Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hello Again!

Oh how I would love to share my internet woes with you...
but I vowed to keep this blog free from complaining. 
So... I will just share the fact that I have no internet (still)
and that this blog is coming to you via my neighbor's internet...
which is no small feat since I have to carry my whole computer over to their house.

But, I have missed you this week...
so here I am.

We've had a spell of wonderfully (unseasonable) cool weather this month.
Cool....with lots of rain!

(last weekend's rain)
The garden is quite happy.

On a drier day, I trimmed pig hooves...
something that has to be done every few months.

I try to do this task when Amanda is home for a visit
(which she was for the past 10 days).
Hoof trimming is quite easy to do once a pig is on it's side for a belly rub.

Amanda rubs... I trim.

Using a foal sized hoof trimmer I cut away excess growth of hoof...
making sure not to get to close to the quick.

MaryAnn and Ginger are quite trusting...
and as long as they are occupied with a belly rub, they cooperate.

Annie has been happy to have Amanda home...

offering each day to be her running partner.

The two of them head out into the countryside, running the trails through the woods.
About a half hour later they both return... panting.

Yesterday while waiting for the internet repairman (who, by the way never showed)
I roasted tomatoes and sliced sweet red peppers to freeze for winter cooking.

With Hubbs' help, we cleaned and chopped 7 quarts of hot peppers...

making our hot pepper relish... our favorite condiment.

This batch was a milder batch with jalapeƱos, cherry bombs, cayenne, Anaheim,
and chili peppers.

The next batch will be hotter and will include our yet-to-ripen
Ghost peppers...

and Carolina Reapers (world's hottest pepper!)

While I was harvesting peppers, I found a neck pumpkin growing on 
a few of the tomato vines...

Things are just growing crazy with all of the rain we have had!!

Lastly, to answer a few questions from Monday...

Tyler's puppy, Chester, will not be living at the farm, but instead will live with
Tyler and his Mom.
We are hoping that he will be a regular farm visitor!
(By the expression on Oakley's face, I would say that Oakley hopes it's not too often!)

As for the DNA test kit that we use for breed identification, it is this:

I am hoping that by the end of today I will once again have internet.
I have to tell you... I miss the internet more than I thought I would.
We have become so spoiled by having information at our fingertips at any given moment.
This week has been a little like being marooned on a deserted island!
Keeping fingers crossed that I will be back here tomorrow!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Puppy Love

Once again we have been plunged into the internet-free zone.
I am writing this at our neighbor's house...
our internet "should" be fixed on Wednesday...
til then... email and blogging at the mercy at neighbors!

I am happy to tell you that Faith and Hope seem to have adjusted to the 
absence of their Mama.
Their crying has stopped.
They are still sticking pretty close to the pigs, however.

Saturday was Mackenzie's second birthday.

Where has the time gone??

Her little brother, Easton, is growing like a weed...
at one month he was the size our little pink fairy was at three months.
Looks like he's going to be a big boy, like his Daddy!

Tyler is such a good cousin to these two.

After Mackenzie's party Tyler came back to the farm for the weekend...
with his new PUPPY!!!

Meet Chester.

Oh. My. Goodness!!!
I am suffering from a huge case of puppy love.

It looks like this little fellow is eventually going to be a good farm dog.

He has already learned to be respectful to the birds...
giving the turkeys wide berth.

He did have a thing or two to tell Ginger and MaryAnn, however.

These pigs always take everything in their stride...
and weren't a bit upset by the scolding that Chester gave them.

It's going to be fun to watch this little fellow grow up.
The rescue thought he might be part beagle/Jack Russell/cattle dog.
We'll have him genetically tested and see if that is true.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Turning Our Faces To The Sun

we are humbled by your outpouring of love and support over the loss of Gracie.
It is so true...
when we love and care for an animal it is with the knowledge that someday
we will have to let them go... to say goodbye.
What keeps us going is a little Hope...

A little Faith...

and a whole lot of love!

After every dark and stormy time,
 the sun comes out again and reminds us of all that is good in life.

So, we turn our faces to the sun and allow it to fill our souls with warmth.
And we put one foot in front of the other and march on.

There is much work to be done in this life...
and with it comes sadness that is unavoidable.
But the happiness is ours to grab and to multiply and to share.
It is up to us to make the happy far outweigh the sad!

And so, the sun rose yesterday.
We buried our precious Grace.
And we carried on... caring for all of the wonderful souls that still fill our world.

Hope and Faith are missing their Mama,
and spend a lot of their time calling for her.

It is sad, but with time, they will recover.
MaryAnn and Ginger seem to understand that something is wrong,

so they are staying very close to the twins.
The pigs have a whole lot of love to give!

I finished planting my new butterfly garden this week. 

I will add annuals like zinnias next spring.
And I will be ordering some milkweed to plant here.

One of the three tiny milkweed plants that I transplanted looks as though it might make it...
the others look a little sad.
Time will tell. (I say that an awful lot!)

We are celebrating Mackenzie's 2nd birthday this Saturday.
(can you believe it?)
And Tyler will be spending the rest of the weekend at the farm with us...
so our days will be full and fun and happy.
Hope yours are as well!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I Live For The 99

Ninety-nine percent of the time life on the farm is idyllic.

The animals are happy, peaceful, healthy...
and life hums along in its rhythmic ebb and flow.

But then there is that one percent...
when injury or illness befalls us...
making the day hard...
chores are done with the yolk of a heavy weight around our necks.

Yesterday morning I stopped by the sheep yard as I do each morning
to open the gates for the sheep to head into the front pasture.
I opened the gates and headed to the barn.
Moments later I heard such of ruckus of "Baaaaa-ing" that I thought
it prudent to go check on the girls.

I found only Gracie in the sheep yard under the trees.
Her daughters had headed out to the front pasture but were calling
and calling for Grace to join them.

I called Grace...
but she did not look at me.
Normally she comes to me when I call.
This time it was quite different.
She was leaning between two tree trunks...
and hardly noticed my presence.
Her mid section looked a little bloated.

I called our local farm vet and they suggested that I give her some mineral oil
just in case she had the "bloat" from some obstruction...
they also said that a vet would be out to see Grace that morning.

I gave her the mineral oil with a large syringe and she took it fine.

The vet arrived a little later and examined her...
finding her to have a fever and some excess air in her intestines.
He thought perhaps she had an upper respiratory infection.
He gave her an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory by injection 
and told us to watch her and repeat the injections over the next four days.

It is all a mystery...and at the time of this writing she is not looking any better.
Gracie is 10 ½ years old... I had hoped to have her for a few more years yet.
I am praying that will be the case.
Although another part of me fears we might lose her.
I'll keep you updated...
time will tell.

I did not take any photos of Grace in her "crisis" ... 
it didn't seem right to do so.
The above picture was taken at a happier time.

Addendum:  Gracie died last evening...we still don't know why.
Our hearts are heavy.
Faith and Hope have never known life without their Mama...
it's all so very sad.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Calendars Are Important!

Yesterday taught me that I really have to check my calendar each morning
when I awaken!
I bounded out of bed early yesterday ready to get started on a long chore list.

The previous day's rain put us a day behind, and we had catching-up to do.

Morning chores were completed.

Everyone went out to graze in the pasture...

and I headed home to hop in the shower.
As I was getting dressed, the dogs started barking as if someone was at the door.
I looked at my watch and for some reason suddenly remembered that we had 
a farrier appointment at 8 AM... in just ten minutes.
Perhaps the farrier had come early and was at the door.
I checked outside... no one was in the driveway.
Perhaps he had gone.

I combed my wet hair, hopped in the gator and headed out to the barn.
Jack was busy cooking breakfast for us... and I yelled as I flew out the door,
"I forgot I have a farrier appointment today!"
(there may have been a couple expletives said along with this statement...
as I hate forgetting appointments!)

I arrived at the barn and found... no farrier.
The big problem was, however, 
all of the horses and donkeys were out in the pastures grazing.
Catching them to bring them in this early would be difficult.
After all, their expectation was to have a couple more hours out in the green grass.

The farrier arrived and I asked if he could possibly trim hooves in the pasture...
just to make life a little easier.
"That shouldn't be a problem...they are all pretty easy-going," he replied.

Luckily everyone cooperated with this idea...

standing still at the fence while the farrier worked.

The Littles were first and spent the rest of the time digging in Jack's pockets,

looking for treats.

Finding no treats, Red gave Jack a little goosing!

An hour later everyone was finished and back to grazing.

By late morning, the sun had become much warmer and the flies were quite bothersome...
time for everyone to come in for their chow (vitamin/mineral supplement).
As is the usual procedure, I take the Littles, while Jack takes the ponies...
and Moonbeam takes himself.
(just in case you aren't tired of seeing this...)


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