Friday, October 16, 2009

Falling Into Winter

Isn't this cute? On my desktop, the snowflakes twinkle. That's supposed to make me feel better about the fact that it frickin' SNOWED yesterday. Snow! In October! In New Jersey! There are only a few things that make living in the most-taxed state in the union tolerable. Good weather is one of them. Snow in October is against the rules.

Anyway, it's time for a look forward and backward. A backward glance shows Pokey recovering nearly completely from her laser cancer surgery. That's the best news I could have had. I didn't ask my vet to check her when he did her shots, but his intellectual curiosity got the better of him and he had to take a peek at this rare surgical site. He was delighted with the outcome, and so am I. I explained my change of post-op routine to exclude the nasty 5-FU ointment until the dead tissue was done sloughing or she launched a new tumor, and he concurred that salting the goo away for the next re-occurrence was the best bet. Yippee!

For anyone out there considering a laser tumor removal (which is primarily for skin cancer in horses but works well for squamous cell carcinoma), know that the after care is a little more difficult than you will be led to believe, but the outcome can be excellent. Reading up on 5-FU, I learned that its major downfall is its inability to penetrate skin, so it is really only useful on the open wound resulting from the surgery. Once the wound heals (or if you can't scrape away the scabs and sloughing dead tissue) it no longer serves much purpose. At nearly $300 a tube (yeah, really), it behooves the cautious owner to use it in the most effective manner...sparingly.

So it goes with Pokey. Zip is once again sporting lameness, this time only saddled and longeing over jumps. The fun just never ends. Before REAL winter, I will ask the lovely Carol Edwards, Chiro to the Equine Stars, to give him a working over in hope that we are still dealing with the results of that locked rib.

Everyone else, including Pinky who for some reason is missing some joint action at the walk but can trot and canter perfectly well, is doing fine. Yay for doing fine!

Looking forward, my new book will be out shortly. I'm relieved, mildly excited (because there have been issues with publisher errors and I haven't seen the final proof block to be assured they've been corrected), and looking for a new project. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Boredom leads to bad voices in my head.

This is the cover of the new book:

Don't bother trying to order it (I just know thousands of you are going to flood the website with requests), because it won't be available for a couple of weeks yet. I'll let you know. Thanks for asking.

Also looking ahead I see that tomorrow's Race at Far Hills will likely be run in the rain, snow, sleet, hurricane, tornado, or whatever other evil Nature has decided we deserve this year. Be there anyway. We will. We'll be hard to see under the tarps and blankets, but look for our Gallant Hope Farm parking area on the hillside and come say hello. We need to know we're not alone in our insanity.

To paraphrase (because I'm too lazy to open it and look at it and quote it accurately) the classy "skin" on my laptop (purchased from my fave online catalog, Despair Inc):

Madness does not always howl. Sometimes it comes as the quiet voice at the end of the day asking, "Hey! Is there room in your head for one more?"

The answer is yes.

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