Friday, June 26, 2009

battling heat and bugs (not the usual kind)

It's not THAT hot, but we haven't had rain in a week and it's dry, dusty, and low 90s out. Definitely a "walk straight from the laundry room to the shower" when I come in from the barn day.

I've realized this summer that feeding wet has been a real blessing with the horses and donkeys. They all get breakfast tubs with their cool (this time of year) "soup," Salina gets another tub around 2 p.m. and again at 6, and they all get dinner tubs in the evening. It's reassuring to know they're getting water plugged in all through the day.

I've been rinsing hay in the hay nets lately and especially in this hot dry weather, the hay seems absolutely luscious wet. They seem to love it, and I figure it's one more little piece of beating the heat and making sure everyone gets water into their bodies.

We are fighting bugs. Not the flies, although of course that is an endless battle. (the double shipment of 30,000 fly predators 3 weeks ago with another double shipment on the way right now has done a lot to decrease the population!)

What we're fighting as of 24 hours ago is either a nasty summer cold or a flu. Husband has been feeling off the past two days and has worked from home. Daughter and son woke up yesterday with sore throats which have shifted to congestion and general yuck today.

A quick trip to the grocery store helped stock the shelves with the regular weapons:

tissues with lotion

ginger root


fruit popsicles


soup (I have one container of turkey soup in the freezer but other than heating that up I'm not really in the mood to make homemade soups mid-summer!)

vitamin C

We have various and assorted herbal teas, local honey, and my trusty homeopathic kit, so hopefully this will be a short, sweet battle for all of us.

I'm not yet having symptoms but still treating myself with the same vitamin C, ginger root tea, etc. so that hopefully I can either miss this one or have a mild version.

If sweating works to flush the system I should be just fine. :)


ponymaid said...

Billie, I suppose it's too hot for a mustard plaster on the collective chest? I'm not prone to colds myself but the woman swears by endless cups of very strong tea, no matter what the weather is doing. I strongly suggest Stud Muffins - they make almost anything better. You could dip them in the tea.

billie said...

Sheaffer, I too like a good mug of strong ginger root tea - with honey and lemon it ends up tasting quite like old-fashioned, home-brewed ginger ale, very spicy and gingery-hot.

None of my family will really drink much of it, but as it was prescribed years back by our homeopath, I manage to get them to take enough in that it helps.

I make myself 3-4 mugs per day during "infectious" times and I believe it keeps me strong. :)

The thought of trying to apply a mustard plaster to the chests of this crew makes me weak though. I'd as soon try to deep clean the pony's ears without drugs!

Grey Horse Matters said...

It's awful to be sick in the summer, somehow it always seems worse. I hope you escape it. Your gang seems to be getting plenty of water with your feeding regimen. If I could I would gladly send this rain here down to you, we've had maybe 4 clear days in June and 14 inches. We couldn't be soggier. Just had another thunderstorm with impressive lightening pass through.

billie said...

Arlene, I am sitting here watching the weather radar online for our area, hoping the thunderstorm that is probably a half hour away stays on its current path and gives us a bit of rain.

Victoria Cummings said...

Billie - I wish we could send you some of our rain. We had a brief day of sun yesterday and they are predicting showers every day for the week ahead. I'm on abscess watch, cleaning hooves like crazy since we've got lots of mud. I hope your family is feeling collectively better - and more important, I hope you don't get sick - When I was down with the flu a few weeks ago, it was miserable for everyone around here, proving that I am the alpha mare - as I'm sure you are!

billie said...

We did get some rain yesterday - very odd b/c the sun never stopped shining full force, but the rain was falling through the sun beams!

We have possibilities for more today, so hopefully we'll get another shower.

I can't believe you all are getting so many days straight of rain - take care and good luck with keeping hooves clean and healthy!

AnnL said...

I can't believe you call low-90s "not that hot"! :-( That does it, I'll never move south. I wilted the other day when it was humid and it got close to 80. Rain, rain up here. I've never had ankle deep mud in June. Ugh.

I hope you stay healthy.

billie said...

Thanks, Ann, still doing well. I took a camp chair out to the front field this evening and sat with the geldings for awhile. Very nice, even sweating. :)

If temps above 80 are unbearable, you probably shouldn't move south! Too bad - there are now TWO homes for sale on our little lane. The newly listed one is 10 acres with a lovely house and 7-stall barn.