Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a...

White Christmas? In Seattle? Seriously? If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you KNOW that absolutely no one can predict the weather. I know...we are between two mountain ranges and the Puget Sound which makes weather unpredictable, unstable, yadda yadda yadda. But earlier this week, every school district in our county decided to shut down because there was a 100 percent chance of snow. You can guess what happened...thousands of kids had a snow day with no snow. Not one flake. Okay, so the snow did arrive the next day and in the end, kids had three snow days this past week and are now off for winter break. What a life! This evening we are supposed to get whalloped with hurricane force winds and snow. So chances are, I'll be offline for a few days, because that's how long it will take power crews to make it to our neck of the woods. Yey for Blackberries!

One more pre-holiday beef: How come, when the plane lands, all the passengers rush to grab their overhead items and pack the isle before the door opens, then rush off the plane? We're all going to end up hovering around baggage claim for 30 minutes anyway, right? Hello...just chill. Stay seated until you can actually get off the plane, and DON'T try to shove your way to the front. It's just rude. And stupid. And you'll look foolish when my bag shows up on the carousel before yours.

Friday, November 28, 2008

How much stuffing can a girl eat?

Seriously...I could forgo all the other leftovers, but not stuffing. What makes stuffing so special? It's just bread, spices, celery, leeks, apples, sausage, and yummy buttery goodness. Think I will go for another serving. Sigh.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Story of Max

I was asked by my friend and veterinarian (and other friend, her vet tech) to write Max's story for the open house of her new vet clinic. Thought I would post it here as well, along with Max's lovely cover photo!

Preventive Care Saves Lives
The Story of Max

Max, our nine-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, takes his job very seriously. On any given day he is an agility star, running partner, alarm clock, security guard, baby sitter, vacuum cleaner, face washer, shoulder to cry on and bed warmer. Max and his sister Brandy joined our family as small, mischievous, seven-week-old pups. Over the years they have given us unconditional love, even when their routine was rudely interrupted four years ago with the addition of a baby boy to the family. Max, of course, knew a baby was coming. For nearly nine months he’d glued himself to my side, protecting me from perceived dangers (squirrels and pigeons in particular), and pressing his nose to my growing belly to check on the baby’s progress.

From the moment our son Brandon was born, Max took over as self-appointed nanny. During the day, his large brown eyes diligently followed Brandon’s every move and with every cry, he’d rush to his side. At night, he paced back and forth between Brandon’s room and our own, finally settling down in the hallway between the two. He was never willing to leave me, or our son, out of his sight.

This past year, our beloved 15-year-old cat Tino fell ill with cancer. Although visibly upset with Tino’s rapid deterioration, Max spent his days and nights with his feline friend, sleeping with him, protecting him and comforting him with his presence. When Tino passed, Max kissed him goodbye and then stoically gave me his shoulder to cry on.

Caring for Tino during his final days reminded me of the importance of ensuring all our pets continue with their routine medical care. Earlier that year, Brenda Kennedy, DVM, Eastside Veterinary Associates, had strongly suggested our dogs receive dental exams and cleanings as part of their preventive care. Two days after losing Tino, Max had his teeth cleaned by Dr. Kennedy and Mary Fix-Hofilena, Licensed Veterinary Technician. I didn’t think much about Dr. Kennedy’s post-dental evaluation. She’d called me personally to say Max was wonderful and the dental went well. We were just thankful we’d no longer have to put up with his stinky breath.

“We found some peculiar tissue under the tooth we removed,” she told me. “It might not be anything, but with your permission, I’d like to send it out for testing.”

I gave permission and shrugged it off. Max had a bad tooth. That happens sometimes, especially with nine-year-old dogs. Two days later, Dr. Kennedy called again. Her voice quivering with emotion, she explained, haltingly, that the tissue tested positive for oral melanoma.

Max had cancer.

I don’t really remember anything else from that phone call; all I remember is spending the rest of the day at home, crying. Thankfully, Dr. Kennedy followed up with an email and another phone call to my husband, who took notes. Within 24 hours of diagnoses, she referred us to the top oncologist and surgeon in the region. Within a week, Max met with the oncologist and surgeon, had a CT scan, ultrasounds and was prepped for surgery. Oral melanoma is one of the most aggressive cancers in the canine world. Once diagnosed, the average life expectancy is six months to a year. However, because Dr. Kennedy spotted his cancer during a routine dental, it hadn’t had a chance to spread. Ten days after diagnoses, Max underwent surgery. The surgeon removed three teeth and some jaw bone above the tooth where the cancer was found. It was a nerve-wracking experience and I had to fight back tears when Max emerged from the hospital shaved, swollen and on pain medication. But the moment he saw us, his tail started a slow wag, increasing in speed as I closed the gap between us and wrapped my arms gently around him. We had our Max back, and subsequent tests showed he’d defied the odds. He was cancer free.

“Max did his job,” Dr. Kennedy said to us afterward. “He stayed strong during treatment and didn’t let the cancer spread.”

That may be true, but it was the team work at Eastside Veterinary Associates that saved Max’s life. Had we not been urged to have his teeth cleaned as part of his preventive care program, Max would not be sitting at my feet right now, faithfully guarding our backyard from the next squirrel invasion. Thank you, Dr. Kennedy and everyone at EVA, for caring for our beloved pets as much as we do.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Post Election Humor

A little poem for you, author unknown:

The election is over, the results are now known.
The will of the people has clearly been shown.
We should show by our thoughts and our words and our deeds
That unity is just what our country now needs.
Let's all get together. Let bitterness pass.
I'll hug your elephant.
You kiss my ass.

Monday, November 3, 2008


I just mailed my absentee ballot. Tomorrow is the day! My stomach is in knots, but I'm hopeful the polls are right and we won't have a nail biter late into the night.

Please oh please don't blow off your vote tomorrow.

Now, back to my regular scheduled programming...I am back to my old work schedule, yey! This means more time to write, more time to blog, more time to run, more time to kick it with my little guy. I couldn't' be more happy.

I'm going to be all superstitious and not talk about The Road Home for awhile. When I have solid news, I'll post it here. In the meantime, I'm going to work hard on Take One (working title, novel #2).

Happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One More Week

One more week of working full time, then I can get back to part time...which means I can spend more time on book #2 and will be better about keeping my blog up to date.

Right now? Just so freakin glad tomorrow is Friday. I've got a nasty throat infection and have four articles to write tomorrow. Uggh. Okay, I'll stop complaining and drink my tea!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

When, Oh When Can I Run Again?

Okay, so it's been less than two weeks, but in physical therapy, I tried in vain to convince my PT that I can start running again...but he is just smiled and piled more ice on my ankle. Sigh. I am sneaking workouts on the elliptical at the gym though :-)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm a bit pathetic

I promised a blow by blow of the marathon...but between running, working more than usual, writing/revising book #2 and taking care of a sick four-year-old...well, excuses excuses. I will make a concerted effort to resume my regular blogging soon! Bear with me!

Monday, October 6, 2008

26.2 Miles Complete

Portland Marathon: Check! I am exhausted, but promise a blow by blow blog of the run...I have lots of gems to share. Until then, will tell you my favorite sign held by a woman at mile 18 or so:

"Your feet hurt from kicking so much ass!"

That sums it up...but promise more later. For now, I will relax with a glass of wine!

Friday, October 3, 2008

This is it!

Sunday is the Portland marathon. WHAT have I gotten myself into? I've done all the training, so I'm just playing the mental game now. We leave for Portland Saturday morning and stay through Monday. If I am still coherent, we will be able to celebrate Sunday evening.

Writing Update: Turned in revisions to my agent on Tuesday. Yey! Now back to the current project...need to get that one done by the holidays (self imposed deadlines are great, eh?)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Running and Revisions

That's what I'm up to, in a nutshell! I will have a revised manuscript to my agent by Tuesday, I think...and the Portland Marathon is Sunday. Yikes! Somebody deserves a big, icy margarita in about a week!

I'm also working full time this month and next to help a colleague out. I just LOVE having a full plate!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This Weekend

This weekend is all about revising and running. Running and revising. I'll probably throw a little house cleaning in the schedule just to mix things up. It's rainy this weekend, which I LOVE. Makes me want to curl up with my laptop in a coffee shop or on my couch and get some serious work done on the book (I'll have something soon Colleen, I promise!)

The real question is, do I succumb to my junk food cravings? Will it help the creative process, or am I just looking for excuses? Hmmm...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Queuing Up at Costco

So, I'm standing in the return merchandise line at Costco. It's a long line, but moving pretty good. Why is it that some people (aka the guy behind me) think that they need to line up RIGHT behind you? As in, FORGET PERSONAL SPACE, I'M GONNA LITERALLY BREATHE DOWN YOUR NECK because if I do, the line will MOVE QUICKER. So I have this to say to the guy behind me and everyone else who has ever decided to line up within inches of the person in front of them. Back the F*%@ up dude. I promise, the line will move just as fast. Furthermore, if you don't, I'm gonna leave EXTRA space between me and the person in front of me, just to drive you nuts. In fact, I may even let the little old lady with the box of foil (why do you return Reynold's Wrap, anyway? Was it the wrong size?) cut in front of me because it looks like her feet hurt and I'd hate for her to have to wait at the end of the line. WTF?

Indian Summer!

I haven't been very good at blogging lately. I am working more hours this month and next...and am in the final weeks of marathon training. Oh, and I've now got concrete revisions for my book, which I will complete in the next couple of weeks...whew!

It's mid September and we are expecting 80 degree temps. I am SO SO thrilled!

I ran 20 miles on Friday, my longest run yet. Now I taper until the marathon on Oct. 5. Hopefully all my aches, pains and injuries will heal in this time.

More later!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

I Love Fall!

Okay, it's not officially fall yet, but I want to be on record as saying that it is my FAVORITE SEASON! How could it not be? Fall means:
  • Beautiful fall colors
  • Long drives through the mountains to see the fall colors
  • Buying fresh apples from an orchard in Eastern Washington
  • Sunny days, cool nights
  • New TV season
  • Pumpkins
  • Pumpkin spice lattes
  • Pumpkin soup
  • Pumpkin picking (are you sensing a theme here?)
  • Pumpkin carving
  • Those little creamy pumpkin candies
  • The first frost
  • Looking forward to the holidays
  • Anticipating the first snow and ski season
  • An excuse to buy new clothes and boots
  • My son's first Thanksgiving preschool play
  • Running just for fun when my Oct. 5 marathon is OVER
  • Running in the rain (yes, I love to do this)
  • Electing a new president
  • Returning to agility trials with Max
  • Finishing my second book

Yeah, I could go on and on...but you get the picture.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

One Month Until Marathon Time!

I can't believe I am running a full marathon in a month. The Portland Marathon is Oct. 5. I am actually looking forward to it in an excited, stomach turning, nauseous kind of way. Last Saturdady I ran my longest EVAH. 18 miles to be exact. It was a total rush. But I just have one thing to say: Thank God for massage therapists. I'd be a cramped up, crippled ball of misery without them.

I'm also super excited that fall TV is starting up. Not that I have alot of time on my hands, but still...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm Not Mother of the Year, Thanks to Barack

I had to turn Curious George off in order to watch Barack Obama's speech tonight. My four-year-old firmly protested this decision. I tried to get him to watch the speech. He did watch, a little bit...but he insists that daddy will be the next president. He did like the fireworks at the end though, and thought Obama's daughters were "beautiful." He's SUCH a boy.

But the speech. WOW. Just WOW.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Random Monday Things

It's Monday, it's raining and I'm lovin it. Maybe because I grew up in Seattle I have a twisted sense of what I think is good weather? But after too much sunshine, I welcome a couple days of good, hard rain. After all, it's what makes this part of the country green! And...the rain always gives me a better time on my runs. Yesterday I had an awesome 12 miler in the pouring down rain. It was GREAT. Other random things for a Monday:

  • My 4-year-old learned how to lock the bathroom door from the outside, so no one can get into the bathroom. How'd he do that?
  • The dogs have decided the pigeons who keep visiting our pond are pure evil, and sound the Labrador alarms with great gusto every time they show up. It's quite rattling to the nerves.
  • Max is back in agility after his surgery. He still looks like a patchwork quilt, but the hair is starting to grow back. I can't wait until we're competing again.
  • The PGA tournament this weekend was fun!
  • Someone on my runner's forum said duck tape for my blisters is the ultimate solution. Is there anything duck tape can't do?
  • My son is still completely enamoured with Curious George. Does anyone think the man with the yellow hat is a bit odd? Maybe I've just been watching too much. I really should be writing.
  • Countdown to the Portland Marathon has begun. It's less than six weeks away (gulp).

Happy Monday to everyone!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm Committed!

Okay, I did it...I registered for the Portland Marathon on Oct. 5. It's a fun marathon, so I hear. Live music all along the route, interesting course, high number of women participants (54 percent, or something like that). The Husband and I will drive down together on Saturday morning and spend the day kicking around Portland after I pick up my race packet. We are also going to stay Sunday night so we can hit the town after the marathon (if I am still coherent). then Monday we will drive home through eastern Oregon so we can see the fall colors and buy fresh apples from a local orchard. You really haven't had an apple until you've had one straight off the tree from an orchard in eastern Washington.

Had a great run tonight. It was blustery, rainy, cool. Perfect weather for a long run. Kind of sick of running in the heat, so it was a nice reprieve. I took each dog out for 2.5 miles each (they like to run seperately), then ran the final 3 by myself.

Song that pushed me on the last mile: "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC (Seriously!)

Monday, August 18, 2008

They're Mad

Okay, I know Mad Men is just a TV show, but I would really like to bitch slap the Drapers for their horrible parenting.

Speaking of parenting. This was my day today:

One Rainy day + McDonalds Playland + 50 Screaming Stir-Crazy Kids = One MOTHER of a headache. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dang, it's HOT

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE sunshine and high temps. But the air is just not moving out there. We need a good old fashioned thunderstorm to freshen things up (after I give Brandy an herbal tranquilizer, so she can handle it).

The Husband is off playing poker tonight and The Son is passed out already after a hard day of playing in the wading pool and sprinkler. So...I have an nice, quiet evening ahead of me, YEY! I'm planning a big pasta dinner to gear up for my 16 mile training run tomorrow. I may even rent a cheezy chick flick. I know, I life is SO exciting.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun Night!

We had a great party at the house last night for my birthday. We couldn't use the backyard due to rain, but everyone seemed to enjoy staying inside and visiting. Isn't if funny that you spend all day cleaning and making the house presentable (translation: hide the toys and laundry) and most guests opt to hang out in the kitchen? Murphy's law though...if we hadn't cleaned, EVERYONE would have wanted a house tour.

Here's a pic of me and the girls. I've known all of them since junior high and Tabitha (on my right in the pic) and I have been best friends since we were three-years-old.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I'm 40 and it's Raining

Happy birthday to me! My husband thought it was funny last night to count down the remaining 30 minutes of my 30's. We were trying to get caught up on Mad Men episodes and he kept looking at the clock and announcing, "25 min left, anything you want to do while you're still in your 30's?"

We're having a party tonight, about 25 people. I had wanted to decorate the backyard and patio with lanterns and tiki torches but alas, it is RAINING. Sunshine all week and then RAIN on my birthday. Sigh. Ah well, at least the house is clean. In addition to the piles of food we will serve, we also have a chocolate fountain. Yum!!! (Can I fire it up for breakfast?)

Week in Review
Max is CANCER FREE. We got his lab results back and they got it all. He had a follow up appt yesterday and he also got his stitches out and got a blue bandanna for being a good boy!

I rediscovered my Facebook account and am now trying to keep up with it. Apparently, it's also on my Blackberry.

I took my son to an outdoor concert Tuesday and he danced the entire 1 1/2 hours. Seriously, when he's old enough, he's going to want hip hop classes. He also asked several times why we couldn't go get his guitar so he could play on stage with the band. He's FOUR.

I didn't write much on book two. I need a schedule to keep me on track.

I ran my longest training run yet, 15 MILES. I did it yesterday so I could party this weekend without a long run hanging over my head. The Portland Marathon is less than two months away.
They announced the Rock and Roll Marathon is coming to Seattle in June. Woohooo!

I'm older now.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy August, Goodbye 30's

This is the last week I can say I am in my 30's (gulp). Yup, turning the big 4-0 on Saturday. I'm kind of looking forward to it in a weird way. Just a new chapter, right? The husband is throwing a party at the house Saturday evening and I'm trying to get the backyard in shape for it (think red paper lanterns, candles, tiki torches). Our son will go to grandma's for the night, so it's actually a grown up party!

So, turn 40, make a book deal (through fabulouso agent) and run a marathon. Kind of a wacky to do list. What's next?

Random things happening right now:
  • My brother and his friend ranked #6 in the state for fishing tournaments, so they are invited to some big national tournament next year.
  • Max is doing great with his recovery and I'm hoping he can get back to agility in two weeks.
  • My long training run this week will be my longest run EVAH, at 15 miles
  • I will need a massive dose of Advil and a massage after that run
  • My birthday is August 9 (did I mention that already?)
  • I need to be more disciplined with book #2 and am hoping to hear from my agent soon on book #1.
Happy summer everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Labrador Runs For Mayor

It's ruff competition in this town. Now that Max is home from the hospital and feeling pretty spunky, I fear he may give up agility for a career in politics.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Max Update

Max is out of surgery and he did well. The surgeon said it all went as planned. What a relief! We can probably visit him tomorrow evening if we can arrange it and then take him home Friday evening. The surgeon is going to send what he removed (teeth and bone) to the lab for dissection. If the dissection shows the surgeon got "clean margins" then Max is essentially cancer free. I am not totally sure what that means long term, but we are cautiously optimistic and we are sooo happy the surgery is done and we can focus on recovery for our big boy! Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes and positive thoughts our way!!!

This photo was taken last weekend at the family reunion. Max had just finished swimming for the day and was chillin out on the deck.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Fun!

We had our family reunion this past weekend up at my dad's house. He lives in what used to be our summer cabin on Lake Whatcom. It's rural, green, beautiful. The lake is gorgeous and clean. I spent summers there growing up and am hopeful our four-year-old son (little B) will have that same experience. In addition to swimming, boating and making s'mores over a beach fire, Little B learned how to fish! Uncle Eric (my brother) is an expert fisherman (he competes in state tournaments and is ranked 12th in the state so far this year). He taught B how to bait the hook, cast and wait patiently for a fish. B was ecstatic when he reeled in his first trout. Even today, he can't stop talking about it.

The hubby and I also went on some long, technical mountain bike rides in the woods behind my dad's house. It was sooo much fun. It was also good to see our cousins, eat way too much good food and reminisce over a few (or more) drinks. The dogs were in Labrador paradise...swimming and running on the beach for three days straight.

Speaking of dogs, Wednesday is Max's surgery. His CT scan was beautiful and the cancer hasn't spread anywhere that we know of, so we are very hopeful. He has his last agility class (for awhile) Tuesday eve and I will take him to the hospital at 7:30am Wednesday. We probably won't be able to pick him up until Saturday morning. I hope I can visit him in the meantime. I will be a wreck on Wednesday and will have to restrain myself from calling every hour. Still haven't figured out how to tell our son about the surgery. I'm figuring, "Max has an owie in his mouth that the doctor needs to fix" is about as much as I can say.

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer so far. Seattle actually has summer weather...YEY!

Song I loved hearing today: "Mercy" by Duffy
Weekly running mileage completed (ending yesterday): 25
Running mileage for this week: 0/26
WIP word count: Ask me tomorrow!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Quiet House

Sorry I haven't blogged in awhile, we had wonderful house guests this past week. My good friend and her twin boys, who are exactly one week older than our son (they were born on Christmas eve and our son was born on New Years Eve - 2003). Three four-year-olds in one house is hilarious, by the way. They live in Sweden, so we are lucky if we see them once or twice a year. Next year, we hope to visit them or meet them for a vacation in Italy (if our dollar is doing better than its current peso status).

I have developed my training plan for the Portland Marathon (Oct. 5). I have NO idea if my body will hold up to that kind of training but hey, it's worth a shot. I can always chicken out and shoot for the Seattle Marathon the end of November.

Max is doing very well. All his tests have come back normal. No signs of cancer in his chest, lymph nodes, abdomen, spleen, etc. Tomorrow he gets his CT scan. I am so so so hopeful that the tumor is small. The CT scan will determine how extensive the surgery on his jaw will be...and will actually determine once and for all if surgery is possible. He still plays like a puppy in the backyard. He and Brandy had a serious game of tug-of-war in the backyard today. I filled up our wading pool and it was so warm that me, my son and both dogs spent a good portion of the day sitting in it!

Weekly running mileage: 0/24 (today is a strength and rest day)
Song that got me going this morning: Beautiful Day by U2

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Our Sweet, Sweet Dog Max

I want to thank everyone who emailed, called and blogged after we lost our dear kitty Tino.

I promise that this blog will not be a daily downer. I just have to post this news, because it’s the center of our family right now, and really, really sucks.

Two days after we lost Tino, our sweet, gentle Labrador Max had a dental and they removed a tooth. Underneath they found some suspicious soft tissue. While most vets may have dismissed it, Brenda (our amazing vet) took it out and sent it for biopsy. Last Thursday (July 3), we discovered it is oral melanoma. Simply's cancer. Our Max has cancer. I guess I could say we are lucky, because if he'd had this dental last year, or even six months ago, they wouldn't have discovered it. If we had postponed the dental, He'd be gone in three months, as this is an aggressive form of cancer.

We spent the day Thursday crying and researching and speaking with oncologists, with the assistance of Brenda and Mary, our friend and vet tech. We have already developed a plan of action and will do whatever it takes to keep our Max in good health and with us for as long as humanly possible. We may only have a year with him...we may get two or three. We just don't know. Even with the cancer removed, there is no "cure" for this. It will reappear again.

Yesterday, he went through a battery of tests and it looks as though the cancer may not have spread to his chest, abdomen or lymph nodes - Yey! (we will get more test results back later today). Next week he will get a CT scan so the surgeon has a better idea where the cancer is located. Then, on July 23, the surgeon will remove the tumor. This will include the removal of several teeth and some (hopefully not too much) of his upper left jaw bone. He is also on a new “melanoma vaccine” which may help fight the cancer and keep it from spreading…or at least slow it down. There is also a minute chance (think small grain of sand on very large beach) that the tumor will never metastases.

If you are a dog person at all, please think good thoughts for our dear sweet Max. He is oblivious to his illness and for that I am grateful. Just last night he was playing keep away from Brandy (our other lab) in the backyard and we both competed in agility on Sunday.

Check out this photo of Max, he’s the agility calendar cover dog for 2009.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Run Forest, Run!

I'm a little late with this one, but last weekend, I ran the Team Medicine Seafair Half Marathon. The 13.1 mile course crossed Lake Washington on the 520 bridge, the first time they've closed that bridge for an event in more than 20 years?
Highlights of the run:
  • I made the shuttle bus to the start line, unlike the unlucky 400 who missed the start
  • The weather was georgeous (although hot)
  • It was a party atmosphere, with Seafair pirates cheering us on
  • The scenery was spectacular. When we ran across the bridge, the lake sparkled and we could see Mt. Rainier off to the south and the Cascade mtns to the east. Reminded us all why we absolutely LOVE the northwest

I felt great almost the entire run. When we ran through Bellevue, residents lined the streets in front of their homes. Many of them had sprinklers and hoses and sprayed us down to keep us cool. It was awesome. At mile 10, I got cramps in my calves (this happened during the Mercer Island half in March). It was frustrating to have to stop and stretch so many times. I must consult a nutritionist or something before my next long run.

This run benefited cancer research at Virginia Mason, a good cause!

Now...on to the Portland Marathon...I think...maybe...we'll see...

Monday, June 30, 2008

Saying Goodbye

We said goodbye to Tino, our beloved cat of 15 years, Saturday morning. He let us know on Friday that it was time, and Brenda, our vet, came to the house early Saturday morning. We are incredibly sad, but thankful that Tino has now crossed the Rainbow Bridge and is no longer in pain. I told him to chase butterflies and eat as much chicken as he wants, and he thought that was a good idea. Our household won’t be the same without him, but…as Freddy Mercury once sang, “Who wants to live forever?” We had a great life with our little mister, and now he’s moved on to his next adventure.

We finally have beautiful sunshine. I hope everyone is enjoying summer weather this week.

Rest in peace, dear sweet Valentine, we love you!
Valentine "Tino" Sellie
Feb. 14, 1993 - June 28, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Adventures in Gardening, Part One

I am the only one in my family who did not inherit the gardening gene. My mom has beautiful gardens; my dad and his wife have beautiful gardens and even grow their own vegetables (I can’t leave their house without a trunk full of lettuce). My brother is also an excellent gardener and my sister is a MASTER Gardener. She and her husband run their own nursery, for crying out loud. But me? I am the family member who has beauty bark in her yard…and shrubs you can’t kill (well, except for the one…but a shrub can only handle so much dog pee). To be fair, the husband takes great pride in his lawn…but that’s a guy thing and kind of expected.

We bought our current house just over four years ago and the couple who owned it before us must have spent thousands to landscape the backyard. It has a pond, fountain, beautiful stone benches, a path, etc. But when we moved in, we just didn’t have the time to maintain it. For awhile, we paid a landscaping company to keep it decent, then decided to have a go at it ourselves.

I have decided that THIS IS THE SUMMER I WILL BECOME A GARDENER. Really. Honestly. Why? My four-year-old son has inherited the family gardening gene (sigh). I can’t deny him, so I must set a good example. Well, after spending three weekends weeding, here’s how our first flower planting session went.

Me: “Let’s dig holes, mix planting soil in them, and plant the flowers we just bought.”
Son: “Okay!” Grabs ball and proceeds to play fetch with dogs.
Me: Digs hole, turns to grab potting soil.
Dog: drops ball in newly dug hole.
Me: Throws ball across yard and dumps potting soil in hole.
Son: “Oooh a worm, can I touch it?”
Me: Tries not to look horrified at worm in son’s hand, explains why worms are good for the garden.
Dog: Drops ball in hole.
Me: Yells at dog, grabs ball and throws it across yard.
Son: Runs across yard with plant in hand.
Plant: "I is wilting now."
Me: Retrieves plant.
Dog: Drops ball in hole.
Me: Yells at dog, grabs ball, throws it across yard and quickly plants flower.
Son: “It needs water.”
Me: Grabs hose.
Dog: Drops ball on flower.
Me: Sighs.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Something Warm and Mushy

And it's not my son's breakfast.

Here's today's AAAWWW moment. God, what did we do before You Tube?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sad Dogs

I didn't realize today is Bring Your Dog to Work Day. Not that my workplace would condone such a thing...but Max and Brandy are at home, sad. I'll have to tell them that since The Husband works from home...technically HE brought them to work today. Think they will buy it?

Congratulations Kelly!

My super fabulous agent extraordinaire Colleen Lindsay just sold fellow client Kelly Gay's book in a two book deal. Visit Kelly's Blog for more info and to say congrats.

Yey Kelly and Colleen! Woot Woot! Can't wait to read the first book!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

On a Lighter Note

I worked on Take One today, and wrote what I thought was a pretty funny and vindictive scene.
It's so satisfying to screw the bad guy in writing...makes life's inequities much more bearable.


How do you explain to a four-year-old that your dear kitty of 15-years is going to pass away soon? Tino's cancer is obviously advancing and it's tearing us up. I've ordered "Cat Heaven" and "For Every Cat an Angel" for him. We'll see if I can get through them without blubbering and freaking him out even more. Sigh. Why can't pets live as long as we do?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What Up, Map My Run?

For the second Saturday in a row, has failed me...cruely forced me to run further than my schedule says I have to run. How? By INVENTING roads. Every Saturday, I diligently map my long run, ensuring that when I finish my mileage, I am right back where I started, at the front door of my house. But last Saturday, Map My Run invented an access road. Sure, I figured it'd be a dirt or gravel road awaiting pavement, but it was only two blocks long and connected me to a road that would take me home. But when I reached said road, it was a wall of blackberry bushes, trees and nettles. Forced to improvise, my nine miler turned into a 10.5 miler.

Today, same thing, different route. No road, not even close. Where did the road go? 10 miler turned into 12.5. Needless to say, I was a bit wasted the rest of the day.

Oh, and to the creepy neanderthal dude in the pickup truck? In case you were too dense to figure it out (and I'm guessing you were), that WASN'T my index finger I used to wipe the sweat off my forehead after you shouted your juvenile opinion of my running out your window as you passed me. Just FYI.

Here's a big shout out to my brother Eric on his birthday today. Happy Birthday Bro! I hope you are having a fabulous time!

Weekly mileage: 24.5/25 (does that mean I have to run a half mile tomorrow?)
Most inspirational artist on the iPod during today's run: Dixie Chicks
Writing update: Ask me tomorrow

Friday, June 13, 2008

Are We Stupid?

Agent Extraordinaire Colleen Lindsay posted this Atlantic article about Google ( that I just had to share. My co-workers reacted by telling me it was too LONG to read in its entirety. You'll understand the irony in that statement if you read the article.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My friend and Agility Trainer Extraordinaire produced his first agility training video and I thought I'd share. Jef trains my talented and handsome Max (and me too) in competition agility. At the risk of inflating Jef's already large ego, I must say that we are grateful for his coaching...and Max is especially grateful for his sandwiches.

Jef, I had no idea you were such a comedian...okay, maybe I did. But seriously, Milo took this one to the next level!

For more information on Jef and agility, visit

I’m Just Sayin…

Is it hard to replace the toilet paper in the bathroom? Seriously, I’m asking…is it a difficult chore? I’m not going to point the finger at any one individual, but a certain someone in our household with a cold (other than me) likes to carry the roll around in case he/she needs to blow his/her nose. For the past two weeks, I’ve had to hunt for a new roll about every other day. So really…is it hard to replace a roll? Is the inability to place a toilet paper roll on the spindle in the bathroom a genetic fault assigned to a specific gender?

I’m just sayin....

Sunday, June 8, 2008

There's No Charge for Awesomeness

We took our four-year-old to Kung Foo Panda this afternoon and that's my favorite quote. It was a cute movie and I think I ate a whole tub of popcorn. My son has now come down from his Skittles high and is in bed, hopefully not dreaming of becoming a kung foo fighter.

The great news from today is my brother and his fishing partner won their first fishing tournament. Yey! This is their second? summer on the tournament circuit and their first win. Unlike the dog agility show circuit I am on, my brother actually gets a big check when he wins. I am very proud of him. He is an expert fisherman and also makes and sells his own lures. He should write his own book on fishing Washington state lakes.

Hey, now that Lost, Grey's Anatomy and House are done for the season, any ideas on good shows? I love my down time in the eve...I may have a crazy schedule, but veg time in front of the TV is soooo important! Maybe it's time to break down and join Netflix.

Rainy Days are Girlfriend Days

I know the time stamp on this will say Sunday, but I'm posting for Saturday. I didn't mind the rain too much today because I met the girls for a movie and drinks. We saw the ultimate girlfriend movie, "Sex and the City." Was it predictible? Yes. Long? Yes. But I enjoyed it, and the company, immensely. Afterward we had drinks and got caught up. For those who don't know this, I've had the same group of girlfriends since junior high, and in one case, since preschool. There are five of us, and we make it a point of getting together at least once a month. It's become increasingly harder with careers, spouses, kids, etc. But we all make it work. We each have our own network of friends and separate social circles, but there will always be the five of us. I feel lucky to have that.

I started the day with my long run. According to the training shedule, it was supposed to be 9 miles. I mapped out a new course on and hit the road. All was well until about mile seven, when I discovered that a road on my map didn't actually exist in real life and was, in fact, a solid wall of trees, brush and nettles. Oops. Had to a little lost...then my Garmin informed me I'd completed my run...and I was still 1.5 miles from home. Oops. I walked a bit, then reset the Garmin and ran the last mile. This of course gave me an excuse to indulge in a large portion of thai food and many glasses of wine with said girlfriends later in the day.

Sunday (okay, technically today) we are taking our four-year-old to see Kung Foo Panda. Sounds like an odd movie, but he saw a trailer and he really, really, really (reeeeaaaallly mommmy) wants to see it.'s 4 am and the house is completely quiet. I should be writing...

Mileage goal: 9 miles - done, plus one!
Song of the Day: "Dancing Queen" by ABBA. This song came on the iPod at about mile 5 of my run and made me smile like a lunatic as I powered up a hill.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Came down with a horrid cold this week. So, today, I am sniffling my way through my work day and I run into a colleague, who is sniffling his way through his work day. We both came to the conclusion that ALL cold-type viruses can currently be blamed on our LACK of sunshine. That's right. We're blaming it on the weather. I just read that California is in the midst of a drought. TAKE OUR RAIN, I say.

I'll stop whining now because I have a random question. If you order chinese food to go, do you tip the cashier? I am generally a very good when I pick up my food from the counter and sign my credit slip, I feel guilty not leaving something on the "tip" line, even though I'm not dining in. Is there an etiquette rule here?

My four-year-old finally filled his marble jar with "good behavior" marbles. He has been talking for weeks about earning a periscope when his marble jar is full (he learned about periscopes from Curious George and PBS Kids...not all TV is bad). Last night we gave him his periscope (a green, plastic thing that cost $20) and he was so excited but he very solemnly told me that periscopes "are not for spying. Spying is wrong." Perhaps our current administration should watch more Curious George, no? I am quite sure their good behavior marble jar is not even close to full...but that's another story.

I finally worked through a sticky part of my plot outline for "Take One" and am very excited with the outcome. More details later...

Mileage goal for the day: Can I run with a fever?
Song of the day: "Stronger" by Kanye West
Take One word count: Hasn't changed from Tuesday. sigh.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Where is Spring?

Okay, I know this is Seattle but seriously...we've had like, TWO nice days since the start of Spring. Right now I am sitting inside with a monster sore throat, watching the rain and trying to convince myself that yes, a run WOULD make me feel better.

Of course, I could be working on Take One (novel #2), but the sore throat is ruining my concentration. So instead, I'll snuggle up with my kitty Tino and watch the season finale of Ugly Betty that I tevo'd last week.

I think I'll start posting my word count for Take One, to make sure I stay accountable for its progress.

Also, check out this running shirt I'm thinking of wearing it in the half marathon.

Take One: 10,000/65,000
Mileage goal for today: 5
Song that will inspire my writing today: "End of the Road" by Eddie Vetter (Into the Wild soundtrack) followed by "Where Does the Good Go" by Tegan and Sarah.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Joining the Blog World...Finally

My agent and writer friends suggested I start a blog before my first novel is published. goes! Honestly, I hope I have enough to say...I'm definitely an amateur here. So for starters, this is what's in my world right now:

About Writing:
I have a fabulous new (new as of April) literary agent, Colleen Lindsay of FinePrint Literary in New York. She will soon be shopping my first (and second?) young adult novel to publishers. I am so excited! My second novel is in the works and is way too much fun to write.

About the Family:
My husband is currently shopping for mountain bikes so we can crash through the 700 acres of woods near our house. What fun! My four-year-old has his first music recital (through preschool) next week. He gets to play a xylophone (he can even spell xylophone) so he is very excited. BTW - his music CD collection is now officially larger than mine and he can identify Fallout Boys, Three Doors Down and Paolo Nutini on the radio quicker than me. Amazing.

The Dogs:
My faithful running companions are two yellow labs named Max and Brandy. They are 9-years-old and we've had them since they were babes. Spoiled rotten and very entitled, indeed. Max is still competing in agility with me and shows no signs of slowing. We compete in AKC agility at the excellent level.

Other Stuff:
I am training for my second half marathon, which takes place on June 29. This will help me train for the (gulp) Portland Marathon in October. I can't remember a day when something didn't hurt. Why do I do this? Good question...

Anyway, feel free to stop by and say hi!