Tuesday, August 18, 2015

After the meltdown

I'm feeling a lot better today than I did yesterday.  Still emotionally raw and a general feeling of needing some time away from job responsibilities, but I slept well last night and woke up feeling refreshed.  I'd certainly rather feel body tired over emotional exhaustion any time.  I actually like working to the point of physical tiredness.  Always have.  Maybe because it feels so good at having accomplished a task and the sense of well-being when you're finished for the day.

Our weather has taken another turn for the triple digits.  We're having another heat wave of 2-3 days and then it's supposed to cool down some.  Some places got some measurable rain last weekend.  At our place, it was just a dampening, but even that felt so good and cleansed the air.  I'm really looking forward to a real gullywasher, but don't expect that for a while.  Oh well, not much I can do about it.  But rain would be welcomed by so many in our corner of this country.  We have so many wild fires burning out of control in several states, including ours.  I feel so bad for those firefighters risking their lives in such hot, dry conditions.  The temperatures, fierce winds and overly dry terrain sure make fighting those fires an uphill battle.  So many lost homes, but thankfully I haven't heard of any loss of lives.  Our pastures have been dead and brown for months already, and we're feeding hay at an alarming rate.  Oh well, we just do what we need to do.  If we have to buy more to get through to next year, I think our hay supplier has plenty in storage.  I hope!

Tonight after work we're driving to SE Portland to pick up a 24 ft. trailer for my niece.  She sold her home and will be living in this trailer until she finds a home to relocate to.  I wouldn't have picked today of all days to make this trip, but apparently the seller had a 12 hour notice to get it off the street and he doesn't have room in his driveway.  That's why she got a good deal on the trailer.  Anyway, she has no experience hauling a trailer, and our camper is loaded on our truck, so I just felt better about offering to drive and help her out.

We're hoping to get back into our bedroom remodeling project soon.  I can't tell you how tired I am of sleeping in the living room, and having all our bedroom stuff scattered everywhere.  My mind just craves peace, order and blessed space right now.  I. cannot. wait.  So many things I want to do, and so little time and energy left over after all the necessities are taken care of.  And in the meantime, Eagle waits...not that he cares.  He is so happy just being home and refilling that vacancy of herd "alpha".  At least somebody's happy!

Oh, and we were rejected as adopters of a dog through Golden Bond Rescue.  Seriously???  What a huge mistake on their part.  They just blew a perfect opportunity to re-home one of their dogs with us.  We are phenomenal dog owners!  I tell you what.  If I were a dog?  I would absolutely want to come and live with us.  Our dogs are treated like one of the family, because that's exactly what they are.  They didn't even call me to talk about it.  We got the "Dear John" letter yesterday.  They said after long and careful consideration they had come to the conclusion that we were rejected because of "inadequate fencing".  Interesting.  We have the exact same fencing we had the last time we were approved to adopt.  Oh well...I know the right dog will come to us.  I just have to be patient and keep looking.  Ruby girl is waiting for her new friend...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Some days and Mondays

...really get me down.  I feel worse today than I've felt in a long time.  

I feel exhausted.  Yes, I'm sleeping as well as I normally do.  This is mental fatigue, pure and simple.  Disappointment, dissatisfaction, so many descriptive words come to mine.  A blogger friend that I've been reading and following her life for 7-8 years, lost her husband this weekend.  I don't know any details other than it was described as an accident involving him and his cousin.  They were both killed.  This guy, TW's husband, was her soulmate.  They had children and had been married for a good, long while.  He was pretty much her life and it's just such a damned shame!  I cannot even imagine the pain she's feeling.  I just can't.  To love someone that much and to lose them so suddenly...I just don't know how a person handles that.  And then moves on with life.  How in the hell would you do that!?  I don't know, but I'd describe their marriage as 1 in a million.  Truly happy and complete only when they're together.  Just knocked the wind right out of my sails.  Sorta like being slapped in the face and putting my troubles into perspective.

We had another busy weekend.  Nothing new there...went to a 50th birthday BBQ for my niece.  Oh boy,  family events are always so trying and so emotional for me.  I kind of hate them.  We've all changed so much, or maybe I'm the one who's changed and I just don't feel like I even know them, or can relate to them anymore.  Sometimes I wonder if there's something wrong with me, but I just want to climb the walls, run out screaming in frustration when I'm around them.  Not always, but too much of the time.  By the time we've been there for a while, I feel like I've had the life sucked right out of me, and I just need to lay down and die.  Sounds dramatic right?  Well, I'm not exaggerating.  Seriously.  I cannot wait to get out of there!  I love them, but I don't like them anymore.  I can't even remember when my sister, my nieces, anybody...has even asked, "how's everything with you?".  They just rattle on in their overly loud voices, repeating themselves about all the trauma and drama in their lives, how everyone is trying to "screw" them and how everything's just not fair!!  Blah blah blah blah...God help me, I just want to scream that all their poor choices are the only reason that their lives are so screwed up!!!  But, I don't.  I just sit there trying to politely listen, and care.  But then I have to go get a breath of fresh air, and whisper a little prayer for patience and compassion, and hope it's not too early to go home.  I sound just awful don't I?  I know.

Anyway, I rode Eagle on Saturday.  Maybe because I was feeling anxious about riding him through the orchard for the first time, maybe not; but I was feeling fearful and timid right from the get-go.  I tried to overcome, breathe deep, and run through all our warm-up exercises, but it was just ok.  Eagle felt my trepidation and responded accordingly.  Then I mounted up to head out, with my husband on Missy (the perfect, quiet little mare), Eagle moved away before I asked him to, the branch of the tree brushed his rump and he spooked a little bit.  I had my inside rein shorter because I'd just mounted up, which was a good thing because we had to circle and circle just to get him to relax.  This certainly didn't help my anxiety.  So we headed out, and immediately Eags was VERY strong and pumped and happy to be going somewhere outside of the ring.  I tried a few one-rein stops to kind of re-boot him and get his attention on me.  He just kept circling and circling and circling, without stopping.  My level of discomfort grew and grew, so we straightened out and just tried walking on.  Again, with the being very, very strong and not responsive to my legs or reins.  I felt myself start to panic, and I had to have my husband stand his horse to block our path so I could comfortably dismount.  All I could do was cry.  I was so disgusted with myself.  It really wasn't Eagle's fault.  He was happy and up and forward to be going somewhere.  Had it been Rachel, or anybody else with some confidence, I'm certain he would have worked through it and relaxed.  But with me feeling the way I was feeling, it just wasn't going to happen.  So I walked him back home, got back on for a short time in the round pen, and put him away.  Sunday I didn't get the chance to ride, did laundry, house cleaning and too many other obligations to ride.  So here we are today, and this day has just sucked.  Totally.

My boss was late to both of his morning appointments and once again I had to listen to the clients' complaints, threats of leaving us and general displeasure.  I'm so tired of covering for his lack of respect for peoples' time.  And of course the phones were ringing off the hook, emergencies and every single person thinks they are the most import person ever to have lived!!!  Like I said, I am tired.  Today, I kind of hate people and just wish I was leaving for a very much-needed vacation somewhere quiet.  Oh, so quiet.  Something's just gotta give...or I feel like I'm gonna blow.

I've tried to keep my issues in perspective, have spent some time in prayer and reading.  I always give thanks for so many blessings in my life, but I feel so broken, so messed up and oh, so tired. Today really does kind of suck.  I'm hoping that this evening I can spend some quiet and peaceful time with my horses and just enjoy being with them.  No pressure, no worries.  Just be and soak up some of their goodness, and relax.

If you're the praying kind, there is a lovely lady, her children, and a whole big family mourning a huge loss today, there are forest fires raging all around the PNW, people's homes have been lost and fire fighters are risking their lives to contain the fires.  Please take a moment and offer up a prayer for these people.  The power of prayer is simply amazing.

Blessings to all, and hoping for a brighter tomorrow.  Or at least a more peaceful one...


Friday, August 7, 2015

As the world turns

Wow, am I ever glad it's Friday again.  *sigh*  I'm tired.  My brain doesn't want to function and a really, long nap sounds heavenly.  Our grandson has spent the last 2 weeks with us. I am sooo not used to teenagers being around 24/7...dear God, how do people do it?  Guess you just adapt.  Like everything else.  However, I will say that our grandson, Dave is a unique individual.  His mom is bi-polar, manic-depressive and Dave shows those tendencies already.  He's been behaviorally challenged for years and years.  He takes all sorts of meds and without them is beyond difficult.  He's diagnosed ADHT, or whatever that is...hyperactive, short attention-span, whatever.  The only two areas that I can relate to Dave is with the horses, and animals in general; and taking pictures.  He really shows promise in the area of photography.  But when he's with the horses, they calm him and bring him peace.  Anyone out there relate to this?  :)  What is it about horses?  There definitely is something special about horses that grounds us, levels our emotions and gives us a feeling of relaxation, joy, and just being alright with what is.  I can't explain it, but I know it's true, certainly couldn't have survived my childhood without them.  Well, that's probably a bit dramatic, but it wouldn't have been so manageable for sure.  Horses have always been my rock.  Still are...my faith and my horses.  Life without these wouldn't be worth living, for me.  

My Annie

Harley wearing his "horses in black", cool shades
My girl with her "precious"...the only toy she'd play with.  Ever.
Since I got my new phone, I've been realizing it's much quicker and handier to use that for pictures.  My problem is, I don't know how to get the pics uploaded here.  I've sent them to my email, downloaded them onto Picassa, but simply cannot move them here, and I even have trouble finding them once I know they are there.  Grrrrr...so irritating!  Is there some way to transfer pics directly from the phone to blogger?  

Anyway, moving on.  I'm canning peaches tonight.  We love freshly canned peaces and some frozen ones for cooking in the winter.  It's like a little bit of summer sunshine in a jar.  But honestly, canning is the last thing in the world that I want to be doing this evening.  I'd really like to get outa dodge and just go relax and rejuvenate.  Do something fun.  If we get that job done quickly, maybe we can do just that.  

I'd really like to take Eagle somewhere and go for a little ride.  I'm anxious and a little worried at the same time about this.  I don't want to get all nervous and worried, and make him feel insecure. That would not be good.  But, I've just gotta get our first trail ride under our belts.  The little rides I took at Rachel's don't really count; they were pretty short...but, once out and on our way, I did start relaxing fairly quickly.  I'm hopeful that's what will happen again. Our riding club has a scheduled camp-out this weekend, but we're just not ready for that. The way I'm feeling right now, truly?  I'd love to head to the beach.  Sleep in, breathe deeply of the fresh, ocean air and walk with my dog.  Take a nap with the cool breeze blowing in the window...read a little and have a nap.  I don't want to be social.  I don't want to work.  I just want to veg...

We're expected to get a little rain this Sunday.  That would be so refreshing, and we could really use it.  You sure don't hear me saying that very often!  :)  Surprise even myself sometimes.  We haven't had any measurable rainfall since the very beginning of June, in fact the day we took Eagle to Rachel's.  That impressive storm, where it dumped and then moved on.  This sure has been an unusual year, actually starting back to last October when it was so unusually warm and it dumped so much rain, so early, that everything started molding and it felt tropical.  That was followed by a much warmer and drier winter - the year of no winter, followed by an early spring, and our summer starting very much earlier (and hotter) than usual.  The times are sure a-changin' - no doubt!  I'm not complaining, and I certainly don't worry about the weather.  Just taking note, that's all.  It is, what it is.  
My rides on Eags have been going overall, pretty well.  We have our ups and our downs, but I'm getting more comfortable and more competent in my requests of him.  His unusually low headset is still a bit disconcerting to me, feels at times like I have no horse in front of me.  But, when I don't fixate on it, continue to ask for more forward with a nice momentum, with lots of transitions, stops and goes...it really does get better. Someone on a FB horsemanship site that I follow, likened it to that game many of us played as children.  Red light, Green light.  Keep your horse mentally and physically at the ready, which promotes balance and readiness from both of us.  It would work even better if I had a good groundsman calling out the orders.  We include, walk and trot, with lots of stops, upward and downward transitions, some backing and lots of variance in distances between changes.  It's proving to be a great exercise.  Keeps Eagle guessing, and doesn't allow his attention to go wandering on our rides.  I have to admit.  It's challenging for me too, because I've just been a lollygagging trail rider for many years now...we both need work.  :)  But we're having fun and trail riding is what I truly love, so he doesn't have to be trained to the nines!  All I truly hope for is a calm, soft and responsive and confident trail horse.  That would be perfect.  I just love Eagle.  Oh, and so does David.  He is absolutely and infinitely ga-ga over Eags...go figure.  I can't explain it, but every single person who meets my boy, loves my boy.  He should have been named Don Juan, or Valentino, or some other legendary lover who ensnared people with his wiles and charms!  
Color me blessed...for he is mine, and I am his!!!  **happy dance**  :)

Oh, an update on my on-going issue of weight loss.  I'm down another 8-10 lbs. since last winter.  However, it's only about 4 lbs lighter than I was last summer.  I tend to gain in the winter and lose in the summer.  10 more pounds to go and I'll be back to my pre-clinic days of 16 years ago, come August 16(which isn't yet my goal, but still)...wow.  Slow going though!  I enjoy my food, just like my dog.  *sigh*  Oh well, whatever!  

I'll try once again to upload my pics that I've got on my phone, and if I do manage it - we'll celebrate, but if not - memories of my beautiful (and oh, so missed) Annie will suffice for now.  Have a wonderful weekend my friends!!

It's been hot!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Me and that horse...

Old pic from a couple years ago.  I have a new phone and can't seem to figure out how to get my pics off it.  Eagle still looks pretty much the same though.  :)

Sometimes I think that Eagle is the coolest horse ever.  And when I say that, I mean who he is.  His mind, his personality, the way he chortles through his nose when he gets nervous. He's a beautiful spirit who's very sensitive and intuitive, I get by with nothing. Nothing escapes his notice.  He has the kind of knicker that makes anybody stop and smile.   He has big, dark brown, doe eyes.  He absolutely knows how to use them.  He's a snuggler, likes to be real close.  And he's got this way of "sauntering" everywhere he goes; he exudes a quiet authority over our herd without even trying.  But my favorite thing about Eagle.  Well; besides his strikingly handsome, good looks?  :)  It's his kindness.  This is the kindest, most loving horse I've ever known. He's just a good horse.  And totally, without a doubt the most heart, or try, "the will to please" of any horse.  Ever.  

Kadie will always be the best little mountain pony in the world.  But nobody's perfect.    

Then there's times I think, he could be the coolest horse ever.  Besides all that great stuff I just said.  And I truly mean every, single word of it!  But Eagle can be lazy.  There's times I think I'm working way too hard up there.  I've never really had a horse who makes me work so hard for such little things.  Conformation wise, he's got this fairly short, very thick and powerful neck.  And when he wants to go one direction, and I want to go the other, well let's just say my legs and arms are a workout.  And it shouldn't be like that.  I know he's still a green horse.  And I absolutely couldn't be more pleased with what he's learned and how great he's doing.  When Rachel rides him anyway!  Frustrating, but I need to be patient.  We'll get there, we'll continue to improve, but ack!!!  With me?  I need to take more lessons.  In my imagination this horse and I go everywhere, over and under and through, grand adventures and all that.  That's what I want.  I've ridden him 4 nights in a row, skipped last night and plan to ride again tonight.  We've had short and sweet riding sessions after a very short walk,trot, canter freestyle in the round pen.  I mount up, go through my warm-up, which consists of relaxed walk, trying to stay on the rail and lots (some) willing forward energy.  Neck flexes, balanced stop, back and one-rein stops.  Then we do trot work and then try to add something like poles, haunch or forehand turns (beginning). Easy right?  And usually we run through this within 30-45 minutes.  That's plenty for both of us right now.  Well, there are times we really work on just this.  Then there's rides we've had where Eagle walks right out, just does what I ask when I want and it feels so good.  I have to blame our connection.  Some days it's good and other days, not so much.  It's all about me and my state of confidence.  When I'm more relaxed and ask with more authority, quiet but soft, Eagle responds nicely.  But if I don't mean it.  And mean it from the very beginning of our lesson, Eagle takes that and that's that.   Nope, not today   ... uh-huh.  *sigh*  God, he can be stubborn!  Or lazy.  Both?  Rachel says it's not his fault.  I get what I ask for.  

Yeah, I know it's the journey.  And I do enjoy the journey, the process, the relationship, the work.  All of it.  But I've waited sooooo long to ride this horse, and all I really want to do is hop on him bareback and race through the filbert orchard and go swimming with my horse in the pond.  On a beautiful summer day, like today!  

Just to feel that freedom.  The joy of feeling my warm and strong, sure and fast, horse running beneath my legs.  Hair flying in the wind, tears streaming across my face.  *sigh*  

That's how I want to ride him.  

I read this quote by George Morris on another blog today.  It seemed appropriate, so I thought I'd share and hopefully remember...

"The relationship between horse and rider is closer than any two beings, even if you're married.  When a horse gets tentative, you don't get tentative.  That's the kiss of death. You get positive."

Sounds about right.

Learning patience and persistence,
blessings all.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

All the news that is news, that I remember...

Okay, my pictures really have nothing at all to do with this post, except that I've not posted any pics for a really long time and this is just a tiny sampling of what we've been up to this month.  I guess that works too!  This is news, right?

Faith & Lilly celebrating their b-days.  Two of my great-great nieces!

Lilly the "princess"  She's 5 now...going on 31

From our hike on Cape Lookout, the Pacific way down there

It was a hideously hot day so we went to a local spot and cooled off!

Selfie of two unknown old people - wait, is that an oxymoron?
Oh, where to begin?  I've fallen behind in just about every single area of my life it seems.  I've not had the time, the energy, nor the inclination to write anything here in 2 weeks.  In fact, this is only my second post this month.  And I cannot believe that we're nearing the end of July already!!!  Good grief, where does the time go?

Of the most importance to me, is that Eagle is coming home tonight!!!  To say I'm happy and excited about that is putting it mildly.  :)  To wrap my mind around the fact that he's been gone just over 2 months already, blows me away.  Really???  But, I just cannot describe how very, very well he's done in his training.  I went every day last week and rode him.  The horse has such heart, such try and the willingness to please and do well that it amazes me.  He also has a stubborn streak about as wide as the Mississippi when he doesn't want to do something...Rachel has accomplished far more than I would ever have expected with Eagle.  Watching her ride him, and put him through his exercises just makes my heart swell.  He's still a green horse, obviously, but how well he's taken to his lessons and how much he understands is a little bit unbelievable.  Now, having said that...when I ride him, it's not quite like that.  *sigh*  I need work.  I need to ride more often.  I need instruction.  Big time.  I apparently need to prove to my horse that I'm worthy of the leadership role.  Therein lies our biggest challenge after I get him home.  We've had some amazing rides.  We've had some mediocre rides.  And then, we've had some rides where I come back in tears, full of frustration and disappointment.  But overall, we've made progress.  And that is where I choose to place my focus, and build upon that.  Eagle is miles from where he began.  And frankly, so am I.  My progress isn't so impressive, but to me, it means the world.  I can ride my horse, and I will get better.  I will build more confidence with more time in the saddle and I'm even thinking of doing some lessons with Rachel as a follow-up.  We'll see how everything goes...

My hubby and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary last night at Olive Garden.  Yum!  I can hardly believe it myself.  31 years.  We've had our ups and our downs, and it's just like pretty much everything else in life.  It is the journey, not the destination that counts.  All those messy little details in the middle that create memories that we build upon throughout our lives.  I love that guy.  He ain't perfect, but neither am I.  :)

Our bedroom in all its' disastrous state still looms over my conscience like an ugly plague.  With hubby working so much, most home projects have remained at a standstill.  I'm not sure when we'll have the time to get back into the swing of remodeling, but I sure am tired of sleeping in the living room.  And that's all I've got to say about that.  

Night before last, hubby was already in bed reading and I was watching a little tv before heading to bed.  I cannot tell you why, or for what reason, but I suddenly popped up from my chair and walked into the kitchen, stopping just short of the slider leading to our deck.  I stood there for a blank moment wondering why I'd come in here.  Remembering nothing, I shrugged and turned around to go back, but a flash of light caught my eye.  I quickly turned around, looked out onto the deck and saw that one side of the deck was fully engulfed in flames!  Our deck was on fire!!  I yelled to hubby and we grabbed shoes and then the garden hose and managed to put the flames out without too much damage being done.  But as to how and why our deck caught on fire remains a mystery.  I know only one thing for sure.  Either God or my guardian angel whispered to me, or put that thought into my head, to go into the kitchen.  Had that not happened, I'd likely have gone to bed and our cedar deck fire would quickly have turned into a much more serious problem.  Of that, I have no doubt.  I am so thankful and so happy that I believe and have faith.  Bet yer boots!  My dad used to say that when something was a sure thing - "you can bet your boots on that!".  :)

Since my last post when I was gleefully looking for a break in our then, heatwave; we got that break, have had another almost two week long heat wave and today are enjoying a cool down.  Man oh man has this been a hot, dry and long summer for us!  Sure feels like the year of no winter, followed by a very short (and glorious) spring and now the never-ending summer!  My body has changed and I do not enjoy the heat at all anymore.  I don't exactly like being cold either, but the 70's are looking just about perfect.  Funny how that comfort window keeps getting smaller and smaller with the years!  Oh well, I've got quite the tan going with all the time being spent in the pool.  We gotta take our blessings where we can get them, right?  That $100 dollar Walmart swimming pool that we bought 3 summers ago, has proven to be money VERY well spent!!  

My tendency for squirreling hasn't been quiet either.  We have all our hay safely stored in the barns.  We have 4 tons of stall bedding pellets stored in the barn, we have plenty of firewood in the shed, we have a quarter beef recently stashed in the freezer and just last Sunday picked up and put in our hay barn, all the alfalfa that we'll need to get the two geriatrics in our herd, through the winter.  :)  Sweet!!!  Now the only thing left to do is make some plum jam because for whatever reason, our hardly ever produces plums in 20 years, plum tree has absolutely outdone itself and blessed us with tons of big, beautiful Santa Rosa plums!  I need to pick my overly abundant crop of Marionberries and stick those in the freezer and get some peaches.  We have lots of apples growing on the trees, but absolutely NO pears!!  What is up with that?  The pears are my favorite fruit on our property (horses too) and I cannot find a single pear on either tree.  Oh well, the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh.  My little garden is doing just fine.  I've enjoyed my first two fresh tomatoes and a few sungold cherry tomatoes.  A few strawberries that I've eaten, but nothing else yet.  I've got onions, zuchini, acorn squash and cucumbers expected before long.  My herbs didn't do well at all this year.  Could be that I keep forgetting to water them.  :(  

We went camping weekend before last to Camp Sherman on the Metolius river with brother and sister in law.  One of my most favorite spots on this planet!  Left the horses at home with a caretaker and hopped in our little camper and went.  It was great!!  The weather was perfect!  We attended the annual quilt show, went out for most meals and took lots of long walks along the river.  Ruby had a blast, and so did we!  We laughed, talked and played games and it was so relaxing.  I wanna go again...

Not sure what else is coming up soon, but I am so very ready for some horse camping and some beach time.  Maybe a nap too.  No wonder I've been feeling so very tired lately...apparently I've been a very busy gal...

Would love to hear what you've all been doing with your summer!  Hope it's been grand!!!

Blessings and until next time,

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Finally some relief in sight

We've been having the most long heat wave that I can recall in many years.  It's been relentless for weeks with temps well into the 90's...it's been awful.  Last week for my vacation, I slipped away to the beach for a day and it was just heaven!  Ruby and I walked and walked, had some lunch, mosied around on the beach and while I took pictures, Ruby played in the waves.  It was a drag having to come home to 90+ still in mid evening. Hopefully though by this weekend our weather is supposed to be entering a cooling trend, with more comfortable temps in the 80's - whoohoo!!  I can't wait for that.  I've spent a lot of time in the pool out of sheer necessity and even had to cancel my lesson riding Eagle last week due to extreme heat.  I always get late afternoon times and I just can't ride in that heat, nor would I expect my horse to work in those conditions either.  They really seem to tolerate the heat much better than people though, given that they choose to stay in the sun when they have available shade.  You can lead a horse to water...

Eagle is doing remarkably well.  Rachel has nothing but high praise for my boy.  I'm hoping to increase my riding dates because in less than 2 weeks, Eagle is due to come back home.  I can hardly wait!  We still have not gone on a trail ride yet though, and I'm especially anxious to do this, since this is how we'll spend most of our riding time together.  Rachel is so busy with the summer camp and preparing her competition horse, as well as working with Eagle, she's very limited in her available time slots, couple that with my work schedule, and it's just darn hard to find the time.  It really is a priority for me to get in as many more rides as possible though, so I'm very hopeful.

Ruby continues to improve.  Her blood work was pretty whacked, but after tons of research, we're still no closer to a diagnosis than we were before.  *sigh*  One thing that stood out for me was high cholesterol, especially her triglycerides as well as high calcium levels.  We ruled out lymne disease too.  We'll probably never know for sure, but I'm no longer worried because she's pretty much back to normal.  Even the symptoms of the stroke or bells palsy, whatever it was,  are almost entirely gone.  I'm just so thankful! My little dog is almost completely back to normal.  Her energy levels are still lower than normal, but I attribute this mainly to the heat.  Mine are shot too, so go figure.  

I've begun actively looking for another dog.  In my gut, I'm not convinced that it's the best choice for me right now, but for Ruby, it is.  Ruby blossoms with a companion, and so the search is on.  Ideally, I'd like a Lab puppy.  Secondly, I'd like a Golden Retriever puppy, but the prices that people charge for those dogs are absolutely ridiculous to me.  Our budget simply cannot afford paying anywhere from $700 - $1500 on average for a dog.  What gives!?  I've actually seen them go for up to $3500.00!!!  If it didn't go against my very grain, I'd switch occupations; but I simply cannot abide producing dogs when there are so many in need of homes.  What is wrong with people?  Have they no conscience?  I will never understand how some people sleep at night.  I've looked into shelter dogs at the humane society, the local dog pound, craigslist and have put out feelers on facebook, so we'll see where it leads.  I'm not in a rush, and the perfect dog has always come into our lives at the perfect time, so I'm trying to be patient.  My hubby found a dog he cannot get out of his mind at the Golden Bond Rescue.  I looked at her picture and info today, and she is gorgeous, and has those milk chocolate brown eyes that will melt you in a heartbeat.  Her adoption fee is $335, which we could manage.  The main concern for us is her age, she's 8 years old.  Goldens are not especially long-lived, and I cannot even imagine losing her in a few short years.  Oh my, that might kill me!  But then again, what memories we could make in whatever time she has left.  They say she's perfectly healthy and sweet, loves going on walks and has plenty of "go" for a lady of her age.  Maybe we could just go and meet her...see what happens.  We could possibly even let Ruby make our decision.  Obviously, we're torn.  Time will tell.

I've also got another option on a Yellow Lab, intact breeding male.  He's almost 9 and was a show dog, and has sired puppies since his show days have ended.  We could adopt him for no money, but the "owner" would retain breeding rights and take him up to 2 times per year.  After his retirement, which according to AKC rules, is at age 12, all paperwork would be signed over to us and he would truly be ours.  Gosh, I'm just not sure how I'd feel about that though.  We've always had our animals spayed or neutered and our animals are our family members.  What if something unforeseen were to happen to him?   Another consideration is his age, same deal as the Goldie.  He is however, drop-dead gorgeous!!  I would never, ever make a decent animal breeder because I just find it somehow unsavory and callous how people can have an animal for years, make money off of them, and then so easily discard them in their golden years.  How can they not fall totally and completely head-over-heels in love with these dogs!!??  They love us and give of themselves so completely.  I don't think I'll ever understand.  I just don't get it.  Do people even consider how these animals feel?  It just saddens me to no end.  It's heartbreaking and frankly, I hate it!

Well, gotta run.  Hubby just called and I have to pick him up!  

Will try and post some pics from our beach trip and from our river outing and whatever else I have new pics of, very soon!

Blessings all, 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Potpourri of life

Time has just gotten away from me lately!  Yesterday was Father's Day and the official arrival of summer.  Around here, it seems like summer has been in full swing for 5-6 weeks already.  Highly unusual for our usually temperate climate.  I've enjoyed the cooler, but beautiful sunshine we've had, but that's about to change.  Big time!  And of course it happens when we have scheduled our vacation...sigh.  I don't do heat anymore.  Ever since I experienced heat stroke about 16 years ago, and had another occurrence a few years back, I cannot abide hot weather, unless I'm in the water.  :)  The heat just zaps my energy and then I get sick.  No fun!

So understandably, I'm a bit bummed by the forecast of our temps soaring to triple digits by the end of this week.  We've made reservations for 3 nights horse camping starting this coming Sunday night through Tuesday and coming back home on Wednesday for a previously scheduled appointment with the farrier.  If our weather gets that hot, I might cancel and we could head to the beach, but then I'd fret about our horses back home.  So, I'm not sure what we're going to do.  

I'm also very concerned about Ruby lately.  It's been several weeks now since she suffered something like a stroke, or maybe it was a stroke.  We don't really know, but the right side of her face is slightly droopy, especially the right eye and lip.  Her tongue also doesn't seem to work properly and she has a serious drool, which she never had before.  She acts depressed, but not all the time.  She still gets excited and enjoys going for walks, usually enjoys riding in the car, but has very little interest in anything else.  In fact, most of the time she walks around sort of skulking, as if she were in trouble or something.  I guess my best description of her demeanor is sheepish, like she thinks she's in trouble or something.  It's just really weird.  We were hoping these strange symptoms would go away, but several weeks have passed and they remain, but vary in their intensity.  We may have to send a sample to the lab and see if that shows anything.  She's not going to be 5 years old until August, so she's still young.  We've been toying with the idea of getting another dog for some companionship, but not sure if that's a good idea until we figure out if something is wrong with her, or not.  

In other news, Eagle is doing very, very well at Rachel's.  She says that he's coming along so much quicker than she expected, and that in everything she asks of him, he tries really hard.  That's not news to me, I've always known he has lots of heart and wants to please.  He's a super awesome horse!  I've ridden him 3 times since he's been there and he still feels like a green horse, but he's getting better every week.  I'm not sure how better to describe how he feels, other than very heavy.  He's definitely not a light-footed, lofty sort of ride.  Hopefully this will improve with more time, but if not, that's just the way it might be.  He's learning how to be more supple and that's sure to be helpful.  Rachel takes him on a trail ride 6 days a week and then he also has a bit of ground work and ring riding too.  His new boots have been well-broken in already.  She breaks his lessons in half, with a lengthy amount of downtime in between trail rides and ring rides.  During my vacation week, she says I'm welcome to come several different days if I want for extra rides on him.  If I can go in the mornings, I'll definitely do it!  I still feel timid on his back, but I'm hopeful that with more time spent riding him, my confidence and comfort levels will grow.  He's done absolutely nothing wrong according to Rachel, and that's reassuring.  I just couldn't be more pleased with Eagle and his progress, and with Rachel for all the help she offers to me.  Last Saturday marked the first 30 days in training, so we've got another 30 to go.  The 3rd week of July Rachel travels to Nampa, Idaho for another Extreme Mustang Challenge competition, and Eagle will likely come home then.  If money weren't an object, I would consider leaving him there for another month, but unfortunately it is, so I'll need to step up my game and start riding my horse with regularity.  I have to admit, I really miss him and am so looking forward to riding him, especially in the mountain trails.

On June 14th, we traveled to Perrydale Trails for a day ride with fellow riding club friends.  It's not really trail riding, but is natural trail obstacles (120+) spread over 10 -15 acres and includes some trails through wooded areas.  On the way, we stopped for gas and a transformer across the street blew, trapping my hubby and the salesgirl inside for about 45 minutes.  The firemen were called, and they saved the day!  I'm just thankful that the horses and I were parked in the shade while we waited.  :)  We took Ladde and Missy and enjoyed the day, but had to leave earlier than expected because Missy was favoring her right front and I just cannot bear to ride her when she limps.  That was with Bute on board too.  So disheartening, but I knew when I got her that she had Navicular.  Anyway, it was a good day spent with friends and our horses.  I always enjoy riding Missy because she's just so darned agreeable.  Hopefully one day I'll feel as comfortable riding Eags!

Besides both of us working every day, we've got all our winters' supply of hay in the barns, a winters' supply of bedding/stall pellets in the barn, all or most of the winters' supply of firewood in the wood shed, garden in and still have our bedroom remodel staring us in the face.  When that's finished, I'll just heave a big old sigh of relief! Our pool is up and ready, so I'll bet that's where I'll be spending a lot of time in the coming week or two.  Too hot for much else!  Who knows, if the weather turns too hot for horse camping, maybe I'll cancel our camping reservations and head to the beach.  We have a camper now, so we're pretty much foot loose and fancy free!  I'd just feel a little uneasy about leaving our horses at home when it's so bloody hot though.  *sigh*  It's always something, isn't it?  

Hope you are all enjoying our summer!  Get out there and do something - even if it's wrong!!  :)  Something my dad used to say!  

Until next time, blessings