Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I miss my pedometer

Many of you know I had a pedometer program that I was paid to use through work at Utopia. Now that I'm officially done there, I no longer have access to that program and my pedometer is obsolete. The memory fills up if you can't upload it, so I can't even use it without the program.

My issue: If it's not counted, am I still getting exercise? My OCD says no. I also miss charting my physical activity. I decided to join the ranks of Sara Davis, Marina, and Michael Sage and get a Fitbit. Heaven knows I love a chart and to see if I'm "winning", so in 2 short days, I'll have a new toy. I'll let you know what I think. I'm SO excited!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Why not?

You know I've always screamed from the rooftops when I love a product? Well, I'm gonna start telling you about it and linking it on my blog. If I'm gonna advertise like I've always done, might as well monetize, right? So here goes...I'll tell you the stuff I love and why, and if you want to buy it, click my link. (And the stuff I hate, I'll still complain about, per usual...but I won't get paid for that) ;)

When I moved to my condo in June, the best purchase I made was my Roomba. I like a clean house, because of my OCD, but I have 2 cats in a 1200sq ft condo. Being alone, and working full-time, I had more housework to do, and less time to do it because, lets face it...I'm ALWAYS on the go. Always. So, I bought my little Roomba, (who I named Rosy) and she's been a lifesaver. My house is always clean, and all I ever do is empty her pan. I thought they seem like a cheesy thing to get, but seriously, it's my favorite thing. I never have the kitty hair tumbleweeds, it works SO well. I have tile, hard wood and carpet, and it works on all the surfaces equally. So there you go...it's a few of Holly's Favorite Things. Move over Oprah. ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I'm back

Hey guys, did you miss me? I missed you too. Ok so let's get this going, and fill you in on my life...it's a lot so I'll break it down in smaller pieces, and maybe over the course of several posts. I feel like I have lived 10 lifetimes since the old days of my blog and even WMBYS. (remember WMBYS? Yeah...me too)

Because I enjoy the flagrant use of bullet points, I'll give you a rundown on my major life events and why I've been away. I'll write in more detail about each one in an individual post. How's that sound? Good? Ok.
  • My dear friend Ginny died in a car accident 7/19/11. She was a surrogate mother to me. As many of you know, my own mother isn't in my life. It was a hard loss.
  • Matty and I took Washington DC by storm in August of 2011 to celebrate his 40th bday! We had so much fun and visited some amazing friends.
  • Sweet Cooper, my ragdoll cat, had another embolism and died 9/6/11.
  • I turned 40 in October 2011. My sweet, best friend on the planet, Matty flew here to celebrate with me. I'm so fortunate to have him, and I don't know what I'd do without him as my support system.
  • Nick and I got divorced after 16 years of marriage. It's amicable, and we're still friendly, but we had been roommates for several years, and I couldn't settle for that any longer. I moved out of the suburbs to a condo downtown Minneapolis. I couldn't love living downtown more. It's much more me than the big house in the suburbs ever was. I'm finally coming into my own. I moved with the cats, and River. Nick kept the dogs.
  • March 24, 2012 I lost my Grandpa. Many of you know he was my heart, and without the love of my Grandma and Grandpa, I'd have been a very lost little girl. They compensated for my parents in every way possible. It was a blow to my whole family, but particularly devestating to myself, as we were so close. I miss him every single day.
  • May 5th, I did the Walk for Animals. It's been about 18 years that I've done it, and I'm always so grateful that I can use my voice to help animals in need. I love it.
  • May 7th, my Dad died. We weren't close, but of my parents, he was the better one. He had an aneyruism, and died a few days after surgery.
  • I ended up with my Dad's house in Texas, and I'm now a slumlord. ;) I took a roadtrip down there to see the house and meet the tenant who's renting it. I took in a Rangers game in Arlington, and it was 108 degrees. I nearly had a stroke it was so hot!
  • I ran the Warrior Dash on September 8th, 2012 and I'm super proud of myself for it!
  • I was laid off from my job. I've loved my time at Utopia Inc, but there will be something new on my horizon.

So, in a nutshell, this has been why I've been away. I've simply had too much going on to keep up with my blog, or WMBYS. I'm debating restarting both...and I guess the debate on the blog has been settled. I'm back. I'll fill in more things and more detail. I just wanted to pop in and say hi.

Thanks to everyone who's supported me over the years. Know that it has meant the world to me. Seriously.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Walk for Animals

Most of you know I have a passion for animals and their welfare. I'll be walking in the Walk for Animals again this year. It's my 17th year doing this, and it's one of my favorite days of the year. It's really a lot of fun, and makes me feel good to give back to this charity. I got my first puppy at the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, MN in June of 1983. Misty was my best friend growing up, and honestly she raised me more than my parents ever did. When I moved out, I bought a house so Misty would have a yard because I couldn't leave her behind with my mom. She was the reason I've still to this day never lived in an apartment. I couldn't live anywhere she couldn't go. She was my girl, and we were inseparable from when I was 11 until she died when I was nearly 28.

If you want to sponsor me, follow the link here. I know it's a tough economy, so don't feel obligated. I appreciate every little bit. Thanks for reading.

Hug your pets.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


It's been a trying few weeks at the Princess Holly household.

On Feb 24th, I woke up at 5:00, and didn't immediately notice anything unusual. I brushed my teeth and got ready to hit the treadmill. As I left my bathroom, I realized the cat meowing at me was Trinket. Cooper is usually the one who want to remind me that he's STARVING and MUST be fed immediately if not sooner. I knew instantly something was wrong. I called Cooper and there was no response. I woke up Nick and told him something was wrong, but he thought I was being dramatic. My stomach had a knot in it while I looked and called for him.

I finally found him down on the main level laying on Sunshine's bed. I raced over to him and picked him up. He started purring and I sighed from relief. He seemed fine. I set him down so I could feed them, and he crumpled to the floor. He was paralyzed in his back legs.

I immediately went into panic mode. I told Nick we had to get him to the emergency vet. I called the U of M emergency vet and told them what was going on. They asked his age and breed. I told him he's 7, and a Ragdoll. They said to bring him in right away.

I sped to the U and was there within 20 minutes. When I arrived they came running out to me, asked if this was the Ragdoll, I said yes, and they scooped him out of my arms, and ran with him. About 5 minutes later they called me into a room. It was an empty exam room with nothing but a box of Kleenex. This isn't my first time with an animal emergency, and I know the room with the tissues isn't where you hear good news. A very sweet, young vet told me that Cooper had a femoral embolism. He threw a blood clot to the femoral artery, which supplies blood to his hind legs. He had no pulse in either leg, they had cut one of his toe nails, and it wasn't bleeding. His hind legs were cold. She went on to say this is fairly common in Ragdolls, and wasn't anything we could have prevented or known about. She said the prognosis for him was very poor, and only about 10-15% of cats survive. She also said, this is an indication of heart disease, so if he did survive, he likely has some heart issues. She went on to say that most cats they see with this are down and out, and Cooper was sitting up and alert, so that was a good sign. She recommended they give him heparin therapy to try to dissolve the clot to restore blood flow to his rear legs, they were going to give him some pain meds, and see how he responds. She told me she was going to go get Cooper before they started the heparin so I could say good-bye to him. She brought him in, all wrapped in a blanket. He was purring, and sweet, but you could tell he wanted to get out of there. I petted him, and talked to him. Snapped a couple photos with my iphone. I refused to say good-bye to him. I told him to be a good boy and I'd see him later. With that, the vet took him from me. He was taken to the ICU for his treatment, and I was told to go home and they would call me in a few hours.

I got home, decided to workout on the treadmill because I needed to relieve some stress. I had called work to tell them I'd be late, so I was in no particular hurry. I took a shower, and was heading into my office at about 10:00, when I received a phone call from Cooper's cardiologist. (yes, at this point, my cat has a cardiologist) She told me that the news wasn't good. Cooper was in congestive heart failure as well as his embolism. She was very kind and soothing, and answered all my questions. She told me to come in at 3:00 to further talk about Cooper and his options, and prognosis.

I arrived at the U of M at 3:00. There was a large manly woman who came out and told me what a good boy Cooper was. She had been one of his ICU nurses, and was madly in love with him. She brushed him and comforted him much of his stay there. She brought me into a room and went to go get Cooper. He looked disheveled, had part of his hair shaved off, and smelled like urine. He had peed on himself, because he had no control of his hind legs. I felt terrible seeing him in this condition. The cardiologist came in. She was very pretty in an unusual way. She had an accent I couldn't quite identify, and spoke slowly, and very articulately. She explained that Cooper would require lifelong meds for his heart. I asked if they put cats on Lasix, like they do humans. She said that's precisely what they were putting him on, along with aspirin to help keep clots down. She told me his echo-cardiograph showed another clot in his heart and he could throw it at any time. She said that most cats regain some use of their limbs after an embolism because their veins reroute around the blockage to resupply blood to the muscles, however if he didn't regain his hind legs it would prove fatal. She told me his short term prognosis was good because I was willing to try with the meds and physical therapy. His long term prognosis is poor, as most cats with heart failure live 6 months a year, occasionally 2 years. She was very patient and made sure I understood his prognosis. A small percentage >20% survive long term with meds. I'm hoping he's in that >20%.

I brought him home Thursday afternoon, and he wouldn't eat or drink. I syringed water into his mouth a few times an hour to make sure he remained hydrated. I got some high calorie vitamin gel and put it on his tongue along with baby food to try to keep his strength up. He had to lay on pee-pads because he couldn't use the litter box. It was awful and I questioned if I was doing the right thing for him, or if I was being selfish. I just felt I needed to give him a chance to beat this. I had faith he could, and he's such a sweet, kind hearted baby, I had to make sure he had every option.

I barely ate or slept myself. Friday I had to go to work, and of course I was a basket case. I got home, and there wasn't any improvement. His feet were still cold, and he was still paralyzed. The ER vet said if it was coming back it would do so within 24-48 hours. I was scared he would remain paralyzed. He still wouldn't eat or drink, and I felt awful. I bought him a rotisserie chicken to try to coax him into nibbling on some food, but he wasn't having any of it.

Saturday, he seemed to be able to move his hind right leg, and it seemed to be warming up. Not a lot, but a little bit. I turned my back for a couple minutes and I thought Cooper had scooted to the litter box. I wasn't positive, but someone peed in it, and Trinket won't use an uncovered box. We took the cover off so we could hold him in there to go potty. Later I saw him scoot a few feet. His hind right was regaining a tiny bit of use! And he started eating canned cat food! This was amazing progress as far as I was concerned.

Sunday, he was hobbling on his hind right leg. Cooper was acting more himself and I couldn't be more pleased with his progress! He continued to improve as the week progressed, and by Tuesday or Wednesday his hind left foot was warm again, too. I was hopeful maybe that would come back as well.

Thursday he had his recheck at the U. It took 2 hours, not because they ran a lot of tests, but because he had quite a social life to tend to. Everyone in Emergency, ICU and Cardiology remembered him and wanted to see him. He rolled on his back and begged for belly rubs, and purred so loud they had trouble hearing his heart. Everyone commented that he is practically a dog in cat's clothing. The doctor was pleased with his leg, and overall recovery, but warned me that he still has a clot in his heart.

So that's where we stand now. It's been 2 1/2 weeks. Cooper has full use of 3 legs and 1/2 use of his hind left. It's warm now, and he still needs to regain motor function. He can't quite control the foot, but can put weight on it. Today he jumped onto a chair for the first time since his embolism, so it was good to see. He's going to be on blood thinners and heart meds the rest of his life, which I hope is a long time.

I'm really grateful that I had health insurance on him. I use VPI, for all my pets and it's proven worthwhile for me. His bills so far are $1690, and it gives me some relief to know that about 80% will be covered. If you have pets, I highly recommend pet insurance.

Thanks for reading, and hug your pets for me.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Matty's visit

I took one bite of my grilled cheese, and the crumbs fell this way. I didn't touch them at all. Weird isn't it?? Matty and I were thinking of starting our own cult...I mean church based on the smiley crumbs.

Matty and I at Duplex for lunch before my company holiday party. Try the poutine, you won't be sorry.

Me through the water globe
Matty through a glass globe. Makes me laugh

Matty and me with a dinosaur.

Shenanigans at the Gift shop after the King Tut exhibit at the MN Science Museum. We had so much fun that day. I love the Science Museum!
Turkeys crossing the street in Northeast Minneapolis. They were huge!
A "Malted Cristo" at Three Squares. It's a Monte Cristo with a waffle, and an ancho-berry dipping sauce. It's sweet, spicy, salty, and savory. SO good!
Matty and Sunshine. She adored him from the moment she laid eyes on him, which is amazing because she was abused and is very skittish of everyone
Matty and River
Something I found at Target that made me laugh

Yeah, we were sitting together tweeting at one another...it's how we do.
Nieman's will apparently let anyone in these days...
Shenanigans at Neiman Marcus

Me, Mary and Matty
Matty and Mary Tyler Moore

Men's room at Hell's Kitchen. I always assumed they both had halos...guess the boys get mustaches. :)
Women's restroom at Hell's Kitchen. Love the halo, always makes me laugh
OMG Inc! Totally makes me laugh still!
Matty at Nickelodeon Universe
Kind of how I view most of humanity.
This mobile that was hanging I'm going to classify as art because I liked the balance between order and chaos that it shows.
This one is bullshit because it's basically tape spelling out words, but art because the message seemed to fit.
Weird rhinestone buck. Awesome in a bizarre way. It wasn't bullshit.
Me and "art", I kinda wish I would have bought those magnets at the Walker gift shop.
Some of the art at the Walker. I actually liked this. If you know me, you'll know why this speaks to me. We played a little game of "Art or Bullshit" at the gallery. Know what? There's a lot of bullshit, but it was fun. Apparently, they hire judgmental hipsters at the Walker. I was yelled at twice by the staff. Once because I opened up Twitter (of course I did) and there were no photos allowed in this part of the museum, and the creep hipster thought I was taking a picture, and once because my Walker tag wasn't displayed. (I had it in my pocket because there was no good place to put it on my outfit)
Matty and the Cherry Spoonbridge
We went to the sculpture garden at the Walker Art Center
Pretending to see the Justin Bieber movie. Oh well, made us laugh anyway.

Matty heading to the Mall of America
Nerds! Matty and I saw "Sanctum" in 3D
Breakfast at Keys with Matty.