The following articles were authored by brendeau

Beautiful Reunion

This video was taken the day she arrived home on May 11, 2010. The interaction you see between the two horses is classic herd behavior. Quinn is the light brown gelding, NOT a stallion as some of you thought. Herehe was doing what is called the ‘Flehmen response’. There are many different reasons horses do this, but at this moment I’d say he is smelling for her, as stallions would in the early stages of mating. Although he is a gelding, his instincts are still intact.

Roxie is the dark brown (bay) mare who has just come home from the hospital after 7 weeks. The main action in the paddock is centered around them running together, in almost perfect unison. I believe there are a couple of things going on here. First and foremost is their complete joy in being reunited. Second, is Quinn re-establishing his dominance by directing where they run. This is normal behavior in horse herds. And yes, 2 is considered a herd. The leader will always establish their dominance by moving the others’ feet. This is not Quinn pushing her around and being mean, this is how herds have survived in the wild, and they take comfort in their herd. Her wound had healed weeks ago and there was no denying their reunion.

They ran for the length of this video, then they were done and ready for hay and Roxie loves her salt.

 

Beautiful Horse Reunion

In case you missed these links:

Beautiful Reunion Video

SSEC Roxie’s Case study

Stony Creek Farm

South Shore Equine Clinic (SSEC)

On March 20, 2010, I went to feed our horses as usual. Quinn was at the fence doing the low-sounding whinny of feeding time. Roxie was standing back not moving. Something was not right. I walked up to her and could not see anything obvious. Then I saw a small trickle of blood coming out of her nose. Ok, that’s weird. But then there was a drip of blood on the ground close to her front feet. Looking up from there, I gasped when I saw a large hole under her neck at her throat. Something, still unknown to this day, had gone straight up into her throat under her neck. The next few hours were spent by her side as we waited for the vet, then as the vet treated her. The decision to bring her to the hospital was made without much thought of what it would cost, or how long she’d be there.

It was a long 6 1/2 weeks for our girl. Every day I would drive 45 minutes to the South Shore Equine Clinic in Plympton, Mass. Dan, my husband, would drive 30 minutes from work and we would just be with her. We like to think that our visits helped her spirits during her recovery. Brushing her seemed like a small thing and she didn’t seem to mind it as much as usual. It was hard seeing her in a stall with the bucket over her mouth. At one point while we were there they went in to retrieve some of the hair that had been trapped by whatever had punctured her throat. As we watched the monitor a large bit of hair would be grabbed by their tool and brought out. Each bit of hair was actually very small. It was painstaking work. The Doctors as SSEC were awesome. You can read the technical aspects of her injury on the SSEC website here.

If you remember back to the end of March 2010, there was flooding throughout the Northeast. The drive to Plympton became a drive to see where the waters were growing or subsiding. The long drive was spent worrying that Roxie wouldn’t be able to eat again. You can’t see it in the picture, but much of the time she had a tube in her nose for feeding. She now has a white spot at the top, where most of the weight of her apparatus was. We were able to start walking her outside and she did eat grass, but all of it, with whatever water she could drink just came out as green sludge.

On about May 11, 2010, it was determined that she had progressed as far as she could at the hospital. They sent her home hoping it would do her more good to be there. (See her reunion with stablemate Quinn). Roxie spent her days in a small green pasture at Stony Creek Farm in Swansea, Mass. She would eat grass until about 1 pm when I would get out of work and bring her a mash of beet pulp, oatmeal and molasses (we actually cooked it like brownies). She would also get a little bit of alfalfa hay, and I’d check her water. At 5 I went again to feed her and Quinn. In the beginning, as we walked back to her regular paddock she would spew green slime on my back when she did the blowing out of her nose and mouth that horses do. She would go into a paddock just across from her regular one, so she could eat supper without being rushed and bothered by Quinn. She would get more mash and alfalfa. It was a critical time because if she couldn’t keep food and water in she wouldn’t make it. Then both of us went again to the barn around 7:30 to put her back in her regular paddock. She was tended to 4 times a day.

After about a week and a half, I realized she hadn’t spewed me with green slime in a couple of days! Oh My God (!), that meant she was keeping it all down! It looked like she was going to be okay. She continued to get better all the time. On May 11, 2010, she came home after 6 1/2 weeks of spewing green sludge everytime she tried to eat

At her checkup on May 21, 2010, she was looking superb with her stablemate Quinn (pretty boy). 

We are eternally grateful to Dr. Mark Reilly and Dr. Linda Cimetti and other doctors and all of the staff at SSEC, at the time of her injury. She is still doing well with no visible scars from that horrific injury.

In case you missed these links:

Beautiful Reunion Video

SSEC Roxie’s Case study

Stony Creek Farm

South Shore Equine Clinic (SSEC)

 

'Status' Post | By on September 11, 2018

What is a thumb drive?

There are many names for thumb drive, including usb key, pocket drive, memory stick, data stick, pen drive, jump drive, and maybe some others. This device can be thought of just like a file cabinet. It’s a place to store digital files of any kind. It can be accessed by any device that has a usb port. These are both usb ports on a computer. The blue one is a ‘super speed’.

 

 

 

 

A thumb drive is like having a file cabinet in your pocket. You can put any type of file that you want to save and/or transport on it. As you can see, there are many different thumb drives. They either have a cover over the usb end, or they swing out from inside. In the first picture they are ‘closed, in the second picture they are opened, ready to insert into your computer, or any other device with a usb port.

Here’s how you use it.

  1. First, on your computer, click on a file icon on the bottom strip of your computer.
  2. Find ‘This PC’. There should be a left-hand column with a long list, that’s the most common place you will see that. Under, or to the right, of ‘Local Disk C:’ you should see other named drives like, ‘DVD Drive D:’ etc. Anything with a letter followed by a colon, means some type of device lives there.
  3. Plug your thumb drive into one of the usb slots, hopefully on the front of your desktop computer. If you don’t have any on the front … you may want to get a newer computer, you have a dinosaur. If you have a laptop the ports could be anywhere.
  4. Depending on the speed of your computer, you should see a new drive name, usually the brand of your thumb drive, followed by a letter and a colon. (eg. Lexar E:). Note this name.
  5. On your computer go to your Pictures and find one that you want on your thumb drive, right-click on it
  6. Left-click on ‘Send To’ >
  7. Find the name and letter of your thumb drive and left-click.

 

That’s it, you have saved your file to the thumb drive!

Credit Cards – The un-common theory

How many credit cards do you have in your wallet?

We have been conditioned (brainwashed) into thinking credit cards are a good idea. “Oh I only use it for emergencies,” is a common expression. Isn’t an emergency the worst time to go into debt? If you’re using a credit card in an emergency, that means you don’t have the cash, which means you’ll go into debt for this emergency. This is a downward spiral for many people. 38% of people with credit cards carry a balance from month to month, incurring hundreds or thousands of dollars of interest. I’d be willing to bet that most of THOSE are the very people who cannot afford it! The spiral goes on and on, as the debt piles up and up.

Somewhere along the way, we started using OPM (other people’s money) for the basic necessities and anything we ever just had to have. Whatever happened to ‘living within our means’? Being in debt our whole lives has become normal. It is so pervasive in our society that laws had to be passed to keep college kids from being overrun with credit card offers. Kids are told to get a credit card to start building their credit. Credit cards seem to be a status symbol. Though we don’t know the story behind everyone’s credit card history, you can be sure that over a third of those using credit cards (as opposed to debit cards) are going into debt for whatever they are buying with that ‘swipe.’

I will admit that on our journey to become debt free; I was nervous when I paid off my last credit card. I will also admit that I was the one with credit cards. I would no longer have that card to fall back on. I made a big deal about shredding it because I was so attached to it. I had had that card the longest, and at first, it was for emergencies. Then it became the ‘go to’ card for the things we needed to spend, things that were not emergencies. Sometimes it was MY splurge money. Here we are 1 ½ years later … and we’re still standing! We have had emergencies that we had to ‘cash flow’ (pay cash for), and with our little emergency fund, we have handled MOST things that have come our way. Murphy loves to come on in when you think you’re making progress. A roof (impending emergency) and truck engine disaster handed us one last debt, but we were able to pay half of that off in a couple of months. That is the last time we will EVER borrow money. (Except maybe a mortgage)

When we use a credit card, we DO spend more because we don’t pay attention to the cost. It doesn’t hurt to hand over a credit card. It hurts (me) to hand over cold hard cash. I think it is more mindful to use actual money. I have to count it. I hand it over. I see how much less is in my wallet.

So what about those who pay it off every month? Congratulations, you still paid more for everything. Have you ever had to pay interest? That hurts. You could get sick before you’re able to pay the bill at the end of the month. (I have a feeling that those who pay them off every month, could actually afford NOT to use them, and they only use them for convenience and security. IMHO) They will never be convinced. That makes me sad.

A debit card is just as convenient and just as secure. Using a debit card as a credit card (not using PIN#) has all of the protection of a credit card. I do admit that it is more hassle when a debit card gets hacked. Your card will be closed, and the money won’t be available while they investigate. If this is your daily card, it is a hassle. Here is my take on it: most of the time your card is not going to get hacked at a local store, though it does happen. My hubby had his hacked, and he thinks it was at a ‘shady’ gas station. So we go to a ‘shady’ gas station to what (?), save a few cents on gas? My card has not been hacked through my everyday spending. What has been hacked was my credit card from online purchases.

Here is what I do for online purchases and vacations: I have a separate checking account with a different debit card. I keep $1,000 in it for a kind of ‘clearing account’ (and a mini emergency fund). By clearing account I mean, let’s say I spend $50 online, using the 2nd checking account. Then I transfer $50 from my daily account into the 2nd checking account. That ‘clears’ the amount, and I still have $1,000. You could also have a line item in your regular checking account for buying things online, add each purchase to it and make only one transfer a month. For vacations I deposit the amount that I want to spend, plus a little buffer, into the second checking account. That way, the vacation ‘hangover’ (debt) does not follow us home.

Sure there is a little more thinking and work involved, but steering clear of debts products (including credit cards especially) brings peace of mind. Because right now, we only have two payments that go to debt right now. We have a tremendous amount that goes to extra principal each month. If an emergency comes up, we use that money. When we have a fully funded emergency fund, that will be our ‘credit card’ if you will – other people would just use a credit card. The difference (?), we will never have to pay someone else back for the money we used.

My goal here is to get people thinking about credit cards and how much they spend, the risk of getting into debt, and maybe start to think about living without debt products.

Credit cards are a tool for THE BANKS. Some of us think of them as tools for us, but BANKS get the lion-share of the positive outcomes!

Get your financial house in order first


Before you do anything, make sure these areas are taken care of:  Food, Utilities, Mortgage/Rent, Transportation. If you are behind on any of these, then don’t pay ANYTHING else until these BASIC NECESSITIES are current. Here is an outline of a very first, very basic budget, or spending plan:

  • Income
    • Paycheck(s)
    • Other income
  • Expenses
    • Food
    • Electric
    • Gas
    • Water
    • Mortgage/Rent
    • Car payment
    • Car insurance
    • Car fuel
    • Phone

If you have money left over, hurray, you can start your journey. If there is no money left over, you may want to ditch an expensive car, try to lower your car insurance, move, get a better job or another job. YOU MUST DO SOMETHING TO CHANGE THIS, YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE!! (a saying by DR to drill home the severity of your problem). If you are behind in some of these areas also, negotiate a repayment plan. Other creditors will not be happy, but they can wait. They will threaten you, send nasty letters and whine a lot, but you HAVE to eat, have a dwelling, lights, heat, hot water, and a way to get to a job.

There is hope if you start being mindful and don’t stay stuck. Write down everything you spend money on and you may find something that you forgot about that you don’t need. You have to be brutal and realistic. Most important is that you cannot ignore it and go on being broke. You might want to look for a better or another job. Is there something you can do in your neighborhood to earn extra money? Maybe there is some stuff in your house that you can sell. Is your rent or mortgage more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay? That IS a problem. How much is your car payment? Maybe your car is ‘eating your lunch’, literally. The point here is to get in the game and DO SOMETHING. You can do THIS!

Is my password ‘out-there’??

Don’t be alarmed if you get an email with the subject “your-email: password” (insert YOUR email and YOUR password). It may be your email and you may recognize the password. “Don’t be alarmed??” you exclaim! In all likelihood, it’s a VERY old password. It may still linger on some websites that you don’t use any longer. THESE ARE WELL KNOWN ’email scare tactics’. But even if you haven’t changed passwords in years, this is not real. Well … let me explain.

At times there have been huge security leaks. Think “Adobe’, ‘PayPal’, ‘Ebay’, ‘Yahoo’, ‘Linked In’, ‘MySpace’. There are actual databases (files of information) with email addresses, passwords and other personal information that was gleaned from the leaks mentioned above. Spammers access these ‘publicly available’ files to spam and scare the heck out of us.

If you read the actual email, it will make you think …. hopefully for just a second (wink, wink). This particular email says they got your email and password from all of the pornographic websites you have visited! It goes on to threaten to send emails to all of your contacts showing all the websites you have visited. Some even claim to have webcam video of you. The purpose (?), money of course. If you pay them upwards of $1,200, usually in bitcoin, they will not tell all of your friends what you’ve been up to.

Please understand THIS IS NOT PERSONAL! They are spamming millions of people hoping to scare a small fraction of them into paying their ransom. Now hopefully your spam-filter keeps these from your inbox, but if you see this make sure you mark it ‘SPAM’. You really don’t even have to read it.

It is not real …

BUT, if you ARE still using some version of that password, this would be a REALLY good time to change it.

Where did my files go??

Pulling hair out

 

Have you ever had one of these moments? “Where did that document/picture/download go?”

Finding documents, pictures and downloads on your computer has become easier over the years. You can find all of this by clicking on the ‘File folder’ icon on the ‘Taskbar’, at the bottom of your computer screen.

Taskbar with notesThe taskbar is a long strip that goes along your whole screen and has several icons.  Click on the file folder icon, labeled ‘Computer files’ above (On your computer this is referred to as ‘File Explorer’). That will take you to the ‘insides’ of your computer.   Continue reading Where did my files go??

Email Hacking

Have you had your email hacked recently? You are in good company! President G.H. Bush had his hacked while in the hospital; Sara Palin was a victim of email hacking (good company??). Many of us still don’t use the best passwords, nor do we change them very often. I have seen recently many sites requiring 10 character passwords, with at least one lower case, one uppercase, one number and one character! But just changing your password may not be enough! A little bit of searching can give a hacker enough information to also guess your answers to your security questions! Then, they can change your password, the security questions, alternate email account, and guess what (?), it is now their email account, lost to you forever!! I couldn’t believe it either, but think about it … Continue reading Email Hacking