Thursday, June 24, 2010

Who Turned out the Lights?

So there I was. Unconscious on the floor of the horse trailer. I do wish I could remember what happened, but I don't know exactly. I do know I brought my horse in the trailer and clipped him up to the trailer tie. I don't remember doing that, but we later found the clip dangling neatly from his halter, so he must have broken the rope and took the clip with him.

It was the last day of horse camp. I had been in Ninilchik for TWO horse camps, because both of our girls did a camp, and each brought her horse. We also had Mukluk there, because he did a little trick show for the campers.

My horse was high energy, and had been in a stall all day long. Then we took him out in the yard for just a short time, and straight into the trailer. And he walked by his barn buddy on the way. He wasn't ready to load, not really. I should really have been paying more attention to how he was feeling/acting. But I was just checking things off my list. Girls packed. Check. Bunkhouse cleaned out. Check. Stalls cleaned. Check. Trailer hooked to truck. Check. Tack loaded. Check. And so on. I was proud of myself for getting ready to go so quickly, and the last thing to do was load my three horses. So I guess that's why I was distracted.

We think my horse broke the rope, and while pulling back he hit me on the left side of the face while facing him. My nose/eyebrow/forehead was sore/tender/bruised on this side. Then, I went flying into the inside of the metal trailer, and hit HARD on the right side of my head. This is where I ended up getting the severe concussion. I know this part because my mom said my Life is Good horsie hat flew out of the trailer escape door..I hit so hard. Dang hat knew to get out while the getting was good! :) I got knocked out cold, and fell to the floor inside the trailer.

I was taken to the emergency room, and they did a CAT scan, xrays, etc. Nothing broken, just a yucky concussion. I am not allowed to ride for three weeks. This happened two weeks ago, now, and I have not been up to blogging a lot. I'm really doing SOOO much better, because at first all I could do was sleep. A lot. And I had a lot of nausea for about a week. And a very swollen egg/bump on one side, and tender/sore/owies on the other too. So I could not find a spot on my pillow to put my head! Or a spot on my head to put my pillow, I guess you could say. It was hard to get comfortable.

And every day I found new scrapes/abrasions all over my body. But I was really lucky not to get hurt worse, I guess.

I'm okay. I'm fine. I sure don't like getting stopped in my tracks, because I like to go about a hundred miles per hour at all times. So I'm learning to take it slow and I'll be wearing my helmet in the trailer from now on. That's what my husband says, anyway! :)

PS Pictures from horse camp to follow soon. We really did have fun!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Boat Trip-Floating Science Lab!

The day finally arrived, one we had been waiting for, for months! Our homeschool group went on a Marine Science Day field trip, on the waters of Ressurection Bay..out of Seward, AK. The Kenai Fjord trip is a popular one for tourists, but before the tourists arrive, they do an outstanding science program for school age children, which has won many awards for its content and approach.

You can always hope for wonderful weather, but the truth is its hard to find it in this part of our state. The mountains rise straight up from the bay, and they make their own grey, cloudy weather-complete with plenty of harsh winds. That's the normal weather..but we had a PERFECT, GORGEOUS day out there!!!

We were able to see lots of wildlife, including mountain goats (with new baby "kids" on the block), dall porpoises, sea otters, sea lion, and all kinds of water fowl. The porpoises were with us all day, playing in small groups around the bow of the boat, and jumping and flipping with joy in the wake behind us. They were SO entertaining!!

See the brand new baby mountain goat by his mama? He was so darling..I wanted to hug him!

The kids went to various "stations" on the boat, where they were instructed in all kinds of marine science knowledge and hands-on application. They learned about palangic and non-palangic sea birds at one station, with real (stuffed) birds so they could observe wing and foot structures.

At another science station, they used a net to drag the water and collect krill, then used the onboard microscopes to analyze and identify plankton, phytoplankton, and be specific. They LOVED that one.

At another, they took samples of sea water, and checked the salinity, turbidity, and temperature, and talked about how to find each.

At yet another, they learned difficult new vocabulary, pertaining to ecosystems, then went to an onboard tank to identify various ecosystems, and learn about the crabs, snails, sea stars, anemones, and more living there.

The scenery was unbelievably beautiful. I always wonder if I, having grown up on the Peninsula, can scarcely take it all in, how do the tourists not just slip into a coma at the splendor?? Its a mystery to me. I truly cannot tell you how much I love our mountains, beaches, bays, and wildlife. Its like a gift each and every time I observe it, and I will never ever tire of it as long as I live.

We had a WONDERFUL, fantastic day on the water, and loved every minute. We visited with our homeschooling friends, and took lots and lots of pictures. The boat took us from cove to cove, and even up to a glacier, then back around and out to the Gulf of Alaska, before returning to the Seward Harbor.

We were tired, sun-soaked, and happy, and drove the two and a half hour drive back home dreaming about our next boat trip.