Thursday, August 17, 2017

Valve Dilemma

Last night I spoke with Rich Hodel who happened to have the same exact surgery I need and learned some new facts about mechanical or animal tissue valves that pretty much sent me into a bit of a tail spin. The pro's about mechanical is it won't wear out. The pro's on the animal tissue is you don't need blood thinner.
The con's are what really bothered me. With the mechanical and taking the blood thinner it is really going to cramp my life style. I MUST not get kicked or fall off a horse, or get slammed into a wall and have internal bleeding. This year alone I was kicked hard enough to get slammed into the barn wall and tear something in my knee. The bruising was so bad that at the doctor's office they took one look at the leg and were horrified, exclaiming "how many times did he kick you?" and that was without being on blood thinner, just a baby aspirin. Many many times dealing with the foals I've been stepped on, pushed hard into the wall or found myself bleeding. Will I  have to give up my job? Will I ever be able to ride again?
The con's with the tissue valve is they just don't last. After doing research some have failed as soon as 7 years but one lasted for 17. The average is around 10 years. I'm pretty sure I will NEVER want to have open heart surgery again but maybe a new technology will come within those years so open heart surgery does not have to be done to replace a valve. Should I take a chance on that happening?
I was upset enough last night to even forget that the blog hadn't been updated.
We had a really good day at the Berean office. Robin and Carol came to help. Robin stuffed, wrapped, labeled and stamped all the Bibles going out
while Carol folded studies.
I got all the labels printed while they were working. The Bibles are now ready to be mailed and we have plenty of studies to get by for next week's work.
At the farm I moved a round bale into the pond pasture, locked the mares and foals into that pasture while moving another bale into the far paddock. Then took the old bale out of the short shelter. That bale looked good but the horses were not eating it. After pulling it out and smelling it I understood why. It just didn't smell right. It didn't look moldy but smelled bad. The hog panel was taken off that bale, that bale dumped into the manure pile and a new bale put in the short shelter. Bunni and Missy were put in the paddock next to Evan's as I don't worry about the lime, they won't eat it. The others were let back into the far paddock and the bale in the pond pasture moved under a shelter so it won't be wasted.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Lime & Foals

I left the walk after just one round to get to TEMCO in time to get the mail to the Berean office by 9:00 am. To read about our morning there click HERE.  We really need rain. The last few weeks we haven't had more than a few sprinkles. This makes it easy to clean and scrape paddocks. Mark worked this afternoon with the skid steer cleaning 3 paddocks and spreading lime on those three. I'm usually thrilled to get this job done but today as soon as the mares and foals were let back into the middle paddock I noticed the foals checking out this funny white stuff. They can die if they eat much of it so the horses were locked out of that paddock. They were temporarily moved in with Bunni and Missy and that paddock opened up to the pond pasture. They can't stay long there, too many mares for only that 1 shelter. I'll probably need to move them to Middle Grove for a couple weeks. If we get rain they can be let back in as the lime hardens quickly. This evening Diane, Ruth and I made our way over to mom's. We played a short game then visited until dark. Mike worked at Middle Grove tonight and made sure to check on Sheena and her filly as I didn't see them yesterday.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Almost a Farmer

School started today which means no more Funday Monday until next summer around here. That also meant Karin, Ruth, Anni and Jessica went back to work. We only had 4 dogs on our walk now that everyone is home from vacation they took their dogs home with them.
After the walk I decided not to waste this beautiful day and drove out to Middle Grove to get updated pictures of the foals out there for the website. I found Galena, Ella, her colt, Anna, her filly Hadassah and her filly right away. Those three foals were photographed first. Good thing was they weren't too muddy.  Below is Ella's colt at 2 and a half months of age. His mane is so thick it stands upright and the tail is so long it is down to his hocks. This colt sure did inherit Evan's hair gene.

He sure is a cute fellow and very big when you realize his dam is a pony. I'm afraid he will not stay pony sized though so won't be able to be shown in those classes. He will blow the judges away with his movement. He is for sale for $3000.00 and can be reserved with a $500.00 deposit. Below is Hadassah's filly by  Evan. Her registered name is Esther (get it?) 

She is black and will stay black. She also has a lot of mane and tail but then again Evan is her sire too. That stallion sure does throw the hair gene. She is registered with Friesian Heritage Horse as 75% Friesian. Her complete pedigree is listed on her registration papers. She can be shown in Arabian shows as part Arabian and Friesian shows as half Friesian. We are asking $5000.00 for her but if she is snatched up this month will take $500.00 of her asking price as she is related to both of our stallions.  The next filly pictured is Anna's filly by Valiant named Delilah. Check out her length of neck. She is a stunner, she is also a purebred Friesian, registered and DNA'D with Friesian Heritage Horse. She was born March 28th and is ready to be weaned.  At 4 and a half months of age she already has thick feather and she is going to be TALL.  She is for sale $8000.00 but she is not related to Evan at all so our price is firm. We can always keep her and breed her to Evan at age 3. 
She has show presence!
After I was done with these 3 foals I started hiking to find the rest of the herd. It only took about an hour of looking before I found them down in a hollow next to a pond that I never knew was there. This land is just so huge we are always making new discoveries. There were a bunch of mares down by that pond but only one foal, Soul's filly by Valiant named Francesca. She was standing next to Cookie who I at first thought was Soul. I kept marveling that she was almost as big as her mom until I realized that wasn't her mom. 
 Check out that mane on her. She inherited that from her dam. She is 3 and a half months old. She is registered with Friesian Heritage Horse International as half Friesian but can also be registered as half Andalusian in the IALHA. We are going to let the buyer do that this year if desired. Last year it took 6 months to get the IALHA papers back. She is for sale for $5000.00. 

Lily was standing next to the pond but her colt was not in sight. At first I panicked praying the colt didn't die and went right over to check her udder. It was obvious that she was still nursing.  After checking the area I found him up in the trees.  WOW is he ever looking good. He is already SOLD but I can't wait to show these pictures to his owner. He is so tall and good looking that if he was a filly I would have been tempted to keep him. 
Rosaleigh and her colt were just up the hill. I couldn't beleive how he filled out. He is only 2 months old. 
 He is much more chunky than I thought he would be. He is also sold. 
I didn't have to look for EasterBonnet. She saw me and came running. I had a tough time getting any pictures of her, she was right in my face or following me the entire time. I finally got some pictures of her as I was walking out. She was the only foal or horse that followed me quite a distance from the herd. She is registered with Friesian Heritage Horse International and for sale for $4000.00. Who ever ends up with her is going to love her disposition AND her chrome. That star on her forehead sets her apart from the rest. 
When I saw this next foal I thought it was Eli, Eliza's orphaned colt. It wasn't until her tail swished that I realized she was a FILLY and that wasn't Sally it was STAR standing next to her. She is pictured below with Rosaleigh's chunky colt standing behind her. 
Below she is with her best friend Francesca. 
Elsa is sold but doesn't she look like a purebred Friesian?
I had to search a bit to find Sally and Eli. I snapped the picture below of his feather but when I checked the camera card there were no good pictures of him. 
He still looks small to me so we will plan on bringing him back for extra attention. Maybe Sally's milk isn't as rich as he needs. He sure has a lot of hair though. After hiking back and almost to the car it was then I realized I hadn't seen Sheena or her filly.  I came upon 2 young deer that went bounding away. I snapped the pictures below but didn't have time to focus.

I finally made it home by 2:30 pm and went right to work downloading the pictures then updating the website. Alicia posted the picture below of her daughter Milia riding her Raven daughter Avalon at the show.   
They WON first place!  Love love love those gorgeous Raven daughters. This evening Mark scraped Ribbon's paddock and added lime. I moved in 2 round bales for the middle paddock. We both finished at the same time. He was putting the skid steer in the barn as I was driving the tractor back to the barn. We are getting close to being real farmers.

13 Down 3 To Go

It was so good to be back in church. Funny we were only gone just one Wednesday this time. I'm always amazed at what a gift it is to actually be there instead of just listening in. We had a visiting minister, Paul Messner, Don and Vi's son the elder from Winthrip, MN speak for the morning. What a blessing that our assurance of salvation is better than any insurance (especially our health insurance). Craig Stickling spoke in the afternoon. After church the kids all came over for dinner and the usual volleyball. There was a big crowd at the playground as Diane had all of the Honeggers over for dinner.
This morning I worked on the foal album getting it up to date. I really really need to take a trip out to Middle Grove soon for updated pictures. We are half way through August and some of the foals will be ready to wean next month. Below is the last picture taken of Anna's filly by Valiant. She was waiting for her best friend Esther to finish nursing so they could resume play.
Both of these fillies are for sale but I have NO updated pictures of them. They are both all black and are always together. Esther is 75% Friesian but looks so much like Delilah I have to line them up side by side to know which is which. Delilah is a bit taller and a little stockier, plus has more feather but when they are in the field running and playing I really can't tell them apart. To see the rest of the 13 foals on the ground so far PLUS Bethany, an Evan daughter born April 1st, 2016 click HERE. We still have 3 to foal. Sangria is due Sept 14, Oksana is due Sept 21st and Easter Lily is due November 7th.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saying Good-by to the Goose Ranch Horses

Karin came over even before breakfast was cooked to report she was taking 4 horses to Jubilee for a trail ride and two of them were Coke and Brista. The riders for those two horses were Shaeya and Noah the two Herman grandchildren who have been working with Karin to train them. They brought their friend Natalie to ride too so Karin and Natalie rode Missy and Bunni. Below Natalie is bringing Bunni up to load into the trailer.
 Bunni and Missy were loaded up first into the front of the trailer.
 Coke and Brista were brought next to load into the back of the trailer. 

 As soon as they pulled away Mark got on the tractor to mow. The weeds have taken over while we were on vacation at Diamond Lake and then at Mayo Clinic. He got the pond pasture mowed, the track around the fields mowed, Valiant's pasture and the mare pasture all today.

 He was finishing up when Karin pulled up with the truck and trailer back from their trail ride at Jubilee. 
 The ride went great. The only problem is everytime Karin rides out there she gets lost. Thankfully Shaeya kept her eyes opened and found the trail back. The horses were unloaded, the tack taken off, Missy and Bunni put away then Brista and Coke loaded back up for their trip back to the Giant Goose Ranch in Canton, IL.

They will be glad to be back there and the campers will be thrilled the horses are back. Only now the horses can be caught, fly sprayed, tacked up and ridden. What a change from when they arrived. They could not be caught, nor fly sprayed and had never had any training whatsoever.
An amazing update came in today from Jessica, the lady that bought Jewel's 2016 filly by Evan. She writes:
Hi Judy, We showed Riata today at her first in-hand competition. She was the only entry in her classes so unfortunately we didn't get to see how she would have compared against other yearlings, but the judge (who was the World Cup dressage judge in Omaha) LOVED her and said she had one of the best minds she's ever seen on a horse period, let alone a baby! She couldn't believe she was only a yearling! To get a compliment from an international judge like that judges Olympic dressage horses means a lot! Lots of great things in store for this baby! Everyone was really impressed with her. 

We always knew Jewel and Evan throw amazing babies and now we have proof!  A big thanks for THAT update!

Always Take a Second Set

We got home at midnight and went straight to bed. I drove the last 3 hours and it was a struggle to stay awake. Emma was so excited to see us she about knocked us both over. Below is a summary of our day what we learned from the cardiologist and the vascular surgeon yesterday.
Mark and I went down to the hotel lobby around 6:00 am for breakfast and were probably the first people to do so. The breakfast area was all set up, the food was there just no people around. The food was excellent for a hotel breakfast. This Holiday Inn Express served egg white omelets, cheese omelets, sausage, home baked cinnamon rolls, fruits, yogurts, breads, cereal and pancakes. I had never seen the pancake machine before, a button was pushed and out rolled a hot pancake. It didn't taste like a sweet fluffy pancake one makes at home but wasn't too bad. Rhoda and Sarah came down around 7:00 am. Rhoda requested late check out and the hotel was very accommodating about that, giving us until noon. The shuttle left at 8:10 am getting us at our appointment the cardiologist a good 15 minutes before the actual appointment and just got settled in the nice comfortable waiting room when we were called in. Brigett,  Dr. Michelena, cardiologist's right hand man (lady RN) did a really good job explaining how surgery was going to work and gave us lots of papers and pictures. Dr. Michelena reminded us of Fedi, our Hungarian brother-in-law with his accent. Unfortunately the news wasn't good for me. The aorta is enlarged now to 6.4  is expanded all the way to the root and is dragging against the valve. He asked if anyone in our family died suddenly and then told Rhoda and Sarah they along with their three brothers would have to also have an endocardiogram as this may be genetic. We got on the shuttle to head back to the hotel when my phone rang. Dr. Michelena was on the other end telling me he had just read that my mom had a brain aneurysm and he wanted me to get my head examined. By this time my head was so cram packed with thoughts it probably did need to be checked out. He really wanted me to have a brain MRA. The girls got off the shuttle at the hotel, Mark and I rode it back to Mayo Clinic, found the right place but the first available time they could get us in was Monday at 6:15 am. Rhoda booked the hotel for us another night but after discussing our options on this we felt we would not be willing to stay 2 nights. Rhoda, Sarah, Mark and I just rested in the hotel room for the afternoon while waiting to see the surgeon. While waiting the girls were making fun of Mark's organization. He found an old folder from home and stuffed it with the papers needed for this trip but the folder was so big we went to Walmart to buy a book bag to carry it in. Below is what he brought and bought:
When we arrived at the hospital for our appointment the lady taking us to the surgeon looks at that book bag and asks, "do you want a wheelchair for that bag?" Our appointment was at 4:30 pm with Dr. Alberto Pochettino, a very well respected vascular surgeon. This was the appointment that having a second set of ears was critical. So much information was being packed into my brain that when he said, "more than likely you will need a new valve" I'm thinking, OK that's not good. Mark asked what were the options and I'm expecting to hear either mechanical or pig tissue, but what my ears heard instead was "either mechanical or anal tissue" My mind is questioning why oh why would they use anal tissue and there is no way they are going to take a graft of MINE to make a valve as immediately my rear end starts to clench,  when Mark asks what are the benefits or disadvantages of each? Again this is what I heard, "the mechanical won't wear out but I would need to take blood thinners the rest of my life, the anal will wear out in about 10 years and I would need another open heart surgery" OH how quick I replied, "I'll take blood thinners!"  It was't until we were driving home that I asked Mark, "Why would they use anal tissue?" Mark looked pretty horrified and replied, "he said ANIMAL tissue!" Oh how glad I am that we had a second, third and fourth set of ears in that meeting. We laughed and laughed pretty much all the way home.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Exhausting That Sitting Around

The hotel had a shuttle that took us right where we needed to go but we had to arrive almost an hour early. This building (the Hilton) should have been called vampire building, you know where they take your blood and smile while doing it. There were so many people lined up sitting in chairs facing forward that it seemed we were on a cruise waiting for the show to start. There were 3 doors in the front and every few seconds someone would come out one of the doors and announce a name. My name was called 1 minute before my appointment time and it was shocking how quickly the vein was punctured and how many tubes of blood were needed. It seemed like they took about a pint. These people were so good that I didn't even have a bruise when finished. That has never happened before. Each time I've given blood, I've given a gallon and a pint,  in the past my arm is all bruised up. After satisfying the blood lady I was allowed to eat breakfast. We ate at the hospital cafeteria. A big scoop of scrambled eggs was just 59 cents but I'm not exactly sure they were real eggs. They just didn't taste right. A sausage patty was only 50 cents but a biscuit with gravy was $1.99. I asked them to just give me the biscuit but when I went to grab one of those little square plastic jams to put on the biscuit it was 69 cents PER JAM! I just couldn't make myself buy one.
The next test was the ECG. I showed up a half hour early and they took me right in, the next test was the chest x-ray and again they took me right in even though we went about 45 minutes early. I was so thrilled that I went right up at 11:30 am to the place where the last test was scheduled at 1:40pm only to be told this test I could not take early. Mark and I spent quite a bit of time walking first around Mayo Clinic gawking like the tourist we are. Check some of the sculptures they had hanging around.

I found this card in one of the gift shops.
I was too cheap to buy it, the cost was $4.50 but thought it fit me pretty well. Next we went outside checking out all the vendor booths on First street.We stopped at a couple fountains.

Each Thursday the town of Rochester has what is called Thursday on First street. There were lots of crafts and food booths, Mark bought a grape leaf gyro to eat for lunch. He said it was so-so and he probably wouldn't try that again.  We finally got tired and went up to wait for the endocardiogram. That test took a long time but I got to lay down and rest while they were doing it. We had to wait about and hour for the shuttle to take us back to the hotel to pick up our car and drive to the next hotel. Karin sent news from home via a text that Coke was teased and is now out, we will need to schedule an ultrasound in 16 days. Roxanne was still in a standing heat and was covered by Evan. Glad she is there taking care of things.   Rhoda and Sarah had already arrived at the Holiday Inn Express. We checked in and left pretty quickly for dinner. We ate a Mongolian restaurant that was delicious and well worth the $13.99 a plate. We got back to the hotel, enjoyed the pool and hot tub and now are getting ready to have an early night.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Our walk this morning was loud with laughter. We have such a good time pretending to get exercise. Today we had 5 walkers and 8 dogs. Diane is watching Coco for Andrew and Rachel so she brought 2 dogs to the walk, Ebby and Coco. Mom just brought Molly, I brought Emma, Ruth didn't even bring a dog but Karin brought her dog,  Jessica's two pugs plus Sarah's dog Kabur. The dogs have just as much fun as the humans. Mark and I left for our trip up to Mayo Clinic at 9:30 am. Rhoda booked the hotel for us but when we tried to get the address we found there are 3 Comfort Inns in Rochester. We tried calling all three but none of them had a room reserved by Rhoda Sceggel. I finally called her to find out why and she dryly replied, "try asking for Rhoda Bork!" Duh, I forgot to ask for her married name.
The trip went fine and we checked in the hotel at 3:30 pm. She booked us a suite that will sleep 6. Anyone want to join us tonight? We tried a restaurant called Nupa for dinner and split a gyro meal. It was good. The restaurant was right next to a HiVee grocery store so after supper we walked over there to get dessert and money. Both of us forgot to bring any money. We felt a bit foolish buying 1 banana and a dark chocolate bar with our debit card and getting back a couple twenties. We will have an early night as we need to be packed up and down at the lobby for the shuttle pretty early.

Heading to Mayo Clinic

This morning Mark and I are making the 6 hour trip to Mayo Clinic. I have an ascending aortic aneurysm that must be repaired. This trip is just to get all preliminary tests done and to meet the surgical team. I'm not sure when they are going to schedule surgery but it will probably be soon. Do NOT worry if you have purchased a foal that will be picked up this fall. We have a lot of help to continue the foals education as far as leading and loading.
I dread the initial operation, that cracking open of one's chest, the stopping of the heart, the bypass machine and the healing after but am looking forward to the time it is healed and I don't have to worry about what is being lifted or pulled. According to Karin, once it is repaired there are no restrictions and it won't blow no matter how hard I work. I've known about the aneurysm since I had the hip replacement March 6th, 2012 and have been monitoring it by ct scans but this year it has grown. Probably something to do with my age, not my lifestyle. I was just hoping to put it off. The main reason is hoping the technology would come up with another way to repair it instead of open heart surgery and the second reason if I could just reach 65 years old so our great country can help pay for it. Now I'm going to have to sell lots of horses.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hopefully Puppies Galore

We quit the walk short today as I needed to be at the Berean office, mom was going to Florence's funeral, Diane was needed at work and Karin needed to work the 2 outside mares.
We had a really productive day at the Berean office. To read about our morning there click HERE.
I had to stop at Meister's on the way home from there to pay a bill for mom's condo and deposit the rent check from the rental company that manages that condo in Gulf Shores. On the way back I stopped at Mike and Diane's office. They had prepared a document that needed to be signed and notarized before the trip to Mayo Clinic tomorrow morning. While there the Horsemeister checkbook was reconciled. Not to brag or anything but that was done within a half hour. I must be getting smarter at the book work, OR I'm just remembering to write everything down.
As soon as I got home Karin came over to help get mares covered. We decided to use Evan on Roxanne and Valiant on Coke. Roxanne did not show well and I think she is going out but since she was not covered yesterday I was glad she stood. We didn't take a chance on Coke and just decided to twitch her before Valiant was brought up. Both mares were marked down.
I had to leave at 4:00 pm for my dentist appointment in Pekin, IL. No cavities and all looks good. This evening after supper Mark helped me move a new bale in for Evan then mowed.
Rhoda and Lee had news, they put an offer down on a new house and it got accepted. They move in Sept 15th. It has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and a partially finished basement for another bedroom and bath in the future. They got a great deal on it.
 Sarah and Nolan also had news, their Maltipoo dog Ari tied tonight. The male is a purebred miniature poodle. These puppies will be 75% poodle and 25% Maltese. For sure non shedding and small. Pictured below is Ari.
They will get pictures of the male for the website. He looks about the same color as Ari. What is interesting is that Rizzy, their other dog is also in season but they will take her back up to Buddy, the King Charles Cavalier again even though they have to take her to Indian. Those two produced darling puppies. And Rhoda's dog Ruby was bred to Jessica's pug. In the next couple months we will have 3 sets of adorable puppies to play with. When it rains it pours...puppies!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Flynn's Video

This morning right after the walk Karin came to work with Brista and Coke. She wanted to take both out on the 'death trails' by themselves, that is no other horses going, just to see if they would listen. Usually a horse in training will be very nervous if not with another horse. Brista was first. Not only did she do well, she was a blast with that fast Paso Fino gait. Karin worked her first in the indoor then took off doing the trails backward.

Above is Brista below is Coke

If you would like to see the rest of those pictures click HERE.  After the ride Coke was covered by Valiant. She is in big but still needed to be twitched. She kicked at Valiant again. Indy was teased and is out. Hopefully Roxanne is still in, she needs to be covered tomorrow.  Zalena and her colt by Evan named Flynn was taken out for a few pictures for his owner. Flynn was playing with the dogs so cute that I ran down to the house to get the video camera. 

Below are a few still shots of this fantastic Friesian stud colt.

IF you would like to see the rest of those pictures click HERE
My next job was to head down to Meister's to pay the first of the month bills a week late. Most of them were paid before we went on vacation but there was one bill (Mark's) that I had to wait on until the rent checks arrived. As soon as I got home from there, Karin and Noah were here to take Brista and Coke out again.
They did extremely well. Once those two mares were back in their paddocks We took Roxanne and Indy into the stalls so their foals could be haltered and tied. Noah was willing to help me get a few pictures for the website. Below is Roxanne's colt by Valiant. 
 He is a gorgeous example of a purebred Friesian stud colt and will end up someone's dream come true. He still needs a name though which must start with D E or F.
 Check out the size difference in the pictures above and below. Below is Indy's filly by Evan. These foals are less than 2 days apart. This filly is huge. Roxanne's colt is not that small but this filly towers over him.  She has inherited the sweet disposition of her mama along with that LONG hair. She is also for sale. Either one of these foals can be snatched up for $8000.00. The deposit to hold is $500.00 with balance due at weaning early December. What a Christmas gift they will be!
She is named Envy and will be registered and DNA'D soon with Friesian Heritage Horse. Both foals had all 4 hooves picked up and were haltered over and over. They are getting a great start in their training. When we took them back out this shudder shudder BUG flew on my golf cart tire. I have no idea what kind of insect but it looks nasty. It was about 2 inches long. 
 It didn't move very fast and since it looked like it would either sting or bite I killed it. Then just happened to look up to see this spider spinning a web on the roof of the golf cart. I posted these pictures on Facebook and wouldn't you know someone knew exactly what it was. It is a  Spined Micrathena and does not bite humans.
 I've never seen such an unusual looking spider so took a few pictures of it. 

The spider was carefully placed on the ground. I don't like them but they kill other bugs so this one was left alone to live, just not on my golf cart.  This evening I joined Ruth and Karin at mom's house for games.