Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Bad things happen in 3's

Why do bad things happen in 3's?   Why can't really fantastic *good* things happen in 3's?  

This last week has been hell week.  As mentioned in my previous 2 posts. .  it started last Monday with taking Sophie to the vet, Tues with my husband's weird passing out episode and calling 911 . .. Wed with putting Sophie down. . . the weekend was a whirlwind and I was finally starting to relax.  Though still hovering over my husband who was getting more pissed about that by the minute.  "I just blacked out. . . that's all!" he says.  Umm . . . no.  I want an explanation. 

So then Monday rolls around and I'm at work unable to get a hold of my husband.  He had a lot of things to do and was going to go to his once weekly group rehab meeting that morning.  I could tell he was stressed about all he wanted to get done.  Some of which would have been done the previous Wed, but that was tied up with the vet, his Dr appt and his xray.  So I get to work and think. . .why doesn't he just go to group one other day this week?  There is no obligation to Monday.  It just has to be once / week.  So I suggest that to him.  And he thinks it's a good idea. . .  

But then I can't get a hold of him.  I finally get his phone to ring through, or him to answer, not sure which.  He stopped at a friend's house to order seed beans for next year. . . and is helping him fix a bumper on someone's truck. . . and he's been there for hours.  And it's 1:30 and he hasn't eaten lunch (and yes I'm hovering, but he has to eat right now!).  So I'm cranky about this.  We argue a bit.  I said if he was going to hang at a friend's house for hours, he could have went to group. .. he still hasn't gone to the grocery store to get stuff for the soup that was suppose to be in the crock-pot. . . right about now. . . there's no way he can get that soup going in time for dinner considering he's out in the middle of nowhere, 45 mins from home and still hasn't went to the grocery store.  

He eventually leaves his friend's house. . . I tell him I want to know when he's home.  This is me worrying cause he hasn't eaten anything and also worrying that he's in a situation where he might be offered a beer.   Guys. . . in shops. . . working on things.  . . that's all they do. 

Next thing I know I get a message that he wrecked the truck. This is the new-to-us (used) farm truck that replaced the truck he totaled in August . . just over three months ago. 

A deer ran out in front of him and he swerved to miss it . . . it was raining and the truck landed on it's side in the ditch.   Or that's his story and he's sticking to it.  I called his mom when I left work and she went to our house.  I got there as soon as I could and he didn't appear to be drinking. . . his mom agreed.   I guess he didn't have a blacking out episode, because he wasn't banged up and I think he would have been if he had blacked out.    But was it a deer?  I'm not sure. . .  it's easy to say it was.  Maybe he was looking at his phone.  Maybe he was driving too fast cause he was pissed at me.  I doubt I'll ever know.  But I do know this. .. I know how my husband tells a story and this one . . . is lacking detail that he would never leave out.  Specifically a description of the deer.  My husband would never say a "deer ran out" in front of him.  He would say a "small doe", a "big doe", a "___ point buck". . . I asked him how big the deer was and he said about 6 points. . . I was like it was a buck?  He doesn't tell a story without those descriptive details. . . so . . . I just don't know.  He's lied about many many things in the past (small things that don't even matter but do matter cause of the lie) that I don't think I'll ever really know or trust what happened on Monday. 

But what I do know is that I'm done.  Finished.  I can't handle more.  My nerves are frazzled and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. .. but hasn't it already dropped?  Isn't this enough for now?  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Goodbye my sweet Sophie. . .

In August of 2012, my sweet kitty girl was diagnosed with hypotrophic cardiomyopathy . . heart failure.  We had returned from the groomer for her regular shave (she had massive hair that matted easily, this was the best upkeep).  That evening she was breathing really hard.  I sent her to work with a friend the next day.  My friend was a vet tech at a vet that I had used on and off for Sophie.  She stayed there overnight. . . I can't remember what they thought the problem was but I do remember they treated her with steroids which ultimately would never have helped the situation.

The next day my friend called me and said they wanted to transfer her to VSS (Veterinary Specialty Services).   This is a great vet clinic in the St Louis area, that is open 24 hours and has amazing doctors on staff.  Interestingly my friend now works there.   I met her at the clinic and she brought in my very sick kitty.  She had a heated water bladder in the carrier with her as she couldn't maintain body temperature.

This photo was taken after her diagnosis and after her last professional shave.
She never looked that well shaved again because I had to do it.
She loved her heated kitty bed!

The cardiologist examined her and said that she thought she could get her through this episode . . . if she did her prognosis was 6 months - 2 years.   I agreed to the estimated cost and my baby girl stayed in the hospital for 3 days if I remember right.  She was so weak when she came home that I carried her to the litter box several times.  It was a long recovery with at least one emergency trip back to VSS.  But then she stabilized. . . we adjusted medication as necessary. . . she was on a *lot* of medication. . .

Over the years her kidneys had been stressed by the medication. This is common with "heart kitties" as the medication is constantly removing fluid.  She stabilized on medication three times a day. . . every 8 hours. . . she was on potassium, vetmedin, spironolactone (a type of diuretic), clopidogrel (aka plavix), furosemide (probably the most common diuretic/lasix) . .  every Sunday we'd put all these together in various gelcaps and I had a box of pill boxes - one pill box for each day of the week.  Each box had 4 compartments and we filled three of those. . .

At an appointment earlier this year the vet walked into the room and asked how her "miracle kitty" was doing.  I think she was really surprised my tough Sophie girl had totally blown past her prognosis.

Last week things took a turn for the worse.  I came home Monday evening and her breathing seemed too fast.  I had to meet someone in town in an hour and Sophie was purring for me, so I decided to see what she looked like when I got back.  (You can't count breathing when the kitty is purring).   When I got back she was still breathing too fast and wasn't laying or sitting comfortably.  At 8 pm I gave her a lasix and waited 45 mins to see if that helped.  My husband wanted to see how she was in the morning, but I had a bad feeling so we left for the hospital at 8:45.  Sophie stayed the night on oxygen and the ER vet tried to tap fluid off her lungs, but I was told he didn't get much.

Tuesday her cardiologist saw her and her kidney levels were elevated and she still had fluid around her lungs.  She was going to try to be more aggressive getting the fluid off and Sophie would stay on oxygen and stay the night.

Wednesday morning (if you read my previous post you know Tuesday night was a nightmare). . . the cardiologist called and said there was nothing left she could do.  The kidneys were more elevated and the fluid wasn't leaving.   She suggested putting her down.  I trust this vet 100% and I knew we'd done everything we could do.

Sophie and her "brother" Mr Blue.  They weren't friends and this was about as close as they got!
Mr Blue has never been the only kitty in the house.
He's a bit out of sorts and I can tell he misses his big sister. 
So for the first time in my life I made the decision to put a pet down. . . and my husband and I went over there and I got to say goodbye to my baby girl.  She gave me massive purry-kitty-love and I thanked her for being the best kitty girl anyone could hope to have.  I held her on my lap while she forever went to sleep.  It sucked.  I cried.  I miss her so much.

My baby girl had the best heart, unfortunately it just wasn't a strong heart.  She got the short end of the stick.  I will forever be grateful for those 4 years I had with her.  There is a hole in my life right now and my house just isn't the same. . .

One thing Sophie just *loved* was laying in Eli's saddle pads.  I'd leave them out on the floor just for her.

This is probably my favorite photo of  Sophie.  

The week prior to last, I was off work.  I basically got to spend her last week at home (or at least more at home than I am normally) and I'm thankful for that.  In hindsight I think there were times she was saying goodbye. . . she was showing a bit more affection than normal and meowing more than usual (she was usually very quiet).  I don't have many regrets other than wondering if I could have caught this sooner.

This was the last photo I took of my sweet sweet Sophie. . . we called her Sophie McSophers . . . and various other nicknames. . . sometimes just baby girl.  

Goodbye my sweet baby girl.  Love forever. . .

Saturday, November 26, 2016

911 . . what's your emergency?

Tuesday night I called 911 for the first time in my life.  I'd like to never do that again.  My husband and I were at my parents' house for my Dad's birthday.  We had eaten dinner, opened gifts, eaten dessert and were getting ready to leave.  Earlier that day my husband said he twisted the knee that he had ACL surgery on before I met him (10+ years ago).  I didn't see him favoring it.  But he stood up to get ready to go home and within about 2 mins mom noticed he looked bad.  He grabbed his leg below the knee and he seemed to almost faint. He said a force was pushing him down (he explained that after).  But during the time he said that his body hurts all over.  We got him a chair.  Mom got him a wet washcloth for his forehead and it went downhill from there.  His head got closer to the table and he seemed to become unresponsive for a few seconds at which time I called 911.  

I can't go through more details here.  I feel it's a bit too invasive of his privacy.   But I will say he had low blood sugar (weird after eating right?) and low blood pressure.  The EMT's had him drink juice and they filled out information.  Then they took blood sugar again.  That went up but blood pressure went down.  They didn't have to take him to the ER as he wasn't classified emergent at this point.  He refused to let any of us take him.  He couldn't walk well but my dad helped me get him home.  He said his knee/ leg hurt  - a 15 on a scale of 1-10.  My mom stayed the night with me and she was with him for a few hours after I went to work on Wednesday.  That day was awful (another post coming).   But I ended up going with him to the Dr that afternoon.  His doc doesn't work Wednesdays so we saw the nurse practitioner.  We didn't get any answer.  But they drew bloodwork.  They have no baseline bloodwork for him.  We got an X-ray of the knee.  Not that it will show anything  as I'm sure it's not bone, but that's the prerequisite for any other test.  Then he went to see his chiro.  She did some acupuncture and electric stem stuff (I'm not sure as she hasn't done that on me yet). . . then she massaged his calf and hit a spot that about sent him out of the chair and made him pee his pants.  Ha! Since then he's had nothing but improvement and he saw her again today.  

I'm not convinced this had to do with the knee/leg.  Maybe it was an extreme pain reaction?  The body sure does different thing in response to pain.  But there have been other things I've noticed that have made me wonder how to connect the dots.  Maybe there is a diabetic/blood sugar issue.   I'm not sure how long it will take us to get answers. 

In the meantime I keep an eye on him, much to his dismay.  I'm making sure he eats right.  I worry if I can't get in touch with him.  I'm really scarred from that experience.  Probably because I don't have answers and I know from experience that I may not get answers.  That's the hard part.  I sure wish that hadn't happened at my parents' house as they've dealt with a lot with him and my mom is traumatized from all of it.  His family never sees any of these issues unfortunately.  ( that whole in-law thing sucks I must say)

This week has been nothing but bad things for me unfortunately.  My stress and exhaustion level are at an all time high.   

More to come. . . 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Losing control . . .

I'm losing control of my eating.  There, I said it.  It's like I'm either *really* good or I'm not.  I can't find a happy medium.  I know some of it is stress.  But some of it is that I just don't care.  I'm back up to 190 and that's stressing me out, but I don't know if I care "enough".  Does that make sense?   The stress in my life is just . . . a lot. . . 

My husband apparently has a larger issue with alcohol than I knew. . . after he totaled his truck a month ago (at 3PM on a Monday afternoon!!!!!!), he's been in "rehab".   What does that entail?  Group therapy 3 times a week. . . which he pretty much thinks is a waste of his time.  He's in a group with people with alcohol and drug issues. . . more drug than alcohol from what he tells me.   And those drug people are your "classic" stereotypical drug users. . some with ankle bracelets on. . . most there cause it's court ordered. . . playing on their phones or even half asleep.  My husband ain't got the patience for that crap and I know he feels like he doesn't fit in and it's a waste of his time.   It's embarrassing to me to even write this blog. . . I'm so ashamed of where my life is right now.  Living with this has been rough but to even realize that this issue is larger than I expected. . .   has been . . . depressing to say the least. I'm pissed off.  I'm hurt.  I'm angry.  I'm sad.  I'm embarrassed.  I'm in disbelief that this is my life and a large part of me wants out.   I feel like this is more than I should say, but I also needed to get some of it out. 

Over Labor Day weekend we went to Cincinnati.  The trip almost got canceled because I came home to find my husband drinking a beer the night before we were suppose to leave. . . did I mention that I can't stand this is my life right now?   This is going to sound crazy, but one of the reasons I wanted to go to Cincy was to go to Taste of Belgium. . . . I saw it on Diner's, Drive-In's and Dives. . .  and since I "lived" in Belgium and I love their waffles. . .  I wanted a "real" Belgium waffle.  I got one. . . more than one. . . 

They were oh so yummy!  We brought 2 packs of 4 (yes that's *eight*) waffles home and topped them with ice cream.  They were amazing and very authentic. 

I discovered there was a Dover Saddlery just outside Cincinnati.  So of course I got something for myself and my main boy. . . 

And in other random news. . . just last night I jumped on the Lularoe bandwagon and I ordered my first pair of leggings.   I hope they live up to all the hype. 

So it's been a month since my last post and I'll probably see you again in another month because quite frankly my life is too depressing to write about. . . 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Advocare Cleanse results. . .

I love love love doing the Advocare 10 day herbal cleanse

It consists of a program of clean eating.  In the morning you take a probiotic 30 mins before breakfast.  You drink a fiber supplement with breakfast and then in the evening when you go to bed you take the herbal cleanse capsules.  The eating program is really easy actually.  You just eat clean.  And honestly I eat often and I'm satisfied.  I struggle with a really strong sweet tooth so the first few days can be rough.  It can also be rough to be around sweets or foods I can't eat during the cleanse.  But it's 10 days and I'm here to tell you that *you* can do anything for 10 days.  It resets me, detoxes me from sugar and sets me up to maintain a good eating program following the 10 days.  The eating has become habit and because I feel so good I maintain it.  I have more energy and I sleep better when I eat like this.   

Anyways, here are the results.  I'm down 7.8 lbs, which is pretty typical of what I lose during the cleanse.  I lost 1 inch *each* on my bust, waist and hips for a total of 3 inches overall there.  I also lost 1/2 inch on each thigh.  Do you count both of those and end up with a total of 4?  Or do you only count on thigh for 3.5 inches? I have no idea!   

You can see my daily weights above.  It takes a while to see a difference in fat % and I'm not sure how accurate those hand held monitors are, but I lost 0.5% of body fat.  Normally I would only take that measurement every month or so because I feel like too many factors, like hydration, come into play and it's hard to get a consistent reading.  

I'm really pleased with these results.  I still want to see 176, but I feel like I got control of the scale creep.  I just hope that I can maintain it for some time right now and continue to lose.  I do the cleanse about every 90 days or so.  When I have 10 days with no real social commitments that will sabotage me.  Advocare says not to do it more often than every 90 days.  So I do it 3-4 times a year. 

Other than that life has been way too filled with drama that has been stressing me out but right now I'm not comfortable talking about it.  Unfortunately I find the position my life is in right now to be rather embarrassing and uncomfortable.  I woke up Tuesday morning thinking that life was a dream.  Then I realized it wasn't.  I sometimes wonder how I got here.  But in anycase, I'm trying to distract myself and plan a hot date with my 5 year old nephew this weekend.  We want to take him to see Pete's Dragon.  Has anyone seen it? 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Cleaning it up!

On Monday I started the Advocare Herbal Cleanse.  I do this 3-4 times a year.  They recommend not more often than every 90 days.  I love the cleanse!  It gets me back on track.  I eat a lot of food.  But it's clean.  No cookies, pretzels, cupcakes. . .  And I was becoming a sugar monster!

The amount of *crap* I was stuffing in my mouth was shocking.  I'd eat just because honestly.  The stress doesn't help.  Once I clean up my food choices, I feel so much better!  Less fluffy - goodbye bloat!  I have more energy and I sleep much better.   I might be less moody too, but that's hard to judge cause my stress level impacts that quite a bit.  

After 4 days of eating clean, I'm down 5.6 lbs!!!   Today is day 5, so almost half way there. 
(read the weights from the bottom up!)

I had let my weight creep up too high for comfort.   My goal has always been to see 176 and I never quite make it.  I get to 178 and start going back up.  I'd like to finish the cleanse in the 170's . . . even 179.8 (my scale only weighs in even increments. .  179.9 isn't possible) would be ok!  It would be a big boost to motivate me to keep my eating clean.  Right now I'm rocking and rolling.  I'm determined the weekend will be no different than this week.  I like routine in my eating, so if I can maintain this routine and eat the snacks when I normally do I will be golden. . . I hope!

This week Advocare released a new spark flavor. . . .

I've had two so far and it's yummy.  The flavor isn't as strong as I'd hoped.  I like the strong flavors so I can add more water. . . but it's still really good.  It will be high up on my list of favorites. 

Have a great weekend!  

Monday, August 8, 2016

How much time?

Last week sucked.  I didn't really speak to my husband all week.  After our issues Monday night when I showed up at the park and found him with a beer in his hand. . . I was just too done to talk.  Sometimes you're just talked out.  At least with beating the same issues.   I met my brother in law Tuesday night and talked to him. . . trying to get some advice.  It was good to chat and also good to enlighten him on some things.   Hopefully he tells the family some of these issues (the lack of communication and lies) because as the in-law I'm the bad person.  

This weekend was homecoming in my town.  If you drink, this is the place to be.  How can you pass up buckets of beer?  Yes literally - they sell buckets and fill them up with beer.  If you have kids, this is the place to be.  There is a parade 2 out of 3 of the nights, along with rides, games, fair food, 4H projects/animals. . .    But if you are me. . . this is the place you avoid. Especially when it's your 20 year high school reunion.   But also when you know your husband can't have any fun when you are around.  So Friday night I did this:

Darn right!  I stayed in a hotel all by myself so that I wouldn't have to worry about when he came home, how much he had to drink and I could actually sleep.  Cause my brain won't stop listening for someone if I know they are coming home.  So I toss and turn. . . .  So Friday night I waited till about 5pm, after I knew he left for the homecoming/tractor pull and I went home, made a hotel reservation, packed a bag and high tailed it out of town.  My parents took care of giving my cat her 9pm meds.   I got decent sleep.  I suppose I was still kind of worried about his lousy ass.   I had pizza for dinner. . . 

A week or so ago I was talking to a coworker about how the personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut are the best.  Perfect size, perfect ratio of everything.  Do you remember being in Book Club back in grade school.  I don't remember exactly how it worked, but I remember you read so many books and you earned a free personal pan pizza.  Ahh the memories!  I loved earning that dang pizza.  I was so excited to go get it.  This really threw me back to my childhood. 

So I turned my phone off, read my kindle and eventually went to sleep - sideways on the kind size bed!  Heaven!  I made myself stay in that bed past 7am. :)  Sleeping in is hard for me.  I turned on my phone. . . nothing - not a single text, no FB message. . . I logged into our Sprint account to see if there was an attempted call to my phone on my husband's line.  I figured it would have went to VM and would have atleast registered a 1 min call on his line.  Nope.  Nothing.  I went to the hotel gym, ran 3 miles, showered and then enjoyed the free breakfast that is Ah-mazing at the Drury.  Yes I stay at a Drury whenever I can.  I love those hotels. 

I packed up and drove back towards home - passing home and going to the barn to ride Eli.  Once I left there I went to Kohl's (oh I did go to Kohl's the night before in the town where I stayed.  Why not check out another Kohl's?  I love that place).  I got a Frosty at Wendy's.  Then I stopped by my parents for about a half hour.  Now it's 2;30 pm.  Who has called me?  Who has texted me?  Not my husband.  Nope.  I really thought about staying out another night.  Clearly he doesn't care.  But homecoming was still going on and I was concerned if my cat would get her meds.  If it wasn't for my Sophie girl I would not have went home.  So I get home just after 2:30 and the first thing I ask him is when was he ever going to check on me.  He claims 3:00 pm.  I call bullshit.   How much time would I have had to be gone before he'd call???  how much time would you have to be gone before your significant other would call you?  One of the workers at my barn asked me if I'd ever done this before?  Nope!  Never.  He's always known where I was.  So it was an out of the ordinary thing.  

Clearly we got issues.   Clearly I don't know what to do.   He's in therapy and I'm trying to be patient, but the patience is wearing thin.  It might be time to move on.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Time flies. . .

Time flies even when you're not having fun.  To say that life has been stressful lately would be an understatement.  I haven't written anything since May.  I suppose because I'm not sure what to say.  I'm not happy with where life is at the moment.  If I break life down into segments: work, horse, marriage, etc. . . there isn't one part of it that makes me happy.  When you want to go to work to not be home I think that's a bad sign.

Let's start with the horse. . . Eli showed up lame in April.  I don't even know if I wrote about it and I'm too lazy to go back to see.   I left for Rolex (I do know I posted those pics!) and left him on stall rest.  I had my regular vet out a few times to see Eli.  But let's be real here.  My regular vet is in his 70's (just a guess) and he's fantastic and amazing.  He's smart, he's been there seen that.  But at this point I think he should be used for routine medicine as he simply doesn't have the equipment needed to diagnose major issues.  So in June we took Eli to the University of Missouri in Columbia MO (Mizzou for short).

After an evaluation, we decide to ultrasound Eli's left front leg.  In this photo, they are prepping for the ultrasound.  It shows up on the TV on the wall!  What did we find?  A tear of the superficial digital flexor tendon.  I won't go into details but we tried a treatment of injecting the tendon with his own plasma.  We then started "rehab".  We went back early July and had some improvement but not enough to make the vet happy.  We did another injection and I've increased the rehab workload after getting a hand smack by the vet.  We return on Aug 22nd.  I'm not optimistic and the vet will likely recommend surgery.  I'm not sure I'll go that route.   In the meantime I'm riding Eli (sort of - we are limited to walk both way and trotting only one direction) and I'm confused about riding a horse with a torn tendon.  But I'm doing what I'm told.  I was really stressing over this, but I've decided to just roll with it and whatever happens is fine.  If I have to retire Eli, then it's just time. I'm ok with that.

I suppose it's not appropriate to go into my work issues online, but the culture in my office is changing.  People are a bit nervous about the future and I am too.  In April I will have been here 10 years and I guess I'm a bit uncomfortable about what might be happening.

Then there's my home life.  Marriage is very very hard.  People say it's hard, but that doesn't relaly prepare you for just how hard.  I don't know what to do or where to turn.  My husband has "threatened" to kill himself the whole time I've known him.  I finally asked his mom and sister to intervene but it seems they don't take me seriously.  He also seems to be a chronic liar.  His go-to when talking to me is to lie.  And I guess he's an alcoholic.  Why do I say "guess"?   Well he doesn't drink every day.  Sometimes not even every week.  But when he does drink it affects our relationship.  He's an asshole.  He looks at me with hatred.  He yells at me.  He brings up all kinds of issues that he won't talk about when he's not drinking.  The bottom line is that the alcohol affects our marriage so I assume that qualifies as a drinking problem.  He is struggling with grief. . . his father died 2 weeks before we got married.  It was March 2011 (we were married 4/2/11).  His brother passed away suddenly in Jan 2013.  I'm not clear where the grief is really stemming from.  I'd say the two combined.  My husband farms.  And he's home all day by himself.  His mother no longer lives on the farm (his parents did when his dad was alive).  So he's alone all day with the voices in his head.  He's depressed.  He's on medication. He finally (*FINALLY*) started therapy yesterday.  But it just might be too late for us.  I haven't trusted him for the majority of our relationship.  We met 10 years ago this weekend (at the local homecoming).  I trust that he's not cheating on me.  But I don't trust him with the small things cause he tells little white lies all the time.  And he hides the beer and lies about it.  We had this big blow up fight July 14th.  He said he'd stop drinking. . . last night I went to the park where he was setting up for homecoming and he was standing there drinking.  "It's just one damn beer" he says.  I don't even know what to say.  He doesn't communicate with me.  We can sit and eat dinner without really talking.  We can be in the car together. .  . say driving to somewhere an hour away and literally not even speak.  We've talked about divorce.  I often think we make better friends than an actual couple.  But he's 44 years old. . . he makes really *bad* decisions about beer. . . he lies. . . it's like he wants to live the single life but be married.  He was married once before and I know that he doesn't want to get divorced again and that's basically the only reason he fights divorce.  It's not because he loves me so damn much.  In fact I think he hates me.  When he yells at me the hatred is palatable.  I have some tough decisions in my future, but I really think I'm delaying the inevitable.  He's a good guy deep down, but his issues run really deep (including childhood issues) and I just don't know that I can wait around for them to be fixed.  After 10 years of the same record playing over and over, I'm tired of waiting for the change.  I'm not perfect, even though he accuses me of that.  But there are so many issues that I cannot fix.  I can't do it for him.  I can't make him grow up.  I can't make him tell me the truth.  I could go on and on, but that's where I'm at in a nutshell that probably doesn't represent the whole issue.   Life is tough. Marriage is tough.  Being an in-law flat out sucks.  And I'm just so damn tired of it all.

I'll leave you with one more photo. . . . on Amazon Prime Day I caved and finally bought the pressure cooker that I wanted.  I got an Instant Pot.  Along with many many many other people that day.  I am still learning the thing, but so far it's love. . .   last weekend I made a cheesecake. . . in a pressure cooker. . . and it was YUMMY!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

HR Training Bust!

Summer is here. . .  as you may have read in my previous post, I was playing around with heart rate training.   Did I mention summer is here?  I live in the midwest.  Hello humidity!  Hello turtle pace.  Last week, during lunch I went to the park, like I always do, for another heart rate run.  This happened. . .

Umm. . .  I officially declared hear training a bust.  I had to go much slower than the previous week just due to the weather.  I don't have time for this.  I may not be able to continue lunch time running anyways.  The weather makes it too hard to clean up post-run without a shower at work.  So I only run during lunch when the weather is nice enough.  But still. . . I am putting any more attempts at heart rate training on hold until the weather is better. It's hard enough keeping my HR at or below 148.  I don't need the weather making it more challenging.   I'd like to give this a fair chance, but it's just frustrating right now.

This weekend was a mixed bag. . . we didn't do anything special. The weather has kept my husband out of the field for a LONG time.  If you had asked us back mid-April if he'd be done with planting by now, we'd have said yes with no hesitation.  Then it rained almost non stop for a month, not allowing the field to dry out at all.  He's finally been able to get some bean planted, but not much and we have a long way to go. . .

I took this picture when I stopped by the field to see how he was doing.  This field is not at our home, so I had to help him move equipment here by picking him and bringing him back and forth.  This is a 25 acre field and he was able to get it planted yesterday.  He's trying to finish another field this morning, but the rain is on the way again.

Saturday and Sunday we did some gardening - planting flowers that is.  We cleaned out flower beds, added new mulch and planted some flowers.  I seem to either plant *no* flowers at all or I want to buy every flower I see.  This year it's the  "must buy all flowers" mentality.  I planted 2 more pots this weekend just because I fell for some flowers and had to have them.   I don't know if I posted much here, but I can't stand my "home". . . so some years I don't bother with the flower beds because in general I don't allow any one to come to my house.  So no one sees them, so what's the point?  It's a LOT of work watering all the flowers in the summer.  But for some reason this year I got the itch.

I finished this wreath this weekend.  This was flying around Facebook.  As a result it was really hard to find all the supplies.  All the red. white and blue bandanas were sold out everywhere.  I hung it on the door, but we don't have a porch or any type of awning, so the sun will fade this over the summer.  As a result it's now hanging on the *inside* of the door.  I spent too much $ on this to let it fade, but I don't like it hanging inside.  I should just give it to my mom. . . 

I made a cake to take to my barn this weekend.  I originally started making this in Christmas colors but have branched out for other holidays :) 

And yesterday afternoon I hung out with my kitty boy - Pudding.  Otherwise known as Puddy, Puddy McPoppers, Puddy Pop Pop . . .   he's the last cat left of a litter of five that we had a year ago.  I dont' know what's happening to my cats, but the two girls vanished fairly early on.  Then I had three boys left.  One went missing early in Oct and then we had two. . . they were best of friends. . .  last week Wednesday the other one went missing. We searched high and low.  I just don't know what's happening and it breaks my heart and I don't want to lose this kitty, as he's just so super friendly.  But he's very lonely without his brother.  It makes me so sad. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

Monday, May 23, 2016

My first attempts at heart rate training. . .

Hey all . . .  I hope you had a great weekend!  I think some of those very few of you that read this blog found me from Katie.  If you follow Katie you know she's been doing 80/20 training and the 80% is following heart rate training.  I also follow Stephanie and she's getting her feet wet with HR training too. 

The idea here is to keep your HR at or below you MAF (maximum aerobic function).   This stops your body from going into anaerobic function.   Take what I say with a grain of salt because I'm not totally sure I understand, nor have I read very much in detail about this.  However, I look at this at training your heart.  :)   The idea is that over time you will be able to run faster within you MAF heart rate.  My heart rate is 148.  

180 (base number)
- 37 (my age)
+5 (I have been training for 2+ years with improvement and without injury)

I will admit that I have to run really really slowly . . . kind of a wog if you will (walk/jog ha ha ).   And I read this is normal.  The first mile will be the fastest cause once your HR is up, it's up!  Some people struggle with how slow you have to go.  The first time I tried this, I wanted to see just how low I could keep my HR and still kind of run . . . I was at 160.  I thought "holy cow, 148 is going to be impossible!"  I was sure 148 was my number.  I double checked and yup, that's my number. 

So. . . here's my first HR run where I walked or sloooooooowed way the heck down when I went over 148. 

My avg pace for 4 miles was 13:20!   In general my avg pace is 11:00 - 11:20!   I did this in the town where  I work, so that meant lots of little hills.  Hills really pop up your heart rate!  I also learned that breathing deep, slow and long really helps the heart rate.  The time went by so fast because I was doing something different and challenging. 

The next day I did the exact same thing.  I also got smart and set my Garmin to beep when I went over 148.  But I had to watch it drop cause it did not alert me when I was back in range. 

So this time I had an avg of 147 bpm.  I had the same overall pace.  I think I got smarter about when I had to walk.  I learned what I had to do to get my rate to drop.  Sometimes my heart rate didn't want to drop very easily and I flat out had to walk really slow.  So I learned a few things about controlling it, but gosh it's hard.  It's almost impossible to find that steady pace / rhythm that keeps the heart rate steady.  I wondered if that was because of the hills? 

So the next day was Saturday and I woke up with some horrible sinus/allergy headache.  Not sure which but if I moved my head too fast I felt whatever was inside move.  Yikes!   That slowly went away and I decided I could do a 3 mile HR run.  My hubby came along and I warned him that it might be tedious.  I also tried not to talk to him too much.  It was tempting cause the run was *so* easy, but talking does inhibit my breathing and therefore the HR goes up!

So just a hair faster with 13:10 pace. . . on flat ground.  I really thought the pace would be a bit more different.   However, I did keep my HR at 146, so maybe if I had pushed it to have an avg of 148 I'd have had a faster pace.  But it's so up and down. . . and beep beep beep goes the Garmin!  Plus I'd rather not have too much time over the MAF range.  So I was happy with this.  

Where is this all going?  I have no idea.  I don't even know if I will keep doing this.  It's fun right now, but every run takes more time.  I'd like to try it for a month to see if I get a pace improvement withing my MAF.  But I don't know if I have the patience.   I haven't made any decisions.  

I was thinking of doing the 80/20 running that Katie is doing as I mentioned above.  You are suppose to have 80% of the *time* you run at as an easy run.  The other 20 can be speedwork.  Not sure I really want to sit down and figure out the time math.  But I thought if all my solo runs were HR runs, and my weekend run with my husband was "normal" then maybe that would be close enough to an 80/20 ratio? 

On Sunday I did run with my husband.  This was my 5th day in a row of running. And even though the previous 4 were "easy" (the first was that attempt at how slow can I go which didn't keep me in my MAF range so I didn't post it here). . . . that's still miles on the legs.  So I was a bit done for on Sunday.  I had that head issue again in the morning, but didn't really realize it till we started running.  Every step I took made my head pound.  Thankfully that went away in the first mile.  I had to take a brief walk break in the last mile. . . 

Those are my splits and my avg HR was 167. .  which is way out of my MAF range.   But again 80/20 right?  We'll see!

I just thought I'd share my experience here.  Keeping your HR withing aerobic function is suppose to be good for the body.  It's also suppose to encourage more fat loss I think.  I'm all for that!   I have read that there's a "junk" heart rate that doesn't do your body any good.  So at the very least this is shaking up my HR.  It's also easier on my body since the pace is slower.   But ultimately I'm not sure where this I'm going to go with all of this yet.  Does anyone else have experience with heart rate training? 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Little weight check in. . .

I've been so busy that I haven't posted much about my weight. I'm sad to say that I'm not in the 170's.

I was 181 the morning I left for Rolex.   But at one point last week and this week I was in the 185's.  No clue what happened, but I wasn't eating the best that's for sure.  I got sick with a 24 hour stomach bug this week and that dropped my weight and I've been able to keep it down for the 2 days since I've felt better.  Hopefully it lasts.  I'm not terribly worried, but I do really really want to see 176. Just once dammit! :)

I've been running about 3-4 days a week.  The break while I was in KY was both good and bad.  It made it hard to get back in the groove and I was hating running for a few days.  

I shared this photo on Facebook earlier this week to keep myself motivated. . .

The left is 2010, middle is 2012 and right is this year, 2016.   I was quite large in 2010 and that may be one of the only full body shots I have at that size.  My max weight was 250, so it's possible I was a bit less there, but not much.  I remember those pants like it was yesterday.  And those freaking pants were sooooo soft and comfortable. I was almost sad to shrink out of them.  They were Old Navy and I was unable to get a replacement pair.  I think the jeans in the other two photos are the same pair, even thought hey don't really look it.  There isn't a huge difference in the two photos on the right.  Not even in scale numbers and clothing size, but in between those years I went back up in all numbers.  I remember when those jeans didn't fit.  I believe it was last year, 2015, when I wore them again at Rolex and I was so happy.  I think I look happier and healthier in this year's photo.  Why?  The 2012 photo was after doing HCG.  I don't regret doing that.  But I don't think I'd do it again and I don't think it was the healthiest choice.  I think I was tired and certainly didn't feel as good as I do now.  So that's the difference I see when looking at those photos.

In other news. . .  I was at Macy's last month and I saw a purse that caught my eye.  I took a photo of it but I didn't buy it.  I stalked it online and when I got back from KY, I saw the price dropped so I got it.

I'm usually a solid color purse girl, but for some reason I fell for this.  And I love the striped interior. 

And yesterday I got a package in the mail. . . . a total surprise gift.  . . . 

That's a Dooney and Burke cross body Cardinals purse!   How cute is that?  I've noticed them but never spent the $ on one.   I was really really surprised to receive this in the mail!  I might have got teary eyed. 

I have a busy weekend coming up, including a graduation party.  I'm pretty anti-social right now. I'd like to just stay home and do nothing.  I haven't been able to do that in some time and I need that kind of break to be honest.  Have a great weekend peeps! 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Competition Photos

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I wanted to share some of the photos I took while working as a member of the media at the Rolex KY 3 Day Event last weekend.

Rolex is a 4 start event. . . the only 4 star in the US.  It's the highest level of 3 Day Eventing and it's often part of the Olympic selections, as it was this year.   I'll try to explain Eventing briefly as I post the photos.

 The first phase is Dressage.  The horse/rider pair will ride a dressage test on either Thursday or Friday (there are too many horses for them to get done in one day). Dressage is the discipline I ride.  It's "dancing" with your horse.  You must complete a certain pattern with certain movements at certain points in the arena.  (similar to figure skating)  Each movement is scored give up to 10 points and then there are overall collective points at the end.  A good score is say 70+ . .  and that is reversed to 30 for eventing.  In eventing the lowest score wins.  So you want your dressage test to be the best that it can be because you won't be able to reduce your score after the first day.

This is Michael Jung and Ficsherrocana.  They led after dressage and proceeded to win the whole competition.

Saturday is the second phase of the event.  Cross Country!!  It's the heart of eventing and probably the reason these crazy people actual do this discipline.  The horse/rider combos gallop a course that is approx 4 miles with many obstacles to jump and water to go through. Some jumps are combinations of 2-3 jumps, so there are even more jumping efforts than the amount of numbered jumps.  There is an optimal time to complete the course and if you go over you get points added to your score from dressage.  If you have a refusal or another jumping penalty (broken pin, etc) you get points added.  If you fall you are eliminated.   It rained all day on Saturday and was pretty miserable.  The course got muddier and harder on the horses as the day went on. 

Again this is the winning horse/rider - Michael Jung and Fischerrocana 

On Sunday the riders have to present their horses in what is called a "jog".  The riders are not on the horses, but they lead them in a trot away and back from a panel of vets.  If they pass (at this level they most always do) they proceed to the last phase of the competition.  This is Show Jumping. . . it's a course inside an arena.  There is a time limit just like in cross country.  Time over adds to your score. Rails down and refusals also add to your score.  Remember lowest score wins.  These riders are riding horses that are pretty tired at this point and the rails can fall very easily!

The winning pair

That's a wrap!  I hope you liked the photos.   It's always a fun weekend with a lot of perks being a member of the media.  I enjoy every moment and some years I count down to Rolex like a child counts down to Christmas.