December 13, 2011

Blocks, the Broken Leg, and a Book

Good Morning! A few odds and ends to share now that I've finished my peppermint stick hot chocolate, fresh from the vending machine at the truck stop. Hey! I got to get my holiday cheer where and when I can!

Yesterday we delivered first thing in the morning in Woodburn, OR. After we were empty, we had no where to go, so Malcolm asked the plant employees if we could park in an empty area near the back of their facility because I wanted to go for a walk rather than spend the day parked at a truck stop somewhere.
It was early and very few business were open, which was fine. I just wanted to take in the sights and stretch my legs a little. It was kind of fun having practically the whole town to myself.
One of the great things about photography while traveling, is that since you don't know any of the people and in all likely hood will never see them again, it's easier to move past your self-consciousness and do things like kneel on the sidewalk, or hang your head at an odd angle to get a picture, because who cares if these strangers think I'm weird?
There was pretty much just one strip of stores, all of which were catering to what must be a Hispanic area. It was interesting to peer into the store front windows, (and later in the morning, Malcolm and I walked back into town and ate one of the best Mexican meals I've had in a long while)! But after I'd walked main street, there wasn't anything else to see. I was turning around to go back to the truck when a glimpse down a side street changed my mind.
It seemed to call me to wonder down it, and I am so glad I did. There were holly trees galore, red berries gleaming in the morning sun.

Old homes stood behind shade tree. Gurgling fountains and singing birds could be heard as I passed by some of the fenced yards.

 And some of the Christmas decorations looked like they came out of magazine pictures.
But my favorite sight of the whole morning was this house that I stumbled upon. It sat one house down from a corner on a street I almost passed by. I would have never dreamed of painting my house mint green and then putting raspberry red trim on it. I'm glad someone else thought it would work, because it definitely does! No need for Christmas trimming in this yard, because the house is festive just as it is, and lovely the whole year through.
My stroll through Woodburn, OR was a delightful way to start the morning.

The Broken Leg:
Thought you might like an update on Paris's broken leg. It has been a bit of a thorn in our sides, our sides, not Paris's. For the most part it's gone smoothly, but when something goes wrong, it's such a frustration because I worry so much that we're going to cause her permanent damage. The splint simply would not stay in place. Over the course of the week, it would slip further down her leg, a centimeter or so at a time. And since we weren't supposed to mess with it but maybe once a week to change the wrappings, it was hard to know if it was OK to fix the slipping or not. Add to that the challenge of keeping her from getting sores beneath the splint, sores that I can't see, sores that I don't know if they're forming or not, because I can't unwrap the splint but once a week.....it was a headache.

Last weekend we were home for a couple days and since we were there, our regular vet said I could bring Paris over and she'd check the leg, etc. So Monday before we left, we went down to her house and when she saw how much Paris's splint was slipping, she laughed, literally. I guess a laugh is better than her being upset!
( I should have taken a picture, because your probably picturing Paris with one leg 6 inches longer than the other. Really it only extended her leg by maybe an inch, but I didn't know how much was too much slipping and how much was ok.)
Anyway, she called Paris's surgeon in Belle Fourche and conferenced with him on the phone, and they came to the conclusion that it would be ok to leave the splint off. Yippee!!!! We were all celebrating, especially the patient. She has been SO much happier ever since!

As I had been assured and reassured that the splint was really just a secondary support, I felt more relief than concern. The only real "warning" was that she absolutely must not jump. Of course you all know how easy  impossible that is prevent! I thought this would be my only challenge.

Paris was quick to show us that the splint  had not just been a secondary support, but also had been protecting her stitches....from herself. We were home a couple of hours and just before leaving went to dinner at Malcolm's parent's, and upon returning home, we found Paris unbandaged, with swollen, angry looking stitches. She'd been hard at work during our absence.
We bandaged her back up, hoped for the best, and headed out for eastern North Dakota.

By the following afternoon, we had delivered our load, reloaded the next one, and rebandaged Paris's leg FOUR times! She was also, by this time, missing two stitches, and absolutely delighted with herself.

Obviously this wasn't working! I was tempted to put the splint back on just for it's protection, but it was creating it's own problems, as before mentioned. The solution was found in Miles City, MT, where we stopped that evening to have dinner with Malcolm's parents who were in town running errands. Before diner, we went to the ranch supply store, to their pet supply aisle.

Things have been a whole lot simpler for me since last Monday, though not near as nice for Paris.

She'll thank me for it later, though at this moment you wouldn't have been able to convince her of that!

It has several benefits. She can't get to her leg to lick and chew the bandages, she won't sink if she decided to go for a mid-December swim, and it's a lot easier to locate her beneath the covers when she's hiding in bed.
Actually, after a few days we decided that it was ok for her to wear the inter tube necklace only when she was unsupervised, such as when we're out of the truck or asleep.

So she gets to lounge beneath the floor heater in comfort, snuggle in my lap, and she doesn't have to charge her way between the computer stand and passenger seat to force her way past. (it was rather comical in a sad sort of way to watch that). Of course the other day, during what was supposed to be a "supervised" time, the supervisor forgot to keep an eye on her, and later she was discovered curled up in the sleeper floor, with the bandage down around her ankle, two more stitches removed, and going to town on a third one.

We have an appointment next Wednesday with her surgeon for a check and xrays. I hope the rest of the stitches, the remaining 4 of the original 8, can come out honestly at that time. Fingers crossed, because it would make one less concern for me to keep track of.

And a Book:
I just finished a book I picked up over Thanksgiving weekend. And since I wanted to start saying more about what I read, rather than just put the picture in the margin, I decided this would be a good start.
It's one of those books that I picked up because the title and cover picture appealed. And then I read the synopsis on the jacket cover, and was hooked.

Set during the Roman siege at Masada, The Dovekeepers tells the story of the siege from a woman's perspective. Four women, their lives and fates intertwined, tell their stories through first person accounts, of how they came to be at Masada and what transpired there. The book is broken into four parts. The first part begins with Yael, a motherless women whose father is an assassin, telling her story of love and tragedy. In the second part, Revka, a widow who has watched her only daughter be brutally raped and murdered by Roman soldiers and now has the care of her grandsons to consider, picks up the story where Yael leaves off. Aziza, a warrior at heart who is raised as a boy, but then confined to woman's garbs, continues where Revka's part leaves off. And the stories telling is completed by Shirah, a woman who knows ancient magic and medicine, who is devoted to those she loves, even though she knows it will be their undoing,

For the full synopsis you can use the link above to go to the author's website. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's the first of Alice Hoffman's books I've read, but I plan to look into what else she has to offer. Consider adding this one to your 2012 book list. And if your in a book group, this one would be great for discussion, especially in a group with diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.


MTWaggin said...

OMG! The picture of Paris in her new scarf made me howl with laughter this morning (no easy task as I'm nursing rib injuries). Nothing like a pathetic crested and boy can they play it!!!! You sound like you are feeling so much better and I'm thrilled! Woodburn, OR, I actually had a great aunt and uncle that lived there. Enjoyed the tour.

small farm girl said...

Ok, I just laughed out loud. Now everyone is looking at me. And, I can't stop laughing. lol. I guess I should not read blogs at work. hehehehe. Poor little Paris. lol

Michaele said...

Oh poor Paris. I think how she feels is written all over her face. Is it alright that I laughed?

Dreaming said...

I was wondering about the splint, as we had the same problem when Tucker broke his leg. I laughed so hard at your comment that Paris won't sink if she happens to swim! Uh... do be careful driving around water - I'd hate to have you test it out!

Shirley said...

I'd love to see a holly tree. Do you know the story of why they use holly wreaths at Christmas time? The sharp leaves represent the thorns that crowned the head of Christ, and the red berries signify the blood He shed. The circle of the wreath stands for the homes of those who embrace Christianity. This tradition started around the 17th century.

Janice said...

That town you were in is very quaint....it looks like a cool place to wander around. Them dang dogs anyhow huh....they always find ways to cause mischief.I love the new collar,actually that looks way better than the plastic cone thing...looks much more comfortable. I was also reading your post Icy Day In Oregon.I'm feeling for you ...I've kind of been feeling that way too so I get it. Your pictures are beautiful. I hope your spirits lift in time for Christmas.

Cynthia Eloise said...

some great shots in woodburn. poor paris, she looks so sad with all the gear on. although i have to say i had to laugh out loud at the picture. happy holidays.

Pure Prairie Soap said...

Paris Johnson is way more interesting and cuter than Paris Hilton! I enjoyed reading about your travels, too. Thanks, Sarah.