Few things drive Spike crazier than seeing Nerlens sprawled out in his favorite spot on our front walkway from his perch in the front window.  They are (in order of ascending levels of hysteria): a UPS truck parked anywhere on the street; any cat (or squirrel) other than Nerlens lying on the front walk; and the mailman.


If you give a mouse a cookie


…or a dog a toothbrush…

Paul is on a mission to figure out how to brush Spike’s teeth (his breath is terrible). It seems kind of ridiculous, we’ve had dogs my whole life and I’ve never ever brushed their teeth.  Plus Spike is from Kentucky, which just so happens to be ranked #2 nationally in toothlessness.

But Paul is convinced his teeth are going to rot out and cost us money and this is just good preventative care.   And Greenies aren’t doing the trick.

So far Spike will have nothing to do with the chicken-flavored toothpaste.  Apparently it’s not as tasty as cat turds.

…and then there were three.

IMG_20130315_214939…or 7, depending on how you count.

Yes, that’s right.  This August, Spike is going to have some competition on his hands when it comes to attention from the mo-in-law.  And he has no idea it’s coming.

P.S. Big thanks goes out to Lisa, who is my savior and mailed me a huge box of maternity pants for work (yeah, fat!) as well as some baby clothes…which Paul promptly put on the dog.

Running in the Dark

Last year the Bourbon Chase pushed me over the edge into the dark abyss that was Blobtoberfest.  This year it did the exact opposite.  After 2 months of feeling off and being lazy, it kicked my butt into gear.  For the past 2 weeks I’ve been running an average of 20-25 miles a week.  Not fast, but more mileage than over the course of the summer.  By quite a bit.

You’ve also probably picked up on the fact that I think fall is the best time of year to run.  It’s just beautiful.  Unfortunately, there is a downside in that it hasn’t been getting light out until about 7:30am (one thing that sucks about being so far west in the eastern time zone).  Also unfortunate is that I don’t generally run alone in the dark, because I am convinced I will eventually get attacked.  And most unfortunate of all is the fact that all of my morning running buddies have either moved away or left me in the dust and are just way too fast for me to run with anymore.

Today I really wanted to get a run in, but have a long drive ahead of me and can’t do it after work.  So, armed with my pepper spray, I recruited another running buddy to come with.

…because he will protect me.

When I was training for serious I hated running with the dog.  Now, I prefer it.  We’ve found our groove and I usually only have to stop once for him to drop a doozer and me to clean it up.  No problem.

On mornings like this, because it’s so dark, I attach our only small LED round light to the back of his harness.  I figured it was either him or me, and since he usually runs next to me or just in front of me he could light the way.  Like Rudolph.

(Someone didn’t want to run this morning and crawled back into bed.)

My view for the entire run was essentially this:

But it worked.  The 6 miles flew by, the dog is (almost) as good as a person companion, and no scraped knees or broken elbows.

Though we both survived and there are very few things better than getting a good long run in first thing in the morning while the rest of the world sleeps, I’m still sticking with my policy on running alone in the dark.  Unsafe.

This afternoon heading up north to Cleveland to visit Lisa in her new home.  Very excited about that.  Very.

happy happy weekend

All Quiet on the Household Front

Last week I worked from home one day, and by 9am was ready to kill me some animals.

So I really love working from home every once in a while, and really appreciate that I have a boss who is cool with me doing so.  It’s nice and quiet, no office politics, change of scenery, I can open the windows and get a little breeze blowing through the house.  So pleasant.

But this day.

First, the cat runs over and starts to eat the dog food, which makes Spike flip.  As I go into the kitchen to shoo him away, and the dog runs into the bathroom and eats the cat’s food, which makes him throw up.  And, more recently, the dog also eats the kitty litter, which makes me want to throw up.

Close both of those doors, nobody’s eating anything anymore.  The dog chases the cat.  The cat chases the dog.  I decide to lock the cat in the bathroom.  Within 3 minutes he somehow tears all of the towels off the racks, slides the rug across the room, sprays kitty litter EVERYWHERE, and breaks a shelf in the bathroom closet knocking everything on the shelf onto the floor.  Abandon that plan.  Now we’re all confined to the main section of the house.

The cat sits in my lap and the dog stands next to me barking.  I kick the cat off my lap. The dog the crawls in my lap and the cat starts batting him on the head.  I kick the dog off my lap.  The dog sits on the ground looking at me forlornly,  like “how can you let this happen to our peaceful home?” while cat walks back and forth across the keyboard sending emails that say $*%&^FJSDKJ#(ECJSLDKUWE to random work clients.

I prepare to relocate to the coffee shop down the street.

But then, very suddenly, they both crash and fall asleep, curled up on either side of me on the couch.

…and then the house was quiet, and so peaceful, with just the steady hum of the cat purring.


So no animal abandonment.  Yet.

Winter Chill

It’s not winter yet, but this weekend it was officially cold out.  Early morning temps dipped down to the mid-30s.  Yes.  30s.  I volunteered at a race on Sunday morning, about 45 minutes post-race start it was still 37 degrees outside.  I was not-so-secretly thrilled that I wasn’t riding on the bike soaking wet.

So aside from wrapping your tiny dog in blankets, what else do you do when the weather gets cold?  Winterize your chicken coop, of course.

Above is the summer-time chicken coop.   But after some hard work…

…BOOM.  Winterized Chicken Coop.

I know, we should consider quitting our day jobs.

Paul and I spent Sunday afternoon constructing this masterpiece.   We debated putting some more insulation on there, but eventually decided that the chickens are plenty insulated as long as we can block most of the wind from howling through their little coop.  We’ll see if the roof survives the first real storm.

The girls, however, apparently love their new abode, because one of them gifted us with the MOTHER of all eggs yesterday.  Remember how our normal eggs are so big we can’t close a regular egg crate when we put them in there?

Well.  This happened yesterday.

That poor chicken.

It was a weird shape, too, almost a perfect oval, instead of having an obvious top and bottom.  No idea why that happened, but I’m going to say it’s the new roof + all the spinach we’ve been feeding them lately.  Unless an ostrich snuck in there yesterday and dropped it off.

In non-chicken related news, Bourbon Chase starts tomorrow!  I’m driving to Louisville tonight to pick up Jen from the airport because she joined our team last minute and is very excited about the Burgoo Festival.  I don’t think she’s ever tried squirrel before.  SUPERRR FUN!  Hopefully fun enough to make me forget that I’ve only run once in the past 3 weeks.  Yeah.


Hot Hot Heat

Yes, that’s right.  Hotness to the max.

Weather forecast for today…and yesterday, and the day before that, and tomorrow: too hot to move with lots of humidity.

The good news about the heat is that it’s PERFECT weather to go enjoy a swim outside now that the public pools are open.  And considering I’m registered for the Big Shoulders 5K open water swim in Chicago in September and have swam exactly twice in the past 5 weeks, this pool motivation is a good thing.  Got a long swim workout with Allison on the calendar tomorrow morning to get the ball rolling.

Time to get back in the water.   Aw hecks yeah.

The secret to these pools is to get there early, before the hairballs and bandaids take over.

Speaking of sporting events, BIG FAT SHOUT OUT to everyone who is racing the 70.3 in Munice, IN tomorrow.  Please don’t melt.  Remember, ice is your friend.

I’ll leave you with A Midsummer Evening’s Walk With Spike: In Pictures.

We got about a block before he plopped down and wouldn’t move.  So he got carried home.  Fortunately his baby pool was waiting for him there.

And yes, for reals.  Dog ice cream.  WTF Marsha.

Enjoy the weekend, stay cool.