Sunday, March 29, 2009

Almost ready

We are planning to head out tomorrow at 1pm, which is a day sooner than I had originally planned. I'm almost finished. Pretty much everything is packed, except the stuff I still need (suitcase, coffee pot..etc). Wow, it's been a whirlwind and without the support of my friends, I'd never have made it! Todd has of course been a huge help with packing the uhaul and he'll be driving with me on my trip. Today, 4 of my friends came over to help me clean for a couple hours. I would never be ready if they hadn't come over! I am so grateful to them!

Last night, we went out to the Alehouse for my going-away get together. It was a lot of fun. Also emotional, but fun. I'm going to really miss them all, but I know that I'm going to stay in touch and close with most of them.

And now, I must share some pictures...but I'm not saying anything else... :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

crazy days

I'm packing and trying to bring my time here in ID to a closure. It's hard. My feelings are so mixed. I'm also getting behind in physics, but I think I can make it up after I actually get home.

I leave next Tuesday and should be home by Thursday. I can't wait to see my horses.

I also have some news to share, but I'm not ready to devote the time that the news deserves, so you all are going to have to wait till I get home and settled in!

BTW, did anyone get a chance to check out the recent internet adoption? I know there was a lot going on with the EMM in Oregon and all, but there were some nice horses on there...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My dad is having fun with Chico

Well, I've been plugging away at work, and this evening at 8:20pm, I did the last batch of lab work that I'll ever do in ID! Now I just need to finish up the analysis that takes place after the lab work, organize some things for the person taking over for me, and then I'm done! I have a week starting next Tuesday to pack up and clean my apartment. I'm excited.

I've also been continuing with Physics. I took my first exam earlier this week. I think I did okay, but I don't think the professor has graded it yet. Meanwhile, I'm continuing to get more assignments finished, although I'm already behind with the push I've been doing at work...just not enough time to do both.

Meanwhile, my dad has been having lots of fun with my horses...namely with Chico. He's been riding each one around bareback. Catlow has apparently settled in quite well and isn't worried anymore. He took her for a walk around the property and she was really relaxed. Today, he took Chico out, rode him bareback a bit, then led him up to our little cabin in the woods. Chico will go anywhere as long as you give him a chance to check it out first. My dad loves him. He's having so much fun. I'm really glad, but I'm also jealous. I can't wait to get home and ride too!

I'm also trying to follow the progress of all the people and their mustangs at the makeover! I'm so excited for them all and it is just so personal after having read about their progress all along! I feel bad for Tracy that Steve Holt! was nervous, but we all know how great he is! And Princess is such a pretty little mare...I really wish I could be there in person. I'm cheering you all on! And thanks to Andrea at Mustang Saga for posting all the wonderful pictures and updates!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Got another one done!

My mom has decided that sending me pictures is a good reward for finishing chapters in icky physics. So, I got another set today! Yay! 2.5 weeks and I'll be there with them! I'm glad the snow is melting and I can't wait to put up new fence to extend their pasture to the back of the property. Chico looks maybe a tad bit on the thin side, but it's hard to tell. He was this way last spring too when he was healing up from his huge gash. I'm sure it take a toll on their bodies to be healing something constantly. I want to try giving them free choice minerals this year in addition to their salt and mineral salt blocks. I have read that a lot of horses' diets are lacking in copper and magnesium (or was it zinc?) and that these are very important for hoof growth. And in fact, horses that have the proper ratio of minerals, tend to be able to maintain their hoof growth with wear (so they don't really need to be trimmed as much) which is mainly due to the fact that they quit overeating. It seems that overeating is sometimes a mechanism to make up for the lack of certain important nutrients. And very few horses these days truly have everything they need despite the fact that we feed them all kinds of specialized diets. This is mainly due to the fact that the horses cannot travel to a source of nutrients they might be deficient in...they are trapped in their pastures. And our knowledge of exactly what they need and our ability to actually give it to them is always changing.

Not to spout off about stuff, but this is just on my mind...things to do this year: find source for these individual nutrients.

Hmmm, I needed that...

Just a picture my mom sent me today...but I saw it just a few minutes ago right after I finished a physics problem set, so it was much needed! I needed to rest my brain and have a relaxed wistful moment. But now I need more...I've requested more pictures. She also sent a picture of my new nephew, but I didn't post that one...what can I say! He just looks like a baby!

Friday, March 13, 2009


Ha ha! I've been posting more often lately because I'm supposed to be swamping myself in my physics homework...but it's just so uninspiring! It's actually not bad...the problems are going fine (it's all just math), but they take so long to do! It takes me about 5-6 hours to read a chapter and complete a set of problems for homework. I'm in the middle of chapter 3 right now, and hoping to finish through chapter 7 this weekend. Then take my first exam next week!

So, with working fulltime (and trying to tie up at work, which is requiring long hours), and spending 5-6 hours on each chapter, I am not getting to do anything FUN! Yes, I'm complaining. I apologize. Really, what I'm doing is procrastinating.

So, to make sure I procrastinate in style, I wanted to post some pictures. I took these in the fresh snow the other morning.

Both of these tracks were made by the same species of animal. Do you know what they are?

I'm not trying to imply that you don't, but this is one of those parts of my personality (sharing my enthusiasm for the outdoors and quizzing you to test your knowledge and teach something). I like teaching and thought at some point maybe that's what I should go into...who knows, I still might...teach at a veterinary college someday far in the future! It's a dream.

And this is my cutey dog, Sage, eating snow. Both of my dogs LOVE snow, as do most. They turn into playful pups and roll and run and wrestle when we get fresh snow that impedes their movement. Watching them makes it hard to wish the snow would just all go away because it is supposed to be spring.

And another great update! I finished my scarf! After I got sick of the hats (after I made about 17 of them), I got back to my scarf, which was the original thing I started to make. It's done now. It is huge, warm, sparkly and just pretty, and I really appreciated it earlier this week when we got that fresh snow and bitter cold. And of course I made a hat to match it (pom pom and all!).

Chico had a vet visit on Wednesday. The vet said the abscess is healing up fine, and that it looks like that wood was all of it. She didn't have to put him under to examine him. She said there is some scar tissue forming there (thickening of the skin), but it will heal up fine. He is currently a little lame in that leg. We think he slipped on ice (they were running around like crazy shortly after it became really cold again last weekend and turned all the melty to ice). Vet said it looks like a bruised or pulled digital flexor tendon, but that he'll be fine.

So, all is good in the horsey world (but of course, that accident prone horse had to get ANOTHER injury on the same leg...that's 3 different injuries to the same leg now!). And I'll get to see my horses in less than 3 weeks!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Would you rather be in Peru or Idaho?

Normally I say IDAHO, because I will always be a northern temperate region girl, but Ugh!!! It's snowing ALOT again today! It IS pretty in a way, but I am really not looking forward to pulling a uhaul trailer in the snow for 1800 miles. And isn't it supposed to be spring? Well in a few days anyway.

Well, as promised, here are some Peru pictures to take you away from the snow and to that steamy insect infested jungle. These pictures are of a troup of monkeys we saw while hiking down the trail around the research area. I think these are squirrel monkeys, but of course, my memory fades... These guys and us were traveling the same direction (they in the trees and us on the ground). We were able to see them several times because sometimes we'd pass them (and they'd stop to watch us), and then sometimes they'd pass by us when we'd stop to look at something.

But see, even the monkeys are itchy from the insect bites.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Physics and coatis

So, I finally got to talk to my physics professor and he said I can take both semesters concurrently, and he thinks I can complete them by May 31st. Which means I am going to vet school this fall!!!!! Now, I just have to buckle down and start churning out my assignments. I need to get 3 done this weekend (read 3 chapters and do the assigned problems). I want to try to get 4 done though...I need to buffer for the week when I'll be cleaning my apartment and on the road to Wisconsin.

It's so nice to finally have an actual plan. For the last 2 weeks, everything has been so up in the air about my future. It was really making me stressed out. In just 3.5 weeks, I will be home with my horses! (and my family... :)

I still have to deal with all the emotions surrounding leaving here...a place I have grown to really love in the 4.5 years I've lived here...and all the friends I've made. So, this is a difficult time for me. Part of me wants to be really happy, but there is a part of me that is really sad. I'm not able to fully embrace either emotion because the other is still there under the surface.

Now, I wasn't actually tagged to do the 6th folder 6th picture thing, but I had to go look to see what mine would be, so I'm going to post it!

My 6th folder - 6th folder - 6th picture is a coati crossing the river in Peru. The story is that I was on a small boat (canoe with a motor, really) travelling 60 miles up river into the wilds of the jungle (near where there was actually a community of uncontacted indigenous people living) to visit a claylick alongside the river to collect shed feathers from parrots. Parrots visit these claylicks, which are scattered throughout this region, to ingest clay for sodium supplementation or toxin neutralization (toxins in their diet of rainforest seeds). My masters research was describing the genetic structure of parrots across Peru, and shed feathers collected at these claylicks were my DNA source. So, this coati, decided to cross the river, but then saw our boat coming, so tried to turn around. We were almost alongside him, then he clambered out onto a wood pile to "safety".

If you click to enlarge these photos, you can see better detail of Mr. Coati's face.

And this is a picture of the claylick we went to visit. There are red-and-green macaws and scarlet macaws both eating clay at this lick.

I have some really amazing Peru pictures. Maybe on the next really snowy day, I'll post some of them and they can carry us all to that hot steamy jungle (with lots of biting insects). That said, I hope there are no more really snowy days this winter! I want spring!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Once again I have not written in a long time. I'm so swamped at work, and when I'm not working, I'm alternating between being happy and depressed about leaving here. To top it all off, I'm battling one of the many colds that are floating around right now. I am hoping to be home in exactly 4 weeks from today. In 3 weeks I'll be done with work so that I have a week to pack up and clean my apartment.

I have an update on Chico's leg abscess. See my original post about it and what the vet said back in November, if you haven't heard about this before.

Post about chicos abscess

Post from the vet

So, it's been draining pus on and off this whole time, since last November. We were pretty sure there's still wood in it, but he was never lame on it and it never seemed infected (he never had a fever). My dad checked it regularily. Since it wasn't an emergency, we were waiting for better weather to do anything about it. We couldn't have the vet out to put him under and open it up in the below zero weather! Well, it finally warmed up, so my dad made an appointment for next week to get it opened to remove the wood we suspect it still there.

Well, today, my dad went up to check on him and saw something dark sticking out of the abscess hole. He grabbed it and pulled out a pointed piece of wood over an inch long!!! He says there is hair stuck in the very pointed tip, as though it was ripped off and pushed into his skin with the stick. Now, I'm only surprised the wood is that big because when I had the vet out to see him right after he was poked by the stick, she probed the wound, said it didn't even go all the way through his skin, and there is no wood in it. And she charged me and arm and a leg! Clearly, it went through the skin, and there was a HUGE peice of wood in it! I'm not sure how she couldn't feel it! It must have also been pretty deep. I'm amazed that it actually managed to work itself out. Our bodies are so amazing! Just over 5 months, and his body finally expelled the stick (it didn't start abscessing until 2 months after the accident). We will still take Chico in to the vet next week just to be sure that there isn't any wood remaining in there. Although, if his body could expell THAT, then I'm not too worried about other tiny pieces!

So, other updates...I've been accepted to vet school! There is only 1 problem and that is that they want me to fulfill my Physics prerequisite before May 31st...which might be impossible, but I'm trying to arrange something. I knew I was missing physics, but I didn't think they'd be so strict on their deadline. Apparently they sent me an email in November telling me that I needed to get physics done (which I could have if I had known then). Unfortunately, I have no record of that email. I think that my email might have lost it...the university uses Windows Live and I've heard other people losing emails. It really sucks, but there's nothing I can do about it. Good news is that I apparently had a very strong application, so if I can't get the physics done in time for this fall, I am almost guaranteed of being accepted next fall. That is quite a relief, although I really just want to get it started now. It's a 4 year program.