Monday, January 27, 2014

Gardening!

The unusually warm weather yesterday (50 degrees - but that is t-shirt weather after working outside in freezing temperatures the last couple months) meant I was able to go out and start clearing out some of my garden spaces.  Yesterday I only did the front gardens.  Things were so hectic in fall I did not clear out the old plants and granted it added a little compost to the beds it also left them a mess of overgrown, dead stuff.  So, the front garden beds are almost ready for planting, this afternoon or tomorrow I'll work on the Secret Garden (mostly all veggies) and when I get a chance the Community Garden behind our property (also mostly veggies except the strawberries that are taking over).

One of the best purchases I've made in my long-running attempt to be a knowledgeable organic gardener (which - like riding horses - I've been doing this for years and I still feel like there is ton I still need to learn) is the Seattle Tilth Maritime Northwest Garden Guide.  It is short and too the point and gives guidelines on when and where different plants grow the best in our climate. 

I already know I need to do more research on growing grapes because my grape vine died after two years last summer.  My friend, Beth owned a vineyard in Oregon (up until last year when they sold it) so I asked her advice but the first thing she told me was the climate is a little different where their vineyard is from here and to a beginner like me that may not sound like much but it totally changes the game plan for what works and what doesn't.  So, luckily, we live in the "wine country" part of the Pacific Northwest and some of the wineries around here have written some articles on how to grow grapes here.  So, a little more research and I'll try again this year.

I'm not sure what else I'm going to plant except the old stand-bys - pumpkins and shelling peas.  For the last three years I've aspired to grow pumpkins for the kids in the neighborhood to make their jack-o-lanterns and two of those years the pumpkins succumbed to powdery mildew and last year I didn't plant them early enough so they weren't ready in time.  Fourth year is a charm? I know how to conquer powdery mildew and I can plant them earlier this year so fingers crossed.  I was actually very proud of myself last year because my pumpkins did not get powdery mildew and neither did my roses! An aquaintance told me at this time last year that no one can grow roses in this climate without them getting either powdery mildew or that black fungus stuff and I did it!  But it took a lot of maintenance and spraying frequently with an organic oil mix I made.

I've got some hanging pots I'm going to try spinach and lettuce in.  The slugs come out in far too much force for those and the copper strips don't keep them away and though there is organic slug bait, I am uncomfortable using that around ground plants that we're planning on eating.  And I'll try carrots again.  Last year I actually managed to get carrots but they didn't have a lot of taste.  I need to figure out what that was about.  Old seeds maybe?  I have no idea if that affects the quality of the vegetable or not.

And this year I need to try my ghost pepper plants - although they will be in the garage under a grow lamp on a heating pad the whole time since it will not get hot enough outside for them to grow well.  I'm sure after our neighbor who had the big pot grow thing going on in his garage a few years ago before it was legal to do that, the neighbors will talk.  Well, let me rephrase that (since I'm good friends with most of our neighbors) - the neighbor two doors down who spends most of her days drinking, smoking pot and peaking out the slit in the blinds at the neighborhood (seriously - I'm not exaggerating) will be talking to herself about it.

On a completely separate note, I was listening to this song the other day and thinking how it is just the perfect "dysfunctional relationship break-up song" and it reminds me of how it felt to end one of those destructive, young, Romeo-Juliet relationships of my youth when I was too blinded by youth and insecurity to see reality.  Then I looked up the video and I thought that was very well done too because it really captures how it feels to be in that mindset - much like being in a dream that flips from glorious to nightmare in seconds.  My goal is to figure out a way to help my daughter to always see the reality of her worth and the beauty of herself and the world and never ever ever venture to that dark place.  I hope I can say that I went through that myself and had that experience for her so she never has to and so I can have the resources to teach her never to venture to that dark place because nothing good comes out of it (well, except maybe in my case because I know what's it like and hopefully I can prevent my daughter from ever going there - and if I can prevent other young women from going there too that would be great).  Relationships should not involve hurting that much or physically fighting with each other like that.  Despite disagreements and occasional arguments that seem to devolve into "I'm rubber you're glue!" type statements, my marriage has shown me that love is a partnership and builds you up, not breaks you down. There is no power play in true love, there is only being best friends who've got each other's back even when you're not agreeing on something. Someone else can prevent the men from going there - that's not my thing anymore to try save sensitive, hurt, angry, violent men.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

A day in the life ...

I have one more week to finish up my schoolwork for the next session of equine massage school.  I just have to write my case studies and a book report so it should be doable.  Especially because I don't have to work this coming week.  Yikes though.

Wednesday I spent the day shadowing my vet on her rounds.  It ended up being a longer day than I expected but it was really interesting - well, to me at least.  We saw a couple horses who needed their teeth done, did a lameness evaluation, some vaccines, did an acupuncture session, checked out a horse who'd just come across the mountains and was covered in ticks and responded to an emergency where a horse had ripped his lip and nose open and they were concerned he might need sutures.  And one horse needed his sheeth cleaned.

When I was a kid I was very squeamish and would gag at the drop of a hat and feel woozy at the sight of mild injuries, so I have tried very hard to become less squeamish and it's working to a certain degree.  I'm still pretty far on the "squeamish" side of the continuum, but can hold my own a little better.  I definitely do much better with animal injuries than human injuries.  I wasn't worried about this particular day because I knew if it was a horrible injury (severed limb or horse had to be put down) I could stay in the truck at worst.  But I also stayed to watch my vet stitch up a pretty henious injury on a horse at my old boarding barn - where the horse's hoof was practically hanging off from such a bad cut - so I knew I'd be fine.

I was actually fine with the emergency and was impressed at how the wound looked pretty bad when we walked in and once the vet was done cleaning it looked far less disturbing.  The horse didn't need stitches, but had to be sedated so my vet could clean the wound and she had to put a lidocane shot directly into the wound so she could cut away some pieces of skin that were still hanging off and would just die anyway and might trap debris in the wound if they stayed on.  I felt bad for the horse because I was sure getting a shot in the wound hurt, but having had plenty of my own painful injuries and getting through them it wasn't too upsetting because I knew it would pass and he'd feel better soon and would be grateful for the lidocane taking away the feeling. 

What actually got me for some reason was cleaning the horse's sheeth.  My vet had a glove on literally up past her elbow and was pulling off all this slimy, goopy black stuff, and I was trying to control my desire to cringe, when she turned to me and said, "It's also important to get out these beans, the smegma and goo can gather up into this little clump and make it painful near the urethra," and reached her hand toward me covered with dripping black goo and a hard piece of goopy white stuff on her fingertip.  I actually put my hand up to my throat and had to swallow quickly to keep myself from gagging.  But I laughed it off and said, "Yeah, I think I'll leave it to you to clean my horse's sheath."

The ticks were kind of gross but more in an amusing way.  Although I forgot to ask my vet if when a horse has that many ticks are they at risk for anemia or anything like that?  The owner had originally taken a shedding blade to the horse when he arrived which she felt bad about because it took off a bunch of tick butts and left a bunch of heads in and she was (as I would be) concerned that the heads could cause an infection.  My vet said that if they did get infected it would just cause something like a pimple, and they would be able to pop it and the heads would come out and they could just treat any infection from there.  She went through and pulled out some of the dead bodies (the owner had treated with a natural powder remedy that kills the ticks but then you still have to pull them out) and told the owner she was on the right track and continue what she was doing and keep her (my vet) posted.  Then she found a live one, carefully pulled it out and held it up to show to me and said, "Look at this - see they start waving their legs all around when you pull them out and they bring a little skin with them.  Creepy, huh?"  And I have to admit I did have an 8-year old moment of thinking, "How cool and gross!"  But then I made the mistake of pulling out one of the dead ones with my fingers (this why the vet uses tweezers) and it squished in my hand and got blood and goop on my fingers.  And I had to quickly excuse myself to go wash my hands and remind myself to keep my hands to myself the rest of the day.

Obviously, I won't be doing any veterinary work as an equine massage therapist, but it helped a lot to watch the lameness exam and talk about that and I did some palpations on the horse and was able to ask my vet if she agreed with what I had assessed.  She's so nice, she really didn't need to go through all that extra work of explaining things to me and talking about everything so I'm not sure she realizes how cool it was for me and how much I appreciated it.  It was also good to talk about the issues of being in a profession like that where you go to work on-site and learning how to deal with different personalities and situations.  The sites we visited ranged from older and very casual to very high-end and fancy.  And despite how many different barns there are in different disciplines everyone seems to know everyone - there are only a few large veterinarian practices on the Eastside that seem to be the vets of performance horses (my vet's practice is one of them) so people talk and I'll have to be very careful to always be positive.  There is one guy with a big practice who I can't stand (rightfully so - he is a rude, arrogant guy and I know of a barn where he is banned for setting foot on their property).  But I can't let that opinion of mine be known at all because it would only hurt my professional practice and my integrity.

For someone like me who just blurts out what I think and feel most of the time this will be a challenge and growing experience for me.  One of my fellow teachers, Miss C. is really good at being professional and "playing her cards close to her chest"  so I've started to observe how she deals with public and am trying to emulate that and work on being polite and gracious in all situations with the public and colleagues no matter how rude they might be.  My other co-worker, Miss T. said she thought it would be freeing to be able to just say whatever you think but I said there are definitely situations where it bites you in the ass.  So, I made a joke (which is not completely a joke) that I'm going to work on "channeling my inner-Miss C." in professional situations.  I think this is going to be good for me to rise to this challenge of being more discrete in certain areas of my life.

And we got a new Fjord at pony school.  The owner heard about this guy over in Eastern WA and his family needed a retirement home for him and liked the idea of the school.  The tween/teen volunteers were so excited when they arrived yesterday and there was a crowd of kids circling the trailer.  I kept them back as far as I could and tried to keep them from jumping up and down and squealing as much as I could.  He is adorable! He looks a lot like Geir but his face is a lot smaller and more delicate, he's lighter and he has a few white patches.  He was so calm, he got out of the trailer and sighed and looked around and seemed ok with his new surroundings.  The owner led him around and let him look at the surroundings and then put him in a separate paddock where he seemed completely at ease and spent a lot of time looking at all the ponies in the paddocks across the walking path.  When I walked by with Geir, Geir saw him out of the corner of his eye, his head flew up and he started pulling really hard to go see him.  So, I let him go over to him, they touched noses (probably a bad idea because he hasn't had his vet check yet but the people who brought him are apparently very responsible, caring owners - he's not one of the owner's many rescues) ... anyway, they wiggled all over and rubbed noses, then squealed and both jumped like they wanted to play.  They're going to best friends, I can already tell.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

What you need to know about those high school bullies ...

My daughter has been into Food Network shows for a few years now.  She's very interested in cooking especially after taking a kid's cooking class a couple years ago.  She's actually very good at making breakfast stuff like eggs and pancakes.  When I was ten years old my mom would never let me near a stove or god forbid sharp knives so I never did any cooking at her age, but she's learned well how to be safe around stoves (although she's heavily supervised with knives because she's still pretty clutzy).  Her dad had her helping him stir a roux by the time she was four years old so she knows about stoves.

Anyway, we were watching Chopped (despite that an old aquaintance who is an executive chef said no self-respecting chef would ever go on that show - I'm curious if other chefs feel that way?) and there was a contestant who said he wanted to win Chopped to show all those kids in high school what he had become.  He wasn't that old, probably late twenties or early thirties, but it still drove me nuts every time he brought up the old high school bullies and how he was going to show them.

I think it drove me nuts because I was bullied as a kid and it's hard to watch someone giving past bullies that much power in their life still to this day.  It went on for a couple years in grade school and when we went on to middle school two of the boys and three of the girls from grade school tried to keep the momentum of picking on me going, but things were too watered down with so many new students and I didn't care any more if they picked on me anymore because I had my own set up new friends in middle school so it wasn't quite as fun for them I don't think.  And they were not achieving their "top dog rule the school" status they'd had in our small grade school.  I know my self-esteem was heavily affected by that experience and it took a long time to internalize their behavior was not my problem.  I've been a supporter of the It Gets Better Project because of that.  I even wrote a story for their page based on my experience - though I wasn't bullied because I was gay or transgender, I was bullied because I was quiet, studious, did not wear fashionable clothes and I wanted to spend all my time in the woods with animals.  That was all sorts of rife for the picking on from the girls who wore leather jackets and smoked pot in fifth grade and bragged about having sex with their high school boyfriends.  They called me "Sandra Dee" (the movie Grease was big at that time) and "Fleabag" and threw me up against walls threatening to beat me up "just for fun" and threw rocks at me when I'd walk home and had all sorts of fun at my expense.

For years after that I felt a need to prove to them that I wasn't a goody-two-shoes and I blew off school and took up drugs and in general hated my real self because I thought I'd brought on the bullying.  But eventually, I realized I was fine the way I was and then I wanted to be successful at something to "show them" that I was a good person and they'd had no right to pick on me.  Then one day in my early twenties I saw one of the boys who used to pick on me at a party.  By then I was a little hottie and as one of my old boyfriends described me "Part of being a guy in Seattle is having a crush on you at some point" and I had honed my image to perfection.  And I went up to the guy and said hi and then said bluntly "You tried to make cry every day in seventh grade.  What the hell?" and he looked horrified.  The two pretty little goth girls sitting next to him suddenly scooted away and gave him the stink eye and he said completely honestly, "I did?"  He didn't even remember! And it was that moment I realized that I was the one who had been so affected by it and he (and probably the others) didn't even remember it and could care less whether I was a success or not.  In fact if I'd become a world famous star of some sort they would've probably not thought any more about it than, "Didn't we go to grade school with her?"

Needless to say he was truly sorry and I ran into him a few more times after that he was lovely and pleasant and had grown up to be a pretty decent person.  I ran into another of the guys at our 25th high school reunion and he too had grown up to be a very nice person and wasn't a bully at all anymore.  Unfortunately, another of the guys (I heard from the guy from our reunion) had never grown up and had ended up dying young from a drug overdose.

So, with all that said, I wanted to jump right into the television last night and say "Stop thinking about those kids that picked on you! I can guarantee they are not thinking about you! And they either won't care if you become famous and successful, or they will briefly think of how they went to school with you and be happy for you.  It is you you are trying to prove something to.  And externals will not prove that.  Accepting and loving yourself for who you are an knowing that it's not your fault you were bullied is what will truly bring you peace."

And with that - parents, don't bully your kids.  I see that a lot.  You may not even realize you are doing it but anytime you make a joke at your kid's expense because you think you're being funny, or you publicly shame your kid to make a point or you just plain don't listen to them and talk to them but just talk AT them and push them around - you are creating a situation where your child may become a bully or become a target for bullies.  And talk to your kids about bullying.  Even the nicest little kids instinctually  want to fit in and they need guidance from the very start all the way through their childhood that it is better to NOT bully with the others than to fit in.

With that here is a totally unrelated song that I've been subjected to by my daughter's pop music and I (not so secretly) love it:


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Some Fat Little Ponies

My daughter had her 10th birthday party at my work this evening.  She and eight of her friends had a pseudo-class as her birthday party.  It's technically a "class" but it's not set up like any of our regular on-going group classes.  The kids meet in the classroom first and learn a little about safety around horses then break up into groups of three and learn how to groom the horses and watch a demonstration on tacking them up then we go out to the arena and they all get to try riding Western, bareback and English.  It's all very structured and since most of the kids have never ridden horses or have been on pony rides or trail rides on zombie horses, we keep a teenage volunteer with the horses on lead line at all times.  Even my daughter didn't bother to ride independently on her own horse or on Dreamy who she used to ride in lessons.  She was having too much fun not having to think about riding.

It was really cute that for the "Western" portion the kids ride at a walk around the barrel pattern and then "trot home" (ie: trot from the far end of the arena back to where they started).  But one of the older greenies who was leading Bandit (our Western demonstration horse) asked my daughter if she wanted to trot up and down the arena and she said "Of course!" and it was cute how a bunch of the kids gasped and said, "OMG! Look how fast she's going! Wow!"  Ah yes.  Just you wait little sweethearts till you see a real barrel race.

A couple of the kids were VERY scared to ride although one of them was boy so although he admitted he was nervous he kept a poker face about it.  One girl was so scared when she first got on Geir that we took two steps and she'd demand, "No! No! Stop!" and I'd stop and she'd say she was falling, so I'd assure her she wasn't and give her a pep talk.  This happened about four times from one end of the arena to the other and by the end of the arena I was afraid she was going to insist on getting off because she was sheet white (which was a good trick seeing as she has very dark skin) and shaking.  Somehow I convinced her to stay on and to keep breathing and when we got back to the starting point one of the volunteers asked how it was and she said, "Fun!"  By the end of the night when her mom came to pick her up she was going on about how Dreamy is the best horse in the world and how she loves riding bareback.  It was really cool to see that!

At the end of class while all the kids were swapping out school boots for their own shoes and were "debriefing" (ie: screaming and giggling about which horse they loved the most) one of the moms who is about my age and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis a few years ago took me aside and said, "I was watching you out there and thinking 'She does this all day'.  You are on your feet and running around like that all day. Doesn't it hurt your ankles and other joints? I don't know how you do it."  I told her sometimes it hurts my feet because the arthritis goes after my metatarsals (and ankles, wrists, knees, elbows, hands, etc) but that's what hurts the worst after a long day on my feet.  And she asked again how I could have a job like that and I didn't know what to tell her.  Except I only work all day on Saturdays and the other two days I only work for about four hours.  And I'm on my feet all day anyway taking care of my own horses or giving horses massages or walking the dogs or going to pilates or whatever I'm running around doing.  I guess nothing hurts enough to make it difficult.  My feet do ache at the end of the day but it's not a big deal.

It got me thinking about how lucky I am.  I recalled when I first went to see my current rheumatologist and his nurse picked up my chart and said, "R.A. - how long have you had that?" and I said, "Since I was twelve," and he looked at me in surprised and said, "You had Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis?"  and I said, "Yes?"  and he said, "I'm sorry, but most people who come in here who are your age with J.R.A. don't look like you.  They're not doing even close to as well as you."  So, I don't know what happened but apparently I am just extraordinarily lucky.  Otherwise I don't know what it is.  I take Humira right now but I don't take it as often as I could.  It's supposed to be one shot every two weeks and I take it about once a month or every six weeks or so depending on how I'm doing (I'm usually doing better in summer).  I take vitamin D and Omega 3's and I don't drink or smoke or do drugs but I used to smoke like a chimney for years and most people around here with autoimmune diseases take that stuff.  So, the only thing I do that is possibly different is I'm constantly physically on the move.  I have a physically active job, physically active hobbies and if I wake up and everything hurts (which does happen more than I'd like to admit) I get up and start stretching and moving around instead of staying in bed.  I've learned the past 30+ years that lying in bed when you have Rheumatoid Arthritis pain makes the pain much worse.

A couple weeks ago I was talking to someone and she said, "That's too bad you have arthritis but at least you don't have Rheumatoid Arthritis like my friend.  She is practically bedridden and is crippled."  I said I do have R.A. and she said her friend has had it for ten years and I said, "Um ... I've had it for thirty five years" and she said, "Well, you're lucky you don't have it like her."  I guess I am.  Or is it because I made decision years ago I wasn't going to give up on life just because I have R.A. or panic disorder or any of the other things I've had to struggle to overcome.  In a way it irritates me when people tell me I'm lucky to not "have a bad case of R.A." (that's not what my rheumatologist said when she first saw my x-rays).  I feel like it devalues how much effort I put into making sure I have a good life despite it.  There are some really frightening and crippling autoimmune disorders out there (Chrons, Lupus, M.S.) but for R.A. is not one of them.  As long as I keep moving it doesn't take over.  Maybe I am just lucky.  But I wonder if some of the folks who are really suffering, if I could convince them to get off the narcotic painkillers and just start exercising if it would get better for them too?  I don't know.  (narcotics tend to make autoimmune diseases worse in my experience - I wish there was a study out there about it so doctors would stop giving their RA patients narcotics)


So, yep, day after tomorrow my daughter will be 10 years old.  She's definitely embracing this whole "tween attitude" thing.  And she's definitely her own person with her own tastes and style.  Through her I've been introduced to a whole slew of pop music that I would be completely unaware of otherwise.  I could live without a lot of it but I be do agree on liking Pitbull and Macklemore.  With that I'll leave you with a fun song that we both really like.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A recent conversation at a party

My daughter's friend just said said she wants to work at Google because at the New York campus they have an ice cream truck that travels around in the building.  It reminded me of a conversation I had at a party recently.  A stranger said he'd overheard me talking about my horses and asked where I keep them (this was a party in Seattle so they probably assumed I lived in the city).  I said I keep one of them at work and his eyes got really big and he said, "Google is doing that now?" and after a moment of figuring out that he thought I was a tech geek like most everyone else at the party I said no, I work at a barn full of horses.  And I can honestly say I'd rather play with horses and kids all day than work at Google even if they do have excellent cafeterias, gyms and an indoor ice cream truck.

Recently, I've been having nightmares of moving back to the city.  I'm not kidding.  I really have been having dreams we moved to the city and I'm horrified by how crowded and loud and how few trees there are.  Usually the most stressful part is that we are there because my husband puts his foot down in the dream and says he's had enough of my madness and is taking us back to the city where life is so much better and I've made him suffer enough.  When I told him that this morning he said 1) "Why am I always such a jerk in your dreams?" and 2) that when he was driving our friend home out to the boonies out by Duvall he made a comment to our daughter that East Woodinville looks like a lovely place to buy a house with property.  I agree.  I don't want to change school systems for our daughter if we don't have to.  Although if we were to move to a farm in Monroe (won't happen - too far of a commute to Seattle ... sigh ...) they have an excellent home schooling program in that area that includes a full robotics program.  Wow!

Maiden is doing well despite healing from an abscess.  On Friday I had to change her poultice pad and wrap.  I was impressed with the finished product and how good it looked and all that, but what I was not happy with was the process.  When the vet put the first poultice wrap on it was like she pulled out the poultice pad, plopped it in a gallon bag of water, put it on Maiden's foot and then whip/zing/bam she had it held on securely with vet wrap, slipped on the protective boot and had that held on with sticky tape - 1,2,3 no problem!  Mine consisted more of me trying to hold up Maiden's foot so the pad/bag wouldn't fall off while getting vet wrap all tangled up and stuck to itself and then almost falling over when Maiden tried to pull her foot away, lots of profanities and wasting vet wrap that I dropped in the mud and couldn't unstick from itself without ruining it ... then I had to put the boot on and before I'd fastened the velcro straps Maiden had kicked it off and sent it flying across the barn and slammed her foot down so the vet wrap was all dirty.  I did finally get the whole thing done.  And it's supposed to stay on until Tuesday so hopefully that will happen.  Here it is pre-putting the boot on.  I also never successfully folded over and wrapped in the vet wrap the excess plastic from the gallon size bag so I just ended up cutting the excess off.  Also, part of the fun of vet wrap is getting to choose from all the bright, pretty Spring colors.



Maiden is still limping a little but definitely more comfortable.  Especially when she goes running off when Girlfriend chases her away from her senior feed.  I was worried last week because Girl needs her few pounds of senior feed every day in order to keep her weight at least close to where it should be but Maiden was pushing her out of the way and eating it instead.  For a few days I would intervene and chase Maiden away and then have a stand-off with her while Girlfriend ate.  Yesterday I noticed they were both eating out of Girl's food bin and I figured that was better than just Maiden eating it.  But today I was out picking up branches from yesterday's storm and I heard a squeal and some shuffling and looked over and Girl had chased Maiden away from her food.  Maiden would try to sneak up while Girl was looking up chewing and Girl would turn and pin her ears and glare at her and Maiden would slink away.   At one point Girl looked away and Maiden reached over with her head and grabbed the bin with her teeth and pulled the food bin toward her.  When Girl turned around again she pinned her ears, barred her teeth and lunged at Maiden which made Maiden scurry away.  When I finally left to come home Maiden was standing a few feet away from Girlfriend lifting one leg and shaking it (her way of begging for treats from people) and Girlfriend just turned her butt toward her and ignored her.  I feel better now about about not having to stay there for a half hour or more to keep Maiden tied up so Girl could eat.  I think Girl has it covered.

We had an enormous storm yesterday which was perfect timing for working all day with the ponies and kids.  Our power went out the night before but luckily our hot water heater is gas, as is our stove and our fireplace so our house was warm, I could take a shower before work, and I could make coffee with the French press.  But it was still stormy when I got to work and just got worse throughout the day.  At one point my work jacket (which is this super nice, high quality rain coat with fleece lining which can withstand just about anything) was so wet and rain and seeped in somehow and soaked the fleece, and my pants were soaking wet as were my gloves so I'd taken them off.  I went out to get Jesse (the big draft) for my next lesson and the wind was so cold and my hands stung so badly that when he stopped to pee I almost cried because I just wanted to get into the barn out of the wind.  As soon as I'd toweled him off I texted my husband with an emergency plea to bring me long underwear to go under my soaking wet pants and admitted to my co-worker that I'm a weenie and needed warmer clothes so if my husband showed up with long underwear while I'm in a class to have him put it in the office.  Which caused one of the tweens to squeal, "Oh gross! Underwear!" and one of the older teens rolled her eyes and said, "It's not underwear it's long underwear! That's not at all the same thing!" and thus started a discussion among the kids about underwear which I left my co-worker with because I had to go get Jesse ready for my lesson.  You're welcome.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ode to the Budman

We had to put my cat Buddy to sleep this afternoon.  He was two weeks shy of being nineteen years old.  It was a good time for him to go, he was rapidly losing weight and had lost his appetite and was having trouble walking.  He'd gone from 20 pounds in his prime to 5 pounds.  He gave me a look today that said, "I am so done!" so I feel good about the decision.

We had the vet come to our house and put him to sleep on the couch while we sat around him.  Our daughter carried him over to the couch because she wanted to be the last one to hold him.  She only knew him half of his life and the first year of her life he couldn't stand her and we imagined that his name for her was "Usurper" because she had claimed our laps.  He had quite a life and even drove across the country with me twice.  The first time when I moved to Atlanta, GA and we drove through the Mojave Desert and through northern Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas then down through Alabama. On the way home we went much further south and drove through New Orleans and Southern Louisiana, Central Texas and and Southern New Mexico and Arizona, then back up through the Mojave Desert.  So, when they put him to sleep we said that he's now in kitty heaven sleeping on a cloud over his favorite place - Texas.

Oh that reminds me of a story.  My friend, Allison was driving back with me the trip when I moved back to Seattle from Atlanta.  She really wanted to drive through the Blue Bonnet trail so we took that route. It wasn't a very well traveled highway so we pulled off so that Allison could get a photo of herself sitting in all the blue flowers.  She ran up a slope, sat down, I snapped the picture and immediately she jumped up and ran back down to the car at the side of the road jumping up and down in pain because the blue bonnet trail is covered with cactus plants.  Then while she was trying to pick cactus burs out of the butt of her overalls, a truck full of guys drove by hooting at us.  Good times.

In other news I went to the pasture to feed Maiden and Girlfriend yesterday and Maiden was hobbling around on three feet looking truly miserable.  She finally gave up and laid down and didn't want to get up when the vet finally came to look at it.  Turns out she has an abscess in one of her hooves so we gave her some Bute, wrapped a poultice pad around her hoof and are hoping for the best.

I'm off in just a minute to go out into the dark and rain to give Maiden her second dose of Bute for the day.  Sigh.  Here is a song for the day: