Sunday, September 21, 2008

Draft Horse Classic!

Welcome Blogger Friends!!!! Yes, my best friend and I have had another MYSTERY TRIP. It was my turn for September...I choose the 22ND Annual Draft Horse Classic up in beautiful Grass Valley. It was at the beautiful Grass Valley Fair Grounds. The whole fair grounds are surrounded by huge pines. The Draft Horse show started at 10am, so we had about an 1 1/2 road trip ahead of us. We were armed with our coffees and set out for our adventure. The front of the fairgrounds had the magnificent, huge piece of sculpture, depicting a draft horse in action. Stunning piece. (I highly encourage you to click on the photos to see in great detail these beautiful animals in action!)

We bought our tickets and choose to seats that had the sun at our backs...good thing, as the sun was beaming on the grand stand for hours. I would have been burnt to a crisp.

First up was the 4 piece wagon hitch teams. The team had to show their agility and how to back up and turn right and left. They were beautiful draft horses. And those men loved their horses. I mean look at those coats and manes/tails! Just beautiful! Here is the second place winner! These horses were just beautiful, their coats just gleamed in the sun.

Here is the first place winner(all white team)! This man was so at ease with his 4 member team. Now mind you has 4 rains (which equals 8 pieces of leather through his fingers)to control these magnificent creatures. Ricky (was his name) made this job look way to easy. But I know that this is one hard job to maintain all the rains and still control the rig and horses all at the same time.

Mules barrel racing??? Yes sir...there you have it! It was hoot to see these animals race like the wind! They seemed to love it!

Adrien and I's favorite part...Draft Horse pulling competition. We were in complete awe of these Belgians. They were extraordinary in their strength. These 2 weighed in at 1500lbs a piece and then pulled about 4500lbs on the sled (which was metal and then packed with bags of sand).

They just kept adding more and more bags of sand. And every time these men would back these horses up to hitch up to the sled. These Shires, and Belgians were set to go. They love their jobs and damn are they spectacular at it also!

I want to you to look carefully at all the horses equipment. All that silver and harnesses, yokes, rains, chains and blinders. These 2 were very young and had ants in their pants. The owner had to drop the bit down to get more control. I can tell you though that all these men had to dig their boots in to pull back on the rains. Incredible strength these Shires, Clydesdale's, Belgians (a total of 7 types in the draft horse breed).

After the pulling competition they brought out these beautiful stallions. Stunning...for the life of me I can't remember the name of this breed (hoping Julie, who owns and operates a horse ranch will know the name). There were also some white horses that were out there 'dancing', they pawed the air and even bowed. They too are a special breed! It was so wonderful to see these horses canter!

The last part of the show was this HUGE contraption. It was pulled by draft horses back in the 1900's for logging. They showed how it worked, and how the industry relied on these beautiful animals to get the job done.

After the 22ND Draft Horse Classic it was off to check out the Lumberjack show!

This a 9 year old little girl (with the help of grandpa) cutting out a solid chair with a chainsaw!

And the log climbing, with toe spikes...I so want to try this! And I was telling Adrien I want to look into AXE throwing! I huh?! Me a LUMBERJACK! Wait and see...
Hope you enjoyed our September Mystery Trip...we sure did! It was an incredible day with those beautiful, magnificent creatures!

With much love,

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cancer Sucks.

Yes, that is right my dear blogger friends! I have CANCER.

Specifically, I have Thyroid Cancer. I had it once before but it has decided to creep back in my life. When I first found out I was devastated and throwing a pity party for myself. I have since moved forward on this diagnose. I am in a good place now. I have told most of my family and friends. They have rallied on the sidelines as I step in to the ring to take on this fight.

I am a FIGHTER! And I beat this the first time, I will K.O.cancer this round too! I have been encouraged by some very special blogger friends to do a post about this fight I have to take on. At first, I just needed to get my bearings on what I was feeling and finish all the testing to see where and what I needed to do.

I have been through almost all the scans. And have had more blood drawn then you could imagine. As scary as all that was, I did it! I choked back the tears most days or the urge to haul butt out of those tests. I stood my ground and conquered my fears. It was freeing once I learned I could overcome my fears. Am I scared? Heck yes, I am. That wouldn't be truthful if I wasn't. But, these are the cards I have been dealt and I need to meet this challenge head on.

As some of you know, if you were to get cancer, the Experts say this is the cancer you would want to get. Why? Because it is the most treatable. But when it keeps reoccurring they become suspicious that it might be a tad more aggressive than your run of the mill Thyroid Cancer. This is the reason for all the scans, xrays, Ultra Sounds, Nuc Med Scans. They had to determine if my cancer had formed any tumors. They have concluded that in fact, I have NO TUMORS. So, that means my cancer is still on the cellular level. That is fantastic news! So, you ask where is my cancer? Since I no longer have a thyroid (removed with 1st cancer round) has parked it's ugly self on my left Para-thyroid and in my left (upper/lower lobe)lung. They call that metastasis. Indeed an ugly word and still very hard for me to speak. But there it is!

As this picture shows (an example)of what imagines the scans show the doctors where the 'hot' spots are. I have one more scan tomorrow. It is another Whole Body Nuc Med Scan to make sure that there are no more cells sitting somewhere else. Because it has been decided that I will be getting 'pin-point' radiation treatments. Which I am very nervous about but in the long run it will prove to be much better for me. The beams of radiation target the specific spots of cancer cells to kill them. I think I will have that for 12 weeks (that is still unclear to me as of yet).

But, the part I am excited about is that I can still be around my family and not isolated like I was last time. Last time I had to take radioactive iodine which in turn made me very radioactive. And I couldn't be around my sister (who was pregnant at the time) or my husband or dog for almost 6 weeks. It was miserable. No it didn't hurt but not having the human touch was more than I could stand!

Now that I know what type of fight I will be up against, I have suited up and have started to train for this fight. Just rereading what I have typed, I have discovered, has taken some burden off my chest. I truly find it freeing to record my feelings on this fight for me. I feel more powerful this time around and better armed. Well...not looking for pity or the aaahhhh...factor but wanted to let my friends know what fight I will be up against for the next couple of months. And hope to see you in my corner during this fight!

With much love,