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Posts Tagged ‘About Me’

MyBoothIowaStateFair

So it’s been forever and I’m sorry,

No really, I am.

But if not for an email from a reader saying they missed me here I probably wouldn’t have written even now. I kinda bit off more than I can chew this year, so things like facebook and the particularly the blog tended to get swept under the rug.

In this instance, I decided to be a vendor at the Iowa State Fair. This was a monumental undertaking for me since I didn’t cut any of my usual events. I quite literally worked 7 days a week anywhere from 10-16 hour days for 6 weeks in preparation and the event lasted 2 weeks. And I’m still working that schedule for at least another month. But it’s all good. Nothing a whole lotta sleep and a really good cry won’t fix.

I survived
I was told repeatedly that I wouldn’t be able to do it alone.

I’d burn out.

It’d be too much.

Which if ya’ll know me I’m like “Hell Yea, I can too do it all by myself!”

And so I did.

And frankly it was exhausting running on 5-6 hours sleep each night and getting up and being to the building at 7am all the while bearing in mind that no matter how crabby I felt, stabbing people was wrong! When the building closed at 9 pm, I’d head back and shower and crash. Rinse and repeat.

It was okay sales wise. I was hoping for more though I’m not sure if that’s not always the case. I made some great contacts, took lots of photos and in general thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Yes, I will do it again and at least this time I’ll know what to expect. The bulk of my stress was not knowing anything about the event, the crowds, the buying patterns, parking etc etc.

I do tend to update on facebook more because it’s not the process I go through uploading photos and such. For those who’d like to see more photos and some horse videos and a work in progress piece that I demonstrated with, check out my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WildFacesGallery

 

MeConnieIowaStateFair

The Folks Who Made Me Look Good

So as much as I’d like to pretend I’m Wonder Woman the truth is there was a whole slew of people helping me out in various ways.

Barb McGee. She saved my butt my bringing a load of inventory down for me as well as helped with set up. Not to mention got me a place to stay with family 15 minutes from the fairgrounds. This was so huge! I can’t express how much both mentally and physically and financially this helped. Thank you dear one.

Amanda and family for opening their home to a complete stranger for 2 weeks.

Louise and Bill Shimon for being my plan B on all fronts and just always being there for me.

Connie Braunschweig (in photo above with me) who helped me navigate the chaos of doing this monumental undertaking, told me I could do it and helped introduce me to the walnut center arts family. Hugs to you. I never felt alone because you were here at my side.

Inee & Diane neighbor artists who I often found Manning my booth and making sales when I’d run off when the allure of horse flesh just outside the building doors got too great. And Bill too. 🙂 You all kept me laughing.

All the folks at the Walnut Center who checked on me, offered help, rides, breaks and support. So happy to be welcomed into the family.

And lastly those at home who made it possible for me to leave for 2 weeks knowing my fur babies are taken care of. Gordon, Cheryl Hawk and Mike.

I am mightily blessed to have such great friends. Thank you.

 

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Disclaimer

These posts (past future and present) aren’t meant to replace going to your doctor. It is merely a report on what I’ve learned so that you can go seek your own path, chart your own course and make informed decisions along with your doctor’s counsel. If you are having BS (blood sugar … yeah I know what you were thinking BS stood for) issues … go see your doctor!

It’s just like the Matrix … (except without the sexy superhuman stunts) Do you choose red pill or blue pill.

This is some monumental information I just shared in post 1 and 2 about diabetes. I mean not only is the current medical protocol doing nothing to improve this disease but it is actually progressing it! All the while you are patted on the head for having a great A1C.

Let’s face it, the first question is … why?  Why isn’t it common knowledge? Why hasn’t my doctor told me this for craps sake! I mean when the first time the doctor told me I had diabetes, if he told me I have 2 choices. I can take this insulin which will help with my blood sugars but other than that really won’t help anything and eventually will progress the disease until I reach a point where I lose a leg or go blind or some other shocking atrocity upon my body … OR choose to radically change my diet and mindset in regards to food … knowing that it won’t be fun or easy but I’ll live longer and healthier … well I believe most people and in particular myself, would opt for living better and longer. Personally though, I think the medical profession believes we won’t make that choice and so they don’t offer it.

So the question you gotta ask yourself is …do you want to live in denial about your reality and happily carry on … or face a much less pleasant reality, but know the truth. Red pill or blue pill.

Here’s what I think may be some potential reasons they health care providers don’t give you a choice

  • Perhaps it’s because they don’t really have anything else to offer you. Most aren’t trained as dieticians or nutrionists.
  • Perhaps it’s because alternative’s are against medical or governmental protocol. I have been told by actual doctors that they have to follow a protocol or they may be penalized either financially or by having negative reports.
  • And as I’ve already said I think they don’t believe we have the stones to make the necessary changes.

Regardless they don’t. In fact so much of the stuff they do give you (in my case a couple of pamphlets and fliers from the diabetes association) are giving out the exact wrong information on using diet properly to change your course.

  1. Things like eat multiple smaller meals throughout the day. Graze if you will. Unless you’re on insulin this is really bad advice. It means your pancreas is pumping out insulin all day long with no rest and remember insulin resistance is caused by too much insulin. You need breaks from digesting food.
  2. Eat whole grains and carbohydrates for approximately 25-45% of your diet depending on the association. Umm … no, just no.
  3. Artificial sweetners are okay. Well they don’t raise blood sugars but they do stimulate insulin release. This one sucked for me big time because Diet Coke (that glorious liquid perfection) often feels like the only treat left to me. Now I know there’s nothing good about consuming it, other than that sweet sweet artifical flavor goodness.
  4. Sugar alcohols don’t raise blood sugar like actual sugar and carbs do but they’ll give you some seriously rank gas and if you over indulge you could get rather sick and spend the next several hours exorcizing some intestinal demons on the toilets.

My Backup Plan … poof … gone like a puff of smoke. Yeah … I feel totally cheated!

All of this time I’ve worked rather diligently to keep my blood sugars down in the past 20 years. I had a few years I was put on a pill (glyburide) but worked myself off it eventually. But here’s the thing … I always thought, well when things get out of control or I just can’t take it anymore I can always go on medications. In fact I’ve thought many, many times how much easier and more fun food wise it would be if I did so. And now knowing what I know, that the meds are actually what’s gonna progress the disease … well I feel a little like someone told me there’s no Santa Claus. There no fall back plan. It’s just me and dieting and exercise … until the end.

And finally here is my plan of action

Some of you already guessed part of it. I have cut refined carbs out of my diet. The only carbs I’ve consumed with about 4 exceptions in the past 2 months are from fruits and vegetables. My diet plan has been this….

60% raw vegetables

30% raw fruit

and 10% oils, nuts and cooked meats

This is half of the equation of my plan to reverse diabetes. The other thing I’m doing is fasting 2-3 days a week. Yup, that’s right. Fasting. In particular it’s intermittent fasting. I will go into actual details in the final post (I think it’ll be the last one) of my numbers, my progress and what I do actually eat.

I’ll leave you with this final thought

So here’s the thing. It’s not that I think I’ll live longer, though there’s that hope, but that I want my quality of the time I’m here to be better.

I’ve seen first hand what diabetes can do to a person. I’ve seen what happens when a diabetic on insulin eats what they want with the thought they’ll just take a little more insulin to make up for that ridiculous meal they just consumed. I spent several holidays in the hospital watching my dad suffer with various diabetic complications when I was growing up. And in the end I’d like to think had some doctor told them the truth about that strategy. Told them the truth that taking insulin is in the end what will kill them and that the goal is to take less not more. Told them that diabetes is actually reversible all they have to do is choose.

Well I’d like to think they’d have chosen wisely.

And this is for J A. Good on you for looking for a new doctor. That last one was truly an Asshat. Hugs to you. 🙂

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SuckItUp

First let me to say to those who asked to remain anonymous I just deleted your comments as requested to protect your privacy. But thanks so much for taking the time to reach out. Blogging is so much just talking to the void so it means a lot that you responded.

Disclaimer

Next I want to say that these posts (past, future and present) aren’t meant to replace going to your doctor. It is merely a report on what I’ve learned so that you can go seek your own path, chart your own course and make informed decisions along with your doctor’s counsel. If you are having BS issues … go see your doctor!

The Vicious Cycle

Okay so I left off with the traditional treatment actually progresses the disease. From what I’ve read diabetes is a disease of insulin resistance. High blood sugar (BS) is just the side affect. So far the only treatment options beyond diet is for treating BS, not insulin resistance. It’s like you have an infection in your leg and you have pain and fever with it. You take Ibuprofin and the fever and pain diminishes but it hasn’t done anything for the underlying cause … the infection. And as soon as the ibuprofin is out of your system the fever and pain returns. So you gotta keep taking it. But after awhile the amount of Ibuprofin you’re taking doesn’t do anything for the pain and fever and the infection is spreading, and so the answer to the problem is not to take more Ibuprofin.

Giving insulin for high blood sugar is the same thing. It’s treating the side affect not the actual problem.

So just in case that’s not bad enough

Insulin resistance is caused by an “abundance” of insulin in the body for extended periods of time. This may have happened because you’re overweight, genetically predisposed or eat a high sugar/carb diet and most likely for many (myself included) it’s all of the above. The high sugar/carb diet leads to more insulin being released into the body which leads to weight gain. Insulin’s job is to pull sugars from your blood stream and put them into your cells by way of fat. That’s what it does. Eventually after this has gone on for awhile your body tries to protect itself by not utilizing the insulin and thus you BS rises. Reread that last sentence again. Go ahead I’ll wait.

So the current medical practice is to get you on a pill for your high blood sugar levels.  Metforman is not  insulin nor does it create it. But the others that do (like glyburide which I have been on in the past)  they either force the body to make more insulin or are insulin. So … when sugars are pulled from blood and turned into fat. Walah! you gain weight. All diabetics know this. Once on a treatment protocol weight gain invariably follows… which leads to higher BS levels … which leads to more meds … more weight gain  … on and on until you die.

Okay that was a little harsh but the facts (and ugly truth) is that diabetes (insulin resistance not high blood sugars) lead to all sort of horrible things at a shockingly high percentile. Here’s the short list.

  • obesity
  • foot and leg amputation
  • blindness
  • kidney failure
  • stroke
  • heart attack
  • cancer
  • alzheimers
  • coronary artery disease
  • PAD peripheral artery disease and nueropathy

I want to stress again if you’ve got high blood sugars you need to go to your doctor!

Why you ask, if the protocol he’ll put me on just makes it worse? Well because the answer is not, not taking meds. You need to see how bad things really are, you need to track organ functions and perform damage control. And if you need to take the meds you should BUT the reason for these posts is to motivate you to take action. To take control in order to get off the drugs as soon as possible. To do some research … lots and lots of research and figure out what you need to do. Here’s what I know. There are multiple ways to reverse diabetes through diet. Find a plan or do what I did which was create my own. Because what ever I do, it has to be something I can do for a lifetime. There’s no fast cure. No magic pill. Just you and your food.

So as my dry erase board says … Suck it up Buttercup. Remember … it’s only temporary. Though perhaps it should say … Remember, it’s only food.

In the final part I will discuss what I’m doing and how it’s going.

 

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Warning this is kinda long and has nothing to do with art so feel free to ignore until my next post which has cute little fuzzy bunnies in it. Oh yeah. You know you love fuzzy bunnies.

I know, I know it’s been awhile…

I have been creating but mostly little stuff designed for mini prints or cards. Not really much that is blog worthy though I will post shortly a bunny piece I just finished which is revoltingly cute and titled appropriately “Bunny Kisses” Oh yeah …

But I tend to go off on personal quests when I’m MIA from the blog and this time has been no different. Being single with my own business and a small acreage to tend (not to mention my critters) when I’m on a quest there’s not much time for extras like blogging.

So I pondered heavily whether to even bring it up here. Quests are usually personal and the blog is about art so mostly I don’t cross over, but this time I figured I’d share just a bit. Because I think it’s really important.

Those who know me …

know I’m a diabetic. I have been for 20 years now (man time flies) some of that time I’ve been on medication, most of it however I’ve not. Diet controlled as it were. The older I get the less I have to weigh to stay that way. And because God is a very funny being, menopause also raising resting blood sugar levels. (Because menopause is a huge hormonal shift and insulin is a hormone) So recently I gained a few pounds which I always do in winter because I’m not slogging around a ton of stuff at art fairs. And now with no horse and elderly mother to keep me hopping I gained a little more than my usual 10. As a result my BS (blood sugars) began to rise.

I’m like “Okay, time to rein this in” so I began to diet and walk. I bought an elliptical for myself for Christmas and upped my regimen there and … wait for it … my BS kinda skyrocketed. They went from a bit elevated to high. Crap! I went to the doctor. Got labs done. Got back on medicine. I told my Dr. that I just wanted something to drop my BS until I lost the weight. He put me on a drug which takes 2-3 month to reach full efficacy. I’m like what? Really?He also put me on a very serious drug as a “preventive” for my kidneys, not because I needed it but because it was standard protocol (cholesterol lowering drugs are also par for the course but my numbers were crazy good so he passed.) The extra drugs thing … that’s another story though. And to be clear I like my Dr. He’s not the bad guy here.

At first I was annoyed. I’m like Geez … I’ll have lost the weight by the time they kick in what’s the point? Turns out now I’m grateful. It gave me time to try something and know the results were successful because of what I’m doing not because the drugs are working. For now I’m still taking them. I’ve only been on them for 2 weeks so we’ll see what I want to do in another 2 weeks when I see my Dr. again.

All this led me on a journey. I am so very grateful I live in a time when information is so readily available. I googled “Reversing diabetes” and after months of reading several hours every day, watching you tube videos and movies, (like Fat, sick and nearly dead and Forks Over Knives) webinars, buying books, reading scientific studies … you get the point, I learned a few things. A few horrifying things but more importantly a few wonderful things too.

Let’s start with wonderful

  • Diabetes is totally reversible for nearly everyone. And guess what … it doesn’t cost anything.

Um … Well really that’s all there is I guess on the wonderful side but it’s a biggie wouldn’t you say?

And now for the Horrifying

  • The traditional treatment for diabetes actual progresses the disease
  • Elevated Blood Sugar isn’t what will kill you, it’s elevated insulin.
  • Much of the diabetic guidelines put forth by the medical and diabetic association will in fact make it worse. But they’ll say don’t worry, it’s just the natural progression of this chronic disease. Here have some more insulin.
  • They “know” it’s a lie but they all tell it anyway.
  • A diabetic on insulin with an A1c of 6 (considered quite good)is just to likely to suffer a cardiac event as someone with an A1c over 10. (considered quite bad) That right there was enough to make me faint. A diabetic on insulin has a much higher chance of dying from a heart attack. And by much … over 30%. Depends on the study really, 30 is low balling it.

Now just in case you think I’m a nutter or drank the kool-aid from some cult there are many many acclaimed doctors who support this. But the one who made it all make sense to me was Dr. Jason Fung. He’s a kidney specialist who is sent the worst of the worst diabetics. The ones taking tons of insulin, very obese and kidneys were failing. Guess what … his protocol reverses the disease. And quickly I might add. He calls it cured, but no, I don’t think so. Cured to me suggests I can go out and eat cake, bags of cheesy poofs and pot roast for months on end and be fine. But … it can be put into a kind of remission where the occasional cheat will be fine as long as for the most part you follow the rules.

Well this has gotten crazy long. So I’ll give more details in another post. But for those of you interested google Dr. Jason Fung, read his blog watch his seminars. They are not as flashy as many of the diet gurus out there, some are actual seminars for other Dr’s but he’s also not trying to sell you something. That alone gives this guy some credibility in my opinion.

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2015 My Year On Etsy

snapshot5

So after the loss of my Squidoo income I kinda looked around for something to help make up for the hefty monthly income that I was no longer getting. Of all the options I looked at, Etsy seemed like the best/ within my comfort zone direction.

Originally I had opened my Wild Faces Gallery Etsy store in 2008 sold a few prints then dropped it when ebay sales exploded. Ebay far outsold etsy and so I put all my energies into it. But I got burned out listing and relisting on ebay and eventually quit doing it as well. Remember how much work ebay was I opted to reopen my etsy shop. One listing lasts 4 months, this was something I could handle as a part time gig.

Now I’m not a New Years resolution kinda gal but I am a goal setter and so my goals for Etsy in 2015 was to have 200 items in my shop and 100 sales by year’s end. To be clear if one person buys 7 prints (which happen much more often than I’d ever expected) it still counts as only one sale.

I crossed the 200 inventory mark in early October and crossed the 100 sales in early December. It’s been exciting to see the growth of my little shop and it even out sold my own website in gross annual sales. I ead somewhere there are over a million shops (though how many are active I don’t know) on etsy with over 19 million registered users. It’s a great built in market.

Looking Forward

So I’m not really sure what my goals for etsy should be this year. I’m probably gonna go with double my 2015. Shoot for 400 items and twice the gross sales. I’ve learned a lot this year on etsy. I like how I can try new things that I can’t add to my website. Etsy is flexible and allows for all sorts of variations.

There are all sorts of thing you can get at my etsy store that you can’t find on my website. I really need to look into that in regards to updating my website.

At any rate if you want to see what’s new check out my etsy store.

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BigRedWIP5-1000

Big Red is not done … despite the fact that I signed it. I need to tweak the background and some of the feathers only have the base wash done. But I’m gonna set him aside for a bit and move on. The gallery work has been streaming in so time to shift focus for a bit. The colors are a bit blown out, particularly in his comb. I think I should have tried taking the photo in a shadier spot but you get the idea. It’s about a 13 1/2 x 18 piece but I am seriously considering cropping it some. See cropped version below. What do ya’ll think?

BigRedWIP5-1000Crop

Funny How The Universe Works Some times

A few days after making the decision to do this little scheme of mine I was contacted by someone looking to license my work …

specifically farms animals …

specifically several of the animals on my short list including a rooster and pig (which I have drawn out) and an alpaca which just that day I’d selected a photo of an alpaca to do.

I find the timing fascinating.

95% Never Manifest

Now I’m certainly not counting my chickens before they hatch as it were (Geez … how many bad chicken puns do you think I can some up with) but the timing suggests I may be on to a good idea. Sort of the Universe’s way of saying “Yes, follow this idea.”

I am contacted weekly by people who look like they could be a potential money maker. We may exchange multiple emails, talk for weeks hashing out details, they are all excited and say they’re ready to progress and then … never hear from them again.

After an appropriate amount of time I may contact them asking if they plan to mover forward or if they no longer want to, well that’s okay, just let me know.

… (crickets) …

So if this licensing deal comes to fruition I will certainly let ya’ll know.

The Art Of Licensing

I have been asked many time to talk about licensing but never have. Partly because I don’t consider myself all that knowledgeable and partly because I have yet to find it hugely financially rewarding. But I’m going to make at least one blog post on the subject. It’s high time I get back to sharing real information on what it’s like being an artist.

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boothartsplash2015resized

Oh yes, I have been sick. I’m not sure if it was bad art fair food/fast food at my last event (which was not the one pictured above) or just the bug that I’ve heard is going around. I haven’t had the flu in over 12 years so this was a real shocker. But as of today I’ve kept my breakfast down and I feel pretty close to normal, a little weak but other than that I’m pretty sure nothing is going to explode out of one end of me or the other. Which is good because tomorrow I leave for yet another art event.

So the two events I’ve done so far have been below normal in sales which is disappointing of course. But as artists we are generally optimists. I mean really have to be don’t we? At Artsplash I got a nice award with a nice check so that helped make up for it. Also on the plus side the weather has been stellar. This is not the most flattering booth shot but I had to showcase the award. 🙂

The weather report for Riverssance is …

This weekend I head to Daveport, IA for Riverssance, It’s supposed to rain tomorrow morning, then clear off during the day which means hopefully we get to drive into the park to set up the booth. (Lord know I hate slepping my booth and artwork across a water soaked park by the tiny cart full.) After that the rain resumes Friday night into early Sat. Morning. And then … nothing but unicorn rainbows and butterfly wishes … er … sunny and beautiful. So here’s hoping the buying crowds come out.

If you’re in the area I’m booth 72. Pop in and say hi!

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click for larger image


DC Comics Wonder Woman Colorful Pop Art Panty for women (Medium)


So lots has happened recently that I plan to blog about but am in a whirlwind of events and pretty much just crash at the end of each day. “Cowgirls” is up and running, I have finished the calf that is photographed below so expect a start to finish on her at some point and well … this

That’s right this is way bigger than just needing Big Girl Panties

So in the next four weeks I’m doing four art fairs. This has kinda been the norm for me for the past several years but as the month of September approaches there is always some trepidation.

As a single woman running a business on her own I have quite a bit of stress to deal with. Mostly normal stuff but there’s something about having no one to fall back on, no one to tell me everything will be alright that I, at times, wish I had.

In most of my high stress situations I often say something like “Time to put on my big girl panties.” But as my September art fair stint is now here I need to step it up even more which means breaking out and putting on, my wonder woman Underoos.

Art fairs are so much work and the possibility for something bad to happen is rather high.

Something bad you say? Like what?

Ooh let me let my fears run amok for a moment …

  • Storms, lightening and or high winds.
  • Torrential down pour ruining my work
  • Flooding. Yup when the torrential downpour literally overruns whatever scenic water way the art fair is adjacent to. This has happened but I always managed to pack up and skip town before the flood exodus begins.
  • Temps exceeding 95 degrees. I’ve done 100 or more many many times over the years. In fact it was 101 on pavement just 2 years ago at the event I did last week.
  • which leads me to … Getting sick. So far has never happened. I spend a lot of time outdoors making sure I’m comfortable working hard in hot weather. And keeping myself physically strong enough to move 1000 pounds of stuff several times over the course of a few days.
  • Hurting myself in some way where I am unable to work. As a working artist it means that if I don’t work I don’t eat.
  • Van breaking down and being stranded far, far from home.
  • Car accident. There’s nothing that says “squished like a bug” than rear-ending a solid object and having 1000 pounds of art stuffs slide forward and push me into my engine block.
  • Getting mugged. Most of the events I do are pretty safe. Still there is one or two where I am downtown in a major city well after dark.

Now you might have thought no sales would have made the list … but no.

First of all that almost never ever happens. At this point I have done most of my events long enough to know about what I’ll come home with and if something happens like getting stormed out … well that’s what my gallery is for.

Art fairs are what got my hobby to business status, but as the gallery does better and better and produces a steady stream of work, art fairs have been cut. It’s still an important income stream not to mention all the other benefits they bring, but losing out on an event here or there is a bummer for sure, but not something that keeps me up at night.

So if you see me somewhere in the next few weeks you may well wonder what is giving me the courage to smile and be conversational while internally I am all chaos.

And now … you know.

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That statement has been sort of reoccurring for me for the past several years and my reason this time is the same as in previous disappearances … I suffered a personal tragedy. This time my mother passed away somewhat unexpectedly.

For the past 2 years she had slowly becoming more lost. Her short term memory faded until at the end it was pretty much nonexistent. We managed to keep her in her home until the end with a lot of effort from a lot of people. So this past year I was spending much of my emotional and physical energies with her and my blogging suffered,

While I could have blogged about it, the truth is I just didn’t much want to. I really didn’t feel like in general I had all that much to say. It was sheer force of will that kept me working, and to be honest throwing myself into my business is a coping mechanism to boot. But no … no desire to share the experience and emotions.

Perhaps it was because things were just sort of one thing after another. Marital struggles followed by divorce, my financial future resting on my ability to learn computer technical proficiency, the death of my beloved horse and now mom.

To be clear I’m not now nor ever much was depressed. Saddened and grieved yes, depressed no.

So anyway to get you all up to speed.

The gallery is flourishing, Etsy seems to have a hit a sales stride, art airs so far this year are just fine (no woohoo moments, but also no wondering why the sales gods have forsaken me) and I’m working on a painting. Another cow of course because the first cow exhibition is a mere few weeks away. (New cow painting progress photos to follow soon.)

And barring anymore catastrophes I should be back to blogging far more regularly.

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chicorysnowyface

In fact I don’t even plan to share it to facebook. This is me getting the crazy grief out.

Yesterday I put my beautiful sweet boy down.

I am heartbroken.

He was 20 something years old and I had him for more than 18 of them. Though he was technically an old horse I fully expected to have another 5 or 10 years with him. He was very healthy and robust and very much the best horse I could have wished for. Even in the end, when he knew something really bad was about to happen, he didn’t bite or strike. He just rolled his eye to me asking “Why?”

He stopped wanting to walk around 3 weeks ago. The vets ruled out anything like navicular or founder. Arthritis was their best guess early on, HYPP was explored and there was talk of tumors. All of these things can’t be fixed, though pain management seemed possible. In the end it seems doubtful it was arthritis or Hypp. Both had vague symptom similarities but just didn’t quite fit. Tumor? maybe. Whatever it was it progressed rapidly.

He was on maximum Bute for longer than he should have been but at the end it didn’t touch the pain. His last day he got up twice to only lay back down in minutes. I brought him water and treats which he ate. Hay he ignored. He had a bit of a bloody nose though this could have been a side affect of the bute and just lay sprawled out in the snow groaning softly.

I called the vet and he couldn’t get out for a couple of hours, so I sat with him with his head in my lap and stroked his face, telling him how much I loved him and what a good horse he was while we waited.

Chicory has always been terrified by vets. One whiff of vet stink and he’d bolt. The only thing I can think was when he was a baby he ran into a barbed wire fence and totally tore up his shoulder. This was before me but I imagine it was traumatic enough for him to hang onto.

So when the vet touched him he popped up like a jack in the box. He struggled to stay up but did. In fact he never went down until the very end. He was given more than 5x the normal amount of the drug that was supposed to put him to sleep so the second injection could stop his heart peacefully.

It didn’t work. What should have been a 15 minute procedure took almost 2 hours and in the end we had to give him the heart stopper without him being asleep.

It was so horrible … I have no words.

You’d think that since I have been crying for weeks because I knew this was where we’d wind up that I’d be all done. But no. The pain washes over me randomly. My horse pen is close to the house so it shouldn’t surprise me how much I look out the window to see him. Yet … it does.

Chicory always whinnied loudly when he’d see me first thing in the morning, which alerted the barn cats they’d soon be fed and they’d explode out of the barn in a mad dash. Even on his last day he managed a weak nicker. This morning … no nicker. Oh how I miss it.

He is being cremated and they couldn’t come out until this morning. I tried to set it up so I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. I left directions with them the night before and a check in the car.

But at 9am there was a knock at the door. I pondered not answering but what if he was having a problem, so me in my jammies, no bra, crazy hair and my eyes swollen from crying all night I answered. the door. He looked at me sweetly and just wanted to let me know they were taking him.

So there you have it. All my pain out for everyone to see. I’m not sure that I feel any better … at all. But I think it will help at some point.

The photo above is from many winters back and one of my favorites because you can see he was happy and just being goofy. He loved me as much as I him. Even when he got out of the pasture he always came galloping back when I called. Always whinnied and nuzzled and hugged.

I’m one of those touchy feely types who believes animals have souls, so I hope and pray he forgives me for that last betrayal … ending his life before he was ready … and that he is running pain free somewhere in heaven.

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