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
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
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!