Sunday, August 31, 2008

X-Ray Pixs

Here are some pixs of my chest x-rays. See the wire loops in my sternum!!

Looks like a T-Post with wire fasteners!!
Side view

Harder to see the wire. See if you can see the big square wire section!!

Front view.

Will write more stuff tomorrow. Today was a busy day and I am tired!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I got to go to town!!!

I got up at 7 to take my perco and then couldn’t go back to sleep. In less than an hour, Jeff would be watching his LSU game. He got up after I did and let the girls out (Tess and Nan). Tess will not leave her rug until Jeff calls her. When he let them back in, I actually watched them. Nan trotted to me and lay on the rug next to me and sniffed me, giving me the once over. Tess walked in, glanced over and saw Nan was on guard duty and wandered off. She came back a few minutes later and stood in the entry way. Nan was watching her. I was watching to see if Tess would kick Nan off the bed but instead she went to the dog bed on the other side of the living room. Nan relaxed then. It was interesting to see the interaction and the *changing of the guards”

I was just lying on the couch when Nan jumped up and growled. Lucky for me. I just had put my hot cup of coffee down which is good as I about fell out of the couch. I looked at Tess and she was in a protective stance and not growling. Nan was in full protective stance and I put my hand on her back and she was stiff and poised to attack. I got up and looked outside out bay window and saw nothing and then realized the dogs were looking at the front door.

No sense in being shy, I went and flung opened the front door. If a boogie man is out there at 7osh on Saturday morning, then I am going to say “Hello” in the boldest way.

There was a large raven on the deck and he was just as surprised as me. He was checking out the bowls on the deck, namely the bright shiny, steel bowl that my mom uses to feed Rigby his cat food.

The raven flew off and I am sure he won’t be back. I looked at the girls and they somehow had moved next to me in all of this. I was flanked by both girls and they relaxed. I praised Nan for going that extra step. She was very proud that she alerted me to the “Deadly Steel Bowl Inspector Raven”.

We all watched the LSU game. Ok, Jeff watched the game and I watched part of it. LSU played Appalachian State. The game was pretty one sided and LSU won (Score 41-13). During the game we had eggs and English Muffins and the dogs were rewarded for their loyalty to LSU.

My pain level is getting less each day so I am going try to take Advil instead of the perco on the days that I will be home and not active (Dr appts etc). Soon, I plan to be off the daily Oxycontin and only using it at night. I want to also be off the perco so I can drive. Next weekend is the goal to drop the daily Oxycontin. I don’t want to be on the narcotics for very much longer.

I dragged Jeff down to the barn on one of my daily walks. I wanted to move some stuff but since they weighed more than 5-10 lbs, I needed him. I tidied up the Tack room some what as it was starting to collect stuff. I like my Tack room in order so I can find items.

We let the girls, Scott and Kael run and have fun chasing the ball. Kael, in anticipation of seeing Audrey (maybe on Monday) prepared himself by rolling in some fresh duck poop. He couldn’t understand why I didn’t wrap my arms around like and kiss his snout like I normally do. But he forgave me when I gave him a cookie.

Scott was having fun and acting like a puppy. He is on thyroid medicine and it has made a huge difference. He is fast and runs like a puppy and most certainly acts like one too.

I decided to use Scott to move the cow. Scott was very happy to work the cow and with a few well placed heel grips, the cow decided that moving to the upper pasture was an excellent idea. Scott was pleased with himself and even jumped on me. He never does that but he was so pleased with himself that he couldn’t help himself!!

I worked Tess to move the sheep across to the marsh. I opened the gate so the sheep and Emma could go through to the marsh. Tess was pretty amped as she watched Scott work the cow. She was like a bullet and she had to do a couple of heel grips herself!!

Nan was the last to work and I just let her push the sheep around the marsh. By then I was getting tired but had to work her for a couple of minutes.

The next item on the to-do list was to go to town and return the battery that we got. We got one for our electric fence and it wouldn’t recharge. So we brought it back and we will get a new one on Wed. Then off to QFC for dinner shopping. I haven’t been anywhere for six weeks, other than Dr Appointments, so it was nice going to get groceries.

I had marinated some chicken legs with Sesame/Ginger sauce and got more chicken legs to add to the mix. Of course, I got more ice cream and Hershey’s chocolate sauce. We got other stuff, far more than if Jeff was shopping, but I wanted to get groceries so I could plan for dinner for the next few days.

Now that I am more mobile, I am trying to have the main dish planned for dinner each night. We took out beef stew fmeat rom our freezer so we will use our Crock Pot to have beef stew in the next day or two. I am trying to plan two to three meals in advance.

So we got home and I was wiped. If you count the tack room/walk and the town expedition, we were gone for 1.5 hours. I did a lot of walking and getting in/out of the car. I took a 1.5 hour long nap when we got home. My chest was just starting to hurt so instead of taking a pain pill, I took an Advil. I fell asleep and crashed hard. When I woke up I felt much better.

The girls slept next to me. We have a routine. Tess sleeps next to my head and Nan curls next to my stomach or legs. We all sleep hard and don’t move.

Nan, the ever watchful guard dog, woke me up by leaping off the bed and growling at the bedroom door. Tess was right behind her. I heard Jeff answer the door and it was Chuck. Nan and Tess came back to bed and we all fell asleep in seconds. Apparently, Chuck worked Teddy, Clip and Rainey and stopped by to say “Hello.”

Nan has taken the guard dog role very seriously. Anyone, whether it is animal or human, will be announced by her. She is a good dog and is very alert. I remember when she first was here. When we had someone at the front door, she would go to the office and hide. Now, she is the Guardian of the House. I love her dearly for this.

Jeff took the girls for a 2.5 mile run. It was more like a 2.5 slow amble for Tess and a trot for Nan. They have a trial in 3 weeks and need to get in shape. I’ll be working them each day but we will try to get some jogs in for them.

My goal as part of my daily walks is to work Tess, Nan and Lucy to get them ready for the trial. I will work Scott but not for the trial. I figure if I work each dog for 5-7 minutes then I will have my 20 minute workout. Do this several times a day and we will all benefit? I just have to make sure that I am moving all the time and not standing. I am so happy that I can even work the dogs now. It really has perked me up so much!!!

We had the marinated chicken legs for dinner. It was a good idea and we will have leftovers. I started the beef stew in the crock pot. Tomorrow I will add lots of beans, potatoes and onions. Hot beef stew on a chilly day is good. It probably will be a raging hot sunny day since I am making beef stew.

We hung out and watched music stuff on TV. For you music folks, that would be Austin City limits and Soundstage. Jeff picks those stations as I pick Animal Planet when we watch TV together. His comment is “Oh look, another elephant show” and then he falls asleep.

Altogether it was a semi boring day but busy too. It was nice to work the dogs and enjoy life again. I know my limitations and have a goal.

I am going to post every other day unless it is worth posting daily. I hope my progress keeps going as well as it has the last few days. I plan to take pixs and post them too. I appreciate you letting me know that you read my blog. Now I know that I am not writing for nothing. I went and read my prior blogs and it was enlightening. I could see on some of my blogs that I had improper grammar, misspelling and some *what the heck is she trying to say?” I am not going to correct them as it was how (mentally and physcially) I was in that timeframe. It shows the progress of when I first had the surgeries to my healing. As well as my musing and so forth. I was amazed on how many people read the blog. The blog is a good way for people to know how I am and how far I have progressed. Thanks to those who let me know they read my blog. It makes it worthwhile for me to write to it each night, knowing someone reads it.

Try not to laugh to hard at my errors though!!

Tomorrow I will post the x-rays they took of my chest. I’ll post the section of the x-ray that shows the wires that are looped in my chest. It’s quite interesting to look at.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A lazy day...

Today was a quiet day. I got up, had breakfast and coffee and read my email and did my morning walks. I was really tired and at 11ish, decided to take a nap. I think the day before we did a lot more that I could handle.

So Tess, Nan and I took a long nap. We slept until 3 and I woke up really refreshed. I really needed the nap and we went for another walk. There was a spring in my step and it felt great.

I tossed the ball for Tess, Nan, Kael and Scott. Kael was so happy and acting like a real goofball. His ears are still huge and bat like and his eyes are so expressive. He is a good blend of Tess and Scott.

After I played with the dogs, then I had to feed the sheep. Mr. McGoo, the Muscovy male duck wanted out of the coop. He was hanging near the door where as before he stayed in the back. So I opened the door and he was eating the green grass outside the door.

I decided to fix the gate so the sheep could go in the marsh part of the pasture. I wanted to make sure the cow didn’t go so I had to chain it so the sheep could get through but not the cow. The cow will jump over the back fence so I didn’t want her to be fence jumping. As it was, earlier this week, Jeff had to go and get her (tempted her with grain) and then he shut the gate.

I think this weekend I will move hr to the upper pasture and see if she will stay there. She has gotten really friendly and we hope she will stay put. That way if she stays, then I can open the lower marsh gate so the horse and sheep can get the new lush grass on the other side.

I fixed the gate and wanted to see if the sheep could slip through it. I brought Tess and Nan with me and they had been good dogs during this and staying next to me. I sent them both and Nan got the flock that was near me and Tess swept out and got the ones that were spread out. You could tell that Tess was used to doing a full sweep and Nan wasn’t. That’s fine as Nan will be seasoned in time.

Tess also wanted to bring the cow but I told her to leave it. Reluctantly she did and you could see the disappointment in her eyes. I saw that on the far side of the pond that there were two lambs hanging out. They were hidden to the dogs. I made Tess stay next to me and sent Nan. Nan wanted to jump the ditch to get the sheep that she had put in the marsh and I made her look back. She was trying really hard to do as I asked. She finally did and got the hidden sheep. She was so pleased with herself. The two lambs wanted to go different direction so she had to work hard to keep them together and keep them to me. But she did it and we got them to join their buddies in the marsh.

I praised both dogs and we all walked back to the barn. Tess and Nan walked or I should say, danced all the way back to the barn. They were very happy and so was I. We didn’t do more that ten minute or so but it was fun.

Tess and Nan were my feet warmers while I caught up on email. I had entered Tess, Nan and Lucy in a trial that will be in three weeks. It is Judy Norris’ trial and it is challenging and fun. Last year, Tess won Open and Lucy won ProNovice. This year, I am happy just to be able to go to the post. Judy has really nice trials and has been one of my first friends since I started trialing. I love her trials and she has a Winter Series. Judy is a good caring friend too!! I am blessed to have her as a friend.

Speaking of that trial, Lora Withnell generously offered me a bed in her RV on Saturday during the trial. That will make life easier for me as I can crash during the day. I know I will not have the stamina to be awake and social all day so having a place to stay makes the trial do-able.

While I am on the subject of Lora, I want to point out that she is doing a great job in training her new female, “Nell”. Nell used to be called Coll and was one of the Aled Owen’s pups that I brought back last August. Lora is doing a great job and I expect her to be kicking my *butt* with Nell. They are a good team and I am pleased they are working so well together.

True to form, about 7ish my chest started to hurt so I took my ½ perco. It did the trick and I was able to eat dinner with Jeff. I love Arby’s so Jeff stopped and got me some Arby’s beef and cheddar. I ate two rather quickly but made sure Tess and Nan got a tiny bite. They love Arby’s too. Arby’s is not on Jeff’s top list but he humored me. For tomorrow, I am soaking chicken legs in a Sesame Seed/Ginger sauce so we will have a real meal then.

I think I will go to bed early tonight. I am still tired from yesterday. Normally I do four 15-20 walks but yesterday, I was on my feet or going for 4.5 hours and not taking a nap. Then I did a walk when I got home. I just wore myself out but the nap today helped. As the Dr Austin said….”Don’t over do it” I remember a few weeks ago when I did the Dr appt then I would be in bed for 2 days, so having to take a 4 hr nap today wasn’t that bad in the grand scheme.

I talked to Nelson and he is going on a mini vacation to Montana. I am sure he will have fun and he said he will call me. You know, he has to keep me in line!!

Jeff just informed me that LSU has a game tomorrow. Due to the hurricane, the game time has been moved from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m……Hello, EIGHT O’CLOCK in the morning? Guess I better go to bed since I will be watching LSU play early tomorrow. Tess loves football games as she gets to lie in Jeff’s lap and help him cheer his teams on. I guess Nan will learn to like LSU and New Orleans too!! Nan adores Jeff so that should not be a problem.

OK so I have a trial in three weeks and I am going to start getting in condition by working the dogs each day. Since I have a time limit, I will have to use it judiciously. And I am going to start lifting weights, first starting with five pounds. My arms are flabby and I need to tone them up. One step at a time and I have a goal to work towards.

Oh, I hear ice cream calling so I guess I better go. I’ll try to take some pictures tomorrow to post. None will be of me though. I don’t want to scare you!!

Good News

Today was the day to go to the Heart Surgeon and Lung Doctor. But before my mom and I went, we had to eat breakfast, chat and then a walk. I woke up at 7ish to take my ½ perco and then at 9, I took the rest of my meds. So far, this system is working. I am sleeping a lot more and not waking up in pain either. I am feeling so much better now too. What a relief.

As usual, I woke up and Nan was next to me and Tess was with Jeff. Nan was more than happy to greet me with kisses. Tess ambled over and I was surrounded by two adoring Border Collies. I was in heaven.

But alas, all good things come to an end. Mom came to the door and they all rushed to greet her. So much for me!! Nan danced up and down and barked and Tess ran and grabbed toys for mom.

Well, the least I could do was make a fresh pot of coffee for my mom. So I did!! We had blueberry muffins and coffee and chatted. It was nice just to sit and talk and hang out. Mom and I have gotten so much closer since this has started. We have talked about life, death, growing up, caring, love and family to name a few. I see the sacrifices my mom has made for my brother and I to succeed in this life. I hope we do her proud.

Mom and decided to walk down the second driveway and down the outer driveway Tess followed us down the driveway with her ball in her mouth. Mom humored her by tossing the ball for her. We feed the sheep and the cow had taken a shine to my mom. The cow got extra bread and alfalfa from my mom.

The animals on the farm have figured out that my mom will feed them and feed them well. From the Border Collies to the sheep, they all look forward to my mom. I let me mom feed them grain, bread and alfalfa. It’s kind of cool to see she all happy feeding the animals. She really enjoys it and I enjoy seeing her have fun.

So after the walk, we went off to the two Doctor’s appointments. Our first appointment was with Dr. Joseph Austin, the heart surgeon. He is one of the top rated surgeons and I can see why.

Dr. Austin was dressed to the nines. He looked like a model for CQ. I am sure he would be *not happy* if he knew that I posted this but he was dressed well!! Of course, I had to tease him but he was wearing his black cowboy boots!! I thought my mom would be appalled but she actually told him that he looked nice too. I think he blushed. He was cool with all the teasing.

The visit went well. He was happy to see that I was much better than last time. He said I was like when I first saw him before the operation. I think he must have meant that I was sassy!!

So my progress was good and he said I could start doing more next week. For example, doing more stuff on the farm….training dogs (but being careful) and so forth. I could lift 10 lbs and start doing more exercises.

My lungs were clear, aside from a little fluid in the right lung. What was really surprising is that my heart sounded good, meaning he didn’t hear the arrhythmia. I will know for sure next week when I go to the Cardiologist. But if my arrhythmia is gone, that would be icing on the cake. I sure hope so.

So we talked about my heart. He said the right side was enlarged prior to the surgery and now it was normal sized. YEAH!! Great news.

We also talked on how the hole appeared. He didn’t know the exact location but I will get that information from Dr. Condon. We also how how/why about the hole. It could have been from the heart shrinking, the wall puckering….a lot of possibilities but no real answer. Dr. Condon might shed some light on this. But the fact that the hole 1.7 means if it stays that size, (Again depending on Dr Condon) might mean that I might not have to have another surgery. But if the hole gets bigger, then it will mean surgery. It might stay the same or might get smaller. Only time will tell. We have to wait until my heart heals to see the final ratio.

So in a nutshell, good news. My recovery is going well, and depending on the hole size, I may or may not have surgery. My lungs have some fluid but my next appointment is with the lung Dr. Freudenberger (know as Todd).

I am not ready to go back to work since I am still limited so I got a note from Dr. Austin for another month off. Out game plan is for me to be off the Oxycontin during the day and only use it at night in the next couple of weeks. During the day, I would take perco as needed (not to drive several hours after the fact). Then part time for work in October. (Assuming that I do not have the other surgery)

We got done and had lots of time until my visit with Dr. Freudenberger. Mom and I went and had lunch at the hospital deli. Surprisingly enough the Rueben and the Minestrone soup was delicious.

Then off to Dr. Freudenberger. He listened to my lungs and said there was fluid in my lungs and it probably wasn’t enough to do a draw and my body would reabsorb it. I told him that was a good idea. Given the choices, a lung tap or let the body reabsorb the blood…..hum…..

I went and got a chest x-ray to confirm and he said if there was a good amount he would call me to come back so he could tap it. I smiled and waved and said under my breath….”Hey, don’t call!!”

The two visits went well and I hope that my next Doctor visit will be good. I’ll know more then about the next surgery and arrhythmia. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Mom and I were so excited that this day was so great. We talked about that two weeks ago, I had a hard time walking and eating and today I ate like a wolf and walked like Tess does a fetch (That would be fast and no stop for those of you that do not know about Tess’s fetch. She does remember her down about 30 feet from you!!)

On the way home we stopped at Remlinger Farms. We loaded up on fruits and veggies and bags of coffee. Their prices are just as good as the local QFC.

I snagged three peaches, 3 pounds of frozen blueberries, and bucket of sliced frozen strawberries. Mom got several bags of coffee, cabbage and some other fruit. I’ll have to go back and get some more fruit and coffee. They had 12 oz of ground coffee for $2.99.

Mom headed home after she dropped me off. She left me a bag of coffee. I’ll have to try it out tomorrow. I ate two of the three peaches. They were sweet, juicy and ripe. I haven’t had such tasty peaches in a long time. I did save one for my ice cream sundae tonight.

Janet stopped by to work Tess and Scott. I watched her for a bit and then gave her a few tips on driving. She picked it up quickly and was doing well when I went back up to the house. She is a sharp student.

I had to work Nan for a few minutes. She was going crazy when I was working Tess. She was so excited to work for me that she forgot her downs and pushed the sheep like a bulldozer. What can I say? She was so happy to work and did it a breakneck speed. I let her work at the warp speed and then called her out. She danced all around me, doing her woooooo-wooooo, and I had to tell her that she did a great job. She danced with pride and was happy that I was please. Janet noticed that she wanted to be acknowledged for her work!!

All the way back to the house, Nan danced in front of me and her smiling eyes showed the happiness she had. She just wants to please and if I am happy with her, then she is delighted. How can I not but love her so much? She has truly captured my heart.

I had taken out a top round steak last night and had soaked it in peppercorn marinade. Jeff grilled it and we had steak and green beans. The steak was huge so I cut it in half. I ate most of mine and then polished off the rest of the green beans. It was yummy.

Had the nightly call with Nelson. I was dialing his number when he called me. Talk about weird. He was happy to hear the news and then talked about our mom. She is going into to surgery herself next week. It is mouth surgery and I wanted to see if Nelson could stay with her or have her stay with me. It is our turn to take care of her.

I watched TV for a bit. What was interesting was that Tess fell asleep in the office and Nan stuck next to me. I let Nan hang out next to me on the couch. She is a good couch dog. She loves being on the couch and she can’t believe her good luck. She is very quiet on the couch and wants to make sure she doesn’t into trouble. She hasn’t gotten in trouble (aside for one time grabbing meat off the counter in the kitchen) and has been a great housedog. She never has had an accident in the house or chewed anything. Rainey should get a lesson from her.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

City and Farm gals!!

What a busy day!! I have my med routine down now and it seems to be working. Soon, I’ll be off them and that will be a good day. The dogs have the morning routine down too. Tess sleeps with during the night and in the morning when Jeff lets them out to go potty then Tess will hang out with him while Nan will come and sleep with me. It’s a nice routine and I enjoy waking up to Nan giving me a lick or a nudge. She has taken a more active role in the healing process.

Mom came over and the dogs rushed out to greet her. Tess ran down the stairs and got a ball for mom. Nan ran around my mom, barking in circles and her tail was wagging furiously above her back. It was a joyous morning greeting.

We had coffee and a light breakfast. I needed to go for my walk so we went down to the barn. I’ve been timing my walks and making sure that I walk during the entire time. Mom was more than happy to humor me.

It had been raining the last week or two (no surprise!!) and I had gotten a bag of pasture grass seed in early July. I wanted to reseed the pond pasture but it was delayed due to the surgery.

So you know what happened, right? Yep, my mother (the proper and polite Japanese lady) had to pull out the bag from the corner for me. I open it and then she scoops two buckets out for us to seed the pond pasture. I am sure she never thought she would be doing something like that in her lifetime.

We seeded the pond pasture with 25 pounds of grass seed. Mom was a real trooper and did a great job. I am sure she thought I was nuts but it needed to be done. She did make sure my bucket of seeds was half full and not over five pounds. It is going to continue to rain so the seed should germinate and do well.

Since I had time remaining on my *walk clock*, I turned Kael and Scott loose. Mom tossed the ball for them and they all we having fun. I did the daily cleaning of the kennels and took out loaves of bread. I feed the sheep and the cow. I also gave all the sheep (in all three pasture) one leaf of alfalfa.

Mom also fed the sheep and geese. I think she likes feeding the geese and they fly over to see her. The sheep also know her and they all ran to her. It was nice to do this with my mom. It’s has become a ritual with us when she visits. We closed up the barn and started towards the house. On the way up to the house, mom got roped into tossing the ball for Tess and Nan.

I figured since we had been pretty active that I might be hurting or tired. I was a little tired but not as bad as I thought. That made me feel good as before when I would come up from the barn, I would be completely exhausted. Now, I am not!!!

Mom made lunch for us and once again, it was delicious. I can never come close to her in cooking and I admire her for being such a good cook. As children, our meals were nutritious as well as delicious. We took it for granted but our mom made sure we ate well. She also nurtured our souls too.

Gosh, shall I tell you about lunch so your mouth will drool?? Ok!! Mom made Japanese deep friend chicken breasts, homemade French fries and steamed seasoned carrots. She used special Japanese flour dough on the chicken and fries. It was sweet and not heavy. It had a touch of seasoning and just melted in your mouth. I filled my plate to the brim and gobbled all of it down. Mom ate just as much as I did and we were both stuffed. Nan and Tess lay down and stared at my mom. She told them if they were good they would get a treat.

I was thinking she would give them a dog biscuit but instead she gave them a piece of chicken. They inhaled it and they were happy. Everyone scored at dinner.

My Fridge had been getting full the last few weeks. It needed to be cleaned so that was our undertaking after lunch. I had cleaned it prior to the surgery but with numerous people stuffing it with food and leftovers, it needed an overhaul. It took us a while but we did it. Mom made me see the error of my ways and I tossed lots of old sauces and bottled items. I guess that teriyaki from 2001 was not suitable anymore. We did a major overhaul and it looks clean and sparkly now.

I am sure my mom was stunned by now. First, we seeded a pasture and then a massive cleaning of the Fridge. We did talk about that two weeks prior, I could hardly walk down to the barn and back.

By this time, I was feeling my chest and took an Advil instead of a ½ perco. It seemed to do the trick and it quit hurting.

OK, it was time for the second walk. Same as before, but no seeding of a pasture. The dogs got to play ball and I did my walk. It was much more relaxed than the first walk. I think my mom was relieved. After all, she grew up in the city, all prim and proper and then today, she is a farm girl, slinging grass seed in a pasture. I wonder if she ever thought that I was switched at birth?

Mom headed out after the walk. Well, after she fed Rigby his can of kitty food and fussed over him. She wanted to beat the traffic and it started raining. So off she went and I headed back into the house.

For some reason, I was tired. Hum, wonder why? So Tess and Nan and I went for a two hour nap. I slept hard and fast and woke up refreshed. I rummaged around the house and ate some junk food. I did my walks with Tess and Nan in tow.

The rest of the day was much more relaxed. We had the leftover chicken, fries and carrots from lunch. I took my meds at the appointed hour and then dessert to wrap the day up. It was a good day filled with lots of activities, a far cry from two weeks ago.

Tomorrow we go to the heart surgeon and the lung Doctor. I will keep you posted. Mom called me to let me know she would bring some muffins for breakfast before we left.

Pinky and Pillows

In some of my blogs, I have talked about "Pinky" Pinky is the toy that Audrey and Neal gave me. Pinky is a good pillow and "heart cushion". When I need to cushion my heart, I would use Pinky....such as when you are trying to get up and not use your arms. You are supposed to cushion your heart with a pillow to protect it. I would use Pinky as a pillow also. Pinky is great!!

Tess also likes to use Pinky as a pillow. Here she is on the couch where I sleep. When I would watch TV late at night, Tess would be on the couch with me. Often, she would snooze. She sleeps with her head on the pillow. After all, isn't that how dogs are supposed to sleep?

Ok this is my bed at night. It is our leather couch. This is how it is setup so I can sleep. This is how Tess sleeps too. You would think she was raised like a human. She sleeps on the bed or couch and puts her head on the pillow. And she snores too. So during my recovery Tess either used Pinky or the pillow as a head rest and would stretch out.

If there is no Pinky or pillow then Tess will use my lap as a head rest. Clever dog!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Blackberries, be warned!!!

I felt like posting some pictures today so I did. I posted some from Sunday’s events. Also, since Angie had mentioned to me on my taste is dessert, I posted a picture of the Hot Fudge and Caramel Sundae just for her!!!

Today I woke up at 7ish and needed to take my ½ perco but I fell back asleep instead. So when I did wake up later at 8ish, I took it. I ended up going back to sleep for a few more hours until the pain went away.

Again, I decided to sleep on the bed instead of the couch. Nan was snuggling next to me and I was rubbing her belly. Tess was asleep in the office when she realized that Nan and I had gone to bed without her. She vaulted upon the bed and stood over Nan and gave her the evil eye. She put her head down low and glared at her. She didn’t growl or lift a lip put the *evil eye* was sufficient. Nan quickly turned her back and snuck off to the farthest end of the bed. Tess still was glaring at her until I told her to quit.

Tess then snuggled against my chest (carefully) and licked my face. I called Nan over and she went to my other side and we all slept for a few hours.

Nan, the ever watchful dog woke up and started to bark and growl. Tess continued to sleep and snore. I went to see what Nan was fussing about and the UPS man had arrived. Good Nan!!!

Of course, we did our daily walks. To make sure I was doing the proper time that the Doctor required, I timed myself. Twenty minutes is equal a walk to the bar, feeding loaves of bread to the sheep, tossing the Kong to Tess, Nan, Kael and Scott, giving alfalfa to the horse and sheep, giving bread to the chickens, cleaning the dog kennels out and putting the dogs away. I have to do this four times a day and I look forward to it.

After lunch, I tried to watch TV. That was a no go. Before I was too weak and had no choice but to lie on the couch and watch TV and take massive pain pills. Today, I was mobile and I just couldn’t sit still. Same as being on the computer. I was too antsy.

So I got my shears and decided to do more blackberry removal. Our front pathway had overgrown with blackberries and other wild stuff. I went to work and did major damage to the local blackberry population. I did quite a bit and of course had to take breaks to toss the all for Tess. This time, even though I had short on, I made sure I was out of their thorn range and managed not to get mauled like I had done the day before. I also trimmed some trees and tomorrow will do some more. That was much better than watching TV. I had a blast and it was good to be active again.

Bill, (the guy whose company I had rented the air bottles and machine from) arrived to pick up the air bottles and machines today. I hadn’t used the air machine since the Doctor took 800 ml from my lungs (two weeks ago). He was amazed at the difference in me. He had seen me the day I had come home. He told me that Jeff was helping me walk about and I was very weak. He also said he had expected to get the air bottles back a few days after he dropped them off. I asked him why and he said he expected me to be worse off (such as passed away or back in the hospital). I guess I was pretty bad as he has seen a lot of patients. He said I was 1000% better!! I was happy to show him that I was not the weak person that he had seen a few weeks before.

We chatted for a bit and it was good to be outside. There was some sun but having the fresh air and being able to walk about and do something useful was just great for my soul.

Nelson called and I gave him my status. I passed and we chatted for a bit. He wants to make sure that I am not slipping backwards in my recovery. Plus, he can tell me what to do!! I remember when we went to the surgeon office a few weeks ago; he had a list of questions to ask him. He was very thorough. He is showing a side of him that I never knew was there. I love it and love him for it.

I did some more fiddling around killing weeds and then decided I was ready for an afternoon snack. I ate pepperoni, half of a cantaloupe, fruit, pop corn and a bag of hot tamales candy. I had to balance out the junk food with the fruit. I made sure that Nan and Tess got pop corn but not anything else.

Today was just a fun day. I got to do stuff with the dogs and animals. I got to do some landscaping. I was able to do household chores. I even updated the WASH website.

Now the Olympics are over, there is not much to watch on TV. I had been watching the Olympics, Cold Case, CSI, Law and Order, National Geo, Animal Planet, History, Discovery and Sci Fi. Now, I am sick of TV. So, blackberries beware as I will be armed and ready for you tomorrow.

Oh yea, my mom is coming over tomorrow so I will show her my fine yard work. I am sure she will be appalled as she is not expecting me to be doing that yet.

I asked Jeff last night about my appetite….was it less, the same or ???.....he thinks that my appetite is normal. That is good. Regardless, each night I am still going to have my ice cream or milkshake. I just need to get those last few pounds back on.

Tonight I had a craving for Chicken Pot Pie and he stopped and got me one. I love Chicken Pot Pies!! When I feel better, I’ll make my homemade pot pies. I made a darn good pot pie.

I went through and re-read all the cards that people had sent me. Before I was on massive drugs and couldn’t even remember them, I pulled them out and read them. I really want to thank all of you who sent me cards, email, flowers, food, gifts etc….it was very nice and I appreciate it all.

So thanks to all of you folks for your kindness. It will be returned someday tenfold. I am lucky to have caring people like you in my life.

For Angie...

Hot Fudge and Caramel Ice Cream

some random photos from Sunday

Jill (owned by Kathy Davis)

Kathy and I are chatting about something. Notice how thin my legs are. I am 20 lbs underweight still. But I am out and about and having fun!!

My mother and me at the gate watching Kathy!! Notice, I am sitting down and not working the dogs. Isn't my mother BEAUTIFUL!! I need a haircut and some makeup!!

Kathy Davis and Jill.

Kathy and Jill working the flock.

Pixs by Kimiko

Monday, August 25, 2008

Doing some real work!!

For those of you following my blog, Tess and I were successful in our midnight food raid. We polished off a half bag of potato chips and a bowl of Frosted Flakes and a box of Milk Duds. Grimmeys, I can’t believe I ate all of that but I did. Tess did not get any chocolate in case you were wondering. I think she is happy that my appetite is returning.

So my plan of cutting my Oxycontin to half amounts is working and I take a ½ perco as needed. Good, but I can’t let my pain get ahead of me….meaning, I have to take a pain pill before the pain starts. If I don’t, I pay for it big time.

I had my morning meds and had cereal and coffee. I also had a piece of pepperoni for breakfast. We got fresh pepperoni from a local cow so it was tasty. Hey, I was hungry and it looked good in the Fridge!!

So we did our first walk to the barn and fed some sheep. Tess must have felt that I was well enough to toss her ball as she flung it in front of me and once on my legs. So I obliged and tossed it for her.

Today, I felt quite good. I had expected to feel tired as the day before I was busy all day. This is a good sign that I wasn’t tired. I folded a basket of laundry, loaded the dishwasher, washed some dishes and cleaned the kitchen.

Then I wandered outside and fixed the electric fence. I had to add new wire and put some ground wires in. Then since I had the shears in my hands, I then cut down a wild rose and blackberries that had overrun the back lawn tree near the backdoor.

Word to the wise, do not cut blackberries or wild rose, while wearing shorts. I managed to get a bazillion cuts on my fingers and legs but I didn’t care. I was doing something!!

Lunch was Tempura leftover and I made a rice plate (Rice of Roni). I didn’t even share with the dogs as I wolfed that down. I took another walk and spoiled Kael. I am baby sitting him for Audrey and want to make sure he is sufficiently spoiled when she comes back and gets him.

So by now, I realized it would be a good time to take a ½ perco since I was so active. The bending down of loading the dishwasher also put a strain on my chest.

Then I decide it was a nap time so Tess, Nan and I crawled into bed. Tess lay next to me with her head next to mine. Her body was next to mine. Nan had cuddled next to my legs. I just had fallen asleep when I felt Tess get up. She sniffed my face and then gently licked my arm and then finished sniffing me all over. She then very carefully crossed over me and slept next to me with her head on her own pillow. She wanted to make sure that I was all ok before she went to her favorite sleep spot. Nan held her spot next to my legs.

The nap was great and I woke up refreshed. Jeff came home and we had leftover steaks and Tempura. It’s nice to want to eat. Hey, I am 114 lbs now!! Two weeks ago I was 104 lbs!!

I got my nightly phone call from Nelson and I updated him on what I did today. A few years ago, he had gotten into a head on accident and he had a broken collar bone, and other injuries. So we can compare our healing process. It took him a long time for his chest to heal. So it is nice to see how my progress is compared to his. I have to make sure I push myself but not hard enough to set me back. I think he was pleased that I actually did something useful today. Beside eat and watch TV.

I had my nightly dessert. It was ice cream with hot fudge and caramel. I added extra sauce and Jeff put an extra scoop of ice cream. I gave Nan the bowl to lick, after making sure there was no chocolate. Then we watched “The good, the Bad and the Ugly” and Nan was on the couch next to me. She even got silly and rolled on her back and wanted her belly scratched. So I did!!

I looked over my blog and realized how far that I had come. From asking my mom to help me with everything to being able to fix my electric fence. I still have my limits, nothing over 5 lbs, no work using my arms above my shoulder or below my waist and so forth. But as time goes by I can do much more.
I am no longer writing on how much pain I have or how little I can eat or how I struggle just to breathe. Now I can write about the things in life that are important. Soon this will be a phase in my life and I will be well.

Ok, I will be well after my next surgery BUT that will be a lot simpler surgery. And it will be done soon and I will be at the post soon. That will be a grand day indeed.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Go, Go and more go!!

Today was one of those super busy days. I had dropped my nightly pain meds to half to see if I could deal with it. I woke up late in the night and had to take a ½ perco which isn’t bad considering I have taking a ½ perco all along. My goal is to take only one pain med every twelve hours than two every twelve hours. Pain meds can be addicting and I certainly don’t want that to be my addiction. I prefer my addiction to be coffee and trialing dogs. That is much more fun!!

Nancy and Courtney got here and I went down to see them. Then Ben arrived. He is the other half of Deborah and Indy. Courtney gave him a lesson with Tess and then later he worked Tess in the upper pasture. He was doing well and I saw Tess was working well for him. I think I saw him slip her some bread and we all know she loves to eat. Ben and Deborah brought me some absolutely delicious Italian Chocolate. I brought it into the house and later my mom, Kimiko, Kathy, Jeff and I ate some of it. It was so good and just melted in our mouths!! Thanks very much to Ben and Deborah for that.

I figure by the time Deborah gets back from her internship, her husband Ben will a dandy little handler!! Tess and Scott will sure help him on this path.

Courtney and Nancy moved the lambs from the pond pasture to the back lawn pasture. The foolish lambs ran several directions and after a bit, they got it all settled and everyone was moved. This was a good hard chore as the lambs and two grown sheep had no idea where they were supposed to go and teamwork was required by the handlers and dogs. In the end, it was done and by a pair of 20 month old pups. Yes, we could have used Tess but how are the young ones going to learn? I remember when I first moved here eight years ago, Tess was just 2 years ago and we had to learn all of this the hard way.

We set up several chairs and watched everyone work their dogs. Nancy and Courtney worked their dogs and each week I see progress. Meg was working light sheep and then a nice size slow flock. She did a bit of driving. She and Courtney are going to be a team to be reckoned with. Nancy did well today and she has a tough dog to work. Blaze is a lot of dog and he requires a firm hand. Nancy is getting there and soon I think she will have him well in hand.

Logan and Jack did well. Each week they learn something new and they retain it. It is a real pleasure to watch them.

Tony and Lori (and Gillian) came over. The have been puppy sitting Sava for me. Tony has been working her for me. She is a handful. She is different than Faye so it was a challenge for Tony to work her. Having horse experience makes a big difference and he did a good job with her. He worked her in the big field on over 20 sheep. Prior to that, Sava had only worked in the round pen with five sheep. He did great working her in a big field with a large flock. Tony also worked Faye using his whistles and they did right on. Nice, smooth and good flow. I even could understand his whistles.

It was good chatting with Lori. She is very nice and loves her dogs. She had a tremendous Aussie named Luke that she was working with. He was very talented and worked hard for her. He passed away but prior to that, he was doing well and was almost ready for an ASCA started course. She has two young Aussies now, Tessa and Kate. They will be the future herding stars.

I think Gillian had a blast. She is a very cute and adorable girl. She LOVES to feed the ducks, chickens, geese and sheep. She is very good and I enjoy her company. Not to mention, she is very cute (like her mother, Lori).

Kathy had arrived earlier and worked Jill. Jill is the same age as Tess and they (Tess and Jill) have been fast friends since they were two. They spent most of their lives working sheep, going to trials and hanging out. Since Kathy moved to Medford, over 2.5 years ago, Tess and Jill have not seen each other as much. But you could tell the tight friendship was still there.

Jill worked quite well. Kathy worked her several times and they had a blast. Jill was so excited to work the sheep. I know she will sleep well tonight.

All this time, I was making sure that I would not overdo myself. It was good seeing everyone. Sitting in the chair was a good idea. It made it so I could stay out longer. It was nice to talk to people and not be so drugged up.

Everyone worked well and I was pleased to see their progress. It’s amazing when you are dedicated and do the work, the results will show it.

Tony dropped off sheep that they sheep-sat for me. They went to the other field to get fresh sheep and Nancy and Courtney went to help. By this time, I had been out in the barn for a bit and needed to go and rest. Everyone left and Kathy and I went up to the house.

By this time, my mom and Kimiko had shown up. They were in the house and we all hung out. We watched the Olympics but mainly chatted. Mom and Kimiko adore Kathy. It was a good visit.

After a bit, I had to do my walk so Kathy and I went down to the barn. She worked Jill and we ambled about. It was relaxing. Jill was having a blast. She thought she was in heaven. She got to work sheep again!!

Later, we had our family dinner. Mom and Kimiko made Tempura and sushi. Jeff had green bean with bacon (fresh green beans from the garden) and his special potatoes and onion fry. He grilled some steaks and by the time it was all done, we were stuffed. I ate ¾ of my steak, quite a bit of tempura (just as much as everyone else), a good amount of green beans and a serving of potatoes. I ate just as much as everyone else. I was also trying to stuff myself so my stomach would expand. I was happy to be able to eat as much as I did.

After dinner, Mom and Kimiko had to go. They want to get home before dark. I was happy they came over and made such a delicious meal.

Kathy and I waddled, yes, waddled and not walked down to the barn. I was so full. It was a good feeling.

I had the bright idea that since the ducks needed to be put away that Jill could do it. Apparently I forgot to coordinate this with the ducks. Normally, when they get put away at night, Jeff and Tess do it. They have a routine. Well, Kathy and Jill are not Jeff and Tess. The ducks refused to get out of the ponds and certainly were not going to work with Kathy and Jill. After all, it was not part of the “Duck Unions Contract”.

Kathy had to work Jill back and forth and around the pond to get them out. She got Jill to go into the water and finally the ducks decided they had put enough overtime in and wanted to go to their coop. So will Jill working them and Kathy handling the coop door, the ducks were put away for the night. Not bad and a lot harder than any ASCA course.

We thought we were done and I was feeding the sheep at the barn when I saw some sheep were on the far side of the lower pasture. Those were the sheep that Tony and Lori had brought back and not yet flocked up with the main group. I didn’t want them to stay on the far part since it was getting dark and I didn’t want them to be coyote bait. The heifer was over there too.

Kathy took Jill and sent her. That part of the pasture is chest high in some places and the sheep were hidden. Jill adjusted quite well and cast far out to cover the deep pasture and got all the sheep. That was good thinking on her part as it was hard to see the sheep. She got them all and it was good honest work. Kathy was very proud of Jill and rightly so!!

Today was a busy day and it felt good. There was a lot of good stockdog work. Students are doing well with their dogs. There was good camaraderie.

My chest didn’t hurt as much. I am healing and enjoying life again.

Oh yea, did I mention it rained. So much, it was almost an inch so far. I don’t have to worry about watering my lawn!!

Later, Jeff and I watched the last of the Olympics. For some reason, a few hours after my huge meal, I was hungry again. Jeff made me a double ice cream bowl and I covered it with hot fudge. I gobbled it down. It must be from the entire arm chair herding that I did today.

Who knows but I am hungry AGAIN. Its two hours since Jeff fed me the ice cream but I am going to rummage in the kitchen and see what I can find. Tess, the ever loyal dog is next to me, ready for this feeding expedition.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Life in general

I sure glad that I took yesterday off to rest. Because today, was a fun filled day. Jeff left about 7 this morning to go to an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. He needed to have a fun day since he has been working as well as taking care of the farm and me!!! Tess and Nan took up duty by lying next to me on the floor.

About 7:20 a.m. Tess and Nan started to growl and their hackles rose. I woke up from a la-la land sweet dream. They were really worried and their growls got louder. I managed to sit up and looked but didn’t see anything. Then the dogs in the barn were ballistic. I got dressed and went to the back porch and looked over at the barn but didn’t see anything. It figures, I am alone and something is out there. Like the X Files.

Ok, I decide that I am not a weenie and go to the barn. With Tess and Nan as my bodyguards. Nothing, Nada, zilch. All was quiet. I have no idea what set them off. I called Jeff to see if he had any idea. He saw nothing when he left at 7:00 a.m. So, who knows what it was but it has happened twice in the past 2 weeks. But with Tess and Nan, I am safe. If you would hear them growling this morning, you would NOT have come to the door.

After my jaunt to the barn and my call to Jeff, I decided that I had enough excitement so I went back to sleep. I decided to sleep on the bed instead of the couch. Tess was delighted as she got to snuggle next to me on the bed. She and I shared a pillow and she licked my hand. She was so happy to be on the bed. Nan snuggled next to my legs and made sure that one part of her body was always touching me. The two girls made sure they were right next to me.

We got up and fussed about and Janet arrived. She came to clean the kennels and work Tess and Scott. I went down and chatted with her for a bit. She worked Tess and started to learn how to drive. She was doing great. Tess was working well for her. She can sort, drive and do all sorts of stuff. Tess is happy to be her partner.

Janet ran Scott. They did quite well. In addition to the mini course, I had them do figure 8 in the field. They both had fun and learned from their mistakes. Tess and Scott worked well too.

Kael got a couple of Kongs with treats in them and he went to work. He is a chow hound like his mom. He was using his paws like a monkey and looked like a younger version of his mom. Sleat was happy to be let out and sat in front of me, expecting me to fuss over her. Of course, I did!! She would run around and then check in with me and get her pets. She loves to be fussed over and I love fussing over her.

It was a good afternoon and shortly after they left, Nelson and Jim came up. They borrowed my truck and cut up some wood. It was in the middle of the day and hot as Hades. I sat in the shade and watched them work. They loaded up a truck load of wood. Later, they returned the truck and I am sure they are beat from unloading the wood too!! I know that I got tired watching them.

So today I did a lot of walks to the barn and visiting. It felt good and now, at 11ish, I am not wore out. A little tired but not wore out. I have trying to cut back on the pain meds so for tonight I took ½ of my nightly pain med. I hope that will be sufficient for me. If not, I can take my backup ½ perco pill. I am making sure that I am not addicted to the pain pills. I am taking enough so I don’t feel the chest pain. I am not taking more than that.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. Kathy Davis is coming over for a visit and dinner. My mom and Kimiko will be here. I hope my brother, Nelson can make it, and I also invited his friend Jim. Jeff is going to grill Filet Mignons and Mom and Kimiko will make Tempura and other assorted Japanese dishes.

We also have a full crew to work dogs. I won’t be giving lessons but my students are advanced enough to work on their own. I love seeing their progress.

It’s nice to see my progress is going well. I am reducing my pain pills, my chest is not hurting as much, my stamina is better and I enjoy life again. I remember when all I could do was drink a few sips or take a couple of bites before passing out. Or having my mom walk me to the bathroom. Or my mom helping me to take a shower. Or even dress!!

A lot has changed in the last seven or so weeks. It takes a long time to recover from that but what you learn when you are facing a crisis is what truly is important to you. Let go of the little things and look at what is really important. Family, friends, your faith, love….that is what is important. Holding onto to a grudge or being mad at someone for something stupid…that is not important. Remember back in High School when someone dissed you….in the grand scheme of life, is that really important? What is more important is telling that person in your life that your love them. I love my brother and I tell him every chance I can. I almost lost him a few years ago to a head-on accident. This year he realized that I was going through a hard surgery and then had to be rushed back into OR due to complications. When you come close to losing someone you love, you then realize, even though you love them and you show it, you need to say it. Those simple words mean a lot. When Nelson told me that right after the operation, it meant a lot to me. Nelson is not like me. He is very quiet and laid back and not one to chat. Opposite of me!!

So off my soapbox for now. Just remember what is important and if you get one bit of info from reading my blog, let it be this. Love life and live life and love your family, friends and your faith.

You will never know when your time will come but at least you know you will be a better person.

Love to all of those you cared during this ordeal. It means a lot to me and I am blessed to have you as my family and friends.


Today was a fairly easy day. I am on a routine with the meds so that helps. I slept in after I took my morning meds. I was really tired from the day before. Yesterday was an extremely full day. So today, I slept in. I got up and had breakfast. Breakfast of Champions …..”Frosted Flakes” I love Frosted Flakes and I believe it is on the top of the best breakfasts to eat. I am sure of it.

Tess and Nan got a nibble of the Flakes too. Nan is getting much better about taking it from my fingers. We took a stroll down to the barn. It was a nice and sunny day. Tess found an old stuffed toy pig that was left outside so I tossed it for her. It was small and lightweight so therefore easy to toss. Tess was delighted that I would toss a toy for her. She couldn’t believe her incredibly good luck. I tossed it for her during our entire walk and she was so happy.

The dogs in the barn were happy to see me so I let them loose for a bit. Sleat super loved and just wanted to crawl in my lap. She is a darling dog and I am going to miss her. She has turned into a loving dog. I love her deep blue eyes, they have passion in them. Kael was happy to pester his mom, Tess. They all ran around like hellions and had fun.

But good times must end so they only had a short run. I was not up to very much and limited on what I can do. But a short time is better than none.

The sheep look good and all came running up to the fence for some treats. I didn’t feed them anything as I was tired from walking. Besides, they are fat and Jeff feeds them twice a day. The heifer looked at me to see if I had any food and when she saw that I had none, and then walked off. She is not dumb. Jeff needs to name her. I suggested Brownie and I think he rolled his eyes. He wants to name her after a cut of meat.

So for my second walk, I decided to clean the kitchen. First job was to load the dishwasher. Bad idea, as when I was done I was hurting. It was from all that bending down/over to fill the dishwasher. I had bent over at my chest area numerous times in putting the dishes inside. So I finished and then had to take a ½ perco for the pain. I won’t be doing that again!!

I was hungry so then made a grilled tuna and cheese sandwich. I ate half and saved half for later. By then the pain pill was working and I was tired so I took a long nap. Like most of the afternoon!!! Nan decided she was on the nap shift and slept next to me. Tess stayed in the office. Apparently Tess thought that Nan had passed the *Guardian Role* and let her take over her duties. Nan did quite well and nosed me when I stirred. After my nap, I polished off the tuna fish sandwich and a bowl of nuts.

Chuck came over and did a sheep check for me at the other field. It’s been a while since I was there and I wanted to make sure that the 27 sheep were still there. They were all there and Emmy too. He said all looked fine. He worked Teddy and Teddy did great. Teddy did nice flanks and worked well considering the field was full of tall grass and the field was huge and it was a new situation. That’s good he did well.

Chuck also did his bee keeping stuff when he was here. The bees have been busy this year. They have been producing quite a bit of honey. I like hearing his bee stories as it is very interesting. I have learned quite a bit about bees and gained a new respect for them. I am still allergic to them but now respect them. I enjoy Chuck’s company when he visits. He is a very knowledgeable about a lot of stuff. Plus he loves his dogs!!

Jeff came home and we relaxed. He made grilled Salmon and we finished off the tasty pasta that Audrey had made. I did some short walks around the house but mainly took it easy.

I hadn’t heard from my brother so I called him. I had to update him on my progress and he was happy. At least he is not freaked out anymore about me not eating or recovering. I know if I don’t eat enough in his eyes, he will lecture me!! Or not walk enough or too much walking!! It’s good that he cares.

I am trying to catch up on my emails. I am so far behind. At least now, I can sit down and answer the emails. Before, I would just be in a stupor. I am trying at least.

I really didn’t do much today. It was a really slow day but I needed it. I am healing and slowing getting off the pain meds. I am more alert now and able to take better care of myself. I still have limitations but at least I am doing something. One week ago, I would not been able to cook myself the grilled tuna fish sandwich. Today, I did. Now that is progress.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Grand Central Station

Today was a super busy day. I had tons of visitors and didn’t plan on them. I was planning on watching the Olympics and relaxing. I had taken my pain med (still on reduced medication) and trying to get used to the new level. I am taking perco as needed for the pain instead of taking another oyxcontin. It is getting better each day but I feel the pain sometimes. Just enough to hurt but not enough to take a full dose. So I am taking a half dose. I hope soon that the chest pain will go away so I won’t need so many meds. I had a huge cranberry muffin that my mom had left for me.

So Gerhard knocks on my door. He had come to give Emma a hoof trim. She was good for the front feet but was being a brat for the back feet. So I had to hold her for him. She was fine, of course. She really needed a good trim as she had a large creak in her front hoof. He did a good job. Thanks to Gerhard for doing the trim and Lisa for setting it up for me!!

I got settled back in the house to enjoy a hot grilled cheese and tuna fish sandwich. I wolfed half of it down. It was super thick as I used a full can to make one sandwich. I didn’t even share it with Tess or Nan. I then strolled about in the kitchen looking for snackies. I ate some chips and felt like I still could go for more snackies.

Chase, the neighbor from up the steer showed up. His steer had jumped the fence and was roaming the neighborhood. We checked out my pasture and no steer. His steer is somewhere around here. My calf had jumped the fence to join his herd. She decided she wanted to be with his steers. She still is there and has no intentions of being caught. I will have to sell her while she is at Chase’s place. I’ll keep a lookout for his stray steer.

Audrey and Neal came by and dropped off Kael. They are going to compete in an Ironman race this weekend. I am so impressed. Kael is looking nice and very cute. He is getting taller and is just as big as Sleat. I get to spoil him for a few days. It’s gonna be hard to spoil a dog that is already pretty spoiled. I hope that Audrey and Neal do well on their race. I posted earlier in my blog on details on the race. I’ll be looking for the standings on Sunday.

So by now, I had done three long walks to the barn. Two in the morning with Tess. One with Chase and Audrey and Neal. I was tired as the last one was a longer one. I went back up to the house intending to relax. I got to see the Olympic Show Equestrian Jumping competition. A bunch of people had tied and they had the jump off for the Bronze. There was a tie for the Gold so again, there was a jump off. The Canadian won and it was great jumping!! I love watching the horse events.

Jeff came home and brought me a ¼ pounder with cheese. I had a hunger for it and called him and asked him to bring me one. I ate it in record time and Jeff was impressed on how fast I ate it. That was just a warm up for dinner that we would have later tonight.

Last but not least, Chuck came over. He cleaned up the wood pile and worked the dogs. He worked Teddy, Clip, Rainey and Scott. I think he had fun working them. The dogs are all completely different in working styles. We chatted for a bit and it is fun talking to him about the exploits of the dogs.

Jeff made spaghetti dinner tonight and we inhaled it. My mom had made a huge batch and we have been living off that. I think with the four meals today and my nightly ice cream that I have done well in the food department.

Bet you thought I forgot about my fourth walk. Nope, I went outside with Tess and Nan and did a walk and tossed a small ball for Tess. She was so happy to chase the ball. She could hardly believe her eyes when I was tossing the ball for her. It’s has been a long time since I had done that.

Hey Nelson (brother), you didn’t give me my nightly call! WAH!!!!!!

Ironman in Canada

Guess what!!

Audrey and Neal are going to run in an Ironman in Canada this Sunday!!


You can track their progress by entering their names

Audrey Baldessari
Neal Goldberg

I am so impressed by them!! The Ironman is by far the toughest race known to mankind.

Swim 2.4 miles
Bike 112 miles
Run 26.2 miles

Let's all cheer for Audrey and Neal and wish them well!!

Audrey and Neal have Jeff, Dan and Kael. Their dogs are spoiled. Imagine that!! They are some of the neatest people you can ever meet!!

Keep your fingers and paws crossed for them this weekend!!

Just a GREAT DAY!!!

Today my mom and Kimiko came over. I love it when they come over. They brought some tasty blueberry muffins and I inhaled mine. I don’t think I even chewed mine. I had some decaf coffee and the morning was complete.

Kimiko made me a blanket. Homemade!! It has dogs on one side and baseballs on the other side. It is perfect size for the couch, fits the couch and not extra to drag on the floor. It is stunning and very warm. I am touched at such a nice gift. Kimiko made it the night before. Kimiko is my mom’s best friend. I am glad she is my mom’s best friend. They have fun together. She is like an Aunt to me.

As usual, when mom and Kimiko came to the front door, Tess and Nan were the official greeting committee. They bounced, barked and generally were unruly…..waiting for their *Japanese moms* to arrive. I told them to settle down but it fell on deaf ears.

This is the second day that I have cut my daily pain meds in half. I can tell that I can do it but will need my ½ perco by the late afternoon. I feel my chest hurt just a little but not bad enough to take another pain pill. So that means I am healing which is a great sign!!

Mom and Kimiko sprung into action and cleaned the house for me. We had to figure out why the vacuum was not working too well but we finally did. I don’t do the vacuuming. Mom swept and mopped the floor and got tons of hair. She claimed it was dog hair but I think it was my hair, since it was in the region of where I had been sitting for a few days. Then they tackled the kitchen and it was sparkling. I owe them so much for their kindness.

Mom called Rigby and he came running up to the house. He got his usual can of kitty food and then came in for his nap. Kimiko took a picture of him sleeping on the couch. He made sure that Kimiko paid lots of attention to him. Then he made sure mom paid attention to him. He looked at me as if I was going to dote on him but he realized it was not going to happen. Then he decided that mom’s lap was a perfect spot to sit in.

Rigby on the couch. Pix taken by Kimiko!!

It had been pouring rain all day and finally we got a break. We went down to the barn and feed the animals. Actually, I pointed to the alfalfa and mom fed the sheep. It’s so cute to see my mom feed the sheep. The lambs came running to her and she loved it. Kimiko took tons of pictures.

Mom opened the gate and then I worked Tess and Nan. I worked them as a brace and then pulled Nan out, Tess was miffed that Nan was in the pasture with her and she showed her displeasure by going very slow. I let Nan work off some steam and then pulled her out. Then I worked Tess and it was amazing how fast and eager she worked.

I did a demo for my mom and Kimiko. I gave her the verbal flanks, down and walk ups. Tess was very happy and worked like a dream. Emma, the Arabian was content eating her alfalfa and then realized her sheep were gone and then she ran to then. Tess ignored her and worked the sheep around her. Tess was very happy and proud when she came out and ran to mom for her pet. After her pet, Tess went to get her ball so mom could toss it for her.

Tess and her ball. She is very happy. Pix by Kimiko

Mom then spent a bit of time after that tossing the ball for Tess. Kimiko and I were still walking around the barn and chatting while mom and Tess and Nan were at the front yard. Mom was so excited to toss the ball for Tess. Tess adores mom and they have so much fun together. Mom was even tossing two balls at once for Tess. It so nice to see them have so much fun together. I love them both so much!!

We had lunch. Mom made homemade spaghetti. She got some Italian sausage from her local specialty shop and added it to the sauce. The spaghetti lunch was delicious. I ate a normal amount and even ate my meal faster than my mom or Kimiko did. I can say my appetite has returned with a vengeance. I was stuffed and ready to hibernate for the winter!! You know, when the meal is so good, you just have to stuff yourself to the gills!! Mom made me a fruit plate for dessert in which I ate in record time. I remember when I used to just pick at my food. Now I am imitating a Hoover vacuum!!

We had some tea and watched Animal Stars. They had a pet pig that did some awesome tricks. The pig picked letters out to spell pig, did waving with her hoof and head and put a gold ball in a cup. It was neat. Then they had a pair of skunks. One skunk was in a baby carriage and the other skunk pushed it around. They had some dog tricks but the pig and skunk tricks were great. At the end the audience got to choose a winner and they pick a dog that put a basketball in the hoop. We were not impressed. Oh well, guess they won’t be calling us to judge anytime soon.

They left in the pouring rain and the normal hour long drive almost took two hours. The rain was so hard that mom had a hard time seeing. Everyone was going slowly. I am glad they got home safely.

My daily walks are going well now. I am so out of shape. At least I am getting winded now on my walks than tired out. I am up to 113 lbs so that is good. Having the dogs go with me on the walks helps a lot. Tess is miffed that I am not tossing or kicking the ball for them. I am not up to that yet. I will kick it a couple of times but not hard. They will have to deal with that.

Jeff came home early. He can’t do outside painting when it is dumping rain. I hope it will quit raining soon so he can get some hours in. At least, I don’t have to worry about watering my garden.

We had leftover spaghetti for dinner. It was just as good as before. I was still hungry so I ate a bowl of peanuts, a box of Milk Duds. Then I had a bowl of Ice Cream. Talk about an eating machine. I used to measure the amount that I ate in spoonfuls or amount of pieces. Now I measure in bowls.

Nelson called to see my eating progress. He calls each night and I appreciate it. I am glad to tell him that I am eating like a pig. He also makes sure about my walks. I look forward to his calls. He is a good brother.

My friend, Kathy Davis is coming up on Sunday. She stayed with me during most of my hospital stay. It made my time in the hospital a lot less scary. When I was not too sure what was going on, she was there. It meant a lot to me. I hurt so bad and was in major pain and so out of it at the hospital. She was my lifeline. I am so excited to be seeing her. Last time, she saw me I was weak and hurting. Now I feel so much better and want to show her how much I have improved. We are going to have steak and tempura for dinner. Mom, Kimiko and Nelson will be there. Jeff will be cooking the steaks and mom and Kimiko will be cooking the tempura. I am so excited for this Sunday!!

Janet and her husband came over and got Kuro. Janet worked Tess and Scott. Tess worked well for her. Scott and Janet had to work out who was boss but Scott saw the light. Jerill, (Janet’s husband) was in charge of moving Emma so Janet could work the sheep. Emma and Jerill get if off and became buds. He used to train horses so no wonder he had a good time. Janet let the dogs all run free for a bit. Sleat was very happy to be free. Earlier when I passed her in the kennel, she wanted to go out so bad and all I could do was to pet her. Jeff told me tonight that he really likes her. He saw a baby picture that I had of her on my work laptop and asked if it was her. Then he told me that he liked her. She listens to him and is a sweet dog, I got her Carol Campion. Carol has very nice dogs. Sleat will be going to Scott Glen for training. She is a very talented dog and I hope she does well for Scott. Sleat was a bit standoffish last year at the Glens but Jenn spoiled her and then Sleat became a super loving dog. Thanks to Jenn for making her shine!! Jenn is a really good person!!

What is even ironic is that I got Sleat from Carol. Carol and I have kept in touch regarding Sleat. Carol lives in the east. I have a student named Deborah who has a nice working female named Indy. Indy has been coming here for a few months and is about a year old. She works very nice and has good stock sense. Deborah is in college and has to do an internship. She went to the east for a year for her internship and took Indy. I hooked her up with Carol and she will be going to her while she is over there for the year. Small world, huh!! Deborah will have so much fun. Meanwhile, her husband Ben is still in Seattle and he will be taking some lessons so when he gets his own dog, he will be ready!!

We relaxed this evening and watched the Olympics. The USA won beach volleyball and it was a fun game to watch. My pain level has dropped and I am getting better. I enjoy eating and going for walks. I enjoy life…..after all, isn’t that what it is all about?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Nappy day......

Last night was very humid. I hardly slept at all. I tossed and turned all night. I took my med and went back to sleep but couldn’t. I took only have of my pain med and I think it made a difference. I hurt but not bad enough to take another pill but enough to feel it. Do I take another one or try to see if I could ride it out. I am trying to wean myself off the pain pills. In the end, I tried to see if I could ride it out for a bit. I figure than taking another full Oxycontin I could take a ½ perco. I ate cereal for breakfast. My favorite of course, Frosted Flakes!!

I watched TV and nothing good was on. I strolled about the house for my walks. I was still tired from the lack of sleep so I decided to take a nap. It’s been a while since I had a nap. I went to the bedroom as I was tired of sleeping on the couch. Tess and Nan were so happy that they leaped upon the bed and made themselves at home. Thanks goodness, they left me some space to sleep on!!

We all fell into a deep sleep. Tess made sure that she was touching all during this time. I would wake up and her paw would be on my arm. I would shift and then she would move so her back would be touching me. Each time I woke up, some part of her would be touching me. Nan was at my feet and if possible, she would lick my leg. It was nice to have two devoted Nursemaids.

I would wake up now and then and towards the end I was feeling the chest pain. Finally, I got up and took a ½ perco. It finally worked and I felt better. We had a late lunch of potatoes and carrots. We all then went and watched some Animal Planet show. We lounged around until Jeff came home.

We went for a walk to the barn. Emma saw Jeff and came dashing up. She loves Jeff. He put her into the lower pasture. She was well behaved for him as he led her out. He is really gentle with her. Considering he is not an animal person, all the animals have a genuine affection for him. He not only feeds them but pets them and makes them feel loved.

It was nice to do the barn walk. I look forward to them. I get to see the animals and it is part of the healing process. Mr. McGoo is all healed up now. I think I will let him out soon. I really like him and hope he stays ok. We sure would like to know what killed the ducks. We are also missing some Muscovy ducks. I wonder if it is an owl.

We moved some lambs yesterday to the pond pasture. Jeff put Kodi with the lambs. The ducks are also with the lambs and Kodi. Maybe by having Kodi with the ducks and lambs might scare away the duck killer.

The last few days it has been raining. We are trying to hay our field and then it rains!! Murphy’s Law!! After it, it is the middle of summer!!

You know about simple things in life? Like taking a shower? You hop in and turn on the water, scrub and *poof*….you just took a shower. I was able to do that tonight. I remember a few weeks ago that I had to sit in a chair, have my mom wash my hair and back. I was barely able to wash myself and I couldn’t use my arms above my shoulder or below my waist. I was weak and had to have my mom wash me. So I took a hot shower, washed my hair and just relaxed in the hot shower. It felt good. Simple things make you feel good.

All in all, today was a relaxing day. We didn’t do much aside from our walks. We adjusted the meds and still need to do some adjusting. Took naps and watched TV. I feel better and my breathing is fine. I get hungry and have hunger pangs. I inhale my meals. I get feisty. Little things like that make me know that I am on the road to healing.

Other times make me feel good. Last night, I talked to Lora. She filled me in on some of the runs at Lucama’s. She has done well with Sally. She got Coll, known as Nell as of now. Coll aka, Nell, was one of the Aled Owens’s pups that I brought back from Wales. They are intense pups and I am glad she got Nell. Nell has fallen in love with Dave, her husband. She steals his sandals and decorates them!! She is going to do well with Nell!!

Rochelle Stanford and Koko made it to the LaCamas Double Lift Finals. Rochelle got Koko from me a few years ago. Koko is Tess x Pleat and from the first litter. She is a dynamic red female that loves Rochelle. They are a good fit. Koko needed her own handler as she would be second string here. With Rochelle, she is her main Open dog and it made me so proud to see that see made it to the double lift. What a great team and I am so proud of them!! Congratulations to them!!

Tonight for dinner we are going to have the leftover Flank Steak that Jeff cooked yesterday. In addition, we are going to have the pasta that Audrey made for us. She dropped it off on Sunday. It looks delicious!!

Mom and Kimiko are going to come over tomorrow. I am sure that they will make sure that I am well fed. Tess has been on a diet for a few days so I am sure she will be pleased to see my mom. After all, we finally got her thin enough to see her waist line!!

Monday, August 18, 2008


I wasn’t to sure if we were going to have another Thunderstorm so I crated Nan. Since I did that, there was no thunderstorm. Oh well. Jeff let her out and she came running to me. Next thing, I know Tess has hopped on the couch and Nan has taken the spot on the floor. I think they are working as a Brace now.

I woke up at 7:30 a.m. with hunger pangs. So much, that I snagged a couple of cookies that were near me to settle my stomach. That’s good as I have not had hunger pangs since the operation. I had to give my watchdogs a tiny piece of the cookie too…..hard to say no when you have two sets of eyes staring at you in the morning light…..;-)

I had my morning pills and my can of Ensure. I was slow since I had slept past my morning pill time by an hour. When I got up, I felt pretty good. I waltzed about in the house and almost felt feisty again.

I got hungry at lunchtime and polished off my Mexican dinner from the night before. It is about the amount that I would normally eat. That is key to see that my appetite is returning to normal or almost normal. I am hungry and have a good appetite. And I am putting on more weight.

Jeff and I wandered down to the barn. I saw that one pasture needed a break and needed to move some sheep. I had Jeff open gates so all I had to do was give Nan some commands. Nan was so happy to work that she worked at warp speed but took her stops when asked. She moved the lambs from the back lawn to the pond pasture. She was very happy after it was down and just pranced around me, knowing that I was pleased. Tess, on the other hand, was not pleased as we put her in the kennel so I could work Nan.

I got to feed the cow and sheep and finished my daily walk. It felt good to have energy and enjoy my walks again. Nan and Tess just danced around me as we went back to the house. It had rained earlier so it was a pleasant walk. Not blazing hot like this weekend. I was not tired when I got back to the house.

Nan has opened up so much since this has happened. We are a lot more in tune and I felt more connected to her. She has taken a role as a nursemaid also is very loving and concerned. It has helped our relationship. I could see it when I worked her today….yes, she was fast but she did everything I asked of her and I could see the trust and willingness in her eyes. And when we were done, she was prancing around me, just pleased with herself.

You know, sometimes we take these dogs for granted. Tess and I have a long term close relationship and we do well on the trial field; sometimes she knows what to do before I tell her. It’s a special bond we have developed over the years and sometimes I think we are as “one” on the trial field.

Tess just turned ten years last month and we have done really well….it’s that special magic you have. Tess is pretty much retired now but the magic still is there. She is my soul mate.

You don’t have that special magic with each dog. I don’t know why you have it with some dogs and not others. The dogs also have to open themselves up to it also. When you have it, it’s a great feeling.

I think I got it now with Nan. It has taken over a year since I have had her plus the six weeks off for the surgery. She watches Tess and tries to do as Tess does. Tess has been devoted to me and Nan has also stepped up to the plate. Instead of me telling them what to do (such as in herding) they have taken the role of just doing it; they have been next to me when I hurt and give me comfort; they walk with me to the bathroom in the middle of the night. They lick me when my chest hurts and at night when I wake up in pain, they are nudging me with love. We have gotten very close in the last few weeks and my bond with Nan has deepened. Nan has gone from the role of a trial dog to a heart dog. She knows she is family now and her role has gotten deeper. She knows this is her home and she is part of the family.

Today, I realize that I am a very lucky person. I have a great husband, Jeff, a wonderful family, caring friends and my dogs, my soul mates. Life is good and don’t let it rush you by. Don’t take thing for granted and kiss the ones you love each day. You only live once.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Busy but fun day!!!

We had thunderstorms in the middle of the night. Nan was so scared she jumped on the bed and peed. Jeff let her out and she came running to me. It was very loud and lit up the sky in white brilliance. I put Nan in a crate and covered it in heavy blankets. It calmed her down and she was fine. While I was dealing with Nan, Tess snuck onto the couch and took over my spot. She was not worried about the thunderstorm. She could care less. She just wanted to steal the prime location on the couch. So we compromised and shared the couch.

I was awake over half the night and so in the morning was groggy. When Kathleen came over I was barely awake. It took me a while to get started but I did. I had my Cream of Wheat and a can of Ensure. By then, Pam and Nancy and Courtney had arrived. They all came up to the house and we chatted. They all had worked their dogs but for a limited time since it was so hot and humid. Kathleen had sorted a wild bunch of lambs so that made it more challenging for the dogs. Blaze was good for Nancy too.

I managed to get motivated and wandered down to the barn. There was a Calif Red ewe that needed an antibiotic shot and some sheep sorted. I see that they are very efficient in their work as well as being good stockmen. I am very impressed on how far they all have come.

Pam worked Tess who was very slow. Then she worked Scott. That will be good for her to work with an Open dog. Scott was more eager to work for her. Pam has a nice Kelpie named Colin. He is a nice working male with a good heart. He is honest and good to the sheep. I have always been impressed with him.

Emma worked well for Kathleen. She is her pride and joy and I can see why. Today, she did her sheep chores well and with confidence. For a young pup, she has stepped up to the plate.

Courtney worked Mig. What a pistol. She was doing some nice clean outruns and is listening well to Courtney. Courtney has done an amazing job wit her.

Nancy sometimes worries about Blaze but today I saw she handled him quite well. Her corrections were on and Blaze had nice, deep outruns and thoughtful fetches. It was looking nice from my view from the barn.

I was starting to fade so I headed up to the house knowing that the gang was doing quite well. They have come a long way and I pleased to see how well they have progressed.

I took a long hard nap downstairs in the cool basement. It felt great. Monique showed up to say hi and then she went to work dogs. I was still tired from my morning walk and was slow to move. Audrey came over and then Monique came back in from working the dogs. We all sat around chatting about the four huge wolf spiders that were in the bedroom. Then we chatted about dogs of course!! Monique is taking care of Lucy for me. In Sept, Monique will be running Lucy in PN and is working on polishing her up.

Audrey and Monique went out to give Emma her horse shots and then I followed them. Lucy ran up to me and is still the sweet loving dog. She is looking really nice and lean now. Monique has been doing a great job in keeping her fit and getting her to work the sheep correctly. Monique is her god-bitch after all!!

I was feeling pretty darn good and sat in the barn with Audrey after Monique left. Audrey worked Dan and he worked nice and smooth. He is settling down and looking good. They make a nice team. She did a quick sort and put some sheep in the round pen. It was one of the fastest sorts ever done.

She worked Kael and he was a dream to watch. Nice balance went both ways and had tons of presence on the sheep. It was enjoyable to watch. He is one nice pup!!

I go for my four daily walks a day. They are 12-15 minutes each. That just wipes me out.

Audrey, on the other hand, goes for 100 plus bike ride, over 2 mile swim and a marathon run…..she is training for the Iron man. She will be running in the Iron man next weekend in Canada. It’s all I can do for my total ONE hour exercise each day and yet next week, Audrey is going to do an Iron man!! She is one awesome athlete. She will be going for about 10 hours straight next weekend!!! Her arms are super buff. We compared her buff arms to my kindling arms. Last year she qualified and was invited to Kona.

We all wish her well as she is a tremendous athlete and a super nice person to boot! We will be keeping our fingers and paws crossed for her.

I am into taking naps today as when I went back to the house, I took another short nap. Jeff went and got some Mexican food and I ate quite a bit. So this is good that I still have an appetite and have energy. If I keep this up, then I expect it will be soon!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Still getting better

It’s the weekend. Not, that I live for the weekend since I am off work. But other people have the weekend off and then I get to see them. I look forward to having visitors now since I am feeling much better now.

Tess woke me up in the middle of the night by deep growls and she stood up and faced the windows. She kept growling and stood stiff legged. I petted her and her back was arched and her hackles were straight up. Finally she calmed down and then leapt upon the couch to snuggle with me. I let her have the bottom part of the couch and felt safe. It was about 3:00 in the morning. I assume it was a coyote or something like that. I don’t know.

Jeff went off to the island for the day to hang with his friends. It is the yearly Guemes Island camping trip. He only went for the day. Too bad, I couldn’t make it.

I am trying to eat a lot more calories so I had an Ensure for breakfast and then a Japanese chocolate pastry that my mom had brought. Of course, when my mom arrived Tess and Nan raced to the door but this time, Tess got stiff legged and growled and chased Nan off. Nan scooted back to the office. I called Nan and then made both dogs sit next to me until mom came in. Then I let them race to mom.

They went through their daily routine, a bunch of pets followed by a treat. Nan has really adjusted well to this new lifestyle. She eagerly greets people and gets lots of pets and treats. She is really start to show a new side of her and has gotten really outgoing. Not to mention, she has really gotten closer to me and more protective as well as vocal.

I am feeling much better and hope that setbacks are a thing of the past. It will be three weeks until I get back to work but that I think is pushing it.

We had a huge lunch today. Mom grilled tuna sandwiches with home grown tomatoes from my garden and Walla Walla sweet onions from Nelson’s garden. She also grilled some shrimp. I ate my sandwich and shrimp in record time.

Tony and MaryAnn came over. Tony is like my second father and I have known him for many years. He is my boss at work. I used to work for him over 16 years ago and now. I have worked for him for a good part of my career. He made sure that I finished my EE degree and became an EE at Boeing where I worked for him for years. Then over 5 years ago, he asked if I wanted to work for him at the FAA and I was in heaven. He is making sure that I am ok and healing well and not rushing back to work. I love working for Tony and the FAA. The people at the FAA have donated sick time so I don’t have to worry about that. It’s been five years since I started at the FAA and it is like family. They are good people who take pride and care about their work. They have passion and ethics and I am lucky to be a part of that crew.

It was good seeing Tony and MaryAnne. We had a good chat about animals, life and things in general. They brought some yellow plums and home made cookies. MaryAnne made my favorite cookies. Little shortbread with fruit centers. They are small bite sized and I am sure I will inhale them within a day or so.

Chuck arrived and soon there was a pack of dogs all having fun. He is taking care of Rainey and each time he comes over I get a story on Rainey’s latest escapades. This time it was the chewing of the phone cord. She must be testing his patience as she is doing her best to be a hellion. That is how she was described by a family or friend of his. I think I am going to tell him since he never had any (human) children that she is a substitute for that. Clip, the sibling is looking very nice. He is longer than Tess and is a beautiful rough coat. He is eye candy!!! Teddy, his red male has his paws full keeping Clip and Rainey in line.

I actually felt good the rest of the day. I was stuffed from lunch and didn’t eat dinner until 10:00. It was too hot in the afternoon to do anything but go downstairs and watch TV in the cool basement. Jeff came home at dusk and we watched TV. Mainly the Olympics and music shows.

It is nice not be wheezy, tired or feeling yucky or running out of gas at the end of the day. I must be on the mend as Tess has abandoned me for a few hours. I use her as my healing meter and so far, she has ditched me for over 5 hours. Nan is next to me or Jeff but not sticking next to me. So according to my “healing dogs”, I am good enough to be on my own for the evening.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Slowly feeling better

Today I woke up and felt great. Jeff got up early and let Tess and Nan out to go potty. When they came in, Tess decided her night shift was over and went to the office; Nan took up the slack and lay next to me on the floor keeping me company. Every time I move she would stick her nose on my body and either nudge or lick me. She has stepped up to the plate quite well and takes her job seriously.

Then my mom arrived and again, Tess and Nan abandoned me. They bolted to the door, barked and circled my mom, tails wagging and bouncing up and down. They know her arrival time and eagerly wait each day. They will be in for a big surprise since tomorrow will be her last visit for a while.

And of course, mom fed them their biscuit and fussed all over them. For the rest of the day, she had two sets of piercing eyes fastened upon her. Mom made me breakfast and after we ate, Tess and Nan got some leftovers. Nan has learned to sit nicely and gently eat off my mom’s hand. She has also learned if she *talks* to mom, them mom will fuss over her.

My appetite was quite good as I ate two Japanese pancakes and a fruit bowl. I can breathe without effort and my energy level is much higher. I feel much, much better and it shows.

Janet came by to work Tess and help with chores. I walked down to the barn with her and gave her some lesson tips. Tess and Nan sat in front of the gate as they knew sheep work was involved. Nan was sadly disappointed when Janet took Tess through the gate. Nan sat and looked at me so I called her over and gave her some bread and fussed over her.

I took a 12 minute walk and checked on the critter. Mr. McGoo is doing well and was walking on his two legs; prior he was dragging on leg. He looked like his wounds were all healed up. I gave him and the chickens some bread. It’s good to be able to able to do some sort of feeding.

I got back to the house and still felt good. I wasn’t tired as before so I fiddled about in the kitchen with my mom. I made coffee and did some little chores. It was nice to even be able to do a little something than be helpless.

Janet came up and asked if she could work Scott. Scott was more than happy to work for her and did well. She then took all the dogs and played ball with them. Sleat, Kuro, Scott, Tess and Nan were so happy to play ball and had a fun time. I watched from the living room window, Kuro has grown up quite a bit and is going to be a nice sized dog. He is all legs and is very in tune with people.

I cut my pain meds in half for the day and I felt it. My chest had a dull pain at the top, enough to make me feel it. So I took a ½ perco in hopes that it would help. It helped ease the pain but not totally. I am going to have to readjust my pain meds as the Doctor wants me to reduce them. I’ll be happy when I can really reduce my pain meds. I have to go back to work in three weeks and I sure hope that I will be well enough for that.

Mom made salmon with a shallot glaze topping. Plus steamed potatoes and carrots and fresh corn. It was very tasty and I ate most of it. I don’t think my mom have ever made a bad meal. I didn’t finish the corn so mom gave that to Tess and Nan. She also gave her salmon skin to them. They have the game plan all figured out. During the meal, sit in front and be quiet and after the meal, sit mice in the kitchen and they will get the leftovers. They are on their best behavior with my mom.

After lunch, mom went to find Rigby in the barn. Tess and Nan went with her. Mom fed Rigby, Tess, Nan and Kodi some canned food. Kodi greets my mom when she shows up in the morning and she fusses over him. Kodi was delighted to get some canned food. Mom is developing a fan club here.

Mom left and then I took a nap. Partway through the nap, I woke up. I must have rolled on my chest incorrectly and it hurt enough to wake me up. I lay on my back for a bit to ease the pain and it slowly went away. I think since I cut my long term pain meds in half, I’ll have to take ½ perco to tide me over so I don’t get the hurting chest pain. That pain really woke me up.

Jeff and I had dinner and I ate (almost) a normal sized meal. It was very hot and I think my appetite was affected from it. I am going to drink an Ensure for some calories and then my nightly milkshake. Pretty soon I will just as plump as Tess. I did weigh myself today and I am 111 lbs, a gain of two pounds from yesterday.

We are bummed that I still have a hole in my heart. Some how that happened after the surgery and there is no reason why. I am not looking forward to another operation but at least it is not as critical as the one I just had. The huge hole that I had is mostly sealed and I will be better and the main thing is that I am still alive. With the 2.8 ratio, I was in danger of a clot or stroke (high candidate) and now I am not in danger. There are people who have the 1.7 ratio who are fine and do not opt for surgery.

I am hoping with the lung tap they did yesterday and the prednisone that this will speed up my recovery. Eating several normal sized meals will no doubt help. I keep a daily log of my walks, meals, Blood pressure, heart rate and so forth. This gives me an idea of my good and bad days. Now, I hope the future entries will be all good days!!

Thanks to everyone who posts comments on the blog, emails or phone calls. I love getting trial updates. Today I got a trial update from Donna. It was so sweet that it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you Donna and Kate for making my day!!