Saturday, November 12, 2016

Overdosed on Benadryl.

It's cold out tonight.  Nothing like it's going to be, but chilly.

Every morning, I get up before dawn. I have a nice hot shower, and a cup of coffee. Then I start the morning chores.

I go out and turn off all the night security lights. There are some security devices around the perimeter of the meadow and on the Jeep trail I check.

I water and feed the chickens, let the two apartment cats out of the apartment for the day. Get the "dwarf kitty" out of the shop and take her in the house for the wife to feed.  Feed the dogs, feed the cats. Get "dwarf kitty" from my wife and put her back in the shop. That's my wife's name for a tiny cat that was born with stunted legs, and hasn't grown any bigger than a large kitten. "dwarf kitty" is high maintenance but my wife loves her. M has strong maternal instincts and baby animals can always manipulate her to their advantage.

Today I did all that and my eyes started itching and burning. I took two benadryl tablets. They worked on the eyes, but I lay down at ten this morning and woke up at five thirty this evening feeling hung over. My wife usually takes 1/2 tablet when she needs to, maybe I should try that dosage.

You need special equipment to live up in these mountains comfortably.

In summer, dehumidifiers and air conditioners are essential. The humidity on an average day in summer is up in the 80% range, and temperatures run from the mid eighties to over one hundred degrees.

In winter, the humidity can drop off the scale. I mean that literally. My gauges can track the humidity down to 20%, and they frequently bottom out. Tonight the ambient air humidity is 32%.

If you don't keep the humidity level in the buildings interior around 45%,  there are problems. You get dry, itchy skin.  The ferrets need mid fifties levels or they lose their fur and scratch so much they get sores.

So I use wet steam humidifiers in the house, the apartment, and the shop. I don't use them in the climate controlled part of the barn because what's stored there doesn't need humidity. The humidifiers have to be refilled three times a day.  I get up at 2 every morning to refill the one's in the house, but at night I run the outbuilding humidifiers on low, and they can last til morning.

I often wonder how the old timers made it up here, without these amenities.

I know they used to put special kettles in their fire places or on their wood stoves to put water in the air, because I own several of them I've bought at flea markets.

These look like a kettle except they are cast iron and very heavy. They work though, and that's my backup to my modern equipment.

You can buy these cast iron humidifier kettles brand new as well. Lots of places on the net sell them.  Since they are common up here, I just bought old ones.

You can also buy these things shaped like animals, locomotives, and just about anything else you can imagine. I'm interested in functionality, not interior decoration, so  I  just use the simple ones as my backups.

At night, I stay on the porch if I go outside.  It's a wrap around, so I can see anything I need to without wandering around in the woods. I use a Ryobi hand held flood, but it can't penetrate very far into the forest even in winter.  In summer, not past the tree line. Still, it lights up the jeep trail and the meadow, which is the main thing. 

Typically, something will go off  in the middle of the night.  That usually coincides with the dogs going ballistic. I take the flood out along with a rifle or shotgun, and I light up the area where it seems the problem is. Most of the time, it's deer, or raccoons, or a bobcat, coyotes, our red wolves, or sometimes a bear. None of these bother me. It's always the two legged predators I'm looking for.

Living here is a lot more work than living in a condominium would be.  It's more expensive, in the long run. But generally, it's very quiet and peaceful.  You aren't by any means safe from the outer world, but it's not right there in your face every single day.

A good rifle doesn't hurt your sense of well being either.

Thought for the Day:

*sent by a friend

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.


  1. Replies
    1. I've got two Springfields. Both M1903, not the WW2 M1903A1. I like them and they fire 30-06 which should be obtainable up here in the event of some unpleasant event. The Enfield is a great gun too. I have several cases of military surplus British .303 stored away, and plenty of brass and bullets, so I am good to go there too.

  2. Hmmmmm we live with about 15% humidity here in the high desert. My lungs love it. Never had a humidifier. Grew up at 80-90% humidity on Long Island. No air conditioners...didn't even know what that was in those days. We just went for a swim. People who worked in the 'city' were sent home if the heat got too bad. Now I don't think I could handle heat and humidity like that. The old timers were used to it, I have read. We have no lights here at all at night. Pitch black. We do have electric eyes that set off a chimes in the house when something goes by. My cat has learned that if he walks past a certain place (electric eye) I will open the door for him. Wonder what he thinks about that. The only thing Benedryl did for me was wire me up. Can't take it. Read where the wildfires were spreading out your way. Sorry to hear it. Don't exert yourself too much in smoky old guys have to be careful, lol

    1. I have a massive array of red lenses flood lights. They augment my night vision gear without my having to use the infra red projector. White lights would wipe out my night vision gear.

      I get bad problems with my skin drying out in the winter, and then itching. The humidifiers make it easy on me, and I'd have to have them anyway since my ferrets absolutely need low 50's minimum or their fur falls out!

      The fires are more numerous and less under control. Everything is so brittle and dry. No rain in almost three months. Wells going dry, rivers and creeks and lakes drying up. I've never seen the like and I lived through the big drought here of 1988.

      When the smoke is too thick we try to stay inside. My wife starts coughing and can't quit. Even down in Atlanta last week the smoke was so thick the city's skyline was obscured and their air quality index was very poor.

      I find I don't hold up nearly as well at 64 as I did at 32. I used to be able to run 3 miles in boots in under 18 minutes. Now it takes me about an hour to amble a mile and a half around the walking trails at the park or the lake. I feel my age especially in things like lifting big ladders, or carrying 40 lb sacks of feed from the vehicle to the barn.

      Like the song said "What a drag it is getting old!"

      But at least I don't have to have a job anymore.

  3. With wood heat we always kept a kettle on the stove.

    I used to do the same with ant lions. It's part of learning, I guess.

    1. We have a big old stock pot we put on the wood stove down in the lower level when the stove is being used. That will surely put out some water vapor!

      We are both Ant murderers. :-(

    2. Yet we did not grow up to be serial killers.

      Ki is too quick. If she gets the stick, she's gone. Bonnie just hangs on to it and let's Ki TRY to get it.


    3. With those dogs no one will ever be able to surprise you at your place. Good dogs are worth their weight in gold to rural people.

  4. Another great post, Harry.

    Hope the fires subside and you get some rain.

    1. I just checked the Fed fire report for our area. 13 major fires burning, most completely out of control. It's rough.

  5. Hey Harry,


    My two favorite sayings out of that list were. Don't pick a fight with an old man and keep bankers and skunks at a distance.

    1. I thought some of those were particularly good and those two were among my favorites. I have little reason to love the banksters, and my days of fists, boots and belt buckles are behind me now. My defensive options are limited to taking abuse or shooting. No in between left at my age.

  6. We have one of those cast iron kettles for our wood stove for humidity too. It helps.

    I keep a spotlight like that by the door. They can really shine a long ways.

    My boys are hoping to see the super moon tomorrow if it's clear.

    1. Hey, Lisa. They do help and if for some reason I wind up without power they'll replace my steam humidifier units.

      Mine would illuminate much more if I wasn't completely hemmed in by the forest 180 degrees around the house.

      The smoke from the fires is so bad tonight that it's like a cloud overcast. I doubt we will get to see the super moon but I hope your family can see it.

  7. Growing up in Texas without a/c was pretty tough. We did have a whole house attic fan, but that did not help with the humidity. I guess we got used to it but sleeping at night was difficult. In the winter, we had a floor furnace and I remember my mother putting a big pot of water on top of it to help keep the humidity up in the house. I sure would hate to try and live without a/c now, especially when we go through months with highs in the 90's and humidity levels in the 80's. I love the way you care for your animals Harry. You are a very kind-hearted man. Jana

    1. When we lived in Southern Georgia in the fifties I don't think anybody had air conditioning in their homes. We had big pedestal fans and everyone kept the windows open. People sat on the porch and fanned themselves. The fans were made of shiny paper and had handles made out of sticks like big tounge depressers. They all had art work printed on them.Jesus and Elvis were on a lot of them.

      I like my animals. Especially my ferrets and dogs. My wife likes cats. She likes to stretch out on the couch with a pillow and a blanket, with a fire in the fireplace. The cats come and snuggle up on the blanket.

  8. Harry,

    We always have humidifiers or dehumidifiers running depending on the weather around here. As for lighting, we have multiple solar lights around the property, spot lights along with sensors (we generally know where someone is on the property before they have an opportunity to get close to the house). Being prepared, and having protection is the best recourse when dealing with 2 legged critters.

    1. Sounds like you and I have the same issues to deal with in terms of humidity or the lack there of.

      I use electronic sensors on the main approach to the property. I have been putting some older early warning gear out in the woods around the place. I'm not as certain as I once was that no one will come up through the woods now.