on the road again

Last Monday was the first time I’ve been running in 6 weeks.  That’s too long to go with no exercise whatsoever.  However, I was pleasantly surprised that I was still able to run a mile before totally giving up.

 

I had used excuses like “oh, we just got a dog, I shouldn’t leave him alone in the house,” or “if I just wait a few weeks, Jack will be able to go with me,” or “Trey’s parents just moved in, I need to make sure they’re comfortable,” or “Trey’s parents just moved in, I don’t want them to see me a hot sweaty mess.”  Excuse after excuse.  Until finally, I realized that I missed it.  I actually missed running.

 

In the movie What Women Want, Mel Gibson’s character has a freak accident resulting in the ability to read women’s minds.  He works for a marketing firm and is gunning for Helen Hunt’s character’s job.  Anyway, in the movie, they’re working on a Nike ad.  Basically, what they come up with is that when a women runs, it’s just her and the road, she doesn’t have to worry about other people, what they think or say…”No games, just sports.

 

And that’s what it’s like for me.  Maybe it’s like this for everyone, or maybe I’ve got some neural misfire that makes it this way, but when I run, I am absolutely incapable of thinking.  All I can do is move one foot in front of the other, breathe, look for traffic, and maybe sing along (internally) to whatever song is pumping into my ears from my phone.  I can’t think at all about what’s going on in my life, my to-do list, my worries or fears.

 

And it’s glorious.

milestones

I posted a different sort of blog today.  It’s officially been two weeks since Trey’s folks moved in with us, and today, I got to post Pop’s Caringbridge update.  So I’ll just leave you with the link: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/piercehendon/journal – you may need to login in order to view his page.

 

In the mean time, our amazing nieces moved away this week.  And since they’re so stinkin’ adorable, here’s a pic for you to enjoy:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.  Happy Tuesday.

morning glory

Right now, I’m sipping on my pomegranate black tea with honey while Nana is getting Pop ready to start the day, Trey is on his way to work, Mary Beth is asking (for the eighty-bajillionth time) if it’s okay to pet Frank, Bella and Mak are finishing their breakfast and we’re watching Enchanted. Frank is asleep on the chaise, Jack is asleep at my feet, Roger and Rufus are seeking solace under the couch or upstairs.

Right now, the house is pleasantly quiet – like on Saturday mornings when you’d scramble out if bed to watch cartoons before your parents wake up.

Right now it is calm and soft and snuggly. For now.

And right now I’m soaking in every moment because in about 15 minutes the girls will remember that I told them we could go feed the ducks again today and the chaos of trying to wrangle three girls under the age of 9 (until Friday at least) will ensue…

But right now? Right now is perfect :)

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sleeping arrangements

This week we have had two beds delivered to our house.

king-sizeThe first is a king-sized memory foam mattress that is currently sitting on the floor as we eagerly await the arrival of our new bed frame.  It arrived around 2:30 yesterday afternoon and Jack was super excited to greet them at the door (almost as excited as I was!).  After some coaxing and wrestling, I finally got him in the back yard to give the delivery guys an obstacle-free walkway.  At first I was really concerned about how they’d navigate our narrow stairwell and the U-turn at the top that leads to the master bedroom.  The foundation (as opposed to box springs) came as two twin-sized pieces, so those were easy enough to maneuver.  And the mattress, much to my surprise, came rolled up into a tight cylinder wrapped in plastic.  One guy carried it over his shoulder and the other one steered.  They got it in the room, sliced the plastic off, and unrolled it onto the foundation – I was told it’d take a couple hours to completely “inflate.” I thanked them profusely and they told me to “tell Jack bye for us!”

When I tell you that last night was the best sleep I’ve gotten in ages, that is by no means an exaggeration.  We’ve been wanting to upgrade to a king for a while now.  And Trey and I have always had different opinions about whether the sleep number or the pillow-top queen-sized bed was the comfiest (um, it’s the pillow-top, no contest) so we compromised on the memory foam.  The first thing he said to me this morning was “why did we do this years ago???”  Why indeed?!?!?!  Yes, last night’s sleep – though the fact that we were bone tired to the point of not being able to walk straight when we got home at midnight (way, way, WAY past our bedtime) might have skewed our judgment – was GLORIOUS.

*          *          *

pop_jackThe second bed we’ve had delivered this week is Pop’s hospital bed.  It’s in the dining room facing the back wall so that when he arrives with hospice this afternoon he can look to his right and see the tv and to his left he can look out the window.  When the first bed of the week was delivered, we moved our sleep-number (cause it’s collapsible!) queen-sized bed into the dining room so that Nana will be able to stay by Pop’s side all night.  I hope she doesn’t mind though, Frank and Rufus have already decided it belongs to them.

I hope Trey’s folks are comfortable in their new beds tonight – we’ve done everything we could think of to make it so.  But I cannot lie, if they’re not comfortable in the middle of the night, we won’t know…because our new bed makes us both sleep like rocks!

ch-ch-ch-changes

Nana & PopFor those of you who have been praying for the Hendon crew this past week, I cannot thank you enough.  Pop had a really rough day on Wednesday.  So rough, in fact, that hospice said his status was “eminent.”  So we doubled his steroid dose to help relieve some of the swelling in his brain…and boy did that make a difference!  He went from being almost completely unresponsive to man-laughing and asking for steak and potatoes.  Hospice has removed his eminent status and yesterday was the best I’ve seen him in months.  We realize this could be his big rally before the end, but we also know his quality of life has greatly improved and we’re going to rejoice for every moment of it.

Okay, now that you’ve been updated there, here’s the next big thing:  since the Watts family is being moved to Washington DC in a couple weeks, Trey’s parents will be moving in with us next Monday.  Since their current home holds two households full of stuff there will be two shifts for the movers.  The first shift comes to pack and load out all of the Watts’ things by Thursday – including the washer and dryer.  Nana and Pop’s things will be packed and loaded out next week and sent to SC to Mama Jane’s house.  However, since Pop is unable to travel right now, they’re coming to stay with us.  Initially the plan was for them to arrive on the 15th, but since they’ll be without the comforts of home, we’ve invited to come as early as they like…even though Nana is hesitant to leave before it’s all packed up and cleaned.

So this week Trey and I are working to transform our dining room into a comfortable room for his folks.  We’ll pack up our china, buffet, and dining room table and store them in the garage to make room for Pop’s hospital bed and a bed for Nana so she can be by his side during the night.  We’re hoping to get privacy curtains set up soon as well.  We don’t know how long they’ll be staying with us, but we’re doing our utmost to make sure they both feel at home.

For more updates on Trey’s dad’s condition, please visit www.caringbridge.com/piercehendon – you must be logged in to view his page.  We are so thankful for your thoughts and prayers, especially in this season of transition!

boot camp

It’s been a little over a week since Jack moved in, and I think we’re gonna make it!  The cats have gone from being utterly terrified of him and hiding whenever he was in the room to only freaking out if he gets within about a foot of them.  I call that improvement.  Just yesterday, all four of them voluntarily entered and hung out in a room that neither Trey nor I were in.  Yes indeed, I think we’re gonna make it.

 

The day we adopted Jack he weighed 118 lbs. which, for a golden retriever is pretty much morbidly obese.  His ideal weight is 75 lbs.  He’s got to lose 43 lbs. as soon as possible to ensure he has a healthy long life ahead of him.  Since he had heart-worms (twice) as a puppy he hasn’t always been able to exercise, but that day at the vet we got the go ahead to kick his butt into gear since enough time has passed since his heart-worm treatment.  We were also incredibly lucky in that the vet gave us a free 6lb. bag, one bag of treats, and two cans of prescription weight-loss dog food.  “It’s like Adkin’s for dogs,” she told us.  We immediately started integrating it into his old food and are now almost solely on the new food – and he likes it even better!

 

The day we adopted Jack (Friday a week ago) he couldn’t walk all the way around the block.  He got around the 3rd corner and laid down…and after a 5 minute rest made it all the way to our drive way and had to lay down for another 5 minutes before mustering the energy to make it in the front door.  Each day he made it a little further, and by Tuesday he made it all the way around the block without stopping once!  I’m not gonna lie – that brought tears to my eyes, I was so proud!  The following Friday, he walked up the stairs!  That’s something we genuinely thought would take months to achieve – and he did it by himself with no prodding from us.  And by yesterday, he went up and down the stairs about 10 times.

 

This morning we dropped him off at the vet for a teeth cleaning and he’s already down a pound.  Dogs are just like people when it comes to weight loss – if they lose more than a pound or two a week then it’s not very healthy and it’s not likely to stick.

 

We are THRILLED with Jack’s progress.  We take him for a walk around the block once a day (for now – hoping to increase that soon) and play with him outside for half an hour to an hour each day – he has officially claimed our black tennis ball, the blue one doesn’t do it for him.  While he hasn’t quite grasped the concept of “fetch” he’s really good at retrieving a thrown ball and carrying it off to chew on before you wrestle it from his jaws to throw it again.

 

So, Biggest Loser Canine Edition is in full effect in our household. I’ve gotta say, since Jack came into our home, it certainly hasn’t been dull!

hisses and kisses

Dogs are different. They’re like big floppy happy cats that are pretty much oblivious to their surroundings unless food is in reach. Dog kisses are wet and big and sloppy and slimy.  Cat kisses are dry and small and neat and rough. When dogs are distress they whimper and grumble…and cats, well, they hiss.

 

Jack moved in on Friday. We followed all the instructions we could get our hands on as to how to best introduce him to our feline family. I guess you could say it went as well as could be expected…and I’ve got the scars to prove it. It wasn’t all bad though. Jack hasn’t made any aggressive moves toward the cats, he just really wants to make new friends. They’re just not quite as eager to befriend him. Still, we’ve had a handful of promising moments that lead us to believe that before too long we’ll have a foursome of furry friends.

 

Since we’re still dealing with lots of apprehension from the cats, it’s hard to give a full report as to how the transition is going. And I must admit, I feel like this is coming out all choppy and not as a string of complete thoughts. Oh well, it’s your weekly blog post as promised. Sorry it’s so brief!

 

woof

So, it looks like I’ll need to either add a post category or rename one…because as of this Friday “cat tales” will no longer be an adequate description of stories regarding the pets under our roof.  That’s right ladies and gents, we’re getting a dog.

 

Trey & I have been talking about getting a dog for years.  We both grew up in dog households.  We love dogs – cats are just easier when you know you’ll be gone for long hours during the day.  But since I’m at home most days, that’s no longer an obstacle.  A few months ago, Trey’s sister approached us about adopting their 8 year old Golden Retriever, Jack.  They’re moving to Washington D.C. in June and since 2 of them are allergic to dogs, she thought this would be the opportune time to find him a new home.  We love Jack, he’s a big, floppy, gentle beast and the most damage he’d ever do is beat you to death from wagging his tail so enthusiastically.  We reluctantly agreed, but were genuinely worried about how it’d work out.  Then Uncle David and Angie said they’d be happy to take Jack – so Trey and I forgot all about it and went back to business as usual.

 

Well, last week sometime, David and Angie decided that taking on a new-to-them dog just for the sake of keeping him in the family might be more difficult than they originally thought, so Trey and I were up at bat again.  But this time, rather than moan and fret about how the cats would react to the furry intruder, we decided to do some research.  We wanted to make sure we could afford to take care of him, first of all.  So we priced food and meds and grooming and all sorts of things.  Then we looked for information about how to introduce a dog into a “cat family.”  And what we found was really encouraging.  So much so that we made it official.  After his vet appointment this Friday at 2pm, Jack will be coming home with us to stay.

 

I’m not gonna lie, we’re pretty excited.  He’s such a great dog, and we look forward to afternoons with him out at Boerne Lake throwing a Frisbee or just laying in the sun.  I hope to get him in shape enough to accompany me on my morning run before too long.  Trey is convinced that Jack and Rufus will be come fast friends and will snuggle and take naps together (I have my doubts about that one).  My prayer is that any disgruntled growls and hisses won’t last for too long and that he’ll be able to incorporate into our family quickly and easily…and that our sweet nieces won’t be too mad at us for taking their beloved family pet.

 

We brought his bed home with us on Sunday and the cats have sniffed it without hissing so far – I’m taking that as a very good sign.

once upon a time

Once upon a time, I married an awesome guy who has 4 awesome nieces…3 of whom came to stay with us the other weekend.  Mary Beth, Isabella, and Makayla arrived on a Thursday.  Here’s what happened on Wednesday:

 

I had all these awesome plans.  I had asked the neighbors for ideas, I had searched the county website.  We were going to go swimming, we were going to check out the Cibolo Nature Center, and gosh darn it, we were going to feed the ducks on River Road!  I was so excited about all the outdoor activities I had planned that when it finally occurred to me to check the weather report, it pretty much made my brain explode:  thunderstorms and a cold front.  Crap.

 

Then I talked to my awesome mom, who suggested taking the girls to the library to pick out a book that we could turn into a skit.  Well, that was the seed – but it needed to grow a little bit.

 

MB, Bella, and Mak love to put on shows.  These shows usually consist of singing and dancing along to whatever song is on the radio at any given moment.  But they take them very seriously and usually “have a show for me” every time I see them.  And then I thought about Pop.  As his cancer has progressed, it’s become necessary for him to remain in bed 24/7, and there’s just not enough room in Nana & Pop’s bedroom for the girls to put on a show for him.  And then it hit me:  we needed to do more than a skit – we needed to make Pop a movie!

 

So I spent that night and most of Thursday morning writing my very first screen play.  I tried to think of all the little songs the girls sing on a regular basis, and some good old-fashioned Bible School songs and I let them guide the story.

 

The girls arrived late Thursday night, and Friday morning we got to work making posters and playing dress up to find the perfect costumes.  We practiced and played, we had a photo shoot to have headshots to use for the DVD case (we’d make copies to present to both Nana & Pop and their mom & dad).  We only had one curling iron related injury and for the most part, had a grand old time.

 

Now, without further ado, I give you: SADLANDIA

 

 

                       An
Aunt Leslie & Uncle Trey
              Production