Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Photography makes me fat

I admit, the title of this post wormed it’s way into my brain during sleep last night. It made perfect sense then, but it’s less clear in today’s snowy morning light.

I weighed myself yesterday because my knees, hip and legs ache most of the day and night. I particularly notice my knees when I’m carrying the dog, an extra twenty pounds on top of my own extra poundage.

Snow is on the way.

In my sleep I analyzed the situation. I rarely take long walks anymore. When I do walk, even on short neighborhood strolls, I almost always have a camera, though sometimes it’s just my phone. There is always something to stop and take a picture of.


So the walk turns into a photo shoot. Very few calories are expended while leaning over a mushroom or shooting up into trees.

Let’s go for a walk before it snows more mama!

I wear my Fitbit and religiously note the dismal number of daily steps. Even knowing I’m barely moving doesn’t get me off the sofa. It’s just so warm and snugly there. And here comes winter in full force. Record breaking cold is on the way. More snow. Little sunlight. The odds or me taking more steps slips lower.

But! We have a perfectly good elliptical in the basement. It’s been there for years and I’ve used it twice. It’s hard. It’s boring. But I have no excuse, something has to change, probably more than one something.

Darn. Change is hard.

Don’t stop visiting us lady!


Just a walk in the park

Felt good to be on the path again.

It’s a misty Sunday morning, cool compared to Alabama where I’ve been, and the chest pains seem to be a memory. Oh the back still aches, but it’s a more muted pain now, so it seemed a good time to take a walk.

Just to see if activity stirred things up again.

Wasn’t planning on getting off the path anyway.

With a hint of rain hovering over me I headed down the bike path at a local park. I was feeling guilty because I didn’t take Katie-girl, and she would have enjoyed the cool breeze.

Heck. She enjoys going to a park anywhere any time.

Sweet smelling milkweed

Still, I wanted to walk at a pace that wouldn’t agree with her. No time for sniffing every plant you know. But don’t tell her I stopped to take a few photos.

I guess my picture taking is similar to her plant sniffing.

So many shades of green!

Hardly anyone was out there so early on a rainy morning. I took advantage of that to jog a few steps. Very few because though walking didn’t do much to up the pain level, jogging seemed more problematic.

I guess it’s been awhile.

Yellow flowers lead up to my favorite tree.

It was only two miles, but it was a pretty two miles and I’m glad I went. My back still aches, but my chest didn’t hurt.

I’d say that’s progress.

Purple accents a good morning.


Still looking

I should have been driving home from Alabama with Katie-girl this week, but instead I flew home on Monday evening and met with my primary care physician on Tuesday. My husband, who had driven home a few days earlier, flew back to Alabama on Sunday to get me to the Atlanta airport and drive the princess home.

Toys at the beach were settling in for the night.

My Tuesday appointment was filled with questions and few answers. But he took me seriously, as I knew he would, and got me into a cardiologist’s office on Thursday when normally it would be weeks before I’d be seen.

The cardiologist took me seriously too, and arranged for me to go to the emergency room of the local hospital, armed with a list of tests he wanted. The emergency room hopped to attention when I arrived.

Only a few people were still in the water as the sun set.

More tests, some repeats of things I had done in Alabama, others more detailed and intense were done. I spent seven hours in a small room in emergency, when not being wheeled to tests on other floors.

They gave me good pain drugs too, so I was happy and comfortable. I read an entire book. I think.

But in the end there were no answers. No reason why my back and chest hurt when I’m active. I’m comfortable when I’m resting on the sofa, or sleeping overnight. But getting up and dressed, going to the grocery store, even walking to the end of the driveway still bring on the pain.

It was a pretty evening.

Making a simple dinner tonight made me hunch over the sink and gasp.

So. The local doctors, and I saw 5 of them on Thursday, think I should try an over the counter ibuprofin and see what happens. So far that hasn’t done much of anything at all.

But we’ll see.

Perhaps the bird had the best view.

(PS: Images are of a sunset over a local lake, on an evening when I was feeling sad, a few days before my husband and dog made it back home safe and sound. I’m sure Katie will have a lot to say soon. She’s resting up now for an early morning wake-up call.)


Beating back the cold

I don’t always get sick after I fly, but if I do get sick it’s almost always after I fly. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when my throat began to get sore and I started to cough on Sunday afternoon, six days after landing back in Detroit.

It’s a bad week for me to be sick. Katie isn’t happy about it either. As I cough she barks. As I gasp for breath, tears running down my face, she barks harder.


Emphasis on blue

The community band Christmas concert is tonight, we had our dress rehearsal last night. This Friday Katie and I have her first Rally trial after an absence of four years. We had our last doggie school prior to the trial this morning.

Sunday night, and most of Monday I considered cancelling all these events. No one wants someone sitting near them hacking her lungs out. Plus my head hurts and my eyes hurt, and my ribs hurt.

But I’m the librarian at the band, and I needed to organize music, so I went to rehearsal figuring I’d leave early. And a funny thing happened as I began to play. The tickle in my throat receded. The coughing subsided. The music poured over me like a salve, the music beating the cold back into the recesses of my memory. For a couple hours last night I felt pretty close to good.

That’s what music can do.

White holiday lights

White holiday lights

Today I’m drinking a ton of water, sucking down cough drops like candy, heating tea, taking cough medicine, and napping. Katie and I fit an abbreviated doggie school into our morning, but mostly I’m saving my strength for tonight’s concert.

Holiday tree

Holiday tree

I’m not foolish, I’ll have cough drops in my pocket and a bottle of water by my chair, but I’m thinking I’ll get through tonight just fine.

And our Rally trial in a couple of days? Well, Katie says she’s ready, and if I can get my head straight we might get a leg toward her title. If not, she’ll probably forgive me.

After all, her mama is beating back a cold.

Dripping lights

Dripping lights



Apparently I was dreaming this morning.  And this is how it went:

My husband, brother, and I had a meeting with Governor Snyder (Michigan) to talk about truck safety issues.  But the night before I had to sleep overnight at the hospital because I had a blood draw scheduled for early in the morning.  And there was confusion about when the transport van was taking us to the meeting in the morning.

Morning comes after a restless night sleeping on an uncomfortable bed.  I can’t get my husband and brother to get moving and the nurse is there for the blood draw and I’m trying to find out when the car will arrive to take us to the meeting with the governor and she’s busy talking to some other patient.  Finally she takes my blood and tells me the car will be here at 6 a.m. but as its already 7:30 we’ve missed it.

Our meeting is soon, so the nurse drives my husband, my brother and I and, inexplicably, Howard Stern to the meeting location.  My husband and brother somehow got to shower.  I did not as there wasn’t time and I feel messy and unorganized.

We arrive at the meeting site, which appears to be a house with a two car garage that has been converted to a bedroom.  Katie (the dog) is in the house and is coming to the meeting too; my husband and brother go into the house to get her.  I sit in the van with Howard Stern and tell him this is not a media event, it’s a meeting about truck safety, and if I allow him to come he has to be quiet.  He says he’s never met the governor and would like to come.

He and I get out of the car, my husband, brother, Katie the dog, and Howard and I troop into the converted garage. Inside is a television camera, and a reporter that I didn’t expect. The governor is sitting in a chair wearing a mustard yellow shirt and bright green scrub pants. (This alone should tell you we’re in a dream – he only wears blue shirts at events like this, never mustard yellow.)  He hurriedly puts on a navy jacket and stands up to meet us.

There’s a bed in the middle of the room that we have to climb over to meet him.  I note that it’s not made and has grass clippings all over it.  Obviously Katie has been outside on a freshly mowed lawn and has jumped all over the bed.

I shake hands with the governor, others are introducing themselves to  members of my family.  The governor says “Let’s go talk a minute Dawn.” and we climb back over the bed and walk into a storage closet.

He wants to know why Howard Stern is there.  I tell him I’d told Howard that this was not a media event, but I wondered why there was a television camera there myself.  He said he would rather Howard not be at the meeting.

And then Katie the dog jumps on me for real to wake me up.  It’s 5:05 a.m.  I have a doctor’s appointment at 7:50 a.m.  Time to begin another day.

Which is just as well.

Our meeting with the governor wasn’t going anywhere anyway.