Head Above Water

Standard
Early morning drive down from our meadow

I’ve had a few early mornings lately.

You know the ones. Where your alarm clock actually startles you when it goes off and every animal in bed stays there after you get up to hit the shower.

Where your eyes are sore enough that you actually contemplate wearing mascara.

(Who am I kidding? This showgirl loves her make up!)

Me & my makeup & my bling… and one of my new pairs of specs!

I am not complaining, though. I know I am lucky to still be working my careers during these unusual and frightening times right now.

I was fortunate to get up early to be at a client/friend’s closing on her house as a first-time home owner! We’ve spent many months trying to find something for her here in Seeley Lake, where she grew up, but every home we found went under contract within days of it being listed.

We became a hunting duo, like many realtors and their clients in this area right now. We, like the others, were glued to the mls and real estate websites and we pounced on the new listings when they appeared. As weeks & months passed we made sure to get her pre-approved and all of our connecting paperwork signed so when the right house at the right price came on the market we were ready.

POUNCE!

Andy: “I’m absolutely unable to pounce right now, Mum.”

My friend is moving into her house today and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

I was up with the moon and the stars when I got asked to do a bit more relief work at Clark Fork Veterinary in Deer Lodge, which is a solid hour & a half away.

The sky was lit up and twinkling when I left our dark mountain home but I got to watch it lighten as I drove west through what can only be described as a Flemish painting. The peaceful countryside in Western Montana has rolling hills and gentle curves to the highway and I was pretty much one of the only vehicles on the road at that time.

My favorite satellite radio music stations (Hits1 and The Pulse) didn’t let me down. For whatever reason many of the top ten/twenty songs and bands that are out there are seriously resonating with me right now. Dua Lipa. Bastille. The Weekend. Shawn Mendes. Even Biebs!

Maybe I’m self consciously pretending I’m not as old as I am and I’m young and hip and cool. And maybe I’m associating these things with being relevant or something like that but I don’t care because the next thing I know I’m belting out, “Why… do all the monsters come out at night?” along to the stereo in my truck as we’re flying across the beautiful, slowly illuminated countryside.

And then, the next thing I know, I’m Dr.Tanya Fyfe for the day in a fun, team-oriented clinic!

A fun day in Deer Lodge last week!

It was an interesting day in that I really had to stretch my brain muscles! I had a bunch of medical cases that weren’t easy fixes. Not that your average vaccine visit is easy… there are all sorts of questions and things to check for, all with the pet parents diligently sitting outside in their vehicles wondering what on Earth we’re doing ‘back there’ with their pets.

As fine tuned as the clinic’s curbside experience is, I really miss having the pet parents in the exam room with me. Not only for obvious reasons, like being able to ask a question that comes up during the exam (“Has the lump always been this size?”) I truly miss sharing the human-animal bond that is part of the magic of being a veterinarian. Its not just caring for and treating your pets that I enjoy; I like seeing how you love your pet. How you hold them. How you talk to him or her. How you look at them and try to reassure them that the stainless steel exam table isn’t so bad. And how you gush about his shed hunting skills or the way your Great Dane cuddles with the new kitten you just brought home.

I make sure to go out to every vehicle after the appointments so the owners know a real veterinarian is on top of the situation ‘back there.’

I had several hellos and one tearful goodbye last week and I’m looking forward to my next day there on the 14th.

2 cords. One little woman. One day. One long soak in the hot tub.

On top of work-work, there is also farm-work to be done. This time of year almost everyone in Montana is hauling or stacking or splitting wood. We had our third load dropped off and I intentionally ignored it, thinking hubby would enjoy stacking it with me when he returned from Bismarck but then the weather report said a big old blizzard was coming.

We pay good coin for good wood and we all know you have to get it under cover so it doesn’t get rained or snowed on so I spent a Sunday stacking wood. Moving logs from here to there. I had my music on so there were some stellar dance moves happening and hopefully D’embe and Professor Higgins enjoyed my antics but, man, was I sore for a couple of days afterwards.

I’d like to think its not just because I’m getting old (and less relevant? Lordy, there’s that doubt again!) but the lower back pain that I sometimes feel even after just sitting for a couple of hours, let alone stacking 2 cords of wood by myself was never there in my 20s.

Or my 30s.

Or even my early 40s if truth be told. Because I’m not IN my early 40s anymore.

The blizzard arrived, as expected.

Like always, though, there isn’t a whole ton of time to dwell on any one thing up here because the blizzard did arrive and I got to bond with Big Red once again.

Plowing snow with this beast requires an entirely different play list. For whatever reason, a few years ago I started playing Iz or Keali’i Reichel cd’s when plowing snow. These are 2 Hawaiian greats whose music is soothing and fun and very, very Hawaiian. The irony makes me smile.

Thankfully the temps warmed up so what was on the ground (about a foot and a half a couple of weeks ago) is now just a white dusting with brown-green grass patches peeking out here and there.

Jazz Champion!

Forcing me yet again to not worry about my place in the world is this young majestic, hilarious new friend. My friends, Paige & Richie had to get to Texas for this little thing called the National Finals Rodeo (Richmond Champion… he’s the real thing!) and their dog sitter fell through so last Sunday around this time Paige and Jazz showed up. A dog in the house again!

I probably should have cleared it with the cats first but last night Jockey & Sport actually laid in bed with me and Jazz when I wrote in my journal and sipped some wine before cranking up the playlist again. (Not necessarily a “new” song but Hozier’s Better Love is fricking awesome for winding down the day.)

Jazz has been a sweetheart. The fact she chased barn kitty, D’embe up a tree notwithstanding, she has been very gentle with everyone. Bebe seems fine with her. She sniffs the curious ferrets through their cage and they sniff her back.

She goes to our outdoor kennel, which hasn’t had a canine inhabitant since last December when Cleopatra last laid by the wood stove, when the ferrets are out and that also gives Sport and me some Couch-time together as well.

I don’t even know what to say about this one.

Jazz might be a bit of a bed hog but she’s a cute bed hog. Alistair gets home on Friday and is looking forward to meeting her. I’m sending and sharing pictures of Jazz on social media so Paige & Richie can see her. He’s riding well already this week, too. Something to be said for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your fur kids are in good hands.

Peace of mind is something many of us are without right now thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Too many people are out of work. Too many people are standing in long lines at food banks. Too many people can’t pay their rent. And too many people can’t send their kids to school. Or visit their elderly parents. Or plan for the future because in the here and now too many people are denying this beast of a virus and too many people aren’t wearing a mask.

I can promise you that I will remain relevant in my posts and comments about mask wearing and social distancing. We have a duty to protect the medical community and each other.

And I’ll try to keep keeping my head above water with 2 more real estate transactions and another vet day and a dog in the house and possible winter weather that could be before me. You can be sure there will be music in the background.

And, for the record, I tried to sleep in but Jazz was having nothing to do with that!

Be safe. Be well. And please be kind.

Getting older. Still with the makeup.
Also getting older, Sport and Jockey. These boys will always be relevant.
The Fyfe Bee Gees… Andy, Barry & Maurice.
Jazz got to have a fun play day this afternoon with Mowgli!