Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Goodbye Charlie

Charlie came to live with us when Connie moved in. He was a pain in the ass at first and I was debating how to either fence in the front yard, or fence in an area for the chickens. Neither were really options with our budget, especially since Scott is so anti hillbilly twine. :)  

Charlie visited with us when Connie and Liam came down for one of the get togethers here when the chickens were still chicks. Chasing my little chickies was something that was going to make me find a hole in the lava rock in the desert for him to disappear into.  He chased my favorite colored chickie, and got a hold of it. When he went after Fudge and bit him in the face, life almost ended for him when he moved in.

He was a funny looking little dog. Mom was Wire Haired Doxie on one side, and Shih-tzu on the other. Dad was something that lived down the street, but I think was something scottie-ish, going by the way he looked. I gave him a funky hair cut with a mohawk, a goatee, and halfway shaved- tassel ears. It looked ridiculous, and I loved it.

Having some room to roam worked wonders on Charlie. He mellowed out, and turned into a great little dog. He quit pestering Fudge and stopped chasing the animals that lived here, but he and Ashley were my mighty cat chasers. The strays in the area like to try and get into my trash barrels, but with Ashley and Charlie on patrol they didn't stick around long. He chased voles and mice in in the long grass with Ashley. He followed me on walks into the trees to watch the chickens in the summer afternoons. He still was a rotten beast about coming when you called him to come inside.

He thought the steers were his friends. He hung out with me when I took Norman for walks so he thought the big steers wanted to be his buddies too.  He was always in the round pen when they were. Now that we're graining them, he was also trying to sneak grain when we fed them. I think that's what did him in. They were trying to pile drive him with their heads, and he thought they were playing.

He came inside the other day and just didn't seem his happy self. He seemed like he might be favoring a back leg, but there wasn't anything in his foot. When I got home from work Sat he seemed a little wobbly in the back end, but with the long back he could have just tweaked it. We had to go to Boise yesterday but Connie told me that when she woke up yesterday, he'd lost the use of his back legs and his bladder. She had to take him in and have him put down.

Goodbye Charlie. You were a good little dog for starting out such a pain in the ass. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

All ready for Winter

I haven't been really good about getting home from work with there being enough daylight left to get any good pictures of what's been going on. I took a few crappy pics with the phone this afternoon after I got everyone fed and watered.

Scott got the frost free hydrant that was freezing up on us all last winter, dug out and fixed. Teh Boy gave him a hand while he was down for Turkey Day. It's so nice not having to have to have yet another extension cord stretched across the yard to run the hot tape to keep the water faucet from freezing. I still have to drain hoses after every time I run water through it. Scott has taken over most of the morning chores for me and he gets the waters filled for me.

Speaking of water, it was becoming a huge hassle to keep the steers watered. It got cold enough that going out and busting the ice off the water troughs wasn't working. They were froze solid all the way through. Dragging hose across Andrea's property, across the road, and out to the pasture, twice a day, then dragging all that hose back, and making sure it was drained so it didn't freeze wasn't worth keeping the boys out on the pasture any more. Now they are in the round pen. We got em moved Mon after I got home. One cord to the front of the house and they have a tank heater. We threw some straw out to keep them off the snow and mud. Norman has some serious fuzz going on.

While the boys were down for Turkey day, Mike helped me bring the brooder pen Scotty made for me, back into the garage. It was still out next to the chicken condo from when we moved the second batch of meat birds outside. Speckles and her little chick are in it now, all cozy in the garage. When I bring the water bowls in for the rabbits, they unfreeze, so I know she can keep the little chicky warm. They are out of any draft, and the other chickens, or predators can't get to it. I still don't know yet if it's a pullet, or a cockerel chick, but I'm leaning towards pullet. It's going to have Barred Rock coloring. 

The big chickens outside have their heated water dug out of the garage, cleaned out, and plugged in.

The ground looks ugly. We had weird weather this year. No rain really or snow to speak of. It was getting into the high 40's during the day, maybe the low 50's. Then BAM, Cold. Down into the negative numbers in the morning, teens during the day. The ground didn't have any moisture to make it freeze. When we finally got snow it was that really dry powdery stuff and it mixed with the dry powdery, sandy soil underneath it. My front yard looks like someone took dirt, and sprinkled white playground sand in it.

The ponies have their blankets on and they're off the pasture too. They're in the dry lot right next to the haystack so I can feed easier. Then hop the electric fence and feed Dave's horses.

Scott got a good chunk of the firewood bucked up into rounds and the biggest rounds split to fit in the stove.

The wood rack he built for me last year is working perfectly. It takes me two wheel barrow loads to fill it, and filled it will last me about three or four days. 

Connie has been working over at Valley Country Store. Scott is still working nights (which I hate) at IMP. I'm still grooming dogs at WindSwept Kennels. 


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