Monday, December 21, 2015

Oh happy day, Ladde's better

Finally!  And in answer to my prayer, Ladde blew out a huge, (bloody) abscess in the front of his left front foot, just at the coronet band.  He still has the bruise on the tip of the sole in that same foot, but I'm hoping that's it.  We took an x-ray the other day and could see the line of infection travelling up the foot.  Why UP???  Talk about going against the grain?  Gravity?  I don't really care!  He's so much better and I'm so glad...him too! His whole facial expression is brighter, and he has lots more energy from being pent up.  That will have to remain for a while, I'm afraid.  At least until the hole heals up some.  And our weather changes for the better.

Good grief our weather!!  Rain levels continue at record-breaking amounts, and today we're getting strong wind gusts.  You know what happens in the land of the giant evergreens when the ground is supper sogged and the winds come up?  Well, it ain't pretty.  When a tree comes down on your house, you know it.  We're fortunate in that we don't have any very large trees right by our house, but the old walnut right by the barn worries me some.  It's a heavy, old tree.  If it did come down though, it wouldn't hit the horse barn, or at least not much, but it could wipe out our main hay barn.  Wouldn't want that!  No sense in worrying about it though, I can't stop a tree from falling.  Worse than that, are the landslides.  So many people being dislocated from their homes.  Sad, especially this time of the year.  The only good news about this is the quantity of snow falling in our mountains.  That hasn't been the case these past couple of winters, so we need it.

Finished up with Christmas shopping last night.  Hubby's shopping.  We went to Cabella's.  My first time there, and I have to admit that I wasn't impressed.  They have some cool camping stuff and they sell fudge, but it's a spendy store that was crammed with lots of people who seem dazed, like I was.  Stuff overload!  It's definitely a guy store.

My personal least favorite thing about Christmas is wrapping.  I really don't like it much.  I buy pretty bags and have fun making bows and such.  That's about as fancy as I get.  :)  I was actually quite surprised at how quickly my few purchases added up to.  I can't even imagine how expensive Christmas with little kids would get.  Fun, yes - exciting, yes...just wish goods weren't so much these days.  Maybe that 's what people through the ages have been saying.  Anyway, we're spending the afternoon and evening at my sister's.  Dinner, lively conversation, and our annual gift exchange game that's always nice.  Then if all goes as usual, we'll sit around the kitchen table, well fed, sleepy, relieved; and reminisce about Christmases past.  Of our dear, loved ones who are no longer with us.  And we'll smile with tears in our eyes at how much we miss them.  And we'll laugh at fond memories with them.

Then we'll one by one express our best wishes and our goodbyes, as we head to our own homes.  Amazed, once more at how quickly Christmas came.  And went.

How will you spend the holiday?  Whatever you do, I hope you laugh, make merry, eat and talk, surrounded by people you love and who love you just as much.  Even if just for the day.
Merry Christmas everyone!!

If you get snow, please share those beautiful pictures with us soggy, Pacific Northwesterners...kay?

p.s.  thanks so much for the goodies Claudia.  we love them!

from drier days

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Be the change...and other miscellany

Did you catch any of the debate last night?  

Is it just me, or does anybody else think these men (boys) act like spoiled, rotten children?  And - like they don't have any idea of how to work together?  Do you think they know the meaning of the word, team?

"I"  never did do much.  Especially in politics, it takes a village.
Enough of that.

Oh, just one more little thought...we're living in troubled times, I think all will agree on that.  I personally have no faith in whoever's voted in as our next president, to make much of a change in the grand scheme of things.  We're told that our world is only going to get worse, until the end, when Jesus comes back.  If you don't believe that, then I'm sorry for your loss.  Trust me on this - it's a huge loss.  The relationship is real and He's our only hope.  You need only to study the Word to realize that every single little detail that's been foretold literally thousands of years ago, is being realized today, by us.  

You and me, wherever we are, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in - need to be the change that we're hoping for in our world.  Every single life matters.  Every single individual is valued, and makes a difference.  So, 
even though it might not seem like a lot, smile at someone.  Give of your time, of yourself.  Offer to help in any little way you can.  Change what you can in your world.  Be kind and generous, slow down and don't rush through your days.  And here's a good one for me, think before you speak.  And more importantly than what we say, is how we say it.  Simple enough, right?  

If only...

Charlotte's first Christmas.  She is 6 months old today.  :)

Yesterday marked the 11th anniversary since my mom died.  I sat with coffee in hand, in front of the fire before daybreak, with my beloved dogs by my side; and wished that I could talk with my mom.  Oh, I still miss her so much!  I can hardly believe that it's been so long since she's been gone.  In some ways, it seems like yesterday, but so much has happened.  There have been so many changes.  It seems like a lifetime since I've been able to hug her, to share a smile, ask her advice on something...oh, cherish your loved ones while they're here.  They won't always be.

See that little frog under the tree?  It croaks "Jingle Bells"...Charlotte's not sure whether it should be played with, feared or destroyed.  

Doesn't everyone have a Christmas frog?

Charlotte really enjoys our tree.  She likes to just sit and watch it, like this.  I do too.  I find it soothing.  Where we're spending Christmas is still unclear.  We may host, and then again, we may go to my sister's...time will tell.  We're staying home on Christmas Eve, and I'm so grateful for that.  Christmas Eve is my favorite.  I love the intimacy of it, the quiet and the twinkling lights and the peace.  And I really love sleeping in on Christmas morning, and lounging around in my pajamas.  That's an enjoyable start to Christmas Day!

My old piano.  It was made in the early 1900's and is still in pretty good shape.  It's out of tune and has a couple of dead keys, but when played, the music it makes, is still sweet.  

I've always loved that picture of my hubby and Bo...they were quite the team.

Dear friends at our riding club party

We always have a cutthroat gift exchange

I've always said that I don't suffer from hot flashes, but that evening I was soooo bloody hot all evening!

I got a shot gun toilet plunger for Christmas!  Ha!

Treasure or never know

Our precious Ruby...she's so beautiful.

If you can believe it, I finally for the first time since getting this *$!!*> new computer - figured out how to load some pictures from my camera onto my blog.  Good grief, there must be an easier way!  But as I've said so many times before, I am not a techy kind of gal.  These things just elude me, but there is hope, I am learning!!  :)

Ladde is still no better.  He is like 4-1/2 out of 5 lame on a scale of 1-5...just breaks my heart to see him so sore.  Rick says he has a major bruise over the entire toe of his LF and in that spot, his sole is paper thin.  Why?, I have no idea.  He's never had thin soles before.  But then again, all of this crap is new to him.  He's never had any of these horrendous problems before.  I hope and pray that soon we'll be able to put all of this behind us.  I can only imagine how he must feel about poor, sweet guy.  :(

I can't believe this is the last weekend before Christmas!  Shopping has been so easy this year, all of it done locally, or on Amazon.  I do love Amazon, don't you???? Oh my gosh, their prices are very competitive, I always get free shipping (thank you Claudia!) and their selection is ah-mazing!  Kinda dangerous having these slow December days at the clinic though...

On another note, this coming from the gal who never, ever does anything with her hair other than stick a clip in it, wad it up in a quickie updo, or just leave it down...I never blow dry, never curl, never style.  Forever - if I try to "fix" my hair, it is disastrous!  But, I bought myself a curling iron, some bobby pins and I've been having such fun playing with my hair!  I know, it's totally silly, but I'm finally having fun playing around, and if I mess up (which I do), I just rip it out and try again.  If you're also hair style challenged, then I absolutely recommend this blog - "the simple things".  The little gal is totally cute, is a wiz with doing hair and is constantly coming up with new ideas/simple things to try.  And trust me on this...if I can do this, then anybody can!  Oh, or you can YouTube her and watch the videos.  Just check it out!  I feel like a giddy school girl or something.  :)

Until next time,
Lorie signing out...

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Joy to the world!

Well, if you're stressed out and harried from too much Christmas already - then just shoot me now!  For whatever reason,  I'm enjoying this season far more than I'm accustomed to.  Yeah, I'm usually the grinch - the bah humbug in the punch bowl!  But I'm having fun, and it feels good to be so relaxed and content.  With everything.  Seriously, did somebody put something in the water?

Speaking of water...

It hasn't all been a bed of roses either.  For starters, our weather.'s been a little wet.  We're experiencing the wettest December on record and we're just almost to the halfway point.  November was spectacular!  December, not so much.  Since the first of this cheery month, we've had measurable rainfall every single day.  And by measurable, I'm talking from miles away.  Have you seen us on the news lately?

We've had lots of rainfall, flooding all around us, landslides, road closures, detours, power outages, homes sliding off their foundations, down hills ahem, homes flooding.  Yeah.  Seriously a drag.  We are again, so thankful.  Our land is flat, so we do have small lakes everywhere, the wood shed has several inches of water under the pallets of wood, we have a river running alongside the driveway, lots and lots of soupy mud, but nothing disastrous.  Oh yes, and we have muddy paws.  Lots and lots of muddy paws!  :)  But we can't complain.

Oh well, here's one tiny complaint.  Mice!  Forgive me, but I seriously hate the little buggars!!  They've been at work again in my pantry.  Grrrrrrr  Several days ago we first noticed this hideous smell!  Oh my gosh, I am SO not exaggerating!  The smell of a rotting carcass.  You know the smell.  The one that makes you gag and you close your mouth really fast, so it doesn't get inside?  Yeah, that smell.  Not really a Christmasy smell at all.

Anyway, long story short.  We've unloaded every single item in our rather large walk-in pantry.  And we have a lot crammed into that room.  We're in the process of washing in bleach water every single can, container - you name it.  We've disinfected the shelves.  Searched and searched and searched some more for the smelly little culprit.  To no avail.  If it be the end of me - I will find the source of that smell!!  And when we're finished with that, we will, once again return every single item to its' rightful place.  It will be wonderful when it's all finished!!  But right now, we have stuff everywhere.  That's the kind of thing that makes me crazy!  But I'm handling it.  Very well, in fact.  I really am suspicious that my hubby might be drugging me.  :)

What else?  Oh yes.  Another bout of major pain for Ladde.  Poor, poor horse!!!  :(  For about a week now, we've been soaking, poulticing and cushion-bandaging his left front foot.  It just keeps getting worse, so we thought we'd forget all that and put on a foam bandage for support, in case it wasn't an abscess at all, but rather another founder issue.  (please no!)  So yesterday the boss vet comes over and determines that it's a very bruised toe and paper thin sole over that area making Ladde very painful!  But like the trooper he is, he stood still for Rick to bandage both feet.  *shaking head*  Not quite sure how we got so lucky being blessed with this awesome horse, but there you have it.  We're giving him 1500# banamine twice daily until he improves.  Caching!!  That stuff is not cheap.  Oh well, it's all gonna burn in the end - right?  And this is Ladde we're talking about.  If there's anything we can do to help him be comfortable, and return to soundness, and it's within our power to do so.  We will do it.  This has been such a long, drawn out affair.  This coming weekend marks 13 long weeks.  Rick says the blood flow to his feet has improved, which is good news though.  And we're getting very close to another ACTH level check.  *fingers crossed*

I've been driving our truck for the last 2 weeks because my car has a problem.  Seriously - right?  It's been overheating.  Dropped it off at the car shop last night and I get word of an $886 repair bill.  What!?  NOT the news I'd been hoping to hear.  New radiator, new belt, new overflow tank and a new water pump later, we should be on the road again.  Seemed really high to me, but most of the cost is in the labor to change out the radiator, I guess.  *sigh*

And yet amazingly enough, all I can do is smile and be thankful for so many reasons.  I visited an old friend that I'd not seen in many years.  She is now wheelchair bound, living in a tiny and sad little apartment.  I left there feeling like I was the most blessed person in all this world because our home is huge by her standards, and I'm healthy and very capable.  She has trouble cooking even the simplest of meals for herself because it's painful and she's only able to lift her arms slightly above her waist.  Rheumatoid arthritis dramatically changed her life.  She is in that tiny space most hours out of most days.  I can't even imagine!

It's not how we wanted to spend what little savings we have, but I can write the check for my car repairs.  Again, thankful for that.  We have a beautiful Christmas tree in our warm and cozy home, with twinkling lights and memories scattered all over it.  There's a lovely and welcoming wreath on our front door and fragrant evergreens abound.  We both have jobs, have our health, and are managing to take care of ourselves every day.  It's Christmas.  I have the perfect excuse to bake cookies and drag out all my favorite seasonal music.  Our barns are full of hay, our home is not flooding, our horses are well-fed, loved and have dry beds.  And if you don't count this morning; Charlotte hasn't chewed up any of my husband's hats in a good, long while.  Well...relatively speaking in puppy terms.  :)

What in the world have I got to complain about?

Our little get-together at our house went very well.  I managed to adorn the house with fresh evergreen arrangements, scented candles and even enjoyed decorating our tree.  Hubby strung lights along the drive to welcome all visitors.  We were cozy, but not bad.  We enjoyed wonderful fellowship, worship, good food, sang some beautiful hymns and enjoyed our cut-throat gift exchange.  We're so thankful for dear friends.

I hope you can relax, savor this season and enjoy the blessings in your life too.  I truly believe that most of us are rich, indeed.

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Decking the halls

I promise to post some pics of our decked halls and finished bedroom later.  I know, I've been terrible at posting pictures lately.  New computer at work, and no readily accessible shots to choose from - that's my story!  And you know I'm not a techy sort, don't you?  Technology totally evades me!  I just got my very first "smart phone" a few months ago due to a hazardous coffee-spilling incident.  Apparently, cell phones do not like it when you dump an entire cup of joe on them.  Sheesh!

Anyway, we got started bringing out the Christmas stuff last weekend.  I've gathered boughs and holly and pine cones galore, and will be arranging and decking this Friday when I'm staying home from work!  Whoohoo - I just love hooky days from work, don't you?  They seem all the more special because you're supposed to be at work.  :)  Kinda like a snow day, without the snow!

Above everything else at Christmas time, I love the smells of Christmas.  The sweet, pungent aroma of the tree and the greenery, the spicy candles burning and something sweet and delicious baking in the oven, or simmering in the crockpot!  When I walk into my house, I want it to smell like Christmas.  Like a brisk walk in the woods on a cold morning, without the being cold or wet part.  Yeah, like that!  But, with the underlying scent of wood stove added in.  Layers of smells...and all of them good, but together it just says warm and cozy, Christmas.  To me, anyway.

We're getting our tree this Friday and will spend the day decorating, arranging greenery and probably do a little cleaning for good measure.  My hubby has lights strung on our fence down the driveway, and will decorate our lovely little Pine tree in the front yard.  Our wreath is hung on the door and we're way more Christmasy than we ever are this early in the season.  But it just feels good for some reason.  I am totally into decking the halls and anticipating the Christmas season.  Last year, we didn't even get a tree.  Not for any particular reason, just didn't get one.  It probably had to do with the fact that our living room was in a state of chaos, being re-done and nothing in its' proper place.  There's nothing like a construction zone to squash all feelings of holiday merriment!  But we're finally done with all that.  Like a gazillion trips to Goodwill later - we're pretty much done!  Whew!

The only hitch lately in my get-along is exactly that.  My sciatica has flared up and has been giving me fits!  It hasn't really slowed me down a lot, except that I'm not sleeping well.  And when I don't get adequate rest, my brain doesn't function properly, and I tend to get cranky.  Last night was a bit better, but for this tosser, I can only sleep in one position.  On my left side.  What a drag!  I'm usually one of those people who sleeps primarily on the tummy, with my arm extended up above my head and under my pillow, and I change positions over and over and over again.  But for some reason, my painful leg is only happy in the one position lately.  Seriously, cramping my style.  Thank God for Tylenol and those little, blue sleeping pills.

On the horsey front, all are doing well.  Carrying ample winter fat and plenty of thick, fuzzy hair.  Even Ladde continues to slowly improve.  He had yet another abscess recently, this time his left front.  We think it's drained and he's recovering again.  Poor guy!  He is a trooper though - he just takes everything in stride and keeps on keeping on.  The last few days he's been turned out in the big pasture with all his herdmates.  And that makes him happy!  And if Ladde's happy, then we're happy!  His weight is down, his feet continue to get less and less painful, no more cresty neck and the supraorbital fat pockets above his eyes are pretty much gone.  The pergolide is doing its' job.  We'll pull some blood and have his ACTH levels re-tested before long and if we can, we might try reducing his dosage to 1 mg daily depending on what his levels say.  If they're elevated at all, I'm going to leave the dosage alone.  Like my dad always said, "if it's not broke, don't fix it".  I believe that.

Thanksgiving with my family was nice and quiet.  No drama, good food and a nice time visiting.  The weather couldn't have been more perfect!  After that deluge of rain which brought us about 7" of rain in a week or so, it turned cold and crisp.  Blue skies and sunshine.  My kind of weather!  But, like all things, this too has passed.  We're cold and wet again.  Grey skies abound and muck boots are once again, my friend.  *sigh*  Oh well, we're almost to winter so I guess that's to be expected.  I'm just thankful that the weather does not seem to have a strangle-hold on my emotions.  So far, so good.

The bright side to getting this close to winter is that once again, our daylight hours will slowly start getting longer each and every day.  The time to hunker down inside, with a cozy fire, my favorite blanket and a good book are here.  Make the most of what is!  A time to slow down and reflect...I like that.  The perfect anecdote to the Christmas rush.  Gather friends and family round, enjoy the simple things.  That is what I hope to do this season.

Hope you all take the time to really savor the joy and anticipation of this season, in whatever way brings you happiness and peace.  Go on, make merry!

Monday, November 23, 2015

This week of Thanksgiving

Maybe it's just because it's rained so much lately, but these brisk, frosty, sunshiney days lately have been just awesome!!!  The cold has helped firm up the mud (not gone), but so much better.  The horse's coats are all thick and puffed up and not quite so muddy, and stall cleaning even seems quicker.  Likely cause they drip so much water off their bods in all that deluge...hmmm, bet that's it. Anyways...I've been loving the weather!!!  I have so much more energy and desire to accomplish things when it's cool and bright.

We've been enjoying our cozy little wood stove again.  Have I mentioned lately how very much I love that little stove?  Well.  I.  Do!  :)
Wood heat just sinks into the bones.  Last night we had our second heavy frost, dipped down to 28. Pretty impressive huh?

Our weekend was nice.  We got stuff accomplished, that trip to Goodwill made (!!!), upstairs guest room's all clean and put back together, new curtains hung in our bedroom, pictures back up on the walls, new comforter's on our bed :) and everything that shouldn't be in the living room?, is not in the living room!!!  Oh my gosh, that feels great!!

Told you brisk weather energizes me.  We had a very nice and relaxing Sabbath day too.  The message in church was really good and we even stayed for potluck afterwards.  Again, a perfectly gorgeous day.  Just felt great to be outside in the fresh air too.  My only regret is that I'd hoped, and meant to take the dogs for a walk, and we didn't.  My poor poochies have suffered so lately...Charlotte especially!  Wow, that little dog needs her run time.  Maybe I really mean - we need her run time.  :)

This week I'm hoping for an opportunity to go through some of my (many) favorite pictures over the last several years, and decide on six.  *sigh* Yeah, just six...for someone who has difficulties making decisions sometimes, this is daunting.  I have this cool, old frame that an old friend gave me years ago, that I want to transform into a large picture frame for our bedroom wall.  It's a little idea I've had rolling around in my head for quite some time.  I'd like to wake up, or drop into bed, looking at the things (beings) in my life that mean the most to me.  My reasons to smile...

Well, we're going to spend Thanksgiving Day with family.  My side of the family.  What I was thinking was this.  I'm going to decide to love them for who they are, rather than waste time on wishing who they were.  Funny thing is; I bet they think the same thing about me!  :)  It'll be's Thanksgiving.

What I decide in my heart to do, and think, and who I am.  Ultimately.

Aahhh, I do love Thanksgiving - don't you!?  The very heart of the holiday is conjuring up everything that you have to be thankful for.  And we all have lots and lots of blessings in our lives.  I know I do.

My wish for you all, is that you spend time with the ones who you love, and ponder your many blessings.  We're getting so close to the ending of yet another year, and the way things are going - I just pray that everyone gets it all straight within your own hearts; whatever it is for you.

Something right up their at the top of my list this year, is that Ladde is doing alright.  No huge steps, but we continue to see baby ones.  Any improvement is a reason to rejoice, and there have been no more seizures.  :)  *sigh*  And as always, my hard-working, loving, (and not totally) annoying, husband.  He does put up with me everyday, and that ain't easy!
And any list of mine would always include our critters.  Life just wouldn't be nearly as sweet without all of them.

Happy Thanksgiving,

from all of us at C-ingspots

(I had hoped to have some new pics to add, but after putting all my pics from the old work computer onto a stick for transferring to my laptop, they number 5308!!!  It's taking some time to transfer and I'm not that patient) Now you understand just how difficult it's gonna be to pick 6 - yiyiyi!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Keepin' on, keepin' on

We have been wet here.  We've been making up for our dry spring and summer in spades.  We have mud upon mud upon mud.  The pasture has that familiar river running through it - you know, the one that ends at the water trough?  Oh, and the other river that runs alongside our driveway as it makes its' way to the ditch.  They're all full, and showing no signs of slowing.  Right now, we're getting a break.  The sun is peaking through wispy clouds and it gives me hope.  Couldn't find my sunglasses on the drive to work this morning, and I felt like a mole.  Haven't seen that bright orb in the sky for a while...but we'll take the break and be thankful.

Ladde is ever so slowly making progress.  It's a painfully slow recovery, but I'll take it.  He had a bit of a backslide after his recent trim.  Troy trimmed his heels more than normal and I think he's feeling the pull of those tendons in the back.  You see, foundered horses grow more heel than toe and it can take a full year or more to become "normal" again.  His abscesses are pretty much finished draining now, so we aren't soaking and poulticing now.  He's been completely barefooted the last few days trying to dry out and harden up those hooves again.  And today, MH turned Ladde out in the big pasture with everybody else.  He's wearing his boots while out, but we'll pull them this evening when he's stalled overnight.  He's on 2 mg Prescend daily, and down to a 500 lb. dose of banamine twice daily.  Sure hoping we can get him off the pain meds entirely really soon.  *fingers crossed*  Last Saturday marked the 2 month mark since the onset of his laminitis.  Wow, it's taken a toll!  But we will keep on doing what we need to do to (hopefully) ensure no more episodes for the poor guy.  And the biggest blessing in all this is, (to our knowledge) no more seizures!  We are so thankful for that!  We don't know why they occurred, but as long as they stay gone, we're happy.

All the other horses seem to be doing well.  Harley has a serious case of bad breath, so I'm thinking he may have a bad tooth, or is packing feed somewhere.  We'll likely have to have dentals on everybody really soon.  For some reason, it feels like our list of "need to do's" just keeps going on and on.  Maybe once we accomplish this latest thing, it might be smooth sailing for a while.

My in-house project of re-organizing and cleaning out and hauling off, continues.  With the time change, and darkness settling in before I leave the clinic, I'm finding it more difficult to get anything accomplished in the evenings.  So that leaves the weekends to try and squeeze my projects in, and try to keep up with the daily stuff.  Slowly, but surely it's happening though.  Patience has never been a virtue I was blessed with.  Nope!  I like to get things done and move on.  MH cleaned out our camper and got it winterized last Sunday.  He also re-built the big gate that Missy broke while scratching her butt a while back.  Next on his list is re-organizing our wood shed and cleaning out our stove pipe.  We haven't had any fires in the wood stove yet this season, but the temperatures continue to drop and we'll be wanting a cozy fire before long.  Our little pellet stove in the LR helps a lot, but when it gets really cold, we need the addition of the wood stove to keep comfortable.

I got my curtains ordered for our bedroom, and a new down comforter for our bed.  I'll be looking for a tiny end table and a lamp before long, and that's it.  The bedroom will be finished!  It's really nice sleeping in our bedroom again, and freeing up all that space in the LR.  Last Sunday I spent the majority of my day in the upstairs bedroom - not the guest room - but the one we use as a closet and dressing room.  I deep cleaned everything and moved some furniture to make the room more user-friendly.  I even organized all the dresser drawers and closets.  Next up is the guest room.  I've already  removed the bedding and laundered everything, so making up the bed and vacuuming and dusting after the summer of leaving windows open 24/7 is all that's left to the upstairs.  One of these days we'll re-paint and replace the carpeting...but I'm not even going there for now.

I've still got several loads of stuff that's destined for Goodwill, but it's been so rainy lately that I've put that little chore on the back burner.  The weather forecast for the weekend looks promising, so with any luck, I can do it then.  It feels so very good to be cleaning out so much stuff that we don't need!  I'm loving it, and definitely on a roll!!  Next up...that piano.  I don't play it anymore and would like to see someone who will put it to good use, have it.

Charlotte turned 5 months old yesterday.  She's almost as tall as Ruby is already, and is turning into a lovely young lady.  :)  She's a fun pup and I'm happy we have her.  Most of the time anyways...

We've still not finalized our plans for Thanksgiving.  We'd thought to go to the church potluck, but my sis called and invited us to the family get-together, and now I'm torn.  I don't see my family very often, and usually find myself feeling upset when I do hear about everything that's been going on with them, when I do.  But none of us are getting any younger.  My sister is in her early 70's and has some occasional health issues.  *crap*  What to do?

Anyway, that's an update of what's been going on with us lately.  Hope you all enjoy the upcoming holiday and make the most of the long weekend.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Laying low

After last weeks' tumultuous happenings and raw emotions, lack of sleep and just trying to keep up with everything - we were both just exhausted.  Physically, but even more so emotionally.  We stayed home all weekend and just laid low.  We made a very short trip to the grocery store, ducked in and right back home we went.  We took care of the horses, gave Charlotte a (much-needed) bath, did some house cleaning and cooking, but did absolutely nothing else. It felt good to keep busy with mundane tasks and cozy up at home.  It rained pretty much most of the weekend.  It rained a lot.  So hard to imagine less than a month ago, we were aching for careful what you ask for.

Ladde is improving some.  I'm so hopeful that his seizures were just a blip on the radar.  To our knowledge, he hasn't had any since last Wednesday.  The pain in his feet continues to lessen.  He's down to a 500# dose of banamine twice daily, and this week we're hoping that drops to once a day.  I'm waiting for Troy to come out and trim his feet, and hopefully confirm the abscesses are finally all cleared up.  We're fairly confident that he's steady and sound enough to bear his weight for trimming. I think we're getting the inflammation from the founder under control as well.  He walks right out with no pads on his feet, but is still a bit careful and slow about making tight turns.  I've reduced his pergolide to 1 mg daily, which is a 50% reduction.  I've learned that too much pergolide causes incoordination, which we've definitely been seeing, so made that decision and so far, so good. There's so much trial and error in this rehabilitation phase that, that in itself is nerve-wracking.  Ahh, the "practice" of medicine...

We even allowed him out in the big pasture with the whole herd for a couple hours yesterday.  Wow, did that ever make our boy happy!!  That single thing improved his outlook on life by a 100%.  And that makes us happy.  The grass is growing quickly right now, so a couple hours was all we could risk.  For this coming week, it's back to stalled at night and daytime turn-out in the corral with a single buddy.  We've decided to hold off on starting him on phenobarbital.  It may just be wishful thinking that the seizures won't return, but I'm willing to push this just a bit on faith alone.  A single loading dose would be 75 tablets given orally, however we could achieve that.  The injectable proved to be cost prohibitive at about $2500.00 for a single dose.  Yes, you read that correctly - $25 hundred dollars!!  And that's at cost...ridiculous!!

Here's a stock tip for ya'all...invest in pharmaceuticals.  Just sayin'.

So for now, we'll just keep taking everything as it day at a time.  Wishing and hoping and praying that our boy continues on this path to improvement.

I appreciate all the kind words of encouragement, and especially the prayers.  Thanks so much!!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Searching for clues...answers

The way my brain works is complicated, exhausting even.  I'm an analytical thinker, but can easily become emotionally overwhelmed when I find no answers to my queries.  When that happens, I search and search for any little clue that could possibly help make sense in what I consider a very complex puzzle.  The Ladde puzzle.

Even my boss/vet seems to be floundering for a cause for Ladde's seizures.  Yes, I said seizures plural.  The first one occurred Saturday morning, October 31st.  The second seizure (that we're aware of) happened yesterday very early morning or sometime overnight November 4th.  Oh my word, if you've never experienced a horse having a seizure, I can only say that it's terrifying and the thought of a very large horse just crashing is sickening.  Not knowing why or when is unnerving at best, and leaves me feeling totally frustrated because we don't know what to do.  We can't seem to prevent them, can't help if they do occur and can only try to make Ladde's environment as safe as possible.  I'm contemplating getting a head protector, but my vet says the strong, nylon straps have a potential to get caught on things, which could be a whole different set of problems.  From his experience horses generally don't like wearing them either.  They must be uncomfortable around the ears and undoubtedly hinder eyesight somewhat, which would be unnerving for the animal.  *sigh*  What to do!?  I really need to find a way to protect his eyes and head if, and when he goes down again.  I'm thinking maybe I could replace the nylon straps with something that would break if necessary.  Both times he's crashed, he's hit his eyes when going down.  The thought of this makes me physically sick.  On top of everything else, I don't want him to lose sight because of trauma.  I can only pray that whatever the cause is something temporary.  I'm hopeful; my vet is skeptical.  But we have no answers.  We're going to do some checking at OSU Vet Hospital and see how expensive a CT scan of his head would be.  If there's bleeding in his head somewhere, that could be a cause.  If that's the reason, there is absolutely nothing to be done, but at least we'd know.  I'm just heartsick that all of these horrendous things are happening to my Ladde.

There are several other possible causes.  I've been researching them all.  Most are fairly unlikely causes, but there are a couple of possibilities.  The most likely, in my uneducated opinion is a metabolic reaction - "characterized by convulsions, which are of a short duration".  With all the meds causing metabolic changes and stress due to pain going on, this seems plausible.  We did a comprehensive blood panel and it's overall quite normal; slightly low in total protein, HCT and red blood cells, but everything else within normal limits.  That's good news.  His glucose and insulin are both now normal, ACTH has improved tons...was >1274 and is now 174.  Normal reference range is 9-35 for ACTH, so you see how drastic that has improved.  All good news, means the pergolide is working, but what kind of havoc does that cause within the body?  We've been giving him 2 mg as a starting dose, and when we finally get him within normal, I'm hoping to drop him to 1 mg daily, but we have to wait until they're normal or we could cause another onset of laminitis.  Don't want that!

With all these numbers looking so much better, why then is Ladde still looking so poorly?  I blame those seizures.  Last Friday, before that first seizure his overall countenance was 100% better.  Now, after 2 seizures he's looking very weak, lethargic, uncoordinated and just old.  It just kills me to see him like this.  His appetite remains good, he's drinking plenty of water and we have progress with the pain management in his front feet.  I'm hopeful that the residual discomfort is from the abscesses not being completely healed and not from inflammation in the lamina of the hooves.  At least that's what I pray for...

With everything that's going on, we're feeling exhausted, not getting much rest and the stress is running pretty high.  I'm asking for prayers from anyone who is willing, on Ladde's behalf.  He's a good horse and we can use all the help we can get.  We just don't know what else to do.

Also, if anybody has any experience or just thoughts regarding any of this, I'd appreciate the input.  Thanks so much...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Loss of control

I just can't believe that it's November.  October is one of my most favorite months of the year.  Not because of Halloween, but the beauty of that month, and the cooling of the hot, summer temps.  I love that briskness in the air, the color everywhere you look and the gradual slowing of life in general.  So, what's my point?  Even I'm not sure, but even though I took a week off from work in October, I feel like so many areas of my life are outside of my control.  Maybe I'm deluding myself that I ever had a certain measure of control, but there it is.  My favorite month came and went, and I feel like I never got to really experience it, or enjoy the beauty that is October.  *sigh*  I did get to spend a couple of days and nights at my favorite beach though.  My sweet hubby accepted all responsibility at home so the dogs and I could get away and have some quiet time.  I needed it, but sure wish he could have been with us.

We have been overwhelmed with so many "have to do's" lately.  I don't even know where to begin.  But above everything else in importance are the medical issues that we've been dealing with where Ladde is concerned.  He's 19 years old and lately it seems like so many aspects of his health have gone to hell.  Totally unexpected and beyond our control.  I hate it.  It scares me to think that regardless of how hard we try to take good care of them, provide them with everything they need, physically and mentally, things can go south so quickly.  Overnight in fact.  Which is exactly what happened.

We were taking a quick glance at the horses before heading off to church.  Ladde was just leaving the water trough and heading back out to the pasture.  I noticed he was walking unusually, and recognized founder immediately.  Oh no...years ago we lost his grand dam to this dreaded disease and I sure didn't want to face it again.  But there it was.  The evening before he'd seemed perfectly fine, but we'd already reduced his hay rations because he'd put on some extra weight and his neck was getting just slightly cresty.  Long story short, we've been soaking, poulticing and bandaging for about 6 weeks now.  We took x-rays which showed very little, if any movement of the coffin bone.  Good news! Then he got even more lame, abscesses in both fore feet, multiple abscesses.  Oh boy, poor guy!  On top of that, he banged one eye, it got better, then he hurt the other eye, and he got a yeast infection in his sheath.  Until this past weekend, we weren't seeing much improvement.  Keeping him stalled in deep bedding was tedious, but important.  Thank goodness we'd purchased an extra ton of bedding and had it stored at the ready!  On Friday, the 30th I finally saw some progress.  Finally!  He's even lost a few pounds and other than being excessively hairy, was looking pretty good.  Saturday morning dawns, MH gave him his dose of Banamine and within seconds he was seizuring.  Teeth clenched, body and head tremors and down he went like a sack of potatoes!  His entire body was convulsing and his legs were paddling and kicking out...terrifying!  It only lasted for a minute or two, but afterwards he was exhausted.  He could barely walk.  Poor horse!  It is terrible enough that he had a seizure, but not knowing what caused it is really scary.  He banged his eye when he went down and got some sawdust in it, so we've been flushing it and keeping ointment in it as well.  Since that day, he's continued to slowly improve, with no new catastrophes.  Thank God...

We've had him tested and he is positive for both Cushings and EMS, in fact his numbers for ACTH, insulin and glucose were through the roof.  So, we've put him on pergolide for the Cushings, started soaking his hay and continued with the reduced rations.  We'll follow up soon with re-testing to see how the numbers change.  Hopefully, once we get through this acute phase, we can keep him controlled and prevent further laminitis episodes.  Other than what we're already doing, all I can do is pray.

Thankfully all the other horses are doing well.  Kadie, at 31-1/2 years young is doing remarkably well.  She has bone spavin in her hocks, but who wouldn't be a little creaky at that age?

Ruby and Charlotte are becoming fast friends.  Some days Ruby wants to rip out Charlotte's throat.  I can see the look on her face, but overall things are good.  The increased activity and mental stimulation is good for our lounge lizard, Ruby.  :)  Overall, Charlotte is a very good puppy.  She seems to learn quickly and we've suffered no losses to chewing.  She hasn't had many accidents in the house either, none in several weeks that I can remember.  She is growing leaps and bounds and is going to be a good dog.  I'm so glad that we got her, although I must admit there are some days that I question my sanity in getting another puppy.  Like yesterday when she discovered a hole in the car blanket and I came back from a short errand to find mountains of white polyester fluff everywhere, including hanging from her chin like a billy goat beard.  *sigh*  If she didn't look so darned cute, I may have killed her myself, right there and then.  But instead I gave her a thorough scolding and cleaned up her mess...puppies can be exasperating.  Kinda like little kids, I believe that's why God made them so cute.

Weather-wise, we've had some rain lately.  Last weekend was particularly wet and windy.  I loved it!  Today the sun is shining and we're loving it.  The grass is growing again in the pasture and the horses are enjoying their occasional mud baths, and especially no more flies.  So glad those little buggars are gone!  Time is marching on and my head is spinning.  Nothing new there.

My ambitious hubby is just about finished with our bedroom.  We moved the bed back in and most of the furniture as well.  It looks beautiful, and I'm so pleased with the results.  The blue isn't exactly what I had in mind, but it's close enough to live with.

We've no plans yet for Thanksgiving, except I'm really looking forward to the long weekend off.  We may even join some fellow church members and spend the holiday with them at the church potluck.  I'd miss visiting with my family, but would certainly get the spirituality in the celebration that I'm always longing for.  That would be nice.  My honey is good with that idea too, but he bemoans the "no turkey" aspect and just groans when I mentioned that someone just might bring some Tofurkey!  Oh well, guess I could roast a turkey breast later in the weekend, satisfy that craving for him.  :)

We're hosting our riding club Christmas party in our home this year and are really hoping that we'll have our cozy little home all put back together and cleaned up after all the demolition and re-building by then.  It's been a long, drawn-out affair, but we have light at the end of the tunnel.  Overall, we're quite pleased with the results, and overjoyed with when we look at the "before" pictures.  How quickly we forget!!

Lately I've been going through drawers, closets, pantry and everything in between, and purging.  Big time!  I really want to eliminate so much stuff in our lives.  Like most people, we have stuff in so many places that we've forgotten just what we have.  What is the point of it?  My new motto is, if we don't use it or wear it regularly, then get rid of it.  It feels so good!!!  I highly recommend it.  My purging project is still in its' infancy, so time will tell on how much I really end up eliminating, but my hopes are high.

Hope life is treating everyone well and blessings are abundant.  Happy November!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

My world in pictures

Well, it's been a while - again.  Seems like I'm not doing so well in the blogging department of my life lately.  In fact I don't feel like I've been accomplishing much of anything, in any department of my life for a while.  My energy levels have been in the dumps, but I'm getting plenty of rest.  Much more than usual even.  So many things on my "to do" list and no progress to report.  Ah well, what's a person to do?  Hopefully, with the cooler season of Autumn's arrival, I'll perk up.  One can only hope...

Anyway, I've finally, sort of, kinda, figured out how to transfer pictures from my phone to my computer and then to my blog.  So without further adieu, my blog posting today contains some candid shots of our life over the past several weeks.  Today, I'm a woman of few words.  But lots of pictures! 

 This is Charlotte, the evening we brought her home.  Sorry for the blurry shots, but they were taken on my phone.  She's grown so much since then!

To say she's well pleased with her life would be an understatement.  :)  She's a very, very happy (and energetic) puppy.  She's fitting right in with our family, and Ruby has totally and whole-heartedly accepted her, as "her charge".  Just what we were hoping...Ruby has blossomed and has a new awakening on life.  This makes me very, very happy!  It's so good to see Ruby play again.

An artsy fartsy shot from a street corner in Sisters, Oregon.  We went camping with Steve and Chris in Camp Sherman.  Unbeknownst to us, it was the weekend of the infamous quilt show.  Lucky us!!

I would really  have loved to have had this quilt for my very own, but alas it wasn't in my budget, so next best thing - I took it home as a picture. 

Brother Steve, Bailey and Ruby hanging out in our camp.

This is a picture of Paloma.  One of the two Great Pyrenees pups that belong to our neighbors.  This is the last time I saw her, it's been about 2 months since this pic was taken.  Makes me so very sad to think of her locked up and unable to come visiting anymore.  If only we could have adopted her too...she's just lovely. 

Me and the hubs celebrating our 31st wedding anniversary...

Me and Eags...

Just to be clear...this is NOT Eagle!  This is one of Rachel's TIP horses that surely knows how to buck.  :)  Guess we don't have to ask why she's not riding this one yet.  :) 

This is Eagle.  Such a natural, relaxed head-set.  I love this horse! 

My "Mr. Spectacular", Harley horse.  He still gets more than his fair share of scrapes and bumps, but for being a blind horse, he does amazingly well.

 Where we went peach picking...

My beautiful girl and our dream car...

LOVE these skies!!

After a work out...what do you think of my outfit???  Pretty cool fashion statement huh?  :)
A benefit of growing older is that I really don't give a rip anymore!

Summer in a jar...

A day ride at Perrydale Trails.

The "really old married couple".  Shad and Kadie. 

Before the storm...

The "old married couple", Ladde and Missy.

Looking a little (or a lot!) bedraggled and ready to head home from our rainy camp-out in the Coast Range Mountains.  Awesome place to go - we'll be back!

 Sunset over the Coast Range heading home from the clinic just the other night...

Not much water going over the falls now, but it's been an unusually long and hot, dry summer. 

First hike with Charlotte.  She did fantastic!  We were tired, but Charlotte was doing just fine.  This was just a mile down to 2 different waterfalls and a mile back UP out of the gorge!  I only fell once...pretty awesome for me!!

Until we meet again...