Sunday, November 2, 2008

Today, this afternoon, we added Poppi into our lives. I think another Lab will be forthcoming, and there is this very sweet Jack that just might weasle in, too! YEAH!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So, semester is grinding down to the end- 1/2 way there- and I am not doing nearly as well as I would have hoped. It means that I may need to rethink things- but thats just the way it is.
No time for the horses, but hope that I may get better organized so I can do at least 2/3'rd of what I want to do...Silly me- to even think...but I am a big thinker if nothing else.
Boy, do I admire those 4. students!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I could say that this day plays very strongly into why I am here today- okay, what I mean is 9/11 changed many things, and the effects of that day have been felt for many for many years, and in many ways.
The day was catastrophic to be sure, and no one can dispute this. but since I am a essentially a selfish beast, I shall concentrate on ME. ME. ME,

Well, actually, I won't, because it's readily apparent that I am more then lucky, and my life has changed in less ways then many lives have changed. 

Like the Kevin Bacon game, we all know someone who was killed or lost someone in 9/11. Doesn't that much to do that, especially since we are a one-upp manship kind of world. So, sure, I know a few that were there. But my fascination was short lived as was manys. It was amazing that something so horrific could happen in our world- we are the best aren't we? NOTHING should have ever happened like this in the Good Old U S of A...we're better then that.

The sheer thought of those building falling gave rise to every childhood fear ever felt by any imaginative child.  It was impossible. I admit here that I am ruled by fear. I truly think I live in fear all the time, so while not comfortable for me, it's where I sit. Bring it back as far as you want, it's a constant state for me.

Which brings me to today. I am fearful. Fearful for my kids, my husband, my family. I am fearful that I will lose them. This is born, I think, in my attending school again, as an older adult- something I have NEVER admitted to myself or others. I have always been young, and since I am not a mirror-looker, don't notice the wrinkles nor fat that has crept up on me over the years. Riding the horses actively helped that for sure- kept me young and in shape. However, I am now more sedentary (altho please note, I am doing this right now instead of A and P, as the A and P is quite overwhelming right now, and I can hardly begin to think about Ions, and bonding, and THAT scares me, because for Christs sake, I should be able to concentrate!) because I should be sitting and studying- not something that I do with any sort of ease at all. Nothing except true just DOING it does it- and that is hard for me.

I badly need something to hold me to my course, to take my wandering mind and make it stay on course. I think it's somewhat like an errant sail, where the line is waving in the wind, and the sails are flapping. I probably COULD do it, but certainly can't right now. Now, this is true, too.  I just need to actually tie the sail down, and lo and behold, might be able to do it. I will NOT fail, and NOT give up. But, I need to actually get to it.

So, bye for now!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

getting closer to the end of time.

I begin this blog with a huge sigh. It's been a long road, and yet, I feel we just started. This class, much more so then my other 2 classes, have been my life, my focus.

I think I have had a good understanding of what style is from the beginning of the class. I am not sure, however, if I was able to articulate it as well as I should, and that is where I learned the most about style as a writer, and as a student, too. I have always had an understand of audience, and have been fairly successful in writing for a specific audience outside of school. This has NOT been the case in school. Perhaps my distance of 20 odd years, perhaps my worry of getting it right has been a factor, but, it's clear to me that this process has been essential in my growth as a student.

Style as a student writer is a bit more difficult. I am still trying to decide how to meld those worlds, to create something that works for me. I realize as I write this that I come up against a particular road block for myself. I am someone that gets things right, and therefore, anything less then an A feels like a failure to me. I am just not a half-assed person.I carry this thru in all aspects of my life. If I am going to ride prelim, then damn it, I am going to be the absolute best I can be, given whatever shortcomings I may meet/have.

However, I also know that my writing style is pretty important to me, and as far as my voice as a writer must feel true- to myself, my ideas, and my purpose. So, now, with this class, my papers, my blogs, I must somehow create a comfort place for myself. Every person has a preference in what they read, and what style they appreciate. I know my writing will appeal to some, and not to others. My husband is a great example. He does not enjoy reading prose, poetry or literature that does not have purpose- action fiction, okay, but other sorts of writing does not appeal to him as it does to me. I know I will run up against this as I approach my next semester of writing, which, probably, will be non-existent with Chem, BioChem, Genetics as well as A and P. :-)

So, what has come to my attention is this- I want to write for my audience- that sounds strange, but stick with me here. I am grateful for the clarity that peer review has created for me, and grateful for the edits that Dr. K has provided- but as a way to hone my voice, not change it. But, I am not going to try and become something that I am not. How do I know what my audience is? I am not sure... When I write for USPC, I know it's kids, and horse kids. That one is easy for me; in all honestly, I just reach back a bit and I am there. I do think that I will write for more then that, perhaps after this science part of school is done. the one thing I know, and have gotten in touch with again, is that writing is very important to me. I am not as capable of sharing my feelings IRL, long story there, but in words, with language, I feel like I can give feeling and texture to the world as an artist does with paint and a brush. I am perhaps too sappy at times, and that worries me, but overall, it may also be where my strength exists.

So, style is creating what we want for who wants it. In that, it's tricky. It's subjective. In the end, style actually is as some suggested in their blogs earlier. It is how you wear your words, your way of creating a paper, book, essay, that reflects who you are, while reaching out to your reader in a way that they can absorb what your point, ideas are. So, Style is actually who we are, but as writers, rather then humans. It's not stagnant, but motionfilled, like water in a river. The banks are there, but the words can wash up on them, creating small disruptions that actually work, as long as the banks stay solid (Grammar, word usage, etc) you can succeed. (at least I hope so!! :-) )

Monday, August 11, 2008

The most important web rule...

I find as I wander through the creation of my web site that web design is very similar to paper design. As I said in the previous blog, there are many things in common.

For me, as a new web design person, I believe the most important web rule is a mixture of ideas- the primary one to to pay attention to your audience. Quoting from the Web Style Guide,
"THE DESIGN OF THE SITE will determine its organizational framework. At this
stage you will make the tactical design decisions about what your audience wants
from you, what you wish to say, and how to arrange the content to best meet your
audience's needs. Although people will notice the graphic design of your Web
pages right away, the overall organization of the site will have the greatest
impact on their experience"

Since my web site is still an act in process, I am somewhat unsure of my audience. I hope to eventually use my site for something; it will be for the horses and the rescue efforts I make. So, I have created the pages for the farm as well as for some of the horses. I also think that I will make a page for family, as it seems like that will be useful.

Luckily for me, my audience is not going to be web savvy! It will be much more gathering information. Therefore, I will be using this bit of info (again from Web design)
Efficient Web site design is largely a matter of balancing the relation of
menu, or home, pages with individual content pages. The goal is to build a
hierarchy of menus and pages that feels natural to users and doesn't mislead them or interfere with their use of the site.
Since I will know my audience pretty well once I get to make this site a bit more personal, I think I know how to present the information on my page to entice people to look a bit further. Horse people want horse things...they want to know the sweet and special stories about the animals. This I can provide!

What my goal is now is to create this site so it meets the guidelines, and then keep going with it. I think each of the groups of animals deserves their own page, as well as the dogs. Hunter, our lab, is dying as I write this blog, so, he will get his page, too.

Who whould have thought that I would EVER continue making changes to my web page? What a concept!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Web style vs. Paper style

Paper and Web style have some certain similaraties, and yet some very important differences. The biggest common thread between web and paper design is the KISS format. In a paper, you want to keep your ideas clear (or to see my Style paper, to keep to your point!:-) ) In a web site, you want each page to be clear, not cluttered, and specific.

In a paper, this is not quite as evident, as we are looking at only one document and we need to expand with clear transitions between ideas- a thread, as it were. This makes a paper, at first glance, more complex- or another way to think of it is more initially thoughtful. A paper usually has one purpose, where a web site often has more then one purpose, and expands in ways one could not do in a paper. Ideas need to flow between paragraphs, where as in a web site, they can be presented in chunks- additional pages in your site.

In a web format, it's possible to do links, which allow the design to expand- much more difficult to do in a paper format. The way I think of a web site is like a tree- the main page (or Index) is the trunk, and the branches are the pages. It is not as important to create transitions between subjects, as your visitor can decide to click or not to click.

A paper is like a bush, more tightly compacted, ideas need to be closer and more related.

While initally, your paper may be more difficult to construct, I believe that there is a great deal that goes into the design of a web page that one needs to pay attention to that the normal web surfer may not even notice. Ease of navigation, colors being harmonious and readable, and clear links that work. I do think of a web design like a spider web, you draw in your surfer and want them to keep on clicking to find out more. This applies more to a professional web page, as the further you have your customer come into your site, the more likely business will result...very important in todays economy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So, I enter the room, sit down and wait. and wait. Because no one knows what's going to happen next. Feeling sort of alone, yet endlessly tied to others -their needs can be exhausting. At times, I become 2- and number one says...No--patience, patience patience. 2 feels a bit put out. Just a bit, a small bit. But there is good, much good.

New car. Now how can that not make you smile? It's pretty atomic blue- and gets 36 MPG- what's not to love, huh? A Honda no less! there she is! (God what a horrid picture of me- I look...god forbid...FRUMPY!!!!) The she being the Honda, of course.

So, then, I am hired at the ICU- getting more then I thought I would with all that time away. That is nice. And the shift, if CK is right, is Thursday and Friday nights. Now, I tell you- that would be PERFECT. DARN perfect! I can do classes T/TH, and not miss out on the important aspects of school. So, I am really REALLY pleased about this. And I will have time with DH and DS which is nice, as sleeping late on Sat is really no big deal. And, I could probably figure out my schedule well enough that I could even get both horses AND exercise in. No reason I could not ride Sun, Mon, Wed, Sat is there? I mean, com'on! The frump factor cannot continue. I am a bit shy about having my picture taken- now I know why! Oops....slapslapslap.

In addition, Taco is probably going to Nashville. Doc to Cathys. Leaves Ranger, Skeeter and Reason for me. Yes, 3 horses is nuts right now but manageable. Might consider selling Ranger IF I could keep Doc. Doc is my little star, you know? I am glad that Taco will have his own person all the time- just his special person that loves him. So, all good there, too. It will be very sad, but also a relief in the long run.

So, lots of changes, breathless ones. I am hanging on, doing okay. Need to get sleep, and rest the brain. Had a dream-1/2 awake, 1/2 asleep) about Darren C- at a train station, and we ladies were giving massages. Outdoor train station at times, other times, indoors. Anyway, He was getting a back massage, and the lady was working on his (very attractive) back. When she got lower, he said, "Oh it's okay, hon "(in his MOST Darrenesque voice) "You're still above my stancky crancky." Why I would remember that, I have NO idea. But there it is. My world is strange. At least inside it is....

Monday, July 28, 2008

I went to Shardaes blog and she had chosen a Scott McCloud comic called "The Right Number." Shardae describes the comic in her blog (link above) fairly well, but in order to save time, I will briefly tell the tale. I am using part 1 and 2. (and I really don't want to see part 3...if it continues it's path...creeeppppyyyy!)

This will get you to the page with this comic. It's in an interesting format, a zooming from frame to frame, only using action on the last frame of part 1.

Boy and girl meet at school and begin to date. he is so unaware that he actually calls the wrong girl (mixes up her phone number with Girlfriend 1) , and goes on a date (!!) with her- not knowing until later in the date that she is not his actual Girlfriend he thought he was meeting. He figures out eventually that she is not Girlfriend 1, but another woman that shares similar facial features. They have similar names as well as phone numbers,too. Eventually he breaks up with Girlfriend 1, and begins to date Girlfriend 2. Things follow the same sort of path- leading into meeting Girlfriend 2's BFF, and and the process begins anew starting with part 2.

Part two is creepy, and where I will focus, as it uses a change of color towards the end that signifies (to me) the essence of this guy. He embarks on finding his perfect woman, using the system he believes will lead him to perfection...a convoluted system with numbers and similar "things" that he believes will lead him to his "perfection."

With each frame, things get weirder. With frame 8, it Gert's really weird. Onto frame 18, where Kate says "all men are assholes". Of course, this is after he has pondered Kate as a choice to replace Jodie /Julie. After all, similar parts of the alphabet, right?? His madness is reflected in his eyes on frame 21- but there is fear, too, which is added later in words (Frame 24).

McCloud uses darkness in his characters drawings to make the character darker, which this cartoon (that word does NOT seem right for this) takes full advantage of. Without giving away any more, towards the end, much as McCloud talks about in his book on page 190, he uses color in this piece of work... In frame 32, McCloud uses a chaotic background to show (what I believe) is the mind of this man and his journey into some sort of madness. In frame 36, the background is a saw blade- and thankfully, nothing came out of that foreshadowing. (ugh).

Just at the end, the frames go deep into his eyes, and the color changes from a blue to a sickly green tornado color. Certainly gave me the chills....

All in line with McCloud and his ideas of identifying with the character. In a sick way, we all probably can identify- the sickness and strangeness of a lust for something- in his case, a sort of perfection...with numbers. In this, I wonder if McCloud was thinking about the "being there" (pg81) that he says Japanese art/cartoons are good at. I am not sure all that he used, but this comic was one that put you there. McCloud does use "silent" panels (pg 102) a few times to have the feeling linger (again, c c creepy)

Despite my "oucky" feeling about this comic, it was very well done, by someone that knows his genre very well. Yes, he does not like this term, or rather worries about it being used to describe a part of art. Here, I would consider his work here to be a particular genre of COMIC, not writing or only visual art. It is a lot darker then the Archie comics I know about from grade school.

What is most interesting to me is Shardaes take on this comic was very different then mine. She saw it more as "normal" then I did...or did not see the darkness as much as I did. (should I be worried about me??)

Shardae said "This comic involved a relationship that anyone can relate to in one way or another. It was not a typical love story that you see all of the time. This comic involved a relationship that anyone can relate to in one way or another. It was not a typical love story that you see all of the time. " Okay, that is true- I could relate, but it scared me! The first part of the comic was a bit more normal, although not the kind of "nice boy" behavior we might want from others. I guess it's really the 2nd half where things get weird.

I do agree, I do want to delve a bit more into his work, however. And most important, my (and I hesitate to use this word) fear of comics has been somewhat abated.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Understanding Comics for a non-understander. If that makes sense...

I chose this comic after going Through a lot of them. See, I don't think I am an honest comic looker. I look at the "pictures" and don't often look for deeper meaning. I tried to make fun of that on the discussion phase of this, but it fell flat. Blooopppp kinda flat (a comic term! Well, not really, but imagine the picture if you will....)

So, using what McCloud says on page 42, he comments on Audience involvement and identifying with the character. So, with this comic, I was able to do both. It's simple, but did make me pretty pleased. I actually GOT it.

When McCloud talks about entering the cartoon, you see yourself on page 36, I think that is where I began to see more of what this is all about. I did mention that I liked the Far Side comic, Bummer of a Birthmark, Hal- and had that up in my office for years. I understand that does not work for this sort of assignment, but what I understand now is that I identified with Hal. What finally clued me in was the character in the middle (and I don't know his name at all...). His frustration with his boss (Devil Horns guy) and his office mate "brown noser" is evidenced by his throwing up his hands in surrender.

So, he is surrendering, but so is she. Her stretch pants comment is great. It's exactly what they are for...surrendering. Do not ask how I know this, please. She is more willing to surrender, (even if I think of it as brown-nosing Devil Boss), and kind of gives up with the doughnut...and her willing-ness to understand what Stretch Goals are. I fill in words for her in my head.

But back to my middle, exasperated man. How he can have a look, such a look, is amazing. Yet, there is no look really. Something happens between the panels that makes you feel what he is feeling- total "You have got to be kidding me...(insert your choice of phrases here...mine would not be good for small children's ears). I know this is the type of "moment to moment" comic, (page 70) so not much time has elapsed, but doesn't matter. Something happens, and it's pretty cool.

In discussing this assignment with my family, I think I know why this is really hard for me. I am not dyslexic in the sense normal people think of it, but instead, I see the world upside down and backwards. I also have no depth perception at all. It's been since I was 3, as I was born horridly cross eyed and the surgery fixed that but could not fix that vision change that happens when your vision does that 2nd flip in your head. SO...the amount of activity on the page is difficult for me- probably why I never liked comics, when everyone else around me did. So, a reason, not an excuse.

I actually looked at a lot more comics, including the one that McCloud has in his book with the Don't Drive Drunk/RIP Carl one. I am still wondering about that one...and he did not clue me in in the book!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Looking through the eyes of others at Williams and S&W.

Looking through the eyes of others at Williams and S&W.

Looking at other peoples blogs is really fun! When reading peoples thoughts about the past 2 books we have read, it's solidifies what I am feeling about both of these readings. Both have their place on my book shelf, with few reservations. They serve different purposes for me, and from reading others thoughts, it appears this is the same for others as well.

In Jennifer's blog I see something that is perhaps the hardest thing about reading S&W. They set forth rules that feel so restrictive, you feel boxed in. I believe this can truncate anyones writing, especially if they are timid, or new writers. I know that I am looking with an unpracticed eye at my own writing, and perhaps making stylistic errors when I delete something that may actually contribute to the point I wish to get across. While I think Prof. Strunk may prefer that writers, NOT write something if it's not stylistically correct, I don't agree that this is a desired outcome of reading this book. Some people may be talented, creative writers, and with practice, guidance and perseverance, may become talented, creative and stylistically correct writers. S&W seems to be so set in rules, it may put off the desire to even write at all.

Williams seems to allow for creativeness in ones writing, as he is not so much rule governed, but rule suggestive. If one can get through the complexity of Williams to the second part of his book, I believe that might actually free a writer to write and explore where their writing might take them. I think in some cases, they might be surprised! One thing that Williams seems to address, perhaps not directly, is that the writer must write. Sometimes, as he says in chapter seven Page 122 "Those of us who are already socialized in a field should think twice before we dismiss as incompetent a writer who seems wordy or banal. He may be, but he may also simply be learning his stuff."

Through out reading both books, I was amused at this thought. One of the major problems with a directive to "write a 5 page paper, with at least 3000 words" will create everything that both books address...excess words. Many students will do anything to fulfill the requirement of words, rather the point. This sort of language usage may be incorrect, but is used often! Gina's Blog from the spring 328 class elaborates on this point "Often, it seems that students use more words in order to reach a certain required word mark on an assignment", and I agree. If intelligent points are to be made, it seems as if the words used to create that point are more important then the amount or length of such a piece. I do understand how this is impossible given the nature of students and their lives and the job of a professor...but back to the Williams quote used before, maybe the student is still "learning their stuff" and is still sorting out their writing to fit their audience. Usually one crawls before one walks...may be awkward, but part of the process. That being said, I agree- S&W is a more accessible book for the novice writer, but Williams really helps the more advanced writer along the path.

It appears that other share this viewpoint. From Lauren's blog "It was relieving to see that for the most part, the class agrees on issues, namely that S&W is far more accessible for younger, more novice writers while the Williams is suitable for the advanced, experienced writer." Overall, this is the impression that most students in the 328 class came away with. Williams and S&W, while both having the word Style in their titles, are focused on different audiences.

I would argue that we, as students in a 328 class, are ready and indeed need to attempt to grasp (notice that I say attempt, I think this is a hard thing, and part of a process) the information in Williams book. Said in Beth's Blog"We're not in elementary school anymore; we're through with simple and easy. Now it's time to start delving deeper into the world of writing, and to write off a book because it's challenging is not going to cut it at this stage in the game. " That pretty much a blunt, honest statement.

We are here, in an upper-level writing class, and we have to step up to the plate. From Shardaes Blog in this semester, "The advice offered by Williams was more useful to me with my writings because it went more into depth about different topics and how we understand them in papers."

I agree with Shardaes entry. I gained more from Williams as a writer, and honestly, as a reader. But, I know that I will continue to use S&W to make sure that the basic rules are followed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The good and the bad about going to school.

Lots of good, obviously. Hard, however, to balance things- and get things done. House not as clean, my physical not being as good (yes, still thinking I am FAT.), barn not as clean, horses dirty. Dinner? What's for dinner? I don't know.... Laundry piles, and the kitchen table? Well, we are still eating on it, but we have to clear a books are piled everywhere.

but, I am getting a lot of feedback that is positive. My first back-to-school paper was a nice grade, with the opportunity to revise, which is great for me. I love to revise, and actually see it as an opportunity to get better. I also want to learn to write better...really well, actually. Here begins the conflict.

I really love language. Love writing, love learning about writing. I don't really want to focus on writing about health, at least solely about health. I want to write other things. I want to help others find that vein in themselves. I want to read about writing, teach about writing. It's a world I love to be in, and am honored to be a part of, even in a class such as this, an undergrad class. But I am in another program.

Health care means much to me, as I am a caretaker at heart. But I am also a introspective person, too, and that is where the writing comes a way that I can and would never share in the normal world, I share in writing. That sharing, and the skills to do so make me...and this sounds strange, but bear with me, salivate (God, that sounds horrific). Similar to, and as compulsive as, falling in love. It pushes you further toward something that may or may not be good for you. You don't know until you get there, it's magnetic, compulsive.

So, for now, I get to wade in these waters, and I am thrilled to be here. Each reading, learning, feels like washing your face with clean water, refreshing, cleansing and invigorating. Pretty nice place to be, actually.

Friday, July 18, 2008

S&W and Williams, where 2 worlds meet

I admit it- I have never read a book such as Williams, and this has been eye-opening.

S&W is great, still great. Has much to offer, albeit in a rather difficult format for me to get thru. I now understand that this is just the way it is... Writing about writing is hard. That's all there is to it! I still worry about my writing, as I have this fear that Prof Strunk is standing there, bow tie on, gray hair, shaking his head just so.

Williams? He is in some place where those that know go. I am not one of those people. I want to be, so I continue to read. Williams is a bit like a person that gets better as you get to know them. My husband is like that. It's like an onion, you peel off each layer, and then you get to the sweet, clear inside. This is my experience of Williams. The initial reading is kind of tough. I have actually read this book for the past several days, many parts over and over, dog eared pages (the shame!!) and written in the margins. I NEVER do that. But, for Williams, I am doing just that. I am sure that I will eventually have more the one copy. I have read Williams everywhere. Bed, Bathtub, in the car, at the kitchen table. Each place I read him I get something different. And, actually, once you get thru some of the harder parts, Williams is actually conversational. Hard to have a nice "voice" when writing something such as this book, but he pulls it off.

S&W does not have the same sort of style. It has a purpose, and that purpose is to be a handbook. I do not see the same sort of purpose to Williams. I state it's hard to read Williams, yet, it's also the type of book that you cannot really get snippets out of to help with your writing. You do need to read at least passages. There is a progression to Williams that seems natural...and one that follows what a writer should learn. Step By Step. Okay, you could think handbook, but not's something more. It's a journey.

S&W is geared towards the normal writer. Williams is geared towards an advanced audience. I bet even Ph.D Students would use this book- and benefit. This man is impressive. Some of it is definitely over my head. Some sinks in; at strange times I think...OH! I get it! It is very embarrassing that I don't get some of the things he is talking about. Williams really wants to help make writing and the reading of complicated writing easier. I believe that he thinks about the new advanced writer, and wants to help make that transition less obvious and tramatic- for both parties, the reader and the writer.

The progression of books in 328 is as sensible as can be. S&W comes before Williams. At this point in our writing career, we are turning into better writers, and therefore, we do need to absorb, and attempt to retain, what Williams is offering us. Stepping stones. S&W beings the journey. Williams helps along the journey. Writing and learning is a never ending journey. How nice to have a helping hand.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Life is fragile, Life is quick

Nothing makes you think like the death of a child. Nothing is as hard as hearing that a child, a child you have met, a child that is the age of your child, has died. Quickly, shockingly. Life is so very fragile, and so very quick- and suddenly things go to a place that is very hard to understand. Blink of eye quick. A poor decision, a poor choice made by another can change things so quickly that we don't even know how to respond.
My heart breaks for the parents, for his sister, who lives. She was able to talk to him as he died- but how hard will her life be? How hard will things be for her as she moves on? His parents- my God I cannot imagine.

I remember the last real hugs I got from my son- Since I have a grown daughter, I know about those last hugs. He is a young man now, one that does not want to include me in his life as I used to be included. I know that's the way, but...but...but.... I miss those hugs and moments.

So, each hug that I got from him as he approached his teen years, I knew might be my last real little boy hug, the kind that brings tears to your eyes as you smell the mix of young and new in them. We let our children slowly grow away from us. It's the way things work. At times, we cling on more, hold them closer then they want to be held. I treasure that smell of child, mixed with something different and unfamilar. Its those things in life that means "mom".

Mom- means so much. I don't know if I ever got to feel it, in a secure sense that I hope my kids feel, but I do know that I know the intense nature of that love. It is larger then me. Each of my kids are loved in that fierce way. I am glad to be able to love them that way. I don't think we could ever love them too much, hug them enough or let them know too often that they are loved.

I could go on, but I won't.

My heart goes out to his parents, to his family, to his friends. As hard as it is to imagine, we all know that life is indeed fragile and quick.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Frustration abounds.

okay, so this is one of those bitch posts. Since no one reads this (and i am pretty sure about that!) I can bitch. Whaa whaa whaa.
I am seeing in my class the same sort of life thing that makes me nuts. First, expectations are set. They are painfully high, confusing, scary. Okay, so you decide to press on regardless. You do what you should. And the rest of the world does their merry little thing- not carrying the weight they should. Certainly with the standards review with USPC, I see that. Quite a few people are not carrying their weight, yet wanting the glory. Some are "more cool" then others and therefore get the applause  that seems okay for that. I am a worker bee, but damn it, I am working. So, here I go. Same path, same bricks. How to change this? I am not sure. Much like changing the sentence from the catalogue, I just am unsure. I wrote an email to the prof, trying to explain my position. (God, was I frustrated, crying and all!) That is a good thing for me- not the crying, but the taking action. And maybe having a class like this is good for me, too. I know the next year will be hard, and things will not be easy and certainly things will be unfair- I am a rather old fish in a crowded pond. There are many prettier fish out there for sure! I guess being my age is a blessing and a curse. I know it will happen at least. So, anyway, feels a bit better now. I guess.

I do NOT want to lose my high standards of myself. Being lazy is n o t okay at all. I guess i am a bit tired, however.

Williams...Clarity for the serious writer.

Acceptance into the University is dependent upon meeting the admission criteria described below. Eastern Michigan University admits students at the freshmen and transfer level to the University. Added admission is required for the College of Business and the College of Education, as well as for several individual programs. Some academic programs are designed to include courses from more than one college

and mine!
Students are admitted to EMU both as freshmen and as transfer students from other Universities. Once accepted, students will apply for admission into one of our colleges such as the College of Business or the College of Education. In addition, EMU offers many programs of study that utilize courses taught at numerous colleges within the EMU framework. Admission at EMU is decided upon the criteria described below.

Well, this is pretty hard to come up with something better. In relating to voice, the only voice I hear is a catalog voice. So, I tried to make it clearer, more concise, yet in doing so, I actually added more words!

So, what I did was try and change this into something that was easier to read, flowed better and still was clear. I think that the first sentence that I have could be moved to the last sentence, with a few minor adjustments above it. That would satisfy the need for one sentence to lead to the next. It would also flow better as the "described below" is not actually accurate...strictly speaking, in Williams land.

Here's the thing-I am not really sure if it does read better or not. Since I wrote it (ah...back to Plato) maybe it is just better because I wrote it...I cannot correctly judge. Therefore, the idea of having an editor makes total sense to me. Rewrite, yes! I do a lot of that, perhaps too much so. In any event, it seems hard to re-write this. After all, it was written by someone who knows a hellofa lot more about grammar then I do. When Williams talks about grammar, I really have to reach and reach HARD to remember what things are. I think I know them when I see them, but don't have the knowledge to teach it. I think that may be honest knowledge...the ability to use, then explain it to others. At this point, I struggle to understand it myself.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wow- I had this book as a 10th grader! Obviously, not *this* book, but the Strunk and White book as it was then, the 1972 version. Kind of like finding an old friend!
So, I think I have commented before on my wordiness. Strunk would NOT be pleased that I have continued to be such a wordy writer! I try not to be, honestly, but I am. (there I go using But...;-) )
I will say this- I did well in 11th grade. I went to a school in California as a 10th grader, a private school, and then moved back to Illinois for the remainder of High School. I knew where certain passages worked and ones that didn't work. As a matter of fact, (drum roll, please!) I was the school winner of the Scholastic writing contest for 1979/80. It was a piece called "And He Just Smiled" which was about the popes visit to Chicago. This was a very unlikely thing for me to write about, but I did, and it won. It was read in a few venues, and I attended, too scared to read, so Syd Lieberman read it. He has gone on from teaching high school English to be a story teller. Taking this back to technology, how I wish I still had that story. If it was now, some data base would have it, and I would too. Sigh.
So, back to Strunk and White. I am still wordy, but I try and remember that motto. Short. No words that do not "tell" should be in a sentence. In my piece for the Technology unit, I used this, as I had started to read Strunk and White. Like EB White writes in the introduction, there are 1000 times certain passages should be shortened, and I have probably done it 500 times. So, batting average is not great, but I am working on it. I think the hardest part of this is I become very self conscious when I write. I think that may cause me some issues. So, at times, I wish I could tune out that voice over my shoulder and just write. I am such a huge re-writer, I know I could/would fix things. But, that's just how it is! (BTW, I just went back and edited out a number of blundering words!)
The other thing I took away from this reading was...clarity. Don't misuse words, don't use the wrong spelling. I admit that is one thing that feels intuitive to me. I use words fairly well for the most part. I can get awkward at times, and I continue to work on that.
In the chapter on Style, the sentence that resonated with me was... "Who knows why certain notes are capable of stirring a listener deeply, though the same notes slightly rearranged are impotent?" This is, IMO, what Style is. Simply put, the ability to line up words in a way that captures your reader, draws them in and demands them to pay attention. EB White does this better then so many writers out there, and he states he has Stunk to thank. Well, Thank you BOTH! In the introduction (yet again) EB White says that Strunk felt that he had great sympathy for the reader. In reading this book, you can tell- Strunk seems to be begging the writer to be clear, concise and correct. Good Goals, these are.
When I was first reading this small book, I was somewhat annoyed by the way it was put together, finding it hard to understand what was happening. It felt hard to read, and knowing that Steve said it was easy, I felt a bit chagrined. I still feel it's somewhat confusing. I wish it was a bit easier to go to what you want to know, get it, and go on. I am totally unfamiliar with MLA, so wish that information was there, easier to find. It is not in the index, which would be nice. I personally have no issues with pronouns, and don't care if someone uses "he" more often then "she" when talking in general, and most writing can work around that issue. I guess I would not worry too much about it overall. For the Pony Club Magazine, I use she more often, as I am writing to a mostly female audience.
I must say that in reading this book, while some things feel a bit out of date, it is a small wonder of a book.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Taco is feeling all too good!

so, for the 2nd time this week, Taco bucked me off. Total "flip off" (take that how you will...I mean it in all it's possible ways.) He is a BAD boy. What this means is that I will not enter Richland (which is okay, as really my plate is all too full!) but will still attempt to get him in some semblance of shape. It appears that Cathy may buy Doc, which again, I think is sad, but good. I am glad that he will go to Cathy-she will be good for him. The money will go to good use. I can hardly imagine selling him. I adore him. BUt thinking about one less bale of hay a day, less shoes, less grain, less stalls and bedding? Well, that's okay. I must do well in school. I must get done and must move on to a job that pays something.
I am totally TOTALLY having issues with all the changes. Sam's issues, Nicks issues, horse issues (Ranger hurt his leg- not a fracture, but a worry), Art's work issues- all weigh heavy on my heart. Add the job, and then school? Just even writing this sent my heart racing. Sure, I can do it, but...I am scared. I feel as if some of this is a test. Test to make sure that I can do it. So, there ya go. My whine of the day. Done.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

How ironic- with class, and writing as a technology, that text messaging would figure so predominately in my life yesterday. This IS public after all, but suffice to say that A) Text messaging can get you in trouble (Ask Kwame!) and B) Parents have entered in to a land they know nothing about. What is okay? When to check? What to check? And when to make other parents aware of what is being sent/said?

So- yes, in my life yesterday, I was slammed up against that parental wall. Not sure what I can do about it- and don't know if it's normal or not. What is normal?? Me thinks that using text as a way to flirt- in a very suggestive way- might be normal, but not the correct thing to do. Boy, stymied, I tell ya.

Then, my other Text messaging issue comes at another family members hands. This one may actually get legal. So, what we THINK is private, is not so private. Watch out, is Big Brother watching?

On another note, my class is an interesting activity in realization. The pretty, smart girl (Not me...) gets the attention from the prof. He answers her online posts, directly, but does not really respond to anyone else's very closely. It is most frustrating- yet something I had better get used to.

I turned in my paper, not sure if its okay. Well, turned in for peer review. There are supposed to be 4 of us- only 2 so far- me and John, who is artsy and more out there then I could ever be. Interesting to decode us that way! But, where are the other 2??? ARGH! Frustrating!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Well, does it make you a success when someone quotes you? Or something you have written as " lengthy and elequent plea for instruction" and then quotes a full paragraph (in correct MLA form, I might add!). Well, it was lengthy and glad someone thinks it elequent! It did give me a thrill, and was the opening to a long article. First sentence pointed to that column! (okay, nuff gloating. Work to be done...)

WHILE NURSING A SORE HEAD AND ELBOW (okay, and butt...) Mr. Taco decided to buck after his leap across the small log in the front pasture. BAD BOY! Off I went- yeah, I am not in riding shape, he took full advantage of that. I bounced (thankfully, still) and thankfully well on the way to the Middleaged Freshman(even tho I am not) 15. I imagine myself as that blueberry girl in Wonka- my eyes are becoming slits. My cheeks are covering everything. It's (in a word) Ugly. But I am eating as if there is no tomorrow. Lord. My butt appreciated it yesterday, but my mind when the scale told the tale? Not so much.

Anyone got good snack ideas?? No cal snacks? For now, I am enjoying my very own loaf of cherry pecan bread. Very good- even better with butter. Mmmmm. I guess I am a stress eater, huh? yes, I think there are a zillion calories but who cares? (No comment.)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

This is my first attempt at my Writing as A Technology assignment. I am not sure I will use it as my final one- I did this before I had done any of the readings, and since the readings kind of stressed that writing made things permanent, and my idea was that it was fleeting. Missed the boat, huh??
I did this one pretty quickly- before the sun really hit the ice so it began to melt. I LOVE that my icemaker allowed for such a cool alphabet!

Unit 2 posting-

Manguel and Barron are both talking about histories of writing technologies in different ways. What sorts of connections can you make between these different essays? How do you see your own relationship with writing technologies in any of these three essays?
What do you see as the relationship between the ideas about writing technologies and histories in these essays and the ideas discussed in the texts by Plato and Ong?

Okay- first -I like Arial! A lot!

I admit it- I am a mindless writer. I don't know HTML or understand coding on a computer. I just am grateful that when I hit an A, it happens. I know I hate that my seven and eight keys are missing, (thank you White Cat!) and my main bitch with my computer is that I don't have good battery life. I just know that when I type something, the keys do as they are told, and I am pleased. (Crossing my arms in pleasure now, staring down at my computer, good boy!)

I love pens, but hardly ever write with them- checks, lists, quick notes. We have a few yellow pencils around here, but most are mechanical ones, easier to use for most of us. When Barron spoke about ink being important for so many things, that was an "Ahhh" moment for me. Because, I am indeed mindless in many respects. When he spoke about pencils in class, and no erasers being allowed, well, I remember that! First college class? NO Spell Check (But I don't think my computer, in all it's green-ness even had spell check, but my Mac, 128 may have....)

Yup, Times have changed. My dad wrote a book that was on the best sellers list, and his editor lived with us for a bit. Because, you see, it was 1974-5, was all by hand...Click Click Click-DAMN. Now, I can goggle him and find his text scanned in, but, nothing that he did was ever put into a keyboard such as mine right now. How hard was that? Pretty amazing. I guess that in many ways, I am lucky in this class, being pretty old compared to the rest of the class, that I have been through a lot of the changes over the years. Oh, I never wrote on onion paper, but we did turn in our alphabet on a portable chalk board we had at our desks in kindergarden. Yes, pens were NOT allowed until 6th grade, but then came colored paper- not allowed, either, and even though we could use pens? No colored ink! My poor 12 yo self was despondent.

I do think that litercy is important. And until I read Ong, I did not think of it as artificial. It was natural. I place litercy at the highest of human attributes. It's important. Sure, not perhaps in the highest sense at all times, but overall, I appreciate it for all it gives me. In reading Ong, I can see that indeed it IS artifical. I loved his musical connection. I guess for most of us, we practice literacy daily. But, for many, it might be an effort. I found that reading Ong out loud was interesting. I have NO idea how to pronounce some of the words, and I don't think my computer gets it right when I ask it either!

I wrote on the class discussion part (maybe too much- I am not sure what to write, and notice that not many DO write, so maybe I am doing this wrong- funny, if I was in class, I would be pretty quiet, I think...I don't tend to speak out loud, but write, I can do that! You would tell me that I was doing too much, wouldn't you?)

God Bless Mrs. Prescott. I think this woman deserves a lot more credit then she gets! So, I thank her from the bottom of my trash-book-beach-reading heart. And Orwell, poor guy, missed the boat again. Penguin- wow and amazing. They are...PENGUIN!

But, back to more of this later....
Okay- so I am going to do both blogs I feel I might clutter up the other blog with my musings.

I LOVE ONG! Oh my- such contrast in me- my I wanna only think about this vs. my practical, you gotta do this life. I think that is why one teaches- to balance that. Now I see that, understand that.

Great to read and think about. I think I may have encountered him before in a linguistics class at National oh-so-many years ago. It was nice to read and absorb and get a part of my brain working that has not worked that way at ALL for years. I think that Art and Nick may rebel soon- it I continue to bring it up over and over...reading passages to them, they may end up leaving the room even earlier!

Tomorrow is the bead sale. Yup...its at the back of my mind!

I am going to enter Taco at Richland. I think at Training. It will be good- no classes then, a break so to speak, as long as I can schedule it off work. I rode him today, inc. working on Counter-Canter and it was lovely! SO, I am hopeful.

Job interview on the 22nd...17 days, but who's counting???

Friday, July 4, 2008

I think that this hperlink will lead you to the national site. My first attempt....

I made a friend in 328!

It's really strange, but when I began a discourse with a fellow student, I was stupidly excited! I told my DH, and somehow made the class...well, so much easier! It's a bit wierd I say, but who cares??
I need that sort of connection, and it makes me feel good! What else matters? And she felt the same way about the fox as I did- she was hungry, needed food, we had many things have our cats killed?? Even though we live on a farm, doing rescue, it does not matter in the long run. There are few that understand, really understand, the circle of life. I am all about that circle!

Farm news is just the same. Vet said that Ranger should be fine, and can enter a work-rehab program. Tacos leg looks okay- but worrisome. We have decided that we will do no more with him as far as the leg goes. He is on his own there! Reasons' blood work came back well- indeed an allergic response, the MRSA seems to be gone. It has only been 6 weeks, however, so my concern and vigilance continues.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Totally a copy! From the Foxview blog...

Style- and not in a fashion sense!
Style- what and how does my style impact how people read what I write, and do I convey what I want to write well enough to make sense?

For the past several years, I have written for the USPC(United States Pony Club) National Publication. Sometimes as myself, but often as a ghost writer for someone else. Here is an example of one of my articles- starts on page 4, is a large file, and I have noticed mistakes that I did not see before! maybe you DON'T wanna click on this!! not one of the best, but... you can get an idea. I have written the past 8 opening letters of this quarterly magazine.

Several times I have had to write something for someone as if it were my point, but in all honesty, I often have not agreed with what I am supposed to be stating. Despite this, it has been some of my best writing! Nothing like seeing a letter to the editor that says "Great Article! Well stated, and I appreciate you sharing your viewpoint." Ha ha! It's not even HIM that wrote it! :) This is a big time where revisions have come in to play however- removing any traces of me- inserting whomever I am writing for. Googledocs is great for that!

So, IMO, style changes to suit the audience. For USPC, I am usually dealing with a mixed population of horse parents, as well as kids. Often when doing the writing for this publication, it has to be geared someplace between those two groups. Sometimes, I have had to address tough issues (deaths of horses and kids being an all too common one in the past year) and for that, there is more thought that has to go into the delicate balance. Currently, I am rewriting the standards of proficiency. This is dry. No personality needs injecting, as a matter of fact, the less words, the clearer it is, the better it is. I bet you can tell, however, that I can get wordy! :)

In my younger years, I used to think that I needed to be...artsy in my writing. I now see there are many places to be in the written world, and while there is a time for that creativeness, I like being able to be readable by many.

First Blog! Well, for 328

which shall not be littered with horse pictures, and/or stories of things that happen at the farm.

This is me on the left- last summer, and my DIL, Sam, took the picture. That white stuff is electric fence...strong, and very scary to the horses!!

This next picture is why the farm is called Foview- Mr. (or Mrs?) Fox decided that Chicken Dinner was on the menu. We lost 2 that day. Now-imagine, we were that close! Rabies did cross our mind....

First Blog on the Annikasvea blogspot!

This will be for the 328 class- at least to start...who knows where it will go from here???

Monday, June 30, 2008

Style- and not in a fashion sense!

Style- what and how does my style impact how people read what I write, and do I convey what I want to write well enough to make sense?

For the past several years, I have written for the USPC(United States Pony Club) http://www. National Publication. Sometimes as myself, but often as a ghost writer for someone else. Several times I have had to write something for someone as if it were my point, but in all honesty, I often have not agreed with what I am supposed to be stating. Despite this, it has been some of my best writing! Nothing like seeing a letter to the editor that says "Great Article! Well stated, and I appreciate you sharing your viewpoint." Ha ha! It's not even HIM that wrote it! :) This is a big time where revisions have come in to play however- removing any traces of me- inserting whomever I am writing for. Googledocs is great for that!

So, IMO, style changes to suit the audience. For USPC, I am usually dealing with a mixed population of horse parents, as well as kids. Often when doing the writing for this publication, it has to be geared someplace between those two groups. Sometimes, I have had to address tough issues (deaths of horses and kids being an all too common one in the past year) and for that, there is more thought that has to go into the delicate balance.

Currently, I am rewriting the standards of proficiency. This is dry. No personality needs injecting, as a matter of fact, the less words, the clearer it is, the better it is. I bet you can tell, however, that I can get wordy! :)

In my younger years, I used to think that I needed to be...artsy in my writing. I now see there are many places to be in the written world, and while there is a time for that creativeness, I like being able to be readable by many.

First 328 blog entry

This is my FIRST blog for the class- 328. Yup, I am actually started! Now, I shall add/up load something (I follow directions very well, thank you very much!)

This is Wrainthur. If you did NOT have a lisp, you would call him Ranger. However, since Ranger has a large- LARGE parrot mouth, his name is Wrainthur. This took thought- a lot of thought. However, since his story is so very nice... but that is for another day!! Have to head out to finish the farm chores. Style, next!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And she heads back to school

My primary reason for blogging right now is to begin writing again.

As I am going to be doing a lot of that soon!
Heading back to school, and going to finally be done. Degree in Written Communication with a slant towards creative writing, and a Human Bio minor.

Then to U of M for RN as a second degree!!

Which means, if all things go as I want them to go, that I will be done in 1 1/2 years. WOW! IF I do not get re-hired at the U, then I am thinking that I will really hit the books HARD and finish in a year. Can I? Will I? Stay tuned! I think I can- If I went every day this semester, I could finish even sooner. But since I have not gotten a call I have no way to know.

Can I also say? It's a fucking maze of confusion in getting classes. I mean that in every way. Its incredible. I get so excited thinging that maybe I might be able to be done in less 1 year, 2 months. Then...I start looking and it seems totally impossible! Good God...where is that life coach?

If I were to dream....

I would be a NP- working in a general office setting, seeing patients as they come in with coughs and colds, seeing babies and just being a good person for folks to see. In a small office in Tryon.

Thats the dream.

Dream on, Baby, Dream on. Reaching for the stars are closer.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Reason still at MSU

He is doing better, however. the BOA worked very well today, and he was dry this AM. So, that s good. The seroma is still there, and that is somewhat sad, but overall, things are better then I would have thought.

Wrap change for MR taco tomorrow~!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Reason is still at MSU, and the seroma is as big as before. Dr. Schott got 250 cc's off yesterday, and it filled back up for this AM change.
The Boa wrap came in, and it looks good. I am pleased at how it fits, however, we must watch for rubs and pressure points. Today he developed a transient fever, which is worrysome to ME but seems to not worry them too much. I think he looked dull, but overall, he is still kicking- well, not literally, thankfully. I am going to assume he will be there for the better part of a week, which is actually fine- I hope it's not longer then that, but we must get these things delt with so I can deal with them at home. The Boa wrap will make things possible for me to do this.

Despite this, I think that we are in for an even longer road. As the road has alreay been long.
It does make me think about what a horseman is. This is part of it, it's the being able to handle the fork in the road, the change in footing, so to speak. Is this bad? I don't think so, it can be frustrating, it can be annoying, it can be expensive (!) but there are rewards. I know my relationship with Taco is in great part because I have spent so much ground time with him. I can feel this happening with reason. I hope- very much- he makes it. He is lovely and has been more then tolerant. I miss the other horses, but I know they will be there and ready for me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Not a good week for Reason

Okay, so things are not totally bad- but I am at my wits end and feeling pretty stressed about everything involving Reason. I have this horrible feeling that this may be the thing that does us in. He has a seroma over the surgical site. It is in my mind VERY large (Dr Schott got 100 cc's out on Sunday) and it appears to be getting bigger. I know that it being MRSA he should be at home, and I know that I should be able to take care of him. But I don't think I can. It's an amazing sense of failure.
CK said to me last night "in my professional opinoin, it's not as bad as you're making it out to be" and I am furious. After all I have done and listened to her over the past few years, that seemed like a callous and not-nice thing to say. Both as a friend and as a vet. For the mistakes she has made with our horses (Big's hock, Taco's leg for starters) and I have never once called her on the carpet for that, it seems as if she should have been nicer. I do not "blow' things up, at least I hope not, and I am seriously worried about this. In addition, he is very tough to handle right now. If I am stressed, then, guess what, i am stressed. I guess my take home lesson is this: Call the emergency vet on call, and not call her for things like this. That would solve things. So, take that lesson and figure out where to go from here. Get over being mad, learn and live.

So, now what to do? How do I figure out where to go with this and Reason? Who do I go to for my care of him? Who is his main vet now? what do I do? Argh.

I think I will email Schott with this, and go from there.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

March 23
Feeling somewhat better on the Taco Front
and that I can handle whatever comes my way on the Taco front. Whatever ends up being, he remains a great horse. I know we have done all that we can for him, and there really is not a stone unturned. My sig line on COTH says it all- and so...heed my own wisdom.

So so SO sick of Snow Snow Snow. 8" the other day- compacted somewhat, but still miserable. It's frigging March 23rd!!!! Ya got to be kidding, right?? Ugh.

Reason continues to do well, and so that is nice- swelling is still there, but to be expected. I am happy abt that. He is getting to be a very fancy schmancy mover! very exciting to see.

March 29
up the hill we go!!

Cast removal happened- he is in a full leg wrap - well, upto his gaskin, and he is walking soundly on that. However- there is a lot of swelling and some heat. Makes me think cellulitis, but the surgeons like what they see, the medicine people not so much. I however, being given some small glimmer of hope, jumped right back in that roller coaster car to head up the hill again. I do love hope- I love love LOVE hope! Taco looks good- and is happy to be out of the cast. The sun is out so I can face things somewhat better today. And, getting calls from my friends make things so much easier to deal with.

So, have to get the blood results back and see what they tell- hopefully good things! Oh I hope so.

And, am I glad that I am not single! Just spoke to a friend who is single- yuck!!

April 5th
Update on da Boys...
So quickest of updates- pasture fixing is calling as it's warm out!

taco looks okay right now- need to just watch it- swelling and difficult to totally know. But opimistic- yes, I am.

Reason- sigh- has 2 more abscesses in the same area. Surgery is not an option-at least at this point. I am hoping that it will resolve- but concerned as he is still on the Chloramphenicol and they happened anyway. So, I guess it's just wait and see with him. Yesterday an emergency trip to MSU for the U/S where what was thought to be a a hernia was discovered to be 2 more areas. In no way am I upset with anyone- sad for him, as this is another hard bend in the road. He remains happy and playful, and looks great, so as far as that goes, all seems good. He was stellar good yesterday for the U/S- no sedation even! good boy!
Time to FENCE!

May 5th- update
Everything slows down as far as internet in ths spring summer, huh??

So, Taco had a rather rough week. Was incredably foot sore- after getting his rabies and PHF- what is the real cause? god only knows. None the less, I am thinking that I may just not actually give him his shots again- have to if we ever get to FEI again, but one step at a time. Anyway, my farrier came out and put shoes all around and he looked amazing afterwards. okay, not our usual amazing, but overall, so much better. So, hope springs eternal again.

Reason is just the same. When we got back from Rolex,. his belly was not okay- looks as if he did not get his meds maybe as he should have. So, a couple of days later, it looks a bit better. I just ordered a new set of meds for Reason, so another month- here we come. I am thinking that then, after that month, we will rethink...of course after another U/S. So, his studly self has another few months to go. Cringe, goes my body!

Doc is amazing, and Skee is choosing to be good. More on them tomorrow!

It has been a most difficult time for eventing- I am of the strong opinion that we do not know WHY things are happening, but need to keep looking. I just don't think that the courses have changed THAT much (skinnys, maybe?) but more then that, something else has changed.

And now, the Derby with a horse fatality. What is happening?? I want to know, not to blame, what to fix, but not to change what is not broken.

May 19th
My goodness all the boys are home!
All is good here- Boys are home- reason is an offical gelding! They decided to geld him while the gelding is good- he has been on the Chlor for over 120 days, and it was time to geld. If we took him off of it, and he got another round o MRSA< we would be on another 3-6month set back. So since he was as well covered as he could be, they suggested it, I was all for it (reason not so much!) and he stayed the weekend at MSU.

Taco looks good still- thankfully. Leg is now unwrapped all the time except when being ridden, and I have him out with a buddy right now. Not sure who he will end up being paired with, but doesn't matter- he is out and that is good! I have ridden him abt 5 times, and that has gone well.

So, that's the news on the boy-front!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Continuation of my COMH blog copied here

Feb 20-
Taco continues his strange path
Can't remember if I mentioned it before, but the wound on his leg is opening again- yup. Honestly. Horridly. Miserably. But, we are going to keep wrapping it, and I am taking him back to MSU on March 12th for a recheck. I guess it's a wait and see pattern until then. That's okay.

Reason and the Boa are seeming to work. Sadly, he is almost out of his head crazy being so cooped up, it's hard on him and he is a lunatic in his stall- did you know you could canter around a stall? And rear and buck at the same time? Well, you can. The hard part of that is the boa slips- no surprise there- so then i have to adjust which I think may hurt a bit, as he sure does not like me dealing with that! Again, no surprise there!

Chief and Doc are up at MSU for a teaching class on lameness. It's all good...! lucky actually-free xrays!

Feb 22
I did not say anything...e jacknifed the truck with trailer last Sunday. Art choose (unwisely it turns out..) to take the back roads. The back roads were all ice. Everything was okay in the end, but I laughed so hard my ribs hurt. There was no horse in it- we were on our way to pick up Reason- so it was okay to laugh. I was very hopeful I would get a new bed out of the deal- our truck bed is rusting at the wheel wells. Sucks. Anyway, We were across the entire road, in the middle of a hill, where no one could see us if they were going north. However, it was SO slippery I could not walk up the hill to attempt to stop traffic, and the state police were swamped. So, it was me, or no one. Art got the truck unhitched when the slippery nature of the road worked to our advantage. The truck just kept slipping down the hill-sadly none the worse for wear except the bumper. Not sure about the trailer- appears the hitch might be coming off the front of the trailer. Oh well, Featherlites are not solid trailers anyway! I have always hated this one, and use my Brenderup as often as I can. For hunting, however, the Featherlite holds Arts rather huge horse well, so-- it's his and her's trailers for us!

Horse update- Everyone seems okay. Taco's leg is not better- getting worse. But I guess that's par. So again, wating and seeing. I decided to turn him out because why keep him in? he is not getting better, so small turn out seemed to be a good idea. For his mental attitude if nothing else. And that he still has.

Reason is holding his own, too. I have turned him out in the indoor in order to let him have some movement. He is just too hyper to do anyone any good. the Boa continues to work.

When will I ride? I am itching to do road work even- yet it almost seems stupid to start just to have to stop right away. Something always seems to come up!
Feb 28th
Blogs must have their i have lost this very long post 2 times! I will not try again, my eyes are blurry... So to summerize:
HArd day here- Taco's leg continues to get worse- here are the pics warning a bit graphic.
I am tired of being the mom to sick horses- I want to ride and have fun with them, rather then worry every time I walk down to the barn about what might await me.
This may all be related to a popped ovarian cyst- OUCH! Hormones may be released perhaps???
Reason is good- and I told the story of Wrainthur and his name.
I will try again tomorrow!

How Wrainthur got his name...
Wrainthur is the lovely paint (or is it Pinto?? Shows what I know!) in my pics thats galloping thru the snow. Yes, a lot of white- and when he was born, that's all I could think, too! I bred to get some color, I got a lot of white. (While on that, for a moment, I shall comment on color- Skee, aka Reason Enough- another post coming on that name,, is out of a bright chestnut mare and a bright bay dad. One would think I would have a lightish horse, rather then dark, Oh well)

So, Ranger, yes, that's his real name until now, was born on Sept 26th, 2004. A late baby to be sure. His mom, Priss (Babamist, Kept Woman, Keelo) has a respiratory issue, so we bred her as she was out for the season at least. I bred her to Indian Art, a colorful, kind, quiet oldenburg hoping to temper her...chestnut babamist temper. Kevin, who owns Indy, said she was the bitchiest mare he had ever dealt with. Need I say more?

So, when my daughter and I was watching Fat Mare TV in the house after a PC meeting, we were talking about the latest Janet Evonovich Novel. Steph was going between Morelli and Ranger. We were talking about who we would choose in Stephanies shoes, and Jazz had said that she thought she was a Morelli kinda gal. She then said without missing a beat that she thought I was probably a Ranger kind of girl. Right then. Priss began the process. So, that is how Ranger got his name- for my Ranger tendencies.

The next days we found out that Ranger has a massive parrot mouth. I mean...MAJOR. HUGE. Largest I have ever seen and I never want to see any larger then that, anyway. UGLY. He has done better then fine, but of course, we cannot drop it- every animal has a voice in our house, and they are all just for that animal. The donk's voices are very close, but the others, well you know who is talking. The dogs all know their voices, So, Ranger of course has a lisp. Those teeth just don't stop that tongue.

We have always spoken his name as Wrainthur, but never thought of spelling it until now...we have to register him. Alice Stack, our vet for Reason up at MSU and adopted daughter extrordinare was at dinner when we were trying to figure out how to spell Ranger with a lisp. So, she came up with the spelling, and I will register him with that name.

Waiting for someone to comment on where he was imported from, who the stallion is, and what amazing blood lines the W's produce. I am SURE it will be pronounced correctly at shows, but who will actually "get it"? I can't wait!

For what its worth, I think I am a Ranger kinda gal. Shhhhhhh

March 1
I actually rode!
It's sunny, the barn was done, I was thinking that going upstairs to do some of my (watch out here- great over-exaggeration) art was a good idea- it hit me. (forgive me...that sentence probably could be taken 2 ways....) It's sunny- Not snowing- Art is whipping from the car, and...damn it, I am going to ride!
guess what! It happened!

I got on Doc, and he was great! I actually even-gasp!- jumped a few jumps! x's, which from a greenies back look like prelim tables sometimes. But we did it, he was happy, and he actually stood near the mounting block after only 2 attempts. I did have one bad moment when I thought getting my coat from the door when mounted was a good idea. It was a lovely time, and I feel great. Amazing what a ride can do!
March 2
The yellow brick road continues
hat I have been traveling with Taco continues. His leg continues to get worse, there is a sore above the surgery site, and we are heading back to MSU on Tuesday. Sure, it's just a leg (and I actually believe that) that has a sore on it, but it's been ...oh...close to 14 months now. I cannot really ride him, as it does make it worse, and it is hard to wrap in a correct manner to protect it. Today, the bone is visible. (SPECIAL) but I do know that eventually it will heal and then begin the process again. So, I guess it never really heals, just covers up again. And honestly I don't know what to do- because there is no clear answer. So, I guess that is why I titled it yellow Brick Road, as did Dorothy really know what the end of the road would bring? Much like her journey, I have met good and interesting people- and had some not great things happen, too. Those darn monkeys! I would like to know what happens at the end. But, I guess we're not there yet.

On a feline note, I have this cat, named Rocky, known as Brown Cat (we have White Cat, as well as Little Cat, their names are Lucas and Luna) who brings me things all the time. So, I will post on his bringings. It is usually something that I have used- so anything that is on my craft table will often end up near me. He brings them to me while we sleep, The strangest thing to date has been a box of staples. Last night, it was a lot of paper as I was trying to fix my printer- and he also brought the checkbook. Okay, why that? anyway, there is usually a path from where he decides things need to come from, right to our bedroom door. And, most of these things he brings have to go down a set of stairs. And it's full size paper- sheets at a time. I don't understand the why's at all. Art says that he adores me. I guess maybe he does and his version of gifts. But still- really weird!

In addition, I have not been feeling well. It's not "brain" related (I have a cyst that acts up on occasion, but that is not this...does that make sense?) I actually will call the Dr. which in itself is amazing. But, I do want to feel better. I am not a good lazy person. Not at all! I think it is the Marine Dad that makes me feel guilty when I get that way. Be STRONG! Don't give in to physical things! The ovarian thing just keeps getting painful, so maybe I actually did something to it. Ugh. Hate the MD.

March 7
TACO In sugery today at 3:00
o, that says it all. Have to meet the bandage lady about a wrap for Reason, but will write more today...poor horse...poor checkbook...but more, Poor Taco.
March 9
He did well after surgery, Thank God- for those that remember, his first surgery was very hard on him. they changed the protocol and things went better for surgery number two, and three was the same. So, we have THAT down at least.

They opened up his leg from above his hock to his fetlock. They found...and this is a quote"shit tissue" that they sent off for path. They cultured and got some staph, but no idea what it's sensitive to yet. Hope...Hope not MRSA. Oh please.

So, waiting for the news on the pathology, and hoping he tolerates his cast well. We shall see....

March 13
Catch ya? But it does- taco is doing well (Not MRSA- big huge sigh of relief!) and is home, in a cast, on stall rest, but being good. His eye looks fantastic, and he looks as good as can be expected. Cast comes off next Thursday, and that is good- he needs some non-cast, just be a horse time. IF he de-hisses, then we will put him down. It's a simple thing- and the right thing.

So, vet appts- Reason on the 18th for a U/S of his belly to decide how much longer for the belly band, and Taco the 20th.

I remain sick- just a miserable kind of sick- not TOO sick but just sick enough to feel crappy. Not strep, But perhaps Mono- how in God's name did I get THAT? Ugh. Early parts of the day are okay, the latter parts suck. So lazy and energy-less. Cannot wait for THAT to end!

March 20
Still in a cast....
Goodness me, still in a cast. What they did was remove it, look at it, decide to leave the stitches in and cast on. Up the bute, 2 more weeks (at least) of SMZ's, strict stall rest, remove cast NEXT Thursday. Take sutures out, put cast BACK on, and see him the following week. I had the nerve to think that I might be able to go out of town for a moment. Hmmm. No. No, not me. Still on horse watch and yes, I am tired of it.

Reason is out of the belly band (thankfully) and things look ok there.Chloramphenicol for another month or so, and then wait for a month THEN check at MSU THEN consider gelding him.

I am living in Grey. No here, nor there, just floating is...maybe land. That's my world, Maybeland.

So, here is what they and I saw upon the removal of said cast. There is pitting edema on the edges of the wound. Some moisture, redness and definite swelling. Last time, the swelling was not nearly as bad. This time, it does look worse. It's sad. I guess I have to consider where I live and think he has a 50% chance, but...I swear...damn it. its gettin' old!
Well, here i am blogging- adding to the list of things I don't quite get.
In a nutshell, its been a crappy week, which I am sorta pissed about, as I was planning on things being good this year. But perhaps things are going to get better.

Taco's surgery looks like it was a success. He looks GREAT and the pic of his leg tells the tale. I am so pleased. more then that, he seems to be just all around better.
Reasons surgery was successful, too- I guess. It has been unreal and I really hate MRSA. I cannot believe how tenacious it has been. 90 days of drugs, and a belly band. So sad for him. I guess the belly band will allow him some turn out, and think that will make things easier. I hope so at least! This poor guy has had 3 major surgerys and he is all of 6 months old.
Cheif had a near miss today- I think he might be okay.
And the poor barn kitty died on Thursday night. I think it was good I was with him, and I hope he is in a better place.

feb 3,2008
I am honestly not sure for how long. But he is here, and his belly-bandage is still on. We drained about 60 cc's off a seroma (sp??) that worries me, but I will just take him up there again if need be. He is kinda depressed, but I think that's fair given all he has been thru. He is one lucky boy- and his road is bumpy, but he remains still such a nice foal.
I loff him!
Feb 3rd- later
So, I have already changed the wrap once, and it's already saturated. Both from urine, as well as seroma fluid. It's pretty tough- and I feel it's an up-hill battle. I need to figure something out- he needs to keep it dry, yet it continues to drain a lot. Then it slips, and then the urine gets into it- cycle begins again. Argh.

Feb 4 '08
So, we devised a way to attempt to keep the belly band clean. First, use the steri-roll, then, brown gauze, then elastikon. BUT! Over the 1st layer of elastikon, put a surgical drape that is non-absorbant, then more elastikon. So, we are hopeful this will function as a "drip" guard. He is leaking urine, but the vets say foals can do that if stressed and sick, which he is both.
Poor guy! Bandage change tomorrow AM again.

Feb 6
Reason is back at MSU, the seroma keeps filling- 100 cc;s the first time they "poked" it (Sunday), and the 2nd time was 250 cc's on Tuesday. It is as big today. I knew things were not going as well as they should. But hopefully things will improve. If the seroma does not go down, they will have to insert some sort of drain. This carries risks- the MRSA is all-too scary. So, hopefully, when we do a wrap change tomorrow, we will be able to see "it" getting smaller. From what I understand, we do not want any fibrogen- that will harbour more of the MRSA, and we are back to square one.
The plan right now is to keep the BOA wrap on, and hope he drops to pee. If we can keep the area dry, all the better. The good part is that the incision looks outstanding still, despite all the insults it has seen. His skin is pretty yuckky right now, and they have lanolin to apply on it. Still, poor boy is gotta be hurting.
His temp went up today, but it seems transient. I assume that the chloramphenicol is doing it's trick and holding things at bay. Still, how frustrating. He seems depressed, but wouldn't you be?

I even hesitate to say that, but so far the Boa wrap has stayed on, and he looks good in it. Thank God. His chloramphenicol has arrived in packets of powder, so that will be easier to dose him, and it's apple flavored to boot. So, hopefully I can convince him that eating 3 smallish mashes a day of apple flavored stuff is a good idea.
He may have been a bit colic-y today, but seems okay now. His temp has stayed good, and his attitude sounds as if it's better. I did not get up there today- too many things needed doing here, and this way I can leave tomorrow and feel okay about it. So, that is all good.
Taco looks good, too! I am going to change his wrap tomorrow- I did the last change on Tuesday PM, so a friday change sounds okay to me. He seems fine, altho a bit miffed that T/O is not in his cards right now. I am not sure when he can have some- seems as if the only thing that is actually holding him back is the wound, rather then the leg, as the tendon was not touched. damn, I may get back to being a normal horse person some time this year! What a concept! :-)

Feb 8
Taco's leg looked okay. I have been noticing that his right eye was being somewhat---empty, but thought that i might have been imagining it. Well, I don't think I am. He is now very shy-y from that side, and will no longer look at you out of that eye. I am not sure what to think- and hesitiate to even mention it to anyone, as I know we are at the end of the rope. It is very sad to me, but I am not sure what to think about it. I loved having him be bright and happy again, looking at me from that eye. I loved seeing him be happy. What I am not seeing is a somewhat confused horse. There is what worries me.
So, on my way to MSU to see reason. I hope that yields good news. Horses.

Feb 8th later
o, today, we drained about 500 CC's off of the seroma. they put a 1 cm slice in it to let it drain, and hopefully it will not fill again. (I am not feeling to confident about that, but a 1 cm slice is pretty big- as long as it does not wall off, it should drain.) His attitude was good today, so that is good.
I did mention my concerns to Dr. schott, and he contacted a person at Cornell. I will have Taco's blood drawn and sent to them to test for auto-immune something. I don't know what, but it's time. What comes of it, I don't know. But I would like an answer. I know that we are at the end of what we can do for him- it's up to him. As silly as it sounds, I have told him so. It breaks my heart. And, as Dr. Schott said, I hope he makes a liar out of me.
I really honestly have 5 other healthy happy horses. really!

Feb 11
hat sounds like a dire blog post title, but it's true! It's cold as hell here. I have had the horses in more then they have been out, and 4 of them live out all the time! So, add stall cleaning to the list of things I should do.... Mind you, I don't get most of them done. Stall cleaning is one thing that will get done, however!
Art and I went to see Reason Sunday and he was in a great mood. Indeed, he was delighted to see me. Well behaved, but anyone could tell that it made his day by the squeal that he let out when I was in his stall. He has a new addiction to Starbursts, esp orange ones. He is also getting good at eating carrots, which is good, as it takes him time. I tried to post from my camera, but that did not work for some reason, but I do have pics of him looking like a camel with his head out of the little square in the corner of his stall that I will try and get on here. The swelling is large below the bandage, and looks scary to me. Dr. Schott did see it yesterday and he thinks it's okay. I am not as happy, but it's a mom thing, I think. In any event, I need to find out if they think the MRSA is going away. The culture should be back soon from the lab of the fluid they got on Friday.
Taco also has looked good. I think I can see the pattern clearly now. The leg looks good, the eye looks good. So, the question is why. We are going to send off bloods this week. I want to be made a liar in many ways- it would be nice. But, I admit that not knowing the why's makes me nuts. Maybe there are no answers.
And, it's cold as hell here. Did I already say that?? -4.8 right now according to our weather station. That makes one want to head outside and do chores!
Feb 11th later
But Ali Stack is back in town, and I am very happy about that!
I saw Reason today, who was a bit uncomfortable, as they put a large hole in him and are hoping that the seroma will quit filling and we can get him home! He has been there a week at this point, and it's truly time, I feel, for him to sleep in his own stall, with his own hay and his own donkeys! However, no coming home until we can get this thing under control. It has to stop filling, and it has to stop being such a hard thing to deal with. Good thing is, however, I am not as tired as I was!
Taco looked good today, too. Tomorrow is 2 weeks, and his leg looks good so far to me. I know there is a small amt of discharge, but ever-so-small. His eye is looking status quo, so I am not too concerned about it at this point in time. So, while things are still shakey, I feel somewhat better. Enough to want to ride! What a concept!
I went on hound exercise today, and it was just lovely. On foot, as the Wind Chill was about -20. But we were warm, and the hounds were great, and one day maybe I will kow who is who. We will begin to do mounted exercise soon. Skee will go out 3 days a week! And that means that I will, too. Now, THAT sounds good!

Feb 13
So, yesterday, I called my husband and said that Reason earned another 2 weeks of care. Little do they know that those moments of incredible tenderness mean so much.
Yesterday, he was down, and somewhat painful. I went into his stall at MSU and got on the floor with him. He was sternal and then when I sat down he laid back and put his head on my lap, I think we were there for about 15 min- him just looking up at me, and me with tears in my eyes, thinking how lucky I was to have this colt trust me that much. I sort of wished for a camera, but then again, it was such a private moment, such a special moment that perhaps the pictue would have been crass in the light of the emotion. The day before, it was his squeal when he wanted to play with me and when I said "Oh No, Mister- you gotta behave!" he stood in front of me, head down, just saying..."I am so glad to SEE you mom!!" It's those moments that keep us on this path.

Taco dropping his head into my arms and just staying there- a horse that normally does not let anyone touch his face. The moment on XC when you are heading into something complex and their ears flick back to let you know that "I've got it, Mom...Whoo! Let's go!" The nicker that says "Good Morning!" The run up the driveway along side the car when I come home- and it's only my truck they do this for- other cars do not evoke such a response. The run on a hunt when they see a hound and do everything they can to avoid stepping on it. And then, when you feed and they desire your pats more then the grain you just poured into their bucket. That is why I do this, and why they have earned everything I have done. It may be silly in the eyes of some, but for me, those moments are ones that many will never get to experience, and I am lucky enough to be blessed to have had the pleasure.

Feb 15
I am the keeper of stitches l,not really! But in any case, I have had stitches that refuse to come out on both the horses! Taco has one in his leg that I found when I changed his wrap yesterday and Reason had to have the surgeon come in and remove them as they had become embedded in his scar tissue around the seroma. Oh dear me...It has to be me!

So, the good news is that things are getting okay here, dare I say that? Reason should be coming home Sunday, and Taco is holding his own. I was going to ride him today, but thought that discretion being the better part of valor I should wait until the aforementioned Stitch is gone. So, I shall. I am patient. Really. I. Am.

Tomorrow is the hunt meeting- ah the fireworks shall be amazing I think!! YUCK!! And to think, it's in great part because I don't have my colors! Oh poor me! How silly is that!!! I really could care less, with the exception that it feels as if they are questioning my horsemanship or something. All I want to do is hunt and have a good safe time. I am in no way a political animal.

Speaking of safe, Darn Skee did his little dance number on me. That is...He rears, pops his rt shoulder, bucks and leaps. Yup. It's loads of fun. The good part is that I stayed on. Don't know how, honestly. the bad part is that I was a lovely combo of Mad and Scared. He stopped, and made this big sigh like "Oh, that was fun, guess I gotta work now" and then of course, I get off, and lunge him. Now, I was nice when I lunged him, but in retrospect, wish I would have stayed on his back rather then get off, as I am fairly sure that he was done being his silly old self. I swear, that boy can really cavort. And I am a bit too old for that. yet, maybe I am not??? I did stay on after all! (Oh oh...Pride cometh before a fall- better bring my checkbook tomorrow to hunt!) In any event, he has GOT To stop doing that BS. I think he thinks it's fun. Really Fun. Playful. I am sure he does not want me off, as I was on his neck, in front of the saddle, sliding off the side and clawed my way back on and he stood there, It is the closest he has ever come to getting me. Ha ha! I won!! :-) But, boy, it would really hurt if I went off! OUCH!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The barn kitty that had been hanging out just died in my arms. So sad yet nice in some strange way that his passing was with a friend. There was something special about him. I hope he is happy now.

Luna got spayed, while we are on Cat topics. :)

this is just NUTS

OMG- what a week- to summarize would be hard, but suffice to say, Taco and Reason have done it again- back to back surgeries. Taco did well this time, (surgery Tuesday) and recovered without a hitch. Gotta get that protocol. He is home tonight (Thursday) Reason had surgery today- more MRSA- but Stick was very aggressive and made a huge incision. Took out at least 4 that I saw- cultures we don't know??

So, now to 90 days of taking care of his meds- w/ bellyband the entire time.

I already feel tired- but I guess sleep will help!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

So much for productivity....all i want to do is sit inside by the fire.... yet it all remains outside to take care of. Windy outside, getting colder- need to get the horses done...sigh. To hunt or not to hunt? WHY can't I motivate? I cannot even think of works to type- and no one will ever read this which is quite good. So, damn me. MOVE child- like that commercial where the 2 same people are arguing to exercise...its me. Okay, going...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

So much time...

So, its been too long- or rather, I appear to be a non-blogger. But since I am on the computer anyway, and a lot of what i do seems directed towards me anyway, I shall blog just whatever. Like today was a great whatever day in many ways.
I was very productive. Like Really productive. Got the new green feeders in, barn done (all the horses have been in), 2 horses ridden, one horse clipped(okay, not well, but clipped for comfort) and its muddy and miserable here. So- to describe-

Skee was a star today. As stated, its miserable here- like a blustry spring day in January. So, I decide in my Annika wisdom that clipping seemed a good idea. They are so muddy that bathing was necessary before I could even think of placing a saddle on them. OF course, Taco was all over the barn outside, so Skee was somewhat nuts. But, he behaved! Then when I lunged him, he was fresh, but he listened. When I rode him, he was under himself and carried himself and lord, it was nice. Sad thing is that there is so much to say, and I have forgotten a lot. Sad. Old age?? Creepin' in!

Then I did Doc, bathed him, too but was wise enough (the benefits of age) to know clipping him was not a good idea! Good for lunging- esp with poles to steady the trot- altho how he can canter trot poles amazes me. But oh well, and oh good- I know he has that fifth leg that I will need.

I did not get Taco nor Ranger done, but give a girl a break- I did a lot of other things that made life easier. Tomorrow? Conquor the feed room!!!! And The Tool Area!

Then, when I fed tonight, I thought that making Reason go into the wash rack was a good idea. Uh, not so much. This was my bad horse moment of the day. I did not remain cool as I should have, but I really have no idea what to do in that case. If he does not go, and I say...Oh OKAY! You must have your reasons (sorry for the pun). So, it was good that Art came down. He helped, and that was good. However, I feel bad about it, but don't know a solution. When I went down to do late night, he went right in, so I guess all is good. I did find another stitch in him. Damn.

So, there you go. Another time I actually get something down. A start? Kinda like Katheryn Heigle stopping smoking- you gotta keep tryin!