Holidailies – The Holiday Brag Letter

2015holibadge-blueFor the I don’t know what-th year, I’m doing Holidailies. And I’m doing quite well, seeing as it’s the 11th and this is my first post.  Credit for the attempt?

This year, there aren’t regular prompts, just random prompts, so I figured I would give it a shot.  My random prompt for the day:

Write the annual holiday brag letter for your family.

This has been an eventful year for the Maryland Sullivans.  Still a family of three, they continue to impress with their kindness and talent, as well as their ability to leave their fur on everything that comes within striking distance.  (This includes the human, who manages to leave long red hairs everywhere.)

This year, Pippin remains on his doctor recommended diet, but he is a fan of the concept of “Go big or go home,” so he remains big.  And at home.  He’s not great at the concept.  But that just means there’s more of him to love.  He also continues to work on his singing skills.  When visitors arrive, he gleefully sings them the song of his people.  He also enjoys going outside and gnawing on the plants in the landscaping.  His war with the dove pair is ongoing, as they continue to peer at him through the window and he continues to growl at them.  Other birds are viewed more kindly, but those doves clearly wronged him and he will get his revenge.

Cadu continues to lament his brother’s weight loss plan as it often means fewer snacks for him.  However, he is skilled enough to jump onto the counter (much to his brother’s dismay) so he occasionally gets extra treats there.  He spends his day following the sunbeams around the house.  It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Now that the Christmas Tree has once again returned to the living room, he sacrifices some sunbeam time for hours spent sleeping under the tree and occasionally gnawing on its (synthetic) branches.  It’s a holiday tradition, after all.

The breadwinner of the family continues to fill up her days with work, friends, and ridiculous fitness pursuits.  She writes a blog, so you’ve probably heard this all before. After all, her blog is ridiculously popular (oh wait…).  In 2015, she aimed for quality over quantity, and the race results prove that it was a worthwhile pursuit.  No new race distances for her this year, but 2016 will involve her most ridiculous race yet.  For Christmas, she’s really hoping for some uninterrupted sleep, but somehow, sharing a bed with two cats leaves little room for her and she’s often woken up by a large furbeast trying to steal her pillow.  They are furry little jerks, but they are family.

So Much History

132369 / Pixabay

I was doing some cleanup work on my blog this weekend, mostly updating my race schedule and race report pages, and I realized that I have race reports starting back in 2010, which really, for me, was my first big year of racing.  It was the year I got sick, got my heart issues diagnosed, and then the year I ran my first (and second and third) half marathons.

A number of bloggers throw themselves blog birthday parties, but I’ve had a blog in some form since before it was cool.  And this blog has been through a number of variations throughout its history.  I guess it’s been fitness related since sometime in 2010.

I went and hunted down my first post, and that was made all the way back on May 15, 2008.  I had nothing interesting to say back then, but there it was.  I guess that could be my blog’s birthday.

Or I could consider it sometime in 2010, when I started posting race recaps and not much more.

But it’s probably sometime in the summer of 2012, when I started posting much more regularly.

No matter what my blog birthday/anniversary/whatever is, there’s a lot of history here.  A lot of it is pointless ramblings, but I’m still glad to have it.  And I’m definitely glad to have so many race reports to look back on.  They’re especially helpful as I’m gearing up for a race, be it one I’ve raced before or one that’s new to me.  I can go back and see what I did well and where I thought I could improve.

It’s also a good look back at my training.  It’s embarrassing how many posts I’ve written called “Back on the Wagon.”  I need to be better about documenting my training, to be honest.  I’m working on it.  Maybe sometime in the next five years or so.

And because this post has gotten a little boring, here is a picture of a cat.


Cat Crisis

So anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that last week, I was seriously considering having my cat euthanized.  Man, that sounds awful to say.  Spoiler alert – he is still among the living.

Here are the basics:

Since I moved into this house two years ago, this particular cat has slowly stopped using the litter box for all liquid deposits.  That’s right, he’s peeing all over my house.  It started out just being on the fireplace.  Well, that’s easy enough to deal with.  But then he decided that he liked to pee on carpet.  My whole basement – which is the living space of the house – is carpeted, as is my office and closet.  He’s not allowed in the closet or office, but I struggled with keeping him out of the basement.

At first, he just had a few spots on the carpet that he would pee on.  But then he just started going anywhere.  I couldn’t even get the spots cleaned up – he would just pee directly on the cleaning solution.  It was ridiculous and exasperating.  Less than 24 hours after cleaning up after him, there were three new spots on the carpet.

As any pet owner will understand, I adore this cat, but I can’t have him destroying my house.  So I’m grasping at straws.

Here’s what I have done:

  • Full veterinary workup – he’s fine
  • Five litterboxes for 2 cats, 3 without hoods, 2 with hoods
  • Calming treats
  • Cat Attract litter and litter additive
  • Blocking off the spots where he pees (he finds new ones)
  • Puppy pads
  • Cleaning with multiple kinds of enzymatic treatments
  • Multiple types of litter
  • Lots of petting and cuddles

Now, we’re trying Prozac and he’s blocked from going into the basement.  I’ve not yet gotten to the point where I’m confining him to a single room, but that will be the next step if I have to go to that route.  The vet tech, who I adore, is helping me brainstorm ideas and wants me to help keep him.  The vet agrees, but flat out told me that this could be tough to break him of and she wouldn’t fault me if I decided to euthanize him.

So that’s where we are.  I’m willing to hear any tips that anyone might have because I would like to keep this fuzzy little guy around for a while.

How am I so awesome?

Holidailies Prompt: Write the annual holiday card/brag letter for your family.

2008.  Banner year for the household, let me tell you.

In January, I celebrated a birthday.  Survived another year.  I think that’s something to be proud of.  On a whim, I also decided to audition for the Cathedral Choral Society, not having any idea what I was getting myself into.  Now I sing in some pretty big concerts a few times a year.  It’s a great organization to be a part of, and I sort of stumbled into it.

Fabulous things happened in February.  I’m just not sure what they were.

In March, my job sent me to work for another agency for six months, while still paying me my normal paycheck.  I do not understand how the government works, but I do not care, because this was the beginning of an amazing thing.  I want to work at that agency forever.

April was a crazy month.  I started it by running a 10 mile race.  Running.  TEN WHOLE MILES.  All right, for you marathoners out there, that doesn’t sound like much but trust me, it was a feat of epic proportions.  Then I finished off April by refusing to run again for a few weeks.  Possibly not the best plan, but I’ve been guilted into running the race again this coming year.  Better hit the pavement.  Tomorrow.

May meant a trip to Disney World.  I would like to move there.  Well, maybe not move there.  But clearly, I should go more often. 

In June, I pulled off a hugely successful surprise.  I plotted to fly home to surprise my Dad for Father’s Day and he had no clue.  I am a surprise planning genius.  As you all already know.

Later that month, I got an e-mail from my choir asking if anyone wanted to sing for the Fourth of July.  I had no idea what they were asking, but hey, I didn’t have any big plans, so I decided to sing.  That ended up being for the Capitol Fourth celebration held on the National Mall and aired on PBS every year.  That was crazy.  I never expected to be that close to people like Taylor Hicks and Jimmy Smits (who really needs to ditch the mustache) and Hayley Westenra.  I’m practically famous, now that I’ve been on tv.

Some family came to visit in July.  Hottest weekend of the year.  I managed to show them around D.C. and no one died or got lost.  I consider that a successful trip.

Late in the summer, Pippin and Cadu survived a vet visit.  More than one, in fact.  Pippin, being a manly man, has packed on a few pounds and is now on prissy diet food.  He does not like that.  And Cadu very bravely suffered through having a tooth pulled.  He was so brave he didn’t even need any pain medication afterwards.  He’s awesome like that.  Pain will not stop him.  So watch out.  He will cut you.

I returned to my normal job in September, and clearly, I had been missed.  I got a shiny new desk in a prime location.  And immediately got piled with work.  That’s how truly important I am here.

October meant a road trip to Notre Dame for a football game.  Best weekend of the year.  I ran into a bunch of people (many of you reading this in fact – all… 2 of you) who I never get to see anymore, and things were good.  Of course, everyone was super happy to see me because I am awesome.  As you all already know.  Also, driving a total of 20 hours to be somewhere for 36 hours is pretty intense.  In case you were considering it.

The rest of the year has flown pretty quickly.  Went to another football game in November and got to spend some time with my parents, which was nice.  I like when people come to visit so that I can show them around the city (though don’t think about coming to visit during Inauguration – there will be a gajillion people here).

December has been a whirlwind of Christmas planning and cats climbing trees.  I sang three concerts this past weekend at the National Cathedral.  Still waiting to read the reviews on that, but I’m sure they will be amazing. Because I am that good.

So 2008 has been a great year.  I hope 2009 is even better.