Tag Archives: general news

Rowan

Back in December, on the same day that I had to put Aslan down, I found out that Rowan had developed what is essentially a staph infection. She went into the horsey hospital for four days, and then when she came out, she had to be stuck in her stall wearing a removable cast. See, the infection killed all the tissue over one of her tendons, and new skin couldn’t grow over an unstable surface like that. So we had to try to keep it immobile.

Monica, the angel at Eden Farms who trained Rowan, took on the task of cleaning and rebandaging the wound. The vet came out every week or two, and Rowan made some progress, but not as much as she wanted. Then, at the end of January, she backslid to the beginning and needed hospitalization and surgery. Even if we could have afforded it — and we couldn’t — it wouldn’t have been fair to Rowan. Not only would she have had months more in her stall, but she likely would never have been sound again.

We put her down on January 28. Again, although I know it was the right choice, it was devastating. Monica and the people at the barn were devastated as well, though all agreed that it was the right thing to do. Since Rowan had been on stall rest for six weeks, I asked Monica to let her be a horse for a day. They spoiled and loved her and let her run and play. Afterwards, Monica made this lovely tribute video.

Run free, sweet girl.

***

In other news, I’ve been working on my novel. I also have a big project at work that should last through the summer — longer if the dates slide, which I truly think they will. It’s the biggest project I’ve ever been lead ID on, and I’m excited, overwhelmed, frustrated, and challenged. On the positive side, it looks like Myella might be coming back, so hopefully she can work with me.

I’ve been trying to rehome Blue and Guin, my remaining horses. I thought that Kyra was going to take Blue, but she decided, after a trial period, that he wasn’t the right horse for her. So now Leslie — his trainer and soulmate — is going to take him for a trial. I really hope it works out! I also hope that Guin can go down to Leslie’s as well. I was planing to leave her at Eden Farms, but they don’t have much turnout, and I don’t want her stuck in her stall all the time. We’ll see. Worse case scenario, they come back here together. To be honest, I miss them, so that wouldn’t be a horrible thing.

Pax and Pflouff are doing fine. Can you believe that Pax is 8.5 years old? I refuse to believe he is aging. He is going to live forever, and don’t ANYONE tell me different. He’s my heart. Miss Pflouff is growing up. She’s in her second heat right this second. It’s not so bad, though. The dogs adapted well to losing Aslan. Pax had been so perpetually stressed by him. I didn’t realize how stressed until the dietary issues we had been dealing with and medicating for years went away completely within a week of Aslan’s death. I still miss my beautiful boy, but I realize now how horribly unpleasant Pax’s life must have been.

Otherwise, things are fine here. I’m incredibly busy, but that’s not a bad thing. Jay is working hard and gaming hard. Spring has sprung in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m loving watching the leaves appear and the flowers bloom. It got up to 60 degrees today!

Sorry it took me so long to update. Back in January I replaced my computer. I tried to reinstall Dreamweaver, the program I use to keep this site up to date, but no dice. My copy was too old for this technology. So I’ve been unable to update until I purchased a new copy of Dreamweaver. Unfortunately, that took a while, because Rowan’s medical bills just about broke us.

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Seattle summer is hard to beat

Seriously — we have the best summer in the country. The winters may drive me insane, but the summers are to DIE for. This year summer started in mid May. It has rained a handful of times… 3? 4?… since then. A few days have been in the 90s, but most in the 70s/lower 80s. Bliss!

My container garden is thriving. It’s low maintenance — I don’t have to fight bugs or bunnies or deer or weeds. All I have to do is water it each day, and I’ve done that religiously. I *did* have a near-tragedy with my tomato plant when the fruit-heavy top snapped off, but I tied it to the post in a way that the broken ends of the stem met and, believe it or not, I think it’s going to survive!

The wildlife is thriving too. We have a pack of coyotes living in our woods. I don’t see them too often, but we hear them at night fairly frequently. The deer have had their babies, though most of the ones around here this year are adolescents. I’ve enjoyed watching a nest of barn swallows grow up. Last year I don’t think any of this bird’s babies survived — falls from the nest are common and fatal — but this year all four of the babies did well. They all left the nest today!

Work is fine. I survived a round of vendor layoffs at the end of Q2, so I’ll be there for sure through the end of September. Beyond that nothing is certain. We’ve been saving money, and so we’ll be okay if I have to take a few months off, but there are pros and cons to that. I would LOVE to have the time off so I can work on my novel, and if I could guarantee I could restart the contract at my current job in Q1 next year, I would jump on that option. But I know that there’s no way they can guarantee that they’ll be able to rehire me next year, and it’s far easier to extend a contract than to get approval for a new one.

The other downside to taking time off would be financial. Like I said, we’ve been saving, so we’re not worried about not being able to afford the time off, but it would prevent us from fixing the drainage around the foundation this year. I really don’t want to deal with flooding in the basement again this winter! I suppose that as much as I want some time off to write, being employed and warm and dry is more important.

As I mentioned, I really have been working on my novel. I signed up for an online writing class to get my butt in the seat, and it actually worked! I’ve gotten some good feedback too.

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Planning a trip

It’s pretty darn certain at this point that I’ll be employed through September. If it’s up to my boss, I’ll be employed thereafter as well, but since the work drops off dramatically for our department in Q4, I’m betting they can’t justify the expense. Whether I’m employed in Q4 or not, I’m planning to take a 3-week drive trip in October. (No risk of snow this time! At least there better not be.)

Originally I had thought I would go east to Wisconsin to visit my friend Ashley, and then drop south to visit Jay’s parents in OKC and my birth mom in Texas. From there, I wanted to go to New Orleans and have my mom and husband fly in for a 3-4 day vacation.

In fact, I thought it would be cool if Jay’s parents could join us. And maybe our siblings! But my plans were dashed. Jay’s brother is graduating in September in Las Vegas, and he and his parents will have just gotten back from a big vacation there. His parents couldn’t take another vacation so close to that one. But they thought it sounded like a great plan and wanted to do it — just not now.

I mulled about it a while, and decided it really would make an excellent family trip, so I decided to put New Orleans on hold until next April or October. But what about this year? I didn’t want to waste an excellent travel opportunity, and I didn’t want to wait another year to see my mom. So I changed my whole plan.

Now I’m thinking I’m going to do a trip across the north side of the country. I’m going to visit Ashley in Wisconsin, and then continue east to visit Christie in Pittsburgh, stopping to see my friend LaShawn in Cleveland along the way. Mom can fly into Pittsburgh, and then she and I can do a several-day road trip in Pennsylvania to see Gettysburg, etc.

Jay is totally invited to fly into Pittsburgh to join my mom and me for Gettysburg, but he’s concerned that the cost to have someone take care of the animals for 4-5 days would be prohibitive. (And he doesn’t love flying.) But we’ll see. I’d hate for him to miss the trip — he hasn’t seen Gettysburg, and he loves historical stuff. I wonder if my brother and Stephanie would be interested? Oh well, I’m probably getting ahead of myself.

On the way back, I’ll take a new route. I’ll drive through Indianapolis and then through Iowa and Nebraska on I-80, and then a familiar route from Cheyenne back to Seattle. There are a couple of people I could potentially see on that trip, or I could just head for home.

All told, the trip will be roughly 6000 miles — about the same as the one I took in November 2007. I won’t see my birth mom or Jay’s family, but I’ll see both next year. And I will get to see both Ashley and Christie, two of my best friends on the planet (whom I don’t see often enough).

I’m terribly excited. I’ll need to buy a camera finally. I’ll plan to blog, just like last time. I’ll have to rent a car — fortunately, the summer gas prices should be dropping by then (I hope!). Man, I’m ready to hop in the car now! Hopefully, I’ll get some overtime during Q3 to help fund all this!

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Ah, spring!

This weekend is absolutely amazing. Clear sunny days, temperatures in the 70s, spring flowers and green foliage everywhere. I love it here in this kind of weather.

Jay finished fencing the front part of the property this afternoon, so I was able to turn the horses out for a while. They’d been eyeing the ungrazed grass for a while, so they were happy to get out. They’re good ponies — relaxed, gentle. Although they certainly have a good time and do their share of cutting up, I don’t ever worry that they’ll do something malicious, and they’re both sensible enough that I don’t worry about stupid stuff either. It was nice to just wander around with them, enjoying them and the gorgeous day.

My container garder is enjoying the warm weather too. We have had several days with highs in the mid-40s since Mother’s Day and several days with cold spring storms. I watered the containers religiously, but they stubbornly refused to grow, and I thought maybe the cold weather had killed the seeds. Either that or I had a browner thumb than I’d ever dream. (Seriously, how sad would it be if I couldn’t even get vegetables to grow in a container?)

But suddenly in the last few days, green sprouts have sprung up in every container. The cucumbers are doing especially well — I swear they’ve grown every time I look at them. The tomato plant hasn’t died <eye roll>, and there are sprouts in the container where I planted carrots and green onions. Not sure which of those I’m seeing, because they both look like weeds in the beginning. The last ones to appear were the peas and the soybeans, but as of today, they’re peeking up too. I’m having so much fun with this!

I love sunny spring days!

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Crisis averted

My mom had a medical crisis last night. At the time, we and the doctors thought it was a mild stroke, but they symptoms disappeared within a few hours, and although the final test results aren’t in, they think it was something called “Transient Global Amnesia.” It’s a very rare event and highly unlikely to reoccur. So we had a few tense hours, but it looks like everything is completely fine.

Of course, my brother and I were scared to death. Mom lives by herself in Memphis. Jeff and Stephanie live in Atlanta, and Jay and I live out here in Washington. We were infinitely grateful that Mom was out to dinner with her dear friend Laurie when the episode happened. What if she had been home alone? That terrifies me.

Mom is extremely independent — and healthy. She’s in her mid-70s, yes, but she’s healthier than I am. The woman works out regularly and goes dancing several times a week, for goodness sake. She’s sharp as a tack and perfectly capable of taking care of herself… but last night shows that can change in the blink of an eye. And then what do we do?

Jeff and Stephanie are going to Memphis tomorrow. Thankfully, it probably is an unnecessary trip, more for their comfort than for Mother’s. (She’ll be annoyed to be fussed over.) I’m worried about next time though… and it would be foolish to think there won’t be a next time. Sometime.

I just hope it’s a long way away.

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