Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stanford University Hospital

San Francisco Fog rolling in to the Bay

Yes, that's right.  I'm now employed again, and settled in to work at Stanford.  I came here to visit my son Jesse at Thanksgiving, and was surprised to find a beautiful pasture for the horses.  Jesse, Zak, and I went for a ride and found ourselves at the top of a hill, looking down on the Stanford campus.  Suddenly, I had the clear knowingness that this is where I was "supposed to be".  I said to the boys, "You see that hospital down there?  I'm going to go down there and get hired this afternoon".

On the hill above Palo Alto

And basically, that's what happened.  I started orientation in the ED on 12/12/11, and worked my first shift on my own on Christmas Day.  In the meantime, I found a place to live in Portola Valley, a little 2 bedroom cottage on a 2 acre property where there is a little barn below my deck overlooking the gardens.  As the place isn't ready until Jan 10, I'm staying with my wonderful friends Nancy and Art in San Carlos.
Page Mill Pastures

The horses are doing well, and have been accepted into the large herd at Page Mill Pastures.  Moonlight has been leased to a trainer who is using him for beginner lessons, and Magic has been leased to a school teacher who is planning to take lessons and enjoy his company 3 days a week.  This way, my expenses for them are covered, and they get attention and love, while I focus on work.

One of the many horse trails in Portola Valley

I'm excited.  The nurses I've worked with so far at Stanford have been friendly and welcoming.  It's been an adjustment and culture shock for me to return to work after the freedoms of the open road, but it is also good to be earning money again, and I think I'm going to really like it here.  The silicon valley is a beautiful place, and Portola Valley is a premier place to live.  Most of the residents have horses, and there are trails through the area all over the place.

Brothers reunited

It's a good place to cozy up for the winter, and who knows?  Maybe a bit longer.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Job Search Continues in Napa, CA

I am getting to be a fixture at Starbucks in Napa.  The folks here greet me by name when I come in to do my jobsearching by computer all day long.  It's an interesting experience, to say the least.  Over the past week I have applied to probably 75 jobs, gradually widening my net from the Napa Valley to all of California, travel agencies, Kaiser, Banner Health, and finally, I'm starting to search my old home state of Montana.

I have not enjoyed the experience of online job searching yet.  I have always been employed quite quickly in the past, and I now realize that pretty much, I have always been hired for any job I ever applied for!

So it's a new experience searching online and completing online jobs apps over and over again.  Patience is required.  It's a strange sensation to apply online and wonder if I'll ever hear...

Only just today did I feel a bit of movement.  An agency called to tell me that they thought they could place me.  I am hopeful, but nervous.  It's probably good to have a taste of what unemployed people everywhere experience, but no, I am not liking this.

The horses are safe, but stand for long hours tied on a highline in Skyline Park.  Zak has been helping a lot, and keeping watch over the herd, but yesterday I dropped him off to take part in an adventure on a boat/barge up the delta.  So now I'm alone again with my herd, and I worry about them when I'm spending long hours on the computer at my "Starbucks office".

I guess this is one of the drawbacks of my chosen lifestyle.  Even with all my years of nursing experience and currents certs and licensures, it's still a challenge to get a job in this economy.

If anyone has any advice, I am open, and ready to work ASAP.

It's all fun and games till you can't get a job...
Sailing on the San Francisco Bay

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bay Area Job Search, Sequim Newspaper Article

Maggie and Me
Mount Shasta, CA
Hi everyone.  I'm "holed up" in the San Francisco bay area.  Planning to spend the winter here with the herd.  I've been the guest of my generous friends, Anton and Federika, at the deluxe boarding facility they operate here called "Somerset Farms".  I celebrated my birthday with great new friends after a week of filing applications, renewing my CA nursing license with the BRN, and taking an ACLS class to renew my Advanced Cardiac Life Support Certification.  Now it's time to send my resume out on the airwaves, in hopes I can find a nursing position that pays well enough to allow me to get back on the road in the spring.

I've got some other ideas as well for fund raising, so stay tuned and wish me luck!

While I was in Sequim, WA, I gave a presentation to a group of interested horse enthusiasts, and among them was  Karen Griffiths, a reporter for the local paper:  the Pennisula Daily News.  She wrote a nice article about my journey, which was recently published.  Here's the link if you're interested:

Thanks to all my blog readers who submitted suggestions and support.  I am held in the arms of Love, and I thank you all for being here with me on this journey.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

EponaShoe Testimonial Video

EponaShoe Video Release

Hey everyone!  Check out the new EponaShoe Video.  Just released, it explains the features and benefits of these great shoes.  Share the news with your horse loving friends!

EponaShoes helped Moonlight to grow back strong hooves after they fell apart in chunks back when he was in steel shoes.  From bare sole to sound in only 4 months!  All my horses will always wear EponaShoes!

Two weeks after his feet broke off in chunks.
EponaShoes keep the pain down and help support the foot.

John, from EponaShoe keeps a close eye on the work.
EponaShoe glued on first at the Epona Institute in Paso Robles, August, 2011

Casting material applied to provide additional support to the right hind

Monique and the EponaShoe Farrier apply the finishing touches

To this!
In only four months...
Thanks EponaShoe!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The 13 Fish Hooks Caper: Vetrolin Detangles a Mystery

While I was traveling north through Oregon this August, I woke one morning to a crazy and confusing  situation.  The mystery was never really solved, but a product called "Vetrolin Detangler" saved Moonlight from injury.  It was so mysterious that I knew it would make a good story for the blog, so now that I have finally had time to write it, I sent it to the company as a testimony to this excellent product, and today I include a copy of the email to Farnam Products.  I'm never without a bottle of Vetrolin in the trailer tack room now, and have used it for years with great results.  My horses all have thick, coarse, easily matted tails and manes.  Vetrolin has always been my product of choice because it simply makes grooming those thick tails a no-brainer.  In fact, the worse the tail condition is, the more fun it is to see how well Vetrolin works.

Here's the story of a morning I'll never forget:

Dear Farnam product manager:

I just wanted to tell you an amazing story about your product, Vetrolin detangler.  I am the Equine Nomad, with a goal to ride 200 miles in every state.  I travel with four horses and usually tent camp in wilderness areas.  I have been on the road with my herd for 14 months now, having ridden more than 2000 miles thus far, in 6 states.

Recently I was camped overnight at a state campground in Oregon.  There was no shower at the horse facility, so I went over to use the facilities at the regular campground, leaving my 20 year old son in charge of the herd. 

As the location was quite remote, he did as we often do, and released the 3 geldings to graze, leaving the mare tied to "emotionally tether" the rest of the herd nearby.  When I got back, he had already gathered them up and they were tucked away each in their own sturdy log corral.

We bedded down just as darkness fell, but were awakened early to the sound of heavy equipment operators moving right through camp, building a road.  We decided to break camp and get on our way, as the environment had quickly become unappealing due to noise of diesel trucks and swearing working men.

Not my favorite animal to see in the wild...especially at 700 am!

I tied each horse in turn near their morning feed buckets, but when it came to my beautiful white arabian, I heard a strange sound - like a clanking of keys every time he swished his tail.  What the heck?  I thought, and then saw a colorful flash of something in his tail....

13 lures - a fishy mystery!

You can imagine my dismay when I found his tail to be loaded with fishing lures!  Many!  and worse, they were all treble hooks, getting more tangled by the moment as he swished and swished his tail, smacking himself with those sharp points with every swat!  He was dancing around like a cat on a hot tin roof.  Poor guy!

Well, there was no doubt about it.  As nasty as the campsite was, we would not be pulling out until every hook was removed.  This was a formidable task, and getting worse with every clanging swish of the jangled mess of his tail.  I was worried about him, but also worried I'd catch myself on one of those hooks.  As an ER nurse, I've seen quite a few nasty fish hook injuries, and had no desire to experience it first hand.

I have been a long time user of the Farnam product, Vetrolin Detangler however, so when I saw that all those hooks were stuck beyond my wildest nightmare, my only hope was that Vetrolin could help.

I grabbed my bottle from the trailer tack room and squirted a little on the first hook.  Wonder of wonders!  That hook and then the next were released easily within a matter of minutes.  In fact there were a total of 13 fishhooks removed from Moonlight's tail in about 15 minutes.  

I was so pleased, I took photos afterward with the hooks, and with the vetrolin bottle.  I'm planning to copy this story to my blog with photos from that memorable morning if you're interested.

Thanks so much for making such a great product, and saving my horse's beautiful tail that day.  Instead of a major hassle, it was only a mystery that ended on a note of amazement and renewed confidence in your wonderful product.  All of my 4 horses have long thick manes and tails, and combing them out is never an issue with Vetrolin around.  

Even when things get a little fishy...
Thanks again!

Trish Wild, RN, PhD
The Equine Nomad

Look how the brush glides through his tail!

Vetrolin to the rescue!  So glad he didn't lose his tail!

The mystery of the 13 treble hooks was never solved, but the tail was saved....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fun on the Olympic Pennisula

Unloading the packs at Horsehead Camp, Olympic National Park 
"Sacking out" a bit more with Maggie. 
Moonlight's first pack.  He loved it!

One of the many waterfalls along the way to Cat Basin, Olympic National Park

Our beautiful route through the tall trees...

Some nice guy took a photo for us.  Zak's first pack trip!

Our beautiful camp in Cat Basin

Nice view of the Olympic Range

The Olympic Range, Olympic National Park, WA

A little Equine Yoga, Heart Lake, Olympic National Park, WA

Equine Yoga over water!

Magic provides a good base for a great pigeon pose.

My first view of a black bear in the wilderness.

Moonlight loves the Cat Basin Camp

Olympic View Stables
Bareback jumping

Bareback jumping has a steep learning curve...

Our host in Sequim, WA - Dr. Bob, a retired veterinarian.
"Take your time leaving, and hurry back!"
Thanks for everything Bob!

Equine Yoga, Feng Shui and more photos from Capital State Park

While Zak was in Portland, my friend Michelle and I went to work to Feng Shui several rooms in her house.  We rolled up our sleeves and transformed her space from clutter, disorganization, and darkness to a light, bright, supportive and pleasing space.

The kitchen before..... 

And After....All surfaces cleaned and all cupboards organized.
The dog is very happy with the energy shift..
The Bathroom before 
And the bathroom after....

After leaving Michelle to continue her Feng Shui on her own, I met up with Zak and we camped and rode in Capital State Forest, near Olympia WA.  His friends came out to visit and enjoyed some rides with us.  Morgan even was brave enough to try some Equine Yoga....

First riders over the new bridge in Capital State Park, Olympia WA

A good river gallop!

Zak's friends Andy and Nick joined us for an afternoon.

Morgan tries out some Equine Yoga!

Not bad for a beginner!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Olympic Peninsula of Washington

Zak the firemaster

My last entry was quite a while ago I see.  My apologies to my readers, but I can't really say I'm sorry because it just means I have been living in the wild, out of range of internet coverage.  Loving it!

After leaving the beautiful hot springs on the Columbia Gorge at Bonneville, WA,  Zak hopped out in Portland, OR to visit his buddies who moved there from Fort Collins.  I continued on to visit my dear old friend Michelle.

Today is her birthday!  September 12.  Happy Birthday my dear friend!

Michelle and I decided to do a juice fast together, after first dining at a beautiful restaurant in Eugene.  Delicious fresh oysters, lovely cocktails, beautiful slow roasted wild boar, and a lovely Tuna Tartare.  Scrumptious meal and great service.  Good bottle of wine also....

The next day we began our fast, and a major Feng Shui of Michelle's place.  During the next 6 days, we transformed her bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom.  Next time I blog, I'll have the before and after photos for you.  We did a lot of work in the "Wealth and Abundance" area of her home, and while we were there, Michelle found a forgotten notice that she needed to renew her nursing license, and was inspired to call her credit card company and get her interest rate reduced from 28% to 0% interest.

She also decided to sign her beautiful dog up for training with a company named "Sit Means Sit".  Her german shepard, "Nanuck", has been charging the fence in her front yard, scaring her neighbors, kids on bikes, and one guy in particular, who threatened to kill her dog while I was there.

Clearly time to change the energy in her reputation.  Nanuck is off to school next week, and I'll let you know how it goes for them in future blogs.

The first night, I arrived late and put the four horses in Michele's front yard.  So funny to see, and MOST of the neighbors were cool about it.

Always in search of wood to burn...
Beats a gym workout everytime!
 Zak and I are back together again.  I picked him up in Portland and we headed to the coast of Oregon.  We stopped at a State Park geared for horse camping, but it wasn't our cup of tea.  Too suburban for us.  The camp host even scolded me for parking "on the grass" when I stopped briefly to grab a shower on the way out.  The "grass" was dried up, yellow scrubby stuff, and I really wasn't parked on it anyway.  It's an interesting phenomenon that those "camp hosts" end up controlling little bitches who think they own our state parks.

From there, we hit the Oregon coast, but it was not exactly horse friendly in the area we chose to land.  So we drove north and almost got back into Washington before stopping to camp at a boat launch near a wildlife refuge.  The horses spent the night tied to the trailer, and Zak and I put our mats down on the launch, and enjoyed a lovely night, waking to a beautiful sunrise.

Next morning we crossed a bridge over the Columbia Gorge, and arrived on the Olympic Peninsula.  We found camping in Capital State Park, and have been riding the trails there for a couple of days.  It's a Park in transition and should be nice one day, but at the moment it has quite a lot to be desired.  The trails are in pretty poor condition, but the "Friends of Capital State Park" are in motion, and Zak and I were the first to cross the new and sturdy bridge they completed minutes prior to our arrival.

Clearing trails and maintaining campsites is a big job.  We've seen all sorts of variety in our travels, and Zak and I both rated the Capital State Margeret McKinney Horse Camp with a 2-3 out of 5 stars.  At least there is pumpable, potable water in the campsite.  And the camp host is not a little bitch yet.

Our plan is to hang here a couple of more days, and then head up the Peninsula to the Olympic National Forest and National Park.  It's a rare sunny day, and we are feeling pretty happy to be here!

Midnight - such a good boy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wild times in Washington

Have I mentioned I love this Zorse?

Another Zebra Transformation....

And later that day....

Zorse on the loose!
If you've never painted your horse, you should try it sometime!  By the way, Akheil is available for parties, weddings, celebrations of any kind!  He can be painted any way you can think of...

Even rainbows....

He's a darling...and rideable by just about anyone.
Even bareback...

Atlas Shrugged....
Zak and Maggie enjoy the view
Wenatchee Wilderness, Cascades of Washington
Equine Yoga in the Cascades
Horse Camp in the Wenatchee Wilderness

Stopping at a lovely fruit stand near Wenatchee, WA
What a beautiful drive through wine country.  Fruit country.  Recreation heaven.  I love Washington!

Biggest Blueberries I have ever seen!  Yum!

View of the Grand Coulee, Central Washington
We're now in Bonneville Hot Springs, on the Columbia Gorge.  What a beautiful place.  Sorry - must head back to the water for one last soak before they close...More on this wonderful establishment later...