11/25/13

I'm Back! - More Or Less -- And A Storm Report From Indiana

Here I am, typing with both hands again - more or less - and the first thing I want to do is to thank the Sweetest Horse In The World - my Indy - for being so good about posting the updates I asked him to do.

I thought his posts were accurate and he was very careful with my keyboard. Okay, so there were a few carrot bits and a couple of wisps o hay in there, but after all the is a horse. Pretty good typist too, all things considered. I know I couldn't type nearly that well with my upper lip. Thank you, Indy.

Let me tell you, I broken wrist is no fun. Especially since the radius was broken completely in two - closed fracture thank goodness! - and a cast wasn't enough to hold the ends of the bone together properly, so four pins had to be used and I was in a cast for six weeks. Just to make things as difficult as possible, it was my left wrist that was broken, and I am left handed. Some fun, huh?

Even after the pins were removed - which made me a lot more comfortable - I had to wear a brace for three more weeks. At least the brace was a was much more comfortable than the cast and I had better use of my hand. The muscles and tendons in my hand and wrist had gotten stiff during my time in the cast, and of course, they were injured too when I broke the bone.

My wrist is still quite sore if I forget and overdo, and there is still some swelling, but it is getting better day by day, so I really can't complain.

On to the excitement. We were under a severe thunderstorm warning and there were some tornadoes in the mix as well. It turned out that the Weather Service confirmed three F1 tornadoes in the area afterward. We thought we were only hit with straight line winds - which can be just as bad - but when we actually got out and saw the condition of our trees we had to wonder. Amazingly, neither of the horses seemed upset at all considering what had happened.


This is the first thing we saw out the front door. This was an English Walnut tree that we were very fond of. It was just completely uprooted. Plus debris was everywhere. Very depressing.

Until we looked back at the barn.
This is the first downed pine tree we saw. There was an entire row of very large pines just west of the house and barn that had always kept the worst of the west winds and snow off of us. That line now has some big gaps in it because three of those magnificent trees went down in that storm.

I know these pictures aren't the greatest, but Mike was taking them in poor weather and low light. You can see the size of this tree though. The upper branches actually tore big gashes in the steel roof which you can't see in this picture.

This is what the gashes looked like from the inside. Fortunately, the horses' stalls are on the other side of the barn, but these gashes allowed some hay to get slightly wet and a little water also got into the tack room.

Again, fortunately, after I broke my wrist in October, I went ahead and moved my saddle and bridle inside the house for the winter. I don't ride a lot in the winter because we don't have any place to really get out of the wind, and my hands and feet freeze. As little as I ride in the colder months, it's easier just to carry my tack back and forth. I can't leave them in that tack room all winter because the humidity is just too high here, and before you know it, they get covered in mold. Yuk!

This was the real kicker though.
This is an even bigger pine that also came down on the barn - this time right in the middle of the west side. If it hadn't been caught by the even bigger oak tree just outside the window, I hate to think of the damage this baby would have done. But the oak kept most of the weight and branches off the barn roof. I knew I loved that tree! I was truly shocked when I saw this sight though. You can see why Mike and I were amazed at how unperturbed Indy and Ami were about the whole thing. The way that steel roof magnifies the sound of anything that hits it, it must have sounded as if the sky was falling inside the barn or even on the "back porch."

Especially after this big limb landed right on top of the back porch! Of course, they are always free to leave the barn whenever they wish, but I was watching and I never saw either one of them out during the entire storm. Amazing.
 There was some damage to the peak of the roof, but nothing like what would have happened if that oak had not been there.
Here is some debris that landed clear on the far side of the back porch. These were not tiny little branches either.
As you can see, the near side of the back porch was covered in broken pine branches. Really sad.
The destruction of these magnificent trees was heartbreaking.
When this pine came down, it took an apple tree with it.
Fortunately, both the pine and the apple tree just missed my horse trailer.
You can see the big gaps in what was a solid line of huge pines. It sickens me to lose beautiful, healthy trees, but it still could have been worse - a lot worse. It was a lot worse in Illinois.
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"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra