Sunday, May 22, 2016

Well, you just never know...

Well, you just never know ... what life is going to hand you.  All the more reason to take advantage of every moment you have with the people you love.

On Friday, Debbie entered her first agility competition in over three years.  She took about 10 steps after getting Miki started, and then her other knee (the left one that's never before been injured) broke, badly, and down she went.  Her left knee is broken in four places at the top of the femur, with several more small pieces.  She landed on her right, previously injured knee and broke the patella (with no bone displacement), a relatively minor injury (though painful).

She's going to need surgery, and that's tentatively scheduled for Tuesday.  If the swelling in her knee doesn't go down, the surgery will have to be postponed until it does.  Once the surgery is complete, she's facing 12 weeks (minimum) of no weight bearing on that leg.  She's been through that twice before, so she knows exactly what lies ahead.  That's not a pleasant thing to know, so it's challenging for her to keep her spirits up.  At the moment she's stuffed full of pain meds, a little loopy, fading in and out – but she's on her phone and email.  If you know her, it would cheer her up to hear from you...

I just returned from a visit to Debbie, and there's a bit of news.  First of all, her surgeon (Dr. Rowley) is positive that she has a bad bone density (and therefore strength) problem.  He says she has the bones of someone 20 years old than she actually is.  Given the condition of her bones, he was unsurprised that she sustained this injury.  Debbie's been tested for bone density twice in the past 10 years, and passed both with flying colors.  As soon as she's done with this surgery, we're going to poke into this issue with some vigor.  On the other hand, the swelling in her left leg was greatly reduced, and Dr. Rowley is sure she's going to be ready for surgery on Tuesday.  That's good news, indeed.  Debbie looked a lot better to me than she did last night, and her spirits seemed better until she had an attack of muscle spasms (very painful) in her left knee not long before I left.

Meanwhile, back at the farm, I'm taking care of five kittens (all doing great!), their mom, and (as of yesterday) two adorable little field spaniel puppies.  Some photos of this bunch are below:

Friday, May 20, 2016

Paradise ponders...

Paradise ponders...  Do you know what's in the photo (mine) at right?  It's a turkey egg, given to us by Michelle H., a friend here who has some laying turkeys.  What a pretty egg!  Makes chicken eggs look downright boring.  She also gave us some duck eggs, three of which I used to make deviled eggs yesterday.  Their yolks taste a bit richer than chicken eggs – those were darned good deviled eggs!

Debbie is at the Field Spaniel Society of America's annual national convention today.  By coincidence, this year it's being held at the fairgrounds in Logan, just 12 miles north of us.  There are a lot of beautiful field spaniels up there right now!  Debbie's up there this morning with Miki, and they're entered in the dog agility competition that started at 7 am this morning.  I'm back home taking care of the five kittens we're fostering, and hoping that Debbie doesn't do anything silly to re-injure her knee.  I'm hoping she'll find a friend to record video of her run – this is a big, big deal for her, as it's the first competition she's entered in over three years, since her bad knee injury in November 2012.

We both were at the convention yesterday afternoon, delivering four 10 quart containers of Aggie's ice cream for an “ice cream social” they had scheduled.  Much to the surprise of the organizers, these folks didn't eat so much ice cream – there was over 30 quarts left over.  Those leftovers are now in our deep freeze.  Since we're the only locals attending, we got all the leftovers.  Debbie and I decided that it would be unduly injurious to the FSSA's finances were we to make them pay for all that ice cream, so we're going to donate the 10 or so quarts they actually ate, and keep all the rest for ourselves.  Darn the bad luck!  Now we'll have to suffer through vast quantities of Aggie's vanilla, chocolate, caramel cashew, and chocolate almond ice cream.  Dang it!  :)

We just might invite some neighborhood kids over for an ice cream Saturday sometime.  Without much trouble I'm pretty sure we could rustle up 50 or 60 kids.  Probably just by shouting :)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Paradise babies...

Paradise babies...  We've got five kittens in our “isolation room” (a bathroom in our basement that we never use), and our neighbor's cow (Annabelle) gave birth to a bull calf earlier today.  Photos of both below...

We're back...

We're back...  Not too many ponders, though.  I'm too tired for that :)

When I went out to Virginia to visit my mom, my intent was to bring her back with me to set her up in an “independent living” retirement community near us in Logan, Utah.  That didn't quite work out as planned; some logistics didn't come together, and almost at the last possible moment.  Now I'm back in Utah, and scrambling to get that stuff straightened out.  When I do, I'll be flying back to toss her on the plane to come out here.  With any luck at all, by the middle of next week she'll be out here near both me and my brother Scott.

The retirement community let me wander around and talk with the people living there, and the staff, on two different occasions.  All by itself, that was encouraging – that they're not at all afraid to let me poke around.  I've now talked with a total of 10 residents, and they are uniformly happy to be there.  Several of them were effusive in their praise for the staff, and none of this was in earshot of them.  That seems remarkable to me for such a facility.  I didn't keep count, but 7 or 8 of the residents also volunteered just how good the food was there.  Today I saw the preparations for an outing that included a picnic; there were trays of carefully wrapped sandwiches on delicious looking bread, some marked with names, and lots of other home-style picnic fixing (including a giant bowl of potato salad that had me drooling).  We're hoping that all these first impressions turn out to be accurate, and that my mom is just as happy there as these 10 residents appeared to be.

Meanwhile our dog Miki has joined me in my office.  He's not working nearly as hard as I am, though :)  If you enlarge that photo and look hard, you can just barely make out his brown nose on the left side of the furry brown lump.

Debbie found out last night that we're getting two puppies from the litter Sheila M. (our breeder) just raised, though we don't know which two yet.  She saw the whole litter last night, and says they're huge – and every last one is totally adorable.  One of them in particular reminded her strongly of Mo'i when he was a puppy.  We pick up our two little devils on Saturday.  Our household will then instantly become even more chaotic than it already was!  I can also confidently predict that we will have quite a few more young visitors, too: with 5 kittens and 2 puppies, we'll probably have to bar the door to keep them away...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

It's good to be overweight!

It's good to be overweight!  According to this study studying a group for the ten years 2003 to 2013, the BMI associated with the lowest all-cause mortality is 27.0.  My current BMI is ... 27.2.  Yay!

On the other hand, I should note that so far as I can tell there is vastly more noise than signal in studies of this nature.  This particular study looked at nearly 100,000 Danes in that period.  It wouldn't surprise me a bit if 100,000 Americans, Japanese, or Egyptians were studied, they'd get completely different results.  Probably even a different set of 100,000 Danes would get a different result!

But I like this one :)

Night in Paradise...

Night in Paradise...  I woke early this morning, around 2 am, and couldn't get back to sleep.  After guzzling a cup of tea, I headed out for the short walk to my shed and office.  It was a moonless night, pitch black, and perfectly clear – and that gave me a stunning view of the sky.  The Milky Way is prominent overhead and down into the southern sky (very dark here, as the Wasatch Mountains are that way).  Nearly due south was a great show: Saturn and Mars, quite close together, and close to the bright star Antares.  Beautiful!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Light blogging alert!

Light blogging alert!  I will be traveling (or getting ready to do so) for the next week – I'm heading back to Virginia to visit with my mom.