Friday, May 26, 2006

Long Weekend, Straight Ahead!

Hello boys and girls! I am SOOO happy it is Friday! And a long weekend to boot! First I want to direct your attention to my new sidekick, Dee-Jay from Oklahoma. Believe it or not, I have been where she lives! I figured it is probably about 6 or 7 years ago that I visited Altus with my friend Angela- we drove there to stay with Carrie, who was stationed at Altus AFB at the time. So, very cool. I rented from Dee-Jay a couple of weeks ago and I am glad to have her here. Go visit her!

I can't think of a whole lot to say today, but I will start with the weekend. First thing Saturday, at 9am, we have a visit with Dr. Smith at the Green River Veterinary Clinic in Walnut, Illinois. Dr. Smith will be meeting Boyd and will give him the once over so that we can have a second opinion on Boyd's potential tumor/polyp. When I called Green River Vet Clinic, I spoke with Paula who was BY FAR the friendliest receptionist I have ever talked to over the phone. Turns out she is also a vet assistant and accompanies Dr. Smith on rural large animal calls. That instantly gave me a huge amount of respect for her. Being from an ag background, and having cattle, I understand what it takes to be a veterinarian and even the vet's assistant. Especially for farm animals. Paula also has a coonhound like our Hadley, so I was excited and we bonded over that. She was more than happy to give me background on the vets, and their experiences, personalities, and specialites... and I didn't even have to ask. I was so pleased with Paula and her phone etiquette, that if I am as pleased with Dr. Smith, I could see us switching vets after this visit.

I just really want to get good quality vet care from people who love animals, without paying more for my dogs than I do for myself. The difference in "office visit" costs with a vet is $14 between the two clinics. $14 difference just to see the vet. That cost alone is fabulous. When I used to go to Bureau Valley Veterinary, I liked their costs... I even liked their care until I started to see a different vet with every visit, and I felt like they weren't reviewing the dogs charts or had no idea what their past symptoms were. That kind of care wasn't essential to me when all they needed was vaccinations and a yearly checkup, but once Boyd started to have seizures, and when the calcification in his spine started, I got scared. I switched vets because I knew that I would get more attention to detail and more concern at the Animal Care Clinic. I knew that it would cost more, but I felt it really was worth it. And I think the care they have given is exceptional, and I can't ever say that I have been treated poorly, everyone is nice and patient and answers questions.... but now I find myself in a situation where I can't afford their services, and my dog may suffer because of it. The cost difference really hit home when I realized that BV Veterinary charges $3 to trim a dogs nails and Animal Care Clinic charges $9.50 for the same service. YIKES!

I am on a neverending quest for good veterinary care with reasonable prices. Hopefully Green River Veterinary Clinic will provide me with that. I have heard endless good things about their practice and about Dr. Smith himself. His son went to school with my husband, and Dr. Smith used to go hunting with my father-in-law.... and he does all the veterinary work for the Walnut Sale barn, so he had worked with my cattle before. And it gives me a good feeling to be dealing with a small town vet. Husband was the first smart one (followed by my mom) to mention that we could get a second opinion and a second price quote on Boyd's surgery, and both recommended Walnut... So we will see on Saturday.

Saturday afternoon we have a "memorial day" cookout with Evan's family in Princeton. We need to get something to bring with, we were asked to bring veggies, but that is so BORING! I like to be inventive and take dips and all kinds of good things... so to be restricted to veggies seems so.... I dunno. So tonight I will be perusing my recipe books to pick out a dip that can go with veggies and then probably going to get ingredients so that I can whip something up.

Sunday, I have nothing planned, and I have Monday off work... weather permitting I will probably move and or split some Hostas. They have gotten so big between the garage and house, they are easily 2.5-3 foot in diameter, and they are overcrowded now. (they are about double what they were in size two weeks ago, in this picture!) Some will go out front along the bushes and in front of the section of fence, but only on one side of the house, because the dogs will wrap around them if they can reach them while on their tie-outs. SO probably move some hostas, and maybe move some other plants. Lots of them have re-seeded themselves, and some perennials have gotten so big since last year that they need to be moved towards the back so they aren't blocking everything else. And then there is the matter of the pond... Ugh. I need to buy sand and rock before we can put that back in, so it may be another week until I can afford to do that too. But the pond needs to get put back in. The wildflowers in the ditch are really coming along now, won't be long and we will have blooming! I can't wait to show you pictures of that! There are some pictures of the ditch on Flickr, from last year, late in the season when most everything but the Black-eyed Susans were done blooming. We use a mix from Lafeyette Nursery, of native Prairie grasses and Native Wildflowers.... and it is BEAUTIFUL! We get so many comments on the ditch! Some people early on say "why don't you mow that ditch" and they think it is all weeds - until it starts to pop with color and bloom! Then It's like "WOW!" And every year they get better as they get more established and continue to reseed themselves. This year I will have to take great care to get really good pictures when It is all blooming. Last year was only year two, and it really took two years before it got well established.... and last year with the wedding and the remodeling, I almost forgot to take pictures altogether! This year will be better!

So that's the weekend, and I hope that everyone else has a great time and relaxes and enjoys time with family and friends. What better way to recognize those who died for our freedom, than to celebrate it. Happy Memorial Day!

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