The chief enemy of creativity... is "good" sense. ~Pablo Picasso

A heavy heart...

Almost 4 years ago I locked eyes with a smushy little face who’s entire being absolutely...consumed me. Walking to the car that afternoon carrying the most precious little English Bulldog puppy, I  immediately started preparing for the worst. People thought I was morbid because I was already anticipating the immense pain I would feel when the little guy eventually died. I know it might have been a little premature but the weight in my heart, holding him in my hands, was so enormous, I couldn’t fathom the heaviness I would feel when he wasn’t there anymore. 

We nicknamed him “Gigantor” because of his big paws and belly and so the name “Thor” it was. 

I flew home from Dallas on Sunday high with the energy of thousands of accomplished runners, yet exhausted from a hot day in the sun (and a nice sunburn) only to get a text that read 
“Thor cant move” 
  Walking in the door I saw his little head pop up and he attempted to sit up and greet me when the most horrifyingly painful screams came from his little throat. He tried so hard to walk to me crying in angst. As I ran to him, he sank to the floor and closed his eyes in pain. It took everything I had not to cry, but fear and confusion took over as we recounted what could have possibly caused this. After a rundown of his day and still no answers we quickly carried him to the car and headed for the best vet hospital in the country. People in the waiting room had driven in from Kansas City and Arizona. The wall showed thank you notes from people who had even flown their pets to the Colorado State University vet hospital... including Austin Texas native Lance Armstrong. 

 I was glad we just had to drive up the road. 
  It was almost 11pm when we arrived and after some careful examination and pain meds, we were advised to come back in the morning when a full staff and smaller fees were in our favor. They didn't think it was life threatening. 

The screams continued a few times in the night when any movement was required and you can bet that we were outside that door at 8am the following morning. The doctors evaluated him and decided to run a few tests. We were given the word that it would be several hours before X-rays and analysis would be done and so we played the waiting game.

Good news. His back hips, possibly arthritis, which we assumed was the issue...not the issue. 
Bad News, it's most likely his spine. Something called Lumbosacral Disease.
 Good News should be able to give him some medication and with bed rest it should heal. 

The usual blood tests followed to be sure he could handle the medication.
Bad News. His blood tests show problems stemming from his kidneys. 
They wanted to do an ultrasound on his abdomen just to be sure. 
Bad News. One kidney is deformed and not operating fully. 
Not the worst news. LIke people, dogs can function with only one, but it's still not enough to let him take the medicine which would help the most. Now the bigger concern is his kidney function. Come back in two weeks so we can see if it's getting worse. 


Bathroom breaks now require carrying him to the yard and helping him stand while he goes. His usual 3+ mile walks are out of the question and playing - absolutely not. The poor guy doesn't have much to look forward to for the next 4-6 weeks... aside from breakfast, lunch and dinner hand fed to him because he can't get up...

The guy has some "mad ups" according to those much "hipper" than I... but sadly...these days... are over. 

I know there are worse things. 

Everyone always asks if I did this whole nothingnewforayear thing to save money. 
It wasn't the reason, although it became a nice bonus. And after watching this helpless, wordless little guy writhe in pain... I know that there is no way I wouldn't do or buy whatever it took to make him feel better again. I can't imagine medical care is "old" but I gladly doled out whatever I may have saved this year for the peace of mind we've done everything we can to ease his pain. 

One time Thor was attacked at a dog park when he was about 7 months ago. I held myself together as I carried him to the car where I proceeded to cry and said "this is why people homeschool their kids". 

I couldn't help but think about all the parents who are sitting at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital watching their children in pain. 
This is just a dog. I know. 
But imagining ever having to be in those parents position, after just one little instance with my dog... makes me realize that even though I think I'm tough... this furry little 4 legged smush face can bring me to my knees.

I used to tire of him pushing his toys against my leg and giving me the sad puppy look begging for my attention. What I wouldn't give to play tug and fetch right about now.

I guess it's not the worst position to "work" from :) 
But for the first time in a long time... I wish he'd interrupt my "work" and ask me to play.

Craving the Hunger Games...

I didn't read Harry Potter. Never saw the movies. Too far out there, too many characters, too much.
I'm not really into vampires or werewolves either, although I did break down and see the first Twilight movie. Didn't do it for me.

About 2 years ago a good friend said I should read the Hunger Games. She said it was like Gladiator but with kids... and only one gets to survive.
I was pretty confused... kids killing each other was a best seller?

Almost a year ago, desperate for a new book, and stuck in an airport, I downloaded it onto my Kindle.
3 chapters in... I quit. 
It sat taunting me in my Kindle while I went on to read, The Help (awesome), The Secret Life of Bees (good) and Water for Elephants (interesting). Then the world of Facebook and the news, and morning shows, magazines, etc took over. 

I'd already paid for the darned thing and I like to have my opinions based on my actual encounter with said topic/product etc. So I figured I'd just read it and then I'd at least be validated that the idea of kids killing other kids was ridiculous. 
Boy was I wrong.
 I think I only got through the first 3 chapters and quit because I didn't want to get to the meat of it, the part where kids kill kids. Well once I got past all that, the next thing I knew I was searching Amazon for the next book to download. And now I'm halfway through the final book, doing everything I can to not read it until I'm on my flight to Dallas... I've already started anticipating the let down I'm going to feel when it's all over. Is that crazy? 

And now here I am a few days before the movie comes out just as hungry as the rest of the world. 
Unfortunately or fortunately I won't be camping out to be the first in line at Midnight. 
(Tickets are sold out in Dallas anyway... according to the news) 

I did manage to only flip through, not purchase, the 5+ magazines at the airport that have entire sections dedicated to the cast and behind the scenes pictures. I've even discussed the casting of the film... This is really something I thought was reserved for those who were a little obsessed. Uh oh.

And despite my perusal through the website of various Hunger Games paraphernalia I've managed to shut the computer and walk away without a Mockingjay pin :) But this whole nothingnewforayear thing may have been the only reason. 

My whole life I've sort of been anti jumping on the bandwagon about big trends but I feel like this story is so much bigger. I hate to sound like one of those teachers I had in school who made every choice by an author seem like some deep underlying message. 
(Do you think the author chose to put the character in a red shirt to symbolize his anger? No, I think the author may have just seen someone walking by in a red shirt that day)

The book is an easy and quick read, which turns some people off who think they're above those kinds of reads, but if you ask me it addresses some pretty big picture stuff. It's a little Gladiator, a lot the Truman Show, some high school popularity/bullying drama, growing up too fast... etc.
And obviously... a love story.
(My mom said even as a little girl I was never embarrassed but more... ecstatic, about the "kissing part" in movies. My name is Ann and I'm a sucker for sad songs and love stories)

Anyway. I'm sitting on the edge of my seat like the rest of the world.
 I found this song yesterday and have had it on repeat ever since...

Taylor Swift - Safe & Sound - Music - More Music Videos

And then I got this... :)

I won't be buying any t-shirts or mugs... but.... I may have packed my (fake) pearl earrings :)

P.S. Movie tickets... an "experience" right?

clean is clean?

Scraping by is quite literal for me these days. 
Thankfully I've been on the road for the past 10 days. I'm only home for 3 and then back into hotel living for the weekend... which for some people causes anxiety. For me actually fosters relief. All the toiletries I can use... And they replenish them!
Body wash, body bars, facial bars, shampoo, conditioner. 
But that's what got me thinking... What's the difference between all this stuff? 

I dropped off my bags in my hotel the other day and washed my hands, just for good measure (you can't be too cautious when you're traveling and meeting a lot of people) and realized I had opened and used the "facial bar" and not the "body bar". 
But did it really matter? 
Upon closer inspection of the two bars they smelled the same, they looked the same, they sudzed the same... if it wasn't printed differently on the packaging, I would have said they were identical. 

I suppose the facial bar might boast more moisturizing capabilities? But does it? And what's the major difference between the shampoo and say the body wash? The likely answer is... not much. Especially at the mass produced hotel soap level. I mean, let's be honest, most hotels aren't dishing out the good stuff, which is why they don't mind giving away handfuls of the mini toiletries on a whim. 

There are hotels that are exceptions to the rules... that's an assumption of course purely based on what I've read... although I do have first hand appreciation of the toiletries at THE Hotel "Bathe" 
But for the most part, I don't think the majority of people are strictly using hotel toiletries when they travel, except for me, and most boys.

The point of all this is to divulge something I've been doing that I don't really think should be considered all that weird. A few months ago my dad sent me a box of shampoo/conditioner "samples". I've already established that the conditioner is sub par, which is what I'm most desperate for these days and I actually have enough shampoo (I hope) to get me to June 1... so I've been re-purposing the shampoo side of those sample packets into body wash!

I haven't experienced any weird side effects like faster body hair growth (TMI? ha)
And shampoo inevitably (unless your at a salon) runs down your body anyway...
But it kind of makes you wonder about marketing campaigns doesn't it...? 
Do we really need 100 different products that all claim to do different things? 

I once read of a research project that broke down the ingredients in individually sliced packaged cheese... and it was only one ingredient away from being a "common plastic" Not implying you should forgo Saran wrap on your leftovers and opt for sliced cheese... but it would probably do the trick! ha

(I know, I know H2 is just Hydrogen, and if you add just One Oxygen you've got entirely different product but you know what I mean)

Of course there's a website all about toiletries and cosmetics and their chemical components and makeup... in case you're a googling geek like me... but it's kind of like going to WebMD, you might find more than you want to know - just a warning :)

Swimwear... Old doesnt float

It's spring break around the world... I know this because the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel is teeming with scantily clad college kids who have clearly spent the last few months indoors... and are rearing to have a good time in the 74 and sunny weather here.
As much as I don't really want to join the madness I'm watching from my window... It is a cruel reminder that I couldn't, even if I did.
During a particularly generous moment last summer I gave away a plethora of swimsuits I wasn't really utilizing. Most of them brand new! There was a red and purple polka dot suit from Victoria's Secret that didn't quite translate from Elle McPherson to Ann Wessling. There were some especially awesome ones I'd acquired after I produced a show with Paula Hermanny and her line ViX. But again, didnt exactly flatter the less endowed...And so I was left with my one pieces from TYR and one bikini I picked up in high school from Wal Mart. No joke.

As you can imagine, none of those are fit for a pool party in Vegas. Some might argue they're not really fit for anywhere! Ha

Yes, I'm aware I could find one that's old, per se, but there is a line...

Now that spring is upon us... I've been taunted by that darned Elle McPherson once again, and all her other cronie "angels" as they arrived in my mailbox the other day. And as much as I wanted to toss them in the recycling... I May have browsed a little and of course this year is the year the designers finally thought about us girls who may need a little more "pick me up" ... If you know what I mean.

June 1 will see more than just some conditioner purchasing... I've dog eared a few pages and I'll be narrowing it down...81 days...And hopefully I'll be able to smudge the line between Elle and Ann ;) wishful thinking... But the ads are pretty convincing... Lol

Nostalgia - prescription for happiness?

Nostalgia: a yearning for the past... (read further along in the wikipedia page...)

Nostalgia might be seen as a natural anti-depressant, providing motivation.

Providing motivation? I couldn't agree more. Sometimes I do feel like I have to be reminded to live in the moment because I just love going back in time. But there certainly is some dopamine released in the brain and the instant smile that appears as I travel back is a positive. 

Certainly is a better remedy than prescription drugs... wouldn't you say? According to the stats we are a society that has more people on anti-depressants than anywhere else, we also have an obesity epidemic, but according to the side of the packaging there's less sugar than there used to be! I think the world should spend more time being Nostalgic and less time popping pills... who's with me?? :)

Whether it's seeing Joey McIntyre out running, Jem on the side of a truck, hearing a song from my senior year spring break or walking through the grocery store...

It's really that easy.
I almost didn't recognize the new packaging. I suppose it's about saving money. Individual berry presses are a little more pricey :) The flavor is the same however...

Good thing... because I gave up sweets for Lent. Cereal... no matter how sugary it is, does NOT count as sweets. It's the only way I'll make it through so humor me. 

A dress for Success :)

Lisbon Portugal. 
One of the coolest cities I've never been to!

This weekend I was in New Orleans preparing mentally not to cry when I saw my firefighting marathoners... 

There was the whole... avoid the Beignets at every turn because I gave up sweets for Lent...

And since there was a bit of a wind/tornado issue in the south I was working on keeping my dress down as I paraded through the streets in my traditional Portuguese dress... yes my traditional Portuguese dress.

The Mayor of Lisbon came into town and brought me this beautifully handcrafted dress to wear as I presented my "book report" on Lisbon. I was hoping that if I did a good job I might get to cross the pond and see it first hand.

Well I haven't received my final grade yet... but I can tell you the two ladies who won a free trip to run the race and visit Portugal would probably give me an A+... although I did make them pinky swear they'd wear the same dress to run the race.

So the good news is... I have a brand new dress... bad news is... I have a brand new dress...
I'm not giving away my swim cap dress... but let me know if there's another one you've had your eye on :)