March 27, 2015

The S.S. Mark P.

I didn't do my long run today. I was supposed to run nine miles, but my calf has been feeling sore for a few days, and I think I need the extra rest. I don't think it's injured, but it doesn't feel great. I've been doing all my shorter runs with Joey, and I think running with him may have twisted my leg or something.

For most of the run, he is fantastic--staying right at my side with a loose leash--but once in a while, if he spots a squirrel or another dog or something, he might dart in front of me or pull to the side. He does it so quickly that I don't have time to brace myself, so I wouldn't be surprised if my leg was twisted and caused the calf issue. Regardless, I don't think it's an ongoing problem, but it was pretty sore today, so I'm going to wait to do my long run until tomorrow or Sunday.

I had to go file our taxes yesterday, which was so disappointing. I was expecting to get about $2,000 returned, but instead, we ended up having to pay! I had forgotten that last year, Jerry changed his exemptions so that we wouldn't get a large return (and his paychecks would be a little bigger), but it turns out that he went a little too far in the wrong direction. He changed it back now, but we still wound up having to pay quite a bit on the state taxes. Bummer!

Today, I spent the entire morning deep cleaning the house. I am stunned at the amount of hair that a single dog can shed! For the past week or so, I've been finding dog hair everywhere--and that's despite sweeping the kitchen floor daily, vacuuming, and brushing Joey.

We had four cats for over three years, and I don't think we collected as much hair in the entire three years as I've collected in the past couple of weeks from Joey. Right now, though, his coat feels so much thinner than it did a couple of weeks ago (thanks to the Furminator), so I hope that he's done with the crazy shedding for a while!

When my dad retired a few years ago, he took up painting as a hobby. Nothing super serious--he was watching Bob Ross on TV, and started to use that to teach himself to paint. He put it away for a while last year, but recently started to pick it up again.

Before Mark was sick, he'd pulled a couple of huge pictures out of someone's garbage, and showed his "neat find" to my dad. After Mark died, my dad remembered those pictures, and he went back to the group home to take a picture of them to try and paint them (the pictures were too large for him to just bring home, so he snapped photos and used them to try to paint the scene on a canvas).

My dad's name is Leslie, but when Mark said it, because his speech was impaired, it always sounded like "Reggie". So Reggie basically became my dad's nickname whenever Mark was around--we always referred to "Les" or "Leslie" as "Reggie". (We had to explain several times who Reggie was when we were at the hospital and nursing home, haha).

Anyway, one of the pictures that Mark had taken from the trash was of two small fishing boats on the water. Mark and my dad fished together often, so my dad added his own little touch to the painting: he named the boats the "S.S. Mark P." and "Reggie"... I thought that was so cool! Yesterday, he called and told me that someone offered him $100,000 for it (totally kidding of course), but he wanted to offer it to me first. ;)

He made a frame from an old piece of furniture (he's going to stain it--right now it's the raw wood color). I love it! I'm sure Mark would have loved it, too.


  1. Your dad is very talented! That picture is beautiful in and of itself but because it's so personal to Mark makes it that much more special. Nice job Reggie :)

  2. Your Dad does some good work. Mark, and Bob Ross would be proud!

  3. Hope your calf feels better, and I am glad you decided to take the day off. It’s not always easy to take an unexpected rest day, but ultimately one day of rest is much more important than one day of exercise. Long term, your body will be grateful for the recuperation it received.

    While I do not have a dog, I do have a cat that I always thought was excessive in her shedding. But, considering you have four cats and you say there is no comparison, I cannot even imagine what Joey is like! He is pretty darn cute though, and he seems to have brought a lot of joy to your family. I think he’s worth it. :)

  4. So beautiful. This brought the tears. We're thinking of you and your family and Mark. xoxox

  5. I'd bid on that beautiful painting! Love the personalization. Such a sweet memorial.

  6. We have had a dachshund for years and the shedding wasn't a problem. Enter the Rottweiler puppy an we are vacuuming fools. I didn't think a shorthaied dog would be so noticeable.

  7. Katie dogs will "blow their coats" when the weather starts to warm up so the shedding should decrease soon. Daily brushing will help but I know that time is an issue for most folks with a life. The painting your Dad did is beautiful and he is very talented. You know I adore you and I'm looking forward to meeting more of your family soon. Maybe one day I'll get to meet Reggie! I hope you have a fabulous weekend! Also sending wishes for a pain free calf ASAP!

  8. You're dad figured out this from watching Bob Ross?!? Holy. It's beautiful. I mean I've always loved watching Bob Ross but I didn't think it could produce this.

  9. Your dad's painting is amazing. What a wonderful tribute to Mark and your family.

  10. That is really something if your Dad learned to paint like that from a TV show! If the paintings are hanging in the group home, they have a nice reminder of Mark.

  11. Didn't she say it was one of the pictures Mark picked up and her dad added his own little touch? Or did I underdtand wrong?

    1. I guess I didn't explain very well! :) Mark picked up a framed photograph out of someone's garbage, and it was hanging up at the group home. My dad recreated that photograph by painting it on canvas, and then adding the names of the boats. Hope that explains it better!

  12. Your dad is so sweet and very talented.

  13. LOVE the painting! How special!

  14. aww, that painting is so sweet!

  15. Although my dog isn't a fan, I've accepted that I will only run with my dog, Cadet, if he's got a head harness on (Gentle Leader or Halti are both fine). Like Joey, Cadet is fine for most of the run, but that one instant where he dashes to the side can do horrible things to my knee. Usually my right knee as I have the leash in my left hand.

    Cadet really loves to run (18k today), but if I can't run, then he can't so it's for the good of both of us that I prevent him from injuring me.


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