Friday, July 30, 2010

Things on my mind...

Let's start with Flash. I went out and took some pics of him last night so I could do comparisons. I'm having a hard time seeing any change in him right now, which is a bummer.

Not only do I have my own guilt to deal with, but the neighbor up the road felt compelled to stop by and tell me how horrible I am for starving my horse (he was standing knee-deep in hay as we were speaking). I tried to explain to this person all that I have been doing to try to figure out why he is losing weight so rapidly, but none of that seemed to matter. In the end, I ended up in tears and he walked away threatening to call the ASPCA. On top of that, Flash didn't finish his grain. It was not a good night.

So, here are the pictures... let me know if you see a difference. I'm too close to it to really see anything at this point.

Last week...
This week...
Last week...
This week...

OK, on to the next thing on my mind... the house.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad the house is sold and that I don't have to worry about how the mortgage was going to get paid, are the renters going to trash the place, etc., etc. 

On the other hand, that was kind of like my savings. I put so much into our first house, which allowed us to buy this house and now it is sold and I made... nothing. My savings (and any hope, thereof) is gone. Not only that, but the last tie to ex-hub is also severed... and that is making me kind of sad, as well. Not because I want that type of relationship back... but it is still sad. 

It's like I'm mourning that break-up all over again. 

I'm in a funk.

Normally, when I'm in a funk I ride. But I have a sick horse, so no riding. 

Somehow I will need to just pull out of this one on my own. Wish me luck...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Which is more important...

Time or money?

I had an interesting discussion with my friend Alaska last night. His wife is asking for a trial separation, which does not make him happy.

He works a difficult schedule... 4 weeks on, 4 weeks off. I can't imagine that having him gone 4 weeks at a time is good for any relationship where any type of intimacy is important. Plus, she is tired of living way out in the middle of nowhere. She wants to be closer to humanity than she is to wildlife... not sure I blame her on that one.

His side... he makes great money and has many investments and connections where he is. He can't just pick up and move.

I see this same problem where Farmer is concerned. He's heading out this weekend to meet up with a girl that he met online. The problem? She lives about 7 hours east of his current location. So, if they hit if off, then what? I'm pretty sure he's not in any position to just pick up and move, either. And that is quite the commute for a LD relationship.

So, it comes down to time or money? Both Alaska and Farmer love what they do and make good money at it. But they both work incredibly long and hard hours. Farmer is MIA from May until September (if he's lucky). Alaska is gone every 4 weeks. Both of those schedules make it tough to have any type of time to commit to anything.

For both, I don't think it's undoable... but it would take a very specific type of person and relationship to accommodate that type of schedule I think. The little things would really count. And there would have to be understanding on both sides because you know frustration would crop up eventually.

After seeing what Farmer's schedule has been like this year, I didn't give him nearly enough credit while were together last year. He made a monumental effort to spend time with me, but I didn't see it for what it was. I was an idiot.

Yes, I know... I am admitting my mistake. Everyone, please, just remain calm... Thank you.

I am hoping he finds someone who appreciates him way better than I did... I have high hopes for him this weekend, even if he is remaining neutral on the subject...

After all... what are friends for? We root for you when you don't dare root for yourself...

Monday, July 26, 2010


The house is sold...

Didn't make any money on it. But didn't lose any either...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hormones suck...

I decided to flee the doom and gloom (read that "fog") of the Oregon coast and hang at the parental's this weekend. I was supposed to go do a poker ride with Flash, but since he's not doing that great that option was out. I figured this was a good alternative.

My parents already had plans to be in Seattle this weekend, so I called Bff and let her know I was coming to town and told her to have her daughter invite some friends and come swim in the pool. It was fun watching all the kids have such a great time and I got a not-so-healthy dose of Vitamin D. Even with spf30 sunscreen on I still burnt my shoulders. Drat!

I also got a call from ex-hub and the vet yesterday...

The vet: all the other bloodwork came back normal. Crap!! Now what? Of course I called my consultant (Farmer) who told me to relax and wait and see if what I'm already doing is working. Sure, easy for him to say... his animals aren't wasting away in front of him. But, I will do what I'm told and take a chill-pill... or I will try, anyway.

Ex-hub: An offer came in on the house but it was almost $20,000 less than what we were asking. We countered at the break-even point so I hope they take it. I would love for that albatross to not be around my neck anymore.

The bad part about the offer? It seems as though I won't be recouping any of the money I put into the house. I was at least hoping to get something out of it so I could get into the new place I found...

Oh yeah, I found a place.

It's 3 times the size, a block closer to the beach but in the same neighborhood and is the same price. I want that place bad!! But, of course I need to figure out how to get the deposits done...

And I need to get my stress levels down... STAT.

For the first time since college I'm breaking out in hives due to stress. This is not good... I look like an alien.

And of course, I'm PMSing. Why not? The timing couldn't be better...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Last time this week. I promise...


The good news is that Flash is eating all of the tasty treats I'm putting in front of him... even going so far as to lick the feed tub when he's done.

The bad news is that he fills up on the grain, rice bran and oil and then eats a few bites of hay and walks away. I have a horse, that when he is full, isn't interested in food... and he's been like that since he was a baby. He'd rather go grab a nap (a sentiment I can totally understand, by the way).

So now comes the fun job of balancing the treats with the hay. Too much of the treats and the hay goes to waste. Too little and he's not getting the amount of calories I'd like him to be consuming.

What a PITA this is. I'm going to start taking weekly photos so I can see if there is any improvement. I'll post them as I do. Tonight I'll take a "baseline" photo and add it to this blog later. When you see it, please don't report me to the ASPCA. I'm doing everything I can to stop the weight loss and get him back at a healthy weight.

Also, nothing new from the vet. I think the follow-up blood tests are supposed to be in on Monday. Maybe they will tell us something that I have missed...


Here are some pics... hopefully next week I will see some improvement...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

OCD much?

I'm worried.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the small bout of colic that Flash was having. After walking him out for a few hours he seemed to be fine. But since then he has been losing weight. This makes me very concerned... considering the fact that he's never really been a fat horse to begin with.

If this were Elmo, I'd be celebrating. He can get morbidly obese. On air.

Can not. And I really don't like the nickname "Hoover Vacuum" either...
So I took Flash in and had a blood and fecal panel run. Both came back normal.

He has hay at his feet 24/7. He is slick and shiny but is still losing weight. I have put him back on grain and have added Rice Bran and oil to top dress the grain. 

On Farmer's advice I am doing a 7-day sand purge, just in case. It was sandy out at Farmer's and I do live at the coast. So maybe that might be the problem? 

Also, even though I just dewormed him, I'm going to hit him again with a different type that also attacks tape worms. Again, just in case.

But I'm worried. Perhaps even a little obsessive about it. But I can't help it. He's my baby. And he's only 13 (well, he will be 13 on August 15th). My point is that he's still in his prime. This should not be happening. The vet is running further tests on the blood. I guess we'll see what that yields.

In the meantime, I will just continue to pour the groceries to him in the hopes that he'll start gaining some of the lost weight back. 

ARG... I hate it when one of my kids is sick!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Just Chuck-It®

Noelle's new favorite toy is the Chuck-It®, courtesy of Wulfe. If you are unaware of what that is, it's the best invention in the history of man-kind... ever.

The best invention ever. Period.

With this brilliant device, you never have to touch a slobbery ball to play fetch with your canine ever again. Did I mention how much I love this thing?

Daisy, on the other hand, not really understanding the game of fetch (aka "dumb-ball") and all it's detailed intricacies, is not very impressed.

Meh... What's the big deal? If you ask me, it's stoopid...

You are dead to me...
I shall adopt this Chuck-It® ball instead.

So last night we went out to the beach to play with the Chuck-It®.

You are not throwing the ball far enough... you can still see me.

Well, Noelle played. Daisy just tackled her every once in a while for good measure then went back to sniffing anything and everyone interesting.

Look mom, I got the ball.

No, you can't have it back. MINE.

Ball? What ball? I don't see any ball?

Oooooohhhhh. This ball, you mean? The one I'm laying on?
Kfine. You can have it... but only if you throw it again.

All in all, it was a good time. And I never once had to touch a slimy, slobbery ball. Yes!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The big picture...

Ex-hub is getting ready to move back to Oregon, which has gotten me thinking about my journey over the last 20 years... but the last 2 in particular.

I thought that when I met him I had found my other half... that he completed me.

Now I know I had it wrong.

I think when you find the one who is a soul-mate (I know, I hate this term too... but just go with it for now) that they are not your other half. You, by yourself, are a complete picture. But when you meet the right one and you come together, it's like the 2 individual pictures, once joined, make a bigger and more complex picture.

I think part of my problem is that I've never been my own complete picture. But I'm getting there... piece by piece.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Strike one...

I went to check out a place last night that was advertising for a roommate.

The ad read:
Room for Rent... lookin for Cool/laid back person to rent room... seperate entry & parking... share kitchen & bath... Serious only please Tweekers need not apply text /call me at XXX-XXXX chaz

I know, not the most ringing endorsement for a place to rent, but the separate entrance and parking was kind of intriguing... and I'm trying to keep an open mind.

As I was driving to my destination, when I first turned onto the road I was pleased. The houses were nice and well kept. As I kept driving up the street I must have crossed the virtual railroad because all of a sudden the houses were starting to look like this:

Are those banjos I hear in the distance?

There was garbage everywhere... 

Chaz tried to explain all the garbage away by saying that they had just had a garage sale. The place looked like it needed to be condemned. At one point I lost Noelle in and amongst the garbage.

After digging her out, we left... rapidly.

I am trying to keep an open mind, but I seriously think that all varieties of hepatitis were co-mingling on that property. Thanks, but no thanks. I'm not up-to-date on my shots... Plus the chickens next door looked seriously rabid.

So the search continues... I'm hoping the next one is at least more sanitary.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Does "roommate" = bad idea?

Due to very unfortunate financial circumstances (think IRS... why is it that they go after the little people like you and I for a few bucks when they can go after the big corporations and make it worth their while? Eh, another blog entirely I suppose...) I have been considering other options for my housing situation.

Like, renting a room vs. renting an entire place. I'm thinking this would give me at least a few hundred more dollars of disposable income per month, which would be great in allowing me to catch up on some things that I am behind on. However, there are always problems that can arise when 2 people are trying to cohabitate.

Way cheaper on the pocket book... like 1/2 the price of what I'm paying for rent now.
Split the cost of utilities.
Not living alone... someone to converse with.

Having someone always in your space. Hey, that's kinda like marriage... hmmmmmm....
The risk of moving in with someone crazy. Yes, crazier than me, I mean. And, yes, this has happened to me in the past... again, another blog.
If they are a pig, that could be a problem. I say "could be" because it's a 50/50 chance that I might be the offender.
Stuff not getting paid because they can't cough up their side of the bills.

I'm going to check out a place tonight. I guess I'll see what kind of vibes I get on the whole thing...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Stalking" is such a negative word...

I prefer the term "keeping in touch".

I have a friend. His name is Farmer... you may have heard of him?

This is him with a gun... and a goatee.

Wisely I'm standing WAY behind him while he's armed...
I wonder if he still has the goatee?

Anywho... he's missing.

Every year from June until September (I hope only September) my friend Farmer is replaced by a walking and (sometimes) talking zombie that looks and sounds remarkably like him.

I think the way it works is that the zombie replacement runs around going non-stop 24 hours a day (after all, zombies don't need to sleep... they're already the undead) getting things done that no mere human could possibly do in a 24 hour period. While the zombie is working, I suspect that the real Farmer slinks off to some Caribbean beach... enjoying the sights and drinking MaiTais.

I have tried conversing with the zombie stand-in, but it's just not the same. Just when I'm about to get to the drama-riddled part of my story it tells me that it has another call coming in and then I never hear from it again.

A coping technique that Farmer taught it before he left? We may never know...

Monday, July 12, 2010

CPSL and other things that annoy me...

I find it fascinating when grown men (well into their 60's) can't conduct themselves like an adult.

CPSL (crazy pot-smoking landlord) was gone for a few days. When he hadn't come back on the 1st, I decided to wait and give the check directly to him because the other "adults" that live there are seriously suspect. So, when I arrived home after 9pm on the 2nd I saw that his van was now there... and in my parking spot. I figured he was using that closer spot to unload his van, so I didn't worry about it and just parked across the street and went inside and went to bed.

The next morning when I left for work, no one was up yet in that household. When I got home from work that afternoon he was still in my parking spot... plus he had left a note in my door saying:
You need to stop putting illegal stuff in the recycling bin. They are threatening to stop my service. Rent was due on the 1st.

Technically, my rent is not late until after the 4th of the month... by his own paperwork. And, I don't use his recycling bin. I take it to work and dump it there. And he was still in my parking spot. So you can understand why I was a bit miffed when I went to drop the check off. I explained to him (in small words, so he could understand through the pot-haze) that I didn't use the recycle bin and that if their service was in jeopardy then it was their own (damn) fault. I also pointed out to him that I had from the 1st until the 4th to pay my rent, by his own paperwork. Understandably, he really didn't have much to say on those 2 subjects.

I then asked him if he was planning on moving his van out of my parking space. He replied: well, now that you've paid the rent I'll go ahead and move it. I turned around, walked right up to him, looked down at him (he's a short, silly thing) and said: what are you? 5 years old?

I mean, really... so, what? If I didn't pay the rent you were going to *gasp* park in my spot? By the way, I have paid first and last so even if I just gave you notice I'm still paid for the month.

Apparently that thought hadn't occurred to him. I swear, the idiocy of people sometimes astounds me.

Needless to say, I'm still looking for a new place... 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why would anyone want more than one?

I find all types of religion fascinating... even though I don't really practice any particular religion. But I must admit, one religion I know almost nothing about is the Muslim religion.

So, the other day, when my friend Engineer was explaining certain aspects of his religion I was extremely curious and at first a little disgruntled. Engineer is a friend of mine from Pakistan who is living here in the US and getting his master's degree. He is married... but it was an arranged marriage.

I know, I had the same reaction...

Arranged? Are you out of your mind? But he assures me that he is very happy with the arrangement, which is good. Also, over 50% of marriages here in America end in divorce, so maybe we (as a people) aren't the best at picking our own mates, either. I'm not sure what the divorce rate is in Pakistan, but I have a feeling it is much less than that.

Plus, with their marriages there are certain rules that the parties must adhere to... and if one or the other is not meeting those requirements that is grounds for divorce. So it's not like you're stuck with some loser who refuses to put any effort into it... which is good.

But that wasn't what had me so interested the other day. Engineer was explaining that in Islam it is possible for a man to have more than one wife... in fact, he can have up to four, apparently. My jaw made an audible noise when it hit the desk. I was outraged. How can this be? And, of course, my first questions were: 1. How many husbands can a woman have? and 2. Why only 4? I mean, if you're going to have multiple wives, why put a limit on it? Seriously.

As for the first question... women only get one husband. Wait a minute... that doesn't seem fair. But then Engineer informed me that the man can't enter into a second (or third or forth) marriage until he has absolute permission from the first. Oh, and whatever the first wife has, all other wives must be provided for the exact same. So if wife #1 is living in a 4,000 sq ft home then wife #2 gets the exact same. Can you imagine how spendy that would be? Holy crap.

I'm going to venture a guess that not many men get to exercise that particular option... just sayin'. I just can't imagine many wives going yeah, sure, go find yourself a 2nd... but maybe that is just me? After all, we all know I don't share well.

For the second question (why only 4) he really didn't have an answer for. That one still baffles me. But, whatever. A lot of different things in a lot of different religions baffle me. We'll just add it to the collection.

And then we got on the subject of temporary marriages (it's like dating, but with a contract) but that's a whole 'nuther blog...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Everyone loves a parade...

I decided that since I wasn't able to make it down to Sunriver to spend the 4th with the fam that Flash, the pups and I were going to be in the Gleneden Beach parade instead. This is a fun little community parade that anyone can sign up and be in. There are prizes given for Best Float, Best Animal, Best Car, Best Entry 9 & Under, Best Band, Most Unique and Judge's Choice.

So, on Saturday I headed up to where Flash is boarded to get the animals ready for the parade. When I pulled Flash out of the pasture he looked like this:

I don't see the problem, mom. Mud is awesome...

So I shaved him up, gave him a proper bridle path and dispatched his goat-like whiskers.

Heheheh... that tickles.

Then it was bath time.

Holy crap that water was cold!!

It was a toss-up as to who was actually more wet by the time the bath was done. But, mission accomplished... I had a clean-ish horse.

Then the shoer showed up to do his feet, which needed it badly. And after that I gave him some dewormer because he was due. I then threw some hay out in the pasture and turned him loose so I could work on the dogs. Well, one dog in particular. 

Noelle had been molting chunks of hair all over my house so I decided that while I had the clippers out I would shave her as well. I don't have any before or after pics, but when I was done it looked like she had spawned 2 more dogs. There was a LOT of hair on the ground.

I was just about to leave when I noticed Flash was acting weird. He was biting at his flanks and laying down then getting up again, then pawing at the ground and then laying down again. It looked like he was starting to have a bout of colic. This is a VERY bad thing in the horsey world. So I threw a halter on him, called Farmer for some advice (because I have never had a horse in distress like this before) and started walking him. Farmer told me that I needed to keep walking him until his appetite came back and he had pooped. So up and down the street we went... 

Mom... I don't feel so good.

And after all that work he had rolled in the mud and gotten dirty again... figures.

Eventually, after a few hours, he started eating again and eventually we got poop. Usually I'm hoping Flash will hold it, this time I couldn't wait until he pooped... the smelly signal of all is well.

So, with that little crisis over it was time to go home and finish prepping my tack for the parade in the morning. By midnight I was exhausted and gratefully fell into my bed for some much needed sleep.

The next morning it was a mad dash to get the pups, the tack and myself loaded into the trailer. With that mission accomplished I went to go pick up Flash. As I was driving up the road to the spot that I use as my turn-around I was daydreaming and missed it completely. It's a pretty narrow road and my truck and trailer are a long combination so I continued up the road looking for another driveway where I could execute my turn-around. 

I thought I had found one so I pulled in and then started backing the trailer out. Then WHAM... I had backed the trailer into a tree. CRAP. Not the best start to my morning. Plus I had just scared the crap out of the couple who's tree it was I had backed into. I apologized profusely, checked to see if there was any damage (both the trailer and the tree were fine as far as I could see at that time) and proceeded up the road further to find a better turn-around spot.

I finally got turned around and got Flash loaded. I was doing my visual inspection on my way back to the truck when I noticed this... 

Pretty sure that is NOT how that is supposed to look...

Yeah, the back of the trailer was fine... the hitch? Not so much... CRAP. I'll need to get that fixed before I head out for a ride again.

We made it to the parade grounds finally. The judges came around to take a look at all the entries. Flash and the pups poured on the cuteness factor.

I am adorable... there is no denying it.

I just want this stoopid bow outta my tail...

But you're right. I also look exceedingly adorable...

We ended up winning the trophy for "Best Animal".  Success!!

And then it was time to be in the parade. There were people everywhere lining the street and cheering. It was so much fun.

All in all, not a bad 4th of July...

Friday, July 2, 2010

The secret of success...

I was at my usual Tuesday night haunt, talking with Lab a few nights ago.

Lab lost his wife a few years ago to cancer... and I know the loss is hard for him. She was a major factor in his life for 30 years. They didn't always get along, but they had a deep connection that lasted throughout their entire marriage. She was his other half. And I envy that he has had that...

Then I think about some other friends of mine who are going through very rough times in their marriage... and each side has valid points but I'm not sure they're ever going to be able to meet in the middle.

So I wonder... what makes some marriages work and some fail so miserably?

I think BooBoo (my sis) said it best: you either grow together or you grow apart. A bit simplified, perhaps, but in my opinion right on the money. Ex-hub and I, when we were first together, did lots of things together... we played soccer, went out with friends and fam, did date night and were generally having a good time together. As years went by, this all went by the wayside. He just never wanted to go out and do anything together... he was far more interested in sitting in front of the TV than spending any type of quality time with me... and we grew apart.

BooBoo and her Hbf did the exact opposite... while on their 6 month tour of SE Asia they grew together. It's only a matter of time before they pull the trigger and tie the knot... and they will do well together. They compliment each other very nicely. I think that is a precious thing and hard to find... that person that compliments you.

Farmer was my exact opposite... we just couldn't find that common ground to meet in the middle. If I'm looking at something one way guaranteed Farmer is looking at it exactly the opposite way.

Wulfe and I, on the other hand, were way too much alike... which led to it's own set of problems. We would react the same and sometimes that would cause a very minor problem to escalate into something it didn't need to be. We were both prone to overreaction. As friends, however, this is not the case... so again, perhaps it comes down to how I handle things when in a relation-ship vs. a friend-ship. Still a work in progress...

As I study those relation-ships around me that seem to be successful (and I say seem to be because you never really know what goes on between 2 people) I notice that there is a common thread between them all...

1. A mutual respect for each others individuality... a willingness to say I know this about you and I love the fact that this is a part of your personality. (I am guilty of trying to force people to be what I would like them to be rather than accepting who they are... which is very selfish and something that I'm working on.)

2. A willingness to make the relationship a priority above all else. This, of course, will ebb and flow depending on what's going on at the time... and some people will read this and think I mean that I feel I need to be top priority at all times. That isn't what I'm saying here. I'm talking about the relationship, not me... 2 very different things. You can be far apart and still have your relationship be your priority.

3. A willingness to look for the positive, not the negative. Farmer and Wulfe have both accused me of a lack in this area.... i.e. if there are 10 different ways to take something that someone has said I will automatically take the worst view of it. Um... guilty as charged. Although I am trying with all my heart to not be that way anymore. I think you have to be willing to give the person who means the most to you a benefit of the doubt. They shouldn't have to prove themselves to you again and again.

Of course, these are just my observations. And I'm sure there is much more that I'm leaving out, but I'm just covering the basics here.

The bottom line is still just what my sister said it was: you either grow together or you grow apart. I'm hoping to find someone, some day, to grow together with...