Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Change of Season

When I started this blog, it was Range to Range as I was slowly losing the ability to ride and be out where I wanted to be, and was spending more time in the kitchen, trying out recipes, making milk products and homemade meals in an attempt to fill my days.

As the years have passed, my disease has been looming larger and taking away more and more of what I love in life and leaving me feeling much like an empty shell. I couldn’t blog because my state of mind was nothing I would want to share with anyone, nor anything you would care to read. My life is changing again, so although there will be a little about ranching and livestock, I will share the life I’ve been given, such as it is.

As my readers know, I now am dependent on a Service Dog to help me through the normal activities of my day, that I can no longer manage on my own. I would like to expand a little on how he assists me, as it is doubtful there will be many entries in the future that don’t include Heath.

Unable to bend over and reach the floor anymore, Heath hands me anything I drop (which happens more and more often as my hands become more involved) and anything I point and ask for. On really painful days when I cannot get up, he brings me my pillow and blanket. I consistently forget to take my medications, and mid day cannot remember if I took them or not as I am easily distracted or confused, so Heath brings them to me the minute I wake up, and stays with me until I take them, then he puts them back on the table where he prefers to keep them. That in itself has been a tremendous help. He also brings them to me at night, as there are meds that have to be taken at certain times of the day. I know when it’s almost  bedtime because he hands them to me.

He picks up all the dirty laundry and hands to me so I can put it in the rolling hamper and he takes the clothes out of the dryer as I cannot bend far enough to get them, especially things like socks, where even he has to crawl in to reach them. He’s doing a good job pushing the buttons that open doors for wheelchairs, although I am not yet in need of him to do so. He already does a good job walking along beside a wheelchair as I have to use the scooters in the store, unable to walk that much. Better to get the training done before it becomes critical. There are always new tasks that I find I need to teach him, such as flushing a commercial toilet, helping me to undress, and bring my attention to my scratching as my skin always itches and I tend to scratch till I bleed.
Over the years, I have lost my ability to do many things, and medications as well as disease both changed my body.I no longer wanted to see people or go out. I hated shopping, refused to join the parties on the ranch and Lord have mercy on anyone who points a camera in my direction. I’ve always been a ‘loner’, but I was becoming a recluse. A very unhappy, depressed and pain-wracked recluse. Heath has made huge changes in my life.

After 10 years, I got myself a phone, got a drivers license and bought a car. I enjoy going to town with Heath and doing the shopping or whatever, as he is always so happy to serve and seems to love new places. I no longer suffer from anxiety being out in public, because people tend to focus on Heath, not on me or what I look like.

The boss wants me to get rid of my animals. I had already planned to get rid of most of them as I cannot take care of them anymore, but they were not selling fast enough, so all our cows went to a sale one day, and the sheep another. There's not much reason for the kids to come visit anymore. Their highlights of the trips were gathering eggs, playing with and feeding the lambs, goats and calves, milking the cow and the other stuff they could only do where we lived.

We held back 2 lambs for our freezer, one for the dogs and 2 ewes and the ram to send to a friend we worked a deal with so we will still get our 2 lambs a year. Bruno and Mr Potamus are not very thrilled with this decision, but it wasn’t mine or theirs to make. Without a flock to protect, they now live in the yard and house, much to my dismay, as they constantly loose enormous clumps of white hair on the carpet and make a challenging obstacle course in our very small house for me to try and negotiate. As I am not allowed to seek outside help to get the house and yard clean, which is beyond my abilities, I found my life was easier to just leave the ranch and take a long running road trip with Heath.

It’s been a great month, and has been good for me. TheMan has agreed that I will come home for awhile and then take another road trip whenever life there becomes too overwhelming. I don’t know how long I will be able to exercise this option, as we don’t know when the disease will render me unable to drive, but until then, I hope to make the most of it! I will be able to make up for all the time I lost seeing my grandkids and my kids. I will meet some of the people who have encouraged me on FB for the past several years, and hopefully, I will see parts of the country I’ve never had the opportunity to see.

Here’s to the future!


  1. Wonderful to see your post. Continued encouragement for the new chapters ahead for you. If you find youself in Michigan let me know. :)

  2. Oh my goodness... I have enjoyed following your posts on FB. I'm so sorry you're not well. So distressing that your dogs are not able to live their productive lives. Wish there was a solution :-(

  3. If you are ever in northern Nevada or lake Tahoe area let me know. Best wishes for you and heath on your travels.

  4. Good to see your post here. I have been able to follow you on Facebook, too. Heath has indeed been a Godsend.

  5. Wow, Kim, I had no idea WHY you were traveling. I'm so terribly sorry it came to that, but thankful you can travel and visit loved ones. I know you miss The Man, yet it's clear your home is no longer your castle, but a prison. I pray there will be a better, long-term solution. I'm so thankful you have Heath, and I always love reading about him! (My daughter used my computer to sign in to her Gmail today, and now it won't recognize me, but this is Susan Lea.) . Love and hugs!

    1. yeah, it's pretty lonesome there, with the man working the hours he does and my inability to do anything anymore. The ranch job was great for us at first, but my life took a turn and it's no longer the best place for me, but it is for TheMan