Thursday, November 30, 2017

Enjoy it while it lasts

By this time last year, we already had over 30 inches of snow.  This year, we have been having a lovely, extended Fall.  You can tell which one we prefer.

Friday, November 24, 2017


A scrumptious feast...

Some good conversation...

A little bit of chaos...

And some time to put your feet up at the end of the day. 

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Sweet Puppy Goodness

A while ago, I introduced you to Baby Bea, Farm Buddy's sister's new puppy.  There was much agonizing about getting a new puppy because they were worried that the old dog might feel upset and upstaged by a new puppy.

It has been my experience though, that most, not all, but most, older dogs enjoy having a puppy around.  It is the nature of dogs to be a part of a pack and pack means older dogs raising and training the pups.  A puppy can often bring a lot of new life and joy into an old dog's world and a good old dog is the best trainer a puppy can have.

Linda was going to put off getting a puppy even though she really wanted one, but then a friend of hers who raises Goldens had just the right puppy and the temptation was unbearable. While FB and her sister were obsessing over this, I told them that Linda should just get the puppy.  Life is short and if you have the time, space, money and energy for a puppy then you should have one.  If you have a pair of sweet, older Goldens who love company, than you should definitely get the puppy.

Fortunately, I was right.  Sadie adopted little Bea after the first few days and absolutely loves her new puppy.

So does everyone else.

Bea has been a big hit....

and, she is learning all she needs to know from her mentors.

 There is nothing like a good pack.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Dust Settling

Tessa is doing very well down at Riding Buddy's place.  She is in loooove with Hawkeye and is enjoying being a horse for a while.  It did go to her head for a bit (doesn't it always?) and she started to behave like a foolish, lovesick twit (or like a herd-bound horse instead of a sensible donkey).  I went down and had a talk with her and showed RB some ground-work exercises to do with her and it did not take long for Tess to remember that she is far to mature and sensible for such nonsense.  She is now having fun going for walks with RB and she is basking in all the extra attention she has been getting.

Not having her around has certainly been an adjustment for me.  Oddly enough, I don't miss her around the barn too much since the donkeys take up such a vast space in the universe, but it is a jolt when I drive by RB's on my way to work and see Tessa out in her field.  Even when I am expecting it, seeing my horse out in the wrong field never ceases to give me a twinge of panic and make me feel like I need to rush home and check my fences.  I guess there are some things that are just hardwired into the deepest, darkest crevices of a horsewoman's heart.

The donkeys were more curious about Tessa's departure than upset by it.  They were also a bit jealous of her adventure.  Emma and Ramsey remain inseparable and there was no real change in their behavior.  Ben, on the other hand, spent a few days cautiously watching for her return and then seemed to take a deep breath and relax.  He was quite nervous around Tessa when he first got here and it took him several months to feel comfortable living with her.  He did finally get relaxed with her, but he is noticeably happier to be biggest equine around.  He has taken to hanging out in all of Tessa's favorite spots

Since her departure, I have even caught Ben playing with a toy several times, which he never did before.  He hangs out with Emma and Ramsey and the three of them are becoming a very tight little group.  Ben used to be a little bit shy and aloof - not anymore.  He has become almost as much a velcro donkey as Ramsey.  If I walk in the pasture now, I have Ben on my right, Ramsey on my left and Emma just behind, nudging my elbow.

Oddly enough, I think the donkeys spend more time outside the barn and are getting a bit more exercise.  They used to spend a lot of time in the barn and Tessa would would stand about 30 feet outside of it.  I always thought that Tessa wanted to be out more, but would not go out without her friends.  Now I wonder if Tessa wanted them to stay in.  She has always been very maternal toward and protective of the donkeys, especially toward Emma. I wonder now if she wanted them in the barn where she could watch over them.

Mind you, the donkeys are still total barn babies and it is a very, very rare raindrop that ever falls on one of them, but they are out and about more.

I always find it fascinating to see the way herd dynamics change and adapt to every new situation.  I have been observing and studying animals all my life, and yet they never cease to stop surprising me. 

All-in-all, this massive shift has been a big adjustment for everyone, but it is working out.  The increased riding time has not happened yet, but it is always hard this time of year anyway with the short days and bad weather.  Now that hunting season is in full swing, we can't be out in the woods regardless, so, for now, it is a moot point anyway.  Tessa is happy pretending to be a horse and the donkeys are happy being donkeys so all is right in their worlds.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Shooting and Shooting

I officially declared my camera dead last night, pulled its battery, memory card and tossed it.  It died the night I was chiseling the holes for my barn posts, but I had some hope of reviving it.  The nasty, grinding, squealing noise it made when I tried to restart it changed my mind.

I need a new camera and all the big holiday scams are coming up so please tell me what your favorite camera is.  I am not terribly fussy, but I do have a couple of criteria:

  1. It has to fit in my pocket.  It doesn't have to be tiny, but I carry it around all the time so a  "real" camera is not an option.
  2. It needs to have a rechargeable battery, not "AA" because of above.  I prefer rechargeable lithium because regular batteries never last more than a week.
  3. I don't care about wifi, GPS, touchscreens, etc. I just want it to take good pictures.
Any suggestions??

I may as well be doing some camera shopping tomorrow since it is opening day of rifle season for deer and we all have to stay close to the house and out of the woods.  
Image may contain: text and outdoor

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Buddy System

 The super scary insulated water tub finally made it all the way into the barn.

Just in time too as the weather has taken a sudden dramatic dip into winter.  Ben still had some concerns that the terrible water demons might come back.  Scary monsters which should not be confused with the frisbee demon.

After much careful thought and wary inspection, Ben finally decided to put his faith in the buddy system.  If Emma says it's safe, then it must be safe.

It's always good to have a buddy when confronting monsters. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Rioting Protestors

This Fall, I have been trying, again, to get everyone to accept grazing muzzles.  All I can say is that I have finally found something that all the donkeys agree on wholeheartedly. 

And yes, Ramsey's muzzle is half off, Emma is in the wrong place and the fence is all messed up.  That's what happens when the populace starts rioting in the streets.

I finally fenced off the yard again and let them all out on the lawn, much to Connor's dismay (you can never please everybody).

There was much excitement at first at the joy of being loose in forbidden territory. 

The excitement quickly morphed into dismayed disgust and betrayal when they found that the muzzles worked on the lawn too.  There was much complaining, demanding and pleading.  I finally opted for the better part of valor and left them to hide work on my new shed.

Maybe by the time Spring gets here they'll have accepted the necessity.  One can hope right?

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Comfort Food

I don't normally post recipes because I am a highly indifferent cook.  However, with all the chaos in the world (which I am not indifferent to, but neither do I have any words for), I thought we could all use a bit of comfort food. 

This is a super easy recipe that even non-cooks will like.  It allows you to consume large amounts of sugar-free, calorie-free, fat-free, gluten-free, guilt-free chocolate.  It has ZERO calories and may even help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.  There are no dishes to wash and the ingredient list is super short.  All you need are two ingredients:

1. First, you will need a pair of these.

They come in a variety of flavors, just pick the one that appeals to you.

2.  Second, you need a chocolate donkey (you can substitute any other type of furry critter here, dappled donkeys also provide very nice results, but the chocolate really melts down nicely.)

3.  Apply the first ingredient liberally and firmly to the second ingredient and you will soon have a lovely pile of melted chocolate.  Feel free to consume as much as you like as often as you like.  It is guaranteed to make you, and your chocolate, feel better. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Taking the Devil's Word

After reading Ben's Tale Of Terror, you will understand why I have to make any changes to the water system very carefully and gradually.  Ben is fully stubborn enoug to die of dehydration before he compromises his values. 

My water hydrant is just on the other side of that barn wall to the left and the stock tank is just below it.  This winter, I would like to go back to using my insulated, heated water tub instead of the stock tank.

It was not big enough for four animals, which is why I had to use the tank heater last winter, but it is just right for the three donkeys.  If I can get Ben to drink out of it.

In the hope of convincing a very skeptical Ben that the blue tub is not actually filled with donkey-eating-monsters, I've had it sitting out in front of the barn for a week now so he can get used to it. 

I move the tub to a new spot every few days and Ramsey has been demonstrating its safety.  He loves the blue tub and prefers it over all other water sources, which just goes to show how fickle the individual preferences of donkeys can be. 

Ramsey is doing his best to set a good example for Ben.  Whether Ben will take the word of a Little Brown Devil is yet to be seen