Walking, Love, Ultram, and HGTV

Yep, you guessed it: another melting pot of a post.

In Training

Did you know that June 1 is just over 15 weeks away? No? Well, why would you—unless you have a walking marathon to complete that day like I do. I fell into LDW (long-distance walking) last year. This was after I decided to think with my head instead of my heart when it came to high-impact exercise and the structural issues with my spine. The doctors had been suggesting it for years, but I was too proud to admit my body wasn’t the well-oiled machine that it used to be. And in true human fashion, I focused on what I couldn’t do instead of what I could. That all changed when I discovered long distance walking.

Anyway, Nick and I completed the Walk Wisconsin half-marathon last year. We made it into a local newspaper when we kissed at the finish line on stage:

Walk Wisconsin Finish Line 2012

We made a pact to complete the full marathon this year, and our [self led] 16 week training program commenced on Monday. We can use the walking track at the rec center until the weather is a little nicer (16 laps to a mile), but we need to find an outdoor venue this weekend to complete the scheduled 10-mile walk because I’m pretty sure that I’ll go insane during one of those 160 laps.

Valentine’s Day

I suck at romance—seriously do. Nick is the romantic one of our pair. I admitted my failings yesterday as I sat in the salon with foils in my hair. When I approached the chair with my request for highlights (since my hair keeps going back to blonde anyway, might as well go with it), Jean (my hairdresser of the last eight years) looked upset. “You can’t do that! Not yet! It’s still fun season with your hair!” she cried. I couldn’t tell if she was joking, so I just stared. “Do you trust me?” she asked at last. Since I do, she waved her magic wand and gave me pretty, copper-kissed lowlights instead. I’m getting the feeling that my brunette stylist is bored by my blonde.

Anyway, I told her of my unromantic tendencies and she started going on about ideas from Facebook and Pinterest and blah, blah, blah. Finally, she got to the point and suggested a trick with hard-boiled eggs to make them look like hearts. “You could give that to Nick!”

I couldn’t stop the snort. Happy Valentine’s Day, honey! Here’s an egg to show you how much I care! “Or you could just go home and be yourself, I guess. He’s probably used to you by now anyway,” she finished sarcastically when I finished laughing.

New Coffee Mug

I take a lot of pills. I don’t like it, but…

I take Ultram four times daily for chronic pain. This doesn’t have a huge effect on me, but it definitely takes the edge off and allows me to function fairly normally. Since all this fell into my lap in August 2006, I am a little afraid of anything that totally takes the pain away because that’s such a nice, addicting feeling. I have heavier narcotics and muscle relaxers in my arsenal for when the hurt is way out of my pain tolerance (I refer to them as my “escalation drugs”). The point is that doctors have stopped trying to find a fix, so they try to make me as comfortable as I can be (i.e. medication). I’m hoping to see a doctor in a couple months who will give me another option, but it is what it is for now.

Anyway, I try to make light of it as much as I can. As such, I couldn’t resist purchasing this coffee cup when I saw it:

New Coffee Mug

I like laughing, and this makes me laugh: I actually take chill pills—DAILY!


Since all this moving madness started, Nick and I, for the first time ever I think, started watching Home and Garden Television. Apparently we’ve had the channel all along! Anyway, HGTV has approximately a bajillion shows on real estate…it’s a new obsession for us. Property Brothers in particular is very nice to watch.

Bonus Dose of Cuteness

Sophie doesn’t know how to be anything but adorable. It stinks when you really want to be angry with her.


Happy Birthday, Dad

Today is my dad’s birthday. I had to do some quick math just now to figure how old young he is today: 58.

Summer 2005

This picture is a bit old…almost eight years to be exact. I am posting it because:

  1. The picture clearly shows his glacial Norwegian blues (he is 100% Norwegian).
    • He did not donate them to my gene set (still bitter…they are mighty pretty eyes).
  2. I clearly remember posting about his 50th birthday (the age he was in this picture)…remember as in, “Wasn’t that just last week?”
    • I’ve actually been blogging for almost a decade—that’s nuts.
  3. I really hope I inherited his “aging genes”—the man looks the same.

I love my father. Whatever can be said about our relationship, the love is always there…and I know completely that it is mutual. His heart is big and vulnerable; he is brave because he displays it for the world to see. I am proud of the person he is, and the truth is that I wouldn’t be “me” without him.

Happy birthday, Dad!

The weekly check-in

One post-per-week seems to be all that I am capable of producing lately, so I’m going to steal it for myself instead of dedicating it to Sophie even though it’s Sunday and all—call me a bad cat-mom, I know I deserve it. I’ve actually been trying to think of ways to keep this site updated regardless of the time (or lack-thereof) I have available to write. Maybe a weekly summary is the way until life calms down a bit.

So, last week was crazy.


Shortly after I moved back from NC
(I know I’m cut off in this one, but Mom’s smile is just so contagious.)

I did not write anything regarding the seventh anniversary of my mom’s passing on January 26th. I knew the seven year mark was approaching at Christmastime (of course), and I had hoped in that capricious part of my soul that she’d visit me à la Jacob Marley. Alas, the visit did not come to pass—besides, I don’t think she’s carrying around any chains for the way she lived her life…daisy chains, maybe.

I was silent on the day partly because I felt anger and frustration that I still fall into that vortex of sadness on the anniversary. I can’t stop myself from remembering those final, awful days of the Cancer…the way she looked…the delirium…the end. I am mad that those memories come to mind first while all the healthy years follow much later.

The morning started out hectic. I was keeping myself busy by polishing every wooden surface in our home. I hit the shower mid-morning and we went to a basketball game. I was still okay, still not thinking about it…except, when we arrived at the Kohl Center to watch the basketball game, every chair was draped with a Coaches vs. Cancer shirt. I stared at the ceiling, willing the tears not to fall.

Nick was making conversation with the people sitting next to him, but he turned to me (looking like I was about to lose it) a couple of times to say, “Don’t think about it…you’re thinking about the day…don’t.” Easier said than done, my friend. I continued to look to the ceiling and concentrate on my breath. I told myself to think of something, anything else—I failed miserably, but I was okay once the game was underway because I had a distraction. Afterward, Nick and I stopped for a drink to let the parking garage empty instead of entering into the fray. The bartender served our beers and Nick toasted me, “To your mom.”

Damn it.

There it was again, that fist squeezing my heart. I swallowed hard and sucked in deep breaths before taking a sip. Meanwhile, Nick noticed my reaction and had that “Crap, crap, crap!” look plastered all over his face. I didn’t sleep that night, but stayed up to organize the kitchen cupboards because I was afraid to let my thoughts wander unoccupied.

It’s like my surgical scars…the cuts heal and I become whole enough to live my life, but I never really stop hurting.

The Condo


As I mentioned in last week’s Sophie Sunday, Nick and I are in the process of selling our condo to buy a house. The realtor took pictures last Monday, hosted a broker open-house on Tuesday, and the listing was published on Wednesday. Someone booked a showing on Tuesday night, but then south-central Wisconsin had a snow storm and all frenzy calmed.

Sophie went over to her grandma’s house on Monday night so she wouldn’t be afraid with strangers walking around the condo without one of us at home. It isn’t easy for our cat to adapt to new surroundings…Sophie and her delicate emotional state were on my mind the rest of the week. Nick’s mom left for Florida on Thursday (for the next few weeks), and we started squatting at her house that night (for Sophie…and for us).

It’s seriously stressful knowing that every time I leave my home, I need to leave it show-ready. People, I have diagnosed OCD (or CDO as I like to call it…that’s OCD but in alphabetical order). This did a number on me (us). Every speck on the floor, spot on the mirrors, and smudge on the coffee table gave me a minor anxiety attack…and I was constantly frustrated with my husband who just didn’t see to the same level of detail that I did (i.e. his brain works NORMALLY).

I’m still trying to figure out which light switches work which set of lights, but otherwise I am settling in nicely at Joan’s house. We’ve scheduled an open house for the condo next Sunday, and realtors are now (well, as of tomorrow) able to show the space without confirming a time with us first. Why the sense of urgency? We’ve found a house that we really (really, really, really) like in a beautiful neighborhood. The sooner we can sell our condo, the sooner we can put in our offer.

As of right this very moment, I can’t think of another space in the condo to organize, polish, or scrub. I’ve been working at project: total organization for several weeks now, and I am tired. Our realtor says he likes the space and thinks it will sell quickly, but we aren’t sure if he’s just telling us what he thinks we want to hear (he’s a pretty nice guy that way).

I think those are my two main topics. As for the rest…

  • Sophie has been so clingy that I’ve started humming “Me and My Shadow” when I see her at my heel.
  • Nick thinks he’s getting sick…awesome—I’m sure to be next.
  • The Super Bowl is on as I type; I’m pulling for the (doomed, I fear) 49ers.
  • I want May to hurry up and get here.

There you go: my week in a single exhalation.