Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Yesterday was a terrible, very bad day. I had to say goodbye to two amazing lives.

My Grandpa passed away yesterday. He was at home and went peacefully in his sleep surrounded by family and people who love him. Grandpa lived a wonderful, long life. I remember him taking my sister and I for walks to the ice cream shop for ice cream. I remember how he could talk for hours about books and chemistry. I am so very glad that I got to spend time with him when I was home in the states this past summer. I got to see him and tell him how much I love him. I got to ask him where his favorite places to travel were, how his life was when he was my age, and what it was like to be married to his wife for 65+ years. Grandpa died at 89. He served in the Coast Guard and fought in WWII. You can see his obituary here.

At the barn one of our horses got very sick. We were holding a dressage clinic and the barn was very busy yesterday morning. We held half of the clinic while still treating Essa before I looked into Essa's eyes and knew. Everyone had to leave immediately. Essa was dying. Everyone who could have been there to help was there. The Japanese vet, all the Japanese employees, the owner, and all the American instructors were there to give Essa every attention. Everything that possibly could have been done was done. We made sure he was pumped full of pain killers so he could be as comfortable in la-la-land as he could be. He was humanely euthanized after fighting colic for 4 hours. He was exhausted and ready. It was a very emotional 4 hours for everyone. We fought so hard to keep Essa fighting for his life, but there comes a point where continuing the fight is doing more damage than good. It absolutely broke our hearts to see Essa's life slip away, but we were all relieved when his pain was over. I will miss this amazing lesson horse.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TEN miles!

I just ran 10 miles. Totally proud of myself right now. And totally in love with my body that can run me that far. I set out to do my usual 6, but my path at the beach was blocked (maybe because of the gigantic waves we're getting from the typhoon off the coast), so thanks to the good 'ol iPhone I found a new running route I really liked. It also took me through some parts where if I was in the states I would have been really freaked out, but good thing I'm in Japan where there isn't much crime. Did make me run pretty fast through those parts though!

It was such a beautiful night. It's really getting a bit fall-ish out there! Hurray! I snapped this picture on my iPhone around mile 5. How did I ever run before having an iPhone?! I was listening to music, taking a picture, tracking my speed and miles and looking at the map. Love it.

Today was a really busy day. I had a early dentist appointment (loath), went to work, took care of poor hurt Makoto, rode and taught lessons and then came home and ran.

So now I'm rewarding myself with a nice glass of Riesling made from organic grapes, Autumn Leaves candle, fresh flowers from my favorite florist and feet in my comfy bunny socks (and knees covered in icy hot). By the way I'm watching Thor. That Chris Hemsworth is quite pretty! Yum.

Also, this past weekend in celebration of this new fall-ish weather I made vegan Pumpkin Brownies. So, I'll probably reward myself with one of those too.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Funky Feet

With all the running I've been doing, I decided to make an appointment at the Mizuno Shoe Measurement. I was hoping they would tell me if I was running in the correct type of shoe, if I needed a wide shoe and why my big toe on my right foot kills me after my long runs. So, when I heard mccs was doing a foot analysis at the gym at my base I jumped on the opportunity.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early and had my feet scanned to determine my foot type. Unfortunately I wasn't really told anything new. I was told I have "normal" feet with "perfect" heel and ball of the foot weight distribution and very, very high arches. There was a bit of a language barrier to get in depth with my toe problem. They had me try on a number of different Mizuno shoes, but nothing felt better then when I put my Asics on again to head home. I think an appointment with a doctor/podiatrist might have to happen to figure my foot problem. Cest la vie.

Organic Goodies

This past week I set out to find Tenbusu a natural and organic store. I'm always on the lookout for a Whole Foods substitute over here and this cute little store (while not quite a Whole Foods) was full of wonderful organic and macrobiotic options.
I came away with some wonderful local, organic eggs from down south on the island, some brown rice and flour bread, blueberry preserves, and some options from their yummy homemade prepared foods.

The eggs and bread with blueberry preserves have been a wonderful breakfast the past couple days!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Big, giant hurt baby

Last week Makoto was suddenly horribly lame. He was in a lot of pain and he would barely walk on his back right hoof. There was a lot of heat and swelling in his fetlock and up the tendons in his lower leg. The next day I could see an abscess in the bulb of his heel and it was starting to drain. He was in a ton of pain, poor thing!

A hoof abscess is a localized bacterial infection in the hoof. The infection causes pus, pressure and pain. In Makoto's case to relieve the pressure in the hoof the pus burst out of the bulb of his heel.

Then, I was treating the abscess in the back hoof when he started totally freaking out stomping his front right hoof and an abscess burst out of his front hoof. Seriously. Oh. My. God. Saturday had at least 3 crying meltdowns, it just broke my heart.

I think this abscess happened due to the introduction of bacteria and moisture into the hoof. Or it could have happened because of compression and poor blood flow. So what to do? To treat an abscess it is important to keep the hoof as clean and protected as possible. I've been soaking his abscess's in Epsom Salt baths and using poultice on the bottom of the hoof to help pull any remaining infection out of the hoof. I then wrap his hoof in vet-wrap and then cover that with duct tape (or I used a special treatment boot) to help cushion and protect the hoof to keep dirt and manure out to prevent even more problems (infection). I've been wrapping his back legs in standing wraps to try and keep the swelling down.

This week the vet came out and confirmed the abscess. He gave me some black tar like paste to put on the abscess and 5 days worth of huge, heavy duty IV antibiotic shots.

Makoto is a huge baby. A horrible patient. When he feels bad he makes everyone know it. I've been totally abused taking care of him this past week. My back is killing me from bending over to treat his feet. It is a battle every day to soak his feet, clean them, poultice them, wrap them, duct tape them, give his shot and wrap his back legs. All in all it is a ton of work. Good think I love this horse like crazy.

To make up for stabbing him with needles, scrubbing his painful wound, forcing him to stand for long periods with his foot in a bucket of salt water and not letting him get turned out with the rest of the horses, I'm trying to make it up to him with lots of love, treats and private turn out on the nice grass. I really hope my poor baby heals quickly and feels better soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Half Way Mark

I adore September. Love. It's time for cooler weather, sweet pumpkin treats and it just happens to be the half way point for my husbands deployment. That's right, half way done! I've been rather quiet on here about his deployment and honestly it hasn't exactly been easy for us thus far. Deployment has had it's own unique set of challenges and we've never done this before. So, we're learning as we go and trying to grit our teeth and bear it. We both have been incredibly busy and that sure has made time go by fast for both of us.

Without giving out too much information, here are some cool pictures my hubby took thus far. The 10th anniversary of 9/11 just passed and it makes me incredibly proud that my husband is over there. I hope you enjoy getting a peek into his life these days.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Owl Shower

With today being the 10 year anniversary of 9/11 I thought it was a very appropriate day to celebrate new life, new beginnings and new hope.

Today I threw a baby shower for my dear friend and co-worker, Madie. She is due to have a baby girl in November. Madie is going to be an amazing mommy and I think I've told her about a hundred times that I can't wait to babysit. And dress her baby up in hats that have ears.

Madie is doing an owl theme in her nursery, so I continued that theme onto her shower. I never knew or noticed how popular owls are until Madie told me about her theme and then I started seeing them everywhere. I had a ball planning this owl shower!

Following in my amazing hostess mothers footsteps I had to make sure this shower was overflowing with food and drinks. The menu included:
Mimosas, lemon aide, juice or sodas
Chicken salad cups
Cucumber sandwiches
Tortellini and grape tomato skewers with pesto dip
Stuffed mushrooms
Banana bread with honey butter
Veggie plate with dip
Fruit kabobs
Salad with baby romaine, craisins, candied pecans, feta and strawberry vinaigrette
Shrimp cocktail
Baked brie (contributed by my wonderful friend Alexis)

And of course what kind of party would it be without cake?! A very talented mom from the barn generously offered to make the cake for the shower. This cake was a work of art! She also made the most adorable cupcakes too. Not only was the cake beautiful, it tasted as good as it looked. Amazing!

As Madie opened her adorable predominately pink baby loot we played baby gift bingo and the winners got little baby shower themed prizes.

Everyone left the party with a snicker doodle owl cupcake with cinnamon butter cream frosting and a shower lollipop.

This was not only my first time throwing a shower, it was one of the first I've ever been to. It was my first time buying diapers and various baby paraphernalia, and my first try at making a diaper cake. Throwing this shower was a lot of fun. Especially because the woman I was throwing it for deserved every ounce of the love showered upon her today! I love parties and I'm so glad that this went well and that Madie enjoyed her shower. I absolutely can't wait to meet little Addison!