Monday, May 31, 2010

Like a grave stone

Memorial Day didn't become an official National Holiday until 1971 although it has been celebrated for over 100 years as Decoration Day.

Civil War General John Logan chose May 30th for the first Decoration Day as a day of remembrance of Civil War veterans hoping it would help mend the relationship between the North and the South. There were no civil war battles on that day and it was a time of the year when flowers would be in bloom throughout the nation.

Here are a few Memorial Day Quotes:

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. -Joseph Campbell

The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. -Thomas Campbell

For love of country they accepted death… -James A. Garfield

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. -William Havard

I spent the day with my mother, my daughter, and my younger son driving to Santa Fe National Cemetery to visit the graves of my father and my father-in-law, leaving a couple of red roses on each grave.
We were a little surprised at the number of unknown graves there. We counted a dozen or so in one area.
Then we drove back to Albuquerque and visited my husband's final resting place, leaving four red roses with him.

Like a grave stone - song: Gunman, artist: Adrian Belew with David Bowie

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Those defenseless

Nadia is feeling much, much better now. I'm so relieved! That's her tail behind her, btw.However, there is that rule of threes: first Scout, then Nadia, now Yalla! Yesterday morning I noticed her back leg is swollen. She has a small scrape on the side above the ankle bone. She's not lame, thankfully, but I'm thinking it may be infected. I've been putting peroxide on it but I'm thinking it needs to be hosed down too.
So, last night, I had the bright idea of hosing her leg down. Mind you, she has never been hosed down before. Anyway, I turned on the hose and she jumped around like crazy on the lead. She even reared a little! Uh oh, my sweet little girl has a dark side. Anyway, I realized that if only I could get the water on her she would calm down but she kept swinging around me and I kept having to step over the hose. Well, I tripped and went down on my back into the mud as she bolted forward over me. I think she managed to step on my face. I guess I was really lucky she missed my eyes and nose and nothing got broken. My glasses were knocked off my face but they didn't get broken either. Whew!

Yes, I am terribly muddy, but here is an immediately after photo. I happened to have my camera with me since I was taking sunset photos. She gave me a busted lip, both top and bottom. My teeth are a little sore and so is the area under my mouth.

Continuing with my streak of bad luck... please, no more!!!

Those defenseless - song: Soul Love, artist: David Bowie, album: TRAFOZSATSFM

brakes are snarling

Last week my son was doing the brakes on my little Hyundai and he said the tires were badly worn in places and that I really needed new tires, ASAP. So, Friday, I stopped by Discount Tires to get some. Ross had looked up tires on line before I went so I already knew what I wanted, thankfully. There were the basic cheap tires at $40 each. Then there was a sale on Pirelli for $46 each with a $40 rebate. These tires were 85,000 tires as opposed to the 50,000 basic. Hello! which would you buy? So when I went to the shop, he told me he didn't have any tires my size but I could go to a larger basic tire for $54. I asked about the Pirellis. He said, "Oh yeah, those. We don't have any right now. They are a great deal though, aren't they? We can order them for you." I said okay. I mean, did I really have a choice?? ;) I had to pay at least half right away so I paid all $296 right away and he said the tires should be in on Tuesday since this weekend was a long one. Oh well, no driving my little car for a while. Then, later he called and said, "no, the tires wouldn't be in until around Thursday or Friday." Drag!

So, I already knew my Infiniti needed rotors. It's been wobbling a lot when I brake. Because I was driving it full time I decided to check that out. Over $400 dollars later, Midas got me and my Infiniti all fixed up with rotors all around and brake pads in the back.

Wow! I'm looking for a money tree. Anybody seen one?

Brakes are snarling - song: Rock n Roll Suicide, artist: David Bowie, album: TRAFOZSATSFM

Sunday Stills (Company Logos 5/30/10)

Does anyone recognize these?

1. Rolling Stones
2. Target
3. Infiniti cars
4. David Bowie's Aladdin Sane

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here

Saturday, May 29, 2010

when it's bad I go to pieces

I have had such a spell of bad luck lately.

I went to the doctor for my knee on Tuesday. I rehurt it climbing on Scout Sunday morning and jeez, that trailer loading incident was a fiasco!!! She ordered me a big hunky leg brace and had me go for x-rays. She was hinting at a meniscus injury. We'll see... As she said, it's not broken but in order to use insurance all the steps must be followed. I don't know when I go for an MRI. The funny thing is, it doesn't hurt much and I have a lot of flexibility in my knee however, I cannot straighten my leg out or bend it more than about half way. I wouldn't have gone to the doctor at all except that Sunday took me completely by surprise with how much pain I got so suddenly. I keep wondering what could happen if I hurt my other leg...

A couple of weeks ago, I bought tickets through Ebay for a Denver U2 concert on June 12th. Since it was a Saturday night, my sister in law and I were going to go. Then last weekend, I found out that the 360 tour is being postponed until 2011 because of Bono's emergency back surgery. Now, I wonder how I am going to get my money back or when the concert will be rescheduled. What a drag!!

When it's bad I go to pieces- song: Candidate, artist: David Bowie

Worm, the pain and blade

A week ago Friday, I had the vet come out to my barn for a routine visit on all my horses. All the horses got their shots and Annie and Nadia both had their teeth floated. Since it cost so much (almost a mortgage payment!), I had a different vet do the work. My usual vets take payment up front whereas this vet was willing to do payments. I also got Coggins tests on Scout and Nadia in preparation for some planned traveling and trail riding. The blood tests came out negative, the same as my attitude towards the testing.

Coggins tests are required by most states (all?) when horses are in contact with other horses (events such as shows, trail rides, etc.) or traveling, on a yearly basis. The blood test is for Equine Infectious Anemia, commonly known as Swamp Fever, which is primarily transmitted between horses by bloodsucking insects. If the horse tests positive he must be completely quarantined for life which is nearly impossible to do. The more common alternative is to put the horse down. There is no known cure and we don't have a vaccine, although China does. Usually, horses that test positive don't even show symptoms. Frankly, I think it's served it's purpose. The test was developed in the 70's and eradicated all the infected horses at that time. I don't know if horses still test positive or not but it's always terrifying to know that a simple blood test can give your horse a death sentence.

Anyway, both Nadia and Annie had their teeth floated. Scout had his teeth done last fall although he could use it again already. I'm going to have to save more pennies or win the lottery really soon at this rate!

I also asked about Yalla's pot belly. He suggested three reasons: worms, protein deficiency, or normal growth pattern. See below for an example but please excuse the blurry photo. Also, she is still fuzzy with winter hair. It gets very warm during the day but last week we had a freeze.
I have been reading so much about too much protein and joint problems that I cut her back on her supplements, probably too much. So, I have begun feeding her Calf Manna (25% protein) about 1 lb a day, which is the recommended dose for growing horses (1- 1/2 lbs), along with a half pound of grain.

Although I wormed her last year, it's been several months since her last worming. Uh oh!! I know my other horses don't have worms, or very few, so I kind of forgot to keep on the schedule. (I am a bad horse owner!) The vet said that foals often have a lot more infestation than adult horses and should be wormed regularly. I asked which wormer to use on her and he suggested doing a fecal sample for analysis. So, I took in a fecal sample last Thursday. Waited until she pooped after the morning feed and scooped up an "apple" in a little baggie. I wrapped a paper towel around the baggie, foil around that, and then put it all on ice. Delightful! The vet called back with the results on the fecal sample and said she had no parasites. She did recommend worming anyway with a broad spectrum wormer and retesting her in three weeks.

I also talked to the vet about feeding options for Nadia and Annie because they appear ribby. Annie has always been tough to keep weight on and as Nadia gets older she seems to be losing her muscle and fatty stores. He suggested feeding them a daily ration of oil, a couple of cups, whereas I had only been giving her a tablespoon or so, daily. He said any type of fat was good, even bacon grease, because it provided the lipids needed to gain weight. Also, feeding beet pulp mash is a good addition to the diet because it provides calories without the energy and it has a low glycemic (sugar) index. I have read that beet pulp can be fed dry with no adverse effects but I am still reluctant, knowing how it expands and breaks up when water is added. However, I find soaking it beforehand to be such a hassle.

Tuesday morning, I noticed that Nadia couldn't reach the ground to eat! She would bend her neck so far and then quit. This is a dire predicament for a horse. After all, they eat off the ground and the water source is often low to the ground too. She appeared hungry and alert. I felt her neck and didn't notice any major swelling. I wondered if she had any infection around her teeth because the vet ground her molars down hard just a few days earlier. I didn't feel any fever either, so I thought it must be a reaction to the shots after all. I noticed she was a little dehydrated so I separated her from the other horses and placed a water bucket in her grain feeder so she could reach without bending. Luckily, there is a wall feeder in that stall so I threw in a bunch of hay so that she could munch at her leisure having to bend down. Then I gave her a big serving of soaked beet pulp with a little grain and decided to watch her.

She was no better on Wednesday and so by Thursday morning I called the vet when she laid down and then got right back up. She seemed alert and hungry but definitely not herself. She still had no fever and the vet thought it was a sore neck from the shots. He told me to come pick up some bute paste to give her for the pain which I did. I again left her in to eat by herself. She was hungry for the beet pulp mashes that I gave her both morning and night, well watered down so that she wouldn't dehydrate. Annie also enjoyed the mashes.

Friday evening she seemed to be improving. With thunderstorms in the area, I brought Scout in to share her pen and he happily cleaned up all the hay on the ground that she hadn't eaten. This morning, I again gave her and Annie beet pulp mashes along with their hay and left them in while I put Scout and Yalla outside. I plan on regularly giving beet pulp mashes with lots of corn oil to the ladies from now on. I have been meaning to do this. I had the beet pulp already. I've just been lazy, and there it is again- a bad horse owner! Sometimes, I think I should just sell my house, horses, and everything else and move to the big city. Yes, I have been very depressed lately.

Worm, the pain and blade - song; Voyeur of Utter destruction , artist: David Bowie, album: Outside

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Poor little greenie!

I have been trying to grow some vegetables from seeds with very little luck so Sunday night I went out and bought some real plants: a cherry tomato plant, eggplant, zucchini squash, yellow squash, chili peppers, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, and a few others. I was happy to find that the ground is much softer than it was last year.
We had to rototill the ground last year and add bags and bags of soil builder. This year, I got my son to help me dig and plant the little plants as the sun was setting. The winds were really strong and I worried about them. In the morning, when I checked on them, they all looked good.
I watered them again and went to work. I took these photos Monday afternoon. However, Tuesday morning, we had a cold spell. My thermometer read 32 degrees. It must have been so, because when I got home to water the plants they were completely wilted and black, all but one, a white eggplant. My garden is a bust! I have some onions that came up from last year and two bee balm plants that are still growing well from last year but everything I just bought, all $60 worth, all gone! Poor little things! Here are the onions from last year. At least they're doing well.
Here's one of the Bee Balm plants and the little white eggplant (sole survivor!). Here's a close up of the eggplant.
Poor little greenie - song: Aladdin Sane, artist: David Bowie, album: Aladdin Sane

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Down on my knees

This weekend really went down hill for me. Let me start at the beginning...

I belong to a "Girl's Club" of ex-employees of a certain company that I once worked for, actually, my first 'real' job. These employees were a close group so when several of them quit, they started a club for ex-employees. I used to tease them, asking if I could join them and they always said, "when you quit". Long story short, I eventually did quit and am now a member although I always seem to have plans whenever they get together so I'm not a regular and don't often get the opportunity to visit with the girls. Every month there is a luncheon hosted by one of the members. May was my month to host the luncheon. I chose a Chinese/American buffet. My mom had planned to come to town for the lunch but she got hurt and couldn't drive down. It seems that she fell when she went to pick up a heavy watering can and hurt her arm. She assures me she is okay, however. (?I hope?)

I audited a trail clinic at an arena in Albuquerque. I would have attended with my horse but I already had the luncheon set up so I only managed to see the last hour or so. There were trail obstacles set up and each horse and rider were given the opportunity to negotiate them. I would have loved to join them. But I was able to get ideas to use at home too.
Here's a bridge crossing and a not so anxious bridge crosser.
This gelding looked amazingly like Annie.Here's a different way to lay ground poles.
I missed seeing them taking the little jump but I can't see any issues here; it's so small.
I want to make one of these. I can just imagine how the horses think it's a monster. Again, I missed seeing them work with it so I wonder how they all did. It was very windy when I arrived so one standard had already blown down.
I appreciated seeing what I did of the clinic and I received a handout of possible obstacles on the ACTRA trail rides. Most of all, I was glad to find this community arena in Albuquerque so that when we have snow and mud at home I can go ride there.

The next day, the plan was to meet at a trailhead in the Sandia Mountains and go for a short trail ride, using the newly acquired skills of negotiating the obstacles. I was excited to go because my older son completed his Eagle project there, a foot/horse bridge, and we would be crossing it with the horses.

I had been tossing around who to bring. I considered Annie because I wanted to see what she would be like out on the trails. I thought of bringing both Nadia and Scout because I like to ride Scout and pony Nadia. But then I thought it might be too much to have an extra horse along in the group so I settled on just bringing Scout.

Sunday morning, I fed the horses and then loaded all kinds of stuff into my truck: water, buckets, hay, whip, long lead, brushes, saddle, blanket, bridle, helmet, and anything else I could think of. Jeez, it's like the first trip out with the new baby!

I waited until Scout had finished eating his breakfast and then caught him. I went over to the trailer and proceeded to lead him inside with grain as an enticement. He loves food and will go anywhere for a bite. I buckled him to the trailer tie in the front left corner of my new (old) stock trailer and turned to walk out and close the middle door behind him. He suddenly pulled back and the bungee trailer tie I was using stretched and stretched and then broke! I was in shock! I had assumed that the bungee would give a little and pull them back but it just wasn't made for that kind of torque, I guess. Bad, bad idea!!
Scout began running backwards out the full length of the stock trailer and fell out at the end. He lay on his side in a heap and then he got up and stood there shaking. Needless to say, I stood there shaking too. I looked him over for wounds. He had scrapped his elbow pretty good leaving some hair on the door. He had a small swelling on his forehead too. Thankfully, there seemed to be nothing serious.

I decided to reload him. Reluctantly he came up into the trailer but he immediately backed out again. I did get him to load a third time but again he ran backwards out. I feel so completely inexperienced about trailering. Now I've got my so-so trailer loading gelding terrified of the trailer. I was at a loss as to what to do next. I decided to put him away for the day. I'd spent several hours working with him already and had missed the ride anyway. I led him up to the trailer step and jumped onto his back to ride him back to the barn in his halter, bareback. Boy was that a big mistake...

but not for the reason you might think.

He is great in a halter and with the grass all around he was happy to stand around and eat. What happened was, when I threw my leg over his back, my bad knee cracked and I had intense pain, blacking out pain, and waves of nausea. I was able to scramble up the rest of the way and then I sat there, fighting the sensations of wanting to throw up and seeing stars. I wondered how I was ever going to get down. I let him graze while I pulled myself together. Then we rode to the barn and I was able to open the gate and ride through to the barn where I went up to a fence and stepped off. By this time, my leg was feeling a little better. I put him away and went to my house thinking that it probably was a good thing I hadn't gone on the trails and had this happen.

I considered going to Urgent Care, I hurt that bad, but decided to wait and make an appointment during the week.

Down on my knees - song: Buddha of Suburbia, artist: David Bowie, album: Buddha of Suburbia

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rabbits and dogs

On my way to the barn this morning, I saw something hiding behind a bush...
It was a bunny and when he saw me he turned and hopped away.
But I could still see him...
And sadly, all I could think of was how big and beautiful he was and how one day, he would be a coyote's dinner.

Rabbits and dogs - song: My death, artist: David Bowie

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Color me doubtful

All weekend, I felt really tired and out of breath from coughing. However, I did manage to weed out the garden- three foot high weeds! (I am such a bad blogger! I should have taken a better picture. This was a huge pile but it doesn't look it, does it? All those weeds are at least two to three feet long.) I was amazed at the growth. The last time I looked it was all barren. Now, to get my vegetables planted. Where I live, we don't plant until after Mother's Day because there's always a cold snap at the end of April, early May. Matter of fact, just yesterday morning, it was only 38 degrees. By afternoon, we had a balmy 78.

But I don't know if my horses are ever going to lose their shaggy winter coats. Here's Yalla! With the lighting in this photo she almost looks like she's going to be gray, doesn't she? But I think it's just the washed out color of the photograph. She's actually sort of dun colored. You can see how she's shedding in some places more than others.
Here's her buffalo coat.
She still has stripes on her legs.
I tried to show how black her tail is but it didn't photograph correctly with the over bright sun. She doesn't have any white hairs, although it certainly looks like she does in this picture.
She's also got a lot of brown hairs in her tail. But they're at the sides, like grown out baby hair. She has no light hair at the bottom or undersides.
Here's a nice head shot. Again, trick photography gives her a strange color mane. It's actually black with a touch of brown hairs.
I'm wondering if I should try out my clippers on her...

Color me doubtful - song: Real Cool World, artist: David Bowie, album: Cool World soundtrack