Friday, August 2, 2013

Kitchen Demo

Kitchen before beginning demo
Not much to say about demo, it's messy, but fairly easy, except for breathing in all that dust which makes my allergies go crazy. So mostly just pictures of demo. We worked all this week, so demo went slowly, just a few hours each evening.
End of demo day 1, Katie supervising
End of Day 2 demo
We waited til last to tear down Jenny & Annette's turquoise fur downs (technically fur downs are interior and soffits are exterior, seriously, I learn something new everyday!), they added a nice splash of color to the kitchen, hopefully the new backsplash will add color in a couple weeks.
End of Day 3 demo, Connor & Katie both inspecting our work
Our temp kitchen in the scuba room

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Converting Closet to "Book Nook" aka Pinterest Project #3

We knew we wanted to use our office closet mainly for book storage, and in the past we have put a set of Ikea shelves in all of our office closets. That set of shelves is currently being used as our pantry until the kitchen remodel is finished, so without our normal shelves, we got creative and found this on Pinterest.

Our book nook inspiration
We both loved it and started planning our own "book nook". I started drawing plans and measuring and Jeff started figuring out how to make sure the shelves had enough support for books.
Closet "before" although I had already started painting
All we really had to buy for the project was a bunch of 1x2s for supports and trim and 5 pieces of 2x4 MDF for shelves. I painted the shelf pieces and measured and marked the 1x2s for supports, cut them with the jigsaw and tacked them in place. The toughest part was getting each support level. Katherine let me borrow her laser level which was super helpful, but I still used the big level for the long supports and the corners. That night I measured and marked the shelf cuts and Jeff cut them with the circular saw the next day.
Supports tacked in place, later Jeff screwed them into the studs for extra strength
Jeff put the shelves up and started the trim while I was at work one day, so no pictures of the shelves before trim.
Shayla was over helping one day and took this picture. She was impressed by the nail gun. It's actually very easy to use, a whole lot easier than nailing by hand, and probably safer too, I'm certain I'd have a lot of black and blue thumbs and fingers if I did all that nailing by hand!
This is a good picture of the current bottom supports too. They are temporary until we make the big Ikea kitchen trip. Two cabinets meant to go above a refrigerator will make a seating area and support the bottom shelves.
Shelves trimmed and painted
finished for now, still need to get the seating cabinets and then do the wall trim
I'll update when we get the cabinets in and then update again when I get a cushion for the's a work in progress.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Wall "Murals"

The wall "murals" were my second Pinterest art project for the new house. My first was this:

I saw this on Pinterest and knew we had to have one at our new house
 I found these (below) on pinterest and loved them. But I knew I wouldn't be happy with any of the colors offered and I didn't think the stickers would actually stay on the walls semi-permanently. So I decided I was going to paint the main wall color, then put the stickers on, and paint over them with the accent color, then remove the stickers to leave the design in the main wall color on the accent wall.

Of course the stickers didn't come in before our painting party, so when they finally came in I repainted a section of the accent walls for the stickers.  Then lucky for me Katherine was free that Saturday and came over to help me position the stickers properly. Positioning them on my own would have been pretty tough.
Bedroom stickers positioned
Living room stickers on
She stayed to help me stick the stickers on in the living room, which was a little more time consuming than I thought it would be. But we got them all on, painted over the wall, and positioned the bedroom stickers while we waited for the paint to dry.
Living room stickers painted over
 When the paint was just dry to the touch we started pulling the stickers off. My biggest concern about this entire project was that the stickers might pull more paint off than I intended. I started pulling stickers off near the door (where the new drywall is) and Katherine started working on the big flowers. As I started peeling, the stickers didn't want to come off and sometimes when they did they came along with all the paint and a little dry wall! NOT what I had intended! But Katherine was on the other side saying things like "Oh Heather, you're just going to LOVE this!" and "You had the BEST idea Heather!" So I thought it must be working much better for her! Soon I realized the stickers peeled off perfectly except where the new drywall was. Luckily that was only one small section with only a few stickers. I touched them up by hand with an art brush and they look pretty good.

After Katherine left, I stuck on the bedroom stickers. The next morning I went back to paint over and peel off and found a few of the stickers starting to fall off the wall- good thing I didn't plan to just put them on the wall and leave them! That's actually what they're made for so I was surprised they didn't stick well even for 1 day, but maybe they'd stick better somewhere less humid than Austin.
Peeling off the bedroom stickers
halfway finished Jeff was with me, so he took lots of pictures
Finished living room
Finished bedroom
Katherine was definitely right! I love the way both of these turned out!

Stained concrete floors at the new house

When Jeff and I were house hunting we saw a house with stained concrete floors and really liked them. Once we chose our house, we knew we'd have to do flooring immediately, the disgusting old carpet was probably the most offensive thing in the house (and there were a lot of offensive things!). We knew tile or wood floor wasn't in the budget and we definitely did not want carpet. With 2 dogs, and bikes in and out all the time, there is no way to keep carpet clean, and even very dark carpet still holds dust, dirt, and allergens that you just can't clean out -YUCK! So we started researching stained concrete...and researching....and researching. There are so many options and different ways to stain and seal concrete! Jeff decided he really wanted a high gloss shiny floor, I thought that looked cool too, but I didn't know if we could really do it.
Jeff wanted the floors to look super glossy/shiny like this. (this is NOT our house, this is just a random internet picture)
When we finally closed on the house we pulled up a little carpet assuming there was just concrete slab under it. Turns out that was a poor assumption, we pulled up the carpet (which was so dirty that we wore respirators so we could breathe, and really confirmed that carpet holds TONS of dust, dirt, allergens and who knows what else!) to find incredibly ugly brownish tile similar to what you see in many schools. Some of the tile came up with the carpet, some was broken, and some was still really, really stuck to the concrete slab with black glue. Getting all that tile up was probably the most difficult thing we've done at the new house so far. I guess I really hated that tile because I don't have any pictures from when it was still there.We took a little vacation time to work on the house and ended up spending most of it getting the old tile out, and then cleaning the black glue off the concrete. We used Jasco Paint & Epoxy Remover for the glue, it worked pretty well but it was nasty stuff! You do NOT want that stuff on your skin!

When we finally had bare concrete, we cleaned, and cleaned and cleaned some more. In all that research we learned, the most important part was starting with a very clean concrete slab. Mostly we cleaned with soap & water then rinsed with water and shop vacced it up, over and over. Then I cleaned with Simple Green and then soap and water one more time.
Cleaning the floors didn't seem to bother Connor at all!
Then the fun part began! We went to Conerstone Concrete Staining many, many times and talked with Mark the owner, he was really helpful, and really chatty (which usually ended up being really advantageous for us as he ended up answering questions we didn't even know to ask!). We decided to go with Kemiko stain in burnt umber throughout the house, Jeff really wanted blue in at least 1 room, but I was afraid that was a little too crazy. In the end, we decided to try the burnt umber with an overlay of blue. I did test patches in the master bedroom closets (they might still look patchy, I should take a picture), to figure out how to spray and the color combo. I started in the scuba room, I was really scared to start spraying because I knew once I had sprayed, it couldn't be undone! I sprayed the burnt umber, let it dry and then sprayed the blue over the top. The next morning,when it dried there was a white film over the top in some spots and the blue looked Really BLUE, I thought I might have overdone it, but luckily Mark had told us that the stain looks different when you put the sealer over it, it looks like it's wet, so I mopped the dry floor and actually liked the color, actually liked it a lot! There were some patchy, mottled, spotty places but we even liked that, made it look natural. I did go over some spots that didn't take the stain well with a tiny paint brush and watercolor art paint that matched the burnt umber color. Since I liked the scuba room, I went ahead and stained the office, hallway and bedroom pretty much the same. Then I mopped and mopped and mopped some more. For the first couple of moppings I used a little ammonia in the water to neutralize the acid in the stain. If there is any residue from the stain, the sealer won't stick well to the floor, I probably overdid it with the cleaning after staining, but I didn't want any issues with the sealer. I actually did over do the blue in a few places in the hallway, I tried to mop some of it off, which didn't work at all. In the end I LOVE the "too much blue" spots and wish I had overdone it in a few more places!
After staining, before sealing, cleaning yet again
A couple days later we mopped one more time and then sealed the floors with Chem-Coat acrylic sealer. I was worried about this step too, again, if you mess up it's hard to fix. You apply this with paint rollers, but Mark had told us "don't seal like you paint a wall" we had to apply the seal more slowly and evenly than paint, but overall it wasn't as difficult as I expected and the sealing went quickly. The only bad part is the fumes, man this stuff is strong! But we wore respirators, and I never took mine off, so I didn't really notice the smell until we were leaving the house.We did 2 coats of the sealer.
Finished office floor, you can see some of the blue in this pic and it's glossy/shiny!
After the sealer was dry, the floors were essentially finished, and we LOVED them!

About a week later the wall removal was completed and I was able to clean, stain and seal the living/kitchen/dining area. I put the umber stain on a little heavier this time and brushed it in with a long handled bristle brush. It ended up making the blue less visible, but otherwise I'm really happy with these floors too.
Don't look at the fact that we're still unpacking, look at the final stained concrete floor!
A few days after finishing all the sealing, we got a product called Mop & Shine from Mark, it's a mop on wax that will protect the floors for about 6 months. I used 2 coats of that as well, so hopefully our floors will be fairly scratch resistant (important since we have 2 dogs). Overall Jeff and I both love the new floors! And we did almost 1100 square feet for under $800 and that includes tools and chemicals to get the old floor out.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Couples Tri 2013 Race Report

Medals! Photo by Tom Marek
Yes! I finally did a race again! But no, the house isn't finished, and no, I haven't been training much. (I did ride 11.5 miles on Shoal Creek a week or 2 ago, just so I wouldn't have to say Couples would be my longest ride on my tri bike since April!) But Connie asked if I wanted to be her Couples partner again and of course the answer was Yes! This would be "Heather and Connie's Excellent Adventure's" 3rd Couples (and my 5th Couples total)! We had our traditional pre-race lunch at Blue Dahlia, enjoyed hanging out, and picked up our race packets. I got home and tried to remember and find everything I need for a race. We're not completely unpacked yet, and a few things I need for a triathlon, I haven't used since my last triathlon in Kerrville last September! But I eventually found everything and got it all ready to go. Instead of resting and relaxing in the evening, I unpacked boxes and touch-up painted trim.
Kim, me, Elle, JoAnne, Kim B., and Coach Jen. Photo by Tom Marek
Goals for this race:
1. Have FUN!
2. Finish (and maybe beat my time from 2011 when I raced with bronchitis and a sinus infection)
3. Don't do anything stupid (like crash, or run out of transition still wearing my helmet, or anything else that would make it look like I hadn't done a triathlon in almost a year!)

I woke up early on race morning and headed out to Decker. As soon as I parked, Kim Burkhart knocked on my window! She said "I'm so happy you're racing today!" I was pretty happy too! As she told me about putting her bike in the wrong car and almost showing up without it! (:o) I looked at her aerobottle and realized mine was still in my freezer at home! Oops! Especially oops because I have a small crack in my bike frame around my regular bottle cage so I never use it! I figured I'd be fine for 11.2 miles without a drink (but I guess forgetting my bottle probably counts as "stupid thing" #1).

In transition, notice my cool new Tri Zones top (I've only worn it once before) and my cool tri tats! Photo by Tom Marek
I sweet talked my way into transition without getting body marked since Connie had tri tats for us. I found her, and she applied my tats while I set up my transition area and triple checked it to make sure I had everything I needed. We hung out with the other Tri Zoners and laughed and talked while waiting for the start. I was having a lot of fun and I hadn't even started the race yet! Coach Jen jokingly said "you remember how to do this, right? First is the run, then the swim, then you bike last-haha!" Thanks a lot Coach Jen!

Jenny's new "shoe wagon" one of the many perks of being a Tri Zoner :) Photo by Tom Marek
As we got in the water I debated about where to start, I usually start as close to the front as I can get, especially at Couples, but I haven't been swimming much, so I didn't want to be "that" person slowing others down. So I got in the middle of the pack. Logan counted down, and I started swimming...well, not really, I got about 2 strokes in and was blocked in, I finally got around some people and immediately got stuck behind someone backstroking! Really? Someone backstroking started at the front! (Apparently starting in the middle of the swim wave was "stupid thing" #2). I got around the backstroker, got kicked by a few breaststrokers, and finally got a little space to swim as I came to the first turn buoy. After that first turn, I had a great swim! I really love swimming at Decker Lake and I kept seeing Tri Zones kits wondering who was near me (I guess I'm out of practice at recognizing everyone in the water). I passed a lot of people (I guess that's one advantage of starting in the middle of the wave) and felt good! Swim was 19:36 my second slowest Couples swim.
Running up the hill out of the swim. Photo by Amy Bush
I jogged up the hill to transition and heard people cheering for me! I got into transition and it took forever to get my bike shoes & stuff on! T1 was 4:39, (slowest Couples T1 ever) Yeah, I'm a little out of practice!

I got on the bike and coasted down the first hill, I really hadn't ridden a hill on my tri bike since Kerrville! Decker is a pretty hilly course with a couple of steep challenging hills. I was a little nervous about the hills, but I figured worst case I'd walk up a hill or maybe even flop over going 2 mph, not the end of the world. I got out on Decker Lane and remembered last year when I was riding at my very best for Couples, jamming down the hills and powering up them! I didn't feel like that this time, but I didn't feel bad either. I made the turn onto the short steep hill I was most worried about and actually passed a couple people on it! I was completely out of breath at the top and wishing I hadn't forgotten my aerobottle, but I made it and it wasn't even that bad! I saw lots of Tri Zoners and other people I knew and was having so much fun! I played tag back and forth with a few other girls and we talked each time we passed. I made it up the last big hill and passed a few people on that one too, but I was starting to feel it in my legs. I really enjoyed the bike! Even though that's a hilly, tough course, I really love it! As I got off my bike my legs felt pretty tired- I guess that's what I get for not training! Bike was 47:40, actually my second fastest Couples bike!
Very happy! Finishing the bike. Photo by Tom Marek
T2 was 2:32, not as bad as T1 even though I had to actually TIE my shoes! No quick laces right now.

I started the run and high fived Cindy and some other spectators. As I was running down the fence line, I saw Connie coming in from the bike, cool, she wasn't too far behind me! My legs felt tired and I had to take some walk breaks, but I was having a great time! Everyone is always so encouraging out there! Quadzilla was worse than I remembered, I walked quite a bit of it, high-fived Joni at the top and ran in to the finish, smiling at Tom & Ed on the way. Run time was 36:23, also my second fastest Couples run, not too bad.
Almost finished! Photo by Tom Marek
 I got my medal and a drink and said hi to a few people and jogged back out to the course to meet Connie so we could get a team finish picture.
Heather & Connie's Excellent Adventure! Photo by Tom Marek
I had a great time, I'm so glad Connie "made" me do Couples on my "off" year! I did a lot better than I thought I would too, overall time was 1:50, almost 10 minutes faster than the year I had bronchitis and only 9 minutes slower than my fastest Couples. And I didn't even do anything too stupid :) Thanks for being such a great Couples partner again Connie! And thanks to Tom Marek and Ed Sparks for taking great race pictures! And of course thanks to High Five Events and Jack & Adams for putting on an awesome event and to Tri Zones for being my team, even though I'm not really training this year.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Painting at the new house

I decided since I'm not racing much this year and since Katie's doing so well, I don't really have much to blog about except maybe the new house. Jeff & I bought a new (actually pretty old) house in May that needs tons of work. So I thought I'd recap a few of the projects we've finished and then blog about others as they're happening. Our first project was painting the entire interior of the house, we wanted to paint before doing the floors and at that time we were hoping to move in by June 1st, so the only weekend we could paint was the weekend after closing on the house, that meant lots of late night prep work that first week, but well worth it!

I wish I had come up with the idea of a painting party, but that was Red, or maybe someone before her. But what a great idea! Jeff and I picked up some bagels and coffee and got to the house about 7:30, Peylin showed up a few minutes later and then Ingrid, Shayla and Red. Peylin started the bright green paint in the bathroom, Red and Ingrid were in charge of closets and Shayla started the bedrooms. Paint was going up faster than I expected and I started to worry we wouldn't have anything for others to do later- haha!
Jeff, Shayla, Red, & Ingrid painting, and yes Red & Shayla are holding mimosas and Jeff a bottle of champagne, we know how to throw a painting party!
When Jody and Mel (with Ivan and Baby James) got there, they finished and edged in the Scuba room. Then Emmie, Annette, Carol, and Nicki started the huge job of painting all that brown in the kitchen white! The kitchen ended up being the biggest longest job of the day, I think they put 3 coats (maybe more) on all that brown paneling, but it actually looks pretty good now! And Jenny painted that awful wall paper aqua! Jim painted ceilings all afternoon and evening!

Katherine got extra white paint for us after we ran out (we didn't anticipate needing 3+ coats!) and she stayed late and helped with clean up and even came back the next evening to help us finish up the edging.

Linda, Vanessa, and Mohamed had Ironman Texas the next weekend so they were the supervisory crew. Linda was in charge of media-she did all the videos, Vanessa- touch up and Mohamed- lighting- he helped take down a ceiling fan or 2. Of course they all did a good job of keeping us company too.

It wasn't all hard work, we had a popsicle break and Eastside Pies pizza for dinner on the back porch. And as you can see in Linda's videos, even the work was pretty fun with so many friends!

The hand print wall was pretty fun too. That's the wall we removed, so I wrote "Do Not Paint This Wall" great big on it, later I found paint hand prints and signatures all over it- Fun!

By about 9pm the entire house was painted, Katherine helped us do a little touch up and edging the next evening, but we pretty much painted the entire house in 1 day! Thank you so much to everyone who came over and helped out, we appreciate it so much!

Katherine and I toasting to being finished!

Katie update

Photo by Amy Lynn Scarborough of GypsyPearl Studio
 Katie is doing much better than anyone expected, she's had no symptoms of nasal cancer in over 5 months now! Thought I'd put a little information out there on what we've done, just so people like me can find it. There isn't a ton of info on canine nasal cancer and I think I found every little scrap of it when Katie was diagnosed.

We've done a lot of different things for Katie and it's hard to know what is helping her most, I think it's probably a combination of everything. But Katie was having nose bleeds (the most obvious symptom of nasal cancer) every day before and now she hasn't had one in over 5 months and she seems 100% happy & healthy. I really don't know if she's cured, if she was misdiagnosed (although they assured us there wasn't anything else it could be), if she's in remission, or if it'll come back tomorrow.

When we found out Katie had cancer I started researching and found Lucy's site, Lucy has nasal cancer like Katie and has had no symptoms for almost 2 years now! The general prognosis for nasal cancer is 3-6 months without treatment and 12-18 months with full radiation treatment (which we were told costs ~$10,000!!!). So Lucy has actually lived longer than she would have been expected to live if they had done radiation! Lucy's dad must be a microbiologist or something, the site is super technical, but the link is a list of supplements she was on at the time of that posting. I chose some for Katie after reading pretty much the entire site (being a science nerd pays off every now and then!), and deciding what I thought would help her most. Katie's supplement list is below. We stopped giving her most of the supplements a month or so ago (I actually do think she may be cured, but at the first sign of any issue, we'll start all the supplements again).
Katie's Supplements:
With the morning meal:

Fish oil 1000 mg

Vitamin C 1000 mg
Glutamine 1000 mg
Arginine 500 mg
CoEnzyme Q10 100 mg
Red Ginseng 400 mg

Curcumin 500 mg

with the evening meal:

Fish oil 1000 mg
Arginine 500 mg
Milk thistle 150 mg

IP6 600 mg
Sometimes Curcumin again in the evening

I also switched both Katie and Connor to a raw diet, it was pretty scary at first, but it's no big deal now. They eat raw beef, pork, turkey & chicken (Bones included!!) and sometimes canned salmon (which is cooked). It's even a little less expensive than the really good dog food we fed them before. Jeff likes to call Katie "Killer" because she just plows right through everything we give her! Connor is a little more gentle and gnaws on bones for a while before he eats them. I think this has helped them both with general skin & shedding & dirty teeth issues. Hard to say if it helped with the cancer...

Probably the best thing we did for Katie was take her to a homeopathic vet. His name is Dr. Will Falconer, he has a great website and he really seems like the stereotypical holistic doctor, long gray beard, soft, kind voice, and he's super nice. Homeopathy is really different, he looks at the animal and treats them as a whole rather than the specific illness. I actually read a book about homeopathy before we went, so I had some idea of what to expect, it really is completely different than going to a regular vet or doctor! With Katie he was concerned that she has always been anxious and sometimes fearful/nervous (weird for a lab), so he chose remedies that addressed that more than cancer specifically, the idea being that if you make the animal's system function properly they fight off illness on their own- even cancer! He told me a couple weeks ago, that Katie has been an ideal patient, she really responded to the remedy he gave her and he thinks her system really has fought off the cancer and it's gone! Pretty cool stuff! She also isn't as anxious or nervous anymore, which is super cool too- and really, really interesting!

Katie. Photo by Amy Lynn Scarborough of GypsyPearl Studio

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Katie's 5K9 Race Report

Hi, it's me Katie again, I wanted to tell you all about my race at the Austin 5K9 Walk,Run,Wag.

We got up really early on race morning, even before Connor woke up to whine for breakfast! I was still pretty sleepy when we left, so I slept in the car on the way. When we got close to Decker Lake I saw there were dogs in most of the other cars around us, fun! When we got to the park, I got super excited because there were dogs and people EVERYWHERE! When we finally got out of the car, I had to drag my parents over to where all the fun stuff was, I'm not sure what they were doing but they were being way too slow! In the main area there were lots of booths where people were giving stuff away, I got a new ball, a new frisbee, lots of treats, and tons of attention! I also got to meet Mia Adams, Hilda and Enzo Bush, and Carly Marek, I met lots of other dogs too, but my mom has told me a lot about Mia, Hilda and Enzo and Carly. I saw the Austin Pets Alive! booth where dogs without owners got to find people to run the race with, very cool!

My mom said "look at Tom" but I was saying thanks for bringing me to the race, it's fun already! Photo by Tom Marek
When it was almost time to start the race we got into the big crowd of dogs and people. Some of the dogs were barking and jumping and pulling, but after all our training, I knew I had to be good and wait for everyone to start. We found Banjo and Melissa, so yay! I'd get to run with Banjo again. Finally Logan counted down and said GO! We started running and I wanted to go FAST, but my mom kept holding me back, she says I always start out too fast and get tired before the end, but it was so exciting, I just wanted to GO! I saw my dad videoing us as we ran by too. It had rained on Friday night and my mom had said it would be "a muddy mess out there", I didn't realize that meant it would be SUPER FUN! Once we got off the road and onto the trail it was really muddy and there were huge puddles, some of them were really deep, up to my tummy (I bet some of the little dogs had to swim!). I had so much fun sloshing and splashing through the puddles, especially after my mom finally got her shoes wet and stopped trying to find the dry spots.
RUNNING! Photo by Tom Marek
We got to the first water stop and my mom made me stop and tried to make me drink out of a bowl of water, I think lots of other dogs had been drinking that water, so I just stood and waited until she offered me her cup of water and I drank that. Then we got to run again! There were 3 water stops and we had to stop at all of them even though I didn't want to, my mom said I had to drink water but I really just wanted to keep running! We ran with Banjo the whole time, and after the 2nd water stop we found Carly too. After the 2nd water stop I started to get a little tired, maybe my mom's right maybe I do start out too fast. She slowed down and we walked for a couple minutes. Then by the 3rd water stop I was ready to run again! We saw a dog being pushed in a stroller, it didn't look like much fun to me, but maybe Connor can ride in a wagon or stroller and do the race next year. When we came out of the woods we saw my dad and Tom Marek (Carly's dad). We stopped to say hi, and then ran to the finish line! Logan announced "Heather Herrick running with Katie" and the people at the finish line congratulated us. That was SO MUCH FUN!!!
High Fives at the finish! Photo by Ed Sparks
My mom saying "Congratulations on your race Katie" Photo by Ed Sparks
Me and Banjo after the race. Photo by Tom Marek
Getting a drink. Photo by Ed Sparks
My mom gave me lots of water after the finish, I didn't really want to stop and get a drink during the race (even though she forced me to stop), but I was thirsty after we finished. Then Jack found us and we had to follow him back to the start, there was a second race! Jack asked if we could lead out the 1 mile race and my parents said yes! Jack and Logan dedicated the race to me and told the people I have cancer but I still feel good and I'm making the most of my life! My parents seemed really happy and touched by the things that Jack & Logan said. They took lots of pictures of us too.Then it was time to start running again- yay! Logan counted down and yelled GO! And this time my dad ran with us too! But we only ran a little way and then stopped, my parents said I couldn't run a whole mile more- I think I could have! (but I was a tiny bit sore on Sunday, so maybe they were right).
A picture of our picture being taken at the 1 mile start
Then we watched the police dog demonstrations, actually I couldn't see that, the fence was too high, but I could hear and those dogs sounded serious! Then there was a frisbee demonstration, I LOVE to play frisbee, so when I saw that I tried to run over the fence and go catch a frisbee, but my mom bear hugged me and stopped me, she said I'd ruin the demonstration. I don't know how I'd ruin the demonstration, I was just going to catch the frisbee like the other dogs! I barked to try and tell her that and instead of letting me in the demo ring, they took me far away so I couldn't see the frisbees anymore. When that was all over, we went back to the main area and a nice lady gave me a new frisbee and I finally got to play with that one!
Tom took a picture of me catching my new frisbee. Photo by Tom Marek
We hung out with Carly for the awards ceremony. Carly and Carolyn even got an award. My mom & I got the very last award, we were the top fundraisers for the Petco Foundation and Austin Pets Alive! That made me really, really happy! They gave us so much stuff that my mom could barely carry it all! It's lots of treats and toys and stuff for my mom and coupons for even more stuff. She says we're going to give some of it away on my Facebook page. I decided to give the best toy to Connor so he wouldn't feel left out.

Photo by Tom Marek
Top Fundraisers Photo by Ed Sparks
I really hope my mom lets me race again, the entire day was SO MUCH FUN!!!

Thank you to Jack Murray of High Five Events and Hong Van Le of  the Petco 5K9 Walk Run series (and everyone else at High Five and 5K9). I haven't been to a lot of races, but my mom has and she said this was really well done, with a great expo and some very cool demonstrations.

And Thank you so much to everyone who donated to the Petco Foundation and Austin Pets Alive! for us, being the top fundraisers was pretty cool and obviously we couldn't have done that without all of you!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Katie's Pre- 5K9 Report

My friend Shayla made these cool cake balls for me (but I bet my parents don't let me eat any of them!)
Hi this is Katie. My dad left the computer open this morning, so this is my chance to write about my big race coming up on Saturday!

First I guess I should write about cancer. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I know I went to a lot of vets and when they said I had nasal cancer my parents were really sad and cried a lot. My mom says cancer is what made my nose bleed and what makes me sneeze and have a runny nose all the time (her nose runs all the time and she has allergies- I'm not sure what the difference is), none of that stuff really bothers me, so I'm not sure why my parents were so upset. They gave me some medicine and some other stuff and my nose hasn't been bleeding anymore, they seem happy about that.

I'm not really sure cancer is so bad. My parents say it will probably make me feel sick. But because of cancer I get extra attention, new toys, super yummy food, I get to run with my mom again, I get to raise money for the Petco Foundation, and  I get to go to a lot of cool places. But the best thing of all is all the love and support I've gotten from all my friends and family and even strangers! My mom always tells me what people say on my Facebook page and almost every day my dad says "Katie, you're a lucky dog, A LOT of people really love and care about you!" So even if cancer makes me feel really sick, I will always remember that I'm a very lucky dog because so many people love and care about me.

A few days after the cancer diagnosis, I was acting super happy to try and cheer up my parents. My mom said since I felt so good, she was going to try running with me again. Connor and I used to run with her all the time, but a few years ago Connor started to not be able to keep up anymore and Mom started running really far, so we stopped running with her. We went for a 1 mile run and had lots of fun! We went on a few more runs and then she asked if I wanted to run a race! I was super excited! My mom does lots of races but I've never gotten to go, I've only been to my Dad's mountain bike race. So she said if I stayed healthy and felt good, we'd run the Petco 5K9 in May. That was way back in February, so it seemed far away. But I was happy because I got to run a lot to train for the race!
My mom & me after I told her I wanted to do a race!
When WalkRunWag- the people in charge of the race- asked for ambassadors a few months ago, my mom thought we'd have fun doing that, so she applied for us. They said we'd make "perfect ambassadors", and they sent a package to us in the mail. It was full of all kinds of yummy smelling treats and food! There were also collars, bandanas, stickers, and t-shirts. My mom made me wear a t-shirt and took pictures- how embarrassing!
Stupid embarrassing t-shirt picture
Then she wouldn't let me or Connor eat any of the treats, she said we had to give them away to other least I got a collar and bandana that look cool. As an ambassador I got to go places and tell people & dogs about the race- that was the best part of being an ambassador! I went to run workouts with Gilbert's Gazelles and Coach Cindy, I got to go to Jack & Adam's tri shop. Jack's a pretty cool guy, every time he sees me he gives me hugs and attention and my mom says he asks about me all the time. I even got to do a Moonlight run and meet my new friend Banjo!

At a Coach Cindy workout
At a Gilbert's Gazelles workout
I even got to meet Olympic silver medalist Leo Manzano! (I think my mom was jealous that I got a picture with him and she didn't)

Jack & me at Jack & Adams
We also get to raise money for the Petco Foundation, which will give all the money raised in Austin to Austin Pets Alive!  They help dogs who don't have homes find homes with families to love them. I have been with my family since I was a tiny baby, so I don't know what it's like to be a shelter dog or to not have a family. But I've met other dogs who lived at shelters and they all say the people at the shelters are nice but being with a real family is much better. So I'm really happy that we get to raise money that will help dogs find good homes & families. If you'd like to help us, you can donate here.
This is my family, I'm happiest when all 4 of us get to be together. Photo by-Amy Gawlik of Gyspy Pearl Studio
I've had so much fun training for the race and being an ambassador! My mom says I'm well trained and will do great at the race (she says we won't win- there will be some super fast dogs there! But I don't care about that, I just want to run and have fun) I can't wait for Saturday, the race is going to be AWESOME!!!

Chilling out after Mike's Moonlight Run
PS I'll write a race report after the race, but it might take a couple days. I have to wait til my parents accidentally leave the computer open, I can't open that dumb latchy thing on top with my paws.