Friday, April 27, 2012

Arbor Day 2012 ~ For the Love Of Trees

"It is well that you should celebrate your Arbor Day thoughtfully, for within your lifetime the nation's need of trees will become serious. We of an older generation can get along with what we have, though with growing hardship; but in your full manhood and womanhood you will want what nature once so bountifully supplied and man so thoughtlessly destroyed; and because of that want you will reproach us, not for what we have used, but for what we have wasted." 
~ Theodore Roosevelt, 1907 Arbor Day Message

"He who plants a tree, Plants a hope." ~ Lucy Larcom, "Plant a Tree"

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The next best time is now."  ~ Chinese Proverb

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."  ~ Nelson Henderson

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in their way."  ~ William Blake

"The oaks and the pines, and their brethren of the wood, have seen so many suns rise and set, so many seasons come and go, and so many generations pass into silence, that we may well wonder what "the story of the trees" would be to us if they had tongues to tell it, or we ears fine enough to understand."  ~ Author Unknown

"If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees." ~ Hal Borland

"Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it."  ~ Henry David Thoreau

 I think that I shall never see
A poem as lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is presst
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Two Trips to the Barn

I went out to the barn twice yesterday. It was not a casual visit however. When Jerry got home from work, he said Rembrandt was pawing and looking at his sides. Of course I went into hyperactive, protective, doctor mode. I told Jerry to lunge him, which he did. He came back about a half an hour later and reported that Rudy had passed some gas and manure and was feeling much better. A half an hour later, my dad came in and said that he had gone out to check on him and my beloved horse was laying flat out in his stall. Dad said that Jerry had gotten him up and was lunging him again. I knew that he had colic and I had to get out to the barn to see him right away!

Rembrandt and I at the shore in 1991.

My dad brought his car around to the front of the house. Using my walker and crutches, I got into the car and he drove me around to the back. When we got there, Jerry was lunging Rudy in his paddock, but my dear 32 year old horse was barely moving. 

"We've got to take him out to the riding arena where he has more room and can move out", I said. Again I hobbled from the barn back into the car and my dad drove me around to the edge of the arena. We positioned the passenger side window so I could bark out my orders to Jerry and my precious horse. It was raining now. "Take his blanket off. Move in closer. Keep your line neatly coiled. You'll need to walk small circles so you can keep your whip close enough that you can tap him with it. Keep him trotting! Tell him he's a good boy. Don't let him walk. Keep going!!" After about 40 minutes, some more gas was passed and a small bit of manure. The horse seemed relieved, so we put him back in his paddock and went back to the house to eat dinner. At 9:00 we all went back out to the barn to find a very hungry, alert pony. I gave him a few small pieces of a banana which he inhaled. "No dinner for you tonight, my love", I said. We got his blanket back on and locked him out for the night. I wanted him to move around and didn't want to take a chance of him laying down in his stall again.

The morning reports were that Rudy was very alert and hungry. They say he's sore from all the exercise, but seems to be doing very well otherwise. (Big sigh of relief here. . . ) Jerry closed the gates to the pastures last night to keep both horses off the new grass and has agreed to lunge my old buddy for at least twenty minutes this afternoon.

Thank goodness my parents are here to help! What a blessing they and all my friends and family have been! They came last Wednesday night in their motor home and have been a big help with caring for a one legged invalid, the house and the horses. If my dad hadn't found Rudy in the stall when he did, the situation could have easily gotten a lot worse.

I love this picture of my mom and dad, having a beer in Nova Scotia in the summer of 2010.

Welcome to my world. Here is where I spend most of my time now. My butt is so sore!

The studio has been made more handicap accessible. I have a couple of tables that Jerry modified so I can fit the wheelchair under them. (This table has origami projects on it. :-))

More and more hummingbirds are arriving here everyday. I really don't know the numbers, but we have six feeders out now!

If you want to find out how to attract your own hummingbirds, go here.

Again, many many thanks to you, my friends! Your comments, emails and get well wishes really brighten my days!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Slow Recovery Continues . . .

I had a doctor's appointment today. This is my Physician's assistant, Ryan. The x-ray on the monitor is not mine. Mine is more symmetrical, with more plates and screws. 

She used this power tool to cut off my cast.

Surprisingly, the instrument cuts through the plaster, but supposedly doesn't cut the skin. It felt a little tingly when she got near the incisions. I think my face told her when to back off.

Here Ryan is taking the staples out of my ankle. I really don't know this foot. I have always had such slender ankles.

Here is my cute surgeon, Dr. Rick Romando (on the right) with one of his foot and ankle associates.

Jerry took me out to the barn after our appointment. He took a few snaps. I love the look of concern on Rita's face here. I can just see her wheels spinning. Now what the F... is going on with my mom?!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Yes folks, they are finally back!! 

Bobbie is here and we were chatting when I saw our first little traveler. He came right up to the studio doors, stopped, hovered for about ten seconds and looked right in at me.

I shrieked, "It's A HUMMINGBIRD"!

I got into my wheelchair and we went out and sat on the screened in porch for a while. I saw two small males zoom by several times while we were out there. Bobbie never laid eyes on them herself, but after seeing my enthusiasm, has no doubt that they ARE finally here. Add joy and enthusiasm into your space and your life with my Hummingbird Prints! They make great gifts too!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friends and Family to the Rescue!

Jerry and I went to our first post-op appointment at the surgeon's office on Tuesday. Getting me into a vehicle was quite a time consuming ordeal and included using a wheelchair, walker and crutches. I have since become more coordinated in the chair, but maneuvering and closing doors to keep my Tigger cat out of the studio (he chases Princess) can be tricky. Tigger is still either scared of the leg or mad at me. Also could be jealousy, because I know he would love to take Princess's job away from her as my private duty nurse. Jerry said that after I fell, even when I left in the ambulance, Tigger wouldn't come up from the basement and just kept crying all night. Poor guy. I sat and watched TV with Jerry in my recliner for the first time for a little while last night. I was happy when my buddy finally came and curled up beside me. He even let me pet him for the first time. He's such a sensitive guy. 

Brother-in-law, Brent, got me this nice chair from the Elk's Club to use as long as I need it.

Seeing the foot with sutures and the X-rays with all the screws, plates and wire for the first time on Tuesday was shocking and emotional. With 5-6" sutures on both sides of my multi-colored somewhat misshaped ankle, all I could think of was that it looked like something from Tim Burton's  Corpse Bride. My handsome young surgeon has assured me that it looks very good and it's all going to be OK.  He says I will be able to walk fine and ride again. All I can say is, I'm glad to be living in this age of modern medicine! Years ago, I would have had to be in traction, probably for months! Me in traction, really people, can you just imagine it!?

Poster artwork © 2005 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Five years ago, almost to the day that I first fell off the ladder, on  March 23rd, 2007, Rita pitched me into a tree while riding out in the Wharton State Forest. I broke my arm - the head right off the humerus. No, it wasn't humorous, but I was fortunate that it was my left arm and I carried on pretty much from the beginning, almost in normalcy. I could still paint, sit at the computer, feed myself, get around, go outside and visit my horses, (whom I now miss terribly). With a shattered ankle, it's not that easy. Yesterday I spent the entire day alone, in bed with frequent waves of tears and depression. I felt so uncomfortable, helpless and immobile. Everything hurt.

Today my sister, Denise, came over. She has been an angel, helping me maintain a somewhat respectable level of personal hygiene. She helped me get cleaned up and washed and styled my hair. She reorganized the studio again so I could work at a table from the wheelchair. She fed me lunch. Most importantly, she  talked some sense into me. "We are not Human Doings, we are Human Beings", she said. "You've got to try to relax. Contrary to our upbringing, you don't have to be doing something all the time!" Those words really woke me up, changed my perspective and hit home. I think I turned the corner right then. 

On Easter Sunday, Jerry found these items on our front porch. I believe they came from my drum circle friend, Lou, but as of this writing, that is still unconfirmed. I am so thankful for all the numerous emails, cards and encouraging phone calls. They really go a long way to keep me in a better frame of mind.

These Native American items are reminding me to relax and connect to the Universal Mind.

With the support of my husband, friends and family, I now know that I can get through this. Jerry has been a saint; taking such great care of me, the house, the cats, all the wild critters, the horses and his job. My blacksmith came to trim the horses' feet today. While Rudy was being done, I watched Rita from the window. She kept running out of the barn, listening and looking up towards the house for me. It was the first time I wasn't there with her for the farrier, but Jerry said she was very good. Poor Rudy was awfully stiff though and had a hard time lifting his legs. I usually lunge or ride him two or three times a week to keep his old bones moving. He starts off stiff, but works out of it quickly.  The exercise really makes a big difference with him. It would be nice to find someone who could come and lunge him for me a couple of times a week. 

My parents are coming up from Florida next week to assist. Bobbie and Nan have stopped by to help with studio reorganization, housework, meal preparation and general spirit lifting. I have talked on the phone to local and long distance friends and family everyday. My friend, Irvane, has sent me a greeting card brimming with love and encouragement every single day this week!

Bobbie vaccums the studio while I helplessly look on.

On Wednesday, I was really blown away by a very unexpected and welcome surprise that came in the mail. It was from one of my favorite blogging buddies, Robin Larkspur of Wiccan Writes.

A "Horse Trivia" book and a "Beautiful Origami" kit with instruction book from Robin.

These thoughtful gifts were accompanied by a touching card and a very encouraging note. The horse book is delightfully entertaining and the origami set is just fascinating. I am "chomping at the bit" to get started with it. 
The stork sample looks like a hummingbird to me. (Still no signs of them here yet.)
There are so many interesting creatures in the 80 page origami instruction book! This completed stork came with the kit. I'll probably start with one of these.

Look at all the pretty papers to choose from!
With fifty sheets of beautiful paper, maybe I can even convince some of my friends to come over and try some origami with me! Hey if you are local, give me a call, I'll be here.

Considering our early, warm spring, I'm surprised that I have not seen any of my hummingbirds here yet. Jerry hung two feeders from the studio porch, positioned so I can see them from my bed. I am almost certain my little "Yard Dog" will be here this weekend. Last year he showed up on April 14th. I will sound the bells and spread the word when they arrive! Please think of me, and pay attention to  what you are doing. Be extra careful and have a SAFE and enjoyable weekend everyone!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Bump in the Road / Bum Knee Leads to Broken Ankle

My bed in the studio with my little nurse, Princess.

"The difference between friends and pets is that friends we allow into our company, pets we allow into our solitude." ~ Robert Brault
Last Sunday night, April 1st, while drying off after my shower, the knee that I had sprained the Sunday before, gave way when putting all my weight on it. I shattered my ankle in the fall. Two ambulance rides and forty eight hours later;  pins, plates and wires were surgically inserted to reconstruct the joint. I haven't seen the X-rays yet, but everyone who saw them said it was just a mess. My surgeon looks to be about twenty years old. He assured me that I am going to be OK, he is older than he looks and that he has been doing reconstructive orthopedics for over thirteen years.

"I value the friend who for me finds time on his calendar, but I cherish the friend who for me does not consult the calendar." ~ Robert Brault

My sister,  Denise, has been a huge comfort.  She brought me food, flowers and even got  me cleaned up today.

I would have been very deep into the dungeons of depression by now if it weren't for my friends and family.  They have been taking such good care of me. I am so lucky and thankful to have such a wonderful support system. Not able to put any weight on the leg, it is going to be a long haul with estimates for a full recovery at six months. But with lots of tender loving care and a positive, healing attitude, I'm hoping to get rehabilitation down to about four.

"I get by with a little help from my friends" ~ John Lennon

Carole King - You've Got A Friend live with  Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Gloria Estafan

Thanks so much to everyone for your kindness and your friendship!

"When I find myself fading, I close my eyes and realize my friends are my energy." ~ Anonymous.