A Cave Woman is just smart enough to get through life - no extra brain power for her. Something as simple as a water hose can be dangerously problematic.
The horses' water at Spirit Creek is provided in a sixty gallon tank and three hundred fifty feet of garden hose. In the winter, Cave Woman has to drain and roll up the hoses after each use, an enormous expenditure of energy for an overweight, out of shape, old Cave Woman. It takes hours dragging the hose up hill, filling the tank, draining the hose, winding it up (think frozen rubber), then wrestling it inside.
Eventually, even during the mildest winter, the hoses became hopelessly frozen, so buckets of water are filled and hauled up the hill in the back of the truck. No matter how carefully she drives, most of the water is spilled before it arrives at the tank. So, many buckets must be filled. It is a bit less energy expensive to simply carry two five gallon buckets of water up hill twice a day, and requires about the same amount of time.
Last year, Cave Woman installed a two-railed electric tape fence from the barn down to the edge of the yard. There, one fifty foot hose (piece of cake) and an electric tank heater made water available to the horses 24 hours a day. Putting in that fence took many more days to construct than anticipated. Because vegetation against the fence grounds it, the seven foot big blue stem plants had to be knocked down. Electric tape without a shock will not keep two full grown horses from wandering. In the absence of a suitable mower, the big blue stem was knocked down by driving the truck back and forth, up and down, for most of an afternoon. Then the fence posts were installed and the tape strung. It was Cave Woman's finest hour when the horses spiritedly trotted down the slope between the straight white electric rails to drink in the relocated tank!
Sadly, Cave Woman can not conceptualize into the future. She cannot extrapolate outcomes. With the arrival of warm weather, the tank was moved back up the hill and the electric corral was closed to reduce the chances of the horses getting out. The tank heater was no longer necessary and the hoses could lay on the ground all the time. But the prairie, fertilized by copious amounts of manure over the winter, and with no horses grazing it, grew to eight feet in the corral, too tall to mow with a lawn mower. With the fence in place there was not enough room to use the truck to knock down the grass. (And no room to drive the truck up the hill to haul water, either!) So, it was back to the hoses!
Here is the drill:
Turn on the faucet.
Walk up the hill to insure the water is running and actually going into the tank.
Wait for some indeterminate length of time for the tank to fill.
Walk down the hill to turn off the water.
Walk back up the hill to drain the hoses.
Slowly walk down the hill holding the hose high above the head - the cool-down for all that exercise.
Two trips up and down the hill per tank filling - except for Saturday after the blizzard. The hoses were buried under at least one foot of snow. But they were drained so water should flow through them, no problem. Alas, there had been a huge oversight before the blizzard by not hooking the delivery-end back to a fence post or something sturdy at last filling. Cave Woman had to dig around in the snow to find that end of the hose which was now "inexplicably" five feet too short to reach the tank. She walked down the hill, pulling the hose up through the heavy snow, stopping to rest every twenty feet, and sweating. She had to do this all the way down to the faucet, looking for that extra footage.
She turned right around and went up the hill with the snowy hose over her shoulder, pulling it straight as she went - too tired to cuss. Then back down the hill to turn the water on. Back up the hill to make sure water was flowing. Once the tank was filled, down the hill again, in her heavy mukluks, trudging through twelve to eighteen inches of soft snow every step of the way to turn the faucet off and unhook the hose. Then immediately back up the hill to begin the process of draining the water out of the hose before the water started to freeze. With hair wet from sweating, and frozen hands and feet, she finally accomplished the task.
In all, poor Cave Woman made four trips up and down the hill for a total of at least 2,800 feet - over a half mile in her mukluks - in deep snow - uphill. If only God had made her smarter....
The long hose path... it goes all the way to the little angled structure on the horizon. This was taken 20 days after the horrible ordeal documented in this blog....