Monday, February 28, 2011
Does this mean winter is over?
3:59 pm est
I store my kayak over the winter months behind the tractor shed, but I may have to move it-or maybe climb into it later today.
(That's it next to the tarp-covered wood pile.) Flooding threatens to pick it up and carry it right down to the overflowing
pond. I and the chickens are happy to see the vanishing snow, but the raging torrents of water washing down from the
field north of here have brought huge deposits of mud; small islands that have erupted where once there was only grass.
The spring birds serenade this extreme change of the seasons. I sing along with them.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
3:07 pm est
Ahhh, ‘happy to report my injured back is healing. Now that the excruciating pain has lessened I almost feel guilty
lying on the sofa, reading home and garden magazines, laying out plans for the "new" south side of the house when/if
the snow ever disappears and watching my favorite garden show (P. Allen Smith's Garden Home) on PBS. Planning spring
projects is a whole lot easier than actually doing them. I have so many it makes my head spin.
I can't wait to plant
more peach trees, but first the two damaged trees must be cut down. Then there's the arbor I've been wanting for years.
Until this winter's storms took it down, the old Concord grape vines had climbed high into an ancient pear tree at the orchard
edge. Now an arbor no longer seems a luxury, but a necessity. New fencing will be going up along the donkey paddock
ASAP. This is most critical as the bad asses consumed nearly all of the tomato plants last year after breaking through
the old woven wire barrier. An expanded sunflower garden is planned to mark the canine graveyard. Nothing is a
prettier memorial or more wildlife-friendly than a great splash of sunflowers.
I've saved a vast array of squash, pumpkin and
gourd seeds over the winter. These vines do well here and apparently they always have, but they gobble up space, so
I've got an idea for a way to accommodate those needs while minimizing the area I've previously mowed. This hand-painted sign
was discovered in the attic when I first bought the farm. Maybe I'll grow enough to sell....
Taking up all the ankle-breaking stonework that
has served as a flagstone walk next to the doomed deck is a must-do as soon as the weather breaks. The walk will be
replaced with gauged stone and the removed rocks will be used to extend the existing rock wall. Then demolition work
begins on the old deck.
I'm trying to think of a way to entice volunteers for this "fun" project. Of course food and drink will be
offered, but somehow I fear that won't be enough to get many friends excited about wielding crowbars, hammers and saws to
remove the old structure. Ideas on how to garner a wrecking crew will be welcomed.
All this planning is exhausting! I'm going
back to my magazines.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Home sweet home.
1:14 pm est
...And so, having confronted
and conquered all the post-vacation issues I was stunned to awaken yesterday to about a foot of heavy wet snow. The
gate at the end of the driveway was buried and getting the truck out looked pretty near impossible unless I did a lot of shoveling.
Oh well, I like to shovel snow, so it wasn't too bad--at first....
I'd cleared the 16' x 16' area necessary to open the gate (so I could retrieve the anticipated mail from the cleverly-erected
mailbox), plus a shovel-width track leading to the snowbound truck, then a footpath around the truck and part of the way up
the brick path when pain ripped through my body.
The sensation could be compared to wringing out a wet towel, except the "towel" was the large muscle on the left
side of my back. It hurt, but the gate was open and my friend was just arriving to collect the doomed roosters, so there
was no time to collapse and worry about this self-inflicted injury. After bidding the roosters farewell I sat down and
realized the problem was bigger than originally presumed. A pinched nerve launched spasms of pain that made the slightest
movement almost impossible. This is not a good thing, especially when one lives alone.
But, enough whining. I took a pain pill
that had been given to me at the ER last summer following the yellow-jacket attack. I'd never taken Vicadin before and
discovered it is powerful stuff! It pretty much knocked me out, but the forced relaxation apparently released the pinched
nerve leaving me with just a very sore back today. I'm okay, but have decided that any future snowfall will remain pristine
and unshoveled! Right now the sun is shining and rain is predicted, so I am interpreting these conditions
as signs of spring; you know, that season when you turn the garden soil and pull your back out of place.
Oh, BTW, due to the winter
storm and heavy snow there was NO mail delivery yesterday and I have not been able to even try moving the truck.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Great to be home--or is it?
11:14 am est
was lovely, sunny and warm, but I was ready to come home. I felt recharged and eager to get back to work and I'd gotten
a great story that I'm sure will delight a few editors, but admittedly the sight of lots of snow upon landing was somewhat
discouraging. T. picked up my friend and me from the airport and as we approached home the first thing I noticed was
that my mailbox was gone, snapped off at ground level. The critter sitter had dragged it out of the ditch and into the
yard, but until being reset (in the frozen ground) there could be no mail delivery.
Ah, never mind, I thought. The township
road crew must have been responsible, so that meant they'd have to repair it just as they had in previous years. It
had been a long day of travel and I was whipped and just wanted to go to bed. I sent the dogs outside for a final pee
unaware that Pepe le Pew was also out there. Three dogs returned reeking of skunk. Thankfully it wasn't a direct
hit, just enough to smell up the entire house, but I was too tired to care.
The cats were all happy that mom was home and to express their pleasure they took turns parading across my weary body throughout
the restless stinky night. All too soon it was 5:30 a.m. and the aromatic dogs declared it was time to rise and shine.
Apparently they had buffaloed the critter sitter into believing this was the time they usually got up. Oh well, there
was a lot to do, so I dragged myself downstairs to confront the tasks du jour. The shower light was burned out.
No problem, I thought. Just unscrew the convex glass cover and replace the bulb. Easy peasy, so long as I didn't
drop it-oops! It broke into a dozen pieces.
At the hardware I learned the twenty year old fixture is no longer available, but perhaps I could retrofit the recessed part
with an exterior part from a newer model. Since there were no screw holes in the newer model the nice guy at the hardware
drilled some for me. After a frustrating bout of dropped screws, stripped screws and ill-fitting, too-short screws the
"remodeled" shower light was finally in place although with three unmatched screws. How many people look up
at the ceiling while showering anyway? I'm not going to worry about it.
The porch light had also burned out in my absence,
but the screws holding the big onion globe in place were frozen fast. WD-40 to the rescue, but it would have to penetrate
the metal, so I made some phone calls to the township regarding the damaged mail box.
The road crew claimed they were not responsible
for the shattered post, hence they would not be replacing it. I would. Since a thaw doesn't seem likely anytime
soon, I set the post in a couple of concrete blocks filled with sand. So far, so good. Frankly, I think my solution
was pretty clever!
Oh, did I mention that during my trip into town darling Julie passed the time destroying a handmade pillow my daughter had
given me for my birthday. The pillow is of course irreplaceable. A word of caution; one should not scream displeasure
at an erring dog for it only makes them pee on the floor, thus worsening an already ugly scene.
The rooster who had been in rehab after being
mauled by his enemy prior to my departure had recovered. He had been protected from his aggressive foe, isolated in
the hay room where he again became a victim; attacked by a coon who left some unmistakable evidence. While the poor
cockerel lost a lot of feathers, he is essentially unharmed, but alas both he and his brother will be going to a livestock
sale barn where they will most likely be purchased for someone's Sunday dinner. The big speckled rooster will remain
here to serve as flock protector and stud. Sending chickens to uncertain fates is upsetting to me, but keeping three
roosters only guarantees bloody brawls that do not end until one of them is dead.
And so while I am happy to be back home, my return
has not been without incident. Now that the storm outside my window has intensified maybe I can get to work on something
less aggravating than home repairs.
Monday, February 14, 2011
6:39 pm est
It never fails.
Whenever I'm going away, no matter how exciting or exotic the destination, I get sad and reluctant to leave the comfort and
familiarity of home. In this case, even the ice and slush and wreckage have an endearing quality. My animals look at
me with that "NO, Please don't leave us!!!" look in their eyes. It's difficult, but at 5:00 a.m. I and friend
H. will be heading for the airport. By 9:30 NM time we will set down in Albuquerque for a week of adventure.
It is unlikely
I will be able to post anything on this blog during the time away, but if possible I will. Regular posts will resume
on the 24th, chock full of interesting travel stories (I hope).
Preparing for a getaway is demanding. Suddenly the barn looked a mess. It took a long time to chisel away the ice blockade
on the north side of the barn in order to get the doors open enough to dump the manure wheelbarrow. And I could hardly
leave the house adrift in dust bunnies (what an understatement) for neighbor Sandy, could I? Things haven't been so
clean in a long while. Then there's the food issue. Although my competent and thoughtful critter sitter always
says not to bother, I want her to have goodies during her stay, so this necessitates grocery shopping and cooking. The
wood box is full of dry wood so she won't freeze and there are post-it notes all over the house. I'm ready to go where
the sky is blue and the air is warmer than it is here.
After a pleasant dinner with T. followed by an early bedtime and an even earlier arise time I'll be off to the Land of Enchantment.
Updates will appear if possible. Ta ta for now.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
6:25 pm est
Waking to soft crowing emanating
from the barn is lovely, but waking to ear-splitting crowing echoing from the bathroom is something else. Little Red
had to spend the night in the shower. His feathers took longer to dry than expected and he said he really didn't want
to shiver the night away in the cold barn. He was very content in the shower, so that's where he stayed, but he's back in
the barn now. His feathers are so shiny he looks like a show chicken-- (well, not quite...).
I was happy to receive an email from someone thinking
of taking LR to replace her Charles Manson rooster, but as luck would have it another bird that until this morning had
remained silent, thus concealing his gender let out several healthy crows thus eliminating all questions about his sexual
identity. Out of nine birds, three are roosters, one is a crippled hen and the rest are free-loaders who occasionally
crank out a couple of eggs. Adjustments must be made ASAP. I was happy to escape the madness here to attend Ginny's
100th surprise birthday party.
The shindig was held at a clubhouse and there were no less than one hundred people in attendance, all who love this remarkable
lady and wanted to share her special day. It was lovely and I believe everyone felt honored to be her relative or friend.
I know I feel honored. Ginny's only concession to her senior status was a cane. She still has her own teeth, does
not wear a hearing aid and only wears glasses to read. Over the past century Ginny has garnered the love of many. I
doubt there are many people half her age that could boast such a fan club. What an amazing lady.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
The world is coming to an end.
4:01 pm est
Remember when oddballs
stood on street corners bearing signs with this message? There was always one in downtown Cleveland, but I haven't seen
him or any others in recent years. Where are those "oddballs" now that their prophecy seems to be imminent?
I've just returned
from a screening of the documentary called "Gasland." It's a sobering film about Hydraulic Fracking, the current
technology used to release natural gas from shale deposits deep inside the earth. Our new Ohio governor touts this as
a great opportunity for the state. He's wrong. Plain and simple; this is an "opportunity" for a few
people to get rich at the expense of the environment and this affects each and every one of us whether the process takes place
on our land or someplace else.
Interestingly the organizers of this screening invited oil and gas industry representatives, local and state politicians and
everyone else from the pro-fracking side of the debate with the intention to hold a Q&A session following the film.
While the mayor of the host city was in attendance, none of the other invitees showed up, hence no Q&A. How convenient.
What is being done to our planet is unconscionable. Those who stand to make a quick buck employ the dirtiest of schemes
to carry out their duplicitous activity and it's those who are the least-equipped to fight the consequences who will suffer
the most, but not for long. The ultimate ramification of those acts will be death, but don't take my word for any of
this. If you get the chance, see the documentary. Until then here are just a few resources available on line.
There are lots more, but these are good starting points to begin educating yourself about this issue.
EARTHWORKS oil & Gas Accountability Project. www.ogap.org
Northeast Ohio Gas Accountability Project. www.neogap.org Note Fractured Communities page.
Data Tracking. http://www.fractracker.org/
Intermountain Oil and Gas Best Practices Project (on surface use).
Chemicals in Natural Gas Operations, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange.
Gasland (documentary web site with short clips). http://gaslandthemovie.com/
11:57 am est
Or, how to mess up the bathroom you just cleaned yesterday. Answer: Bathe a bloody rooster. As you can see
in the photos Little Red was very cooperative. He sat quietly in a sink full of warm water and hardly protested at all
for the shampoo process although, just like wild birds which voluntarily take baths in outside spas such as ceramic bird baths,
Little Red began to ‘fluff' himself in the basin of bloody water. Hence, the mess.
So much blood was encrusted in the poor fellow's
feathers that it took several rinses before the water was even remotely clear. Of course he could not be returned to
the chilly stall in the barn, so he's spending the afternoon in the shower to dry off. I don't have a working hair drier
and I'm not sure he'd tolerate that anyway.
I'm surprised that not one person has inquired about this unusual (and clean!) cockerel, so once again I remind readers that
Little Red desperately needs a new home ASAP. By the way, don't think he expects to live in the house. He will
be quite happy in a coop with his own kind, just not with another rooster.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Manure management and wishful thinking.
4:36 pm est
Two little donkeys hardly
warrant the expense of a manure spreader. A wheelbarrow is usually adequate, but now that the barn doors are frozen
fast and a deep bank of snow prohibits opening them until a big thaw I have had to make do with a muck bucket and a plan.
Scott and Helen
Nearing (Living the Good Life) were two of the biggest influences in my life. Their philosophy was to never do just one thing
at a time. For instance, when they went for a walk they collected rocks or wood or something else that was needed for
a project that was underway or planned. They didn't just go for a stroll. They took this rule even further.
If they collected rocks on that walk, they deposited them according to size at the proposed site of use, hence eliminating
handling the boulders more than necessary. I'm using the Nearing philosophy in dealing with the winter manure issue.
In summer I
use wood shavings in the stall, but in winter straw is much better. For the donkeys it is more comfortable and for the
garden it is more compostable. I'm sure Scott and Helen would agree that dumping the stall cleanings on one big pile
in the winter and then loading wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow from the pile in the spring to haul to various garden sites would
be an utter waste of time and energy. ‘Far more logical to simply dump the litter on the intended spot now, so
that's what I'm doing, but I'm running out of garden!
I did this last year with stunning results. The straw/manure mix broke down quickly and when the soil was turned the
loamy mix was loaded with healthy earth worms. My plants thrived. It was a win-win effort, but it seemed much
easier last winter. Now the long ridges of manure mounds look as if giant gophers have invaded the place. It's
hard work lugging that loaded bucket, but the garden catalogs inspire me to continue.
I've marked pages in the latest catalog with intended
purchases, anticipating fragrant French climbing roses, maybe some apricots (still thinking about this ...), new peach trees
to replace the broken, diseased ones that will soon be cut down, ornamental grasses that will sway in the summer breezes creating
more privacy and adding new graceful beauty. The list goes on and on and will most likely be heavily edited before placing
the order. There won't be much time for gardening as the porch project is going to be a major undertaking, but an exciting
Like everyone else I'm counting the days until spring. My guess is that February is the most lucrative month of the
year for the garden mail order folks. We are all sick of winter and eager to get our hands in the soil, but I guess
perusing the colorful pages will have to suffice for a couple more months. Darn!
PS: Little Red Rooster is still awaiting
a new home....
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Offers like this don't come around every day!
5:49 pm est
Okay, I admit it. I am sick,
sick, sick of this winter and all the wreckage and trials of the season. Yes, I know there will be readers who eagerly
remind me how often I've expressed my love of the snow, the cold, the challenges, etc. Well, enough is enough.
It won't be
such a big deal to fix the fence, replace the damaged chicken pen, cut down the ruined trees and clean up the yard debris,
but tonight another problem surfaced and this one may not be so easily resolved.
Until this cold spell the chickens always come
and go as they please. They're free range and so the fact that the rooster-hen ratio isn't quite perfect hasn't been
a problem. Each cockerel has his own little harem, but now that they are confined to the indoor coop it has become
I opened the coop door this afternoon to find black feathers strewn all over the floor and knew in an instant that a cock
fight had ensued. The beautiful red and black fellow was tucked into a corner and when I picked him up it was apparent
that he was the loser. His rival, the much-bigger black and white speckled victor sat gloating amidst his bevy of girlfriends.
The red fellow's face and comb were all bloody and while I'm certain he will recover after an extended stay in the isolation
ward AKA the extra stall in the hay room, he won't be able to return to the coop. I must find a new home for this handsome,
docile bird ASAP. He would make a lovely addition to most any homestead.
Imagine being awakened early each morning to crowing
rather than an annoying alarm clock. I can't imagine NOT awakening to this chorus. He will gladly eat bugs from
your garden and will tolerate being picked up and carried around should you choose to do so. He's also very photogenic,
although not right now So, if Mister Rooster sounds like someone you'd like to add to
your life, please contact me. Of course he is being offered on a first come basis. Valentine's Day is just around
the corner. What a perfect gift for your loved one!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Smashed to smithereens.
8:06 pm est
All the heavy ice that
brought down power lines, limbs and trees last week has been gone for days, so I was surprised to see a section of the board
fence along the road "smashed to smithereens" as my mother would have said by a tree that came down. I wasn't
sure what smithereens are, so I looked it up. It means fragments. So, yes that's the condition of the fence; smashed
to smithereens. Oh well, what's one more thing to fix when/if spring comes. I added it to the "to do"
list and headed up to the barn only to discover the avalanche. It looks as if the ton of snow that had been quietly blanketing
the steel roof all let loose at once, smashing the outside chicken pen and leaving a mountain ridge of snow the entire length
of the barn. ‘Something else to fix.
The donkeys had been working on the top rail of this pen for several months, so it's little surprise that it broke so easily.
Even so, Corky (building inspector) was very keen to investigate the wreckage. He seemed pleased to find that bothersome
pen smashed to smithereens.
Over the weekend my arborist friend dropped by to deliver some pine limbs for
the donkeys. The Donkey Sanctuary in Canada said that this is a good idea because as natural browsers they are equipped
to gnaw on pine. At first the two bad asses hurried over to check out the new "toy" in the barnyard, but since
no one was admonishing them to leave the limbs alone, the attraction was short-lived.
"Pretend the logs are for a project and that
you don't want them to touch them," advised friend R. Sure enough. If it's off-limits, it's fair game for
donkeys. They've been messing with them all day. Such an easy way to break the winter boredom. There is other big news on
the road. K. called to tell me the Z's burglar alarm went off a couple nights ago and that the security company called
to say there was no response at the alleged burgled home. So, now the road is abuzz with speculation. Was there
or wasn't there a robbery? Seems to me a thief would be foolish to break into a home when there is so much snow on the
ground. We all know that CSI would be here in a flash taking casts of tire treads and footprints, but then we don't
have CSI in our little township. To be continued.
Monday, February 7, 2011
4:48 pm est
"No, no. No one is
going but Ted," I say to disappointed Ernie and Julie. They act crushed, but Ted is ecstatic. He's the chosen one
and although he's not sure where he's going, he's happy that his chums aren't coming along. I grab the leash and Ted
and I head to the truck. He leaps into the back as if he's a mere pup. "We're going to the vet," I tell
him. He gives me his uh-oh look, but he's still happy and his huge flag of a tail is beating wildly against the seat.
He's going for a ride and that's big fun (he hopes).
We pull into Dr. Costsalot's parking lot and Ted, still full of optimistic excitement hops out and eagerly trots up the walk,
but once inside the office his worry begins to show. Obligingly he steps onto the scale which tops off at 114.6 pounds.
That's a lot of muscle. It's the reason we are here. Ted is a very strong boy who does not, under any circumstances
want his feet messed with. Consequently trimming his nails is impossible. Believe me, I've tried everything, including
enlisting the help of two strong friends, but that only frightened him and made the situation worse. He has come to
the vet to be knocked unconscious so those nails can be cut back to a reasonable length.
We have to wait until an exam room is available.
If Ted could figure out how to get on my lap he would, but since that isn't possible he comforts himself by pressing against
my leg while looking up with that unmistakable worried-dog expression that always makes me laugh. Dogs have eyebrows,
even if they are the same color as the rest of them and like people who knit their brows to indicate concern, Ted's brows
The exam room is ready. In an attempt to act cool and unconcerned he picks up his own leash and carries it into the
scary room. The vet tech laughs and takes it from him to lead him back to surgery. "Oh no! Not surgery!"
says my big black boy.
"He'll be out for about a half hour," says the tech, so I return to the waiting room to watch animal rescues on
the telly until a wobbly Ted immerges. He can barely keep his eyes open, but he's eager to get the heck out'a there.
It's not so easy for him to hop into the truck in his current state. I have to boost him from behind, but he's determined
and does his best to haul his hefty self in. He's sleeping soundly now in his favorite spot. His friends
are happy he's home, but Ted is out like a light. I wonder if he'll appreciate his $52.00 pedicure when he awakens.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
10:03 am est
Prior to all this challenging
weather I bought ice melting salt, dumped it into a big bucket with a scoop and put it in the garden shed. I thought
myself ready for whatever Nature dished out. I didn't figure the bricks in front of the shed would ice up so thickly
it would prevent the door from opening even an inch. Grrrr....
'Off to town to buy more salt to free the shed door. In town it seemed everyone else was there for the same thing; salt.
Only four bags were left at the hardware and there were none at the grocery store. I bought a twenty pound bag of salt
and a sixty pound sack of sand, then spent most of Saturday chipping ice and coaxing the shed doors open. In the garden
shed I encountered my latest unexpected house guest.
The opossum who had been living in the groundhog hole across the road has decided this hostel for the homeless is much nicer.
There's a comfy bed and shelter from the cold and with a bit of luck, a tasty meal. The poor creature looked pathetically
ragged and hungry.
"Wait here. I'll get you something to eat," I said. Now what would an opossum like that would not require
a lot of preparation, I wondered. I was cold and tired and not up to cooking a meal for a marsupial. The bedraggled
darling was patiently waiting and seemed ever so grateful for the big chunk of proffered cheese.
I should have gotten the camera, but frankly one
opossum looks a lot like every other opossum except for the degree of frostbite on the ears and tail. This picture was
taken of last year's guest. It was probably a late relative of the current camper who appears to be young. BTW: Although
opossums can live ten years in captivity (not appropriate pets!), their natural lifespan is only about a year. They
have many predators, but man is their biggest threat. They are too often killed because of human ignorance. Opossums
perform a very useful ecological service and should be protected at the very least.
Friday, February 4, 2011
10:00 am est
It was eight degrees when
I slipped and slid my way to the barn this morning. When I opened the door to the outside from the donkeys' stall both
boys rushed to look out as if perhaps the weather might have changed overnight. Then they turned to me with a look of
disgust perfected by these longears.
"We heard you are planning a trip to the southwest," said Andy with sarcasm. "Is this true?"
I had to confess that indeed I am, but I'm going for work-related reasons and it's even colder where I'm headed. They
refused to believe me.
"You know, we come from warm climates. We hate this Ohio winter weather," Corky lamented.
What could I say to my
fuzzy-faced donkeys? Lately my normally-loving, can't-get-enough-attention boys have become like two spoiled petulant
children. They have no patience for grooming, something they usually enjoy. They toss their hay around as if expecting
to find something special hidden in the flakes. They nip at each other and when they do venture outside their stall
they huddle next to the barn, occasionally reaching down to gnaw off another hunk of siding. Spring can't come too soon.
I tell them
how fortunate they are and what a luxurious lifestyle they lead compared to the heart-breaking conditions just up the road
at Kenny's, but they are unappeased. My friend M. again went to talk to Kenny about the confined young bull and after
a tour of the place with Kenny M. came here to tell me things are even worse than I'd reported.
The bull that had been tethered on a short rope
since its birth last May is now confined to a stanchion! All mobility is now impossible. M. says that while it
probably weighs about a half ton, it has no muscle since it has never known any exercise in its entire life. He said
none of the three animals had any water. M. is a persuasive man and tried to reason with Kenny, but only got "I'll
think about it...," as a response.
"He's a weird old guy," said M. That's an understatement.
For anyone else interested in animal welfare from
a global perspective, the following website offers some useful information. I t came from my British harness maker friend
who works to promote humane practical harnessing for donkeys in developing countries. It's heartening to see the efforts
of other unsung heroes working to genuinely improve animal welfare.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
12:03 pm est
Lying in bed last night,
silently cursing myself for not having gathered kindling I heard what sounded like the snow plow. Hmm, ‘must be
blizzarding again, I thought. When the roar didn't stop I realized it was not the plow, but the wind. This old
house shuddered. When dawn broke I saw what those gales had wrought!
No need to worry about kindling now. The place is littered with downed limbs, branches and trees. The peach tree
I've been pruning and trying to salvage for two years has broken in half. The little snowboat with its cargo of water
buckets skidded all over the place en route to the barn, but miraculously arrived with most of the liquid. Even so the trip
to the barn was very dicey.
The donkeys had been securely closed up all night, but the zephyr outside had them jumpy and when I opened the stall door
they looked at me as if I were insane to think they would venture out. They hate this weather.
A couple of days ago I
became very concerned about Andy's odd behavior. Normally the cuddlier, calmer and wiser of the pair he had undergone
a Jeckell-Hyde transformation. He had no patience with any hugs or affection from me and stomped around with his ears
pinned back. Without provocation he'd suddenly chase a dog, cat and even the chickens, not in play as usual, but with
genuine malice. He even kicked at me, something he has never done.
I feared he might be ill, but all physical signs
were normal. Only his disposition was "off" and all of the horse experts I consulted said the same thing;
"It's the weather. He knows a storm is coming." They were right. Now that the storm has hit Andy
is back to his sweet old self. Whew.
After the slip and slide journey to and from the barn, heading back toward the houseI was just in time to see my favorite
apple tree split in two. The weatherman says the winds are blowing at 45 mph, but I think the blast that is passing
through the living room is only about 20 mph. At least the power hasn't gone off--not yet anyway, so I shall hit publish
before it does. Apparently the worst is yet to come. I'll try to get some photos later.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
3:43 pm est
Everything is coated in
ice. It's really lovely, but listening to the fear mongers on the telly we are all being warned to stay housebound for
who knows how long. More snow is forecast for later. I'm just hoping that things clear by the weekend for First
First Friday is a great monthly event in downtown Canton which features open house at all the art galleries, live music, food,
etc. The focus this month at Second April Galerie (http://www.secondapril.org/) is called Furry and Feathered Hearts Project and some of the artists are donating a percentage of their sales to help animal
rescue efforts including my daughter's rescue called Cripple Creek Ferals & Friends. It will be a great opportunity
to buy some inexpensive (or some expensive, if you wish...) original artwork while supporting a worthy cause.
Here's a sample
of what you can get for less than $20.00. It's a steal considering this is original, not reproduction work by an award-winning
artist who just happens to be my friend.