Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Winter Won't Let Go

Another snow dump today, probably six inches all told.  Just when we thought spring was around the corner.

Taken about 6:00 p.m., lending that bluish hue.

It was a given donkeys would be huddled in the barn.  Go out in that white stuff while it's still falling??  You gotta be kidding.  Particularly when they know fresh bedding will magically appear along with plenty of dinner.

The kicker is much of the snow had melted and we were all getting a little giddy with the thought of spring sunshine.

I took this shot to prove the donkeys are still on their mission of total wood destruction.  It was taken just four days ago.  No snow!

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Rule of thumb when working with equines is always end on a positive note.  The Golden Book of  Blogging requires the same.   Here's my "aah" moment.  Love it when I can get an orchid to rebloom.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Soup and A Smile

Simple and delicious.  What more could you want from a soup recipe.

I'm sure you've tried some one-pot wonders, which are often regrettable.  This one, though, hits the mark.  And couldn't be easier.

Tuscan Farro Soup

Tuscan Farro Soup

I did sub a can of great northern beans for the dried beans indicated, and omitted the parmesan at the end (trying to eliminate dairy).  Oh, and added a bit of tuscan herbs I had in the pantry.  The farro does not overwhelm, but adds a very nice texture. 

As you take a break from supping and dreaming of Tuscany, take a look at this little gem.

Mr. DeFede tells the story of the day air space over the U.S. came to a halt on 9/11 and planes were diverted to Gander, Newfoundland.  The hospitality thousands of passengers received in Gander and surrounding small towns was remarkable and a testament to compassion lurking around the corner, perhaps when we believe it to be disappearing.  I will admit it's not the best crafted book, but the storyline will grab you.

Hopefully both the soup and the book delight.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

There Are Days

There are days when I lose all patience with the animals and just shake my head and curse the heavens.

Let's look at this day, shall we?

A beautiful sunny, rather warm, morning greeted me as I pulled the little red sled with water and hot slop (hydrated hay cubes and timothy pellets with some oats and beet pulp for good measure) out to the donks.  I open the gate and for the five millionth time this winter am stopped in my tracks as donkeys completely block my way.  They will not move.

Finally the crowd thins and they descend upon the slop bucket (still on the sled) before I can proceed two feet.  I get through the crowd and try to get some slop into one of the feed bowls and four donkeys crowd me until I fear for my safety.  Again,  this has played out so many times I could spit.  So you say, well, why the heck don't you try another approach.  I have no idea how to get through the gate and get the slop into four bowls without them causing a ruckus.

Finally they are eating.

The scene in the barn is disheartening.  Manure from one end to the other.  My routine is to clean up manure at the end of chores, but this morning I couldn't walk back and forth from the coop door to the end of the barn without tripping over little frozen manure golf balls.  I had cleaned up manure yesterday morning, yesterday mi-day and yesterday evening and there was even more this morning.

I am sick of manure.

Now to clean out the chicken coop.  I fling open the door and ten chickens rush out into the barn, pecking, talking, finding their way into the hay aisle.  Good, now I can have a little elbow room to clean the coop.  No.  As soon as I step into the coop and start to clean they come rushing back, sure I am about to spread treats in every corner.  It takes several trips back and forth and for each trip I have to take mintsy little steps for fear of stepping on someone.  And, this happens e.v.e.r.y morning.

The last thing to do is put some Purina Enrich into each donkey feed bowl.  It is often knocked out of my hand before I can get it into the bowl.  Patience = 0/

At last morning chores are done and I am outta there.

Rick and I decide to have breakfast out and upon our return I notice the donkeys surrounding the only remaining tree in the pasture.  A lovely wild crabapple tree.  And they have stripped the bark.  It has beautiful spring blooms, provides shade for the chickens on hot days.  And it is decimated.

And I ask myself why I have these damn animals.

Monday, February 3, 2020

On Our Toes With Yoyo Weather

Recent weather conditions would lead one to believe Mother Nature is a little tipsy.

Icy on Friday --
I was sliding down the gradual downward slope right at the gate so threw some shavings to get a grip.  Always works like a charm.

By Sunday, this beautiful scene greeted us.
New fallen snow covering any ice.

Today we hit 45-50 degrees so snow is melting but tomorrow morning may be a slippery trip out to the donks.

As for donkeys, Luigi has turned into my cuddle boy.  Those who have been with me for more than two years know Francesca was my wondrous cuddle girl.  But Luigi has stepped up to the plate.  I love the face snuggles and nose rubs he allows.

At the moment I snapped this, it was hard to determine if he wanted more loving or thought I was getting a treat.

Back in the house, we have another moocher.  This boy comes on the run every time I cut into a carrot.  I swear he can hear that knife cut when he's outside.

He was doing his best begging routine as I cut carrots for the donkeys.  Although we're careful not to overdo it, a couple of slices ended up in the cute mouth.  My middle name is sucker.