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post #1771 of 2654 Old 05-01-2019, 09:18 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Dec 2015
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I think that goes for anything. Someone with the right name, position, past accomplishments, etc. can get away with utter nonsense.
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Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #1772 of 2654 Old 05-04-2019, 02:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
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Hi All

Sorry I checked out for a while. My dear wife had a heart attack. 7 days in the hospital and many follow ups.
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post #1773 of 2654 Old 05-04-2019, 02:38 PM
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Oh no @Rob55 , I am sorry to hear that. I hope she is okay now.

Sue, the next freeze took the butterflies, so I never did get a picture. :( It was nice to see though.
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Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #1774 of 2654 Old 05-04-2019, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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Can't "like" your post, @Rob55 , but you have my sympathy and prayers. I may get frustrated by my wife at times - less often than she does with me, perhaps - but I'd be tied in knots if she had a heart attack. It would scare the living daylights out of me!
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Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
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post #1775 of 2654 Old 05-04-2019, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
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@Rob55 , I'm sorry to hear that. Are things OK now? One of my good friends in Albany, early 60s, had a heart attack and didn't even realise at first, which could have cost her dearly. She thought she was just having indigestion. It's only because she mentioned it to a friend on the phone, and that person said, "I'm coming around to take you to the hospital just in case - don't protest, no skin off your nose if it's nothing serious!" that she went to get checked out. She said there was no telltale pain in the arm, it really was indistinguishable from cases of bad indigestion she had had. I've read since that women's heart attack signs are often less clearcut than men's. How did your wife's case present? What did she notice?

Good Antipodean vibes and very best wishes to both of you.

@bsms , how long have you been married? 30-ish years or so? It's an art holding things together and keeping them happy. Date nights are great. Foregrounding and commenting on the things you love about your partner, and doing it often. Noticing kindness, courage, humour, originality, going the second mile, thoughtfulness, etc etc - and naming and appreciating these in conversation (with a big hug). Taking nothing for granted - looking with fresh eyes. Little surprises. ...Naughty example: Recently I was in a newsagency and laughing over the cards. There was one that said, "Happy birthday - another year older and you still don't need Viagra." On an impulse, I bought it and put a message in it for him and hid it under his pillow. He had a good laugh and is displaying it in his office. He often surprises me with a book or CD he knows I'd like. I make him little treats, like chocolate nut horns, cherry clafoutis, chocolate and walnut biscuits, and spring them on him. You can secretly buy concert tickets etc. So much fun stuff you can do!... Going back to old adventures you've had - looking at photos of trips etc. Counting all your blessings. I'm well aware you've been married longer than us and could therefore give us a tip or two as well. I'm just thinking about what works well for us. I had zero good role modelling for having a happy marriage in my birth family, and of course if you have it there, then you'll already have a lot of the behaviour patterns by osmosis and on autopilot that predispose towards good relationships. For me it was the opposite, and I had to work really hard at it.

We had a tough time for a couple of years after we were married because of a lot of unresolved baggage for both of us. It can become so easy to foreground the negatives, and to forget why you fell in love in the first place - and it nearly killed us. We only just got through it, but it made us stronger, and I am so glad we didn't give up. Negative stuff spirals, but so can positive stuff. I think also that men often have difficulty sharing things emotionally, because of gender socialisation norms, so they don't always voice their thoughts when that would be good for their wives to actually hear. It's good to give yourself a push sometimes. There are times I have to literally interview Brett to hear what's on his mind.

One funny anecdote to come out of those tough times we had early is the one and only time I have seen my husband drunk. He just went for the cooking brandy and had way too much of it because upset about an impasse we had. They say that intoxication brings out pre-existing proclivities in people, and amplifies them. So, for instance, lots of people get aggressive and rude when drunk. What my husband did was to want to have irrational conversations, and when I declined and went to bed, he took books off the bookshelves in the lounge (this is before we lived on our farm) and arranged them all over the floor. He then came to tell me, "Sue, I've made a great work of art, you really must come see it!" He kept going on about how he was going to exhibit it and win an art prize.

I can laugh about it now, but at the time, it wasn't simple fun. Brett says, by the way, that his marriage tip for other guys is, "Washing the dishes is men's work!"

This little book has lots of ideas and tips I found helpful: ...the comment online is a bit hyped, but don't let it put you off. We're in a happy relationship now (with the same speed bumps at times as everyone who's doing the long haul), but even with a happy relationship, there's still some really great ideas in that book.

@Knave , I'm imagining a cloud of snowflakes. Are the butterflies likely to come back as the weather warms up for you?
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post #1776 of 2654 Old 05-04-2019, 09:18 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2015
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I donít know Sue. I think that it is unlikely, only because I have never seen it like it was before. I see butterflies often, but Iíve never seen what amounts to an infestation of them! Lol. A happy infestation.

I think it is going to be a heavy bug year. I donít know why I say that really. However, a lot of animals are already having ticks pulled off of them, and people too of course. Also, when we were turning out there were areas of mosquitoes that made you crazy. Bones and I were having a conniption, while when Cash and I hit them he didnít have much to say about it. I did use a little fly spray on him though, so maybe that made all of the difference. It does seem some horses handle bugs better than others though, and people too.

I am one that doesnít do great with them on an overall note. I am not horrible, but I get swollen up over any bites and am seriously allergic to ants. Bones does too, so maybe that is why he gets so upset. I can handle them to an extent, but I start loosing my cool when they are all in my face.

Bees and wasps are hard for me. I appreciate them, but I can panic about them too. I have to intentionally make myself act calm.

One day, when Bones was three, we were walking off the side of a mountain, and I was freaking out about a bee. I wasnít riding and he walked to close to a dead tree, sticking a branch through the stirrup. He panicked and the branch broke, following us down the side of the mountain for a moment before falling out. I dislocated my hip (not traumatic, I have really bad hips). It reminded me how stupid freaking out about bees is though...

You can imagine the two of us having a breakdown together over the bugs. Lol. We roll that way. It will be nice if Cash just wonders why I am such a child.

So, although I hope the butterflies are back, I am a bit concerned over all of the bad bugs they may foretell.
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Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you? - Balaamís Donkey
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post #1777 of 2654 Old 05-05-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 7,908
• Horses: 3

Most of it disappeared in a flurry of essay writing, and I ended up with roughly 7000 words I was happy with. As the weather was mostly bad, and I have an injury, that was OK. Elizabeth did a review and edit for me and told me to send it to Rolling Stone. Not sure they take submissions, we'll see; but The Monthly, where the original essay I was reacting to appeared, when I enquired if they would give me a right of reply to their music critic's essay, told me to send it through, and I did that on Friday.

By the way, I did gradually adjust my viewpoint to the original essay. At first I was so annoyed by the tunnel vision, narrow interpretations and caricaturing I saw little else, but by the end of the writing process, I told myself to re-read what I was responding to, and pretend it was one of my students I liked, that I was giving feedback to. When I did that, I decided that the original essay also contained a personal account and a contextualised band history that were generally good. It's just that the sort of thing that was going on with stuff like not getting facts right or not supporting assertions with sufficient evidence would, for a university essay, have resulted in a C at best no matter how good other aspects were. The good parts of that essay were about a B+. At high school, we're not quite as anal about the research, so there, it would have scored a B+ overall.

For a public-space essay, I tend to judge it like an undergraduate essay. After all, these are mostly written by professional people with degrees or equivalent. That's why I was so aghast at first.

I would really love for the essay I wrote to see the light of day. I'd like to give something back from an audience perspective - a viewpoint not too often heard... the way I felt after I'd finished it, it was like I'd written it with my own blood. As our Davis Cup tennis players often say, "I left it all out there."

Eventually I'm going to put it on my journal too, but with serious things, you can't put them online when you're actually aiming to get them into publications.

In other news, this week we went for a walk on which three donkeys decided to accompany us:

I had a couple of short on-farm rides with Sunsmart, but routine and no photos.

Here's some photos from recent times:

Three of Jess on her dog sofa. The reason she has coloured light on her face is that it's coming through one of my painted-glass highlight windows - the one that looks like Kermit on a Jimi Hendrix album cover. I looove the way Jess has one ear that sticks straight up, and one that flips over a little at the tip.

One from wash day, with Nelly and Benjamin keeping me company in the garden.

Six from our donkey walk - the start and end of it, on the sand track and swamp track respectively. The video was taken in the middle.
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post #1778 of 2654 Old 05-05-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 7,908
• Horses: 3

One thing that's really come along this year is the fitness training, which had lagged and needed putting in order. I'm feeling so much better, and really toning up. I now look forward to going for training rides on our bikes, when at the start of the year, I was hiding and procrastinating. It feels good now to be doing this, when actually on the bicycle - which is how it always was, when we lived in town, before the farm.

We've been starting off with a commitment to do a 16km (10 mile) training ride at least once a week, just to start us off. We've achieved that, and sometimes we go twice a week. While that's not much, it's making a significant difference to the muscle tone and bulk of my quadriceps and calves, as well as trunk.

Today, when we got to Redmond townsite, which is usually our turnaround point, I requested of Brett that we do the extended loop we'd done when fitter a couple of years back, just for something different to see. He said yes - which was lovely. So we did the loop around Redmond West Rd to Verne Rd (which is a gravel road, but Brett is on a mountain bike, and I have touring tyres on my road bike) and back to Redmond-Hay River Road. It was a 24km ride (15 miles) and I really enjoyed it, but by the time we got halfway down Verne Rd, both of us were hitting hypoglycaemia... because we'd only had Cherry Clafoutis for breakfast, which is mostly fruit and egg with very little carbohydrate (just flour to thicken the batter), and it was now way past morning teatime.

So when we got home, Brett ate some pre-existing quiche and I made waffles which we had with home-made plum sauce. Wholemeal, locally grown, stoneground flour and lots of antioxidants on top.

Bill was there as usual on Sunday, and for lunch I made gozleme (Turkish silverbeet/feta pockets) with sliced tomatoes on the side, and a pumpkin soup. Gozleme:

For afternoon tea I made spiced pear / chocolate tart:

After that, I was pretty much ready to go to sleep...

But alas, I had horses and donkeys to feed, and horses to rug (front coming through tonight and unlike the donkeys, they don't use the shelter). Then we had leftover salmon and avocado sushi for dinner. With the last dregs of my energy, I am writing this. A nice, warm, soft bed beckons, and Brett is already toasting it for me.

Attached are a photo of my roadbike, from when we still lived in town - we haven't taken any bicycle photos since! Also a shot of today's ride map, and the proper bicycle clothes I have as of this year - a proper jersey and nice bike pants that have shorts over the top, not just the padded tights that look like incontinence knickers... All my life, I've ridden in conventional shorts or yoga pants, and normal T-shirt, even when time trialling in my 20s...
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Last edited by SueC; 05-05-2019 at 10:05 AM.
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post #1779 of 2654 Old 05-06-2019, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 7,908
• Horses: 3
Hullo @lostastirrup ! How were exams etc? Are you well? How's Nick?
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post #1780 of 2654 Old 05-07-2019, 08:01 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 7,908
• Horses: 3

So, the injury I mentioned a couple of days ago is definitely a stress fracture of a metatarsal. I've been asked if I've had my bone density checked - excellent question! Bone density is great - presumably because I load my bones quite a bit and eat well. But that was my first question last year as well - having never broken anything before, I thought it was outrageous that I should break three bones at once from an uncomplicated fall during a spook at the walk... They said to me, "You know the most common cause we see here for your injury? People slipping in the bathtub. So yes, you can get it falling from a height too."

And they were so impressed that I'd not had a major injury from horse riding for 26 years! Apparently a lot of their regulars are riders...

Basically, the most likely explanation for what happened is that I behaved inappropriately like a teenager, although I'm actually 48. It's the way I dismount from my horse. Because my bones healed up quickly last year and have been completely trouble free for half a year (10 months post fracture), I reverted back to all my old wild behaviours, including jumping off my horse with abandon and crashing back to earth, sometimes not on both feet. This is how the hairline fracture most likely initially formed, and you don't feel it at the time. The classic presentation of a stress fracture is when it becomes increasingly unstable with normal use, you get a little swelling on the top of your foot without any apparent explanation - the painless hairline rupture happened days (sometimes weeks) earlier, and took time to get loosened up and bleeding with everyday stresses afterwards. That's when the swelling and pain starts, and it increases as the days go by as the fracture gets increasingly unstable. Eventually you can't walk normally on it, and then it's obvious what's happened. Stress fractures have an intact periosteum (membrane around the bone) and aren't displaced, but are in danger of fracturing "properly" with additional stress or impact, or of not healing firmly if not splinted/rested sufficiently.

It's likely that the fracture is close to one of the healed fractures from last year (X-rays don't show stress fractures until after they start forming callus, about three weeks in) - when acute fractures heal, the part of the bone that was broken is temporarily stronger than the original bone. It can take a year or two for the bone to remodel to the extent that it reverts to about the same strength as the rest of the bone, and until then, you're actually at increased risk of fracturing just up from the healed section because of this regional disparity. But I hadn't thought about that when going back to life as usual, which is rather wild I suppose, because I've not really started doing things that differently yet compared to when I was younger. Here's a wake-up call.

The good news is that I am totally stable in my astronaut boot and can walk with it and do normal things, like mow the lawn (did that this afternoon), with no pain or problems for the stress fracture. I just can't do striding walking for 4-8 weeks (grrrr) - I can roll over the ball of the foot, but not push with the toes because that won't allow the fracture to heal. So no speed walking. Cycling is perfectly OK, as is horse riding, as long as I modify my dismount.

And on that note, I just came back from an evening loop ride with Sunsmart. No issues mounting from the ground - it's not a thing that stresses my foot - the horse is medium sized and I'm tall, so not much of a step up for me at all. No pain riding, all good. And I managed a nice sliding-down-the-horse dismount at the end, landing softly on my right (uninjured) foot only, so no further aggravation. In my hiking boots, of course, because you can't wear an astronaut boot on a horse, or bicycle. You wear supportive footwear and have to be really careful not to twist your foot or push with your toes. Of course, this isn't an issue when riding.

I'm glad to be riding! Last time, that wasn't allowed for months. I finally snuck back on eight weeks post-fractures! (Didn't tell the doctor. He didn't want me anywhere near a horse, but I was walking 10km at this point and honestly...)

PS: I blame Disintegration. Look what happened last year when Brett bought the album. Three bone fractures, just like that. And last week was the 30th anniversary of this same album, and I get a stress fracture that same week. I ask you!

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