Riding to End Diabetes: Tour de Cure 2017

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me and my uncle scooter pie at the 2016 Tour de Cure

It’s that time of year!  Tour de Cure Time!!

For those of you new to this blog, Tour de Cure is an annual bike ride to support the effort to find a cure, prevention, and treatment for Diabetes.

You can donate to me directly here. 

Each year I have to reflect on why I ride for this cause. The answer is simple – it’s for my family and for all the families that have been affected by diabetes.  Diabetes is not a disease only for the obese, the old, or the ‘unhealthy.’  Diabetes strikes anyone at anytime no matter their fitness or health habits.  While we know there are prevention items that lower the risk, we still see that every 19 SECONDS someone is diagnosed with diabetes.

EVERY 19 SECONDS.
3 people per minute.
180 people per hour.
4,320 people per day.
1,576,800 people per year.

Furthermore:
1 in 11 Americans has Diabetes.
1 in 4 adults who has Diabetes doesn’t know it.
1 in 3 adults is at risk of developing Diabetes.
And it must be stopped.

I’m lucky that I’m able to live a diabetes-free life.  I’m lucky that I don’t know what it’s like to be at risk, that I don’t have to worry about DYING due to complications that the rest of us couldn’t begin to understand.

I ride for the 29 million people in the USA that have diabetes.

I ride for the one person I knew who struggled with diabetes until his death – my grandpa. You can see his story here. 

Every dollar that you can donate for the ADA goes directly towards:

RESEARCH

Since the American Diabetes Association launched its Research Programs in 1952, it has funded nearly 4,500 research projects, investing more than $700 million in diabetes research.

In 2014 alone, the Association funded 376 new and continuing research grants and made nearly $30 million in diabetes research funding available through its four major grant programs: the Core Research Program, the Pathway to Stop Diabetes? Program, Research Co-Support, and Collaborative Targeted Research. These funds supported 364 investigators at 143 leading academic research institutions across the U.S.

INFORMATION

The Association provides the public and health care professionals with the most up-to-date information to help take a stand against diabetes through our Center for Information and Community Support (1-800-DIABETES) and two web sites, www.diabetes.org and www.stopdiabetes.com, as well as via consumer and professional books and periodicals. The organization has offices in communities across the country and serves the public through a multitude of programs and activities including American Diabetes Association Expos, Diabetes Camps, and outreach to high-risk populations through its Por tu Familia, Live Empowered! and Native American initiatives. In 2014, 5,400 youth attended one of the 50 Association Camps hosted in 24 states.

ADVOCACY

The Association fights on behalf of the diabetes community to increase federal funding for diabetes research and programs, improve comprehensive health care and insurance coverage, and to end discrimination against people with diabetes. Explore the Advocacy section on our main ADA website and learn what is being done on a local and national level to support people with diabetes, and also learn how you can get involved in those efforts.

You can donate to me here.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

Thank you again for all your support in this effort to end diabetes!!

Brianna

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Garden Checkin 2017

Well all be. It’s summer this week. I haven’t said anything about my garden yet. We’ll I have reason for that, let’s start at the beginning.

It’s January and I cannot wait for planting season, last year I had a HUGE amount of help from Colorado Urban Farm.  They not only set up my beds, filled, them, planted, but with their laminated checklist/references I was able to keep things alive/weed and ultimately enjoy eating from my garden! It was a major success, but I felt like this year I could own the whole thing.  So I came up with a new design – add 2 4ftx8ft beds, and some containers for container corn.

I still planned on practicing square foot gardening. So I had 128 squares to fill and three large felt pots. I got on burpees.com and went ape shit. $100 worth of seeds later I had:

  1. Pickling Cucumbers
  2. Tomatoes (Beefsteak + Big Boy)
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Celery
  5. Spinach
  6. Container Corn
  7. Shasta Daisies
  8. Sunflowers
  9. Green Bell Peppers
  10. Jalapeños
  11. Banana Peppers
  12. Beans
  13. Summer Squash
  14. Zucchini
  15. Radish


Then I started the celery, cauliflower, peppers and tomatoes inside around March 15th. I bought this light from amazon, set up a room where they would be undisturbed and warm and spent a lot of time planting, making sure everything had good light etc. I used this kind of seedling tray from Black Magic – was really unhappy with it.  It said it was peat, but the peat never broke down even after it was soaked. It was more hydroponic style, which in hindsight is Black Magic’s whole ‘thing’.


I lost 50% of my seedlings when I transferred them to soil three weeks later. What remained were some hardy pepper plants, some spunky tomato plants and some super hair-fine celery plants plus one random cauliflower plant. That core group of plants was doing great – I had about 12 total and was feeling great about next steps with them. Then it came time to plant them outdoors. Four days later – IT FUCKING SNOWED IN MAY IN COLORADO.


But everything survived. It was a miracle! But a short lived one, three weeks after the snow another 50% of the plants were gone. Just POOF gone on 70-80 degree days under their shade/hail tent. I was/am/will always be disappointed.

I ended up just buying new plants at $2 a pop from Home Depot, O’Tooles, Walmart.


All in all, my seedling experiment was a bust. I’m glad I tried it, but I won’t be doing it again.

Cost of indoor seedlings: $50 for seeds, $80 for electricity, 8 hours total working time

Cost of new plants: $32

Also my home made compost that I used to plant my tall pompous grasses totally has veggies growing around it lol

oooo that smell….

It’s been SO long since I’ve posted about the house.  Things have been moving forward, with the help of friends and family we have been able to get the yard cleaned finally!  One major tree has come down that was super out of control.  3 more will be going soon in the front. Saving majorly for the Bathroom downstairs – that’s what Ghostfaceknitter is for ;).

Oh and in the next few days – BRAND NEW WINDOWS. 🙂

But probably the most time/attention has gone towards a smell.  It started in September, it wasn’t chronic.  But it reeked of rotten something. In October, I realized that it was the ejector pump (sniff sniff sniff -COMING FROM HERE).  The wonderful little gadget that literally purees then shoots any waste from the basement up and out into the sewer.  So so amazing – technology is wonderful.

Let’s revisit what this room looks like:

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notice the white marks on the black pipe to the right of the white shut off valve.

The first plumbing company to come was Lakewood Plumbing.  They came in spent about 5 mins in the room and told me it was due to all the cracks and openings in the ejector pump.  If I caulked those all, the smell would go away.  It seemed to right off, so I was super happy. And best part, they didn’t charge me….

Then, the bathroom sink clogged due to calcium/mineral build up. So I called Lakewood again due to their amazing diagnostic skills, the smell was coming back a little this time they told me to put a sealant over it. ‘That wouldn’t hurt anything’ So I got the sealant, similar to roofing sealant and covered the top like a crazy person.

While I’m on the topic of crazy, this smell literally drove me insane. I could walk in and smell it, I could smell it in my craft room – making it impossible to work/sew and do the things I love to do, that bring me comfort and joy.  So imagine me, crazed painting sealant on an ejector pump sniffing everything inch of the basement to make sure the smell was gone.

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okay i get it this was overboard but they told me this would be totally fine!

It ‘worked’ for about a week.  You see the sealant smell cancelled out the poop smell a bit and things seemed okay.  Then the smell came back. I was hysterical. It smelled like sulfur at this point (again I was driven mad). So having the well that sulfates in it – ‘welp that’s sulfur!’ So I cleaned out my entire water softener.  If you have ever done that.  1) you have to use cups, shovels, cat litter scoops (it was clean 😉 ) to pretty much get all the salt out.  So I did that, cleaned it with bleach (we don’t drink unfiltered water from the sink we have a reverse osmosis system that is 1 million times cleaner than other water sources).  Anyways, the smell went away for a few hours then came back.  I lost my mind and covered the entire softener in garbage bags.

So at this point it was a water issue. The well company wouldn’t help me…. So I called a water softener company, because it was totally my sulfur water. They were awesome. They came out immediately looked at the way the water softener was drained into the ejector pump and said – the smell is coming from there and into the softener it’s not your water.

But alas, he tested my water and guess what?  Extremely hard water is a 10 my water was a 35. That’s right, the water softener I have was only cutting it to the high teens.  That still meant that all of my new appliances and pipes were getting corroded. So I went ahead and bought the water softener that could handle the job. $3k later that was solved.

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our hard waster on the right, the newly treated filtered on the left. JESUS. 

BUT STILL THE SMELL WAS THERE.

I was a broken person when I googled ‘ejector pump specialist’.   Nate from Time plumbing came out and in a matter of minutes (he also popped the ejector pump top no one else did) and saw the smell was not coming from ejector, but noticed some drip build up on a pipe nearby.  He also could not believe that someone would tell me to put that on an ejector pump. He then realized that our main sewer did not have a vent and thus the smell was all coming from that tiny crack!

My tangent about Home Inspectors – they suck.  Hire a trusted, bonded professional in the area you want inspected. If I had had a real plumber out (not just general inspector and sewer dude), they might have caught it and I wouldn’t have been plagued with 3 months of this smell. Same goes for electrical. I think I could have a career in Home Inspection based on my experiences here.

Anyways Nate came and fixed it today.  We have a vent on our main sewer and now the smell is gone. SNIFFS IN WITH MY BRAND NEW NOSE HOLES.

Anyways Denver Metro plumbing recommendation Time Plumbing – ask for Nate. He is great.

And thus the smell saga is over.

 

 

 

The Early Bird….

If any of you have ever traveled with me or lived with me, you’ll know I am a royal crab in the morning when I first wake up. I don’t think I’ve ever been a true morning person.  I think this some deep rooted shit from my childhood, because Lois has ALWAYS been a morning person.  She wakes up at 4am willingly and seizes the day, everyday. I remember as a kid I would cry, scream, and nap all morning because I was sweepy! But, honestly I can’t pretend this was when I was a small kid – all through high school I wasn’t trusted to wake up alone so she would have to call the house to make sure I got my ass up.  Lois also turned to insane tactics to wake me up – my least favorite was her singing Dean Martin’s ‘Volare’ at the top of her lungs.  I still can’t even listen to that song without getting sickening chills down my spin.   In Chicago, I had some progress in getting up, I would start my work shift at 7:30am BUT only so I could leave at 4pm. At my current job we don’t have clockin/out so the motivation to go in early is low since I’ll get stuck there until 5/6 anyways.  Anyways back to the story, I hate waking up early, but over the past year and half I have developed the worst SNOOZE issue.

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you would think a naked cat butt to the face would get me up…

What is a SNOOZE issue?  Well for me it’s acute and it involves hitting the snooze button for up to TWO HOURS…. I know it’s insane.  I have to set my alarm for 5:30am to even dream of getting up at 7:30am…

I had picked up a ‘retro’ (read 1980s) alarm clock a few months ago that was literally just for show over the summer.  It sat right next to my head (like my phone) so whenever my phone alarm sounded I would just naturally hit SNOOZE and go back to ‘sleep’ for the 9 minutes I was allowed.

Well over the weekend I turned 29 and decided I needed to make a few changes to my daily schedule.  SNOOZE issue was top of the list.

So here’s what I did:

I moved that 1980s alarm to the other side of the room on our new dresser.  I set it for a realistic time (6:15am).  Now that’s all good and well, in the past with the my phone I would do the same thing and then still find the time to SNOOZE for hours. So I had to make a promise to myself to not lay back down, not to hit SNOOZE. I literally had to tell myself, SNOOZE does not exist.  I also had to have a ‘chore’ or something I wanted to do in the morning (i.e. harvest tomatoes in the garden, crochet for 30 minutes, journal, answer work emails). Notice I don’t have ‘go for a run’ etc becauce those ‘chores’ although make you feel great are not the motivator for me anymore.  I hate running in the morning and know myself well enough to know I’m not getting up for that shit. SNOOZE.

Now it’s been 5 days of actually waking up on time (6:15am) and I love it! I’ve been able to do a lot of things that I would normally not get to do until later in the day.  I get to show some extra love to the tribe, play in my garden, clean, do laundry, type this blog post, and plan for world domination.  It’s funny how a seemingly small change can have such an impact on your day and attitude. I haven’t felt grouchy, frazzled, or foggy walking into work.  It’s really been enjoyable.

I may not be a morning person, but I’m sure enjoying pretending I am! 🙂

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i have time to make leopold take pictures on the porch
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i have time to take morning light pictures of my pug hair covered crafts.
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i have time to see a raccoon has been in my squash! 
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i have time to harvest some pole beans!

Gator Farm – Sand Dunes 2016

I mentioned in my other Sand Dunes post that we went to the Alligator Farm located about 15 minutes away.  The history of this place revolves around the hot springs that are present and capable of supporting this sort of gator-friendly environment.  They have over 300 gators there and lots of rescued reptiles that live happy lives.

One of the most hysterical things we learned is that earlier on the day we visited, the farm had run out of bananas.  Apparently, the turtles were rioting in anger since they didn’t have any bananas to eat. It was hysterical – who knew little turtles had such big attitudes. The running joke for the rest of our visit was – ‘DO YOU  HAVE AN UPDATE ON THE BANANAS?’ It was a great place and we got to see a lot of very amazing reptiles in the San Luis Valley!

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they look like they are telling each other jokes.
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albino gator
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come on! come stand by us!
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i’m gonna save this for our engagement announcements if the day ever comes (haha!)
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there was a clear sign that said ‘don’t put your finger in i bite!’ but the bird looked so friendly…..
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this way to gator town!

Here is the full history from Colorado Gator Farm:

Erwin and Lynne Young moved from Post, Texas to Alamosa, Colorado in September, 1974 with their four children, Mark, Mike, Sherri, and Jay.  Erwin learned of the geothermal water resources available in the Valley and wanted to grow Tilapia, an African perch that requires warm water and is very good to eat.

In 1977 they purchased the 80 acre farm that is now Colorado Gators Reptile Park.  It wasn’t until 1987 that they purchased 100 baby alligators to dispose of dead fish and the remains of filleted fish.

Those baby gators grew quickly in the warm geothermal water (87° F) and the locals wanted to see them, so we opened to the public in 1990.  Soon we were in the spotlight of many media programs and articles.  Individuals with overgrown alligators and other reptiles such as large pythons, tortoises, iguanas, and more started dropping them off with us.

We have become a sanctuary for unwanted exotic pets and we care for them as best we can.  We display them for the public to understand the dangers in owning these pets and we take them to schools for educational programs.

 

Diabetes Ride – Tour De Cure 2016

Some of you may remember my Diabetes ride last year, well, it’s that time again to start fundraising!

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at mile 20 on then 2015 tour de cure.

The Tour de Cure is a GREAT event to ride to raise money to help fund diabetes research.  Each year they raise over $29 Million to support the American Diabetes Association.

Why do I ride?

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I ride for my grandpa Dan DeNeice. He had Type 2 Diabetes as a result of always being a huge (tall/250lb+) guy.  He did make radical changes later in his life and got moving by riding his road bike all over the neighborhood. But, the great changes he made were too late for some things and he struggled with complications from Diabetes in his last years and sadly passed away in 2007 from heart failure. His absence has always been felt in our family and I wish that I would have gotten the time to ride more with him. I ride for him because I know if this race had been around when he was healthy he would have kicked everyone’s butt.  Coincidentally, the first Tour de Cure took place in 2007 and that year the ADA received $13 Million from riders.  I ride for him, because I don’t want anyone else in my family or yours to get their life cut short or diminished by having Type 2 Diabetes. I strongly support advocacy and education in the hopes that others can make the changes before it’s too late for them.

And….well you also guessed it. I NEED YOUR SUPPORT! I’ve set a goal to raise $750 in order to ride the race.  That means I need to raise it all to be allowed to burn out 50k in late September! You can donate on my page here if you would like.

You may wonder where your money goes – well ADA does a great job prioritizing the money raised from Tour de Cure – take a look!

RESEARCH

Since the American Diabetes Association launched its Research Programs in 1952, it has funded nearly 4,500 research projects, investing more than $700 million in diabetes research.

In 2014 alone, the Association funded 376 new and continuing research grants and made nearly $30 million in diabetes research funding available through its four major grant programs: the Core Research Program, the Pathway to Stop Diabetes? Program, Research Co-Support, and Collaborative Targeted Research. These funds supported 364 investigators at 143 leading academic research institutions across the U.S.

INFORMATION

The Association provides the public and health care professionals with the most up-to-date information to help take a stand against diabetes through our Center for Information and Community Support (1-800-DIABETES) and two web sites, www.diabetes.org and www.stopdiabetes.com, as well as via consumer and professional books and periodicals. The organization has offices in communities across the country and serves the public through a multitude of programs and activities including American Diabetes Association Expos, Diabetes Camps, and outreach to high-risk populations through its Por tu Familia, Live Empowered! and Native American initiatives. In 2014, 5,400 youth attended one of the 50 Association Camps hosted in 24 states.

ADVOCACY

The Association fights on behalf of the diabetes community to increase federal funding for diabetes research and programs, improve comprehensive health care and insurance coverage, and to end discrimination against people with diabetes. Explore the Advocacy section on our main ADA website and learn what is being done on a local and national level to support people with diabetes, and also learn how you can get involved in those efforts.

I had a great time at the event last year, riding solo – BUT this year I get to ride the 50 with my uncle! I’ll again be riding on my single speed KHS and I’m super excited.  This year I am changing up the race location – I’ll be riding the Parker Tour de Cure instead of the Boulder/Ft. Collins Tour de Cure.

I’ll be updating here as I train, and prep for the race.  I can’t wait!

And if you would like Donate here! 

 

 

 

Alien Sightings at the Dunes

About 20 minutes from the Sand Dunes National Park in the San Luis Valley, sits a UFO observatory deck. There have been 111 UFO sightings since the official UFO observation deck has been installed and there are references to UFO sightings in the area as far back as the 1600s.  I certainly don’t think we are the only beings in the universe – but it’s always interested me that the little green dudes love desert areas in CO and NM. You’ll remember our trip to Roswell last year – the dude is a huge alien fan so we naturally had to stop here.

The owner was a very nice gal and explained to us all the interesting things about the property and some unusual activity and notable sightings. If anything they had one of the best views of the mountains in all of the valley. No wonder the green men love it there.

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amazing view from the observatory deck
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the vortex garden where people leave trinkets for energy (the dude is eating gator jerky – no respect for the vortex)
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babes and aliens – no big deal. 
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the dude and his people.