Wednesday, March 14, 2018

It's March, It's Michigan, It's Madness

All of us are sick of the white stuff -- the donkeys, the chickens... and me.

The donkeys are tired of single path roadways (no, we do not like to walk in the snow).

And those roadways are now mud.  Boot-sucking, slop-onto-the-bottom-of-your-pants mud.

Chickens are sick of limited exploring room.  (no, we do not like to walk in the snow)

For a few hours in the afternoon I fling open the coop door (which opens into the donkey shed) and close the donkey shed gate.  Chickens can roam as far as they wish on muddy pathways, hop back through the gate and get into the coop. 

But donks are blocked from the shed and coop. (if allowed in the coop, they are apt to go on a chicken feed gorging destructive rampage)  We only do this on sunny, fairly warm days when the four hooligans don't need the protection of the shed.

And I am oh so tired of those single lane pathways as well.  They are easily and frequently (no read that always) blocked by donkeys who just stand in the way.  I explain if they don't move and let me through there will be no hay on the menu.  They turn a deaf ear and stand.   I, not the model of patience, explain more forcefully and loudly.  And then there are the times I get caught in the middle of a pushing war and remind the culprits I am in the middle of this and to STOP IT. 

Ah yes, it's idyllic.  Sigh.

If the weatherman is forecasting with some semblance of competency, we'll be warming up into the 40's in a couple of days and (fingers crossed) lose a lot of this dadblasted snow.  Of course, we'll be back to lots of mud, but as long as I know we're moving forward, I can stand it.

And finally, to close on a pleasant note, I leave you with a new possession.

It makes me smile.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Faith aka Fay aka Fayray

A number of unusual events gobsmacked us this week.

For starters we went from balmy weather without ice, without snow, without too much mud to this... in a day.  And then we got dumped on again. 

The sweetness of a new spring is out of our grasp again.

So exciting for me, but most likely ho-hum for you -  for the first time since knee surgery, I was able to take a much-missed steamy hot bath.  And get out of the tub.  It takes a big bend of the knees and weight bearing to get up and out and I did it!  Glorioski, it's downright fabulous.

Lastly, and quite significant, a new little girl came to live with us.

About a month off the track and with a foster mom for three weeks, Faith was ready to launch into her new adventure.  She has been with us for less than a week; hardly time to get a full picture of her personality, but we do know she is playful, inquisitive, gentle and has some handy training under her belt.

Is a goofball

And clearly likes to snuggle.

 Gunner is pretty OK with the whole arrangement

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Crime Investigation

We discovered a couple of days ago that hooligans had vandalized the "yellow door" to the chicken coop.  Yes, it literally happened overnight.

We contacted the local authorities and they detained two groups of suspects for questioning.

Suspect Group #1

Suspect Group #2

If you have any information about this incident, please contact the authorities.  We intend to prosecute!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Thar She Blows

Within an approximate span of 10 days the weather has morphed from snow to ice (!) to steady downpours to mud & gusty wind.  I do love my state of Michigan but am glad we seem to be on a even keel right now (if the fates allow).

During the ice phase I had to curtail my critter duties (husband Rick is more sure-footed than I), but then started driving out to the donkeys and using a cross-country ski pole to navigate from the car to the gate.  The sharp tip end of the pole was perfect for stabbing ice and getting more stability.  It also helped to throw a few shavings over the ice and make a path.  Cut down on the sliding.

Blog reader/friend, Louise, asked about the personalities of Sugar and Spice.  I'm finding the next line of the childhood rhyme "and all that's nice" may not apply!  But let me explain.

This recent photo doesn't accurately portray the muddy conditions, but all four beasts are in clear sight.  From left to right:  Spice, Luigi, Sugar and Gabariella.If you peer at the screen closely, upper right corner, you'll see the hens foraging the pasture for tasty treats.

As I've mentioned to you, little Sugar's coloring catches me by surprise from time to time.  For that brief moment, I'll think Francesca is still around.  Because of that association, I may be showering her with more attention than I do with Spice and need to correct that.  She is quite approachable and will submit to my hugs and rubs and will even initiate a little lovefest. She's learning to take carrots nicely with her lips instead of teeth.

Here's Sugar's wild girl look.  Occasionally the whites of her eyes are quite visible and she'll take on the wild donkadoo face.

Spice has not quite cozied up to me yet - but remember I lost the whole month of December for knee surgery after only a month of them living with us. 

Ironically she was the passive submissive girl early on.  Now she's getting a whole lot more pushy about her food.  I almost got clobbered yesterday because of it.  I was in the midst of throwing some hay and apparently someone got too close to the pile she had reserved for herself. She started whirling and kicking and I was darn certain she was going to make contact with my new knee.  Whew, didn't happen, but you would have heard some yelling echoing in the donkey yard.

Luigi absolutely insisted he be included in this rogue's gallery and I knew friend, Janet, would like a close-up of her favorite boy.

And then there's helper, Gunner.  When I'm giving out carrot pieces, he gets a little over zealous to insist on his fair share.  I'm surrounded by chow hounds - including the chickens!

Friday, February 16, 2018

Profile of a Prince

If the regal duties of a true Prince include dominion over the household, there is no doubt of the royal blood coursing through these veins.  Princely in every way.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Donkey Derrieres

I must have a thing about donkey boot-ays.  These photos keep appearing.

My precious Frannie

Have I told you Sugar's coloring is very similar;  
I almost called her Fran the other day.

The original three -- Gabs, Fran, Luigi

Actually one of my favorite donkey photos


The little princess, at least in her own mind

Sugar and Spice

My little chubettes