Monday, November 16, 2009

From the Farm - Problem Solved

"Hey Hon," said DH the other morning, "I'll plug in the horse's water heater on my way out."
"That's a good idea," I replied, "I had to break ice the last two days. Thanks for thinking of it."
'Problem solved without putting on three layers,' I thought. I love my horse, but water had turned into an issue lately.
It all started with cleaning the heater...
Ya see immersion heaters for stock tanks sit in the bottom for months. Around here, October through March or April typically. There is a lot of calcium and iron in the well water, which is probably good for me, but not so much anything it touches. DH, meaning well, brought the old heater to the house to 'clean it up', which involved soaking in vinegar for the day. Next morning he went to the barn, buffed it vigorously with a wire brush, grinned happily I suppose and installed the now spiffy heater into the water trough. Problem solved!
Now it gets strange. Rory, typically doesn't drink that much water during a half day. He seems to go at once or twice and day and gets by on the extra water in his morning and evening feeding of beet pulp and other goodies (vitamins, but don't tell him, he doesn't like them!) So come dark I didn't think to check his tank when I fed him. Besides... it was dark!
Next day I noticed the sun reflecting from the surface of a still full to the brim water trough. 'Strange,' I thought to myself as I washed dishes, 'I'll go check when I'm done.' Sure enough, water was full up and warmish. About that time Rory, seeing me outside and figuring I might have peppermint, wandered over. I reached through the wire fence and splashed the water with the flat of my hand. Wrong thing to do! He looked at me, looked at the water and started pawing the ground around the tank. Dipping his head towards it and up again, banging the side of the thing with his knee the whole time. What the heck was going on? He wanted to drink, that was obvious. He hadn't drunk since before 11 the morning before.
I put my hand back in the water, nothing, not even a tingle. Hmmm Oh yea, I had on rubber soles. So I grabbed the handy dandy grounding rod beside the tank, laid my bare arm against the wire fence, (yes, I'm not too bright sometimes) laid my hand back in the water and ZAAAP!! Yep... it didn't set me on my fanny but I wouldn't want that happening to MY nose either.
Since then we messed with water buckets for a few days, but that doesn't work since I can't plug them in. Moved the WHITE tank down from summer pasture, thinking we could replace the Black one and that might work, IF we didn't sit it in the same place.
The next week we moved the white tank into the same pasture with the black tank, all was well. Ok, he still wouldn't touch the black tank even though it was unplugged in TWO places. Last week we tossed the black tank over the fence and put the white tank in it's place, without plugging it in. They can feel the current maybe, I don't know! So it was time to plug it in, which brings us to the start of this story. Continuation from start!!
So, about noon, I look out the window and spot the extension cord and the water heater cord about a foot apart. That does not constitute plugged in, in my book. Thinking DH simply forgot, I dress in the required three layers, take the dog for a walk and plug the silly thing in. Problem solved!
That evening I remind DH about his statement, and say I solved the problem, I plugged it in, so it should be fine for the snow storm we expected. He looked at me with a puzzled expression, "But I did plug it in."
"Well, it didn't move a foot apart all on it's own, it was hanging on the fence, remember?" slightly puzzled myself at this point.
"Oh! I plugged in the extension cord... IN-side!" he laughed.
"You mean it actually takes two mature adults to plug in a water heater?" I said grinning broadly. "This has to be the craziest house of people and critters I've ever heard of." By now we were both laughing and the dog was pretty sure we had lost it again.
Just another day on the Ranch around here. Problem Solved!

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