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 I had yet another test this morning--a stomach-emptying test. For it, I had to eat, I kid you not, radioactive CHICKEN LIVERS mixed with Dinty Moore beef stew! YUMMY! My favorite breakfast! 

*GAG*

It was just like eating a dish of dogfood first thing in the morning. 

And for all that, my stomach empties just fine. And I'm still in pain. *sigh*


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I love this link! Finally we librarians are getting some recognition! www.ilovelibraries.org/lovemylibrarian/home.cfm
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 In an attempt to make myself feel better, and to better my diet, I made a real dinner tonight. Pork Chops with Raspberry Sauce, brown rice, salad. Dessert will be fresh raspberries (yeah, I'm overdoing the raspberry theme, but I love 'em. So sue me!)

I got the pork chop recipe off allrecipes.com. Easy and damn, it was good. It was supposed to be for four chops, but I only made two ('cause that was all I had), so I have a chop leftover for tomorrow, plus lots of yummy sauce. 

I love having my new kitchen. It makes cooking so much easier. Not to mention the clean-up!
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 I'm on sixty mg. of prednisone a day. Plus Benedryl.

Today I had severe stomach cramps AGAIN. I had to use my Epi-pen, go to the emergency room (not the same one!), and get yet more prednisone, plus a new prescription for Epi-pens, as in three--one for the house, one for my car, and one for my purse.

The doctor says antibiotics have half-lives, and it takes five half-lives for them to get completely out of one's system., so I was probably still reacting to the antibiotic.

Good God.
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 I've had stomach trouble since years. The doctors can't figure it out. It flared up really bad mid-July and has me out of commission, but hopefully the new GI doctor will figure out what's wrong with me as I've had so many other doctors essentially tell me it was nothing and it was all in my head. Yeah, and there wasn't anything wrong with my kidneys, either.
/sarcasm

Today was the last straw. I've had an infected mole (it never did ANYTHING for all the years I've had it and suddenly it's infected??) so I went to the nurse practitioner at the regular clinic who copped an attitude about the inflammation, said it was NOT related to the general inflammation systemic that I have (yeah right). Gave me a prescription for minocyline, said the mole has to come off. (She ain't taking it off, I tell you!) Says the antibiotic can give me a headache, make me dizzy. 

I had a weird feeling about the antibiotic, so I didn't have it filled till today. I took the first dose this morning. My friend Rachel came over on the way home from her night shift at St. Luke's Hospital (she's an RN). Lucky.

After a while, I got blurry vision, dizziness, head pains, and horrible stomach cramps. Then explosive diarrhea. I was staggering and nearly incoherent and could hardly walk. I KNEW I was having an allergic reaction--MY FAMILY DOES NOT HAVE USUAL REACTIONS ALL THE TIME. By the time Rachel got me to the hospital, I was short of breath and wheezing. 

I'm on prednisone (WIRED!) with a prescription for it, and Benadryl. I still have some stomach cramps, but much less.

What the HELL is the Universe trying to tell me???



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 Yesterday, I went with a few women from the barn to the Maui Jim horse trials at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL, to see the cross-country. It was a blast! It was on the international CIC*** level with Olympians competing. We got to see Bruce Davidson and his son Buck (Bruce Jr.), and a lady (oh, I wish I could remember her name!) who had been in the Beijing Olympics, as well as David O'Connor, who wasn't riding, but coaching some of the Canadians.

Lisa Marie Fergusson's horse died at the finish line... just collapsed. It was horribly sad and I'm glad I didn't actually see it happen. Now, of course, there's the huge controversy over eventing and whether or not some of the divisions are too cruel and demanding.

It was fascinating being there with an "in" group. The riders from our barn had gone already and so Anne was able to take us to some of the best spots to watch. The one bank was... formidable!!! Leap up, leap up, jump on top, leap down, gallop away! Whew! And some of the bounces and combinations were wild! They seemed no wider than I am tall! 

Oddly enough, the water jumps seemed to bother the horses less than some of the other things. I was surprised at that. Tiki hates water with a passion. Dancer doesn't seem to care one way or another. 

Even though I got a terrific sunburn on my arms and neck, and even though I can't describe how sad I was to hear of the horse's death, I had a wonderful time. I hope I go to another horse trials soon!



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[Error: unknown template qotd]I had a nice one earlier this year with my sister. We spent two weeks in NYC, shopping, going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, walking around the city and just browsing around in all the little shops and stores that caught our fancy. New York is a walker's paradise! All the little restaurants and cafes, Central Park... the weather was perfect and we had a lovely time! I only wish I could have squeezed in a ride at a stable somewhere. :(

My second choice would be to go back to London. I haven't been there in a long time, so I have no idea if it's as beautiful as I remember it. But I want to go back there very much. 









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The lighting is in, the sinks are in (though the bathroom one needs to be caulked), the granite countertop is installed in the kitchen, etcetera and so forth--we're nearing completion--

It all pales in comparison to one tremendous, wondrous, extraordinary, lovely lovely fact:

MY STOVE IS HOOKED UP AND WORKING!!!!

I actually sang to the cats tonight while cooking. (They find the new countertops excellent for observing mother while she's doing things around the kitchen.) It was only salad and pasta, but it was my first HOME-COOKED IN MY OWN HOME meal since this whole thing started an aeon ago!!!

Tomorrow I plan on finding my pans and tentatively baking something this weekend.

This is my stove:

http://products.geappliances.com/ApplProducts/Dispatcher?REQUEST=SPECPAGE&SKU=PGS975SEMSS&SITEID=GEA&TABID=2
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It's me and my sister!

We got here a few hours ago, and had a nice flight except for a little turbulence during landing. We were even ON TIME (yay, Midwest Airlines)! Got to the hotel, ate, bought groceries at Food Emporium (prices!!!), and now I'm sitting at my laptop posting... my sister has her preliminary appointment tomorrow afternoon, so I don't know what we'll do tomorrow morning.

I hope I can get to the Empire State Building this time!
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But spring doesn't love me! This year is one of my worst EVER for allergies. It is for other people too. Carole at the barn told me she doesn't really have allergies much at all, but she's really been feeling it!

I've been feeling so rotten, as if I have a horrible cold. And this is with OTC Claritin and prescription Singular! I don't know if my sinuses are infected or what, but I feel terrible. I wonder if all the dust from the house renovation is adding to it; I'm sure it's not helping any! I'm seeing my doctor Tuesday morning as I simply can't take it any more!

I hate it, as spring is the BEST TIME of year and I LOVE it!
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I shouldn't have laughed at George getting antivirals, I guess. I had either horrible stomach flu or food poisoning all day Sunday and most of this morning. Karma's a bitch.
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I rode Dancer Thursday afternoon. Gave him a really good workout--we must have trotted at least thirty minutes nonstop! Of course, this was partly due to the fact that Anne was giving a dressage clinic this weekend and there were--OMG!!--FOLDING CHAIRS OF DOOM IN THE RING!!! Really. There was a small stack of them between two jumps and when I circled Dancer between the jumps, he (uncharacteristically) spazzed out at them so hard, I nearly went off BACKWARDS!!!

So, naturally, we learned that folding chairs do not eat grey horses. This was amazingly challenging work. I think it was due to the fact it was a coolish day and he hadn't had any turnout. Anyway, we got over it.

Going home, I felt sort of crappy--stomach cramps, runny nose, headache, but I chalked it up to allergies. I had pretty bad chills when I got home, but I just went to bed. All day Friday I felt lousy--sore throat, chills, headache, sneezing, stomachache, all that lovely stuff. Saturday I felt better and today I feel pretty OK. I mean, so what? We all get sick sometimes!

My friend Rachel's husband had a sore throat for a couple of days. That's all. No chills. Then he got a temperature--on the THIRD day--of BARELY 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

He immediately called the doctor and nagged him till the doctor prescribed antivirals. Jeez!
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[Error: unknown template qotd]

Wash my hands, wash my hands, WASH MY HANDS!!!

Seriously people, unless you're very old or very young or have a SEVERELY compromised immune system (active HIV, etc.), this isn't anything to get into a tizzy about. You could get sick as hell and THINK you're gonna die, but probably you won't. We have public health protocols, which they didn't have in 1918, and we have antivirals, which they didn't have in subsequent flu epidemics.

Honestly. The best way to avoid infections of ALL KINDS is to wash your hands thoroughly.
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This has NOT been a good day.

Grr.
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The remodeling is very, very slowly progressing. The bathroom had its second coat of paint yesterday. Its tub surround and tub are in and so are the vanities (sans countertops).

The kitchen floor is torn up, the walls have had one coat of paint, some of the new lights are in and most of the new cabinets are installed.

It hasn't been without glitches, of course. I wasn't told until the DAY BEFORE they started painting that I had to pick out paint, and then it was implied that they would only paint the bathroom. So I wake up to find my kitchen being painted the wrong color one morning! Ack! I had a minor skirmish with the project manager, who then delivered samples of my countertop and flooring so I could pick out the right paint color. Then, I found out I was going to have an utterly useless cabinet installed. At first I was going to have a microwave hood; then I found out they're not very efficient. I decided on a regular hood installed instead, and go with a countertop microwave. Well, a cabinet with two miniscule cabinets and a spot for a microwave arrives. Uh-oh. Another hasty phonecall.

I'm glad I decided to stay at home while it's been going on and not "take a vacation to avoid the mess" as my sister suggested.

The cats have been amazed by all that's going on. Buster climbed around on all the cabinets when they arrived, and actually fell through a hole in one of them. I had to pull him out as he was stuck inside. Evy smelled everything and rubbed against it to mark it.

But it was the funniest the first night the cabinets went in. Everyone just sat on the kitchen floor and stared at them in amazement.
meezergal: (dancer and kim)
It was gorgeous out today! In the eighties! I had a lesson, then tried a "new" used saddle on Dancer (I'm not happy with his current one), gave Dancer another bath (he REALLY hated this one as it was outside and used cold water), then cleaned all his tack.

It was so beautiful that after Kelly (a working student) took some digital pictures of me riding Dancer with the saddle to send to the company (this one doesn't work either), I rode Dancer around some more. He and I both love the outdoor ring. I'm happy to say he isn't afraid of puddles the way some horses are. He looked at them about one second and then walked right through. I have the feeling he might make a good trail horse or even an event horse!

He and I worked more on canter departs and transitions. He has a very lofty, forward, long-strided trot and I'm still learning to sit down to it when asking for the depart. To look at him, you'd never guess he has such a long stride--he puts a lot of warmbloods to shame!

It was exactly the kind of day that makes me realize all over again for the thousandth--no, the millionth time--why I love horses and riding so much. And why I ride even in winter when I'm freezing--because eventually spring will come, and days like today.
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I rode Dancer outside again today. It was a gorgeous day, about 75F and a little breezy, slightly overcast. Perfect for riding outside!

Dancer was a bit looky again--after all, it's only the fourth time he's been in the outdoor ring and the first time he and I have been completely alone in it--but he was very, very good. Anne, Kelly, Amy, and some of the other boarders were painting jumps at one side and he wanted to stare at them, but I didn't have any real trouble refocusing him. He's such a good boy!

We got some real work accomplished, including a lot of canter work on the left rein. Next time I want to work on cantering on the right rein. He's got an awesome canter.

Oh, and the bath I gave him? What a Sisyphean task. He has ENORMOUS manure/urine stains on his left hindquarter. Evidently that's his favorite side to lie down on. *sigh*

On the way home, I stopped at the Perkins near my house for something to eat (I can't WAIT until my kitchen is finished!) An older man and woman with a very old lady were seated at a table near mine. The very old lady was quite sharp in her pretty pink sweater set, grey slacks, bright red lipstick, and (very) dyed black hair. She really gave you the idea she was something in her day.

I don't know what they were talking about, but at one point I heard her come out with, "I don't know SHIT! and I almost snorted my coffee across the room. My sides ached with holding my laughter in and I actually had tears in my eyes. You know how it is--you don't want to laugh, it's not the right time to laugh, so it seems even funnier.

I want to be like that little old lady when I get old.
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Dancer has been telling me he wants me to introduce him to all of you on LiveJournal. I've had him since January 9 of this year. "Too long," he says, but I tell him there was a lot going on with my dad, his grandfather dying, and then he understood and was very sad to hear about his Grandpa dying.

He's a grey Appendix Quarter Horse, officially nine years old, but his birthday is in May. I'll have to check his papers for the exact date.

We outside yesterday. It's not the first time I've ridden Dancer outside, but it's the first time I've jumped him outside. He looked--and refused--the first jump, but after that, he was perfect. Oh, except that he TROTTED the jump the third time, as if to say, "No big deal, let's see some JUMPS, people!" so that Anne had to raise the jump. What a silly boy! But he gave me perfect flying changes, so a little eccentricity is allowed from time to time. *grin*

After our lesson, I gave him a bath. He really needed it! He's grey, as I said, so of course he has a liking for lying down in manure. He smelled very much in need of a bath, and looked it too. I used Orvus, which is a paste soap for livestock, and really scrubbed it in on the stains, then let him stand a while. He wasn't best pleased, but oh well. Not all the stains came out completely, but he looks--and smells--a lot better.

Here are some pictures of the boy himself:

This is from the day I tried him out:



more behind the cut )

Dancer says, "Thank you for looking!"
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The work goes on and on (and on...)

The kitchen is gutted to the bare walls and floor. Actually, there is NO wall in part of it. Part of the floor is covered in ghastly pale-yellow-and-avocado-green patterned linoleum--verylate Sixties/early Seventies. I suppose when I'm dead and gone, someone will look at what I've chosen and gasp in horror--"What on EARTH was she THINKING??"

The half a bath is ripped out, too. That's a story in itself. The half a bath and the full bath were right next to each other, separated by a pocket door, in the weirdest set-up I've ever seen. I mean, the toilets were right next to each other, separated only but a tiny wall and that stupid damned pocket door that never worked right. I suppose it was so they could say, "It has a bath and a half!" but to my mind it wasn't much of a selling point. I opted to get rid of the half a bath, half a wall, pocket door, and put in a storage vanity instead.

Lord, we've only begun...
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So somebody went through the trash again. It was quite a haul--a bagful of old, worn-out, rusty baking sheets and pans, some old clothes, a small grill my sister bought at Goodwill that never worked, a comforter that Evy took out her anger on and that I really meant to see if I could DO something about but never did, some aluminum cans, those plastic microwave dishes they tell you not to use anymore, and...

...food. THAT grossed me out. My parents had both grown up in the Great Depression, and my mom had the hoarder gene. She bought tons of stuff and stored it (hence this going through and discarding en masse I'm doing). There were some outdated soups and such I found down the basement (no idea how it got there) and I put that, along with some stuff I didn't get a chance to use myself, out for the trash. I mean like powdered sugar, tea, brown sugar that went hard, and so on. Someone took it.

I'm annoyed, too, in a way, because while some of the stuff went in its bags, some of it was in larger bags and whoever it was just ripped open the bag and grabbed what s/he wanted and left the other items to fall out or be blown down the alley. I feel sorry for someone desperate enough to trash pick, yes, but that didn't stop me from feeling sorry for myself having to spend half an hour gathering trash all up and down the alley in an icy cold wind and 32F temps, when I'd had it all neatly stacked before.

I hope whoever gathered that food checks the dates. I DON'T want them to get sick!! I have conflicting feelings. I feel sad that someone is desperate enough to go trash picking and take thrown out food--but I spent a lot of time stacking that trash neatly, and just rifling through it and tossing it around annoys me. Is this wrong of me, to be annoyed...?
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