I fess up… I’m addicted to HGTV’s full slate of house hunting, remodels, tiny houses, island searches and love-it-or-list-it viewing options. Firstborn and I obsess over the choices, wail and gnash our teeth at the entitled princesses (of both genders) whose lists of must haves approach Trump-ian (aka The Donald) proportions.
We recognize and salute the value of staging, we agonize over granite vs cement (???) vs quartz, we quail in horror at revealed mold and shoddy workmanship from times past, we wrinkle our noses at the new popularity of white kitchen cabinetry and/or white subway tile used as a backsplash or in the shower, and we drool in awe and delight at walk-in closets and butler pantries and historic charming touches—archways, crown molding, bay windows.
With Firstborn down for the count for nearly two months with a broken shoulder and other injuries, that cable channel provided endless hours of entertainment and day-dreaming options. That down time also consumed a horrific amount of time and energy on Mom’s part. There were three meals, not just dinner, to prepare. The horses, chickens, and other critters required feeding. Stalls mucked. Buckets scrubbed. Stock tanks cleaned and refilled. Repairs to fence. Supplies secured—grain, hay, supplements, new halters. Chicken feed. Grocery shopping. Clean the house. Run errands.
Then it got cold, not just cold but brutal can’t feel your face kind of frigid that froze faucets, turned water in the buckets into five gallon ice cubes and made doing simple chores monumental tasks of endurance. The pellet stove got added to the endless list of things-to-do. Keep it filled, keep it cleaned. Ash everywhere. Ay yi yi!
The post holding the two swinging gates froze in the ground so I can’t drive the truck back to the barn. That meant hauling bales of shavings, 50lb bags of grain and assorted stuff from the house to the barn via wheelbarrow. On a slope. An icy slope. The wood pellets come in 40lb bags. The hay bales are 60 pounders. Mostly all dead weight. That’s a hella lot of lifting by any measure.
Speaking of… You’d think that upping my physical activity would be a major win in the shed a few pounds and feel better category, right?
Oh yeah, baby… Mom’s three hour a day regimen of physical activity over two long, hard months resulted in exactly a 3 pound weight loss.
How is that even possible?
I’m no longer sedentary, happily tapping away on the keyboard, words pouring out, creating a new story, editing (day job), or reading to review. The minute my ample butt hits a soft cushion, I’m out like a frigging light! I don’t have the energy to eat, let alone come up with anything remotely creative.
So what’s with the metabolism, yo?
Firstborn says it’s muscle. Somewhere/somehow the blubber got converted into denser material. When I started the one woman farmhand routine, I admit to huffing and puffing as I made my way to the barn. Lifting required gritting teeth and a shitload of swearing. The temperatures, the rain, the deep sucky mud, the flash freezes—it all tore me down, brought tears to my eyes. I cursed my existence and wished my life away. When I got back to the house, it was all I could do to calm a racing heartbeat and the feeling I was going to expire on the spot.
Now, two months in… I had to take two bales of dengi (chopped hay treated with additives) and a 50lb bag of sweet feed to the barn. Instead of doing three trips, I simply shrugged, power-lifted all three bags (150+ lbs) into the wheelbarrow (one at a time of course) and maneuvered the load without much trouble, including handling the small uphill grade to the barn without chest pains or undue gasping for breath.
As for the weather? Ha! This morning it was 23 deg, wind blowing a blue streak. Man, it was a heat wave! I unzipped my fleece jacket as I cleaned stalls and ditched the gloves because it was way too warm.
Take that old man winter.
And now we’re expecting Snowmageddon this weekend. I’ll spend some extra time at the barn today, preparing for the 1-3′ predicted by setting up a stock tank next to the barn and moving items around so they’re all in one place just in case the boys need to be kept inside during the storm.
I’m ready. And I’m fit. Fitter than I’ve been in years. I’m still old, I still have unhappy joints and that back that was broken reminds me of my limits in no uncertain terms. But it hasn’t kept me from doing what needed done. And most times I forget to take aspirin or anti-inflammatories to ease the soreness.
Firstborn went back to work today. I’ve got the day to do as I wish for a change. A day to write perchance?
I’ve had a few epiphanies about this writing gig while cleaning stalls and tending to critter comforts. I’m in a different place now. And still thinking on what and how to proceed. I’m at that “love it or list it” phase and the jury’s still out.
More on that later…
Today, I have more panic grocery shopping to do in advance of the storm.