Health Update Time: It’s All Good… Well, Mostly Good!

Howdy Readers, Friends, Loved Ones.

Much like the President and his State of The Union, I feel like coming here and posting a big ole update about my health and where it stands is something I like to do, and I do on a sorta regular basis.  I mean, it’s totally as legit at the State of the Union, right?

I mention my health in passing, and for the sake of advocacy, understanding, and information – I like to be an open book.  It’s been more than eight years since my battle against Stage III Lymphoma played out publicly in college – but my own health issues and ordeals are not over.  In going through all of that in front of so many others, I realized that by being open, I was helping others.  So many people who’ve dealt with cancer have reached out to me, and I’ve helped how and where I can.   Yes, it’s in small and tiny ways, but good ways nonetheless.  So, when I can… I’ve been able to offer compassion, support, empathy, and love.  And now with my sweet ole blood disease, I am just doing what I know how to do: be a blabbermouth, and if anyone needs help, I’ll do my best.

I have porphyria.

It’s a blood disease.  It’s genetic.  There’s no cure, and you have it forever.

It’s complicated, weird, hard to explain, hard to understand – yes, it’s all of these things… but, it’s manageable.

By far the biggest, best, and most amazing breakthrough in my life as a person with acute porphyria was the DNA test I had done in Hawaii.  I know the exact mutation in my genetic code that causes the blood disease I have.  And if you think you’re special – allow me to trump you.  I am, to date, THE ONLY person to have ever been tested with this exact mutation.  Talk about ONE OF A KIND!

Now.  I know I’m not really all that unique.  The likelihood that members of my family share this specific mutation is very high.  We are likely a one-of-a-kind porphyria family.  And given how genetic diseases and mutations work, well it’s not really that fancy.

So… onto the good stuff:

HOW AM I DOING?

I’m okay.  I’ve had some attacks lately.  Triggers-and-attacks is the cycle of my disease, with lovely periods of calm remission in between.  Triggers for me include stress, illness, medications of certain kinds, alcohol, preservatives, lack of sleep, and more. Around the holidays I was eating tons of processed meat and cheeses, which I love, but which are oh so bad for me.  Add to that the ole Santa Pub Crawl I couldn’t miss out on, and a lot of travel and staying up late, and well – I created my own little perfect storm, didn’t I?

At the Santa Pub crawl we held in Fredonia, much like the real giant Santa pub crawl that takes place in Buffalo every year!

at the santa pub crawl we held in fredonia, much like the real giant santa pub crawl that takes place in buffalo every year!

a totally weird and silly pic from that night

a totally weird and silly pic from that night

i did too much of this

i did too much of this

and delicious as it is, i ate way too much of this kind of stuff during the holidays.

and delicious as it is, i ate way too much of this kind of stuff during the holidays.

i stayed up all night while visiting my sister for christmas eve.  d'oh! i need sleep!

i stayed up all night while visiting my sister for christmas eve. d’oh! i need sleep!

 

I did.  I made some bad choices… and I payed up for it.  I felt pretty crummy for a good chunk of December.  I modified my behavior though, because I love my body and want to give myself the best shot possible.  Even though some choices seem tough in the moment, in the long run they’re important.

so i abstained from booze for the rest of the holidays, even christmas day and new year's eve!

so i abstained from booze for the rest of the holidays, even christmas day and new year’s eve!

outfit repeat, but really - here i am as the d.d. on new year's!

outfit repeat, but really – here i am as the d.d. on new year’s!

After a while of clean living and good choices, I seemed to have really pulled out of things.

at duggs' work's winter party - we had a blast, and i felt pretty good.

at duggs’ work’s winter party – we had a blast, and i felt pretty good.

I am feeling better now.  At last month’s visit to my docs, we adjusted my meds.  I am now happily on a new form of medication that I get through a patch.  Isn’t technology rad?  Since porphyria affects my liver and its enzymes and red blood cell production, getting meds into my body without bothering my liver is excellent.  Yesterday I went back again, and we tweaked the doses a bit, so once those get filled and I regulate out… I’m hoping my day-to-day will be even better.  It’s really nice to be on meds that don’t have so many long-term effects on me and side effects, etc.

I’m seeing a couple new doctors, too – and they are really wonderful and very committed to helping me get the treatment I need, when I need it.  I’ve just recently opened up the lines of communication with my local in-town doctor, so the next time an attack happens – I can get into a hospital nearby and get the IV treatments that help me stop an early attack in its tracks.  And now the meds I need, should a serious attack occur, will be known and available (in Hawaii, this was pretty serious – they didn’t have ANY of these meds on the island before I got there… eeks!).

Coming from the military system to civilian world of medical care has been… well, halting.  The expense of my meds alone was enough to crank up my stress to attack-inducing levels.  Finding the right meds, that my insurance will cover, has been a task.  It was pretty crazy there for a little while, but things are looking up for me now.  It’s also been hard to piece together a communicative team of experts.  In the military system, all my docs could see each other’s notes, save for my primary care – they were all in the same building.  So the convenience factor has shifted a bit, it’s been a learning process, but it’s getting there.  I am happy with the team I have now, and I trust their expertise and compassion – very much so.

Otherwise, nothing really new or crazy or wild to report.

I’m still me.  I’m still human.  I try and live life just as me, weirdo wacky Rose… and not as a person afraid to experience life and deal with the affects on my body.  It’s a balance though.  And in every attack I experience, I wise up about my triggers and the lifestyle choices I need to, and should, make to avoid bringing issues upon myself.

So, there you go.

I still have Porphyria.  It’s not going anywhere!  But, everyday I think I get a little better at navigating what it means for me and coping with it all.  And umm, I’ll give a shout-out to my handsome life partner, Duggs (my husband) because he’s been an awesome man to have by my side through all of it.  My whole family is very supportive, and once again – I find myself feeling very blessed to have access to competent medical care.

so this is the most recent pic i could find... oh boy, not so flattering, haha.  but as you can see, i look normal and i'm outside and being wacky.  so, life is good!

so this is the most recent pic i could find… oh boy, not so flattering, haha. but as you can see, i look normal and i’m outside and being wacky, laughing, etc. can’t really ask for more than that… so, life is good!

 

Thanks for reading!  And thanks for following along the wacky and weird and up-and-down journey that is my health.

XOXO,

HHR – Happy Hippie Rose

PS: Just because I share what I go through, please don’t think that my porphyria is all I am or all that I focus on.  I’m a real, breathing, dynamic person.  And since my health is something people who know me worry about… and by being open and posting about it publicly I can help add to the available points of view out there on porphyria (since there aren’t many), reducing stigmas and encouraging others to talk about it, learn more, and so on… I do tend to mention it more often online than I probably do in real life.  But it’s just like anything that’s in a persons focus – real, but only one part of a whole, multifaceted life.  

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2,922 Bonus Days: That’s EIGHT Extra Years of life!

It’s that time of year again, ALREADY.  Thanksgiving has somehow come and gone, and Christmas is right around the corner.  My childhood BFF Mary just celebrated her birthday on December 1st (a chronological landmark I remember every year) and now the third is here…

It’s my EIGHT YEAR CANCER-VERSARY! 

Can you believe it?  It’s been eight happy, wonderful, blessed bonus years that I’ve been gifted since beating Stage III Hodgkin’s Lymphoma back in college.

The funny part about this commemorative occasion is that for the last several years, we’ve been celebrating it on December 5th.  In writing a post for this very blog, I uncovered some old photos, and actually found my radiation completion certificate – and lo and behold, it was dated the 3rd.  So the third of December it is.

The certificate of radiation completion!

The certificate of radiation completion!

This morning when I woke up to some texts and emails from family, I kinda found myself reflecting for a bit.  My moods ranged from full of awe and reverence to downright giddy. On Facebook, I posted an image of my cancer-beating certificate, and I’ve gotten an obscene amount of likes on it, like in the 160s and climbing.  And my dear pal and former-roomie and current co-worker Sasha “Salsa” Freeman Gray has been quite lovely in uploading some of the sillier pics from those crazy cancer days.

I was in college, had already gone through some really crazy health issues (a mis-diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease led me down the garden path of insane meds and eventually a full bowel obstruction which required a surgical resection), when my neck started to look like a sock full of golf balls – at least that’s the easiest way I’ve come to describe it.   I was tired, running slower than usual (literally, I ran a 5k and noted that my time was really slow, even for me), and I was having terrible night sweats.  Eventually I developed a non-producing cough, and around the holidays I just assumed I had some kind of supercold that my immuno-suppressed body couldn’t really fight so well.  It wouldn’t be until February of 2004 that I’d begin the process of diagnostic testing, and actually April when we found out for sure that it was Stage III-BS Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that had taken my collegiate body hostage.

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With Sasha, while getting my head shaved. I didn’t want to wait for it to fall out, so I took the matter into my own hands and got my pretty round head buzzed after my first chemo round.

In the process of shaving my head, I of course, had to take pause when I reached the excellent stage of MULLET.

In the process of shaving my head, I of course, had to take pause when I reached the excellent stage of MULLET.

I’ve gotten some interesting questions today – people wanting to know what it was like, how I’ve made the most of my time since, how I’m doing now… so without boring you all to death, I’ll try and give some tidbits:

What is it like to know you have cancer? 

Cancer was wacky crazy and very surreal for most of the experience, with one grindingly serious memory that jumps forward in which I finally absorbed the fact that I indeed had fecking CANCER and that it was hardcore.  Most of the time though, when you have cancer and you’re all chemo-bald, people know what your deal is and they’re very nice to you.  In my ongoing health issues with “Crohn’s Disease” and what we now know to be Acute Porphyria – it’s different. 

The serious realization came about very randomly.  I was driving home, and I was getting on Hodges from JTB (Jax ppl know what I mean), and it just hit me: I HAVE CANCER.  THIS IS SERIOUS.  And it kind of quietly overwhelmed me for a few moments, but by the time I got home I felt “normal” again.

How old were you? 

I was 20 when I was diagnosed, and celebrated my 21st birthday between chemo sessions.  I remember going to the Pepsi 400  (because that’s what it was called back then) on my actual birthday (July 3rd) and when a freak rainstorm came through I was freezing.  My then-boyfriend, Rick Neidringhaus, went and bought me some sweats and a windbreaker for my two favorite drivers: Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr, respectively.  I still have the pants and actually wear them often!

Sasha and bald-me, circa Fall 2004.

Sasha and bald-me, circa Fall 2004.

What got you through?

This one is easy: God, faith, family, friends, the entire UNF family, the Greek system, and my incredible team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists and techs – all the good people of Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville who efficiently and effectively saved my life.  I had top notch doctors – I was already a patient at Mayo because of my aggressive “Crohn’s Disease” (since I really didn’t have Crohn’s, my body would never respond to the treatment – rendering me a medical outlier with an extreme case and therefore in need of the best doctors in the land.  Luckily for me, I lived in Jax, FL at the time and had Mayo access just a few miles from home).

I kept a really awesome attitude the entire time.  I bore everyone to death with the stories I tell again and again – but the one that I must tell when I saw a mother and her wheelchair-bound small child park next to me at Publix the day I was officially diagnosed.  Seeing that kid who has likely never walked and likely never will, I refused to feel sorry for myself.  It changed my entire perspective on the situation.  The first 19 years of my life were spent in excellent health, as I lead a life of privilege, freedom and one full of lovely memories and special experiences.  Had I died the day I was diagnosed, I wouldn’t have had a regret or a single sad feeling for myself.  Having cancer is what it is – once that tough lump is swallowed, all that’s left is making the best of it.  So I fought hard, kept my chin up, and did what I always do: plow my way through with some jokes and a lot of laughs, and a firm anchor to God and faith in the ultimate plan He has for my life.

Have these eight years been well-lived?

I mean, according to me – YES.  Heck, yes!  I’ve done some pretty amazing things and I believe I’ve chocked eight years full of an awful lot of life.  I’ve traveled, I’ve helped others, I’ve tried new things, I’ve experienced love, loss, happiness, and pain, full spectrum human experience.  I’ve created art, made others smile, formed friendships in the strangest and most normal of places – and every now and then I hear the “I word,” that I’ve inspired someone else into doing something good or at least having a good attitude about whatever it is he or she has going on.

Knowing that I can actually inspire others is very humbling.

Knowing that I’ve literally been granted 2,992 extra days of this life (heck yes I counted Leap Years) is humbling.

Snorkeling in Hawaii.  I've had a very happy life, yes!

Snorkeling in Hawaii. I’ve had a very happy life, yes!

I ran my first marathon this year, 26.2 miles!

I ran my first marathon this year, 26.2 miles!

Helping Sandy Relief in NYC last month.

Helping Sandy Relief in NYC last month.

My husband + me, smooching from a deer stand.

My husband + me, smooching from a deer stand.

Me - hunting just this past week or so!

Me – hunting just this past week or so!

So what’s it like now?

It’s both far-removed and ever-present.  The scars have faded, but they’re still there; and I still have my very first tattoos – the radiation dots that they marked me with to make sure they hit the same spot every day.  (As far as scars go, I had a couple stitches in my neck from a biopsy, another incision on the left side of my neck from having a lymph node removed, and I have a scar on my chest when I had my port-a-cath taken in and out).  I don’t obsess or worry about relapsing like I once did, and I don’t have to do the often check-ups and scans as I did in those first crucial years of remission.  I passed the five-year milestone three years ago, and that was a BIG ONE.  That’s the “you’re cured” milestone.

I don’t ever want to lose touch with that experience though.  After all, having been through cancer is a huge definer of who I am as a person.  It shaped me into a MUCH nicer person in general, and a tougher person in many ways.  It gave me a glimpse of my own frailty and left me with a profound appreciation for life and every breath I take.  And with that comes a responsibility to carry out a life well-lived and to do good in this world – and I find myself still trying to grasp at the best ways to keep that promise.

From this experience, what still impacts you today? 

I forever live with inexplicable gratitude in my heart.  For every nurse who held my hand, every doctor who took the time to make sure I received exemplary care… to my loved ones who came with me to chemo, prayed for me around the clock, and supported me in so many ways that words can never express… to the friends, classmates, and total strangers who came together to raise funds to help cover the costs of my treatment, to my Dad for working hard and having a good job that provided excellent insurance for me and money still to cover the costs that even excellent insurance didn’t take care of.

I carry with me a legacy of the hopes, dreams, and the honor of so many people who aren’t as lucky, of those who came before me and the technology that saved my life, of those in circumstances that don’t allow for early detection or top-notch medical care, of those who just don’t win the fight.  And that’s something that’s very real with me, a part of who I am.  We stand on the shoulders of so many giants, and I can’t ever forget that.

Mostly though, I just feel like me: Rose.  A happy wacky tie-dye loving slightly-redneck weirdo who often smiles and laughs everyday, and who is truly loved.  And I’m happy to be me, and I feel blessed to be me – each and every day.

I suppose if there was ever a profound take-away from an experience like mine – it is knowing in every ounce of my being that I am loved.  By my God, my family, those around me then and now, my husband, my friends, my sister, and even strangers – yes.  I am loved.  And being able to come face to face with such colossal concepts as life, death, and love is an honor that I am humbled to have experienced and lived through to write about now.

This post is dedicated to all of the many, many people who saved my life.  And to the many more lives that are forever changed by cancer, in all manner of ways – both happy and sad. 

Thank you for reading and for your support.

XOXO, 

HHR

Black Lung Out, Insomnia In: A Lyrical Look At My Health These Days.

Howdy readers, pals, random web browsers who have stumbled here and have no clue of the incoherent weirdness with which you’re now facing head on!

So, last we chatted about my health I was going on and on about the mold issue in our home in Hawaii.  I’m happy, hell – ECSTATIC, to report that since leaving the home of the mold, I’m feeling much better.  Markedly, gloriously BETTER.  It’s amazing the difference, actually.  I think at first I was nervous to come right out and say it, out of fear that it would be short lived or something else.  But alas, it’s been a few months now and I just feel better all the time.  So, for me, the debate on the mold issue is settled: there was mos def something in that house that was crippling me, killing me softly.

Overall I feel great day to day.

I’m down on meds, at a very low level and in the process of a final taper.  Which given the past 18 months I’ve faced is quite incredible, honestly.  It feels amazing, I’m more than blessed to be writing from this vantage point right now.

I mean, clearly there’s no cure for Porphyria.  I’ll deal with that my whole life.  I’ve actually had one small flare since moving here – last month was a (ready? TMI is a-coming now…) right ovary month, and the cysts must still be there.  After a few months reprieve, last month was AWFUL.  Some of my close gal pals can attest, I was tethered to a heating pad and hunched over for several days.  It was so severe, it caught me off guard.  And of course in my domino reaction of a body – one thing can and will trigger something else.  Thus, the stress of acute pain sends me into a Porphyria-based decompensation (fancy way of saying “an attack”).  I carb/glucose loaded though and headed it off at the pass.

I’d like to thank my darling husband for his extreme attentiveness and ability to identify the early warning symptoms better than I can (honestly).  It’s what really helped us to keep things down to a little blip on the radar and not a colossal melt down.

So, the ovarian cysts.  That sucks, yes.   Not tragic though, so don’t cry for me Argentina.  It’s fine!   This month is business as usual and it seems as though Lefty-the-Other-Ovary is fully functional and normal.  To inquiring minds: fear not, I’ll seek the proper medical attention about all of this.  No more winging it, I promise.  But really, it doesn’t feel too urgent to be seen these days as  I’m basically fine.   Well.  Insomnia – that’s the only other ailment I really could mention.

The funny thing about Insomnia though, I don’t really hate it.  I’m a legit insomniac because I’m not ever tired.  I don’t drag all day, and at this point I’m consuming little-to-no caffeine.  I just don’t sleep.  It’s weird.  I always feel in the early hours of evening that I’ll be nice and sleepy come night time… and then, a flip switches and I just get that second wind.

the sunsetting over lake erie last weekend – as night comes on, i wake up.

Night time is a magical, quiet, intoxicating time.  I adore the sun and daylight, believe me.  But night is oh so nice too.

Last night I stayed up until about 5:30am today – at which time I rested for a couple hours.

Don’t scold me!  I know with the upcoming marathon this won’t do at all.  I know how paramount sleep is to proper recovery and healing, as well as overall health and injury prevention.  It’s not an every night, up all the time thing.  It just sometimes strikes me and that’s it- no sleep (’till Brooklyn).  I think it’s genetic.  I know my mother is a crazy night owl and often prone to Insomnia as well.  And my Dad, i don’t think he’s averaged more than four hours a night my entire life.  He just doesn’t sleep like the average person does.

Last night was one of those great nights to be alive.  After these hot, cloudless days – the crisp night air is an incredibly welcome change.  I actually ended up going for a nice long run around 1:30am.  It was gorgeous.  I love night running… the low moon hung huge, in a pretty golden crescent and the cool air felt awesome on my skin as I ran miles all over this sleepy rural town.  Afterwards I came home to a quite house, and I stretched and showered.   Still wide awake, a devilish idea struck and I found myself at Tim Horton’s moments later.   After a surprisingly good bagel breakfast sandwich I was able to feel sleep lapping at my body and mind.

drive thru, with my twenty pack giving me the eye

a very dark and kinda creepy, mostly terrible pic of me in the drive thru

thumbs up for getting the egg white version, thumbs down for bacon. oops!

Overall, I have no complaints!

When I was so consumed with the mold and it was taking over my body, I was sleeping SO MUCH.  Like, 16 hours a day kind of much.  Lethargic is an understatement.  Having energy and stamina now is a welcome blessing!  After the year and a half I’ve had, I’m very ready and willing to sweep the inconveniences under the rug and focus on the monumental improvement of which I feel.   And better I do feel – it’s amazing actually, liberating and nice.  It feels good to be awake, energized, and alive.

It’s been a long time coming.

FIN.

As always, thanks for reading!  xoxo, hhr  

Three Playlists To Pump Your Blood (and also possibly some rambles about running)

I’ve (re)located my motivation, and lately I just can’t run hard enough, far enough, fast enough… well- hard, far, and fast by MY silly standards.  I still have a ways to go in making it back up to the level I was at say, six months ago (I stopped running for about 3 months, maybe more, because I was so ill during our last few months in Hawaii, ugh) but, I’m getting there.  My endurance is increasing, my speed is getting better, I feel more confident.

i’m feeling the pain

Last night I had a crazy run.  Did a brisk mile warm up, then about 30 minutes of speed work intervals (oh so close to vomming each and every time), then I did a mile of plyometrics (lunges, high kicks, slow kicks, high knees, butt-kickers, skipping, jumping jacks, all kinds of jumps really, grapevines… and more that I don’t know that name for).  That was a really long mile.  Then I did another mile cool down.  All in all it was a solid five mile workout- the speed intervals actually slow me down because of the active recovery walking and jogging I have to do in between the sprints. I do speed work with all kinds of various intervals and pyramids; last night I did 45 seconds jog, 30 seconds SPRINT, and then 30-45 second jog, then a good minute or two walk.  It got harder and harder to do the post-sprint jog each time, so I’ll admit that decreased as I went on).

I realized, I haven’t sprinted since the day I saw the dead guy while on my run.  It felt good to break out the stride last night and just remember what it feels to move so fast.  I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m a tad on the leggy side and I stand at about 5’8 – so when I stretch out the legs, I can book it.  I used to sprint in high school track for just that reason.  And I did hurdles too – although I don’t defy gravity much these days (even though I totes requested Moon Shoes for my birthday, the awesome trampoline shoes from the 90s).  Rambling… anyways, getting some sprints in last night felt great.  For the most part I’m focusing on laying down some mileage, building up my endurance.  But even so, there has to be variety and sometimes you gotta get the quick twitch muscles a little work out too.

some snaps from last night, taken during some lunges. aww yeah, hurts so good!

Why so motivated?

Maybe it’s the Olympic season (and seeing my former teammate and pal Ryan Lochte kicking so much ass in Omaha as he gets set for London)… I’ve seen so many incredibly motivating photos from track and field trials too.  (Have you seen Buzzfeed’s post of 26 photos of people finding out they made the Olympics? It’s awesome).  My college pal Kyle Kugler just finished the Western States 100 in an  epic time of 22:15.50, so that’s been motivating me as well.  There’s influence to move it everywhere I look, and I’m LOVING it.  PS, I’m begging Kyle to let me interview him for my blog – wouldn’t that be awesome?! YES. Duh!  I wish I could get up with Ryan, now that would be super duper badass too… but, he’s like uber famous though, and well, kinda busy doing that whole preparing to humiliate Phelps thing (yeah, I said it – I’m TEAM USA, but also TEAM LOCHTE!).

Moving Along

Okay, okay – let’s get  to the good.  My playlists!

I love music, I listen to my jams all the time when I’m doing all kinds of things.  Thus, working out and running are no exception!  I have a few diff playlists on my phone that I use when I’m out and about, and of course Spotify (and iTunes too) for when I’m at home – stretching, yoga, abs.

Here, for your curiosity and copying pleasures, are three of my most fav playlists right now for cardio.   I know my taste in music won’t suit everyone’s needs or likes – but these are just some of  the songs that I’ve been movin’ to recently.  Warning – a lot of them are explicit, haha.  Oops!

Fit and Skinny Mix – my fav current iPhone playlist for cardio outside

Always On Time, Ashanti & Ja Rule
Rich Girl, The Bird and the Bee (cover of Hall & Oates)
Sweat (feat. Lil Wayne), Bow Wow
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight), Bruce Springsteen
Everytime We Touch (Radio Mix), Cascada
Digital Love (Boris Dlugosh remix), Daft Punk
Turn Me On (feat. Nicki Minaj), David Guetta & Nicki Minaj
Come to Me (feat. Nicole Scherzinger), Diddy
Tell Me (feat. Christina Aguilera), Diddy
Last Night (feat. Keyshia Cole), Diddy
Sexy and I Know It (feat. Chani), DJ Shocker & Chani
Stereo Love, Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina
What’s Luv? (feat. Ja-Rule & Ashanti), Fat Joe
Club Can’t Handle Me (feat. David Guetta), Flo Rida
Someone To Love, Fountains of wayne
Jump In The Pool, Friendly Fires
We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe) [Alvin Risk Remix], Fun
Genesis, Grimes
Visiting Statue, Grimes
Be A Body, Grimes
Tongue Tied, Grouplove
Now & Forever (Original Mix), Henrik B & Christian Älvestam
Goodnight an Go (Back Ted N-Ted Remix), Imogen Heap
Murder Reigns, Ja Rule
Put It On Me (Explicit), Ja Rule & Vita
Homecoming, Kanye West
Heartless, Kanye West
Love Lockdown, Kanye West
Bulletproof, La Roux
Americano, Lady GaGa
The Queen, Lady GaGa
Born to Die, Lana Del Rey
Off to the Races, Lana Del Rey
Diet Mountain Dew, Lana Del Rey
Pop That, Lil Wayne
Shooter, Lil Wayne
Whip It (Produced By Deezle), Lil Wayne
Let The Beat Build (Produced By Kanye West & Deezle), Lil Wayne
6 Foot 7 Foot (feat. Cory Gunz), Lil Wayne
She Will (feat. Drake), Lil Wayne
John (feat. Rick Ross), Lil Wayne
Lollipop (Offical Remix), Lil Wayne Ft. Kanye West
New In Town, Little Boots
Let’s Get It In (feat. 50 Cent), Lloyd & 50 Cent
Start It Up (feat. Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Ryan Leslie, & Fabolous), Lloyd Banks
Gold Guns Girls, Metric
Animal , Miike Snow
Next to You, Mike Jones
Body Work, Morgan Page & Tegan and Sara
The Gentle Roar, Niki & The Dove
DJ, Ease My Mind, Niki & The Dove
Shiller, Ratatat
Falcon Jab, Ratatat
Bullets (Club Mix), Rebecca & Fiona
We Found Love (Chuckie Extended Remix), Rihanna
Major Tom, Shiny Toy Guns
Save the World (Extended Mix), Swedish House Mafia
Pot Kettle Black, Tilly And The Wall
That’s Not My Name, The Ting Tings
Basic Space (Pariah Remix), The XX
Basic Space, The XX
VCR, The XX
Crystalised, The XX
Put On , Young Jeezy & Kanye West
P.I.M.P., 50 Cent
Disco Inferno, 50 Cent
Candy Shop, 50 Cent & Olivia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dance Party, from Spotify (hence the links)

Breathe Carolina – Blackout
Dragonette – Stupid Grin
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home
Filur – Live & Learn (feat. Matt Kolstrup)
Foster The People – Helena Beat – Lenno Extended Remix
Friendly Fires – Paris (Aeroplane Remix)
Grouplove – Tongue Tied
Housse De Racket – Roman (Briefs Remix)
Jason Derulo – Breathing
Kreayshawn – Gucci Gucci
Lady Gaga – Americano
Lissi Dancefloor Disaster – Moshpit Lovers
Little Majorette – Never Be The Same
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Rich Girl
Miike Snow – A Horse Is Not A Home
Mya & Wyclef Jean – Ghetto Superstar
Neon Indian – Polish Girl
Niki & The Dove – Gentle Roar
Niki & The Dove – DJ Ease My Mind
O-Zone – Dragostea Din Tei
Ra Ra Riot – Boy
Sbtrkt – Wildfire (feat. Little Dragon)
Shiny Toy Guns – Major Tom
Skrillex – Bangarang – feat. Sirah
Swedish House Mafia – Greyhound
Tegan And Sara – Alligator – Ra Ra Riot Remix
Those Dancing Days – Help Me Close My Eyes
We Were Promised Jetpacks – Circles And Squares
Wolf Gang – Lions In Cages
Yelle – A Cause Des Garçons
Yelle – Mal Poli
Yelle – Je Veux Te Voir

Running, from my iPhone – less often used, but still good! 

Little Bad Girl (feat. Taio Cruz & Ludacris) , David Guetta
I Just Wanna F. (feat. Timbaland & Dev), David Guetta, Afrojack, Timbaland & Dev
Night of Your Life (feat. Jennifer Hudson), David Guetta & Jennifer Hudson
Sunshine, David Guetta & Avicii
Stereo Love, Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina
Cracks (feat. Belle Humble) [Flux Pavilion Remix], Freestylers
On Display, Melissa Gorga
It Girl (Jason Nevins Club Mix), Jason Derulo
Yoü and I (Danny Verde Remix), Lady GaGa
Give Me Everything (feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Nayer), Pitbull
Till the World Ends, Britney Spears
Throw Your Hands Up (Dancar Kuduro) [feat. Pitbull & Lucenzo], Qwote
My Feelings for You, Avicii
Mr. Saxobeat (Extended Mix), Alexandra Stan
Loca People (Extended Version), Sak Noel
Feel So Close (Extended Mix), Calvin Harris
Earthquakey People (the Sequel) [feat. Rivers Cuomo], Steve Aoki
Forever (Extended Mix) [feat. will.i.am], Wolfgang Gartner
Good Life (Demolition Crew Remix), OneRepublic
Save the World (Radio Mix), Swedish House Mafia
The Good Natured Alive (Basto Remix), Adrian Lux
What Happens In Vegas (Radio Edit) [feat. Gregor Salto], Chuckie
Sun Is Up (Play & Win Radio Edit), Inna
Le Bump (feat. Crystal Waters), Yolanda Be Cool
Turn This Club Around (Extended Mix) [feat. U-Jean], R.I.O.
Eyes (Extended Mix) [feat. Mindy Gledhill] , Kaskade
Cinema (Extended Mix) [feat. Gary Go], Benny Benassi
Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites (Kaskade Remix), Skrillex
So Much Love, Fedde le Grand
Sun & Moon (Club Mix) [feat. Richard Bedford], Above & Beyond
Raise Your Weapon, deadmau5
Heads Will Roll (James Iha Remix), Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Piece of Me, Britney Spears
Paris, Friendly Fires
Paris (Aeroplane Remix), Friendly Fires ft. Au Revoir Simone
Tongue Tied, Grouplove
Digital Love (Boris Dlugosh remix), Daft Punk
Project Bitch, Lil Wayne
Major Tom, Shiny Toy Guns
Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second, Starfucker
Bangarang (feat. Sirah), Skrillex
DJ Ease My Mind, Niki and The Dove Tribute
How Much More, Stars
Alligator (Ra Ra Riot Remix), Tegan and Sara
Scheiße, Lady GaGa Born This Way
Americano, Lady GaGa
The Queen, Lady GaGa
Marry the Night, Lady GaGa
Highway Unicorn (Road to Love), Lady GaGa

As Always, thanks for reading.

HAPPY RUNNING AND WORKING OUT!

xoxo, hhr

Happy National Running Day!

My new friend Amanda over at Fancy Oatmeal (yeah, I decided we’re “friends” now, she’s moving to Jax, FL + teaches English + runs + is awesome) posted earlier today letting me know about the June 6th fun that is “National Running Day.”

Thanks, Amanda!  I made durn sure to get my celebration on.

Did you run today?  If not yet, are you going to?

I just went on a whopper of a run.

me, instagram style, on today’s runny run

Well, it was only for 40 minutes, but it was outside and I was doing harder intervals than I’ve been doing since I moved to NY – with a higher run-to-walk ratio.  I didn’t much sleep last night, and for some reason I’m STILL sore from Monday’s crazy 64 minute run/walk/exhaustion-fest.

So here are some recent running pics, from a couple diff runs last week, Monday’s night run and today’s celebratory run.  I’m so so proud of myself for getting back into and trying so hard and giving it my all to get back into shape.

I love running, and running loves me.

Your turn: tell me about your most recent runs!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

Losing My Religion

“That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight … losing my religion.”  Great R.E.M. jam, right?  It’s totally how I feel today.

Friends of faith, calm down!  I’m not being literal, or rather – I’m not talking about my spiritual religion, Christianity.  My love of Jesus is as intact as ever.  It’s actually thriving I’d say: going through this huge move with so much uncertainty and loose ends, Duggs and I have been very laid back.  I’ve really been able to just hand the reigns over to God and trust that we’ll be fine, it’ll all work out in His time, and that He has my back.  He always does, so why worry now?

love this!

Of course, we’re doing all we can to work hard and set ourselves up for success – but fretting over things out of our control?  Not happening.  We’ve had faith and it’s been very comforting.

What I’m referring to is my religion of eco-friendliness.

Practicing my beliefs through the way I run a home, the purchases I make, the products I choose to surround myself with, put into the environment and my body… I’ve lost that “religion” big time.

I’ve been SO BAD.

Drive-throughs, food dye, nitrates, preservatives… you name it, I’ve been eating it this past month+. I’ve had more take out and delivery than you’d even think humanly possible.  My first week in New York I ate at Dunkin Donuts literally every single day.  (There aren’t any DDs in Hawaii, and I was dying for jelly donuts and pumpernickel bagels like woah).

be still my beating heart

It gets worse…  Much worse.

Hi. My name is Rose, and I’ve shopped at Walmart recently.

(Hi Rose).

Yeah, I need a Walmart Anonymous meeting or something to help me cope.

i’ve been here, and i’ve spent money. oy.

I’m downright ASHAMED that I’ve supported the giant corporation that I’ve been a sworn enemy of for years.  I mean, I belong to an anti-Walmart watchdog group that keeps tabs on all of the pollution-causing antics, third world sweatshop supporting practices and employee rights-squashing shenanigans that the big blue box condones (and usually tries to hide with price roll back smoke and mirrors).

what do all these products have in common? check the brand. sigh.

It still gets WORSE.

I’ve used paper towels.  Lots of them.

the devil’s mess vessel

(I’m basically in tears at this point.  Who am I? Where has the real Rose gone?).

I’ve drank coffee made in a Keurig.  Oh how I swore I never would.  But I did. In multiple homes on multiple occasions… and I liked it.  It’s delicious.  I even bought more K-cups to refill the ones I willfully consumed.

the set-up here at nick’s. it’s sinfully wasteful… and yet sinfully delicious.

look out landfills, mama’s thirsty!

And if we’re getting really honest – which we are, I’m confessing to quite a lot of eco-sins here – I’ve also used some chemically crazy cleaning agents.  A little bleach here, a little neon colored scented spray there.  SIGH.

oh the shame. i should have to turn in my friendship bracelets and bandanna. am i even a hippie anymore?

I mean, I have excuses – sure.  I’ve been a guest in the homes of others.  I’m trying to be polite and keep things simple.  I’m living out of suitcases (essentially), and for a while we were technically homeless.  Going with the flow, not making waves, and so on… but you know what they say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I know I’m being hard on myself.  But there’s a certain level of conscientious living that I’ve strived for and I feel like I’ve just totally ignored all of my earthly beliefs lately.

Really though, there is some adjustment period to be expected.  I didn’t pack rags with us like I had intended to (I was so ill the day the movers came to our house in Hawaii, so many of my plans for what was to get packed/shipped and what was to come with us for immediate access went totally out the window – I’m lucky to have underwear and socks with me, it was that crazy, I was that ill).

So I’ve been bad and I know it. 

Duggs and I went more than a year with only buying a single roll of paper towels for our home (for doggie pee when we were dog sitting and other such “emergencies”).  We use cloth napkins, rags, and towels.

I had actually kicked my coffee habit to the curb and was drinking tea, usually only one caffeinated tea a day – the others decaf, herbal, etc.  And even if/when we made coffee, it was with a regular pot.  Many of my (dear beloved) pals have gone Keurig, and while the idea of making one cup at a time seems convenient and nice, the waste just seems inexcusable.  All that packaging! Ugh.  (And I know there’s the “my K-cup” thingy that’s reusable, but still… who uses those? It’s way more fun and easy to just buy the regular disposable K-cups).

And Walmart? Ha! I haven’t been in a walmart in years.  Actually, Duggs and I made ONE purchase there the entire time I lived in Hawaii.  And before that, I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d been in one.

I like to practice what I preach.   I sure try to anyways.  We all slip up, yes.  I know I’m not perfect, but I try and that’s been something I define myself by, a source of pride.

As an American I know I have power in my vote, sure.  But we all have a power that seems to carry even more impact: consumer power.  Where we spend our hard earned money speaks volumes.  By not buying products I consider wasteful or harmful, by not shopping at stores whose practices I’m not down with – I vote with my money.

I’m proud of the strides I’ve made in recent years. It seems like every year since ’07, my resolution has been “to be greener,” and every year I’ve made imporvements.

Buying and eating better food to not support farming practices I don’t agree with (factory farming is downright evil) and to be kinder to my body is one that I’ve worked on for years.  The amount of waste reduction in our home has been impressive.  Using less and less “disposable” items and more reusable stuffs – it’s better for the earth and it’s better for our pocketbooks.

Do you know how pricey paper towels and paper napkins are?  That junk adds up! Back in Hawaii, I cut up one old towel and made like 15 rags.  They work better than paper towels and you just wash ’em and voila, good to go.  Cloth napkins are nice too, they’re softer on your skin and again, save money, waste less, so on.  Making our own cleaning products is WAY better for the environment and much, much cheaper.  Those fancy products add up; but white distilled vinegar?  Blessedly affordable.

oh wdv, our love affair will never ever end!

My crunchy habits do save us money, which is great.

But more than that, I’ve been able to live a lifestyle I’m proud of, one that allows me to live out my beliefs.  

So without those habits I feel like I’m being untrue to my heart.  I’ve had that R.E.M. song stuck in my head for days, and I don’t think it’s coincidence.  My eco-religion is a little lost right now.

I’m not all evil these days, though.  I’m slowly getting back into my green hippie groove.   The jostle of moving and being on the road, going from place to place was unstable.  But now that we’re here at Nick’s and settled in, I’ve been getting back into a greener routine.  I know it won’t be long before I’m up to my old hippie tricks and living at a level that’s reasonable and good.

It’s just the lapse that happened during the in-between for which I feel guilty.

I had to confess, get it off my chest.  But that’s it, I’m wiping the slate clean and moving on.  While I’m not pleased with some of the wasteful ways I’ve taken up lately, and the whole Wamart thing (*shudders*) … I’m not going to beat myself up too much.  What’s the point?

I’ve recognized the problem, and that’s always the first step.  So now, it’s about moving on and regaining my crunchy cred.  I’ll post soon (tomorrow maybe?) about the greenie ways I’m getting back and the hippie practices I’ve never lost sight of.  There are so many little, easy ways to keep an eco-friendly home, save money and be nice to ourselves and our animals (chemicals kill, yo).

And at some point I should post about all the crunchy hippie habits of mine that save money.  You’d be amazed at how my gentle ways also go so easy on the wallet.  But that’ll be a long post, and I’ll need to think of all the things I do – I don’t want to leave anything out.

For today though, the confession feels nice.  It’s off my chest – so thanks for letting me do that.

As always, thanks for reading!  xoxo, hhr

Image Sources for the ones that aren’t mine:
Trust God image (it’s actually a teeshirt you can order, rad!)
Dunkin Donuts pic
Walmart storefront pic

30 Days of Blogging Honesty: Day One

If you missed the crazy, obscene, verbose intro post I just threw up – you may want to just consider yourself lucky and start 30 Days of Blogging Honesty journey right here.

Just kidding! Go read this crazy mess right meow.

30 Days of Blogging Honesty

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Day 01: The one thing that it seems like everyone else on the planet is into but I just cannot stand is…

Loud noises. 

My right ear is super sensitive to sounds, a condition that’s plagued me for the past 15ish months (more reading on my ear dramz, here).  Loud noises, jarring sounds – beeps, boops, thumps, screams, yells, horns, blasts – it almost hurts just thinking about them.  My ear is just so tender, the noises amplified all the time.

I wear ear plugs often.  I always have a set in my purse.

i have these exact ear plugs, little carrying case and all. so clutch, they're pink! photo credit: http://www.hearos.com/sleepprettyinpink/

When I go to the pharmacy on base and there are loud kids or crying babies in that small area, the noise just bounces off the concrete, at every angle imaginable, and just comes at me in painful jabs; I get this image of thousands of knives bouncing every which way, all around, and yet magnetically attracted to my right ear, bee-lining into my dome.  As it hurts I have to try so hard not to wince, make a face, or react lest I feel like a jerk.

no privacy, no sound absorption, no problem! k-bay health clinic, the pharmacy is in that center corridor, to the left. you can't really see if directly in this photo, the patients don't go inside though - we wait outside in the covered hallway and go up to the window to get our meds. photo credit: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/usmcbase/ss/Hawaii_9.htm

I love kids and babies and I totally understand the great chance that little ones at the pharmacy are in discomfort and/or don’t feel well, maybe something is wrong with another family member and stress levels are high, or just that running errands isn’t fun and the kids are bored, restless, over it.  The last thing a Mom needs is me giving her the stink eye.

So I just have to take it.  It HURTS ME.  It’s physically painful in a way that I never anticipated. And when I’m out in public I don’t explain my weird ailment and predicament to others… I just silently take it.

me, at Tripler Army Hospital, getting one of my nerve blocks in an unsuccessful attempt to alleviate the ear pains.

It’s like that with all kinds of accidental sounds – the clatter when someone drops something on a hard surface, a speaker at church who has microphone pops or reverb (the music at church can do it too), or sometimes the sound guys have the mics accidentally turned up too high and regular talking is too loud and thus assaults me in the eardrum… trucks going in reverse and making that beeping, the emergency broadcast system weekly, monthly, whateverly tests that just pop up in the middle of a TV show, calling a wrong number that’s actually a fax machine, plugging my iphone headphones in and the volume is all the way up by accident, those stupid memes that are tricks when the scary monster and crazy sound effects pop up, talking on the phone with a friend and something wacky and loud happens on their end that I never saw coming, like a baby who wakes up from a nap all of a sudden or their smoke alarm goes off and I get pierced in the ear, any kind of squeak or squawk that just happens from cawing birds to sneakers on the gym floor…

there are SO MANY accidental loud sounds that hurt me.

how hearing works. mine is like times twenty and your kids, your ringtone, your car speakers... they're that green zig zag of pain. image found on: http://hearingtherapyaustralia.com/info/hearing.html

bizarre and sensitive cysts that crop up behind my ear contribute to my ear pains. no idea where they come from, no idea how to treat them. (i actually have a bunch right now for the first time in months, probably stress-related since i've been sick and my body is taxed more that usual).

And then there are the not-on-accident noises that suck too.  Like any kind of whistle, ringtones, car horns, car alarms, my neighbor’s car bass that he insists on using no matter what time of day or night it could be – including when he’s working on his vehicles in the car port (the carport that’s feet away from the a wall that for my living room, kitchen and bedroom), did I mention ringtones? Yelling, screaming, cheering, clapping, shooting (I live near the shooting range you know) … audio with wacky, high pitched sounds (I was once listening to a podcast that had some sound effects that were so shrill I couldn’t get through more than a couple minutes).

one man's jackpot is another gal's torture device. oy, just looking at this hurts! photo credit: http://interiordesigncar.com/car-interior/car-gear/

All of the neighbors whose back yards face our back yard seem to have 24/7 outside dogs and they bark, and bark, and bark.  It’s like a loud domino effect that just goes on all the time.  They bark louder than my TV is inside, they bark so loud I can’t hear Duggs when he’s inches away from me.  It’s insane. I’ve never lived in a place with so many dogs, all so packed in close together, where the dogs and just left out on their own and thus they’re irritable, on edge, angry and barking.

the view of our yard looking more towards the back and to the left. bailey tanner is on my shoulder like a parrot whilst jayjers is along the fence.

the house directly behind ours, up the hill. there's always a dog or two outside, particularly barky!

that wonky palm tree is in the far right corner of the back yard. that yellow block of houses is one street up the hill from ours, that whole yards-facing-yards thing.

jj'r rump ... standing in our back yard and facing towards the right (towards the firing range as well, just to paint the whole scene).

I probably could have answered “outside-only dogs” for this too (while we’re on the topic).  I can’t stand people who own animals and then just leave them out in a sun-drenched hot back yard all the time.  And when it comes to my neighborhood, I really mean ALL the time.  Day and night, 24/7, these pooches are just outside.  At least we have fences… but I can’t help but think that without the fenced-in yards these dogs would be inside actually getting affection and attention.  (I’m naive though and without the yards they’d probably be tied to a stick, let free to roam, in a crate in the back yard or at the glue factory. Oy).  These poor deprived doggies just sit out on their own, all alone, no one talking to them, petting them, no one to play with.  It’s so sad.  I can’t stand it.

Anyways.  Loud noises – I’ll stick with it.

These examples, while hardly exhaustive, at least offer some insight into what it’s like to have this crazy ear dilemma and just try to live day to day.  It seems impossible to avoid sometimes!

the view from right in front of our house, over that hill towards where the sun is coming from is a firing range... you'd think it's far enough away not to hear, but depending on the wind and what's being shot, it can carry!

Irony at its finest: I’m by no means a naturally quiet person.  I have a booming voice, I’m clumsy, I used to be kinda hard of hearing and would always have things turned way up…

Go figure.

Now I love quiet.  I love peaceful, calm, serene quiet spaces without shrill, shrieking, annoying noises.  I keep my phone on silent all the time, I haven’t been to many concerts at all this past year… I just gravitate towards a different sound comfort level lately since having this problem with my ear.  (I mean, don’t get me wrong – I have deaf friends, and I can only imagine trying to cope with that, I’m so grateful that I can hear at all, and I would never want to be deaf or unable to enjoy all of the sounds I so love, like my husband’s voice, JJ’s cute noises, talking on the phone, music, TV, and so on).

the hush of the waves is just the right volume level for me.

that's what i'm talking about - my two boys snoozing is music to my ears. well, as long as ole stinky duggs isn't snoring, of course.

What’s so hard to explain to people is that it’s really painful and my defenses against it are so limited.  Even if I’m wearing nice earplugs, if someone whistles near me – I don’t stand a chance.  I can wear the crazy big ear protection, but it gets kinda absurd to try and just act casual.

this is a nonchalant look for sure.

these are like the ones i always keep in my purse. fashionista status, right?

the best part, they go with virtually every outfit i own. photo credit: http://store.aihalaska.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=14_1403&products_id=31549

So yeah, I can’t stand loud, shrill, piercing, booming, noises and sounds.  But the longer this ailment of mine plagues me, the more I’m convinced that the world is obsessed with upping the decibles!

icing down the shoulder/back does help with my owwy ear.

There ya have it – day one is done!

Whew. Felt good to rant, honestly.  I feel like I consciously try to avoid using my blog for complaining… but man oh man, sometimes you gotta scratch that itch, huh?  Once in a blue moon, it’s nice.

Come back soon for Day 02 of this 30 day business, will ya? 

Click right here to check out Tom (the guy who’s created and is hosting these 30 + 1 prompts)’s Day 01 post, and to see a list of others participating.  His blog is hopping, provides more instructions, and is fun to read!

Feel like jumping in and playing along too?  Do it!  The Rules and 30 prompts are here.   If you want to play along, link on up – will ya?  Keep in mind that everyone will have different end dates as not everyone will blog everyday; it is totally not too late to start.  So c’mon and go for it.

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

Don’t think my post was wordy enough?  No worries… here’s some addendum I was going to axe, but I already went to the trouble of including links and stuff, so why the heck not:

How I Locked In On Choosing An Answer:

Actually, I went through a whole lot of answers to get to this one.  Oodles of ideas for a rantalicious, complaint-ridden post came together.  The concept started out pretty flat and plain, without much of an idea, but then slowly it took shape.  At first I was thinking on a lame scale – I could whine about how wasteful and over-priced Swiffer products are.  I don’t really care for chocolate, and people never really get that.

But this is asking me what is it that I can’t stand that everyone else on the planent is into.

Lots of people dislike Wal-mart.  I know I’m not alone in my political ideology, my thoughts on our cultural obsession with instant gratification; lots of us can’t stand someone with an inability to have a sense of humor or even just people who take themselves too seriously.

The other day on Adam Carolla‘s podcast the gang, in honor of April Fool’s, was going over a list of all these stories from The Onion that people believed to be true.  Some of them were so outrageous and so clearly satirical – and yet all kinds of people were so quick to believe these fake news items, and just as quick to make a huge stink about them.  Like the Congressman who believed The Onion article about a new “abortionplex” being built, oh my.  I can’t stand that kind of rush to judgement and freaking out… I’m not the only one in the world who can’t stand that, though.

And don’t even get me started about writing and blogging…

I can’t stand bloggers without a real knack for writing.  Bad sentence structure, no working comprehension of idiomatic expressions, redundant repetition (heh), poor grammar, writing at the level of a grade schooler – and so on! It drives me batty.  I’m not being super critical about a mistake here or there, I mean habitually skill-less writers. But I don’t have to read such blogs and I’m not the Internet’s only snob.

I can’t stand using the letter U instead of the word “you,” samesies on “C” for “see.” I don’t like wacky hard-to-read textspeak at all, actually.  But me, along with every other English Major and the world’s old folks probably can’t stand the text shorthand of the digital age.

So I’m back to square one.  LOUD NOISES.  I’ll stick with it!

 


I Think It Might Be Mold: My Newest Health Theory

Call me crazy (crazy!)… but I think that the root of my recent black hole of ailments could totes be related to mold in my house.

Strike 1: 

This next-door neighbor who moved out over the summer told me her house was full of mold.  (We live in base housing on a USMC base, in Hawaii, by the beach, in really old wooden houses).

She told me she was wicked sick, and that it was all because of mold in her home, and she gave me this whole run for the hills! Seriously, save your life and get outta here! thing and I thought it was kinda overdramatic.

I know, THAT’S MEAN OF ME.

But… I did.  She seemed over the top.  But I didn’t forget about what she said.  Her ordeal, if legit, sounded awful.

 

Strike 2: 

I made the epic mistake of commenting on a super popular blog and then subscribing to the comments.  So now, four hundred times a month, I get to see what others had to say.  (I’m just bitter because the author of the blog NEVER comments back, and all the conversations are one-sided).

Anyways.  This other blogger, Mary from Fibromy-awesome, writes about fibromyalgia and her health sitch.  Seeing that she’s a young lady, a lot of her audience is of the young lady with health issues persuasion.

So the other day, this dude comments on the blog saying that his wife was super sick and they thought she had all this crazy stuff a-going on with her… and turns out it was house mold.

 

Strike 3:

I’m watching The Voice (I know, I’m awful) and this contestant comes on, a nice lady from North Carolina.  Well, on the show they tell you every single person’s sob story and why they should be on the show and they have it sew bad.

So this lady comes on and her sob story is her woeful health issues.  She spent years without a diagnosis, of people telling her she’s bonky… and bam! House mold.

 

So.  When the universe or the good Lord above is trying to tell me something, whatever it is that cumulated these three pieces of mold-related info and mashed ’em together… I decided to follow the hunch and do some investigating.

Well, all this and my dear friend Jenny recently said something really sweet about our upcoming move: Jenny reminded me that this whole move, although sad and stressful in its own right, could likely be the thing that breaks my health-related crap streak!  New docs, new place, new life – it could all lead to the breakthrough I’ve been dying for.

I have this happy optimism in mind as of late…

And then BAM! It all fits together.

Now, I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a pretty good detective.  Like, I totally should have been a detective.  I’m so good at figuring stuff out.  Kinda.  If/when not distracted and actually care.

I pump some search terms into the ole compy and start a-searching, and what do you know: EVERY symptom of mine has been linked to mold-related illness, and my house meets a bunch of criteria for being a palace du mold.

Duggs deployed after we moved in, and he’s out of here all day long on weekdays, hence why my exposure level would be through the roof vs. his.

I have ZERO idea if this theory holds any water right now. 

I can’t tell if I’m desperate for something to come together and solve the mystery, or at least lead to me feeling better… or if I’m being delusional and getting off course.

I just want to feel better though.  And I think I’m kinda due for it.  I want to try and get pregnant again sometime soon-ish (no spring chicken, y’all)… and as of now, with the meds I suck down, there is NO way.

I want a good awesome life back.

Perhaps this mold theory could lead to total redemption after we move?  Maybe?

As I investigate I’ll tell y’all what’s going on.  Sadly, other than this new theory of mine, I have zero health-related updates of actual content to report.  I’m still same ole, same ole.  Kinda crappy, kinda okay, making the best of it, taking a crapload of meds, and just dealing.

I kinda really hope there’s mold in here.  Just so I know there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.  That would be wonderful, actually.

 

As always – thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

Analog Life Has Been Busy!

I KNOW I’ve been a bloggin’ derelict.  I sure do know that.

Things have been wacky round these parts, though.  (Wackier than usual, given that I am just kinda naturally wack).

please forgive me for not posting in a week by seeing pics of my cute pooch

Here are my excuses for abandoning y’all:

  • I have not been feeling well
  • Working out has slacked, too, not just blogging.
  • Work has been busy – and I love it!
  • Creative writing has been taking precedent over blogging.  Book over blog, yo.
  • Matthew and I have had some awesome good quality time, which is way more fun than being behind the compy.
  • When I have been feeling up to it, we’ve been out and about – not even near the compy.
BOMBSHELL: 
We found out we’re moving soon-ish.  Like, next month-ish.  So that’s had things going crazy too.  So much to get ready, work out, plan for. It’s a crazy nightmare of super stress, actually.  But, we’re excited to start our next adventure… and we’re super sad to leave Hawaii.  It’s a lot of emotion. 

On My Health and Fitness

So, I haven’t been feeling so hot.  Which stinks.  I’ve written recently about my quest to run, and to run longer distances than usual, and to train for like a half-marathon – and one of the things I’ve confessed is the ebb and flow of my workout consistencies.

I have good weeks and bad weeks.  It’s how I’ve rolled for the past year-to-eighteen months.  It just goes like that, and I’ve been trying to break that pattern.

January was great!  But in February, not so hot.  I’ve only gotten in a couple runs a week, and my last run was already like five days ago (and I’m not lacing up my sneaks at this moment, sadly).

I just haven’t been feeling well.

here i am right now. feeling okay (better than yesterday, thank goodness)... but still pretty blah.

Nothing major, just my same ole, same ole.  I’ve tweaked up the meds a bit lately, and have seen some good come of that.  So, hopefully this period of rest is just my body taking care of itself.  Part of my hippie nature is all that “listen to your body” stuff, so I do.

Mine has been telling me to rest.

I tell ya what though: the last run I went on, I killed it!  I didn’t even think I’d make it more than a couple minutes, and it ended up being my FASTEST four-miler ever.  (Well, in recent times kinda ever).   My chest was hurting and I felt just sluggish and heavy in the beginning – during those first two minutes, I was convinced that I was going to do a five minute jog for the day.  But, as I warmed up I just shook it out and felt positively wonderful.

Oh man, even recounting such a fab run has me itching to get out and run.  Tomorrow morning, perhaps!

So, the running has slacked.  I’m bummed, but I’m also okay with it.  I’ve been taking care of the bigger picture.  I know I need to workout and push myself… but with a body like mine, I’ve just learned that when it’s telling me to stay put, it means it.  And well, with how physically ill I’ve been – running just hasn’t been an option.  GI woes (including vomiting lately, which is the pits!!!), tummy pains, back/shoulder muscle pain, overall weakness, and of course my nerve drama.

Valentine’s was super fun.

Duggs treated me to a really fun night out, it was lovely. We grabbed some grub, and we went to Dave and Buster’s to play games.

out to dinner at buca di beppo

the menu had a little blurb on v-day that was cute!

I know what you’re thinking.  The plan sounded kinda ehhh to me too.  Then, we actually got into D&B, and started playing, and it was so so so fun!

If you’ve never been to a D&B, it’s essentially a TGIFriday’s-esque restaurant with a giant arcade attached.  They have all kinds of games, video games, and those driving car games where the little car you sit in tilts and shakes.

Then there are all those games you can play for tickets.  Duggs’ romantical plan was to win me prizes.  And he did!

duggs, holding a prize and all of our tickets

here's a crappy pic of this elvis game i couldn't get enough of.

We had a blast.  I whooped up on some trivia, annihilating anyone that tried to play with us! Duggs killed me in basketball and skeeball, and he won a prize out of one of those stuffed animal claw machines on the first try (and then he gave the prize to an adorable little girl and it was so durn sweet).

me, in the NASCAR racing game. (which i beat duggs on, btw).

duggs is the man at the skeeball

duggs, the claw machine, and the prize he won on the very first try!

Work has been great.  I’ve had some projects going on, I hope the great people I work for are still enjoying my writing.  I think that this month I’ve done some of my very best work yet.  So that’s exciting.  I still have tons to learn, lots of goals for myself.  My boss is great, and I really enjoy working with/for her.  She’s a lot of fun, and she’s just been a great teacher and mentor.  She knows so much about the industry and she’s a good one to be learning under.

So life is good. 

As always, it’s a mixed bag of challenges and awesomeness.  Duggs and I are in this super sappy happy mushy phase, like more than usual (if you can even imagine).  My home life and personal life are so sweet.  And while work is busy, it’s fantastic.  The major stressors of right now are my health and this upcoming move.

It’s hard to embrace the notion of saying good-bye to Hawaii.  It’s impossible in some ways.  I’m going to miss this place so much, I’ve grown far more attached than I thought I could or would.

On the other hand, moving is exciting.  It’s a fresh start, a new world to go check out. I’m excited for the weather… and best of all- FAMILY!  We’re going to live close to family!!!  I cannot wait to see everyone.

True story: after writing about that awesome run I had last week, and how blah my physical fitness has been as of late I totally just did a little mini-workout in between drafting and finalizing this post.  I just had to do some moving and shaking, get some stretching in there.  Not grand, but better than nothing.

Wish me a better week, and that I get to feeling better soon.  I want January back!

I gotta get going… I promise to have some good and fun posts up this week.  Love to you all!  Thanks for reading. 

xoxo, hhr

Let’s Make Our Bodies Our Valentines

First of all: I am so blown away by the responses to yesterday’s post.  Just, REALLY.

The comments, emails, and messages that have come in are just so comforting.  Hearing my fellow womenkind tell me about their own issues, their own struggles:  I feel comfort knowing I’m not crazy, I’m not alone with my body image issues; but I’m sad that SO MANY of us feel this way.

We should feel comfortable in our skin.  We should strive to be healthy.  But how?

After our conversation yesterday, do you want to find a way to be comfy in your skin? How can you become happy with your appearance?

We should be loving our bodies, for reals.  

Oh, and to the guys who gave me feedback too: thank you.  I know that body image struggle is NOT a woman-only thing.  It’s an all of us thing.  And then, hearing men speak up about the aesthetics they like, the reassurance – it’s just so nice. 

I feel like yesterday I exposed a big part of myself, and instead of being mocked or hurt, the Internet just gave me a big ole hug.  I cannot tell you how amazing that is.

THANK YOU.

this is me right now, working on this post, basking in the love y'all have shown me. what an awesome feeling!

So after my post, there was an epic guest post by Carly about respecting her body, her motivation for being healthy.  And then, my friend Sydney posted this amazing blog about why she loves her body.  Not only was it this bold and encouraging declaration, it was a call for all of us to do the same:

I encourage you to make a post, or just write down all the reasons you love your body you don’t have to publish it, the most important part is that you recognize that you are beautiful and that you remind yourself of all the amazing features you have, no one else has to know. So here I go, all the reasons why I love my body…

such a cute photo of sydney

Go read her blog to see her reasons (to give you an idea, it reads like a love letter to all of the amazing things her body can do – her strong legs that take her on runs, and etc.).

It reminds me of the attitude my friend Libby has.  One time when I was all down on my looks, she talked to me about how amazing our bodies are – oh the things they can do!  She explained how she’s so happy for the faculties she has, talking, walking, running, etc.  Our bodies are these complex high functioning machines, and well, they’re incredible.

Our bodies deserve our love.  So, i have an idea on where we can start, a way to love our bodies.  Valentine’s!

oooh! i have an idea!! oh yeah! i'm up to something, for sure...

This year: make your body your Valentine! 

I want to change my understanding of what a beautiful body is.  I want to be happy and grateful for what I have.

So, is anyone else interested?

Here’s where you, dear reader, come in:

I’m going to write a love letter to myself, and with it, I’ll include some honest photos of myself. It’s going to be a Valentine to my body!

I don’t want to do it alone, though.  Stand with me, post with me.  Please?!

1. Send in a brief love letter to your body, a couple sentences.  If you’d like to publish a longer letter somewhere else – go for it!  Give us a link along with your abridged version. Send what you got to happyhippierose (at) gmail dot com 

2. Include a photo of yourself.  It can be as honest as you’d like, it can be as cloistered as you feel comfy with.  Just have a headshot of your pretty smile? That’s fine too.  The photo is at your discretion and comfort level, and well – keeping in mind this is a family-friendly blog (for the most part), and WordPress has TOS. 

3. Mean what you say.  There’s no way to enforce this one, but maybe collectively, we can all help each other come to a better concept of body image.  And maybe this idea will spread all pay-it-forward style?  A paradigm shift starts with one person. 

And then, I will compile and post for V-day, a special ode to our bodies!

email pics and love letters to: happyhippierose @ gmail . com ; or just reply here on this post if you’d like.

Who’s coming with me?  Who’s in? 

On the photos: Yesterday I mentioned that I’m very picky about what photos I post.  I pose purposefully, I know what angles flatter the most.  I suck it in or put something in front of me, like a prop to hide a part that embarrasses me.

But right now, I don’t feel like hiding under a bulky sweatshirt.  I feel like loving who I am, really.  God has given me SO MUCH.   I live such an amazing life, chock full of abundant blessings, good times, wonderful people.

Even if you’re not in, thank you for reading and for all the love that’s poured in.   I’m so excited to help us all get a more positive self image.  I really am.

xoxo, hhr