We did manage to have a wonderful visit this week with my mother and stepdad, but only despite rather sobering obstacles.
On Monday, their arrival day, I was just starting to work up my One Local Summer post when I noticed Cairo licking his under-tail area. Remembering that the s.o. had complained of not being able to sleep because of "Cairo licking himself," I took a look. It turned out he was oozing and bleeding from a vicious wound that looked like someone had stabbed him with an ice pick. As soon as we stopped him from licking it, it started to get everywhere. We tried stopping the flow, but it worsened. We called the vet and they told us to get his butt (so to speak) into the office pronto.
Four or five hours later, the s.o. brought an unhappy e-collar-wearing Cairo home with a bag full of antibiotics and painkillers. Cairo had an abscessed gland. He was still bleeding and oozing like crazy and, for the first 24 hours until it dried up a bit, had to be locked in the bathroom. This caused him to cry all night, and Gracie to whimper constantly because (obviously) something was wrong among the pack.
Mom and John slept. We didn't. Two out of four ain't bad.
Pretty much at the same time as they arrived, the temperature rose to 105 degrees (yes, that's a record, even for Georgia) and has stayed there every day since. This was almost tolerable while we were in the house or in their car; however, once John left for Atlanta and took his car, we had to run errands in mine, which has a broken A/C unit. I don't know when I've sweated so much.
We lost a young hen to the heat. She was a favorite of mine, unfortunately. Also, blister beetles came and ate an entire row of chard in one day. Apparently they like 100-plus weather just fine.
We canceled the Wednesday farmers' market because nobody wanted to sit outdoors from 4 to 7 p.m. It would have been dangerous, frankly.
On Thursday afternoon the upstairs air conditioner in our house broke. The upstairs is the guest room, so Mom was the one to discover it. ("It's 96 degrees up there!") We shuffled accommodations for the night. I took the floor. The repair guy came on Friday afternoon and informed us that ants had gotten into our heat pump and shorted it out by scorching themselves to death on the wire contacts. A cheap fix, thank goodness.
Friday I drove Mom to Atlanta to reunite her with John at my stepsister's house. The s.o. had the bright idea that I should make the drive in my bikini top. It was absolute genius--I was able to wear a dry, unsticky shirt to dinner because of his quick thinking. Only a couple of truckers honked at me along the way.
We had a great Indian meal here, which made up for a lot of the ickiness.
After the horror of this heat wave, I think our family will still get up the courage to come to visit us. But maybe not in summer!