Saturday, July 30, 2016


Meet one of the farm's horses:  Cody.
I think he's bipolar.  I'm the only one who rides him because remaining in the saddle can be challenging if you don't perceive the boogymen before he does.  I can break from the other riders and walk him through the woods; he can get tangled up in vines and patiently wait for me to cut him free; but hang on if he sees a shiny rock on the ground or a leaf flaps a little too menacingly. He's the elephant who fears the mouse.  He cracks me up, but I'm smitten with him.  He's my Cody-Pooh.
Unfortunately, this wingnut's knack for being startled with everything results in him throwing his head up, a lot.  Too much.  Months ago, he struck the top of his head so hard, the ensuing deep tissue bruise turned into a hard knot of calcified muscle tissue.  Calcinosis.  Pooh is forming bone tissue within the muscle responsible for holding his head up...not one you can use a scalpel and play around with.
He's already been to see a specialist two months ago at Auburn U.  We went back this week when it appeared his lump has been growing.
When the vet saw his trailering head bumper, she asked if I could fabricate him a permanent head protection.  A helmet??? Tommy and I are on it.  Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, we eagerly await good news from the biopsy, no neoplasia, no neoplasia---please!!!.  His CT Scan showed almost complete involvement of the muscle with the calcinosis.

He might make it into the textbooks.  This is apparently a very rare occurrence.  Oh joy.
The drive back and forth to Auburn vet school is now old hat for Cole.  
He has decided that the other two dogs must ride in steerage class in the backseat.  Not much for sharing lately.
Final parting shot of the Pooh-Bear, outstanding in his field:

Monday, July 25, 2016

Our New Normal

Thus far, Cole's cancer treatment has proven successful. 
See for yourself:
Who knows how long we can keep it bay, but with the finest oncology team and my friend, Dr. Nikki Brown's supportive therapies-- we're doing everything to optimize success.
Enzymes, microgreens, essential oils...whatever it takes to maintain my gardening buddy's zest for life.
Hard at work escorting me and the wheel barrow to the compost pile.  Note the single weed in his mouth.  Helpful lad!
Old zucchini--definitely to the compost pile!

Garrett tries to help.  However, gardening is not his schtick.
First sound of bees...
                 .... and he's outta there!
Pete, provides excellent moral support.
Just don't ask him to do any work.
It balances out Cole's overzealous nature.
If he's not on a rampage chasing grasshoppers...
 ...or helping harvest vegetables...
(thank goodness he can't reach the olives...yet)
If he's not doing any of those things, then he's under me.  Literally.
He's never in the way, because he IS the way!  
Even when the other two have clocked out for the day, he's eager to work.
Early evening, our first shipment of irises arrive.  Yes, first.  Iris addiction is an indulgence I feed well!
"I think it's time for a professional intervention".
"But Cole, there are only 17 rhizomes.  That's nothing!!!"
Does explain why I often end up gardening by head lantern light.

All this work on my day off makes slumber time that much sweeter...
Look how sweet they are to save me a spot.  Night, night.


Do you recall my baby grubs?
Look who's all grown up now!
I'm such a proud mama!
A female, most likely, her horns are smallish.  
Go procreate little girl, I want to be a grandma!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Health Care Hula Hoop

When I went to the orthopedic clinic for my knee a few weeks ago,  I tried to be slick and gt him to look at my foot that has been bothering for months.  Not so fast, only one ailment per appointment.  Health care insurance policies... now we know why seniors spend all their days in appointments!
Today, I had my appointment for my foot-- still being slick, I tried to get an answer out of him for my knee:  surgery or not?  He couldn't talk about the knee until my follow up on the 18th.  Aaaargh!  I would pay cash to avoid having my time wasted like this.  They really should have a cash paying fast track option policy.
Turns out the swelling and pain is from arthritis in my foot, courtesy of the break I had three years ago.  He's prescribing orthotics... he said it would help with the pain from my broken big toe too.  What?  Yeah, apparently that sharp pain that's been pesky for 6 months has been a poor big toe phalange that's been trying to mend.  Oops.
Well, I'm off to get my granny boots next week.  I HATE getting old and broke down!
I hope granny boots come in neon colors... to match my new blue hair.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Friday.  After a 12 hour workday, I'm ready to let 'er rip tater chip.  I arrive at a friend's house, late, believing sparring with the guys is on the cards.
I get relegated to the girls' room and am submitted to a facial mud mask. This is how I show my protest:
I find eyeliner and use it all up.
I think I have made my point. 
My skin is softer this morning...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

2nd Cancer Staging Results

Cole spent all day at the vet school.  Ultrasounds, chemotherapy and having samples taken from his spleen and liver biopsied... no picnic.
All worth it:  great results!  No cancer cells detected.  He's not home free, not cured, but  we've won this battle.  The cancer seems abated for the moment.
We have official clearing for take off in September:  Maine or bust!
4 more chemo treatments in the next 2 months, Prednisone discontinued because it turned him into Mr. Hyde!
"Get up guys. Start packing!"

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


All I lack is some snow and a sled.

2 miles every day and every day they improve. Cole is getting sharper with his Gees and Haws, we can almost weave around trees, almost, if they're spaced far apart.  

The new harnesses, tug and gang lines arrived!
Garrett dreams of being the lead dog one day.

Delightful sight at my back door:
Maine, brace yourself, we aim to invade in September.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Cole's Birthday Weekend

The Kid turned 9 on Sunday. 
 Friday night, party zone...
In the tent, set up in the living room.
Tradition dictates that on our birthdays, we go running, hiking and camping.  With his chemo treatments and a sutured incision site slowly healing even at one month out...
... we put a twist on tradition!
Plus, with Pete and Garrett joining us in Maine this Fall, I need to familiarize them with the concept of tent living.
Unsure of the novelty at first.
"Mom, he's touching me, make him stop."
Just like in our real bed, I have to wedge myself between the two to keep the peace.


Imagine two weeks of this and crammed in a small car with all our supplies.
This is the gear that I pulled out of the closet... not the food, water, clothes, harnesses. 
Yes, harnesses, plural.  Cole has three mushing harnesses, but they don't fit the thicker boys.  Nor do I have proper lines,yet...already being shipped from my Alaskan source.
Until then, we improvise.

The first mile consisted of more untangling than walking. Mile 2:

Cole is all business when he's in a harness.  The other two quickly found out that there will be no tinkle stops made at every shrub.  If Cole didn't know his Gees, Haws and Whoas, we would never have made it past the driveway.  
Exercise is essential to burn off this:
"Steak, my favorite!"
"Boxes, my second favorite."
As neither one us is supposed to be running, I planned a treasure hunt for him.  Unfortunately, he had plans of his own.  Here's a video montage.
Happy Birthday, Cole!