Yesterday, while I was at work, my new ECCO sandals arrived. I drove into the garage, slid the gear shift to park, opened my door (careful not to hit the shelves), and stepped into the steamy heat of the garage. I slung my briefcase over my shoulder, its brown leather soft against my arm, grabbed my cell phone from the center console, swung the car door shut and opened the door to the mudroom where I was met with a blast of cool air. I saw the UPS box containing my shoes on the counter, waiting for me. I quickly opened the box and lifted out the sandals with their sturdy rubber soles, thick and soft, and brown leather straps. I changed out of my black slacks and white cotton sweater and into my worn barn jeans and a teeshirt.
I wrapped my toe, which wasn't actively seeping anymore, but looked like it might with encouragement. Once the green vet wrap was holding the gauze securely, I slid on socks and then tried on the sandals. I was able to slide my toes under the front strap without too much discomfort. I felt like a dork wearing socks with sandals but I was intent on going down to the barn and that toe had to stay clean.
Brett was at the tie rail with Flash after finishing schooling him in the arena. Since they were done, I went ahead and let the dogs out with me. I had cut up an apple from the farm basket to give to the horses and I took a bite as I walked, expecting it to be bland and mushy. August isn't yet apple season. To my surprise, it was crisp, bursting with tangy sweetness. I gave Flash the core of the quarter I had been eating and walked out to the pasture. Winston was waiting for me at the gate, his neck stretched long, nostrils quivering at the scent of apple. I stepped through the gate and into his space. He backed up three steps and I gave him a piece of apple. I wrapped my arm around his face and gave him a hug.
Then I walked down to where Jackson was standing with his head over the pipe corral, ears pricked forward, and eyes large. I gave him a piece that wasn't nibbled on by me and then the last bit of core to Winston.
I was moving slow, with a definite limp, but curious to see if I could muck. I went back to the barn and got the muck cart and my rake. Winston hovered over me as I picked up the piles of manure near the pasture gate and in the donkey area. Next, I went into Jackson's paddock. It wasn't easy maneuvering the muck cart over the pipe corral threshold while Winston tried to follow me in and Jackson crowded the gate, trying to go out. I wiggled my way in and latched the gate behind me. Jackson followed me as I headed over to the manure piles. I set the rake across the cart so I could scratch his withers. He took a step sideways, into me, which was a clear pushy invasion of my space -- never acceptable and dangerous with me in sandals. I gave him a quick jab in the shoulder with the handle end of the rake. He stepped away, shook himself, glared at me, and walked over to where Winston and Flash were standing on the other side of his paddock fence. A few minutes later, he came back and politely stood next to me. I rubbed his neck, in the crease where his neck meets his shoulder. He stretched his neck long, tilted his head, and wiggled his nose. Ahhh. When I finished mucking his paddock, I sat on some rocks and waited for Brett to bring out the evening hay. After the horses were fed, and no longer interested in me or the paddock gate, Brett pulled the muck cart out of the paddock for me. He looked at me and offered to finish up the mucking. I must have looked like I felt. My foot was tired and it ached so I went back to the house with the dogs at my heels.
We stopped at the chicken pen to retrieve a white egg that was sitting in the dirt by the chicken waterer instead of in the nesting boxes. It was filthy so I added it to Sedona's food when I fed the dogs. Back in the house, I unstrapped, removed, and rinsed the dust off my sandals. I removed the gauze and climbed, with my now weeping toe, onto the couch where I ate a bowl of popcorn for dinner.
My foot throbbed all night. Brett wouldn't let me do the chores this morning but I did go down to the barn and give the horses lunch. I also mucked a tiny bit -- just the manure deposited in the morning between when Brett fed them breakfast and noon.