Pity party interruptus

Last week I was in Florida and while there, I went running for the first time in a month. As a result of all those weeks off, I ran slower than usual.

When I hit the 3-mile mark, I stopped running and began my cool-down walk. Almost immediately my brain started beating me up: you’re used to running at elevation and this was running at sea level! You’re used to running up and down hills, and this was running on mostly flat! You’re slow, slow slow. Old, old, old. Sad, sad, sad.

As I walked on the path through the woods, I regretted the health issues that had prevented me running. I regretted losing the fitness level I’d worked hard to achieve. I regretted my loss of muscle, stamina, and lung power.

I admit to feeling a wee bit defeated.

Then there was a WHOOSH and SQUAWK as something dropped from the tree above and landed next to my feet: Two woodpeckers, one on the back of the other, briefly wrestled on the path before separating and flying off to different trees.

And just like that, my mood lifted. I realized I was going to be all right. I knew I’d regain my strength, just as I knew that it was a gift to be able to up and run three miles after time off. How could I not know?! I’d just witnessed the miracle of wrestling woodpeckers!!!

Sometimes the universe gets sick of our whining and drops a big ol’ SNAP OUT OF IT sign in front of us.


I’m grateful I could see past the pity party to read it.




All does not suck

The bad news?
I’m suddenly feeling a bit rundown
and kinda puny
which is triggering pissed-off thoughts
such as

Sick person

The good news?
I’ve hit my page goal every day this week, including today,
which means that despite
the fact that humanity is failing on a global level,
(a hugely depressing truth that’s undoubtedly contributing to my
puny feelings),
all does not suck.


My plan of action?
Take it easy and repeat my new mantra:





Old Dog political perspective

I’m an old dog; I don’t get too excited.
I don’t get caught up in all the mass hysteria.
Tim Howard

This sweet old dog photo courtesy of Morguefile.

This sweet old dog photo courtesy of Morguefile.

I literally made myself ill in 2004 working against a second G.W. Bush/Cheney term, and today saw a photo of the radiant Michelle Obama embracing the loathesome Bush who created the cyle of death and destruction that continues today. Seeing them together like that was a kick to the gut.

And then I realized I shouldn’t be at all surprised.

Michelle’s husband expanded many of the immoral programs Bush put in place (drone program, for example), giving those Republican programs a bipartisan blessing that effectively cemented them as permanent U.S. policies. Now we’re about to have Round Two of a Clinton presidency, and the power structure keeps rolling along.

 An oligarchy runs this country and exploits the rest of the planet, and while it infuriates me, I refuse to make myself sick over it.


Peachy keen, yo

Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring,
and because it has fresh peaches in it.
~  Alice Walker

Zippy went to two farmers' markets in search of these organically-grown beauties.

Zippy went to two farmers’ markets in search of these organically-grown beauties.



Karl Pilkington for the assist

For much of yesterday and today, it’s felt as if a railroad spike had been driven into my left eye.

I’m tired and nauseated and sick of just about everything right now, and thought I’d post a quick spike image that might convey those feelings. But then I came across this quotation:

The other day I was thinking – because I get a lot of headaches – I was wondering whether the head should be where it is. Because, at the end of the day, it’s probably the heaviest part of your body, right? And yet it’s at the top as opposed to, I don’t, dangling at the bottom somewhere.    ~  Karl Pilkington

And now I’m laughing and feeling a tiny bit better. Karl Pilkington saves the day yet again!
karl pilkington

Thanks, Karl!



Friday Five: The Swimming Edition

1) I used to swim and I loved to swim and I swam a lot. A mile per session. But then I got tired of smelling like chlorine and I stopped swimming and focused on running. For the record, I also love running. But right now my body isn’t doing as well with the running.

2) For quite some time after I quit swimming, I had dreams of swimming. Strong, efficient strokes and flip turns and the black line on the floor of the pool showing me the way. It made me sad to quit, but I couldn’t take the chlorine. Well, this week I dove back in the pool.
file0003550277033) Wednesday was my first time swimming laps in YEARS and I was so happy to be back that I took off too fast and went into oxygen debt which meant I never quite caught my breath. And so I started to chastise myself for being out of shape and such a mess before remembering that, hey, I’d been away from swimming for a long time and still banged out a pretty fast mile. So there, Nasty Voice.

4) Today I swam again and it was so much easier because I didn’t take off like a crazy woman delirious with happiness about being back in the water. I was still very happy, but I was a smarter happy and kept my breathing regular.

5) Downside? Despite my best efforts in the shower afterward, I’m now getting whiffs of chlorine PLUS it seems that I should’ve taken the time to adjust the goggles I wore because they were definitely too tight and I kinda, sorta gave myself two black eyes.
cat in goggles

A Big Long Story About an Incredibly Evil Splinter

Two weeks ago I did something ill-advised, something I knew better than to do. Two weeks ago, I got tired of seeing one of my gigantic yarrow plants (5+ feet tall) crowding out one of my blue mist spirea plants (maybe 2 feet tall). So I grabbed my cutter and went out to trim back the yarrow. Dumb, dumb, dumb! Yarrow plants have the toughest, woodiest stems of any plant in my yard, and I know better than to touch it without gloves.

Sure enough, I managed to impale the middle knuckle of my right hand on old growth from last year. Instant agony. Stream of profanity. Regret, pain, and nearly instantaneous swelling.

I dug out a splinter and waited for the injury to resolve itself. Instead, it swelled more, became more painful (possibly due to me knocking it into everything), and turned into a fleshy mood-ring that alternated between pink and angry red and blue and purple and, oh-my-goddess-now-it’s-starting-to-look-black.

Imagine this is my knuckle, minus the lovely silver setting.

Imagine this is my knuckle, minus the lovely silver setting.

I hung in there until this past Saturday when pus showed up, and I finally went to the doctor. With the use of groovy magnifying goggles and the finest pair of tweezers I’ve seen, she removed a splinter and gave me a prescription for antibiotics. Five days later, the mood ring was as angry as ever and the knuckle was so sore I nearly wept whenever anything touched it.

So yesterday after swallowing the last antibiotic pill, I returned to the doctor’s office where she donned the goggles again and poked at me with the sharp tweezers I wasn’t liking nearly as much, until she found a small splinter. Hooray. Not. I was sure I was in for weeks of tiny splinter removal as the cursed yarrow worked its multiple evils out of my flesh. Then she started digging some more as I gritted my teeth and curled my toes. A long moment later, she said, “Here’s one.” Another tiny piece stuck up from my knuckle. Hooray? And then she grasped it with the tweezers, and it was like a magician pulling a scarf from a sleeve.

One half-inch long.Tracy's splinterI realize the gargantuan image is overkill, but I cannot stress enough how freakin’ huge that thing seemed when she pulled it out. We both made loud exclamations of the “Holy crap, Batman!” variety.

Last night for the first time in weeks my poor old knuckle wasn’t stiff and sore, and today I can make a fist without any pain. I can start lifting weights again! I can punch someone in the snoot without feeling (much) pain! I’ve got my life back!

Life is grand and I wish everyone a wonderful, splinter-free weekend!