Posted in Blogging, Feelings, Writing

Happy Birthday Dad

May 1st – the day my father was born many eons ago….at least that’s what I would rib him about were he here to celebrate it. I’m pretty sure that if my dad were still alive, we’d be celebrating his 82nd birthday with a day riddled with old-people jokes, laughter and something yummy to eat.

I’m not really sad, but it’s days like this that I do indeed miss him more. My dad was pretty awesome….yeah, I know…daughters tend to have inflated opinions of their dads, but I believe mine was justified.  He really was awesome and had an amazing strength.

In the short 18 years I had him, he taught me many life lessons….most of which didn’t hit home until later (of course). Most of all, he taught me about looking at life with the glass full no matter what is happening.

Dad had diabetes and lived with many side effects (normally you’d say suffered from here – but we never witnessed that). He went blind a few months before I was born, but that never stopped him from working, having hobbies, and helping around the house. When he had to have part of his leg amputated, we started calling him Peggy. He would come home from his job at the factory and ask “is your mother nearby?” When I responded that she wasn’t, he’d reply “Good! I got this great joke at work today” and launch some dirty joke.

At 82, chances are, he wouldn’t be in great health which may be why he didn’t live past 55. I’d like to imagine that if he were here…he would still be cracking jokes, listening to music, talking on the CB radio, and asking my mom every morning if he was in the obituary yet….only his head would be full of white hair!

Happy Birthday Dad – I miss you and I love you.

❤ Katydid

Posted in Writing

Looking in to some Glass

Today’s Photo101 assignment – Glass. I played around with a few different things, so I’ve got a couple photos for consideration with glass, plus my Day 2 for the Black & White Challenge.

First – the glass bowl the bees were acquiring honey from (and some unfortunately binged and got stuck and died in the honey).  I also tried to apply the Rule of Thirds here…

Bees eating honey from glass bowl
Bees eating honey from glass bowl

Next I tried different lighting options when taking a picture of the glass door on my “heirloom” Seth Thomas clock. I think my parents got it for an anniversary present a million years ago. Always loving it, somehow I managed to acquire it at some point and I have it in my house now…however I’m not good at keeping it wound and on time! Because it is on the top of my bookcase, when I snapped the shot it picked up the windows on the other side of the room which I thought a bit cool.

Glass door on the old Seth Thomas clock
Glass door on the old Seth Thomas clock

And finally, for Day 2 of the Black & White Challenge issued by my blogger pal Syracuse Mark Bialczak, I submit the clock in black & white….I think it actually makes for a creepy-cool picture – any thoughts? Maybe I should have done this for our exercise in Mystery!

B & W Glass

Posted in Writing

Day 6: Connect

As I thought about today’s theme of “Connect” I first thought about taking a picture of my ham radio tower and antennas because I can connect around the world with my radio, and I have!

But as I sat in my office pondering what to take a photo of that wasn’t my tower, I realized “connect” surrounds me every day. I work from home doing tech support for a software company so rather than tell you what my office and daily connection looks like….I thought I’d share my chaos.  It’s not a “pretty” picture, but I think it tells the story adequately.

Living in a Connected World
Living in a Connected World
Posted in Crohn's Disease, Crohns, IBD, Writing

Running to Outrun the Runs with Team Challenge

On June 1st, I crossed the finish line of the Deadwood Michelson Trail Marathon in Deadwood, SD completing my second half-marathon. For those of you that know me personally or have followed my blog the past year, you’ll know that this is a huge accomplishment for this girl. It’s particularly a big deal because unlike many of the others on the course, I live with Crohn’s Disease.

Based on the statistics (and if I did my math correctly) out of the 3500 participants in the marathon, there likely were at least another 17 people on that course with this disease. That means there were 17 other people wondering if they’d make it to the next rest stop, and perhaps a few that  were likely eyeing the woody areas along the way for a possible pit stop.

This year, in spite of our VERY long winter and lack of training, my friend and running-partner Trudy and I managed to jog quite a bit along the course, shaving off 22 minutes from last year. Not too shabby without appropriate preparation! After it was over, I realized I was hooked. “When can I do this again?” was my first thought! OK…maybe not my first…but it was definitely in the top five.

2014  Marathon

A few weeks after the marathon, I picked up a copy of Runners World. The inner front cover advertisement was for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Team Challenge in Las Vegas. For some reason, right then and there, I decided I would join Team Challenge and not look back. The timing for the marathon in Vegas wouldn’t work with my schedule. I found Dallas in December – Perfect!! I signed myself up…and not once did I wonder….what did I just sign up for???!!  For this event I recruited a new running partner – my other bestie, Chip.  Chip has already begun training at his home in California and will be there to be sure I cross the finish line where our spouses will be waiting for us! I can feel the excitement as I write this!

I also realized that if I’m ever going to finish my book about living with bowel disease (aptly named “Coming Out of the Water Closet”) then I better get back to writing and gathering up my experiences. What better way to gather up something new then by participating in Team Challenge?!

I’m ready to recruit support and spread the word about this disease that so many live with…usually silently. As I’ve said before, talking about a pooping disease isn’t exactly water cooler conversation. Except that it should be! We need to find each other and help each other. There shouldn’t be a stigma for having a disease that keeps you chained to the bathroom, living in pain and never-ending misery. We need to find a cure!

I’ve been lucky the last few years. After 20+ years of surgeries, medications, fistulas, more surgeries and a couple near-death calls….I’m pretty healthy now. Lately though I’ve been noticing some symptoms again. No matter what I eat I feel crampy, bloated and sometimes have pain. I’ve also noticed some sores on the inside of my mouth. Yep, these are the tell-tale signs that something is brewing. It’s been going on long enough that it’s time to pull out the prednisone for a short while….just to kick this crap to the curb (bad pun?).

In the meantime, I’ll keep training and running. I’ll keep talking about Crohn’s, and I’ll be hitting you up for your support. Every day I think about crossing the finish line in Dallas on December 14th with my orange Team Challenge shirt on, just a couple weeks before my 45th birthday.  I plan to cross the finish line for those people that can’t.  If you can help me, I really appreciate any support you can provide. For those of you that donated already, THANK YOU!! Your support means more to me than I can ever express.

team-challenge-logo

I’m Running to Outrun the Runs – Can you help? My site for Team Challenge is here: http://www.active.com/donate/dallasNATIONAL14/KatieBreenAllen.

If you are one of the many suffering silently, please don’t!! Reach out to me, I’d love to help you.