Long Time, No See

Yeah, I’m writing a new post….six years later.

I fell down a rabbit hole of nostalgia the other day and found my old Livejournal which then brought me here and I spent like two hours reading old posts of mine. Made me miss the days when I could just write and not worry about anyone’s opinion but my own.

Why here and not my other site? Well, I have too many non-friends and work colleagues that know about and follow me there. I just want to write for myself and whomever has been persistent enough to stay subscribed to my RSS feed. Because if you’re still following me, damn. Well done.

None of this is getting pushed to social media, so keep this between us, k? 👍🏻

So wow, what’s happened in the past six years?

  • Moved from Minnesota to Oregon
  • Moved back to Minnesota
  • Dad passed away
  • Mom was in the ICU (she’s fine now)
  • I had a hysterectomy
  • Bought a house
  • Said goodbye to Chester (2014), Roxy (2017) and Pixel (2019).
  • Said hello to Fiora and Fergal (2019)
  • Still at the same job
  • Still surviving in this pandemic (allegedly)

Obviously that’s a short list. Lots has happened – like I’m 40lbs heavier than I was back then. A great combination of stress and age can really pack on the pounds.

The hysterectomy surgery really took a lot of my fitness away from me (had basically a c-section that took months to recover from) and I’ve been fighting an uphill battle ever since. Granted my diet sucked, so my reduced levels of fitness didn’t stop the weight gain.

What fucking sucks is that pre-pandemic, I had my shit together: was on WW and had lost 10lbs and started going to Orange Theory Fitness instead of Crossfit and was seeing some amazing fitness results as well. I was back to running (up to 2mi) after not being able to for so long. Clothes that hadn’t been fitting were loose! Fuck yeah.

Then the pandemic hit. Fuck.

I couldn’t find any of the staples that were helping me be so successful with my diet. Like, I couldn’t find chicken breast, canned (or dry!) beans, canned tuna and salmon for the longest time. So I ended up buying what I could that would last because I tried to only go to the store every two weeks – which ended up being hamburger or whatever was available. A.K.A. food that wasn’t “diet friendly”.

Additionally, the stress of “fuck the world is ending” in the beginning had me hoarding all the comfort foods and foods that would make a shit-ton of leftovers because T was also forced to work from home. Tater tot hotdish. Anything with potatoes, really. Wine. Cheese. Pizza. CARBS. We’re all gonna die, so might as well enjoy myself while I still can, right?

Now here we are months later and I’m back to being a fat fuck.

Yes, the food supply issues are resolved now. OTF is open again, but I’m not fucking going to a gym where they’re not requiring people to wear a mask while they’re huffing and puffing on a treadmill LESS THAN SIX FEET AWAY FROM ME. Fuck that.

The biggest battle I’m having now is breaking all those bad habits I’ve picked up since quarantine. One glass of wine turns into <error quantity unknown> and lord knows the snacking comes hand in hand with that. Grabbing a frozen pizza out of the freezer for dinner instead of getting off my fat ass and cooking. Step one is to stop that shit during the week. I’m out of wine, so that should be easy.

Now, I’ve been outfitting my home gym. We had purchased a rower instead of a treadmill a few years ago because T said that he’d use that when he wouldn’t use a treadmill. Fast forward to now and I’m the only one who uses it, but I don’t feel like I get enough of a workout on it. I’ve also spent the past six months trying to find kettlebells or any free weights and I FINALLY scored a 4kg and 8kg kettlebell (which is more than enough for my weak ass) a month or so ago. Next step is to get a treadmill and a weight bench.

With what I was able to accomplish with my fat ass by going to OTF, I’m going to start running again and a treadmill will be the best way to do that. It’s how I started running in the first place in my 30s. Once I get into the groove of pacing and distance that does transition to running outside, but well, it’s almost October and I’m not fucking running outside when it’s less than 40 degrees. Hell no.

Now that my diet is also (slowly) getting back on track, here’s hoping that progress can start going back the other way. I can do this, right?

Also, plan on this kitten making more posts more frequently than every six years or so. 😂

If you’re still around – what’s new with you?

Dirty Girl

Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza

I just had to laugh at this post by The T-Rex runner about how sick they are of seeing all the posts in social media about paleo, gluten-free, vegan, et al.

I’m right there with them.

I love a nice cold beer on a hot day. I savor an amazing slice of coal-fired pizza. (Especially if it’s from Black Sheep Pizza – also pictured above.) Gluten-free, unless you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, is just a fad.

It’s fitting that I ran across that post today. I recently joined up at Lifetime Fitness because I needed something to break up the life monotony of being in my house all the time. For that same reason, I got a 1 day/week membership at Coco Minneapolis to get me out of the house on a workday – and so I can go to the food trucks. The best part is that it’s an amazing space:

Co-working at CoCo Mpls

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

Not a bad view while working.

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

Back when I worked downtown, I was OK doing my cross training workouts at home. Now, I’m *always* home and it’s slowly making me crazy. That combined with the desire to bump up my fitness level, I joined the gym. It’s close and they have great free group fitness classes*. Plus, my friend A who works for Lifetime tipped me off to a “free signup” weekend over the holiday weekend. No signup or processing fees – saved myself ~$150!

I did my free fitness assessment yesterday. A tool, I’m sure, to scare gullible people into purchasing personal training. When the nutritional part of the assessment came around, the trainer said that I don’t eat enough vegetables or protein and too many carbs and cheese.

No shit. I love cheese!

Yes, I can fit in more vegetables. In fact, that is one of my current goals. And protein? I’m pretty sure I don’t need as much as the trainer thinks I do – because their next point was to go down to the gym cafe/store and stock up on protein powders.


I think I also crushed the trainers happiness by telling her my goal was to improve my fitness and run times. “Not weight loss?” was the first thing out of her mouth after I said that. I said “sure, that would be great, but if I do the other things, the weight loss will naturally follow.” She then asked me if I “journaled my food” – i.e. calorie counting.


I know I’m 40 and not skinny, but dieting/counting calories is the worst thing to do for someone who loves food. Because then I become obsessed with food and that’s all I can think about! Which makes me want to eat everything. EVERYTHING.

I’ll be more mindful of my portion sizes, because that is my downfall, but I’m not counting calories. Period.

Back to T-Rex’s post.

My favorite part of T-Rex’s post was this at the end:

So y’all, eat clean if you want. Be paleo. Don’t eat sugar by choice (GOD, WHY?). Go vegan. Only eat fish and things that are purple. I personally don’t care. But if you need me, I’ll be the girl with a craft beer in one hand and a cheeseburger in the other after every marathon, so don’t feel bad if you’re right there with me.

I know friends that have gone vegan and it was great for their health. I tried it, and couldn’t stick to it (cheese, y’all). For the most part, my goal is to eat vegetarian for breakfast and lunch, then dinner’s whatever I feel like making. If it’s a bacon cheeseburger or bratwurst, so be it.

So what I’m saying is: you eat what works for you and I’ll eat what works for me. Stop judging me! 😉

* – Did a kickboxing class on Monday. My arms FINALLY don’t hurt like a SOB. Goddamn. Now I’m taking an INSANITY class tonight…I think *I’M* insane! 😉

Spring? HAH!

Literally a sink full of asparagus. Thanks Mom!

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

I think Spring just skipped over Minnesota this year. We went from snow in the first part of May to seemingly non-stop rain the rest of May and into June.

All this rain has kept me out of my garden – which blows. I borrowed a tiller from one of our friends back in May and I haven’t been able to use it yet because of all the rain. I think I will be able to get in there tomorrow if the weather cooperates.


Well, I’m going to plant kale, summer squash and tomatillos for sure – I think it’s too late for peas and green beans.

The reason I’ve not been able to plant much is because I spent half of May traveling! I was in Santa Fe, NM for a week attending a work meetup with my awesome Happiness co-workers. The first half of the meetup was great, then I got the worst cold in my life and spent the rest of the meetup in my room eating ice cream and taking NyQuil.


A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

Seriously, my throat hurt so bad ice cream was the only thing I could eat without wanting to cry. Even drinking water was painful!

Then the last week of May we went to San Francisco for fun! We got to go to a WordPress 10th anniversary party our first night in town, which was great. Got to meet the crew from Pownce finally, and we had an amazing time with our friends Jason and Vicky and their daughters.

And I’m such a shitty tourist. Traveling for nearly two weeks and I barely took a dozen photos!

The end of this month I’m going to WordCamp Montreal where I’ll be giving a presentation on podcasting with WordPress. That will eventually turn into a blog post over on my other blog. But first, I need to overcome my panic and get the damn presentation done!

(Easier said than done)

And no post on blogkitten.com would be complete without a cat photo.

I can still see you!

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

There we go!

Getting Older

Sunday snuggle time.

We found an amazing new vet through a referral from a good friend of mine: Caravan Vet. Instead of taking the kitties to the vet (whom over time we’ve grown to loathe) and making them unhappy with the car ride and subjecting them to the horrible vet, Dr. Christa comes to you! Worked out so well – and we got everyone checked out and up to date with their shots.

Well, except for Pixel, she doesn’t do well with the Distemper shot, so we skip those.

They took blood on all of them to make sure they were ok, and we got the results back a few days later.

Chester and Roxy? Other than some dental disease, they’re healthy as horses. Pixel, while having great teeth, was diagnosed with having hyperthyroidism. We were lucky enough to catch it before she got symptomatic. I had noticed she lost some weight over the past few months and her grooming habits had gone downhill to the point where we had to give her a bath every 2-3 weeks because she was getting dirty.

There’s a number of treatments – irradiation and surgery to name a couple – but we decided to give her medicine twice daily.

At first I was a bit freaked out – that’s my baby girl! I can’t stand that she’s sick! Combine that with the fact I’m terrible at giving the cats any medicine/Petromalt – this was going to be hard on me. Thank gawd Tim is amazing at being the kitty doctor, otherwise I don’t know what I’d do.

He gives Pixel her medicine twice a day and I’m on hand to give her treats for being a good girl. She didn’t like it at first, but now, she knows she has to do it and will begrudgingly take the medicine without any trouble. Such a good girl.

One of the things Dr. Christa told us might happen is that the medicine might make her sick or cause her kidney problems. Given Pixel’s track record with medicine giving her horrible allergic reactions, I was concerned. But, it’s had the opposite effect. She’s more healthy, her fur is back to its bunny-soft texture, and she’s put a little bit of weight back on! So far so good!

I have an appointment in a week and a half for Pixel’s checkup to see how her kidneys are doing and other tests to makes sure the medicine isn’t causing any other problems.

It’s hard realizing that your youngest cat is going to be 12 years old this year and seeing the effects of aging on all of them. It’s going to be so hard having to let them go when it’s their time.

For now, I’m thankful they’re healthy and happy. Makes the 2am “cats gotta snuggle” time easier to bear because there’ll be a time when I’m not being woken up by 13lbs of cat stomping over my body. And I’ll miss it.

Come Stand Me Up!

So this happened…

Oh, and this happened on Saturday. Hell. Yes.

For my 40th birthday (at least that’s what I keep telling myself), my best friend Diane got tickets to the Soundgarden (SG) concert in Minneapolis on February 2nd and flew out here with her husband to celebrate my late birthday!

Little known fact – Diane and I met way back in 1999 on some SG bulletin board (REMEMBER THOSE?!) and over the years we’ve gotten up to some shenanigans and good times traveling to see various members of SG do their side and/or solo projects.

Another little known fact – as massive of fans that we are, we’ve never seen SG live. For me, I never had the chance to – work or other commitments always got in the way. For Diane, she became a huge fan *after* they broke up.

Fast forward to 2013.

We both warned our husbands that we would be going insane waiting for the show. Does this look like sanity to you?

Waiting for @soundgarden at the Orpheum. So. Excited. :-D

Long story short, it was AWESOME. They played the songs we wanted to hear – and none of the songs we didn’t (mainly “Black Hole Sun”….geh). We were on our feet for the entire 2.5 hour show dancing and screaming our hearts out singing along to these songs that we know so well. Songs that created a mutual bond, then a lasting friendship.

If someone says that music isn’t powerful – they’re either lying or they’re stupid. Music – and the shared love of it – can change your life.

It Are Mah Birfday!


Yes, today is my birthday.

Yes, I’m of an age that now has a zero as its last digit.

And you know what? I’m ok with that!

In the past 6 months, I’ve undergone the most amazing transformation of who I am and what I’m going to do with my life.

I’m on the cusp of the most amazing career ever – no worries, I’ll fill you all in once it becomes final. I can’t wait, though, as I truly love what I’m doing. But patience! 🙂

Had an amazing birthday dinner with my amazing husband. Nothing big, just the two of us. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. <3 Here's to the next decade!

Winter Sucks

This weekend we got a winter storm of epic proportions. Although the “official” reports put the total around 10 inches, we got a lot more than that. We had to shovel the driveway three times on Sunday and I can tell you, there was more than a foot of snow! Here’s a picture from around 2pm that day:

Mid-way through the storm.
Mid-way through the storm.

Prior to that, we had NO SNOW.

As I get older, the more I dread winter. So much so that we’re seriously considering moving to the Pacific NW. Yes, it rains…but it’s not snow. Or the month of January when it’s below zero for weeks at a time.

I think Chester would approve.

Chester hates the snow too.
Chester hates the snow too.

Black Friday was a time to get some early Xmas gifts. Oh, who am I kidding, I bought the Vita for me because it was on sale and Persona 4 Golden finally came out.

My precioussss.....
My precioussss…..

Such a good game. They added enough new social links, scenes and a bunch of other stuff from the original PS2 version that it feels like a whole new game. Had so much fun so far…and there’s lots of game yet to be played!

Since Tim has a PlayStation+ account, he has access to a ton of free games every month. One such game we downloaded was Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack. What a fun little platformer! One of the graphics in one of the stages really cracked me the hell up:

I had to take a phone pic of this. So absurd.
I had to take a phone pic of this. So absurd.

If you’re not familiar with the YouTube video, there’s a part where they say “PORKCHOP SANDWICHES!” Never fails to crack me up.

“My god did that smell good!”

*dies laughing*

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

I just noticed that I’ve used this post title two other times (as referenced by the addition of “-3” to the permalink of this post!)…well, so I’m a Go-Go’s fan. So sue me!

Earlier this month, Tim and I took a vacation to Vancouver, BC. Per our usual, we didn’t take many pictures. We always have grand plans of taking a bunch of pictures, then we’re too busy absorbing our surroundings and having fun to stop and take photos. But we did take a few!

Here’s me at the Olympic village in Whistler, BC.

Somewhere between Vancouver and Whistler on the “Sea to Sky Highway.”

We had such an amazing trip. That Sea to Sky Highway was an hour and forty-five minutes one way of us driving and gawking at the scenery. We thought about taking photos in the car, but knew they wouldn’t convey the majesty that we were seeing in front of us. Stunning.

We really didn’t want to come home and we’re making plans to return – once we go to Seattle, that is!


Get better soon, Chester man. :-*

Had a huge scare last Thursday night.

Got home from work and was home for about a half-hour or so and noticed that Chester was nowhere to be found.

I eventually found him in the bedroom closet – where he had been all day.

Side note: We keep the cats out of bedroom closet because we don’t want to have cat hair all over all our clothes!

Now Chester is fourteen and a half years old, and he has a tendency to get dehydrated. When he gets dehydrated, he gets constipated. When he can’t go, it makes him throw up/dry heave. This happens when he hasn’t been locked in a closet all day.

I found him asleep on top of a pile of my sweaters (of course on the black one!); he sleepily blinked at me, jumped down and started high fiving and snuggling with me. Everything seemed fine!

Until he went downstairs to use the litter box.

He went from happy and energetic to lethargic, weak and dry heaving. And he started making these moaning noises…like he was in some serious pain…and it made my blood run cold.

I immediately (at 4:50pm!) called the vet and thankfully they were open until 6 and they told me to bring him in as soon as possible. I looked at my poor orange man limp on the floor and at the cat carrier in my hand and I thought “there’s no way I’m going to be able to shove him in there like this!”

As I’m doing that, I called Tim to see where he was – and he was less than 5 minutes from home. I told him to get his butt home ASAP because we have to take Chester to the vet. He asked me what was wrong, I said “I don’t have time to tell you – just get home!”

I felt bad for leaving him in suspense, but I didn’t have time to talk on the phone; I thought my cat was dying in front of me!

I went into the closet and emptied out the clothes basket (full of clean laundry that I was going to put away that evening), grabbed a few towels out of the hall closet, laid one on the bottom of the basket as a cushion, gently laid him on it and covered the basket with the other towel. I wasn’t worried he would jump out; he was in no way able to even move, much less jump out of a clothes basket.

I sat by the front door and waited for what seemed like an eternity for Tim to get home. The whole while I petted Chester’s head and told him to “hang in there” and that I wasn’t ready for him to leave me yet. 🙁

Tim finally got home. I ordered him around to help me get him in the car and answering his “what’s wrong?” questions with “I’ll tell you when we’re driving to the vet…I can’t focus on that right now.”

Again, I felt bad for making him wait…but I was so focused on getting on the road, I wasn’t wasting any time talking. I let him know what was going on once we started driving. He felt horrible as he was the last one home that morning. I said it was nobody’s fault. However, we have implemented a “cat check” before we go anywhere now.

Got to the vet, where after they weighed him (while on top of one of our heavy bath towels!) all we got was a constant lecture from the vet how he was “overweight” and kept harping on us that he was “too fat”.

For fuck’s sake, lady, my cat is DYING and all you can talk about is that he’s a couple pounds overweight?! (a lot of which was TOWEL?!)

Long story short, she finally focused on the issue at hand (after I yelled at her “fine, we get it…but we have bigger things to worry about right now!”) and said he probably had a UTI (and despite us telling her he was constipated). They brought in a litter box to see if he would go, and he immediately went to it and got into his “#2 stance”. She still insisted he was trying to pee.

Lady, I’ve seen my cat do both #1 and #2, and he wasn’t trying to pee.

After an x-ray (where it showed a normal-sized bladder, meaning no UTI), she finally admitted that he “might” be constipated.

Ya think?

We went home with some kitty painkillers (to calm him down and alleviate some of the pain), some wet food and a laxative. We also had to isolate him from the girls all night so we could be sure he was going to the bathroom normally again. Thankfully, he did both before we went to bed.


I couldn’t sleep at all that night worrying about the little dude. Friday and Saturday, he was still pretty lethargic…but by Sunday he was starting to be back to his old self again.

Got me thinking about how I picked up this naughty, six-month-old orange cat named “Mischief” from the Humane Society on Halloween back in 1998. Bottle-fed from the age of two weeks since his mama died, he was raised by people around a lot of other cats. The first three days we had him home, he never left my side (not even while I showered…he had to be in there with me). He wasn’t with me for about 5 years (he stayed with my ex), but one snowy day in February 2007, I met my ex in Mankato to pick up my orange man and take him home.

The worst thing about being a pet owner is that you will outlive your pet, no matter how much you love them.

I’m so thankful that I didn’t have to live that reality this past weekend. I’m not ready for that.

But, I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready.

Changing My Pace


This is what I was looking at yesterday morning freezing my butt off while I was waiting to start my 10k race in Mankato. I originally signed up to run the half-marathon, but once again my traitorous body sabotaged my attempt.

Despite my disappointment, I had a great run, setting a PR and cracking a sub-10min/mi for the first time ever in any race! I haven’t been able to do that in a 5k, much less a 10k, so I was super happy with the time. I think that 0.5 mile downhill stretch may have helped that achievement, but hey, I’ll take it!

Today, it got me thinking about my running goals. Why am I so focused on running a half-marathon again? Just to say I did it? Well, I already “did it,” so that shouldn’t be my motivation anymore. What do I have to prove?

Nothing, really.

I also realized that I really like the 10k distance. When I trained for the half, I felt that all I did in my spare time was run (which was true)! Now, all I need is an hour of time out of my day to devote to training for a 10k!

In addition, every time I’ve pushed myself to run more than 8 miles I’ve ended up aggravating my old “pain in the ass” injury from 2011. After how long it took me to even run again after injuring it, I definitely do NOT want to injure it again.

So, my goal has changed: get faster in the 10k. I think that’s doable!

After getting together with my family for lunch after the race, my sister said that she has a goal to do the local “mud run” next summer and said I should do it with her. I’m so excited!! I didn’t realize how much I wanted to do something fun like that with family until she mentioned it. If you recall, I was supposed to do the Warrior Dash with my cousin until she sprained her ankle mere days before the race.

In other news, I finally will be checking off one of those items on my life to-do list: travel outside of the country! We booked a long weekend trip to Vancouver, BC and I can’t wait!