I know I often write about something that's been going on, but don't follow up with updates or conclusions, so I'm doing that now.
You know how I said that the people who vacation here for the winter keep coming up with new hobbies and sports to perform along or around the bridle trails that I have to desensitize my horses to each year? Last year it was the drones and powered parachutes. Well, this morning I discovered the latest fad. Fortunately, I was driving my truck rather than riding a horse when it happened.
I came up to an intersection where I and other people normally cross on horseback, and this guy came ripping up the street on a recumbent bicycle. It's a street bike that you pedal while you lie on your back. You are feet-first. I looked at him and wondered how he could see the traffic up ahead of him over the tops of his knees. He was so low to the ground that I almost didn't see him and he was coming right up the middle of the car lane. Then, not even 30 seconds later, I reached another popular horse crossing, and here came this second recumbent bicyclist blasting right through a stop sign at a major intersection going about 35 mph. There was no way this guy could have seen that it was clear of cross traffic, because the street was lined with bushes.
I didn't see him until I was on top of him. So, I'm expecting to start hearing about recumbent bicyclists being killed on the roads, since some of them drive like idiots and don't follow traffic laws. It's more of this "I'm on vacation and the rules don't apply to me" mentality. I don't even want to know what my horses' reactions will be when one of those comes flying at us. It took years just to desensitize them to regular mountain bikes, and they still flip over backwards when they are taken by surprise by one of them.
The household stench we've been trying to track down is still elusive. Two factors have to come into play: The ground has to be saturated by rain water and we have to run either the dishwasher or the washing machine in order to smell it. My husband and I ran both machines all weekend, but couldn't agree on the source of the smell. So, I'm putting bacterial probiotics into the septic system and power cleaning the dishwasher with vinegar and baking soda and washing machine with bleach to see if that makes a difference. We're not ready to rip up our floors to look for leaks just yet. My headaches did eventually go away when the ground started drying up and the smell went away, but I also started taking antihistamines at that point, so who knows? When I walked down to the barn at night with my headlamp on, I can see millions of allergens floating around in the light. This could just be a bad allergy season and the household stench is a coincidence.
As far as I can tell, the neighbor trespasser hasn't returned. I drove past his wife out walking with her stick on the paved road the other day. I wanted to wave to let her know there are no hard feelings and that I appreciate her not walking through my back yard, but she wouldn't acknowledge me, so I guess there are hard feelings.
The other morning Scrappy woke me around 5:45 AM by barfing next to my head. I gathered all the dogs on leashes and took them outside, but I was half-asleep and forgot to remove Scrappy's diaper, so I gave myself more laundry to do. I cleaned up the vomit, but before I could get a clean diaper on Scrappy, he peed right in the same spot on the carpet that I just cleaned one minute before, so I had to clean it a second time. Right then the horses began banging troughs around, demanding that I feed them, even though it was dark out and the sun hadn't risen yet. I opened up the blinds and went out the French doors onto the patio to holler at them and fling rocks at the barn roof. That shut them up.
I went back inside and was going to shut the blinds, but thought, "Who would be standing in my back yard on a Monday morning in the dark looking into the windows of my house?'
I left the blinds open while all the interior lights were on, and went about my business taking care of the dogs. Fortunately, I was clothed at the time, because when I went outside at the first sign of light on the horizon a few minutes later, there was a strange woman standing in my back yard with a dog on a leash, and she was staring into the windows of my house. I wish I knew what I can do to get some privacy around here. I can't even open my blinds when it is dark outside without someone creepin' on me. I'm also totally sick of people bringing their dogs with them when they trespass, because I'm the one who has to clean up the crap. I've already got my shovel full between four horses, three dogs and multiple packs of coyotes pooping in my yard.
I was way too busy between all the dog accidents and horse misbehaviors to deal with the trespasser, so I just stopped, put my hands on my hips, stared back at her and shook my head. She didn't care. She just kept on staring. I knew that as long as I did my barn chores, she'd continue to watch, so I went into the feed room, shut the door behind me, and took my sweet time filling the supplement buckets where she couldn't see me. She eventually got bored and left. I was in no mood to confront her after having to deal with vomit and piss first thing in the morning.
I've been stuck in medical care hell the past few days, but at least I got it out of the way so that I don't have to keep dealing with letters and phone calls pressuring me to follow through on getting stuff done. This time I let them know that I want a copy of the report. I'm not going to take their word for it that they forwarded the results to my doctor. I gave them four hours of my time to run tests, so they had better not lose them. It will take another hour out of my week to pick them up when they are ready, but that beats having to spend another four hours repeating the tests. I've had more repetitive x-rays and sonograms in the past five years than I've had in the previous 45 years. At one point they told me to change into another hospital gown and wait for more tests, and I ignored them and changed into my clothes instead, I guess kind of to make a statement that I was done, even if they weren't. The technician came in and said that I was good to go and didn't need further tests, and I said, "I knew that. That's why I took a gamble and got dressed instead."
I watch the technicians closely and know if they did a thorough job or not. I'm really good about holding my breath and not moving so that the images are clear. This time they seemed to take special care to make sure they were dotting their "i"s and crossing their "t"s with me. I wondered if they each had a copy of my letter of complaint concerning all their past mishaps and oversights. They certainly had a thick file on me. They also had all new staff. Hopefully, that makes a difference. Sometimes it pays to wait a few months to get something done as the problems take care of themselves. When I get too exhausted beating my own head against a wall, I have to take a step back and let others do it for a while until the wall begins to crumble.
It also took three trips between my husband and I to get our prescriptions for the month. For some reason, our health insurance company kept saying that our contract was inactive or didn't exist. I pressured the pharmacy to input the new card information from scratch, and magically, everything got approved. You gotta love those input errors in this day and age of computer programs. All you've got to do is have one person transpose a couple of letters or numbers, and you spend the next several days or weeks or months going through hell to get it corrected. When I die, you will find red tape wrapped around my throat.
I was so busy with all of that garbage that I missed the excitement online. My old hometown was being flooded. Ranches and bridges and houses were under water, and a sinkhole formed on a road I used to drive all the time. The dressage horse training facility I sent Gabbrielle to several years ago was in the midst of it, but the horses were okay in the barns. Just their pastures were under water.
People took pictures of the valley from way up in the mountains and you could see that most of the crops were transformed into lakes overnight. The main highway was closed and bumper-to-bumper traffic was re-routed through rural and residential roads. Been there -- done that, but when the wildfires were happening during the drought. I'll bet hay prices are going to go way up after this. I keep seeing more and more reasons why I'm glad I moved away from there. Hopefully, those affected will come out the other side okay, and if our renters call us to say that there is flood damage at our house, I'll be sending the property manager and insurance company out to investigate, because I don't trust those people. They're always trying to get free stuff on my dime.