Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Bittersweet memories

Today is a bittersweet day. It marks the 1 year anniversary of the loss of a wonderful gelding named Jethro; he was my heart horse, my trail buddy and my war horse. You know when a horse really has a connection to you they follow you everywhere whether you have treats or not. They fall asleep with their top lip tucked into your back pocket, they defend you in their own quirky farting in the face of adversity, or another horse.  Jethro was one of a kind, I got him when he was 24. Now some folks say that's too old and they need to be retired; but Jethro still had lots of life left in him, tons of energy and a drive to have his own person. We were a match made in took us a few weeks to connect but when we did it was heaven.

He followed me everywhere, across the arena without a lead rope or even the bridle without reins wherever I was is where he wanted to be. We rode in the arena, on trails and jogged along on the flat spots. Everyday I was at the barn, came home smelling of something so wonderful and magical...covered in white horse hair.

I wanted our relationship to last, and it did for 5 wonderful years.  Jethro started loosing weight in the spring of 2018, he was always a chunky monkey as he only stood 14.3 hands high. I always knew when winter was coming. Jethro had this uncanny gift of fluffling out with hair after 3 cool nights in a row. Come spring 2018, his hair dropped a little too quickly which was a sign something was amiss.
I increased his alfalfa flakes to 4 a day and his weight stayed good. I put shoes on his tender feet and rode him a few times before the fires took over the valley with tons of smoke.  I missed my handsome boy but the smoke was taking its toll on both of us. On the morning of Jethro's death, it started off hot and humid. I had moved him into the barn in May so that he could have shade and ease of access to lots of water. July 23rd came with a shock; Jethro had colicked in the night to wee hours of the morning. In his pain and not knowing how bad it was, he had broken his left hind leg thrashing in the stall of the barn. He was standing up when I came out to see him, but he wasn't in good shape. He was noticeably thinner, dripping blood from his male area and shaking with pain. I gave him some Bute for the pain but he was eating very little at that point. When he laid down that was his signal that he had given up on everything. My husband Left-Brain sprang into action and started dousing Jethro with cool water trying to calm the pain and fever until we could figure out how to get him off of the broken leg. Neighbors came over and helped turn him off of that leg, which we did. watching complete strangers help in the time of need is heartbreaking as everyone was crying watching my heart break while trying to get him up and standing not realizing the leg was broken.  When we got him onto the right side he perked up a little, started drinking water and started talking to me. He was saying goodbye. When he laid back down, he quit trying. By then I was on the ground with him, bawling my eyes out and laying on his neck and shoulder.  Everything around me ceased to exist; all I could focus on was my best friend was leaving me and there wasn't anything I could about it but follow the Horse's Ten Commandments....the last one stating to "be there when it's their time to go. Don' t leave me because it's less scary when you're there with me."  And I was, through my tears, heartache, pain deep in my chest and trying to figure out how to heal my broken heart. 

It's a year later now; I'm still heartbroken. I haven't replaced Jethro with another horse although we did find a "free horse" which came with his own host of problems. I could not find a way to bond with I reluctantly decided to just let him be a "pasture ornament" and I'm okay with that.

I desperately needed to tell my story; He was a beautiful soul and he waits for me on the other side until we are reunited once again. Jethro "Gibbs" 1989-2018

Friday, July 12, 2019

A sense of Belonging

Did you know, that the number 1 thing that all human beings desire the most is a sense of belonging  and accepted for who we really. We as humans want to feel needed, loved and accepted for who we really are. Sometimes, in our search for acceptance we join "community groups" in hopes of making friends and looking out for our communities. Sort of a "neighborhood watch" concept.  Most people who join these things are business owners, active in the community and for the most part....adults in their behavior. 

I had the misfortune to join a community group where I live. Misfortune might be a strong word...but there's a reasoning behind all this. Three days ago, there was a strange vehicle in my little part of the neighborhood. I had never seen the car before, so I posted to my community watch page asking if anyone recognized the vehicle?  Instead of being helpful, I got chided, mocked and called a profiler.
SERIOUSLY??  I was being cautious and vigilant as our community has an issue with gangs trying to establish "turf" I posted. Apparently, the establishment frowns upon posting newer vehicles that may or may not be up to no good in various neighborhoods.  So the admins, removed the post.  Okay, whatever.  So then, I got a private message from the admins stating that they "don't condone racially profiling of newer vehicles with crosses on their cars."  Again..SERIOUSLY????

Guess what I did? I managed to tick off the entire community, owners of brand new vehicles, people with crosses on their cars and the community page admins and I ALSO removed myself from their page as a member because, honestly if you can't ask a question about something that could be important....why would you stay in a group like that? 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Colonoscopy's and other things

So I survived the "rite of passage" the colonoscopy. The worst part was the solution they have you drink AND the after effects. Thank GAWD I won't have to do that for another 10 years....maybe by that time they'll invent a better way than drinking that stuff?

The doctor performing the "scoping" if you will had a great sense of humor! I asked if I could have a few postcards made for some of my enemies? Yes, I have one or two "jealous" rivals but that's a different story for another time.  Both she and the technician had a good laugh at most likely my expense. After everything was said and done, my mother in law "Junebug" and I went and had breakfast. I couldn't drive, operate machinery and the best part they advised me to "not make any important or life changing decisions" until the medications wore off. Brother, all I wanted was a hot cuppa coffee and some actual food where I could actually CHEW!!

Afterwards, I came home and  put my pajamas on and slept for 4 hours straight.  Whatever they give you to put you under is potent. It's only the start of a really good nap! I haven't slept that good since I had my wisdom teeth extracted....and even then my feet felt like I was wearing cement shoes.

Other than my follow up on the 9th of this month, not much has really made me want to put it down in black and white.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Counting Down

Tuesday morning I'll go in for what the older folks call a "rite of passage"....a colonoscopy!
Something to not look forward to is the preparation for said testing. When I turned 50, I was looking forward to enjoying my new found " half a century" age mark. What I wasn't looking forward to was ALL the testing that would eventually follow hot on my heels like lava running faster than I ever could.  Personally, I don't run. If you ever see me running, you probably should too because most likely something is chasing me and it's faster than the both of us!!

I finally got my tomato plants in the barrels. Left-Brain(that's my loving name for my hubby), thought it would be awesome to bring home 15 tomato plants of different varieties. My dad doesn't even plant that many tomatoes! I gave away 2 plants, which left me with 12 if my math is good. I planted 8....dammit I have 4 left. Some of my plants already have tiny little 'maters on them. Good thing I got them planted. Next year, Left-Brain isn't going to bring home as many plants OR I am going to give more of them away to neighbors! 

I also saw a really good idea for tomato planters using 50 gallon blue plastic food grade barrels and some PVC pipes for the framework. Just think; weed free soil?! I'm also in the world would I keep the ferals out of the planters? I have all thru the fall/winter and early spring to think up some ideas. I'm still not opposed to hot wiring everything....

So in preparation for Tuesday, I've already got my non-red or purple Jell-O sitting in the fridge waiting on me. I have chicken broth and my dreaded prep kit. The "fun" commences at 6 p.m. tomorrow evening. The following morning if 4:30 a.m. could be called morning....and I know that there's folks out there that are up earlier than that....I commend you. Have no clue how people function that early without coffee but I'm going to have to start my Tuesday at that ungodly hour and continue my morning in Left-Brain's recliner until my 8:30 a.m. appointment. Someone please tell me WHY I agreed to that particular time???

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Quirky little things....

Lately, I've planted some basil in these little pots. I water them faithfully and I place them in my kitchen window...which faces west. Y'all know what that means? That means hot summer sun! So this morning I watered them again and placed them on the porch railing to get morning sunshine. In the kitchen window, the leaves are a pale yellow and sunburned. Outside on the rails, they're a pale yellow and sunburned. I'm not attached to them, they mean zilch to me and I prefer succulents compared to a dirt like smelling herb in my windows/railings. If they expire, it won't hurt my feelings.  

I've been hesitant to plant my tomatoes near my house in barrels. I have in the past used liquid fence which most garden places including the Grange Co-op carries to keep unwanted critters out of your garden, yard and anywhere you are opposed to them digging. It works great, but some of the ingredients have a tendency to make me hunger for pasta and tamales. Lots of red pepper oil and garlic, and somehow I also long for a good dill pickle!

Left-Brain went out and mowed this past Saturday; he even mowed down the blackberry vines in the small patch of whatever that stuff is behind the house. We've lived here for over 6 years and have never done anything with the strip behind the house. I would like to get some gravel and lay it down so that we could store our lawn chairs, garden swing and patio table behind the house when not in use along with our garden tubs when we aren't growing anything in the winter months. I think it would make the perimeter of our house look much neater.  This is obviously an idea I need to pass by Left-Brain as he is the one who knows what is needed to bring home from his workplace.  In the meantime, I need to talk to the gardening center and figure out what to use to kill those invasive blackberry vines that I never wanted in the first place. You have tender toes on your pups you certainly don't need blackberry vines.

It's going to be beautiful in the next couple of days...I'm going to work in the yard! 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Here comes the sun!

And the heat index is going to soar into the triple digits! Two weeks ago, we had humidity that could melt a few crayons in the backseat of a luxury car. Now, I'm assuming that summer is here....if only for a little while. El Nino is a fickle child.

I've been doing "battle" with the nomadic slugs....the ones that come with their own studio apartment? I got them drunk last summer on skunk beer, they didn't return for a while but boy howdy are they back with a vengeance!!   And of course the earwigs are just out in full force. Diamotaceous  earth may be my only hope at this point....remember how I try to keep things "natural" in my house and yard? Yeah...well this finely ground powder is actually fossilized crustaceans from below the ocean's surface that when belly crawlers slither across this stuff it opens them up like a beautifully honed filet knife sliding through butter. My mom is going to think I've gone off the deep end typing up ways to rid your garden of pests and insects; but dang these things make my skin crawl.

Not too long ago, I got a green thumb idea. I have lots of little garden fiasco's and I have a tendency to scorch my tomato plants depending on where I place them. I remember my Poppy(that's my dad) telling me something about morning sun but shade during the heat of the day especially in Oregon climates such as Southern Oregon. Hey, if you can melt crayons in a luxury can scorch tomatoes!! That's a fact, Jack!  Anyway, I have resin barrels with holes drilled in them for drainage thanks to Left-Brain, that look like whiskey barrels without the smell. Easier to move when they're empty and you don't have to worry about the metal bands slipping down. I also have an ongoing battle with feral cats using my barrels and such for "litter boxes"! I've thought about hooking up some chicken wire to the barrels and hooking those up to a hot wire fence box.....Left-Brain said "No".... he spoils all my fun!  So, my other idea was to bring my barrels up near the house because hey, morning sun is pretty abundant where I live. And by 2 p.m. that's when it starts heating up my plants will be in the shade. Also, it's close enough by the house that the roaming cats are less likely to come near my plants....I hope?

I also transplanted a few hens and chicks succulents in those pretty round terracotta looking bowls and placed them on the cement and near my stairs to the porch. They make a pretty accent and I just love their name. Where I live "management" frowns on having farm critters other than cats or dogs. Just once, I'd like to have a rooster voice box set to start crowing about 6:30 a.m. for a few days just to see how much fun I could have with it? It gets boring around here and I have to find ways to keep the manager on his toes. Wouldn't want him to start poking his nose into other tenant's business other than ours.

Until next time.....

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Coming home is bittersweet......

Coming home is often bittersweet when returning to the state you were born in. Sometimes, when you come home it's for taking care of family in their later years. Other times you come back home because you miss your roots and you want a better place to start over. Most people return to their home state after being in the military, no longer overseas or stationed elsewhere. 

Whatever the reasons, it's always nice to get together for hugs, laughter, food and making plans for other occasions. New grandchildren getting to know their "memaw and pop-pop" their aunts and uncles and taking tons of pictures in the process. It's a time to renew old friendships, hug your adult kids and their spouses.

With this all said; Left-Brain's older brother and his wife and two teenaged kids are relocating back to Oregon after living in Texas for over 10 years while stationed in the army. Eventually, everyone moves back home after finding life outside of Oregon.

So, in many ways moving back to your home state is bittersweet.