Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quick Update

I've been out of town for much of last week for a professional conference outside of Portland. I was also able to sneak out one evening to a little Horse Expo to meet up in person! with Kacy from All Horse Stuff! What a kick! She's just a fun and energetic as her blog!

Sunday, after a full day at the conference, and a four hour drive home, I just vegged.

In spite of the storm that was predicted, Pat and I were able to sneak out for a quick ride with Kate and Chief again on Monday afternoon. We were going to try to get out away from home a ways, but I got bogged down getting the barn ready for surgery Tuesday, and we didn't have much time before the black clouds moved in, so we just went down to Hank's cattle pasture again. Chief gave Pat one big jump, where she had to scramble a bit to keep her seat and regain contact, but once she did (and Kate stopped after her slight hop in reaction to Chief) he settled right back down again. He's such a good boy!One other exciting development that happened on Monday was that, in doing a thorough mucking of stalls (Al's mostly just been picking them nightly), I took the tractor out and turned the recalcitrant compost pile that hasn't been composting all winter, due to earlier than usual frigid temperatures. And, lo and behold, I got some steam rising from the poop! Now we're cookin' with [methane] gas! [old photo]Bad news is, the wind that has accompanied these last two storm fronts has pretty much done in my cheapo tarps at the end of the barn. But the system itself is good, so before next winter I'll invest in a heavier duty enclosure. I haven't yet decided on whether to get a solid tarp again, or a "wind screen" type, that would let some of the wind through (and therefore not pay such a heavy toll during heavy winds), but block snow and other precipitation.

Luckily, we didn't get all the snow that was predicted Tuesday (Aarene got it over in the swamplands, as did Jean in SW British Columbia) and, though early, the trip to the hospital in neighboring Yakima was uneventful, as was surgery (gall bladder removed). I was feeling good enough that we decided, in light of the continuing forecast of blizzard conditions, I would come home Tuesday night, instead of Wednesday morning. Took it pretty easy all day, but was up to going out to the barn Wednesday night to help Al with chores. I'm not supposed to lift much, nor drive for five days (I don't think they could have possibly meant the tractor?). I'm pretty tender, and a little bloated feeling, but otherwise feeling okay. The cold weather we're to have this weekend will probably out-weigh any urges to do anything silly like ride.

Al has been wonderful in covering horse responsibilities all last week and much of this one!
UPDATE: Thursday morning, and the storm front finally reached us! Sideways wind blowing just an inch or two of snow into nasty drifts. Because he can't see "his" mare herd in their respective stalls (or maybe because the barn is just too full of rattles), a blanketed RT chooses to stand out in it, silly guy! From the house I can see that Kate and Misty are also hanging outside, in the lee of the barn, so it must be that it's just too noisy inside for their nerves.
Again, Al insisted that I stay inside this morning, even though I feel pretty good, and was prepared to take over chores so he'd have one less thing to do before work. What a guy!


  1. Glad your surgery went well. Hope your winter weather is coming to an end - I wish ours would!

  2. Al gets a gold star!

    Stay warm and dry...and, hey, send some "warming trends" over the mountains, okay? Nothing is melting!

  3. Hey there!
    N ice get that ride in before surgery & storm! Love that open country cool!
    Glad that the weather is helping you stay quiet, through tough on your man+ horses. He is a gem! I enjoyed seeing the tractor and steam rising too! Cool.

    Be like the little birdies, in your close to home shot...take care You!
    Dying post the time we had...its sunny, our snow melted, gotta go ride!

  4. glad you are feeling better and what a great guy Al is!!
    Nice the weather is bad when you are recovering, makes it easier to stay inside.

  5. Your weather looks as awful as ours :( I'm glad the surgery was no big deal, and yay for steaming compost!!

  6. I love the vastness of that first shot, with the two tiny humans and horses heading off into the distance (even if it wasn't really so far from home).

    Also love the steam rising around the tractor shot. And, of course, the birds. And.. RT braving the storm when he could be indoors. Guess that pretty much covers the post:)

    I had forgotten about your upcoming surgery. You are strong! I have seen a couple of people after gall bladder surgery, and I don't think they would have been contemplating going out to the barn to do chores only a few days later. So glad it went well! And yes, I second the gold star for Al!

  7. How nice you got to meet Kacy. I'll bet she's lots of fun.

    Hope you heal really quickly from your surgery. And I'm sure you will IF you follow doctor's orders. Feel better.

    It will be exciting getting your new saddle too. Hope you like it.

  8. It's great you got to meet Kacy.

    Take your time on resuming your normal "duties." I can tell you from first hand experience that pushing it does NOT pay! The last thing you want is to slow your recovery down.

    Good to know steam is rising off of that pile. All that heat will cook that sucker down in no time. I have no thoughts on solid tarps versus wind screen but we have used a heavier solid tarp, the silver kind and they last longer and don't blow off as easily as the cheaper ones. They were more money but they lasted long enough to be worth the extra cost.

  9. Hey you! How ya doin' now? The drugs wore off, and your probably feeling it now. The body makes sure you stay quiet...but the fingers can to us!
    Did you get all the photos I sent? From the"EXPO"? My computer was not working right (again) so...just wondering cause I could resend them for ya, easy peasy~

  10. Thanks for all your good wishes! I am feeling quite okay, really: tenderness pretty much resolved (tho I'm still being careful, really!), bloating is gone (I'll spare you those details), incisions (4 teeny ones) are only itching a little bit under the tape that I'm not supposed to remove before I see the doc tomorrow. Energy level is only slightly low--I spent about two hours out in the barn yesterday, then came in and took a nap--which isn't something I usually do. Haven't had any pain meds beyond a couple of Tylenol since I left the operating room.

    Al continues to be as much help as I need, but I've been able to relieve him of most of the daily chores as of his real weekend Saturday. He appreciates all of the gold stars (and the down time).

    BJC--Yes, that photo makes it look like we're in the middle of nowhere, when actually, the house is probably only 1000yds, to the left. You can't see the closest "draw" where Hank feeds his cattle, nor the "Badger Pocket" beyond the hayfield, where there are actually two roads, and several small farms. In the distance is the sagebrush of the Yakima Firing Range (Nat'l Guard). Out there, there really IS nothing!

    Kacy--I haven't been ignoring you!! I've sent you TWO emails acknowledging the receipt of the photos you sent. So your computer and phone are both farther gone than you thought!