Monday, February 22, 2016

Two Bears in the Woods

Wow! It's been a tough few weeks. The flu went around the house and is still hanging on for dear life. I am happy to report it is on its way out the door. In the middle of the flu chaos, we added a new member to the Clouse clan - Kody! Kody is short for Kodiak. Puppies are adorable, but they are also a lot of work. Luckily Kody seems to be getting the idea, but he still has a lot to learn.

Da Bear
The Honey Bear isn't exactly sure about what to think. She was very down after our pup, Charlie dog, lost his fight with cancer. She seems to be doing better, but Kody can be completely annoying at times. He also tends to get a lot of attention because 1. he's a puppy and 2. he can get himself into a mess. He also thinks it is fun to crawl, bite, and jump onto Honey. He especially loves to try to bite her legs, just like she used to do to Charlie. Watching Honey's personality morphing from a youngin' into responsible head dog has been nothing short of amazing.  Watching the rest of us trying to get it figured out and working smoothly would be comical if we weren't smack dab in the middle of it all. Trying to convince a 9 week old pup that he needs to go poop doesn't work as well as you might hope. I am sooooo thankful it is an unusually warm February! Kody will be starting doggy kindergarten soon. Hey, I need all the help I can get.

Dog Daddy Jim

Monday, February 8, 2016

Running is for Lovers

Valentine's Day 2015 @ -9°F.
Yes, Jim is wearing shorts.
I have a general rule when it comes to running in cold weather. If it is below 14°F, I don't run outside. Well, except when I do. This time last year, Jim asked if I'd join him at Can't Stop Running for the Running is for Lovers 5K. When I agreed, I had no idea how cold it would be. It was Valentine's Day, and it was with Jim. It could have been 30 below, and I probably would have gone. After all, we had already run through icy water and snow for 30+ miles together at Tecumseh. Before Tecumseh, I had vowed after entirely too many miserable runs that I wouldn't do a mud run again.  Mud. Ice. Water. Whatever. Jim was going and so was I. At least this run wouldn't have the mud, ice, and water.

I met Jim and Madison at the running store, and Madison was the only one of the three of us who had enough sense to enjoy the festivities and pass on the freeze fest. It wasn't 30 below. It was 9 below. I had never run in a temp that low before, and I haven't since. The runners headed into the darkness.

Within the first half a mile, I like to say that Jim fell for me. It turns out there was some ice, and he managed to find it. He was back on his feet just as quickly as he had gone down, and we continued on. I could feel the muscles in my face going numb because of the cold and the wind. Right before the turn around point, Jim asked if I'd marry him.

You know on TV how a guy asks a gal to marry him, and she starts crying? My eyes were watering alright because that cold wind wasn't giving them a choice. We discovered a brutally cold wind coming off of the river on the return trip. I have never been so cold during a run in my entire life.

After spending some time with the other runners in the store, it was time to depart. Madison had given me a Creeper for Valentine's Day (think Minecraft) which I happen to think is geeky adorable. I headed out with a pretty potted flower Jim had given me. Unfortunately those 2 minutes in the cold were a flower death sentence. You know it is cold when it takes such a short amount of time for a plant to give up the ghost. I put the poor thing under the car heater on the trip home, but it just wasn't enough to save it.

It wasn't until later that it really dawned on me that Jim and I had gotten engaged on February 14th, Valentine's Day! It seems Jim just might be a romantic at heart. Love you, sweets!