Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I'm recovering, but not from the holidays. For the first time in my life I was sick on Christmas Day. My son came home from college sick and wasn't getting any better, so we took him to the doctor, who prescribed antibiotics. Then my husband came down with a cold that lasted a few days. My daughter and I did everything to avoid the sickos, but we still got tagged by the virus.

My cold started with a sore throat on Friday. The symptoms just piled on throughout the weekend and I'm close to starting my recovery. I've just been taking whatever drugs I can to alleviate the pain and other symptoms.

Christmas was a blitz. I vaguely remember making Christmas dinner at 11:00 AM, because I had the energy then and was hungry. Instead of baking everything in the oven for an hour, I microwaved it so that we could eat right away. I was afraid that if I spent too much time standing around in the kitchen, I'd pass out.  Fortunately, everyone has been pitching in doing the dishes, so whoever is the least sick get the job. 

Can you guess what I got for Christmas?

Does this next picture give you a better idea?

No, not another horse!  Get your mind out of the barn!  My husband got me a slightly fish-eyed wide-angle lens for my Nikon D300s. One of the first photography jobs I was asked to do was a job I couldn't take, because it required a wide-angle lens, which I didn't have. I was supposed to photograph a large dressage class with riders on their horses all lined up in an indoor arena.

My husband also got me a special type of oil mixture that will help our burger meat cook all the way through without burning the outside while leaving the inside raw -- a problem we've been plagued with at our high altitude for many years now.

My daughter got me a new backdrop for my studio, and my son got me a shoot-em-up video game, which he had me open early so that we could play it together while he was at home on his winter break. I got everyone a few items that they wanted or needed, and then suggested that the family go on a shopping spree the day after Christmas for new clothes since my son has ripped almost every pair of his existing blue jeans and is down to just shorts and sweats and my daughter needed job interview clothes. Everyone went without me, because I was still too sick.

The ice has been relentless this year.

Of course, one of our de-ciers in one water trough had to break. We go through this every winter.  We pay $60 for a new de-icer and it never makes it through to the next winter.  Somehow they always break when I'm sick with a cold or flu, so that I have to be outside in freezing temperatures swinging a sledge hammer or axe and pulling ice blocks out of the troughs with my hands. People tell me I'm going to hate the summer heat in Arizona, but I think I'd have an easier time of it dealing with air that is on fire while I'm sick than dealing with ice and snow when I'm sick.  I'd rather fend off heat stroke than hypothermia.  If I've already got the chills, the desert heat might feel kind of nice.

Although my daughter warned me about the Valley Fever you can catch if you get stuck outside in one of those haboobs.  A haboob is gigantic wind that sucks up the desert floor and blows it in one massive sand cloud across Arizona.  Here's a video of one.

I'm in need of a new coat, because the coat my father bought for himself in Alaska umpteen years ago is literally shredding every time I wear it, but I'm hesitant to buy a heavy duty winter coat if I'm just going to move to Arizona next year.  However, even with our heater turned on, I still have to wear a coat indoors to stay warm.  It doesn't help that the handyman removed our bedroom door to replace the rollers on the sliding glass, and all this cold air is blowing into the house while I'm sick.  At least I don't have to worry about flies getting in, though.  It just hit me the other day that I haven't seen a fly or a wasp in a few weeks now.  I'll bet the horses are relieved.  Although they do cry out to me in mornings when they have icicles hanging from their muzzles and pogo-nip on their whiskers.


Leah Fry said...

My visits to your blog have obviously been too sporadic, since I was caught by surprise at your mention of moving to Arizona. Well, that's one way to ditch those crappy neighbors of yours.

Sure hope you are feeling better soon. It's no fun to be sick for the holidays.

Can't wait to see what fun ways you come up with to use that new lens.

Mikey said...

Awww, I'm so sorry you've been sick. That's a sucky time to be sick :(
Don't worry bout the Valley Fever. We've all got it, lol. Anytime you're out in the dust, you're bound to get it, and it lays dormant most of the time, although I do have friends who've had flare ups. But if you ride, you're in the dust.
Can't wait for you to move down here. I'm still working on answering your email, but yesterday was my day that I couldn't sit down for 5 minutes or less w/o someone needing or doing something that would require me to get up.
Hope you feel better already.

Katharine Swan said...

Huh, I'd read that you are supposed to replace those tank heaters every season anyway, for safety reasons. I know of people who have had the same ones for 20 years, but that's probably a case of not making them like they used to.

Feel better soon! You are not the only one sick over Christmas, though your companion in illness is the four-legged variety: We just found out this morning that our dog has pneumonia! Poor girl... and poor you!

Linda said...

I'm a coat and boot-a-phile. I just bought another coat...the new Carhart, water-proof, with the insert that comes all the way down over your hands. LOVE It.

Sorry you were sick on Christmas. :/ That could not have been fun, but it sounds like your family came through in the present department...cool lens!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

So it's definitely Arizona that you've chosen to move to, eh?
Just make sure you get several excellent working air conditioners before braving those summers (they have been known to breakdown at the worst time...just like de-icers). And learn to take siestas every afternoon (just like your neighbors will be doing) and ride at night. And then everything will be perfect! lol!

You want to know something weird? I saw a fly on my window right after our first blizzard on Monday and then I saw him..or a different one just before our second blizzard on Thursday. What the heck?! What was he thinking?! Maybe he forgot his little bathing suit for lounging out in the sun while sipping a human's tropical drink on a beach in Mexico?
Alas, I'm not sure he made it down there in time before the snow buried him.

I'm sorry you had to suffer with sickness during Christmas. I hope the New Year brings you good health. Congrats on the new lens!


fernvalley01 said...

there is never a god time or temp to feel like crap! Glad you are on the mend

Cheryl Ann said...

I thought I was coming down with something...sore throat and HEADACHE, but copious amounts of alcohol seem to have knocked it out! HA!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Hope you are feeling better. Sorry to hear your Christmas time was messed up.

Go ahead and buy that winter coat. I thought the same thing when we moved down there...'Awww, we won't ever need a winter coat again.' Yea Right!

You won't need it the first winter in AZ, but after surviving a summer there...You will be like the rest of them...bundled up on a 50* day.

As for the Valley Fever...It's fairly inevitable. The fungus spores are in all of the dirt. Most people get it, feel like they have the flu and get over it. Some people get severely sick and need extended medication. The very few (and unfortunate, like myself) have it disseminate into their joints. That's the kind that causes problems for you for the rest of your life. I suffer from a lot of joint pain/inflammation and bouts of extreme tiredness. Not much I can do but take a lot of MSM for the inflammation and try to survive when the 'I'm-so-tired-I-could-fall-asleep-on-my-feet' hits.

Other than that...I LOVE Arizona and can't wait until we get a place bought down there...fingers crossed that will be very soon. ;-)

Breathe said...

Wow we are viral twins. I'm just getting thru my Christmas cold too and it started the very same way.. Bleah.no fun being sick on the holiday.

Glad you are working toward that move. I get all my coats at our locale resale shop. You need them so infrequently that they are always in great shape.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Ps, I forgot to mention that you should check out your local thrift stores for great coat deals.
As you probably remember I volunteer at our Hug a Horse Horse Thrift store that benefits our horse rescue.
I buy most of our clothing there, including coats.
I bought a beautiful insulated long LL Bean coat for me for only $4.00, a purple Sierra Designs down filled coat for my daughter for only $2.00 and two insulated wool Pendleton Shirt Jackets for my boys for $3.00 each.

They were all perfect shape, one shirt was missing a button but easy to replace. I think some folks just like to buy brand new coats and winter wear each year and get rid of their barely worn ones from the previous winter. For $12.00 I got some awesome winter wear for 4 of us. If I had bought them all new I'd have spent more than $300!


Once Upon an Equine said...

I'm so sorry you were sick during Christmas. I've been fighting something all week myself. It hasn't taken hold but is making me feel tired. It's no fun to be sick or feel off when you have plans to cook and enjoy the holidays. I hope your bug is all gone by New Years and you are feeling better. Enjoy your new lens!

achieve1dream said...

Wow those dust storms look scary!!