Day 2

Just finished today’s mile. I didn’t want to, but I did. I awoke at 3:30 am and have been going ever since. I was not feeling up to a run but am now so glad I went. Day 2 is a wrap.

If you are doing your own 30 day challenge, please feel free to post here in the  comments to share your progress. I’d love to hear!



30 More!


This was our view this afternoon as Tru and I ran up the hill not too far from where we live. Lots of new construction going on.

I’m doing it again. 30 days, 30 miles. Making a commitment to run at least 1 mile every day for the next 30 days. I did this back in February when it was cold. Fall is in the air now, still warm but not too hot…….perfect weather for running. After a fall that resulted in some fractured ribs last April in the Netherlands, I had to take a respite from running in order to heal. Enough of that. It’s time to run again!

So today it begins. Day 1. One mile down. Only 29 to go!

Anyone want to join me by doing your own 30-day challenge of one sort or another?



While out in Washington for our son’s wedding in July, my sister introduced me to zoodles. She had made a superbly delicious lunch using zucchini noodles created with a spiralizer. Immediately after consuming these delicious and nutritious “noodles,” I got online to order my own spiralizer from Amazon (Prime, of course!).


Since Amazon also talked me into the recipe book Inspiralized, I returned home from vacation, whereby I had consumed way too much food that I really shouldn’t eat, to find my new spiralizer and recipe book waiting on my doorstep.

A quick trip to the grocery store to pick up some veggies resulted in some spiraling fun making oodles of zoodles and spoodles and toodles and whatever else I could spin into curly coils.

So far I’m finding the recipes in Inspiralized to be quite easy and delicious. They’ve opened up my palate to veggies that I would not normally eat. For instance, I hate turnips. But….alas, in the Inspiralized cookbook is a recipe for a turnip brussels sprouts pesto that is absolutely divine. I’ve made it twice already in the past week.

Another favorite for breakfast or an afternoon delight is sweet potato blueberry waffles. With a tiny splash of Canadian maple syrup, courtesy of my friend, Debra Norton, they are delectable with a scrambled egg and creamy latte. Yum!
This past week I have spiralized zucchini, turnips, sweet potatoes, cucumber, and rutabagas. I am currently on the hunt for some kohlrabi so I can make one of the other interesting recipes in my new book.

I find the spiralizer easy to use, quick to clean up, and small enough to store easily. Tomorrow I plan to try out a recipe for some spiralized veggie muffins that have no sugar, flour, or other evil white things. I’ll keep you posted.

Have you spiralized?
What is your favorite dish or creation out of spiraled veggies or fruits? I’d love to hear.

Road to Recovery – Fitbit and Yoga

Let me start out by saying Mike and I found out recently we are going to be grandparents! I’m going to be a grandma. EEK. Am I that old already???

Between school sessions and a family vacation out west to marry off our #2 son, I’m very late following up my last post, but time has allowed me to really put my new Apple Watch to the test as well as the whole yoga thing. Here are my findings:

1. I LOVE my Apple Watch! Truly. How did I ever live without it??

While the Fitbit was great there were a few things that I did not find helpful. First of all, I am very competitive. I mean, VERY. This meant that while having Fitbit friends helped motivate me to step it up when I didn’t really feel like moving, it also stressed me out every time I fell behind. Stress makes my neck hurt more which results in having vertigo.

So when I had long travel days, which I tend to have a lot of, or taught all-day seminars, which I also tend to do, I would fall down the Fitbit friend chart and get all stressed out that I wasn’t at least in the top 3 (really I wanted to be #1). You’d think that this would motivate me toward more steps. It did….And that worked well on days I had a schedule more accommodating to getting my steps in. But on days when I might, let’s say, travel by plane to another state or country and then have to teach a seminar, I found myself walking on a treadmill or around  a strange city in the middle of the night just so I could stay in the top 3 (again, really wanting to be #1). Once I worked a few hours, then flew to New Orleans, traveled to the hotel, set up a trade show booth, and then walked 10.5 miles around the city  – just to stay in the top slot on my Fitbit list. I was exhausted the next day when I had to teach several seminars and man a booth by myself. That night…..I hit the treadmill, walked 6 flights of steps twice and took another long walk outdoors. And still it wasn’t good enough to remain in the #1 slot. So depressing.

Fitbit competition was doing me more harm than good. So I let go of my Fitbit, as great as it was, and traded it in for an Apple Watch. Now I can compete with my own personal achievement goals all entered into my watch, PLUS buy a latte at Starbucks and scan my boarding pass all from my wrist. I can allow myself downtime on the days I know I need downtime. Sometimes downtime is the best thing. I already struggle with being in “ON” mode ALL THE TIME. So a gadget that stresses me out when I finally manage to not be in “ON” mode isn’t good for me.

2. Yoga. I don’t like it. It bores the crap out of me. I know many people love yoga and it helps them tremendously. That’s awesome for them. I’m more of a “listen to an audio book while using a stepper while playing Freecell and trying to beat my own best time” all at once kind of girl. So far my best time is 1:55 while listening to an audiobook.


So what do you prefer – competition with friends via Fitbit (or similar) or working toward your own personal goals without the friend competition? What motivates you and why? I’m curious about this.


Road to Recovery – Miracle Workers

First of all……Happy Fathers Day to all you dads and grandpas out there!  I am very thankful for my own dad, my father-in-law, my 1 surviving grandfather, and my husband who is such a wonderful dad to our 5 kiddos. 

Now about those miracle workers – I have been to all kinds of massage therapists and chiropractors over the years, all in hopes of getting some kind of relief in my neck and shoulders. It wasn’t until nearly 2 years ago that I actually found a chiropractor and a message therapist that brought some sort of manageable relief from excruciating pain.

I discovered the massage therapist first, driving past her newly posted sign downtown advertising relief from neck pain as I was on my way to pick up some shelter kitties for the students to groom during school session at the NCGIA. I drove past again on my way back to the N

Alyssa McDowell of Balanced Bodywork did wonders, alleviating pains and bringing relief from nearly 24/7 mild vertigo with severe vertigo spells sprinkled in-between. After a few weekly sessions with Alyssa I was able to find relief from vertigo and even a few rare I-don’t-notice-my-neckpain days thrown in as an added bonus.

Not long after first seeing Alyssa, I also met Dr. Ben Franz of Franz Family Spinal Care. Dr. Franz practices NUCCA chiropractic, which is different than any other types of chiropractic treatments I had received up until that time. The first day I drove away from being re-aligned by Dr. Franz, I had tears in my eyes from the tremendous relief it brought. If you have ongoing neck or back pain, I highly recommend seeking out a NUCCA practitioner. At least check into it.

Other than my short-term hiatus from Alyssa when I tried acupuncture, I have been seeing theCGIA office, this time snapping a photo of the sign to call later for more information. What the heck, I thought. I’ve tried so many – I might as well give this person a try 2 amazing miracle workers on a regular basis. They are, thus far, the only 2 people that have brought me real and actual relief, making it possible to live through the pain and vertigo. I will take what I can get. I am so thankful to have found these two!

IMG_8505 (1)On another note, just this past week I ditched my recently purchased Fitbit for an Apple Watch. I find the activity and workout programs on the Apple Watch fit my lifestyle and motivational methods better. But then the watch is still new. I’ve only had it for 3 or 4 days so I’ll have to post an update on that after I’ve really taken it for a spin.

Oh, and on yet another note….yesterday I did yoga for the first time. Hot yoga no less. That will make you sweat like leaky pipe. I’m still trying to figure out the ramifications of the hot yoga on my body and mind. I bought a 2-week trial pass, which I fully intend to use. So I’ll give an update on that once I truly put it to the test.

Stay tuned…



Road to Recovery – Broken

I have a broken rib. And I don’t even have a dramatic, exciting story to go with it, like I wrestled a ferocious lion to the ground to give him a sani trim. Just a slip, a fall, a broken rib. This happened while in the Netherlands, hours before the start of a 2-day cat grooming workshop.

A week prior, in the middle of an all-too-common spell of vertigo, I fell down my hardwood steps and banged up my hip and lower back. All of this came right after 36 straight days of running a minimum of at least 1 mile per day. And thus ended my running streak.

Broken and cracked, I am now, over a month later, getting back to a brisk walk. I can’t run yet as my ribs still need to heal, but I hope to lace up my running shoes soon and get back to logging some miles. I miss the runs. And I’m missing all the lovely late spring/early summer weather – my favorite!

Despite the bumps and breaks, I have not stopped traveling. Since my 36-day streak, I have been to Washington DC, Virginia Beach, Houston, Zurich, several places in Holland, and Illinois. It’s been a productive spring, vertigo and all.

During this time I decided to give acupuncture a try to help resolve the chronic neck and shoulder pain and resulting vertigo. After 7 weeks of seeing the acupuncturist 1x per week, I have learned that while acupuncture feels great and brings a very temporary sedation that dulls the pain, it has not helped long-term. Without the bi-weekly visits to my massage therapist and 2-3 visits per month to my chiropractor (more on this in a following blog), the vertigo came back with a vengeance. I mean a super mean vengeance. Daily dizziness is debilitating and dangerous, undoubtably destructive to daily duties. (Ha! And all with half my brain tied up in circles!)

So back to the massage therapist and chiro I go. These aren’t just any professionals. These two have saved me from a life of perpetual spinning round and round, as if stuck on a teacup ride that won’t ever stop. It took years of sifting through many other chiropractors and massage therapists to find the 2 that made a difference. I am thankful to have found these two. And now, after trying acupuncture for a spell, I am back to what has been the most effective in the past.

And I am gradually getting back to putting some miles on my sneaker treads.

Photos: Prince Sky, a fabulous Maine Coon bred by Liza Gerber and owned/groomed by Helena Schmid, CFMG. Shot on location at in Fischbach-Göslikon,Switzerland. 

Road to Recovery – GOAL!

When I started this 30-day run challenge, there were icicles hanging off my patio furniture. Tonight in the dark, as I hammered out the final strides of 30 consecutive days of running, the air was balmy and breezy. A new season has unfolded in the midst of logging 41.5 miles on the soles of my Reeboks. I am happy to say that I have reached my goal. I feel accomplished.

Now, to set a new goal. I’m thinking I may extend this challenge for another 30 days. After all, it is getting warm out – my favorite kind of weather is on its way.

Road to Recovery – Popcorn and Horses

Do not eat Buffalo Wing and Ranch popcorn from Popcorn Haven mixed with Hot White Cheddar popcorn just before going on a 1.25 mile run. Trust me on this. It tasted great going down but a short time later…..well…you get the idea.

I am 25 days in to my personal challenge of running at least 1 mile a day for 30 days. I have accumulated approximately 33 miles thus far. When I started my 30-day run challenge there was ice on the ground. I have run through ice, snow, rain, wind, bitter cold, and sunshiny 70-something. I have run early in the morning but mostly late at night, sometimes just before midnight. I have run alone and with my Standard Poodle by my side. I have run while at home and while on the road away on work trips. I have run when I didn’t feel good, when I was beyond exhausted, and when my neck ached so badly I wanted to lay my head down on a pillow and cry. Through it all I have run. And I’m so glad I have. Only 5 more days to go.

Really, though, I’m seriously considering adding another 30 days to my challenge. I mean, I’ve come this far, why stop now?  How long does it take to form a habit? That’s how far I need to go with this. Make it a habit.

There’s really something to the “small bite” philosophy. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. My husband reiterates this to me from time to time when I’m attempting to accomplish some insanely huge business achievement before getting mired in the bigness of it all.  He’s right. How do you run 30 miles? One mile at a time. It’s not terribly difficult.

I want to give a shout out here to Zoya Thomas, a groomer in CA that I don’t believe I’ve ever actually met. But thanks to social media making the world a really, really small place, Zoya has inspired me to do this “30 Miles, 30 Days” challenge. So to her I say, “Thank you!”

On another note, my eating habits have been terrible since we were at APF earlier this month. Mostly because I’ve either been traveling or too busy to go to the store to buy the right food and then actually prepare it. I’ve had bigger lattes and eaten restaurant food way too much. The naturopath is going to fuss at me about this when I go back in a few weeks for my next check up.

But…the herbs for the sinus/allergy thing are doing wonders. Yay! And I have to admit that even the neck and shoulder pain is less excruciating. The fact that I can sit at my kitchen table and write this post is proof of this. I’ve been vertigo free for the longest period of time that I can recall in the past 4+ years. I’m going to chalk this up to the herbs and other goodies my naturopath has been loading me up with. Another yay!

Sleep/RLS issues… well, it has been concluded that my brain needs synthetic dopamine in fairly high doses to be able to shut down and not give my limbs the wrong messages at night. Unfortunately herbs and other natural remedies cannot even begin to have an effect on my dopamine levels despite numerous creative attempts to make this happen. It is what it is. I am thankful there are dopaminergic meds to alleviate this problem so I can actually sleep. Through this latest trial time I have been reminded all to well of the sleepless years I had long before RLS was something anyone knew anything about. Sleep is a wonderful thing! Treasure it, you who are blessed with easy sleep. Treasure every second of it. For some of us, sleep is an elusive life necessity, found only with the use of expensive drugs with side-affects.

IMG_8024I spent today on the back of my beloved Paso Fino, Whit. I had the pleasure of being accompanied by Alicia Ellis, one of the current students at the National Cat Groomers School. We rode 4 hours in saddle at the Biltmore Estate. It was sunny and 70 degrees. It was peaceful. A lovely day at the end of a particularly trying week. There are many things I am thankful for as I look back upon this past week and am reminded that our lives are but a vapor. Savor each moment. Live each day to the fullest. Take time to smell the flowers or ride your horse or have a nice conversation or breath in the beauty that surrounds us no matter where we are. Be thankful for the little things and the big things. And don’t put off for tomorrow that thing you’ve been dreaming of forever. There comes a day when we don’t have tomorrow anymore.