"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Everything is all Bolloxed Up (Mid-Winter Blues)

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it here, but I hate computers. I really, really hate them. Once, six years ago, with a lot of help from my teenage daughter, I figured out how to use the Blogger platform to make a very simple, no-frills blog, and I haven't wavered from that format one whit. Because I don't know how.

Blogger has changed a few times, and every time it does, I hate it. It always takes me about three weeks to figure out the new system, and I am always able to do less and less. The same thing happens whenever my computer or my phone automatically updates itself, or God forbid, my husband decides to download a whole new operating system. Nobody seems to understand that I am hanging on by the skin of my teeth, here, and one more little change might just be the end of it all.

This morning I spent twenty minutes trying to make the radio play on the computer. My husband was signed in to iTunes and I don't know his password. I couldn't figure out how to sign out, and it wouldn't matter if I did because I also can't remember my own password. So I tried Pandora - same issue. Why does an internet radio station need password protection anyway?

Why do I now have approximately fifty-eight different user names and passwords for accounts that I use once or twice and then never again?

Why can't I turn the speakers on? Where is the settings menu?

Why isn't the bluetooth speaker working either? Oh it needs to be synced. How do I sync it?

Now the battery is low. Where is the cord?

Why is there a ball of cords approximately the size of a basketball shoved into this drawer and why are none of them labelled and why is everything tangled up all the time? How do they make knots in the drawer all by themselves? Didn't I just go through this with the fucking Christmas lights?

All I wanted was a little music to wash dishes by, and instead I am weeping and gnashing my teeth, ready to throw the whole thing right out the god damned window and go live in a cave.

Why don't I have an actual radio anymore? With two knobs, volume and tuning.

My husband came inside and saw me with my hair standing on end and he fixed the problem in two minutes, apparently by witchcraft. I wanted to throw a steak knife at him, but instead I poured him some coffee and started washing dishes. I put on the blues station and and feel much better with Howling Wolf and Koko Taylor doing my wailing for me.

Being unable to manage my computer is not the only thing that has me feeling helpless. Quite a bit has gone wrong lately. Right after Chrsitmas, I decided to take my three daughters and go on a road trip to see my dad in Tucson. The house was so crowded, and I just wanted to get out of dodge for a while. We packed up the Jetta and started driving. I had decided to take a bit of a detour and go out through the California desert to avoid getting lost in the nest of freeways around Los Angeles.

Of course the Jetta decided to break down at the most inaccessible, god forsaken part of the whole trip, just outside of Needles, California. If you don't know where Needles, is, there's no reason to look it up. I'm not going to recount the whole saga, but after three days in a cheap motel, the mechanic called and said "buy a bus ticket." The Jetta is still in Needles, and will be for the foreseeable future, since we have no way of going to get it. So we are down to one car, and not a very reliable one at that.

This is the height of mud season, which always gets me down. The dog always jumps on the bed right after chores and I have to wash the sheets every day. There is something wrong with the exhaust hose and the dryer always steams up the laundry room and everything smells of mildew. The vacuum cleaner has been broken for months and so there isn't much I can do about the carpets except heave deep sighs whenever I look at them.

The dairy calf is apparently on a hunger strike. She won't eat hay, not even alfalfa. She only eats grain and bread and sometimes the old greens I bring home from the gleaner's pantry (Scavenge City (Gleaner's Pantry)). She is skinny as an old rail fence and I don't know why. But by far the worst animal problem is Rosie Pony. She has a chronic eye condition - her tear ducts are permanently blocked. I don't know if it's congenital (it sometimes is) or the result of past infections, but she constantly has crusty eyes. It's much worse in the winter. I've been washing her eyes with saline as often as I can, but it isn't enough.

After we came back from our ill-fate road trip, I checked on Rosie and saw she had a serious secondary infection in both eyes. She's been rubbing her face against the posts and scratched herself up. You can see from the photo that she's badly inflamed, as well as the thickened, sclerotic skin of her eyelids. The vet wouldn't prescribe her an antibiotic from pictures, but insisted on a farm visit. Even though we have been patients there for years and he's seen Rosie this year - for another condition. I simply can't afford a farm visit right now - we need to rebuild an engine and tow a car 1,500 miles. So I've been putting neosporin in her eyes and washing twice daily and we'll see how it goes for a week.

Eventually, I will of course pay for a vet to come see her. I want to find out if she is a candidate for surgery (it's the only way to open the ducts) and how much that would cost. And if they would let me finance it. Poor Rosie. I can see why she was at the auction. She's skittish, won't stand for the Farrier, can't be ridden, and has at least two chronic health conditions. Maybe, at some point, I'll have to re-evaluate whether or not all ponies really ought to be rescued. But not today. While she is mine I will care for her the best I can. Even though it means wrestling with her in the mud twice a day.

There's more I could bitch and moan about. The chickens aren't laying (when do they ever?). There's a big droopy gap in the fence. It's time to trim goat hooves again and I can't find the hoof trimmers. We are running out of hay early. But I think I will stop here. I thought of something good to adding at the end of this long, dreary post.

A nice young woman I met at the Gleaner's pantry is going to give me some of her sourdough starter. She's Ukrainian and it's been in the family a good long while, and I bet it's just wonderful.


Laura said...

Here's some help for Rosie: Boil 1 tablespoon of fennel seed in a cup of water for 15 minutes. Let it cool and strain through a coffee filter. Flush her eyes with that - it's very soothing, and will cure pink-eye. Also get a "Tomorrow" mastitis tube from the feed store, and squirt some in her eyes. It's oil-based, so it lasts longer than the "Today," which is aqueous. The fennel will help her eyes feel less inflamed. You might also try pressing on the corners of her eyes where the tear ducts are - sometimes you can get them to unclog, though she may be beyond that at this point.

I know where Needles is - what a god-forsaken part of the desert. Sorry you're having such trials.

I hope that the rest of the year picks up!!

Aimee said...

Thank you, Laura, I use fennel for my littlest daughter's tummy-aches, but I didn't know it was good as an eye wash. I actually called the vet and he's coming later today. We will try to irrigate the ducts again. Thank you! and Happy New Year.

Anubis Bard said...

Oof. Those sound like winter blues indeed. I don’t have a quarter of your grounds for blueness, but I’m taking precautions nevertheless. I’m not usually big on New Year’s resolutions, but this year I resolved to pause, reflect and write down something that I love every day. Here’s my first installment, A Week of Winter Loves.

Anubis Bard said...

Oof. Those sound like winter blues indeed. I don’t have a quarter of your grounds for blueness, but I’m taking precautions nevertheless. I’m not usually big on New Year’s resolutions, but this year I resolved to pause, reflect and write down something that I love every day. Here’s my first installment, A Week of Winter Loves.

Aimee said...

Love the idea, Bard. I may do that, too, if you don't mind being copied.

Anubis Bard said...

Well, since I've more or less stolen the idea from others, I can hardly complain about copying!

You don't strike me as a person who dwells unduly on the negative, but we can all use a push to count our blessings sometimes.