Friday, December 9, 2016

This Place is Trying to Kill Me!

I swear it is!

Let me tell you about the string of mishaps this past week.  First off, we've had about 10 days of mostly wet weather so the ground is quite soft and mushy. Again.  Mud is my constant companion.  And enemy.  I've decided I dislike mud almost as much as snow... slimy, slippery, oozing over the top of my shoes mud everywhere.  I don't have a single kind word to say about it and after it introduced itself to my bottom (clad in clean pants no less!) a couple of times I refuse to even try to find kind words about it!

It's made the main drive into what I now refer to as Deathtrap #1.  There's a part of it where one side is a steep 4 or 5-foot embankment, the other drops off 10-12 feet to a tributary creek, and the part where your car needs to be is... mud.  It's only that way for a few yards but a few yards is plenty!  My back wheels find absolutely nothing to grip through here so I fishtail wildly.  Usually falling short of making the top, I slide backwards down the hill until  my tires can grab on some stray bits of grass convinced that if that drop off doesn't kill me I will be injured badly enough to wish it had.  By the time I make several tries and fling enough mud to crest that little rise and roll on up to the cabin, my hands are shaking and I've screamed a rather creative string of profanities.

As an alternative, Jason showed me where to turn off by one of the natural gas wells and come up the back way through a pasture.  A couple of days ago, that presented itself as Deathtrap #2.  There's a specific spot where the car is tipped so far to the side that I'm scared I will roll so I've been going around it, just a few feet lower around some young trees. I spun out there and slid backward down the hill.  By the time I got the slide under control, my back wheels were about 6 inches from the edge of the high creek bank.  It took 45 minutes of inching forward and back and desperately trying to convince God this was not a good day for me to die to get the car turned sideways so I could back up enough to find a different angle to get up and around that corner of the fence. I did it!  Mud put up a heck of a battle that day, but I won!!  And when I got to my parking spot next to the cabin, I sat there for a few minutes shaking and saying a prayer of thanksgiving.

I also have to tell you about Gizmo's new habit.  He has taken to grunting when he wants something.  It's a deep, gravely, irritating sort of grunt and then he raises his little eyebrows and stares off into space with a coyly innocent expression while I try to devine what it is he wants.  Outside, food, water, a treat, a R-I-D-E to the P-A-R-K... it all gets the exact same grunt.  He woke me up with the grunt a few nights ago.  I figured out that he was going to barf pretty quickly and struggled to get Jack and Lightning off me so I could jump up and open the door.  The doorknob fell off in my hand.  And Gizmo did not get out in time...  Is there anything more disgusting than cleaning up a giant dog barf in the middle of the night?  Unfortunately, yes.  There's the part about fighting him back from eating it, as if round 2 is going to sit any better in his tummy, while you clean it up.

After a half hour of fidgeting around I did get the knob to slide into place but it's still coming off about every third time I need to open the door.  Mostly that's just a nuisance but it has potential to make a real problem into something even worse.

Like last night.

I was feeling rather pleased with myself for beating mud at its own game 2 days in a row and wanted to sit down and peacefully sip a cup of cocoa before bed... I put a pan with some water on the Coleman burner and proceeded to put the hot chocolate mix in my cup.  I've said before that thing ain't right... but Jason can't find a problem and dismisses my discomfort with using that flaming little burner.  So I grit my teeth and so far have managed to cook a few meals on it. I still say that thing ain't right!  I think it might be possessed and whatever is in there sure as heck doesn't answer to "Genie!"  It flamed out. Again.  This time worse than ever before... It spit up fuel like a fussy baby which caught fire all over the top of the dry sink and nearly lit up my sleeve while I tried to shut it off and smother the flames with a damp towel. The flames jumped to the floor this time so I did a little dance stomping them out. And I managed to burn a dishcloth, too.  Not just a little singe on the edge either... half the dishcloth is a gaping black hole.  And the cabin is filled with the acrid and ever attractive scent of Eau de Ashes.  Or is it Charcoal #5?

I think it's time for a new adventure.  And this next one really must include a hot shower, a real indoor toilet, and a fully functioning kitchen!  I've proved I can survive an off-grid prepper sort of existence.  Maybe not thrive in it, but I can survive.  And that's good enough for  me.

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