Zoo-Rangutan

When the sun is out in Indy, every body or every seal is out to soak it in! That’s how brown I want to be!

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I had not been to the Indy zoo since WAY before the Orangutan exhibit opened. I could see it every time I ran the canal. It was time! Can you see the one on his perch high in the sky?

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I loved it! I always feel so conflicted visiting zoos. While I love to see the beautiful creatures, I hate the trace-loop most caged animals end up doing. I remember a polar bear at a zoo when I was a kid. He had a pattern. Forward around, reverse. So sad.

Back to this extraordinary open enclosure! A real marvel to look at. Spears, ladders, glass. Swinging fire hoses to climb and metal rungs to explore. It did look like these guys and gals were having fun. But Mama, Sirih, kept following the baby, Mila, like she didn’t approve of her antics.

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Thousands of zoo fans voted to name this adorable baby with a name that translates to “dear one” in Indonesian. He was dear.

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Then this joker comes climbing down from the top and I thought, that could totally look like a sasquatch or a yeti depending on your terrain.

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After we were done with these characters, let’s see some more animals! This guy doesn’t need to climb anything.

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Our zoo puts on shows through out the day, so we took in a dog show. We always love them on AGT, so let’s see it live! These were all rescue dogs who were given a chance by their amazing trainer. See them jump!

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Next were the big cats. I’ve always loved tigers. Rewind 7 years ago when B & P & I actually got to play with them! Most amazing hands on experience that started my journey towards always having real contact with wild animals. Oh wait. P & I got to do it TWICE!

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Must have a tiger selfie since I can’t pet him.

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Add the lemurs were, first napping in a pile. Later, they were bums on a log. Booooooring. I’m so spoiled. At least these brother bears gave us some action!

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Then came the scary train ride.

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Thank goodness my parents were here to comfort me.

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On our way out, real life happened. Hello sssssssssnake!

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People were freaking out on the sidewalk. Come on, it’s a zoo! Last show of the day, the Macaws. This was awesome. There are 3 tribes of Macaws at the zoo right now. During specific times of the day, each tribe’s cage door opens and they are trained to fly from the cage to the Bicentennial stage near the zoo entrance. Very very cool.

And these birds were not shy about getting to the stage, so watch your head. It’s not the biggest zoo around, but I learned we have a lot to offer. I hope visitors of our city enjoy it too!

The Year of the Blood Clot

Doing some spring cleaning and stumbled upon my old medical paperwork from 2007, AKA the Year of the Blood Clot.

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In 2007, I was busy painting the entire interior of my condo. That coupled with my workout mania, led to a blood clot forming in my upper right 1st rib/clavicale. But being young and dumb, I didn’t know I had a blood clot. I just had an arm that would swell up as I worked out, then go back down. No big deal, I thought. Boy was I wrong. After a few weeks of my observation, my cousin said “GO TO THE HOSPITAL NOW”. I had no idea what I was in for. I was scared literally to death. Thought I was going to die. To add to this fear, it was the Friday before Memorial Day. The hospital was empty. The doctors saw me, then sent me home with a DVD to learn how to inject myself in the stomach with blood thinners. Seriously?! I think I cried for 2 days straight. Momma came to comfort me.

The doctors assured me I would be fine, but a battery of tests were coming my way. The overly organized person I am, I started a folder and a spreadsheet. It went to every appointment with me tracking my health. Once I was calm about the blood clot not ending my life, they say “We saw spots on your lungs we want to check out.” OH SHIT. I’m dying again. I am healthy. I don’t smoke. What the hell is this about? Cancer? Well, basically everyone in the Midwest has had Histoplasmosis at some point. It makes spots on your lungs. You’d think you had a cold but in real life, you have a type of lung infection caused by inhaling fungus spores found in soil and in the droppings of bats and birds. WTF. I was told it’s just in the Midwest air. Lovely. Bring on the CT scans.

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Clearly had my clothes on during that scan! But it proved I do have a heart! A soul? That’s still up for debate. So now I think I’m in the clear again. Until the day I realize it’s been 5 days since I pooped and I was getting uncomfortable. Tried pills from both ends. Nothing worked. Called the hospital and they said, come to the ER now. Son of a bitch!

Because I was off birth control, my ovaries started firing again. Firing so much a cyst formed blocking my intestine. Add that my hematologist was not properly monitoring my clotting factor levels. Normal level is 2.0-3.0, I was 7.5 INR! Signed up that day for a new hematologist.

My blood was so thin. After 2 IV bags and several restroom trips, I headed home exhausted. Many rounds of follow ups occurred that year. End result: No more birth control, get an IUD and you don’t have an genetic clotting issues. I just happened to win the fluke blood clot lottery one day in May 2007. 10 years ago.

At least I got all these cool scans of my innards. Check me out and enjoy the added music to lessen the creep factor!

If you need a

*Hematologist
*Vascular Surgeon
*Pulmonologist
*Gynecologist
*ER Doctor
*Allergist

I know people. Now, I need to go paint my bathroom. Not kidding.

4th of July Weather

Last 4th of July was soooo cold.

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This year, we had a bit of heavy rain for 10 minutes.

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But we all were prepared!

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After that rainstorm shit, we got to enjoy this!

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Ahh let’s relax tonight… or let’s box and I’ll taunt you with my low blow punch moves!

K sent me this AMAZING video because she knew of my love for this guy.

Whoever buys me my own Trex costume for Christmas is my new best friend. “Just sayin” Then I saw this… might have gone too far with the Trex costume on AGT.

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Clearly Trex arms are not meant for pole dancing.

14hr : 41hr

25% drive time for 75% memory making time… pack it up and let’s head to KC for some family time. Let’s go on a boat!

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The paddle boards even made the trek West. We had a new taker ready to try it out. The low center of gravity always helps.

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Weird thing about this lake, the trees are petrified into the soil so these barren wood sticks shoot out of the lake everywhere! Not just the coast line, literally in the middle of the lake too. Watch your props people.

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Ok, next activity, let’s take in a Royals Game!

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Felt like a wolf-pack moment. First game for this kid!

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I was intrigued by the vendor’s carrying methods.

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We didn’t get a Royals win, but it was a win to be together.

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Sunday, was down time day. Just hanging out, lots of pictures, and 2 important birthdays to celebrate. But the highlight of my trip, was this…. I scored myself a new best friend.

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I think it was our matching hair styles! Every one that entered the room, whether it was their first time or tenth time entering, they got with a finger point at me “Hey, that’s Natalee!” Every time he entered the room… “Where’s Natalee?” Cuteness achieved!

PhilHarmonious

Mom signed herself up for a new fundraiser to support the Fort Wayne Philharmonics. Which signs us up for work duty. Our first task 6 months ago was to come up with the event name. During our brainstorming lunch at The Merdian, CS took the prize and named the event PhilHarmonious. We all agreed it was a great name! Now it was time to celebrate.

Cold pea mint soup? Come on.

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Half a spoon was enough for me and the Herbs.

This evening’s special guest was a prior White House Chef, Mr. John Moeller.

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I believe he delivered a wonderful menu, I may just have one of the most bland palates on the planet who will never enjoy something like this. The steak came out looking amazing yet not to my bland palate. Now Mimi, would have loved the temperature of this dish. Hair dryer style. Dad and I, we want less pink.

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Our wonderful server was able to bring us some more well done steak and our table started trading like a swap meet so that everyone really enjoyed their meal. Dessert was a replica of our Chef’s cook book cover.

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I did try a bite and it was delicious! Throughout the evening, I was privileged to meet the people that keep this organization running like Andrew Constantine, their Music Director.

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Supporting my Mom and all the Foundations she supports, I tried my luck at the jewelry surprise…

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Waaah-whhhah. 21 was picked! Whatever. Nothing can ruin the fun I always have with these good looking people!

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Art Installation

Previously.

Normally it’s a muddy race that leaves my shoes looking like this.

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Not this time. All the rain made this year’s Broad Ripple Art Fair a muddy mess.

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On the way down it was raining on 86th street. I chanted to the rain gods, No rain at 67th Street… No rain at 67th Street… Luckily the rain stopped just in time to enjoy the Preview Party!

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I was ready to level up our title sponsorship area. I was dreaming of doing an Art Installation for the weekend.

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Thanks to Primary Colours and the Indy Art Center for making it happen! I remembered one year, the BRAF had a chicken wire dome that you could weave strips of cloth through. I loved it. Clean, simple, for all ages! We decided on a flag shape for our area with matching flag colored cloth. Saturday morning, it looked like this.

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Throughout the weekend, families would join in and add layers to our beautiful flag! By the end of the weekend, you could really see it come together.

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The final product will be on display for Flag Day then become a permanent piece in the Installation Nation event.

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You’d think that would be enough, but I had the icing on the cake to add this  year! And it sat right across from our area so I could keep an eye on it!

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The OneAmerica Lego® Tower!

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We have a general raffle every year, so this year I decided to add a guessing game to it. How many Legos® make up the Tower? 3 lucky winners were really close!

A Mile A Day In May

Previously.

While starting my “training” for the Mini 5K this year on May 3rd, I thought of an idea to get my ass running on a regular basis again. “A Mile A Day In May” was born. I have no excuse to not carve off 10 minutes a day for a minimum one mile run. Since I started this idea late, I made sure to have catch-up runs for May 1st & 2nd, which included a run over to packet pick up in some rain. Little did I know that was an omen for race day. What better way to shake off the crappy weather than with a mascot photo!

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Slim pickins’ in the goodie bag since this race went to a virtual goodie bag. This was a fun surprise, a student who has benefited from the 500 Festival education programs wrote us a note!

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Instead of our usual lasagna dinner, we met up with my cousin and 2nd cousin who would be running the race with Team Triumph!

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If you haven’t heard of this group, please visit their website. TEAM TRIUMPH is an athletic ride-along program created for children, teens, adults, and veterans with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events such as triathlons or road races. Their mission is “To enhance the health and well being of individuals with disabilities by fostering lasting, authentic relationships through the teamwork environment of endurance athletics.” My cousin’s daughter has an amazing story and gets to ride in this chair at events.

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I have thought about racing with someone like this for awhile because I do so many races by myself. Now, I’ll commit to racing for Team Triumph in 2017. Mom and I added CS to our 5K team this year!

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He’s in shorts and a jacket. I’m in pants, a winter coat and stocking cap. 45 degrees is not my friend. The weather didn’t keep the crowd away but I heard a lot of runners bailed on the Mini because of the conditions.

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The weather couldn’t keep T-Rex away! I needed a picture with this guy!

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Mom was not happy with the drizzling rain. Nobody puts Mama in a hood.

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It was chilly but 5K bag people? Must of been their 1st rodeo.

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During the last mile Mama had her fill. She was ready to bail. Don’t JUMP!!

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But she gets some pep in her step at the finish line!

I think we’ve seen the last of the Mom/Daughter Mini days. We’ll find some warmer races to compete in. Got to see my longtime friend @erikprops finish the wheelchair race! Sorry I can’t show a closer view… Flickr needs to figure out their photo editor choices.

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As I’m trying to figure out time splits for my cousins, Chad goes “There they are!” Fugh! Barely could get my phone out in time but I did get to capture J running the last bit of the race!

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As we walk back to our tent, we spy a massage area. Yes please!

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So, back to A Mile A Day In May… I only missed last Thursday because of the work schedule and events, but I made up for it the day before. My legs are tired, but will stay strong!

Ham-mer Time

Last year, Herbie decided to make Easter all about him.  Dick move, and I let him know I felt that way. This year, we were celebrating! When you invite the hostess with the most-est to your place for Easter lunch, you must have a suitable center piece. This was my attempt!

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Fresh flowers adorned with Peeps and jelly beans. Mannie even got into the spirit…

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Let’s eat some ham!

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After a full tummy of ham, potatoes, deviled eggs, baked beans, rolls, cake… we needed to walk it off. Mom was impressed with the flowering trees in the community. Sounds like an old person thing but I will admit, these were pretty cool.

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When we bought the ham, we had few to choose from. 12-15 pounds each! It’s only 5 of us. So we have leftovers for days. What to do? Make ham sandwiches!

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I’ve eaten ham 3 days in a row! I’m done with it, send me your shipping address. And don’t tell CS.

Spring Beeches

Previously.

When you want to take your parents on vacation, but only kinda…

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You put them in their own condo on the other side of the building! Just kidding, we love traveling with them!

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Back to Gulf Shores we go!

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We had beautiful weather most of the week. One storm rolled in but was welcomed and took our clan out to do some retail therapy.

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Most days looked like this…

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We hit all our favorite spots again. We had some newcomers to initiate. First stop, I needed to see my furry friends!

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Look at her hands! So tiny and gentle.

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Mom loved it.

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And they loved her, Lemur attack!

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That’s pure joy in her face! CS managed to stay lemur-pee-free this time.

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The newbies were a bit timid, but they said they would do it again!

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Ft Morgan is another tourist attraction we had to hit. Everyone set off to explore.

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I love walking around this place imaging what it was really like. Last time we missed the Moon Lander while visiting the Blue Angels. Dad was on a mission to see it. You can’t fathom that people actually believed this would work…

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Let’s see the practice!

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By the end of the week with all the sun, it was easy to get chilled. Coats, coffee and cocoa were on the menu. Are we at the coast?!

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BS found our new little friend at the bottom of the pool. That’s a tic-tac next to him. He’s so small! BS had eagle eye with his goggles.

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Bye beech! You’ll be missed.

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