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Faith’s big scare

08 Dec

It always happens right before a big holiday. My car breaks down, I get sick or something in my apartment needs to be replaced. Whether I like it or not, for some reason the holidays usually bring a little bit of bad luck for me — maybe some of you share this superstition.

Well, the bad luck has now been transferred to my 13-year-old thoroughbred Faith. In the early morning hours two days before Thanksgiving, I got a phone call that Faith was starting to colic. When a horse colics, it either can be something that passes within a few hours or it can be an extremely scary situation for a horse. Some horses can even die when they colic.

The term “colic” can encompass all forms of gastrointestinal conditions which cause pain, as well as other causes of abdominal pain not involving the gastrointestinal tract. The most common form of a colic is a gas colic, which is the type Faith experienced. They are most often related to colonic disturbances such as a change of diet or overeating, just to name a few reasons.

There are a number of different types of colics, but basically a horse experiences severe abdominal pain. You can usually tell when a horse is colicing, because they are lying down on their side, and in Faith’s case, start to roll around like something is irritating them.

So, of course, when I got the call I was immediately in a panic. My lovely horse-borders stayed and walked her, as when a horse colics they are not to be left alone, and need to be under supervision until it passes.

Not to gross anyone out, but in order for you to tell when a horse is starting to feel better from a colic, they start to go to the bathroom, and begin to feel “unplugged,” and then they usually begin eating within a few hours.

In order to treat Faith, a vet had to come out and administer an IV full of Banamine and Buscopan, which — again, not to gross anyone out — helps them relieve the gas and helps them go to the bathroom.

Within about five hours, Faith was back to her old self, eating hay all day long, but man was that quite a scare.

As a little treat to her, this past weekend Faith received a massage (yes, I pay for my horse to get a massage), mainly to help her relax, and to also diagnose any sore spots and improve her overall health. As I expected, she has a few sore spots that need to be tended to, and she probably needs to be started on a joint supplement to help her joints loosen up.

Overall, I have a very happy horse once again, and hopefully no more scares before Christmas!

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23 Nov

All around town I’ve been hearing, “Thank God I don’t live in Buffalo” or “Did you hear about all the snow in Buffalo?”

As a former Buffalonian, and still a western New Yorker at heart, I really feel badly about all of the residents trapped in the their homes — and some even in their vehicles on the Thruway, which was shut down due to the weather.

I will say that yes all you Minnesotans, especially the ones complaining about the cold, be glad you’re not in Buffalo at the moment.

For those who don’t watch television, listen to the radio, read the paper or get out much, Buffalo, N.Y., has a record 60 inches of snow on the ground. Twelve people have died from these storms, and more snow is coming.

What is interesting about Buffalo is that Lake Erie creates lake effect snow. Basically the city, and most of western New York, is split. The towns south of Buffalo, or what the locals call the south towns, get the brunt of the snow, and it doesn’t matter how much snow they get, they always get it first. Meanwhile, the north towns and the northern part of the city either don’t get as much snow, or don’t get any at all. You could literally have one part of the city shut down and the other part not be. There is a video that actually shows an aerial view of the literal split between snow and no snow.

My heart really goes out to all of those in Buffalo affected by the weather. I have many friends who have been trapped in their homes for days, digging themselves out of the snow. However, no other city is better prepared for this than Buffalo. Buffalonians take pride in their survival of the snow, and so I know the city will come out on top and in distant years recall the snowstorm of 2014.

I also smile when I see residents having fun in the snow. In a situation like that, when snow is literally pouring into your house, sometimes all you can do is try to have a little fun with it.

During my time living in Buffalo, while there was never quite this much snow on the ground, it was very normal to get a few feet of snow each winter. To Buffalonians, that’s just the norm.

While many people have said to me, “Wow, I bet you’re glad you’re not in Buffalo at the moment,” part of that is true. However, Buffalo owns a piece of my heart, and part of me does wish I was there and I miss it. As crazy as it sounds, I’ll probably be back out there for another visit in a few months or so — just maybe when this whole snowmageddon passes through. I still have a lot of Buffalove for Buffalo.

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Thank you

11 Nov

Veterans Day is a time when Americans should honor those who have served our country. It’s often confused with Memorial Day, which is set aside to honor those who died serving their country. Veterans Day is for all those who have served in the armed forces and their families.

Every Veterans Day I always make sure I text or call my dad and tell him thank you, as he was a storekeeper second class in the Navy. He served on the U.S.S. Hunley in Scotland and also on a hydrofoil squadron in Key West, Fla.

Yep, that’s right, we’re a Navy family. My dad served, I have three great uncles who were sailors and I will soon be a Navy sister, as my brother plans to take the final step in the enlistment process next week.

My uncle — my dad’s brother — took a different branch and served in the Air Force, working on B1B Lancer Bombers. Needless to say, my family has always been proud of the military. My dad always says the Navy was the best time in his life, and soon my brother will be the next generation to serve.

It was no surprise when Will, my brother, hit his senior year in high school and broke the news to us that he decided he wanted to enlist instead of going to college first. My brother has been interested in the military, and specifically the Navy, for as long as I can remember.

Anyone who knows Will knows that if you want to know anything — and yes, I mean anything — about WWI, WWII and the Vietnam War, you can ask him.

He’s not your typical 17-year-old. I was always proud of Will because instead of his heroes being celebrities or athletes, my brother looked up to actual heroes — war heroes.

Instead of wanting an autograph from a famous football player, my brother was absolutely thrilled the year he received an autograph from Bill Guarnere — one of the men that the television miniseries “Band of Brothers” was based on. My brother collects, medals, guns, uniforms, patches — anything you can think of dealing with war memorabilia. So it’s no surprise that he, too, would want a uniform with his own name on it.

My dad and brother share this passion so much so that we always tell my dad he could have been a great history teacher (and whenever any one of my high school teachers wanted time-period actual war memorabilia to show to the class, they always asked if my dad could come in and give a presentation).

Veterans Day is something that we take very seriously in the Trester household. Honoring those who have served is special to us, and I always think of the time that our family took a little vacation to Oahu, Hawaii. While the sandy beaches and warm temperatures were a perk, we weren’t there for the sun and sand. We were there to visit the historic Pearl Harbor site.

I’ve never really seen both my dad and brother so stoic. They took this moment extremely seriously. As tourists walked up and down part of the ship that you could still stand on, my dad and brother kept looking at something over the side of the boat.

When my dad called me over, he pointed to a small hole on the side of the boat, and it was leaking oil. Yes, still leaking oil.

I’ll never forget when he turned to me and said, “Look, she’s still bleeding.”

That was an emotional day for us. I know the men that died that day were around my age — the age that my dad served in the Navy, and the age that now Will will serve. Those boys are still in their tomb to this day.

So I ask all of you today to take a moment and remember all who have served, continue to serve and will serve this great country of ours.

As for my brother Will, as they say in the Navy, fair winds and following seas. Have an adventure of a lifetime. I know you’ll do great, and we’re all so proud of you.

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The do’s and don’ts of Halloween

30 Oct

With tomorrow being Halloween, I thought it would be fitting to give everyone a little reminder of the Halloween do’s and don’ts, especially in the costume department.

Granted, these tips are for anyone under the age of 30, but please read along, I promise it’s entertaining.

Tip number one: This goes to all you high schoolers out there. If you go to the door to trick-or-treat and the person doesn’t immediately say “Aww” or “Aren’t you so cute,” you’re too old to go trick-or-treating. I get it, we all want candy, who doesn’t? But there comes a point in each of our lives when we have to look at ourselves in the mirror and admit we are too old to participate in the ever so fun event of trick-or-treating. Besides, you have money, go buy your own. Also, technically, you would be taking away candy from kids. Do you want to be that person who takes candy away from children? Didn’t think so.

Tip number two: This one’s for the ladies. Alright, so you want to look cute on Halloween. Again, I get it, I too share the feeling, and honestly I’m all for a little risque costume here and there. It’s Halloween, so why not live it up? However, some Halloween costumes should not be “sexy.” For example basically any type of animal. The fact that there are costumes that say “sexy bumble bee” or “sexy lady bug” disturbs me. I don’t know about you, but never in my life have I seen a sexy bee or bug. Seriously, girls, think of something else, because an animal really isn’t all that cute, it’s just weird.

Tip number three: Speaking of animals, and this one is just for my personal enjoyment, but anyone who has any type of pet — dress them up. It’s adorable, and while your pet may hate you for a few hours, the pictures are completely worth it. Just make sure to give them a treat afterward.

Tip number four: Have fun! Whether you’re at home passing out candy or going out to a Halloween party, the point is to just enjoy yourself and go all out. If you have a crazy creative costume idea, run with it! Do-it-yourself costume ideas are always the best and get the most attention, so even if you’re passing out candy at home, why not dress up? Just because you’re too old to trick-or-treat doesn’t mean you’re too old to have fun on Halloween.

As for me, per-usual I will be in Mankato where I will be dressed up as a Girl Scout — yes, I will have actual Girl Scout cookies to pass out — and my boyfriend will be a Boy Scout. Oh yeah — if you’re married, dating, engaged, whatever it may be, do a matching couple costume. Once again, it’s adorable.

Everyone, have a safe and fun Halloween, and don’t eat too much candy!

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Have a little Faith

17 Oct

When people figure out that I am a writer for the Daily Globe, I would say the majority of the time they ask me if I either am, or if I know, the girl with the horse.

Whether I like it or not, Faith, my 13-year-old thoroughbred, is a little bit of a local celebrity… Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I like it.

This topic was recently brought up in the Daily Globe newsroom, among the many important topics discussed within these walls (and by important topics I mean how poorly the Vikings are doing, how Nicki Minaj probably shouldn’t be on the radio anymore and how the new Jimmy Fallon song “Ew” is exactly that … ew, so you know, we clearly discuss the important things).

Anyway, the fact that Faith is a tiny bit of a local celebrity came up after, once again, someone who was in the Daily Globe office wanted to know which one of us was the “horse girl,” and where in Windom do I keep her? After we had a quick chat about Faith (which is always difficult for me, because I could talk about her for hours), the visitor went on her way.

Afterward, my co-worker Robin Baumgarn said that Faith should just have her own Facebook page so that I could update it with what she’s up to and how she’s doing, as a friend of hers has her own Facebook page for her dog.

I pretty much laughed that idea off, as I think it’s a little ridiculous for an animal to have its own Facebook page. But in the spirit of keeping everyone updated on how she’s doing in her new home, I’m happy to report that she absolutely loves it.

Faith has gained back pretty much all of the weight she lost. She is currently starting to get her winter coat, so she is extra furry and warm.

She likes her new pasture buddies and has grown especially fond of one horse named Cloud, who is a paint. They’re sort of best friends forever now.

Lately, I haven’t been hitting the trails as much as the days are shorter, but Faith and I are still working in the arena a few times a week, even though I know she’d rather be out in the pasture either eating grass or hay.

I also thought I’d add in a little photo of what she looks like now, and as you can see she’s a happy horse, eating away.

Faith at her new home.

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Busy Bee

03 Oct

I remember fondly of my college years. Ah, yes, I’d go to a few classes, take a nap, attend my internship, maybe take another nap and then head off to work.

Besides the fact that I miss napping, I also thought that my life would slow down once I graduated. During college I guess you could say I was a tad of an overachiever. I took extra credits to graduate early, worked two jobs and an internship and finally graduated with honors. I remember always saying to my then college roommate that life would be so much easier once we graduated, and we could just have one job and then go home for the rest of the day. No homework, no other work, no internships.

Well, life had other plans for me.

While I have been graduated from college for two years now, I still feel like I’m that college student scrambling from one thing to the next.

My time at the Daily Globe has certainly kept me busy — sometimes I don’t even know how suddenly I can look at the clock and it’s 8:30 a.m. and the next time I look it’s 4:45 p.m., and I have to run to my next job. Not to mention trying to fit in my time with my horse Faith, who has certainly given my signs that she knows I have not been seeing her as much as I should be. On the weekends, my days are usually full with driving to Mankato to visit my boyfriend, or on the once every couple of months occasion, driving down to Lewiston to visit my own family.

This weekend, though, I am very much looking forward to staying at home and visiting Faith today and Saturday. I plan on taking a few trail rides and even seeing if my boyfriend will tag along on the trails. While I don’t think I’ll ever get him to ride Faith, I’m sure there is a slower, less spirited horse that would suit him. Ha!

Looking back, I was definitely naive to think that life after college would slow down for me, but I still have high hopes. In the mean time, I will enjoy my slow-paced weekend before the next busy week begins.

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Wedding bells

22 Sep

Every unmarried 20-something in a relationship feels the pressure. They hear about it, too. Maybe they’re not in a relationship, so they hear about a different kind of pressure: finding someone.

Whatever the case may be, our elders — though they mean it with love — have this adorable little habit of “reminding” us what the next step should be.

I don’t talk about my personal life all that much, with the exception of Faith, since for the last two years she has pretty much taken up the majority of my free time. However, about six months ago I started dating my wonderful boyfriend, Andrew — whom I’ve never written about before, and I’m sure will just be thrilled when he reads this.

Sorry Andy, this is unfortunately the burden you bear dating a writer.

Anyway, I am very fortunate that he puts up with my crazy life of working two jobs, owning a horse and living a little bit of a distance away, as he lives in Mankato. For awhile my parents were satisfied that I had finally met someone and was happy. However, the satisfaction didn’t stay for long and the urge started creeping in.

All you parents know what I’m talking about — the urge to tell your children what to do and simply “remind” them of what they should be expecting out of the next steps in their lives.
Again, I know it is out of love and concern, but I have to break this down for you parents. Being in relationships and getting married isn’t what it used to be.

My parents met and were married within nine months, and while they just celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary this week, the truth is that’s not the norm for most families.

Most people know that marriage is essentially a 50/50 deal. So while us youngins are excited to be in love, we also have to think about getting a stable career before marriage, affording a wedding, affording a ring, possibly buying a house … all those things that come with being married.

Let alone the emotional end of it, could I see myself with this person for forever? How hard am I willing to work at a relationship and marriage?

The reality is a divorce can not only emotionally damage you, but it can financially ruin you.

The point I’m getting at is, while we are happy being in love and finding someone, we may not be so in a rush to start thinking of those things, because the world we live in today demands us to think of those things.

I may sound cynical, and I probably am, a little (I blame my five years living in New York), but marriage is a huge commitment and not something to rush into.

While Andy and I are very happy together, we are still learning, still figuring out life and wanting to have adventures together before we settle down. Our first adventure being a little week-long trip to Cabo san Lucas, Mexico, for his 27th birthday in January. Right now, we are perfectly content embracing life together, without having rings on our fingers.

So yes, Mother, while the pictures of wedding dresses you send me on a weekly basis are very pretty, it’s not changing the fact that I will not be engaged for a very long time.

After all, if I’m going to have a fairytale, as only Disney can create, happily-ever-after type of ending, that wedding and ring is probably going to cost a pretty penny. Sorry Andy.

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A mother’s wish

08 Sep

Avid readers of my blog know that a couple weeks ago I announced that I was moving my thoroughbred Faith to a new boarding facility in Windom. I am happy to report that Faith is loving her new home, and she made it to Windom safe and sound.

I will say I underestimated how intelligent my horse is. As soon as she saw the trailer pull into the driveway I could feel her tense up and she shot me a look as if to say, “Where are we going to be going now?”

She knew exactly what was happening.

Faith is a retired race horse, and trailers are a frequent sight in the race world. I’m sure she has been shuffled on and off of them most of her life.

Nonetheless, it’s always interesting to see how she’ll react when she needs to load onto one. Luckily, because of her racing background, she easily gets on and off of a trailer — which doesn’t sound like much of a difficult task, but it takes a lot of training to get a horse to load onto a trailer.

However, it was a different story once she was in the trailer. She was understandably very confused and began yelling out and kicking the trailer a little. While I wish there were a way to calm her down, there wasn’t much I could do, so we hit the road and got to Windom as fast we could so she could get settled in.

When we got to the new facility, again she was very confused and a little frantic. But once my new boarder let all the other horses in to meet her, I could tell she was very happy to be with other horses again.

Faith has been at the facility for a couple of weeks now, and I’m happy to say she is outside, eating grass all day and night and socializing with all of her new friends.

Again, as readers of my blog know, Faith is a main topic I write about, and it’s a topic that I frequently speak of outside the Internet walls.

My family especially always asks about Faith, and likes to get weekly check-ups on how she is doing. My mother has been — for lack of a better word — suggesting me that I should take my writings and experiences with Faith and write a children’s book about the hardships and dealing with the issue of moving to a new town using a horse named Faith as the main character.

Since Faith and I are no strangers to moving, my mom came up with many titles of my so-called future books — “Faith and Friends,” “Adventures with Faith” and “Moving with Faith,” to name a few.

I have toyed with the idea, but writing a book — yes, even a children’s book — is a lot of work and an extensive process. My mother claims that it will make me “big bucks” and is banking on my book sales to be included in her retirement plan. My sentiments to that is … you wish. Ha!

Who knows, maybe I will take my adventures with Faith and write a story helping kids with the troubles and anxieties that come with moving, but showing that moving as an exciting and fun experience.

For now, I will stick to sharing my adventures with the Daily Globe readers. But maybe in the future, instead of seeing my name on a byline, it will be on the cover of a book.

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Back on the trails

12 Aug

After a month of dealing with thrush in her hoof, I finally got the all-clear to start riding my horse, Faith, again last weekend.

About a month ago, Faith was diagnosed with thrush, which is a common bacterial infection that occurs in what is known as the “frog” portion of the hoof. It is caused by wet and muddy conditions, so she likely developed the bacteria during the unforgettable rainy season the area saw more than a month ago.

Last weekend I was anxiously waiting for the farrier to trim up her hooves and tell me her prognosis. For the past month I have been diligently applying — and all you horse owners will get this one — the lovely smelling copper tox on her infected hoof and wrapping it. This may not sound like a daunting task, but when your horse is not used to her hoof being entirely wrapped, she gets a little impatient, to say the least.

Although the farrier told me I could ride her while she had thrush, it had to be very easy riding and on soft ground. Being the paranoid “mom” that I am, Faith basically got a month-long vacation, including very light exercise and hay … lots and lots of hay.

Unfortunately for Faith, the vacation ended on Friday when we did some arena work and light trail riding. Judging by the way her ears were pinned back, she was not very happy when she saw me get out her saddle, but once we rode around for a half hour or so and started on the trails, she was back to her old self.

While I have enjoyed summer, I’m much looking forward to less humid days to trail ride with Faith. Riding is much more fun when your horse isn’t biting herself and kicking out to keep the flies and other insects away.

Faith is just going to have to get used to vacation time being over, because I’ll be trail riding a lot more these next few months.

Faith has quite a personality, so I’m sure there will be more fun and interesting stories to tell along the way. Stay tuned.

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Never too old

24 Jun

I believe that age is just a number, and everyone is young at heart. No one should ever tell you, “Oh, you’re too old to do that.” I especially live by this credo when I go with my friends or family to frequently see children’s movies. They’re lighthearted, always have a happy ending and (in my opinion) the humor appeals not only to children but to adults as well.

This past weekend, my friends and I went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2. For those who are not familiar with the series, it is an animated film set in the days of the Vikings. A young Viking named Hiccup wants to join his town’s fight against the dragons that continually raid their town. However, his macho father and village leader, Stoik the Vast, will not allow his small and clumsy, but inventive, son to do so.

Regardless, Hiccup ventures out into battle and downs a mysterious Night Fury dragon with his invention, but can’t bring himself to kill it. Instead, Hiccup and the dragon, whom he dubs Toothless, begin a friendship that would open up both their worlds as the observant boy learns that his people have misjudged the species.

The sequel is essentially about Hiccup and Night Fury having to save their village against an evil dragon trapper (I won’t let out any spoilers about the movie).

I was very excited to see this movie, but I was surprised at the reaction I got when I told people I was interested in seeing it. Some of the top lines I heard were, “Isn’t that a kid’s movie?” and “Aren’t you a little old for those movies?”

I believe that I am never too old for kid’s movies. The themes and lessons in them are something I think everyone can relate to. I’ll admit if there were people older than me in the theater they were escorting kids, but the movie was lined with lessons of courage, bravery and love. Plus, it’s a movie about pet dragons — c’mon, that pretty much sells the movie itself. It was a cute and lighthearted, and I was laughing right along with the kids during the funny parts. My friends and I, whose age ranges from lower to upper twenties, all loved the movie and thought it was a fantastic sequel.

So for all you young at heart folks: don’t be discouraged when people say you’re too old for something. Just keep doing what makes you happy, and remember — age is just a number.

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