Monthly Archives: February 2007

“Run” the Register.

Walking into the Wells Fargo Center (shaped like a cash register) in downtown Denver, my first impression of the Colorado chapter of the American Lung Association‘s Run the Register was full of disappointment. It was crowded, the music was blaring too loud, and the registration table was disorganized. Nothing like the outdoor events for breast cancer and diabetes, but then again those organizations have more money to work with.

Then I saw those West Metro firefighters and paramedics participating as a team and I remembered how they helped my husband. Part of me hoped one would recognize Greg, who was alongside me for the support. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to thank them? Alas, it didn’t happen.

I made it to the starting line and waved my wristband for the timer. Away I went. Only five floors and I needed a break, how pathetic. Another five floors, another break. This was proving to be more difficult than my 30-minute workouts on the elliptical. I reminded myself that I’ve only been back to serious workouts for a couple weeks, of course I’m having problems. And they did recommend taking it slow the first 10 floors. I saw many people pass me by along the way. One more break before the 22nd floor, where there were bathrooms and water, almost halfway to the 47th floor.

From there on out, my strategy was to stop every four floors to catch a 30-second break. The rest of the way was a piece of cake compared to the first half. I didn’t have to be in the top ten or even the top half, I just had to remember WHY I was doing this. Part for fitness, part for all my friends and family who have asthma, part for the memory of my uncle who had lung cancer.

At the 40th floor bathrooms and water, I stopped for a few seconds and kept going. I thought of the last few miles that first day of the Avon Walk and realized, this is NOTHING compared to that. Have I really gotten that out of shape since June? I sighed, but realized that I was passing many of the people who had passed me earlier.

My reward was at the 47th floor. A relatively clear day in the Denver area with a great view of the mountains covered in snow. Yeah, it was worth doing this. I love living here and sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be able to see this scenery every day (well, at least when it’s sunny and clear). Sadly, I don’t have any pictures, despite my new cameraphone. I left that at the bottom of the building with Greg.

I’m sure it took me 15 minutes or more to finish, but I don’t care. I know I’m on my way to getting back into shape and I did something for a good cause.

Sunday cat blogging.

Karelia isn’t helping my writer’s block.

(Okay, okay, so this picture was taken at Greg’s computer, not mine. But Kari-cat IS currently walking back and forth in front of my keyboard.)

Full disclosure.

Circumstances have dictated that I share this blog with a couple people. I never thought I’d come around to doing it. Sure, my mother-in-law reads regularly and one of my cousins knows about it, but these other two people – well, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to share what I’ve written with them. In fact, I ended up deleting a couple of posts because I wasn’t ready for them to read everything I’ve said.

Hi, Mom and Dad. I love you.

(I’m not sure they will visit, especially my mom being a computer- and ‘net-phobe. But now at least they know my site is out there.)

Sunday cat blogging.

Perl’s favorite place on earth (under our bed):

Dear old me.

(Courtesy The Dear Me Project.)

February 14, 2007

Dear RMF (February 14, 1990; Hartland, WI):

Hello there! I know this is somewhat dark and twisty, but this is you. But it is me. Seventeen years into the future.

I wanted to let you know that you are happy (my time). Happier than you have been in years, probably since sixth grade, you know, that last year in Prospect Heights.

I know you are not happy right now; in fact, you are quite depressed. This is your first winter (your time) experiencing what was finally diagnosed this past year (my time) as seasonal affective disorder. Some years will be better than this, some will be worse.

You have imagined life if your parents hadn’t left that secure northwest suburb of Chicago. You will continue to do so for years to come. But one day, you will be able to accept things the way they were. The way they are.

Not to say that you won’t have happy times between now (your time) and now (my time). High school will be tough, but nothing worse than you’ve experienced in seventh and eighth grade. College will be different (fun!) and you will meet people you’ll know today (my time). You’ll still be writing to Saara – now through something called e-mail on the computer, rather than sending letters back and forth through the mail. And…you’ll meet your future husband (Greg – I know, it’s silly that your sister married a Greg, too!) when you are 20. Just like you hoped. It will be six years before you get married after you meet and, well, you’ll decide that maybe you don’t want children…at least not at this point of your life. You’ll have five loving cats, though.

Speaking of which, Kizzy ends up living a full life, passing away at 19 years of age. Even after you move out to Colorado to be with Greg, your parents will take care of her and you’ll see her often enough.

You’ll see some traumatic stuff – your dad experiencing a heart attack and then quadruple bypass surgery just three years from now. That one Family Ties episode hits pretty close to home. Uncle Gerry will live nearly a year after his lung cancer diagnosis. You will feel some guilt after not seeing him often enough, not getting to know him, not getting to discuss literature, not taking a philosophy class in college to understand who he was and what he taught. But you will know that your mother may have known how special Greg was to you in those early months of dating and may have told her brother that you seemed to have found someone special.

There will be two World Trade Center terrorist attacks in New York City. One in 1993 that will pale in comparison to the tragedy felt on September 11, 2001.

Another space shuttle disaster will occur on February 1, 2003.

You’ll see some amazing stuff – Sarah’s children (your nephew in 1993 and your niece in 1998); your proud parents on your high school graduation…and then college graduation days; Mount Rushmore, Glacier National Park, and Switzerland.

The Bears just made it back to the Super Bowl a couple weeks ago for the first time since 1986, but lost this time. The Cubs will make the playoffs a couple more times, but they still haven’t won a World Series (unlike the White Sox and the Boston Red Sox).

You will end up finding that exercise can be fun after years of yo-yo dieting. Yes, I said dieting. You’ll get past this not-eating phase, but later realize that eating junk and not exercising is almost as bad as not eating. (But you should eat. Really.)

Most importantly of all that I can tell you about today, you will discover that you can write well. Not Great American Novel writing (yet) and not published (yet), but you have the writing bug in a big way right now (my time). After years of “writer’s block”, you find a voice again.

Hang in there, life will not be that bad. I promise. You might often think it is worse than it really is, but hang in there.


RMB (February 14, 2007; Westminster, CO)

Sunday cat blogging.

Although this picture was taken in late December, I have to believe that Kahlua was already dreaming of escaping the house. Three attempts (one through the front door, two through the garage door) have been made in the past couple weeks, leaving us wondering if she still loves us.

Mission completed.

The mission: Set up an elliptical in less than 2 hours.

Main player: 30-year-old woman needed more exercise during the colder months when she cannot bike or walk outside. Balance ball workouts and three other exercise videos were not cutting it for treating this woman’s type 2 diabetes, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder.

Other players: 32-year-old husband of woman. 25-year-old brother-in-law. Five curious cats.

Scenario: Woman proudly does most of the work. Husband is there to assist with tasks that require a bit more strength than woman has and alleviates some of the frustration that comes with assembling an elliptical.

Mission complete in under 2 hours. Brother-in-law tries out elliptical along with woman and husband to make sure everything feels right. Five cats sniff elliptical to make sure they want to accept this strange contraption into their domain.

Woman declares, “My first workout won’t be until Thursday. Putting the thing together was enough of a workout.” (Even though Run the Register is less than three weeks away.)

All in time for tonight’s Colorado Avalanche hockey game.

And in time for an 8pm dinner of gorgonzola mushroom burgers prepared by the husband.


Psst…This week’s Grand Rounds has been posted. Glad to see another d-blogger linked. ;)

XLI redux.

As a Cubs fan, I am used to the saying “there’s always next year”.

The Bears have had decent teams in the past few years, just coming up short because of the quarterback situation.

I wanted Peyton Manning to get a Super Bowl ring eventually, but not this year, not against my Bears.

So, here I go, returning to the idea that there’s always next year…

Super Bowl Sunday cat blogging.



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