Monday, February 26, 2007

Still Sick

This must be the month for sickness. This is ridiculous. Yesterday I sat in the doctor's office for 3 hours for them to confirm that yes, I am sick, and yes I need antibiotics. As a rule, I hate doctors offices because I always feel that I have to prove I'm sick, and no matter what I do they're going to over medicate me. I tried to assure them that I didn't have strep throat, I've had that before and know what if feel like, but they still insisted on swabbing my throat, and running tests. But apparently I have sinusitis... or something, basically I have an infection in my sinuses and they gave me antibiotics for that. So at least I know why both of my eyes, recently recovered from pink eye, now tear and run mercilessly whenever my nose tickles. I am a big fan of Kleenex tissue with lotion, and have gone through two boxes since Thursday, not counting the ones at work.

Can you believe that my doctor didn't even tell me what she diagnosed me with? She just handed me printed forms, my prescriptions, and told me to have a good day. I figured I had a sinus infection when they gave me antiobiotics, but it wasn't until this morning and I was reading the receipts from the doctor that I find out I have bronchitis as well... Ahh well, at least HMO's are cheap. I think that's the only thing going for them.

And here I am. I drug myself out of bed, got dressed, managed to put some makeup on my face, and drove to work, which was scary as my eyes kept watering from sneezing, and I think I almost killed three people, but here I am at work, with nothing to do. I thought at least that by making it to work, I'd be distracted for a few hours. I've been here 30 minutes, haven't seen a soul, and nobody's called or emailed. I guess I'm not as important as I thought I was.

But alas, here I sit, eyes tearing, nose dripping, and the cough in my through tickling me to get out. I suppose I can handle a few more hours of this, and then slink back home to go back to bed.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Gong Xi Fai Cai!

Happy Chinese New Year!

My husband and I spent this weekend with the kung fu school celebrating Chinese New Year and performing all over the Denver metro area. It was a blast. Above, hubby is "teasing" the dragon.

Here three lions balance on the aparatus, and another lion climbs a pole.

Below, you'll see a black lion with an arm coming out of his mouth. That's my husband, he just split the watermelon with his hand, and is holding it up to show everyone. Firecrackers, like those shown below on the right, are exploding constantly throughout the day. The store owners set them off just as the Kung Fu school gets ready to perform their lion dance. The noise is terrific and in combination with the smoke, it draws quite a crowd! It's a little eerie to see the lions dancing in the gunsmoke, with the gunpowder blasts of the firecrackers exploding in their face!

The celebrations and events continued all weekend, here Sunday evening, hubby takes his turn on the drum, guiding the lion dance with the beat.
Finally, the weekend ended, but not before we celebrated Chinese New Year at the Kung Fu school in Boulder, the firecrackers in this look like they are setting the lion on fire, but no lions were hurt or killed during the weekend performances! Gong Xi Fai Cai! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Heart for the Troops

Happy Valentine's Day from Chilly Denver!

Because of the day, and the fact that my amazing brother is serving in the Army, currently stationed in Kirkuk, Iraq, I went to the Invesco- Mile High Stadium (Home of the NFL Denver Broncos) today with about 1,000 other people to create a Human Valentine's Day card for the troops serving over seas. It was amazing to see veterans, mothers, fathers, sisters, daughters... etc of our troops coming out enmasse to support our armed forces! I hope everyone feels loved and encouraged today, on this day of Love.
By the way, I am holding the blue and white star card in the top center of the heart, just to the left of the top white line on the heart. My star, just beneath the guy with the American flag, kept getting whacked by that same guy as he boisterously waved his flag. I'm all about patriotism, but I was about ready to take his flag away from him, as he was a tad overzealous.

Here's a link to the video of the helicopter flying overhead and taking pictures of us.

Despite the media, I was really out there to show support to my brother. He's been in the Army since the spring of 2002. My family was shocked when he announced that he had signed up, but later understood his decision as he spoke passionately about being able to defend his country as well as get on the job training in his career of choice. While he is proud of his decision to join the Army, we are honored to have such a man in our family. He has already served a year in Kabul, Afghanistan, and is now six months into his tour of duty in Kirkuk, Iraq. Thane is constantly in our prayers, and I know that this small gesture of love, and remembrance on Valentine's Day will indeed touch his heart. I love, support, and honor our troops! Thank you for all you do!
God Bless the U.S.A!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sick again

Why am I sick, again? What is wrong with me? Just two weeks ago, or was it three now? Ahh. I looked on my calendar, it was Jan. 16, which is technically almost a month ago. But why am I still sick, or sick again, as it feels like a different animal than the first bug. Grr... as much as I hate doctors, I want to know what's going on. A bad headache for what, a week? And now headache, sore throat, coughing, and phlegmy mucous in my lungs. I hate being sick.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Thinking about Calving Season

Why is it that I miss the ranch so much? Sometimes really, when I think about it, I worked really hard, and did things I didn't like to do. But I guess like they say about childbirth, you forget the bad times and only remember the good. The snow is melting around Denver, (finally) and I'm starting to start thinking about calving season. Across the country ranchers are getting ready to start calving all their cows.

I remember growing up, that on our ranch, calving season wasn’t complete without having orphaned calves. If the mother cow died during labor, had twins, or for some reason wouldn’t accept the baby, or physically couldn’t take care of the baby, I would be stuck with a bummer calf, a baby I’d have to bottle feed for months. Usually I only had one or two calves at a time, and I could feed them both at the same time, a two-quart bottle full of warm milk replacement in each hand. After a particularly difficult spring, by April I had four little babies, who I named Eanie, Meanie, Miny, and Moe. They were the cutest things, but kept me busy, as I had to feed them twice a day. Soon I had them trained to come when I called, “Hey Babies!” and they would gallop across the corral, eager to be fed.

On a ranch in the middle of the Owyhee High Desert, everyone constantly prayed for rain. That particular spring, we had received a lot of rain and snow, and then the weather warmed the next day. One could literally see the grass growing. The sudden growth caused the grass to be very rich in nitrogen, causing grass tetany. Cows with young calves nursing often had very low blood magnesium from a loss of calcium, with the combination of the high nitrogen levels in the grass, the grass tetany reaction in the cow’s bodies was usually fatal. Two days after the April snow storm, I adopted Joe, who was quickly followed by Sissy and Prissy, and finally by Chrissy. I had eight calves.

Bottle feeding eight calves took an eternity. The new calves were terrified of me, and I had to chase them down and corner them, and then slowly try to coax them to eat from the bottle. Often I had to sit on the rebellious calf, wrestling its one hundred pound body to the ground and holding its head with one hand, as I worked the nipple of the milk bottle into the corner of the calf’s mouth. It seemed half of the bottle of milk replacement spilled down the calf’s neck or onto my clothes before the calf actually began to suckle. As soon as the milk reached his stomach, hesitation was thrown aside and he began to greedily suck down the milk, his tail swinging side to side in time to his greedy gulps. The other seven, jealous that I was feeding this one calf and not them, crowded closer, almost knocking both of us over with their eager noses and sucking tongues. Like many babies, the calves believed if they found something they could wrap their tongue around and suck hard enough, milk would eventually flow. They sucked on the hem of my shirt, on my elbow, on the back pockets of my jeans, even on my hair if I let them. If they couldn’t reach me with their tongues, they turned to each other, and happily sucked on their neighbor’s ear, all with tails wagging in excitement. I emerged from the corral covered with calf drool, but had to reenter as soon as I had mixed up another gallon of the milk replacement. After weeks of chasing the babies down, they recognized my voice as that of their mom, and when I called, they rushed over and I could feed them through the wooden slats of the fence and not have to fear getting trampled by hungry stampeding babies.

As the calves grew, I turned them loose in one of the pastures near the house. There they were able to run for miles, to hide in willow groves, and to eat grass to their hearts content. Every morning and night, promptly at six o’clock, all eight of the calves would stand in the corner of the field closest to the house and bawl for their milk. The later I was in feeding them, the louder they bawled, until even the house seemed to shake with their outrage. One the few days I was early, I stood at the fence corner and called them. Within seconds, I could hear the pounding of tiny hooves as they raced up the road to meet me.

Daily chores were simply a part of my routine, and routines were what made the ranch run smoothly. As I look back over my childhood, I can’t distinctly separate one year from the other. However bad or boring particular tasks seemed at the time, when I look back at my childhood it was a happy one. Ranching made my childhood. The same way that my dad wouldn’t be the same person if he wasn’t a cowboy; if I didn’t grow up on a cattle ranch, I know I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today. Even as I live in a city, I am the ranch, and the ranch will forever live on in my heart.


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