Monday, November 17, 2014

Is it possible to actually catch up?

I always think, "If I can just get caught up, then life will be so much easier."

I am starting to think this is delusional thinking.

A game I play with the voice in my head?

Obviously it hasn't happened yet.

Am I just fooling myself?

Is it even a realistic possibility?  

I spend most of my life flying by the seat of my pants.  It's frustrating and totally self-inflicted, but it is my reality.  I spent all last week trying to recover from my camping trip.  Running around in the cold, stacking up bales of straw to protect my bees from the cold that has infiltrated my world much earlier than usual this season.

Side note:  Going to blame the early cold on my new Canadian Friend.  You see, I enjoy my relationship with her, but I've come to realize the problem with making friends with Canadians...they're really nice people.  Nice people want to share. It's the number one rule of being a nice person.  Sharing!  Please stop!  Our averages for this time of the year, highs in the 60's and lows in the 40's.  It snowed here last night.  Love ya, but really, I'm good!

In my hectic world, I find it best to get geared up for big events.  The best way to gear up?  Take a day off!  Rest.  Relax. Mentally prepare.  My problem, it never fails when I get in the mood to shut-down my world, like I did yesterday, something happens.

I started my day with a large box of donuts.  Don't judge me.  Well, go ahead.  It's fine.

A photo posted by bee wrangler (@bee_wrangler) on

My intentions, to eat as many as I could, then take a sugar-coma induced nap!  Followed in the evening by a nice cup of hot tea and to sleep like a baby all night!

The donuts thing completely happened.

Then, I countered the sugar-coma with a lot of coffee because I found a horse in the barn with a mild belly ache.  Horses with belly aches are a big concern when we suffer drastic weather changes.  I don't know if it's the change in barometric pressure, or temperatures, or what, but it's a huge concern for every horse owner.  Their environment changes and their habits change.  Either they spend more time in the barns, or they drink less water due to the cold, or they are just finicky creatures.  I don't know.  My neighbor just experienced the same thing the other night.  Unfortunately it was devastating for them.  After having a veterinarian out and spending all night with a sick horse, they ended up at the vet clinic the next day with out any success.  The animal had to be put down, and now there's a man grieving the loss of a good horse.  A tragedy that left us all sad, while reminding us about the realities of these fragile animals.

I have been hauling warm water to the barn for the horses to drink since the cold snap hit last Tuesday.  A chore I don't mind, but I do feel my arms get longer every winter.  My mare tends to be the more fragile of the two standing out there, so I have been pleased with the amount of water she has been drinking.  Saturday night had been damp, drizzly, and cold.  The winds had switched around to the south, but the dampness just made it feel colder.  I had been able to let her out earlier in the day.  Then another cold front moved through and the winds were back out of the north.  I had decided with the pastures wet from the night before, I'd leave the horses in for the day.  I ran to the barn to throw hay and dump water before I headed out to fulfill my need of sugar and bread.

All was good.

After consuming large amounts of junk food, I proceeded to goof around on the Internet for a bit.  Longing for a nap, I decided to head to the barn with water and to drop more hay before crashing out for the afternoon.  My grand ideas of sweats, a cozy blanket, curling up with my dog, and drifting off into a Utopian dreamland vanished!

My mare had been laying down and she had not finished her breakfast.

I gave her the once over.  Checking her gums for color - still pink.  Checking her sides for signs of pain and discomfort.  She has done this to me plenty of times before, and if her sides are drawn up tight, I know I'm in real trouble.  She seemed to be okay in this area.  I listened for gut sounds, still hearing light sounds, but not the usual amount of action one would hope for.  I cleaned her stall, looking for fresh poop.  Gross, but always a necessary inspection process.  I moved to her brother's stall, but kept an eye on her.  She was pacing a bit with her discomfort.  Trying to decide what to do, I made the decision to gamble and go with my gut feeling.  I was hoping I caught this at the beginning, and could possibly head it off before having to call the veterinarian out for an emergency call.

I ran to the house, informed the Man in Charge of my discovery, grabbed a shot of pain medication, and ran back to the barn.  I gave her the shot and waited for it to hit her.  Within about 15 minutes she was starting to relax a bit.

At the same time it started sleeting outside.

I know from past experience with this horse, the key is to keep her calm and comfortable.  The shot seemed to be accomplishing my goal.  I had removed all of her hay, and within minutes of the medication relieving her discomfort, she started looking around her stall for scraps.

My next decision was the big gamble.

  1. Go gear up with every winter item I own and get her out of the barn and start walking her?  
  2. Or, just see if I could get her to drink water and stay calm? 

I was leaning more towards #2!

This started the long, miserable process of running to the barn every thirty minutes to check on her.  If I found her laying down at any point, I would immediately call the veterinarian.  The first check, no evidence of laying down and she had drank a bit of water.  The second visit, a fresh poop.  The third visit, she drank more water and tried to bite the crap out of me!

Her brother was eating hay.

She was not.

This did not sit well with her.

I did this until midnight last night.  She managed to drink a five gallon bucket of water and take a few poops.  Each trip a little scarier for me.  The downside to this plan of action:
  • Pain medication wearing off.
  • Finding I had just delayed the inevitable.
  • Calling the veterinarian for an emergency call.
  • Walking my horse in the sleet/snow.
  • Spending the night in the barn with freezing cold temperatures.

I am happy to report, this gamble paid off!  

I love it when that happens!

I caught it early enough to head off a big problem.  She seems to be doing fine this morning, and she's much happier now that she's getting a little hay.  I, on the other hand, not doing so well.  I've been gulping coffee at an absurd rate.  Yes, gulping!  No pinkies raised here.  Two hands, grasping a mug of coffee like it's my only chance of survival!  

I've managed the daunting task of making a list for the week.  Having to come to terms with the reality of my situation. Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  All the projects I hoped to accomplish before opening my home for this holiday have been firmly placed on the chopping block.  Ten years ago, I would have started remodeling the kitchen without hesitating.  The present day version of myself is much more pragmatic about what can actually be accomplished.

As if an upcoming holiday isn't enough to add to the burdens of being one step behind on my to-do list, add another weather change.  The forecast is calling for a warm up.  Another change for the animals in my world to endure.  Plus, a golden opportunity to knock out some bee chores before the next blast of cold hits us from the north.

So stay tuned.

It's going to be another jam packed week!


  1. I do like to share - but not at the peril of my friends or their animals :( I'll try to keep the cold to myself from now on! You take care of that horse and eat another donut for me!

    1. No more donuts! The horse is good for now. The warmer temps and the humidity are likely to send her in another tail spin. She's a sensitive girl.

      I have a real dislike of humidity so today I'm missing the cold. Possibly I need to work on being more content?