Monday, June 17, 2019

The Carpenter At Work

Going to do a bit of bragging here.

My husband can build just about anything.  That pretty much sums it up.

He built our house, the sheds, donkey barn, chicken coop.  And the list goes on.

Most recently he added a hay manger in a nifty afternoon.  If you recall past photos of the donkey yard, a wading pool always made an appearance to throw hay and straw into.  The theory was to keep the donks from eating off the ground and consuming dirt, which can cause gut impaction.  Well, my little lovelies got in the habit of picking the hay out of the pool and throwing it on the ground.  Yup.  Thwarted again.

So while I was convalescing with my knee, Rick decided to build a manger to contain their forage.

It's working well, I'm pleased to say.

And more recently, he built a Little Free Library, upon my request.
I have had this project in mind for at least a couple of years, but for various reasons didn't act.  About three months ago I moved forward, received permission to place it in a nearby modular home community, and Rick whipped it up.  Just a week ago it was officially installed (although I am waiting for the Little Free Library plaque) and I am excited as heck.

Again I say, pretty nifty, huh?

This has been a community effort in that friends have been donating books, and as a Friend of our local Library, I've been allowed to capture leftover books at the conclusion of a book sale.  I am so appreciative of people's generosity.

It's so handy to have a handy builder around.  And that's a fact.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

High Energy Dog, Indeed

OK, let's get news of the new knee out of the way.  This one was a tad slower to turn the corner and was a tad more owwie, but all is going well.  I've been out to see the donks and hens three times, although my physical therapist doesn't want me on uneven ground frequently (shhh, don't tell I went out again today).  Hopefully I'll be back with more photos soon.

In the meantime a little story about Faith, the greyhound.
Recently someone said they thought greyhounds were high energy dogs.  I had to laugh, politely.

Here's the bright eyed girl, seemingly ready for adventure.  Ha!

Faith in her morning nap,

afternoon nap,

and, of course, evening nap

To be fair, these rest periods are interrupted with brief zoomies outside where she runs like the racing girl she used to be, round and round the horse trailer.  OK, now that that five minutes is out of the way, it's time to return to the house and settle onto the couch or the bed.  

And that's the life of a greyhound... 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

And Then There Were Nine

A quick update --

We lost Ruby Dee yesterday.  It was just a matter of trying to make her comfortable. 

What makes her loss particularly poignant is she was one of the first four hens we got in 2015.  Now only Sweet Pea remains.  Golda was killed by a predator and Emmy Lou (1) died in a similar fashion to Ruby.  Both Isa Browns.  I have to wonder.

I'll miss Rubes.  She'd respond to her name.  And could be a little firecracker.  And she was only four.

 Ruby Dee strutting her stuff

Ruby on the left, Sweet Pea on the right

The "senior" hens tend to hang together -- Sweet Pea, Buffy, Ruby and Jo (although only three years old Jo goes to bed early with the seniors.)  My guess is Buffy will miss Ruby; they had been together more frequently of late.

Goodbye sweet girl.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Boy, Has It Been a Week

Can I tell you about my week?  Cuz it's been a doozy.  And the fun keeps  on going.

Let's start at the beginning.
Last Monday the four donks got into the hay aisle and ransacked the supplement can and the grain can.  For those readers not acquainted with the perils of the equine world, this can be kind of catastrophic.  All four were lethargic (well, except Gabby), but Luigi was the worst.  I was pretty worried the boy was going to colic.  Got him up and walking to stimulate some gut action.  I won't enumerate all my worries and reactionary techniques, but long story short, everyone survived.  We've doubled locked that area of the barn and I've decided to eliminate the grain; it was a once-a-week treat.

Stinkpot Luigi

The next day Faith chose to sniff out the hidden Easter candy and devour it.  Yup, chocolate.  Yes, she too survived.

Now Ruby Dee is acting pretty strangely and I don't have a good feeling about this one.  I've followed the DIY suggestions for an egg-bound chicken which her symptoms suggest, but have not seen any improvement.  I'm very afraid we're going to lose her.

Adding to the stress is my knee surgery scheduled for Friday.  Trying to get doctor's reports to the right people (call after call after call) and billing errors straightened out (call after call after call) is testing my patience.  As of this moment, I'm still making call after call to the hospital and equipment vendor.  Apparently this is a test.

Earlier in the week I learned my teeny tiny job at a local bread store will end.  I've enjoyed it since I retired from my "real" job four years ago and will miss my boss and my customers.  He has two stores and is closing the one I worked at.

Then there's the area hay shortage.  We got the last load from my hay guy on the 23rd so I made call after call (see a pattern here?) to find some hay to get us through to this year's first cutting.  A huge thank you to my former horse farm owner, Dee, who sold me some of her stash.

The salvation in today's activities was my yoga class.  I've been a teacher for many years and have a most wonderful class.  Today concluded our spring session, with the surgery date timed for it's conclusion.  I won't be able to rejoin them for a few months and will miss the laughter, the groans, and the interest in all things yoga.

So dear readers, this may be the last post for a bit.  Sitting at the computer will be very owwie for a while after this knee gets "fixed".  Send me good thoughts and I'll return with the antics of our crew as soon as I can.    

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Chicken Poop Be gone!

Finally, winter ickiness from the chicken coop has been cleaned out.  Hallelujah!

The girls were passionate, if not effective assistants.  In my way pretty much the whole time.  But now we have clean shavings fit for the little princess vultures.  Of course it didn't stay poop-free for very long.  Alas.

And the second bedroom in their 2-bedroom condo.

The far door leads to the porch...

... filled with fresh straw.  I hadn't realized how much straw I had gradually put in there over the past few months; it took two mighty full wheelbarrow loads to cart the soiled (that's a pretty charming word for what we all know it was) straw away.

But now for the BIG news.

The donkeys' favorite farrier, Koren, came for the first spring visit today to provide pedicure services and little Sugar, who usually runs away and has to be corralled into the barn to get worked on, was a cooperative angel.  It's a huge turnaround for this little girl and I'm pleased as punch.


Because of her exemplary behavior, she was rewarded with many carrot pieces, rubs, and "what a good girl"s.  I hope the next farrier visit goes even better!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Superior Water

It is a heretofore little known fact that donkey water is superior in every way to chicken water.  Much much more delicious.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Leaping into Spring

Oh yes, oh yes.  It took us an interminably long time to get here, but the season of revitalization has arrived.
Spring, spring, spring.

And the irrefutable signs?  Donkeys taking luxurious sun baths, instead of huddling in the barn.

Check out the two in the background

And then there are the sand hill cranes.  We have had a resident couple in our rural neighborhood for years. They slowly wander from yard to yard on those long stilt-like legs.  So peaceful.  Although they have raised the ire of neighbors by meandering through their vegetable garden, grazing at will.

The past few days they've been checking out our pasture, but I just have not been able to catch a good photo.  Instead I'll give you a past look at the couple.  They just make me smile.

Couple with offspring.  

Now I'm assuming the same couple has returned year after year, but perhaps the offspring have taken over residency.