Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Mishmash

I am writing this as a cold front is blowing in - AHHHHHHH.  Finally, our first true taste of autumn, and it's only a month into the season.  It's glorious - the humidity is dropping along with the temperature.  We are looking at lows possibly in the high 40s for our run on Saturday; I'm going to wear a short-sleeved shirt and enjoy being cold!  Of course, I'll warm up within the first mile, but still, the thought of being cold when I start running almost makes me tear up.  I'd like to say that summer temps are over, but this is Texas and I'm sure we'll be enjoying a hot spell come Thanksgiving, so for now, I'm just going to revel in the slight chilly air.


I've been knitting a lot of gifts, and can show you one now that the recipient has it - it's a hat that I made for my friend and former running buddy, Erica.  She moved to San Francisco a couple of years ago and it's cold there, especially in the summertime.  I knitted her a couple of hats shortly after she first moved, and saw on Facebook that she was still wearing them, which made me feel good, so I dug through my yarn stash, found a color that I thought she'd like, and made her a funky hat:
Pattern is The Kendall Slouchy Pom hat, yarn is Malabrigo Chunky, colorway is Taureg.

I saw this hat pattern and liked the exaggerated deep brim, which you can wear two ways, either folded up as more of a beanie, or full on slouch.  The hat used up just about every inch of yarn, so I couldn't make a matching pom pom, but I found a faux fur pom pom and I like the contrast of both the color and texture on the hat.  As you can see by the pictures, Erica was surprised and happy with the hat - yay!  I love it when people appreciate my knitting like that.


File this under "knitting makes my brain hurt" - I've been working on my cardigan and am getting so close to finishing it.  Except that I might have to rip out the collar and restart it...ugh.  This pattern has been a challenge to follow, and I suspect part of the reason I've done reasonably well with it is because I've been able to search out how to do certain stitch techniques on You Tube and muddle my way through.  But the collar has short rows, which you do to create a shawl collar.  I figured out how to do them, and made it to this point:
Hey, that looks like a nicely shaped collar - good job!

But then, the instructions took a turn that confused me, so I went to the help forum on Ravelry for this sweater and discovered that another knitter had the exact same question as I did at this point, only she'd posted her query seven months ago and no one had answered her.  I took a shot and left a question in the forum, but after a day with no response, and after rereading the instructions for the millionth time, I finally saw where the designer just tossed in further down in the instructions how to address the issue.  So I started knitting away, picking up the wraps from the short rows (this only makes sense to knitters, I realize), and then I started doing the lovely i-cord bind off, but when I got to the wraps on the other side of the collar, I had trouble getting them picked up correctly and now that side is a mess.  I was ready to rip everything out and start over, but managed to stop myself from doing that because I'm still in the same befuddled boat, so restarting won't change anything once I get back to that point.

Instead, I picked up my sock knitting - ahhh, soothing socks.  Just knitting round and round calmed me down and I was able to set aside the sweater for a day.  Here's my sanity-savers:
No, they're not going to be worn together...I just love sock yarn so much that I can't resist casting on more than one pair at the same time.

I'm almost ready to address the sweater collar again.  And if I still can't figure it out, I have an appointment with my knitting guru Cary at breakfast tomorrow.  Run, eat, knit - sounds about right.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2016 Nutrabolt 10K Race Recap!

Super soft cotton race shirt, with Kyle Field pictured in the numbers.

I didn't expect to be writing a race recap - I planned on spectating this race.  But as it turned out, on Friday afternoon several bibs were offered up, for free, from some of our runner friends who'd signed up but ended up not being able to run the race.  Since Jeff and I were going to run six miles anyway on Saturday, we decided to take the bibs and run the race on Sunday.  I have to say that a lot of races don't allow bib transfers, and I don't know if this one did, but the bibs were already paid for and the race was sold out, so I didn't feel bad about using them.  Besides, I liked being called Rachel for a day!
After the race, a volunteer said "great job, Rachel" and I just said thank you, while Diane giggled.

If you'll recall, this was the race that Jeff and I DNF'd last year - you can read about that saga here, which is why I wasn't that excited to sign up for it in the first place, although the route had been changed completely and this year, both distances would finish on Kyle Field, which is the famous football field at Texas A&M University.  But I'm not an Aggie, and we were registering for other races, so we decided to sit this one out...well, until two days before the race.  Anyway, bibs happened and the rest is history.

Race day dawned early, even with the start (in front of Kyle Field) being only a few minutes' drive from our house.  But the race began at 7:00 am - thankfully, because it was hot and humid - and we had to park and walk under a tunnel that would be closed off at 6:45 am because the race was going to go through it, so we got to the university right at 6:00 am and met up with our fellow renegades.  There were 1,500 runners between the half marathon and the 10K, so it was a pretty lively crowd, and a much better experience than the year before, when the 10K started at a different location than the half, and a lot of runners didn't even show up because it was raining and windy.  This felt like an event, and when they played the Aggie War Hymn (here's a video taken about six weeks ago at an Aggie home game - you can hear the War Hymn and see the area where the finish line for the race was), everyone was amped up and ready to run.
We were amped, trust me.

The race started and Diane and I set off, trying to not go out too fast in all of the excitement.  We only ran a little bit before hitting a nice downhill where we ran through the tunnel.  Of course, there was an uphill to get out of it, but still, you know how much I love my downhill running.  We changed up our intervals for this race - instead of doing our usual 2:45, we switched to 3:1, with the reasoning that we run for an entire mile before taking a break on our weekly runs - surely we could handle running for three minutes at a time, right?

We were doing really well, even with the was 72 degrees with 100% humidity when we started, so we tried to slow ourselves down and just treat this as a regular run.  That worked for a while; mile one came up really quickly, and then just as quickly we were at Barbara Bush Drive, which is a winding incline that leads to the George Bush Presidential Library.  We've run Barbara's road several times before in other races, and I don't understand why she had to make it so steep - didn't she realize runners would be tortured by it?  Actually it didn't seem that bad this time, but I suspect that's because it came at mile 1.5 instead of mile 6, like in previous races.

There were aid stations every 1.5 miles, with plenty of water and Gatorade.  I started out with Tailwind in my water bottle but did take a cup of water at each stop, just because it was so darn hot.  My fingers started swelling up and it was hard to bend them - I was sweating like a fiend and by the end of the race I could feel a layer of salt drying on my face.  We hit mile two and I was doing OK, mentally, which for me was already a minor miracle.  Mile three came and while I was telling myself "you regularly run three miles with Cary on Thursdays, you can do this," I started to feel like I was never going to get finished.  By mile four, the wheels were starting to come off and I was taking extra walking breaks.  When we hit another tunnel and had to go uphill, which was much steeper than the first one, I could barely walk it.  Looking back, I think I just ran out of gas - the heat and humidity got to me, and while only using Tailwind worked the last time I ran a 10K, just two week prior, it was a lot cooler and I think I probably could have used some additional fuel.

So we ran and walked the rest of the way, until we got back to the football stadium.  I could see that the Jumbotrons were showing runners crossing the finish line, so naturally we wanted to finish strong.  We ran through to the tunnel entrance, which was interesting - it was lined with thick black padding, and was downhill - I guess that's to give a good showing when the football team bursts onto the field.  I nearly tripped on the padding, though...that would have been embarrassing, to roll onto the field!  Luckily I caught myself and stayed upright.  We ran in, and while we didn't see Cary, Andi, and CC, who were in the stands, they saw us and got some pictures:
Not gonna lie, this was pretty cool!
Here we are on the Jumbotron - it's hard to see, but if you click the picture you'll find us.

Here's Jeff on the Jumbotron:
His moment of glory...and now, his Facebook cover photo.

Diane and I took our time enjoying being on the grounds of Kyle Field - we took lots of pictures and even touched the football goal post when we walked by it.  Hopefully that won't jinx the team when they play against Alabama on Saturday!  Here's our finish area pictures:
There's such a height difference with us that Diane has to duck down when we take a selfie! 
At the finish line...
End zone - right after this, we touched the goal post for good luck.
We saw another runner put her medal on the football field and take a picture, so we did the same, just on the edge of the field.  Snapped a couple of shots and got out of there fast, as A&M officials were approaching - they didn't want anyone on the field.  What can I say, our Renegade-ness was showing.

We finally left the football field area and went to the post-race party, where we met up with our group.  The theme of the race is Oktoberfest, and along with a medal and finisher's shirt, you also get a beer stein at the end:
They had beer, but I don't drink and actually none of our group had any.  I may end up planting succulents in this - it's a pretty blue color.

Going along with the Oktoberfest theme, they had giant soft pretzels for the runners.  Only problem was that they tasted awful - the texture was not like any soft pretzel I've ever had, and I tossed mine in the trash after one bite.  It seems that most people felt the same way, which was disappointing - soft pretzels would have been wonderful after that race!  They also had some sort of bratwurst hotdogs available, but we all held out for our regular breakfast at Blue Baker.

We were ready to leave when we realized that Brian, who was the only one of us to run the half marathon, probably should check his results, considering he's gotten an age group award for every race he's run lately.  Good thing he checked, because he got first in his age group!  So we waited for the awards - first they did the 10K awards, and then they had a little delay before the half marathon awards.  Jeff and Brian made themselves comfortable:
The emergency call station is also good for propping up tired runners.

And then Brian got his award - another hat!  
He has a new nickname:  "Podium Brian"

We took one last group picture:
I love how the ledge gave Karen, Julia, and I a chance at being the same height as Brian, Diane, and Jeff.

I have to say, this race far exceeded my expectations, based on the previous year, and we will most likely register for it next year.  The race director, Dan (former co-owner of the running store) really did a great job with making this a unique experience - I didn't think getting to run on Kyle Field was all that big of a deal, but as it turns out, it was a very neat opportunity - and a rare one, at that!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Not Ready For My Cane Just Yet

While I may be an unwilling member of the degeneration generation, that doesn't mean I have to just lie down and accept it.  Yes, parts of my body hurt.  Yes, I overdid it with walking when I was in California.  WALKING, people.  How can a runner hurt herself while walking?  I'd say it's not easy, but when your body has issues, anything can happen.

The backstory is that I'd already made an appointment with my orthopedist for a "state of the union" checkup before I really got into running longer distances in preparation for the Houston half marathon in January.  My right ankle went through about a month over the summer where it was hurting, and my left foot was always sore thanks to plantar fasciitis, plus I was a little worried that I might be dealing with some Achilles issues, so I made the appointment.

And then I went to California, where the weather is beautiful and the scenery is gorgeous and going for an evening walk was wonderful.  Well, after several days in a row of a lot of walking (the evening walks alone were over four miles each time), the top of my left foot started hurting so bad that I couldn't bear to even think about lacing up my running shoes, much less going for a walk.  The pain was radiating over the bony top of my foot down to my toes - I was taking Motrin and Tylenol like crazy, because we had things to do and I didn't want my foot pain to stop me!  Luckily, my ortho appointment was just a few days after I arrived back home, so I figured I'd get some relief soon.

I really like my orthopedist - it's the same doctor who finally got my right ankle fixed up after I injured it in 2011.  He's a former runner, so he understands our mentality.  Other doctors might advise their patients to quit running altogether, but my ortho knows that's not going to happen until something cracks and falls off (and even then, most of us will keep trying to run).

Anyway, X-rays were taken and the good news was that nothing bad has happened to my ankle.  He also said that my Achilles pain was really just pain connected to the plantar fasciitis, which was also good news - well, better that than to blow out your Achilles tendon.  Now, the PF?  That has gotten worse - I knew, based on X-rays taken in 2012 that I had a pretty good bone spur happening on the bottom of my left heel, but it's become even more pronounced and hook-like.  Lovely.  The top of my foot pain was caused by an arthritic bone spur, which, thanks to all the walking I did, irritated the nerve that runs across that area, and that's why it was hurting down to my toes.

My doctor suggested custom orthotic insoles.  Well, at first he asked how much longer I was going to keep running, but when I told him that this had become bad after a summer of short runs (almost none longer than three miles) plus a lot of walking while on vacation, he understood that I wasn't overdoing it - I really was just living a reasonably active lifestyle.  So his next thought was to try and support my arches, which are high, with the orthotics.  I was game - heck, when walking makes me hurt, it's time to try something new.  I was a little concerned about the cost, but as it turns out, they were quite reasonable - only $100.  The orthotics at the running store cost nearly half that, and they aren't custom, so I felt like I had to try them.  Side note - I'd come home from California intending to order a pair of Birkenstock sandals, which cost - you guessed it - $100, so I got the orthotics instead.

I wish I could have taken pictures of the fitting process for the orthotics, but it wasn't appropriate to whip out my phone and start clicking away at that appointment.  I went to a physical therapist who specializes in fitting patients for orthotics - he watched me walk back and forth a couple of times, then assessed my feet, and then brought out what looked like a  pizza box, but inside, instead of a delicious pizza, was foam.  He fitted each foot while I was sitting down, and then sent off the box to have the insoles made.  A couple of weeks later I went back to pick them up and have the physical therapist check the fit, and I brought home these:
I'm calling them invisible shoes, because they are taking the place of the shoes that I really wanted.
The arch.

I was advised to wear them for a couple of days, increasing the amount of time as I wore them, but if my feet felt good then I was fine to run in them.  So I did that, and I wore them for our 3.1 mile Panqueque race.  I felt great while running in them, but later on that day, my feet started to feel very tender, almost like they were bruised on the bottom.  It got fairly painful, and I didn't help matters when I dropped a jar of pickles on my bare foot that afternoon.  But even with that mess, the bottoms of my feet just plain hurt.

I didn't wear the orthotics again until Monday, when I ran two miles.  Feet hurt.  I didn't wear them again until Wednesday, when I ran two miles.  Feet didn't hurt - yay!  So I'd say the worst of getting used to them is over; now it will be interesting to see if they do what they're supposed to, which is to help stabilize the motion of landing, which in theory should help my ankle, and also help relieve/heal the plantar fasciitis pain. 

Oh, and as for the arthritic bone spur (or midfoot arthrosis, as the official diagnosis says), that's a problem.  My doctor said that may be the thing that ends my running earlier than I'd like, but that's a bridge I'm not willing to cross, much less approach, right now.  In the meantime, he will be giving me a lidocaine shot into that spot soon.  I'm looking forward to having a needle stuck into the top of my foot, that's how much it hurts. 

I wish I didn't belong to the degeneration generation.  I would gladly turn in my membership card, if only I could find someone in charge.  For now, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing and cross my fingers that the orthotics make a difference in how I feel.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Mishmash

I had a DAY at the gift shop yesterday.  Let's just say that in the year and a half that I've worked there, this has been the first time that I've finished a shift feeling like I needed a drink.  And I don't drink!  But we had a customer who, in the course of about 90 minutes, was in and out and messing with all of the clothing and trying to pay with multiple credit cards which doesn't work with our system and in the end, as she was FINALLY leaving after having left multiple times to take clothing to the restroom to try on, and while wearing four pieces of clothing that she was buying, she said to me "I can return this stuff if it doesn't fit, right?"  I looked at her dead in the eye and said "well, since you already tried everything on I'm pretty sure it fits." 

I promise, we are always nice and friendly to everyone who comes into the shop, and we're also ultra aware that some people are not in the hospital for happy occasions like the birth of a baby, so we try to be accommodating and kind to everyone.  But this woman took the cake, and I'm pretty sure she took at least one other item that she didn't pay for.  WHO STEALS FROM A HOSPITAL GIFT SHOP???  Ugh, people.  Well, person.  But ugh.


In better news about random people, the other day I went to the mall and parked across from a really pretty dark gray Mini Cooper.  Side note:  it's a Mini thing to try and park next to one if you come across one in the parking lot, so of course you know I do that whenever possible.  Anyway, I did my shopping and as I was leaving, I followed a woman out who was wearing a nicely coordinated gray outfit.  Sure enough, she walked right to the gray Mini - so of course I had to say hello and we chatted about our cars for a few minutes.  As I turned to open the door to my car, I saw my reflection in the window and realized that I was wearing all blue - and I wondered, do Mini owners unconsciously dress to match their cars?  Or, do we choose our car color because we love it, and already own a lot of that particular color of clothing?  A question for the ages, haha.


Last weekend as I was scrolling through my Facebook feed, I came across this:
Wait a minute - that's my blog post!

I have to say, it felt weird to know that total strangers were seeing that post and clicking on it to read my blog.  I mean, I know there are people who read my blog all the time who are strangers to me, but this felt different.  I don't do social media for my blog - no Instagram or Twitter, and I don't have a Facebook page for it, so I'm definitely not used to seeing my blog pimped out like that.  I haven't worked at growing my blog audience beyond people finding it on their own; my unease at this harmless Facebook mention pretty much solidified that decision...I might blog, but I'm not gonna mention it.


I haven't shown you any of my knitting projects in a while; reason being that most of them are gifts and the gift occasion hasn't happened yet.  But here's a hat I made, just for fun:
Yarn is Miss Babs Yowza in Perfectly Wreckless colorway, pattern is KitKat Hat.  

I also started working on my cardigan again.  The weather cooled down so I picked it back up, and even though it's warmed up once more, I'm still inspired enough to sweat through working on it.  Plus I have a helper:
Kip.  I can't read the instructions when you sleep on them!!!
Look at this - it's a button band, complete with vertical buttonholes!  This is big progress, people.

As with most of my knitting projects, I do things more than once to get them right, and the many hundreds of stitches on the button band that I had to pick up and knit to get it started?  I did it twice.  I had gotten them all picked up, which took quite a few hours, when I realized that my spacing got better as I went, I ripped it out and restarted the button band.  I'm glad I did, too - it looks more balanced.  I have the shawl collar to complete, and then one sleeve...and then?  I'll be wearing my handknit sweater!  Hopefully the weather will cooperate so I won't be sweating to death in it.  You never know in Texas...I might have to wait until January for a cold day!


Jeff and I are running 6 miles on Saturday and then we'll be spectating a race on Sunday that most of our Renegades will be running in, which will be fun - I love getting to see my friends cross the finish line.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Panqueque 5K Race Recap!

Race not sponsored by IHOP...but we wouldn't turn them down, if they offered.

On Saturday, my fellow Renegades and I ran the RRC's first annual Panqueque 5K race - yes, a race put on for and solely run by our running group.  What can I say...we like to have fun and mix things up with our training!

This origin of this race stemmed from the year 2010, when I was training for my first half marathon.  While I was running with a group, our breakfast club hadn't yet formed, so after my long run on Saturdays I'd go home, get Jeff (who wasn't running yet), and we'd go out to breakfast...often at IHOP, where Jeff noticed that the Spanish word for pancake was panqueque (the menus are bilingual), and much like Buddy the Elf who couldn't stop saying the word "Francisco"  (Francisco...Franciiiisco), Jeff latched onto panqueque.  Which was never annoying, haha.  Eventually, as Jeff started running and doing races, he wondered why there wasn't an official Panqueque 5K race - so we made it happen and put it into our training schedule.

This ended up coming at the right time, as it was a good distraction from last week's sadness.  I was able to round up some leftover race bibs and personalized them:
Official race bibs, ready for our runners!

And for packet pickup, I put together race bags.  Going on the random theme that seems to be prevalent in most race bags (you get whatever the sponsor donates), I gathered up my saved shopping bags and some items that I had on hand, plus I asked Jeff to see if he had anything at work to donate, and I also asked Kendall, the volunteer coordinator at the hospital, if she could add to our bags.  Being as the hospital has been the sponsor of our town's December marathon, I figured they had something lying around.  I was surprised when she came up with cooling towels - that was prefect!  Here's the loot:
Doesn't every runner get a bar of hotel soap in their race bag at some point?  And a random training DVD?  As an homage to all race bags, I went by our running store and picked up flyers for an upcoming race...that's usually what fills most bags.

Bags and bibs all ready:
I can't be the only person to save all the "good" bags that come from shopping, can I?

Race day dawned early - my committee (Jeff) and I got to the IHOP parking lot and set up for packet pickup:
There was a north wind blowing and I had to put on my sweatshirt!!!
Ready for the runners!

The racers arrived and got their bibs and bags - packet pickup went smoothly and was a success, whew!  Because we were in charge, we had a start time of 6:00 am which is unusual for most 5K races, but that's the beauty of hosting your own race - you get to do it your way!  The race started just a few minutes late, as we were waiting on one runner who insisted on running to the start line from his house.  There's always one overachiever in the group, LOL.  We lined up at the invisible start line (because I'd forgotten about getting chalk until the middle of the night prior to the race - oops), and with a "ready set GO" we began running.

This race was an out-and-back, from the IHOP parking lot.  The weather was perfect - 63 degrees, with less humidity than normal, plus there was a slight north wind.  Julia, Diane and I ran together - we started out running into the wind, on a slight incline.  I felt a little out of breath but we arrived at a major intersection and had to stop for traffic (yes, traffic at 6:00 am - college football game day in Aggieland), and that little break was all I needed - once we started running again I felt fine.  We didn't do intervals; we just ran for a mile and then took a short walking break, then ran the next mile; another walking break; then we were on the home stretch.  The last bit ended up being slightly downhill and it was fabulous...I felt like I was flying!

When we finished and joined the rest of our group, everyone remarked on how great the downhill finish was.  I even high-fived myself at how nicely that worked out - honestly, the route was that way because that's where the pancakes were, but it sure made for a great end to the race!

We had a raffle drawing for the finishers, and Diane won the prize:
Pumpkin pancake mix!  From Kerbey Lane, no less - our favorite breakfast restaurant in Austin.

We attempted a couple of post-race group pictures, but it wasn't easy seeing as it was still dark:
Diane, Julia, Karen, me, Jeff, Brian, Cary, Loretta, and CC.

Afterward, we headed into IHOP for breakfast, where the best part of running with our renegades comes - the talking, the razzing, and the completely inappropriate humor, which we try to tone down when we're in public.  It isn't always easy:
Diane and CC trying to hold it together...
Karen and Jimmymeow pretty much losing it.  What can I say, we find all kinds of things to laugh at!

I had some pumpkin spice pancakes, lots of coffee, and a lot of fun - this was a great race and I'll definitely sign up for it again next year!

Monday, October 10, 2016



I've always felt left out of being labeled - for example, when the whole "California native" bumper stickers started showing up back in the day, I couldn't claim that, as I wasn't born there, even though I'd lived practically my entire life in California.  But to look at me, you wouldn't exactly say I was a Hawaii native, even though I WAS born there.  And with that, I also couldn't claim the "military brat" thing since my dad was only in the Navy for four years - I just happened to be born while he was still in the service and stationed in Hawaii.
Not this, either.
Yep...don't I look Hawaiian?

Then there's the age deal...technically, my birth year falls into the Baby Boomer range, but just barely.  I always felt too young to be called a Baby Boomer.  And in watching the new season of Survivor, Gen X vs Millennials, I'm hearing that Gen X covers 1963 - that would make me Gen X??  I don't think so, but then a Baby Boomer I'm not, either.  Another thing that renders me labelless.

I didn't fall into any particular labels in school - I wasn't a jock (HAHAHA for days on that - I took classes like badminton and Frisbee in P.E. to avoid any kind of cardio)(and also I didn't want a ball thrown at me), a cheerleader, or a nerd.  I managed to go through all those years of school without ever falling under a label, which is possible, despite what the movies and TV shows tell you.

And then I started blogging, and became a diet blogger.  But that wasn't all of me, and even though I received a little publicity now and then for losing weight, I didn't want to always be known as a diet blogger.  Plus I stopped dieting, but you wouldn't know that based on the random links my blog gets to TOP 100 DIETER lists.  And also maybe I just couldn't stick to a certain topic for years on end.  That said, I like how my blog has evolved into what it is today - a place you can come to read about everything from running to knitting and everything in between...with the additional bonus of cute dog pictures. 

Labeling is an interesting thing.  I wonder if people like to claim a label in order to feel like they belong to something?  Nothing wrong with that, but I've been on the outside of being labeled for most of my life, so being unlabeled feels normal to me.  What about you - do you claim a particular label?

Friday, October 7, 2016


My California succulents are growing!  I'm kind of shocked, to be honest - I really didn't have a lot of hope that I'd get those little cuttings to thrive, but they all are still alive, and some are doing really well.  Check it out:
This one is getting so full and lush!
New growth on Mrs. B's frilly plant, yay!
This guy is showing off!  I wasn't expecting a succulent vine...maybe it would like a little bamboo skewer to wrap around?  Or should I cut off part of the top and plant it in the same pot?  Here's where my lack of gardening skill is showing...


Paco has been sticking by me even more than usual, for reasons that I'll write about next.  He's keeps coming to check on me and will put his paw on my lap, or nudge his head under my hand - dog therapy, whether I want it or not.  I've been giving him extra cookies for being such a good dog:
He's very gentle when he takes the cookie - then he runs away with it.


This was a rough week.  I've grieved for a friend who lost her son to pancreatic cancer on Monday, and in doing so, it brought back what we experienced 10 years ago when we lost my Grandmother to the same stupid stupid STUPID disease.  Their timeline was too similar as well - both diagnosed in August and dead in October.  No nice euphemisms for death here...this is what happens, and it sucks so bad.  I can't believe that pancreatic cancer is just as devastating now as it was 10 years ago.  Nothing has improved in treatment.  You get it and you freaking die.  And we miss our loved ones.  I've had 10 years and it still hits me hard; to know that my friend is at the start of this terrible process makes my heart hurt for her.

For Eric:

And for my Grandmother, Maggie:

You are missed so much.