Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time Flies

Today he looks like this....

Well sort of like this.  

For the sake of accuracy, this photo was take last year at Owen and Kathleen's wedding.  

Right now he is in the throes of writing his Sr. Thesis and taking oral and written comprehensive exams so he may not look as well rested..... certainly he isn't wearing a tuxedo at the moment!

But 22 years ago he was a tiny 9 pound armful.... or bellyful depending on what time of day 22 years ago we are talking about!

Two days later it was time for the gang to escort their newest brother home from the hospital.....

And soon we'll be watching him graduate from college!!!!  Where has the time gone? 

Happy Birthday Clark!!  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crime Here and There

One day last week the headlines of the BR paper were that a 10 year old brought a loaded semi-automatic handgun to school.  It's horrible on all levels that a child would be capable and/or feel the "need" to do such a thing.  He only got partway along on his bus ride and was at the bus transfer point (something I also doubt they have in Rockbridge County) when thank goodness a fellow kid ratted him out and authorities were called.

That same day, I looked at the local VA paper online and read that the Stop-In Quick Stop had been robbed AGAIN!!  This is the third time in two years which by local standards is an awful lot.  

I don't want to seem callous or flippant but there's a huge difference in EBR Parish and Rockbridge County violence levels. ....  On the same day that an EBR parish 10 year old brings a loaded handgun to school because some kids had threatened him the day before, a thief in Rockbridge County starts to make a purchase at the Quick Stop and then goes back out to the car for his weapon and returns demanding the money in the cash register.   

In EBR parish, a weapon is only a weapon.  Pretty much only good for hurting people unless you are a hunter in addition to being an angry 4th grader.  

But in RC, weapons can be multi-purpose.

No.... that's not the worlds longest handgun or a really skinny rifle.... it's a sledge hammer!!  

Yes, a sledgehammer.  

Since there were no jewelry cases that needed be broken open quickly, is a sledgehammer the robbery weapon of choice in a largely agricultural county?  

Seriously though,  it's a depressing sign of the times and an indicator of too much constant violence here in Louisiana when a sledgehammer seems like a quaint hold-up instrument.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Glad I'm Left Behind?

Maybe it isn't so bad being here after all.  

About 5 hours after Joe's arrival at the rental, the plumbing backed up and sewage came up into the bathtubs and toilets.  

Is it mean-spirited to be more than just a little glad that I'm not in Lexington?  

 Joe said that the plumber who came out identified several problems with the plumbing connections and configurations within the house so this could be a regular occurrence.  

My patients are doing fine:  Biggs is sleeping next to me on the sofa and I'm hauling Bree to LSU for a re-check tomorrow.

I'm thanking both of them profusely for helping me avoid the sewage debacle in VA!  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Left Behind.....

Joe is in Virginia for the week. 

I am in Louisiana.

Here are the two main reasons why I'm here:

He's not a braiding type of guy!  They are holding in place the injection port and tube that leads to his other eye.

How can you not love faces like those?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Year ago Today

It's been a year since I gained a beautiful daughter-in-law!!

Congratulations to the two of you on your first anniversary!

I love you both!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tony's Seafood..... Part Two

To prove that I'm actually doing some cooking in addition to being a slave  taking great care of my horse and his sickly eye, here's a picture of last nights dinner.

Leftovers from Tony's became Crawfish Tails in a wine sauce over Yellow Grits.

It's awfully sad and lonely cooking for two.  But the cleanup is a lot easier!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'll Miss Tony's

Bree and I spent the morning at LSU where he was attended by an even larger group of students and doctors than in previous weeks.  He's ever so slightly better but that may just be wishful thinking or an attempt to keep me motivated by the staff.

After swapping cars with Joe, who volunteered to drive in and bring Bree home, it was off to Nona's for "beautification;" ie, highlights and a cut.  It takes a lot to get me to give up an appointment with Nona!!  I was a little self conscious about the white horse hair all over my shirt but hopefully I didn't smell like a stable!

On my way home, I stopped at Tony's to pick up seafood for dinner.  We sat out by the angel fountain pond and had our first boiled crawfish of the season.  Don't you wish you had been here to share with us???

Monday, April 11, 2011

All Dressed Up.....

We were supposed to have a house showing yesterday.  (Note the foreshadowing given with the use of the word "supposed.")

We skipped church and spent the morning getting ready.  We cleaned and mowed, blew and trimmed, mopped and shined.  Finally we hid away evidence of pets (bowls, toys, beds, etc)  and the pets themselves were squirreled away in the RV part of the horse trailer and/or their stalls.

Joe went in to Home Depot while I waited for our realtor to arrive.... and I waited and waited.

Hmmm... the showing was supposed to be from 3-4 it was a buyer and realtor from Denham Springs and our realtor is supposed to be present for all showings too.  Thinking that I had the time wrong or they were just delayed at a previous home, I hung out at the barn which is where I am spending almost all of my time in my side line role as DVM to a fat palomino.

I did a slow burn when I got a call at 3:45 from the answering service which coordinates the showings saying that the appointment was cancelled.  Aaaaarrrrrgggghh!!!!  

When I contacted our realtor, she said she was "delayed".... so wasn't she fortunate in that she didn't sit around waiting for 45 minutes for a no-show?  The answering service didn't give me any reason why the other realtor and the buyer cancelled or if it will be rescheduled.

This is a royal pain and I'll be glad when it's over.  

After dinner with friends at Superior Grill in BR (and a large margarita) I had put my bad mood mostly behind me and was looking forward to a Monday cleaning day with nothing to do!

Martha Gonzales
So here's a happy note.... more roses!!



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Odds and Ends

I think that I left things hanging about our last offer we were expecting on the house.  It was a no-go, which was what we had expected all along but it is hard not to hope.   It was a younger couple with several kids who seemed the perfect fit to want the house.  But either they weren't quite in the range of being able to afford it or else they just wanted a total steal since their final offer was still way off target.

We've been told that the other couple whose financing didn't pan out after being under contract with us is still exploring other financing possibilities.   Plus we've got another showing tomorrow, so fingers crossed!

Bree aimed squarely for my foot (totally on purpose) while being medicated and smashed my foot TWICE in one day on Thursday!!  I'm guessing that I've got at least a week before I can wear a shoe so thank goodness that I don't have anywhere to go where I can't be seen shuffling in wearing either my crocs or flip-flops.

Bree's eye is still is inflamed, cloudy and has the corneal ulcer; however, it is showing some signs of improvement so at least I don't feel that my doctoring is a total waste. 

Lots of work around the property this week; when things are blooming and the weather is nice it's a pleasure to do.  In mid July it won't be such fun!

One of my favorite roses, Duchess de Brabant,  has been blooming harder than I've ever seen it before.... 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Camelbak for the Equine Eye

Aside from stowing away the mountain of packing boxes and paper that I scored on Craigslist last week when I thought we were moving, I've been busy playing backyard vet to Bree.

What I thought was a minor flare-up of his eye with a slight "infection" (he does this about every 2 years or so) turned into something serious.

We used to call it "Moon Blindness" but the veterinary community is waging war against that rather dire, unPC term and is pushing hard to have it known as "recurrent uveitis".   Essentially they really don't know what's happening (immune response or bacterial infection) but the prognosis is that with each attack the horse loses more sight until you've eventually got to use that unPC term and your horse is blind.

Right now he can barely see out of that eye, and has a chance to regain the sight if we can get the inflammation in the posterior of the eye under control.  Complicating things is the fact that he has a huge ulcer across the cornea.  He's had two trips to LSU where yesterday he actually had an eye ultrasound to verify that his retina wasn't detached and general anesthesia in order to have direct injections of antibiotic put into his eye and fluid removed to send off to labs for culture.

So here on the homefront for the past 10 days, I've been helping the petrochemical industry by churning through 16 hypodermic syringes and needles a day..... that's 160 so far..... the barn looks like a heroin den.  And should we ever have a surprise house showing, the island and refrigerator will probably look a little suspect!

The only thing saving me from total insanity as I do this every 6 hours.... and unfortunately Mr. Biggs' nightly trips out for pee breaks don't usually coincide with the 2 AM alarm to go to the barn.... is the eye lavage system that they sewed into his head.

The tiny tube which I can best liken to a camelbak system for eyedrops ends in his eye and has a little "foot" sort of like a contact lens that keeps it from wiggling around inside his eye.  It runs back between his ears and is woven through braids in his mane to a little port taped to some tongue depressors.  It took about two "injections" for him to realize that when I stood back by his shoulder on the right, he was going to have something nasty happen to his eye on the left.  So while he's not a happy camper, I can do it without help and a minimum of fuss.

The ophthalmologist at LSU is predicting another 5 weeks of treatment (!!!!) so plans of moving the horses to VA to the boarding stable in early May are on hold.

Aren't the little pieces of duct tape a nice touch?  (If you can't tell, the sutures go through the duct tape in order to help hold the tube in place.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Springtime Blossoms

The week that we returned from Virginia was peak bloom time for many of the shrubs at home.

Asher's birthday weekend coincides each year with both the St. Francisville Pilgrimage and peak azalea time.  We missed Pilgrimage, but made it home in time to see the azaleas.....

The Formosan Azaleas are showy, but the dainty native azaleas are dearer to my heart....

It's worth being known as the crazy tree lady in order to keep DEMCO away from the fringe tree at the end of the driveway.  When it becomes a huge cloud of white for two weeks each spring, I'm glad that I fight the battle to keep the line trimmers from cutting it down. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

At a Loss for Words

Since I've discussed ad infinitum with Joe and friends the happenings of the past 10 days, the idea of blogging about it all made me wince.  Each time that I'd get my head wrapped around one set of emotions and be ready to put it all into words fit to read then I'd find myself hanging in mid air with  conclusions, mantras and goals that no longer fit the situation.

Using a "word picture,"  here is what has been happening:

Signing the acceptance for the purchase offer that some of you know about was difficult.  It was the perfect example of wanting to have the best of both worlds.  I felt guilty that I was sad over something that we had been hoping would happen for almost a year!  I wasn'tworried about building a new house, leaving Zachary, or moving to Lexington; just not wanting to give up the physical house and land that I've grown to feel is a part of who I am.

A weekend away at Carol B's lovely home in Mississippi with four friends put me on the upswing.  I whined a little (OK, a lot) and got my emotions out in the open.  Saturday's seminar held at Carol's church by Paula D'Arcy titled "Great Lessons from the Journey" seemed aimed right at me and I was able to put many aspects of my life into a new perspective.  That afternoon Carol treated us by having two masseuses come to the house for private massages!!!  Soooooo wonderful that I think I'll just remember the experience for years and still get pleasure!   

By the time I returned home, I was 99% positive about the sale.  That missing 1% was me still wishing that a family was buying it.  Thanks to the shoulders that I leaned on and the speaker,  I came to terms over the weekend with the fact that I CAN leave and still be the same person!!

Six days after thinking that we had sold the house, we were deep into packing the barn and workshop, clearing out the attic, getting another estimate from movers, tying up loose ends etc. when we got a call from the realtor saying that the couple's planned financing was a no-go.  Seems that the bank decided that their place in Lake Rosemound wasn't worth what they thought..... Ha!  Welcome to the crowd!  
The next day we received a ridiculously low offer from a young family who have been to see the place twice.  Hooray for it being a  "family" wanting the house but not their offer!  We countered yesterday with a reasonable price and we'll see what happens.  If (and that's a big IF these days) they have the money, they'd be crazy not to buy it at the price that we've offered.

Lots of showings last month, so one of those might even wind up coming back.  

That's the Cliff Notes version.  To add in the other things that have been happening for the past 10 days would make War and Peace seem like a light read.