Trotters, Arabians, Donkeys and Other People - Page 78 - The Horse Forum
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post #771 of 2378 Old 08-15-2018, 08:34 PM
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I thought you would appreciate the over abundance. Lol
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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? - Balaam’s Donkey
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post #772 of 2378 Old 08-15-2018, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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OK, now the real reason I switched this laptop on just after 5 in the morning (yegads!!!) and went to my journal is because I wanted to have a good whinge. I was pleasantly diverted by some correspondence, but I'm now ready to have that whinge!

Fractures are so high-maintenance! At 5 in the morning, I wanted nothing more than to be asleep, curled up around the warm shape of my husband, when my body started ringing a little fire alarm. "Animal protein now! Animal protein now!" Sigh. It's a very unpleasant sort of fire alarm, not like general hunger; it has a faintly sick tang to it, and a very unique kind of gnawing sensation. And I know that the body is already scavenging amino acids by breaking down its own muscles etc when it gets to that point, so that's not good.

Between me and animal protein was actually giving up my cosy horizontal position without weeping, trying to get on crutches in that delicate semi-comatose I-woke-up-far-too-early state without falling over, and hopping with their aid into the office, where they could be exchanged for a more comfortable conveyance: The office chair, God bless and keep it. Knee of dodgy leg on that, snuggle into the backrest, use good leg for propulsion, steering and braking, use hands to avoid colliding with solid objects.

This got me to the kitchen in comfort and safety. Now I sure as ice in Antarctica wasn't going to boil eggs at 5 in the morning, so I re-heated some of the big stash of Thai-style pumpkin and seafood soup made the other day, and ate cheese and crackers while waiting for it to heat without exploding all over the microwave (seafood mix is very explodey, so you have to use the medium high setting and wait longer). Then I grabbed the bowl and scooted on the chair until I reached the bedroom. Warmly re-installed between the sheets, I ate my strange pre-breakfast and read previously mentioned pleasant correspondence etc while the fire alarm sensations slowly diminished.

Perhaps it wasn't such a great idea to have three slices of coconut cake for dinner last night; it clearly wasn't adequate for current repair requirements. But I'd had one of those days where the fractures just caught up with me. Much as I like to carry on as normally as possible, yesterday was a day where my body said, "Please do not get up today!" And these days, with the wisdom bequeathed by long experience of what happens if you don't listen to your body, I actually don't argue too much when that happens. I did a couple of useful things, like make warm honey and hazelnut cluster muesli for breakfast, served with hot plums from the summer stash in jars, and scoot that and tea to the bedside tables, where an exhausted husband was curled up in foetal position under the blankets 20 minutes after his alarm for his early shift had gone off. The tea and fragrant breakfast just floating to him was a humane way of getting him into a sitting position. He's had a hard time of it too with this fracture business - disturbed sleep, extra chores, re-negotiating his schedule to be able to ferry me to fracture clinic etc.

But after that, I actually had a mostly horizontal day - apart from horse feeding. I did not go on a one-hour peg-leg walk as originally planned; instead I listened to my weary body and rested. My broken foot in that astronaut boot feels very like a baby bird not ready to come out of its shell; it likes its shell and feels safe in it. I read a lot, watched interviews, journalled, drank a lot of green tea, made cheesies at intervals (toasted bread drizzled with olive oil, with Italian herbs, ham and cheese, grilled until bubbly and served with tomato sauce for taste and lycopenes), scavenged leftovers from the fridge, and tried having little snoozes. My body is actually quite sore. Arm and shoulder muscles got over it fast from the beginning, helped by Vitamin E; it's more bone aches - the fractures obviously, but also the hand bones from using crutches, the shoulder joints from bearing full weight, my hip joints from not walking normally, my left knee from kneeling on it so much when on the office chair or in the peg-leg. Muscle cramps from not using my body in the normal manner, but that's getting better (my left calf was killing me all first week).

When Brett got home, he smiled and made approving sounds and brought me more tea. He said, "This is completely normal, you should be doing more of it when you have broken bones! Don't feel bad about it. I know what you're like, and it's great you're doing so much and getting as much exercise as possible, but you also need extra rest. So just listen to your body. And listen to the husbandly wisdom of Brett, who's got some good ideas sometimes!"

(He hides emergency chocolate in the attic in case we run out in the pantry! He stashes potato chips secretly to surprise me when we watch a movie. He says, "Here's a book I got for you! Here's a CD you're going to like! Do you want anything from iTunes? How are your podcasts, have you got enough?" )

It's funny, it's only my second completely horizontal "bleh" day since my accident 18 days ago; my first was the first 24 hours. I've had a lot of half-days reading in bed or sitting on the sofa with my foot up, but not total losses on the productivity rating.

But I wanted to whinge this morning, because even though this is a far easier injury than many others would be (try ligament damage, at least bones usually heal AOK), there are still times in-between my enthusiastic problem-solving and carrying on doing, when I can no longer sell it to myself as a sort of temporary playground fun, and it really strikes me that it's such a royal pain in the posterior, and so tiring and uncomfortable/randomly painful. And I really miss riding. And walking like a normal person.

Well, I'm glad I got that off my chest.

So that's a whinge from me about a relatively minor and inconvenient ailment which is expected to heal 100%, and for which I am far better equipped than the average person in terms of body shape, fitness levels, and attitude. I honestly don't know how people do it if they're carrying 20kg too much, or unfit, or can't normally do pushups or get off the ground hands-free, or don't eat properly, or are elderly and/or frail - that'd be a real killer then.

How would they even bathe? That's only just safe for me, and I really had to work on it. You can't shower, because you can't stand on the broken foot. You could sit in a shower chair, or you can take a bath. Tried the shower chair; most unpleasant and dodgy too. The problem with the bath, with the fragile baby bird out of its little egg for it (you can't leave the astronaut boot on), is getting into and out of the tub without squashing the baby bird, which your body is quite prepared to use instinctively for an emergency, even though you know it can't. So I sit at the edge of the tub and swivel over - there's that precarious moment when you don't have your good foot on the ground and you hope your handholds don't fail. Once the good foot is in the tub, you're halfway to Rome, but you have to lower yourself so carefully to avoid skidding and slamming your baby bird into the tub wall. Takes all the Pilates training I had, being steady on the one foot and lowering your bodyweight on it in a super-controlled manner, and holding on with both hands ready for aversive action in case that good foot slides, and reminding your brain that the baby bird is off limits for emergency braking. (It's like teaching yourself that you must not swerve on the road when a kangaroo crosses, despite your instincts - that's how people slam into trees.)

Anyway, I guess most people simply would have to use that shower chair, or have sponge baths, or go to special facilties with grip bars built in etc. Makes you think. I'll never look at people in splints and casts in quite the same light again, now I've lived in that world. There's a lovely lady at fracture clinic who has an ankle fracture, in a hard cast, and she's in a wheelchair because she's carrying at least 40kg too much, and currently can't even use crutches. I can't see how she would slide around in an office chair, or get into a bath, or be able to wear a peg-leg. And I don't say this with any judgemental forehead-wrinkling, because the obesity epidemic is a really complex one, and the way our modern society operates makes it so hard for a lot of people to do healthy things when all this unhealthy stuff is so pushed at every corner and the dealers deal their non-foods legally and in broad daylight and often with the approval of various so-called health organisations. Plus, if you didn't come out of childhood lean, you've already got so much stacked against you. That's a whole separate rant though, and I've already reached my daily quota!

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post #773 of 2378 Old 08-15-2018, 10:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
Now one thing has me vastly puzzled: How does one have quality time with the horses, with a tractor???

Hahaha, he is not a horse person at all so he thought it was great fun that when he was mowing around the outside of their field, they followed him all along the fenceline to supervise what he was doing.
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post #774 of 2378 Old 08-15-2018, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
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PS: Just fed Romeo, took all the rugs off for the day's reprieve from rain (more rain tonight), horses all happy and Julian was able to be un-rugged without someone holding him because he's gotten over the pirate leg thing. The whole lot of them has gone into their adventure playground (the 58ha common) with big smiles on their faces this morning. And I've got a smile on my face because the pressure points on the peg-leg weren't hurting, so I can go for a walk with Brett this morning! (it's his day off)

@Knave , that looks very productive! Are those tall sunflowers, or Jerusalem artichokes? Do you get a lot of wind where you are? (We have to stake our taller sunflowers, above 1m tall, or the wind will get them eventually.) ...sunflower seeds are great to feed to animals - chickens in particular - have you got any trick for taking the hulls off so people can add them to bread, breakfast cereal etc?

We grew these lovely red sunflowers last summer, I'm putting them in again this year:


Prado Red Sunflowers I – Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond, Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr

This was a nice variety too:


Citrus Surprise Sunflowers I – Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond, Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr

We have a couple of heritage seed suppliers in Australia we use. @egrogan posted me a link to an American heritage seed catalogue recently, and I love it, it's in her post back here (and lovely photos of beans etc!):

https://www.horseforum.com/member-jo...post1970533279

With all that horse manure, and with a garden, we'd be mad not to grow vegetables! It also given us a new sort of relationship with our horses. Here's them actually helping to feed us!

I have a silly joke for you, about these people who bag up excess horse manure (how can there be such a thing???) and give it away to gardeners. So a gardener was picking up a few bags of manure, when a child at the non-gardening horse property asked, "What do you do with it?"

"Well, we put it on our strawberries. It's great for that!" replied the gardener.

"That's strange," said the kid. "We put cream on ours!"


I see you've got zucchini! They can become a summer gardening plague in Australia, and now I just have two plants a season. Still gives me plenty to grate and freeze in ziplock bags for the off-season. And are those Pennsylvania Crooknecks? Can't quite see, necks seem a bit short but same general shape. What variety of corn have you got?

Hoping to get in the garden today. My body is far more promising this morning about such an idea. Have a lovely evening. Sending good vibes for Friday!

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post #775 of 2378 Old 08-15-2018, 11:31 PM
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Those red sunflowers are beautiful! Yes, mine are sunflowers and I have no tricks sadly. Our wind is bad here, but this variety is especially tough. My aunt used to plant sunflower houses for the kids, and I used to copy with this mammoth sunflower. They had so much fun: I finally started leaving the ones up we don’t use and watching the birds eat in the winter makes me happy. I am not happy when they eat my seeds I plant, but you win some and lose some right? ;)

Zucchini is a plague here too. I shouldn’t plant so much of it I know. Little girl makes all kinds of sweets with it and it seems once it starts there is some sort of side with it at each meal. I don’t know what the yellow stuff is, I can’t remember what I bought, but I have been cooking it swapping back and forth on my zucchini recipes and it is good.

A lot of stuff was killed in a freeze and by the birds stealing.
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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? - Balaam’s Donkey
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post #776 of 2378 Old 08-16-2018, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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I lost a bed of potatoes to an early autumn frost in March. We're not supposed to get frosts that early! The tops all died back, but there might be enough seed potatoes left for them to have another go in spring. I really do wish we could grow potatoes for more than half the year, but the frosts say no.

Birds - we have to net all the fruit trees, and the tomatoes - and even netting the tomatoes, the little birds kept finding ways to slip in; I'll have to do it with ground overlap and tent pegs next year to stop the pilfering. I don't mind sharing a little, and it was a hard year for the birds this year, so I let a few plants go a bit.

Does the frost kill your pasture too? (I mean before your snowy season... do you have much pasture through the year? What do the cattle eat in winter in your area?) Here, hard frost makes the Kikuyu die back - a perennial creeper grass from Africa, widely used for permanent pastures. The annuals are OK with frost but don't grow well until temperatures come back up in spring, so if you lose too much kikuyu you're de-stocking. Had to sell an unfinished lot of steers to a feedlot last winter, because a record frost really killed the vast majority of the kikuyu. They would normally have finished on the spring flush and been sold between October and December - we sold them in May, and just kept the yearling heifers, who were smaller and whom we were able get through with tree fodder (tagasaste, acacia) and to finish on the spring flush the next year around.


Murray Grey Yearlings with Tree Fodder II – Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond, Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr

More cattle / tree fodder pics here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/redmoo...57685278767293

The tree fodder is a really good source of protein and roughage for our stock both in the summer drought and in the mid-winter pasture slowdown. It's a bit labour intensive, but it makes good sense and the cattle do well on it, so we don't need to cut hay, or buy hay in, in ordinary circumstances. The horses love it too.


Horses Enjoying Tagasaste I – Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond, Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr


Horses Enjoying Tagasaste II – Red Moon Sanctuary, Redmond, Western Australia
by Brett and Sue Coulstock, on Flickr
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post #777 of 2378 Old 08-16-2018, 12:19 AM
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You always have the prettiest pictures!

We have to feed hay for several months each year. Our cattle are turned out the first of April and brought back in the beginning of November. We are able to graze the pivots then for the amount of time that there is feed and it is not burried in snow. Usually mid December we drive the cows back to the ranch (it is a terrible cold day of work. I’ve done it at -20 a few time and it is miserable. Some areas the horses are on ice and either way it is cold cold.). They are fed then until April when they are pushed onto the mountain.

They say to not plant a garden here until June 1st. Sometimes it freezes after that, really until the 15, and sometimes even later. Then gardening is finished by the end of October.
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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? - Balaam’s Donkey
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post #778 of 2378 Old 08-16-2018, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Sheesh, that's like the Tasmanian highlands!



We liked this place we drove by on our walking holiday... 5 month gardening season if lucky, but soooo pretty!



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post #779 of 2378 Old 08-17-2018, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Exhibit A Day 19: This is what it looks like now. The last photos I posted were 9 days ago, here: https://www.horseforum.com/member-jo...post1970583223
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post #780 of 2378 Old 08-17-2018, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Day 19 (only 23+days to go)

Sunday will be the probable halfway point for bone healing; there is a new floppy connection made of a protein matrix, which will be ossified over the next three weeks or so. And then we'll see. I still can't stand on the thing, but I can take the leg's weight on it when sitting now. So we still don't know if there is Lisfranc ligament damage, and the reason they're a bit worried about it is because of the bruising in the arch at the bottom of the foot. If that happens, they'll have to put some metal in my foot.

Having said that, the one time I sprained my ankle badly (same leg, dismounted accidentally onto a rolling rock), my arch looked about the same - I just bleed spectacularly I think. And three broken bones pump out a lot of blood at the time of injury, and that stuff has to go somewhere. Gravity decrees some of it will go down, of course.

Other than that, it's feeling much better - it doesn't hurt if I accidentally knock the astronaut boot on something, or if I am skipping on my good leg without crutches, or when I'm peg-legging cross-country and that vibrates the broken foot. (In fact, that's supposed to be good for making a stronger matrix more quickly now.)

After yesterday's restful day, I was full of beans and decided to bring the peg-leg indoors, do the washing (including the bedsheets and floor mats - and at our house we hang everything outdoors to dry in the sun), and vacuum the whole house. That worked fine, and now we can have a comfortable weekend in a clean house, without Brett having to start his weekend by cleaning up the place. I fed the horses and even did a little socialising with them in the paddock this evening, before running a bath and floating in it blissfully.

It's quite amazing how much dead skin builds up on an injured foot - there is even a layer of something on the toenails! In normal use, a foot is constantly being abraded by socks etc and by brisk towelling, so dead skin doesn't build up so much. My dodgy foot has had neither since it broke. It's now getting to the point where I can touch the skin on it comfortably - I just can't press on the injured bones, or twist the foot. Anyway, floating in the bath you can carefully rub the dead skin off it. It's a really weird feeling, like fine sandpaper coming off under your fingers. I wonder what happens when people are in hard casts; they must have sludge in those by the time the six weeks are up... And the smell must be shocking.

I'm a huge fan of these removable splint arrangements. It's good to be able to wash properly, and to air out the skin sometimes when you're just resting safely. I can do that more and more now, but always on top of the blankets, never below...the pressure of bedding is enough to deform the foot and hurt. If I want the bare foot to stay warm, I can throw a light fluffy bit of knitwear loosely over the top, that's about it. What I can also increasingly do is flop my foot around underwater in the bath. It doesn't hurt, it actually sort of feels nice to be able to do something with it!

Sunsmart sniffs my peg-leg in the paddock and looks enquiringly at me. I've told him it wasn't his fault; it was a totally freak thing that happened, and that we're going to be mounting from the offside for a while when I can ride again!

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Last edited by SueC; 08-17-2018 at 09:09 AM.
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