House as Witness

Oct 14, 2022

House as Witness or Ode to 279 Boston Mills Road
Oct 14, 2022 – LMR

“But it’s just stuff!” some say
Technically they are right, but I submit to you that a house is more than just stuff.

17 ½ years of memories fill these walls of wood, paint and drywall
The echo of joyful times, laughter, and regular days live here.

Best days and worst days were spent here
But mostly ordinary days
In the crevices of this house’s bones our stories live.

A family was built in this structure’s familiar embrace
Amidst its unique quirks, smells and sounds
Filled with singing, trumpet, barking, music or Podcasts.

Packed with tons of family and friends with pizza
Or perhaps just one woman with her book
This house took care of us.

From a teenage boy launching out on his own
To a toddler, turned teenager, turned young man
We were protected.

From small painting projects to large scale renovations
And even basement floods
It changed to fit our needs.

This house has been a labor of love, a new project, an escape
But in the end it’s been a place that’s allowed us to reflect, learn, change and grow.

Family milestones like first days of school, holiday celebrations, and the arrival of new pets
To crushing heartbreak, crisis, and tears
Ordinary and extraordinary days happened here
And the house has seen it all.

We were sheltered here during the pandemic
When so much of the world felt uncertain
We felt safe within its walls.

People say, “if only walls could talk”
But I think they do if we listen closely.

In the quiet or in the noise
Our memories flash before us like an old movie.

I want to stop time just for a moment
And soak up all the history from our house. From my life.
In my 53 years, this is the place I’ve lived the longest so far.

The days are long, but the years are short
In the blink of an eye it is time to change, to say good-bye
It is time to move on.

Some days I’m excited to start the new adventure
Other days I’m like a resistant child, kicking and screaming
Sometimes on the same day; these feelings occur simultaneously
This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

But it is time to pack up the stuff in cardboard boxes
Time to pack up the memories into special boxes in my mind
Forever with me.

It is then that I realize we need to release this house
Release it from its contract with the Ram Fam.

We’ll take it from here and start our story anew elsewhere
Feeling sad, but ever so grateful.

Thank you, good and faithful servant, 279 Boston Mills
You did your job and you did it well.

Now it’s time to be a witness for the new family
It is time to start all over again
To make space for their memories and love.

Closure & Commencements

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Closure. I think that is what I felt today. Well, at least partly. I felt a lot of things helping out at today’s JCU graduation ceremony for the class of 2021. “All the feels”, as the cool kids say.

I volunteered to help the Career Center staff encourage graduates to scan the QR code and take the “where are you going now” survey as they gathered this morning to robe up and get ready to have their final special event at their school before going off in many directions to start the next chapter in life. I put on a dress, even make-up, including lipstick, and left my mask in my purse. As of Wednesday of this week we got the message that vaccinated folks could move about the campus mask-less if we felt comfortable. In addition I had not been on campus for over a week as I had vacation time due to family being in town. I was very ready for people! I arrived to campus and as soon as I started seeing staff that I knew started hugging them. Yes I missed them during my vacation, but more than that I missed them during this past year!! I didn’t realize how much energy it takes to stay away from people, keep them at an arms length and try to communicate through masks and socially distanced. So much energy. Today I felt like I got all that energy back and more from my interaction with people. The extrovert in me that had been squashed down for the last 12 months was set free and it felt amazing!

I got to my volunteer station with my colleague and almost immediately ran into students that I knew. So many hugs and so many selfies. It felt SO good to see their faces and give them heartfelt congratulations in person after so much Zoom. It was especially meaningful to see student leaders from my former position in student engagement. We had such an abrupt ending last March when they were all sent home plus I had no idea I would get a new job while working remote at home. We weren’t able to do the traditional end of the year dinner where we celebrate the accomplishments of the year or even say goodbye in person when I learned I was transitioning to a new role at Carroll. Our goodbyes, for the most part, were limited to the same old familiar Brady Bunch Zoom squares we had all gotten accustomed to. I did get a sweet in person visit with gifts from my two fave leaders on my first day of my new job in August which I will be forever grateful for.

I have seen students in person here and there over the spring semester, but never more than one or two at a time and usually outside.

Today was so different. Not only was pretty much everyone unmasked, but there were throngs of people everywhere! I was not fearful at all like I thought I might be. No, I found myself just so full of joy that I could not stop smiling at all of these wonderful young people who had persevered through such a tough year and made it! I felt proud, relieved, happy and just grateful to be able to share in this special moment.

Truth be told in all my 17 years at JCU I’ve only gone to graduation one other time and that was at the Wolstein Center where we were told we had to help because of the combined commencement and reunion weekends due to the 125th anniversary of the university. Usually by the time commencement rolls around I am just done with events, including senior week, and looking forward to NOT being around. I am so glad I was there today, however. I saw commencement from a fresh perspective this year and am so glad I could witness it.

In some ways I think today’s ceremony symbolized a new beginning for us all. Here’s hoping we can shed our masks and isolation for good. Here’s hoping we can be who we truly are and reach out when we need help, especially for our mental health. Here’s hoping the terms “social distance” and “unprecedented times” get retired and our masks and sanitizer get tucked away in a drawer. Okay, maybe keep the hand sanitizer around.

I want to acknowledge that in many parts of the US and the world, this is not over yet. I also want to acknowledge the enormous toll and deep impact that Covid has taken on the loss of life, employment, businesses and so many other ways known and unknown. I think it is important to always remember this!

However we must move forward in the ways that we can. I encourage each of us to stop before jumping fully back into our crazy, busy lives. Take stock and think about what lessons you need to learn from this experience. We are all different and there are no right or wrong lessons here. Hopefully this will make us more appreciative of each other and the simpler things in life. Like hugs and smiles. Congratulations JCU class of 2021! You made it!

Erin Ahern, 2021 Graduate and Student Government President 2019
Jamie Durishin 2021 Graduate and President of SUPB 2019

Tribute Poem by Titus Kaphar

I’ve been reflecting on how to express my feelings over the last couple of weeks about the horrible murder of George Floyd and I just had no words to say. Then, this morning I came upon this beautiful painting called Analogous Colors and poem by Titus Kaphar in Time magazine and I wanted to share it with others. As an ally I remind myself that I need to amplify the voices of people of color now more than ever. Please read and share as you feel moved.


In her expression, I see Black mothers
who are unseen, and rendered helpless in
this fury against their babies.

As I listlessly wade through another cycle of violence against Black people,

I paint a Black mother…
eyes closed, furrowed brow,
holding the contour of her loss.

In this what it means for us?
Are black and loss analogous colors in America?
If Malcom could not fix it,
if Martin could not fix it,
if Michael,
Breonna and
Now George Floyd…
can be murdered
and nothing changes…
wouldn’t it be foolish to remain hopeful?
Must I accept that this what it means to
be Black in America?

to be

I have given up trying to describe the
feeling of knowing that I cannot be safe
in the country of my birth…

How can i explain to my children that the
very system set up to protect others could
be a threat to our existence?

How do I shield them from the
psychological impact of knowing that for
the rest of our lives we will likely be seen
as a threat, and for that
We may die?
A MacArthur won’t protect you.
A Yale degree won’t protect you.
You well-spoken plea will not
change hundreds of years of
institutionalized hate.
You will never be as eloquent as Baldwin,
you will never be as kind as King…
So, isn’t it only reasonable to believe that
there will be no change soon?

And so those without hope…

This Black mother understand the fire.
Black mothers understand despair.
I can change NOTHING in this world,
but in paint,
I can realize her…
This brings me solace…
not hope, but solace.
She walks me through the flames of rage.
My Black mother rescues me yet again.
I want to be sure that she is seen.
I want to be certain that her story is told.
And so, this time
America must hear her voice. This time
America must believe her.


This time
I will not let her go.


Dear Running

In honor of Global Running Day which was Wed, June 3, Coach Jenny suggested that we write a letter to “running” to talk about what it means to us so here goes…

Friday, June 5, 2020

Dear Running,

We certainly have had a complicated past. I know we met informally when I was a little girl, but I don’t remember much about you back then. I first formally met you I was in middle school or high school in gym class during the 9 minute run. I detested you with all of my being back then and would do anything not to deal with you. Often I would “forget” my gym clothes at home so I didn’t have to participate in class. Now that I think back, it really wasn’t you that I detested so much as it was what inevitably came with you. SWEAT! You see as a girl growing up I think I inherited my Dad’s genes in terms of sweat. I didn’t sparkle, glisten or even perspire like all the other girls seemed to do. No, I hard core SWEAT with all of my being anytime I did any physical activity, including running. Sweating made me very uncomfortable probably mostly because it wasn’t the “lady-like” thing to do. I was embarrassed at my sweaty self and didn’t want to be back in classes around the boys feeling and looking like that. Since I had no control over this, I just preferred to hang back and not do sports at all. Enter choir geek, which by the way was pretty great in its own right.

Fast forward to my fortieth birthday and I was ready to re-make your acquaintance again in order to help in my weight loss journey. At first I just walked, but after 1/4 of a mile I decided to run…and there I was…running in my clunky and chunky New Balance cross-trainers, feeling free and not giving a flying f**k about sweating! I came to realize that sweating is actually good for you…it cools your body down. I decided not to run away from my sweat, but embrace it – own it! Sweating is bad a**!

From here on out we became good pals. You gave me what I needed so desperately back then – a jump start at getting about 41 pounds off my body. I told everyone about you, my new best friend, and all the benefits you provided me. It has been about 11 years since we became best friends and we have been through a lot together during that time. You have been there for me when I was steaming mad and helped me run really fast! You have been there for me when I was brokenhearted and had to cry through my run. You have been there for me when I was full of joy running with my best gal pals cracking up and solving the worlds’ problems. You have been there when I celebrated finishing my first race. You have been there for me when I ran hard races, easy races and races that just sucked. You have been there for me when I was stressed and had to run the crazy off. No matter my feeling or mood, you have supported me through it and always made me feel better afterwards, no matter what. You are my escape, my fun, my fitness plan, and my faithful companion. Thanks for always being there even when I doubted myself and didn’t feel like I could call myself a runner. I hope I can count on you for as long as I can in this life. And I promise from now on, I’ll never forget my sneakers.

The Covid-19 Experience – March Timeline

Tuesday, March 31

Well, I’ve finally made it to my laptop to blog. I’ve been meaning to do this for a few weeks now. I’ve been busy,, taking care of things and adjusting to the new normal for now, but also procrastinating this task. This is my second attempt at this. I first started a blog entry on March 22, but didn’t get that far before putting it down and walking away. To say I was a ball of anxiety 8 days ago is an understatement. While the anxiety still comes and goes, I feel much more stable now to be able to write about this incredible time in the world. While I know that writing is good for me, I know this could also bring up strong emotions as I reflect on the last few weeks. I feel that this is important for my mental health, however and also I just want to have this time in history documented as it is so overwhelming and so unparalleled. I have always turned to writing in tough times. And these are tough times to say the least.

I thought I would first outline a timeline as I see it. Disclaimer: this is a very Lisa-centric timeline and therefore very US-centric. My first stab at this entry outlined the timeline of the entire global pandemic starting in Dec 2019 when the Coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China. Yeah, that was too big. I can’t wrap my head around that. Plus you can look that up yourself. I wanted to share a timeline from my perspective and experience and hey, as I’ve always said, its my blog and I’ll write what I want to! I’ll list a timeline with maybe some highlights and then going forward I’ll take some of the big stuff and expand on those in separate entries. Sound good? Great!

Monday, March 9 – Xavier event at the Market Garden Brewery in Cleveland. This was the last “normal” day as we knew it. In the news that afternoon were the first 3 cases of Covid-19 in Ohio. Still very new, this news was a minor backdrop at the event, but surprisingly the event went on as normal. After work I met Zach and Mike for a Xavier Admissions Event. We had a blast, shaking hands with folks with no hand sanitizer in site, ate finger food from a buffet and chatted with the Xavier admissions staff. I was super proud of Zach for having such professional conversations with folks. This was our last chance to woo staff before tuition exchange decisions were made and Zach was stoked about the people he met and the opportunity to go to Xavier. We ended the night with Mitchell’s ice cream. A good night. Little did we know that would be the end of events like that for awhile.

Tuesday, March 10 – JCU’s president announces that classes would be moved to online through April 13 and students are to leave campus by the weekend. As I was meeting with one of my student leaders planning how to make an upcoming event safer (more sanitized) for students we got an email at 2:39pm announcing that classes would go online staring on Mon, March 16 through April 13 and students were to move to their permanent address by the weekend.

Thursday, March 12 – Governor announces all Ohio schools closed through April 6. He first described it as an extended spring break, but then it became clear that schools would move to online learning. Friday, March 13 was Zach’s last before this plan and he said it felt like the last day of school – the last day of senior year – the last day of high school. Hudson’s plan was to start the online learning on March 18, allowing the first couple of days that week for teachers to get plans together. They would then have their spring break as usual the week of March 23 – 27 and then online learning the following week March 30 – April 3. While I completely agreed and supported Governor Dewine’s decision, this was a blow.

Friday, March 13 – Prom Cancelled. Went to work as normal, but it was like a ghost town. Said good-bye to tearful students and got in what I knew would be my last treadmill run for awhile with my girlfriend in the Corbo workout room on campus. We brought Clorox wipes with us to the empty gym and santitized the treadmills before and after use. Right before going to run I got a text from Zach that just said “Prom cancelled”. I went to the locker room and lost it. I had been strong all week, helping students and taking care of business, but this was my breaking point. My mind begin to spin about what else might be canceled in my son’s senior year. Just so sad. Thankfully my buddy was there to comfort me and get it together enough to get our run done! My office worked out an alternating telecommuting schedule. That night Mike and I visited my folks for what I knew would be a long time also. We chatted and ate pie in their house, but at a bit of a distance.

Saturday, March 14 – Found out there was a Covid-19 case in Hudson (a woman in her 50’s)! Starting to feel a bit panicky about this…fear and anxiety ramping up big time. Starting to realize how big and close to home this is and how much mental health issues (my own included) will be impacted here.

Sunday, March 15 – All Ohio restaurants and bars are closed for dine-in. This was inline with the CDC’s recommendation for gatherings of no more than 50 people. This was smart timing given the fact that St. Patrick’s Day is such a big bar day. We skipped in person church and watched a video of my sister’s church message. People can still get drive-through, pick-up and delivery.

Monday, March 16 – Found out that JCU classes will be online for the rest of the semester. Trump changes the gathering of folks to no more than 10 people. I went to an in-person Church Council meeting to meet the new interim Pastor and to discuss online worshiping opportunities going forward.

Tuesday, March 17 – First day telecommuting from home. I had just my basic stuff (laptop) to use and set up one of the spare bedrooms as an office. Worked out a compromise for Zach and Anna to see each other outside with guidelines.

Wednesday, March 18 – Last day in office for awhile. Brought a bunch of office stuff home to prepare my home office. Felt majorly sad leaving JCU today because I had no idea when I’d be able to be back there again.

Thursday, March 19 – First full day working from home. Work went fine. I enjoyed lunch take out in the car at Swenson’s with the boys. I decided we could do take-out twice a week from now on. Zach video-taped the Pastor’s message for Sunday’s service.

Saturday, March 21 – Cleaning Day! I cleaned the bathrooms really good, made banana bread and saw my parents from their car. Mike worked outside all day cleaning out the trailer. Trying to keep busy and remain positive, but feel anxious all the time. I have no appetite and am making myself eat because I know I need to.

Sunday, March 22 – Stay at Home Order. During Governor DeWine’s briefing it was announced that there was a stay at home order for all of Ohio. We basically were already at this point with most service-related businesses closed or hours severely restricted. This order added that all non-essential businesses would close. This meant that my Dad would not have to go into work anymore at the furniture store which I was glad about. I went to Hudson Springs and walked with Mom (distanced of course). So grateful for parks being open still and for being about to get outside!!! My feelings come in waves now from gratitude, fear, anxiety, sadness – all sometimes in the same hour. I really like Dr. Amy Acton – the doctor for Ohio (that’s what I call her). I feel some much better after she talks. She said “I’m not afraid. I’m determined.” I’m clinging onto this and know we can do this together! Rather than thinking about being “stuck at home” I’ll think of myself as “safe at home”.

Monday, March 23 – Mike still working! Mike was to start his next project today, but after the stay at home order we weren’t sure what that would look like. Small businesses fall in many different categories and for Mike it is only him. He talked it over with his client and they were okay with the project going forward. Mike has many safety mechanisms in place that make sure both he and the clients are protected. I was very relieved that this project could go forward.

Tuesday, March 24 – Meltdown with the fam. so I finally had a meltdown with the family at dinner. This is crazy hard on extroverts and I miss being around people…not just my fam. Mike is an introvert and Zach is usually extroverted, but also a teenager. I was able to figure out that I need to do some family activity at least once on the weekend because these are now my ONLY people! I learned that I have to ask for what I need.

Wednesday, March 25 – Virtual Bible Study. I deleted the CNN app from my phone. I’m not really listening to NPR these days either. I realized I have to reduce my news exposure. I don’t usually listen to the DeWine briefing at 2pm either. Now that we have the stay at home order, hearing more news about the increasing number of cases and/or increasing number of deaths is not going to change my behavior. I know that I have to do. I’m working to do it by sticking to my routine and helping others when I can.

Thursday, March 26 – Bad news from JCU. Room and board reimbursement for students means giant budget deficit for JCU…will affect staff positions – no details yet, but anxiety is very high right now. I’m trying to embrace the “one day at a time” mantra, but I really hate that phrase.

Friday, March 27 – Just a bad day. I’m upset about JCU and what might happen with our jobs. We still have not heard from Xavier yet about tuition exchange. We were supposed to hear today, but still nothing. I did have a Facetime call with two of my best buddies which made me feel a bit better!

Saturday, March 28 – New groceries procedure! Almost felt like a normal day except for the Costco process. We are now pretty much wet for 2 weeks. I saw a video about how to effectively sanitize groceries so we did that today. Yikes! Took a bit more time, but totally worth it. Anna came over and the kids hung out and watched a movie outside. Mike installed a TV in the pavilion. We had takeout from Don Patron’s with the kids at a distance.

Sunday, March 29 – Family Hike! We “went” to church at 9:30am for another great video message from our Pastor. This afternoon we hiked 3 miles (out and back) along the bike and hike off of 303. It was a crazy windy day, but nice. It was fun to see the outcroppings of rocks along the trail. There were lots of people, but we kept our distance. It feels weird to almost be afraid of other people. As much as it feels good to get outside, I’m always relieved to be back home with my hands washed. I walked over 17,000 steps today. It was a good day.

Monday, March 30 – Stay at home order extended to April 30. We were not surprised by this at all and I was somewhat relieved, honestly. People just need to accept this in order to keep folks safe and help to flatten the curve. I think I’ve definitely moved into the acceptance phase of all of this trauma . At least that is where I am today. Productive work day with good Zoom meetings.

Tuesday, March 31 – Typical Tuesday. Productive late day for me at work! Just like I do on campus on Tuesdays I “went” into work later today so I was able to get bills paid and other chores done. It felt like an almost normal day. Good to check-in with my students at my night meetings and see their faces!

Great New Year’s Eve Race 2019!

January 20, 2019

So it is now 20 days into the new year and I’m realizing that I never posted about this race from the last day of 2019! This is the race I have done the most often throughout the years. In fact, this year was my 10th running of this race! It is nicely run, well supported and fun to get one more race in for the year! One of the reasons I was not in a hurry to post about this race is because I lost the pics I took on that day due to getting a new phone (Long story for another day). I like to include pics in my blog posts so I was bummed that I didn’t have any. BUT, procrastinate no longer! It is time to blog anyways because I must document for posterity! Well, and because I’m just weird like that.

December 31, 2019 at 4pm – This race is run by SARC (Summit Athletic Running Club) begins and ends at Stow High School. It was a bit chilly at 28 degrees and just a tad slippery in parts (they warned us about Red Flag conditions), but not snow covered. Mike came with me this time just to spend time together and hold my stuff. I ran into Alise and Chris there and we took our usual selfie pics before and after the race. Just take my word for it. It is fun to see them there and keep the tradition going! They always offer soup in addition to the regular bananas and stuff so that is cool. I never eat it, but it is just a cool tradition.

I felt kinda awful during the entire race. I had not been running outside like at all over the holidays. As a matter of fact, this was my first run (like at all) since the Jingle Bell Run which was on Dec 13! So, consequently my lungs felt that I wasn’t acclimated to the cold and to actually running. It is amazing how quickly the body loses fitness!

I finished and gave myself a lecture about needing to get back on a regular schedule – inside AND a bit outside too.

Here are my stats: Time: 34:53; Pace: 11:15; Overall place: 296/414; Female in age group: 10/14; All female: 138/217. This was one of my slower times, but hey, you get out of it what you put into it, right? I’m excited for 2020 because I have 2 races planned – one is the Cleveland Half in May -pretty standard, but the other is the Chicago FULL marathon in October – holla! I’ve got my training plans are figured out and ready to rock starting in January! Yahoo!

The Colonoscopy Experiment

The Colonoscopy Experiment – November 21, 2019

So I’ve learned that when one turns 50, there are a few things one must do. After you have dealt with the weirdness that is the realization that you have lived halfway to 100 (that is a kick in the knickers), it is time to take stock and pay attention to the doctor’s suggestions at your “well” visit.

This year in addition to being lectured about that pesky 5 pounds I still need to shed, and the vitamin D I should be taking on a regular basis, my doctor recommended that I schedule a colonoscopy before the end of the year. Truth be told I really did not even know exactly what this mysterious test was all about. I kept mistakenly referring to it as a colostomy, which, it turns out, is a very different thing altogether. I got the referral and made the appointment for the end of November and it seemed very far away. In the meantime I was seeking feedback from friends and coworkers about this procedure. The basic summary from everyone was as follows: the procedure is not bad at all – what sucks is the prep. End stop. No more specific information was shared. What does not even mean?! Now, I know this is a rather, *ahem*, personal matter, but inquiring minds want to know – what’s the scoop? Give me the 411 on what sucks so bad about the prep? When I pressed people, they still didn’t really share much with me. I don’t know if they smelled my fear, or they had repressed their experience so much that they actually didn’t remember it anymore – like having a baby, or what, but no one was forthcoming with the gory details. This is where I come in!! I am going to do you a solid (so to speak) and give you the straight “poop” (tee-hee) about my experience. Think of it as a public service announcement. I know everyone is different, but at least this will give you one example of how it could go for you if you have not yet had the pleasure. If you are squeamish and/or just don’t care to know the details about my bowls, turn back now. I have no judgement, but you are forewarned.

As my date got closer I began to get more anxious about this procedure. I decided to try to detach from it by thinking about it as a scientific experiment. I decided to track my experience in order to share it with others (and also to distract myself from it)! I kept thinking, I can do this, right? I had a baby! I ran a marathon! All I have to do is drink stuff and go poop. Seems simple. Did I mention I hate being hungry, I get nauseous easily and am not good with anesthetic?

I got the appointment confirmation call on Monday saying my procedure was at 11am and I was to be there at 10:15am. The worst thing was I could not have coffee on Thursday morning!  Ugh. But, turns out, that was not the worst thing…
The instructions said I was to follow a low-residue diet on Monday and Tuesday. This meant no raw fruits and vegetables except for bananas. I had to eat stuff like white bread, white rice, chicken and canned vegetables and avoid things with fiber (which is lots of what I eat!) I suppose the reason for this is so the “prep” day is less dramatic than t would be if you had lots of fiber rich stuff in your system. Here is what I ate on Monday: Breakfast – 2 pieces of white toast, with peanut butter, coffee with almond milk. Lunch – 2 slices of white toast, can of tuna fish with a bit of miracle whip, banana. Dinner – white rice bowl with baked chicken, green beans and soy sauce. Snack at night – 2 pieces of white toast with peanut butter. On Tuesday: Breakfast – 2 pieces of white toast topped with banana slices, coffee with almond milk. Lunch – 2 slices of white toast, 3 scrambled eggs and 2 babybel cheese wedges, banana. Dinner – white rice bowl with baked chicken, green beans and soy sauce. Snack at night – 2 pieces of white toast with peanut butter and some honey drizzle. I felt just okay on Monday and Tuesday.  I went to work as normal. I found myself really ready for every meal and looking around for snacks during the 3pm – 5pm hours.  I wasn’t that hungry at night, but it was just the idea that I had a couple days of not eating ahead of me so I wanted to “stock up”!  Also, I just wanted a bit of sweet. I just do not do well with a deprivation type of situation. However, I did it!

On Wednesday (the day before the procedure) I had to follow a clear liquid diet. In the morning I started with a ½ cup black coffee.  Yes, black coffee was on the list for the day! I did not want to drink the whole thing on an empty stomach so half a cup did the job. I started feeling a bit hungry by 8:30am (let’s face it, I wake up hungry. I’m definitely not one of those “I lost track of time and worked through lunch” type of people) so I started with apple juice. I took a shower and began to find things to distract myself. By lunch I had gone through 3 big glasses of apple juice and about a half a season of Atypical on Netflix. I sat at the table with my bowl full of orange jello for lunch. Not bad. I had Mike get the “prep” medicine ready for me when he was home for lunch so it could get cold. It was a jug that held 4 liters of fluid. Ugh. The powder medicine was already in it and you were to add water and the flavor packets that came with it. You could alternatively use Crystal Light, if desired. Yes, it was desired. I had to start drinking the prep stuff at 6pm. The rest of the afternoon I focused on a project on the computer and had some carbonated water.

6pm finally came and I shooed Mike and Zach out of the house to get Chipotle. I didn’t want to see that food in front of me. I got the prep out of the fridge and got ready to drink my first 8 oz of stuff. I had to drink an 8 ounce glass of the stuff every 10 minutes until 2 liters was gone. The second half was then the job for the next day, starting at 6am. I got it out and got out the measuring cup, but I could not get the stinkin’ cap off! It was one of those “push down and turn” things, but it was not happening. I tried everything for like 5 minutes. At this point I was sweating, my arms were sore and I was swearing like a sailor. Remember I was hangry times 1000. I called Mike at Chipotle and asked them to get their food to go so they could come home and help me get this blasted thing open! Meanwhile I was texting a friend asking for help. That string of texts is pretty hilarious. I was seriously thinking this was a sign that I wasn’t supposed to do this and was ready to throw the whole jug outside when the cap suddenly finally came off as Mike and Zach were walking in the door, Chipotle bags in hand.

Game on! I drank the first 8 oz like a champ. The drink tasted like a thick, saltier version of Chrystal Light’s – like its diluted, lower-calorie cousin. Not my favorite, but not a big deal. I set the timer for 10 minutes and began the process. By the time I was halfway through my 8 glasses the drink was getting a bit old. I started adding more time to the timer – 15 minutes instead of 10. By glass #7 I was on the struggle bus. It wasn’t the taste exactly, but the shear volume of fluid I was consuming. Halfway through glass #7 I gagged and yukked a bit in the kitchen sink. There was nothing really to come up except for that good, old orange jello. Twenty minutes later I successfully consumed my last glass for the night with minimal gagging. I sloshed over to the couch, feeling very full and bloated and waited for the magic to happen. And waited. And waited. I had finished my prep at 8:37pm and the instructions said bowel activity should start 1-2 hours from the start of drinking the prep. Um, nope. At this point, I was so uncomfortably full and wondering if this stuff was going to work for me. I had peed here and there, but no action anywhere else. I had some gurgling and tooting, but nada in the poop department. Finally at 9:40pm – 3 1/2 hours after starting the prep all systems were go and the medicine did its thing. I was going to keep track of the number of bathroom visits, but the truth is I couldn’t really keep track. It was so strange, however, because it wasn’t like any other type of diarrhea I’ve ever had. There was no pain or cramping and after the first couple of times it was just liquid. It was like I was peeing from my butt, but I wasn’t sick. So strange. I was relieved that the medicine was working and relieved to finally get rid of a lot of this liquid! I finally felt clear to go to bed around 11:30pm.

On Thursday I got up at 5:45am to begin the second half of the prep. I was to consume the second 2 liters of stuff by 8am. This time the bowls were more consistent and I was less bloated and uncomfortable. It was still gross and got to be too much by glass #5, but I pressed on with minimal gagging. I did have one accident in my jammies that morning (yuck) which prompted me to bring a second pair of clothes and a towel to sit on to drive the 30 minutes to the hospital. Thankfully I did not need it! We arrived on time to the hospital where I proceeded to use the bathroom 3 more times while we were waiting in the lobby. At this point there was no poop to speak of. There was just yellow liquid, but it was coming out of my butt. Such a weird sensation. Hey, I forewarned you!

I got ready for the procedure, met the anesthesiologist and the doctor. I was most concerned about getting sick from the anesthetic, but the doc reassured me that I should be fine since it was just a twilight level of stuff. Next thing I knew I was waking up and I immediately felt alert and fine, but just really cold. After being in recovery a bit the doc informed me that she found one small, 3 mm, polyp and removed it. She would send it to the lab and depending on what type of polyp it was I would have to come back in either 5 years or 10 years. Fine by me – even if it is 5 years, that is still a long time! I felt good that at least the polyp was out of me and that now it can’t grow into anything bad! That is the whole reason why these things are recommended to be done as preventative thing. I’m a believer, for sure! Yes, it was gross, a bit uncomfortable and a bit inconvenient, but well worth it! I’m thankful to be able to have this sort of preventative care and good insurance to support it. Check this off the turning 50 list! Now, about that Shingles shot…

Great New Year’s Eve Race 2018

December 31, 2018 – Stow, Ohio – 5K

Well, this was the 9th year of running this race! I had to look back at my website and count the years! This is the first one that I remember being a total downpour, however! It had been raining all afternoon and continued throughout the race! The temp was in the 50’s so that was good, I guess. I ran into my friend Debbie and her husband and then also runner friends, Chris and Alise (pictured below). I have run into Chris and Alise for the past 4 years of this race!

It was pretty miserable, I’m not going to lie. I walked a bit of the stupid hill. In spite of all of this, however, I ran a pretty good race! I was faster than last year’s time by like a minute. I ran a 33.27 which was 10:47/mile. Here are the rest of my stats for folks keeping track at home:

Overall place: 255/413; All female: 108/232; Age group: 14/37. For my age group and the overall female I was in the top half so that is awesome! I’ll have to think of something really cool to do for next year’s 10th year! Maybe a prom dress and a tiara??

Jingle Bell Run 2018

December 9, 2018

We had a new addition to the Ram Fam this year! Anna Hershel, Zach’s girlfriend, joined us this year! It was a bit chilly to start – in the 20’s, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time together! Zach and Anna finished a bit ahead of me and Mike brought up the rear with his 5K walk. It turned out to be a sunny day and we met some cute furry friends. I ran a great time and a great time was had by all!

Our times:

Zachary: 29:41.2 30:10.8 9:35/M (For some reason they didn’t have Anna’s results listed, but she came in right with Zach for sure!)

Lisa: 31:03.9 31:33.1 10:01/M

Mike: 45:22.2 46:18.4 14:38/M