Tuesday, August 26, 2008
colorful isn't it?
read a book
took a short walk
took some pics with my little camera
doing better...much better!
tomorrow, maybe go with rich fishing for a bit?
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Well I am seeing the same surgeon now for the third year in a row. A left frozen shoulder, a right frozen shoulder...and now this:
From the Hand University Website:
Sometimes conservative treatment fails to stop the pain or help patients regain use of the elbow. In these cases, surgery may be necessary.
When problems are caused by tendinosis, doctors may choose to take out only the affected tissues within the tendon. In these cases, the surgeon cleans up the tendon, removing only the damaged tissue.A commonly used surgery for tennis elbow is called a lateral epicondyle release. This surgery takes tension off the extensor tendon.
So this is the blog for a bit...I may have my arm in a sling and may not be on a computer for a while...
Thursday, August 21, 2008
We sure do have fun when we go riding together at Wildcat Mountain in Ontario, WI. I'm having elbow surgery tomorrow morning so we wanted to get another ride in before I was grounded for rehab and recovery.
Of course I picked Badger to take, my big beautiful quiet mule and Rich decided to ride Mrs. Bickerson aka Opal. Normally Opal is a mule with an attitude, but yesterday Mrs. Bickerson could have had her name changed to 'Sweetie Pie'.
We talked about calling the vet.
It was hot humid and hazy, but nice and cool in the woods, ...a perfect day!
We rode for hours and hours. The scenery was pretty breathless as usual. But the best time to photograph Wildcat is early in the spring or late in the fall. Then you can see all the rock outcroppings and you can see far from the scenic outlooks!
Our picnic was simple
Trail Mix Chex
...and a must
Most of the ride was quiet, not much talking as we enjoy the ride and enjoy looking at the scenery.
We got into some good 'rough' stuff and that made it more interesting for our mules. By the end of the day both Opal and Badger were dragging their tails into camp. They were a bit footsore as they'd been trimmed last week and the rocks in Wildcat can be hard on fresh trimmed feet.
If I was to ride that quite often, I'd look into pads for their feet.
But the ride was a delight.
The ferns were gorgeous
The lunch perfect
And the company...wonderful...
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Shhhh. What can you hear? The creak of leather, the soft footfalls of a mule in the forest. The panting of a Jack Russell and the soft swoosh of a tail flicking.
There really isn't any conversation going on. I ride along quietly listening, and watching. When a small disturbance off the trail to our left makes Badger go rigid.
I feel him stiffen and look to where his ears are pointing...and we wait.
A hen turkey sprints out of the tall grass with three of her semi grown chicks...they begin to flap their wings and fly low over the Queen Anne's Lace.
I look down and Morris is trying to stand on his hind legs to see what the 'fuss' is about. I smile and pat Badger on the neck and murmur:
With a small squeeze of my leg we set off again across the ridgetop following an ATV trail, so Morris won't have to struggle to get through the tall grasses.
We eventually get off the ridge and drop into the woods which are dark even on bright days. We make our way down an old logging trail to the back valley [also called the Lost Valley by the owners]. I get Badger to do some tricky maneuvers... and we finally stop for a rest next to the creek.
The first thing Morris does is get in the water to cool off. Badger drops his head to eat. Poor starving mule...you'd think he's never seen a lick of hay nor ever had a bite of grass.
We cool our heels by the creek listening to the water tumble over the rocks and the cicadas singing overhead.
The deerflies start to annoy us all spoiling the moment of 'togetherness'...okay, I know wierd, but the dog, the mule, and I...we are a special trio.
We head back out to the sunny ridgetop to check out the apple trees. These are wild apple trees not an apple orchard that is tended to.
We spot the trees with their branches literally drooping like weeping willow trees because they are so full of apples.
I sit on Badger and pick one ... they are small, but very tasty. I grin and start to pick apples ... how many will fit in my cargo pants pockets I wonder?
Mr. Mule decides he should just go ahead and help himself.
I drop an apple core to Morris.
We are all munching on apples in the late afternoon sun.
We head home, Morris panting, my pockets full of tasty little apples, my mule drooling applesauce...
When I get home my hubby says...
*So how was your ride?*
I answer, *Oh fine, it was just a ride.*
Tonight my dog is sound asleep at my feet. Mr. Mule is munching on his hay bale, and I am thinking of what kind of container I can take back with the mule to gather enough apples for apple jelly.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Okay we had a great morning in the backwaters of the Mississippi. We fished in more than one spot and caught a handful of fish!
While I was sitting on a rock in a place we called 'DeSoto Bay' when I looked down at the shore line and saw this little fella...
Of course I was repelled at first, I mean SNAKE!
I decided to sit still and watch.
This snake was trying to swallow a small dead fish. It was fascinating. I thought for sure that this snake was a Water Moccasin which are considered very poisonous.
It isn't, it is called the Northern Water Snake, often misidentified according to the Wisconsin DNR site.
Description: This is a medium to large heavy-bodied snake. The background color is gray, brown or tan and is marked with dark brown, red-brown or black transverse blotches, which often fade with age. The underside is distinctive, white with bright red half-moons interspersed irregularly with dark gray speckling. Northern water snakes are usually found in or close to any permanent waterbody but they prefer clean rivers. Their diet includes crayfish, slow-moving fish and a variety of amphibians. This non-venomous water snake is often mistaken for a water moccasin and is subsequently killed. Water moccasins, which are venomous, do not occur anywhere near Wisconsin.
I'm fairly relieved!
He was pretty entertaining to watch. Of course I had to video him...I mean, come on, what else did you expect me to do!
By the way, he/she finally gave up and swam away.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I did something way out of character...
I even found this thing called a mixer to use, so I could 'mix' the cake stuff.
Really, it wasn't that hard.
Nor was it so hard to make a loaf of bread, though I did cheat and use frozen dough.
Figured that I better start out simple or Rich wouldn't be able to handle it.
He rather did enjoy the chuck roast with potatoes and carrots, fresh green beans with fresh bread and cake for desert.
Countdown until surgery...9 days.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I had an enjoyable evening going to the Pony Club to watch and ride with the kids last night.
It was supposed to be a 'little' practice and a little trail ride.
So I saddled up Badger and rode down a 'farming lane' to get to the place where the kids practiced.
The parents and kids alike were fascinated by Badger. Of course they wanted to know WHY I left a halter on Badger when I rode.
I amused the group of jumpers greatly by jumping Badger 'in hand' over the very same obstacle shown in the video below. Badger did the 'standing' mule jump...the kids wanted me to *do it again VAL!*...
*Mom I want a mule!*
Once again he was Mule Ambassador.
However ... on the ride down this twisted ridge road...we did come upon a black faced sheep, who surely was going to eat Mr. Mule. The darned sheep sounded more like a burping monster than any sheep I've ever heard.
Perhaps that is why Badger was so cautious. We sure did have a blast and the ride home was beautiful...through the dark woods and then into a field of clover, Queen Anne's Lace, ragweed, and goldenrod.
The skies were bright blue and the August summer's eve was perfect.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I awakened this morning, realizing that it was getting too quiet outside my bedroom window. I hadn't heard the robin song in a couple of mornings.
I could identify only one wren and a cardinal. Otherwise, the birds were not singing in abundance.
This makes me sad, and it is ONLY August. I love to listen to the birds in the morning. I love the mourning dove's call, the scolding of the house wren, and the happy songs of the robins --our state bird.
When the birds begin to migrate I feel a deep sense of loss within. As though I'm missing something from deep within.
At this very moment, I can hear the crickets, and some cicadas, but the yard ... it is too quiet.
I see the humming birds are still around feeding on my flowers and the feeder.
The Orioles have already moved away after hatching their fledglings and as soon as they are ready...they begin to move south.
I miss their songs also.
Some of the sumac is begining to turn in places. It makes me think of fall.
I like fall, but this summer has been so beautiful, I'm going to dislike greatly the change of seasons greatly.
Well, I'm heading off to meet up with the pony club folks and have some fun with them this evening.
This will be the first time most of them have ever met a mule.
Of course the Mule Ambassador, Badger will be going....
Saturday, August 09, 2008
We decided to take Mica, hubby's grey mule and Sunshine to Wildcat. It was a spur of the moment thing.
Mica had been pastured all summer long and hadn't been ridden for over 6 months. I rode Sunshine ... she is sweet and an easy 'get on and get off' mule. She may be a bit short for some folks, but she's just right.
Not only that she has all sorts of 'little' mule power. Rich said she was a bit 'goofy' the last time he rode her at the park. [I think it was the rider not the mule!]
We had a picnic of bologna, cheese, and crackers. We rode, rode, and rode.
Mica is a fast walker and Sunshine showed she could cut the mustard by keeping up.
We had a laugh.
When we left camp, we ran into a group that was heading in. We made a short loop and came back through camp...that same group was now reclining. They waved and asked if we were all done in...
We laughed and said 'Heck no...we were crossing to the other side to do the Roscoe Trail'.
About two hours later we ran into them again while we were eating lunch. They asked...'Gosh, you all get around!'
Four hours later we pulled into camp and rode past the same group who were lounging.
They stopped us.
'You guys been riding this whole time?'
We of course patted our mules, who admittedly were tired, and nodded.
'Gotta give these mules something to do...when they want to trail ride...they want to GO!'
Thursday, August 07, 2008
Well here it is ... I'm a Country Gal now.
I've learned that a white wire means ... the wire will bite you and make you yelp. I learned that the Grannma is sneaky when it comes to baths [I hate baths].
I learned that the BIG animals with big ears and mules and donkeys are dangerous and that the pony Little Richard is harmless and likes dogs.
I like to run in the fresh morning dew and knock Morris down. I like to watch as the Grannma picks beans.
By the way, Morris 'eats' raw green beans, he stole some out of the pickin' bucket.
We had a lazy day yesterday, the Grannma wasn't feeling too good. We didn't get out to play in the woods, but we did play frisbee.
Well, Morris played frisbee and I chased him and knocked him down ... he really rolls quite well if you give him a body block.
He hit the gravel driveway just a rollin' ...and came back up and ran around the house.
The first time I chased him around.
He he..the second time I waited ... when he came around the house again, I decked him.
He squeaked and growled.
Well it is nap time. I'm going to use the recliner and Morris has the couch.
Yep, dogs rule!
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
The Grannma showed us a really ugly cat when they got home. The Grannma said it was a Cat Fish. I've never heard of such a thing. Then imagine my surprise when they decided they would eat it!
Me and Morris really liked the smell of the fishy heads and icky stuff from inside the fish, but the Grannma went and buried it.
Can you believe it? They went to the Berthie house and ate fishies.
Last night we slept on each side of the Grannma. You know, got to keep her warm on these nice summer nights. She snored, she claims I snored too.
I wouldn't go with her this morning to water mule monsters. She got close to the water pump thing where I got a bath!!!
I hope she takes us back to the creek again today. I liked playing in the woods. I love climbing the downed trees.
Me and Morris are big helpers, we even helped pick beans this morning...well...it is nap time. Morris is passed out upstairs and I am sleeping on the couch.
My mom and dad humans are supposed to be coming back soon. I want to take Morris home with me. He is a great squeak toy.
Monday, August 04, 2008
The Grannma took us for a walk again today. We got to a place where the water was running, it is called a creek.
I had the bestest time playing in the water. I was chasing leaves and trying to catch them. I even tried to get a rock to float, but it didn't work.
The Grannma was cutting down plants called burdock so that she and Badger mule could ride her trail without getting full of burrs.
I got plenty of burrs in my fur!
Morris and I were having such a good time! I played IN the water and on the banks. Then the Grannma decided it was time to go home.
What a horrible thing she told us when we did get home!
We needed baths because we had been playing downstream from where a neighbor's cow had died.
The Grannma wanted to be sure we didn't have anything icky on on us...she even said the water looked good and didn't smell...
I HATE baths!
The Grannma had a tub of water sitting out that was warm. She set me in it and then soaped me up and rinsed me. I didn't even mind or fuss. I was very good and it was a 'nice' bath. I didn't smell like creek water, I smelled like people shampoo.
Morris didn't even get excited about his bath, he says he has them all the time.
We napped in the yard then to dry off and rolled in the grass.
I had a great day playing and having fun in 'dead cow creek'.
Side note: Mom and Dad if you get Loche Ness Monster please don't bring her home.
Morris and I are getting along so well that we are both sleeping in the Grannma's bed...
we don't get up until we feel like it.
I'm having the time of my life.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
I've been here at the farm for one week.
I've stopped looking for mom and dad's car to come and get me.
Morris and I are getting along famously now! Yesterday was the best ever day in a doggy's life.
I got some Little Richard 'apples'! Yum! We grabbed them and took them behind the big round hay bales.
Then Morris and I played on the round bales...the Grannma had to help him up!
After a romp in the yard we went with the Grannma for a LONG walk in the woods. I found all sorts of trees to climb on.
We followed the Grannma while she was 'making a new trail' for smaller mules to get over big downed trees. I don't understand the whole thing, she was cutting up berry briers and other nasties.
We also wrestled in the yard for a while...but after we came in ... we were both so exhausted that we couldn't hardly move. Following the Grannma in the heat is SO tough on dogs!
Morris was not in a mood to wrestle the rest of the day. He was a grouch.
Last night both Morris and I took over the Grannma's bed. When the Grannma came to sleep she had to squeeze in between us.
I protected the Grannma feets..
Morris protected the Grannma head..
This morning we didn't even get up when the Grannma and the Granpa did.
One last note...I like Morris's food much better than mine. For the past 3 days I've been eating at least 4 times a day as long as it is Morris food. His little nibblets are very yummy.
Mom...Dad, if you come get me, I want Morris food!
Saturday, August 02, 2008
This is about my awesome incredible wonderful
challenging ride today.
I did the 'Hazard Trail' in reverse today and did a bit more exploring.
I am one lucky gal to have such an awesome willing mule to ride.
Just click below and take a peek.
I'm getting all of the riding in I possibly can before I have surgery on my elbow.