Sunday, July 23, 2006

Heat defeat

I let it get to me yesterday. Determined to defy the 100-degree temperatures, I did pretty well the first two times we went to the old place to remove our belongings. Two loads went to the dump---one we'd collected the night before.

The second load included the king-sized mattress with duct tape over places where the springs popped through. The mattress has been sitting on the back porch since early July. Of course, it's definitely touched off my "what are people going to think" horror every time I've arrived at the house to see it still flopped against the railing surely, suggesting to all visitors that the Loves are surely closet hillbillies.

Well, the mattress is now gone and deposited at the transfer station as is the huge scout tent which has rested in an all-encompassing heap in the barn tack room for at least a couple of decades. We called upon our teamwork to drag it out of the barn onto the tractor platform. We even entertained the notion of sawing it in half so we could lift it into in the bins at the dump. That was not necessary, though, because the dumpsite hostess directed us to a second transfer pile where we could just dump it in the pile.

After a break, which allowed me time to give my horses their daily soakdowns with the hose, we headed back to the place for our third load. When I asked Bill what he planned for this trip, he said he wasn't sure. Well, once we got there, the temperature had to have hit 100, and, in concert, I was noticing my own internal combustion meter starting to go off the charts.

We've been at this move since early May, and no matter how hard or fast we work, it still seems endless, and, of course, the process involves the grimiest, most time consuming stuff. I must have hit the wall on this never-ending job by yesterday afternoon. Some might call it "meltdown." On this trip, it was boards that needed to be cut so they'd fit in the pick-up bed. Bill had originally thought about using my sisters' trailer, but the boards were too long for it. So, one by one, he measured and cut.

I kept myself busy for a while, but then when I realized this wasn't gonna be a quick trip, I allowed the heat get to me in the best of Irish performances. Needless to say, Bill observed that it was time to take me home and plan to come back later when he could work without listening to a huffing, puffing, complaining, cursing old nag. So, we packed up and came home.

I knew that I'd let the heat win. My behavior did not present a pretty picture, but after a bath and a dinner, which included my one and only green bean harvest from our dried up garden at the old place, my attitude improved, but by that time, my ambition and energy had totally evaporated. So, I slouched on the couch, hoping for a moment of inspiration.

That moment came around 8 p.m. when I knew it was time to put the horses in. As I walked to the barn, I looked over in the field to see Rambo standing with his head down, his mouth hanging open and his body almost vibrating from rapid breathing. The old boy was miserable, to say the least. I put a halter on him and led him to the water trough, hoping to get him to drink.

He wouldn't drink, but he seemed to appreciate my lapping up handfuls of water toward his mouth. I could see that he was at least attempting to swallow the water. Casey was concerned; the dogs were concerned, and I was scared. I walked him around, and he seemed responsive in spite of his misery.

A few minutes later, I called my sisters. They said their horses had been pretty miserable too. Rambo is 21, and in spite of his afternoon soakdown, yesterday's heat had gotten to him too. He eventually quit breathing so hard, started drinking, eating grass and acting like his normal self. But he went to bed with a fan blowing in his stall, a block of salt to entice him to drink and an extra bucket of water. My sisters have suggested getting electrolytes to help him through these high temperatures.

This morning he's fine, but I'll be watching him closely to see that he stays as cool and comfortable as possible during what's supposed to be even more miserable heat than yesterday's almost killer version. I'll be glad for my animals and for my own sanity when this blistering, uncomfortable heat subsides. I'm sure Bill will too.

THIO (the heat is on) certainly had the upper hand yesterday.


Word Tosser said...

I told you that your stuff breeds in closets, drawers, and shed... because you know... you didn't put all that stuff in there

Hope Rambo is ok today... Mom use to run the hose in her horses mouth. not so much to get them to drink... but to cool off the mouth.. Kind of like you and I do, when we swich something cool in our mouths.. It is just a temporary deal. But the horses seem to appreciate it.

MLove said...

Hi, Cis,

Rambo and Casey get the same treatment every day. I holler, "Who wants a bath?"

They both come running, and I spend about 15 minutes a session wetting them down and letting them drink out of the hose. They especially love the hose drinks.

Rambo has a fan in his stall and has now had a dose of electrolytes. He loves his fan, so as long as Casey doesn't push him out of the way (they can come and go), we'll maybe make it through this day without another scare.