Saturday, 28 February 2009

Thick Headed

The cats thunder up and down the stairs, chasing each other hither and yon, wreaking havoc along the way. Bouncing off the walls, they knock things flying and leave kitty fluffs scattered in their wake.

Their noisy careenings crash through my pounding head, through the thickness that has invaded my cranium. Although not as intense as two days ago, there is still a resounding pounding from the blood rushing through my ears, magnified by the tenacious snot that pervades my sinuses.

I do not sound myself... not even to myself and certainly not to others. "You sound like shit!" has been spoken to me often times these past few days. But the fever has broken and the chills have passed. Just the fatigue, headache and stuffy yet runny nose remain.

Thankfully the sun shines through the window to cast its blaze of warmth on the carpeted floor, calling the dog to bone warming naptime. Otherwise, she would be hounding me with her lughead plopping on my lap for constant attention. One tires rapidly of that submissive but demanding behaviour.

Once again, my mind wanders towards the opposite gender and the quest for a someone special in my life. I have removed myself from all online fishing holes, because of frustration and lack of suitable subjects. Seems that either they are sitting waiting like catfish in the depths, content to let the bait come to them, or they are flashing about the pond, flitting from one set of fins to another, all displays of hormones and bravado and colour, with no substance or character.

I keep telling myself that patience is the name of the game. Ignore the urges to cast my hook once more and just let time and circumstance dictate what happens. If I ignore the wantings, the desires, perhaps fate will take the upper hand and someone will appear in my life, someone worthy of my attentions. Someone who will take me for who and what I am.

In the meantime, I carry on as if I were normal and try to think through the thickness in my head. The pole and line gather dust in the corner.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009



I just did the Holmes-Rahe interactive stress quiz. Someone at work had said that it is interesting to do this and see what your score is.

Any score over 300 means you have an 80% chance of experiencing a negative health change in the next couple of years.

My score was 338..... GAK!

Take the test.

What's your score?

Monday, 23 February 2009

Brain Farts

When I am driving around, I tend to get ideas for blog posts. I roll them around in my noggin and figure out stuff to say, perhaps photos to go with the words.

I sometimes even make myself laugh with the stuff I think up.

Then I get home and sit in front of this infernal machine, and all those ideas have fallen out of my head. Can't locate a single one...

Then I have to sit and ruminate and see if I can remember any of the stuff I thought of earlier.

It doesn't seem to work very well.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Occupational Hazard

One of the things I do everyday, many times a day, in my profession is designed to prevent this:

That activity is this:

And, unfortunately, that leads to this:

...which bloody well hurts like a bloody bugger!

I get these skin cracks in my thumbs (only my thumbs) as a result of clamping and unclamping the pinch valve clamp on the blood lines that are used in dialysis.

Each set of tubing has 12 of these clamps in various sizes. Most of the clamps will be opened and closed multiple times during a dialysis treatment, from setting up the machines, running the patient for 3 - 5 hours (yeah, it varies that much) and stripping the used tubing off the machine at the end of the treatment.

The only product that I have found that works in treating these skin cracks is this:

I have tried every kind of liquid bandage and skin glue on the market. This stuff works. It is the only stuff that works.

And Johnson & Johnson, in their infinite wisdom, has elected to discontinue it. I went to buy some a couple of weeks ago and couldn't find it anywhere. There wasn't even a spot on the shelf for it anymore. No one, at any of the stores I asked at, could tell me if it was still available.

So I went online, found J&J's website contact info, and emailed them about it. They tell me it was discontinued. I told them they just made many nurses in many hospitals extremely unhappy, as this product of theirs was the only stuff that actually sealed the cracks, stopped the pain instantly, and stayed on long enough (a couple of days minimum) to allow the cracks to heal.

Granted, it is light purple in colour (WTF?) so you look like you have perpetually filthy digits when using it, but who cares! It works! Your thumbs and/or fingers don't hurt on contact with anything any more!

I used to use krazy glue for this purpose. The Liquid Bandaid is actually cousins to krazy glue, except that it dries flexible, whereas the krazy glue dries hard and tends to catch on everything.


I guess I will have to resort back to the krazy glue when this bottle of Liquid Bandaid runs out. Unless miracles happen and J&J changes their mind and brings it back.

Monday, 16 February 2009


Ikea has just announced that it is going to take over operation of General Motors...

I think we are in a sh*tload of trouble....

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Cake Day

Today was Cake Day... for myself and my youngest sister, Melissa. My birthday was on the 11th and hers is on the 22nd, so we split the difference and made Cake Day on the Sunday in between; she will be out of town on hers. So we invited a few friends and relatives over for cake and a little gathering.

Since our birthdays are so close to Valentine's Day, Mum always made our cakes (which, as kids, were always on our actual birthdays and not together) in the shape of a heart. Very simple to do with one round cake pan and one square. Just turn the square to look like a diamond, cut the round in half and place one half on each upper side of the diamond and... voila! you have a heart!

Mine is always... always... chocolate. Melissa's is whatever flavour she asks for.... sometimes spice cake with coffee icing, sometimes chocolate, sometimes something else. Mine is, and always will be, chocolate.

So last night I made the cake. Baked from scratch. This morning I iced and decorated it. I personally think it is a lovely looking cake!

The little tubes of decorating icing for the writing were a bit runny, so the letters look somewhat 'soft'? for lack of a better term. I added all the little confetti bits and hearts (and along the outsides there are tiny candy butterflies stuck in the icing) after I iced it.

The Birthday Girls

Blowing out the candles - five for me and four for her (for our respective decades)

Attempting (vainly) to dissipate the smoke so as not to set off the smoke alarms! (Good thing we didn't put more candles on the cake or we would have had the Fire Dept. at the door!)

Opening cards and gifts.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Birthday Wishes

TO ME!!!!!

Was hoping to wake up and find one of these for my birthday today....

No such luck.

Could someone mail one to me, please? I could certainly use one... and enjoy one... :-)

Cake day is on Sunday, as my youngest sister's birthday is on the 22nd and she will be out of town, so we decided to share the day and the cake and have everyone over partway between my birthday and hers.

Mmmmm... cake.... chocolate cake.... homemade, in the shape of a heart, with pink icing... just like Mum used to make when I was a kid.

Happy, happy to me!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Where Did They Go?

When I was still flogging my blog at Ponyg!rl Ponderings, I had a huge following of four.

Yep... that's right.... four!

Now, here at Ponita's place, there is one.... and I don't even know who that is!

What happened to those others who were so dedicated and hovered over my every word?

Upon checking their blogrolls, not a one has updated my blog spot to the new and improved Ponita.

I am bereft! I wail in grief at being lost and forgotten!

How could this have happened, I ask myself?

Okay, ya lazy buggers. Get with the program and update your blog rolls, will ya? I have kept mine up to date....

Pretty please?

Sunday, 8 February 2009

A Tough Decision

It has to be done, but I am not happy about it.

Not happy at all.

In fact, I am quite saddened.

I have to sell my horse.... Thunder the Wonder Pony... who in all reality, should have died in 2004 when he was gravely ill after eating toxic plants that damaged his liver and killed off a load of his skin.

But it is simple economics that is forcing this issue... economics and a back injury a couple of years ago that has made riding most difficult for me. Something that I loved to do now causes me pain. And I cannot justify a horse as a pet... especially when he costs me about $350 a month. That is just routine boarding costs, with hoof trims and deworming thrown in and spread over a year to average out at that figure. That does not include any vet bills for emergencies.

His will to live, my nursing skills, and a lot of work went in to keeping him alive. He lived in the barn for three straight months, only taken out in the evening to graze and walk around a bit. His liver recovered from the damage, and his skin regrew, although in many places, it is naked, lumpy scar tissue and he gets a lot of sideways looks from people who think he has something horribly contagious. He looks like a burn victim, which in a way, is what he is.... only he was burned from the inside out.

He ate alsike clover, which is toxic to horses and many other grazing animals. It causes liver damage and photosensitization, affecting the white areas on the animal. Thunder is a pinto... more than 50% of his body is white, in a pattern known as Tobiano. The reason the white areas are affected is because the skin under white hair has no pigment... it is pure pink; under hair of any colour, the horse's skin is dark grey. So the stuff in plants that does the photosynthesis thing is what the liver would normally filter out; and since it is not filtered out, it is deposited in skin cells, especially the ones with no pigment. There, it reacts to sunlight, burning the horse from the inside out.

Basically, Thunder got cooked. He was so severely burned that his skin died off in huge sheets. He couldn't be exposed to sunlight at all for several months. I spent tons of time managing his wounds, which were very extensive. I spent hundreds of dollars on antibiotic cream to prevent infection, and as the skin dies off, I had to cut off the dead skin with scissors to allow the wounds underneath to heal properly.

It was a horrendous experience for both him and me. But if I had not been a nurse.... if Thunder had been owned by anyone else, he would have been euthanized. Or he would have died of horrible infections. Somehow, his patient tolerance of my ministerings told me he was willing to keep going, despite weeks of twice daily injections of steroids and antibiotics, being cooped up in the barn, having his legs wrapped with disposable diapers to cover the oozing wounds, leg wraps and gooped with ointment everywhere.

Because you probably won't find a sweeter horse anywhere. He has such a pleasant personality... and is quite the character! He loves attention just as much as he loves to be ridden and to work. He's bright, quick to learn new things and has tons of athletic ability. I can only imagine what he would be like if he didn't have some limitations from the scars on his legs and neck.

He has difficulty crossing his left foreleg in front of his right. The scars run up the inside of that leg, plus the left side of his neck and onto his shoulder is one large mass of scar tissue. It is tighter than normal skin, because scar tissue is not as elastic.... so he can't stretch that side quite as far as the right side, which only has a much smaller scar higher up on his neck, and the right leg is only scarred at the back of the knee.

He is well trained, patient, silly, not spooky and a well mannered horse. Plus he's really cute, despite all the scars. But I have to face facts. That $350 I could use for paying down debt, for eventually doing renos on my house, or travelling to far off places. So I have to be realistic and bite the bullet.

However, he has to go to the right person. Although he is the kind of horse that most anyone can ride, as he is well trained, patient and not spooky, he does require some special care because of all the naked spots on his skin.

He has to wear blankets in the winter. He needs a rainsheet in the spring and fall when it is cool and wet. He gets cold easily as his body doesn't grow a normal winter coat. He must wear a full body fly sheet in the summer to protect against insects and sunburn. He needs sunscreen applied daily in the summer and moisturizer year round, as his scars get dry and flaky, which means they will crack and bleed. That can only hurt, so I try to keep him well lubed and supple.

But he is the kind of horse who will break out of his stall when he is bored and go visiting up and down the aisle in the barn, tossing everyone else's halters on the floor. He doesn't get into the pure alfalfa hay sitting out at the end of the barn, or try and run all over the place. He will even eventually go back into his own stall when he is hungry and thirsty. But he is a social butterfly.

He has let me put a straw hat on his head, when none of the other horses would let me near them with the hat. And that was out in a 23 acre pasture where it would be so simple to just walk away.

He is also the model for the Giant Underpants, soon to be appearing on MJ's blog. And he was cool as a cucumber for that photo shoot, patiently standing while I lifted each of his hind feet to put them on, pull them up, cut a hole for his tail and then to stand there while I took even more photos.

He has squeezed out the paddock fence when there was polymer cable but no electric wire, just to eat some grass. And to meet me at the gate when I got home, asking me to put him back in so he could have a drink of water. On a farm, with a gate at the end of the driveway but absolutely no perimeter fencing, so he could have travelled to Timbuktu, if he had so chosen.

This will probably be a lengthy process.... finding the right person for him. I won't let him go to just anyone. I have to be sure he will be cared for properly by someone who understands his limitations and requirements. Someone who will ride him and teach him things, spend time with him and enjoy his antics. Someone who will love him as much as I do.

Because as I sit here and type this, I have tears streaming down my face. I have has this special guy in my life since he was a pipsqueak of a yearling, when I thought he would never grow to be big enough for me to ride. He was a little thing then. But he is an excellent size now, with feet and legs that are sturdy and good sized.

I spent a lot of time with him before he ever went to the trainer for his under saddle education. He learned to climb in and out of the horse trailer with no hesitation. He learned to walk on a wooden bridge, and to stand quietly while a blanket was flapped around his legs and over his head. He can be handled with ease and is respectful of your space.

He has been a joy to have in my life and I truly feel I am better for having known him. I can only hope that the next chapter of his life will be one where he knows the same care, kindness and love that he got with me.

Sunday, 1 February 2009


As I was driving to the barn to visit my horse this afternoon, and to pay his board so he doesn't get kicked outside to fend for himself, I was thinking back on the men I have dated or tried to date over the past year and a half.

And a recurring theme seems to have popped into the fore.

That of Unavailability.... which seems strange to me, because each and every one of them has listed themselves as single and available on those online dating sites.

Now, to be fair, there were a couple who were available but it just didn't work between us... neither of them was the right kind of guy for me. Mostly because, although the age difference was only five years, they seemed like my father's generation, and that was just too weird for me.

And there have been a few that, upon meeting face to face, I knew there were too many psychological issues for anything to go anywhere further than that one coffee date. The OCD guy or the 47-going-on-18 I love RC cars and stereos guy or the hangin' out with the boys, drinkin', fishin', and skidooin' guy... none of them would have been a good match at all, so one meet and greet what all that happened.

But what about the guys who keep in contact, you date often and things seem to go well, until it implodes in your face one day and then it's gone, leaving you to pick up the pieces and shake off the dust and try to figure out WTF just happened?

Or the guy who chats often online, lives close by but is so commitment phobic that he can't even do more than meet at Tim's for a coffee once a month.... maybe. And that has to be spur of the moment because he can't make plans ahead of time. And yet, when you do meet, and sit and talk, it is so comfortable, so natural, it's like you have known each other for decades. Then months will pass and no contact. Out of the blue, a 'hi - how are ya?' on the computer and things warm up with chatting again. So when you broach the subject of 'there must be some kind of an attraction if you keep contacting me', he tells you he is scared of what would change if you got together and tried a relationship for real. After all, we are 'friends' aren't we? Uh... well, I am not sure you can call this a friendship, if all it is is the occasional chat online and nothing else. What would change if it didn't work out? Nothing. But he is too scared to take a chance.... whatever.

Then there is the guy you meet, go for coffee, go out for dinner, have over for dinner, talk lots and seem to be soooo on the same page on life in general. And then you get the 'let's be friends' talk. Granted, there was lots going on in his life at that moment, but the inevitable lack of contact after that speaks volumes for what he was thinking.

And what of the one who lives too freakin' far away to be anything other than friends? You chat, you email, and that is it. The attraction is there, the commonality is there. No chance of meeting for a long time, if ever, due to logistics on both sides. Money issues, job issues, kid issues, blah, blah, blah.

The longer I do this the more I realize that the state of the modern middle aged single male is that of being Out There but Unavailable. Seems to be so common these days, it just isn't funny. Whether it is unavailable because of emotional distance, or just because of physical distance, they are still all unavailable.

I don't know if it is just me.... because I am the one common denominator here... but are most of the guys out there supposedly looking in this state of being as well? If you are not available, for whatever reason, then get off the dating sites until you are serious about trying to start something.

I am sick and tired of getting strung along by men who seem interesting and interested in some fashion. Time to grow some balls, guys, and just DO IT!