Tank has a new home!

Tank’s New Home

Unfortunately, it’s with me.  Haha!  I don’t need another cat but my son fell in love with Tank.  There’s still a small chance that he has to go to another home but we won’t know for a few weeks yet.  It will depend on whether or not he gets along with my other cats.  When my daughter had her cat here, it couldn’t get along with one of mine and I’m not doing that again.  One had to stay upstairs and one downstairs and it just wasn’t fair to either one of them.  The good news here is that even if I can’t keep him, he has a home lined up.  Plan B.  My friend from work has met him and will take him if he doesn’t fit in.

I still can’t believe they had to amputate his toe. His recovery is going okay though.  They didn’t bandage him at all so we’re not really sure how to keep the kitty litter out of his raw foot.  Every day it looks a little better.  The vet said that it will be at least another 3 or 4 days before he puts any weight at all on it.

Tank the cat


I Didn’t Do Anything Tonight

Wow, I really didn’t do anything tonight.  Nothing at all.  I don’t like it when I do that.  It feels like I’ve wasted so much time.  I didn’t plan on doing nothing.  It just sort of happened.

I was supposed to go to a board meeting but I didn’t want to go.  These meetings are super stressful and with all the stress from work already building up, I wasn’t in the mood.  The below zero weather has me not wanting to leave the house either.  Even a short walk from the car to a building leaves your fingers and nose burning from the cold.  And when I am bundled up enough, it takes a ton of effort just to move from all the layers of coats, snow pants, gloves, hats, socks, shirts, pants.  Ugh.. it gets heavy!

So, I sat down at the computer to do a few things and never got up to do anything else.  I changed my Oberweis order and worked on my budget.  My kids talked to me for a bit and then all of a sudden it was 10:30 p.m.  Time for bed.

I didn’t even do a load of dishes or work upstairs for a few minutes.  Oh well, they’ll both have to wait until another day!

Happy New Year’s Eve!!

This is the hourly forecast for New Year's Day 2018. These temps are fahrenheit.

This is the hourly forecast for New Year’s Day 2018. These temps are in Fahrenheit.

My New Year’s Eve hasn’t started exactly the way I was planning.  I needed to run to the barn this morning to feed the animals.  It’s excruciatingly cold outside so I was trying to make it quick.  There was nothing quick about it.  Everything takes forever when it’s this cold because everything is 100 times harder to do.

Thankfully, the horses were all fine.  They are handling the cold as if it’s the middle of summer.  In fact, horses do better in the cold than they do in the heat so they’re okay.  They have 17 different built in thermoregulatory mechanisms to keep themselves warm.

Gracie the Pig

The other animals, however, are not doing so well.  The pig is freezing to death.  She’s so cold that she’s shivering.  They put up a heat lamp for her and built her a little shelter inside her shelter.  I threw a bunch of hay in with her so she could burrow into it.  We’re still having a hard time keeping her water unfrozen.  There’s just no relief from the cold.

Sunny the Mini Horse

One of the mini horses had ice balls on her feet.  It’s very dangerous because they can slip when there’s ice on their feet so we couldn’t leave them.  We had to fix her feet before we left.  We held hand warmers on them until the ice finally let go.

Tank the Barn Cat

Lastly, our favorite barn cat got his leg caught in the back of a chair and couldn’t move.  It took us a little while to get his leg free and then it swelled up huge once we got it out.  We’re not sure how long he was there like that.  He was finally putting a little weight on his leg when we left but if he’s not much better when we get back, my daughter has offered to let him stay with her while he heals up.  If I need to take him to a vet, I will do that too.  He’s a wonderful cat.

Well, that’s how my day started!  I hope yours is going better!!

Horse Rescue!

All night I’ve been moving stuff from one side of the room to the other.  Totally unproductive.  Last Thursday was much more exciting.  My friend had asked me to clean the barn and let the horses in so my daughter and I headed over there.  We were hurrying because she had horse bowl that night.  Everything was done quickly.  We could’ve gotten to horse bowl with a few minutes to spare.

We were letting the last horse in but he didn’t come to the gate.  He’s 30 years old and recently started taking a new medication for Cushing’s Disease.  30 years old is very old for a horse so we had a feeling that maybe his time was up.  It was dark out but my daughter went into the corral to look for him with her little cell phone flashlight.  She caught a glimpse of him in the corner laying on the ground kind of curled up. She was crying while I texted my friend that we thought he was dead.

I got the bigger flashlight from my truck and my friend came down to the barn.  The three of us went out to the corral.  Things didn’t look good at first but we realized right away that he was still breathing.  His head was in a very awkward position and his legs were sticking straight out to the side.  It was a terrible sight. His heart was racing and he was sweating like crazy.  It was so cold outside that steam was coming off him and the smell coming from him wasn’t good.  We got him a blanket and put it over him.

He straightened out his head and got his legs down a little bit.  At one point, we tried to get him up but he just couldn’t stand up.  Horses can’t lay down for too long or their own weight will crush their organs.  We didn’t know how long he had been there.  His owner was on her way but it was right around 5:00 and the traffic was terrible.  My friend was talking to her on the phone and put her on speaker.  When the horse heard her voice, he tried to get up but still couldn’t do it.

He’s Going to Make It!

He hung on like a champ.  His owner called once more when she was about 10 minutes away.  This time when he heard her voice, he started kicking his legs like crazy.  It wasn’t enough to get him up so we just told him to rest some more and to hang in there because she would be there in a few minutes.  Then all of a sudden, he managed to get himself up.  He stumbled a few times but got his feet under him.  It was amazing!!

The vet came and checked him out.  He looked like a totally different horse than an hour earlier.  Once he was moving, he started looking for food.  That’s always a good sign!  Thankfully he’s still doing great.  I don’t think he would have made it much longer if we hadn’t looked for him.  He was so cold and his body was using all it’s energy to try to warm up.  It was exhausting for him.  The vet said that he may have been panicking which was causing all that shaking.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

I hope everyone has a great day today!  I’m a little lost this year.  We usually go on a short vacation over Thanksgiving because it’s not my favorite holiday.  So, it just doesn’t seem like Thanksgiving since I’m not at a waterpark today.  At least we’re going to go paint pottery tomorrow which is something that we usually do on our trip.  I can’t wait!!

My health hasn’t been great lately and I think it’s related to the water that we had in the basement a few months ago.  I failed a lung test that the doctor ordered.  They are calling it asthma but I’ve never been diagnosed with asthma before.  I asked the doctor if this could be caused by mold and he said yes, it could be making the asthma worse.  My thyroid isn’t helping matters either.  He said that if it’s not right, that can trigger the asthma too.  Interesting but a little scary too.

A Great Day for Giving Thanks

With all this scary health stuff going on, I feel like I really need to give thanks today.  I may not be rich, famous, skinny, beautiful, or any of the other things that people think make us happy but I’m certainly blessed.  There’s a lot for me to be thankful for.  I have a great family, a decent home (minus the damage from the hoarding), wonderful pets, and food on the table most days.  My neighborhood is nice and I have a good job not far from home.  My internet connection works almost 100% of the time and I have some really great friends.  And I have a horse.  A HORSE!  That was literally my life dream since I was in diapers.  We’ve had some great experiences with him and he is a blessing for sure!

No matter where you are in the world today, I hope you have something to be thankful for too!

An Acceptable Kind of Mess

I’m 90% of the way to having an acceptable mess, what I like to call a normal mess.  It’s the kind of mess where you can let someone in and not be completely embarrassed.  It’s a mess but you can see the floor and walk around without tripping over things.  There’s no mound of stuff off to the side waiting to grow to the size of Mt. Everest.  It’s very nice!

Unfortunately, you have to walk through my front porch to get into the house and the cleaning I did out there a few months ago didn’t last.  You can hardly get in the front door and now it’s so cold that it’s hard to work on it again.  I’ve been trying to think of what I can do with everything that’s out there and haven’t come up with an idea yet. It’s going to be my summer project.

Acceptable Mess = More Fun

I’m heading out to the barn to spend time with my horse.  I don’t feel guilty doing that since the house looks okay.  Yay!

Horse Show Accident

The last circuit show of the year didn’t go so well.  Showing was going okay but when my daughter asked for a canter, the pony said no.  She did a little jump, planted her front feet and let out a buck. My daughter went over her, landed on her head and then flipped over.  She’s okay but it was very scary!

Thankfully, we have a great group of people in our horse project. One of the moms is an emergency room nurse and she was there in a flash helping my daughter.  One of our young alumnis is also a nurse so she came right away too. They were so good and kept everyone calm until the paramedics got there.  Other people came and helped with the horses. 

Another thing I was grateful for was that Flash has gotten so good at loading into a trailer that it was no problem for our friends to load him up to get him home. While they waited for our friend to get there, the 4-H kids all made sure he had everything he needed. 

We were only at the hospital for a couple hours while they did a few tests to make sure nothing was broken. She had a mild concussion and a headache to go with it but that was it.  She’s very sore today but we’ll take it!  It could’ve been so much worse!!

Finally Home From Fair

Our county fair was a huge success this year!!  The last couple of years have been trying and I was dreading it for a number of reasons.  Certain people, weather, decorating the barn, and all the gear that you need for horse and human are just a few.  It seems that the older I get, the harder it gets to pull it all together.

The First Day of Fair

Moving in was smooth.  We put the camper up and then got the horse.  He loaded right up so I knew things were going to be okay.  His stall was waiting for him the minute we got there.  My daughter was showing a friend’s horse also and they were there waiting for us too.  We spent about an hour moving everything from the trailer to the tack stall and didn’t worry about it being a mess or not.  It was in there and we had the rest of the day for organizing.  Both horses were doing great.

The Show Days

The next couple of days were for showing.  On Friday, before noon, my daughter had qualified for the state show with our horse so the pressure was off! We could relax the rest of the time but she really wasn’t into the whole relaxing thing.  She was still giving 100% and thankfully won the Pony Championship in English Pleasure!  Yay!  It was a great day for her and the pony (and the pony’s owner!)

Last Day of Fair

The last day of fair was a fun day for everyone.  The kids participated in an extreme trail class, a costume contest, and a fun gymkhana type show.  After spending three days being all dressed up prim and proper, they could ride in the trail obstacle course and the fun show however they wanted.  The only requirements were jeans, boots, helmet, and short sleeve shirt.  They could ride bareback or with a saddle, english or western, english bridle with a western saddle, etc.  It was just for fun, making new friends, and creating great memories.

The Few Things that Didn’t Go Well

Cleaning up didn’t go so great but I still didn’t let it bother me.  It took us a long time to get everything packed into the trailer.  Thankfully, both horses loaded right up.  We didn’t get home until almost 10:30 p.m. and thankfully I took off today.  It really helped a lot!

The weather was pretty rough.  It was hot and incredibly humid.  When it’s that humid, you feel damp and sticky all the time and there’s no way to get out of it.  It’s everywhere.  Sitting makes the sweat run down your back.  Cleaning out stalls makes sweat run down everywhere.

Parking can be a challenge too.  Once in awhile I needed to run home and getting back into the fairgrounds was tricky because there were lines.  After we got in, the people directing the traffic didn’t understand the whole camping thing and would try to direct us to other places. It was frustrating trying to get back to the camping spot.

Last but not least, I’m just getting old.  I can’t bend my right elbow.  I’m not sure if it has something to do with the IV that I had on Monday or something else but it’s stuck.  I have bruises all over my arm from the tech who couldn’t get the IV in but I don’t know if that would cause this.  Also, when we got back to the barn, our horse was hungry by then and practically ran us over to get out of the trailer and back inside his home.  He stepped on my foot and I was not wearing boots.  Of course, my baby toe is swollen, bruised, and hurts like heck today.

It was a GREAT fair

I shouldn’t complain at all because it was a great fair.  The kids and parents were all awesome this year.  We met a lot of new people and everyone stayed safe.  Only one girl fell off of her horse the entire week.  One of the judge’s was telling us that she debated about not coming because at the last county fair she went to, they had to call an ambulance 4 times on one day because the kids were just terrible riders.  She said that our kids are all very very good riders and we should be proud of all 35 of them. It makes me feel good to know that as 4-H leaders, we’re all doing a great job getting the kids ready for showing.

Despite the few negatives, I think this was the best fair that we’ve had in a number of years.  I can’t wait for the board meeting next week so I can go and tell them all the positive things I heard people saying.  I hope everyone had as good of a time as I did!


Pots and Pans Fill the Cupboards

When I was about 12 years old, I spent my summer babysitting for a little boy up the street.  We didn’t normally cook food but on one particular day, the mom gave me something to cook.  I had to ask the little boy where they kept the pots and pans.  At my house, we had about 10 different frying pans to choose from, a bunch of the quart size ones, and about 20 in between sizes.  There was no shortage of pots and pans.  Small ones and big ones.  Nice ones and well used ones.  I thought everyone had that many pots and pans.  It was normal to me.

He told me which cabinet they were in.  Cabinet?  Just one cabinet?  I opened it up and there was only one pan of each size.  I remember the day very vividly even though it was a long time ago.  It was strange to not have so many choices, almost confusing to me. I asked him where the rest were and he told me that was all they had.  Searching through the rest of the cabinets, I was panicking a little bit.  When I asked him why they didn’t have more, he asked why they needed more.  We cooked a lot more after that and it was nice to know that even though there were only a few pots and pans, it was enough.  We didn’t need anymore.

Pots and Pans Everywhere

I remembered this tonight as I looked around my kitchen at all the pots and pans everywhere.  Why do we have so many?  A lot of them even have teflon flaking off and they should be thrown away.  If we only had a couple, there would only be a couple to wash.  There wouldn’t be stacks of them.  I would be able to put them away instead having to leave them out because they don’t fit in a cabinet.

What about you?  Do you have lots of pots and pans?  Or just a few? I’m curious to know which is more common.

A Great Summer Full of Short Trips

I’ve had some opportunities to travel a little bit this summer.  It hasn’t been much but it’s gotten me out of the house and given my brain a chance to recharge.

The First Trip was to Chicago

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.  It was great!  The zoo is free which is wonderful but parking is another story.  We walked there so we wouldn’t have to pay for the parking.  We were supposed to take Ubers but it didn’t seem like it was that far away.  It was 1.5 miles.  Big mistake to walk. Next time, I would go with the Ubers.  Our feet didn’t fare so well because the zoo is huge too and also involves a lot of walking.  It’s a beautiful zoo.

The next thing in my daughter’s plan was going to Molly’s Cupcakes.  I had a Caramel Butterscotch cupcake and I can honestly say that it was the best cupcake that I’ve ever had in my life.  It was delicious. Molly’s Cupcakes was on Cupcake Wars and won the season finale.  I can see why!  They’re the best. Delicious!  Sorry, I forgot to take pictures because I was exhausted by this point.

Second Trip was to the Middle of Nowhere

The second trip was to northern Wisconsin.  Not  much here but family!  Beautiful scenic area though.  Very relaxing and right on a lake.  Their cottage is gorgeous.

These trips have been complete opposites but they’ve been the same amount of fun and relaxing.  I liked Chicago a lot more than I thought I would.  It seems every time I go there, I have a problem with traffic which is why I was kind of dreading this trip.  My anxiety over it was really high and my stomach was killing me.  So here’s what we did to make it a little easier, we got there at 7:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning.  While there was still a lot of traffic, it wasn’t unbearable.  My son-in-law was ready and waiting to take our car to a parking spot  when we got there.  Then he went and got it for us when we were ready to head home.  That helped a lot with the stress of this trip.