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.
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
ADVICE FROM AN OLD FARMER
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.