Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Today's Projects and a Couple of Helpers

Gathering items needed to start insulating the outside faucets. Mr. Worm is making sure we have everything in one place so there is no walking back and forth to the barn. Mr. Worm has a story. Last winter he showed up out of the blue. Probably a dump off. He was very skinny. He was untouchable! In the beginning all he was, was a grey blur. I'd open the front door to go outside to feed and he would take off like a shot. Day after day, week after week it was the same thing.

Then he quit running all the way away. He would actually stop at the end of the sidewalk and watch and wait until I went away. But still no getting to close or otherwise he was gone.

Pretty soon I noticed he was living in the barn. He would curl up on the horse blankets, but as soon as I'd walk in, off he'd go. Again, day after day, week after week this went on.

One day there was a bit of progress. When I walked into the barn, he actually stayed where he was sleeping and didn't run off. But he sure did keep an eagle eye on me. I ignored him and pretended not to see him. Again, day after day, week after week this went on.

Then, when he would come up to the house to eat he didn't run away anymore. I ignored him giving him his safe area.

One glorious day without thinking I bent down and petted him! And he didn't run away. Oh sure, he was cautious as all heck, but he stayed there. I continued to pet him and he realized that being touched wasn't going to hurt. That was a breakthrough.

Now, he is my shadow. Wherever I am, he is. He got his name Mr. Worm because well, he had so many worms they were crawling all over his rearend! Yuk! A few wormings took care of that problem.

Bonnie, Bob A Loo and Inger coming over to check out what the heck I am doing. Once they realized I was insulating a faucet they walked off.

Mr. Worm checking my work.

Working on insulating the faucet where the stalls are, who else walks over to check out the work, but of course, Mr. Worm.

Done insulating the faucet/pipe in the stall area. All I have to do is put an insulated cover over the handle and it's good for the cold temps that will be here very quickly.

After the insulating was done, it was time to put the grain into the barn.

After the grain went into the barn, it was time to repair a hose. Duct tape is my friend. That is how I take care of small leaks in the hoses. Well, this required more than duct tape. It was time to actually cut off the bad piece, and install a hose repair unit. Another 'to do' project is to sand and repaint my work table. As you can see, it really needs to be spruced up!

While I was repairing the hose, Shortbus jumped onto the table to also inspect my handiwork. Shortbus and a friend of his were dumped off here last summer. After awhile I noticed Shortbus wasn't all 'there' in the head. Hence the name Shortbus. There is a good reason he isn't the brightest color in the crayon box. There is a BB lodged in the back of his head! Someone had shot him with a BB gun! Grrrrr!!! I took him to the vet and was told that that yes, the BB could be taken out, but where it is lodged at, wasn't going to hurt him. The damage was already done to his brain when the BB hit him. So, we all just watch out for him.

Hose is repaired. No more leaks!! Yay!

There is one tool that I think everyone should have. It is called a Leatherman Tool ( it is pictured on the bottom right). This tool is right up there with sliced bread! It has two kinds of screwdrivers, knife, needlenose pliers, file, wire cutter, tape measure, bottle opener,pick and a couple of other items. And it folds up just like a pocket knife.
Until next time.............................

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Hoof Trimming Day

Today was hoof trimming day for three of our hooved animal family.

The first picture is of one of Arnold, the worlds most handsomest donkey ever, well, (that is what we call him) hooves. It shows my farrier using his knife to trim.

The second picture is of a hoof on our Mustang aka The Dragon!

The third picture is of our Rocky Mountain mare Pewter's hoof. She is very prone to laminitis ( which is an inflammation of the hooves and can be deadly if not taken care of). Pewter is on a very strict diet to make sure she doesn't have another bout of laminitis. At the end of this blog I will explain what laminitis it.

This is Pewter and Joe my farrier. Pewter is such a good girl she stands there like a lady and lets Joe make her feet all pretty.

This is AJ aka The Dragon. She is good girl and stands there, but as you can see she is not a happy camper. AJ is also on a very strict diet because she has a weight issue. Heck, she can look at a picture of grass and gain weight. She is what is called a very easy keeper.

This is Arnold, the world's most handsomest donkey ever. When we first got him as a rescue he was underweight and did not want his feet touched in any way shape or form. It took a lot of hours, patience and committment to get him to where he is now. He is so good now that he knows if he just stands there quietly and get his feet trimmed, the sooner it is over. My farrier is very gentle and showed Arnold that getting his feet trimmed is not a bad thing and that nothing will hurt him.

Arnold's front hoof getting polished up. Arnold's feet were very bad when we got him. And with the help of Joe, my farrier, his feet have come such a long way. In fact, Joe has kept a picture log of Arnold's feet from the first time he trimmed them and the progress those donkey feet have come. Arnold's feet will never be normal, but they sure are close.

This is Joe. He is in no doubt the best farrier around the valley ( in my opinion). He is gentle, caring, knows hooves inside and out, has a great sense of humour, etc.. Joe has been trimming all of our horses and donkeys for years. As long as Joe is a farrier and as long as we live here in the valley, no other farrier will ever touch any of our horses or donkeys feet.
****Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae, sensitive tissues that connect the hoof wall to the coffin bone and other structures of the hoof.
****The blood supply in the foot is reduced or compromised in the laminitic foot. leading to cell death.
****Lamintis can strike any breed of horse but mostly occurs in mature horses.

A little side note about the acorns. We have over fifty Oak trees on the place. Fifty oak trees drop a lot of acorns. Guess what we do when the acorns start dropping? Yup, we rake them up and get them out of the pastures. No, of course we don't get all the acorns, but we do get quite a few.

Until next time.......................

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hay, Chickens & Smoke

Apollo aka Pollo Pollo Big Butt staring at the chickens at the front door. He does not like the all! Drives him crazy now that they have started coming to the front door. Having the chickens by the house is good and bad. Good because they are eating the bugs ( especially the spiders), but bad because they are pooing everywhere. Thank goodness for hoses to clean the poo off the walkway.

This is a pic of the smoke here in the valley. It is really bad. You can almost get a whiff of the smoke inside the house. Air quality is heading towards unhealthy.
This pic was taken looking in the same direction as the picture above with all the smoke. It gives you an idea how smoky it is here.

Today we bucked four ton of hay. Meaning, we picked it up off the field, loaded it onto the trailer, drove home, unloaded and stacked into the barn. It took two trips to get all the hay. It is a nice feeling to have hay in the barn.
The chickens have gifted six eggs this week. Guess what we are having for breakfast tomorrow! Ha Ha
Until next time......................................

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This n That

It was only a matter of time before Stew Pot showed the girls where the cat food is. At the front door!!! Imagine my surprise when I opened the door to see the chickies helping themselves to the cat food. Although Jan ( the pretty girl bottom right) ate a spider! Good girl.

This is Rose. She is eleven now and around here when you reach a certain age, you can get away with just about anything. One of the rules is no dogs on the furniture. Except for Rose! She knows she is a Princess.

Had to get dog and cat food this morning and on my way back home stopped off at my favorite feed store. Wanted to get a couple of those fake eggs to put in the nest boxes, but they were out. The folks that work there are really cream of the crop. One of them asked me if I had any plastic Easter eggs. Um, nope. The next thing I know I was being handed two plastic Easter eggs. They had gone upstairs and dug through their Easter holiday decoration box.
Put one plastic egg into two separate nest boxes. And low and behold this afternoon there was a real egg in each box! Don't know if the fake eggs really did any good, but not complaining. The girlies gifted two eggs!

Two 40# bags of dog food and four bags of cat food along with a 28# box of scoopable kitty litter. This will last about three weeks here.
Was unable to get a pic of the smoke that has filled the valley here due to the fires that started this week and now there are two more burning. The smoke is so thick you can actually taste it!
Until next time..........................

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How To Get The Adrenalin Rushing!!!!!

****If you don't like snake pictures, please skip today's blog*********** This morning my sister from Texas calls me and tells me that she had a surprise in her truck. She had driven to the post office, went to get out of her truck, looked down and saw a four foot snake right next to her vehicle! She jumped over and away from the snake.

Then she watched as the snake crawled up the tire and into where the engine is. It curled up against the firewall. If you look close you can see the snake.

As she is standing there with the hood open, people came up and asked if she was having truck problems. Nope, a snake problem!

Someone asked her what kind of snake. She said a big one!

A gentleman said he would get it out. She said, nope, just wait for Animal Control. He says he can get it. The next thing she knows the guy has a screwdriver and is trying to get the snake. Well, after the snake turned and looked at the guy, it decided it was time to move on. And move on it the inside of her truck!!! It had found a hole and in it went.

My sister calls her hubby, explains the situation, he comes and they trade vehicles. She is not going to drive her truck knowing there is a snake as a passenger.

He drives the truck home, searches for the snake and finds nothing, tells my sister he can't find it and it must have gotten out either at the post office or there at the house.

Um, no proof it is no longer inside the truck, not driving the truck!


that is how one gets their Adrenalin going in the morning!!!

Yes, I have been giving her a hard time about it. You know, all the snake jokes.

Love Ya Sis!!!!!

Until next time..................................

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chickens and Their Gifts

Today the temps have reached yet again, triple digits! Yes, at the end of September and we are getting this ridiculous heat wave. Ugh!!!!! Tomorrow is suppose to be another hot one. Come on snow!!!!!

Anyway, to keep the chickies kind of cool I put this fan inside their house. They love it! Most of them stand where the fan is blowing and you can just see the relief on their little faces. I have been letting the chickies out daily to roam around and as you can see in this picture a few of them have found the hay barn. Kirby the cat is looking up at Eva on the hay wondering what makes her so darn special to be up there. After all, that is where he likes to nap.

This is a close up of Eva on the hay.

This is Spazzy Hen ( the red hen pictured below). She and Stew Pot the rooster decided to move over here from the neighbors awhile back. For the longest time it was just her and Stew Pot. He would be so protective over her that he barely allowed her to eat and drink and do what a chicken is suppose to do. And he was always having his way with her. So much so that he put sores on her back. No one could get close to her without her 'spazzing' out, hence the name she was given.

A few week ago I decided to move Spazzy into the chicken coop so she could eat and drink and heal from Stew Pot's ways with her. I waited until dusk, quickly picked her up and while I was walking to the coop I could feel her heart beating so fast. Plus how thin she was. It took a few days for everyone to get along, but it worked out.

She was so hungry and thirsty. I made a place just for her, her food and water inside the hen house so she wouldn't be bothered and it might settle her down a bit.

Well, apparently she is feeling better now. The sores which were bloody spots with scabs have gone away leaving bare skin. Stew Pot pretty much leaves her alone now. He has plenty of other girls now. She isn't eating ravenously anymore and I can pet her without her 'spazzing' out. I think she is a happy girl.

Anyway, today I checked for eggs and there were two waiting for me. One little green one ( I don't know who gifted me that one) and one very much larger brown egg. Now I know for a fact that the large brown egg came from Spazzy because all the other eggs the girls are laying are way smaller. Not sure how old Spazzy is but am guessing a year or older.

Here are the two eggs that were gifted today. See the difference in size? Good girl Spazzy!

Until next time.................................

Monday, September 21, 2009

Want to take a trip to town?

This picture should be at the bottom. Another fire broke out late this afternoon on a hill where some very good friends of mine live ( thankfully on the other side of the hill) and is causing evacuations. This fire has grown very large in a very short period of time.

This is what the fire looked like when it started. The only thing we can see is the smoke due to where we live and how far it is from us. This picture was taken from the back of our house.

You can see the smoke from the first fire that started this morning in Ashland which is 45 minutes from us. This fire has also caused evacuations and is growing. This picture was taken after we crossed the river. Sorry, but some of the pictures are a bit out of order.

We are still on our way to town.

This road is very long. Takes about seven minutes to get to the end. On the right is Lower Table Rock. We live behind it.

Have to cross the river to get into town. This is the Rogue River. It isn't a very good picture. This river is quite beautiful.

Fifteen minutes later we have arrived in town. Well, the first town we have to go to today. This is the Horse Blanket. My fav store for horse tack. I adore their used tack section. Great deals to be found. No, we didn't stop off here today.

Second stop is the library. I love the library. Be prepared, we will be here for a littel while.

Okay, we need to stop off here. The have work socks on sale for $2.99 a pair. This store is the second town.

A quick stop at Goodwill which is in the same town as Big R. I love Goodwill. You can get almost brand new clothes at a fraction of the cost of department store prices. And the money goes to a good cause. Today we got three pair of jeans and two really nice heavy sweaters all for $22.95. Another of my fav stores.

Last stop is as you can see, Wal Mart Supercenter. Have to pick up a few items. We won't be here very long.This is another town.

Almost home. Yay!!!! We have been gone almost three hours. Nothing is close by here so yes, it takes some driving to get where you need to go.

Getting closer to the homestead.

Finally, we are home. I don't know about you, but I'm done with going to town(s) for awhile.
Hope you enjoyed the ride and the scenery.
Until next time...............................

Friday, September 18, 2009

Insulating and paneling another wall

I finally got out to the chicken house to insulate and put up paneling on one side wall. This picture shows a couple of the girls checking out the new work that was done inside.

This wall still needs to get insulated and paneled. Hoping to get to it sometime next week. Although with triple digits arriving on Monday and lasting through Wednesday, I am thinking at the end of the week is when I'll get to finishing the last wall.

Now that some of the girls are beginning to lay eggs, it was time to put in nest boxes. On the left is a kitty litter pan, in the middle is a rubber feed bowl, and the last nest box is the top ( hood) of the kitty litter pan. Not knowing what they were going to prefer, I wanted to give them choices. Today there was an egg in the hood nest box. This is the wall I insulated and paneled today.

Speaking of eggs. As of today the girls have gifted three beautiful eggs. Hoping for one more. Then there will be two for hubby and two for me. Looking forward to eating our very first, home grown eggs. Wonder what color the yolk will be? Has to be more yellow than the ones from the supermarket.

After I was done with the chicken house, it was off to clean the inside of the hay barn of all the loose hay. Getting hay this weekend so needed the barn cleaned.
Always something that needs to be done. Wouldn't have it any other way.
Until next time....................