Tuesday, October 11, 2016

One of "Those Days"

This morning the plan was to either start throwing cool season grass seed in the pastures or finish sealing off the chimney flashing so we can move on with the gutters installation. I went with the flashing, which was a bad choice for many reasons, primarily because I have an irrational fear of heights. And because I was the only one home. But hey, I'm a Donahue, I got this.

So, up the ladder I went, brushed the area I was going to work on first, smeared the tar-like but not tar stuff on, stuck the fabric in, smooshed in another layer of tar stuff, removed some duct tape that I was using as a marker. Things were going ok to this point. I was standing on the ladder, this part of the chimney flashing is hard to reach from the roof without feeling like I'm going to fall. I drifted my hand over the huge open space to let the duct tape fall to the ground. It didnt go. It stuck to me. Which triggered another irrational fear of things sticking to me. This second fear overwhelmed the first. And so I started waving my hand around trying hard to get the damned duct tape OFF OF ME and of course that didnt work and so my irrational rational brain spoke. It said "use your other hand to pull it off"... So I did. And as I victoriously threw the duct tape to the ground, the ladder started rocking. Im sure it was something other people would barley have noticed. But I, in my already panicked state, felt like I was falling, could actually see the ground rushing up and feel the rungs of the ladder giving way and the ground opening up to slam around me. I frantically grabbed the roof. I forced the ladder which was probably already steady to a firm screeching halt. I then stood on the ladder for a long time contemplating the little tiny aggregates of crumbly stuff on the asphalt shingles on the roof. Im not sure how long I stood there. Then the real rational brain spoke and said "well, you finished this part of the flashing, start on the next." And so I did. I even managed to climb down the ladder and back up. And I maintained this tight focus on the flashing and the tar-like stuff. Until I was done. Then my evil brain said "now you have to go down, look how high up you are"... so I sat where I was by the chimney close to the ladder, frozen, trying hard not to look at anything for awhile, not sure how long. I finally regained enough calm to make myself go down the ladder. I did not throw up when my feet were firmly on solid ground, though that was a struggle.

I was still shaking an hour later, inside and out. I went and layed down for a while. I got up, still queezy but not visibly shaking, and went out to feed the horses. I noticed one gate starting to sag a bit, not badly, not breaking, just a little loose. So I thought I would push this cinder block under it to take the pressure off til we have time to tighten it. And I'm still shaky. Still a bit stressed, so tunnel vision focused in on the one gate.. until I see Litta rushing towards me, and I break focus in time to feel Sierra rushing out the wide open other gate right next to me!! I waved Litta off, shut the gate, circled around Sierra who was snorting and blowing as she moved towards the driveway- she was moving slow, not rushing. I had no leads, no halter, no belt, no anything to use as a lead. I calmly walked around her, chatting to her about nonsense, into the carport, grabbed a huge handful of chopped hay, threw it in a pan, and walked back to Sierra, who was by now past the cars. With the pan, I was able to get her stopped, So I called my hubby- who was home by then, and almost dropped the phone because my hand was shaking so badly. I calmly told him Sierra was out, to come outside. Once he was in hearing range, I had him go grab a lead/halter from the run-in. I got the lead around her, halter on, back in the filed, halter off, patted and calmed her, all the while berating myself for being so focused that I didn't see what else was going on, that I didn't THINK about the other half of the gate, the half that always swings in.

So on reflection, I think I should have just chosen to throw the cool season grass seed down instead. No ladders, no heights, no sticky things, no trauma. But we really need to get the water problems here under control. Part of that is the chimney leak- which we already built and installed a concrete cap, re-mortared everywhere the mortar was giving way, and the next step was the flashing and applying water repellent to the brick. And we have already started on the gutters, and I really don't want to lean the ladder against a new gutter.

Anyway, I just needed to write this out. Hopefully I can calm down a bit. But, hey, the flashing is sealed... And I am going to hang an old lead/halter on the gate.

And Thank God Sierra thinks with her belly :)