Thursday, July 28, 2016

It's All About the Heat

Since flies have been trying to burrow into the cut under Bombay's eye, I have to keep a fly mask on him during the day or the vet will have to come out and scrape the larvae out from under his skin.  When I try to avoid having him wear a fly mask and smear a little Swat around the wound, he rubs the Swat into his eye, so that is not an option because of the proximity of the wound to the eye.  That means I cannot let either Bombay or Rock out of their stalls during the day, because the first thing they always do is rip up each other's fly masks over the stall gate.  So, the girls get turnout during the day and the boys get turnout one at a time during the night when I can remove the masks.

Yesterday I experimented to see if Lostine and Gabbrielle could be out at the same time, and Lostine decided that she preferred to have the arena to herself.  She herded Gabbrielle back into her stall and shut the gate so that she couldn't get out.  It's kind of scary how smart these horses are.

I have a ritual of cutting my hair short some time around July or August, because I rarely remember to pull it back into a ponytail before I go to the barn.  Then the entire time I'm trying to do chores, the wind keeps blowing my hair into my eyes and mouth.  I store a packet of hair bands in the tack room, but some days the heat and humidity are so high that I can't even make it to the tack room to get them.  By the time I get back into the house, the entire length of my hair is dripping with sweat.  It's just easier to chop it all off.

Between October and May, it's almost impossible to get in for a hair cut at my favorite salon, so I have to set up my appointments in the summer.  I was surprised to walk in and find that my stylist was the only person in the salon.  She said that summers are so slow for business that everyone only works part-time, and one stylist had to move back east to keep a steady income.  She'll return in the fall.

She felt my hair and asked if she needed to wash it first.  I laughed and said no, I just did that.  She said, "Okay.  That's good.  I wasn't sure if you hair was wet from being washed or wet with sweat from being outdoors."

I said, "But I did wash it several hours ago.  For some reason, when I wash it in the morning, it won't dry until the evening."

We both realized in that moment that it was actually wet from sweat, because the water I used to wash it should have dissipated in the heat by then.

With no one but us in the salon, we got a chance to talk a lot and get to know each other better without interruptions.  My stylist was trying to figure out what to do when she was done with my cut, because I was her last appointment for the day and she had to wait for her daughter to get off from work in order to drive her home.  I said, "Well, if you want to make a little more money, you could dye my hair too."

The lighting in the salon made my gray roots stand out.  My hair looked like a bird's nest between the gray and the brittleness.  In the past, she mixed a dark color and a light color.  I told her that I had been lightening my hair with each dye, and was working my way toward a strawberry blond, so I wanted her to just use the lighter dye color because it hides the gray better.  I don't know what happened, but by the time she was done with me, my hair was black with a little red and purple shining through.  I think she was so engrossed in our conversation that she pulled the wrong dye out of the back room.  I'm sure it will lighten up after a few washings, but I was definitely looking goth after walking out of that salon.  All I needed was black lipstick and heavy eyeliner.

Before she finished with me, a walk-in client showed up for a hair cut, and my stylist's daughter got off work, putting her in a bit of a pickle.  She was busy dealing with them, and she kind of rushed me out the door.  I stopped at the feed store to get more hay pellets and senior feed.  This sales lady was talking to me and acting oddly.  She was speaking very slowly to me as if she thought I was dim.  I got home, looked in the mirror, and realized that she probably thought I was either crazy or dumb.  My stylist had not wiped the dye off my eyebrows.  She just wiped around them, so the dye soaked into my skin and my eyebrows made me look like Groucho Marx.  There was also dye on my forehead.  I think in the future I will not run errands after having someone else dye my hair.

Today I get to attempt to steam vac the carpets again since the replacement for the solution tank that exploded came in.  It's been smelling like a subway tunnel in here.  I'm having to completely re-potty train Stewie, because he's so enamored with the sights, sounds, and smells of summer that he can't focus enough to do his business when I take him outside.  He has also stopped telling us when he needs to go out.  He just pees wherever he's standing.  I remember being interested in a Min Pin / Chihuahua mix at the animal shelter where I volunteered, and hearing the animal control officer explaining to someone that Min Pins are difficult to train because they all have ADHD.  Now I'm experiencing that first hand.  Why do the cutest dogs always have to be the hardest to train?

Anyway, we have a game plan in which we are going to buy some sod and set it down close to the house, so that we can just take the dogs straight to that patch of grass, hopefully have them squat, and then turn around and get right back indoors as quickly as possible.  The dogs are always better about going if they have some grass or weeds at their disposal.  Those fake grass mats don't work.  It's got to be the real stuff and smell like rich soil.  Grass doesn't grow in our neighborhood, so I'm hoping it will last long enough to get us through the month of August.

We're also looking into some way to shade the dog yard so that I can stand out there longer without feeling ill from the direct sunlight and heat.  However, I've noticed that neighbors who have erected fabric canopies or tents had them blown down by the winds.  We'd have to find something more solid, which is going to get expensive and require a lot of labor to dig holes and pour concrete for the posts.  A remote retractable awning would be best, since we could retract it when a storm blows through, which is pretty much every afternoon this time of year, and if we can retract it with the push of a button, then we won't have to stand out there in the sun messing with it.

Interestingly, a lot of people in Arizona wrote reviews for these products, and many are doubtful that they will hold up during monsoon season.  Very few returned to report the result after monsoon season.  I used to buy shade canopies to cover the outdoor dog kennel, but they kept getting destroyed by the monsoon storms, and bringing down the entire kennel with them.  Now that I'm not covering the kennel, it stays standing because the wind blows right through the chain-link, and there is no fabric to cause a kite effect.  But I also can't put the dogs in there in the summer without the shade, so the kennel isn't getting used.


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

While attempting to measure various dimensions of the dog yard, our metal retractable measuring tape broke. Now you know why you should never start a big project in the summer in Arizona. Everything you touch breaks because it cannot withstand the heat. Even the simplest first steps to a project fail immediately.

After replacing the scrub brush rack and the solution tank to my steam vac, now the parts that allow you to lower the handle are breaking. I should have just bought a new steam vac.

Linda said...

OMG, that is so funny. I can't believe she forgot to wipe off the dye on your eyebrows!! I saw a comedy show where that happened. Hilarious. It's hot here, too. I was out with the farrier this morning--in the shade--and I was pouring off sweat. Not fun.

Mrs Shoes said...

How could the stylist not notice the eyebrows especially? You're being awfully relaxed about the black & red hair too; you must like that girl, or maybe the avante gard look is growing on you?

That's weird how anything plastic breaks down so fast there - even inside your house!
I have one of those shampoo machines, put it to use pretty often & think it does a good job. But recently, we experienced a shit storm of epic proportion when the big dog got very sick, everywhere... there was just no way. I had to rent a Rug Doctor to eradicate that evidence.

Handsome Stewie's coat looks soft to touch, much like my Dad's Chihuahuas. When I stroke Manic the Min Pin I don't really feel hair so much as just the heat from her body; Manic's coat looks slick & glossy like a wet otter & there is no fluff or loft to the hairs at all.

Great idea for the patch of sod, it could be just the thing to make you & all the dogs happy too.
I know a older lady who lives waaaay up in a highrise bldg & can't get around so well anymore. Her little dog didn't seem to mind skipping the walks anymore, playing a bit of fetch each day was enough exercise for him. But he would be SO upset if he had an accident in the house, even though the lady never scolded him, her little dog seemed very ashamed of himself. She was so worried that she might have to give up her only companion! Her son made a sod box for outside on the lady's little balcony that solved the problems! The lady waters the sod with a watering can & her doggie happily goes in & out to do the dirty on "his own grass".