This Song…

 

 

will never get old Open-mouthed smile

 

I listen to it every day of the week…but you probably already knew that Winking smile

 

About to go on a date night with the boyfriend! Hope your Saturday is awesome!

date

 

P.S. 7 more days until my marathon….aye carumba. (!!!!)

 

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When I Was Little…

I learned the value of life.

Anything’s life..not just a humans, but an animals as well (if you see things my way-humans are animals).

When I was eleven, my mom came home to find two dying baby mice on her kitchen counter with bandages wrapped around their stomachs.

My cat had left them at our doorstep and they weren’t quite dead yet (I hated it when they weren’t already dead.), and so I tried to save them.

Their little beady eyes blinking slowly, life fading in and out as I tried my best to cover their puncture wounds.

My mom grounded me for a week for bringing “germs” into the house. “Do you know the diseases they carry?!”.

Death was constantly at my doorstep. Literally.

My cat was always hunting and killing things. Leaving them right at our feet as a “present”. I often woke up to baby rabbits, dead birds, rat heads (because he ate the rest), baby mice…anything he could catch in the field in front of our house.

I would pat him on the head, but silently agonize over what was in front of me.

One day when I was 13, I was laying on my bed thumbing through a magazine. I happened to glance out of the window at the exact moment that a bird was headed, full-speed, towards my window.

It smashed into it and fell to the ground.

I ran outside as quickly as possible to see if there was anything I could do. The bird lay there, it’s neck broken. In a few seconds, it was dead.

I cried.

Why I would want to run out and watch something die is beyond me. I just felt like being there with it, and recognizing it’s little life gone might help the bird (?)…To me, it felt like someone should realize what just happened.

When I was 14, I was walking through neighborhood roads to my friends house, when I came across a calico cat. He was purring and rubbing against my feet.

Always wanting to put my face in an animals fur, I picked him up and snuggled him. A car was coming up the road, so I moved out of the way with the cat in my hands to let the car go by.

I stood with the cat on the side of the road, waiting for the car to pass. Right when the car gets to us, the cat freaks out and jumps down, only to be run over.

I stood there sobbing, watching as the cat flopped around on the road, dying.

The lady got out of the car and asked me why I let him down? “Why did you do that? I’m sorry I ran over your cat!”

Without saying anything, I ran to my friends house and told her the story. She started laughing and told her mom that I was “in here crying over a cat”. I immediately stopped crying, I didn’t want my friends to think I was a baby or anything, but my heart felt heavy for the rest of the day.

Last year, on my way home from Girls on the Run, there were kids crowding around in the street. Little kids, maybe ages 5-8? Feeling like something was wrong, I parked my car and went over to the kids.

They were standing around a cat that had just been hit.

My heart went to my feet. I told them to back up and asked them how long ago the cat had been hit. They said it just happened.

The poor cat couldn’t lift it’s hind legs, it was using all the strength it had to use it’s front two paws to stand up. But it would just collapse again. I knew it was going to die.

I sat there with the kids, crying. Silently saying a prayer and telling it “I’m sorry” through my thoughts. The cat exhaled one last time, spit blood and died.

 

I guess you could say I have a problem with death.

I cringe and apologize whenever a bug hits my windshield.

I get a sinking feeling in my chest when I see road kill.

I go extra slow down the country road that leads to my house, so that I don’t hit “night critters”.

Yesterday was the worst day I’ve ever had.

I spilled coffee all over my crotch right before going into Chem. class, I found out that I made an “F” on my mid-term, and the kids were driving me bonkers at work.

I drive home, already feeling defeated and beat-down. I turn onto our country road, click my bright headlights on, and slow my speed.

I come around a curb, and out of all the animals I could’ve hit, a bat flies right into my windshield.

“But it’s just a bat.”

It’s a life! And bats are amazing creatures!

I gasp, stop the car, and get out to see if I can see it on the road. It’s on the side of the road, lying on it’s back.

I let out an angry scream. Angry at myself for taking a life, angry because I try so hard not to hit anything.

I get in my car and drive towards home.

My driveway is blocked with a huge truck.

A man steps out, comes to my car and says: “We’ll be outta your way in a minute. We’re just finishing up here. Which trailer do you live in?”

Me: “The third one back.” His co-worker comes over at this point. “We’ll move in just a minute and you can go home.”

“Okay.”

“Mrs., are you crying?”

“Yeah, I hit an animal on the way home.”

“Is your car okay? What’d you hit?”

“I hit a bat. It flew into my windshield.”

“You’re crying over a bat? That’s nothing! I hit a opossum the other night going about 70. WHAM!” *Insert loud laughter here*

AND THAT’S SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT?! YOU’RE PROUD OR SOMETHING?!

Ignoramus. Stupid redneck hillbillies.

Life is life. No matter what species you are…I don’t want to be responsible for ending another living beings life here on Earth.

I hate that I hit that bat, I hate it. But what I hate more is someone’s indifference to taking a life. The fact that they can joke and carry on about running over an opossum enraged me.

I realize I might be “too sensitive” about this stuff, but if you ask me, we need people like me in the world. There are people that are sensitive to topics like abortion, or the death sentence. Those people stand strong in their beliefs, and crying over a dead animal might seem “silly” but someone should be that way.

If no one cared, then it would go unnoticed…and that would further promote our indifferent attitudes towards animals.

Sometimes I think it would help if I knew more people like me. I feel so alone in this stand sometimes. Like, it doesn’t matter to other people, so why even try? What difference am I really going to make?

 

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20 Mile Reality Check

Hi Smile

Well, my 20 mile run (the last long run of my training!) is complete. But not without a getting a huge reality check along the way.

Allow me to explain-

Friday night my friend texted me and said that he had a friend that had a free pass for a half-marathon that was to take place the next morning (are you still with me?).  So, of course, I jumped on that opportunity. Running a half-marathon and then adding 7 miles at the end would be a lot better than running the flat greenway back and forth 5 times!

I got in touch with his friend (who is now my friend too <—don’t you love how that happens?) and we agreed to meet the next morning before the race.

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We met bright and early the next morning, registered for the race, and talked a bit before it was time to run.

The first part of the race seemed to fly by. Before I knew it, I was reaching mile 9.

 

But oh-my-GAH, the hills.

Mistake in training #1 – Didn’t do one single run on a hilly course. I’ve been training on a flat surface because I was told that the Savannah, GA marathon has a relatively flat course.

I still should have completed short runs on hills. It increases speed and endurance on long runs.

Oh well!

This race was so hilly! Like a freaking roller coaster.

hillyrace

My legs were getting really tight and tired by the time I reached mile 9. One thing I can be proud of is that I ran the entire race. No stopping! I took baby steps on the hills and I eventually finished in 2:14.

That’s about 5 minutes slower than my first half-marathon, but that’s ok. I’m training for a much bigger goal!

The hills really slowed me down. In the beginning, I was doing about a 9:30 pace, but looking back my average was about a 10:16 pace.

One thing I didn’t like about this race was that every 3 miles, they had a timer up showing you what your time is at that particular moment.

I don’t think about my timing unless a clock is put in front of my face! I didn’t want to know!

Hehe Smile

All in all, it was a good race. Beautiful weather for it!

Afterward, I stretched and then got in my car to drive to the greenway. I wanted to get those last 7 miles done before I lost motivation!

My last 7 miles of training

Mile 14-18 were okay. My legs were in a lot of pain from all of the hills, specifically my calves. I just felt tight all over…like a stretched rubber band. My knees began bothering me a lot around mile 18.

Mile 18-20: Pure. Hell. Hell, I tell you!

Oh my Lord, why didn’t someone warn me about the pain?!!

Okay, so mile 18 I stop and stretch out my knees and begin walking after every half mile.  My strides have become baby steps.  A light jog.

Mile 19: My entire body feels so heavy and it takes all of the effort I have just to put one foot in front of the other.  I “run”, walk, stretch. And repeat.

Mile 20: My knees are hurting, my joints feel inflamed. I can feel all of the muscles in my legs. My right leg keeps wanting to give out on me (not sure what  that’s about…??). I finally finish.

 

Maybe it was because I had just ran 13 miles of back to back hills, or maybe it’s because I just ran 20 miles…but goodness gracious. After this run, I thought about my marathon goals and made some serious revisions!

  • WALK. I hadn’t planned on walking any during my marathon, but pshhh, yeah right! Now I plan to walk after 10 miles. 6 miles. 4 miles. And then every 2 until I finish.
  • Eat more. All I ate the entire 20 miles was a pack of Cliff blocks and two pieces of bread. I have trouble eating when I’m doing long runs because I don’t feel hungry. During my marathon, I plan to eat every time I stop to walk.
  • Don’t focus on time. Finish in under 4 hours, yeah right!  It would be awesome if I did, but I just want to finish. Without injury.
  • Take in the experience. Do not focus on how many other people are flying past you and how “slow you are”, your in a city you’ve never been before! Take it in!

After all is said and done-

I don’t think I’m going to do another marathon after this one.

I felt really bad for putting my body through all of the pain I did on Saturday. (I found myself apologizing to my body: “Come on, please. I’m sorry I’m doing this to you! Just get me through these last two miles..). It’s such wear and tear! I want to have strong bones and healthy joints, but it’s starting to feel like running 26.2 miles is too much to put on a body (in my opinion). I like the half-marathon distance because right when it starts to hurt- you’re done! Smile

I may be eating my words come next year, but who knows?

Only 11 more days until the race! Ahhhhhhhh!!!! Open-mouthed smile

In other news-

Jason and I took updated “family portraits” this weekend! Now that we have Sophie, we thought it only fitting to redo our old family photo so that we could include her.

Here are the the trial shots:

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(Biting me- I love the look on my other cats face Open-mouthed smile)

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(Picture a cat falling out on the floor in a temper tantrum, this is what it would look like. “But I don’t want to take a family photo!” <—said in whiniest voice possible)

The end product:

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She’s growling in this pic, but at least she’s looking at the camera!

Time to get ready for school! See ya later this week with a recipe! Smile

How did your first 20-miler go? Are you a one-time marathoner, or is it addicting like everyone says? Do you take family photos with your fur children? (Please say you do)

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Cruelty-Free Products I’m Loving Now

Hiya!

Aside from practicing this all weekend long…

yoga

There hasn’t really been any extreme physical activity going on over here this weekend! My legs are just now feeling healed from my 18 mile run! Surprised smile <—my face. Cos I’m shocked. Can’t believe it took so long!

My 20 mile run (the last before my race!!) has yet to happen. I’m thinking it will be this Saturday?? And then the tapering begins! Feels kind of weird not to run for an entire week…my legs are itching to get back out there!

So anywho, I wanted to hop on and share some of the great cruelty-free products I’ve been using since going vegan. It took a while for me to get to this stage. At first, it’s like “Okay, I just need to get the eating vegan thing down, then I’ll move on to buying inedible vegan products.”

Well, I’m finally there. Guess you could say I’ve got the eating part down pat Winking smile And I’m starting to get this cruelty-free thing down pat as well!

**FYI: None of these companies are compensating me in any way to say nice things about them! I’ve just been using these products for a few months now, and really love them**

First up- Face wash, son!

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Burt’s Bees Peach & Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub. I have to admit that I was a little hesitant about buying this because it’s natural and I didn’t think a natural product could do anything for my face.

But I was wrong.

Before I began wearing this, I used Neutrogena “Pink Grapefruit Invigorating Scrub”…so I wanted something similar. They are both about $7, so I wasn’t spending any more/less on the product. Which is awesome.

This stuff leaves my face feeling extra soft and clean. It even smells natural, not chemically or anything. Two thumbs up from me.

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Please ignore my hitchhikers thumb. I have the inherited gift of being able to bend the upper part of my right thumb almost 95 degrees (not shown in pic above). Someone put me in a freak show or something! I want some money for this talent!

Hehe Smile

Moving on-

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Renpure Organics Instant Finish Hair Spray. It doesn’t leave me gasping for air after I spray it. I’ve also noticed that my animals can stand it…they don’t high-tail it out of the bathroom when I get spray-busy with this stuff Smile I think if they could, they would give it two-thumbs up as well!

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Next up: My “Cow-Hugger” tote bag that I got for my 26th birthday!

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I carry this thing EVERYWHERE. It’s made by The Herbivore Clothing Company in Portland, Oregon. Everything in the store is vegan and they only sale items that come from vegan/vegetarian cruelty-free companies Open-mouthed smile That’s a-OK in my book! (**I also got this shirt from there. The material is so soft and comfy, and I like the message it sends too Winking smile )

Going back to body products- this hand soap is the. best. ever.

handsoap

Pure & Natural Cleansing hand soap in Rosemary & Mint.

Confession:

I actually don’t own this at home. It’s in the women’s bathroom at my church! Augh. Sleepy smile I know, right? It’s terrible. Is repeatedly excusing yourself from a sermon to go “to the bathroom and wash your hands over and over” a sure way to get yourself into Hades? Devil Sorry, but I can’t help myself. It smells so good!! Must find it locally!

Another cruelty-free product I’m loving- my EcoTool makeup brushes!

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I bought these on a whim a couple of years ago after seeing them in a Marie Claire magazine. The brushes I had before these were so gross, and understandably so…seeing as how I had had them since 9th grade. Ewwww Sick smile

I didn’t find out that EcoTools is a cruelty-free company until a few months back when I was browsing their website. These brushes have lasted a long time, and unlike my previous brushes, they are still in pretty good shape after being used for two years.

Again- thumbs up! Open-mouthed smile

Now, there aren’t a lot of cleaning products that I’ve found to be cruelty-free in my area. However, I did stumble upon Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning solution in the clearance aisle of my local Wal-Mart, and decided to give her a try.

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The verdict? Red heart. I use the Lemon Verbena All-Purpose Cleaner for almost everything I clean in my house. Floors, counters, walls, toilets, sinks…you name, Mrs. Meyer’s has cheerily been there. I say that because the Lemon Verbena scent is cheery Open-mouthed smile (<—like this!), but not over-powering. It gives my house a clean, fresh smell.

I’m looking forward to trying her other products as well!

So there you have it.

I realize this list isn’t very long, but I’m still “discovering” cruelty-free products that are out there. I’m glad to have found what I have so far! It makes me feel better about my purchases, and I like supporting companies that stand for things I believe in Smile

I thought about putting some books on this list, but there are too many to mention…so that’s another post!

Hope you all have a lovely week!

PS. If you are crazy about a cruelty-free product that you use, please share!

And don’t forget to check out The Home-Cooked Vegan on FB Winking smile See ya!

 

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How To Survive 18 Miles on the Dreadmill

That’s right.

I ran 18 miles on the treadmill.

18. Miles.

I reached a whole new level of boredom that I never thought possible this past Tuesday. And all in the name of training…by the way, I’m so sick of training! Smile

(source)

I’m at the point where, by the time I finish a long run, my mind begins saying things like "Why would anyone want to run 26.2 miles?! This is painful! I can’t even feel my legs!" But oh, do I feel my hips.  Seems like I can feel that 18 miles all over my body.

It’s funny, because up until this point I’d do a long run, stretch and be done with it. The tightness in my legs would be gone the day after. Maybe two days after, tops.

18 miles feels so different from 16! And being on a treadmill actually made my hips feel better, but during that run, there were muscles hurting that never hurt before! I’m like: "Why is butt hurting?! I don’t even have a butt! Where is this throbbing in my outer thigh coming from??"  It’s four days later and my legs are still hurting. At least I can sit down comfortably now, haha Open-mouthed smile

Before you being to think I’m crazy for running 18 miles on a treadmill, (or maybe you already do?? 😉 ) let me tell you how I wound up there in the first place.

1.  I put off my run.

There was a perfectly lovely Saturday that I could’ve done my run on last week, but I spent it doing 8 miles instead of 18 because I "just didn’t feel like running." <–I have a golden rule, that no matter what I’m training for, if I don’t feel like running on a certain day- I don’t.

So, I finished 8 and told myself I’d do the rest on Monday.

2. Monday was spent studying for a chemistry exam and cleaning house = run moved to Tuesday before work.

Don’t think I brushed my teeth until about 5 p.m. that day, ha! <–I never have "lazy days" so I’m kind of proud of that. Open-mouthed smile

crowders mtn 185

3. Tuesday rolls around. I gear up for my run– Camelbak, Clif shots, G2+water mixed, trail mix, charged IPod. At 7:30 I leave the house, and head to the greenway.

It’s pouring rain. POURING.

"Ughhhhh! Why are you doing this to me?!" <–talking to Mother Nature? I dunno. I couldn’t put it off any longer, I mean my race is in 3 weeks!

So the gym it was.

I stroll in there, feeling a bit ridiculous because I’ m carrying the Camelbak with me. I grab a treadmill in between two T.V’s. Pay attention here because this is how you will survive 18 miles (3 hours??) on the treadmill! (Or maybe you’ll just pay attention to the forecast before your run?)

Make sure that when you get a treadmill, you get one between two T.V.’s if you can. On the one T.V., there will be Jerry Springer. On the other- CNN. Jerry is there to fill you trash-TV quota of the week, and CNN is there for you when you feel your morality start to slip a bit.

(source)

Sling your Camelbak onto the treadmill beside you. Don’t wear it unless you have to. I’m sure other gym-goers do not want to hear "slish-slosh, slish-slosh" while they work out. Hell, I wear it and don’t even like hearing that sound! (Plus, the sound of the liquid might make them feel like they need a potty break -yes, I’m using 5-year old language here-every 30 seconds…es no bueno.)

You are now ready to being running.

(source)

If you are Superman or Wonder Woman, and can go 18 miles on a treadmill without stopping, then I loudly applaud you. As for the rest of us: Break up the miles.

This is what worked for me:

Run 6  miles. Stop for .15th of a mile. G2 and fuel break.

Run 4 miles. Stop. Fuel. (“Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jer-ry!” She slept with your man?! Oh no she didn’t!)

Run 4 miles. Stop. Fuel. (Begin noticing pain in legs…)

Run 2 miles. Stop. Fuel. (“Today on CNN, recent poll of Americans shows that they are unsatisfied with President Obama…..Jer-ry! Jer-ry! Jerry I came here today to tell my boyfriend that I was really born a man.”)

Run last 2 miles. Stop. Fuel. WALK. (Legs are tight. Too stiff to walk normally. Notice everyone staring at your abnormal gait as you walk to the bathroom. Wonder if you’ll ever feel your legs again. Oh- and promise to read a scientific book when you get home to cancel out the amount of brain cells just lost to Jerry.)

Pat yourself on the back (if you can move)! You’ve completed 18 miles on the treadmill. It is now 3 hours later, and all that you have to show for your accomplishment is pain and hunger. Yep, that sounds about right.

Head over to the stretching area and do some yoga moves to release that lactic acid in your legs.

Go home and EAT (while studying for Chemistry. Told you I’d get those brain cells back!). Shower and it’s time to work.

Legs should go back to semi-normal in 4-5 days.

Oh, what’s that you say? You have a 20 mile run that you’re supposed to do Saturday but your legs still aren’t healed? Hmm, push it to Monday is what I say!

Just make sure to look at the forecast before heading out Winking smile

weather girl

Unless you want more Jerry…and if you do, it’s okay, I won’t judge.

Forks over Knives: Review and Afterthoughts

Wow.

I just watched this:

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So. amazing. I mean, I literally want to buy this movie poster and stick it in my kitchen as a reminder of why I live the way that I do.

Like I said with Food, Inc., if you haven’t seen this documentary, you should! Everyone in America (hell, everyone in the world) should see this documentary.

I was nodding my head and saying “mmhmm” the entire time. I whole-heartedly agree with the doctors that collaborated in this film. I read The China Study a couple of years ago. To this day, it the single-most influential nutrition book I’ve ever had my hands on.

There is just no denying the years of research/evidence that Colin Campbell and Thomas Campbell put into their studies. You can’t argue with the statistics.

I’m not going to go into much detail about the book or the movie here. The movie is on Instant Netflix (as is Food, Inc.) and you can find the book for about $10 on Amazon Open-mouthed smile

The one aspect of this movie that I did not agree with:

The American Dietetics Association’s view of how Americans “should” eat.

People, this is why I did not continue on and take the R.D. exam. 

For one, I do not believe in MyPyramid.

Why are we, as a nation, so content with having the government tell us how we should eat?

Second, the former president of ADA chooses to ignore what has been statistically proven by the top two food scientists in America. The over-consumption of dairy and meat in our nation is out of control. Most of the obesity, heart disease, metabolic syndrome diseases are caused by this! And when asked if she thinks not eating dairy or meat is a healthy thing to do, she replies “No. We need the protein in meat and the calcium in dairy.”

Okay, lady.

Time to get with the 21st century.

This is why I can’t be a nutritionist. There is no way I could sit with a client (straight-faced), work out a menu plan with them, and tell them to consume 3 forms of dairy a day. Or 6 oz. of meat a day.

There’s no way!

I applaud both of the doctors in the film for going against the norm, even when being criticized by their colleagues. I applaud them for telling their patients to stop taking their 20 different meds, and start eating plant-based, whole foods.

Their patients lives were changed dramatically. Each one is healthier than they’ve ever been. They have “more energy”.  Both Dr. Campbell’s are in their 70’s and still perfectly able to do normal things. They both run!

I repeat: They both run.

It’s just amazing.

I’m truly in awe of them. I have two new heroes Smile

__________________________________________________________________

And here comes the controversy?? Winking smile

I wished that Jason was here to see it. He’s watching the football game at a friends house.

Since going vegan, the fact that my boyfriend eats meat bothers me more than it did when I was a vegetarian.

We’ve talked about it several times. Usually I just blatantly ask “Have you ever considered going vegetarian?”. And his response is always the same. “No, I like the taste of meat. I know where it comes from and I’m grateful to the animal, and to me, I feel like that’s enough.”

Sighhhhhh. I guess when you change one part of your life, it’s always nice if your significant other makes the change too…

For me, it definitely isn’t a “deal-breaker” that Jason chooses to eat meat/dairy. I love him. And that means loving all aspects of him.

It makes me feel better that he eats mostly vegan/vegetarian for breakfast and dinner. But it’s hard not to get passionate about animal rights when I see him chowing down a thick, juicy burger.

Especially when all of the statistics and science is out there. I mean, it’s out there! You just have to want to educate yourself on what your eating.

But most of all, the condition of the animals that are slaughtered.

 

Some people ask a lot of questions after they find out that I’m vegan. Which, by the way, I am very happy to answer.

Others mock me. They mock my lifestyle. Simply because it’s different from what they’re used to.

And that’s okay too.

But you know what the most annoying response is?

“There are plenty of starving children in the world, and you’re worried about animals?” or here is another response that really gets me:

“Well, if you care about the animals so much, you should ___________”.

Since when is it not okay for a person to care about more than one world-related issue?” Just because I care a lot about animals (yes, more than people. I’m not going to lie) does not mean that reading about starving Ethiopian children doesn’t bother me.

It. does.

Even though it is a minimal amount, the fact that I choose not to eat meat/dairy can actually help fight hunger. It’s in the movie. Watch it.

As for the second response- I choose to ignore that when it is said to me.

Don’t tell someone that is creating petitions (and signing them!), blogging about animal rights, and sharing vegan/vegetarian recipes on her little corner of the Internet, that she should do something more.

It just isn’t right. Especially if the person saying it is doing nothing at all.

 

So, I kind of just got off topic.

Guess there are some angry feelings in there…?

I can’t say that the responses that I sometimes get don’t bother me. I think what bothers me most, is that they are usually from family or friends. And that can hurt.

Luckily, most of my friends and family are supportive Smile

I don’t expect everyone to understand why I eat the way I do, but I think we can all be civilized about it, right?? Winking smile

I’m thankful to have a boyfriend that supports me, no matter what decisions I may make. He will spend 45 minutes helping me get a spider safely out of the house. He’ll try to cook vegan for me because he knows that that’s the way to my heart, haha. He even watches out for day/evening/night critters as we are driving down the country road to our house (raccoon sighting last night!).

I guess what I’m trying to say is: For all of the people out there that respond with negativity and meanness, I’m glad to have one person that accepts me for who I am Smile

A vegan, animal-loving “freak” Winking smile

When a Dog Gets Older…

So I may be procrastinating stupid chemistry homework. But hey, it’s Saturday, and in my mind that means that I’m allowed to procrastinate just a little Smile

BTW- for all of you General Chemistry buffs out there (I’m quickly learning that General Chem. is definitely not the same as Organic/Biochemistry. Too much math and number-crunching. I’ll be glad when I’m back in Organic, that is for sure!!) we’re working on diatomic analysis and theoretical yields. My brain feels like screaming every time I leave class. So ready to move on to the more hands-on stuff! Just have to make it through next week!

Moving on-

Trixie is getting older.

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Some of you may be saying “Duh, dogs age.”, but these new signs of aging seemed to have appeared overnight. I mean, sure, she’s had gray on her snout for a while now. And she’s always had trouble with her hip, but the new things I’ve begun to notice let me know that my pup isn’t the same squirrel-chasing pupper she once was.

Some of the signs are funny to observe.

Some of them melt my heart, and make me love her even more.

And, well, some of them break my heart.

Let’s start with the funny!

She farts.

All. the. time. While sleeping, while walking, after eating…you name it. She’s been there, tooted there.

And it never ceases to surprise her. She will be sleeping and let out a toot that makes her jump Open-mouthed smile And if it smell bad enough, she’ll get up and move a few feet over and go back to sleep. HAHA! (Trust me, it smells bad enough). If it’s loud enough, the cats will look around like “What was that?!” Open-mouthed smile  It’s hilarious.

She is also following me everywhere I go.

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She’s always been that way…she likes being in the same room as me. But it’s (and I hate to say this) getting a little annoying these days! Every time I turn around, she’s there. Blocking my path. When I get out of bed in the morning, my feet touch fur before they touch the floor.

When I sit down –anywhere in the house- she is there, nudging me to be petted. Maybe all of this is because we now have a 3rd pet? It seems like they are all fighting for attention a little more than usual.

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It’s okay, though. I try not to get too annoyed with it. She was, after all, the first member of our fur family Smile

Other changes I’ve noticed:

She sleeps practically all day. And it’s a deeper sleep than the naps she used to take before. This morning I wanted to take her to the park. She was asleep in the office, near Jason. It took me about five minutes of gently saying “Triixxxiieeeeee, Triixxieeeeeee” before her lids even opened.

I’ve begun to notice that it takes her longer to respond to me. Whether I’m calling her back inside, or petting her while she sleeps…it takes longer for her to register the fact that I’m near or around.

And another 10 minutes just to get her up and moving.

She’s a lot slower these days.

Her walks have gone from 3-a-day, to 1 or 2 walks. They only last about 10 minutes and she’s ready to come back home and sleep again.

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She can no longer jump in the car.

Not just my car (which is a Jeep, and a little high for her), but Jason’s low Toyota as well. She is able to get her front two paws in on the floorboard, I then lift her back end the rest of the way up.

Though these things don’t necessarily make me sad- just more aware of the fact that she’s aging-there are more obvious signs of aging that bother me tremendously.

For one, Trixie hacks.

She has heart worms.

I’ve never said that on the blog before. Partly because I’m ashamed and feel guilty about not knowing the dangers of heart worm disease until it was too late.

The other part is it’s kind of hard to talk about.

Out of all of the things, this one really gets me.

She coughs a lot. The vet said the disease is in a stage that is too advanced for medicine, and there isn’t a lot they can do. They also explained to me that when she hacks and wheezes, that comes from the heartworms trying to make their way up into her throat Sad smile Every time she coughs, I cringe (with guilt and worry).

Trixie was on heart worm prevention, but there were a few months when I used to live by myself that I couldn’t afford the medicine. All of my animals are now on the heart worm prevention pill. Whether I have the money at the time, or not.

The heartworms cause her to get out of breath quickly. Going from the office to the kitchen (two rooms away) tires her to the point of having to sit, or most of the time, lay down.

The other aging thing that bothers me the most:

She can no longer control her bladder the way she used to.

Two times in the past week I’ve come home to a pee spot on the floor.

The first time, I got really angry and scolded her for it. But after it happened a second time, a light bulb sort of clicked and I thought to myself “She can’t help it.”

I’ve come to expect an accident here and there.

Our Trixie isn’t the same old girl she once was, but I love her every more each day.

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Because even though walking is more of a chore for her now, she will still get up and follow me from room to room. She is around me all the time, constantly being stepped on, but she doesn’t care…She just wants to be near me.

I can’t think of a better example of unconditional love, can you?

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She also let’s Sophie play with her tail without getting up and moving Winking smile

I’m sure there are more changes to come as she gets older. All I can do is be there for her; practice patience with her; give her kisses on her wet nose to let her know how much I love her, and extra snuggles on the floor to thank her for sharing her life with me.

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Smothered-n-covered Trixie-browns is my favorite breakfast Winking smile

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Have you ever witnessed a beloved pet age? What were some things you noticed?

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Downed Animals

Ok. I try really hard to not to rant about animal rights on this blog. But sometimes I read something and it gets me all hot and bothered, and I just can’t help but post about it.

This morning, while in the computer lab at school, I read this article.

If you don’t feel like clicking on the link, here is a summary (in my own words):

A few years ago, the state of California made a law against using downed animals in the nations food supply. Meaning- if the animal is in line to be slaughtered, and is so sick or weak that it literally cannot stand up, the company cannot use the meat off of the animal and sell it to consumers.

Downed animals have a number of health problems and (about 90% of the time) carry disease or are sick with infection. Up until 3 years ago, the meat from these animals was being distributed to consumers without them knowing it.

So, California government came to their senses and said “It is wrong to sell possibly-bad meat to consumers just for the small profit that comes from one cow.” And so they banned it.

Now the stupid National Meat Association has filed a lawsuit against this! They are trying to get it back to the way it was (read: slaughtering downed animals and giving it to Americans). A lot of animal rights associations are fighting this, trying to get the lawsuit rejected.

Let’s hope they do.

I first learned about downed animals in Wayne Pacelle’s “The Bond”. He had an employee go undercover at a mass slaughterhouse in California. The employee caught a videotape of the company trying to “up” a downed cow. As much as I didn’t want to see this video, I looked it up anyway. And it was. JUST. HEARTBREAKING.

The poor cow literally collapses in line, and the workers are using a f***ing forklift to try and prod it to get up. The animal is clearly in pain and can’t get up. It’s infuriating.

Meat companies now HIRE people just to stand in line with the cows and if they think they might have a “downer”, they are to shock the cows with a taser so that they stand up.

Not only is this inhumane, but I ask you, National Meat Association:

Are you so greedy that you are willing to serve potentially contaminated meat to consumers all over the U.S.A. for the minimal profit that you make from one cow? Do you seriously not care about anything other than making money in any way that you can?

This meat is going to grocery stores, schools, everywhere.

And for one cow that is too sick to stand.

When there are hundreds of others in line that are perfectly fine.

You know what I say you should do with your stupid lawsuit?


That’s right.

SHOVE IT UP YOUR BUTT.

Moments from My Weekend

Hi there!

This past weekend was relaxing and nice, just what I needed after suffering from an exploding brain on Friday (read: Stoichiometry is the worst thing in the world. It makes my brain hurt.).

First of all, I got a little shop-happy at the farmers market…I can’t help myself when I’m around LOCAL fresh fruits and veggies. Open-mouthed smile

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And for only $12?! That’s a steal.

Do you see what I see?…………….LOCAL EGGS! I have a hang up about buying eggs from the grocery store, and I actually don’t unless Jason requests them. But now that I have a supplier, I can buy them whenever I want! They are a bit pricey at 5$ a crate, but it’s worth it to me. And Jason says they have a lot more flavor than the one’s in the store Smile Works for me!

Saturday I woke up at 6:45 a.m. to set out for a 16 mile run. The summer weather has definitely dropped off because it was cold out there. My hands went numb, but it was a good run! Finished in 2:35! Other stats from my run:

  • # of worms saved during run: 3
  • # of runny babbits seen (<—Shel Silverstein reference, hehe): 2!!
  • # of times I thought about crossing that 26.2 mile finish line: EVERY.SINGLE.MILE (Brang it on!)
  • # of little old men that clapped and shouted “You can do it!” every time I passed them: 1 (Open-mouthed smile)

‘Twas a good run.

After my run, my mom came by to pick me up so that we could go to a few yard sales. It’s her thing. Every Saturday she gets the paper and circles the one’s she wants to go to. Usually, I don’t go. She takes forever to browse for things! But I hadn’t seen her in a while so I decided to tag along this time too.

 

Three hours later, I came home with these ceramic cranes…I thought they looked nice with our crane picture from the outer banks last spring Smile

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I also came home with 3 of these reusable (never-been-used) bags! For only $1.50!! Score!

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I like the 60’s pattern. So retro.

There may have been a mini-stapler purchase in there too. I feel bad in Chem because I’m always bombarding this girl for her stapler anytime we have to staple something and turn it in. Now people can bombard me! Maybe it’ll raise my social status a little?? Winking smile Everyone loves someone that has a min-stapler. Hehe. Smile

My mom dropped me back at home and then it was time to whisk Trixie away to the groomers.

I usually do it myself, but I’ve just been too lazy lately.

$80 later we had a nice groomed pup on our hands.

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Complete with pink strawberry bows in her hair Smile CUTE.

Hmmm, let’s see. What else happened this weekend? Oh, I was able to get a video of Sophie being unusually sweet..Sometimes she lets me pet her, but not for very long. This time it was for 43 seconds (new record!)before she started biting..please enjoy Cat face

Let it be known that after turning off the camera, she jumped on the back of the desk chair and attacked me from behind. Our sweet little rescue. What a blessing she is not. Just kidding, we Red heart her. Most of the time.

Coming up this week:

Recipe!

Possible giveaway…maybe once I reach 30 followers on my FB page?? *Wink wink* Hehe

A post about the cruelty-free products I’m loving at the moment!

Have a great week Smile Stay warm!

PS. Thank you for all of the support you guys gave me in the last post. It helps to know that there are folks out there rooting for me! I’m still very happy with my major switch Open-mouthed smile Open-mouthed smile Don’t regret it one bit.