Friday, February 27, 2009
I used to sit down and blog in my spare time, but now I fold about four loads of laundry, or do the dishes. How pathetic is that??? LOL!!! I guess that is what taking four classes will do to you, but it was either take them now, or take them next year when I am trying to complete my internship. I thought that this year sounded better...what the heck was I thinking???? LOL!!!
I noticed that a couple of you have left me "little somethings" on your blogs, and I promise to make it over to them this weekend and see what they are/were.
Well...I am off to stats class. Wish me luck!!!
Saturday, February 21, 2009
And while we have never actually seen a bear, we find their tracks and their scat (poo!) all over the place. One time though, when my hubby was playing at a softball tournament in Wenatchee, we saw a big black bear who was just meandering along a ridge line; until he saw us, that is!!! Then he quickly shuffled/ambled away from our rig and over the hilltop. There are also several cougars, but I really don't care to see one of those...lol!!!! The other day, we found this skeleton lying on the side of an old, not well traveled logging road (above). Most of it was still intact, and I couldn't help but wonder why? I think it may have been a young or small coyote, but usually other birds and animals scavenge the body and spread the bones around. I can't remember what movie this phrase is off of, but "It is a puzzlement."
I couldn't believe that I was able to get a shot of this deer. They usually see us, and then move away to a safer distance, but this doe stood her ground. Aren't deer pretty???
And last but not least, we have a large, well traveled game trail, compliments of one of the many elk herds in our area. I know it kind of looks like a big, muddy blob, but is actually a large trail that you can follow deep into the woods. When we are on horseback we will often follow them to see where they go.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
And as you can see, she was quite pleased that we took her along. (Not so with Bo!! Can you see his ears??) Amber used to pony her on rides a lot, but now that she has kidlets who can ride and drive her again, she kind of stopped doing it.
Do you notice anything else unusual about these pictures??? Yes?? No??? Well I am riding Waska and not Bo. Amber had taken him on two long rides, two days in a row, and didn't want him to hate her, so she asked me if I wanted to ride him. Gee thanks Amber...let's make him hate me instead...lol!!!
Amber took a big risk in buying him really, because she was going off of what I was feeling from him and not what she was feeling...because she couldn't ride. Anywho, I guess what I am trying to say is that I like Waska's energy a lot better than I like Bo's.
Don't get me wrong...I still love Bo Bo, and will continue to ride him (unless I can convince Amber to let me ride Waska forever...lol and just kidding!!), but he puts off a kind of frantic, frenetic, energy (similar to the way I used to be, and the energy I can still put off when I am stressed); whereas Waska puts out a calm, soothing, and relaxed energy (similar to the person that I am now). Something for me to think about, eh?
Look at Sienna warning us to get back (below)!! Isn't she just the cutest??
I mean, I was riding Waska in his rope halter and galloping for Pete's sake, and I was not worried about anything at all. I honestly think that this is because Bo is extremely chargey (I know...not a real word!) and he puts out that chaotic energy, which then makes my chaotic energy react. Make sense???
Waska on the other hand, just gallops freely and easily, causing me to stay relaxed. I was really amazed, because I had just written that post about galloping, and here I was doing it with no inhibitions whatsoever. Weird, huh??? Kind of a cool realization too though....
Well...thanks for bearing with me here... I am off to study statistics and social policy. I will try to get out and catch up with your blogs between now and Sunday. I have skimmed some of them, but have not had time to leave good comments. I promise I will be back...lol!!!
I think what is important to remember is that chicken pox is a CHILDHOOD disease, that is uncomfortable, inconvenient, and potentially able to cause serious secondary infections/complications. It is terrible and scary when your child has it (trust me, I know!!), but with proper nutrition, access to quality health care, and medications such as calamine/caladryl lotions, Benadryl, oatmeal and/or baking soda baths, and acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen, most children can recover from Chicken Pox with little more than a few unsightly scars. (Hi Chelsi!)
Adults and teenagers on the other hand, do not handle the disease well, and are prone to complications from high fevers, sores, skin infections, excessive scarring, bronchitis, pneumonia and encephalitis to name a few. Of course children can suffer from the above problems too, but they are less likely(under the above mentioned conditions). I
It is also important to remember that the chicken pox vaccine is new, and still rather experimental. If any of you are familiar with the polio vaccines, you know that there used to be two versions: the live one, and the "killed" one. The live vaccine was discontinued after it was discovered that most of the new cases were actually caused by the vaccine. (Kind of sounds like the chicken pox one, eh?)
Soooooo....maybe in another 10-15 years, the drug companies will be able to find a safe and effective chicken pox vaccine, and it can be eradicated like a lot of other childhood and non-childhood diseases. My PSA was just to make people aware of the possible side effects and complications of the immunization, and you don't have to agree with me. :)
I am all about informing yourself, and not just doing something because the doctor says to do it. This being said, you must do what makes YOU comfortable too. I just wanted to remind people that 10-12 years ago, before the vaccine came out, chicken pox was seen as a rite of passage through childhood...an unfortunate and icky one, but one none the less.
PS-I am not contesting the efficacy of other childhood immunizations that have been around for YEARS, and have successfully helped to almost eradicate several diseases. (Except for pertussis, because it is occurring in immunized children, so obviously something is going on there)
Thanks for all of your well wishes for Miss Katie!! She is finally starting to feel much better. And a big thanks to my mom for helping me out so I could keep going to school!! :)
Monday, February 16, 2009
"...And lastly, I've heard the last round of vaccine from the last couple years has NOT been protecting from chicken pox. It's going around at Dude's school side by side with something that doesn't quite look like chickenpox, but sorta acts like it, minus the blisters. This leaves me wondering if the vaccine is really just setting our kids up to get chickenpox as an adult- which can lead to all sorts of problems in itself."
As many of you know, I have been a nurse who worked in a doctors office for over 10 years, and I happened to be around when the varicella vaccine (the virus that causes chicken pox) first came out. It is a live vaccine, which means that it can give the child an active case of the disease, and it is given in a series of two shots.
Now...I was amazed when parents jumped all over this immunization in the first place, because it was brand new, and honestly, almost all of us adults had chicken pox and we survived it just fine. There are secondary complications to the disease, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, skin infections, and death, but these are rare, and are caused when bacteria sets in...not from the actual virus itself.
Suddenly there were commercials all over the television that told the public that chicken pox was a deadly disease that could be prevented, and consumers started calling and bringing their children in for the immunization. I remember asking a drug rep (whose company made the vaccine) why the vaccine had been developed, and he looked me right in the eyes and told me it was for convenience (and of course money!). He said that the average child, and thus parent, misses about one week of school (parent misses work), and that it was easier for everybody involved, if they didn't have to miss school and/or work. Okay...I'll buy that, but is it safe and effective??? Most definitely, I was assured.
We started noticing that kids who were given the immunization, were getting really sick, with high fevers, runny noses, and coughs, and that they would break out with anywhere from 2-40 pox's after the immunization. This was not entirely shocking, as the vaccine was live, but what we weren't prepared for was that the kids would do this more than once.
Let me emphasize that not all of the immunized children had this reaction , and not all of them got a mild case of chicken pox more than once, but it did/does happen...frequently. I decided that I would take my chances, and not immunize my children, and as you can see, they have both now had the virus.
Would I wish chicken pox on anybody??? No!! It is awful, and I wish that the vaccine was 100% effective, but for more than 1/2 of the immunized children, it is not. As Oregon Sunshine pointed out, kids are now getting multiple cases of chicken pox, or they are getting strange rashes that resemble chicken pox, but are not quite chicken pox. Scientists (the MD kind) think that this new type of almost chicken-pox-but-not-quite-chicken-pox is a type of mutated varicella virus, that may, and they emphasize the word "may," have been caused from the immunization.
Obviously immunizations can be effective, and prevent terrible epidemics, but I always push for parent/patient education. Don't do something just because the television and your doctor say it is okay. Do the research first and make an informed decision before you take medications, have surgery, or get certain immunizations.
PS-If you are teenager or an adult, and have never had an active case of chicken pox, ask your doctor to have a varicella titer drawn to see if you have developed antibodies to the disease. If you have, great!!! And if you haven't, consider getting the immunization, because the older you are when you get the disease, the worse you develop it, and the risk of developing secondary complications goes up significantly.
Okay...I will get off of my soapbox now!!! LOL!!!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Katie woke up this morning with chicken pox. She has been tired and cranky for the past two days, and maybe had a slight fever last night, but I had no idea that she was incubating these things!!
(Below is a picture of Katie's back this morning)
I must admit that I was taken completely by surprise, because as far as I know, she has/had not been exposed to any one who has them. All of the kidlets at their school are really sick, and many have them have been missing multiple days of class, but the word around the school is that strep is going around. Hmmmm....well this is definitely not strep throat...lol!!!
I was also under the impression that Katie may have had antibodies to the chicken pox virus, because she has been exposed to it numerous times, and has never developed it. Guess I was wrong, eh??? Poor girl!!! She is covered in Calamine lotion and getting small doses of Benadryl to help out with the itching. (Below is Eric when he had them)At least the rest of us have all had them. Eric was one when he got them, and it was really easy because of his age. He never scratched or anything, and he had a terrible case. They were even on the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet! Thank goodness the kidlets don't have school tomorrow, and I am hoping that she will be able to return to class by Wednesday.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Do you know what I could have bought with that money??? How about a new car, a horse (a couple of horses, really!!), new appliances, new furniture, or a totally awesome family vacation to somewhere exotic and fun, like Antigua. Or I could have put it all in savings, and actually have one...lol!!! All whining aside, I know that my education will pay off in the long run, but I just forked out $458 for four text books...two of which were used. When the girl rang me up, my mouth literally fell open at the total amount. I was like "Are you kidding me???" Apparently she was not, and she informed me that a guy who is a physics major, just dropped over $900 for his. Guess I should just shut up and quit complaining, eh???
Then, to rub salt in my bank account's wounds, my husband and I got our taxes done on Sunday (which was a good thing!!!) and we had to pay for it up front. Know how much that cost??? Over $220 at H&R Block, and we were informed that the rates are down this year. Says who???
I am pathetic, I know, but I just got slapped for over $600 that I don't really have. I will have it in about one month when the check comes from the IRS, but until then, we are pinching pennies.
Ahhhhhhhhh....the joys of our crumbling economy!!! I will just have to focus on the positive, right??? Things could always be worse, right????
Anywho...sorry to vent and whine. I know my problems are small compared to what thousands of people are dealing with.
Thanks for listening!! :)
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Friday, February 6, 2009
Well, when our weather WAS so nice (yes, that is past tense!!), the chittlins and I did quite a bit of biking, hiking, and walking/running around. I did that without my kidlets too, but I have to look like I am a great mommy, so I will only post about what I do with the cornheads...lol!!! (Remember that post I did about keeping it real???)For some reason, the kidlets like to show me up, and they run up the trail.....and back down the trail....up the trail....and back down the trail....up the trail....you get what I am saying right???? That they joyfully run laps around me, like the steep incline is nothing to them. Like it doesn't hurt their hips, or their knees, or their ankles, or their feet, and Eric was doing it with his backpack on. Did I mention that it weighed 15 pounds??? I tell you what.....Then, as if that's not bad enough, they stopped on the way down and made faces at me!!! (Actually we were still on our way up, and I had passed them for a change...lol!!!)
Do you see how blue our skies were??? We had about one week of that, and now it is 38 degrees and raining again. Blechhhhh!!!!At the base of our mini mountain, was the resident elk herd. However (and I think this may have been due to the recent earthquake that we had) all of the resident elk herds had joined together into one big herd. It was an amazing sight, with more than 70 elk all congregated together. What was even cooler, was that we could see them from atop our mini mountain, so we knew exactly were to look for them once we climbed back down.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Oh, and Kacy??? This is the picture that I mentioned like a week or two ago. This trail made me think of you and your Wa mare, out practicing with natures cavalettis! :) You can't really see the downed saplings very well (they got bigger as we went along), but they were just the right size.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Because Amber knows Bo so well, and because she knows me so well, she ambushed me into galloping the first time that we madly ran down the trail. This was last May, and I had cantered Bo in the arena (control!!!), but not out on the trail yet. She took off on Waska...without warning...and Bo, who likes to be in front, promptly charged off after him. I remember that at first I was frozen with fear. This was it. I was going to die. And then I remember yelling at Amber to please slow down, because Bo was surely going to try to buck, and that I was a mother with kids, and couldn't afford to be hurt. She just pulled up along side of me, looked over, laughed, and said "Mel, Bo is NOT going to hurt you! I promise. Now quit fighting with him, give him his head, and lets go!!" And off we went.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Have any of you seen someone who has had 1/2 of their face ripped off, or seen someone who has undergone facial surgery??? Trust me...it is really nasty. The swelling that accompanies trauma to a face is unbelievable, and my mother looked like the Elephant Man for about two weeks. Not only that, but I was a typical "I hate my mother" teenager, and when she almost died....well lets just say it made me feel really guilty. Like it was somehow my fault that she got hurt. So there you have it! I think that I am now cured...lol!!!
(Shadest and Sienna circa 1995)
Now on to part two....This part is really simple. Most of you have read all about Shadest (my childhood horse of 16 years), and about how wonderful he was. And he truly was...don't get me wrong, but he had one tragic flaw, and that was that he had the habit of turning into a complete, full-out, rodeo bronc when you cantered or galloped him. And I am not talking about a little crow hop here and a bigger buck there...he literally would explode like one of those horses on the old Western movies. (I think that most of you have seen those and know what I am talking about) (Shadest and Beki in a Showmanship class)
Now I would like to think that he bucked like that because he was ridden by a bunch of young punks, and so he got away with it, but I remember the first time he did it to me, I jumped off of him when he was done, and literally beat the S%*@# out of him. Once I knew to watch for it, I would ride it out as best I could ,and then beat the snikies out him. I had chiropractors, saddle fitters, massage therapists, and acupuncturists check him out (multiple times), and no one could find any cause for his behavior either. And the bad part was that he was the best horse other than that. He would go anywhere and do anything, but you literally placed your life in grave danger when you cantered or galloped him.
Trainers??? Well they wanted me to "leave" Shadest with them for a month or two, and they promised to get the buck out of him, but being a silly, romantic teenage girl, I wasn't about to let that happen. In retrospect, I should have sent him to someone (with a good reputation), or my parents should have forced me to...I don't know.....
(Me and Shadest circa 1992)
As he got older, and his training kept progressing, I began to ride more and more English style, and had a Dressage instructor suggest that I ride him in a jointed Pelham with either double reins or a connector, so I would at least have some leverage to stop him from bucking. Thankfully it helped out a lot, but he was still dangerous, because you never knew when he was going to explode...it wasn't every time I rode him.
Thankfully I was never hurt on him, but as I got older, my sisters started showing and riding him, and Amber sustained a concussion or two, and a broken arm. By that point, we had had him for so long that selling him wasn't an option, and I began to look around for a trainer to take him to, as I was now a mother and did not want to risk my life anymore. As you all know he ended up colicking and being put down, so I never had the chance to try that last step, but I can tell you that if he were still alive today, I would not let my kidlets ride him any faster than a trot/jog. Even if he had gone to a trainer and they had fixed the problem. Would I still ride him??? Probably, but that is only because I knew how to keep an iron grip on his reins when we cantered.
(Shadest and Jen)
So now you can probably see why I will only ride well-broke and trustworthy horses today. I have been there and done that, and I don't want to do it again...lol!!!
Old Bo Bo has been such a blessing in my life, because I knew him from when Amber had him before, and even though he does occasionally have his out of body experiences (what Arab doesn't??) he doesn't buck or rear or try to kill me...lol!!!
Well I hope that I haven't bored you all to tears, and I do have one more tidbit that I want to share with you (later), and then I will get back to blogging as usual...I promise!
Monday, February 2, 2009
Again....thanks to all of you! It means a lot to me that I come to mind when it is ward time!!! :)