Who knew???

Who knew I was a closet fidgeter? Not me, that’s for sure, until today. I had my MRI this afternoon, just on my ankle.

Set-up dude did a great job getting me comfie, propping up the offending foot, strapping it in position. He gave me earplugs and strict instructions to ‘hold the fuck still so I can get outta here on time tonight, it’s new years eve goddamit’. Okay, he didn’t say that, but I’m pretty sure that was what he was thinking. And who can blame him. I didn’t wanna do it twice either, I’m a busy girl, places to go (home) things to do (bottle of wine).

I didn’t mind it so much, it was kind of nice, being able to just lay there, quiet, undisturbed, for 35 minutes. I kind of like the thrumming drone of the machine. I picked out my favorite pitch (the lowest one, the one that made my butt vibrate and my fingers tingle). Until I started thinking about remaining still. What if I twitched? Not like, voluntary, but you know, like a muscle spasm. If it was my toe would it matter? What if my leg shifted, again, against my will? Would we have to do it over? Shit. Holding still was getting harder by the second. Did my toe just move???? Crap, I think it did. Well, maybe not. How much longer? What if my OTHER leg moves? Will that be a problem?? I think my other foot just moved. Oh hell, who knows. They’ll tell me if I move and don’t know it, right? Shit, the “squeeze this if you need to stop the procedure” thingy just fell off my lap. What if I need it? What if this thing goes bug-shit and turns into a microwave oven or some unheard of shit like that??? I’m going to need that squeezy thing, right? Did my foot just move? Aaaahhhhhggggg. Is it okay to move my head? Of course it’s okay, or maybe I shouldn’t. Everything is connected, right, so maybe that will affect my FUCKING RIGHT ANKLE, WAY THE HELL DOWN THERE, as far away from my head as anything on my body….

So much for relaxing. The remaining 18 minutes were a loop-reel of the above monologue. Fabulous. I’m nuthin’ but work people. White glove case all the way, at least, on the inside.

P.S. This is not MY ankle, just AN ankle, but that IS the areas of interest. We’ll see what comes of it.

P.P.S. On the positive….no undetected metal implants came flying out of me like something out of Alien…this is a good thing I think. Yes, the absence of bloody metal implants ripped from my body is most def a good thing. I don’t know if that’s what happens, but I’m using my imagination here, for lack of education. The trademark of my American middle-class upbringing! Go me!!

Christmas and stuff.

For all interested, Christmas went, for the most part, quietly this year. Our tree, procured late in the scheme of things, was on it’s last leg on Christmas day, showering all who came within electomagnetic distance of it with crispy sad little needles. 3/4 of the lights decide and proclaimed that they were ‘done’ on the 23rd and could not be cajoled into coming back to life. But that’s okay because the tree was so dry I’m not sure those lukewarm little lights would have been a very good idea anyways. We slept in late, putzed around exchanging gifts, fussed with the horses and dogs, then went to go see a movie with Greg. We saw National Treasure: Book of Secrets, which Greg proclaimed “Quite good, like Indiana Jones sort of” and I proclaimed “Predictable, if you anticipate anything close to the original National Treasure Movie’s chain of clues and puzzles and ‘are they going to make it, no they’re most certainly not, oops, they made it’ storyline. ” Art agreed with both of us, whole heartedly.

We again exchanged gifts (with Greg this time) then headed home for what Christmas is really about……ham. That’s right. Nine (9) pounds of honeybaked ham. And garlic mashed potatoes (less than 9 lb) and a lovely salad with oranges, pecans, raspberries and homemade honey mustard. What are we, two childless adults, going to do with NINE (9) pounds of ham you ask???? Yeah, me too. Art says we’re gunna eat the ham. Everybody is going to eat the ham. Eat the ham, Tina, eat the ham!

Christmas ended as quietly as it began.

The new horse (Izzy) is home (she arrived last Saturday).

Jack is in pig heaven. Little does he know that he is going away for boot camp. Time for a Jack tune-up. I’m interviewing trainers this week. But for now he’s loving life with his new girlfriend. Note we put his poofy jacket on to hide all his fat from the lady who delivered Izzy.

“Does this jacket make my butt look big?”

Anyways, a nice Christmas. I’m very proud of myself, I was able to read a good portion of the book Paula and family sent us (The Dangerous Book for Dogs, by Rex and Sparky) AND get the fire hazard….ahem…Christmas Tree removed from the house prior to the New Year. Yay for small miracles.

Now, it is just very cold. Too cold to anything except snuggle up to a bottle of wine and write blogs with hockey playing in the background. I smell like horse. I am content. Very.

First year with solar power

Summary: success! Our ‘true-up’ bill this month for the last year of usage was a total of $194. Combined with the monthly ‘connect’ fees, we paid around $300 total to PG&E. Compared with the typical $250-450/mo for electricity, I’d say installing the solar panels was a resounding success. For those wondering why our bills were that high, California is somewhat unique in how they allow the power companies to charge for power. There is a base rate and then it tiers upward from there. The base tier rate is around $0.11/KwH and wanders up to around $0.40+/KwH. Basically, the more you use, the more you pay per unit. Nice eh? Imagine going to the gas pump and paying $3/gal for the first 5 gals and then $4…$9/gal as you need more gas. Welcome to the People’s Republic of California :-/

I don’t think we have enough wrapping paper for this one….

Meet Isabelle, she’d probably hold still to be wrapped, but I don’t think we have enough paper. Or tape. And let’s not even talk about ribbon.

About a month ago, when all the cougar action was taking place, I asked Art the Husband if the cougar managed to eliminate our flock if we could get a horse instead of replacing sheep. He pondered and calculated, then said “Sure, I guess so”. I said “Yay!” Not because I was bored with Jack, I’m not, absolutely not. However, I cannot ride out alone. My trip last June through the barbed wire proved that. One horse= one rider. Two horses=two riders. It’s simple math, really. So I started looking, casually. I figured spring or summer to get another ride. And then, last week, along came Isabelle. She popped up on a search of Bay Area Equine Network. No picture, just an ad and a pointer to the farm she was being boarded at. There were pictures of her there, and I recognized her from pictures I saw when we purchased Jack. She was born and bred by the lady who sold us Jack. When we got Jack, Pam told us Isabelle was a little high energy and very greenbroke. Jack was greenbroke and low energy. We chose Jack. And now, almost 2 years later we find Isabelle up for sale. And at a fraction of the price she should be selling for (this is what sold AtH on getting a horse now vs. later, the price.)
So yesterday we loaded up the van with the playstation and put in one of the backseats, set Art the Husband up with a wireless headset and controllers, picked up Elizabeth and drove out to Santa Rosa. Elizabeth rode her, the trainer showed off her gaits, I rode her, Art kicked her tires, checked her shocks and pushed her around to see how willing she was to be pushed around by him, she passed all the tests…..we were sold. She gets a vet check this week, and if everything checks out, she’ll come home this weekend. We need to clear out one of the other stalls for her and AtH says he’s going to replace the automatic waterer because it’s really nasty, but other than that, we’re good to go.
More pictures:

I never find anything good…

Until tonight, that is.
I mean, everyone else finds interesting stuff on the side of the road, in the parking lot at work, etc. Like, a box of kittens in the median on the freeway, or a puppy in a garbage bin, or a a bag of money in the last row at the theater. I never find ANYTHING good. Everytime I’ve pulled over to investigate a box on the highway, it’s like, lettuce or moldy fruit. Everytime I peer into a garbage bin, theres just….garbage.
Not tonight.

Meet Vaera. Art found her on the main road out by our house (in the middle of nowhere) around 10pm tonight. I just happened to be coming along behind him (sheer coincidence) and just happened to have a cheeseburger (coming from dog training, yes, Dretti trains with cheeseburgers). It took me a good 15 minutes, but I got a leash on her and now she’s safe and warm.
She’s telling jokes and secrets to the stuffed bunny

Stealing chewies from Q, teasing him relentlessly

She’s emaciated as hell, probably full of parasites. But she’s ultra-sweet and doesn’t bite (!). I’d put her at under 2 years old, probably more like a year to a year and a half by her toofs.

As you can see, she’s fucking adorable. She’s curled up in Art’s lap watching Resident Evil on the new TV (awesome, btw, a 52″ lcd. We picked it up yesterday. It gets Husband and Chihuahua approval)
NO, WE ARE NOT KEEPING HER. Not any longer than it takes to get her back to health, spayed, etc. I will NOT post an ad for her, although I will check around the local hospitals to see if anyone is heartbroken over loosing her. We are wayyy too far out for her to have wandered here, she would have had to wander over 10 miles, at the least. And if she belongs to anyone down by the nursery (wholesale outlet), they don’t deserve to get her back, not in the shape we found her in. I will put some love and some weight on her, and then find her the perfect perfect perfect home.
Just not here.
UPDATE: So, I did actually put some effort into finding an owner. The dog has a microchip, I tracked down the company and got the organization the chip is registered to. Appearantly the dog came from a rescue organization here in california, but was not registered to an owner. I called the rescue group, we played phone tag. There is no record of the number in their database. The lady said that they don’t have room to take her if I can’t keep her. I told her that wouldn’t be a problem.
So, V has had her knees and hips checked by the orthopedic specialist here at the hospital. All those parts check out great. No problems. I felt her up and I’m pretty sure she has been spayed, so that’s good. Her personality is holding at “awesome”. We like her. Laura is going to take her and assimilate her into the pack.

The Mist, a review with no spoilers.

Let’s make one thing clear: I like reading almost ALMOST anything Stephen King writes. Mostly, his early stuff. One of my all time favorites was The Stand. It remains, perhaps, my favorite. My second favorite? The Mist. I’ve read it a dozen times, each time I enjoy it, short as it is. They made both of my favorites into movies (The Stand was a tv mini series which, despite the casting of Molly Ringworm, it was excellent. And absolutely true to the book, key with me). It seems anything that King has a hand in, actually supervises, turns out fucking fabulous and always spot on with the book. This was the case with more than few movies based on his books. The few most notable exceptions were The Shining and Lawnmower Man (He sued over that one to get his name off the credits, it was so bad), Sleep Walkers and Pet Cemetary 2. He often shows up in cameos in his book based movies, which is always fun.

But, I digress.

He did not make an appearance in The MIst, and it was a great flick non the less. The only thing I vehemently oppose is the ending. It was awful, and as Beth told me, was totally not necessary. I agree. The rest of the movie??? I loved it. It was a little slow in parts, but the character development was superb (especially the town nutcase/religious zealot…she was outstanding in her roie). The special effects were decent, and the story stayed very true to the book.

Overall, I enjoyed it as much as I did my popcorn.

P.S. Carissa? I went with Art the Husband, not alone like I told you I was going to do. I still hold that going to the movies by yourself is a wonderful thing to do, I will do it next week, just to prove it to you. Maybe we could go together, but sit apart. You know, to get the whole “going by yourself” experience, but with a safety net in case you get all scared and shit. Then you could just move up a few rows and finish out the movie with company. But you can’t touch my popcorn. Just an idea.

Brrr and The Mist

Its cold here… in the mid 30s tonite. I guess we didn’t pay the heat bill again. We went to see The Mist tonite. I hadn’t read the book, so it was new for me. Lisa did, and liked it, except for the ending. No more spoilers in case folks haven’t seen it yet.