Thursday, April 23, 2020

Planting a Garden

If you ever wanted to start a garden, this is the time to do it.  Connor decided to get an early start on his planting and he is hoping for a good crop this year:

Of course, one of the hardest parts of gardening is keeping the varmints out. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Coping Strategies

Like most of the world, there is a lot of stress in my life at the moment.  Things like: having pneumonia during a pandemic that destroys lungs and no health insurance.  Not getting a paycheck since March 13, not likely to get one any time soon.  Being forced to decide between taking my permanently f***** up lungs onto the front lines with highly inadequate PPE or getting fired because, more often than not, the real definition of "essential" is "expendable".   Unexpected vet bills.

I've always believed in trying to channel negative emotions into something useful.  I don't always manage it, but I try.  Fortunately, I do live in the country where I have been practicing social distancing all of my life and I have room to expend some of the stress.  I'd never make it in a tiny NYC apartment at the best of times, let alone now.  At least here on my hill, I don't have to worry about social distance. 

I've been tackling some projects that I've had on the back burner for too long.  Such as: patching the holes in the sides of this borrowed trailer so I can teach everyone to load without worrying that a hoof would get severed.

I cobbled together a dog transport so that we can go on a fun hiking excursion that requires driving to access, but the trail is too rough for the car.  I thought it was a great idea - Connor and Kaia need a bit more convincing.  They seem to think we are headed off to the pound.

I went and cut a huge pile of willow shoots and planted four long rows of willows to be a wind-break.  Then, I had to immediately build a bunch of fence to keep them from being unplanted and eaten by a bunch of reprobates.

The above mentioned reprobates completely ignored the already existing row of willows, but I had LOTS of help with these tender morsels.

Over at Dave's place, there is another new face.  Say hello to Molly.

She came out of an auction in rough shape.  Underweight, scabby skin, looong hooves and the worst case of thrush I've seen in years.  The first time I worked on her feet, they started bleeding from the collateral grooves when I just touched them with a hoof pick to clean them.  I ended up putting a full set of casts on with my thrush treatment under them.  It has been a couple of months now and decent food, shelter and proper hoof care have her feeling and looking great.  Very definite possibility that there could be a baby donkey in that belly-bump.  If that happens I might have to go "work on baby's feet" every week or so - that is my excuse and I'm sticking to it😁.

Tessa decided to add a bit of "fun" a few weeks ago by getting a sudden, high fever of 106.   The vet and I agreed over the phone that it had to be anaplasmosis because the ticks didn't want us to forget them and their nasty diseases just because of a little pandemic stealing all the attention.

I got to practice my phlebotomy skills and Tess is all better now.  Bank accounts aren't happy, but the horse is.

Speaking of happy horses....this is Tessa with her new love, Sammy.  Riding Buddy brought him home last year so that Hawkeye could officially retire.  He is a 16 year old Morgan cross and he is as enamored with Tessa as she is with him.  He is also very much enjoying his new life as a special unicorn.

Speaking of unicorns....the dark parts of Qilin's tail are growing in black, with a few white hairs in the center.  I think that makes him a bay, but his mane is growing in dark brown so maybe not.  The fur on his belly, which is thinner than a donkey's and thicker than a horse's, is sort of grey mixed with red.  So, his coloring is perfectly appropriate for a dragon/unicorn hybrid.

My little sneak-thief found an entire sheet of bubble wrap somewhere.  I swear, I have no idea where it came from, but she loves bubble wrap.  She doesn't shred or tear it, she just pops the bubbles.  Admit it - you loves popping bubble too.

I've been branching out with my "seedlings".  This fellow is for a Corgi-loving friend going through some hard stuff.

I've thought about taking orders.  Would anyone be interested in a "seedling" of your favorite critter?  I'm gonna have to buy hay somehow.

Those are my coping strategies. I hope all of you are finding some of your own.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

I Tried

I really meant to write a blog post tonight, but it's just not working.  Fortunately, everything else is on the farm is cruising along.