Saturday, August 6, 2016

My New Friend

As the summer drones on, I've been developing less and less tolerance for direct sunlight and heat.  When I take the dogs outside, I get 15 seconds tops before I feel this intense need to seek out shade, ice water and air conditioning.  Since I own two ancient dogs and one dog with ADHD, it can take several minutes just to get them to stop sniffing and spinning in circles.  They always have to find the perfect spot to do their business.  I'm fine with that most of the year, but not when my brains are literally boiling.

We had planned on laying down a patch of fresh sod to encourage the dogs to go right away, but discovered that no one around here sells sod or even grass seeds because it simply won't grow in our area this time of year.  Plus, most sod has to be bought in bulk.  So, my husband bought a Queen Palm and planted it in the dog's yard to provide a little shade for me to stand in while I wait for the dogs to poop or get off the pot, and it should eventually grow and spread its leaves far enough to also shade our glass block window that acts like a giant magnifying glass, heating up the southern end of our house.

We're going to redirect the flagstone pathway and get rid of the picnic table.  Eventually, sod will be added.  We're already skating on thin ice by planting trees in the summer time.  We probably won't benefit from any of our home improvements we've done recently until next summer.

In other news, some turd-for-brains hit my truck and took off to avoid responsibility, so now I have this nice dent and scrape along my rear fender and bumper.  That truck doesn't even have 10,000 miles on it yet.  I don't think I have ever been able to own a vehicle that remained scratch and dent-free for five years.  I take care of them, but other people just don't give a hoot.  Also, it doesn't help that I live in an area where a large percentage of the population is drunk, on drugs, going blind, or losing its faculties.  The insurance companies encourage people to not report property damage because even if it isn't your fault, your rates go up.  Ultimately, it is cheaper to just repair the damage out of pocket if it's something minor.  I'm just at my wits end with having to pay for other people's mistakes.  So, the scratch and dent will forever remain a blemish on my truck.

I gave the horses a chance to co-mingle for a bit while I cleaned stalls and water troughs, and they all immediately began vying for dominance.  A lot of biting and herding was going on.  I almost got smashed into by a fleeing horse, and when I stepped backward I tripped over the salt lick.  So, everyone went right back into the stalls and I chucked the salt lick out of the barn.  I don't care if the rain melts the salt lick and the horses are bored.  They are even more irritable than ever because they are covered in mosquito bites, so they have zero tolerance for other horses being in their space.  I've been putting calamine lotion on their itchy spots, and using sprays to try to deter mosquitoes from biting them, but like with the flies, nothing really works.  We just need summer to end.


TeresaA said...

It does sound brutal there. Would you be able to make a pergola and grow a vine up over it to provide shade? that might help a lot.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Teresa - I'd have to make or install it in the winter. Right now doing anything physical outdoors is dangerous. My husband didn't take enough breaks while planting this tree and got disoriented and shaky. It's hard to describe what it is like.

Yesterday evening I set a bottle of fly spray down on the ground that was 3/4ths full. It was sitting upright. Just a few minutes later I looked over at it, and the liquid had expanded and was boiling, pouring out of the spout and down the sides of the bottle onto the ground. I lost about $15 worth of fly spray within a matter of seconds to the heat... and that was after the sun set.

Cheryl Ann said...

I hear you about the heat. We basically HIBERNATE from the end of June through the end of September (depending how hot it is in September). I run errands early in the morning, come home, stay inside, and MAYBE venture out at dusk. Ugh. But, we do have 9 months of incredible weather here!

Cheryl Ann said...

It's so hot here our dog RUNS outside to do her business and then sits at the side door, waiting to come back inside. She's no dummy!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Cheryl Ann - Yeah, I have to keep reminding myself about all the months of nice temperatures that we have during the year, because without that, I'd have little incentive to continue living here. Perhaps someday I will be able to be a snowbird and avoid the extreme temps all together, but right now it seems that people have to choose between being ridiculously hot or ridiculously cold. Global warming. My neighbors who have lived here longer than me said it didn't used to get this hot in the summers.

GunDiva said...

Have you tried Redmond's First Aid Clay? I use it on my horses all the time for bug bites, abrasions, general horse boo-boos and it works beautifully. I've also been known to use it on myself a time or two - if it feels as good for the horses as it does to me, they'll love it. We've taken to calling it "magic mud" at our place.