An Obnoxiously Perfect Weekend

Not to sound like one of those annoying “life is great, everything is perfect, I fart rainbows” bloggers… but this weekend was pretty great.  We didn’t do anything special at all, but I just had this really content feeling all weekend.

When I got home Friday after my track workout, D wanted to go grab something to eat, so me and the dogs rode with him.  It was a really pleasant evening, so we stopped by the park to walk the dogs for a bit.  Usually when I’m walking the dogs, it’s at a brisk pace with me keeping them on task, but Friday we just made one slow, leisurely lap around the 0.75-mile loop, enjoying the beautiful weather and letting the dogs stop every few feet to sniff.  It just set the pace for a relaxing weekend.

Saturday morning, started off earlier than I’d have liked thanks to three STAAAARVING animals.  But if they hadn’t got me out of bed, I’d have missed this.

Besides, once all the furry bellies were full, I ended up falling back asleep on the couch anyway.  D went to the shop, so it was just me and the critters the rest of the day.  I was kind of in domestic mode, and we got lots done around the house.  C.C. even helped me fold and put away towels.

I’ll just make sure this stack doesn’t fall over, m’kay?

I texted my friend Suzan (the one I trade out dog-sitting with) to see if she wanted to take our dogs to the water since this may be our last weekend warm enough to do it, but she was stuck teaching a Common Core workshop (I can’t think of a worse way to spend a Saturday! haha) and couldn’t go.  So me and my two went to the state park at the lake not far from here, but that was pretty much a bust.  The water where they could have waded into the lake was sooo nasty and stinky.  There’s no way they were getting in that mess, so we just walked around the lake and enjoyed the day again.

Bella, my little co-pilot

And on our way home, we saw this sign!  I only caught a glimpse of it when I passed it the first time, so I had to turn around and go back to make sure I read it right.  We’re getting a brewery!!!!

Perrylodgic Brewing Co will be opening in November!

During my conversation with Suzan earlier in the day, she mentioned that she had almost called me to see if I could keep her dog that night because after she got out of her workshop she was only going to be home long enough to let Gnash out before she had to go to another event that evening and felt bad for leaving him so much that day.  I told her that we had no plans and to please bring him over.  He’s such a good boy, and he and my dogs are wonderful together.  They play and wrestle until they just crash.

After they’d worn each other out and settled down, me and D went out to dinner and had a nice night together–something we’ve had far too few of lately.

Sunday I slept till almost 8(!!!), which means it was already full sun and warm, so I decided to wait until the evening to do my long run.  That domestic mode I was in carried right on over into Sunday, so most of the day was spent doing house things including lots of time in the kitchen.  I was already tired when I started running at 5, so I didn’t expect much, but it turned out to be a great seven miles!

And to top it off, I found out it’s National Beer Day!  Who am I to refuse to celebrate that?!  What a perfect way to end a perfect weekend!!

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The Personalized Pit Bull

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m a huge pit bull advocate.  As such, I follow a lot of pit bull advocacy and rescue sites on Facebook.  Well a few months ago, one of those rescues was holding a fundraising auction, and a company called The Personalized Pit Bull had donated some items to be auctioned off.  One of those items was an 8 x 10 color portrait of your animal.  I bid on it, what I thought was a fairly low amount, so I was super surprised when I got an email telling me that I’d won it.  She asked for my favorite upperbody/head shot of my dog, and I decided on this one.

Smiling big after our trip to the gourmet pet treat store.

 So I sent it in and after what seemed like forever (she’s VERY popular and books people several weeks out!), she emailed me a preview of the finished product.  How cool is this???  I love the whimsical, cartoony style she uses!

As soon as I saw it I knew I had to have all my other furries done.  Bella was up next, and she was a tough one.  I have more photos of her than any of my other animals (or people for that matter), and not a damn one of them were suitable for having a print made from.  She’s a big ol’ clown, so in most of her photos she is upside down, half under a blanket, one ear turned inside out, with her bottom teeth sticking out.  haha  I tried sending the artist a couple of photos, but she nixed them both because she didn’t think she could get a good rendering from them.  (I was grateful for her honesty!)  So over Labor Day Weekend I had a photo shoot with Bella and finally ended up with one I thought might work.
I emailed it to her Tuesday, and yesterday she emailed me this!
While I do love it and think it’s adorable, I don’t like it quite as much as Harley’s.  In the artist’s defense, though, I realize that brindle must be terribly hard to do.  I’ll still definitely be getting C.C. and (the dearly departed) Lucy’s done too.
Tell me about your rescued pets!  If you bought them from a breeder or if you breed yours, I don’t want to hear about it.

Who Dat Doggy Daddy?

Y’all have heard me speak often of my two dogs, Bella and Harley.  And if you know me at all, you know that they are shelter dogs because I would absolutely have it no other way.  They were both adopted from a bully breed rescue, but all we knew was that they had physical characteristics that put them in the “bully breed” category.  We’ve never really cared what their breeds were, but we’ve always been curious.  Well, I had a few dollars burning a hole in my pocket a few weeks ago, and I broke down and gave in to the curiosity.  I ordered a Wisdom Panel 2.0 DNA test for each of them.

The kits were delivered from Amazon within just a couple of days, and the whole process of collecting the sample and returning the kit was super easy.  Each kit came with two cheek swabs, an activation code, and return postage to the lab.  Harley’s results were ready two weeks from the day that I mailed them, but for some reason Bella’s took almost twice that long.  I had made my guesses on what the results would be, and I was dead-on with some of them and completely wrong about others.
This is Harley.  My guess for him was most, if not all, American Staffordshire Terrier.
7-27-2014 - Harley's 5th birthday 2
This is Bella.  I had guessed her to have some sort of bully breed  (we had always labeled her an American Bulldog mix), mixed with Boxer and some sort of herding breed.
7-20-2014 - Bella 2 (cropped for painting)
Well for Harley I was half right.  I was completely right about the American Staffordshire part, but as it turns  out, HE’S the one with the Boxer in him!  The DNA report goes back three generations, and his family tree shows that one of his parents was an AmStaff/Boxer cross, and the other was an AmStaff mix.

In addition to the primary breeds, the report also listed the top five breeds that are likely to have contributed to the mixed breed based on other markers that were present but less detectable.  I laughed out loud when I saw English Toy Spaniel on his list.

And as for Bella, I was mostly right about her too.  I was completely wrong about the Boxer part though.  That’s nowhere to be found in her lineage.  But I was right about the other stuff!  She’s our little Bulldog/Belgian Malinois mix!
What’s funny is that I thought that she might have SOME herding breed in her, but she is made up almost completely of herding and hunting breeds!
For the price I paid ($65 each), I’m very happy with the service and the results.  I feel like they are very accurate.  I’m sure I could have gotten a more detailed, more accurate result if I’d been willing to throw down a few hundred bucks for an actual forensic DNA test, but for a cheap, commercial, just-for-fun test, I feel like this was definitely worth the money.

Recalculating

Sometimes the route you were planning to take changes.  Sometimes you encounter roadblocks and have to go off course and do some unplanned twisting and turning.  You’ll still get to your destination, but it may take you a little longer to get there.

I won’t be ready to race RnR St. Louis in October.  Due to the circumstances with D’s mom, I just haven’t had the time to invest into quality training.  I’m running here and there and will no doubt be able to cross the finish line that day, but it will not be in a PR attempt as originally planned.  I’m spending the weekend with two FABULOUS LADIES, so there will be no shortage of good times, and October 19, 2014, is going to be about having fun running through Cardinal Nation and showing my team pride!!!  One of those ladies will be racing her first 70.3 only two weeks before this, so depending on how recovered she is, we may just have to shoot for a new personal worst!  haha  If I remember right, there are plenty of bars on the course.  And how cute will I be in these?!

WTF is it about an article of clothing in the floor that attracts animals???

The PR attempt will be delayed by at least six weeks when I’ll be running St. Jude in Memphis again.  And I’m even toying with the idea of running Mississippi Blues in January since it JUST SO HAPPENS to be on my birthday!  (And probably Little Rock again too since I’m so in love with that race.)  So yeah, my route has had to be recalculated, but I’m not one little bit upset about it.  The time I would have been running (and everything else, for that matter) has been spent with family, and that’s where I both need and want to be right now.  There’ll be plenty of time for everything else very soon.

The Outtakes:

Three Things Thursday

1.     My mom and sister and I had a yard sale at my house last weekend.  My sister and I know how to work a yard sale.  Mimosas:  The most socially acceptable way to catch a buzz before 8am.

2.     D designed a new logo for the shop!  This is a cheap, temporary sign that the print shop made up for us to make sure we liked the way it looks on the building before we throw down the big bucks for the real one.  We also just ordered a bunch of T-shirts sporting the new design on them.

3.     Things kind of came full circle this weekend.  My sister brought a couple of sleeping bags to the yard sale that she’d had since we were little.  Hers was The Simpsons and mine was Garfield.  Of course they didn’t sell, so she left them for my babies, who are ALWAYS stoked to have a new anything to lay on.  I slept in it when I was five, and now my five-year-old girl is sleeping on it.

These Things Make Me Happy

The fabulous Kate at So Cal Runner Gal recently did a post, and I absolutely loved it, so I’m stealing it!  Her post was inspired by this question that she saw on Facebook:

My list right now would be…
  • The way my hair feels, looks, and smells right after I leave the salon
  • Cool nights and sleeping with the windows open
  • Snoring dogs
  • Smiling dogs
  • Seeing muscles beginning to develop where there used to be none
  • Falling asleep to the sound of a cat purring beside my head
  • New outfits
  • Vacation days and sleeping in–just because
  • Planting flowers

  • The year’s first blooms on Lucy’s rose bush.  I planted it at her grave in our yard the day after we buried her almost 5 years ago.  The new blooms remind me that she lives on.

"Hello? Can everybody hear me?" *tap tap tap* "Is this thing on?"

I have clicked the “Create new post” button at least a dozen times over the past couple of weeks and then just sat there with my my fingers on the keyboard not knowing where to begin.  How does one pick up where she left off when it’s been almost a year?!  (Just how in the HELL has it been almost a year anyway?!?!)  I have no good reason for my absence, really.  When I’ve taken a hiatus before, it was because things were full of suck and I just didn’t care to talk about it, but that wasn’t the case this time!  2013 didn’t suck at all!  It didn’t involve much running, and I spent way more time working than I would have liked, and sure it had it’s sucky moments, but overall it didn’t suck!

Allow me to share some highlights…

  • We split a week between Destin, FL (my favorite beach spot within a reasonable driving distance) and New Orleans where we celebrated our 6th anniversary in May.
We usually go to Destin in the late summer, but  from now on we’ll be going early in the year!  We were there the second week of May and it was GLORIOUS.

Anniversary dinner at Cafe Giovanni

We even had the opportunity to volunteer at Villalobos while in New Orleans!
D with one of the adoptables at Villalobos.

The famous Cafe Du Monde.  Who knew “beignet” was just a fancy word for “funnel cake”?

Jazzin’ it up.
  • We saw Kevin Nealon at Zanies in Nashville… HILARIOUS!  (But now I’m pissed because I know I took pictures that night and now I can’t find them!)
  • D and I both took up a new hobby.
  • I became more involved in rescue by volunteering locally and doing some volunteer driving on transports.  

I cry every time I see this picture. I’d like to cut a body part off of whoever cut her ears like that.

  • I started a new program here in town inspired by Abbi’s Miles & Mutts!  We take local shelter dogs to the park for exercise and socialization and to hopefully meet potential adopters.
Chops – ADOPTED!

D with Einstein – available for adoption

Me with Chops again

Cola – available for adoption.  She’s my pick of the pack right now.  I started this program last April, and she was already in the shelter then… who knows how long before that.  She’s been overlooked so many times… the “large black dog” syndrome.  She is such a fantastic dog and excellent running partner.  She sat a distance record for herself this weekend at a local 5-mile race!  I’m getting her out and networking her like crazy trying to get her out of that shelter!  If you’re looking for the perfect young, affectionate, high-energy black lab girl, please contact me!
  • Bella had her second surgery on her knee.  This was definitely not one for the “doesn’t suck” category, but it was a major event of 2013.  Financially anyway.  She reinjured it only a few months after her ACL repair and had to have meniscal repair too!  We were referred to an orthopedic specialist at UT Knoxville Veterinary Hospital for this one, and they did a wonderful job getting her back up and running.
  • Lots of fun times with the furry kids. 
Bella knows no stranger.  If you are at the dog park and you have a ball, she is your friend.

The old girl, C.C., enjoying some sunshine.

Bella’s first hotel stay the night before her appointment with the orthopedist in Knoxville.

Summertime fun.

Harley never got in the pool.  He was more interested in the water hose.  He loooooves getting sprayed.

Redneck baby gate.  This is how you allow your dog to get some sunshine after surgery when stairs are still off limits.

Nothing like a pittie smile.

More dog park fun.

Supporting a neighboring county’s humane society at their Barktoberfest.

Harley’s new friend, Gnash.  Bella and Harley have a new pupsitter, and Gnash is her dog.  Instant buds.

Bella and Gnash.
  • Saw Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band in concert.  AMAZING musicianship!

  • Crossed a major item off my bucket list and went to a Cardinals World Series game!  Remember Game 3?  The one that ended in extra innings on an obstruction call?  The one they’re calling the most bizarre ending to a World Series game in history?  Yeah, WE WERE THERE!  It was a night I’ll remember forever.

So there you have it.  That’s my year in a nutshell.  I actually didn’t realize how fantastic it was until I started looking back through a year’s worth of memories in photos.  It may not be that exciting or interesting to some, but it’s my life, and I freaking love it.

Three Things Thursday

1.       My little patient is recovering from ACL repair fabulously and is doing better and better every day. She looked like this three weeks ago…

… and today she is walking on it fine and even trying to run on it a little bit.  Not RUN run… just trotting through the house.  She won’t get the opportunity to test out her running legs for another three weeks or so.  We’ve had to keep her very confined with no exercise.  She’s going a little stir crazy, but other than that everything is just peachy.  She goes back for another post-up checkup tomorrow.

2.       I am 48.1 miles away from my 1000 mile goal!  Barring any illnesses, injuries, or apocalypses in the next 11 days, I’ve got it licked.

3.       I’m finally finished Christmas shopping, but right now it all still looks like this.

MUST. START. WRAPPING!

Mish Mash

My mind is so jumbled up right now, it’s hard for me to form a coherent thought, much less a coherent blog post, so this is what you get.

  • This was my first vegan Thanksgiving.  It was awesome.  I just made a few dishes and took them to my in-laws’ and made my plate from those dishes, plus a couple of other veggie sides that were there.  Perfect!  (My only cheat was a big ol’ spoonful of my MIL’s potato salad, which has mayo in it.  Her potato salad is worth a cheat.  It’s what I look forward to most at every family get-together.)
  • I’m in the final days of marathon training and I just can’t shake the feeling that I’M NOT READY.
  • Through 17 weeks of training, my IT band has not hurt once and NOW in my lowest mileage week in who knows how long it decides to hurt???  It hurts so bad that it is sore to the touch.  You can FEEL how tight it is just by rubbing the outside of my thigh.  It’s like strumming a guitar string.  The funny thing is that it doesn’t hurt when I run, so that’s good.  I’ve been rolling but apparently not good enough, so I’ll be giving it hell the next few days to make sure I can make it through 26.2 with no problems.
  • Several days ago I got a letter from my old church basically shunning me.  I hadn’t been attending the last several months because I really had an issue with the way some things were handled there.  Well, the letter pointed out the fact that I have neglected the commandment to “assemble and exhort one another” and told me that I was no longer acting as a devoted child of God because of my lack of attendance, and went on to say that because of this it would affect how the members of that church would deal with me in the community.  It basically said since I no longer go to church there, they can no longer have anything to do with me.  It was very cultish.  I’ve always struggled with organized religion but was finally baptized when I was 30, but this horse shit has got me really questioning a lot of things again.
  • My husband turned 40 last week.  He took it like a champ.
  • D is the one that turned 40, and I’m the one freaking out about showing my age.  It seems like every time I look in the mirror I see a new line.  I’m seriously thinking about getting myself Botox for Christmas instead of the Vitamix I’ve been wanting.
  • Bella’s knee has gotten worse over the holiday, and her doctor won’t be back in until Monday.  She’s barely putting any weight on it, but she is still acting her same goofy self, trying to run and play, all tail wags, and her appetite is still good, so I don’t feel like she’s in major distress.  For that reason, I haven’t wanted to interrupt the on-call vet’s holiday weekend and will just wait to talk to her vet on Monday.  I feel like I’ll be playing nurse to a post-op pup in the next few days.  Yay for huge vet bills right here at Christmas…