Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Infrared Day

The Meadow - not in infrared. 

This is the area I'd like to be able to clip in some fashion. 
I just don't see that happening for me. At one time hubby would clip it with his tractor and brush hog.
In other places where I'd knocked down the burdock and sourdock, the motherwort is flourishing. 
I just can't win!

This scene is peaceful and calming.

It was too hot to do a lot of things outside. I usually clip the herds' manes by this time of the year, but I'm going to wait for my 'farm' help to do that this coming week. Charlie was nagging me for a walk so I headed up the driveway with just the Infrared camera.

Driveway: 665nm Filter

While hot days with a midday sun are horrible for most photography, those are the prime conditions for Infrared. Different filters with different wavelengths of light give different looks. 

Charlie was very unimpressed with the heat and hot sun. I thought I'd cool him off by heading into the forest...

Charlie in Infrared. Zombie Dog!

Infrared does some weird stuff to the eyes of people and dogs! They look really odd.

I gave Charlie a ride back to the ridge and started home.

This was neat in IR but I sure liked it in Sepia black and white better.

Neighobor's Vintage Tractor. 
He has put it up for sale.

I dropped the Hot Dog off at the house with hubby. They proceeded to watch really old strange Westerns on TV. I am not into blurry crappy movies at all. 

I grabbed a 720nm filter from my pile of ancient filters I had. I wanted to experiment and enjoy the summer day some more.

The herd under one of the boxelders they love to use for shade. I took this shot in Infrared with a 720nm filter which turns anything with chlorophyll in it basically white. 

Infrared is fun to experiment with. Thank goodnes
the mules didn't appear to be Zombies!

The 720nm filter will produce white leaves and blue sky
if you have a converted camera and use the green grass to set
your white balance.

Weird, right?

I got mesmerized by the backwards light of things. The dark greens I saw with my normal vision were bright white while the trunks and branches of the trees were dark and moody.

I got caught up in gazing up at the branches into the light. I shot a lot of photos more for the dark patterns of the branches than for anything else. 

Most of them didn't turn out as I 'saw' them in my mind, but it was fun to see the intricate patterns of the leaves and the branches.

Infrared offers so many possibilities in a creative way.

Locust tree budding out next
to our house. Those are leaves
not flowers.
The flowers will come in a few

Yes, I do experiment a lot. It is the one thing I am passionate about. Monday was just a great day for it.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Little Saturday Funny

A Sheriff's car  pulled into the yard while I was gardening .

He was looking for my neighbor. 

He spotted our little pony grazing on his tether and asked if he could pet him. 

Deputy Roy walked over to Lil Richard and started to rub him on the neck. I explained that he was about 28 years old and was our summer trimmer in places that were hard to get to.

Lil Richard enjoyed the petting and then reached out and started to lick and nibble at Deputy Roy's Glock. I started to laugh and pulled Mr. Pony's head to the side.

I commented that the paperwork would definitely suck if Deputy Roy had to explain how an old pony disarmed an officer.

We had quite the laugh over that as he proceeded to wipe pony slobber off his Glock.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Sunday Arty Stuff

I am doing a photo album of just 'tree' stuff. I'm trying once again to follow some of the local trees on our road and the forest through out the year.

It isn't just about the trees themselves but more of a study on how the trees shapes just amaze me. They are an artform all their own.

Below: Apple Blossoms

I think I like this one below a bit better...
for its artsy minimal effect

Below: Cherry Blossoms in the morning light

Below: Cherry Blossoms in Neighbor's yard

Birch tree

Oak Tree with catkins

Most of these photos were taken in mid May. That is how far behind I am in addressing my photography. The yard and gardens sort of took over and I'm just about finished now except for planting sweet corn [I'm going to do a no till experiment that may fail miserably].  

I also have a rough spot in the yard that I'm going to dig up a bit and toss in a couple of packets of wildflower seeds.

Today looks like a good day to just chill out.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Just for fun instead

Enough of all that talk of doctors, medications, and whatnot. For right now, I'm putting it out of my mind and will focus on some fun things.

How about the twins I watched the other morning? We stood and watched each other for about 8 minutes. They obviously couldn't smell me or we have seen each other often enough that they are not wary of me.

I could be all wrong, but I think these possibly could be the very same twins I've seen off and on for two years. That said? They could be different. I'm just hoping and wishing they are.

Here is Sven our goat working on trimming around an old tractor tire that hubby insists stay where it is at. I have a notion to roll it somewhere and make it into a garden. It sure would keep hubby from mowing over it!
Sven take the dandelion blossoms first and then works on the weeds, and lastly trims the grass about 3 inches tall almost perfectly!

I have the place where I dug out the BS to clean up. It should be cleaned up with the skid steer, but I thought I could build a pen for Sven to eat all the nice grass and all strip the nettles. I wonder if one day I can dig that pile[s] up and put all that good dirt somewhere. [Gosh, thinking outload with my fingers on the keyboard!]

The pallet garden! 
I found a Lego storm trooper checking on my succulents. The 'car' he is in is an old brass ash tray! Another treasure found!
The planter is no planter, but an old pie tin I found buried in a junk pile in the woods.

When I watered the tomatoes before it rained....I found a shady character tending to the plant!

Seems I have a lot of helpers with the different tomato plants I have!

And for some more fun.

Hobby and Squatch continue to search for relatives in the woodlands and forests.

Hobby: I still think there is one out here! Haven't you heard of a Big Foot sighting?
Squatch: No.

Big Foot gathering mushrooms ~ no wonder he is so hard to spot!

Squatch went out to the rocks to take a shower after the recent rains.

Then he went looking for oyster mushrooms...

That's it! In spite of the things we face in the world, having a positive attitude can certainly help.

I'll just keep finding things that cause me small joys.
Small joys can add up to large Joys.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Charlie Bones Decisions

Meanwhile, Charlie had his tooth surgery and came home. I worried like a ninny of course. He was groggy last night but ate his kibbles and cuddled on the couch with me until I feel asleep there.

Tuesday I busied my day working on garden projects. I'm kind of a go ahead and do it person. I imagine how things will look and then go for it and change things on the fly.

The BS Pile

Moving stuff 
trying to be smarter about that...

I planted 3 tomato plants and a few piles of flower seeds along with spices in a few slates of the pallets. 

The one section of the pallets is going to have Birds/Bees/Butterfly attracting plants I can pick up at the garden center.

I told hubby that I was taking that rough section of the yard and going to chop it up with a potato fork and a spade to plant a packet of wildflower seeds and sunflowers. It may be a total flop, but then again, it might look neat.

Third day without the Forteo aka: The Teriparatide injection ~~ I feel like my normal crazy self. I have the normal aches and pains and felt well enough to work on my funky garden yesterday. 
This morning? Almost NO leg/bone pain!
Apparently there could be alternatives still. One being an Estrogen type shot that is like a last resort?

For today, I'm going to enjoy the rain. I'll use the time to catch up on indoor projects. 

Maybe after my VA Caregiver class, I'll take a nap!

The Bone Doctor's nurse called and she wants me to go back to the first medicine. 🤯
...or try another one which is an injection that lasts for 6 months.
Those suggestions just broke me. I went outside in the rain and just started to cry 😭.

Never do I want to go through the pain I have had off and on for the last few months as side effects of medicine.

Huh. Whut? 6 months of possible agony? Once you get the shot, you cannot undo it. Right?

My questions will be this. Lower doses of any meds? Every other day or short rests between doses?

Since I have never had a fracture of any kind other than a little toe when I was 10 years old....
Why not let me do the proper exercises and a great diet for the next several months and re-evaluate??? Rescan and see if I am losing more ground? 

My understanding is these meds are indicated when fractures show up [or a terrible score for BMD in my case]. This bone crap didn't happen overnight and I have crashed into rocks, fallen on ice, and done a ton of things. Nobody had to put this Humpty Dumpty back together as of yet.

So what could be wrong with that? My dang body right?

Yes, an ounce of prevention is a good thing. But?

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

I must be odd...

I am taking the Teriparatide injection for  Severe Osteoporosis. It fairly fine for the first month. I think. It is not painful to inject and it was actually easier to remember to do. Easier than taking the Fosomax pill which was icky beyond belief.

After 3 weeks I started to get some aches and pains in my legs. Charlie Horses, pain behind the knee, pain in front of the knee, what felt like shin splints [if you ever have been a runner]. I wrote the issues off to the fact that I was hiking looking for morels and gardening more. 

Then I realized that I was not actually hiking more or being more active at all. In fact I was so tired some of the time I'd elect to take a nap rather than get out and do yard work. 

Sunday night it came to a head. I'd had a great day. But after sitting for a bit and watching Rich's new favorite series -- Wicked Tuna -- my leg and hands started to hurt more. My hands I'd written off to all the gardening and the Heberden and Bouchard nodes [arthritis of the finger joints] just being angry at pulling weeds. But they also felt swollen. I had a hard time picking small items up.

OH NO! How was I to mess with my tiny Lego People and my Squatch!  HMMM???

Yeah, my mind is strange.

By bedtime I could barely walk. 

I hurt so badly that I decided not to take an injection. It hurt too much to even walk into the other room.

By midnight I was sobbing in pain, wondering how to resolve this issue. Did I drive to the local ER? No! I couldn't leave my hubby along in case...well, in case something went terribly wrong.

I used ice, I used heat, I elevated the leg. I rubbed it, stripped it and found out that the only way to stop my pain was to simply stand up and stand still. 

This MADE no sense. Sorry for the shout out. But it made no sense and I was so worn out from the pain and from the worry. NO way was I going to stand all night.

Ok. So I looked up the medication I am taking. It works by activating the parathyroid in your body to produce hormones that will build your bones. That sounds like a miracle.

Side note. If your parathyroid is over active it can cause something called hyperparathyroidism which leads to Hyercalcemia.  Big Words for some icky feelings. That is my oversimplification. 

Bone pain, muscle weakness, muscle pain, joint pain, fatigue,...side effects from this medication can cause bone pain, muscle pain, fatigue, brain fog, increased thirst, ... well you know how those labels read don't you? There is always a mile long list of things you really need to know...but don't want to know.

That all said, it remains to be seen if the medication is doing its proper work or am I suffering from a side effect that caused my parathyroid to release too much calcium into my bloodstream which causes more injury than it helps and can eventually cause well...


One shouldn't look this sh-t up in the middle of the night when they are suffering from pain, right? But we all do it in the internet age. Was I over reacting? I don't know. But in the middle of the night

the boogey man likes to visit those sleep deprived minds.

8AM rolled around and I called the nurse at the Endocrinology department. She asked several questions and I answered. 

Pain level at its worst? Can it be more than 10? Can it be passing out bad?

She said she'd get back to me after talking with the doctor.

I waited all day. I gimped around the house and sat in my partially completed flower garden. By afternoon I decided to put pillows up under my legs and take more Tylenol. 

Later I went back outside to plant some seeds and wait.

No calls.

I gimped up the hill to water the mules. I gimped around to move the goat and the pony. 

I skipped another injection. This medication doesn't stay in your system for long periods of time.

So I am doing my own experiment. 

The pain level was 10 on Sunday night.

The pain level was 8 all day yesterday.

I can walk today. I have stiffness in the leg and a minor ache. 

Pain level this morning? Like a 3!


I am not in agony.

I'm very curious as to what the doctor will have to say to me if the nurses ever decide to call back.

Today? I have other things to do.

Charlie goes in for a tooth extraction! How that little dog cracked a tooth is beyond me.

So it goes. 

What next?

Monday, May 23, 2022

We rode

Molly came out to work with Sundance. When I first met Molly we worked with Sundance and she was ready to start under saddle. I'd mounted her in the round pen and she was very ho hum about the whole thing. Her training was about as exciting as watching paint dry.

However with things changing on our place and my husband's health issues, saddle training with Sundance pretty much just stopped. 

Molly had moved away and started her own life. 

When she came back, she asked if she could work with Sundance again and I said "Go for it!" 

Sundance was not happy about being removed from her sister and confused about working in the open. She didn't want to listen or pay any attention to Molly at first. Molly was persistent and calm. 

They went off to find their groove again. And by the end of their session, Sundance had decided that Molly was just the human she wished to be with and remembered most of her manners. 

She had been used to working in our shed in the round pen. So this was a new experience for the mule. She had  to concentrate on a different human with distractions on the other side of the fence.

We saddled up Sunshine [Sundance's older sister] and Siera and headed out for a ride in the woods. 

I nearly called it off. I started thinking about things like: 

What if Sunshine spooks?
What if I shouldn't do this?
Wait, I have 'bad' bones, is this okay?
What if...what if... 

Hmm. What IF I enjoy it?

I hadn't gone on any long rides in the woods for a couple of years. The trespassing 4 wheelers were always a constant for the past two years. There was this thought that I shouldn't go alone. And then this last 10 months there was this thought that due to my osteoporosis diagnosis, I should never ride again.

All of that was going through my head.

Molly chatted as she saddled up Siera and I just kept quiet. 

I took the lead and headed our through the neighbor's big meadow and off we went. Sunshine walked as if on eggshells. Weird.

We went up the hillside and had to brush bust to get around some fallen trees. We dropped down the steep hill into a hollow and crossed over logs and ducked branches. 

Molly kept up a conversation and I kept thinking Sunshine was behaving strangely.


I started to laugh and I relaxed. I started reaching up and breaking branches as we ducked under them.

"Mallard!" I yelled over my shoulder and laid over Sunshine's mane [Mallard means DUCK! in our woodsy rides ... something that we started so many years ago]. The branches slid over my helmet and I heard Molly say, "Oh Sh-t!" Molly is 5'8" and was riding the taller mule. She didn't negotiate around the branches and 'ate' some of them. 

We stopped and checked our cinches before entering the valley. I remounted and noticed that Sunshine was flopping her ears as she picked her way through the stream crossings.

Sunshine had listened to my tense body. Once I stopped thinking of "What IFS" she chilled out and became the excellent riding partner I'd always had. Granted, we hadn't ridden this valley in over two years and ... I hadn't really ridden Sunshine since??? Well, a long time.

Here we were laughing and riding. 

Molly on Siera.

Me on my little Sunshine mule.

Molly said, "Put your ears up Sunshine!"
So I helped her.
If you are wondering what kind of saddle I am on here is a link that shows it. Lucky me that I ended up with this saddle!

Siera decided that she was not going to cross one part of the tiny stream. I'm sure that the shadows on the grass and water were MULE monsters. The shadows only ate Fat Gaited Mules. After a bit, Molly got her through the Monster Shadows, rocks and water. Phew. The Monsters did not Eat the Fat Mule.

We really had fun making up reasons why after about 10 stream crossings, that one seemed to be so scary.
So we decided to just ride right up the creek for a bit.

No mule eating monsters appeared and all was good. 
Sorry about the messy manes, we just haven't clipped them yet.

Siera with Molly standing in the Mule Eating Stream.

We headed back up the ridge road which is also an old snow mobile trail. Once we got into the wide open area I turned to Molly and started telling her a story about how Sunshine's mom was a great mare that always rode well in the woods.

"However," I said, "If a deer..."

A doe jumped out in front of us and darted away. Sunshine did a hop quarter turn and stared hard at the disappearing white tail.

"...jumped out of the woods," I continued, "Cheyanne would do a 180 leap and be off at a gallop."

Funny. The worst had just happened and I didn't even react except to sit the little spook and continue on as if nothing had happened.

I didn't hurt.

I didn't fall apart. 

I had a most excellent time.



Siera? What was her reaction? Well, fairly normal for Siera. She is too lazy to spook at wildlife. She would rather spook at Combines and Tractors.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Pallet & Container Garden

Building this garden is turning out to be fun and a matter of using what is at hand to make things work.

The plastic under the pallets are old round hay bale covers that farmers used before they started to use the wraps. The old tubs have holes in them from being bashed around.

I added chunks of wood and a small bit of squished goat bedding to the bottom of each container. A tiny version of Hugelkultur gardening. The manure, leaves, sticks, and tiny pieces of wood break down in the bottom of the container and provide the soil with nutrients.

This is all an experiment afterall,...so why not?

The dirt. I am digging it from an old pile of Bull manure from the pen we kept our Dexter bull in years ago. Under the grass and weeds is a fine textured soil. It has been perculatin' for about 6 years, so it should be good for garden soil. It will contain weed seeds, but I am prepared for that. I haul it by bucket loads in the 4 wheeler's cart. 

Rich made a comment that I was going to use Bull-hit to make a garden.


Rich also voted that I use the green bucket. It is ugly! I may go find a black lick tub that isn't so garish. I threatened to spray paint the green plastic tub but that would only make it look worse!

I'm sure I can find a black one that somewhere in the weeds behind one of the sheds. But in the end, it doesn't matter much about the container other than can IT hold dirt and can I grow a nice plant in it?

Sunday's project is to bring in two more pallets to have a fun little garden between the house and the LP tank. This is a pain in the arse to mow, so with the pallets, I can have flowers and walk through 'the garden' on the wooden slats!

It seems that my Lego People really like the pallet garden too. It is always good to have extra help.

Miss Molly dropped in [we never even heard her!] and jetted out to the shed where she promptly cleaned the rest of Sven's pen and then cleaned Lil' Richard's pen. 

Sweet! She and I fixed Sven's pen [say that 3 times fast] door so it would open properly. She visited with Rich and then helped him with the gates so he could dump manure with the skid steer and mow the one pasture we had made last week.

Today, if the timing works out, she'll come over and we will go riding together in the woods.

Saturday, May 21, 2022


Photos above. Rich moving waste from Sven's pen and smoothing a path out in the Winter Pasture.

I attached a milk crate on the front of the 4 wheeler and set Charlie in it. He likes to ride there and supervise while I am hauling stuff with the 4 wheeler. I GO super slow with him on board. It is better that he ride there than scrambling around on my lap.

Spring is such a busy time of the year. Everyone is catching up with yard work or planting flowers or a garden.

Mowing the grass is a fun change over plowing and shoveling.

Mornings are glorious and the weather keeps changing so we are kept on our toes.

Most early mornings find me wandering up the road checking out the trees and brush leafing out. I'm still trying to figure out which bush is what. I may be getting a handle on a few trees also. I'm taking a lot of photos, but just leaving them in a file to look at later...

I've been morel hunting without great success but I've found enough to give us a taste. I scored some Golden Oyster Mushrooms and may dry them for soups later. 

Deep Woods Morel
Hunting with chaps on to protect
my legs:

Morels are getting hard to spot if they are small:

The neighbor's woods are 
becoming overgrown with Garlic

Golden Oyster Mushroom

I found yet another newborn fawn while hiking. I just get all mushy inside when I find them. They are beyond adorable.

I am ditching the idea of raising a garden. But I am cobbling together a container garden and dropping it in a section of the yard that is too hard to mow. 

It was never really smoothed out after they made a mess while remodeling the house. Each year I ask to hire someone to come in and re grade it or at least fill the bumps and lumps in to make it a nice section of yard. Each year HE says NO, he'll do it. 

Creative gardening can really help. Years ago there was a huge mess of stumps, rocks, and weeds alongside the little Red Shed. I asked if I could re-purpose it into a shade garden. HE said yes. The garden is pictured below. The area around it is very hard to mow, but I'm working on it!

I'm still not sure what to do with my 'containers'. But I placed them here on the west side of the house and then decided that I want the works to be place on the bumpy place which gets a lot of sun but has nothing but lumpy bumpy sand and clay from the construction on it. 

I plan on putting tomatoes in one or two containers and then filling the pallets with dirt and tossing in wildflower mixes along with sunflowers. Basically just toss in the seeds and see what craziness occurs.

The green container is an old mineral lick tub, I may add a second one. The others are washtubs and the buckets are from Rich's Grandfather's farm. They were used in gathering maple syrup.

I know it is ugly, but with the price of wood or even the price of containers for raised beds being what they are, who really cares??? I think I'll go out and see what goodies our old farm has. 

I even found wagon wheels in the Red Shed! Hmmmm!  I love new projects. I never sit down and draw it out, I just get the pieces and experiment. 

This morning I have a Mobility and Flexibilty Class. I like it a lot since I am constantly on the move and need to keep up my mobility, flexibility, and balance. After all...I wouldn't be able to do what I do if I just sat in a chair and watched TV.

From last week's hike. Photo by Wild Bill:

 Have a grrrreat Saturday.