Saturday, March 19, 2011

What's Going On?!

Good Saturday morning everyone! Yesterday was one of those days when I want to look to the heavens and yell, "What's going on?!"  Remember I told you I get in those Murphy's Law cycles?  I hope this is it for a while.  Yes, this long story, all happened in one day.  That's just how my life goes.

I got started at the farm a little late on Friday morning.  I went out to Mack's office to get some powdered aspirin. It's for Big Mac, Merry, and Milagro's feed.  I told you about that the other day. I give them aspirin to help with a little arthritis.  But, faithful Rose had gotten here on time to start the morning chores.

After I got Spot unloaded from my car and everything else situated--yes, Spot goes everywhere with me--I went in my office.  Rose came in.  She said, "Tar gave me a black eye."  Huh?  She looked fine.  I asked her to explain.

She said she'd gone to get Tar out of his paddock to bring him in for the day.  We're on reverse turn out for the black horses since it's already over 80 degrees here.  Black horses absorb more heat making them prone to heat exhaustion. Tar and Shadow had it last summer.

We're trying to avoid heat exhaustion this summer by bringing them in early in the Spring as soon as it hits 80 degrees.  By June 1, everyone will be on reverse turn out.  Reverse turn out means they stay inside during the day when it's hot and go out at night when it's cooler.

When Rose brought Tar out of his paddock, he was happy to see the green grass.  He was so happy, in fact, he immediately lunged down to eat it.  Rose pulled his head up twice.  He put his head back down.

On the third try, Rose bent down to grab the lead rope closer to his halter for more leverage.  This was a bad move.  It's one of those things I don't think to tell people not to do, because I don't expect them to do it.  Uh-oh.

This time, when Rose yanked, Tar decided he'd lift his head easier than the first two times.  Do you see where this is going?  Rose is pulling with all her might while she's bending down by Tar.  Tar lifts his head easily.  Rose has some velocity going.  Tar's head flies up.  Wham!  Tar's head meets Rose's head right in the eye brow.  Ouch.

He didn't mean to hurt her.  He was being a horse.  Her face just got in the way of his head.  That happens.  You have to be responsible for where you are in relation to the horse, because he's not concerned about it.

When she pushed her long bangs out of the way, I could see it swelling.  Uh-oh.  I offered her some anti-inflammatory. She turned it down.  Said she already had something else in her system.

"No it's an anti-inflammatory cream for horses. It goes on your skin," I told her.  I've never used it on myself, but Bob the blacksmith said he had.  He said it works well.

Bob was a medic in the Navy.  I'm willing to use his experiment on Rose.  She'd be an ok guinea pig, I think.  She said she'd think about it.  Damn, guess that experiment will have to wait til later. Hmm.  Maybe I'll never know.  Works great on horse hematomas, though.

We had a busy day, so I gave Rose a long list.  She was going to take my truck and go one way, while I took my car and went the other.  We planned to meet back here just after lunch to bathe Chief.

When it's over 80 degrees, that's bath weather.  Chief was in serious need of a bath.  Chief doesn't like a bath, but he was getting one anyway.  By Sunday, the temperature is going to drop to 66.  Tell me there's nothing to that climate change theory!  We had to strike while the warmth was with us.

So off we go on our separate missions.  As it's working its way towards one o'clock, I stopped by my house to eat lunch and give my tub another scrub--not at the same time.  The plumbers finally had to be called in earlier this week.

They had to fix the mess with the main drain line. This is the same mess with the drain line that the HVAC guys made.  It happened when they took the old furnace out from under my house in December.  What a mess that's been!

When the plumbers fixed the problem, they neglected to tell me what had been left in my tub.  It's an old porcelain tub.  There's a bad stain.  I won't make you sick with the rest of the details.

It's going to take a lot of scrubbing with bleach and anything else that might work.  It's a small bathroom in an old house.  There's not good ventilation.  I have to scrub off a layer of stain each day.  Or, I'll be reduced to a brain stem from all of the fumes.

As bad as this sounds, let me tell you, it beats what happened before I called the plumbers.  Just use your imagination. And, know I was thankful for disposable rubber gloves on Tuesday morning! Yuck!  I bought myself a hat that says, "One Tough Chick" after that.  Seriously.

Let me add in here, around this time I started not feeling well.  I won't worry you with the details.  These things happen to me.  Don't start making suggestions.  Normal stuff doesn't apply to me.  There is no rhyme or reason to me.

I have the body of Frankenstein held together by duct tape and baling twine.  I may not look like ol' Frank on the outside. But buddy, let me tell ya, on the inside, it's Frankenstein territory.

I fly 4,000 miles, round trip, several times a year to see the foremost doc in this field.  Even he calls me a "weirdo."  Says only 10-15% of his patients are like me.  That's not what you want to hear from a famous medical researcher.  It really doesn't make you feel special, trust me.

But, I refuse to be hindered by being Frankenstein on the inside. So I continue on.  Just as I did yesterday.  Sometimes I'm an idiot.

I went to the grocery store.  I'm sure they wonder about me.  I buy some strange combinations. Yesterday it was 2 bags of kale, 5 cans of salt substitute, 5 bottles of molasses, 4 bottles of wine, gummy bears, Jolly Ranchers, and a Hershey bar.  I'm sure they wonder what kind of freaky party I'm having.

Well, you already know that the salt substitute and molasses are for Shadow.  The kale is for Bun-Bun. The wine is to relax after a long day. When you finish reading about one of my days, don't you want a drink?

I don't drink all four bottles at once, no matter what kind of day I've had.  If you buy four bottles, you get a discount.  Geez, I may be a cowgirl, but I couldn't be if I drank four bottles of wine a night!

What about the sugary stuff?  That's for me.  It keeps me from passing out.  I was starting to feel like that might be a possibility.  So, I stocked up.  No, I'm not a diabetic.  Trust me, it's not that simple.  I wouldn't be a renowned medical researcher's "weirdo" if it were that easy!

On to the pet supply store.  Spot needed his special "Active Longevity" canned dog food.  Spot is 13 and we are co-dependent.  I need Spot to have as much active longevity as possible.  I ate the Hershey bar on the way, followed by a Jolly Rancher.

I called Rose to meet me at Lowe's after picking up Spot's food.  We needed seeds for the garden and a few other things for the barn.  It would save time if we met there.

By the time I got in Lowe's, I was on my third Jolly Rancher and it wasn't working.  I'd already had three "mini" Cokes at the house with lunch.  While we looked at seeds, my legs started shaking.  I gave Rose the rest of the list, the credit card and said I was heading to the farm.

By the time I got here, I knew I needed to guzzle juice and lie down quickly before I fell down.  I opened the door to my bedroom.  I smelled dog poop.  Oh no.  Spot had an accident.  It was too late. I missed his lunchtime run outside to take care of necessities.

At a time like this, you just have to grab the paper towels and hope for the best.  Fortunately, I didn't pass out face first in Spot poop.  Thank God for small favors!

After that stinky detour, I drank the rest of the juice in the fridge.  I laid down.  I waited to see if I felt my legs stop shaking and my brain start to come back together.

I called Bart at work.  I asked if he'd stop by to check on me when he got off.  That's a smart thing to do when your brain is feeling like a box of puzzle pieces scattered on the floor.  Of course, I couldn't let that stop me.

When Rose arrived, I talked her through bathing Chief over the phone.  I couldn't stand up long enough to help her. She'd never bathed a horse before, much less one that doesn't like baths.  Thank God for cell phones and small favors!  It apparently went without incident.  Good, she didn't need a matching black eye.

After maybe two hours, I could stand up.  My brain wasn't functioning on all cylinders, but my legs worked.  For all you blood sugar obsessed folks, mine was 77 by this time.  Normal is somewhere between 100 and 200.  Yeah, it had worked it's way up to 77.  Wonder what it was before? Eh, well, I had stuff to do.

I went in the office. Don't worry.  I took a Cadberry Chocolate Cream Egg with me.  I ate it while I worked, to see if I could feel normal by dinner time.  I typed a memo.  I faxed some documents.  I wrote Rose's pay check.  I did some other boring management stuff.  I told you, I don't let this Frankenstein stuff stop me.

As Rose is doing the end of the day chores, she comes into the office.  She looks bewildered. "Tar broke his fence again where Dod fixed it.  I can try to fix it but I don't know how."  My brain still isn't with it and my legs are unwilling to walk far enough to see the problem for myself.

I told her, "The best thing I can tell you is that Bart will be here soon."  She said some more stuff.  I don't remember what.  My brain was too foggy.  I repeated myself.  I called Bart.  He assured me he was walking out of his office.  That satisfied Rose.

Within a few minutes, Bart and Rose are scurrying around doing stuff outside of my open office door.  I don't worry about it.  Bart is good at these things.  There are some questions about where things are that aren't where they are supposed to be.  And, there was something about what kind of socket wrench I have and the kind of socket wrench he needs. His is at home. An adapter, something.

Even if my brain were working, I wouldn't know what he was talking about. I pointed at the high end ratchet he gave me. I keep it in my pencil holder on my desk.  I think of it as his version of a dozen roses, because it is. I used the jigsaw puzzle metaphor to describe how I felt and added, "So, I have no idea what you're talking about."

He said something else.  I tried to give him the Lowe's card.  That was my best answer.  No, that's not it.  He pressed on without the ratchet or the card.

Whatever, I had to do the schedule for today.  I had to figure it out minus Shadow, who can't work when it's over 80 degrees because of potential heat exhaustion.  Remember Shadow is my most requested lesson horse.

I have a full day of lesson kids today who love Shadow and I have no Shadow to work with. Think, think, think.  What to do?  Who will cause the least trouble for these kids? Same nightmare as last summer.  My life is like that movie Groundhog Day, sometimes.

This is what I'm thinking, "Ok, Big Mac can pinch hit.  I'll put Milagro in here, because this kid can stop her from eating the fresh grass.  Cowgirl Pinkie wants to ride Chief.  Gee, I hope that goes ok.  Cowgirl Slim can ride him before Pinkie gets here to ratchet him down some.  Plus I'll have Big Mac on stand-by for her."

As I'm typing up what looks like the Saturday schedule from hell, Rose comes in.  She looks bewildered, again.  Her eye is actually starting to bruise.  She's going to have a real shiner.  She says, "Tar just broke his fence on the other side."  Huh?

"He walked around to the other side and put his head through the fence to eat more grass and one of the posts broke off at the ground," she said.

Crap!  My posts are set 3 feet deep in concrete.  Replacing a post is no small task.  You have to get the three feet of old concrete out of the ground first.  I have the equipment for it, obviously, I just wasn't up for it.  After a full week at work, I knew Bart wasn't up to it either.  I sent Rose out to talk to Bart for them to figure it out.

They made a plan.  It involved setting up some corral panels.  They needed to find stuff Dod had misplaced.

Dod is losing his touch the closer he gets to graduation and his mission work in Rwanda. He has too much on his mind. I understand, but I wish he could keep his "perfect farm hand touch" til he leaves for Africa.

They found the stuff.  I could hear the goings on.  I stayed in my office.

I typed the schedule for today.  It makes me a little nervous.  If all of this can go wrong on a day when I don't have the place stacked up with lesson kids, what's going to happen when I do?  I'm going to write a few stories for you ahead of time in case this Murphy's Law cycle gets worse.

I would have yelled up at the heavens, "What's going on?!" But, I didn't have the strength.

Obviously, I'm fine now folks.  Don't worry.  I had the energy to type this.  It's my life.  I just keep on going.

Have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for reading.

P.S. I'm concerned enough about this Murphy's Law cycle and my full schedule today, that I actually wrote this on Friday night.  I set it up to post on a delay.  Just in case, you know.  I don't want you to go without your amusement at my expense.  Thoughtful bugger, aren't I?

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