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.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Donkey Blog Friend

It truly seems to be a minor miracle.  Within two days 80% of the ice from the driveway has melted and it's possible to walk out to the donks, worry-free.  Hallelujah!

Yes, the trade-off is the mud.  Ankle deep right at the gate.  But it isn't ice!

But I'll now veer off from the topic of weather to turn to a blogging bud.  Let me introduce you to Kris at The Dancing Donkey  Her donkey photos are pretty darn amusing and let me add, as she well knows, I'm not so secretly in love with Ben.  He's a big beauty and I'm completely smitten.  Although her crew are in New York, I wouldn't be adverse to secretly whisking Ben to Michigan.

She has recently been dabbling with rocks, glue and epoxy resin and has created some masterpieces, one of which she graciously sent my way.

I'm sure you're as impressed with her artistic skills as I am. 
Thanks again, Kris.

And now, because I know you need a Luigi fix, here's my most recent snap of the boy.

He had just enjoyed a couple of donkey cookies (yes as had the girls too) and was licking his chops for the longest time.  See the tongue wrapped around?  Yummm...

Monday, March 4, 2019

Boring, Whiny, Super Boring

As I pondered what in the world to talk about on this post -- since there's absolutely nothing new in the chonkey world -- each topic was rejected.

Do I tell you about how my car has been in the shop for three weeks because I hit a deer?
No.  Boring.

Do I tell you how I have a pulled muscle in my back that has made normal life impossible?
No.  Whiny.

Do I tell you how I bought a new (used) Oreck vacuum and now don't have to lug the heavy beast up the stairs?
No.  Super boring.

So instead I'll provide the recipe for the soup I made last night for dinner.  I think it equals that of my favorite middle eastern restaurant.

Crushed Lentil Soup

I followed it to the letter, except for the saffron, which I don't have in my spice inventory.  And blenderizing the entirety of the pot.  Only half for me.

See what you think.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Ice Woes

I write this having just come back inside from morning feed.  The first words to Rick, "Well, that was semi-hideous!"

All of us are now officially tired of the snow and ice.  Shouldn't come as a surprise; by late February we're always more than ready for some weather changes.  The problem lies in the transition.

This morning upon leaving the cozy (and may I add ice-free house) the thermometer said 41 degrees (F).  OK, that bodes well.  Confidently I strode out only to encounter smooth-as-silk ice leaving the garage and again when leaving the driveway to veer over to the donkey yard.  Pure, unadulterated ice.  No patches of crunchy snow to gain some footing.  Nope.  I had not worn my cleats -- the driveway looked like a dream.  Foolish me.

No traction whatsoever.  I was sliding down the very small incline down into the donkey yard.  Hanging on to the fence posts for support.  I made no attempt to bring the manure wheelbarrow in - can't do that while hanging on to fence posts!

So to sum up -- donkeys are sick of it and are longingly gazing at the pasture saying, "when will it be green again?"  Chickens are tired of the snow impeding their outside adventures.

I think the only one who doesn't seem fazed is Gunner, who can always find ways to root around without slippage.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Tools Of The Trade

Within the past eight days we have had ice, heavy snow, polar votex, then back to ice and mud.
All within Eight Days!
And yet, not many who have lived in Michigan find this unusual.

Eight days ago I was using my cleats

a walking stick with a sharp end to stab the ice

and a torch to get the gate latch open

A week ago the snow came.  Oh boy, did it come!
A muck rake is a fine snow clear a path for the manure wheelbarrow.

If you peek through the bushes below, you can see Rick plowing the driveway.

And now after days with temperatures in the 40's, the snow has melted down to the ice hiding beneath.  Ergo the combo of ice and mud.  


I'd much prefer a winter of snow, just snow, please.