Friday, January 30, 2015

We have lift-off !!

As in the lifting of the fog!  Today is the second day in a row that we've had glorious sunshine, clear blue skies and it's oh, so warm!  I am loving it!  The prediction is for one more day of heavenly weather and then a chance of showers on Sunday, followed by rain for most of next week.  That's "normal".  *sigh*  And get this, this morning when I was making a mad dash to my car to leave for work - guess what I saw!?  One of my miniature roses which is outside, is blooming!  That is just crazy!!  My daphne is also in bloom, just beginning, but it's the season for that.  And my lilac bush is in full bud already.  What a crazy winter we've been having! Or maybe I should say it's a crazy un-winter because that's more of an appropriate description.  

I bought a tulip in bloom the other day and a couple of mini irises too.  Oh, they're so pretty. I'll plant them after they've finished blooming.  My theory is that if I continue to add a few bulbs here, and a couple of plants there, someday my yard will be like an old English garden. I dislike perfect order in almost everything, but it's an atrocity in a garden.  Mother nature knows much better than we, just how a garden should look.  

Our new iron bed arrived the other day, and it's so pretty!  Now, I'm getting sentimental about our old bed.  It was my mom's.  *sigh*  Why do I do this to myself???  

I'm getting so excited to get started on our bedroom make-over, but we simply must finish the living room first.  Seems like the last bit is always the slowest...two more door frames to putty, sand and paint; and I'm hoping to paint the front door this weekend.  I need another gallon of SW Dover White, which is my trim throughout the house.  But, I stopped by SW today and it was almost $50 for a gallon.  And that was at 30% off!  Too much, so I didn't get it.  I'm thinking of taking my paint sample to Lowe's or Home Depot and see if they'll do a color match in Behr paint.  I've heard nothing but good accolades about that brand of paint.  I'm also ready to finalize my wall paint decision.  I have so many choices to pick from already, and I've not looked at any in person.  Good grief.  I don't do well with too many choices.  However, if I've learned anything about myself, it's that if I just pick one that I like; I will be happy as a lark when I get it home and see how much better it looks.  Then I just forget about all the rest.  :)  That's how I roll.  

We've got the shades already too, and I'll get the curtains last.  I'm contemplating about painting my large dresser (which goes with the old bed) a creamy white, but my hubs is stroking out over covering oak with paint.  He thinks that's a sacrilege.  I just think lighter is better in our small bedroom, and the oak is more yellowy toned than the darker woods that I'm fond of.  Hmm, we'll see.  I just want to create a beachy, spa-like room that's all about relaxation and serenity.  And lastly, my pictures.  I have tons of pictures to pick from that I've taken over the years - God help me.  

Annie had a little bit of a rough day yesterday, but she's perked up again today.  I'm just supposed to adjust her meds accordingly and try to make her as comfortable as possible.  It certainly isn't easy trying to figure out how somebody else feels, when they can't speak.  I have to believe that when the time comes, she will let me know.  I have to trust that and just do my best.  My hubs figured out that when she seems fidgety or can't get comfortable lying down, if we place a small, cushy pillow under her bad leg, she almost immediately seems more at ease.  It's those little things that seem so important now.  

We were invited to a Superbowl get-together at brother Steve's Sunday, and I'm sure it would be fun, but we've decided to stay home where Annie will be most comfortable.  We're not huge football fans anyway, but we'll probably have the game on and snack on "superbowl"  foods while we work in the house.  My plan is to make chicken nachos, and I got my hubby's favorite - Costco hot dogs.  :)  He'll love that!  He certainly is easy to please!!

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In closing, I'm hoping that the East coast warms up soon.  I can't help but feel a tad guilty about all those people dealing with blizzard-like conditions and sub-zero temps while we're basking in sunshine here on the West coast.  For what it's worth, my blogger pals are all welcome to come on over for a visit.  I'll make extra nachos!  

Be warm, be safe, and as always, God bless,
Lorie @ Cingspots

last January 2014

"committee meeting"


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weekend respite

Yes, I do realize that it's mid-week and once again, for that, I am thankful.  Work at the clinic remains slower than what we'd like, but business has picked up somewhat. However, days that are quiet, are long ones.  It's noticeably a bit lighter in the evenings when I leave work now, and that's always welcome.  Our winter weather remains not really winter-like at all, making for a rather pleasant and quiet season.  Today is the fifth day in a row that we've had no sky, but have been enshrouded in fog.  A quiet, grey, damp and cool existence.  I still prefer that to rain.  

But last weekend we took a break from everything.  After work and chores on Friday evening, we ate a light supper at home, watched a little tv and went to bed.  Saturday morning we awoke fairly early, fed the horses and turned them out, then did our normal evening chores so that everything was finished and ready when the horses came back in that evening.  We went to church and afterwards came home, packed an overnight bag and headed for the beach.  The weather was supposed to be beautiful and we had a date with a roller derby queen.  :)  As I'm fond of calling her, Jessie, our daughter from another mother was skating in a "bout" of roller derby at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City, on the beach.  We've wanted to go and watch her for a while now, and have never done it.  So, this was the perfect chance.  

As predicted, it was warm and beautiful.  We checked into our room and headed to the beach for a little stroll with the dogs.  Wouldn't you know it?  I forgot my camera!  Oh well, live in the moment.  After our walk, we headed back and decided to get a bite to eat.  We shared a sourdough bread bowl of clam chowder and some french fries. Yummy!! Then we were just in time to head to the casino.  

What fun!!  I remember years ago, we used to see roller derby on television and it was a rough and rowdy affair, with hair-pulling and all manner of aggression and generally trying to hurt everyone else.  In real life, it's really not that way.  It does occasionally get rough, but when you're skating at top speed trying to get past your opponents to score, that can't be helped.  But the gals are all pretty friendly, are in it for good fun and exercise, and really aren't trying to hurt anybody.  It's a fantastic family-oriented sport that's quite fun to watch.  Afterwards we stayed and visited with Jessie, her hubby Josh, son Gaige, Jessie's friend and her "real" mom.  Then we headed to our hotel for a little quiet time.  

It was so warm that we slept with our sliding door open all night to hear the soothing sound of the surf.  Aahh, heaven!!  The next morning dawned even more beautiful than the day before.  We headed back to the casino to enjoy their Sunday brunch.  They have the best food, and so much variety.  Of course we ate too much, and needed a walk to get the digestive juices flowing.  I just couldn't believe how very warm it was.  It topped out at 70 degrees in the early afternoon, just a slight breeze and beautiful blue skies.  Wow, some January winter day huh?  We walked on the beach in a T-shirt and jeans, and I was overly warm.  There were people playing in the water, kids and dogs everywhere!  Such a gorgeous day!  The dogs really enjoyed themselves (of course) and so did we.  Annie was only able to walk in short stints but she still had fun.  She rode in the back seat with her nose out all the way home, she even got to snarl at a couple of bicyclers.  :)  A nice break from the stresses of the week before.  

Last Monday Annie had her recheck with Dr. LeAnne.  I am happy to report that the doc thinks Annie is actually doing quite well.  She thinks her meds are doing the job they're supposed to, and our girl is fairly comfortable and happy.  She says as long as Annie seems interested in life, and the goings-on in the world, has a good appetite and sleeps well, then that's what we shoot for.  Such a relief for us!  I guess that a day or two, here and there that are worse days than others, is to be expected.  We can deal with that.  I just never want to be one of "those people" who don't know when to let them go.  Dr. LeAnne says we're not there.  Not at all.  :)  Annie is doing remarkably well, despite the circumstances, and I am sooo thankful for that!  While we were there, they trimmed her nails for me.  Whew!  NOT something either one of us enjoys!  So for now, we're good to go...and go, we will.  

Life is good.  

Blessings all, Lorie

Thank you all for your kind words and advice on my last post.  I think I just got a little scared and a bit overwhelmed, but we're all doing better now.  Thanks again, your comments mean a lot to me.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Raindrops on roses

and whiskers on kittens, brown paper packages, warm woolen mittens.  You know how the song goes.  Some of my favorite things...

Well, today the raindrops feel pretty appropriate for how I'm feeling.  My hubs would say I've got the "dear oh dears" and my sweet mom would tell me I've got the blues.  Either way, they'd both be right.  I'm so sad today.  Watching my dear, sweet Annie and seeing that expression on her face, lets me know that our time is near.  Oh God...

I thought I was prepared.  I thought I had everything under control, including my emotions. I kept telling myself that Annie has led a very good life, and it's true, she has.  But it hasn't been long enough!  I'm so not ready to say good-bye to my girl.  How I wish I could have a different ending to our story.  My mind keeps saying that this will be a much better ending than some I've lived through, and that's true.  Annie hasn't experienced a sick day in her life.  Also true.  Annie has been loved and spoiled and given pretty much anything and everything her precious little heart has desired, she's gone almost everywhere I've gone forever.  She's had grand adventures, she's played, she's chased squirrels, she's played "kick ball" with dad, she's swam, chased sticks, had mom all to herself for about a year, and the other times she's had companions.  All true...but I want more. 

I am so greedy.  I don't think we've had enough, and I want so much more.  Last night after work and dinner, Ruby and I headed out to the barn.  My hubs had been home and the chores were finished except for the grains.  I spent some time with everybody; hugs, kisses, scratches and such.  I buried my nose in Harley's sweet-smelling neck and just lost it.  I don't know where they came from, but the tears flowed and I started to bawl like a baby.   I felt so lost.  Like I just couldn't take any more of what felt like everything with everybody going wrong.  I felt deep resentment and anger on Harley's behalf for his blindness at such a young age.  I felt like Missy's feet were never going to get better and what a waste of such a good horse.  And Annie, who's never done anything unkind in her entire life?  Why did she have to die before her time?  And then all of my anger and hurt just went away.  Only a deep sense of sadness remained.  I told God that I had trust in Him.  I didn't like what was happening, and I didn't understand, but I knew that He did. And that whatever would happen in my life and with these beautiful animals that He's entrusted to our care - whatever may come, we will trust and have faith that we'll all be okay.  My heart felt so much peace in that moment.  Dying sucks!  And I hate it.  Absolutely not one of my favorite things, but like Ray once told me, "you have to go through it, to get past it", and then he smiled and told me, "try it again".  And I did.  And it was alright.  That's how I feel about all the wrongs that I see in my life.  I don't have to like them, but I do have to get through them, to move on.  Unfortunately, in this life, here on this planet, death is a very natural part of life.  I will never like it, don't believe for one minute that it's what God had planned.  But here we are.  It hurts and will never be something I will get used to.  But, I know that everything works out in the end.  We will be okay.  

And you know what else I know?  My Annie is worth every single bit of this pain and hurt.  I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  If only I could...

And I can honestly say that about everyone I've lost in my life.  My grandma, my dad, my mom, horses, dogs, cats, friends I've loved.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  Nope.  

I am so blessed to have this beautiful, yellow dog in my life.  Oh thankful for her.  And poor Harley, I really think I scared him last night.  He was very concerned and nuzzled his lips in my hair and sent goose shivers down my back.  Before I realized what was happening, he had me giggling through my tears.  What would life be worth without moments like that?  

It's those little things that we experience, and keep tucked inside our hearts as memories, that bring such deep and profound joy.  And makes it all so worthwhile...

We've had so many good times.  :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A quiet affair


this one shows just how big the tumor has become

breezy, sunshine and spring-like
No balloons, no party, no hoopla.  No cake.  Dammit!  (to the cake part)  :)  

My birthday was a very quiet affair.  I spent the day working at the clinic.  Went home, built a fire, filled the wood box, lit some candles, fed the dogs and sat by my fire enjoying a glass of wine.  When the hubs got home, we went out to the barn to do the chores.  It had been a beautiful day filled with gentle breezes and sunshine, and the evening was just as lovely.  

The horses came in from pasture filthy.  I decided to let them enjoy their grubbiness and skip any grooming, if they want to be covered in mud, who am I to complain?  I shot a few pictures but nobody was really cooperating, and seemed only interested in chowing down their evening meal.  

There are times when you just have to remind yourself as to the extent of their expertise in covering every square inch of their bodies in mud, you know, in case we forget come summer time.  
pretty dirty for Harley

Missy (still in boots)

Eagle - grubmonster

Kadie - who wouldn't eat with the camera point her way

Now she's getting perturbed...

Aahh Ladde - what can I say?

This is his eye that had the pea-sized lump on the lower lid - all gone!!!

Filthy for Shad!  He absolutely would not look at me.  Alfalfa, you know...priorities

With the horses all fed and tucked in for the night, we headed inside to get some dinner.  Leftovers of spaghetti and hot bread.  It tasted good, and I was content with not having to cook.  After cleaning up the kitchen, I spent some time schmoozing with Annie, and not to be left out, Ruby too.  For my birthday memoirs, hubs took a few pictures of us doing what comes naturally after we're settled in for the evening.  I loved the idea.  My birthday pictures with my girls.  In the years to come, I will treasure them all the more.  

This one makes me laugh, look at Ruby's fat belly.  :)

I think this is my favorite.  My beautiful girl who never takes a bad picture.

My Annie.  How I love this dog...

As is his custom, my sweet guy gave me a mushy, lovey-dovey birthday card, and a giant Hershey's bar with almonds.  This man knows what makes me happy.  :)

All in all, I'd say it was a good day.  

Blessings, Lorie

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Harley's forelock

It's a thing of beauty to me.  Without fail, every single time I look upon it, I smile.  There are a few things in my world that are what I'd describe as a "sheer delight";  and Harley's forelock is definitely one of those things.  There is no doubt about it - it's just adorable. And poofy.  And cottony...and absolutely suitable to this horse's character.  *sigh*

How I love that horse!  The best way for me to describe it, is akin to a baby bird.  Picture them, in their nest, little heads all puffy and soft and fluffy...that's Harley's forelock!  To a tee, it just fits.  Scooter, his momma...hers was just the same.  :)  

I tried really hard to get a good picture of it, but he wasn't exactly being cooperative. That too, is true to his Harley horse is ornery.  Not a mean bone in his body, but there's plenty of orneriness...oh yes, plenty of that!  When he was younger, and sighted, he was always stirring the pot.  We commonly referred to him as our, "fly in the ointment".  And it fits.  Boy, does it fit!!  Nowadays, because of his blindness, he has to be a bit more placid in nature, when it comes to being in the herd.  He still does pull out a few of his shenanigans, but only when he knows he can make a quick escape!  

I'm trying to spend a little extra time in the barn with the horses every evening after we've finished the chores.  A little time for grooming, scratches and just fussing with them because this time of year, there's little time for anything else.  

It's been over 2 months since Missy's OsPhos injection for her navicular.  The drug is supposed to prevent further bone degeneration by pulling in calcium from the blood to the damaged areas, which strengthens the bone and prevents more damage.  Or something like that.  I'm no doctor, and that's a very simplified explanation, but it's the best I can manage.  I think it's helped.  A little.  Nothing real dramatic for sure.  But then again, I was realistically only hoping for some improvement.  Anything is better than nothing.  But after the new years' day ride, which was an easy, walking only ride, and a trim a couple of weeks ago, she's quite sore.  I'm not sure if it was the ride barefoot in soft ground, the trim, or possibly both.  She's been wearing her boots, more often than not, for over 2 weeks now.  It's just disheartening to see my girl so tender-footed so often.  I wish I could just fix her...

I wish it were in my power to fix Harley's eyes, Missy's feet and Annie's cancer.  But we all know that's not going to happen.  So we just make the best of what is.  And move on, doing what we can.  And hoping.  And yes, I pray for them all the time...

are we ever going inside????

Our weather remains very mild; warm and wet.  We were below normal in rainfall for January, but we've made it up in a single day.  We had about 2" of rain last Saturday and as you can see from the pictures of the horses - they've been enjoying the mud.  Last night I spent a long while trying to scrape the mud off of no avail.  It's thick and encrusted in his hair so deeply that it's going to take more time than I had energy for, in one evening.  That horse...

He actually doesn't look half bad in this shot, more wet than mud, but after last night I don't think there's any room on his body that's left uncovered.  I don't believe any hope remains of getting him clean, without a trip to the car wash...

Kadie with her "curlylocks"

The last couple of days have not been great for Annie.  Recheck on Monday...

January in NW Oregon...not bad at all

Eagle was being muley because he wanted his grain.  :)

see?  how can you not smile?

Remember I was saying that I hadn't decided upon my word for 2015, but that I was going to keep my 2014 word in my pocket for safe keeping?  Well...I've decided to keep my word from last year.  It still feels right to me, and just about perfect, but I'm going to elaborate on it, just a bit.  Last year I chose "faith".  Just perfect.  

This year, I'm adjusting "faith" into "faithful" and adding "fruitful" to it.  That pretty much sums up my aspirations in a nutshell.  I want to be faithful in all that I say and do, which will in turn, allow me to be fruitful in my life.  

The definition of faithful is to be loyal, constant and steadfast.  

The definition of fruitful is producing good or helpful results, being productive.  

But one without the other isn't enough.  By being faithful, I hope to be fruitful and produce good works.  If I continue practicing being faithful, I like the fruit of a tree, will produce good fruit.  Like the Bible says, "I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me", and without Him, I can do little or nothing that is of value.  

"FAITHFUL" and "FRUITFUL"  for 2015

I like it.  

The last couple of days our weather continues to be mild, but is dry.  We're having sunshine, high clouds and a gentle breeze.  Truly, it hasn't really felt like much of a winter.  We need another cold snap to kill the bugs off.  Looking out my bedroom window, I noticed that my lilac bush is budding.  Oh my, and I haven't even trimmed my rose bushes yet!  *sigh*  According to the calendar, we haven't even reached the mid point of winter yet, and already my plants are awakening.  I feel like I'm already behind schedule...

My hubs is continuing the work on our home improvement projects.  Soon, we'll be finished with the living room and moving everything out of our bedroom to begin there.  We'll sleep upstairs and pretend that everything isn't, once again, in a state of dishevel.  I am seriously dreaming of that day when it's all done.  Do you think that will ever happen?  *sigh*

My birthday is tomorrow.  I'm going to be 55 years old.  Good grief.  I'm not sure what I'm supposed to feel like, but my mind says that it's impossible.  I can't really be 55 years old!!  That sounds so old, but I don't feel old.  I feel older than I once was, with certainty; but I'm feeling good, in fact, much better in many areas than when I was younger.  It's good.  I'm thankful that I'm maturing and gliding into the "autumn" of my life.  That'd be about right, wouldn't it?  Autumn?  I'm no spring chicken, but I'm not a winter.  No siree!!

I'm alright with autumn.

Blessings everyone,