Farewell, 2008 - and don't let the screen hit you as you go out the door

the last day of 2008 - finally. What kind of a year was it? The kind you never want to live through again. Just for starters...

National - 

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 13:  Executive Vice Pres...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
Photo - Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer for JPMorgan Chase Barry Zubrow speaks during a hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill November 13, 2008 in Washington, DC.

What can I say? Total collapse of the economy seems to say it all. It's not  just the collapse, but the reason for the meltdown that really fries my eggs. All those so called financial experts investing millions, no billions, in instruments backed by, well, nothing. And never even checking to see what the basket into which they were pouring all of their eggs was made of. "Sub-prime mortages" - meaning a person who doesn't even have a job being allowed to take out a mortage - that's what they were made of. As I said, nothing.

Bedrock financial institutions going under, millions of jobs and homes lost... enough.

Then we endured the Election That Lasted a Hundred Years. Even though the election did turn out the way I wanted it to, I can't remember another election as nerve wracking, muck raking and downright infuriating as this one. John McCain, a man I used to admire, demonstrated that he would do absolutely anything to win, including nominate Sarah Palin - about whom the less said the better - as his VP. Can we sink lower next time? I don't even want to know.

Here On The Farm -

We're all still alive, so I guess I should be grateful for that, but otherwise, it hasn't been the best of years. Last January, Mike came down with shingles on his back, chest and down his left arm. He didn't end up with postherpatic neuralgia - for which we are profoundly grateful - but he felt absolutely awful for over a month, and still his a tingling sensation down his arm.

As I posted earlier, Ami developed a laminitis flare up on the clover hay we got this year, and we had to take her completely off it and buy some grass hay. She seemed fine, but she is having real problems on the frozen ground now, and we suspect that her feet were compromised in some way from the earlier episode with the hay.

Also, we still have a barnfull of the clover hay - that we can't even feed Indy because he gains weight overnight on that stuff - and are scrounging to find quality grass hay to get us over the winter.

Matt was here Monday to put a pair of "glue shoes" on her front feet, but both his tubes of adhesive - $25 each - burst their containers when he tried to pump some out. He had to make do with something else until he could get more. He was quite concerned with the additional damage to Ami's front feet that he could see, so we're doing the best we can until he can get more adhesive, and hopefully allow her feet to heal. Ami seems to be feeling better even with the lesser pad he put on her, so we're just hoping for the best. That girl and her feet worry me to death! It didn't help that this December had some bitter cold that we don't usually have until January.

Just to end the year with a real bang, a few days before Christmas I woke up with a killer headache on just the right side of my head. My right eye was very irritated and felt like something was in it. The headache got better during the day, but my eye did not. The next day, the headache was back full force, but the eye seemed better by afternoon. The third day, both the headache and the eye were awful, and we'd had an ice storm overnight.

I could hardly make it to the barn - my head was bursting and my eye was tearing severely. Trees were snapping and breaking all over the place - it sounded like we were in a war zone. Then the power went out. I ask you now, can things be more perfect? Oh yeah.

To make a very long story short, it was indeed shingles on my face, in my hair and in my right eye. This is no small matter, because one can lose an eye to this abominable disease and/or develop postherpatic neuropothy that can last for years or forever. I'm under the care of an ophthalmologist, whom I will see again Monday. Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, I can only go out during the warmest part of the day to see the horses because the rash and headache are very cold sensitive. Below 20 degrees or so is murder. Gotta love it.

Happy 2009, everyone...

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"From my earliest memories, I have loved horses with a longing beyond words." ~ Robert Vavra