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KIRK: When water and blood pressure rise

By the time you read this, my life and blood pressure should be back to normal, meaning I won't have any more surprises freaking me out because my husband will be home and in charge.

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While he and our son went on an elk hunting trip, I was in charge and had to haul water if the spring-fed livestock tanks couldn't keep up on hot days. The hubs (husband) and I discussed prior his water-hauling instructions: 1) Drive slow; the road is like a two-lane cow trail; 2) Use four-low gear on the Forest Service road; 3) Tuck the hose between the tank and trailer's side to keep it from dragging on the highway; and 4) Ease off the road and make the sharp turn down hill when pulling up to the tank just like he demonstrated. I wasn't used to hauling water with a 900 gallon poly tank, a different trailer and the six-speed Dodge dually, but I felt capable.

My instructions for him were much simpler: "Please shower before you come home."

On one water-hauling trip, I went to unload the water and discovered the hose was severely pinched in its place from the tank shifting during transit. Several thoughts ricocheted through my head:

• There's 900 gallons of water in the tank against that hose. Any barehanded pulling or pushing on the normally 2-inch, inflexible -- now squished -- hose is not going to budge it.

• The remaining hour and a half is not going to be enough time to pick my daughter up from volleyball practice.

• I HAVE to get that hose loose.

• I wonder what my chances are of having cell service here.

• How am I going to get that stupid hose free?

• I may not make my 7 p.m. PEO meeting due to cows. Again.

• Lord, please help me figure out how to get this hose out.

• (For pride reasons) I REALLY don't want to call our neighbor.

• Great tip on stowing the tank hose, honey! If I wouldn't have done it your way, this predicament wouldn't have happened to me!

• It's 91 degrees out! (According to the pickup's thermometer.)

• Don't start bawling YET (even though I want to) about this critical problem of it being 91 degrees and cows needing water.

• If I ever get this hose free, I'm storing it my way.

• I'm getting really sweaty, thirsty and dirty with these failed hose-freeing attempts.

The dumb solutions I actually dreamt up to free the hose were:

• Using hubby's beloved pickup to try and jolt tank to the other side, freeing the hose (yes, dumb and dangerous).

• Pull up close enough to let water run off the back of the trailer into the tank (water went to the front and came out the open side).

• Figure out how to disassemble hose from tank without tools and let water shoot into the stock tank.

• Siphon out of the top? This image almost made me laugh.

• Drain 900 gallons of water, free the hose and start over.

Please remember that I was in extreme panic mode.

Instead, I MacGuyver-scrounged for solutions. Unfortunately, baling wire wasn't going to save me. To avoid getting mad, the tie-down straps that needed assembling into the ratcheting mechanism were disregarded. When the come-along looking contraption (ratchet load binder, I guess) and two log chains idea didn't work (inexperienced ratchet load binder user) I got impatient and started over, but the log chains and I were friends. Seconds later, a big pine tree caught my eye. I backed up to it, hooked the log chain to the hose and the tree, pulled ahead, and popped the hose free.

Once I had tanks filling, the first thing I did was find cell service. You knew as much as I did that the first person to hear about my ranch drama was going to be a girlfriend.