>Life – lists and I don’t blog very well, do I?

>Things are busy.  Too busy to post.  I’m still lurking about the edges of all your blogs – even when I don’t comment, but there is just too much to do right now to post and the world conditions are either too depressing or changing too fast to comment on and all of you do a better job with that sort of thing than I do anyway…

So here is my take on a random list of things going on in the world, my life, and to come in the near future.  To be read as excuses for not blogging…

1) Closing in on the end of the school year for the boy.  This means testing, wrapping up various areas of study, cramming in a few new areas of study, trying to get him to write a decent sample to use when we take him in a month or two to register for high school.  Erg.

2) The boy is now rowing crew – I don’t think I’ve shared that with any of you.  This means he now has practice at least four days a week (sometimes five) and the occasional regatta.  The regatta this past weekend was a soggy, electricity filled disappointment.  The coach decided after three heats (in which all three of our participating boats qualified for the final) – after sending three more boats (one containing my son who is terrified of thunderstorms) about 3K down the lake for the next race only to have all the boats have to beat it all the way back as fast as possible due to frequent close lightening, after waiting another two hours for the storm to stop (which it didn’t) – that we needed to pack up and head home before the whole team succumbed to hypothermia.  Good call on his part…

When corgis, who have a dense undercoat and nearly waterproof outer coat, are wet and cold – it is indeed weather not fit for man nor beast.

3) Rosalie has continued to have a slight limp since her surgery 15-16 months ago so last week we loaded up and went back down the mountain to her vet.  X-rays show that her front hoof degenerative  bone disease has not gotten any worse – thank God.  Therefore the problem is now in her hocks (the backward elbows of the hind legs) – basically the wearing away of cartilage that happens in athletes human and animal.  Steroidal joint injections and a stronger anti-inflammatory are now the rule of the day.  We shall see, but the vet is hopeful that Rose will be able to return to the show ring soon 🙂

4) I stand with Israel

5) I’ve been working out a lot – except for the last few days after the race.  Old lady bones cold and wet are not in a hurry to get back on the elliptical.

6) What happened to the spring weather?  Things were going so well.

7)  The nephew helped me get two whole dump truck loads of mulch spread.  The yard looks pretty good right now.  In four weeks or less it will be a mess again so I stop in the drive and just look at it all every time I come home… for now.  The view will have to carry me through the summer.

8) Hey Nancy Pelosi – I thought you would call the Arabs and tell them to drop the price of oil!  At least that is what you said you’d do back when Bush was president and the price of gas went through the roof.

9)  Hey Bambam – President Blueberry – Big 0… How the hell does one stop a humanitarian disaster without removing the source of the disaster?  If all we are doing is protecting the civilian population from Q’Daffi Duck – does that mean we are going to be there until he dies of natural causes?  Because I’m here to tell you, the minute we leave, if he or his offspring are still alive, they will wipe out every single person they think was involved in the uprising.

10) I’ve told a few of you my niece was studying abroad in Japan when the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disasters struck.  She is home now – well back at school in Michigan anyway.  All the students were forced to leave Japan.  She was pretty angry about being forced to leave but the fact is, the Japanese have enough to deal with right now.  They don’t need a bunch of spoiled American college kids with litigious minded parents to worry with right now.

11) I still stand with Israel.

12) Working on the logistics for a large future event is taking much time and energy – details on cryptic comment will come in about a month…

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>Portrait of a weekend – or, in which random pictures are offered by means of a blog post…

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(all pictures can be embiggened upon clickage)
My exercise buddies, you’ve seen them at this before but this time I took the picture from my perch upon the elliptical.

This shot would seem to say that Fiona is happy about it all.  She isn’t, I just happened to catch her mid pant – Gus’s expression speaks for itself…

Miss Rose is doing well.  At least I think she is.  She’s sound anyway.  Hard to know what is actually happening in her foot without hauling her down the mountain for a new set of x-rays – but the vet assures me so long as I don’t go riding her down a paved road or doing 5 foot jumps (yeah right) she will be fine.  Without that nerve sending signals to her brain she feels no pain anyway – which makes us both happy.  She’s energetic and ready to do far more than her mom is in any shape to do, but with temps in the mid to upper 50s the last several days I’ve plunked my butt in the saddle and we’ve trotted around a bit together.

This is a little corgi I felted, stands about an inch and a half high .

And a felted heffalump… I mean effalent…I mean elephant.

and a woozzle – well, a ‘possum.  He hangs by his tail (as all ‘possums should) from the cork board behind my computer.

After a workout a girl’s gotta lounge about with her chewies and squeeky toys…

And Gus is lamenting his short legs as he cannot reach his tennis ball perpetually under the couch.  You should hear the mournful sounds emanating from his silly self.

And of course, as it is 5:15pm and dinner isn’t until 5:30 pm, a corgi must simply collapse from starvation as the cruel humans force him to wait…

And the beat goes on….

>Sunshine and Roses – update of a pony nature – and more updatedy of an updatedidatedate nature…

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Blogger has made some changes in their publishing format.  Being a technotard of the first order I’m having to relearn a few things – Like this is center aligned and I need to figure out how to get it back to left align. Oh! Just figured that one out, fixed! There are some neat new toys here though – such as color! And strike through
( I even figured out how to use it), have fonts now too (though nothing really fun) and I can mess with text size.
Anyways, for those who are interested in Rose I have two videos for you.  I’m moving on from stills to video! There is hope 🙂 of course the flip belongs to D2 so access is very limited.
Here, for the first time for you to see – Rosalie in a wonderful SOUND trot!
And Rosalie in a lovely canter – until she is asked to stop, but she doesn’t want to stop so she gives you  that saucy little head toss that she does so very well…
For the most part she seems to be well on her way back to all sound all the time.  Still afraid to breath easy – first question every time D2 comes in from the barn – “how was she?”  breath held until the answer “sound”
amendment the first : the rider is D2, Most Valuable Rider of UNC Equestrian Team 2010

>snakes, naked, flowers, small victories, and one

>Today makes one year here. First Bloggerversary for me.

Small victory – Rose outside eating calmly, not threatening to jump a gate – sound for three weeks straight now.


The pony is all naked now. He tells me he feels much better, and he is very glad to finally be done with the clippers.

Spring flowers in the yard – spring is by far the best season in my yard.

Love my pink dogwood



And the little snake I almost stepped on while taking flower pictures – don’t know which of us was more surprised.

run away, run away!

Now I must shave the boy’s head, and mow the weeds – I detect a pattern in my activities of late…

>What happens when you cross a crazy lady with a pair of clippers and an unsuspecting hairy pony…

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>Recurring theme – a little bit more

>This is a Rosalie update – so if you are not into long horsey stories don’t read any further.

First let’s recap –
July 2008 Rosalie comes up a little lame – she had been working pretty hard all summer, had done a show a couple weeks before. We figured a few days off, couple days in stall, then slowly work back up. After several days she was fine – we all left town. While we were all away she came up very lame. Instead of keeping her in at that point, the girl who keeps her for us continued turning her out. By the time we got back she was very lame indeed – she could barely walk. We started over with several days in, a couple weeks limited area turn out – then slowly back to work. She did ok for a few weeks, then was lame again. Start over, a couple weeks after that a nasty abscess opened in the heel of her left hind – we figured OK this is what it has been – we treated it and waited (heel abscesses are nasty and take a long time to heal) we gave her a few months and she seemed fine for a bit – then she was off again.

By this time it was early Jan ’09. We finally gave up and took her down to the specialization vet (45 min down the mountain from here). At first they thought soft tissue (which is what we had been thinking though there was never any swelling or heat anywhere in her legs or hooves) – but x-rays showed a cyst in the navicular bone of her left front foot. As I have said before – this is a degenerative disease – we tried the first line treatment of shoeing changes and bute (horse aspirin) for pain and applied to the FDA for permission to import a drug from France that has shown promise in arresting and reversing the disease.

March 12, 2009 the drug is finally here and we administer it – it is an IV drip. Good lord you would not believe how expensive this drug is. A couple weeks later we begin daily 30 min walk rides to help build strength and to help with bone regeneration. She is sound for the most part. This continues for a couple months, sometimes she is sound, sometimes she is not. We begin a little trot. She develops a nasty abscess in her right foot in this period and a series of bruises in her hoof as well – most of her off days in this time are due to the right front problems rather than the left.

4 months later we take new x-rays. X-rays show the cyst has shrunk about 15% and some increased density as well as good bone growth around the margins of the cyst (the margins of the cyst were frighteningly close to the outer wall of the bone – bone shatters – life over so shrinkage and extra hard bone around edges very very good). But she continues to be off every now and then.

3 months later we go back again. She had been doing much better in this 3 month period (far fewer off days) but on the day we went to the vet she was the most in pain she had been in a while, and the most pain the vets had seen since we began the process and now understand what I had been telling them on the phone off and on about it being more pain than I would like.

We decide to take the next step, which is to remove the nerve in the back of her lower leg, just above her hoof, that feeds the pain signal to her brain – drastic, but effective for pain. We planned to do the surgery in January so that it would be during the time that the pasture is mostly dead anyway, but when we returned from Thailand in late Nov she was off and I just couldn’t take her being in pain any more so we did the surgery in early Dec.

Surgical follow up was changing bandages every 2 days for 30 days, stall rest only, no walking, equine senior horse feed- mixed with hot water, and expensive – hard to find around here alfalfa hay – stitches out after 2 weeks (but weather kept us from being able to have the stitches removed until about 3 1/2 weeks post surgery) this is late Dec. She develops a pressure sore on her right front “ankle” (fetlock) because of the way she has chosen to lie down in her stall and after about a week it becomes infected. So now she needs an antibiotic and I have to go out every night to wrap both her front legs, then go out every morning to remove the wraps in order to protect the area, something I will have to continue doing as long as she is still in her stall in order to avoid recurrence of the pressure sore, which just now is finally completely healed up. We needed to take her back down the mountain after 30 days for a post surgery check up but weather again kept us from being able to do that until about 6 weeks post surgery. At this point her left foot was totally fine. No problem. But she was off on her right – sigh, drop head.

Vet says continue keeping her in, start 30 min hand walking every day. Only a few days later she is sound. In fact, as I said at the time, stupidly sound. She went absolutely nuts after having been cooped up for so long and tore around bucking, kicking, running as hard as she could – every time I took her out – for five days, but each of those days she was sound. I gave her a couple days rest. Next time I took her out to walk she was off again – on the right again. This is about four weeks ago now and the vet wants to see her so we set an appointment – and it snows – so we reschedule and it snows again and again for four weeks. While waiting to be able to get down the mountain we let her rest again for a week then started back to walking, but I simply did not let her have her head to pitch a fit. We all believe in her excitement to finally be moving again she injured herself on the right. The last two weeks I have walked her religiously and only allowed her 8-10 steps of trot at any time and for these two weeks she has been sound.

Finally, today, we made it back to the vet. She is sound. I thought the vets were going to pop the corks on champaign. They were so happy. She has two vets down there, the surgeon,Dr Hay – seriously- and Dr Basket the vet who has been following her through the whole process. The poor surgeon, who was almost as disappointed as me when she was off last time I took her down, after he saw one sound pass at the trot wanted us to just stop right then, for fear she would start limping again. But she didn’t and she is sound. Now to keep her that way. We have had so many times over the last year and a half when she was sound for a short time, then off again. I am afraid every time I ask her to trot.

So the plan now is that she continues to live full time in her stall (where she has been since Dec 2) for at least 6 more weeks. For the next 4 weeks I must ride her 30-45 min a day (not just hand walk) walk only – then for one week we do three – two min trot sets. Then for one week three – three min trot sets. Then we go back and they evaluate before we up her work load and make a plan to gradually start turning her out again. This is a far more complicated matter than you might think – when we turn her out she is going to run and run and run and buck and kick and make moves that would make a Lipizzaner jealous. Plus the grass will be coming in and a horse can kill itself eating too much grass too quickly when they have not had it for a while.

She is sound now! The trick will be keeping it.

the little bit more:
I forgot to say I rode her this afternoon, but because she feels so good and is so excited to be getting out and being ridden (she actually LOVES to go) I have to give her horsey valium to keep her from going nuts. I don’t bounce so good anymore. Count me in as the newest member of the ACE (said valium) fan club! I bet I’m the only person any of you know who carries horse sedative in her purse…

>Ponies!

>Keep in mind these books are suggestions for gifts, I’m not saying you should all rush out and add these to your own libraries. I know how hard it can be to come up with a good baby/child gift every now and then – and having been a mother longer than there has been dirt, I am very familiar with a whole host of kids books. Kids books are published at an unbelievable rate, but they are not all treasures.

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses (you knew there had to be a pony book in there somewhere, right?), written and illustrated by Jan Brett – is a special one to us, you’ll see why in a bit. If you are not familiar with Jan Brett’s work, she has written a bunch of good ones and frankly any would make a great gift (On Noah’s Ark, The Mitten, Annie and the Wild Animals, Trouble with Trolls, The Wild Christmas Reindeer and bunches more). Her art has a Nordic flare (remember I love folk art so books illustrated in a folk art style tend to catch my eye), is done in bright water colors. As required by almost any children’s book I would recommend, the illustrations are simply gorgeous – they make you want to either fall in or pick up some colored pencils and give it a try yourself.

Fritz is the story of a pudgy little pony (not unlike my own) who lives in a town where there are many beautiful, high spirited and silly horses who are pampered and decorated to the extreme. He wants to be just like the big beautiful horses but of course we are what we are and he is a rolly polly pony. His sure footed bravery saves the day by rescuing the town’s errant children one by one when the horses all refuse the steep climb and rushing water between the children and their parents. Then, of course, Fritz the hero is beloved by all and pampered himself.

It is a sweet, beautiful children’s book – but mostly I like it because Fritz reminds me more than a little of my own Rolo. Though I am particularly fond of this one, any of Brett’s books would be worth the price of purchase, and I own several – yup me, they are my books not the kids books. But I do share, sometimes.

Rolo

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