Monday, March 31, 2008

Sunshine? In the Rain?



Believe it or not, we've always have Sunshine on our farm. I'm very happy to say that even though it is cold, damp, dreary, and pouring down rain, I have some Sunshine!

This is my little red mule called Sunshine, she is Badger's half sister out of my mare Cheyenne who is my first owned horse...and I still have the old grand lady.
She produced a little red molly mule that we fell in love with ...one that had so much common sense [unlike her mom], and was just plain likable.

For the first three years of her life we worked with her. In her fourth year we started her under saddle and decided to sell her. No one wanted a 'little' red molly mule who was smart, smooth, and an easy keeper. Of course they all wanted very tall leggy wild mules.

Along came our first grand child. We took Sunshine off the market and decided to groom her as a kid's mule. We started riding her everywhere and suddenly people were nagging us to sell her to them...especially when they found out she was the 'future grandbaby' mule.

Well because of 'things' she's had a two year lay up and hasn't been under saddle for a while.
Yesterday she came off her muddy pasture and got stalled inside.

I began working with her again.
How funny, she has not forgotten a thing!

I cannot believe how much joy it brought to me to work with another mule.
She is smart as a whip and started catching on to new things I was teaching her.

One thing with a mule. If you are teaching them something and they do it correctly for you, do not ask them to keep repeating the same task. Move on to something else and you will have a happy co-operative mule!

I'll be going back out later ... and we will be working on reining and most important of all.
Standing Still.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Some days are just great


I love to ride, I love my mule.

I enjoyed the muddy windy cold day and took my favorite guy out for a stroll.

Yeah, I took my little camera so I could share what it looks like from the rider's point of view.


It was peaceful, quiet, and wonderful.
No words can express what it feels like to be free like this!

I've been in a wonderful mood lately, of course the job change has much to do with it. And of course, the coming of spring! Tomorrow, I'm starting out working other mules... I can't WAIT!




video

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thor's day out

Thor meets the camera person, which is ME. Thor has no fear of anything but will obey his momma when she nickers to him.
He is so much fun right now, I just can't stop playing with him!

Today was my first day off work in a long time and we spent it together having a blast. We ran errands together, chored together, and had fun. Hubby is grinning ear to ear and so am I!

I am looking forward to Saturday and giving Badger a haircut and then taking a ride. I will probably even get another mule out and work with her in the round pen.
This change of job and the coming of Spring has had a great effect on me!

I am one happy camper!
The embedded video is from YouTube and is 4:20. You don't have to see it ... but it is kinda cute, it shows how Thor can move.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Welcome Thor to the World...


March 25th we welcomed our new donkey into this world.

Thor

He is the newest member of our Donkey herd. His momma, Princess had a difficult birth as Thor is a large fellow.

Princess and Thor are now doing fine. He has all those wonderful antics that are so comical to watch. Tonight he pranced into his mother's hay and stomped it then ran circles around her, stopping only when he ran into her.

Then it was nursing time and of course 'nap' time. He isn't very graceful about laying down, he just grunts and flops into the straw bedding.

Tomorrow it is supposed to be sunny and nice so we are taking Thor and Princess for a walk. Thor can stretch those grand long legs of his
and I can take pictures!

video

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Last day at the old place


So here it is the last day of working at the place I've been at for 11 years. Yes it was time to make a change.
I'm 4 weeks away from completing college and I've finished my internship. New doors have opened for me and I gladly step through them to meet whatever the new challenges will be.
Am I happy and excited? You bet I am.
Am I sad to leave the old place? Not really, I've been preparing to leave there for 2 years. The job market is tight and I am a patient person!
Things happen for a reason, and I guess this is my time to move on.

I won't be going to a graduation ceremony, but will receive my diploma in the mail without much fanfare.
When the family gets together next time we can have some pie and ice cream to celebrate!

Well off to the last day!
I may update this after I am done today....
;-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter...


This was the easy way to color easter eggs...with my computer, no muss, no fuss.

As a kid I can remember that was the most exciting part of preparing for Easter was coloring the eggs. Drawing with a crayon before dipping them in color.
The smell of vinegar. The eggs we dropped in several colors...or mixed colors.

Hiding the baskets was even more fun. I think it was my brother who may have outfoxed us all the time he cut the top of the paper bag off we used in the trash. Then set the basket under the paper bag. [At least I think it was him]

Memories of my own kids experimenting in much the same way with colors. Hiding of the eggs...and keeping count so we could make sure we could find the eggs. I recall also the year that we hardboiled them and just left them as is. We had brown eggs, brown speckled eggs, pink, blue, pale green, and all colors...we had two pure white eggs. Our exotic chickens had provided beautiful colors that year.

On to the next generation. I don't know if my grandkids color eggs and then hide them. I forgot to ask. I really did always enjoy the hunt for hidden treasures.
I think my oldest son once commented [while we were gathering eggs in the hen house]...that each day was an egg hunt for him.
All in all.
Good memories.
Happy Easter.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rumple???

THE SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD EAST OVER THE AREA AND BECOME
HEAVY AT TIMES THIS MORNING...WITH EVEN A RUMPLE OR TWO OF
THUNDER POSSIBLE. SNOWFALL RATES THROUGH MID MORNING MAY EXCEED AN
INCH AN HOUR AS THE BAND OF HEAVY SNOW CONTINUES TO SET UP OVER THE AREA.
AS A RESULT...MORNING COMMUTERS WILL LIKELY HAVE DIFFICULT DRIVING
CONDITIONS IN THE HEAVY SNOWFALL THIS MORNING.

The above is a quote from our weather
service this morning.
I had to copy and
paste it so I could refer back to it before they
updated the forecast and corrected
the spelling.
I've never seen a snowstorm with a 'rumple'
or two.
Perhaps it is something special for spring???

Well it is still doing 'something' out there,
we didn't have the rumbles
that were predicted but we did have
extremely dangerous driving
conditions.
My hubby drove me to town. As we
rounded the corner past the
Tobacco shed, R. slide the truck
up sideways and into a small ditch.
Of course he wheeled it on out of there
and grinned wickedly at me.
*Why didn't you tell me it was slickery?*
Of course my heart dropped
and thudded. Our ride to town was
rather slippery and slick, okay it was
down right bad.

True to his word I was delivered safely
to my new place of work.
Pictures of today? Naw, I was
too frightened trying to see where our
roads actually existed through the
blowing snow.
Sunshine predicted for tomorrow.
I'm liking that.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In like a lamb...?

So who is the wiseguy that said if March came in like a lamb it would go out like a lion?
I'm not real pleased with the NWS right now as they have just updated tonight's storm to a Storm Warning! 6-10 inches of snow by noon tomorrow, on Good Friday?

Thunder Snow:
Anecdotal accounts often associate thundersnow with heavy snowfall, especially tight, intense bands of snow (you know, the ones that dump a foot on your lawn but leave your boss's house untouched, so he expects you to show up at work the next morning). Research hasn't borne that out--one study showed that over a 30-year period, thundersnow resulted in only light snowfall 52% of the time. Nonetheless, under certain conditions thundersnow storms can produce significant accumulation. Meteorologists hope to get a better handle on those conditions so they can more accurately predict when what looks at first like a small storm might suddenly dump an extra foot or two of snow.

So we are looking at perhaps some significant snow fall in a short time frame. I can most definitely say that Thundersnows are not fun, the snow comes down very hard and very fast with lightening and thunder [hence the name].
Usually they start out as rain/sleet and it turns into snow. The going on our backroads are usually pretty bad.
My only hope is that our new neighbor who is a deputy sheriff gets prioritized by our township plow and that our road gets cleaned out so she can take her squad to work.

Well we'll see tomorrow what comes of this!
Crazy March weather!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunday Walk



Ever take 7 weeks of finals? This is my last 7 weeks of school. Each week we have tests that are a cumulation of what we have learned for our degree.
So today I took a break and took Morris for a walk. Of course you all figured I'd never go without the faithful JRT. Poor Morris, the snow was so mushy, he had to work so hard...then got a bath when we got home...
I think he is in bed now. I must have worn him all out.

Okay back to my walk.
It was gorgeous, then March sun felt so wonderfully warm on my face that I sat on a rock in the creek and just enjoyed it for a long time.
The robins have begun to return...their songs filled the woods, along with the spring song of the chickadee and the cardinals.

While in the creek, I stopped at a place that forms a pond from a little waterfall. This is a place that Morris dislikes, he always growls and gets his hair up on his back. Yep, like he is going to protect me. From what?
I think this is a place where the coyotes from a den nearby come down to drink. I haven't seen them, but have seen their tracks in the snow, and now in the sand and clay bottom of the creek.
Morris, BIG little dog. Of course, he runs back between my legs after growling and barking.
Funny little dog.
Almost brave too.
Oh listen closely you can here the birds singing a beautiful song...


video

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Let the melt begin

The weather is beautiful. I enjoyed an incredible sunrise on the way to the clinic for logging in my hours today. Other employees were emailed that as of March 26th, I would be the new Med Records gal! There were some very happy gals there today.
I worked hard today and learned many new things ~~~ have many more things to learn too!
One thing I am positive of. The clinic could not function without the Medical Records gals. They are the hub of everything. The warm sun and warm temps...I think about 40 degrees...caused a huge meltdown. Oh we still have plenty of snow, but the water is running hard and the ground is saturated. The flat portion of our driveway is ~~~ a quagmire. I did get through it with the car but had my doubts. Hope it gets cold and freezes up over night! I took a quick video of me walking in the portion of the driveway near where I park. Yes, unbelievable! But in a month's time it will be solid ground!


video

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Addendum to today...

So kick me...today things happened...I got a phone call from Hirsch Clinic ... the HR person said they spoke after my interview and decided I was the one...
OH YEAH BABY.
Today is my MIL's birthday. Normally she goes and gambles at Miss Marquet in Iowa, because this is her lucky day! Today it was mine.
I received my National Certification in HIPPA. Okay no biggy to those who are not in the medical field. To me, this is a BIG certification.
I got hired today to a new job and endless possibilities.

I gave notice to a person who is unethical and ... well he was NOT happy. But I gave the required and decent two week notice. After that he can hire me as a consultant.

I am now a devoted Hirsch Clinic and VMH employee. And very proud of it. Right now my hours are two days a week at a higher rate than I am paid at the chiro's office.

I am entering the final weeks of school...I will be working two to three days a week and covering as the 'all purpose gal'...the gal who is called when they need a receptionist, a coder, a biller... a jack of all medical office trades.

I will spend the remainder of my time working with my mules and donkeys and training them to ride...something I've put on the back burner for 1.5 years while seeking a degree.

Ahhh yes.

It is National Donkey Appreciation Day...


Yeah amazing isn't it?
That is what the guy on the radio says...I can't find any proof though.
Perhaps Princess will bless us with a birth today????


Spring is arriving with its own schedule but typical of March weather. Two nice sunny warm days with snow melt, then a day of rain with snow in the evening. This weekend they are calling for another snow storm! Moisture abounds and begins to roar down the sides of the roads and in the dry creek bottoms. I can't wait!

On another note, I usually don't talk about how interviews go ...but it was really super nice to walk into an interview and know the people sitting at the table. I'd worked with two of them for the past two weeks. I felt I made a great impression and am very excited about it.

Of course, I am also prepared for the
'thanks but no thanks' from them. I just can't see where I wouldn't be a good candidate as I've been doing the job already for the past two weeks as an intern! The girls that work Med Records had begged me to apply...and when I told them I had ...the said they certainly hoped I would be hired because I was such a great fit with them. Lots of positive energy flowing here...I hope.

I am soooo ready for a change! Spring is a great time to renew and start things over right? So there you go!

Of course no recent blog is complete without some Morris silliness. Here he is ...I have no idea why he does this, but he entertains us with his antics, he is way better than TV.

video

Monday, March 10, 2008

Got a Call Today...

The drive in to work today was incredible. A mist was rising from the snow as the March sunlight hit the snow. It was one of those mornings that I could have used up the morning sunlight walking and taking photos.
Ah, but that was not to be.
At lunch time I settled in with two of my textbooks and my coding exam problems and started to work when the phone rang.

It was Human Resources at VMH. I'd talked with Vickie once before and she asked me how my internship was going and I said great, I loved it.
She then asked if I was still interested in the job I'd applied for...which happened to be what I've been doing as an intern...working with Medical Records.

Well of course I am ... I told her. I'd had a wonderful experience so far in my internship and enjoyed the people I'd been working with.
Music to my ever loving ears.
She explained the wages and the need for flexibility on my part. I would have demonstrated how I could become the human pretzel ...but figured I couldn't impress her over the phone.
So tomorrow I'm interviewing for the Med Records job with the clinic. I've got my fingers and toes crossed. The job is fairly physically demanding which had surprised me.
Eventually they will go to electronic records, but I have a feeling that since I've worked all over in this office for the past two weeks, I could be doing more in the future than just records.

Hey, it is a foot in the door ... and for more than what I am paid now!
Who could ask for more?

Oh and because I love a bit of silliness today...here is a short video of Mr. Morris doing his crazy Jack Russell thing:




video

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday snowing

I wake up this morning to such a surprise.
Snow flurries.
How surprising!
Actually in looking forward to the rest of this week it looks like March is finally going to take a hold on things and warm UP!
This is good news and bad news. A quick thaw and melt is going to cause some flooding to low laying areas. [not to worry, I'm not in a low laying area].
We still have at least 1 foot of snow that we are walking on top of. According to the weather service out of LaCrosse, we've had snow cover for over 100 consecutive days. I think we broke some records.
The joke around here is...where is the global warming when you really need it?

I'm bouncing into my third week of internship and have developed a good sense of what goes on at the clinic I'm at. I've worked in Medical Records...those girls want me to get the part time job there as I've proven to be an efficient and swift worker.
The coder I worked with surprised me immensely! She is very kind and open and gave me more help and information than the other women in her department. She's a smart young woman. My first impression of her was totally incorrect. She is full of humor and friendly. I learned a lot by working with her for half of Thursday.

Well back to coding class and school projects. I'm whipping through my last few weeks rather quickly. The instructors are letting us take our tests ahead of schedule which is nice because I can then take a break and have somewhat of a life!

I think after breakfast and chores, I'll get Morris to accompany me on a walk.
He needs the exercise.
I read a cute line in a book...I think it went like this---
When inquired why his dog did mostly nothing the man answered:
'My dog leads and intensely busy and demanding internal life, which demands long periods of rest'.

He must have been talking about Morris.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday!

Well I'm headed off to my morning at the clinic and then the afternoon at my regular job. This morning I will be doing Medical Records filing. Doesn't sound exciting, but it is work. My impression is that the gals in Medical Records feel like they are at the bottom of the food chain in the organization...but in truth, nothing at all could happen at the clinic without them. At this point the records are accessible to the coder electronically, but the doctors still work from a patient file.
This means 3 gals are pulling and distributing files all day long! I don't know exactly how their jobs will change once the file go all electronic, but I imagine they still will be very busy!
I spent part of the day with the clinic 'coder' yesterday and it was very interesting and enjoyable.

I still feel like I've been hit by a truck on my shoulder especially at night when I try to get to sleep. But we'll see how this day passes.
AND
I'll see if the area where we park has been salted?

On another note, I am anxious for us to get out of this winter cycle. I am so ready for spring.


Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I hate ice

Or should I say that Ice hates me? Today while walking back to the office after putting something in my car, I fell on ice that was under the snow. Glare, slick, slippery ice...I stiff armed the fall and shot my elbow and jolted my shoulder. Disgusted and hurt I stood up and took two more steps.
BAM
I did it again.
[Only this time I considered laying there until my boss got back from lunch and see what he had to say. ]
I didn't fall lightly the second time. And it really hurt. I cursed and swore and carefully stood up.
Last week I'd complained about the ice, in fact I'd slipped and busted a photo frame I had in my hand in the very same spot. Then I went into the office and put about 20lbs of salt on it so no patients who might park by my car would get hurt.

So after boss came back from his lunch I told him what happened.
*Oh, gee, sorry.*

Then he shoveled out front and salted.
Jerk.
Later on he asked how I was doing and I said *Man I hurt!*
What really stinks is that tonight my shoulder and arm are on fire. This is the shoulder that had surgery last July.
I really can't afford to fix my shoulder again. But tomorrow I may just see a doctor since I will be at the clinic.
Jerk.
Dang Ice.

Spring is??



Rumor has it that Spring is supposed to be right around the corner. Hmmm, last year on March 2nd we had a blizzard, so I guess I am pleased to say that we are just supposed to get snow on and off this week.
I am entering the last leg of my schooling.
Interning at Hirsch Clinic 1 1/2 days a week, and taking two 'wrap up' classes. I will graduate with an Associates Degree and be nationally certified with the initials NCICS...I will be able to present those along with a HIPPA certification. I know BIG words.
But that means I understand the workings of a medical office and how to file a claim.

I can surely say that I am tired of seeing snow right now. I haven't seen the bare ground since the beginning of November!
We have been walking on 12-22" of snow pack. In the woods it is hip deep in places.
Although I've enjoyed the great photo opportunities this winter has given me, I am ready to see it melt away.

I hope it melts slowly or there are going to be some flooding! It is always exciting to go down to the creek during the big snow melt and listen to the waters growl and pound the rocks....
But it looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer as the weather service has stated that we'll stay 25-30 degrees colder than normal.
Okay...so where is this global warming?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Grandkids are uplifting!


I am of the impression that everyone needs to experience grandchildren. They are a must for every single person alive. The joy of a child when you are not responsible for 'raising' them...or the chance at doing it 'right' the second time around is too wonderful.
I see my husband with his grand-babies and realize that something so special has occurred that is so much more powerful than any medicine could be.
The simple love of a grandkid, one that asks nothing but love in return.
These simple photos tell so much of a story.
I was able to sit back and watch this wondrous interaction and take some real joy out of it.

Grandpa Rich is really the highlight of his grand children's lives. We should all be so lucky one day...

[I may add some of my adventures from later today as I am posting on Sunday and hope to get out with Morris to catch some wild snow melt photos!]
Please enjoy and laugh and be uplifted by this...


video

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Driving...winter fun



Oh the winds were so strong! The rest of the drive was pretty tame compared to this spot...the edges of the road have such tall piles of snow that you cannot see over them.
Yesterday we had gusts of winds that we 'sustained at 40 mph'. Yep that can cause some 'travel' problems.

Tonight we are set up for freezing rain...rain tomorrow changing to snow?
Welcome March!