Thursday, November 25, 2010

The things I am oh so thankful for...

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you all have had a day full of family and friends, turkey and fixins, but most of all I hope that you take just a moment to reflect upon what you are thankful for.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday I think because it is a day for celebrating, but with not expectations attached to it.  Meaning it still has managed to not be commercialized; no gift giving expectations, no plastic eggs and baskets to buy and fill.  Just a wonderful day to appreciate all that you already have.

So, here is my short list, in no particular order:

My family  (immediate and extended)
My friends
My health (although I have had a few struggles lately, in general, I am blessed!)
My ranch and home
My critters...llamas, sheep, chickens, cats, dogs, you name it, I love 'em
My businesses
My humble little town
My country and the soldiers that fight to protect it
My oh so loyal Rebels!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A TENS Warning....with a reminder to take help when it's offered!

I want to start today's post out with the biggest thank you I can possibly give to my parents.  Something really scary could have happened to me the other day, and they jumped right in and pulled me out of my boiling pot of water, without even thinking twice or saying a word.  Which is of course what parents love to do, but I didn't even realize I was in a boiling pot, so they're quick thinking was what I really needed.

Monday was my first physical therapy appointment and I was looking so forward to it!  Finally something proactive I could be doing for this darn back recovery.  I had met my parents and some out of town guests for breakfast; and these weren't just any out of town guests.  They were family from Iowa, and you, my long time readers know how much my family from Iowa mean to me.

We had a wonderful time, they even gave me a more than generous birthday gift, and I headed off happily to my PT appointment.  All was going well until she put the TENS unit on me.  She had asked me if I wanted it, I asked what it was, and she said it was for pain management.  At this point in time, I will do anything to lower the amount of Advil and pain meds I am taking, so I was happy to try it.  When she rolled the machine in, I commented that it looked like an ultrasound machine and she said that it did that too.

I must say, I didn't even think twice when she asked me if I had a pacemaker.  You must remember, this is through my regular medical system, she had my entire medical chart.  So, she turns on the machine and starts turning up the dials and asking me if I can feel anything.  That is when it hit me, this was electric shock therapy, and I was starting to slur my words...I was in big trouble and was going into a seizure.

Thankfully, I was able to tell her that I had a seizure disorder, and I could hear her tripping over the rolling stool as she was yanking the node things off my back and trying to get at the machine to shut it off.  She is a great physical therapist but was not at all prepared for a medical emergency like we were facing and was horribly upset that she had made such a mistake.  I, of course, was terribly embarrassed, which I am assuming is a typical response because I really can't figure out I was embarrassed about and just kept reassuring her I was fine, but to give me a few minutes.

Well, as quickly as I could I got the hell out of there, again a very uncomfortable situation all the way around, and called my Mom and my husband to tell them what had happened.  The unanimous decision was that I definitely should not be driving my truck the hour home, I could kill myself or anyone else for that matter.  As stubborn as I am, I resisted for quite some time.  As you all have gathered by now, I am a bit of a rebel-ha!

Well, my Mom called back and said that Dad didn't want me to drive (we don't argue with Dad-ha!) and they were on their way to meet me.  That was that.  Pull over Judy.  I called Tom so that he could quit worrying, and that is when he asked me about my breakfast with Jeanne and Bill...and I realized that my memory of the day was to say the least...sketchy.  Good thing me and my big truck were no longer doing 65 miles an hour down the road, I guess.

The wonder of it all, was that my Mom had been with me for the time that I lost.  So not only were my parents getting me and my truck safely home, but on the way there Mom was able to fill me in on all of the missing time.  And for some reason I can make it through typing this whole post, but when I get to the words "missing time", the tears start clouding my vision.  As a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a great niece....that is the part that makes me furious...and cry.

But, anywho, this post was also to talk a little about the Tens unit.  And I'm not even going to do any research on it, I'm sure it's quite easy to google on your own, if you so wish.  But, my brain, says NO THANK YOU.  So, folks, I'll make it real simple, in my opinion, if you have any brain dysfunction like epilepsy or have had seizures, do not mess with this machine when you go for physical therapy.  I was wondering if it might not have been so bad if my surgery had been on maybe my knee or my ankle; but Tom has a friend at work who has epilepsy also and goes to the same Crappy Clinic (ad lib, that is not it's official title) I do, and the same thing happened on his knee!  So, there you have it, my very unscientific results-ha!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me

In honor of turning forty today, I looked up jokes...And this song came up.  Pretty funny, I hope you enjoy and happy Sunday to you!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Keeping Perspective

I am a stay at home Mom.  First and foremost, and I am damn proud of it.  My oldest is seventeen and my youngest is eleven; so I have been at this job for a little more than seventeen years, and I am very good at it.  I volunteer at all of the kids' schools, I'm on all of the right committees, go to all of my kids' functions, and even quite a few for kids that aren't even "mine", but in my heart they are.

Over the last few years, okay maybe a decade now (my how time flies when you're having fun), I have decided to start various llama related businesses.  All of them for various reasons, but each of them evolving from my passions; they come from my very heart and soul.  My love of animals and the environment; specifically our little piece of paradise here in Colorado that I feel holds some sort of spellbinding beauty and tranquility.  So, my love of writing fit in quite naturally.

Yesterday morning, the kids and I were talking about something that got me worked up, and I lost my words (a pretty typical side effect of seizure meds) and I saw the light bulb go off over the head of my seventeen year old son.  He finally realized why I like blogging so much.  He says "Mom, you don't have to struggle for words when you blog, do you?  You can think it through, and take your time, right?"  Bingo!

So, what does all of this have to do with keeping perspective?  A lot, for me anyway.  Because when you are going through a hard time in your life, and I'm sorry to say, but I don't know many people right now who aren't going through a hard time, keeping perspective is of utmost importance.  Remembering what you are made of, and what you are trying to accomplish is of utmost importance.  And doing what makes you feel good and keeping your thoughts straight is imperative!

This all came about in sort of a weird way.  I have not made a secret out of our struggles, financially; and in a way, in my mind I had put the pressure on myself and my businesses to get us out of this rut that we were in.  Big mistake.  Too much pressure.  Too little time.  Many of my ideas like Naked~Nure and my book are too new to have gauged if they will be successful or not.

So, when Tom steps in, gets his overtime back and things start looking okay again; instead of me being happy, it sends me into a tailspin.  What the hell is wrong with me?  Most people would be ecstatic to know that they didn't have to work if they don't want to, right?  Well, we all already know the answer to that; I do NOT fit the description of "most people".

I felt as if I had been banging my head against the wall for naught.  As silly as that sounds, it's true.  And I've got to tell you, it confused the hell out of my poor husband!  But, give me a couple days of my pity party to think things through, and I realized that we were right back where we were supposed to be.  This was our plan all along.  My businesses are the type that take years to grow, and build on business relationships that may take years to foster.  

We both knew this going in, we have openly discussed it many times, I guess I just conveniently forget those things when I feel like throwing myself a pity party.  The point is people, keeping perspective may be difficult during, well, difficult times, but it is essential.  And if you don't have years to build a business, than don't go into something obscure like llama related businesses or writing and publishing childrens books-ha!  No really, I still believe that you need to follow your passions, and I am so blessed with the fact that Toms job has allowed us to do just again, it's just all in the angle you see things.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Something to say...

My Physical Therapy!

How many times have I said it?  If you don't have anything nice to say...don't say anything at all.  Well, it appears that theory has gotten me in a bit of trouble with my Mother-ha!  That's right, I have been busted for not blogging by my Mom.  I think she knows that something is up when I am not blogging, so I picked up the phone the other day, and immediately heard "Why are there no new blogs?" and when I told her I didn't have much to say, she told me I could even write about the weather.

Well, the weather here has turned cold and windy, fitting for my mood, since I last left you all.  Surprised?  I didn't think so.  Last week I wrote a post about being appreciative, for family and friends; and all of the help I have received during my recovery time.  And it never made it...because...well...I guess I wasn't feeling it.  I didn't want to be a fraud.  When I feel like crap on the inside, it's hard for me to publish happy crap, I guess.

So where does that leave me?  It leaves me in the same place as the rest of America, and frankly, much much better off than many, so I better quit my damn belly aching and get my butt back to work.  Lots of people are having financial and health problems.  And millions (?) of people each year have back surgeries, that to be honest, are an absolute bitch to recover from.  

Oh, and I wonder how many people turn 40 each year?  That little fact could have something to do with this silly depression, I suppose.  All this time I thought I was looking forward to being 40, but in the midst of life chaos, I'm not sure a benchmark birthday is a great idea.  Do you think I can just skip this one?  I promise I will still turn 41 next year.

So, I realized what a pity party I was having for myself, and how very stupid it all was, and put myself to bed at 7 the other night when I skipped one of my favorite classes ever; you know, the old cut off your nose to spite your face thing.  I woke up yesterday morning, and wouldn't allow myself one negative thought.  I also took back over my animal chores.  Not because my back is up to it, but because I need my critters, as badly as they need me.  The clucks of happiness, and the nuzzles of welcome back were all I had needed.  Man I love my little piece of paradise!

Friday, November 5, 2010

How to catch a polar bear...

Hey, do you know how to catch a polar bear?  You cut a hole in the ice and then surround the hole with peas.  Then when the polar bear comes to take a pea, you kick him in the icehole!  (It's a good thing I didn't do this one via vlog, because I couldn't even hardly type it I was cracking myself up so hard!  This is an old family joke.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

November is National Adoption Awareness Month

In honor of my new nephew...

We are so proud to have you as part of our family!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A bad Country/Western song....

Sometimes it feels like I'm livin' a bad Country/Western song...

Just tryin' to get by
livin just right,
daughter's been home sick,
oh yeah, and my boy too..
feeling quite ick.
Hurt my back,
and oh
tryin not to talk any smack.
Yeah we're tryin' to live just right,
and then one night
Rosie gets a terrible fright,
cause, well ...
The neighbor ran her over!

Yes, you read that right! My beloved Rosie, who has recently saved me from disaster, twice, got run over!  Blessedly, she is fine, feeling quite sore and has a terrible case of road rash to the cheek, but she will be just fine!  One of her friends (a dog that walks the road quite frequently) came to visit and Rosie forgot to look both ways, and our poor Veteran neighbor, who is a dear friend of ours, ran her right over.  Thank god she missed the tires entirely, and pretty much got rolled by the Jeep, or we would have lost her, because he told me he never even had time to hit the brakes.

So, this brings up a couple of points.  First and foremost, if you live near a road like I do, never get lax in your doggy rules.  Rosie is not normally outside without an adult just in case something like a visitor coming by should happen, but with my back recovery and her missing her outdoor play time, she was out with my son watering the other dogs in the pen, and well, obviously accidents happen.

Secondly, I thought I would share a few things about my "vet kit".  It is an old briefcase that I store all of my emergency animal supplies in, and have found myself  on more than one occasion very thankful to find in one handy dandy place; like yesterday.  There have been multiple times that I have simply hollered at the kids to grab my vet kit, and they know exactly what to get and hopefully where to get it from.

My supplies include:
~Betadine (one of my very best friends, I must say)
~vet wrap (like a sticky ace bandage made for animals, I have found it quite handy for kids too!)
~pro-biotic (the best that you can afford, it lasts a long time, and when you need it, you will be oh so thankful you have it!)
~pain meds for your specific breed (cat, dog, llama, horse, whatever...but have some on hand)
~Bufferin for dogs (specifically Buffered aspirin guys, dogs can die from other pain meds, careful, careful!)
~rubber gloves (have to admit...quite a few of these I have gotten from my doctors office over the years, believe me, that's the least they owe me!)
~antibiotics (now this is a tricky one, and I only have them for emergency purposes, do not use them unless your are sure.  I firmly believe the over-use of antibiotics is the root of resistant bacterias/viruses.)
~Acepromezine (doggy valium) I keep this on hand for things like clippings or severe thunderstorms or like last night when I was concerned about Rosie needing it for when I was caring for her wounds.  I ended up not using it, as I was concerned about internal injuries (didn't want her blood pressure to drop too low), but it is great to have on hand.  This is a prescription drug, so talk to your vet about this very safe medication next time you are there if you have a nervous type of dog; believe me, in a pinch you'll be glad you did!
~ syringes for measuring and dispensing medications
~hair clippers
~Last and certainly not least is some sort of wound ointment, I believe the one in my kit is NWZ.

Okay, so there you have it; if you own pets, you need to own an emergency pet kit.  Some folks may not feel comfortable going quite as far with emergency care as I do, but it has so far saved me a ton of money.  All of these supplies (except for prescriptions) can be found at your local feed store or even online and you sure don't need anything fancy to carry them in as you can see.  Make sure your family knows where the kit is located, and have somewhat of a plan in mind, and above all avoid panicking!  Then just have a panic attack that night when you go to bed like I did-ha!  Mostly kidding.