Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The best-laid plans and all that.

Sunday quickly turned into a 48-hour nightmare (or more - what day is today?).  On my way up to the Lodge, I got a call from Bill telling me that Estes was colicking.  We don't panic about little belly aches with our horses, for that call to come in, she had to be in a BAD way.  I've got all of the updates, etc. up over at Tales and Mom and Bill have their version on their blog.

The long and short of it is, Estes looked death straight in the eye (or eye of the needle in this case - she was slated to be euthanized) and stuck her tongue out.  It means that Mom, Bill and I spend the last two nights sleepless and giving round the clock care to Her Highness.  They managed to not neglect their guests (barely) and I was a zombie walking in and out of the Lodge at odd hours, covered head to toe in horse dirt, manure, snot and at one point, blood.  I'm so darn sick of these jeans that I've worn since Sunday, my socks should be burned and I gave up on my hair about 47 hours ago.  Since I had just planned on riding on Sunday, I brought nothing with me.  No change of clothes, no deodorant, no meds.  Luckily, I always have a contact lens case and eye ball juice up here, otherwise I'd've really been a mess.

I thought I gave up getting up every two hours throughout the night when the kids were little.  But it's amazing how quickly it comes back.

I woke up this morning absolutely exhausted and couldn't figure it out; afterall, I only had to get up *once* last night for Her Highness.  It dawned on me as I walked back from checking on her and my heart started racing.  I haven't taken my meds since Sunday; I was so consumed with taking care of the equine love of my life, I'd forgotten about me.

Today's back to real life.  Queen Estes is feeling so much better, demanding that her humans feed her, and it's Digger's 20th (!) birthday.  Not sure how that happened.  I must have blinked or something, because I swear it was just yesterday I was pushing that little brat out.

Digger, Happy Birthday!  Only one more year before your crazy uncle can take you on your own Pascagoula Run...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Holy Busy Life, Batman!

I've been running hither and yon having an absolute blast this summer, which means my posting has gone down the toilet, but I'll have blog fodder through the winter when it's too cold to be doing all outdoor timewasters I've been doing.

Digger moved home from Wheatland (again); he's hoping to start school in the spring.  Ashinator is planning on joining him for spring semester.  In the meantime, they are job and apartment hunting.  Sadly, I think they're going to have to lower their standards for their first apartment.  But then, didn't we all?

Monster finally got back into school after being out for two years.  He's my youngest and school has been a constant uphill battle for him.  He doesn't get why we have to jump through the hoops and just do certain things.  School is one of them.  He'd rather just get a job and work than be in school.  Well, after two years, he's decided that maybe school isn't such a bad thing - no one wants to hire a sixteen year old drop-out.  He even mentioned to me that he regrets his decision to drop out, as the only school that will admit him is an on-line high school; he's burned all of his bridges in the public schools.  The good news is, that even though he's been a drop-out for two years, he scored well enough on his placement exams to be admitted as a junior.

This whole kids-growing-into-adults thing is rough and I don't think I like it.  I liked it so much better when they were my good kids and we were thick as thieves.  Now we each have our own lives/friends/goals and I miss the "all for one and one for all" thing we had going when they were little.  It was us against the world.  I spent some time the other night just wondering when it all changed and I can almost pinpoint it.  It was when I got hired on with the college.  The first year I was an adjunct instructor there, we were able to keep it up, but working 7 am to 10 pm every night kept me away from the kids too much and it hasn't let up at all.  In fact, over the past seven years, my schedule at the college has been ten to fourteen hours a day.  The job seemed like God's gift when I took it so long ago - we really needed the increase in pay to keep a roof over our heads - but there are times now that I wonder if it was worth it.

I see my girls, Robs and Staci, with their children (who are much younger than mine) and miss those times with my kids.  This whole transition-to-adulthood thing really sucks.

Gah - done with that touchy-feely crap.  It was getting thick there for a minute.

Anywho'sadamnsaplately, I'm off to ride the best mare on the planet and then Ripley gets her last (I think) cosmetic present - a European Rally stripe.  She's been wanting one since I brought her home.  I've had it for months, but my schedule hasn't worked out with getting it applied until today.  I can't wait!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

TOS Revisited

When I was pregnant with Monster, I was diagnosed with bilateral thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS).  Essentially, I had impinged both the nerves and blood flow from my neck to my arms, which ultimately resulted in bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.  The suggested treatment was removal of both 1st ribs.  The drawback (you know, besides the fact that it involved surgery) was that after removing the 1st rib, I would have had to had my arm strapped to my side for six months!  And that meant that for over a year, I would have had one or the other arm strapped to my side.  Yeah, that would have worked well with three children under four.  Instead I did therapy.  Lots and lots of therapy.  Physical Therapy.  Occupational Therapy.  Massage Therapy.  Years of therapy.

It paid off.  Eventually.  My CTS resolved first (six weeks in custom-made wrist splints that reached my elbows - ever tried to change a diaper with absolutely no movement whatsoever?) and over time, I learned what I could and couldn't do with my TOS.  For the last thirteen years or so, I haven't really given my TOS much thought.  It's something I am aware of, and if I find numbness or tingling in my arms or hands, I head to the massage therapist and take it easy.  I'm aware of my posture and know what sets off my TOS, but otherwise it's a non-issue.

El Poquito Diablo has stepped up my workouts - I've finally reached a level of fitness that we can start doing some really cool stuff - but I always felt like my left shoulder was weak.  Not weak as in not strong, but weak as in no oompf.  Like stroke-y weak, but only in my shoulder.

While doing some independent arm work, El Poquito Diablo found that I was compensating in my left shoulder.  He asked me to extend my arm over my head; first my right, then my left.  I extended my right arm directly over my head - nod of approval. 

Arm straight up, spine in alignment, core tight.
And then he had me raise my left arm over my head, so I did it.  Well, I thought I did it.  Turns out I can't do it without conscious effort.
Off center, hips rotated, core de-stabilized.

It's easier to see when compared to the other arm; this is with me concentrating on contracting the right muscles and I'm still off a few degrees.
Easy to see when compared to right.

Sidenote: I'm going to have all of my pictures taken like this from now on - I look downright skinny(ish). 

Seems I might have more lingering effects from TOS than I thought; like maybe some nerve damage in my left arm.  I think with enough retraining of the muscles, it shouldn't be an issue.

I have noticed that when I'm drawing my pistol with my left hand, the weakness is a big issue.  I compensate with my chest muscles, which causes my elbow to rotate out and does not allow me to acquire my sight picture quickly.  I've got thirteen days to retrain/strengthen those muscles to make my draw more satisfactory.  Normally, I shoot the matches right handed, but I thought I'd shoot left just for kicks and giggles next month.

Of course, it took El Poquito Diablo, former National All-Around Gymnastics Champion (or however his title goes) to notice that my judges' salute was all screwed up :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Today, I was a busy girl.

I played with this...

Went around the block with Asset...

Went out on the mountain with Bill...

And since I missed Boot Camp yesterday, Nebalee drew me the circuit so I could do it when I went to the gym tonight...

Bill took one look at her beautiful stick figures and said this...

All in all, a pretty darn good day :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

With A Little Help From Bill

Allenspark Lodge said...

Let me help you start.
Once upon a time...
How 'bout
It was a dark and stormy night...
You got it, Bill.

It was a dark and stormy night... 

I was sleeping in a cot outside of the horses' pen, determined to catch the critter(s) that insisted on breaking the fences. Armed with a flashlight, shotgun and one mother of a case of PMS, I was ready.

I would have sworn my eyes had just closed when I heard the scuffling sound of critters along the fence line.  My eyes flew open, and I reached for the shotgun, searching the shadows for the source of the noise.  Finding an indescript large shadow looming over the fence, I attempted to shoulder the shotgun only to have it flop at my side when my left arm refused to cooperate.

My cries of "DAMN YOU, EL POQUITO DIABLO!" succeeded in scaring off the critters.  Cursing loudly at the Little Bastard El Poquito Diablo for torturing me at the gym, I broke down the cot and dragged my gear back to the house, where I slept in a warm and comfortable bed.

The End

A Whole Lotta No Time

It seems like I should have a lot of time to get my blogging done.

And then reality hits and there's no time. (Unless I give up my once-a-week nap)

WTH happens to time?  It just keeps disappearing.

I've got a lot of blogs I want to write.  Hell, they're written in my head.  I just have to find the time to sit down and get them outta my head.

I will one of these days.  I really, really will.

Monday, August 8, 2011

My Present to Ripley

RCC's been buying Ripley presents ever since he joined the SoulHamsters.  She's been the recipient of a strut tower brace to improve handling in the mountains; a new cold air intake to improve gas mileage; a bug deflector; a new grill; new eyeballs (pics soon); the coolest 3rd brake light ever...the list keeps growing.

While in Las Vegas for Deans' Training, I made a stop in my favorite store on the Strip to get a little something for Ripley myself...

I thought it was time for her to let out her inner ParrotHead.  She seems to like it. 

At least she didn't ask for a giant fin :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Cranky Bitch Is Home...

...finally.  I've definitely become more of a homebody and any stretch away from home brings out my inner cranky bitch (as opposed to the outer cranky bitch who is always present).

I was starting to feel my inner cranky bitch slipping back into her hiding place as I got closer to home.

I could almost feel myself stretched out on the couch.

I could feel my eyes getting heavy in anticipation of my nap.

As I approached my street I noticed a "Road Closed" sign.

I turned the corner, slipped around the sign and saw this...
Right the fuck in front of my house.

There is no place to park in front of the house now.  My entire front yard is blocked by whatever the hell it is they're doing.

Inner cranky bitch lost her damned mind.

I parked in front of my neighbor's house, slammed some things around and flopped on the couch.

Four hours later, I've corralled inner cranky bitch and am starting to feel human.  I'll be back to my (semi) regular posting as soon as I've wrangled her back under control.