Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lookin' for a head injury...

I've been searching far and wide for a head injury. Or a broken femur or maybe some altitude sickness. No, no I'm not going nuts, I just wanna practice my new skills.

Huh? Let me explain.

Last weekend I went to the REI in Spokane, WA and took a 2-day 16 hour Wilderness First Aid class taught by the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School.

No, I'm not a backpacker, a mountain climber or back country river guide (although I met people in the class who were). I'm just me. A gal who wants to know how to save her butt in a wilderness medical emergency. Maybe my family member's butt...or even the butt (or tibia, or ulna) of a stranger.

I want to know how to help, how much I'm capable of doing with limited supplies and when to "evac or not evac" (that is the question). The class taught me all that and I feel empowered now with knowledge and confidence.

The course was about 50% classroom lecture and 50% realistic outdoor scenarios. I, in the rescuer role, was unleashed outside to find my patient. Patient found, I sized up the situation, performed a comprehensive patient assessment (including spinal assessment) and decided what actions should be taken.

I learned how to bandage sprains, splint possible fractures, dress wounds, stabilize possible spinal injuries, and transport patients. I found what was essential to put in my first aid kit, how to reduce dislocations and how to take vital signs. It was a fast paced, lively class!

I may never need this knowledge in the wilderness, but I'm prepared if I do. I encourage you to learn these skills too.

It didn't hurt a bit!

(Photos are with permission and courtesy of: WMI staff of NOLS, Lena Conlan and Brad Christensen.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~~~ Close, Curious 'n Dang Cute Cows

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blame it on the 7MSN

Summer of 2009 arrived and we looked forward to our annual trip to New Mexico. There we visited our newly built house and barn and our brand new friend, Linda, at the 7MSN Ranch, located seven miles south of Mountainair (aka "no where"), New Mexico.

Linda gave us a tour of her 80 acre spread in her Polaris Ranger. The beast was obviously capable of doing an honest day's work on the ranch.

A thought was planted in our heads. A three-passenger-front-seat thought. An obsession. A, soon-to-be, addiction.

Retiring some day soon we have this theory: we must buy now what we will not be able to buy once we're on that proverbial fixed income. Makes sense huh?

Basically: Get it now or forever envy Linda.


Meet "Ranger". Every workhorse on our place needs a name and "Ranger" sounded more lyrical than "MossyOakBreakUp" or "XP".

What's a serious rig without cup holders and a top speed of 50 m.p.h. ?

A wide body dump bed with a 1000 pound capacity? A one ton towing capacity?

Thank you in advance, Ranger, for your partnership in the future. Thank you for sparing us many back breaking jobs and doing it in style.

You'll always have a stall in our barn and a place in our hearts.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~~~ Breakfast at "The Kettle", smiles all 'round!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~~~ New Kitchen, New House, New Mexico!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day --- Defined

Ahhh, yes...Labor Day. The third day of a nice long weekend where folks get together and BBQ and visit with friends and family. In other words, a DAY OFF!

Nope, not around our place. We were blessed with labor on Labor Day. How nice.

First we cleaned a space for the new hay. It was dusty and moldy smelling there and filled with, did I say, dust? Just about the time we thought about face masks, the cleaning was done.

Then we drove to the feed store in the Labor Day traffic. You know the kind. The kind where every other vehicle is a huge motor home with a driver who hasn't driven his sleek behemoth since, uhm, last Labor Day? Thinks (he) owns the road? Nope, not today buddy.

We arrived home, just before the rain (de rigueur on Labor Day in western Washington) with the loveliest pallet of second cutting timothy in the world. It's from Idaho and certified weed-free. Not that we "ride" our miniature horses in the National Forest (where weed-free-ness is required) ... but this helps us not seed our pastures with weeds either.

After we removed the top layer so it would fit, we carefully backed the luscious hay into the barn and started the unloading process.

As we get a little creakier each year, we've learned to take advantage of gravity and throw some physics into hay handling. Gone are the days when we relished the idea of bucking hay out of the field, sweating profusely in the 85 - 90 degree heat and sticking our arms so many times with hay stems that we looked like really sloppy intravenous drug users!

This kind of hay is something we've just discovered this summer. It's a compressed bale, super handy to use and stack, weighing in at about 50 pounds. From the Standlee Hay Company ,it's quite amazing to see how advanced hay production has become. Weighing is easy because it falls off in little chunks that we fluff up before dividing it among the three miniature horses and the donkey. We love this hay, as do the critters.

Check out the small space that's holding a ton of timothy! With our digital scale on the floor (for weighing hay and horses) we're all set for the fall and a good part the winter. The feed store will call us when the next shipment comes in and we'll grab another ton or so. Couldn't be easier!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday ~ Cowboy Cross

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