August 12, 2020

Two Great Workouts... and a Nap?!

I don't have any pictures for this post, so here is a picture I took of Joey and Chick. Little Chicklet loves Joey and just went and curled up with him for a nap. Joey always looks uncomfortable (like, "why is he lying here next to me?!" but he deals well with it).

And here is a cute picture of Duckling--I don't know how he sleeps like that! Estelle does that, too.

My body must have seriously wanted to catch up on sleep--after dinner today, I was sitting in the living room talking to Jerry before he went to work...

...and the next thing I knew, I was waking up two hours later!

I texted Jerry to ask what happened and he said that I just fell asleep and he didn't want to wake me. He also said that Noah took my car to go to his college class (he'd had one classroom session left before the COVID shutdown, and today he was able to take the final exam and--hopefully--pass the class. He's a smarty pants, so I'm sure he will pass.)

I am clearly getting old. I never used to take naps (EVER) but over the past few weeks, I've done it twice. Today was just so weird because I slept so deeply. I didn't hear Jerry leave, didn't hear Noah leave, I was totally out of it. 

I'm mostly bummed out that my eating window closed while I was sleeping, hahaha! I had a very filling dinner, though. Right now, I just feel groggy and even more tired than I was earlier. I hope I'm able to sleep tonight after taking such a long nap today.

I got to check off two new items from the Cookies Summer Challenge list today: the Silent Walk (no headphones/music/podcasts/etc) and the 50/50 Walk (alternating running (or fast walking) and slow walking).

During the Silent Walk, I decided to try to work more on leash training Joey. Reader Karissa, who is a dog trainer, suggested in a comment that Joey tends to call the shots on my walks which makes it less enjoyable when I'm walking for deliberate exercise. When I used to take Joey for runs, he knew that running meant business--we don't stop to smell pee on the roses, so to speak. And then after the run, I'd let him smell everything and pee all over the bushes and all that to reward him for being focused on our run.

Now, it's hard to get him used to walking for deliberate exercise versus fun walks. So, today I worked on keeping him close to my left side with a loose leash. Every so often, I'd tell him "Okay, go ahead!" and he'd pee on the fire hydrant or telephone pole or whatever. Then we'd get back to business. It worked out pretty well! If I'd been listening to a podcast or audiobook, it would be way too hard to constantly tell him to "heel". I must have said "Heel" and "Good boy!" and "Leave it!" at least 10,000 times. The "leave it" is for sniffing out dog poop or road kill or other gross things.

Anyway, Joey did really great today! We'll need to keep practicing so it'll hopefully become natural, but using the "Silent Walk" today was very helpful.

For my second workout, I got all ready to head outside for a walk, but then I remembered that I wanted to watch my show on the treadmill (Sweet Magnolias). So I did that instead. And to check off an item from my Summer Challenge list, I decided to do 50/50 intervals of running and walking. 

It's funny how choosing walking for exercise has given me a bit of motivation to throw a little running in here and there. Today, I set my watch timer for five minutes each--run five, walk five, run five, etc.

I did my walking at 3.0 mph and my running at 5.0 mph. At first, I wished I'd chosen to do 2-3 minute intervals instead of 5 minutes, but I think the 5 was good. Long enough to feel a little tough (considering I haven't been running in such a long time) and having the longer walking intervals was a nice breather in between.

For the final five minutes, I started on 5.1 mph, and then each minute, I bumped it up by 0.1 until at 44:30, when I bumped it up to 6.0 mph for 30 seconds. 

I felt so good about that workout! Even though my running is relatively slow, I don't care about the pace right now. Just the fact that I was running made me feel good. And the best part is, I'm still planning on walking being my main form of exercise. When I try to force myself to run, I resent it. When it's optional, I sometimes get the urge to do it.


As I wrote yesterday's post, I was thinking about how much I miss doing the Transformational Tuesday posts! I wasn't getting any more submissions, so I stopped doing the posts, but I'd love to continue them if people would submit photos.

Basically, Transformation Tuesday is just a post of before and after photos of anything you'd like--a DIY project, a new haircut, a rescue pet, weight loss, etc. I LOVE before and after photos, so please consider submitting one! Here are the guidelines:

1) Email one "before" photo and one "after" photo, of anything you'd like, to: transformations (at) runsforcookies (dot) com.

Please keep the photos separate rather than collaging them, and refrain from using words, filters or Photoshop on the photos (I like to keep the photos on the post relatively uniform). If necessary, I may crop or resize the photos simply to fit uniformly into the post, but I will try to keep them as original as possible. Also, if there is someone in the photo, just make sure it's cool with them that I share it here.

2) You may include a link to your personal blog or social media page if you'd like (no business or promotional pages--this will be at my discretion). Please include the following:

-One or two sentence description of the transformation

-First Name; Location; A few words of who you are (i.e. "New DIY'er" or "Cat Lover", etc). If you want me to leave out name/location, just let me know.

3) I will post whenever I get enough submissions to do so--it could be one week or it could be several. But I will post them!

Thanks for sharing :)

(Here are the previous Transformation Tuesday posts for ideas)


Tomorrow morning, I'm supposed to meet up with Renee for a bike ride. I'm looking forward to it--I haven't seen her since before all the COVID stuff began!

August 11, 2020

Some Recent Garage Progress

First, check out these socks that Jerry bought me. They came in a pack of five, and this one just happened to have a black cat with a "D" on his shirt--I said it was no coincidence that he looks like Duck and has a D on his shirt. ;) Unfortunately, there was not one for our other cats. But since Little Duckling is my favorite (shhh!) these are highly appropriate.

I'm making the finishing touches on the garage (finally!) but I don't have a lot of photos to share just yet, so I'll post the few that I have right now of some recent progress. Today, I was planning to start moving everything back in its place, but then I decided to work on a very tedious project that took all morning and into the afternoon...

A few days ago, Jerry mentioned that maybe we should get rid of a large Craftsman toolbox that looks in pretty bad shape. He seemed reluctant to get rid of it because it belonged to his late grandpa who was very special to him. I told him that we'd keep it and I'd try to clean it up. So that's what I worked on today.

It's definitely "well used", but a little elbow grease and a LOT of sweat went into this today. There was so much grease on and in it! (I didn't think to take a photo before I started, so that's why a couple of drawers are missing in the before photo).

And the most exciting part? Organizing it tomorrow! Hahaha, organizing is one of my very favorite things to do.

Remember the 2x4 sill on top of the foundation wall? After I did all of the drywalling and painting, I still wasn't sure what to do with that 2x4 sill. (This photo shows the drywall on top, the 2x4 sill, and then where I was painting the foundation wall underneath):

I wanted to cover up that sill somehow without just painting it because it looked pretty rough in some spots. So, here is what I came up with--I used my table saw to cut down some cedar boards that my brother gave me into strips (3/4" x 2"). Then I used a trim nailer to attach them to the front of the 2x4 sill.

Then I attached some 2x6" boards on top of the 2x4 sill, making a little ledge that goes all the way around the garage. I painted the whole thing white, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. Much better than the 2x4!

I finished up the windows as well. I had to cut down some boards to make jambs and a sill, and then I just bought the trim from Lowe's. I painted everything white, and I hung a light gray shade (I don't have a picture with the shade yet). Here is the progression from before the drywall, after the drywall, and then after the jamb and trim.

This is a different window, but they all looked the same... obviously this is before I did anything to the walls or windows. (They aren't crooked--it's just an awkward photo! haha)

This is after doing the drywall, but before I added the jamb and trim to the windows:

And finally, here is the finished window! I love how they turned out (I had to do three of them).

I made screens and covers for the flood vents (there are three of them) and those were a huge pain in the ass. I'll post photos when I take some.

I primed and painted the garage door (the one where we walk into, not the large ones for cars). I also hung trim around the door and painted it. I hung a ceiling fan above the "man cave" section of the garage (where we have couches and a TV). Again, I'll have to get photos of it all.

I'm hoping that by the weekend, I'll have everything moved back into place. Noah's been wanting to have a few friends over for a belated birthday party but he's been waiting for the garage to get done so he can do it out there. 

It's hard to believe that early this year, our garage looked like this! ;)

August 10, 2020

75 Hard: Week 3 Recap

It's been 21 days since I started 75 Hard! I say this each week, but I'm still surprised I've made it this far. 

This week has actually been the most difficult one yet. I'm not sure why--nothing remarkable has happened this week--but I keep feeling like, "I just want a day off!!" Which is a bit dramatic, because I'm not doing anything insanely difficult.

I'm still having sleeping problems (nothing new). I liked when I had the discipline to go to bed early--I really noticed a difference in my mood when I got enough sleep. I'm such a light sleeper that every little noise wakes me up. When I am disciplined enough to make myself go to bed at 10:00 (or even 11:00) then I usually feel rested the next day. So I think I'll make that a secondary goal this week--try to go to bed by 11:00.

For a few days, I'd managed to go to bed early, wake up and journal, read, drink my water, and then go for my walk. This past week, I got out of that routine which threw off the rest of the day a bit.

But anyway, I managed to stick with 75 Hard all week, even though it truly was HARD. Here's a quick recap:

Drink one gallon of water every day.

This one is usually not at all hard for me, but I found myself having to drink a quart of water shortly before bed a few days this week because I haven't been drinking it throughout the day like I usually do. I really need to make it a point to drink a whole quart before my walk and a whole quart after my walk in the morning. The rest of the day is easy after that.

Take a progress photo every day.

I'm surprised I haven't forgotten to do this yet. I made a habit of getting dressed for my walk and then taking a quick mirror selfie before I head out. I'm very glad that taking a progress photo is one of the "rules" of 75 Hard. If not for seeing the progress with my own eyes, I don't know that I'd have the discipline to continue the challenge when I "just don't wanna" sometimes.

Diet of choice + no alcohol.

I'm still loving the intermittent fasting. It works into my lifestyle so well. I've been reading about it and listening to podcasts about it a lot lately, and I'm excited to see if I notice some of the health benefits that have been studied. 

I'm doing intermittent fasting with a daily four-hour window to eat. I was eating at 4:00 every day (breaking my fast with dinner), but this past week, I've had a few days where I started my eating window at 2:00 (or even 11:00 AM one day!). I always shut it down after four hours, though, in order to stick to my "rule" for 75 Hard. On those days where I start eating earlier, I break the fast with something other than dinner--an apple with peanut butter or something like that. Then I'll have dinner a little later.

Read 10 pages of a non-fiction/self-improvement type book.

I'm still reading David Goggins' book 'Can't Hurt Me'. It's such a great book! I finally convinced Jerry to read it so that we could talk about it.  He's a much faster reader than I am, so he's much further along! We'll just talk about it when I'm done, I guess ;)

Work out 45 minutes twice a day (one must be outside).

This hasn't been a problem at all this week. I haven't even minded doing my second workout of the day because I have been watching Sweet Magnolias on Netflix while I'm on the treadmill. It's such a good show! And I'm only allowing myself to watch it while I'm on the treadmill.

My first workout of the day is always a walk with Joey. He's gotten so used to it every morning and I'd feel really bad if I don't take him--even though it'd be nice to walk without him trying to stop at every bush, tree, and telephone pole along the way!

Using the treadmill has inspired me to change things up a bit here and there. I've been experimenting with the incline and the speed (even adding some running to one of my walks). When I was running, I never used to use the incline buttons--but now that I'm walking, I am finding it more enjoyable to play around with things.

I started 75 Hard with the mentality that quitting is not an option--I was super determined to see the whole thing through--and I still feel that way. Some days are much more difficult than others, depending on what I have going on, but I feel like this has been helping me so much both mentally and physically! I'm almost a third of the way through--it's going by quickly.

August 09, 2020

The Most Awkward Walk Ever

I've been wanting to actively try to work on my Cookies Summer Challenge list now that I'm in the habit of walking twice a day. Yesterday, I had to get a couple of things from Lowe's for last finishes on the garage, so I decided to stop at the state park and do my walk there before heading to Lowe's. 

As far as the list goes, I chose to do the "scenic walk" where I go slowly, pay attention to my surroundings, and just truly enjoy nature--taking some scenic photos along the way. 

Speed was not an issue; I didn't even stop my watch when I stopped to take photos or anything like that. There is a random set of stairs that you can climb to get a good view from high up, I guess.

I even walked up there and decided to take a panoramic photo. I never take panoramic photos, but during the "scenic walk", I thought it'd be a good idea.

I held up my phone and balanced the little arrow on the white line to get the panoramic pic, and then I climbed down the stairs and continued walking. I stopped to look at the photo a little bit later, and I realized it wasn't panoramic. I had no idea what I did wrong! I stopped to test it out at another spot, and it turns out I never pressed the button to start the panoramic photo. *sigh*

I didn't want to go back to the lookout, so maybe I'll do it another time. It wasn't anything super special to see anyway, though. Here is the "test one"...

I continued to take some more photos along the way. I was walking a three-mile loop. The state park wasn't very busy--I came across about three people going on the opposite direction on the trail up to the halfway point. Whenever I run or walk there, I only see a few people on the path.

That arrow is pointing to a long that for the most fraction of a second, I thought was an alligator. BAHAHA. I watched WAY too many episodes of Billy the Exterminator and maybe Naked and Afraid. (I know there are no alligators here, but in my daydreaming mode, it startled me for a second).

So here is where the awkward part comes in...

...after about 1.75 miles, I saw a couple of women walking toward me. I was just about to say, "Good morning!" as we passed each other when they apparently decided that was their turn-around point. They were literally about 15 feet away from me when they turned around. And they happened to be walking the same pace I was (maybe a little slower, but I didn't want to rush ahead of them and then have them walking right behind me).

It was SO AWKWARD. For a little over a mile, they were just steps ahead of me. Why on earth would they have turned around when they did? Didn't that make them feel awkward knowing that I was practically right on their heels? I tried walking slower, but it just felt TOO slow (about a 22:00 minute mile). And I didn't want to stop and wait a while, because hey, it's my exercise time, too.

I had headphones on and was listening to my audiobook, but they were chatting--knowing I was right behind them. I even cleared my throat a couple of times to remind them that they may want to hold the private conversations for another time. 

Finally, I just gave up on my "serene" walk, and I started playing Best Fiends on my phone while I was walking! We were going slow enough and I was trying my best to fall back--but it seemed like the slower I went, the slower they went, too.

I've been running/walking regularly for 10 years now, and this is something I've never encountered. If I've ever been at my turn-around point and someone is there, then I just go farther before turning around to make sure there is some distance so that I'm not super close to them. If I had been running yesterday, it'd be no problem to just pass them and then get a good distance ahead. But they clearly saw that I was walking. 

It was just odd to me. 

But! I got to check off my scenic walk for the first couple of miles at least.

This morning, I did my sunrise walk. Duck woke me up at 5:45 by trying to fit his entire face into my nostril, and I was debating whether to get up or try to fall back asleep. I remembered that I still hadn't done my sunrise walk, so I checked what time sunrise was (I have an app on my phone that tells me the sunrise/sunset times). Sunrise was at 6:35, so to check this item off my list, I had to start my walk before 6:35 and end it after.

I got dressed and headed out at around 6:20. I wish I'd been able to get to the lake a little faster to take a picture right at 6:35, but I ended up getting there at 6:41. 

I made some serious progress on the garage today (hanging the rest of the trim, priming and painting the trim and door, and priming and painting some boards that I'm going to place where the flood vents are. I already made some screens on frames for each flood vent, so we can open them when it's hot outside and get even more airflow in there. It'll make more sense when I post pictures. I'm really hoping it'll all be completely done by next weekend!

August 08, 2020

My History With Coffee (and why I torture myself once a year)

Note, that photo is a year old. My face has filled out a bit more since then! Hahaha

I wasn't planning to write about this today, but I made the mistake of drinking a cup of regular coffee (not decaf). (I say "mistake" as in "it was stupid of me", not to be confused with "accidentally").

I purposely drank a cup of caffeinated coffee today.

Way back in 2010 (and prior) I was a regular coffee drinker and had no problem with it. Sometime in 2010 or 2011, I realized that it made my anxiety skyrocket. The week before I was on The Dr. Oz Show in 2011, I quit drinking it because I was SO nervous for the show and the last thing I needed was more anxiety.

I had the worst headache of my life for about five days, and nothing would relieve it. But once I got over that, I was scared to drink coffee again. Every once in a while, though, I'll drink it just with the hope that it won't have that affect on me anymore.

What is the definition of insanity, again?

The caffeine makes me very jittery, nauseous, irritable, and anxious. I want to be one of those people who loves coffee! (Why? I have no idea. But I could use a pick-me-up once in a while if it didn't come with the awful side effects) I do love my decaf coffee with cream and sugar, and I've been having that as a treat after dinner lately.

While intermittent fasting, I do a "clean fast"--meaning that I don't consume anything but plain water, black coffee, or unflavored black tea during my fasting hours. Today, at around 3:00, Jerry was making coffee and I was feeling tired after a very busy morning/afternoon. On a whim, I asked him to pour me a cup (a small cup--like 6 oz).

I thought I would hate drinking it black, but it actually wasn't bad! I definitely prefer to have it with sugar and heavy cream, though.

Anyway, I drank this small cup of coffee and felt fine. Until about 4:00. 

I started to feel really nauseous and I got shaky. I felt incredibly anxious for no reason. Ugh, I hate that caffeine does this to me! I ate dinner, but I still felt really crappy afterward.

I've been doing my second 45-minute walk after dinner every day (on the treadmill, so I can watch Sweet Magnolias--love it!). Yesterday, I felt great--and I even ran for a little bit! Today, my heart rate was high from the very start and I just couldn't bring myself to do more than walking at 3.5 mph with 0% incline for the entire 45 minutes (usually, this feels very easy to me).

My heart rate was definitely higher than normal and my face felt really flushed. 

The stupid thing is, I do this to myself about once a year! I get the urge to try caffeinated coffee (because people love coffee and the "pick-me-up" sounds wonderful), but then I 100% regret it afterward.

Anyway, I am just going to lie down and either read some of my book or watch a scary movie on this Friday Saturday night. (I had to edit because I originally wrote Friday! See? Quarantine=Groundhog Day. Hahaha! I'll try and write something more interesting tomorrow. Have a great weekend!

August 07, 2020

I Just Felt Like Running


(When @carlostherunner on Instagram learned that Forrest Gump is my favorite movie, he made this for me from one of my race photos. I love it!! He does a lot of fun photoshopping with his running pics--check him out!)

My very favorite movie of all time is Forrest Gump. Not only do I love Tom Hanks, but the references in that movie are amazing and each time I watch it, I find new bits that I didn't notice before. 

Jerry loves the movie, too, and we both quote from it all the time. We like to quote from movies anyway, but Forrest Gump is definitely our most quoted. It never fails... when I say, "I have to go pee" Jerry says, "I believe he said he had to go pee!"  and I reply with, "I must have drank me about 15 Dr. Peppers."

Anyway, today during my second walk, "I just felt like running".

I didn't RUN run. I was doing my walk on the treadmill and I increased the incline to get my heart rate up higher, hoping to get it into the MAF training zone (for me, it's 132-142 bpm). It's very hard for me to get it that high when I walk (today I had to walk at 4.0 mph with a 1% incline for about 8 minutes to get my HR up to MAF).

Walking that fast is hard! I started thinking it might be easier just to jog at a slow pace. After that, I lowered the incline to 0%, and then I went between 4.0 mph (walk) to 5.0 mph (jog). Each time I ran at 5.0 mph, I ran until my heart rate reached the top of my MAF zone--142--and then I lowered it to 4.0 mph until my HR dropped to 132. 

Then I repeated this over and over for a couple of miles. Because my treadmill and Garmin read differently, the Garmin was showing my pace as 13:30 when I was running at 5.0 mph (12:00/mi). It's annoying, but I'm used to it now. I believe the speed on my treadmill is correct, but I KNOW that the timer is off. So, I just use the timer from my Garmin and the distance from my treadmill to determine my pace.

Not that it really matters. But I wanted to get some credit for adding in some short bouts of running, dammit!

When I was 44 minutes in, I knew that my show (Sweet Magnolias) was supposed to end at the 46-minute mark, so I decided to just run the rest of the episode, regardless of heart rate. Well, the episode didn't end until over 52 minutes in--so I'd run for 8 minutes. And I felt good!

I'm sure that if I wanted to, I could run for 45 minutes straight right now, but there is something appealing about the fact that I'm not "going for a run". I'm just going for a walk and if I just happen to "feel like running", I can. But I won't feel bad about it if I don't ever want to run again. I'm exercising for 90 minutes day--it's walking, but I'm good with that. I'm getting older and and being called a "runner" doesn't really do anything for me anymore.

It felt good though--I was sweaty when I was done.

Since I walk with Joey in the mornings, I don't go very fast. He wants to sniff every little bush or telephone pole along the side of the road, and it drives me crazy. I would enjoy it more if he didn't come with me, but each time I get my shoes on in the morning, I can see him peeking over the couch until he catches my eye. And then I just have to.

I don't have the heart to leave him at home (he needs the exercise, too!) so I bring him along. Since my morning walks are on the slow side, I've been trying to make an effort to make the afternoon ones harder. I can ride my bike, which gets my heart rate higher, or I can walk on the treadmill with an incline, or I can add some running to it if I feel like it. 

Today, it felt good to "just feel like running"!

Since today is International Beer Day, and that's an item on my Cookies Summer Challenge list--celebrate a run or walk with a beer (or root beer, ginger beer, or non-alcoholic beer)--I had a Heineken 0.0% with dinner (the 0.0% means literally no alcohol at all). I have always loved Heineken, so having these occasionally is a good treat! (They taste identical to original Heineken, honest)

With it being Friday, I made pizza for "pizza Friday" at our house. I didn't make just any pizza, either. I made the most delicious pizza of all time--Dill Pickle Pizza! This recipe is SO delicious.

I wouldn't change a single thing about the recipe--no substitutions, modifications, ingredient swaps, etc. Especially with the crust! It's very unique and oh so delicious. If you like dill pickles, I insist you try this recipe. (It's not my recipe, although I wish I could claim it--here is the original). I love that the crust ingredients are measured by weight--I always screw up baking anything, so having the exact measurements made this super easy.

Now I have 19 Days down! 56 to go :)

August 06, 2020

Mid-Summer Progress on Cookies Summer Run/Walk Challenge

My annual Cookies Summer Run/Walk Challenge started on June 20th, and yikes(!) the time has been going fast. I really really wanted to complete the list this year--running or walking, either one was good.

Considering I've been doing so much walking lately for 75 Hard (two 45-minute walks per day), it's been the perfect opportunity to get the items on my list checked off. 

If only I planned ahead.

There is still time for me to do the rest of the list (I'll go over the ones that I've done so far), but I did miss some of the ones that are supposed to be completed on particular days. I can't do anything about that now, so I plan to do them on another day. Better than nothing.

There are 56 items on the list, and I've completed 21. That means I still have to do 35 walks! In order to complete them, however, I really need to plan ahead (at least a week at time). Most times I just head out on a walk and forget that I'm supposed to be checking items off the list.

Here are ones I've done so far:

1. Beach Walk (along a body of water):

2. Bridge Walk (over a bridge): A ginormous bridge in my neighborhood ;)

3. Early Bird Walk (before 6:00 AM):

4. Explorer Walk (in a city I've never walked/run in before). This was in Mackinaw, MI, and we happened to come across an amazing park with a view of the Mackinac Bridge. 

5. Generous Walk (leaving a few quarters in random places during a walk for others to find) - I don't have a photo for this.

6. Penny Pincher Walk (find a penny or other coin during a walk). I happened to find all of these coins on the same day.

7. Podcast Walk (download a new podcast and listen to it during a walk). This is when I tried Six Miles to Supper, about intermittent fasting, a really like it!

8. Progression Walk (walk 3 miles with each mile faster than the previous). (The items in the picture I collected on the walk--a penny, a washer, and a guitar pick. Haha! Eli was looking for a piece of plastic just like the guitar pick so that he could use it while making fishing lures. And the washer was for a laugh because I'd been going crazy searching for a washer just like this one when I was doing something in the garage).

9. Race (enter a race and complete it). I entered a virtual race where you have to complete 20 miles between July 26-August 8. I have completed much more than that so far! I got my medal and bib in the mail today. Because it was an official virtual race, it counts. I chose this one because the medal totally sums up 2020 so far.

Here are all of the walks that make up the virtual race. I've done nearly 54 miles out of the 20 that were  required!

10. Rainy Walk (walk in the rain). You can't tell here, but I was pretty wet. It was lightly raining during the whole walk.

11. Rover Walk (with a dog)

12. Lunch Walk (start walk between 12 and 2 pm):

13. Selfie Walk (take a mid-walk selfie)

14. Tempo Walk (walk slightly faster than an easy pace)

15. Treadmill Walk (on the treadmill)

16. Solstice Walk (start before summer and end it after- 5:43 PM on June 20)

17. Creative Ice Cream Flavors Walk (enjoy a creative ice cream concoction for Creative Ice Cream Day on July 1st). I made a strange concoction--chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, peanut butter, coconut, chocolate chips, raisins, and dry oats. It was good!

18. Independence Walk (4 miles on July 4th wearing red, white, and blue):

19. Buck Full Moon Walk (walk during the Buck Full Moon on July 5)

20. Chocolate Walk (enjoy something chocolatey post-walk for World Chocolate Day). The item I chose was not very exciting. I actually forgot about chocolate day, and I just so happened to be eating these after dinner anyway, so I just counted that as my chocolate.

21. Run for Cookies! (celebrate with a chocolate chip cookie on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, August 4). Sadly, I have no picture and I did not eat a beautiful cookie. I know, *I*, Ms. Runs for Cookies, wasn't prepared to have an amazing chocolate chip cookie. Instead, I had a small package of Famous Amos cookies. They were still good!  (But I don't have a picture of those)

And there it is! My mid-summer progress on the challenge. With 75 Hard now a thing, I have lots of chances to still get in all of the walks. So, I'm going to keep working on it. I think tomorrow I may do a Fartlek Walk!

August 05, 2020

They're Not Babies Anymore!

This summer is flying by, and I just realized that we've had the kittens for three months now! It feels like we've only had them for a few weeks. I was looking at some recent photos of them and then started comparing those to photos from three months ago, and I am stunned at how much they've grown. They aren't babies anymore!

These photos show a three-month difference, on the same bed:

When we first got them, they both looked like little puffballs of fur, especially Chick. Chick has long hair and Duck has short hair. According to the rescue we adopted them from, their mom was pure siamese. I knew nothing about Siamese cats, but after reading about them recently, I am convinced that Duck definitely has the character traits (and the body structure) of a Siamese. Chick likely took after his dad. 

Duck is very people-oriented and loves to talk to us in little chirps. He plays fetch--his favorite thing to fetch is either a crumbled up ball of paper or a little plastic clip that I use for sewing. He'll bring it to me and then I throw it down the hall and he chases after it at full speed before sliding into the wall as he picks it up. Then he returns it to me and drops it for me to throw it again. It's so cute!

Chick, on the other hand, is more subtle when it comes to affection. (Duck demands it; Chick politely asks.) Chick doesn't play fetch and he's not as fast as Duck, but he is killer when it comes to jumping and climbing. His balance is amazing. And he can spot and catch anything--if there is a fly in the house, Chick will not give up until he catches it.

In this photo, Eli was dangling a t-shirt and Chick was determined to get it. He can jump so high!

He will also climb in order to get treats. Eli was giving him treats and he literally climbed up Eli's leg. He looks like a squirrel in this picture:

One night, I was lying in bed reading, with the cats on my legs, and I could see that Chick spotted something above my nightstand. His eyes were totally focused on it while he jumped up on the nightstand and grabbed whatever it was (it ended up being a teeny tiny moth, about the size of a mosquito!). 

Right after he grabbed it, it fell down behind the nightstand. He jumped down on the floor to try and get to the moth, but the nightstand is tight against the wall and he couldn't reach back there. I continued to read my book, and 10 minutes later, I happened to notice that Chick was STILL staring like this. No matter how I said his name or tried to distract him, he was so focused and didn't move a muscle.

I felt sorry for him, so I looked between the nightstand and the wall, and sure enough, the tiny little moth was on the floor right there, out of his paw's reach. He'd been waiting for it to fly again, I guess. It took some maneuvering, but I got it out for him and he was happy as a clam! Then it flew above my nightstand again, and Duck noticed it, too. Both of the cats were mesmerized.

Chick finally ended up catching it and probably eating it.

Duck likes to stand on top of the refrigerator and look up at the skylight. Occasionally he'll see a bird or something and he's at full attention. I love this photo of him:

I took this photo of Duck while he was keeping me from reading my book, and I thought it was hilarious how much he looks like "anxiety cat" from the anxiety cat memes. 

He also likes to lie down on the floor in the most awkward position... I've never seen a cat do this before! It makes his belly look huge.

Estelle is starting to hate me less now. She was attached to me at the hip for years and when we got the kittens, she was SO mad at me. She was sleeping on my legs in this photo, and Duck came up behind me over my shoulder and then quietly laid down without Estelle noticing. I love how he's looking at her, haha. This lasted about 30 seconds, and then Estelle noticed him there and she took off. 

I'm still hoping that Phoebe will accept the kittens, but she is more of a loner cat. She likes people, but she's never warmed up to Estelle and they've been living together for 10 years. 

Anyway, I am SO SO happy that we adopted the kittens. The timing was perfect, considering the quarantine, so we've gotten to spend a lot of time with them. 

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