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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cows and wild fire.

It seems when the sarcoidosis gets the upper hand for some reason I find it hard to blog. I was taking a higher dose of steroids for a while and it really helped. Since I've weaned down the dose the inflammation is returning. I have subcutaneous granulomas in my legs, arms, back, ankles etc. (Granuloma is a medical term for a roughly spherical mass of immune cells that forms when the immune system attempts to wall off substances that it perceives as foreign but is unable to eliminate). Granulomas were found in my eyes and throat at one time, so I think they are pretty much everywhere. Some of them are pretty big and others tiny. They can interfere with the organ, nerve, muscle etc. they are growing in or near. I'm hoping my sarcoidosis will go into remission but for the last three years it has been active. I started having acute attacks of the disease in the mid 90's when I had all kinds of muscle issues like cramps, torn muscles, tendons, twitching, pain, difficulty walking and bouts of really bad fatigue. In the summer of 2008 it hit again and this time decided to stick around and now it has affected my joints and vision as well.

Anyway, all this has made it difficult for me to function as I used to and that is the reason I have been only playing around with the mustangs and have long ago stopped any more serious training. My autoimmune doc told me I have an area in my spine that had severe osteoporosis caused by the sarc and could easily I'm in no hurry to get on a green horse, even if I could. All in all I'm happy and having fun...just wanted to explain myself a bit though......don't want anyone to think I'm just being lazy... :)

Life on the farm has been rolling along. In July, Brad and William seeded a nice stand of alfalfa with a cover crop of oats in the meadow. They have been irrigating the heck out of it and it's coming along really nice.

The other day I found myself defending the fort while Brad and William were gone for three or four hours....and wouldn't you know it..some of the cows got into the alfalfa field. Cows can bloat and die a horrible death if they gobble down too much alfalfa and so I knew I needed to do something. I made a couple of attempts to go and save the day with my two hiking poles and Teddy, but had to call the mission off due to the heat and all that, and also I didn't think I could get them in by myself...Teddy is just a pup still. Although only a few of the cows were out, I knew the rest would follow them soon as they finished chewing their cud and I couldn't stand idly by and watch them bloat. Anyway, I came up with a cunning plan....

Before the cud chewers spotted the escapees in the alfalfa and went to join them, I cut into a bale of hay, put it into my jeep and drove into the corral honking and calling as if it was a big feeding time. Not only did the cud chewers come to the jeep but the silly cows that were up to their bellies in delicious alfalfa started to come back towards the corrals. When the corral cows were busy eating the bit of hay that I made a big deal of, I moved as quick as I could to 'chase' the escapees back in. I was amazed that they went in! A couple of calves ran around having fun but I slapped my straw hat into the crop and yelled at them and they raced in after their mothers! Dandylyons noticed I was hyperventilating and she came to walk back with me and then stood between the bull and me so I could get in the jeep.

Sun, heat and stress are the worse things for me and it was difficult to recover once I got home. I noticed the light outside turned orange and then the phone rang. It was then I discovered something was wrong with that phone...I could hear someone asking if anyone was home but the caller couldn't hear me. I'm glad I couldn't hear him because it turned out it was a neighbor telling me a wildfire was racing towards our house. I think I would have just had a heart attack at that point! As it was, a little while later Brad and William saw the fire on the way home and called to tell me there was a fire and it was under control. Luckily, the wind died down.

The fire started beside the road, about a mile from the house, just the other side of our fence, and took off across the sagebrush.

Brad came and got me and I took these photos of the local volunteer firemen doing mop up. You can see how close it was to our fence.