Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Cyndie

Marketing Crunch

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Here is a peek behind our Wintervale curtain. Cyndie’s two months of pent-up energy while out of commission with the bum shoulder has now exploded in a barrage of hyper-active efforts to do a year’s worth of planning and execution in a span of a few weeks.

In addition to our recently getting a Wintervale Ranch presence on Facebook and updating our website, Cyndie has now pumped out more than a half-dozen flyers promoting specific workshops with times, dates, and registration fees.

She has quickly made things real.

With our precious friend, Dunia, planning to come from her home in Guatemala to help, they have plotted an impressive series of workshops with a variety of areas of focus, planned one-after-the-other, for the last few weeks of August.

Now all they need to do is get the word out while also enticing some learners to leap at the chance. That effort started small, with some posts on the Wintervale Facebook page, but after it became obvious that choice provides a rather limited reach, the next logical step was, paid advertising.

Stop. Picture John and Cyndie suddenly switching hats to [untrained] Marketing Specialists in 2017. I have already submitted our business information and location to Google maps. I have also manually ventured to update search engine optimization for our website. Dipping toes into the world of social media paid advertising is a whole ‘nother thing.

It’s a jungle in there.

We not only need to increase the number of viewers, they need to be enticed to make some pretty prompt decisions about committing to participate. That’s a tall order.

Good thing Cyndie and Dunia like to dwell in positive possibilities. And, we are guaranteed nothing would happen if they didn’t at least try.

This week we are ordering new logo’d shirts for facilitators, and a flag for the end of the driveway.

We can lead people toward what we have to offer, but we can’t make them drink. Or something like that.

Give it a couple of weeks and I’ll let you know how things are turning out.

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Written by johnwhays

August 2, 2017 at 6:00 am

Successful Surgery

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We are happy to report that Cyndie’s surgery was all good yesterday. There were no complications in the 4 objectives of cleaning out the arthritis, removing a spur, cleaning up the rotator cuff, and reattaching the ruptured tendons.

The outpatient procedure allowed her to be home by the end of the day, where she immediately began experimenting with our variety of chairs and couch in search of a favored perch. Pain management was easy last night, as the nerve block hadn’t yet worn off and the whole arm down to the hand was without feeling.

Today will likely be a bit more challenging for her, we presume.

They had her strapped into the brace before she even woke up from the procedure. She will wear it for the next 6-weeks, except for taking showers.

Quite a fashion statement, don’t you think?

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Written by johnwhays

June 14, 2017 at 6:00 am

Animals Sense

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This morning we are headed to an outpatient surgery center for Cyndie’s shoulder repair. The plan is for an arthroscopic procedure to reattach ruptured tendons and clean up any tissue tears, and then clean up arthritis discovered in the MRI done to assess the injury.

The silver lining in this incident is that she hadn’t previously realized the extent of arthritic damage in that shoulder that was contributing to a chronic discomfort she had come to perceive as ‘normal.’

Welcome to the world of chronic Lyme disease outcomes. Sure, she was treated extensively with long-term antibiotics back when her symptoms mushroomed to a level of undeniable evidence, but it’s an imperfect science. Even more so back in the ’90s when she experienced it.

A vast majority of health insurance corporations and plenty of doctors closely associated would like her to swallow the company lines that she is completely cured. We tend to feel the wild litany of afflictions picking away at our sanity every year since that initial treatment are unsurprisingly identical to the long list of Lyme related symptoms listed in medical research reports.

Her debilitating arthritis is just a fraction of the issues she experiences, but at least modern medicine offers clear surgical options to repair or replace arthritic joints.

As frustrating as it is to be going through this routine again, we are at the same time grateful to have this opportunity. We intend to focus on the potential for less pain in that shoulder, and the return of function of her dominant right arm.

I want to know if she will be able to hoist bales of hay again. Hopefully, even better than before.

Our animals seem to recognize she is in a world of hurt since the arm was yanked. Cyndie reported that yesterday Legacy approached her and uncharacteristically, with his head down, ever so gently rubbed up and down her afflicted limb with his nose, as if in acknowledgement of her discomfort.

Pequenita, who generally reserves the majority of her affection for me, has switched allegiance and has been sleeping on Cyndie the last few nights. I spotted her on Sunday, all curled up in a ball with her head turned over, sleeping just below Cyndie’s pillow.

We are all mustering our best Cyndie care-taking energies to guide her through today’s procedure, and then on to recovery and rehabilitation. We’ve had some practice with this. I’m pretty sure we know what to do.

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Written by johnwhays

June 13, 2017 at 6:00 am

DejaVu Again

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With less than a week until I leave for my umpteenth annual Tour of Minnesota bicycling and camping week, planning is well underway. Surprisingly, we are also in the midst of planning for coverage to assist Cyndie with life and ranch chores while she recovers from a surgery.

With a totally unexpected speed usually associated with emergency procedures, the office of the orthopedic surgeon initiated an accelerated series of appointments leading to repair of Cyndie’s shoulder on Tuesday, just three days before I leave for my trip.

They got her fitted with a special sling to be used for days after the procedure, and on her way home she was able to squeeze in the requisite pre-op physical. Cyndie will be back on pain meds and placed on the disabled list for ranch management activities for weeks after her surgery.

And I will be on vacation for a week. Good luck with that.

It’s a bit distracting, trying to take a break from the routine, while faced with the knowledge my wife is unable to fulfill her own role, let alone cover for my absence.

The solution: Family and friends.

We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. Thank you, in advance, to all who are volunteering to take a shift covering our needs of Cyndie-care and animal care this week while I try to keep hours at the day-job and then leave for a week of vacation.

You’ll just love the chickens!

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Written by johnwhays

June 11, 2017 at 9:07 am

Getting Scary

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This is starting to get a little scary now. First, my wife gets her face bashed in by a relatively far-fetched event of stepping on a rake. Then, a few days later, her right arm gets yanked out of the socket, tearing her rotator cuff and tendons in two places.

She toughed it out for a day or two with ice and ibuprofen, until the pain and dysfunction became unbearable. That led to a visit to Urgent Care, where she was told to get an MRI and see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulders.

He sensed a necessity to conduct a thorough interview to see if Cyndie feels safe at home.

“Stepped on a rake.” Yeah, right.

“My horse got startled by the chickens and her panicked lurch pulled the lead line I was holding in my right hand while attempting to secure the paddock gate with my other hand.”

“Are you SURE you feel safe at home?”

John might be getting a surprise visit from a social worker in the days ahead.

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Written by johnwhays

June 10, 2017 at 6:00 am

Okay Already

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I’ll tell. I’ll tell. Enough time has passed that she’s gotten over the shock and trauma and has been able to have a few good laugh-till-out-of-breath moments over her escapade on Saturday.

Cyndie stepped on a rake.

There. I said it. It’s true. Yep. A rake.

I’m pretty sure OSHA would not approve of the unsafe work practice of letting a rake lay on the ground with the tines all pointing at the sky, but she somehow let that happen. How many times can you do that and not suffer any consequences?

Doesn’t matter. All it takes is once…

I gotta clarify, though, this was no standard namby pamby garden rake. She was working with the dreaded level head bow rake. Yeah. Ouch.

It wasn’t a slow roll up to her noggin’ it was a lethal instant THWAP to the head.

Cyndie was under the willow tree at the time of the incident, and a gust of wind blew the wispy branches in her face. In her (probably somewhat out-of-balance) reaction, she planted a foot to catch herself and stomped on the business end of the rake.

The sound made by the handle smacking her skull was frightening. Then, that was followed by equally frightening sounds of her pained reaction.

Thank goodness that’s behind us now and we can laugh about it.

We celebrated her birthday yesterday by installing a silt fence uphill of her garden of flowering perennials which was inundated by the flash flood a few weeks ago. If the bizarre laws of “the way things go” plays out, now that we have this in place, it won’t rain again for months and months.

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Just in case it does, and comes in one of those all too frequent 4-inch-at-a-time hundred-year events that happen multiple times a year now, we think we have a better chance of controlling the flood.

Time will tell.

Moral of the story, be careful out there. And always lay your rake with the tines down.

Yep, just like the cartoons. WHAM!

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Written by johnwhays

June 5, 2017 at 6:00 am

Bang. Ouch!

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This morning, the horses grazing in the arena space to the choral serenade of innumerable songbirds was right up there on a list of top idyllic moments we enjoy at our Wintervale paradise.
That is in stark contrast to the anxious drama that played out yesterday.

It started normal enough, but quickly shifted when a startling accident drew blood. For me, it was the sound that was most unsettling. The cries and curses, and then the flowing blood were all more of a given, considering the indescribable sound of impact and the reaction it unleashed.

I rushed over to Cyndie’s aid and worked to calm her while I recovered her glasses and guided her out from under the willow tree and up the driveway to the house. I had immediately placed my hand over her bloody forehead and then told her to use her own hand to keep pressure on the wound while we walked.

Not having taken time to immediately inspect the source of all the blood, I imagined a series of possibilities while we walked. I was also factoring in a potential trip to an emergency room to get her stitched up. Luckily, that turned out to be unnecessary.

Today is Cyndie’s birthday. She has given herself a hell of a black eye for the occasion. That, and a story to tell.

I’m not sure it is my place to reveal the full detail of her foible, but let’s just say you have probably witnessed the scenario play out on a few cartoons or slapstick episodes of Laurel and Hardy and The Three Stooges.

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Wish her a happy birthday. 🙂

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Written by johnwhays

June 4, 2017 at 9:42 am

Posted in Chronicle

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