Monday, April 25, 2016

A good day for a trail ride...or maybe not...

Because I couldn't motivate myself to make lunch for work today, I had to go out to get something that is more nutritious, even if it's only slightly so, than what's available in the snack machines here at work.  Having decided on McDonald's, I went through the drive-thru and as I came out the other side, it had occurred to me that it'd been awhile since I'd driven through my "horse neighborhood".  I was in no big hurry to get back to work and I was "right there" so why not?  It's a gorgeous day today.  Not to hot.  A nice breeze.  Oh wait.  Scratch that.  It wasn't breezy, it was actually quite windy.  It was still nice out, though, and soon enough I'd have to go back to the office where the thermostat is kept too low and we get froze.  Appreciated during the hot summer months, but not so much in the winter.  Most of the time when I visit this neighborhood, I don't see anyone out on horseback, which is a shame.  They have some trails that go between houses...

They even have a community equestrian park with a decent sized arena complete with low jumps and a nice big field
Surprisingly, I've only seen the park used 1 1/2 times in the 2 or so years since I found out about this place.  Now, I say a 1/2 time because I didn't actually see her using it because she was on her way to the hospital after having a fall.  I saw and heard (through my scanner) the aftermath.  The police investigating the fall since it happened on city property and an officer going to her house to notify anyone who might be home of what happened.  I don't know how seriously she was hurt, but hopefully not too bad.  I also heard on my scanner them requesting the assistance of the mounted unit to come down with their trailer and help with the horse.  They then canceled that because a neighbor came over to get the horse.  Now, before you question or wonder, no, I don't go driving around in my car, chasing calls I hear on my scanner.  I was already in the area and curiosity got the better of me.  Two things that always jump out at me when I'm listening to my scanner:  anything to do with a horse and when a specific Tempe fire truck gets called out.  My neighborhood only has one station so whenever I hear Engine 275, I listen to make sure they aren't going to my house.  And the one time they have?  I didn't hear it.  hahaha.  I didn't have my scanner on at work that day.  Which is probably good because I would've been freaking out.  My brother thought he was having a stroke.  He was eventually diagnosed with Bell's Palsy, but at the time, half his face was frozen and he was worried so he called for a ride to the hospital because he didn't want to drive. I drove around a bit more, taking random photos.  This house, I was hoping to get a shot of the horses, but the owner was out in the corral, doing something with what appeared to be jump standards so I took a picture of the trail sign instead
I HAVE seen someone from this house going to the park to use the arena, which is really close, but I don't know that she actually lives there because there was an extra trailer in the driveway and the 2 horses that I've seen there before were still in their yard so it may have been a friend who asked if they could come over and park on their property.

And then there's this trailer...
Every time I am in the area, it's there.  It's never gone.  Granted, I'm not there 7 days a week, only during lunch time, which is probably why I never see anyone at the park, but since it's hooked up to the truck, does that mean whoever owns/drives the truck takes the trailer wherever they go?  Also, I have never seen anyone using the trails.  A lot of these houses that have horse property and actually still have horses, why are they never out riding when I'm around?  That's why I'm hopes of seeing horses somewhere other than their corrals...that and looking at the nice houses.  Not all of them are nice, but there are some great ones that I enjoy looking at.  Oh well.

I figure one of the reasons for there not being anyone out on such a nice day is because of the wind.  Wind causes things to move and we all know how horses react when things start moving unexpectedly. 

The only drawback to my little drives is my lunch being cold by the time I get back to my desk, but today, with the weather being as nice as it was (I had both front windows down), it was worth it.

On Friday Breyer sent an email for a contest to win a Ram model.
His name is Rodney and they only made 40 of them so it was a micro-run.  Since I'm an Aries and I like Bighorn Sheep, I entered all three days for him, but unfortunately I didn't win one.  Oh well.  I'll survive, I suppose.  hahahaha.  It seems like the only time I win these contests is when I am entering for someone else.

Well, I guess I'd better get back to work.  Yay.  At least it's more than half over.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


What do you know...I'm still here.  Hahaha.  I just haven't had much to say lately so rather than blog more about healthcare and health problems, I didn't blog about anything.  I will say, since I blogged about it specifically before, that I'm nearing the end of a horrendous journey through the medical mine field.  Apparently Aetna thought it would be a good idea to have me off work without pay for 2 weeks and take all of my Paid Time Off.  I only just discovered this on Tuesday when I checked my bank balance online and saw it was significantly below what it should have been.  Unfortunately, I won't get the missing money until next payday, which is next week, and I was supposed to have the days reversed to get them back into my time off, but instead I ended up in the negative two additional days.  I'll give them a couple of days to see if they straighten that out and then I'll call again.  The money is more important than the days off anyway, but both are mine so I should have both.

Anyway, so today Breyer released an image of the 2nd Premier Club model...kind of odd since we haven't even gotten our FIRST model yet and last year (the first year I was in the club) they posted a hint, not the entire thing.  Initially I was going to offer it to someone who said they wanted both, but I think I may keep him because he looks pretty neat.  And last year I only kept one of the 3 models and that was only because I couldn't find someone to buy that one.  hahaha.

So, the new model is a new sculpt of a Clydesdale by a famous artist in the hobby and you have to choose which version you want.  There's the typical plaited version so common with the breed, especially when in shows or whatever
Very nice model.  The shading is beautifully done and the dapples look nice, too.  And then there's the "free-flowing" version
That's the version I picked.  I don't know why, I just like him better with the free-flowing mane and tail.  The order form didn't use a drop-down menu for picking which one you wanted, you just typed it into the box, but when you hit "submit", an image of the plaited version came up so there's concern about that (not just me, but other collectors had the same issue) so I sent an email to Breyer to ask about that.  He won't be available until August, but I guess they need to know how many of each to make so they're requesting that we reserve our pick now.  I hope the actual model looks as good as the prototype, but that can be a crapshoot.

Yesterday I had the day off and had intended to go to the zoo, but then my knee decided it wasn't having any of that so I went off looking for wild horses and I found a couple of bands.  As I was driving down to Butcher Jones (just about everyone in the free country knows they hang out there so no point in keeping it secret), I saw some coming up from the wash so I "met" them by the beach.  They went in for some water then moved on down to the OHV trail.  It was kind of weird because suddenly there was a lot of movement and then some clouds of dust and they came running back.  At least, I thought it was them coming back, but I quickly realized it was a different band.  The first group must've startled the second one as they came out for water.  Well, later on that afternoon I went back to Butcher Jones and saw that BOTH bands were hanging out together in the water.  They weren't really mingling, but they were both there together
The two on the right (grey and bay) and some of the others are part of the grey's band which includes my favorite mare Sapphire with her adorable weanling Diamond.  The band stallion is Shadowfax.  I don't know the names of the others, unfortunately, and I wouldn't swear to having ever seen them before.  I'll have to look at my other pictures from Butcher Jones.  If I've seen them before, it was before the foal was born.  I had my big camera and I took a bunch of pictures, but I haven't downloaded them, yet.  I'm hoping this one picture I took turned out as good as it looked to me.  A stallion from "Band 2" was standing on the beach and was looking up towards my camera and all you could see behind him was the water and mountains.  I need to get those pictures uploaded soon.  I was going to do it today, but lacked the motivation.  hahaha.

Well, I guess that's it for now.  Our temperatures are starting to get into the 90s now and we've had to run the air conditioner a couple of times.  Nothing major, just for an hour or two when the house temperature reached 86 or 87.  86 degrees is our "magic number" for when it's time to turn it on, but I've been known to turn it on at 85 when it's been particularly warm.  It won't be long, though, before it'll have to be on all the time.  Until next time!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Being broken really sucks...

**Warning** The first part of this is a rant about my knee issues, but then there's more fun stuff after that. :)

Not broke, although that sucks too, but brokEN. As in mind or body or even spirit, I guess. But in this situation, I'm talking body. For the past couple of months I have been dealing with some kind of injury to my left leg. It started at work when I got up from my desk one day to go to the printer and felt sharp pain in my knee. Holy moly did it hurt! But being the type of person that I am, I ignored it and hoped it would go away. The pain, that is, not my knee. hahaha. But it didn't go away. In fact, the pain gradually got worse. I went to an Urgent Care facility, but my blood pressure was real high and so all the PA cared about was me going to the ER to have it looked into. I don't have high blood pressure so I blew it off and went home. And still the pain continued. So I went to a different Urgent Care place and while my BP was still elevated, they weren't all fire and brimstone like the first place and ordered x-rays and gave me a prescription for Vicodin as well as a shot for pain...which did absolutely nothing for the pain. In the meantime, the pain had gone from the knee to a more traveling kind. In the morning it would start in my shin and by mid-morning it would be in my knee. By the end of the day it was in my hip and thigh area. It was terrible and I was taking more and more pain meds to alleviate it, which caused my BP to go up. Well, around about the time I went to the 2nd urgent care place, I started to get sick and that's how I ended up in the ER that day. I had been on my way to work, but I couldn't breathe because I was so congested and I couldn't walk because my knee hurt so much so I stopped at the ER in hopes of getting a breathing treatment or something. My BP was really high so they wouldn't let me go home. I have since seen a new Primary Care Doctor, who ordered x-rays of my knee and now I'm waiting to hear the results. I have access to my medical records online, but the x-rays haven't shown up yet and I'm beginning to think they're not going to. Next week I have a follow-up appointment so I may not know until then, which sucks.

And now we get to the point of this blog post. During this time, the annual Arabian show came to town. I took a day off from work so I could go, but I ended up having to "cancel" (I wasn't going with anyone) because it was a bad knee day. This past Saturday there was a Dressage festival in town. Yay! An opportunity to photograph a horse that wasn't Arabian or stock-type. But guess what? My knee hurt. Oh, and by now I'd progressed to using a cane to help me walk and when I go to the grocery store I use an electric scooter. Because of my weight I've never been super duper active or athletic, but certainly a lot more than what I've been reduced to now! The doctor suggested a pain medicine "schedule"...take certain drugs at certain times of the as to stay ahead of the pain rather than wait for it to hit. I've been using it off and on and it does help some, but not always. Sometimes it just depends on how active I am during the day at work. When I have to move around a lot (getting up and down from my desk), the pain meds wear off quicker. At least the traveling pain has stopped and it's now just mostly in my knee and hip/thigh area, but I'm just so ready for this pain to be gone, you know? I had to miss an important meeting thing at work yesterday that we're all required to attend, but there would've been no way I could've walked from my work area to the conference room where it was, even with the help of a cane. So I went to my supervisor and explained to him the issue and he said I could reschedule it or look into doing a webinar, if that's available. He didn't seem too concerned about my not being able to attend, which is good.

So, this past Friday was my birthday. The big 46. Woohoo! hahahah. I took a couple of days off from work. On Friday I just hung out at home. We cooked a Ribeye Roast, which was totally nummy. I am easy to please. One day a year I require Prime Rib and that is on my birthday. Usually we go get something from Outback Steakhouse, but this past Christmas we'd made a real nice roast in the over for a fraction of the cost of the 3 of us eating out so that's what we did. We actually made 2 roasts because my brother wanted to use some of the left-overs for tacos and I wanted to make sure we had regular left-overs. Other than that, the day was nothing special. On Saturday was laundry and Sunday was our weekly grocery shopping. Monday, though, Monday was my day and I spent it out looking for wild horses. And boy howdy did I find some, including a rare treat. I finally saw my little mare Scarlett again for the first time in more than a year. The last time I saw her she was with Marty and Orion, but then she was pilched by another band stallion, who impregnated her, but somehow Orion got her back and now they have a cute little family of three. I don't know where Marty is, but I imagine he's running with another bachelor herd. I feel kind of bad for him since Scarlett was originally "his" and now his second in command has her. Oh well. That's how it works with wild horses. Anyway, I was driving along the road to the recreation site I used to see the Bachelor 4 + 1 all the time and I looked to my left and almost slammed on my breaks. I was so excited to see them. I'm a little bummed that Scarlett didn't seem to recognize me or wasn't curious about me like she has been in the past, but that's probably a good thing. It keeps her safer. Needless to say, I took a bunch of pictures. Most of them are on my big camera, but I took a couple with my cell phone.

Scarlett is the grey in the back and her colt, whom I'm calling Khasper for now, is in the foreground.  I'm surprised he still has so much of his winter coat considering how warm it's been.
After leaving there I went out of the area to do some other things, but then came back for another drive-through.  All of the horses that had been there before were now gone, which was a bummer.  I'd hoped to see Scarlett again, but I'm glad I saw her Monday.

They are doing road work on Bush Highway as well as resurfacing it so in one part, there's only one lane of traffic going through so you have to sit there and wait for your turn.  What a pain in the arse that is, but sometimes it's a little interesting.  Like them allowing a few cars to pass to our right at the Saguaro Lake turn-off. 
The box on my dashboard is my scanner.  Because the area is kind of canyon-ish, I don't always pick up transmissions in this area, but there was a cell phone tower at the marina so I got the best cell phone reception.  hahaha.  After the fiasco with the dead battery a few weeks ago I've thought about going to a regular carrier (I have Cricket right now) in hopes that I would get better reception at the recreation sites, but I don't know if I would or not.  It's not like I can get a phone then take it out to where I go and see if there's reception then bring it back if it's not good enough.  So I'm hesitant to change providers. 

A horse trailer passed to the left
The last time I was out here a trailer passed by and a horse had his head stuck out the window.  I was so mad to see that.  People can be real stupid.  Do they not realize something could injure his eye?  There wasn't even a fly mask on to help protect his eyes.  Aaaaargh.  Idiot.

So then I went back to Butcher Jones (I'd been there earlier in the morning) and as soon as I got closer to the beach area, I saw some horses near the water so I pulled over to the loading area and started snapping away.  Then, as I was leaving, some of them had moved to the inner part of the site so I had to stop and take more pictures
Again, most of my pictures were taken with my good camera and these are just cell phone shots.  A couple of the foals kept playing around, but then Diamond decided he'd had enough and stuck by Mom, but the other foal kept racing around.  I was worried he'd get hit by a car, but he stayed within the dirt area.  He kept kicking up his heals and having  a grand ol time.  It was cute to watch.

Well, on Friday my unit moves across the street so our work area is full of big, yellow totes to pack our desks into.  I haven't even started yet.  hahaha.  I might put a few things in today, though.  We'll see.

I guess that's it for now.