I know that it is technically not summer yet, but it feels like our area is always at least a month ahead in the seasons based on temperatures and weather patterns. Anyway, every summer is a battle to keep Bombay's weight on and Gabbrielle's weight off. Bombay just isn't interested in eating in the heat, and he leaves a lot of his hay for Gabbrielle to grab once the gates are open. I'm trying to combat that with several changes in the feeding routine:
1. Feed both Bombay and Gabbrielle less grass.
2. Feed Bombay more grain.
3. When I open the gates, I spread his leftovers around to all four feed barrels since Gabbrielle can't be in all four places at once, despite her trying.
4. I feed at the crack of dawn before it gets too hot to ruin Bombay's appetite.
That means getting up at 4:45 AM.
Now, I don't have the fortitude to do that every morning because I need my sleep, but Midge helps by shaking her collar to let me know it's time for her to go outside to make room for breakfast. I'm finding that I like being up that early, because I can clean up manure during the coolest part of the day and not have the sun boring down on me while I sweat like a pig. Fortunately, it's still cool in the wee hours of the morning, but that will end soon. Eventually, I'll be sweating regardless of the time of day.
It appears that we have new neighbors. I'm unsure as to which house they are coming from since almost everyone from that end of the street is retired, but there's a young woman who takes her toddler for evening walks up and down the street and pulls her baby in a Red Flyer wagon. Maybe a divorce or the economy got the best of her, and she had to move in with Mom and Dad.
I suspect they like to go past my house to see the horses. I'm glad I built my barn and arena deep in the middle of our property so that I don't have to deal with strangers and neighbors feeding my horses over the fence and either causing them to colic or get fat. My neighbors at my old place attempted to feed my horses their leftovers, which included everything from mowed down weeds to a ham sandwich.
Usually, no one passes by our place at night, so I haven't been good about closing the blinds, but I'll have to start. I don't want her and her kids getting an eyeful of us in our underwear. It's been hard getting the dogs to focus when we take them outside, because they smell the people who pass by our house and drag me toward the street with their noses in the air. We've had to double the number of times we take them out in the evening, because they can't just pee and poo and be done with it.
We've been mountain biking a bit, and "The God Rock" took out the reflector on my pedal. There's some religious group that walks around the desert graffiti-ing rocks with Biblical and inspirational phrases. I wish they'd stop, because I don't appreciate them ruining nature and forcing their beliefs on others. I go out in the desert to get away from their door-to-door preaching and don't want it shoved in my face there too. Anyway, after having to steer around that rock on both my bike and my horses for three years, I finally dug the dang thing up and chucked it off to the side of the trail. It was a hazard.
The story behind this rock is that it said something like "God's Park", and it showed up right in front of my house after we closed off our property for recreational purposes. I felt like it was a message for me, arguing that I had no right to stop people from cutting through my property since it belongs to God. I might honor that argument if God paid the mortgage and taxes on my property and made sure that everyone passing through behaved themselves. However, the graffiti-er didn't put the rock on my property, so I left it alone. But now that it had creeped its way to the center of the trail and had been tripping my horses, as well as caused me to get into a wreck on my bike, it had to find a new plot of ground to sit on.
I kind of suspect that this "religious group" is the neighbors who live in the house two doors down from us for a few months out of every winter, because having new graffiti show up always seems to correlate with their presence. They are the ones who erect cairns at trail intersections, which I consider to just be unneeded obstacles for horseback riders and bicyclists. We can see the trails clearly without their help.
They are the ones who take walks in the arroyo in my back yard and spook my horses. They are also the ones who put up No Trespassing signs all over their own property and stop the horseback riders from coming through there. I've never met such huge hypocrites. Well, they'll be surprised when they come back next year to find that we've laid branches and logs across the trails they've made while hiking on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis in our backyard. If they don't like it, they can take it up with us personally instead of painting messages on rocks.
Sometimes I think that people who feel entitled are the ones who are going to trigger the end of the world whether it be through dumping their own pollution, through pissing off other people and starting World War III, or through just plain stupidity and a lack of respect. I suppose that comment could be applied to current day politics, but I won't go there.
I'm the type of person who feels grateful for every second of water that comes out of my shower head. Seriously. I'll just wet myself down and think, "If the well breaks right now, I'll still be happy because at least I got to wash a little sweat off, even if I didn't have time to wash my hair."
Same thing when I eat. I have weird thoughts like, "If the house burned down right now, at least I'd have something in my stomach for a while."
I'm not sure if that's positive or negative thinking, but it's how I think, because I know that nothing is guaranteed. You've got to appreciate what you've been given and not act like the world owes you anything.
We had another breakage. This month is turning out to be more expensive than Christmas. We had to buy 80 bales of hay, 12 bags of grains, 2 bags of dog food, vet and equine dental appointments, a farrier appointment, a new fridge, new brakes and battery for the car, a hospital bill, and now new mobile phones. My phone had been giving me problems with its battery and quality of sound. It wasn't a smart phone, so it couldn't do a lot of things I needed it to do. Then my husband's phone fell out of his pocket and shattered, so we knew it was time to just upgrade both of our phones. Now I have my first smart phone, and I'm blown away by everything it can do. I'm a few years behind in the phrase, "There's an app for that?"
Who knew you could turn your phone into a flashlight? Well, everyone but me, probably. After spending hours digging around on Google on my laptop for places to eat, now I can just push a button on my phone and immediately view all the eating establishments in whatever area I happen to be in along with their reviews. How awesome is that?
My phone unlocks with just my thumbprint, and Siri answers my questions hands-free. Just my questions -- not anyone else's, because she doesn't recognize anyone else's voices. Although, I am planning on having my daughter ask Siri some questions next time she's around, since her voice is very similar to mine, and see if we can fool the computer.
I suspect we'll be paying off the mishaps from this month for a long time coming, but I can't control when stuff breaks. It's nice to have what we need, though. It's been Christmas in May.
Oh yeah, and with the population thinning out in the heat, we were actually able to get a table at In & Out Burger. Not only that, but the employees were waiting on us, offering to get refills for us and take our trash away. Now that's something. I've never seen that before in a fast food restaurant. They are usually racing around in the kitchen trying to keep up with all the orders while they have a line of people going out the door and a line of cars running all the way around the building and into the street. It's nice to be able to relax and get some service and a space to sit for a change instead of waiting in lines. This is the time of year that really makes me love being here. Sort-of summer, but not quite.