Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I'm not quite sure I did it right...

Here it is my first experiment in Letterpop. It is still limited in its uses and I find that if you want to upload pictures, it is much faster to downsize them first. I made a 2006, a year in pictures. It was a quicky. The people at Letterpop are trying to integrate with Flickr so that you can upoad directly from there... I think that is a great idea.

It isn't perfect, but take a look. There are some fun things that can be done here.

Yesterday was one of those peaceful days. Christmas day without pressure!!
We bundled up and hubby went with me on a ride. My goal was to find the ice falls in PeeWees woods. It was very cold and very poor footing for the mules but we made it there and back. Morris went with and he was one tired pooch by the end of the travels. Pictures of all the adventure is on Flickr.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Coming soon ...

If you have Flickr, you need to try Letterpop...will send link as soon as I finish my first project.

I'm trying to do a family Christmas get together and creation just for fun...and of course Teslin's Vacation in Folsom, WI!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

To light the way

To light the way
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
On Christmas Eve I wait for the magical man...some call him St. Nick, some call him Santa. I call him/her...a spirit. I'm not a religious person, not raised in a religous family.
But I was raised to believe in miracles and spiritual things, things of magic and imagination.

So I know I will glimpse the merry spirit of the magical night of nights. I always feel a special stirring in my blood as I sit in the dark with the tree lights to light the way.

The night is quiet as if it waits also.
In my heart, the child believes.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A magical time of year

I'm a huge fan of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I play and replay their albums that I own. I read and re-read their lyrics. It isn't just the music which gets you, it is the WORDS.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra link.

These words strike me so hard each time I hear them...I only quote a portion of the song:





Mother Mother oh what?

I talked with my cousin last nite and my aunt who is my mom's oldest sister. Myrtle and I talked for a long time as did Sharon and I.
I found out that my mom's place is up for sale. On the way to work today I really wanted to call and talk to her[my mom]. After all, 7 yrs is such a long time not to speak. I used to write letters, sent cards, and this year kept up with the Xmas card.
No reply. [None from sister either]

So I looked up mom's phone # on the internet to confirm that I had the right number from memory. Oh I did. But what a shock to find out that she changed her name? Is that for real? She dropped her last name of 50 some years and took her dead boyfriend's name? Can a person do that?
Wow, is that ever odd. Now I am even feeling more and more strange.

I'm not going into my family's closet here on the internet...nope keep THAT door closed. But gosh, makes one wonder eh?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It is OVER

Originally uploaded by Xena~.
My final exams, my tests...at least for the next two weeks I can enjoy some Flickr time, some photo time and some time spent carefree.

My son and his wife leave for Sweden tomorrow evening and return on the 23rd. They entitled us to the care of their beloved Teslin [our 'grandoggy']. Tonite she is curled up under my feet on her pillow making growing and snoring noises.

When they get back we'll have a Christmas together. The presents under the tree look so inviting and pretty. It is almost a shame to unwrap them. I rather like just looking at them.

When I was a child the packages only held promises of toys and new things to play with. Now I just like to admire their colors and patterns.

Last day of School!!!

Antique ornaments
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I am sooo looking forward to finishing my final this morning with a cup or two of coffee. I've dedicated this week to taking pictures of ornaments and trying to create some 'looks' with them.
If the weather co-operates today I am going outside for a bit.

I'm actually getting pretty excited about Christmas. Of course the whole 'in law' family is going to be here Friday and gone on Sunday. They have other 'families' that they have to be with. So it looks like I'll have Christmas day to make sure I can get out and ride.

I have to get my butt in gear and get presents wrapped and cards finished. These at least will be pleasant jobs.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The pressure is on...

Originally uploaded by Xena~.
It comes down to this, I just finished taking a final exam in Medical Terminology and am preparing for the unit on Chapter 7 for this week. I checked and double checked my answers and was sure I was right. Yet to my horror [and you'll think this is funny]--I got three answers wrong out of 200 points.

I don't know how this works out in the long run, but one would think I'd be satisfied with passing which I know I have. But dang it I sure wanted to get as close to perfect as possible.

Now for my A&P class.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wound up tight

My Friend
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
That is me right now. It is late--or early depending on your view. I can't sleep, keep going over my A&P test and thinking of next week's exams. Trying to keep up the good scores I've been getting and it is driving me bonkers.

3 wks of assignments with perfect scores. 2 tests with 98% and one with a 100%--essay. Yikes, I want to keep it up so I'm trying too hard?

Well tomorrow is a day with grandkids so I'd better get to sleep so I can play adventures with Ariel.

Friday, December 08, 2006

No such thing

Tree glowing
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
As a perfect Christmas but I have one each year. Each year I sit and look at my tree and remember Christmas's past. Oh the past ones of my childhood were not perfect either, but if one squints their eyes and pretends just a little, the past can be a great place.

I remember the year I got a stuffed zebra for Christmas. That was about the best in the world. I remember the year I got a Barbie Doll AND a GI Joe. The GI Joe was much cooler, he beat up Barbie.

My brother got Legos and we all played with them. The Legos were hard plastic and broke easily. We made castles for our 'eraser' animals. Long hours were spent in the basement away from the prying eyes of a parent.
Those awful GI Joes! Those naughty Barbies.

Christmas was never perfect, but it always brought about a new adventure with some new toys.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I found a JRT under my tree!

I found a JRT under my tree!
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Morris is really looking forward to Christmas can't you tell? Actually the heater was running when I took this and he was basking in the warmth from the blower. I swear that dog can tell exactly when the blower is going to click on. He is RIGHT there.
He has gotten over missing his 3 yr old little buddy finally. He moped around the house for 3 days after Ariel left. He had so much fun dancing with her and playing tug of war. Ariel was a great toy ... and I think Ariel thought he was a wonderful toy.

Now in a couple of weeks Morris gets to have Teslin for a week. It is pretty fun to have the two dogs together. Teslin thinks Morris is her personal chew toy. I can't wait to take walks with them while her 'parents' are in Sweden.

The good news is that I'll be on Christmas break from school so I'll be able to have all sorts of adventures with the two dogs. When Teslin has to go on the 24th, Ariel will be coming to stay...

Poor Morris, he's going to have severe withdrawals after the Christmas Holiday.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Getting Tagged!

Hmmm, six things about me that are wierd?
1. I like to read books and have a hard time getting rid of them when I have finished them. When I read I cannot hear anything that goes on around me.

2. I love camoflauge clothing! Okay so it isn't stylish, but I like to flit about the woods as invisible as I can be.

3. I hate dresses, hate stockings, an
d loathe dressing up. Although when I do I must admit I can look nice.

4. I'd rather ride a mule or horse than eat or sleep.

5. I absolutely love to hike in the rain and in snow storms. The more wicked, the better.

6. Wierd, wierd? Okay, I don't have 6 others to play tag with! So isn't that wierd?
So take THAT! ha ha ha! This is my Pillsbury Doughboy and he oversees all of my computer work and makes sure that I do all my homework. If I get frustrated with something I am doing, I can knock him down and he still smiles at me. Now how is that for a friend?
Gosh I cannot wait for a break from my studies...although I am very excited to say that I got a 100% on my last Anatomy and Physiology Exam. They are essays, I mean no multiple guess test.
I do worse on my multiple choice tests for my terminology and I haven't a clue...
Well off to slumber land. I have muscles to twitch in lab and skeleton bones to memorize...
terms to read...

It gets definitely strange [wierd] when you go to sleep thinking of anatomical body parts and their names.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lets have some fun...

Adventure in ...
Originally uploaded by Xena~.

Okay tomorrow is Thursday which is recess day for me if I have all of my homework done for the week. We are supposed to get rain snow sleet and whatnot tonite. That ought to make it fun to get outside and take a walk in the woods.
Oh yeah I went ahead and did it, I couldn't resist uploading a small video clip of Miss Ariel dancing with Morris in the kitchen to Wipe Out of all things. She likes hard past fast music.

I'm not sure I am ready for her style of dancing yet.
Youtube link.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Sick, sick, sick...

The fungi Tree
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Yikes I am so darned sick of being sick. Another cold and this is the second one this year.
Okay, get over it!

Well I will and I'll feel much better soon I am sure. Tomorrow I go see the orthopedic surgeon's PA about my right shoulder. Seems it is going to cause me some sort of saga similar to my last year's problems.
For joy of joys!

I can't wait for the weekend and get Badger or Cheyenne out to ride!

I'm trying to think of something clever tonite to post, but doing 4 hours of homework has taken creativity and tossed it out the window.
I can however, if you need to know explain what an 'Unhappy Triad' is in medical terms. I can tell you the different types of bones that make up a skeleton and name those bones in the very hands that we type with.
I am.
I never thought I'd even take a slight interest in this sort of thing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Life throught the eyes of...

A grandaughter. She took my hand this weekend and said 'let's go exploring!' Of course I followed diligently as any good GM would do. We went through the bridge, which is an old wash rack...and hiked the mountain [a small hill] to the Great Muddy Forest. While there I was informed that 'OH NO, we are LOST!' But with her cunning 3 yr old skills we were safely led back through the Great Muddy Forest and to the yard.
Next month we have made plans to explore the great big Pasture Woods and hunt for sticks and things.
Oh yeah, being a kid again....

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Playing in the woods

I'm looking forward to some more time spent walking in the woods looking for the elusive whitetail and hopefully bouncing one in hubby's direction. It is cloudy and dreary out a perfect day to be outside in my opinion. Is there ever a bad day?
Yesterday I found some interesting tracks that gave me some pause. I photoed them and showed them to Rich and he said they could have bee
n something I didn't want to 'run' into. Very long claw marks. So yep, I'm keeping the .22 with me as well as the camera.

I'm going to be spending the rest of today [after another small adventure in the woods] with the 'grandkids'. I love spending the time with them. And enjoy sitting around the house jabbering. But hate being tied to one spot all of the time I love to move around and get things done...even if it is just walking. Being still, unless it is studying is fairly worthless in my opinion.
Oh I took one of those fun quizzes today and here is the results:
You Are 100% Psychic

You are so very psychic.
But you already predicted that, didn't you?
You have "the gift" - and you use it daily to connect with others.
You're very tapped into the world around you...
Just make sure to use your powers for good!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Brown Time of Year

Oak leaves
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Everything seems just plain brown. I dislike brown. Brown is the color of mud, dead leaves, and well just plain yucky. It isn't even the nice brown of chocolate which I DO like. Perhaps it is just the short days that I dislike so much and not being able to get out and hike like I do all of the time [deer hunting~gun season--not a good idea to be wandering in the woods now!]
Seems I always get a bit bummed this time of year. I have midterms to finish and family to visit with. I'd rather in some ways be doing the midterms.

Bad me, eh?

Oh and I should add this, thanks to Liz I took this quiz, it was fun and interesting:
You Are 74% Perfectionist

You are a true perfectionist. You are both demanding of yourself and others.
While it's great to have goals and standards, they don't need to be sky high!
I'm sort of a perfectionist. I'm not a neat freak though. I like to be in control of my environment and HATE it when things don't go according to plan. In school I am driving to keep a perfect 4.0 grade average and get horribly frustrated when I can't get my employer to work according to my high standards of getting things done.
Yuck more than you needed to know right?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Higher level of education

Higher level of education
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I took to the tree stand on Sunday to study in the November afternoon sunlight. It was a nice quiet place with no disturbances other than the occasional squirrel or bird.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I hate Mule Bashing...

Most people who own and ride mules are used to the occasional comment on their mount. Of course being a mule rider means you need to have a sense of humor when dealing with all those comments.

A few weeks ago my gal friend who I’ve traveled to endurance rides with, came over with her horse. We saddled up and went for a ride on the back roads where I live. She has a beautiful black Arab horse and I ride my bay mule Badger.

Down the road we go, my friend is quick to point out that any bad behavior on her horse’s part is because ‘that is the way she is supposed to be’. I shrug it off as we’ve had so many discussions over bad behavior and simple training along with equine manners. I am not going to convince her that her horses ‘bad’ behaviors are fixable with some discipline.

We are stopped by a couple of fellows who are driving down the road. The driver jumps out and asks excitedly—“Is that a Mule? Wow, what a good looking mule!” Badger stands patiently as the stranger approaches and pets him on the neck.

“So is it true that mules are stubborn, like to kick, and bite, and are mean?” he asks.

Don’t we always get this question?

I grin and reply, “Oh no sir, that is not true about mules at all, it is the owners that are that way.” He laughs and his partner laughs. Both men are now petting Badger and admiring him. My gal friend pipes up, “I’m riding an Egyptian Arab!” The men glance over at the pretty black mare that is pawing, snorting, shaking her head, and causing the rider distress. They sort of shrug and turn back to me, pet Badger again and leave. We ride on. At another point my gal friend has to get off and use the bushes. I hold onto her horse then help her remount the Arab-in-motion who won’t stand still. I drop Badger’s reins and he becomes ground tied while I deal with the horse and rider.

Back down the road we go. We see cattle, enjoy the beautiful quiet countryside and eventually meet up with a fella who is out splitting wood with an axe. His Labrador mix dog slides out and gives a little ‘ruff’. This fella looks up and stops what he is doing. We say hello and suddenly he says—“Is THAT a mule?” My gal friend huffs and puffs and then hollers at the man to get his dog under control, it is making her horse nervous. The man pats his leg and the dog comes and sits next to my mule. Of course this fellow wants to know all about mules and why I ride them and goes on and on … as my gal friend struggles to make her horse stand and behave. Finally she says, “I hate to cut short your visiting, but my mare won’t stand still any longer so we have to go.”

We say our goodbyes and move on.

We finish our ride and say our goodbyes.

The next morning she calls me at work. “What is wrong with people? Why didn’t they notice my horse? After all she is a pure black Egyptian Arab! All they wanted to do was look at your mule. I mean I paid a good dollar for this horse and all they wanted to do was pet your mule! And besides that, no mules have ever done well in endurance; no mule has ever won Tevis. Just look at the results they are all Arabs. Arabians are the ONLY horse to have if you are doing distance riding.” Of course she went on while I remained silently shocked. This was a good friend I thought. Her ‘nice’ Arab has never gotten silly and dumped her while riding with Badger, but any time she rides with someone else the mare ends up hurting her. I sigh and hang up the phone after listening to her diatribe.

Then a thought occurred to me. Was she just jealous of the attention my mule got? Perhaps. Maybe if her horse had manners?

Did I deserve the mule bashing? Well mule bashing comes with the territory and I get pretty tired of it, but try to keep my good humor. When asked why I ride a mule instead of a horse, I generally shrug and say: Because not everyone else does!

We as mule riders deal with mule ‘bashing’ constantly. How have I solved my issue with my gal friend? Oh easily. She can call and request to ride with me if she wants. I’ll take a mule again.

I do want to add here that I am not bashing Arabian horses. I have a half Arab who has wonderful manners and I ride with many horses that are excellent and fantastic mounts. Any equine of any breed should have manners and discipline not excuses for bad behavior.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Yeppers, I got 'shot' the first buck and he is a dandy. I was doing chores whilst all the big deer hunter dudes were in the woods. The mules and donkeys notified me that something was going on in the woods. I walked to where their ears pointed and watched carefully.
After standing stock still for a long time I saw him and yeah I got 'buck' fever sure enough. I could hardly control my hands as I carefully pulled off my gloves and slowly reached to open my itty bitty pointy shooty camera. It is a fuzzy picture because I had to use digital zoom to capture him. He was with a nice doe. I got his photo and watched as he picked his way through the woods and moved on.
Hah. I 'got' the trophy buck, and was he ever gorgeous. Hubby is very jealous!

The first day of Deer Season

On the radio the song 'Second Week of Deer Camp' by the DaYuppers is playing, I can hear gunshots echoing in the woods. Of course it brings back fond memories of long time ago. The deer hunting songs are played with great fevor on the opening day.

"It's the second week of deer camp
And all the guys are here
We drink play cards and shoot the bull
But never shoot no deer
The only time we leave the camp
Is when we go for beer
The second week of deer camp
Is the greatest time of year"

Oh gosh the memories, and that bad part of this? I know all the darned words to the song!

This year though hubby IS hunting and it is so we can put food on our BIL's table seeing as they are pretty darned short of food and cash. We can help put food on the table and I think hubby is actually enjoying the time off in the woods. He's worked pretty hard all fall to get things ready for winter and we've pretty much gotten all the goals accomplished.

Oh yeah! I got my first report card! ;-) I got an 'A' in my first class. Okay don't jump and shout, but I was pretty happy.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Daughter in Law
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I could chose almost any photo I want from this weekend, but looking them over I couldn't help but pick this one. My DIL. Yes we were target practicing and enjoying each other's company. My son, she, and their dog came for the weekend and we had a wonderful time.
Of course we did the Currier and Ives sort of thing...you know the hiking, target shooting, throwing snowballs, and messing around in the woods...okay
not Currier and Ives, not even the Waltons.
But we sure did have some fun.

To sum it up. We had a blast.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Can't sleep, then Blog!

Morris keeping an eye...
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Nope can't sleep, have so many things on my mind. I need to get my assignments done and tests done before the 'kids' come to visit. I am settling into a routine now that works well for me. Thanks to my older son -- I got some help on some homework now isn't that role reversal?

I know that rain or shine cold or not, I have to get on my mule and get out to ride again this weekend!

Oh yeah two weeks ago I went riding with my Arab galfriend [she owns and Arab]. Apparently the fact that my mule was so well behaved and her horse was a doo doo head--and the fact that everyone we ran into 'fawned' over Mr. Mule.
She called me to tell me about how mules were NOT the best riding animals for distance...and went on to trash my mule. I think she was jealous or upset that my animal is just plain well mannered.

I decided if she needed a riding partner now she sure can call me or ride with her other buddy ... she always gets dumped riding with her.

I'm just so sick and tired of mule bashing.
They don't get no respect.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

With my buddy...

Mr. Mule says--
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I spent 4 hours in the woods with Mr. Mule on Sunday. We rode all over the neighbor's land, stopping and looking at things...just moseying along. It was a great stress buster from the busy week of school I had. We found many deer trails to follow and stopped for a picnic in the 'back valley' where I took this picture.
My menu: PB&J sandwhich
Mr. Mule's menu: grass

I found a little water falls that I've got to come back without a mule or have a good lead rope to tie him up as I have to climb through lots of barbed wire to view it.
Something to consider for this weekend's visitors!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

In the woods...

Turkey Fans
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Yesterday I took off into the woods with my pistol and an old open sited .22 rifle to do some target practicing. I wore a camo coat and sat still as could be in the woods. Interesting that some guys walking not far away in PeeWee's land never saw me. I sat quiet as a mouse and listened to them bumble through the brush.

They did spook up a nice buck who nearly ran into me before running off.

I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the woods. I enjoyed being 'invisible'. I also had a grand time target practicing. I found I can really nail a target with a rifle.

It was a great break from studies.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The big chill

November 1st Sunset
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Taking a break from homework to make a quick hello and howdy post. Seems the weather has decided to become bone chilling and windy. Yikes I think it never got above 35 degrees today. Now that is darned cold especially with the wind.

With the time change, I've been seeing some dramatic sunsets on my drives home from work. I love the colors in the sky this time of year.

I love sunrises and sunsets any time of the year.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Time Changes and So on....;-)

Oh yeah make a post like that...of course I can just say that I was sick in the head???? LOL. But look at it this way, we were early to the auction yesterday. And boy oh boy did we have a pile of fun.
Sort of like a date day. I bought my honey hamburgers and he bought me a bareback pad--an oldy but goodie. Now I can throw it on Badger and take off for nice short rides in the winter and not mess with a saddle.
We saw so many friends on Sunday and made new ones of course. I was fascinated by two gents from Peru who trained Peruvian Pasos for a living here in the States. 'George' told me in very broken English that he and his cousin would like to come and see our mules. There was a very nasty 'Peruvian' mule at the auction and George rode it bareback for the owners.
We got stuck in an awful place with our truck and trailer, got out of it...and just had a great and fun day.
When we got home hubby asked me if I enjoyed my 'outing' with him. Sure nuf did!

Lately with school we haven't done much together, he has been busy getting things ready for winter and I have been busy working on classes.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Fighting the crud

Morris #2
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Well I'm done with my first 9 wks of school, got a 98% on the computer software class which makes me smile...I even got a 'good job!' comment from the instructor which means I must have gotten it right.

Tonight I started reading my medical terminology book and actually liked it. Okay but it is clearing up so many things that I hear in the doctor office and never did understand.

Morris, my JRT is getting very excited about an upcoming visit from his bestest friend in the whole wide world--Teslin in another two weeks. Okay right now he is sleeping and probably just thinking doggy thoughts.

I plan to go riding tomorrow even if I have to wear coveralls! I miss it soooo soooo much.

So my rudolph red nose and I are heading to the bed now so I can wake up fresh as a daisy??? haha.
Remember do not turn your clocks back tomorrow nite, Bush signed a law into effect changing the date to the first Sunday in November....

Okay, so what difference does 7 days REALLY make?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dennis the charmer

Dennis the charmer
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
A beautiful baby face caught in the morning sunlight. Couldn't help it, his eyes are so intensely blue he is so quick to smile and laugh. Not moody like his sister can be, just full of joy and happiness. Oh his sister is a charmer too and I love them so much!
Grandkids are wonderful...

Woke up at 2AM with a horrible sore throat and other onimus symptoms. Fed the wee ones and sent them packing with Grandpa Rich and stayed home ...
I've got some kind of nasty bug...the kind that makes your skin just hurt!

So much for my fun filled weekend with grandkids.

Friday, October 20, 2006


From this to This
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I rarely say alot about my grown up kids here, but here goes a short one.

Pictured is my youngest son in 1990 and currently. I have two sons both of which I love so dearly and both who have lives of their own. I am happy for the both of them and of course like any mom, wish to see them more often.
I also realize that not interfering with their personal lives is a good thing.
My oldest son is married to a beautiful woman and they make a wonderful couple. They are coming to visit in a couple of weeks and I am thrilled and can't wait.
One of the toughest lessons I've learned as a parent is to let your kids go when they are ready.
I look back at old picture albums and wish to have some of those days back, but it is not possible.

For my boys--I sure do love you both!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Grey Thursday!

Good morning world. It isn't pretty outside, it is overcast and rather cold and ugly. Flickr is on the fritz this morning so I can't get my 'fix'. I suppose that is okay but late last night I finished my Final Exam Project [I know I hear the applause]. So I was looking forward to working with some pictures I'd taken and getting them posted.
I guess I can always do something constructive like house work! Ewww.
Seeing the eye doctor today and we'll see how 'good' or bad these worn out eyes have gotten over the past two years.
I am off from work today which is a great relief.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Feeling much better

Good Fences Good Neighbors
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Okay that is boring. 12 hours of sleep. No computer work last nite...and the muscles and the eyeballs feel like they are going to not 'blast' out of my head.

Morris loved the fact that I went to bed after supper and never got back up. This morning I awoke to Morris slurps on my face. He ever so gently notified me that it was morning and he would like to be fed please!

Cold and rainy today...I worked on my calendars for xmas presents...so yeah Ed and Joy, you know what part of your xmas gift is this year already.

I had a good time at the office playing with PS Elements 2. Life at work is so hard.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Give it a Rest

Rest Stop
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I'm up to my eyeballs in my Final Exam Project. I've really liked this class and the pressure was sort of interesting. I've ordered my next set of text books for the class that starts on the 30th of the month.

I've had a pounding headache now for 3 days. Is it all the computer work? My eyes? Well I have an eye exam on Thursday morning.

Bam Bam...I wish the monsters would stop pounding on my head!

I think I'll go home early today.
Pull the covers over my head...

Monday, October 16, 2006

First snow fall

First snow fall
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Whoever said that Friday the 13th was unlucky? I never believed it until this one!
Snow, sleet, rain, and high winds produced a real mix of madness around here.

Young geldings got into the wrong pasture along with the 'older' geldings. They all whooped it up and got in with the older mares on PeeWee's. Trees were down, fences were down...Badger and Fred were having a hay day as Cheyenne was playing floozy and enticing the poor fellas.

After many headaches and several mumbled curses, we sorted everyone back to their proper places and had fences back in place.

I did however get a nice walk in yesterday and enjoyed the weather while the sunshine lasted.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fall by the Creek

Fall by the Creek
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Today the winds howled and the snow blew as a Northeaster raged through town. Swirls of icy white crystals attacked my face and glasses as I came out of the office. I lifted my face into the wind and felt the cold air hit me...curiously I was not disappointed.
What I mean by that is that I've been dreading the onslaught of winter for the past few weeks, but today I decided to embrace it head on. After all what else am I going to do?

Other news:
I'm working on my final week in my software class. What a whirlwind this has been. I've come away from class with a ton of knowledge or so I think until I have to 'use' it again!
I have my last ride of the season coming up this weekend. I'm prepared to ride in very very cold weather!

I really miss dad. I wished I could have shown him the cover photo I got on Mules and More magazine. That wasn't quite as exciting as getting a featured photo in Endurance News. It would have meant more to me if Dad could have seen it. I'm sure he is nodding his approval from up above...or wherever he may be!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Morris & Me

Morris & Me
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
What does one need in life? A good dog to accompany you anywhere! Morris, the protector, Morris the brave...who runs and hides from squirrels and leaves that are blown off from trees.

I love Morris, he is such a buddy, when he isn't 'holding down the couch' in the living room. One would not want my couch to get up and run off.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Memories of Fall

I love RED!
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I don't often reminisce about my childhood, but Fall brings out some special memories from then.

I can remember I had a Jr. High School Assignment. A leaf collection. We were supposed to gather fall foliage, press it in wax, and indicate the type of tree it came from.
I brought the assignment home. Mom saw it and embraced it with such enthusiasm that I was shocked. That autumn we went as a family to the Forest Preserve EACH weekend to 'gather' leaves. I can remember all of us walking the trails, mom with a tree book in hand. We'd stop and look for a leaf that we didn't have yet. We'd find it, identify it, and slide the precious leaf inside an encyclopedia book I carried to press it.

Each outing deserved a wonderful picnic and some tag football with my brother and sister--with dad watching. In my memory [now faded with time] it seems as if that fall lingered on forever with the 'Leaf Project'. It was a very happy time.

So today I walked in the woods, and looked up at the maples, red oak, white oak, poplar, ash, hickory...and thought back to that time.

I was so surprised to get my big black binder that I'd turned in with my A grade on it.
I took it home to show mom of course. Imagine her face when she read the teacher's notation under my grade.

Mrs. Rogers
A+ (well done)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Fishing lessons

Tying a hook
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Of course of fished most of my life. I had no interest in it after a childhood of 'harvesting' fish for winter. I always enjoyed going out on the lake with my Grandmother and just holding a cane pole.
I didn't know how much I'd enjoy it as an adult until this year when we started going out on the Mississippi. Long quiet momments where we sit and have our own thoughts.
Silence with each other is comfortable, broken with a splash and a zipping noise as one of us catches a fish and reels it in.

The scenery is fantastic and the lunch [bologna, cheese, and ritz crackers] are always wonderful. We never leave the river before the sunsets. Hubby knows I just love watching the sun go down over the river.

Yesterday I got a lesson or two in tying a hook onto a line. I don't think I'll ever get it quite the way 'he' does it, but mine stays on just as good as his.

Haha...I didn't lose a hook AND a bobber yesterday!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cry of the Coyotes

Sunrise Clouds
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Last nite I was sitting at the computer [doing PowerPoint homework] when the 'yotes started.

One single wail turned into a bark followed by what sounded like dozens of voices. I went to the window and put my ear to the screen.
Chills ran up my spine. They sounded frantic, they sounded as if they were right there in my yard. Morris [the ever faithful JRT] tried to climb into my arms.
The cresendo deepened, echoed off the valley and fell deadly silent only to begin again.

About the 8th time the coyotes did that, I could hear the gelding mules snorting and running.
The mules were safe.
But talk about eerie!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Close to Home in my Heart

Imagine my shock and dismay as I heard a snippit on the radio today about a gunman walking into an Amish school and shooting children in Lancaster....ooops the phone started to ring.

I missed the Lancaster Pennsylvania part and boy my heart went to my throat as there is a Lancaster, WI about 45 minutes from here.
Still, I listened horrified at the thought of ANY school shooting. I anxiously 'googled' the story and refreshed through out the day. My heart saddened deeply as the story unfolded.
Some of my friends know that I live close to Amish communities here and deal with them daily. I felt very somber and very sad and very, very enraged.

Last Friday a young man in Cazenovia [we call it Caz] walked into his Weston High School and killed the principal. Pardon me, but what is wrong with people? What in the h*ll is wrong with people?

I still recall those scary first momments on May 20th, 1988. I was 'chaperoning' my oldest son's class on a field trip...we pulled up in front of Greenbriar School in Northbrook, IL. The principal came trotting out, looking around carefully. I noticed there were no children at recess. The principal informed the busload of children and parents that they were to form a single file and walk quickly and quietly into the school.
I watched him lock the glass front doors behind us. This was the very same grade school that I went to as a child...the doors were always open.
Rumours were whispered that there was a killer on the loose, that a woman had walked into another suburban school and had begun to shoot killing children.
This was
the first school shooting that I can recall. Laurie (Wasserman) Dann.
I recall the feeling of being scared and yet I had my children safely with me. I was in my oldest boy's classroom and my youngest son was only 50 feet down the hallway.

So when I hear about school shootings, I get a thumpity-thump in my chest and a feeling of fear 18 years later.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

All Things Great and Small

Puff balls
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Yesterday I spent an hour admiring the little things in life, the itty bitty fungi on the ground, the colorful leaves that have dropped on the forest floor.
Sometimes I feel desperate at this time of fall...as though time is running out...strange isn't it?

So I stop and admire the 'little' things, and capture them on digital and film so during those cold subzero nites I can look at them and say...yes, there is a reason for all this cold and bitterness...
it is to create beauty.

I know--awful deep for an early Sunday morning...but what can I say?

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Picnic tomorrow!

Nightshade--see the seeds?
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I'm sitting here thinking of Ed, my oldest son who is doing his first marathon tomorrow and wondering how he is feeling. I'm not going to call him to ask because I know he is probably either dreading it, or worrying about it.
I love you Ed, go and do the best you can. I wish I were there to cheer you every step of the way and to help you when you finish.

Tomorrow hubby is joining me and my galfriend and we are going on an all day jaunt to Wildcat Mtn. [probably ride a marathon!] I am soooo looking forward to going out! The weather promises to be gorgeous and the colors are fantastic!

Friday, September 29, 2006

It's late...

Virginia Creeper
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
But my 'schoolwork' is done for the week and I'm diving into next week's work. It really is a work at your own pace sort of thing. But by the weekend of my next endurance ride I don't want to have the pressures of unfinished work hanging over my head.

Spent the day traveling to the Madison VA with hubby to have something checked out that the triage nurse thought was urgent. The 'Excess' doctor didn't think it was so, and the blood work came back with no problems.
Soooo....everything appears to be fine and normal.

Now if it would just quit raining and we could have some Indian Summer!

Off to slumber land.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

All that remains

Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I took a long walk when I got home yesterday to clear my head of 'databases', moodiness, and to get those body parts moving. Morris, the brave, came along and hid behind me when squirrels scolded him.
Brave dog.

I went back to where I'd found a deer that had died last winter and was pleased to find a nice clean skull. One more treasure to add to the outhouse decor.

Of course carrying it back through the woods was not bad. It was just when I set it down and forgot to pick it up again that there was a problem. I didn't want the mares to crush it by walking on it, so I ran through the woods all the way to the creek bottom wondering where in the devil I'd left it.

Smarty pants. I took out my little digital camera that is strapped to my waist in a carrier... and paged through the last few photos.
Then I remembered where I'd left it.

Oh it was a long long climb back up the hill, I ran when I could ... actually jumping logs and having a blast. As a matter of fact, I didn't even feel bad or hurt anywhere!

In fact I felt wonderful and very pleased with myself.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Best Friends too...

The Man
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Not often can married couples honestly say they are 'best' friends. Oh you can be a 'couple' or 'married to the ol' lady'...but to have a true friendship is something extra special.
Those who have IT know exactly what I mean.

Sunday afternoon hubby and I went for a ride in the autumn light. I was so tickled to have him accompany me on a leisure ride. He did manage to leave some of the pressing work he had to do in the shed [building tie stalls for 3 mules were are putting into saddle training] and come along. It was one of the mo' betta afternoons.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

One of those moody days

One of those moody days
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Off and on it threatened rain, but we never actually got any bad weather just fantastic clouds. I slept in until very late today! Almost noon, which is unheard of around here.
I NEVER sleep in that late. Nope can't remember a time I have since moving here.
This afternoon I worked outside helping clean up the old wood pile and doing odd jobs. Hubby has been super busy getting things ready for winter.
He is building three tie stalls in the shed for the younger geldings to stay while they are in training this fall and part of winter. I am looking forward to working with a new mule this year.

dumb and uninteresting today, but that is what it was....

Friday, September 22, 2006

And to all ... goodnite...

The sun dips behind the ridgetop
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
With my homework finished for this week I breath a sigh of relief. Tonight we had a spectacular sunset.

I'm so glad to see the sunlight again! I think I'm growing webbed feet. Of course when I started today's 'blog' I thought I had so many clever things to say. Now my mind is a blank. [ah--I heard that--and no it is not always that way!]

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Too much time on my hands???

I know I shouldn't be doing this at work, but alas there is nothing else to do today and I need some comic relief! So what is the solution? Look for something fun and interesting to read...something not too obnoxious...and I found it in OFF/Beat--Here.

Of course it would be a story about Wisconsin. Gotta love us, yah know?

Hmmm, better get my textbook out and study some Excel spreadsheet formulas before my mind wanders too far......

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Well of course I've been playing around with Flickr toys again. Couldn't resist making a magazine cover.
My news is fairly lame this week ~ I've mostly been working on Excel spreadsheets. This means going through approximately 200 pages of textbook and doing 7 assignments to turn in. I've found the new Excel to be incredibly more useful than the '95 version I had to use when I worked in Insurance.

Tonight I'm taking a break from homework and going to watch a DVD and let my mind clear itself of formulas, absolute values, and cell formatting.

[Impressed you with those big words, eh?]

Monday, September 18, 2006

High in the saddle again!

High in the saddle again
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Here are the stats.
25.9 miles in 4 hrs and 9 minutes. Average speed: 6.3 mph.
15.6 miles in the first leg with a speed of 6.87 mph
10.3 miles in the second leg with a speed of 7.24 mph

Vet checks:
All A's
[impulsion, attitude, muscle tone, heart rate, respiration, soundness, gut noises, no soreness...]
What does that all mean? It means we rode well, we did well. We finished and that means~
We won.

Especially since I had shoulder surgery on June 23rd and on June 24th it was a superhuman effort to lift that left hand above my waistline.

See where that hand is now? Hard work on my part and Badger's part --- we accomplished an awesome goal.

And THAT is what it is ALL about.