June 2021 – So so so much manual labor… in 90 degree heat!

Jun 27 2021
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June 2021 – When we said “come hell or high water” we didn’t know we were making a choice! *laughs while sobbing* May 27th and 28th we had to cover our garden because it froze hard two nights in a row. And then seven days later (Friday June 2nd) we hit a heat record of 100 degrees. (Lodi and I also got our second Covid vaccines that Friday morning.) Unfortunately for us we had chosen that specific weekend, several weeks before, to tackle our yard with the rental of a bob cat, a concrete saw and a ground leveler. That first weekend of June we stoically put on our work boots, took a deep breath, and stepped out into a record breaking heat wave (and several week drought) that we spent two days straight in.

To add insult to injury the last Covid vaccine kicked me hard.

The first one Lodi and I were both crappy feeling and tired with a sore arm for a couple of days. He had similar symptoms for him this go around too but for me it came with a fever of 102 that swept through my poor little body like a grass fire.

It was around 3am Saturday morning when I woke up and touched Lodi for comfort and realized that I was in bad shape. His skin felt cold to me even though our bedroom was 90 degrees – I was chilled.

The very heat coming off of me woke Lodi up.

I faded in and out through the rest of the night, hearing the little beep of our forehead thermometer as Lodi checked my temp and worried over me.

Finally, at dawn, my fever broke and I was able to get a couple of hours of sleep.

At 9:30 our equipment arrived and it was time to get to work.

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021, the first thing we did was put the air conditioner in the dining room window. (Lodi didn’t want me outside doing anything at all but he knows me well enough to know that that was never going to happen so there was no use arguing about it.)

I spent most of that long weekend in June 2021 with a shovel, in the dirt, absolutely soaked. Our deck thermometer (directly in the sun) hit at least 110 degrees that Saturday.

One thing I hadn’t anticipated (besides obviously the heat my gosh this is June in northern Minnesota – snow would have been more believable!) was just how much time I would spend under our deck ripping trees and plants out by the roots. Those trees that were growing up along the edge there last summer were far beefier than I had anticipated.

To be fair though, under the deck was probably the coolest place I could have been. I had the company of lots of toads who were as unimpressed with the heat as we were.

Lodi spent at least 8 hours on the bob cat that Saturday.

With the “low spot” cleared out and a pile in our yard that we wouldn’t be burning anytime soon he then grabbed the concrete saw and cut off our old apron. From there he returned to the bob cat and hauled the concrete to our “low spot” to be buried.

He then used the last of the dirt pile in front of the barn to create the grade we needed both for the new slab for our garage addition and our new, much upgraded, apron that we have planned.

Meanwhile I dug out all along the deck in preparation for when he would be coming along with the bob cat there to dig out our new pea gravel lower deck. And, yes, if you’re wondering, I also did spend quite a bit of time sitting inside feeling sorry for, and being quite frustrated with, my very tired self.

We. Were. Miserable.

With a shovel and rake I worked in where our future slab would be as he added filler until we both thought it was plenty.

Saturday, June 2021 – It was at that point where we looked at each other and just called it – we just couldn’t keep going. Because of my fever the night before we were running on very little sleep and the heat just wiped us out.

A day that we’d been looking forward to getting so much done (and having a lot of fun doing it) was absolutely the worst day of probably all year for us.

The next day was an easier day though we both felt like something the dog threw up the night before.

Lodi spent the night on the floor in the living room unable to get cool or comfortable while I actually got a little sleep even though our second floor master bedroom was in the 90s.

(Whether or not he was so miserable that night was because of the Covid vaccine, or just from working in the heat all day, we just don’t know.)

Sunday we got moving around 9 with just three jobs left.

Lodi dug out the lower deck under my guidance of how and where I wanted it done. From there he tackled cleaning out the horse shed and pen while my only job was to make sure our gelding didn’t decide to make a run for it.

We were utterly wiped out but with the end finally in sight Lodi helped me up into the bob cat and I worked out some aggression spreading out the giant pile of horse crap he had dumped up on the field.

It also gave me a taste of what Lodi went through those two long days…

Kind of fun for the first thirty minutes but after that all that can be said about his job of working the bob cat all weekend was that at least he was sitting down lol.

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

Our last job was to use the ground leveler to even out where our new concrete slab will be poured and our new apron as well. Of course with how dry it was we had to soak the entire thing before we could level it at all.

The dryness of the ground really worked against us.

It wasn’t just DRY…

We have very sandy soil here so it meant Lodi was trying to shape and move POWDER around.

He did the best he could but, especially with the lower deck, we’re going to have a considerable amount of hand work to do than we would have otherwise… BUMMER.

We were actually dirtier the second day I think though the wind made it not quite as miserable… With how dry everything was a wind meant literally eating clouds of dust all day.

I walked by Lodi after his shower heading for one of my own and he just laughed, “Honey, you smell like dirt!”

“I’m more dirt than human right now!”

June 2021 – We are Troopers!

We took out several birds with only one stone that day:

Our “low spot” also included one heck of a drop off so it was a great place to put our old concrete apron. The extra sod and everything from the yard buried it nicely thus improving the grade and giving us a place to get rid of it all.

The ugly pile of dirt in front of the barn turned out to be the perfect amount we needed to add for our upcoming cement pours. (I had it dumped there back in 2018 to use to fill an empty well shaft in the barn.) Not only was it the perfect amount we needed but now its not a big eye sore up there anymore either.

We had a nasty amount of weeds out in our pasture as well as Jazzy’s grave to cover so it was the ideal place to spread everything we cleaned out from the horse barn and pen.

Work First – Play Later

Also that first week of June we got our new trailer and we’re so glad we had one custom built and didn’t just buy one – its absolutely perfect! The next week our long awaited side by side (Polaris RZR ATV) arrived and Lodi promptly parked it in the garage lol so we’re not so tempted until we get at least a few more things crossed off our project list.

I was going to put our new lower “deck” on the back burner for next year but with the bob cat here (and the cost of a pea gravel deck and fire pit being pretty minimal) it seemed silly to wait when we could just do it now.

I’m so glad to say that in June we got the new slab and apron poured and are moving on to building the garage. We also completed the fire pit and our new pea gravel lower “deck” – I can’t wait for you guys to see it all!

(There will be a bunch of blog posts all about the entire process of both the new deck and the addition to the garage later this year.)

Aren’t the photos crazy… Our poor lawn just died. I had my heart set on getting some trees planted this year but I’m so glad now that we didn’t. We went weeks upon weeks without rain.

We have a big twenty-year-old air conditioner that we stick in a window of the dining room and usually its not a big deal that its really inefficient because we only need it for a couple of weeks.

That just wasn’t the case this year.

It was time to come up with a better plan.

We do fine in the heat until we need to sleep in it so I purchased the smallest window unit I could find (the only thing that would fit our little windows in our second floor master) and it totally eliminated our need for the other air conditioner and three fans!

Now that’s smart spending ๐Ÿ™‚

We tried to look on the bright side, “Its a good thing we chose hell because we couldn’t have poured concrete in high water!” But no matter what we did this month it just felt like everything was against us and I’m sad to say our relationship suffered more than once.

WE GOT SO FRUSTRATED.

“This shouldn’t be this hard! What is going on!?”

Well, we finally figured it out. The Covid vaccine affected us hard the first couple of weeks of June.

It wasn’t terribly obvious though… just an overall feeling like we never got enough sleep. So, basically, we were toddlers who missed their naps for an entire month. We were really crabby and very annoyed with ourselves until we finally realized what was going on!

I remember standing in the lower deck with just four holes to dig (a tiny, 30 minute, job for normal me) and I just couldn’t get myself to do it. We would get home after a normal day, having gotten plenty of sleep the night before and just want to crash.

Finally figuring it out helped us a lot mentally and emotionally!

We persevered, but damnit, that was a rough one.

We were so fortunate to have hay leftover! I saw the panic all over my Facebook feed of people having to ship hay in for a damn fortune. Poor Gar was just pissed, our gelding has been eating hay for eight months and he was so so over it!

We all were.

I caught a big mama raccoon up on our deck getting a drink from the bird bath in broad daylight!

Sunday June 20th the temp dropped twenty degrees and boom – we had a 60 degree rain day and it was glorious.

Normally the non irrigated fields around us would get two or even three hay crops a summer. I don’t know if they’ll even get one this year… So now I’m concerned about hay for next winter but that’s a bridge I’ll deal with when we get there!

I took our dog Annie in for some blood tests and xrays and our vet suggested she get an ultrasound to double check her all over. It all came back OK except for an enlarged liver but no signs of anything to be worried about.

I changed up her food to the (very expensive) Farmer’s dog brand. It smells so good and so fresh I’m pretty sure Annie might be eating better than us now lol fortunately it really seems to be working great as she DEFINITELY feels better.

With everything looking OK her vet and I are pretty much certain Annie has Cushings which is what my last dog had.

We were going to test her to be sure it was Cushings but she is definitely feeling better with the new food and a vet prescribed joint supplement so, for now, we decided to just wait.

Cushings treatments can make dogs feel really awful and are very expensive anyway so I’m not even sure if Lodi and I would treat her.

The reason I took Annie in honestly wasn’t because she was acting anything except for an older lady I just wanted to be sure nothing else was going on with her and, if there was, to get on it straight away.

Of course none of the testing was cheap but, honestly, its hard to put a price on peace of mind.

Our little old Annie is doing pretty good right now though!

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

June 2021 one thing about Lodi that I really never thought I'd find in another person is his ability to get shit done come hell or high

Comments

  1. LINDA MARTIN
    June 27, 2021 at 10:52 am

    Living in southern Arizona with record breaking heat and drought, I know exactly how you feel Tarah! It’s been brutal here with no end in sight. I also had a bad reaction to my second Covid shot and was down for several days. So happy for you guy’s getting so much accomplished and for the new “toy” you bought. Enjoy ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • June 28, 2021 at 10:25 am

      Hi Linda, yep I think so much of the US is suffering in this heat and drought right now – its scary! Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

  2. MADELINE l NEWTON
    June 27, 2021 at 4:08 pm

    you guys are a great working team …did lots of work ,sorry about the ick after the shot …the heat is terrible to have to work in …we have a project that had gotten put off till now thinking it wouldn’t be a problem but with the heat it is going to take much longer for what we have to do is noisy so it is to be done late afternoon or very early to try to beat the heat …i feel for both of you having to do all that hard work in the heat but you both did a great job of getting it done together …wow..very proud of both of you …great job doing all of the improvements around the property …looks great and of course you can enjoy most of it now ….love and much happiness …you worked threw all of it great filled with the love of two adults ….

    • June 28, 2021 at 10:28 am

      Thank you Madeline, yeah the heat was just insane and combined that with feeling so icky because of the Covid vaccine it was really a rough few weeks OMG!

  3. July 21, 2021 at 9:04 am

    Looks great! I hope you reported your symptoms to your doctor or the County Health Dept? A lot of people don’t and that can be a problem. Atleast you had some A/C! We’re had weeks of record breaking heat and smoke from the Oregon fires, not a good combo! Do you get to ride your horse a lot?

    • July 21, 2021 at 10:09 am

      Hi Nancy, yeah we just couldn’t handle it lol usually AC is not a part of my life if I can help it but it was just too crazy hot this year. No I probably won’t be riding my gelding again. He’ll be 30 next year and it just kind of feels like he deserves the retirement at that age.

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