Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017 Goals

I got to ride! FINALLY. And I am so SORE.
I have been struggling a little bit when trying to come up with goals for this year. Mostly because I am stuck on one.

Get to training level.

That's all my mind has been going to. Every day. Training level. How do we get there. When. Will we be successful. Training level, training level, training level.
See, if this were training, we would have done the bank out of the water, followed by a cabin a stride or two after. 

So yes, Goal 1. Get to training level.

Whether it is doing a derby or a recognized event, although I will be pointed at recognized events this year if all goes well. And we really only have one derby in the area that has footing okay for me to consider running her on it.
I promise those breeches are light grey. I didn't wear white breeches to my lesson.
Goal 2. More lessons.

To get us competent and ready for training level, we need more help. Lessons are a wonderful tool, and I would be ecstatic if I would be able to get to use this tool twice a month, funds allowing. We definitely need some help in dressage, and the couple lessons I was able to get last year already helped.
Stretch those leggies! And quit killing your mother's upper body!
Goal 3. Get out more.

More riding in more places. Time to get out of our tiny 50ft square arena and let the pony go forward. Go over more jumps, more grids, more courses. Learn to develop an eye for distance, maybe. If I can. Condition the pony appropriately. Maybe find a place to take a swim with her too!
This straight jacket outfit may actually be too fitting.

Goal 4.  Figure out my mental sads and crazies

We've got some drugs on board and hopefully they do something. My bloodwork results showed the same old stuff. Positive ANA (basically showing autoimmune things happening) but no real direction as to what and why. Kind of depressing. Could be the Lyme. Could be something else. All I know is, right now, I am hiding from "make believe" sounds in my house and hopelessly filling the quiet with music so I don't hear anything that will disturb me. Is it funny that what I am listening to is by Ghost?
Why am I here and what are we doing?
Goal 5. Keep my horse happy and healthy, of course!

This is the most important goal. It is the never ending goal of horse ownership, and I plan to keep doing my very best to employ it. Because I love my girl and she keeps me going, so I have to do my best to do the same for her.
Hey look, I made a logo for my stuff! And that is Bacon's silhouette. 
And finish all of these paintings.
There's a bike there. Now we need a motorcycle. Just. In front of us.
And jump a motorcycle. Damnit.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Lost in the Fog

Yes, I named this post after one of my favorite race ponies. No regrets.
I have been debating if I should make this a public post or not, but then I figured, what the hell. If there is someone out there in the same boat as me, at least we can row together. These past few months, I have been stuck somewhere. I am not even sure how to describe this place. It seems a little lonely, a little dark. I can't crawl out. I can't escape the fog.
Still sexy.
My tremors are worse. It makes me feel like my skin is trying to shake loose of my body, and  have no control. I have always had frequent nightmares, but now they are nonstop. But before I can even begin to have the nightmares, I have to fall asleep. I hear so many things now. It use to just be running water or music. Now, I have heard voices, mumbled conversations, trucks starting, doors opening, knocking, wind, creaking, or metal clanging. They don't exist. I'm chasing ghosts.

I usually don't fall asleep until after 2am because of this. When I wake up, I am exhausted. I am sure that spending the extra time and energy pushing through the cold and snow is not helping either, but I have felt this way before then too. And I am sad. And worried. I am not even sure why. If I even start to think about a family member, I jump to the conclusion that something bad is going to happen to them and I start to panic. I huddle up next to my husband every night, afraid that he will disappear in a car crash or some freak accident. I hate it. It is the worst feeling ever.

I had a doctor's appointment last week and briefly brought up some of those issues, plus others ( like my throat deciding to not swallow sometimes, what the heck). She started me on a new prescription to hopefully help with the tremors and the mood issues. So far, it has been the devil. I have to give it a little bit to kick in, but so far, it is just kicking my butt. She jokingly said she would put me on Fluphenazine if I didn't settle down. Or offered to take me out back and to put me out of my misery. All in all, I really like my doctor, and she sat with me for an hour and even asked to see pictures of Bacon.

Hopefully I will be on the right track. I don't know what will happen or where I will be if things don't get better. I feel crazy and even though I have always felt that way sometimes, this is different. I can't laugh this off or sleep it away. I apologize for not warning you ahead of time for this not being a horsey post, but maybe now I might make a little more sense to you. And maybe not, and that's ok too. But, that is where I am at. I am so thankful to have good friends and family behind me, and the most caring and supportive husband ever. And a weird long neck bay mare with a crazy Elvis smile.
A trillion years of support

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Great Big Thank You

First one down!
And I mean it. An enormously huge thank you to everyone who has said any kind words or friends helping with creating art and replenishing those lost horse show funds. I felt like I was whoring myself out in a non hussy way, but you have all been so welcoming, supportive and helpful. I have received so many portrait requests that I am a bit overwhelmed! I am going to be busy for a long time. So I will be doing my best to work on all of those and getting them to you as soon as possible.
Warm and fun with family.
It has been an interesting time over here. We had a wonderful trip with my family in warm Arizona, leaving when it was 68 degrees to come home to 8 degree snowy weather. While Arizona was awesome, I was in so much pain the whole time I was there and was full of anxiety. I could not stop worrying about all of my animals at home. Roxy-Moo, my old lady dane, had been having some difficulty walking and has had some neurological changes. Meaty the English Mastiff had another hot spot. And I'm talking the hot spot from hell. Absolutely huge on his neck. Normally I put booties on his back feet so he can't scratch it open. But he can't have them on all of the time when it is wet outside. But my dad wouldn't be home to watch him so they had to stay on. And of course, the ponies and goaties were a worry. Plus we have a feral kitten in Meaty's kennel at home that needs to be fixed at some point.
This is about what the feral kitten looked like when I got home too.
Feral kitten did escape out of the kennel and turned the room into a disaster, so that was fun to come home too. Our friend that was watching the house did warn me though.And our dryer broke, and is still broken (good thing I have lots of underwear). We will get another one once the snowpacolypse passes. We have been getting record setting amounts of snow here, and cold spells. It was -11 one morning when I went out to do morning chores. My fingers became very painful and started to go numb quickly, so I ran inside as soon as I could. Bacon's eyelashes were frozen. And when I changed clothes, my legs were maroon. Legs shouldn't be that color!

 But, I was super excited to come home to my secret santa present! Shelby over at EquiNovice got the duty of providing me with goods, and that is exactly what she did. She did a most excellent job, carefully picking out awesome purple peddies, beef jerky (my favorite food), a Mrs. Conn's bath sponge that I have always wanted to buy but have never pulled the trigger, Herbal Horse Heal Quick,  Horse Quencher, and some delicious treats for the ponies. That they really really love. Plus, an adorable card and note. She gets an A++.
So excited to use all of this. The jerky was gone the first day.
Right know, we are currently hunkered down while freezing rain pelts the house and snow, creating a shield of ice over everything outside. With gusts of wind getting up to 60mph. Perfect time to do some artwork! I still cannot believe how many requests I have gotten. I am flattered and I hope I can do all of your ponies justice. For those of you keeping track for where you stand in line, I am currently working on the 3rd portrait and hope to have it finished tomorrow! So that is where I am at. Stuck inside, being thankful and working hard on arty things.
You know it's fun when your freeway looks like this.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Well That is One Way to Start the Year

No fun, guys
Bacon had to go out with a bang I guess. And then started off the year off with a bang too. I came out to feed breakfast on Saturday morning to find my beautiful girl standing in the middle of her pen, head handing low and shaking. I started to tremor and tear up as I called her over. She wouldn't even look up, so I grabbed a halter to see what would happen if I moved her. She sat back and then lurched forward, shuffling away from her spot. I looked at my husband, sobbing, as he hopped into her pen to help me take her blankets off. I searched all over her body for anything out of the ordinary. The left side of her neck was twitching, and when I touched it, she wanted to jump out of her skin.
Weird swelling traveling downwards
One call to the equine hospital left us scrambling to hook up the truck and trailer. Actually, it left Blake unburying everything and trying to hook it as as Bacon and I ever so slowly walked towards the gate to get out of the backyard. It hurt her so much to walk, but she still followed, walking through deep drifts of snow. I fought hard to be able to open the gate, and was able to open it enough for her to get out. I was worried about getting her into the trailer, and she was a little reluctant, but still got on for me. I decided to ride in there with her, and with it being a chilly 9 degrees, it was the coldest ride ever. She did her best not to crush me in the turns, but looked so quiet and sad. I talked to her all the way there, probably more for myself than for her.
Kisses on visiting day
Once we got there, we had to wait a minute for them to finish up with another horse before seeing her. Hubs traded me out of the trailer so I could sit in the truck to warm up. Once they came out to meet us, I explained to them what was going on, certain that it was her neck bothering her. She couldn't really turn around to walk out of the trailer like she normally does, so I crossed my fingers and hoped she would back out. She had never done it before, but put enough trust in me to go ahead and do it. We shuffled inside and the vets ooed and awed at her clip job and prettyness.

She had a fever of 102.1 and they immediately pulled for blood work. She had a little bit of fluid in her chest, most likely from the injection of vitamin B1 the day before. They were not concerned about that at all. But even the gentlest touch to the left side of her neck caused her a significant amount of pain. It was slightly hot to the touch and just beginning to swell. Her bloodwork came back showing some elevation in her white blood cells, and they suggested leaving her there overnight for monitoring and medication administration. I agreed, then turned to my pony and gave her kisses and cried. I am sure I looked ridiculous, but oh well. At least they knew I was one of "those" owners, and that they better take good care of her.
Look at that cute face.
I tried to go on with my day as normal as I could, hoping for absolutely no phone calls from them, as they said they would only call if something alarming was happening. Let's just say it was a long long day. And, of course, I had plenty of phone calls from people checking on me, and every time that damn phone rang, my heart would skip a beat. The next morning, I called to check on my girl. Her neck was much less sensitive, and they had used ultrasound to check out the muscles in her neck and to make sure there were no gas bubbles forming. She wasn't eating well (she never really does) and was back to weaving. The first time I was happy to hear that. We got to visit that afternoon, and she was munching on hay when I showed up. She came right over, looking much brighter, but with a lumpy neck. The vet there told me how much she liked her, and how easy she was to give meds to. Good girl, Bacon.
A little warmer in here!
We went for a little walk around the hospital, and ended up in the indoor arena. This is also one of their reproduction areas, where a handsome palomino stud was making eyes at her. We walked around and jogged a lap for funsies and she was looking good. I about died from my asthma, so we went back to her stall. I left her weaving away, feeling a little better about her situation. We agreed to keep her there one more night, just in case, and we were allowed to pick her up the following day. Before we brought her home, hubs and I trekked out to get some straw bales to make her pen extra cushy. Pandora and Lucy also got some added to their stalls, and were quite pleased.
Home! Yay!
I was nervous to bring my girl home, but she was ready. After I grabbed my invoice (gulp) and went to dress my pony for the cold weather and load her up. She about dragged me onto the trailer, and I let her ride by herself this time. She was eager to get to her pen and went straight to inspecting the straw and getting a big drink of water. It made me so happy to have her home again. She isn't quite back to her regular appetite yet, but has kept a regular temp and just kept smiling at me today. And her neck swelling is gone, so that makes me happy too! They still aren't quite sure what happened to cause all of this. They likened it to cellulitis in her neck. They don't think the injection in the pectoral muscle had anything to do with this, but I still feel like this is all of my fault. And that really weighs heavily in my heart.

But back to that vet bill...we came away with a cool $682, which in all reality isn't the worst. But, it is most of my horse show money for this year. And while to most, it isn't much, when you can't work a regular job and most of the money you make is from trying to complete some art pieces, it sure adds up. I know showing isn't everything, but it gives me a little something to look forward to and to work towards. So, if any of you feel like helping a girl out, I have a plan of sorts:

Want an 8x10, 8x8, or 10x10 acrylic portrait of your pony? I will be offering them at $70. These are easier for me to complete than something larger, and I can usually get them done quickly. You all saw Carly's Bobby portrait, and that is very similar to what you will receive.

I can also do 8x10 mixed media portraits, which almost come out looking like a tattoo style. This is fairly new to me, but I have enjoyed making them and they are also fairly easy for me to complete. They will be on paper or pressed board, and will include colored pencil, marker, and acrylic paint. I will be asking $60 for these.

If you are interested, please send me an email to alyssalapuh@gmail.com. It is first come, first serve, so I will do my paintings in the order I get asked to do them. Payment is asked for upfront, because if I don't Lindsey and Aimee will kick my ass. I feel like I am asking too much for these, but husband and grandma said they would also kick my ass if I didn't, so I apologize for that. So many ass kickings.

Also need to add that I will need to ask $6.80 for shipping for these sizes as well. Sorry for the inconvenience!

So, Happy New Year, I guess!