Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Delightful by the Fire

Anyone that knows me gets annoyed with my pleading to just skip the holiday season. I always thought Christmas was supposed to bring out the best in people, I've yet to see that happen. I just want to skip it. That's not my point today, not that I really have a point. I guess it is that I like fire. Not like a pyromaniac likes fire but like an old woman who lives on the mountain and hates the cold weather likes fire. Last night I was able to get a good fire going, so good that I ran most everyone off from the living room to cooler parts of the cabin. Bertha dog likes a good fire too. Either that or she was so hot that she couldn't move. She' s been mad at me the last two days. Hamlet our male Dane, got a little rough with the play last week and gave B dog a big ole bite on her shoulder. I didn't see it happen but I can only imagine the schooling she gave Hamlet. The bite is just right for a good scratching and Bertha was doing just that. So much that she was making it bloody each night and spraying it all over the dog room from her crate. The solution was to put a T-shirt on her so she couldn't scratch it. I don't know if its the color of the shirt or just that it's a shirt that has made her grouchy with me. She usually hangs around me in the evenings when we bring the dogs in from the outside yards. The last two evenings she's given me "the look" and gone to bed early. I tried coaxing her with cheese and cookies last night but she just look down her nose at me. Instead of going downstairs to her bed she flopped in front of the fire and snored. Pepsi cat seems to enjoy the warmth of the room as well, he almost melted off the back of the couch. A good fires is just one of those little pleasures that I don't take the time to notice most days. So Delightful!

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Developments

I was in town the other day buy dog food and cat food and rabbit food and ferret food and chicken food too, when the lady at the checkout called me a PETA freak. I didn't respond, although I wanted to. Maybe Shelly was holding me back. First let me explain...I'm not a PETA person at all. I wish people who threw the term PETA around as well as FREAK actually knew the meaning of both. I am nothing like Ingrid Newkirk. I have not left my body upon my death to PETA nor do I wish that Shelly, should she survive me have a barbecue with my flesh and feed it to my furry family. Ms. Newkirk does not believe that anyone should house animals as pets, that anyone should eat the flesh of another animal or use animal by product such as hide and hooves. I do not hold any of these same beliefs. I believe that animals should be humanely raised if they are to be eaten. Each year Shelly and I purchase two steers from the Jr. Livestock Sale at the Chaffee County Fair. Fair steers are very humanely raised. They are brushed and loved and fed some nice sweet feed. Granted they do not live into old age but they are not shoved into a feed lot to be fed bicarb and stand in mud for the majority of their life. They are not given hormones or anti-bodies either. I understand people who don't eat meat because of the environment the stock lives and dies in. I try to be better. I feed and kill my own chickens. Once in awhile we feed and slaughter a pig as well. I like leather shoes too but it is also safe to say I do not agree with a lot of food making practices across our Earth. I don't eat foie gras or veal. I do attend the circus and have a membership to our local zoo. I'm just not a PETA person, nor am I or any of those involved with PETA a freak. I do have lots and lots of animals. It amazes me the reactions I get from a lot of people. I've had some tell me that I NEED to get rid of some of them so that Shelly and I can get away or that people would be more likely to visit us if we didn't have so many dogs. My answer to that is, "Mind your own business." Shelly and are very happy with our furry family. I am not nor do I intend to give any of my animals away. They are my FAMILY. All of my animals are fed high quality food. As one friend says, "You spend a shit ton of money on dog food." They all have their own space in the house with a bed and a warm place to be. They get attention everyday. They have belongings, such as toys and blankets. We are happy being this way. Who said we wanted visitors anyway? Love me, Love my animals. But I ramble....The Shelly and I have acquired a new family member. Drago is a Presa Canario Mastiff. He is about 9 years old and slobbers all over. He has been living with the Boss lady for the past 9 years but Shelly and I decided to bring him home. He lost his partner Flame a couple of years ago and hasn't been the same since. He would sit in his run or in his yard each day with little signs of emotion. He was depressed. We noticed that each time we would bring Izadora to the kennel he would become animated again. So now he is here to live with Izzy for the rest of his life. When I first told Jolene of the new addition I left out the fact it was Drago. Instead I said, "We got a new dog." Jolene only responded with, "Mom, we don't need another dog." When I revealed who it was all was OK. Drago and Jolene have a unique relationship. My pets, my family bring me joy and pain just like those of the ALL HUMAN variety. Welcome home Drago.Izzy and Drago in their yard

Drago hangin out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving Turkey

A couple of weeks ago the Dad-in-law was sitting on his porch enjoying the mountain scenery. A flock of wild turkeys entered into the driveway. Dad-in-law rushed inside and called Shelly. Full of excitement he told Shelly of the feathered beasts in the drive. Shelly jokingly told him to shoot one for Thanksgiving. So...off went Larry with his .22 rifle. He quickly called back and said the he got one! Hmmmm...only a couple of things wrong, to start with turkey season has ended here and Larry didn't have a tag to bag the bird. So what was I to do. Shelly was very excited. She rushed over and hung the turkey to bleed out. We got some water for scalding and opted to pluck by hand. What's one bird? I called the DOW officer and explained my predicament. The officer laughed at me and said since we have been so easy going about losing stock to bears and mountain lions that she wouldn't penalize us for one little turkey. She also told me the next time, shoot more than one as she loves wild turkey. Okay...not going to jail over this one...good thing. Shelly brought the bird home and we processed him and threw him in the fridge. He's ready for dinner!

Shelly with the bird!

Into the hot tub.

Most of the feathers are off.

All ready for the big day!

I love the fact that this year's bird is not from Safeway or Wal-Mart. I love knowing that if I had to feed my family without the aid of Butterball that I could do it. It only took us about 10 minutes from start to finish to process the big guy. I'm sure that I won't have to worry about HFCS.

Happy Thanksgiving. I'm thankful for SOOOO MUCH!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Lazy Sunday

Things on the ole rancho have been a bit crazy the last couple of months. Several of the sheep have come down with Pink EYE--Chlamydia. Shelly has been treating with shots and eye ointment almost non-stop. The aisle way of the barn a mess. Sheep come in, sheep go out. Hay and poop stay in. Since Brother Dutch as been helping Shelly with dog chores and other chores I have had a bit of a vacation. I've been busy looking for funding for 4 Mile ES, playing on the computer and now playing with my new camera. The Shelly and I had a monumental anniversary on the 5th. Okay, maybe it wasn't monumental to some but it was to me. Can't believe that she's hung around me this long. She gave me a new camera for our special day and I've been playing with it ever since. Here are a few pictures of what I see everyday.

She has a permanent position at the hay bale.

I think he envisions himself as a Budweiser Clydesdale.
I just don't have the heart to break it to him that he's not.

One of the chickens.

Prize Horse was hoping for a treat.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Made it through another Spookfest

Dirty Ashtray--YUM!

Well, we did it. We made it through again with awesome costumes, awesome food and a fantastic family. I think next year we will dress up the dogs and maybe a horse or two!

My little Plastic Army Man!

Shelly and I as Big Ole Boobs!

We also ate the traditional, Kitty Litter cake and the ooeey gooey brain too! Jolene was a hit at her school party. I miss seeing homemade costumes. I was upset as a kid that my mother wouldn't buy me a store bought costume and I swore I would never do that to my kid. And look her I am, forcing her to paint her face with wall paint and pose at doorsteps with her eyes closed because plastic toy soldiers don't have white eyes! Thankfully she enjoys it as much as I do...or she's doing a really good job at acting like she does!

Kitty Litter Cake

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween is a comin'

We've been busy her on the ranch. Well the wife has been busy, me not so much. I've been on vacation from ranch duties since Brother Dutch has been here. I've slept in on some days, worked at Evergreen on some days, went to the fire station on others. It's been pretty awesome. Shelly has had to deal with Chlamydia in the sheep, broken fences, and moving the long haired hippie cattle. I've spent a lot of time thinking about and putting off the Bean's Halloween costume. She's decided to dress as a plastic army soldier this year. I tried to get her to be a yellow plastic Indian or a red plastic cowboy but she just wouldn't hear of it. I try to remember that she's the kid and I should let her have her way once in awhile. I love Halloween. I've only come to love it in my adulthood, more importantly my mommyhood. All I wanted when I was young was a store bought plastic costume. My mother wouldn't have it. All my costumes were made and I can only remember picking the subject once or twice. I vowed that I would never do that to my kid. Oh well, some vows get broken. I let her pick some things. Luckily the Bean and I have similar personalities. A couple of years ago she approached me with her costume idea of a cattle guard. I initially thought of a the ugly metal thing that keeps the cows in. Not what she had in mind. She wanted me to dress her up as a guard,

like in prison but add some touches like horns and an udder. I've got a funny kid. She comes up with great costumes and she doesn't beg me for a store bought one. This year is going to be great. We've got gooey, gross treats all lined up for the class party. She sat on the living room floor the other night and carved her pumpkin. She got Shelly to print off a pattern of an alien, and she scooped and cut it out. The dogs hung around watching her work. I snapped a picture here and there. I'm into Halloween but not so much into the pumpkin thing. She asked me to take her picture next to her work of art. So, today

as I'm watching Shelly scrape off what was left of the snow on the deck, I see Jane, running amok about her feet. Jane suddenly spots the pumpkin, stops and eats on the alien face that Bean worked so hard to carve. Goats love pumpkin. Now Bean's poor pumpkin has a big gaping hole where the alien once was.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stretching OUT!

What a day! I'm sure that we have all said that a time or two. Today hasn't been that eventful. At least not for me. I started my day by taking a long shower, cooking and eating cinnamon rolls, and talking to the Hound. Shelly on the other hand, got up early and fed the 50 plus dogs at the boss's house. Upon her return she and her new hired hand (Brother Dutch) zipped down to the barn to finish the daily chores which include feeding, watering of the new 90 or so sheep. Last week when Brother Dutch, was gone on vacation to sunny Florida last week, I helped with chores. I don't mind helping with chores, sometimes it's the only time Shelly and I have to spend with each other. I just don't like when I'm expected to do it, but that's a whole other rant. As I was feeding some of the stinky sheep, I noticed that a few had runny noses and cloudy eyes. I made mention to "Ranch Manager" Shelly of the symptoms. Shelly decided that we should treat with antibiotics in the water. So we poured the neon green goop in the water trough and that was that. Well today she rushes back up to the house and with a frantic, foaming at the mouth like attitude she tells me that the sheep are sick. Huh..(I use HUH a lot in response to a lot--just a sidebar) Shelly decides that the doc needs to come out, AGAIN. She just visited Phoenix yesterday to give rabies shots to dogs, and the day before to squeeze the puss out of an abscess on a boarder's horse. She seems to be here a lot lately. The Doc rearranges her schedule to come out and check out the woolly beasts. I am asked several times if I would like to come down to the barn and check things out. I decline. Asking me if I want to check out sick sheep is code for, "Wanna come rip your fingernails off in wool?" or "Wanna come down so we can get into a knock down drag out fight because I (Shelly) can't communicate?" So I'm sure any sane being would have made the same choice as I. Since the Boss is in the Springs, cruising around in her super cool Astro Van that smells like petrified dog poop and Twinkies that have been stored in old sweat socks, Shelly was left to try and separate a flock of sheep, sick from not so sick. Shelly does not have any of that "Border Collie Sense" in her "Ranch Manager" body. It's kind of funny when she tries to herd the flock of dog broke sheep. All it takes is a shake of a grain bucket and they will do anything that you want. Problem is, we've 90 or so new sheep that aren't dog broke or bucket broke. They pretty much give you the finger and tell you to F*$@ off in a BaaBaa dialect. Shelly does her best but only manages to get the dog broke sheep up into the catch pens. She, Brother Dutch and the Doc get started checking out symptoms. The Doc decides that the sheep have clamidia. That's right...Clamidia, or Chlamydia, you pick the spelling you prefer. The same STD that your health teacher warned you about. I'm racking my feeble brain trying to figure out who came to visit and stole away to infect my sheep when I wasn't looking. Apparently Chlamydia in sheep isn't quite the same as it is in humans. Well, it is still transmitted sexually or at least it can be. So Shelly has to sheep with symptoms away from the sheep with no symptoms, without the aid of a dog. When she has the sick sheep separated; she has to flop the poor things on their bum, slap some ointment on their eyes, put them back on all fours, listen to their lungs, and then get intimate with them to get a temperature. She only has to do this about 40 times, pretty easy day. Not me, as Shelly is down sticking thermometers up butts, I'm here in my chair. I'm trying to decide which program on television to watch. The one that takes John's side or the one on Kate's side. Who gave those people a license to have children? I wonder which one would be better at treating sheep with Chlamydia? Lots of things go through my head. I make a mental note to have Shelly wash thoroughly when she returns, I certainly don't need Chlamydia no matter what strain it is. I think about what I'm going to wear to the Salida High School Homecoming game on Friday night. I rid the wardrobe of purple a long time ago. I have a momentary flash of spraying a sweatshirt with the bandage stuff that we put on Hound's head when Izzy bit her last but decided just as quickly that it probably wouldn't work. In the end a purple spray bandage sweatshirt would just be stupid, not crafty. I decided to flip through channels and catch Will Ferrell licking white dog poo, which made me decide to flip the channel again quickly. I would have done so except my chair is not aligned so that the beamer works efficiently. So I get a flare of red and cuss at the remote, beat it on the arm of my chair until it moves to the next channel. My little tirade wakes up Hound dog who struggles to get up from her bed at the foot of my chair. As she gets to her feet she farts. Hound's gas problems are legendary, at least here in our home they are. The smell distracts me from channel surfing. I escape from my chair for a moment, if only to escape from the smell and refill my glass with tea. I return to my chair in time for the phone to ring. It's the Boss. She's wondering how everything is coming along down at the barn. I lie, as if I really know, and tell her it's great. I return to my chair, my computer, my T.V. and my glass of tea. Hound comes by and lays her flappy lipped head on my lap, grunts and decides to return to her bed. When she removes her head I notice a slobber spot. I'm up again to clean up Bloodhound saliva. As I'm cleaning up the spit, Shelly booms in the door. She's limping and is very dusty. I ask if she needs to go to the ER, she declines my offer of treatment. Shelly says that they have gotten all the sheep separated but it has become too dark to slap temperature indicators up bums so they have put off all other treatments until the morning. Then she asks what I have cooked for dinner. Humpf...the nerve, doesn't she know what kind of day I had?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Llama Wrestling

A couple of weeks ago the woman and I were in the feed store. Nothing interesting about that, it usually happens at least once a week, sometimes more depending on the flow of estrogen around the ranch. I can't even remember what we were shopping for, doesn't matter really. What matters is that my wife is a complete push over when it comes to animals. A couple of years ago we wanted to start a large animal rescue, it didn't work out but by the looks of the ranch one would never know. Some months ago we came home to find a new goat in one of the runs. Some lady, who knows some lady, who knows the Cripple Creek Medical Chief who knows the 4 Mile Medical Chief, said to some other person that we would be happy to adopt it. We got the HOUND DOG in the same way. Hound climbed into the Professor JoDee's truck, JoDee told Shelly to see if she could find the owner and here we are a year later happily adjusting to Bloodhound farts at 2 a.m. Life is good! At any rate, as I said we were in the feed store. Turns out that DC needed to find homes for two of his llamas as he was selling his house and moving. Llamas don't rank in my top ten favorite animals. I don't completely dislike them, they are just "there." We already had four llamas that do an outstanding job of guarding goats and sheep. They are low maintenance, poop in "llama bathrooms", and don't spit very often. Three of them are girls and one is an intact male that was born here at the ranch. The male, named Q-Tip is a huge ball of fiber that lives across the street at the in-laws and roams 70 acres with Buster the Donkey. Shelly has been mentioning for too long that she would like to get Q-Tip a girlfriend. I just don't see the point. We don't need more llamas and just because we have a boy with jewels doesn't mean that we need wee ones. So, when she would mention something, I would do my best to ignore it. If Q-Tip really needed a woman we have a couple, we would just need to bring them together. Handling our llamas is not exactly easy. They are halter broke, and will eat out of your hand and once in awhile they will let you touch them. Like I said, they are just there. Last fall we decided that we had better get them vaccinated and dewormed. We managed to get two out of four stuck! Spot was easy and I had hoped that Oreo and Mama Llama would be the same but I was mistaken. Oreo has personality, she hums at me when I pass her pasture, she chews on my shirt sleeves and has bushy old man eyebrows. When it comes to leading her to the vet, she turns into a seizure on the end of a lead line. I managed to get her head tied to a post thinking that if I immobilize her she will be easier to handle. Instead of throwing her head around, she kicked me in the thighs. The vet lovingly refers to it as a "little rodeo." So, I really didn't want new llamas. DC however saw Shelly walking in and knew that he had a new home for his girls. Despite my protests Shelly made arrangements to bring them home. DC offered to transport them from his house to ours but said he might need help getting them in the trailer. I have learned that if someone needs help loading their own animals it is best to just stay home. No good will come of it. Then again we aren't really talking about me. Shelly jubilantly says that "we" will be over after chores one morning. So after chores one morning we take a very scenic route to DC's house. His llamas, Cinnamon and Tierra are in a small pasture with a catch pen in one corner. Shelly is quick to point out that there is a catch pen so it shouldn't be too bad. We drive up and retrieve DC from his workshop. DC says that he hasn't really worked with them since he got them THREE YEARS AGO! BUT....he thinks that we will be able to halter them with no problems. DC kills the zap on the fence and darts in the catch pen with a handful of grain. Both llamas follow him in and he quickly secures the gate. When Tierra heard the click of the gate she spazzes out. She's darting from corner to corner, kicking grain, and trying to climb the fence. Llamas don't normally climb the fence but her funky black toes were three squares from the top hot wire and she was towering over Shelly. DC finds some halters and leads and when Tierra sees them the spazzing is upgraded to a full on psychotic fit, complete with foaming. DC calmly says not to worry about her if we can get Cinnamon out, Tierra will give up and calm down. Hmmm, Okay...no problem. Cinnamon is getting irritated because Tierra is kicking around all of the grain. Shelly instructs me to stand gate guard in case they opt to jump over it. Whohoo, I'm thrilled. I'm not overjoyed about new mouths to feed and I certainly don't want to be on the end of a vile, bile filled spit bomb either. DC works out a plan with Shelly. DC is going to wrap the lead around Cinnamon and trap her in a corner, Shelly is to then simply slide the halter on and clip it. Simple and effective? Nope! DC gets the lead around the neck of the gangly beast. Cinnamon starts whipping her head from side to side, whipping DC around with her. DC instructs Shelly to help in get her in a corner. As the two of them are being shaken about, Cinnamon decides to abruptly sit down and folds her legs underneath of her. DC gets thrown over the back of the llama and is now wedged between Shelly and a mass of fiber. He looks puzzled but shakes it off and attempts to right himself on the opposite side again. Cinnamon then bounds up from her down position and again whips her head from side to side. DC is still pinned between the llama and Shelly. The entire time DC and Shelly are contending with Cinnamon, Tierra continues to pace between the corners of the pen, climbing up the fence each time. A couple of times the two llamas collide and ears are thrown back in the familiar, "get the heck out of my space or I'll spit" stance. Dust is flying, grain is tossed and DC and Shelly have been molded into one. Somehow they get Cinnamon smushed into a corner and Shelly attempts to slide the halter on. DC is still wedged in between her and the llama. Each time Shelly gets the halter near Cinnamon's nose she flips her head to the other side. Shelly attempts to hold the llama's head but DC's girth prevents her from getting a grip. I offer, not very loudly but still I offer, to help out. My offer is declined. At this point I'm trying very hard not to laugh out loud. My abs are hurting from holding it in. I motion to Jolene and tell her to get the camera from the truck. I can't believe I have been muffling my giggles for this long and haven't even thought of getting pictures. Cinnamon continues the bob and weave for several more minutes until Shelly has decided that she has had enough. Shelly grabs the llamas head, pulls the neck down toward her pinning the head between her forearm and bicep. Like a wrestler executing a headlock. DC's cries became muffled for a second or two and the halter was placed on the llama. One down. DC instructs Shelly to clip the lead on and then let Cinnamon go until we can get Tierra. Shelly gives him a look, Gary Coleman style-->"Whatcha you talking about?" and reluctantly lets the lead go. Cinnamon drags the line over to a couple of kernels of corn that have somehow remained untouched during the match. Tierra is still darting back and forth across the small pen. I ask again if I can help and Shelly enthusiastically accepts this time. Jolene has returned from the truck with camera in hand and offers to gate guard in my place. I climb over the gate and ready myself for round two. DC picks up his lead line and hands me the halter. He says again that Tierra will eventually give up. Eventually? I'm not a stickler for specifics but "Eventually" is just a bit too broad for me. DC instructs Shelly and I to use the same tactic on Tierra that was used on Cinnamon. Hmmm.....? Exactly what that was I am unsure. DC does get Tierra to calm down and quit darting around by humming and talking to her. For a second I think that this might not be so bad. I was wrong. I've been wrong a lot lately. As soon as he flops the lead on her back, Tierra returns to her diagonal laps across the pen. She again collides with Cinnamon and ears are thrown again. DC chases her back and forth and halfway up the fence with the lead but manages to get it round her neck. He gasps instructions to get her in a corner and Shelly and I commence to smushing the llama against the corner post. Instead of sticking in the corner Tierra kind of oozes along the fence line, and soon we are in another corner. She continues oozing along, dragging us with her as she goes. DC is telling me to slip the halter on her, and I'm trying. Tierra does a bit of a bob and weave like Cinnamon, except instead of side to side it is more of an up and down motion. We have now oozed around the entire pen and are back in the initial corner. Jolene is giggling, taking pictures and cheering. Between chuckles she yells at me to pretend that the llama is an ostrich. What a smart kiddo I have. I'm thankful that Jolene and I like to watch Dirty Jobs, as recently we saw an episode on an Ostrich ranch in which the birds were blinded with a sock of sorts in order to get them on a trailer. I'm not gonna blind the bouncing llama but I decide to take Jolene's suggestion. I slip the halter over my left hand, letting it dangle in the crook of my elbow. I then grab the nose of the llama with my left hand and use my right hand to pull the halter over the face of the oozing mass of fiber. I managed to get the halter on, and after a few bounces get it hooked to the lead. I throw up my hands as if I'm a champion goat tying rodeo queen and collapse into the dust. DC lets go of his end of the lead and bends over hands on knees and sucks up some dirty air. Shelly slides down the corner post and sighs with exhaustion. Jolene is sitting a top the gate, congratulating us. Both llamas are haltered with leads but Tierra continues to do her diagonal laps. After a few seconds of recovery we decided to "Git er Done" and grab for lead lines. Amazingly once the leads were in hand the girls settled down. DC reminds us again that Tierra gives up. Gives up after it's all in place! Jolene opens the gate and we lead the llamas around to the trailer, slap them in and head down the road. The rest was pretty uneventful. The girls were offloaded in Q-Tips pasture and introductions were made. I check on them every day from my front porch. Shelly asks each day if I have seen any love connections, to which I reply, "I don't give a Poo!" I can't remember what the gestation period of a llama is but I will find out and I will be away from the ranch around then. It ended okay, I didn't get a face full of llama spit, Jolene got a good laugh, and Shelly got two more animals. I think I'm gonna design a neato "Champion Llama Wrestler" belt for her to wear with her Wranglers.

*****On August 5, 2009 DC (David Carr) died of a heart attack. Dave owned Divide Feed with his wife Marina. Shelly and I spent a few dollars there from time to time. I dedicate my "Champion Llama Wrestling" title to Dave...where ever he may be.******

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Same stuff, different animal.

Sometime last week, both Shel and I became blind or just didn't care enough to realize that we had another baby. Belle one of the new red girls, calved a pretty little girl. Finally another girl. Belle is being a good mommy and the fold is helping out with babysitting. Everyone is back together again since Mickey can't seems to stay in one place. We picked up a couple of new does from a lady in Rye. They are in milk but are first fresheners so they aren't producing a bunch. I really miss my Opal goat. We've been making lots of verbal plans for a new chicken coop and a new goat shed. I ordered 80 roaster chickens about two weeks ago. They dude at the feed store told me that the hatchery is about 4-6 weeks behind. I ordered them with this in mind. The feed store called last night to tell me that my chickens were in. SO...now the barn has duckies, chickies and more chickies. The coop is not built yet either. Oh well.

Along with all the new babies around the ranch my sister-friend Kelly and her husband John had their first baby on May 6, 2009. A beautiful lad named Cooper William Jackson. I was honored to spend a little time with mom and baby on Thursday afternoon. Since the loss of my blood family (which I'm not mourning too much) I am elated to welcome a nephew. Jano, is expecting in October as well. I can't wait to spoil them both with all the things the aunts did for the Bean against my protests. Over all, life is awesome...Life is good.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another one.

I'm doing well on predicting babies even though we had no idea when the girls had their last encounter with the bull. This morning, early Daisy calved a red headed boy. Another boy! Mickey, Skye's baby from last year has been busy exploring the ranch, breaking down fences in his path. Adolescents males have always been my nemesis, human or otherwise. The little woman is finally done with EMT-I school so maybe I will have a minutes rest, I'm not going to count on it though. Ducks arrived on Friday as well. They aren't ours, I'm just being a surrogate of sorts. One of the gals that practices herding out her requested some ducks. So, the boss told her that I would be happy to rear them until they are old enough to run away from her horrid dogs. Now my tack room is filled with duckies and chickies. Sheesh!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

New Baby

I've been patiently waiting on Skye to calve, even though the family thought I was nuts. About a week ago her udder started dropping and her hips started popping out, only then did everyone start to agree with me. I have been harping on the girls about keeping an eye on her. This morning after the run to Evergreen Station, I asked again only to get a, "Yes, she's fine." About noonish Shelly and Bean ran down to check on water and came running back up just as fast. Skye had found a spot in the corner of her pasture and dropped a beautiful bouncy boy. I ran out to get pictures and check out mom and baby only to find that my camera had a dead battery. So after letting it charge for a bit we zipped back down to document the momentous occasion. Upon arrival, Skye had a one end of the afterbirth in her mouth and was chomping away. This sight got an, "EEEWWH GROSS," from Jolene. The little guy seems strong and healthy and now that he is dried off is a beautiful smokey gray color.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Life is really catching up with me

The last time I shared I had started a small fire in the sheep pasture....whew a lot has happened since then.

In the process of vaccinating any animal that I could get my hands on, I accidentally vaccinated myself with a large goat dosage. I think I'll be fine, it's been several weeks and I've yet to feel any ill effects. I didn't even get a slight infection from the dirty needle. Vaccinating and deworming went well. I ran out of vaccine, got plowed by a couple of sheep and got pricked myself. All in a days work. Besides sticking little needles through thick wool, The Bean, Shelly and I were able to participate in a C-Section on the floor of the barn. Jill, a pygmy goat that I have been babysitting ended up with triplets and needed some extra help getting the third one out. Prior to calling the vet, Jill and Maggie (goat) had Shelly chasing her tail. Shelly came down to find Jill with a rather large baby, and Maggie with a little bitty white baby. Shelly thought it odd that the BIG goat gave birth to a little baby. I love Shelly, she is an amazing person but sometimes I do not understand her view of the world. Maggie did not even kid, she merely stole a baby from Jill and had I not come home, she might have gotten away with it. Instead I came home, took the baby from Maggie and threw Maggie out of the run. Bumped Jill, and found another kid still inside. I did glove up and stick a hand/arm in and feel around but the poor goat was too small and my arm too big. The vet was called, the baby delivered and I got material for a new story. My problem now...I've been too busy to write stories, to exaggerate on the truth, to plan for Oprah to get up set with my because my memoir isn't exactly the "whole truth." Oh well, there will be other days, other stories. Along with the C-Section, Maggie did finally kid a GIGANTIC baby girl we named Sophia. We decided to invest in a some more baby chicks, and currently I have fourteen chirping babies in the barn. Along with baby chicks, Gizmo, (Jolene's Duck) has been laying on a nice clutch of eggs. She has three little ducklings running around with her now and about ten eggs to go. I am very excited about the ducklings, have no idea why, since I do not find pleasure in birds. I'm still waiting on a couple of finicky cows to calve and hoping that the last snow storm has given us enough moisture to struggle through the summer. Other than that....its life as usual her on the ranch. Someday....I will have the time to tell stories again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Things have been going swimmingly here at the ranch. I have been able to feed and water the animals before dusk most days. I know that doesn't seem like a big chore but it is for me. I am of feeble mind and most days I get side-tracked easily.

For instance, the other day I was surfing around cyber space when I happened upon some plans for chicken coops. I sort of need another coop. I have roasters coming soon, ducks than need their own space and probably new layers this summer too. I really don't need one right now but since I stumbled across some nifty plans I thought I should try my hand at building one. Now for those of you who live in my Rainbow World (or at least have some access to it) know what a Dyke Card is. I have such a card but I have yet to earn the "Power Tool" stamp. I have owned my fair share of power tools, even operated some of them. However since my venture into paradise with the Shelly I have had limited access to them. (If you will open up your LGBT Handbook to page 17, section 3, you will notice the rule about Two Dyke Households and the operation of power tools.) So it's fair to say that I am a little rusty with the Black and Decker area of the garage. But...I have been officially put off course and I decide to go in search of a saw, nails, screws, and such. I wish I had the "Gobs and Gobs of $$$" stamp too but alas I don't possess that one either, so I try to recycle and reuse whenever possible. I do know that we have plenty of 2X4s in the old barn and I have rescued some partial panels of plywood from the little house the blew down last summer. I get all of my "cheese" together and commence to building. I use some leftover Halloween spray paint to paint a section of plywood. I wait for it to dry and bust out the skill saw. I fail to pay attention to the type of saw blade, instead I set that screaming tool to wood and start cutting. Well, it didn't cut "Like Butter." In my haste, (we will call it haste it was actually stupidity.) I didn't bother to notice that I had a metal cutting blade on the saw. So half-way through the board the saw stopped working in a semi-small cloud of smoke! I didn't break anything the blade just wasn't made for that type of material and refused to cut any further. It was then I decided to take a look at the blade. OOPS. I think, only for a fraction of a second, that I should just abandon my chore and run off and do something else. Of course I don't, I go jetting off to the garage looking for the correct blade. Much to my displeasure I can't find the correct blade. Okay then...no coop building today! I decided to check on chickens and play with goats instead. I still haven't tracked down the correct saw blade or finished the first cut. No worries, it will be there when I am ready.

Some days I just can't get sidetracked. I just don't have time. Today started out normal but as I stepped out of the gate I knew things were going to get "funny." I have been trying to be a bit more healthy so I insist on cooking breakfast every morning instead of getting junk at Evergreen Station. So I cooked myself a couple of eggs with toast, bottle fed the babies in the barn and the Shelly and I headed out to chore at Phoenix Ranch. The Shelly is not participating in "healthier" anything right now so we have to make the trip to Evergreen Station anyway. As we are meandering down the road I talk to the Shelly about buying me a pair of overalls so I can wear them "Oklahoma Style" like my friend G suggested and we chat about MeMo's new bull calf that was born yesterday. Normal everyday, in the truck on the way to work type of chitchat. We pull into Evergreen Station and the boss lady Barb, meets us at the door and asks if we know Victor. We confirm that we do know him and ask why. She says that somebody came in a couple of minutes before and said that he was having car problems about twenty miles back. The informant asked Barb to call Victor's boss and have the boss come get him (Victor.) Barb had no idea who Victor was or who the Boss was. Still this is pretty normal for our little hub. We told Barb that Victor's boss was MeMo but that MeMo wasn't home and we would look after Victor as we were headed over to MeMo's anyway to check on the new baby. Barb is not really sure in which direction Victor was. From Evergreen Station a hick like myself can travel in three different directions; toward Cripple Creek the world's greatest gold camp, toward Florissant and the fossil beds, or toward Canon City the city of prisons. The Shelly and I decided that he is toward Canon City and after the Shelly gets her daily dose of Pepsi and smokes we venture off to to find him. I glance at my watch and remind the Shelly that I have to work at the high powered job today. She nods and assures me that we will be back in time for me to do my chores and get a shower. We are about to give up our search for Victor after mile 30. He was in luck as we were looking for a wide spot to turn around there happened to be Victor in his jalopy with his wife and baby, strapped to the top was a big ol' pile of wood. We put the wood in TomTruck, pack up wife, baby and Victor and turn back. After a couple of miles the Shelly decides that I will not have enough time to chore at Phoenix Ranch and tells me she'll just drop me off at Rolling Thunder. I agree happily, although I try not to sound happy, that would get me in all kinds of trouble. She swings through our ranch, and drops me off at the barn. I tell her that I'll get everyone fed, eggs collected and the working sheep's pasture cleaned up before I get a shower. She tells me not to worry about he pasture, we can get to it this coming weekend. The two of us argue a bit. The working sheep's pasture has a partial bale of GROSSNASTY hay. GrossNasty means that it is moldy and smelly and even the sheep won't eat it. The hay needs to be taken out in case some mentally impaired (most of them are) sheep decides to binge on it. A little GrossNasty hay won't hurt them. No matter what the reasons, the bale needs to go. I dismiss the Shelly and get to work. I feed all my critters, collect eggs and rescue the blind hen too. I determine that I have enough time to clean up the GrossNasty hay and I head for the tractor. Martha, who lives at Phoenix Ranch is milling around the barn with her buddies, they are getting in some practice with working dogs on working sheep. So...the pasture is empty of animals. I think that this is the time to move that darn hay. All the conditions seem right! I pull the tractor in and make several sweeps by the GrossNasty pile, spreading loose hay and sheep poo around the pasture. After a bit, I back up to the pile of hay and drop my blade behind it. I put the tractor in gear and start to pull away. This should be no problem, I'll just drag the whole darn thing to the garbage ditch. (The garbage ditch, also referred to as the graveyard, is a ditch on the edge of the property that has a lot of "stuff" in it---dead animals, old wood shavings from stalls, poop, etc... As I turn around to see how I'm doing I notice flames coming from the GrossNasty pile. OH NO! Moldy oldy hay like compost generates heat. I have added an influx of oxygen while trying to get rid of the GrossNasty hay! Now I have a little fire in the middle of my sheep pasture in the middle of a very dry winter. Thankfully it wasn't huge, I ran over it a couple of times with the tractor, and doused it with the hose. I had to ask Martha to leave the sheep up in the arena until Shelly returned because now I have ran out of time and I must get ready for the high powered job. Ah Jeez!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

New Kickers

The kiddo has been sporting a new pair of treads since the winter holidays. They are quite pretty, pull on poo-kickers with pink leather uppers. The kiddo is not really into pink but her daddio jumps on any opportunity to get her to wear the girly color. Truth be told I buy her pink things too, just to get her to make the, "awh MOM" face. She needed new boots as she's growing, despite my protests. She's been wearing them everywhere since the big guy dropped them off under the tree. She's also been displaying her general distaste for my older boots with sarcasm, an inherited genetic defect. She is quick to point out that the soles on my boots are wearing out, and I've only had them since August. I can't get her to remember to close the lid on the toilet but she can remember when I purchased new boots. She also repeatedly tells me that they smell like poo and that I should really buff them up. Although she balks at pink, she has no problem comparing my rust colored uppers to the color of TinkerBell's (cow) hind end. She goes on to tell me that I should have shopped around when purchasing my boots as the Justin brand is really a better boot than Ariat, in her humble opinion. So...This morning as she was sliding them on, we were headed out to check on the pregnant goat, I notice that she has the same Ariat stamp on the soles of her boots as I do on mine. I slip on my boots, and make a remark about how they are cold. The kiddo says, "Well you should have bought Justins, mine are toasty." I'm trying not to point out that we have the same brand of boot, I want her to open her mouth a few more times. Down at the barn, I complain that my feet hurt, that my boots are rubbing on my calf and I pretend to trip over the toes several times. Each made up complaint I air is met with a reason why I should be wearing a different brand. Upon returning to the house, she sits down just inside the door and slips off her "better brand" of boots. I pick up the first one as it hits the floor. I look, with puzzlement on my face at the sole of her boot. I flip my foot up so that I can look at the sole of mine, then again look back at hers. I drop her boot to the floor, and mutter a, "huh." The kiddo looks at me, and looks at her boot. She looks at me again, and says, "What?" I pick up her boot and ask her to read what it says on the bottom. She takes it, looks at it and says, "A rat." A rat? I ask why a boot would have, "a rat" stamped on the bottom. She shrugs and says, "I don't know, maybe they are made from rat skins." "That's a lot rats to skin", I say. "Well, they are nice boots", She pipes in. I break it to the kiddo that the bottom of her boots does not say, "a rat" but rather Ariat, a brand just like the brand of my boots. She looks at me with that look that says, "I know you brought me into this world but right now I'm really, really, really upset that your smarter about this one single point and I would really, really, really like to just kick you in the shins and go to my room and watch t.v. like this never happened." She says instead, "Nuhuh, I got a Justin ball cap with these boots, they aren't Ariats. I point out several other clear markers and she concedes that I am right and that she has just been bashing the brand of boots that she herself has been wearing. I'm mentally preparing to do the victory dance with some verbal, "woot-woots" but my thoughts are cut short when the kiddo says, "Oh well, they are still better than yours." "I have smooth soles so I don't get poop stuck in them and then I don't smell nasty all day." She gives me a smirk, shucks the other boot and leaves them both in a pile in front of the door. She hurries down the stairs and I hear her talking with her dog. UGH!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Usual Day!

Things started out most normal today. As normal as we get anyway. Before heading out to feed the mass of dogs we stopped of at MeMo's. MeMo has a couple of long haired hippie cows from our herd as well as a few others he purchased last fall. MeMo also has three donkeys and a zebra. This morning the vet was out at his place, trying to vaccinate the whole lot of them. The vet is awesome, the same vet we use. She's about 5'4" and weighs a buck ten at most. She has no issue having little rodeos when attempting to doctor animals. She only asks that we do have them penned up or easily accessible when she arrives. Seems like a normal request to me. Well, I'm guessing MeMo either didn't know about this rule or thought that it would be no big deal. So many people think Dr. Hill is a genie and when she arrives and snaps her fingers the animals just line up. This is not the case. She pulled into the drive and all of the animals were roaming a thirty acre pasture. MeMo gets them into a smaller area, about 3 acres. MeMo acts as if 3 arces is small. He says to the vet, "I'll got get Loki (zebra) and you can give him his shots." So off goes MeMo with his scraggly pony tail whipping about and captures the zebra. After making verbal promises to him and coaxing him with cookies. (Real Cookies, Chips Ahoy) Loki reluctantly makes his way toward the vet. MeMo and the striped fool stand in front of the vet, MeMo says, "Okay, stick him." The vet looks at MeMo and then looks over at Shelly and says, "Is he serious?" Okay, I exaggerate a little! The zebra is a wild animal so he's a little tricky. MeMo has a great relationship with him, they love each other. However, the amount of love in the air didn't make a difference when the vet came over with the needles. Poor Loki ended up getting smushed between two fence panels with his head tied to the ground. One of the donkeys got held down by MeMo, Victor and the Shel too! I didn't do much. I spent most of the time chatting with the vet about the Highlands, making bets with her as to when MeMo's cows would calve. I also walked around and felt up Lucy (Higland) and admired her wide load. MeMo and Jane's house is always fun! After that we headed out to feed dogs. Choring dogs lately has been interesting. I have to give supplements to a bunch of girls in the puppy kennel and six dogs in the big kennel. Generally it takes a minute or two to feed sixty dogs. When I have to measure out powders and push pills it takes longer. Thanks to our wacky weather I haven't had to break ice much so in the end it evens out I guess. Today Shelly and I had to walk a couple of fence lines as Azul (a blue dog) escaped last evening and terrorized one of two roosters. The rooster is fine today, missing a few feathers but he still runs after me. I had a talk with Azul and recommended the next time she either take him out or do a better job at correcting his Bx. I hate birds. After feeding dogs we unloaded the boss's van and fixed some garden beds. No big whoop. We didn't return to Rolling Thunder until after noon which just messed things up for me. I'm not a "stick to the schedule or else" kind of girl but I do like some organization. We return and eat some vittles, leftover egg salad from yesterday and then head down to the barn to do the rest of the chores. Everything went pretty swimmingly at first. After feeding the goats and sheep in the barn I headed over to feed Stern (Fjord), he's in the pasture behind the outdoor arena. I usually have a truck in which to haul hay but today we are tooling around in the Suburban. TomTruck is in the shop, getting stuff fixed that should have been fixed a month ago by the other guy, but that doesn't matter. So instead of taking a small bale of hay over, I decided I will just steal a big flake from the big bale that Shelly put in the goat's pasture yesterday. In theory its a great idea, just a hop over the fence, throw some hay over the fence and I'm done! Well it didn't work, not as I had planned anyway. I have the goats separated right now, girls from boys. The pasture I was stealing hay from WAS the boy's pasture. It was yesterday anyway. As I'm sawing off a flake of hay I look up and notice this goat running toward me. I think nothing of it, put my head back down and continue trying to free the flake from the bale. Then it hits me...SHE shouldn't be in this pasture. I look up again, in time for this Boer doe to hit me square in the side and knock the wind out of me. As I'm gathering my breath and my thoughts she's leaning over and flapping her lips in my face. I'm still dumbfounded that she's in the wrong place. I get things collected and look around. I notice that the Boer is in with the llamas and the wethers (fixed boys) but the bucks (intact boys) are in the next pasture with the geriatric sheep, donkeys and the other does. UGH! No matter, I'll feed Stern and then return goats to the proper pastures. I have finally gotten what hay I wanted and I walk about five steps to the fence to throw it to Stern. As I get the hay in the air the Boer doe slams me again. What the heck? I have not had this goat long, about a week and a half now. It seems that most people that know us in Teller County have this strange idea that we run a rescue. So this Boer goat, Bandit (but I always call her Bridget) was an older woman's pet goat. The woman picked her up as a kid at an auction about three years ago. According to the woman, the goat was SOOOO CUTE! It was a baby. I have yet to see any kind of baby that is not SOOOO CUTE!, maybe a baby kangaroo is not so cute but if I saw one FO REAL I might change my mind. Anyway, the woman is on oxygen and the kid goat has grown to 250 pounds with no other goats to be around. Apparently for the last couple of months, whenever the woman tried to leave her house the goat got cranky and pushed her down. After having her Os knocked offer her face a couple of times and getting a nice shiner the woman's family said NO MORE GOAT! So now I have a new goat. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with her yet. I kept her up in the barn for a couple of days to make sure she wasn't going to give my herd any cooties and then turned her out in the pasture with the does. I have no idea who decided to change up living arrangements without consulting me first. It's not a huge problem but has set my pseudo schedule back even more. I get goats flipped around again, got knocked around by Bridget/Bandit a couple of more times and run off to change water. By the time I get back Bridget/Bandit is with the llamas and the wethers and two of three bucks are back in with the geriatrics. As I stand scratching my head, Smokey my youngest, most handsome buck sails over the fence to join the does and the moldy oldy sheep. I can understand Smokey jumping over the fence and I can imagine the other bucks climbing over but what I can't fathom is that 250 pound furry Boer climbing or jumping over a fence! I have no idea how she got back over. I walked the fence line to make sure I didn't have a hole somewhere..No Holes. At this point I decided to leave them as they are. I finish watering, give my donkeys their peppermints and return to the barn to get feed for the chickens. Shelly tells me that she's done watering on her side and tootles on down to the coop with me. As we are ducking through hotwire she notices this big white egg out in the open yard of the coop. "Holy cow," she says. "Who laid that?" I tell her it was probably the duck. She disagrees. I ask her how many of our chickens lay white eggs and even if they did who would lay one that big? So concedes that it was probably the duck. She wonders what we are going to do with it. I tell her to have it for breakfast. She decides that Jolene wants the duck to lay eggs. Humpf..I think the duck decided to lay the egg not Jolene. Anyway I suggest we get Gizmo's (Duck) barrel and set it inside the coop and see if she will lay more. Shelly agrees and off we go to the house for Gizmo's barrel. The ducks use to be in an area behind our house between the dog yards. Since we had the late night visit from the kitty, the two uninjured ducks went to vacation down with the chickens and Goosey (another duck) is still in the house recovering from her experience. Gizmo has a black metal barrel with straw that she likes to nest in. As Shelly is running in the daily collection of chicken eggs I throw a bale of straw in Gizmo's barrel and load the barrel into the plow truck. We head back down to the coop. Now...as I said today was pretty normal, for us. I don't usually get knocked around by my goats, nor does Shelly have to smush a zebra. Things happen though so I have come to expect them and I don't get too wound up about it. However, somethings just set me off and even though my pseudo schedule was messed up we were nearing the end of chores and I was in a pretty good mood. Until...I climb down from the back of the truck, unloading the barrel and straw. I put the goods on the ground and stand up. As I stand up my only pair of really comfortable, worn in all the right places, Wrangler Jeans rip! Shelly, of course laughs! I lost my other pair of really comfortable, worn in all the right places Wrangler Jeans trying to help doctor her ram. This was my last pair, no more, closet is empty of good work jeans! I was able to wear the other pair a couple more times, who looks at my crotch anyway? This pair ripped right in front by the fly, big as life! I think I will just refuse to do chores until I get a new pair!

My best jeans are no more!