Saturday, June 14, 2014

Getting Back to Business

My leg has run a whole gamut of different issues this past week, but I felt I had enough flexibility today to mount a horse and go for a trail ride.  That nasty bruise is still there, but getting more mottled as the blood breaks up.  What I found after not riding for five days was that I am still stiff all over, and weak.  I seem to have lost my ability to ride well.  I told P.S. that I just wanted to take easy trails that the horses have traveled dozens of times, stay away from idiot drivers on roads, and avoid any trouble we might run into out the desert, because I felt like one simple spook may do me in.  My body just feels so fragile right now.

The only trouble we ran into were sudden gusts of wind that rattled the bushes around us and raised our horses' heads higher, but no one spooked.  Rock did trot uphill from a ditch, and I grabbed the horn to brace myself since I was in no shape to post or melt deep into the saddle.  However, because I was hanging onto the horn, I wasn't in control of the reins, so when he tried trotting right past Gabbrielle and keep on trotting down the trail, I said, "Whoa!" and he stopped.  That was really nice, because I did not want to have to stress my neck and back by circling him.  I did tire out early and both my legs were hurting, so we headed back sooner than we might have otherwise.

Before the trail ride, I groomed Lostine, and she was acting really weird.  She kept looking at the ground and dancing around like something was biting her feet.  I looked to see if ants were crawling on her, but nothing was there.  Then she pulled back so hard on the lead rope that I couldn't get the quick release knot out that I tied to the trailer.  I had to convince her to stop pulling and come forward closer to me, and then I was able to untie her.  She had almost pulled the halter right off her head.

These were not the types of antics I would expect from a 26-year-old horse.  She went back to jumping around while looking at the ground, so I removed her fly mask and she settled down.  I held her fly mask up to my face and saw that there were black smudges under the location of the eyes.  She probably thought those black smudges were something on the ground that was going to eat her, so I collected everyone's fly masks and did some laundry.

My son is finishing up his last few college credits in Rome, Italy.  He's majoring in film and minoring in the Italian language.  I Skyped with him a couple of weeks ago, but haven't heard from him since, and am starting to get worried, because one of the last things he said to me was that he was thinking of traveling to Croatia.  I tried to talk him out of it.  If he wanted to leave Italy, I would have preferred that he go to Switzerland or Austria.  I'm sure everything is fine and he's just not checking his email.  My daughter studied abroad in China since she was learning Mandarin, and I worried a lot about her, but the people she met and the families she lived with took good care of her.

The dogs have been a handful.  Scrappy has been vomiting and has trouble standing on three legs to lift his leg to pee.  Midge had a grand mal seizure due to an episode of hypoglycemia, so we are making adjustments to her meal times and insulin levels.  Stewie... well, Stewie still isn't potty trained.  And it's not due to any lack of effort on our part.  He's just more interested in chasing quail, bunnies and lizards than he is in getting down to business when we take him outside.  I think there is a direct inverse correlation between the size of a dog and the length of time it takes to potty train them.

While my husband and I were out running errands, I noticed that several saguaro cacti had red blossoms on them.  I've never seen that before.  Usually, they have yellow and white blossoms.  So, I hiked out into the desert to get some pictures, figuring these blossoms would be gone by tomorrow, because everything is so fleeting in the desert.  Much to my surprise, the red blossoms turned out to be fruit containing masses of seeds.  They looked edible, so I researched it, and sure enough, you can eat the pulp.  Harvesting saguaro fruit is a tradition of the Tohono O'odham.  This fruit forms in late June.  Some of the saguaro I saw were not ripe yet, while others had already shed their fruit on the ground.  They say the fruit is ripe when the green ball has a pink tip.  If you wait until the entire blossom is red and opened up, the birds and bats will have beaten you to the pulp and seeds.

The monkey cactus now has two holes for eyes and one big one for a screaming mouth thanks to the birds.


ellie k said...

I think you can make jelly from the fruit. I heard that but am not sure.

achieve1dream said...

That yellow headed bird is pretty! Any idea what it is?

Sorry you feel bad still and that the dogs are sick. I was hoping you would get a break from all the craziness.

I'm a worrier too... Let us know when you hear from your son!

Crystal said...

I've heard of cactus fruit but that looks way cooler than I thought it would be.
Nice to get out on a horse again even if it was just a short ride.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

The bird with the yellow head is a Verdin.

achieve1dream said...

I've never heard of a Verdin. Very cool. Thanks!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

We heard from our son today. I sent him an email telling him I just need to know that he's alive. Otherwise I will be contacting the university and the American Consulate to send out a search party. It turned out that he has been so ill that he lost his voice and couldn't call. We told him to just send us an email every once in a while so we know everything is okay.

achieve1dream said...

Awww I hate that he's sick, but I'm so glad he okay. :D

ellie k said...

When our son was military and in afghan. And the Iraq he would send us a note that sometimes just said l
I am ok. Knowing that he was safe at that minute was a comfort, he is back in Germany now and that is a relief. Glad you heard from your son.

Brenda said...

The most popular type of cactus fruit to make jelly and other things out of is Prickly Pear Cactus, not so much Saguaro. Reading this post reminded me of something I saw on TV recently talking about Native Americans (forget from which tribe) were harvesting the fruits from Saguaro. We have one that is flowering in our front yard, but we have so many birds that they'd beat us to the good stuff before we'd even have a chance to even see it. hahaha.

I'm glad your son is okay and hopefully he won't be sick much longer. That can't be fun, being in a foreign country and that sick.

fernvalley01 said...

Glad your son is OK, what a wonderful opportunity! I was in Italy many years ago, and LOVED it. Sorry you are still so weak and sore, hope you heal up soon