Sunday, May 31, 2009

Waitin' on Baby

Well one more 'night' of working the 'first' shift.
The shift begins at midnight and goes to 8AM.

Things get rockin' at the plant from about 4:30 to 8. I work all shifts as a part time fill in security guard, so of course I get bounced around.
The whole idea behind this part time job is that I get to spend more time with my animals and training.

While doing the mid to 8, I've worked out somewhat of a system. Come home, chore, visit with hubby...then crash for a while.
Sometimes I spend about 30 minutes with one of the 'trainees' in the round pen.
One thing about mules and donkeys. If you can get them to do what you've asked them to do>>>

Quit and go to something else. I find that if I quit all together, and end the 'work' session, I progress much faster.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~That aside.
I am waiting on a foal from Cheyenne.
She is uncomfortable and is showing it.
She is waxing so it could be 'any time'.
This is her second foal in 9 years. It will also be her last.

My dilemma is, I'd like to be out sleeping in the horse trailer next to where she is in a grassy paddock. But heck and darnit.
I have to work that 'first' shift again.

I'm hoping she decides to wait until I come home in the morning.
Cheyenne's first foal, Sunshine.She rocks!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Are donkeys stubborn?

Nope they are not.

Meet Eddie.
He is not even one year old yet.

Today we were working on our manners [which he is pretty good at!]. Part of our work each time consists of picking up the feet one at a time and letting me pick them out...or just hold onto them.
[this really helps later on in life when he has grown big!]

Today he decided that I wasn't going to pick up his back feet.
Did he kick?
He simply laid down in protest.

What did he find out?

I could sit on him and still do his feet.
He didn't struggle, just watched me curiously.

He's going to make a fine riding donkey when he grows up.
Soon we are going to start on leading.
Not just regular leading...he can do that.

Leading down the trails in the woods.
I figure this summer he can learn to accompany me on my hikes and carry things for me ... after all he is still just shy of a year old.

Good boy Eddie.

Friday, May 29, 2009


The woods make me feel welcome.
Okay I'm sure you think that is an odd statement.

But it isn't.
And the woods do.
I never feel odd there, I never feel threatened. I am always comfortable and relaxed. My mind opens up and takes in the noises of the woodland.

The woods make me feel whole and...confident. They give me strength, they give me the choice to be silly...
I can sing and dance in the woodland...and the trees never laugh.

Perhaps there is an old oak that does...

I can run down a deer trail willy nilly, or sit quiet at the creek's edge and just dream.

It can be 95 degrees and hot and humid, and yet I can be happy wandering around through the berry briers and creeks.
It can be 20 below, and I am pleased to be crunching along through the snow and the ice...stopping in wonder at the strange ice formations that I find.
[I rather like the winter though~~less bugs!]

The woods is where I go 'treasure hunting'. And oh yes, I find many treasures.

I was once told that I should write a book about me and Morris and our adventures. This person thought it was such a wonderful idea.
I really don't have exciting adventures, but I do find interesting things.

Today we found mushrooms, skunk cabbage, marsh marigolds, a black glove, the top to a weber grill, a shoe [of all things!...with just its sole], and a portion of a hunting blind.
We were of course on the neighbor's land near where they camp and hunt a few times a year.

The rest of the year, it is like my personal playground.
The owner likes it, as I keep an eye on 'his' woods.

Heh...strange to say, but I think the 'woods' like me better.
And~~I think they keep an 'eye' on me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


'Oh Gramma, it is dark in here!'

I look around and indeed it is dark in the gooseneck of our horsetrailer. But we were camping out...Ariel's first real campout.
Well, not out in the woods in a tent camp out, but a camp out inside our horse trailer sleeping out.

So this was a grand new adventure.

'It's not SO dark Ariel if we move the curtains and let the starlight in.' I parted the curtains on each side of the sleeping area.

The starlight flowed in and lit up our sleeping area.

'Oh, I see Lil' Richard the pony!' She was quiet for a moment then said. 'But Gramma, what if something tries to get us?'

[every little kid's fear, I guess]

Lil' Richard was tied to a stake not far from the horse trailer, doing what he does best, trimming.
We could see him in the starlight, his white patches seemed to glow.

'Well,' I said, 'Lil' Richard will keep us safe, he is guarding us. If anything comes this way, he will whinney and prance and scare it off.
Besides, we have Morris and he'll also keep us safe.'

'Oh good,' Ariel patted Morris who wiggled happily. [Morris is always happy!]

That seemed to satisfy Ariel enough so that she could cuddle down with her blanket.
Morris of course had to find the perfect spot between us to sleep. He too was tired and took no time at all falling asleep.

We'd had a very busy day. Hiking in the woods, finding morel mushrooms, visiting with the animals...and taking walks.
Ariel, Morris, and I fell asleep with the starlight filtering through the horse trailer windows and the noises of farm animals eating owl hooted in the distance...

...and all was peaceful.

Of course until the sun broke the horizon and the animals began to bray...
then it was time to get up and Ariel was bright eyed and ready to go.

Grandma was a bit bleary eyed and ready...well ~~ I got up anyway, for I knew I could get some coffee in the house.

Today we were going to go riding on the mules!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hey Whaddya Know?

This just made me smile today....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cavalier Vs. Skunk~P-U!

Night shifts have their advantages and of course, disadvantages.
If you get off at 8am you feel either very tired, or if you've gotten a second if you are ready to take on the day.

Well, that is, until you crash from fatigue.

I don't mind driving at night really, the traffic is pretty much non-existent. But the animal traffic can be...well a bit busy.

If a weather front is moving through you can almost guarantee that there will be a lot of wild animals crossing the road.
That happened the other night.

I dodged one racoon.
Stopped for two groups of deer.
Avoided a fox and a 'possum.

I however, did not and could not...avoid that damn skunk.
That one must have had a death wish. I mean that was one pissed off skunk!
He charged into the road with his tail up over his back and came right at me even though I zigged a bit and hit the brakes hard.

I gave up the notion of avoiding him when I went over him...


I pulled over about a mile down the road and stepped out of my car to make sure I hadn't damaged anything.

The dang thing must have sprayed my exhaust system. I choked and slammed the door.

Yuck, double yuck.

At least no physical damage was done.

Cavalier road kill scores:
2 racoon
1 'possum
1 skunk

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A pain in the heart...

Sometimes you just have to write from your heart and say to heck with it. There is a real struggle in this as you [as the writer, don't like anyone to know you are full of feelings~even if those feelings are silly to others].

Let me introduce you to Thunder.
A big red hound dog.
When my husband bought him [for hunting] and brought him home, I decided that I absolutely would NOT like Thunder. So I avoided him. When I walked past his house, he'd wiggle and his tail would rap like...well thunder on the ground. His whole body language screamed ~~

Hello! Come pet me! I love people!

I turned my head and walked away, with a yearning to do as he asked.
Then my hubby had to be hospitalized for a couple of days and it was up to me to do the 'hound dog feeding'. The other dog didn't impress me much.
Thunder however wiggled and wagged so hard when I approached him that he nearly fell over with the effort.
So while feeding him for those few days, I petted him, hugged him, and loved him up. He returned the favor by leaning softly against me and holding ever so still.

Hubby had commented that he needed to take Thunder out and exercise him and teach him to 'come when called'. So last week I did exactly that.
What fun we had~Thunder came running when called, his big red houndog ears flapping wildly as he ran with a funny puppy like lope.

He dropped into a sit and stuck his head between my knees where I reached down and roughed his ears. He groaned in delight and his tail thumped the ground.
Oh this was not good. I was really liking this red dog.

My heart went 'pop' and he was in. He was a new true doggy friend.
My hubby caught me embracing Thunder later on. I was enjoying the large dog's warmth ... and I was pretty sure that he was enjoying the human hug.

'I don't want you spoiling that dang dog! He's going to be a hunting dog not a pet!'

Thunder leaned softly into me. Hubby's words of the other night echoed in my head~~'If Thunder can't tree a coon, he won't be kept around.'
I buried my face in Thunder's neck and held back the sudden onset of tears.

Well then if Thunder can't tree a coon then maybe I can teach him to tree 'possum for me. Either way, my heart felt a pang. So why is it I have such hard true feelings for animals that are so much stronger than for other humans?
The love of a dog is something very special. Something that cannot ever be explained to those who've never experienced it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


[Spreading Jacob's Ladder~Greek-Valerian]

So this thing...this finding and identifying the flowers and plants native to my area has become quite a hobby to me.
I find myself taking notes as to when I find these plants and where. I include the conditions I find them under also.

It has given me a whole new appreciation for the forest that surrounds me.
Naw, I'm not going to go out and hug up a tree or anything...

But I started to notice things each year in the woods. I'd stop and admire them, then wonder what they were.
Finally I decided to learn what these plants are.

Some of the common names are definitely worth looking into!

Downy Rattlesnake Plantain
Bishop's Cap
Bouncing Bet
Doll's Eyes
Beggar Lice

I hope to get some fantastic photos and compile them together and make a nice photo book with descriptions of how, when, and where to find them.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What a great day...yesterday

What a fantastic day yesterday.

I got a hike in...

I mowed yard...

I worked with a hound dog named Thunder [he sure is a nice dog]. I taught him to come when called. He did such a great job.

I worked with Siera, the mule. She hasn't forgotten a thing from last year.

I worked with Princess, the donkey, and she accepted a saddle.

By the time darkness fell my 'feets' were very tired and I was very happy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thanks so much

I have some pretty awesome people in my family who certainly step up to the plate to help me figure out some things that are actually pretty darned obvious.

I was totally unaware as a consumer who used a credit card that I can be afforded protection by the credit card company [if it is warranted and valid, of course].

My son helped me immensely as did my brother in guiding me. At least it is a start.

The short and long of it is this:

I used my credit card to put a 'deposit' on the shipping of a mule from WA to WI. The shipper has since ignored all phone messages and emails for follow up. She promised shipment of the mule withing 14-16 days of payment. That was on April 7th.

Since that date we have been unable to reach said shipper and she has not returned any of our phone calls. In fact, she hasn't returned email replies either.

I called my Credit Union and discussed this issue with the woman in charge of the Credit Card Department.
She called the shipper [tele-conference] and actually got through to leave a message.
"I am Dawn with WCCU and I am calling because one of our members ....blah blah blah, please give me a call back."

If no call is returned in 24 hours we will be going to the next step which is a 'dispute'. Followed by a charge back.

More people ought to be aware of their rights as consumers.
I guess I wasn't because I've never had cause to have an issue.

Again, thank you guys, you are the best.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Not as dumb as he looks!

Such an innocent looking face.

Yet there in that little pea-brain of his ~~~ is a plot.

Morris's life cycles around 'feeding' time. He loves those two very special times of the day in which someone puts kibbles into his dog bowl.
It creates such excitement in him that he literally shakes with anticipation.

He now has a seemingly innocent new habit. After being fed, he'll go lay down quietly on the couch or in front of the heater [if it is on].

Later on, when he figures enough time has passed, he'll go start nagging the other person in the house to 'feed' him.
[heck, why not, it has worked before!]

On my early shifts, he 'asks' for breakfast at 4:30AM in hopes that he'll get another when hubby wakes up.

My conclusion is~~ everyone should have some sort of witty pet that is always 'testing' them. I do think he is just trying to train us.

Monday, May 11, 2009

one of those days...

Ever have one of those days?

If you have I don't have to explain at all.

I'm having one...~~~or maybe a few.

The sort of days where 'leave me alone' may be more appropriate than any other thing I could say.

Overwhelmed perhaps by the sheer volume of 'things' that 'gotta' get done, and those who are ask for you to get things done for them.

The 'my stuff, I want to get done' gets shoved to the wayside.



I can afford to be selfish now. I've earned it.
[but we know I'm not like that~~selfish, I mean]

So I'll help out with everyone else's 'to do's' anyway.

I hope to get some time where everyone will just leave me alone today.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I really don't have much more to say than that....

If you are a mom, enjoy the much hyped Hallmark Holiday.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Rode anyway!

So I felt like crap with a capitol 'C'.

After spending the morning sleeping and resting, I realized that although my throat was burning, I had too much energy to waste a beautiful day.
The sky was incredibly blue and the grass had that perfect spring green color.

Besides, I was going through 'Mule Withdrawal', which in my book,... is nearly fatal. [grin!]

Morris did a hilarious thing when I carried what I needed down to the horse trailer before catching Badger.
He followed me and watched me set my pistol, camera, water bottle, and saddle horn bag inside the doorway of the tack room.

Morris jumped up inside and sat. He wouldn't come out.

I went to get Badger and when I walked down the driveway towards the horse trailer where I usually saddle Badger up~~~Morris was peeking around the doorway.
I gather he was afraid that I'd tie him up and he wouldn't be able to go!

Our ride was more of a 'stroll' than anything else. At times I got down and photographed some trilliums and at others the three of us just enjoyed the view and the warm sunshine.

At the creek we spent some time...Badger nibbling on greens.
Me just listening to the birds and the creek noises.
Morris finding some deliciously stinky things to roll in.

~~~and it was a fine day.

Well that just stinks.

5AM, I wake up with a pain in my nasal passages and throat.


So it means, I've gotten whatever hubby got.

After 3 cups of hot coffee the throat feels a tad bit better, but the head is still in a fog.
I'm so glad that I went out yesterday and took a hike while I felt great.

I may do it again today anyway. I have to work the midnight shift tonight so things should be quiet while on duty.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Welcome to the VA

Welcome to the VA.
They always say that.

What started as a routine appointment for a hospital stay follow up turned into a nightmare of sorts.
My hubby came down with 'common cold' type symptoms the day before his appointment. So we decided to keep the regular appointment and see the new provider that had been assigned to him. [We came prepared to ask more questions and get more answers regarding COPD]

Out of respect for others, hubby used a mask so that his cough wouldn't be spread.

Doctor: When did this come on?

Hubby: In the past 24 hours. I cancelled the Pulmonary Lung Function Test, I didn't think I could've done it today.

Doctor: What are your symptoms?

Hubby: I feel like crap, I ache all over, sore nasal passages, sore throat, cough...I just feel like royal crap.

Doctor: Are you still on your antibiotics?

We look at her quizzically.
Me: He was here in March for the same thing.

Doctor: [she glances at the computer monitor and then back at us] Tell me, so I don't have to look for it in the notes.

[EXCUSE ME? But I oblige]

Me: Doc, he was admitted on March 20th with the diagnosis of a COPD Exacerbation. He was released on March 23rd with a 7 day supply of antibiotics and prednisone to be weaned off. He has been feeling excellent until 24 hours ago.
No~he isn't on antibiotics now.

We are sent to Xray.
When we come back, I am handed a mask packet. I stuff it in my pocket.

Doctor: Well your lungs are clear. But you have classic signs of the flu so I'm going to nasal swabs. You can pick up your Moxifloxacin at the pharmacy. I'm sending you to the ER as you may be a candidate for Tamiflu.

[I'm thinking ... this is a cold like last time, but okay]

We Wait in the ER waiting room for one hour. One hour passes very slowly. I'm tired of ER waiting rooms.

Suddenly we are whisked into an ER treatment room.
One more wait of 40 minutes. I watch the clock.

A doctor pops in and says to hubby.
Doctor: Well sir what brings you here today?

Hubby: Did you get the message from Dr. McMurray? Did you read her notes?
[by now we are getting very tired, the appt has drawn out to nearly 3 hours]

Doctor: Sure I did, but I want to hear it from you.

Hubby tells him, and answers the questions.

The doctor leaves.
I watch the clock. 30 minutes crawl by. I begin to wonder if I push the button that says 'code blue' if I'll get a reaction. I have an urge to try and play with the Dell computer on the desk. I wonder if I can turn on the IV machine and make it squeal.

Hubby tells me to sit still...and he is miserable.
I am peeved.

The doctor re-enters momentarily and then excuses himself to 'check something' out.
[I think he decided to read Dr. McMurray's notes? And then I ask myself: Why won't any of these people read medical histories?]

20 minutes tick by. I watch the second hand, tick, tick, tick.

A nurse walks in.
She has on gloves a face mask, eye protection and a disposable gown.
[I'd heard someone in the hall talk about 'isolation'...hmmmmm]

She picks up the previous nasal swabs and says they were done incorrectly. She re-swabs hubby and I can see by his face how uncomfortable it is.

Nurse: We'll send this off. You will get a phone call one way or the other. I advise the two of you...[she waves in my direction]...not to be, uh...intimate for a while. No kissing, hugging, sharing of utensils. Don't go out in public, stay at home.
Your Tamiflu will be waiting with your antiobiotics at the pharmacy.

We are sent off.
No questions got answered about COPD or his health. I'm fuming a bit of course and irritated, tired cranky, and very hungry.
And it is Rush Hour in Madison.

Welcome to the VA.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Treasure Hunting

So I am not Crabby any more. I laughed when I told a co-worker that I was a crabby person the other night. He was down right shocked and said, 'But you are never crabby here! In fact you are the most pleasant person to work with!' I grinned and said, 'Yep, here I am paid to be pleasant!'

So I've been 'treasure hunting' whenever possible. So what is this Treasure Hunting I'm doing?

That is what I call going out in the woods and exploring and finding plants and wild flowers and identifying them and photographing them.

This time around though, I am also taking notes as to when I found them and where I found them.
Along with the conditions, for example ... was it on a dry hillside? Damp earth? Shady?

My grand plan is to compile a photography book of my Treasures and use all my observations along with the photos.
This may help me remember where and when I found these local beauties.

Woodland Strawberry
False Rue-Anemone

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The ER Waiting Room

VMH, our local hospital had a record breaking night.
How do I know?
I was there with my mother in law.
She is fine, admitted for observation.

What I observed while waiting in the 'Waiting Room'.

A young woman who was brought in complaining of a headache. She got mad when she was told that her public assistance was 'not valid'. They tagged her and let her sit and wait to be seen.

A mom with a toddler and a baby, and her sister. Baby was sick, needed to see a doctor. As the mom explained to the nurse through a window what was wrong with her baby, the nurse nodded and said, "Well that is pretty normal, but we'll check her out."
This mom came back into the waiting area with her 4 yr old and the baby. The 4 yr old dragged chairs, climbed things, crawled around, and was in general~~a nuisance. Mom threatened, giggled, looked stern, and laughed as he misbehaved. The 4 yr old ran around smacking the automatic doors.

I tried to bury my face in a book, glancing at the child and then the mother.

The nurse came out and said, "Oh my, how is he doing ... he looks better!" The mom responded, "Oh I brought him in last night, he's fine now! It is his baby sister, she has the sniffles."

Another woman brought in by the 'family'. I could hear the one of the family members in the ER telling the doctor what to do.
...and I wondered.

ER Abuse. It happens all the time, clogging the system up for those who really need it.

Multiple cases last night of people using the ER as a place for an office visit.

It disgusted me.

What people discussed while in the Waiting Room could make for a whole blog in itself!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Call me Crabby Pants

Yep, I know I shouldn't be. But I am.

Went to bed that way and woke up that way.

Let's just call it the result of a v-e-r-y long day at work and then a 'battle' of the computers at home.

I come home from work and first thing I'm asked~~~ [I've been up since 2AM and have worked 12 hrs...]

What's for supper honey???

and then...
While you make supper, I'll use your computer for a while, because it is faster than mine!

[grump, grump...I can feel Mz. Ugly coming out in me. Hold the claws and fangs. Deep breath.]

My initial reaction is to say... with much sarcasm:
Gee, Honey, what is for supper? I've been at work all day!...or...
Why isn't Supper ready?...or
What? You. Are. Kidding. Correct?

I throw a pizza in the oven and glare at him while he is on MY laptop.

My parting words as I drop into bed as he complains that his computer is too slow [it really is slow compared to the laptop]....are:

Go get yourself a computer.

I think I should go out and find some 'nice' pills. After all, today is going to be busy at the plant with the official Outage starting today.

I wonder what IS for supper tonight?