Saturday, April 29, 2006

MRI results....

Forest of Maypoles
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Bone bruised, fractured, but not torn. That is the good news. There won't be a six month recovery from rotator cuff surgery!
Yes this is good news. Although the bone bruise and fracture seems to explain the extreme pains I have which now make sense to me too.

Of course I am grounded by my husband, but to tell you the truth, I really don't quite have the pain tolerance to do much more than walk a bit in the woods and stay close to home.

However it does mean that I am still having surgery to hopefully 'fix' the rest of my frozen shoulder issues and recovery from that should only be 6 weeks. I am hoping that I am released to do what I want by that time.

I have scheduled two 'horse' shoots over the next two weeks. These are going to be 'freebies' for friends and hope to add them to my portfolio of pictures. I am now determined since I will miss my birthday endurance ride--that I will spend the time wisely and photograph riders for the three day event.

So I intend to stay busy even though I am 'laid up'.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Strange call...

Wooded Hillside
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I answered the phone at work. A man asked if I was Valerie Ewing and I said sure I was. He informed me that he wanted to see my photography of the Kickapoo Area and wanted to know how much I charged for photos?
I was floored so I told him the truth, that I hadn't 'sold' anything to a publication yet. But hey, I was willing to quit my day job-teehee. I got a good chuckle out of him.
Anyway the association he works with is looking for local photography and my name was given to him?
Whoa. Cool beans.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Good news or bad news?

I talked to the secretary for the orthopeadic doc and he is out of the office today. Huh. Nice day for him, but I'm glad he doesn't work 24hrs a day and gets to be fresh minded when he sees his patients.

I should find out tomorrow then what the MRI says. The secretary pulled it out and stuck it on the top of his desk for him to see first thing in the morning. Of course she didn't read it to me...:-(
I just hate waiting around for anything!

Yesterday evening I went out to see Badger and put my arms around him. When I walked back out through the woods, he followed me, as if to say...'I'm right here for you, all you have to do is ask.' I know animals can't talk or think like people, but I seriously think he does know something is wrong!

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Package Arrives...

Patchy 019
Originally uploaded by ibtilton.
In California.

Patchy arrives to his new owner, Jackie. The look on Jackie's face is priceless, the gent leaning on the mule is Travis the main driver for the trip. Patchy was in transport for 8 days.

This was the bright light of my weekend --talking to Jackie on the phone and hearing the excitement in her voice and the joy.

How could I know that one mule could spread so much happiness? Even the driver said he'd take that mule in a New York minute.

Ain't life just wonderful?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A day in the woods...

Clash of the Titons
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Actually these mules were wrestling this afternoon--feeling full of themselves of course.

I had my shoulder MRI today. Results will be in on Monday or Tuesday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I didn't tear the rotator cuff and that I only need the surgery to loosen the rest of the shoulder lesions [adhesive capsulitis].

The woods were awesome, I took many photos and walked with Morris. Both of us were tired and a bit sore [my shoulder from walking on uneven ground]--Morris from only being able to run on three legs.

What a pair we are.
At least we make the most of each day!

Life's lessons from a dog...enjoy life to it's fullest.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Old Blanket~old memories

Old Blanket
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Hubby tossed this 'old' blanket out on the line. It is a blanket we kept in one of the trucks and used for picnics...not a fancy blanket, just one to haul around.

It wasn't until I saw it hanging there with its bright colors that I remembered making it when the boys were very small--probably 20 some years ago. This would have been Jer's, wild and colorful.

I think I'll wash it and use it to replace the ho-hum bed spread I have in the spare room.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


creek bottom color
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Sitting on a mossy rock in my creek bottom gave me plenty of time for comtemplation this afternoon.

No real worries came to mind. I was of the mind that my recent troubles--shoulder--would work its self out. I thought of best and worst case scenarios and decided I could live with them.

I hunted and found the elusive bloodroot flowers! Oh I took photos of them from every angle I could. Then I hunted out and found Liverworts and the first signs of dutchman's breeches.

The sun was warm on my back, Morris was happily stretching his legs...a very nice way to end a stressful work day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Up in the air again...

Mini iris field
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Today at PT I was given a range of motion and strength testing. I didn't want to hear what the PT dude had to say. He felt is was possible that I may have torn my rotator cuff.
He wants me to be prepared to have surgery within a week! If I have indeed torn the rotator cuff -- I am looking at 3-4 weeks in a sling...then a prolonged time of rehab.

That would destroy my hopes of riding endurance this year.

I am seriously bummed.

On the other hand? Perhaps I did nothing but strain those muscles. But not being able to raise my arm is a pretty sad sign. :-(

I suppose everything happens then for a reason, right?

Please tell me what good reason this was for.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Listen to your body

I should be listening to my body, gee I don't know why. I had my boss, a chiropractor give me an orthopedic test and his conclusion was that I severly strained the muscles in my already very weak arm -- that I was really gaining strength on.

My fear was that I had torn the rotator cuff.
The day is sunny, hubby is coming to get me soon. I want to go out and ride...yeah like he'd let me. I'd like to go out and shoot pictures of all the beautiful spring things happening in the woods...huh...

Perhaps I ought to just listen to my body and take it easy for the day. Tomorrow I meet with my PT dude. Boy am I going to catch hell! I know that.

Thank goodness for vicodine. It takes the horrible edge off and allows me to 'think' I can function normally--except for when I reach for something.

Well here's to spring, here's to getting healed up quick like...and here's to listening to your body and your husband [who will probably tie me down today]

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Boy did I mess up.

You know there are some days when the stupid fairy just comes along and taps you upside the head?
Yeah, she did that to me today. I got on a mule in the yard that had never been ridden bareback. Why? Cuz. I didn't think he'd do anything. Next thing I knew I was hitting the dirt with my left shoulder and rolling.
Oh sweet jimminy the pain. Oh was I mad at me. When I could finally stand, I could not raise my left arm period.
Hubby was unhappy. I was hurt. I went inside to change out of my 'dirt dart' clothes and found that I had really done it, I could barely change my jeans.
I could've undone all the past 6 wks worth of work in one blessed second? We'll see, icing and resting.
I am so ashamed.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Climb What?

Climb What?
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Yipee! I did it. Off into the woods by myself with Badger. Poor Morris did not get to go. His poor little knee cap keeps slipping out of joint and the vet was supposed to get back to me on how much it would cost to 'pin' his knee cap...ouch!
So Morris is a three legged dog. He tires more easily and I was afraid that if he came along, he'd exhaust himself or hurt himself worse.

Badger and I did 'hill' work, it is part of his 'endurance' training. He enjoys that much more than just plodding down a road to add up mileage.

Didn't get much sleep last nite. Was up a 3AM. Doggone shoulder won't let me get more than 4-5 hours at a time. At least I have gained a lot of strength in what mobility I do have.
I'll be seeing the surgeon on the 20th in regards to whether or not he can surgically remove the rest of the adhesions and I can regain the rest of my mobility.
Seems I have platuaed as far as range of motion goes.

I just want to get back to normal!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Quiet nite

Quiet nite
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Sitting up early this morning--sleep evades me something awful! I am tired but can't get the 'brain chatter' to stop. So many things running through my head.
I look out the window and then walk outside in my pj's to watch the beautiful moon.
In the west a storm approaches, I can hear and feel it's rumbling power. Light flashes through the trees on the horizon and I know we can look forward to a spring storm.

I tried to upgrade my flickr acct so that it remains a pro acct, but for some odd reason it wouldn't accept my credit card?

Well back out to the picnic table to listen to the night sounds and ease towards the world of slumber.

Monday, April 10, 2006


Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Met with the surgeon's PA today for follow up, now 6 weeks after my surgical 'manipulation'. I've worked hard and diligently in PT to get strength and motion back to normal.

As of today, I still cannot hold my hand above my head,nor put my arm [left], or left hand behind my back.

The PA did mention that for some people that amount of mobility that I 'did' have would be okay for them.

I could have smacked him, but he then looked at my face and said--'perhaps, not for you'. I replied that I consistantly needed my arms to go above my head, I was not an inactive slob who watched TV and ate bon-bons!

I wanted to know if this was all I was going to get, or was continued physical therapy going to help?

He said--No. I had reached Maximum Improvement and that a second procedure may have to be done and that orthroscopy would be done at the same time to break up the rest of the lesions and scars in my left shoulder.

I agreed to the consultation.
I am not pleased about it.
Yet I want to be able to pursue my heartfelt passions.

It is a gorgeous day and the sun is shining. I think I'll go hug my mule...and dog.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Spring has come

Smoke gets in your eyes...
Originally uploaded by Xena~.
I did some yard work. This year there won't be alot of raking done. My shoulder is too weak and the way things are warming up, the grass will be too long in a week for it.

My spring is going very well this year. I am doing things I haven't been able to do for months, I am preparing to ride endurance again...sold some photos, sold a mule...
and have two people who want to buy some donkeys from us.


Thursday, April 06, 2006

Getting Better Each Day

April seems to be agreeing with me. Yesterday the PT folks said I was very close to being 'discharged'--which means either my insurance won't pay for more...or I am getting better. I still don't have the full motion that I want to have.
I can't put my hand behind my back all of the way. I cannot take my left arm and put it straight up in the air without help from my other is still weak and I have pain when I over do it...but I am SO much better.
Being 55% is much better than what I had before which was Zilch.

I worked with my young mule last night. Pedro is his name. I hate his name. It was hubby's turn to name the foal when he was born. I won't change his name, but perhaps add on to it so that I have a 'decent' and interesting name for him....
He is a pretty cool mule though and he is growing on me!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lookin' Good

Originally uploaded by Xena~.
This mule is traveling to California in a week or so. He gets a new owner -- and I think we made a good fit. He is full of character and offers more than just being a MULE.
He will comfort you when you are down. He will make you think you are the only human in the whole world that matters.
He will also be a wonderful mount.

Patchy, you are a wonder. I am going to miss you, but you are going to a great new owner.
Baby, you are Lookin' Good!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

In the end all is wonderful

I felt a bit peeked today when I got ready to go to work, so I walked out to where the boss was feeding his mule and told him of yesterday's events. The day of running from one office to another...'knowing' that some evil thing could be growing inside of me...I was stressed, my biopsy area hurt like the devil...and well I just was not in the mood to go to work AT ALL!

So I decided to stay home and go with Rich to his mom's house. I messed around with beads and stuff while his mom embroidered a baby blanket. Rich worked on his mom's car.
When I got home, the answering machine was blinking. I called the breast clinic back with my heart in my throat.

Tada! It was not cancer. I don't remember the words for it, but it was or is tissue that isn't supposed to necessarily be where it is.

Sigh...I took a nap, relaxed and felt renewed...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Long long day

Originally uploaded by Xena~.
Awake before dawn.

Another trip to Lacrosse to see a doctor who specializes in genetics. I am in a study--research group that will look at my genetic workup and see if I have the screwed up genes that cause cancer.

Interestingly enough I also mentioned to the genetic doctor that I needed to make an appt to have something looked at.

He got on the phone and got me in to see a breast cancer surgeon within an hour. Dr J spoke with me, felt the suspicious area. Within minutes I was in a whirlwind of mammography, ultrasound, and then a biopsy.
Yeah this one sucked big time. I was terrified until I saw the doctors, then suddenly I felt an inner calm.
Talk about wierd.
The worst part was the huge 'core sampler' he used to take his biopsy. I was numb, but seeing that big arsed needle --- just was something.

So what did I do? When we stopped in Walmart tonite to pick up a fuel filter for mother in law's car...I picked up a beading kit.
Tonite I made a beaded choker to match my mules rythm beads.

I'm so tired. I'm sure it is okay. But you worry until you hear one way or another.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Rainy days make for creativity

Today is one of those Ho-hum spring rainy days that promise that nothing very exciting is going to happen. Except perhaps if the rain lets up and we go to town and I get to the craft department at Walmart. Yesterday I made a rythm bead 'necklace' for Badger my mule. These are adorned with very small bells spaced evenly on it. The theory is that as he trots, they will gently jingle and give him a cadance while we are riding endurance.

Years ago I used plain old cheap brass bells on Cheyenne because she was afraid of traffic noise and I thought this would distract her. It worked so well that I rarely went anywhere without the bells.

Now I'm designing a beaded bell attachment just for the center of the breast collar, and trying to figure out how to 'bead' the browband of the headstall.

My purpose in all of this? Be creative and have fun.
I'm also looking into a costume -- gypsy-like to wear...

My poor husband thinks I've gone over the edge.
Nah, just plain having fun.