Saturday, December 31, 2005

Miss Ariel

Grand daughter
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
She is the highlight of Grandpa Rich's life [course I can't say she has NO effect on me!] I have discovered that being a Grandma is one of the best things that can happen to you!
Everyone was sleeping in the house--napping if you will from the big dinner served for our late xmas celebration.
That just left myself and Ariel. I couldn't find her gloves, but she wanted Grandma Val's anyway. And she always wears them on the wrong hands...also insisted on Grandma's ugly Fudd hat with the brim turned back and tucked down under the hood so the flaps protected her ears.
What a pair we looked like walking around the house. Ariel in her oh so pretty perfectly matched snowpants, jacket, and boots...
Well and Grandma in her chore coat with an old ugly scarf tied around her head. Ariel found 'pictures' for me to take, and we stomped in the snow and got the sleet blown on our faces.
All in all it was the best part of my weekend so far.

Hmmm, but my shoulder is saying--Grandma should not carry Ariel no matter how she insists!

I wish I could be a full time Grandma!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

A true friend

Badger's eye
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I feel better tonight and even am typing with a nice smile on my face. I had a long 'talk' with a friend of mine via email and it felt nice. Funny how those things work out.
This morning is supposed to be dreary and kinda dull. If the sun shines--even if it doesn't, I may take Morris and go out about the yard and see what my lens will see.
It looks like I am off work until at least the 3rd when I get an MRI on my shoulder.
haha--no driving for a week!
Funny, the boss has offered to pick me up and have his wife bring me home or my hubby could pick me up.
There are a lot of the end of the yr stuff to do but nothing that cannot wait until the 3rd or 4th.

Thank you friend, I know you may read this.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Landmark windmill

Landmark windmill
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Battered by this year's storms and strong winds, this landmark stands over the driveway to a friend's house. If ever I am lost or need company, I can always knock on her door.

Decisions, decisions

Mom's Tree
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Well the State of WI will not honor the Federal VA's educational benefits. So now I have to choose a school in CA for my education.
The Feds will pick up 55% of the
Correspondence or 'on line training' for my classes. This is the good news. I will also learn three vital areas in the medical field. Transcription, Billing [electronic], and CPT coding. These jobs are becoming more and more important as HIPPA and the Feds stick their noses into all the medical fields.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

On the Road Again

Mailbox view
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Off to work on this horribly foggy morning, I drove slowly because my tail lights didn't work...oh yeah hubby 'wuz gonna' fix that. Talk about a drive with sweaty hands and nerves of steel.

Well when I did get to work I stepped out onto the was black ice. My feet went one way, I caught myself with my--yeah you guessed it--left arm [of fire]...

The day pretty much stayed this way with more coming the rest of this week. On the way home I noticed the trees were getting a light coating of ice on them.

Perhaps I should get up early and catch some ice photos?

Black and White Sunset

Black and White Sunset
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Gloomy yucky day, overcast and ugly. The snow was not fresh and the farmers had spread manure on the field staining the white snow.
Yet is was a wonderful day as I rode Badger bareback solo up along the ridge roads. I can't lift a saddle yet and when he did a startled 180° I nearly fainted from the pain in my shoulder ... but I just quietly hugged my mule by laying on him until it passed--swearing not to tell a soul.
I came home feeling like a million bucks mentally, the ride felt so good and so right.
No matter what I cannot give it up!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

My little walk

Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I try to get out each day and take a little blow the stink off as Rich would say.
Cheyenne came up and we had a conversation. We reminesced [sp?] about the old days. I filled her in on my 'bum' shoulder and she felt sorry for me, even gave me a friendly head on the shoulder--I love you hug.
Sometimes she can be so endearing.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Missing summer....

August storm building
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Already? Boy it is only -15° out, so I don't know why!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Missing Dad.......

I look at my tree as I pass it and although Dad wasn't a big Christmas 'doer', he usually managed to find a book or something and get it to me. He thought Christmas was commericalized, overated, and stupid...but mostly for kids.

So I have been doing alot of thinking about him. I think about mom too and if she is spending a lonely chrismas or not. I'm sure Sara will include her in family functions.

Under the tree...

Under the tree...
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I keep wishing that I had a house full of excited children! I feel that way when I take a look under the tree myself.

Update on the shoulder. Got some Tramadol which is powerful stuff. It has reduced the constant pain where I can almost be a nice human again.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Dreaming of a White Christmas!

Dreaming of a White Christmas!
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Well I don't have to dream about a white Christomas, we are going to have one!

My hubby though had a shocker last nite and it looks like he wants to make some changes. Our taxes jumped by $800 for this yr, gas prices are on the rise, I am laid up -- he has cancelled his surgery.

He said to me last nite that he wasn't getting any more hunting dogs--a huge shocker--that I could sell the S10--and that he was going to sell some animals even though he would take a beating on the prices of them.

I wonder if this is just a temporary shock, or is it leading to another stay in the hospital. He tends to get outraged and upset when things don't go 'just his way'.

He is treating me like an I have been inside playing with photoshop.

But I can't do this forever.

Also I am waiting on info from several schools.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Keep the chin up.

What is falling today!
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Yesterday as I was in the bathroom at work, Morris decided to peek in and push open the door.
Not wanting to get caught with my pants down, I shooed him and then winged the door shut with my left arm.

Next thing I knew I was struck by blinding excrutiation pain. Pain so intense that I slide to the floor with the world going dark around me. It shot down my left arm and the pain left me numb and incapable for a while to pick up my arm.

I sat on the cold hard tiles [yeah really cold] sobbing and trying to catch my breath.

My boss and Morris heard it and wanted to know if I was OK. NO I was NOT.

I called my doc and she said -- gee I guess you are getting worse, perhaps it is time to see an orthopedic doctor.

My boss the chiropractor thinks things are so inflammed that I am pinching a nerve with each movement.

So now I wait for the busiest guy in town. If I can't get in to him right away I AM demanding to go to Gunderson Lutheran in LaCrosse.

I am SO SICK and tired of this intense pain...and the blinding pain of quick movements.

Ok, so now I am done with the pity party.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Take a trip

Creek reflections
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Take a trip back in time. 5 yrs ago to be exact. I had one broken camera and an urge to take photos.
Now I have 3 35mm cameras, two digitals, and the urge to take photos.

This was after a very deep snowfall...I remember sitting on a rock and praying that this particular photo would turn out.

Funny how a picture can bring back a memory.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by Xena~.
In quiet solitude I find a place to sit and reflect on the past year. I look up from my perch on a log and realize that beauty is before my eyes.

There is so much to life so much to living and I enjoy every momment.

I miss dad. He would have liked this picture.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My tree

My tree
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I've been confined to the house for a while b/c of two torn rotator cuffs...yep left and right. The left is hideous, but I am doing therapy and strength exercises to help it.
So I have been concentrating on wrapping gifts, decorating my living room and doing the physcial things I can.
Today hubby has promised me a trip to Cabela's sport shop to get my much anticipated xmas gift...snow shoes.
Even with my injury, I NEED to get outside! I love taking pictures and just walking.
I hope to ride this weekend, my therapist said as long as it doesn't hurt...
I will switch to an English saddle so I can put it on Badger without hurting myself...and then do a snowy ride...
Getting more snow as I type.

Friday, December 02, 2005


morning colors
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Last nite I got a cortisone shot in the left shoulder. Boy that really kind of hurt. But the upside is that the pain of the shot is less than the pain of the inflamed tissues! That is good right?

Everyone is getting big into Christmas now. Xmas music on every radio, xmas decorations everywhere...I am thinking about dragging the tree out. But this year it looks like so much work. I think I'll wait another week and see how these darned old shoulders feel.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Every day I pass this building, every day I normally stop and look to see if I can get a fantastic shop.

Today was one of those days...a black and white day. Sort of like my mood. I just keep going back to this picture. I think I'd like to hang it on the wall.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The day after Thanksgiving...

Card picture...
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Today I am working on calendars and xmas cards in photoshop. This was taken last year with my elderly 35mm camera.
Today I am enjoying some quiet time to myself. Yesterday I had to 'play' nicey nicey and listen to my husband's know-it-all sister as she prattled on about her expertise in just about everything.

If you need to know, just ask her. After all she watches Oprah...and is considering getting all of Oprah's past shows!
Golly, then I can get advice any time I need it!

SIL was questioning my reasoning for going back to Tech School. She also let me know that NO ONE EVER has an injury worse than herself or her husband.

[Torn rotator cuff for me...but just ask her husband is sooo much worse off!]

So I am listening to music and watching the snow fall gently and silently ...

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Today is Thanksgiving. The day we are to get together with family and count our blessings.
Which I have many.

I am blessed with a wonderful family of in laws, and I think often of my estranged mother and sister.

This year I lost my dad and FIL, but both went peacefully and both will be missed very much today as we sit down and have a simple meal of pork chops at MIL's house.

Saturday the 'herd' is getting together and we are breaking tradition with lasagna, cooked by 'yours truly'.

Oh yes, the picture? It is windy today!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Good Morning!

Good Morning!
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I awoke this morning to the color of pink flowing in through the bedroom window. I sat up and looked outside.

I thought wow. Then of course ran downstairs and snapped shots of the sun rising.

I actually like doing the morning chores. I have been doing them for over a week now and somehow, the cool morning air makes me feel alive and happy.

I love the way the hounds are SO happy when I feed them. Tails wagging, slobber flying, the barking...the twinkle in their eyes!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Walk about..

Poison Ivy?
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Today I took off with the skies threatening rain. I took Morris [my Jack Russell] with me and we explored our property, looking for interesting things.

It started to rain and I walked under the bare trees and listened to the rain drops hit the leaves.

The ground cover had some color to it, and I think this picture is of poison ivy but I am not sure.

It was a peaceful walk, except for somewhere off in the distance someone was shooting their deer rifles off--perhaps to site them in. Deer hunting in two weeks.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Patterns, reflections...

Patterns, reflections...
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Choring by myself sometimes is very peaceful. What do I mean by 'choring'? It is when I go out early in the morning and early dusk to feed the variety of animals we have on our little farm.

The donkeys bray happily to see me, the hounds bark excitedly. I found these leaves in the water tank when I filled it and I thought they were pretty.

I watched the sun dip down through the woods to the west of our house and turn the day to dusk. No pink clouds tonite.

This weekend looks excellent for getting some time in riding and photographing.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The last hurrah!

The last hurrah!
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
The colors have faded, the glorious days of summer are gone and we now enter the fall...and winter.
Every fall I feel let down when the colors have faded and everthing turns brown and ugly.
I have to remember that there is still beauty out there in the wooded wonderland.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


How stupid can I be?

Jumped into my chore boots to run out and help hubby trim Elma the 4 month old donkey. Rubber boots.

Can you see where this is going?

Elma decided to jump up and down and 'shake' hubby's hand while he was trimming her hinds. He let go of her foot and ... and that little hooffie [hard as frickin stone] came down on the side of my foot.

Can we say twinkle twinkle little stars ...??? I about fainted.

That was act one. I was sitting at the kitchen table icing my foot and telling hubby about my appt for shoulder xrays tomorrow [one doc thinks I have a torn Rotator Cuff]. The little Jack Russell starts making noise upstairs...

So I sneak up the stairs in the semi darkness to catch Morris and frighten him! LOL, he streaks out of the bedroom and I turn to chase him down the stairs.

Yeah you guessed it.

I made the flight of stairs on my back, throwing out my 'bad' arm to catch myself.

Twinkle twinkle little stars...I had to sit with my head btwn my legs for a bit.

Jiminey can some people be so damned dumb?

Friday, October 21, 2005

Morning Fog

Morning fog, shot two
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I had energy to pull out the camera and capture this. But this too reflected my mood. I'm in such a downer right am I going crazy?
I'm so tired of doctors and doctor appts. Can't I just be ok?


cloud contrast
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
That's me lately, broody, moody.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The WOW factor

Over look.
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Sunday, Rich and I saddled up and rode all day at a leisurely pace. I stopped quite often and took head was a whirl from all the damn colors bursting into my face.

The world was peaceful. The world was fine. The world was sooo far away. There is nothing finer that spending the day on an equine's back....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Where do you go?

Taking photos
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
When the world seems too much? When you are sick and tired of stupid people and people who make your life miserable?
Where do you seek sanctuary...when life isn't going the way I planned...

I take a hike.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fall ...

Lake view
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Fall is here now, the leaves are dropping like crazy and I can feel the crispness in the air.

Work is very sucky right now, looking around after working there for 8 yrs...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ride like the wind!

Why would anyone camp in 30° weather, get up a 4AM, see a strange vet in the dark, saddle up before dawn with frost on your nose...

pay $45 bucks to ride a trail that your state pass already allows you to ride on...

and ride 30 miles hard in rough terrain...
to receive a bucket and a ribbon.

Oh man the thrill of Endurance Riding is addictive. The best part about it was a gorgeous trail and crossing the finish line in last place--and having the whole crew of riders and staff applaud!

My riding buddy and I vet checked through all stages with my mule and her Arab in wonderful and sound shape.

We completed the ride.

To Finish is to Win.

And I have a $45 bucket to proove it.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Last of the Hot Days

Originally uploaded by Xena~.
This was probably the last of the hot weather we were going to have this year. It was humid and in the 80's. I took Glenavon and her mare Sheba on a ride through PeeWees. She was awed by the beauty of the woods to say the least.
When we came up and out of the 'back valley' we came into the sunlight and I couldn't resist this photo through the sunlit leaves.
Soon they will be gone from the heavy winds and rain we're having!
I love Autumn, but it is so fleeting.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Originally uploaded by Xena~.
We cruised off to Missouri. 410 miles one way. $200 fuel--one way. Our journey was fun, we enjoyed our visit and were sad to leave.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Farming Time

Farming Time
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Rich and his buddy Tom ...

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Good Morning world!

Well this morning was absolutely beautiful with a taste of autumn in the air. The sun was warm on my back and the dew sparkled ... I know I did not capture the intense feelings I had when I looked at this view...but it sure did remind me that I was happy to be alive.

Cameras and riding. They sure are livesavers.

And the beat goes on

And the beat goes on...last night when I opened the mailbox I got an appt card from Gunderson Lutheran Clinic...
The appt card was with a doctor in Hemotology/Oncology. Blood and Cancer.

Ever feel the blood drain right out of your body and get so cold inside?

Chilled to the bone.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

pink fungus

pink fungus
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

These are really wierd looking, when I first saw them I thought they looked butts.

Going to do it again!

Coming into the vet check
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Next week I'm going to put on my racing clothes, pack up the mule and his tack and go again for another Endurance/Limited Distance Ride.

It will be much chillier, but I am really hooked on this kind of riding. It is at a trot most of the time and really takes concentration.

I love it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Badger before his race
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

His number is 53...I was thrilled just to pass the first vet check the nite before the race.

What I learned:

Ok I learned this. Good shoes: a must.
Good fitting saddle [for both rider and horse]: a must
Positive attitude: YES!

Secrets for the rider:
I wore bicycling shorts under my riding tights ...along with my custom carved hard seat, no arse soreness.
I wore a zip jacket so when I got warmed up I could unzip while riding. Sweatshirts are a pain as they are hard to pull over the helmet.
Well ventilated helmet.
Half chaps.
Good riding boots [mine were Durango laceups]
Wide stirrups with cush in them!
Comfy Bra [fer women]
Cell phone--priceless for getting directions when you get mislead onto the wrong trail.
Water, lots of it, at least two bottles on the saddle.
Excedrine migraine -- damn near kills any pain [I know b/c it helped with my booby!!!]
A good energy snack for you.

Fresh hay and water at the vet checks. A touch of sloppy mixed beet pulp will make them suck down water. Sponge to cool them. Some give electrolytes. Loosen girth if you don't have to pull tack. [This is the only time I have ever yanked my nice beautiful saddle and tossed it carelessly into the dirt!]

Be kind and curtious to others b/c they may help you out. And don't be afraid to pull yourself and your horse.

Will I do it again, you betcha. But my training will not include endless hours of trotting, but things Badger likes to do...trail riding at a walk, climbing hills, taking photos...this way he thinks 'racing' is fun and not a chore.

25 miles is no sissy ride. It was freaking awesome to race down the trail in the morning mist flying after Arabs.

It is all about pacing and conditioning. But conditioning of the rider is super important also [as certain muscles are telling me today].

We did the LD. En route we got off course perhaps with the help of some bow hunters who had moved ribbons. [yes that really happened and was confirmed by the ride manager].
Badger vetted out strong at the halfway mark after 5 minutes of rest [17 miles distance we figure].

We had a mandatory hold of 40 minutes longer and then had 2 1/2 hrs to go 12.5 + or - miles back. My partner was not ready at 6:30 am so we'd already lost 15 minutes in the start of the LD. [hahah-sob!]
Our dis-course had taxed our mounts about 5 extra miles and so when we started back Sheba the Arab was ready to give up and my friend Glennie was ready just to call in and 'time out'.

I said, no way Josie! I pushed and pushed and pushed them...Badger led at an easy trot, we walked all up hills and downhills and trotted anything flat or moderatley flat. It became a very [for me] technical race.

I loped Badger most of the last two miles in, Sheba would start and stop but kept up.

You should probably walk your animal in the last mile but we didn't have time...and your finish time is when the vet checks your animal's metabolics and does an exam. Normally you would walk your horse around for about 10 minutes giving him/her water and sponging them.

We had to rip off the saddles and straight to the time for any pampering. The pulse was supposed to be below 60 BPM.

Badger pulsed in at 48 BPM and vetted all A's and A-'s for his vet check!!!!

We were dubbed the 'wrong way' riders and bets in camp were that we wouldn't finish within the alotted time.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Outta Here

Well I'm outta here pretty soon. Going to go on my first Endurance ride of 25 miles. When you consider that I have run 1/2 marthons, this isn't that long. But a human can run 26 miles in the same amount of time that we are to trot our horses [mule]. An excellent Marathoner can beat a horse fairly easily...isn't that interesting?

We have 5 hrs minus a 40 minute hold to do our mileage in. My riding partner's horse is sort of a wimp, and I am going to try and keep her going. I know my mule can do it....

Count down...

The eyes...

mules eyes
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

There is something that just fascinates me about an animal's eyes...they are so deep and so beautiful. If you peer close they seem to draw you in and tell you a story...
OK I am wierd.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


road to work
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Looking around as I drive to work, I forget what sort of beautiful landscape I live I stop and take a different way and to my looks different in the fall morning light.
I'm looking to figure out how to work smarter and maybe work from home...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Around the Bend

Trail ride
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

The creak of the saddle leather, the soft hoof beats on the dirt and gravel...a snort from my mule...and the songs of birds...

There just isn't anything compared to riding down a new trail and discovering new things...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Ok I know it now, I am obsessed with this Distance [Endurance, Competitive Distance, Limited Distance] riding thing.
I find myself making Badger a concoction of a cup of beet pulp with a sprinkle of sweet feed...I holler at the gate and he comes trotting out of the woods and eats his treat while I tell him how we are going to be International Competitors one day....
We are going to be world famous...

I've started dreaming about it, I spend waking momments gazing at nothing, thinking about IT. I find myself totally lost in thought while I am SUPPOSED to be typing boring medical notes.

I am mentally and physically preparing my buttocks for cruel and unusual punishment.
I am getting up early in the morning to hike and jog...despite the fear of wild roaming bands of wild dogs and gypsies that could carry me off...

I'm practicing taking heart rate on anything living...hubby, mule, the dog won't stand for it...

Funny, dog and hubby don't want to do the rectal thermometer thingy either...

I'm starting to think that funky riding tights and helmets along with half chaps are perfectly suitable wear for any occasion...

Someone help me quick!!!


The trail less traveled by...

The Trail
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

I often go into the woods to find some sanity and solitude. Rarely do I go without a camera or an accompanying animal such as my mule or dog...or both.

I linger in the woodlands not wishing to go back to 'the world' as sometimes it is too ugly to bear. I love the outdoors, I love peace and solitude.

Some days, I am my best own company!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Gate

The Gate
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

The gate. I came across this yesterday and had to chuckle. This gate has hung in this very same many for 12 years. I've never seen it any other way. What did it keep in? What did it keep out?

I looked at it with new eyes and leaned to the side over my mule and framed the picture.

I sure do like this view.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Long Day

end of the day
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Yesterday I rode Badger my mule like the wind, fast but paced as if we were in a competition.
Did I think of one thing outside of what I was doing? No. It was a cleansing of the soul, a warming of the heart.

It is what life is a bout!

Friday, September 02, 2005

me, my dog, my mule

Thirsty dog
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

I took off with Badger and Morris we rode through the timber. A mule, a dog, a woman [packing a pistol of course]...and mother nature. Birds flitted about, grasshoppers leapt, monarch butterflies flew from one wildflower to another.

It was warm and sunny, a gorgeous first day of September. Something to cherish with me, my dog,and mule.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

New grass mower

New grass mower
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

A hurricane has paralyzed the southern states, driven gas prices sky high...Two weeks ago a tornado blasted through our county and nearly demolished one small town.
I put my mower away tonite and jiggled the gas can calculating how much I'd have to spend on filling it again.
Then I looked at the yard and thought, well I guess I can just use what mother nature has given me.
Save the money to put in the vehicle to get to work and groceries.
If it is affecting me in this manner, how is it affecting those with less than I?

I have food in my house, running water, electricity, and shelter.
Tonite there are many who do not.
I am truly lucky.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Small Towns...

Well dang it, the weekend is here and where did the week go?

My yard looks like an unruly shag carpet...been thinking with gas prices...turn a mule or donkey out?

I went through the small village of Viola yesterday, if you recall they were one of the towns hit by the vicious tornadoes in WI last Thursday. I was humbled by the damage done to this village of 300. Nary a tree left. 150 yr old brick buildings cracked as if by an earth quake. The village main street had all buildings marked with blue X's where the Distaster Team had searched each building and turned off utilities then marked the building.

The residential district is a 'blue tarp' district which is glaringly evident by the fact that this area which was shaded by magnificent trees...well is now a treeless area.

And what struck me the most, is the smiles on the folks on the street as they lifted a hand to wave.
And yesterday I was reminded of why I love to live in a small town.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Mr. Mule Waits

Mr. Mule Waits
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

The results of the pathology report came back today and I am so very happy! All results were negative, no cancer!

Oh happy day, the sun is shining!

As soon as I recover from surgery--which will be very soon, I'll be back in the saddle and on to my new adventure with Mr. Mule aka Badger.

Endurance riding.
Live to Ride, Ride to Live!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Been lacking...

Well I've pretty much ignored my blog for a while now. Haven't been taking pictures either like I usually do...been pretty pre-occupied by so many things going on. Worried about my health...
Last week I was gone for the whole weekend with a new girlfriend. We rode for two days. She with her Arab and me with my Mule. The company was wonderful, talking 'girl' talk was so enjoyable, I haven't had anyone like that in my life now for a long time.

Seems hubby is a bit jealous of it? Yep, I know time away from him. He was grumpy last nite when Glennie called and we talked for quite a while. Like I can't have a girlfriend? I wonder.

Well we'll see what the surgeon has to say tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Behind every cloud...

Originally uploaded by Xena~.

There is a silver lining. At least that is how the saying goes. I'm working on my fears and frustrations...putting it into riding for Endurance on my mule Badger and getting Sunshine ready for a show in two weeks.

Dive headlong into so much activity that I cannot think of this 'mass' that has invaded my every waking momment. August 18th cannot come too quickly for me. At nite I dream I'm dying...oh now that makes for a happy wake up doesn't it?

Why can't a person just shut off the damned brain for a while?

Ride...ride...find the silver lining behind that cloud.

Monday, August 08, 2005

The man I love...

Originally uploaded by Xena~.

This is the man I love doing what we love the most. Riding mules in rough country. Sunday we rode for about 7 hrs through Wildcat Mtn State Park. We laughed, saw an awesome buck, marveled at the cool breeze under the green canopy of leaves. Listened to the birds and a red tail hawk's cry.
I live for days like this. They are so dear to me...

Monday, August 01, 2005


Rainy day
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

I love this place where the rainwater falls into a little pond and continues down to our creek bottom. It is a place of solitude. The birds fly over head and scold me, after a while they settle down.
Then the skeeters find me and buzz.

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Funny how the mind works. Thursday morning, quaking, shivering with fear, I knew I wasn't going to get another breath. The world collapsed into me taking me down with it. Rich was walking by the bedroom and he knew. His arms went around me and patiently, quietly, he spoke to me holding me, rocking me gently. A man with his own PTSD demons who I've seen fall apart...was holding me together.

Leap ahead to Saturday. I swung my leg over Badger...Glennie was up on her Arab mare and we left on a 'road trip'. Two people with animals that have never met ... two people who have known each other for 10 yrs and...have not yet ridden together.

We laughed we chatted we found some sort of friendship across our mount's backs...a good friendship. We found we liked each other and had a sense of humour.

I also found out that that ugly, awful, anxiety, and depression doesn't dare come near my mule and I. I am safe there.

I hate the night. I hate when I can't be in that safe place.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Yellow Mellow

Yellow Lily
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Sunsets are a great time to photo warm colored flowers.

But that is beside the point. I'm jumping into a new adventure. I am taking matters into my own hands in some ways.
I'm going to drive my truck and trailer...join up with another female rider and train for distance riding with her and her Arab.

I'm not sure how Rich feels about it, he seems supportive...and maybe relieved b/c he doesn't ride with me hardly at all anymore.

I'm just so tired of waiting for life to pass me by.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Hot summer nites

Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Turned into devastating summer nites last nite. The air was thick and menacing. A huge storm blew up form no where and winds crashed branches against the house...through the howl and roar we heard snapping and the power went out.

This morning the pen where our mini stud lives is now a resting place for an old maple tree. How Lil Richard survived and managed to stay in the only non smashed and treeless part of his pen is beyond me. He is alive, but a bit wide eyed.

The fences have trees down across them, but what I can see is that the mules are all ok...will have to go out and check things again.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Miss Ariel

Miss Ariel
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

I suppose there are better things in life, but I cannot think of them. Having a grandaughter is like having a breath of fresh air...getting to photograph her is a wonderful privilege. She is in constant motion, never stopping, never...until she drops from exhaustion.

Of course she is an independent 'cuss' as Grandpa Rich says.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Stormy Days?

sunset storm cell
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Before I departed to Virginia, I was sent to the cancer center in LaCrosse to be checked out for yet another lump in my breast. Having done this for yrs, it was no big deal.

Until the doctor's eyes got squinty and his breathing changed while he was ultrasounding my area of complaint. He didn't say anything for a bit, then sat back and looked at me.

'You have a mass over your sternum,' he said, 'and this is beyond what I can do for you here, so I want you to see a general surgeon right away.'

My heart did a frickin' flop.

'The general surgeon will want to look at this perhaps with a CAT scan or MRI.' He looked at the nurse and asked that she schedule me ASAP -- was today possible?

No, it wasn't. August 18th. So now I am waiting and wondering. But I am on a cancellation list to the first available surgeon..yikes.

Meanwhile my regular doctor and her nurse have called to make sure that I don't miss this appt.

Rich and his depression seem to be weighing so heavily too. I can't make him better. I'm hoping the CPAP increases his energy.

I'm hoping I don't stay so angry all the time. I am either angry now a days or very sad. Flip-flop, back and forth.

At least I am trying! I trimmed my mule's feet [Rich's job] and am preparing on a new venture of Limited Distance Riding.

So this morning I hope to ride around 15 miles solo before the ungodly heat sets in.