenly I realized there really wasn't any sun and the fog was rolling in.  WHAT?  Usually the fog happens in the morning and the sun burns it away.  So I had 3 more miles (about 30 mins) of running in cold damp fog.  My hair was so wet I was surprised I didn't have icicles.   I was so happy to be done and so super surprised to see my pace.

So Saturday we pick up our packets and on Sunday we do the run.  And the forecast is all rain on Sunday (starting Sat night).  So I'm freaked.  I've been caught in the rain before.  In the summer.  I haven't chosen to run a full 9.3 miles in the rain.  I don't have any waterproof running clothes. :(   I'm not really sure what we will do.  This is my third year running the 15k.  This is my hubby's 2nd year running the 5K.  I want to run. But I don't want to be miserable.  We are having unseasonably warm temps so maybe it'll be ok, but if it's truly raining I'm not sure.

Life has been crazy busy.  I had a few days home alone when my hubby went to a tractor pull in Mississippi.   I enjoyed that.  I didn't even talk to him while he was gone.  I didn't want to know if he was drinking.  I'm not saying he's an alcoholic.  I'm saying it's caused problems and I wish he just didn't drink period.  There are people that don't drink a sip. That would make our life easier cause right now our marriage is rocky as hell. 

Last night we went with my parents to the St Louis Zoo Wild Lights.  It was a nice night (55 degrees) and the lights were beautiful.  You could see the Sea Lions, the new Polar Bear and the Penguins/Puffins.  The sea lions were really really hard to see.  The walkway you walked through was lighted and the water the sea lions were in was not.  You mostly saw your own reflection.  The polar bear's home was also dark.  We got to see him for a few minutes before he went and laid down to sleep behind a rock out of the eyes of the public.  We got lucky there.  The penguins were fun though, even though no one was swimming or moving around much (last time they were and that was a blast). 

I wore my new tall boots with my skinny jeggings that I never wear.   I wish the boots were a bit taller (the pains of being 5'10") and I got blisters.  Probably not the best idea to wear them the first time to walk through the zoo.  Oh well! :)   And that's some hot chocolate with Bailey's.   Yum!

I'm gaining weight and was 191 earlier this week.  Not cool.  I'm trying not to stress.  I know I will do the cleanse or the full 24 day challenge after the new year.  I'm just trying to say in the 180's till then.  189.4 this morning! :)  It's a tough time of year.  I'm staying active and trying not to stress too much.  Long runs always seem to bump my weight up for a few days anyways.  So having 7, 8, 9.3 three weekends in a row is working against me. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I ran 5 miles!

Yeah so I have done 5 miles.  I've done 6 miles.  All in my training for the Hot Chocolate 15K.  But I haven't run the whole entire time.  I'm still kind of figuring out my fitness level and quite honestly I might be allowing myself to walk when I don't need to.  Whatever the case, my running mojo isn't quite where it was before I got sick.   But yesterday I left work, drove to the park in town to start running so that I could beat sunset.  The town I work in is much more hilly than the town I live in. So I was worried about running the whole 5.  There's a 1 mile loop at the park that has some hills that look small, but 5 times around would be killer. So I went around it once, then headed to the main street which is more flat.  I ran till I hit 2.5 and then turned around and ran back to the park doing another loop.  I was pretty proud of myself!

The funny thing here is that the pace of 11:36 is the *same* pace as the last time I did 5 miles when I walked 1/4th of a mile in the middle. I find that amusing and disappointing.

Remember the phone drama I spoke of in my last post?  We returned all the phones to Best Buy on Saturday and rolled back our contract.  I'm not sure what we will do.  I honestly want my husband to get on his own plan.  Why?  Because I don't think we'll be together for 2 more years.  So separating the plans later would be more complicated.  I guess that's only *if* I upgrade the 2 year contract.  Otherwise, the no contract options that providers are doing these days would be much easier to separate.

So here I am back to my cracked Galaxy S4 and hating every minute.  The phone is laggy and the cracked screen is annoying.  Plus I think it's kind of faulty to touch as when I'm typing suddenly words that I had no intention of typing are flying on the screen.  Oh well.  I also took the insurance on all these phones off my Sprint plan cause let's be honest - that's a scam. 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday weigh in and the cell phone drama

Well I guess I was consistent this week and maybe the Friday weigh in isn't really helping.  I don't know I just can't seem to buckle down and be clean all the time.  I really want to hang around 181 for a while.  I just gotta buckle down and do it I guess.  But at least I pretty much just stayed the same this week.

I have been running and following Hal Higdon's training plan for the 15K.  This was a step back week so not too much to report.  So far I've done two 3-mile runs on the treadmill.  I have a 4 mile run this weekend.  Last night's run on the treadmill was one of my best feeling runs since I started running after my illness.  I'd really like  to get my fitness level back and be able to run consistently without any walk breaks.

There's been some cell phone drama going on.  I have three lines on my Sprint account: me, my husband and my mom.  And we were due for upgrades.  And we could still get a subsidized phone on Sprint and get another 2 year contract.  All phone providers are going to the lease a phone, no contract options.  So we upgraded last Friday and got three Samsung Galaxy S6 phones.  And we hate the battery life.  I adore the freaking phone but despise the battery life.  And so that makes me worry what it will be like in 6 months. . . 12 months. .  the whole second year of owning it?  So we are pondering switching to Verizon just for the Motorola Droid Turbo 2.  It is shatterproof which is amazing.  But I've only own Samsung smartphones.  And I've only ever been with Sprint. So there's some anxiety in switching and I don't know which way I want to go. This is causing arguments with my husband and I.  And tears of stress with me.  Just over a phone.  Honestly though for me, the issue is really that my life is pretty stressful and sucky that the little things are stressing me out more.  What to do?  I have unlimited data on Sprint.  Should I really switch and pay more/same for LIMITED data?!  AH!!!  Any advice is welcome. :) 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday weigh in & reflections on a birthday

Monday weigh in's are over rated.  Weighing in right after the weekend is tough cause you gotta be perfect. I'm more apt to be perfect M-F than F-M. :)   So here it is, the first Friday weigh in.  Kind of sucks, but I was off work on Wed and ate out.  Yesterday was my birthday so of course there were sweets.  But no time like the present to be accountable.  So here it is.

As I said, yesterday was my Birthday.  They are also over rated.  Except for one thing this year - I'm finally no longer 36.  I don't remember if I posted about this here on my blog.  I have long felt like 36 would be a bad year.  My aunt passed away at 36 (leaving behind a 3 and 5 year old).  I have always felt like I took after my aunt in many ways of life.  And I've been afraid of 36.  I turned 36 and time went by and I kind of forgot about it.  Until I got slammed with that crazy undiagnosed illness.  I was scared. Here it was - the 36 year old curse.  I got better though thankfully.  And here I am - 37.

I'm not one to play the "it's my birthday" card, but I wanted to last night.  My husband was an ass.  There's no other way to say it.  His tractor broke down and it will likely be a large repair. I get that it sucks. But don't take it out on me.  But he did.  He was in a pissed off mood.  He tells me his left arm has been bothering him for 2+ weeks - he can't feel it.  What does that mean?  But I say what are you going to do about it.  And that leads to this tirade on insurance and Obama.  *eye roll*  Give me a break.  I get you pay for health insurance.  I get that it went up.  But what I also get is that you pay a premium and you go to the Dr and you then pay the negotiated fee.  This did *not* change.  Nope. Not at all.  And he's bitching about having to pay the Dr.  Really?  I mean do you expect it to be free?  It's never been free!   So I flat out told him to shut it because I didn't want my night ruined.  But it already was.

I showered and left and went to my brother's house.  My mom was there helping my brother with the kids (he had a work accident and cannot manage both kids right now during recovery).  My SIL was at a meeting.  My nephew called me and said he had a gift for me. My mom had my gift with her.  So I left my husband at home cause I want not bringing Mr. Cranky Pants with me. I was there for about 2 hours and came home and slept on the couch.  Happy Birthday to me!

But. . . the highlights were that when my coworker found out it was my birthday he bought some of those yummy Lofthouse cookies when he went out the get lunch.  How nice!  I love those things.  And someone at my barn made this awesome smores brownie concoction.  My barn owner gave me a can of Ski when I got there and I ate 2 piece of this yumminess.

So not was all bad, but it could have been better.  Such is life though and I really need to decide how long to continue with this relationship that has the same unresolved issues over and over again.

The drama of the week (or the past couple weeks) is that my cell phone contract is up on the 27th.  I have Sprint and I've had Sprint for 17+ years.  I brought my husband from Verizon . .  back when we were dating maybe?  Or engaged.   And we got a share plan.  My mom is my 3rd line.  And I'm trying to frantically figure out what to do about the phones.  It's complicated and this new rent-a-phone idea everyone has is not in the best interest of the consumer.  This is also causing stress with my husband.  Why?  I have no idea.  I pay the phone bill and I'm trying to find the best deal.  I had a call set up with Sprint last night and when they called me my husband started mumbling and grumbling "just get the free phone and be done with it". I couldn't hardly hear the lady on the phone.  He was acting like a child.  You know what? If I want to ask Sprint to do something for me given that I've been a customer for so long, then what's it to him?   But boy oh boy is this causing him to get pissed off.  And then he says he'll just go get his own phone.  Well I'm tempted to let him.  He can go get his own plan cause I'll likely renew a 2 year contract with Sprint, and I'm starting to wonder if he and I will be together for 2 more years.  And splitting the plan apart might be a pain.  So maybe I should just let him go off and figure this out for himself.  Cause phone plans suck. The math is confusing.  And I have a degree in math!  I told that to the lady at the Sprint store a couple weeks ago.  I said "I have a degree in math and this makes me feel stupid".   

Have a great weekend to whoever reads this little blog! :) 

Monday, November 9, 2015

A different weigh in day. . .

I don't think Mondays are the best day for me to weigh in.  I tend to drink less water over the weekend and if I cheat it's usually a weekend day. So I'm artificially up on Mondays.  However, here it is - big ol gain. . . I gained everything back.

This is beyond discouraging.  HUGE.  I ran 5 miles on Sat.  I was up a bit on Sunday.  I expected it.  A run can push me up.  And I didn't eat the best, but I was very active that day - walking a huge craft fair with my mom.  I was on track yesterday but I still went up. So I don't know.  I need to get this under control before I pack on *more* weight over the holidays.  I'm thinking of doing the Advocare 10 day cleanse again.  I just ordered one to have on hand as I sold the one I had.  I could start Friday.  I'm off Wed.  My birthday is Thurs.  So I don't want to start before then.

Like I said, I went to a craft fair this weekend. . . this was my favorite purchase!!!


I love snowmen.  I keep them out all year around in my house.  It's never the wrong time for some snowman love.  This guy is sitting on the shelf of a new floor lamp we got a few months back.  Perfect spot.  He's so freaking cute!!!

At the end of last week I finally finished the crochet afghan I'm sending to my friend in TN.

As far as I know she doesn't read this blog.  I hope! :)  I'm not going to lie, I'd have loved to keep it for myself.  I hope she loves it!  I bought more yarn this weekend to start my next project.  A baby blanket for my brother's girlfriend. 

These are the colors that I chose and now I need to find a pattern! :) 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Finally some progress!

So I buckled down as best as I could last week and told myself that I would not mess up this weekend.  And finally there's progress on the scale!  That being said I should say that I got a 24 hour stomach bug on Saturday night and threw up once.  That definitely helped the scale.  The next morning I was down 2 lbs.  Then yesterday (Sunday) I ate a lot of crap.  All I wanted for lunch was waffle fries from Arby's.  Don't ask me why, but I got them and a Jr roast beef sandwich.  Yum!   I had ice cream for dinner.  The scale went up but not too much.

That's a loss of 4.6 lbs.  I would bet a bit is artificial.  We'll see what happens this week.  I'll take it for now and hope to carry it forward.  My fat % went up which I thought was interesting.  So many things affect that fat monitor though including dehydration and I suspect I am a bit dehydrated.

I got to ride Eli on Saturday before I got sick.  I put his Back On Track blanket on for 30+ mins before riding.  I've never been able to implement this well enough to know if it's helpful.  He's not making much improvement and I'm tired of sending the vet more videos.  He just requested more last night.  I'd rather just take him back for the bone scan.  That would be the next step.  It's hard to keep making videos of me riding.  I need another person.  And it's been a month since we had the neck injections and there isn't really any progress to be had.  So I'm ready for the next step.

I won these mums from a local orchard on FB last week.  Who knew someone actually won those things? :)  I haven't bought any mums so this was great!

Monday, October 26, 2015

2 weeks of no progress. . .

I don't know what's going on.  I'm eating better. . . I'm running more.  On Saturday morning I saw 185.something and this morning I'm back over 188.

I know I didn't eat the best on Saturday.  I worked the horse show at my barn.  I was there from 7:20 am - 6 pm.   I had an Advocare shake for breakfast.  Lunch was a brat and a "few" nachos - really just a few.  Hubby and I had a frozen pizza for dinner.  But I was on my feet all day and I was exhausted and sore.  Surely I didn't lose weight, but I blew up 2 lbs.  I did *not* eat 2 lbs of food.  I likely didn't drink enough water.

Sunday morning I ran 4 miles.  Again an Advocare shake for breakfast.  Lunch was 2 eggs and turkey sausage.  Dinner was at McAllister's.  I had a cup of chicken dumplings and half a club sandwich.  Nothing here is HORRIBLE.  But clearly my body doesn't like it :(  This is pure sadness for me.

So today I'm back trying to be beyond good.  Like perfect.

This weekend I went to visit my brother at a hospital in St Louis.  He cut open his leg at work last week, severing a nerve and losing upward motion of his foot and toes on that foot.  They are doing a second surgery today to try to repair it.  Fingers crossed!  He's really bummed about this.

Afterwards we went to Trader Joe's for our annual purchase of pumpkins on a stick. 

These are really ornamental eggplant.  Who knew?  Every year I buy one bunch for me and one for my mom.  I buy one bouquet off fall flowers for each of us.  I combine them into an arrangement.  It's so fun!  I love them. :)  Maybe I should grow my own? 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Encouragement needed

I've gained a solid 10 lbs since I got sick.  I was around 178 when I got sick.  I'm now 188.0. 

I really wanted to kick, scream, cry. . . throw a two year old temper tantrum this morning.  But this is *my* fault.  I own it.  I've been eating like crap.  I've been drinking soda.  I'll do go for a day at most and then it's back to crap eating. 

I don't often use this fat monitor, as you can tell by how dirty the screen is.   I was running late for work (as always) so I didn't feel like making it pretty for a picture.  But I'm up about 2% I think.  Again I don't use this thing that often, so hard to know what my lowest was.  But I don't think I ever got below 30%. 

And this is why I'm gaining weight. . . I'm doing things like this.  This is a Gus' Pretzel. . . it's a St Louis thing - they've been around since 1920.  And that's a Shock Top in my hand.  And yes it's a playoff game.  And yes, it's the Cardinals and the Cubs.  It's historic.  But whatever.  I can't keep eating like this.  So I've got to buckle down.  I have another playoff game Thursday (if we make it that far).   My goals are to be pretty damn perfect between now and then. 

I welcome all advice for how to get back on the wagon.  I know people struggle with this.  I know that this isn't rare.  What do you do to get back on track?  Cause I gotta stop the scale before it hits 190.  I've worked hard for this!   I can't let it slip away. 

To step off on the right foot, this is breakfast:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Vet trip to Mizzou

Last week Wednesday, we loaded up Eli and headed to University of Missouri in Columbia MO.

Now for all you non-horse peeps (cause I was asked), that is not a blindfold.  It's a fly mask.  Eli can see through it.  It's to protect his eyes from debris, like the hay that's right there in his face, from flying in his eye.  Eye injuries in horses suck.  So better safe than sorry. 

We had a 10 am appointment so we left my barn at 7 am.  This was an early start.  We stopped about halfway at a rest area.  All was good.  We hit the road and not too long after that we hear "bang! bang! bang!" about 5-7 times.  Eli never moves much as we are traveling.  When we stop he might move around and adjust himself.  But on the interstate?  Nope.  My hubby was driving and could see his nose poking out the window so we knew he was still standing (my fear is a horse going down in the trailer).  We keep driving and we hear more . . . not as much but it sounds like a stomp or kick here and there.  We stop at the next exit.  Eli seems fine.  I get in the trailer and look to see if there's something in there bugging him (a horse fly or wasp, etc)  I see nothing.  So we continue.  He keeps randomly making the noise but we have no choice but to continue. We arrive and he's fine.  But I'm shaken up by that. 

Our appointment is with Dr Keegan.  He invented the lameness locator.  This is a computer system with three sensors that are hooked to the horse (top of head, top of pelvis and right front foot).  you trot the horse down a concrete hallway and the computer determines where the horse is lame.  It was really interesting and since I do software development I was intrigued by the math and algorithms that are going on in the program.   To make a long story short the locator indicated a right front lameness.  The vet thought he saw a left front.  We blocked the left front and tested again.  No change.  We blocked the right front and tested again.  No change.  Then we proceeded with neck xrays as I was originally thought this was a neck issue.  The problem is that neck issues are rare in horses and don't respond well to treatment.  The xrays showed some arthritis and we did a block/steroid combo on 2 joints and did them on both sides of the neck.  We inject C6/C7 first.   This was done guided by ultrasound.  We tested with the lameness locator again - no change.  We then injected C5/C6 and tested with the lameness locator.  We got a change on the straight line.  The locator indicated that Eli was no longer lame!  However, we had also been testing on the lunge.  That was showing left front lameness going left and right front lameness going right.  We did decide though that maybe this was Eli's way of going or a different lameness and we were going to stop at this point and see how the neck responds. 

I just want to say that Eli allowed the vet to inject four joints without any sedation.  My boy stood like a rock.  He didn't move a muscle.  It was amazing.  Everyone said (many times) how good he was. They said they wish they had patients like him every day.  The vet didn't want to have to sedate him cause sedative can mask lameness.  But I think everyone though he'd need some sedative.  The intern vet said she had seen neck injections only once before and that horse had to have the "shit sedated out him".  Eli is amazing.  I got all teary eyed watching him be so good.  I get teary eyed every time I think about this.  I love him so much and he's just so amazing - the best horse a girl could ever ask for. 

These pics were taken the next day at home.  Eli had to be shaved and cleaned (really *really* well) in order to have the ultrasound guided injections.  I joked that I'd kind of like to take my clippers and turn those into hashtags!  Ha ha.  #horse

It was 7:30 at night.  I was exhausted from standing most of the day, waiting and having a small level of stress all day.  Neither my husband nor I really wanted to drive home.  It's dark at this time and thinking about how Eli got restless on the drive there, I didn't want to risk having a problem in the dark.  So we opted to stay.  I helped get Eli settled in his stall and we left at 8 pm to find a hotel. 

We got to the clinic at 7am the next morning to hit the road.  I really wanted to get to work as I didn't plan on taking 2 days off for this.  Plus I knew we might have to go back.  So I wanted to save that PTO.  The ride home was normal and Eli didn't doing any banging around. :) 

I was allowed to ride Eli after 48 hours.  I rode him Saturday morning and again Sunday morning.  I'm so sad to say that there is no change in his head movement that he does under saddle at a walk. So now we can to the bute protocol: 2 grams twice a day for 2 days, followed by 1 gram twice a day for so many days. . . tapering to 1 gram once a day.  I will try this to see if it helps.  The next veterinary step would be a bone scan.  At this point I feel like if that's the last step then I might as well go for it.  Why go this far only to turn around at the last step?