Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Randy's Surgery

Interesting day at the VA hospital, as they had a problem with their air - it was SO COLD in there! - and in the midst of fixing it burst a pipe in the ceiling and hot water came spraying out everywhere, luckily they had already taken Randy back as it was in the "prep" room almost right over his bed! No one was hurt and they eventually found a shut-off valve but what a mess! I'm sure it was a pain for all the nurses to deal with normal work while the maintenance guys are cleaning and fixing...

As for Randy, all seems to be well, the surgery went smoothly and he is home in bed on pain pills. The last time (November, left hand) it was only a few days and once the swelling went down he could tell already that he had a great result - from half a hand of numbness and tingling to just a thin line down the outside of his palm and pinky finger, and his grip strength is much improved. So we are hoping for the same result this time! In the meantime, we are calling him Lefty lol. Obviously his right hand isn't much good for anything yet:

I think this recovery period may be a little harder though, since it his dominant hand out of commission...

Now if only the VA could figure out how to solve his other health issues...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Prayers Please!

Tomorrow is Randy's second surgery for carpal tunnel. Last November they did his non-dominant left hand. All went well and he was thrilled with the result - for the first time in years and years he had no numbness or tingling and his grip strength is much improved. So he is excited to have his dominant right hand done now. But of course every surgery is risky so I would really appreciate prayers - for Randy to come through the surgery good, for the surgeon and care staff to perform at their peak, and for as good a result as he had with the first arm.

Thanks y'all and I will update tomorrow night!

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's Definitely Monday!

I'm crabby. I won't go into all the reasons why as I don't want to bore y'all. Suffice it to say, I'm crabby! So I got this e-mail today and it seems to fit my mood so thought I would share:

Credit: Welda McKinley Grider was raised by a ranch woman and knows many and would pity the thug that tried to rob them.

Violence does not scare us. We ride 1,500 pound horses and stare down an alley full of mad, snot-slinging cows that weigh over 800 pounds. We've held down calves that outweigh you by four times. Don't try to intimidate us. Most of our husbands stand a head and shoulders taller, outweigh us by 100 pounds and we aren't scared of them. Why would be we be frightened by someone who can't keep their pants up? Every time we work cows, our husbands threaten us if we don't get out of the gate. They threaten us if we don't stay in the gate. We are pretty much not impressed by threats. Plus, if you get much closer we may give you some threats of our own to consider and be able to back it up.

Don't wave that knife at me, boy. I castrate when we brand, throw the 'mountain oysters' on the fire AND eat them, dirt and all. You probably don't want to go there.

Don't threaten to steal my pickup. I work for a living, so have insurance. The chances of you being able to drive a standard are next to none and there is no spare. I've walked home from the back side of the ranch, I can walk from here.

You want my purse? Take my purse. It has little money in it because, as I mentioned, I work for a living. You will find various receipts for feed and vet supplies, some dried up gum and the notice for my next teeth cleaning. The only 'drugs' you will find is something that is either aspirin or a calf scours pill but its been in there so long I've forgotten which it is.

Don't threaten to hurt me. I may look old and fragile to you, but I can ride horseback for 12 hours, with nothing to eat or drink. I have been kicked, bucked off, run over and mucked out. I've had worse things happen to me in the corrals than you have experienced in the little gang wars you've been through, and still cooked supper for a crew. You may whip me, son, but you'll be a tired, sore S.O.B. in the morning and yes, I will remember your face because I am used to knowing which calf belongs to which cow. I'll also remember which direction you went and what you were wearing because I've tracked many a cow with less information than you've given me.

You are not going to scare me with that little 'Saturday Night Special' when I have a .38 in my boot. You need not think I won't shoot you. I've shot several coyotes and numerous rattlesnakes. I put down my horse when he broke his leg and shot my pet dog when he killed some sheep. Don't think I won't consider you a rabid dog and go on my way.

OK I'm back. I can't say I do all this, but I do some of it. Bet Mikey does more than I do, what do you think???

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Winnie the Pooh

Today's goal was to put up 3 horse shades that me and some friends purchased from a guy about a month ago. My friends are both single so Randy offered to take charge of the projects. He even took Mary to Home Depot to get her project materials, and we picked Lisa's up since her schedule and ours didn't let us go together.
This is Lisa's place BEFORE:

and AFTER:

This is Mary's place BEFORE:

and AFTER:

The angle of the sun had it shining into the welding helmet from above and behind and Randy couldn't see, so he got a kitchen towel from Mary and I just had to get a picture of that!

By the time we got those two done we decided ours would have to wait, especially since the tractor wasn't running right and it was bad enough digging 2 holes by hand at Lisa's... and our dirt here is a lot harder! Anyway the girls took us to a late lunch/early dinner as thanks.


And what, might you ask, does all this have to do with Winnie the Pooh? Well the wind was blowing so hard this morning it was really NOT a good day to be putting up horse shades, Mary was joking about us parasailing with them, and it reminded me of the story of Winnie the Pooh and The Blustery Day!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Welding Chores

Today we did a bunch of welding. I got Randy to "help me" finish up the salt lick holders for Carroll Farm before his surgery - he did the welding.
My job was cleaning the horseshoes on the wire wheel. And getting filthy in the process!!!

And I finally got something else done I've been wanting to do for awhile. Right here at the front of the trailer where the light cord and safety chains are, as you can see there is nothing to hang them from.

So I welded some horseshoes on for hooks.

And painted: Ta da!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Darci's new career??

My chihuahua, the massage therapist????

Or maybe a trick rider...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Centennial Dance Recital

Hilary, my youngest, started dance her junior year at Centennial High. After her recital Tuesday night she told me she wished she had started as a freshman. But she has another year to go...

Anyway here are a few (random) cool shots I got...

There's my girl...
In the middle...
Front right

Lindsey and pal Jen, and friends Josh and Josh, attended the recital too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Happy Birthday, Justice!

I can't add the pictures till I get home late tonight but wanted to get this posted. It's strongly on my mind and I hope getting it said will let me concentrate on work! (Updated with pictures 10pm!)

Five years ago today, my horse Paint Mare (Merit's Top Hand) had her first foal, a beautiful bay paint colt.

His father was Tru Vanity and I named him Tophand's Tru Justice. I took two days off work for "maternity leave" to hang out with my "grandson". He took his first nap with his head in my lap as I sat in the dirt. From the day he was born, if I came up to the fence, he would walk away from his mama to come see me. No other foal born here has done that - they will let me approach and not run off, but they don't leave their mamas for me.

Justice was the perfect combination of sire and dam. He had his mama's level head and the same white triangle on his ribs.
He had daddy's dark bay color (not so much when he was born, but he darkened every spring when he shed his winter coat) and pretty two-tone tail.
I let the girls start him the summer after he turned two and he was doing quite well. I got to ride him four times. I remember once riding down the street and a young boy came running down his driveway and popped out from behind a bush, spooking Justice and sending him into a little crow-hopping session (for you non-horsey folks, that's like "light" bucking). I could feel myself slipping further sideways with each hop and without even thinking I yelled "Justice, NO!"


How cool is that? A horse that stops bucking when you say "no no"! I was amazed. But when I thought about it I was not surprised. I spent a lot of time with him and I talk a lot (you'd have never guessed huh?) so he must have figured out that "no" meant stop, quit, knock it off, cut it out, no matter what he was doing...

That fall, Thanksgiving weekend to be exact, he got sick. Long (long long) story short, he was up and down for a month, 7 trips to the vet which included pumping his stomach several times and tons of tests, a lot of home care in between with the vet's approval, 4 nights I spent with him in the trailer while he was on IV fluids (no stall to keep him confined while he was hooked to the IV so we used the trailer)... he would start to get better and start eating and go downhill again. He lost a lot of weight and lost the sparkle in his eye. And the last time he crashed, on December 26, 2005, I had him in the trailer headed for the equine specialist in Scottsdale, but when I got there and they opened the trailer door, he was gone.

I guess I've been lucky as I have not lost close family except for grandparents who were quite old and ill. Because I can honestly say that the day Justice died was the worst day of my life.

For a couple of years I couldn't talk or write about him without crying. I spent a lot of alone time in my car railing against fate or whatever you want to call it - literally screaming to the universe "I WANT HIM BACK!!!" I hid a lot of my despair from my husband because I didn't want to worry him. He tried his best to comfort me but he told me honestly that he did not understand how I felt. I knew that and I appreciated his honesty and that he didn't just mouth words to try and make me feel better. We both knew he couldn't fix it and he learned that instead of trying, he should just hold me and we both knew that was all he could do. And it was good. And I know he reads this blog but I'm a lot better now so I hope what's already done won't worry him. But I digress...

Through a friend I heard about Bonnie Fogg, an animal communicator, and she had done several readings for us on our problem children. This is a touchy subject for a lot of folks and I won't go into detail - suffice it to say, I have seen, and I believe. Anyway I was struggling so much with the loss of Justice, and it wasn't getting better as time passed. So I asked her if she also talked to animals that had passed on. She doesn't advertise it, but she said yes she does do it. So I schedule an appointment for a reading on Justice.

Without going into detail, that reading gave me a good start on the peace and healing I had not been able to find. I still miss my boy and I always will. But I can talk about him and write about him without crying now. Well, at least not EVERY time {sniff}. But hey, today is his birthday. Today is special.

PS for anyone reading this to whom it applies: Happy Administrative Professionals Day :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tagged Again

I was tagged by Josh at Carroll Farm. It is a new kind of tag that I have not yet seen.


1. Answer the questions about the list of friends and family that you have on your blog.

2. If you don't have that number answer the question about the next name that you have not had a question for on your list.

3. Tag your friends and family.

How did you meet the first person on your list?

The first person on my list is Mikey (The Horseshoeing Housewife). I met her when she was referred as a farrier, at a time we desperately needed one because the guy we had for 9 years (count them 9!) up and moved out of state without a word - and without his wife! Can you say midlife crisis? Anyway we have become friends and I think she is wonderful. And it is her fault this blog exists because she nagged me until I did it!

What do you like about the third person on your list?

Shari's artwork is awesome and she was very sweet in helping me arrange a horse portrait for a friend who lost her horse.

What do you like best about the fifth and sixth people on your list?

The fifth person on my list is "Chick" (Jason For The Love Of God). What I like about her is what a good mom she is to her kids and her sense of humor. The sixth person on my list is Jen (Copenhagen Kisses) and what I like about her is the great pictures she takes and again her sense of humor - and of course the fact that she is a horse person :)

How long have you known the eighth person on your list.

The eighth person on our list is a blog friend (On the Shores of Carpenter Creek). I haven't known her long at all, I found her through Mikey's blog list and enjoyed the blog so much I added it to my own list :) so just a few months.

What impresses you most about the eleventh and twenty-second people on your list.

The eleventh person on my list is Donia (Small Wonders Farm). I am impressed by her love of animals of all kinds. The twenty-second person on mylist is my friend Kim who I have known since high school. The thing that impresses me the most about her is that she keeps on going despite her health problems, and that she is so creative.

What is your best memory with the twenty-third person on your list.

My favorite memories with the twenty-third person on my list, which is Nate and Lisa, is all the time we have spent together since they adopted two minis through our rescue, and Nate always hassling me.

Say something nice about the twenty-seventh person on your list.

Like Carroll Farm I don't have a twenty-seventh person. According the the rules I believe the next in line is #2 which is Katie (Saving Argus). And there is not enough things nice to say about Katie no matter how much time or space I had. All you have to do to understand is go back to the beginning of her blog and read what she had done for Argus. Katie is one of my heroes!

I tag Debby of Life is Funny Like That :) who is on my list but just happened NOT to be one of the numbers I was supposed to write about. Darn it. I like Debby a ton and wish I could have said something about her...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Box Canyon with Randy

I enjoyed riding Box Canyon so much last weekend that Saturday morning I took Randy out there with his Pro-Hauler. First we hit The Cowboy Cafe in Wickenburg for a yummy breakfast.
Two eggs scrambled with cheese and green chiles, extra crispy hash browns and a biscuit with gravy... are you hungry yet?
I was amazed at how much the water had gone down in just a week, the second "river crossing" was quite wet last week and totally dry on Saturday. In fact we found the water disappearing into the sand at the point where we rode into the river bottom, which is quite a ways upstream from the crossing. The Hassayampa becomes an underground river right here: I stood at the same spot and turned around to take this picture, and you can't see any water...
Randy enjoyed seeing "The Box" ... and pointed out something I missed last week. Looking out from The Box

Then we headed on upstream...

Ran into some water elves along the way
And some cactus doing hand signals - can you figure out what they are saying?

Unfortunately the vehicle did not enjoy the water as much as the horses did last week... apparently sucked some up the air intake and that was not good (the extent of my mechanical knowledge lol).
So we headed back downstream to find the first road that led out so we could get out of the river bottom and take the road home. Along the way we met a truck and 2 Jeeps. Hey truck, wanna play chicken???

Well, we tried to take the road home. We drove and drove and drove on washboard roads until every cell in my body was rearranged... just kidding, but it was pretty bumpy! So much that I didn't bother getting the camera back out... Made several attempts that turned into dead-ends but finally found our way through.
SSHHHH don't tell Randy but I enjoyed Box Canyon more on horseback!

But it WAS a nice time spent with him and he really enjoyed it which was the whole point after all!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Copper Canyon

I went on another great ride with today, rode General Crook's Trail through Copper Canyon.

Heading down the hill into the canyon

The trees were sure green along the creek
We crossed the creek several time. Most of the horses walked right through but there were a couple that didn't want to get their feet wet!
My friend Mary and her horse Buck whom we affectionately call "Splash Mountain"
Coming up the hill out of the canyon.
A very nice ride, for those of you who live in Arizona just take I-17 to Cherry Road (which is between Camp Verde and Cordes Junction), go east 1/4 mile to the parking area on the north side of the road. Follow the dirt road that leads north/northeast out of the parking lot and you should be able to find your way pretty easy.