It isn't really accurate to say we broke more things, at least not this time. It was more that we discovered more things that were broken and a minor repair turned into two day job. You know, the usual Paradigm Farms drill.
It all started so innocently. We noticed one of our gate posts seemed a bit wobbly. Jason bought a bag of concrete mix so he could shore up the gate post. He started digging around the post so he could add the concrete and realized the post had rotted. He then had to dismantle two sections of the fence so he could get the post out.
Then the post didn't want to come out. Oh sure, the part above the concrete where it had rotted came out easy peasy. The rest of the post, the part in the ground surrounded by a large chunk of concrete, well it was apparently very content to remain where it was. After much banging with a pry bar, swinging of a pick ax, digging with a shovel, maneuvering the loader on the tractor with a chain, and of course creative uses of vocabulary, Jason finally got the rest of the post out of the ground. I happened to be holding horses for the farrier as this operation was underway. At one point the farrier and I heard yet anther round of creative uses of vocabulary and saw Jason beating the fence with the pry bar. We don't think he was actually trying to accomplish anything other than vent his frustration at that particular moment in time. But we didn't wander out to ask or offer to help so maybe we were wrong . . .
Then we had to go buy another fence post, and more concrete, and yadda, yadda, yadda. We get the fence post set. Jason gets the nail gun to start nailing up fence boards. Nail gun battery number one is dead. No problem we have a spare. Nail gun battery number two is dead. No problem, we have a spare for the spare. Nail gun battery number three is dead. Jason throws said nail gun and three batteries on the ground and explodes in more creative uses of vocabulary. I decide to just walk away and leave him to it at this point.
A couple hours later I could no longer avoid that area of the farm. Jason had managed to produce a functioning gate and rebuilt fence. He was in a marginally better mood, meaning he wasn't beating on inanimate objects with a pry bar, throwing nail guns or employing creative uses of vocabulary. He wasn't smiling either but who could blame him. 24 hours later his ten minute task was completed.
Taken from a distance; I decided for my own safety it was best to stay away while the pry bars, shovels and pick axes were flying
We wouldn't want a fence post that isn't level would we?
Without fail the fall is always our busiest time of the year. I don't know why but it seems like September rolls around and we move into warp speed and we stay there through mid November. It was certainly highly inconvenient for Jason and I to be sick but we have gotten through it. Thank you to everyone for asking how we were doing. We are both much better although still not 100%. I would say we are both at 95% which feels pretty darn good after every joint in your body felt like it had hot pokers searing them constantly.
We are now back to making our fall lists and checking them twice. We have lots of quality time with our equine dentist coming up. We are discussing how many loads of gravel we think we need for our driveway and gate areas and to my surprise my estimated number was *higher* than Jason's! Who would've thunk it? Amazingly Jason is gearing up to mow all of the pastures again since we are swimming in grass at the moment. But how do I know it is really fall? Every time I go in a store I have to walk past the Halloween candy these days. I'm no longer a junk food eater but I do love the candy corn pumpkins that are always out at Halloween. I will confess I have purchased - and eaten - one bag but so far but have otherwise managed to keep my hands to myself as I walk past the candy pumpkins. I snuck them into the house and ate them in my closet so I wouldn't have to share them with Carter. Is that pathetic or what?
Fall has officially arrived. The days are getting considerably shorter. We have way too many extra projects and things to do. Most importantly I am trying my best to pretend that I don't see the candy pumpkins desperately seeking my attention. Just say no the candy pumpkins Melissa.
Jason and I have both had bouts of being under the weather in the last few weeks. I was up first and had the oddest symptoms. My symptoms started out mimicing the general crud with a fever and some achiness. This progressed over a couple of days to some of my joints and muscles feeling like they were being constantly seared with a hot poker. My hands and wrists especially were so painful I would literally cry as I was doing chores because it hurt so much. I couldn't pick Carter up for a week. I just couldn't do it.
In my typical fashion I refused to go the doctor. After having an extended round of essentially useless doctor visits several years ago for a whole saga I won't get into, I tend to find reasons to not see a doctor. After a couple of mis-diagnoses in the aforementioned saga I totally revamped my diet and solved my health problems myself. Thus in my stubborn fashion I was in such intense pain in certain parts of my body I felt like I was on fire for about a week. Then one day it started going away, and within a few days I was 97% normal again. My wrists still have some residual achiness but not enough to keep me from doing anything.
Imagine my surprise when Jason began exhibiting the same set of symptoms a few days ago. He started with a fever, progressed to general achiness, and made it all the way to crying in pain while doing chores one morning. In ten years I've seen Jason cry exactly once so I knew he was experiencing the exact same thing I had just dealt with. It really is a level of pain that makes grown men cry.
Unlike me Jason wisely went to the doctor after his crying session. As he rattled off his symptoms the doctor went to retrieve a CDC bulletin from his office in regards to chikungunya fever, a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes. Originally this was being seen in people who traveled to the Carribean. A few months ago the disease began to be identified in people who had not traveled outside of the continental U.S. As the doctor read off the symptoms, which were a dead ringer for Jason's (and my) symptoms, we instantly became reportable statistics to the CDC. Bloodwork was sent off for confirmation.
The good news is this a self limiting disease that runs it course and then you are done, with the possible exception of lingering but less intense joint pain. The bad news is there is no treatment except supportive care (thus I pointed out to Jason that in my way I was right not to go to the doctor, they couldn't do anything anyway. So there!). Hopefully Jason will be on the downhill side of this in another day or two. For his sake I hope so as I know how excruciating the pain is. I will admit that I have enjoyed spending my entire life being statistically unimportant, I find it a much more pleasant way to live!