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!