Friday, December 30, 2016

In Limbo

It's that weird time of year, between Christmas and New Year ... several work days but it seems that little business gets done!

It is 10 days since I finished work at Riverlands. My perspective is starting to relax a bit (although I still dream about the horses, and regularly jolt awake mornings thinking "Omg, I've got to go feed the horses!").

I've started sending off job applications, too, but don't expect to hear back from anyone until next week sometime. If at all. The way things are done these days, I suppose.

While I am looking for a "regular" job, I'm also wracking my brain trying to figure out some clever promotional ideas to help me make live-able money from my photography. If anyone has any brilliant ideas for earning a living off both existing and new photography jobs, please share!

Meanwhile, we had a very quiet Christmas, as we like it - a couple of small gifties exchanged, a nice meal shared - but no decorations this year. Maybe next year.

We have had quite a bit of snow so far this winter! More than I can remember in quite a few seasons, actually. Yesterday, the thermometer got to 3C, but it puked snow anyway. Needless to say, the snow was very wet, and extremely heavy when it let up and we went out to clear off the cars and shovel the driveway!

Today is sunny and warm at 13C - the mercury must've been in direct sun! Lots of dripping going on! More snow forecast for tomorrow, then an Arctic Outflow predicted for the first 10 or so days of 2017!

The day after tomorrow is the start of a new year. A time to start afresh, with a clean slate and a bright, positive outlook!

Wishing you and yours everything of the best in 2017 - health, happiness, and a dash of wealth for good measure!


Friday, December 23, 2016

Silver Linings

My time at Riverlands has now, unfortunately, concluded. I'm still a little raw about it all, but am making a concerted effort to look on the bright side ... with varying degrees of success.

The biggest bonus is that I get to spend some quality time with my hubby while I'm between jobs. He's got about 10 days off work over Christmas and New Year's and, as it seems, so do I! For the past five months, we've had one full day off together, every two weeks. So this break will be nice.

Another perk is that I now have much more energy for my photography! The weather's not really co-operating so far, though, and neither is my tennis elbow which flares up when I even think about lifting my camera. But the anticipation is just as good!

Speaking of flare-ups, I just had to get the camera out quickly this morning, after noticing an interesting effect cause by snow slipping off rooftops!

They say beauty's in the eye of the beholder, so the images above may not seem as interesting to anyone but me ... but at this point, I'll take it!

Meanwhile, Santa Day is just around the corner so this is for you:

Keep your weight in your heels!


Friday, December 16, 2016

Another Challenge!

Before I start, here's a photo of "sunrise" as it is at this time of year, occurring at about 11.30am! This is the first peek we get at the sun as it rises above Mt Currie (it sets behind the next ridge over before 2pm, so we get about 2 hours of direct sunlight! Actual daylight lasts from about 7.30am until about 4.30pm):

I've learned a lot over the past couple of weeks. More than I've ever wanted to know. About menopause.

As most of you know, I'm "at a certain age". I have been aware for some time that The Change had started: I've had irritating irregularity, along with night sweats, for a while. (Too much information? Sorry about that ... but perhaps my experience can help someone else in a similar pickle!)

I thought that those would be my companions until the process was complete, but my body had other ideas.

I've since discovered, and have become more-than-I-care-to-be familiar with, several additional side effects of menopause: Fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite (!), anxiety, and depression.

I've come to the conclusion that the combination of having my body getting stronger/fitter, and being at That Age, triggered an overdrive to "git 'er done", as they say around here!

The most difficult effect to deal with has been the fatigue, which has severely impacted my ability to do my job effectively. Staggering around in an almost-constant state of exhaustion, while labouring at mucking stables and dealing with often-excitable large livestock, isn't fun and, frankly, isn't safe!

So this coming work week, starting tomorrow, will be my last at Riverlands. Let me say that I am ever so grateful to my colleagues for having given me the opportunity to even attempt the job, considering my age and my lack of recent experience "in the field" when I started back in July. I sincerely regret the inconvenience that my departure will cause after a mere 4.5 month sojourn at the barn.

For myself, I am beyond disappointed and frustrated, but have to believe that these things happen for a reason and that perhaps something more suited lies in my future.

We shall see ... in the meantime, perhaps some acupuncture?

Keep your weight in your heels!


Friday, December 2, 2016

Keep On Keepin' On

A difficult week. Zero energy. Don't feel like I'm progressing with my strength and endurance at all. Now awaiting blood test results.

Very frustrating, this never-ending parade of challenges getting in my way!

Not even alleviated by a wonderful massage on Wednesday.

Right elbow now strapped up with one of these ... hopefully it will help at work, because it certainly hasn't helped my ability to lift my camera (which doesn't improve my mood!).

Another week of rainy, miserable weather, too.

A Brief Glimpse Through The Cloud Cover

Perhaps more positivity to share next week ...

Keep your weight in your heels!


Friday, November 25, 2016

Tennis, anyone?!

Ok, I have to admit that I've found the last two weeks of work very difficult, physically!

This is probably caused by my 3 weeks out of action, which meant that when I returned to "the office", I had to rebuild my strength and fitness almost from scratch.

On the Good News front: My sacroiliac joint is now fine!

Not so good: My elbows - yes, both of them - have carpel tunnel, more commonly known as "tennis elbow". The right is worse than the left, which is weird because I'm left-handed. This has been an issue for over a week, but I've said little about it, because there's little I actually can do about it! For sure, no more time off work for me, because we just can't afford it!

I begin to wonder if my body's been round the block one time too many, to be able to cope with the physical demands of this job? I worry that things will just keep on breaking down. I feel the pressure to keep pace with my colleagues, and feel I'm not quite holding up my end.

But I'm still loving working with the horses, and appreciate the bonus of not having to deal with regular office politics, so will keep going as long as I can ...

Meanwhile, the rain keeps coming. During the past 8 weeks, there have been just a handful of days during which we've not had any precipitation. And even fewer days when we've actually seen the sun!

On a brighter note, we had our first dusting of snow right down to the valley last night, so hopefully the mud will be firming up soon, with the arrival of cooler temperatures! And the forecast is promising a few trickles of sunshine over the next week, too!

Keep your weight in your heels!


PS: To add insult to injury, with the elbow issue, it really hurts to lift my camera!  :(

Friday, November 18, 2016

Back at it!

After 3+ weeks out of action with this sacroiliac issue, I have completed my first week back at work without too much aggravation!

Yes, I ached ... and I could definitely feel that my hard-won fitness level has taken a big step backwards. It's frustrating, but not much to be done about it except start again.

Happily, I didn't actually feel any issue with my SI joint until I got up on the fifth morning (non-work day, thankfully), so it has 3 full days to recover before I'm back at the yard.

I'm still under the care of the wonderful Chiro and RMT, and have a series of exercises and stretches to follow each day, to help keep things from locking up again, while rebuilding strength.

As I've barely lifted my camera for over a month, and have already shared those results on Facebook, below is one of my fav photos from spring 2015 - Alexander Falls, located up the Callaghan Valley, near Whistler:

click to enlarge
Keep your weight in your heels!


PS: We have had perhaps 7 days without any rain since the beginning of October. The Pemberton Valley had some significant flooding a week or so ago, but now the temps are dropping so we're not getting as much run-off from the early snow pack, and the precip is falling as snow at higher elevations, which keeps the rivers between their banks. Hopefully that trend continues. So sick of the mud!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Not So Fast!

That's what the doctor (and the chiro) said to me on Friday. Not in those exact words ... but the effect was the same: 

They wanted me to go back to work on "light duties".

They don't seem to understand that working in a yard is not negotiable ... you either do the job, or your don't.

Long and short, the doc called my boss and explained the situation. Which resulted in me having to put off work for another week to ensure that I really am fully ready to get back at it next week.

My logic tells me it makes sense ... but it is SO frustrating!

So here I sit for another week. I get to go on longer walks now, though, and incorporate lifting things, and going up and down hill. Better than nothing, I suppose. And at least I can now take my camera with me! It shouldn't be too heavy, should it?!

Meanwhile, here are a few shots taken through the dining room window on Friday evening, just before the next rainstorm moved in. It shows the snow being blown UP the back of Mt Currie, and right off the peak ... must've been pretty nasty up there!

So, on Saturday I WILL be back at work!

Keep your weight in your heels!


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

What a Difference a Week Makes!

Barring any unforeseen issues with my "reassessments" by both doctor and chiropractor scheduled for Friday the Fourth, I feel I should be able to get back to work on Saturday! Woohoo!

I could not believe the difference in how I felt, between Sunday and Monday! The pain when walking has almost gone, just a bit of discomfort left.

A glimpse of sunrise - click to enlarge

Unusual cloud formations in the late afternoon

Meanwhile, a couple of photos "from where I stood" on the few days when the skies cleared a bit during October: It rained on 28 days during that month! (November isn't shaping up to be much better, either!)

Keep your weight in your heels!*


* For those who were wondering, but were too shy to ask, this is an expression referring to the rider's position: When your feet are in the stirrups, keep your heels down! T.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

The View From Here

Yes, the view from here is literally all I can show you this week, because that's as far as I can take the camera! That would be the view from the deck, or through the dining room window. The camera is a significant weight, so I cannot take it out with me even though I am currently going for 2 or 3 walks a day.

click to enlarge

Because of this hip issue, the doctor has booked me off work for 2 weeks' rest to, hopefully, allow whatever's going on in there to mend itself.

In the meantime, I am on twice-daily strong anti-inflammatory medication, a daily regimen of stretches and walking, and visits to the chiro and RMT every few days. And back to the doc on the 4th for reassessment.

Not only is this absence from work a huge burden on my colleagues at Riverlands, which makes me feel guilty, but I'm finding it extremely frustrating!

Some days are better than others: It's definitely better now than it was a week ago. But worse today than it was two days ago.

On top of that, I worry about my future. The doc says that there's a risk of long-term complications and chronic pain if I try to work through this before healing is complete. And I definitely do not want to be living with this for months, let alone the rest of my life!

All I can do is everything in my power to be fixed at the end of this lay-off period. Finger's are crossed!

Keep your weight in your heels!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016


It started on Saturday afternoon, not long before I knocked off for the day ... an aching in my left hip. Saturday is the first day of my work week.

After battling through Sunday, on Monday I endured the pain sweats, getting around in a t-shirt when the temp was about 10C in the rain, from 7.30am to 11am.

After that, I just could not take it any more ... took myself directly to the Chiro. Turns out my sacroiliac joint (which is between the left hip and sacrum) has frozen. Wikipedia can explain in more detail, if you're interested.

After an hour of being pummeled by the Chiro, she gave me some stretches to do, instructions on icing the area, and suggested that I not work any further this week.

And, she said, "Go for two or three approx 20 minute walks" before returning for another adjustment on Thursday afternoon.

Walk she said. I think she meant hobble.

I did it, but the pain is worse today, so I didn't venture further than one whole block - which is about 8 houses long and 2 deep.

We're in a traditional autumn weather pattern in our area now ... rain. It IS beautiful British Columbia, after all! I love the rain. It's not great to have to work in it, but I DID miss it when we lived in the Columbia Valley!

Anyway, rain doesn't bring great photo ops, so not many to share! Just this one of the low cloud being dragged through the evergreen forest ... with a painterly twist! Remember to click on the image to enlarge it.

I really do hope that I'll be able to work by Saturday ... no paid sick-leave here! Wish me luck in a quick recovery, and ...

Keep your weight in your heels!


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How Time Flies!

It seems just the other day when I was whinging about how hot it was ...

Back then, it was tough to take nice photos of the horses because whenever they were outside, they were shrouded in fly sheets and face masks.

Now, all of a sudden, we're almost in winter and, while their faces are visible when they're out in the paddocks, their bodies are muffled in thick rain-proof sheets ... not conducive to showing them off at their best!

Speaking of rain, last Saturday we had a bit of a deluge which left the most significant snow yet, this season, on the mountain peaks around us:

So, yes, this is another excuse for why I haven't got another horse to introduce to you yet! At this point, I'd really need to enlist the help of another person ... and recently there's just not been the time for dilly-dallying around the barn!

With the forecast predicting an extended period of miserable weather, I took the opportunity yesterday to try something that I've been meaning to do for ages ... get a "big picture" look at the Pemberton Valley, as viewed from the Pemberton Meadows. This is a 24-shot, handheld, 180 degree panoramic, with me standing with my back to the barn entrance ... click on the image to enlarge it!

Another perk of the time of year, when the length of the nights begins to outstrip the duration of daylight: Alpenglo season is here! Here's a pastel version to get you started - I wouldn't want to blow your mind with dazzling colours splashed over the mountains too soon!  :D

Hmmm ... Mt Currie is featuring a lot lately, isn't he?!

Keep your weight in your heels!


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Fall Colours

Here in BC, we don't get the spectacular displays of colour that you might expect to see in Ontario or Quebec, but we do get the occasional bright splash, if you watch for it!

This week, I didn't have the chance to photograph any of the horses, as I'd hoped to do.

But, during the days when the weather changed every 15 minutes on the 15 minutes, I did manage to catch a few autumn scenes for your viewing pleasure (I hope!):

Hopefully, at least one horse next week!

In the meantime, keep your weight in your heels!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Catching up ...

... well, I'm at least touching base! It's been a crazy few weeks!

I've taken photos at 2 horse shows, one weekend after the other, and then followed those up with a 6-day stint at work!

Somehow, I survived them all ... and am, needless to say, in great anticipation of my 90 minute massage tomorrow, to soothe my aching muscles!

Here are a couple of my favourite photos from the two horse shows:

Now that the disruptions to my regularly scheduled programming have concluded, I hope to get back into the swing of things, with weekly posts ... and more horse introductions!

Keep your weight in your heels!


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Introducing: Lutzen

I admit it. He's my favourite in the barn.

At 23 years of age, Lutzen is well into retirement, so I don't get to handle him as much, or as often, as I'd like. He's grumpy, too, playing keep-away in his stable if you try to groom him without putting his head collar on first ... and half-heartedly promising a nip if you tickle him while grooming and aren't paying attention.

I reckon Luzten stands at least 18 hands high. In other words, he's pretty tall, coming in at a lofty 6ft or more, measured from the top of his shoulder to the ground.

More than once, my fellow barn workers have had a good chuckle, watching me take Lutzen out to his paddock, or being marched back into the barn by him. Picture this short (5'4" on a good day), round human having to almost run beside him, just to keep up with his walk!   :D

I wish I'd known him years ago, when he was still in work. Even now, I can see that he's a dream mover, floating over the ground. He doesn't do much above a walk during his liberty hours each day, but watching him enjoying his "kick and fart" lap of his paddock when he's released first thing in the morning is always a treat!

Keep your weight in your heels!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

You Can't Beat This Commute!

I realized this week that I have the best commute in the world:

It takes about 10 minutes each way.

There are 2 stop signs on the way to work ... and none on the way home! That's it!

About half the drive is at 50kph, and the rest is at 80kph, so rarely any speed demons to deal with. Aside from the weekend warriors (and a handful of local yahoos), that is, and loaded logging trucks that no-one's going to argue with, anyway!

For your photo this week, I spotted this newly baled field on my way home from work on Tuesday afternoon, pulled a U-ey to go back and get the shot. I knew rain was forecast, so the bales wouldn't be there the next time I drove by!

On the physical side, my feet are much happier this week! By Tuesday evening (my Friday) my entire body was aching terribly, but waking up on Wednesday morning, I was almost pain-free! There's hope for me yet!

I can feel that I'm getting stronger all the time, that my endurance is improving, and hope to be shopping for a few more pairs of work trousers soon (to replace the single pair I have right now, that are starting to break down with the abuse!) ... if only this excess baggage would start dropping off in earnest!

And yes, I know, you're waiting to meet the horses ... I promise, as soon as I get the opportunity, I'll get them posted for you!  :D

Keep your weight in your heels!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!


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!

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...

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!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Exciting : Exiting The Rat Race

I anguished over the title I would use for this piece. As I write, there are already three versions, and will no doubt have more added by the time I finish this blog post today! What am I wanting to convey to you, the reader ... excitement, anticipation, apprehension, disbelief?

A few weeks ago, an opportunity revealed itself to me on Facebook ... and I was surprised to find myself seriously considering it! After a brief deliberation with me and myself, I applied for the position, was invited for an interview, and got offered the job! I could hardly believe it, though I knew I'd have been crushed if I hadn't landed it.

This was rapidly followed by the agonizing over whether I/we could afford for me to make this change, and wondering if I'm up to the physical challenge of it!

Long story short, I'm stepping out from behind a desk and computer, where I've worked for the past 25+ years! I have accepted a post as Stable Hand at a high-end equestrian facility in the Pemberton Meadows. Yes, that means mucking stables, grooming horses, feeding horses, cleaning tack, and a hundred other functions that go into the smooth and efficient running of a horse yard. Sounds like heaven to me!

I'll tell you more about the place itself a bit later ... once I know if I'm permitted to take photographs on the property. For now, suffice to say that for a horse-lover with a passion for dressage, this place is heaven-on-earth!

Since accepting the new position and wrapping up my current commitment (I still have four more office work days), I've asked several questions of myself. Mostly they're of the rhetorical variety like "What were you thinking?!", along with "You're too old for this!", "You're WAY too out-of-shape for this!", etc.

But then I realise that my new employers are quite aware of my age (after all, I pointed it out during my interview, just in case they missed my more-salt-than-pepper hair), and there's definitely no hiding my physical unfitness.

They must be counting on my previous experience, ancient history as it is, in working with horses to carry me through. After all, caring for horses can't have changed all THAT much in the past couple of decades, can it? The concepts are the same, but from what I've seen of this beautiful facility, I'm going to be learning a great deal about new techniques and equipment, too!

For example, the equipment in the last yard I worked at consisted of gloves, wellies, brooms, brushes, rags, sponges, and muscles. The only electric equipment was lighting - if we were lucky! This yard features a vacuum (instead of sweeping), an automatic horse walker (granted, monitored by staff at all times when in use), an atv to carry away the used bedding (no wheelbarrows here!), and keypad security on access gates and storeroom doors, among other things!

Despite all these newfangled gadgets, I am anticipating physical agony for the first couple of weeks, as this sedentary body gets hammered back into shape by the exertion required. Maybe I should have "before" and "after" photos taken!  :P

Now, the last thing to do ... post this article before I start my first day on the job, so that I am not tempted to make adjustments after the fact!

Watch this space to see how I fared on my first orientation/training day - tomorrow!

Keep your weight in your heels!

PS: No, there won't be any riding opportunities that I know of. That said, since being involved more closely with horses again since I started taking photos at local competitions, I have started feeling the urge. But that story will have to wait for another day ...