Sunday, July 22, 2012

Almost half-done with this house-sitting gig!

No, I'm not counting the days---yet.  But I'm getting very itchy to leave this situation behind and have a home of my own again.  It's hard living in someone else's house, using their things, trying to guess what they'd do in any given semi-crisis, and finding that the item I really need for this or that meal/outfit/experience is packed deep within the storage locker down in Freeland.  Very frustrating, that:  I have the lid to my electric fry pan---and its cord---but not the fry pan.  I have innumerable cleaning supplies but no need to use any of them because this house is well equipped.  This house, however, has very little kleenex in it, except the boxes I've bought at the store, since I packed all of them and left them in the locker, assuming there would be kleenex here.  Toilet paper, a decent amount, but not kleenex.  Oh well.  It does now!  I will have boxes and boxes of half-used-up kleenex when I move south.

The dogs are a lot of fun---they're obedient (now that I've figured out some of the commands), friendly, loving, and eager to be with me.  They also bark at every perceived intrusion on the property, so with deer, eagles, cars on the road below, neighboring animals, thunder, fireworks, etc., there is a lot of high-pitched barking and rushing out the door, scattering rugs, protective coverings, anything in their path, into muddy, hairy piles on the floor.

The horses continue to be fine and only a slight challenge.  The ongoing wet, thundery weather makes wading through mud a fact of life, just about every day, and one morning I couldn't untangle the gate chain without pliers, so I put all five of the horses in a different pasture than usual.  Mysteriously, when I went to feed them several hours later, one horse (the boarder) was in an adjoining pasture, not the one I'd put everyone in in the morning.  I still haven't figured that one out, as her owner didn't come to ride that afternoon.  I do not know how she could possible have gotten into the adjoining pasture without human help; I checked the fenceline, which was fine, no breaks, no low spots she could have stepped over.  Anyhow, if there had been a break or low spot, chances are all the other horses would have joined her there.  It will be interesting to see if it happens again. At least she was safe, just lonely at being separated from the other horses.

I have developed my little routines for the day, and nearly every day has some event in it, many of them lunches with friends!  Luckily, I have made my WW goal weight of 160 and am determined to stay there, but I am also getting so much exercise with the dogs (we walk a half-mile loop together at least 6 times a day) and horses that I am not worried about regaining weight, at least right now.

But I am absolutely craving my own home.  I like what I'm doing; it's a great break from ministry and I feel very relieved to have let that go.  But I fall into bed at night absolutely tired to the bone from the physicality of the work.  Feeding the horses at night is what mainly does it----the hay bales are heavy and need to be cut open and "flaked out", one flake per horse; the cart full of hay flakes is heavy and unwieldy; it needs to be lugged to the paddock and distributed into five feeding troughs, fences have to be checked, gates opened and closed, horses shoved around as necessary.

At 9 p.m., I am ready to conk out.  Luckily the dogs are too, so we all hit the hay (not literally) before it's dark.  I'm up seven hours later feeling rested for the time being, have a cup of coffee before getting the dogs up and fed and walked, then it's breakfast, a little FB and email time, and then moving the horses into the pasture of the day.

Everything I do during the day has to be timed around the animals' needs:  I can't leave for very long until after the horses are moved into their pasture at 8:30; I have to be back by 5:30 to feed horses and dogs.  Usually this is no problem, since there are helpful neighbors nearby.

Listen, it is going to be a piece of cake to take Loosy and Lily to Gearhart and start living with them again!  No more toting of barges and lifting of bales down there!  I can hardly wait!  That's assuming the girls are willing to leave their Auntie Carol and Unka Roy's palatial digs on Saratoga Road and go with me to the sandy terrain of the Oregon Coast.  Only about four weeks to go, girls, better get used to the idea.

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