Sunday, May 22, 2011

A good day to complain

Today is one of those days where I vacillate between being happy about my life and really wanting to complain.  I'm having a bit of a flare-up, my throat kind of hurts, my ears really hurt and to top things off, I'm having arthritis in my Temporal mandibular joint. And my neck/shoulder still hurts (well, hurts again ... ooops) and I'm hormonally challenged.

My neck/shoulder was actually feeling quite a bit better after a few days of taking naproxen twice a day at a larger than normal dose. But then I decided to give my stomach a break and not take it for a day and now my pain is back.  I have some physical therapy exercises to do which is helpful - although PT has made me painfully (pun intended) aware of how awful my posture is.  It wasn't such a big deal when I was young and skinny.  Then I just looked morose and ironic like the hipsters.  Now it makes me look dowdy and old. Sigh.  But I'm working on that.

Other than my creaky little body falling apart it was a nice weekend.  The hubby got some raised beds built yesterday for our community garden and KD's husband, MD came and dug out/evened out some space for them behind our house.  Now we've got two raised beds already to put dirt in and by next weekend we'll have two more. We're talking about putting at least five or six more raised beds in and if we're really inspired, we'll clean up the walkway area, put in meadow grass and some new gravel so it will be all cleaned up and look nice to walk through.  I wonder if we could plant a couple fruit trees back there too?

It still doesn't look like much but our imaginations have got things going in our head and by next Spring all we'll have to do is have a planting party - hopefully all the building of the foundations of the garden space will be done.  This is the hardest work because the ground back there is even worse than the "soil" in our yards (read: clay, rock and anything the contractors left after building the houses and covering all their junk with topsoil).  Our yards have lots of chunks of old cement and old building waste in them but that space (which I guess the developer thought would never be anything but a dumping ground) is even worse.  So, we have to cart in all the soil we're going to use.  And to level the ground out for the raised beds, MD had to take a pick ax out to break up the ground before shoveling out the rocks and clay to make it even.  In the course of that he managed to break our pick ax. Yes, the ground is so crappy around our house is broke a pick ax.

KD and I went out to Home Depot to get some garden soil and also stopped by the barn so I could take the horses more bags of daily supplements, check on them and take Sinatra out to the rehab paddock for a few minutes.  He was being very good in general until right before we got to the gate to the paddock.  Last time I tried to take him in there he balked and the owner who was standing right there said, "I'll take him in for you," and took the lead rope and took him in.  The owner is a grandfather and has that protective grandfatherly way about him, but I realized right after I handed him the lead rope I was giving Sinatra the wrong message - that if he balks, I can't handle it and someone else has to.  So, I wasn't surprised when he balked again today.

Only this time he didn't just balk, he stopped, I said soothingly, "Come on, Sinatra, you're ok," and tried to do the gentle rocking back and forth tug/release that trainer K. showed me, but instead of standing still like in the aisle of the barn, Sinatra spooked and decided to rear then bolt backward. Yikes! I loosened my hold on the rope like trainer V. showed me (the loosened pressure apparently freaks them out less) but said calmly but very firmly "Whoooooa, you're ok.  Whoaaaaaa!" Then after I was pulled through the mud a couple feet like I was waterskiing I regained my physical bearings and gave a good half halt tug and said, "Whoa!" again and he stopped and looked at me funny.  We tried again and he tried to do the same thing but this time I had a firmer footing and was able to loosen my grip enough to not get yanked around but still grab on in time to give a good hard half halt tug and say, "Whoa!" in time to stop him before he could bolt backward.  I said calmly but firmly, "You're fine, Sinatra. You're fine," and turned to try it again and this time he walked right in with me - no problem.  Then he just stood there until I took the stud chain and lead rope off and calmly walked around the rehab paddock and sighed a few times.

KD had come out of the barn right about then and was looking at my skeptically like she couldn't understand what in the world I could possibly see him in.  I let him stay out for about fifteen minutes then took him back in.  I was considering washing off his feet.  The rehab. paddock isn't very muddy because it's many layers of wood chips over padding, but there is the mud right at the entrance.  But when I put Sinatra on the cross ties in the wash room he decided he was freaked out and tried to rear and kick the walls.  I decided the most we should do today is just spend some time in the wash room and let him get used it without putting the added stress of turning on the faucets.  I kept him in there about five or ten minutes.  He was fine when I was standing right next to him putting him, or brushing him, but then as soon as I'd go to the doorway he'd start to try and rear and kick the walls again. When I finally took him out to go back to his stall he let out two huge sighs and his body totally relaxed.  Because he's a white horse he's sadly going to have to get used to that wash room!

After all this our family went over to KD's for a potluck BBQ.  In all it was a very nice day. Here is evidence of our catastrophic pick ax fail.

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