horses at gate
I’m still struggling with having things go wrong on what feels like an hourly basis. Not big things, but just little frustrations, like having the prescription reimbursement form in my hand, going to find an envelope, finding the envelope, but then somewhere along the way, I laid down the paperwork, and now I can’t find it. I find the paperwork, but now I can’t find the stamps I just got out of the drawer.

Or walking into the kitchen to get something, it’s on the tip of my tongue, I look around the kitchen, I walk in circles, I get a glass of water, then I give up and go downstairs, where I see Java and remember I was going to get her nail clippers.

Not big stuff, but it wears on you.

Tuesday I was going to work at home, but I overslept and I woke up with a sinus headache. I thought about calling in sick, but I had a doctor appointment to get to and what if I got in a car accident or something? How would I explain driving around on a sick day? I know, I over-think things.

So what do I do? I take a vacation day. Hell of a way to spend a vacation day, let me tell you.

Started out at 7:15 AM driving to an 8 AM appointment with an orthopedic doctor. My shoulder has been hurting for two months and some days I can hardly stand it. I avoided going to the doctor because I’m sure it’s some kind of tendon or muscle strain and I’ll be told to quit doing all the stuff I do. To which I would have to ask if health insurance would cover having someone come rake and shovel manure; haul grain, hay, salt blocks and whatever else needs lifting and hauling; and open my sliding barn door for me when it sticks because those are the things that are killing me. Could they saddle my horse for me too?

But I thought maybe a doctor could do something to help so I finally made an appointment. I was on my way to the doctor when traffic suddenly came to a dead stop on the so-called freeway. I moved about one mile in 30 minutes. It was already 8 AM and I had several miles to go. I took the next exit and went home. The appointment is rescheduled for tomorrow.

I then cleaned my house, did some paperwork, renewed my library books online, watered and trimmed up my house plants, and did some research on full spectrum light boxes. I need light! If anyone knows how to tell which of the light boxes are good and which are a waste of money, please let me know.

Then I unhooked the truck from the trailer and went to the feed store and bought some feed, wormer (no, I haven’t done my Fall worming yet), a salt block for the paddock, and stall bedding.

I also stopped at the battery store to replace my watch battery. I was tired of pulling up my shirt sleeve to check the time and only seeing a bare arm. They wanted $9 for a battery, which seems high to me, but I just wanted to get er done. The guy was putting the watch together when he said, “Oh, oh.” Turns out he cracked the watch face. I was actually jubilant since I then got the battery for free! What’s a little crack anyway? Until I realized that my watch is probably no longer waterproof. Dang!

I brought the horse stuff home and unloaded it, filled the water tank, brought the horses inside because it started raining and I wanted them out of the way while I picked the paddock and emptied the tractor bucket.

I couldn’t do much of a cleanup job because the water and mud are too deep behind the barn and it’s probably going to rain off and on the rest of the week. The freezing temperatures at night seem to be preventing the water from soaking into the ground.

Then I cleared a space in the garage and parked the truck inside. I took photos of the truck batteries for H, as he had offered to pick up new ones and switch them out.

I loaded my vacuum cleaner into my car to take it in for repair. I think the belt in the powerhead broke, clue being that the brush doesn’t turn anymore. Either I’ll get it repaired or replaced, whatever makes sense money-wise.

Besides trying to catch up on blogs, that was about it for my day. I feel like I knocked a few things off my list, but not near enough. It’s just never enough.

And what a way to spend a vacation day!
It was such a lovely weekend, in comparison to the cloudy, cold, rainy days we’ve been having. We in Minnesota at times are like cave dwellers. We get so excited about seeing the sun.

I took Java for a walk Saturday morning. Taking a walk seemed like the right thing to do to get myself out of my zomby-like state.

The walk helped break the spell. Unfortunately, when I was driving out of the park, I saw a Boston Terrier had just been hit by a car. The woman who’d hit the dog was on her phone calling the police.

It reminded me of a bird encounter I’d had earlier in the week. I was walking between buildings at work and saw a finch sitting in the road looking confused. I walked up to it, trying to figure out what was wrong. I saw it was sitting next to another finch that had been run over by a truck, probably just happened from the looks of the fresh blood. I was afraid it’s mate was going to come to the same fate so I told her how sorry I was, “I completely understand the loss but you need to get out of the street or you will end up the same. Yes, I know, at this moment being hit by a truck might seem like a good thing, but really, you don’t want to do that.”

She finally flew away, probably to get away from the crazy talking lady.

After lunch on Saturday, I got Luke ready to go to the same park Java and I had been to in the morning. It’s been two weeks since I’ve been able to get out and trail ride and given my continuous lethargy, I needed more time out in nature.

But, alas, when I went to start the truck, the battery was dead. It doesn’t seem to hold a charge very well any more and needs replacement.

truck and horse trailer

I unloaded Luke and figured I had no choice but to ride him at home. I had a little bit of a four-letter-word, argument with God, melt-down. I had worked pretty hard to get out of my pajamas and on my feet. The universe could at least meet me half way.

I took Luke out into the pasture, a place full of demons from the way he was acting.

riding horse

All I saw was the neighbor taking pumpkin pickin’ customers out on hay rides.

hay ride

Murphy forlornly watched Luke and I run around. That’s my laundry hanging on the line in the background. Kind of cold for drying outside but I’m trying to cut down the electric bill. That big brown thing is my duvet (was on sale) to cover my new down comforter (I had a coupon) that’s going to keep me warm when the furnace thermostat drops down to 60 at night. As you can tell, I’ve become a little obsessed with my finances.

horse at gate

After riding around the pasture for awhile, I rode Luke in the outdoor ring and then we went and got the mail. Just call us the Pony Express. And we picked some apples too (in right pocket with my camera case).

pony express

Luke really enjoyed his apple. I love the way horses lips get all foamy and white from the apple juices.

horse eating apple

“Please Ma am, I want some more.”

You may have noticed in the photos above that Luke is pretty sweaty. Having put on a winter coat means that Luke really works up a sweat when he’s ridden. Even his rump got sweaty. Notice the tail dreadlocks?

horse rump

Sunday after church, I decided to try and get the truck going. After five minutes of trying to find the stupid little latch thing under the hood, I finally got the hood up and hooked up the charger. Another new thing I know how to do now.

I figured I would take Java for a walk, have lunch, and by then the truck battery should be charged and I could take Luke to the park.

jump start truck

Later, I tried to start the truck and nothing, still completely dead. So I cranked up the voltage to jump the truck and after a couple minutes, I got it started. I noticed the gas tank was completely empty, so I figured driving to the gas station would help charge up the battery, which is what I did, horse trailer and all.

$60 later (and I’d just spend $34 filling up my car), I came home and loaded up Luke. The park was busier than I’d ever seen it. I wasn’t the only one who’d anxiously been waiting for a decent day to get out and ride. Luke latched onto a couple horses that went out in front of us and had a hissy fit when I tried to steer away from them.

We ended up crow hopping backwards into a bunch of trees. It was not pleasant. Then he did the head dip, pirouette, swing away from where I was trying to steer him thing. You horse people know what I’m talking about.

I backed him the direction I wanted to go, did several turns on the haunches, backed some more, several turns on the forehand, then started to go on our merry way.

Luke shyed about every 10 steps. I was getting ticked. So I made him do shoulder ins, both direction, leg yielding from one side of the path to the other, 5 meter circles working down the trail. Then we’d walk. If he shyed, we went back through the whole fun sequence.

Eventually, we had a decent ride. Gotta love the challenge… Fortunately, I do.

trail ride

Murphy is taking a load off and trying to snooze..

horse laying down

“This is odd,” thinks Java. “Hey! Murphy! Is something wrong with you?”

horse and dog

“Hey! I’m talking to you!”

horse and dog

“This is way too boring. Maybe if I run past Luke with this hunk of paper I can stir up some kind of game.”

horse and dog

“No! Luke! Hey! I’m behind you! You’re going the wrong way!”

horse and dog

“What do I have to do to get your attention?”
horse and dog
“I have secrets I can tell you. I know you never get in the house. Did you know that…”

horse and dog

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you.”

horse and dog

“Oh, Lord, please don’t cry! I get enough of that from the lady of the house.”

horse and dog

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