Category Archives: Colorado


Besides the bright spots I detailed the other day, the following discoveries have made me swoon in the past few months:

  • How I Met Your Mother (Legen…wait for it…dary!)
  • Hiking around Chautauqua and NCAR in Boulder (with the focus on fitness instead of photography).
  • The Eternal Struggle (of writers like me).
  • Giraffe as spirit animal.
  • Kate Winslet, especially in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (but never Titanic).
  • Strength training (which as I detailed here, does not have to mean big huge weights).
  • Marcus Sakey crime novels (set in Chicago, so well, of course.)
  • Woman Descending the Staircase.
  • Love and Other Drugs (too much skin and sex? whatever!)

(Sort of) Wordless Wednesday.

Seventh straight evening of thunderstorms brewing:


The humidity followed me back from Chicago to Colorado last week.

Multiple rounds of thunderstorms every afternoon, producing interesting consequences. Hair is curled and frizzed. Mosquitoes are feeding upon unsuspecting individuals on their morning walks. The need to quench thirst throughout a Colorado summer day is reduced when moisture lingers in the air.

Only I know that this week, more than any other, I must keep drinking water. Not just for the continuing weight loss efforts, but in preparation for this week’s blood draw in advance of next week’s endocrinologist appointment. Veins that stick out with proper hydration are so much more preferable to those that hide with mild dehydration. Painless instead of painful, is that not what we all want with a blood draw?

(If only staying hydrated would guarantee a painless HbA1C result…but maybe all the diet/exercise/metformin efforts will produce one.)

A few more reasons why.

A few weeks ago, I launched into the long explanation of why I might not stay in Colorado after the grant on which I am working ends in a couple years.

But yesterday, I was reminded of a few more reasons why I would like to stay.

Their names are Nepenthe (Neppie), Kahlua, Perl, and Athena Edwina.

I walked in the door to pack up some of the last few things remaining at the house and to discuss important matters that lie ahead.

Neppie’s eyes brightened the moment she saw me, Kahlua could not seem to get enough of belly scratching, Perl purred while in my arms (she’s coming with me to the new place soon), and even Thenie tolerated me for a few brief moments.

The house may feel less and less like mine, the place on which I left my mark for nearly eleven years. The cats? They never forget their “mom”.

The easy questions, the hard answers.

“So what brought you to Colorado?”

Unprepared, totally unprepared to hear and try to answer this question over and over at the college alumni event. Unprepared, totally unprepared to handle the aftermath of holding back tears for several hours during the event.

The same year I moved to Colorado, the movie Good Will Hunting won a couple Oscars. The line in that movie resonated with me, the line I carried with me for the next twelve years was when Will tells Sean he’s going to see about a girl, repeating what Sean had told him about his deceased wife earlier with regards to missing Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.

I was going to see about a boy, see what would happen if our long-distance relationship became a live-in one. We stuck together for twelve years, through thick and thin. Tough times, of course we had them, especially in the couple years before all the illness and surgery mess. I thought we had turned a corner somewhere in between the emergency situation and the second surgery that resolved years of chronic pelvic pain.

Instead, here I was telling people that I followed the man, practically a Colorado native, from whom I was now separated.

“Are you planning to stay in Colorado, then?”

It only makes sense that this question would follow the answer to the first question. And yet, still unprepared, totally unprepared to answer the question or to handle the aftermath of continuing to hold back tears.

I don’t know the answer to that one. The job I began last month is scheduled to last two years, according to the term of the grant. When I took it, I figured it would give me enough time to develop a plan on what to do in a couple years when things are more settled.

The thing is, there are few of “my people” here. You might not think so if you view the videos filmed from Friday night out with the blogging pals, or if you see me chatting with former co-workers who became reliable and caring friends, but I am longing for the hugs and the smiles and the laughter of those who know me most back in Wisconsin. The people who knew me before he came along, the ones who have been so incredibly kind and wonderful these past few months.

A few weeks back, I came close to running into friends of his, not once but twice, at a local festival; after the second time, I turned right around to go back to the crappy little apartment to cry. I walk around in fear that I will encounter more of “his people”. If that happens, I will just completely fall apart, worse than I have since that alumni event.

You see, most of the people who saw me through the terrible mess of illness and surgeries were “his people” as they were close and could drop everything to help or listen or distract, while “my people” were not as able to rush out a thousand miles away in winter.

Yes, the blogging pals are here and the former co-workers turned good friends are here, and I am sure I would miss them terribly. However, even some of them encourage me to consider going back to “my people”, in spite of my excuses of my health care team being awesome here and oh, how I would miss the mountains and the milder winters.

It’s kind of funny in a way. I waited thirteen years for an alumni event to come to Denver and now I may well be returning to the Midwest within a year or two.

Summer bucket list.

(Inspired by The Guavalicious Life‘s list!)

  • WildFit. Exercise five days a week – three longer, more intense, more specific workout patterns, two shorter and lighter workouts – but what kind of exercise we do for those workouts is entirely up to each of us. To give an example, this week is 60-50-65-50-60. I walk briskly for the longer workouts, while for the lighter workouts I find myself either leisurely walking, grabbing a session on the exercise bike in the small gym at work, or doing yoga/pilates work. The nutrition aspect is a little more contentious as there’s no way I can handle the daily total of carbohydrates that the RD/CDE recommends as someone with type 2 diabetes mostly managed by diet and exercise. (Especially if I want to lose weight and maintain acceptable blood sugar after meals
  • The first ever Denver area alumni event for the little Wisconsin state college I attended will be held in a couple weeks. Meet and greet at a local tavern before heading over to Coors Field for a Rockies game, including a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium.
  • First normal well-woman exam after the surgeries and decisions and all that fun at the end of June. Okay, well, a new normal – the GYN will likely order the first baseline mammogram, too.
  • A whirlwind less-than-48-hours trip to Chicago in July. I vow to finally visit the Art Institute and get one step closer to being like Ferris Bueller singing Danke Schoen and Twist & Shout on Michigan Avenue.
  • Lab work (including c-reactive protein) and endocrinologist appointment a couple weeks after that. With WildFit winding down by then, I think I should be able to rock the A1C for the first time in a long time. (Which means
  • August will find me with access to a pool, of which I will take full advantage.
  • September is still summer, and that finds me first going to Wisconsin to meet my new nephew (born a few days ago), hanging out with his sisters and parents, and catching up with the rest of my kin at a family wedding. Then, I get to feed my bloggy spirit with Bloggy Boot Camp on September 17 in Denver.
Those are just the definite plans, of course… somewhere in there, I plan on packing in some good hikes, lots of photos taken with the new camera, a couple of concerts, a festival or three, and a ton of laughs.

Taking a day off from #HAWMC.

Instead, enjoying the Boulder area sunshine while getting a good dose of #sweatbetes…

And then snapping a few pictures of the flowers on the Pearl Street Mall after lunch and a bit of shopping…

Hail, hail.

Oh, BugginWord, complain all you want about snow and cold and ice coming after the calendar has turned to spring. There are two things I want you to remember.

  • It may be warm and sunny and springlike here in the Denver-Boulder area, but that means that wildfire danger is high because we haven’t had measurable precipitation since sometime in February (and March is typically our snowiest month). Every time I walk out my door, I smell smoke and I don’t mean the kind that comes from smoking a cigarette or a joint. Pee You.
  • Hail is not just a winter weather thing. In fact, in all my years, I only remember hail accompanying spring and summer thunderstorms. In fact…

Once upon a time five years ago, to celebrate turning the big 30, I decided to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. 26.2 miles of walking the first day, 13.1 miles the second. I trained and raised money and walked the entire marathon length the first day, only to be defeated early on the second day by nasty reactive hypoglycemia a couple miles from breakfast. That’s not the point, though.

The point is, after I showered and ate dinner the first evening, I went to get ready for bed in the tents at the park where we were to spend the night. Except that it started thundering in the distance, with swirling winds battering the tent. I thought about heading to the food or first aid tents when lightning seemed to get closer and closer, making me realize I probably should lay low in the tent to avoid being the highest point around.

And then came the hail. Pounding the tent, pounding my head and my back through the tent, as I huddled in a corner. Please make it stop, I said over and over to my agnostic self, as I became convinced I would get struck by lightning or the hail would pelt me in the head or chest and kill me.  What took about five minutes to run its course over the tent city seemed to last about five hours.

Yeah, I know. I walked 26.2 miles that day and yet I could barely handle being stuck in a tent during a hailing thunderstorm. Such a wimp!

Negative into positive.

Last night’s high winds knocked me into an anxiety storm.

Debris hit the window panes and I freaked. Not only about the debris hitting the window panes and the room shaking and that howling wind, but about all the other crap in my life hitting the proverbial fan (not to mention all the crap going on in the world).

The high winds affected the cat in much the same manner, ears perked and tail in agitated motion.

I grabbed the new toy I bought her and we started playing. It was almost like she was a kitten again (not that I know what she was like a kitten – she came to us at a year old). That is when I got inspired.

I got out the wimpy dumbbells and the balance ball DVDs and got my own workout.

Instead of taking one of those anti-anxiety pills stashed in my purse for the panicky moments of my life, exercise acted as an anti-anxiety measure.

I managed to turn negative thoughts into more positive ones, thinking of the good things instead of the bad things. Focusing on my breath and my movements instead of that wind and the crap in my life and the world’s current problems.

“At least I am exercising and eating right”, I thought to myself as I stretched one last time, “that is a start at being more optimistic”.

Ice – Could have been worse.

It could have been worse than a minor spill on the ice.

Just a giant bruise on the left side of the ol’ tush, with a little soreness along the left side of my body – elbow, wrist, knee, ankle – though none of this seriously concerns me. (One reason to be glad to be carrying around an extra twenty pounds, otherwise the impact may have been worse.)

I happened to be carrying my laptop at the time, and thank goodness, it did not break (and I did not break).

It happened this winter, instead of last, while I recovered from one surgery and looked forward to another. That would have been much more jolting to my weaker body.

It happened to me, instead of someone more fragile, like my mother or so many friends dealing with chronic pain.

It could have been worse, but I am grateful it was not.