Monday, April 30, 2012

Lamb Cupcakes

Aren't these the cutest cupcakes. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dog updates

It’s been a while since I have written about my dog training. A couple of reason why; First, I was very seriously ill with the bad heart and weak and unable to work more than seven minutes and second, I have been out of town for work. Also, one of my best friends was in the hospital so I would go see her and was taking care of her two dogs. But now, with the two successful heart operations, I am feeling so much better. I just have to heal and then exercise, as I am not in my prime physical shape.

The dogs have been patient while I heal. I started to work the dogs this weekend and only the advanced ones.  I am not quite healed for the young wild ones as the leads in my heart from the pacemaker still have four more weeks to heal.

Tess has been getting better since she has been on new meds for her heart and kidney. I will do a post on that sometime this week. She is feeling spry and running around and acting like a banshee. Today, she was racing up and down the fence line, barking (and ignoring me when I told her to be quiet) so I asked her if she wanted to work sheep. Normally, that mean to go to the gate and I will open it and put the dog that I am working (in this case Rainey) out and I will let her in. But Tess had other plans as she heard, “Climb the four foot gate, vault to the ground and run like a racehorse and gather the flock. Also do not listen to your mom, while she races after you trying to stop you as she needs to get her heart rate up and exercise more”

So, she did just that. I got two new Border Cheviots and a Romany cross pet ewe. Dogs have never worked them. The Border cheviots arrived on Saturday and had a session with Tess. The pet ewe arrive today and she loves people and never saw a flock before as well as the Cheviots. So it was fun keeping the three new sheep with my Clun flock and then I also added the ten new hair sheep. And then I have four Border Leicester/North country Cross that do not want to flock with anyone. So it was like, well five flocks of sheep, all wanting to go five different directions.

The two Cheviots stood up to Tess and she walked into their heads as she did the day before. One stamped her foot, then lowered her head as if to charge. Tess leaned forward, opened her mouth, and held it open. The ewe’s eye got wide and she spun and raced into the center of the flock. Meanwhile, her buddy was left standing there with Tess and her open mouth just inches from her nose. She leapt into the air, spin an 180 and joined her sister in the center of the flock. The pet ewe saw all of this and then ran to me, then when Tess approached, her, got wide eyed and ran to join the Cluns.  Tess, then ran to pick up the four BL/NCC who tried to sneak away and tucked them all back in, got the hair sheep to overcome their prejudice of the woolies and soon had them in a tight bunch.

We did some driving and I tried my new method of driving that Scott gave me. It worked great for Tess and she drove them around the pasture, in a tight group, doing snug turns. Then I got the brilliant idea that I wanted to do a shed. Sure, good idea, after she has convinced the sheep to be best buds and not scatter. I got somewhat of a line, but the sheep wanted no part of that. I called her through and she came in quick and clean and shed then quite nicely, She drove them off and we continued to shed them down until we had a single, I had her march the single about then put her in the stall and we quit. She was quite happy, bounced up to the gate, and was wagging her tail in great delight. I followed her to the tack room door, where she stood, waiting for her treat. She got her treat and then began to look for a stick. Of course, she brought back a huge branch for me to toss and this time I was ready. Last time I was not aware of where she was with the stick and she clocked the back of my legs with the branch, This time, I sat down and tossed the branch for her. She decided I tossed like an worthless quarterback so went to tend to her baby Silkies.

Maid has settled into the household quite well. She has her own dog bed and when she is not in that, she is next to me on the couch. Often, she will snuggle with Tess on the couch as they are best buds. I haven’t worked her very much as I want to be ready to run if needed and I didn’t have the strength before. Turns out I probably could have worked her. She hardly put a step wrong in the two sessions in the last week. A couple of wrong flanks and pushy but we got that squared away. I worked her tonight and the new sheep saw her and quickly buried themselves in the center of the flock. She ran out well, took the stop, then fetched the sheep, nice and easy. We practiced out new and improved driving, (Scott lesson) and the drive was not a battle and once she gave me the pace I wanted, she got the sheep and held them on a line to Canada. I changed her whistles a bit and she has them all down but the away whistle is not down yet but the voice commands are right on. She is enjoying working with me and we are relaxed with each other. I did a few sheds with her, she come in fast and starts to drive them away, and I look like a million dollars and keep my mouth shut. After our work, she cooled off in the pond and leaned against the chair that I was in, and slid her head under my hand for a good ear rubs. She loves to have her ears, back of her head rubbed and soon, her eyes were closed in bliss, and the sun warmed our backs. She slowly slid down to the ground and fell asleep while I read a book. Her hind legs kicked back and forth, as if chasing a wayward ewe and her tongue hung out and twitched, perhaps dreaming of a treat.

Nan has gained a couple of extra pounds so has been on a diet so a work session was in order for her too. She, as usual, ran out with gusto, hit the balance and brought the sheep to my feet. She sized up the new ewes and then got very stylish, crouching low to the ground and slinking as she worked them. I wished I had my camera as she eye was very strong and she was super stylish. Drool began to drip out of her mouth and she was keen on the new ewes. She really enjoyed the session  and then I had her work the ewes and lambs. She has gotten a lot better over the years working the ewes and lambs and will nudge a lamb to move it. She actually enjoys it now and if a mother ewe will stand up to her, she will inch in and then look away to take pressure off. After our two sessions were over, I realized her flanks were very slicey so that homework is my project for the next few weeks. True to form, after her session and quick dip in the pond, Nan was ready to be let into the house so she could sleep on her dog bed. Of course, she has me well trained so I let her in. She thinks the barn and kennels are for common dogs and since she is a queen, she must be in the house, unless she is working the sheep or getting treats.

Rainey has grown up quite a bit. She is getting her “Big Girl Britches” and starting to shine. She will never be a huge powerhouse, but she is obedient, will work her heart out and try her best. She drive was the weak link but now, I line her up, tell her walkup and she will drive for a fair bit. Her eye did catch her on the new ewes but she never back down but had to resort to a grip to get them to move but I will take that than a dog that will turn tail and be run off by a ewe. Once she got her grip, she puffed up with pride and was worked the new ewes with more authority. She worked hard today, being backup dog, sorting dog and helping dogs in the round pen. By the of the morning, her speed was a lot slower but she never gave up. I use her a lot on lesson day as she is reliable, I can turn my back and she seems to know what to do. It’s nice to see that she is growing up and becoming a good dog.

Sava was smooth toady. She was used earlier in lessons and she was the last of my dogs that I worked today. She didn’t want to work on the pressure side but she decided it would be a good idea after all. Her wide sweeping outruns are a joy to watch and she moves effortless on the ground. I need to work on her confidence, as that is her weakness. All of my dogs have a weak area and it is my job to help them in that area.  I hope that soon, she can move up to Open. She has the talent but needs the miles.  She tries hard and each time we partner up better and better. She ran in PN in the fall winter trials and did great and I hope her success continues.

The young guns, Reba, Billie and Ben are with my herding students while I recover. They are getting family time and herding time as well. I am getting glowing reports from Kathleen on how well that Reba is doing. Kathleen has a good, quiet way in starting young dogs and she is doing great with Reba. Diane, the Vet, has taken Billie and I have been working wither as she starts Billie. Billie is very natural on the stock and reads them like an open book. She is starting to drop her head and get some eye but at 15 months old, I am impressed with what she has shown me. We have had Ben on sheep a couple of time but he is very fast and needs to grow up still since he is only eight months old.

I’ve been very happy with my lineup of dogs and now it’s my job to showcase their talents. I am enjoying working with them and hope that I can get more points on Nan for the Finals and Maid, well; we need to get several wins as we have zero points. I am happy on how well she is running for me and it will be just a matter of time.

It’s been a long and slow road but finally it has come to an end with the last two successful heart surgeries. I still have four more weeks in which I am limited but it will go quickly. Having a good family and friends makes a huge difference. Spring has arrived and I see a new beginning in life, one filled with dogs, garden, newborn lambs and the joy of living.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

American Leg of Lamb With Roasted Vegetables

6 lb bone-in American leg of lamb
Olive oil
2–3 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 lemon, cut into small wedges
Garlic salt, to taste
Lemon pepper, to taste
1 can chicken broth

Roasted Vegetables
6–8 red potatoes, quartered
5 carrots, sliced to 1/2-inch pieces
1 can small peas, drained


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim excess fat if desired.
  2. Cut slits into leg of lamb and insert garlic cloves. 
  3. Squeeze lemon wedges onto lamb and then insert wedges into additional slits. 
  4. Season lamb with garlic salt and lemon pepper. 
  5. Drizzle small amount of olive oil in large roasting pan and place leg of lamb in pan, fat side up. 
  6. Place roaster in preheated oven, uncovered, for about 2 to 2-1/2 hours.  If more juice is needed, add chicken broth. 
  7. Add potatoes, carrots and peas, and seasoning to taste. 
  8. Cover and cook for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or to preferred doneness. 
  9. Remove leg of lamb and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  10. Slice lamb and serve with roasted vegetables and juice. Enjoy and happy holidays

Friday, April 27, 2012

World's shortest robbery

Well, I guess this crook won't be robbing any more stores soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

How Now, Mad Cow

The mad cow that was recently discovered through routine testing in California had been euthanized after it became lame and started lying down at a dairy, federal officials revealed Thursday. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also said the cow was 10 years and seven months old in its update on the fourth case of mad cow disease ever discovered in the U.S.

A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes of California had said Wednesday that the sick cow was 5 years old. It came from a dairy farm in Tulare County, the nation’s No. 1 dairy-producing county. The USDA didn’t elaborate on the cow’s symptoms other than to say it was “humanely euthanized after it developed lameness and became recumbent.”

Routine testing at a transfer facility showed the dead Holstein, which was destined for a rendering plant, had mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The results were announced Tuesday.

Animals at high risk for the disease include those with symptoms of neurological disease, “downer” animals at slaughterhouses, animals that die at dairies or cattle ranches for unknown reasons, and cows more than 2 1/2 years old, because BSE occurs in older cows.

U.S. health officials say there is no risk to the food supply. The California cow was never destined for the meat market, and it developed “atypical” BSE from a random mutation, something that scientists know happens occasionally. Somehow, a protein the body normally harbors folds into an abnormal shape called a prion, setting off a chain reaction of misfolds that eventually kills brain cells.

In other countries, BSE’s spread through herds was blamed on making cattle feed using recycled meat and bone meal from infected cows, so the U.S. has long banned feed containing such material. The last two cases found in the U.S. were atypical as well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Crabtown Dinner in Oklahoma

On a Friday night, my work buddies and I went to dinner. I whined and whined, until they broke down and went to the restaurant that I wanted to go to since I had heart they had boiled crawfish. The restaurant was "CrabTown" and was in bricktown area in Oklahoma City. Of course, before dinner, I went shopping at BassTown and got some cool shirts and sheep PJs!

I ordered two pounds of crawfish for dinner. And a beer. And an crabcake appetizer. And gumbo soup. And then had hot rolls and butter. Then I wondered why, I felt so full. So I ordered another beer.

Marty (Chicago FAA) and having a blast. He hung out with us over the two weeks and he is a real hoot. I knew he was a good guy when he mention he had horses and used to ride.

Cool wall art.

More cool wall art.

Everyone had a good time, even the ones who weren't keen at first. We got kinda rowdy and entertained everyone around us. See, Gov't workers can have a good time and not be stick-in-the-muds!

My dinner. I ordered two of these and it was great. I just had to wash them down with beer. Then I sent a pix of this to my poor husband at home to let him know what he was missing. I am sure he was more than thrilled to get that pix! Everyone was happy and it was a great dinner. The food in Oklahoma City is great. I enjoy eating out and end up going home, weighing a few pounds more than I arrived.

I recommend going to CrabTown. The food is great, service is fast and beer is cold.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

An Evening in Guthrie Oklahoma

After we spent the afternoon  at Susan and John Abrams great farm, we ventured out to dinner and then to the Byron Berline concert. First stop was dinner at this local restaurant in Guthrie. I can't remember the name and maybe Susan or Bonnie, can help me with that.

Love the brick and just down-to-home type of place. 

Susan and John Abrams. John is a famous horse judge and was judging a mini and mule show. He is very knowledgeable I learned a lot about mini horses at dinner. Thanks to Susan and John for buying me dinner. Bonnie was also at dinner and she regaled me with Border Collie stories.

We were entertained by a local woman and her band. She was fantastic. I will have to find her info and post it. She played bluegrass and the whole was enthralled by her talents.

I ordered pulled pork and onion rings. I was expecting a small platter. It was huge and they way they cooked the onions was tasty. I ate so much that my sides hurt. The food was great!

After dinner and before the concert, we toured around the tour. It has old brick buildings and that very beautiful. Check out the detail on the towers. Guthrie was the State Capitol before it was moved to Oklahoma City.

Some more beautiful buildings. Susan was a great historian on Oklahoma and it was one of the best history lessons that I ever had. I never knew that Oklahoma was so rich in our history. Every time I visit Oklahoma, I have  a deeper respect for the state and how is helped shape our past. 

Again thanks to Susan and Bonnie for being such wonderful tour guides. for Susan and John Abrams for inviting me to their lovely farm. I am so honored to have you folks as part of my friends. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Heart Update and Doc Visit

Well, time for a heart update. I have been very careful on not trying to use the left arm in two areas. Not lifting more than 5 pounds and no higher than shoulder height. Turns out that maybe 90% of what you do, fall into the the two above categories above. SIGH!

When I sleep I roll over from one side to another and that is fine and dandy, until I roll over on the incision, then I wake up and say "Oh S*&%" it hurts, then I readjust and go back to sleep. Finally I am training myself not to roll over as much. 

Janet was armed with crook in her hand, this Saturday during lessons. She gave lessons while I puttered about. She had full permission to whack me should I break the two rules from above. But I was  wise and made sure that I obeyed. How often, can you whack your herding instructor with permission? 

My students have been great about coming over each night to do chores for me. They are the best students and I am grateful for them as they are my friends too. My mom and aunt came over and made me lunch a couple of times. I ate so much that I had to take a nap. They got to feed the chickens and have fun. Getty has been helping me a lot too. I did make dinner a couple of time and this week, will be doing more cooking. My brother came over and fussed over me and brought me a fruit tree and Japanese Maple tree. His friend, Jim, was here too and he is a cool guy. 

I've been sleeping lots off and on. some days, I have a normal day and other day, I take long naps. I listen to my body and sleep or rest when it tells me. The bruising color is going down and it is just swollen now. It hurts still but not a sharp stabbing pain like before but more of a deep pain. Apparently, when they made the incision, they have to really stretch the hole open to shove the pacemaker in, then place the leads in the heart. That is why it hurts as the area around the incision had major trauma done to it. But it is healing and will take six weeks for the leads to be stable in the heart.

That means 4.5 more weeks of being careful and not pulling, yanking, lifting etc as it can pull the leads out. As it was, there was damage to the heart and it took a bit for them to thread the leads in so I don't want to go back in for a re-surgery. I guess one lady, around two week after her surgery, bent down to clean out her garbage can and the leads pulled out, That was enough to spook me to be a lot more aware.

I did work Maid for about five minutes yesterday and she ran like a dream. Only one missed flank and she was a little pushy at first on the drive but settled down. We did driving, fetches then to end it a shed. She came in clean and fast and I felt her brush past my legs as she flanked to push the sheep away. We quit then and she ran proudly to the gate, her tongue hanging out and a gleam in her eye.

Doctor Heywood said I could start training but in small doses and start to do stuff but slowly. So I guess running the marathon is out and climbing Mount Everest is out too. I will be happy that I can work my dogs for five minutes. I did notice when I did work Maid, my incision area did hurt when I went out of a walk so I won't be training any young dogs or anything that require fast movement. That will be in4.5 weeks. today was the Doctor visit and he was pleased wiht waht he saw in my progress.

The blood pressure was normal, and my heart rate was 50 beats at rest. The Biotronik Rep was there and took my readings and everything looked great There was no sign of the flutter and she fine tuned the pacemaker. I am the proud owner of a Biotronik Evia Model, which is the top of the line model. So far, so good.This model lasts for about ten years and is half the size of the other pacemakers.

I will get a remote unit that will plug into my telephone and it will upload data to the Doctor so he can monitor the results. I am sure he will see the reading when my heart rate go up, when my dogs runs through the stop at the top at a, wait, my dogs never do that! More than likely, it will spike up when I will be training Ben, the young Joe pup. He is quite, shall we say, "LIVELY" on sheep.

So the good news is that this surgery worked. No flutter and heart rate is normal. I am so happy now. No more dark circles under my eyes and lots more energy!

I felt so good that I got a makeover and new makeup. The Biotronik rep had on non-allergic mascara that was totally natural and she told me where she got it. I went to the Ulta store and got a makeover, a treat to myself and like the new look.

Look no dark circles under the eyes!.

Life is going to be normal soon. I go back to work next week, telecommute for two week, then back to the office. I am not sure how they are going to handle me with all of this new found energy.

Tess still hangs out with me and seems to know when my incision begins to hurt and she gets snuggley. Then we take a nap and I feel better. I just have to rein myself in and let myself heal and soon, this chapter of the heart problems will be closed.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Bonnie and Freckles

Bonnie Daley has a new trial dog. Her name is Freckles. She is the dam to Susan's dog, Kacee. Freckles is quite a dandy, little dog and this dynamic duo should be making an appearance soon. Hopefully Bonnie will make her way over to the June trials, maybe this year or next. We hope to see her soon.

I met Bonnie a few years ago at the Washington trials and we hit it off. We have been friends ever since. I enjoy her quick wit and charm. She is one of those people that is a true friend.  I am glad we are buds and look forward to many more years.

Bonnie and Freckles. This was at Susan Abrams farm in Oklahoma.

Bonnie also got a new trailer. It is quite nice.  You can fit 5 giraffes, two turtles, six dogs and the entire crew of "Dancing with the Stars" in it, as well as Bonnie and her dogs.

I am happy for Bonnie for her new dog and trailer. She was beaming like the bright sun that was in the sky! It was good to see her smile!

I want to thank Bonnie and Susan for the enjoyable Saturday when I was in Oklahoma. Plus, I got to pet dogs , see sheep and have a grand ole time! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

An afternoon delight in Oklahoma

After we left Angie'Susan, Bonnie and I went to Pops. Pops is on Highway 66 and has the largest selection of soda pop in the world. The last time, I was there I got a six pack of root beer and was in heaven. This time, I got a bottle opener for Getty that he will use with joy. (So, I hope!)
Pops is a very popular place and very busy. Here is a row of beautiful bikes, all lined up in a nice row. Check out the sunshine and it was 80 was sheer bliss!

Then we went back to Susan and John's farm. I was tired so took a nap. After my nap, I wandered about and just enjoyed being on a farm. Here is Susan collecting eggs. Her dog, Kacee is the rider.

Fresh eggs.

Her hair sheep are nice and square. The sire is a white Dorper and he was a hunk. I really like seeing some high, quality hair sheep. They haven't missed a meal, either.

Not only Susan teaches herding, she also teaches her ewe and lamb to do some sheep dressage. See how they are in unison!

And of course, each sheep farm must have a LGD or two.

Kacee is a very nice dog, Handles the sheep with ease and confident. She is very well bred too.

A rock collection display.

The sign that greets you when you enter. Thanks to Susan, John and Bonnie for taking me on an adventure. She has a very lovely farm and it is a piece of heaven in Oklahoma!

Friday, April 20, 2012

How to stop a cat from peeing on your car

My sides hurt after watching this!

Working Livestock Guardian dog for sale

I have decided to sell Glock. He is  18 months old and ready for a new flock. 

He works more than 40 hours a week, doesn't demand a raise or long coffee breaks. He is gentle with lambs and very good with his flock. He is fine with horses, cattle, llamas and goats. He ignores the geese, turkeys, ducks and chickens. He thinks cats are beneath him and as a result doesn't chase them. He will let a red-wing black bird land on his back for a rest.

He is intact and up to date on shots. He will lead on a leash.

Glock is Maremma/Tatra and /Spanish Mastiff mix and from Paul Lewis in Oregon. He will be an fine addition to your sheep flock. He has protected the flock against eagles, cougars, coyotes and ravens. He will bark if a stranger shows up but will quiet if  you tell him. He also will stand between the sheep and danger. 

He is available for $700 and pick up in Carnation. Will consider trade for sheep.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Byron Berline - one great concert

Susan and Bonnie took me to a Bluegrass Concert in Guthrie, Oklahoma. We walked around the streets of Guthrie before the concert and at the music hall entry was this Fiddle Shop. Very quaint and nice. Turns out it is owned by Byron Berline who was the feature of the concert.

The concert was a blast. The best bluegrass that I ever heard and the first bluegrass concert that I ever went to. I have heard lots of bluegrass and this was by far, the best.  I was clapping to the beat and just had a wonderful time.

During the break, Byron wandered about and chatted with everyone. He is a quiet, unassuming man and just a pleasure to met. You would never know who he was as he was had no ego and was just like one of the regular folks. I recommend going to one of his concerts. It was low key, small and a five star time!

Susan, Byron and me. Since I am not shy, I asked if we could get our photo with him and he agreed. He is a five star gentleman.

One of his many awards he had hanging up.

I was amazed at how much he has done. A great guy.

The sign at his Fiddle Shop.

The window to his shop. Very cute fiddle type of items.

Aren't these the cutest, ever!

This one was my favorite!

His show schedule.

They did a song to the Monkees. it was fantastic.

To go to Byron's wonderful Fiddle Shop click on DOUBLESTOP

To buy one of his wonderful CDs, click here MUSIC

To read more about Byron, click here BYRON

Soon, it was time to go home. It was a fun concert and thanks to Susan and Bonnie for taking me there. Susan and Bonnie are just great people and the salt of the earth. I am very happy that they included me in their lives.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Angie Coker-Sells in Oklahoma

Susan and Bonnie were kind enough to haul me around all day on Saturday and I really appreciate it. Their heart is as big as Oklahoma and they show the true kind spirit that we all should strive to have. Each time I am in OKC for an extended stay, they are my tour guides. It's amazing how much history that Oklahoma plays in forming our heritage. I remember reading "Grapes of Wrath" in which all Oklahoma was a dust bowl and how everyone fled. It sure isn't that way today. It is rich in history and overflowing with kindness. I truly enjoy learning about Oklahoma at each visit and hope to further my education with each visit.

So they picked me up on Saturday (March 31) and the first place was Angie Coker-Sells. Angie has a gorgeous ranch that is lush green and you drink of it's richness. This is the corral at Angie's where she has her training sheep. She was kind enough to accommodate us and her quick smile made me feel at home. Spanky is her pet. He was dropped off and she took him in. She has a soft spot for strays and takes them in and gives them a home for life. Here, you can see Spanky doing his imitation of "lie down". He is quite a character and really enjoyed assisting Angie with the dog training.

This is Joyce (?)...she was there for the day for training. She was funny and had us laughing!

The infamous Bob Brown. Bob won one of the caption contests that I held. He loves his dog, Belle (sp?) and ran her through a PN course and handled her well. He is a very nice southern type of guy, opens doors, polite and all that good stuff.

And of course, we can't forget Angie. She is very kind and a a nice lady. She truly loves her dogs and you can see how kind she is to them when she trains them. I really enjoyed the stay at her place and thank her for letting us be there on Saturday. Since I was in OKC for work training, I was dying for a Border Collie fix and definitely got it. Plus her sheep were lambing and it was sweet to see fat, bouncing babies running about. Thanks again, Angie! You rock!!!

Bonnie Daley and her upcoming partner, Teek.

One must not forget the dog on the back of the Quad. Again, a stray that Angie got from Colorado. He is quite happy to be Angie's dog!

Bonnie and Susan, my gracious guides. I can't say enough wonderful things about these two fine ladies as the list would be quite long but I will tell you that are people that you want in your lives. Good people, just what God wants us to be like.

The view as we drove off......a sea of green and yellow!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

When Ducks Attack!!

So a week or so ago, I got back from Oklahoma City where I went there for training for work. I had a weekend stay  and got to visit Susan Abrams, Bonnie Daley, Bob Brown and Angie Coker-Sells. It was a great day and will be the subject off my blog for the next few days.

While I was at Susan's farm, I saw first hand, in real life,  the Horror B-Grade Movie, "When Ducks Attack"

It was horrifying and I barely escaped with my life. But I managed to get  photos with my small camera. Not my big, fancy one so the photos are not the best.

Ever see the "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?". Well, this was the same type but in duck form. Luckily these were mini ducks so I was able to outrun them in my weakened state. Susan, very cleverly, hid behind me. When the ducks figured out that I was not zombie bait, they turned on each other.

These two bad boys.

It was a fight to the death. Or so, it seemed.

But then I woke up from this nightmare and realized they were not killer ducks. They were fighting for some affections of some sweet gal ducks.

But the girl ducks were not remotely impressed. In fact, they were bored. By the time the boys got done flexing their muscles, the gals had wandered off to eat some dinner. Such a sad state of affairs, when the object of your affection, doesn't acknowledge your valor.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day Three home

Well, they say it gets worse before it gets better. Today was the worse part. I slept most of the day and I would roil over on my left shoulder and then wake up in pain. I out pillows around me to stop me from rolling but that must have only worked, like zero times, since I woke up and the pillows were scattered all over.

The bruising has gotten a lot bigger as you can see below. It is very sore and any movement creates pain. It's quite colorful too. In a few days, the swelling will go down. The left arm/shoulder hurts to move but I am moving it some so that is doesn't freeze up and become a frozen shoulder. I make sure I don't lift anything heavy or move it above my shoulder height. I am getting better at paying more attention to this.

The lower back still has been an issue. It has a huge knot still and hopefully soon, it will go away.  I was not expecting that to be an issue. I've been putting pain cream on it and it helps a lot.

I have been sleeping a lot which has helped in healing. Today I got up, ate, had coffee, played on the computer then went down for a nap at noon and got up in the evening. I guess I was really tired. Tess snuggled next to me all day. Rainey and Maid flanked on each side of me while Nan was at my feet. I was surrounded by a sea of black and white.

Wayne came over and did the nightly feeding. He has it down pat. The sheep adore him now and he also uses Sava to sort the sheep for his dog, Merlin. I watched the last part of Merlin's session and he kept the sheep in a tight bunch and they ended on a good note.

Not much new to report and the blog will sort of go back on track and I will update the progress a couple of times about my recovery. I still have a ton of photos to process so will be doing that.  I am glad the surgeries are down and over with and all I have to do now, is heal.

Well, dinner is being served soon so I best be going.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday progress

Well, I am sure glad today was warm and sunny. It sure felt nice sitting in the sun, soaking up the warmth. Last night, I had a very hard time sleeping as my lower back was cramping up and I was in pain. Nothing, I did, seemed to work. Hot tea, warm blanket, snuggling with a dog, nothing…I tossed and turned all night. I rolled over several times in the night on my left shoulder which caused me to wake up quickly and in pain. I took my pills but they didn’t seem to help. It was not a good way to start the day when the alarm went off.

Getty had to go to work so he wanted someone to *babysit* me since I felt so bad the day before. In case, I had to go to ER, he wanted a person here. I asked Wayne if he could be my babysitter and he came out at 10:00. That was very nice of him to come out and he helped me with chores. More like, he did chores while I puttered about. I sat in the sun and drank coffee and had toast and then I felt better. I watched Wayne work Merlin and see some good work by Merlin. Wayne is getting the positioning and pressure on and off. It’s slowly coming along and they will get there. I had Wayne use Sava to sort the sheep and he quickly figured out when she was cheating on him. She only did that once and she learned that he was on to her.

During the babysitting session, I got tired so wandered to the trailer which is next to the barn and took a nap around noonish. That helped a lot and my batteries really got recharged. I got a new camera, a Canon 7D and it is heavy and since I can’t use my left arm, Wayne got to try it. He took lots of cool pixs so I will post them tomorrow.
My shoulder and lower back hurt off and on all day. I expect this to be this way for a few weeks. I can also feel the two incisions in my legs as they really ache. Matter of fact, my whole body ached. Eventually this will all heal and life will be good again. I took my pain pills and they took the edge off the pain but did not get rid of the pain.

It was very kind of Wayne to come over and do chores for me and babysit me. He was ready to run me to ER if needed but luckily my lower back spasms were not as bad as they were on Saturday. They hurt but it was a deep throbbing type of pain. I had to make sure that I didn’t use my left arm. That is close to impossible as you use both of your arms all the time. Maybe next time, I am in the barn, I will tie a piece of baling twine to my left arm so I can’t use it.

Diane Mitchell (Vet) and her son, Jono came over and worked dog. She took a peek at Tess and so far, she is looking good. She will take Tess back on Wed for more bloodwork. Wayne and Diane are taking over the feeding night chores for me this week so I don’t have to worry about that. All I have to do is heal and relax. The sooner, I heal, the sooner, I can get back to normal.

My mom, Nelson (brother) and Jim came over at oneish to make me lunch. Wayne had lunch as he had no choice, I told him he had to eat since he was helping me. Of course, he is no fool and did not turn down a chance for Japanese food. My mom made homemade Gyoza, special rice, salad, lotus root and other goodies. Nelson made a home made plum pie and Jim brought smoked black cod. I ate about half of what I normally would eat but I did eat all I put on my plate. My appetite is not back to normal but at least, I am not nauseated when I eat. After we ate, we had to do the traditional walk to the barn to feed. Mom brought bread so she feed the chickens and sheep. Tess managed to get her quota of several pieces of bread. Rainey was profited by sticking close to mom and getting her several pieces of bread. The girls know to hang next to my mom as she will load them up with goodies. Then they work their way over to see my brother as he fusses over them and treats them. They are no fools and I let them get spoiled rotten, since I am getting spoiled by my mom too.

Everyone left after lunch and I soon passed out on the couch for a much needed nap. Apparently I was so tired and in such a deep sleep, that I didn’t hear Getty come home. I did wake up to see that Tess had hogged most of my pillow. I hope that tonight that I will get some more sleep as I am still tired.

I did note that dark circles under my eyes are gone and I don’t get tired when I walk up from the barn. Also when I wake up I am not super fatigued and my fingers are not cold. Little things like that mean a lot. Tomorrow will be another day and I hope the healing process keeps going on a good path. Will keep you posted.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Home from the Hospital

I am home from the hospital. The surgeries took five hours. I went in at ten in the morning then the surgery started at noon. The first surgery was the ablation and it took three or so hours. They found the general location of the misfiring circuit and burned it. He thinks they got it but they don't know for sure. It was a large area.  We are hoping the atria flutter doesn't come back and if it doesn't. then we know it worked. I am think they got it all.

Then they monitored me for a bit to make sure everything was ok then I went in for the second surgery. They put the pacemaker above the heart on my left shoulder area. It has a nice scar, to match the one going down my front from the open heart surgery. They had a hard time putting the wire in my ventricle due to damage in the heart but they did git it. Dr. Alan Heywood is top of the game on ablation and pacemakers.  He put in the state of the art pacemaker for me, Biotronik. It will send info via remotely to the computer so the Doctors can monitor me. The "pacer" is set for 50 beat per minutes at rest and no more than 140 at hard work.

The pacer implant area. It is still very bruised and very sore.

Be aware as I type this, I am on pain pills so if this rambles on, you know why. I stayed overnight at the hospital and was sent home around 11ish. I got home and Janet was here so I chatted with her for a bit, then slept for most of the afternoon. My left side really, really hurts a LOT......I am in major pain. I did get up in the evening and went to see the sheep in the barn and enjoy the sunshine.

Then I had a set back right after I got off the ohone with Scott. My lower back went into back spasms. It  hurt so bad that I cried and the girls went all frantic on me, licking my face and nudging me. Poor Tess leaped on the couch and hovered over me, licking any exposed part of my body and being really concerned. Maid and Rainey put aside their petty dislike of each other and licked my arms. Nan shoved Rain and Maid aside to stick her snout in my face. I had Jeff massage my lower back to ease the cramp. I haven't been in so much pain like that for a long time. It finally went away after he massaged the knots. I have no idea where the knots came from but they were a real killer

Right now, I feel better so am posting this. I can't lift anything with my left arm more than 10 pounds for the next few weeks and not to raise my arm above shoulder height. I also have three major holes, two in my  groin and one in my neck, where they went in with the catheters. I have to make sure they do not open up so  they should heal in about a week.

I still hurt like hell but at least this is the last of the heart operations. I noticed when I got up this morning that I wasn't fatigued and my fingers were warm. That is so huge. It will be nice to have my heart at a normal pace and my life back to normal in a few week.

I will keep you updated on my progress. Thanks to everyone who prayed for me and helped me through this. It's nice to know you have good friends out there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sheep Cartoons again

Some fun sheep cartoons!