Thursday, August 25, 2016

Snap, Crackle, Pop!

That is the sound that my feet made every day when I took my first steps out of bed!

Yesterday afternoon, I had my first post job-change massage ... Kateri at Pemberton Valley Wellness gave my feet and lower legs a whole hour of attention!

And this was no relaxation massage! Plenty of "breathe through it" was involved! But so worth it!

No more rice crispies!  :D

A couple more photos from around the area (click on images to view larger version):


The photo above is a 10-shot handheld panoramic taken from the roadside, at the only place from which you can see the barn "from outside". It really shows that, while the facilities are pretty big in themselves, the environment they're set in is even more impressive!


Looking south, the barn roof-line with magnificent Mt Currie as a backdrop.


Looking north up the Pemberton Meadows, just so beautiful. One day, when I win the lottery, I'd love to be able to secure a piece of this heaven for our family!

Keep your weight in your heels!
Tanya

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Farmer's Tan

The forest is tinder-dry right now, and gardens are browning with water restrictions in effect. There's a total fire ban, too.

It's been a very hot week, with highs in the mid-30's Celsius. The heat is forecast to continue through next week without the possibility of a quick thunderstorm, let alone a cool rainy day, on the horizon.

Magnificent Mt Currie as seen from one of six entrances to the barn

Speaking of browning, my farmer's tan is coming along quite nicely! Funny how one's ideas of "good" and "bad" tan lines (if any tan is de rigueur these days) changes over time!

In spite of the uncomfortable weather conditions and physical challenges, I did survive my first week of work at the yard. I was pleased that I could still walk at the end of it, but will be seeking an RMT to give my feet some TLC! Lifting a slice of toast to my mouth for dinner was a challenge, though!

I'm grateful for small mercies in that my week is just four days long at the moment!

And, it goes without saying, I'm LOVING getting to know our five charges! I'll be introducing them all to you in due course.

Keep your weight in your heels!
Tanya







Saturday, August 13, 2016

No Hoof, No Horse ...

... as the expression goes.

The same applies to stable hands: No Foot, No Groom!

After my first day of work in late July, when I experienced "burning soles", I purchased a pair of Blundstones to replace my hikers that were so worn that the soles gave me no support or cushioning at all. I have never had blunnies before, but often see them worn around here, and have heard great things about them as work boots.

I wore them to the office for my last four days of work there, to break them in gently, then two days at the yard last week.

At $200 plus taxes, they'll qualify as my birthday present, and hopefully they'll last a couple of years!


They performed well for my first two-day work week, although the (cardboard?) footbeds that came with the boots didn't seem to help with the burning soles. I've now replaced those with gel inserts, so hopefully my feet will be a bit more comfortable from now on!

After working two days in a row last week, my feet really took a beating simply from having to haul me around all day, instead of being comfortably ensconced behind a desk where they've been for the past couple of decades! I had a couple of good blisters which, luckily, hadn't burst. I wasn't even aware of them as they were just part of the tired/burning feet, until the end of the second day.

I spent my three days off this week resisting the urge to pop and drain the blisters. Instead, I've been rubbing my feet with alcohol to try to toughen them up. Can't say I've seen any hardening, but both blisters have been completely reabsorbed without leaving any trace of having been there. Hopefully they'll stay away.

The fronts of my shins also came out in nasty red welts. The socks I'd been wearing were regular el-cheapos that I'd worn hundreds of times before without incident. Perhaps the constant damp of sweat inside confines of the boot ankles caused a reaction with the washing detergent we use? If so, odd that my shins were the only places where the reddening occurred ... take my word for it that a great deal of me was "glowing", but nowhere else showed any ill effects!

I've now got some thicker, natural fibre socks, that I'll be trying from today.

This week is my first "full work week". Four consecutive days, 9am to 5pm. The forecast is for sunny skies with temperatures into the mid-30C's. The vast majority of my work is done indoors, and for that I'm grateful when conditions are as warm as this. That said, if you're experiencing cooler weather, even if it's raining or snowing, please feel free to send some our way!

Keep your weight in your heels!
Tanya

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Week Two - Short Week

As I'm still in the training / orientation phase, I was scheduled to work with the yard manager again this week. She works Monday-Friday, so that meant that my work days this week were just Monday and Tuesday.

Two strenuous days in a row were tough, but I survived them. Sore again, different places this time. But I know that will pass!

Still staggered home with a great smile on my face, despite the knackered state of physical being!  :D

As promised, I managed to get a couple of photos, to give you an idea of the place. The view from my lunch room, the picnic table (when it's not freezing cold or raining!).

If I remember rightly (it's been so long since I've posted on this blog) you can click on the image/s to enlarge them.


Looking back towards Pemberton Village - that's Mt Currie shrouded by cloud.



Pegasus, the weather vane.


Approx. 90deg to left of the Mt Currie view, is the main barn.

The REAL test starts on Saturday, when my "normal schedule", four consecutive days of Saturday through Tuesday, begins.

Keep your weight in your heels!
Tanya

Friday, August 5, 2016

Cell Phone Carrier Suggestions?

SECOND EDIT: Not scheduled to be delivered until sometime August 18-24!

_____________________

EDIT: Ordered this today ... review to follow!

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B008R4H7QG/ref=pe_386430_203186460_TE_item

_____________________

Good morning, Everyone!

I've been meaning to ask this but with everything going on in my life these past couple of weeks, I kept forgetting.

Does anyone have any brilliant ideas for a cell phone holder/carrier/protector for me? I ask because there are going to be times when I'm working alone at the stable yard, so I will need to have my phone on me, readily available, just in case an accident happens - horse gets hurt and I can't leave it to call the vet, or I get hurt and can't make it to the staff room, among other scenarios.

Requirements are:

- Sturdy

- Waterproof, or at least strongly water resistant
- Easily accessible

I have a terrible track record with cell phones in pockets (keep losing them - the phones, that is), so shirt/jacket/pants pockets are not on the list of options.

I was thinking something that has a neck strap that I can drop down the front of my shirt, maybe?

Thoughts and suggestions, please?

Thank you!

Keep your weight in your heels!
Tanya

PS My phone is a Samsung something-or-other.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Midnight Panic Stations!

When I woke up yesterday morning, my right shoulder was very stiff, from somewhere on the right side of my neck, all the way down to my elbow. I thought it was just tension, and resolved to power through it.

The events of yesterday at the office proved that my shoulder was correct to have tension in it. 'Nuff said.

By the time I went to bed, though, I'd forgotten all about the sore shoulder.

That is, until 11.20pm, when the pain woke me up. Intense aching in the shoulder, radiating down my right arm, terminating in tingles in my hand. I'm not a big pill-taker, but I got straight up and took a couple of advils.

As I waited for the edge to get knocked off the pain, I tried to find "the spot" where I could rest my arm so that it would be more comfortable. There wasn't one. That's when the panic set in.

I've had a "frozen shoulder" before, and this pain was similar. If it was the onset of frozen shoulder, I knew what was coming ... and all I could think was "Omg, I'm going to lose my new job before I even get started!" The last time I had it, it impacted everything I did, which I did left-handed, for 3 months.

I resolved that if the shoulder was still sore when I saw first light of morning, I would go straight to emergency. First, though, I would give the advil time to work.

It was so bad that, right up until the moment I fell back asleep, well after midnight, I was seriously considering having Paul take me to emergency to see if they could nip it in the bud so that I would at least be in a condition to do the physical work I was so looking forward to.

Then I woke up, just before 5am ... and my shoulder was, I swear, smirking at me. Not a trace of pain, or even stiffness.

What a relief! Hope it stays that way!

Keep your weight in your heels...
Tanya

Sunday, July 31, 2016

First Day After Day One!

Thank you so much for all your messages of encouragement and support - they are more appreciated than you'll know!

To be honest, I coped better than I thought I would yesterday, my first day of work as stable hand! To be sure, I wasn't as quick as I should be, but that will come with time, practice and fitness!

Yesterday, I helped out with mucking out and refilling bedding, mixing feed, vacuuming the barn's interior passages (the barn vac is almost a meter wide, like operating a large, heavy lawn-mower, which is a work-out on its own - but better than sweeping the whole barn the old-fashioned way!), training on operating the automatic horse-walker, taking horses out to paddocks for a few hours of grazing and sunshine, and bringing them back in (awesome - so quiet out there, such great company, such wonderful scenery!), and I got to groom one horse top-to-toe (which is saying something, because I think he's about 17hh - this was the best part of the day!).

I think my arms and shoulders are conditioned enough from using my camera equipment, to cope with a lot of the lifting, and the grooming which is very upper-body intensive (besides the tippy-toe action when I try to reach the high end of his neck and his face, which he thought was funny to hold up high!). My main pains, today, are from stiffness around my ribs and waist, that is courtesy of mucking out. Got to get it figured out so that I'm not bending and twisting so much, but rather just swinging my arms!

At the end of the day yesterday, before the aching muscles (such as they are) kicked in, my feet were the major source of discomfort. Ok, the soles were on fire! I wore an old, sad pair of hiking boots, and they just didn't cut it for a full day spent on my feet. So a trip to the shop for a pair of Blundstones with gel inserts is in my future! Happily, the feet are none the worse for wear, and are feeling fine this morning!

I went for a walk this morning, and everything loosened up nicely. But after about 5 minutes of sitting down, stiffened up again. Not quite as bad as it was earlier, though. We shall see what tomorrow brings - the second day after exertion is usually the worst!

Oh yes, I do have permission to take photos, so those will be forthcoming in due course! I get an hour's lunch break so, once I'm more settled, I should easily be able to fit in some shooting! No doubt there will be sunrise and sunset sessions at some point, too!  :D

I have four more days in my office job, the last being Friday, and start in earnest at the yard on Sunday. I suppose a three-day series for my first "full week" will be better than four days all at once! My regular schedule will be Saturday through Tuesday.

Until next time ...
Keep your weight in your heels!
Tanya