Monday, December 21, 2009

Ryegate Nubbinette, 1984-Dec. 21, 2009

This morning, Dr. Dan Heistand & I had to help Snubbers over. She had been having troubles and finally, before things got real bad for her, I made that hard decision. Without a necropsy, our best guess was a lipoma starting to strangulate her intestine. She enjoyed about a half dozen carrots this morning and peacefully crossed over.
She was a special and unique horse. She happily went her own way all through her life and always had much enthusiasm. She never knew where she was going, but she got there with enthusiasm. When I would open the back gate to send the horses to the barn for rain or Santa Ana winds, all the horses turned left towards the barn--except Snubbers who took the scenic route to the right and got to the barn on her own good time. She was scritchy buddy with Beans, but most of the time didn't feel the need of a herd.
I have a multitude of Snubbers stories...
We were very very privileged to have had her in our lives. Now she romps the universe--with enthusiasm.
The following 3 posts celebrate her life in photos.

Snubbers, pt 1

In Vermont, at Lester Welch's Ryegate Morgans, meeting Snubbers for the first time. She wants to take David for a walk.

Early summer, her yearling year.

2 years old and not wanting to stand still.

3 yrs old, at the opposite end of the acreage from the other horses.

1989, her first foal, SSM Nubbin's Aaron Moro.

Snubbers, pt 2

photo by Carol Dzindzio, age 5

Taking David for a ride, with enthusiasm.

For a brief while, she lived with Mike & Darlene MacDonald, Ramona CA. She had a colt for them. Here she is w/David, doing her Medieval War Horse stance.

Taking David for a ride, again with enthusiasm.

Snubbers, pt 3

Early Summer 1995, w/her filly SSM Bessie Nekomia

Summer 1997, photo by Julie Heise, Claire Wagner in photo.

Winter 2005, a year of El Nino rains and lots of good eating. This is very typical of Snubbers. The other horses are one place & she is off by herself. Yes, that is a burned-off hill on the other side of the road. We were in the middle of the 3,000+ acre Milton Fire, July 2004.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

After the Rain, pt. 1

Spirit Seeker and Lil' Red charge up the hill upon coming out of the barn after 4 days of on-and-off rain.

Lil' Red is nearly flying.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It Takes a Village to Tend a Sick Horse

Snubbers, age 25, was not doing well Sunday morning and so I called my vet. After we discussed all the symptoms, he said it really sounds like she has sand in her intestines. It has been well over 10 years since I've had any sand problems with my horses because I continually improved thier feeding areas to prevent sand and I had not even considered sand as the source of her problem. A check of her manure showed no sand, but it is not a definitive test as the sand can be in there but not coming out in the manure. And her symptoms just did not fit anything else. In times past, back in the early to mid-90's, the vet would tube with about a pound of psyllium and mineral oil to move the sand. But that particular brand of psyllium is no longer being made and all other psyllium will simply clog the pump and tube. So the answer is to give her Banamine for comfort and feed oat hay and psyllium in the hopes that the sand will get moving. I had Banamine on hand and gave her a shot and she perked up a lot about 30 minutes later. She even ate some psyllium. But I had no oat hay and I no longer have a truck.
I called my feed store, which is open on Sunday, and they were willing to make a special trip out with some oat hay. While they were organizing that, I called my friend & handyman, Mike, and asked if perchance he could make a run to the feed store. He could! I called back the feed store & told them he was coming. I surely do appreciate that the owners of the feed store were willing to do extra for me--hats off to Big Pete's, aka Diamond Valley Market.
So Mike brought up 3 bales of Forage Hay--oat hay, barley hay & wheat hay. Snubbers chowed right into that and has been eating that happily.
But, I was down to only one more dose of Banamine. Over the years, my vet and I have had various "drive-by drug deals on corners" as we call them. One actually was on a corner, as I waited there for him so I could pick up some meds. Other times, I have chased him down to another ranch, and sometimes he brings meds to me at my book store. I called him and he dropped off more Banamine for me this morning at the cleaners next to my store as he was down there very early. Thank you Lewis Cleaners for my strange request that you hold a bottle of horse medicine for me.
It is now more then 24 hours since her last dose of Banamine and she is drinking water, eating her forage hay and has a good demeanor. We may be over the worst; I certainly hope so. I am truly grateful for the people who went the extra mile for Snubbers & I.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Clarion, age 29, and Autumn, age 13.
Lil' Red, age 7
On left, Sedona, age 13 TWH. Middle, Spirit Seeker, age 13. Background, Beans, 21 yr chestnut. Way in the back ground, Snubbers, age 25. Dreamer, age 26, did not make it into the photos that day.

The horses are thankful for sunny warm days.
(Photos taken mid November 2009)

I am thankful for my 3 cats who help me to smile every day.
I am thankful for the horses who continually challenge me and help me to grow and learn.
I am thankful for all those who are helping those who need help.
I am thankful for family and friends.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Autumn Wind--the next week

Now Meg & son had their own corral and all was good. Until a week after his birth, that is. My vet was out for something I no longer recall and we were walking past Meg's corral. That corral sets lower then the driveway so we had a nice over view. The vet stopped and looked at Autumn Wind and then headed down the embankment towards the corral. I followed along with some puzzlement. Once inside, he pointed out to me that Autumn's legs had gone mildly knock-kneed. We both knew that he was not born that way and had not been that way on his first day, but some where in the following days, this had developed. The vet lifted each front leg to look at his feet, then checked out each leg. He told me to take the hoof rasp and with a few swipes trim down the outside of his feet. Foals tend to wear the insides lower as they spread their legs to reach the ground. He didn't want the feet lowered on the outside, just to keep his feet level in order to prevent the knees from further turning inward. I would need to be checking his feet every few days and probably rasping every 5 - 7 days. I also needed to keep his toes round--really round. Foals have pointy feet which normally is not a problem. But we needed his feet and legs to be able to break over squarely forward and for that we needed round toes. I had to round all 4 feet. That was the easy part.
The other part was that I had to restrict his running around which would put more pressure on his legs and would cause more deformity. I hate restricting foals to small areas but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. We figured out which panels to move where & I got the job done later that day.
So we rasped and we glared at the small pen. But it worked. By weaning time, he had wonderfully correct legs and today he wears his hooves (he is barefoot) in a lovely balanced manner without undue wear to one side or the other. My farrier loves his feet and legs.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Autumn Wind--the second day

Since the little colt had trouble with the heat on his first day, I decided to put him & Meg in the barn the next day. I fixed it up so they also had space in the aisle way and I put the two big box fans running in the stall and aisle. Autumn Wind had a good time exploring the new space and Meg settled in to eating her hay. All was well.
Until late afternoon when Meg started to colic. I had no reason to know for sure, but really believed that it was because she was in the barn. I gave her a banamine shot & moved them back outside that evening.
The next day, I finally had time to call her former owner and was telling her about Meg's colt and the ensuing troubles. The former owner said "Oh, we never could keep Meg in the barn as she would always colic. We had to keep her in the pasture all the time."
Well, gee. It sure would have been nice of her to tell me that so I could have saved Meg & myself a whole lot of stress.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Autumn Wind, the second day--Something About Meg

Returning to 1996, before continuing the saga of Autumn Wind, newly born, we need to know something about Meg, his dam.
Meg was not exactly my most typey Morgan; but she did have good using horse conformation & a wonderful pedigree heavy in the old Brunk Morgans (registered name, Kennel's Amarillo Meg). I first knew of Meg many years before I ever had her. Some folks in Missouri found her at the Iowa home of her breeder, an elderly man who was not doing so well anymore. Meg had been born in a pasture, raised in the pasture & was bred & had her foals in the pasture and had little contact with humans. She went to Missouri with a colt at side and when the Missouri folks went to register the colt, found that he did not bloodtype (this was the days before DNA) to the supposed sire. Opps. It took time & money & work, but finally the colt's sire was found. He was now a gelding in another state.
The Missouri people had told me about finding Meg, sent me photos, and kept me updated on the sire search. There was something about Meg that spoke to me. But it was some years later before she came up for sale. I did not hesitate; I bought her.
I knew that she was untrained so had her shipped direct to my trainer. She arrived with a hoof abcess so spent some time standing in a bucket until that resolved. Jennie (shown mounted in the photos) got her going nicely under saddle.
However, the sellers left out a lot of information about her that I had to figure out as we went along. Meg never gave indication that she had ever been abused, but she surely did not really trust humans. It was obvious that she had been a pasture broodmare and rarely handled and saw no real need for humans. But her good nature allowed her to tolerate hoof care and training and handling with good grace.
She did have sporadic mystery colic. It would happen only at dinner feeding & would go away after a shot of banamine. She had no sand that we could detect in her fecal matter and we just could not put a reason to her colics.
And then came the day after foaling. [to be continued]

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hunting Cat Follies, Part 2

Feathers Everywhere!

I arrive home from the store to find feathers all over the living room. Apparently one of the cats managed to catch a bird on the cat patio & of course brought it inside. Feathers were on the couch, under the couch, in the bookcases, under the computer table, in the photo album table, drifting into the kitchen and dining room and heading for the bedrooms. This is not the first time they have brought a caught bird into the house but it is a rare occurrence. A lot of vacuuming later, the feathers were cleaned up.
I really don't like it when they get a bird. But I figure that any bird that can be caught by front claws removed cats (done before I ever had them) deserves to be removed from the breeding population.
I would rather they catch rodents which are destructive and messy and noisy (Ever hear one chewing on your house? It gets very loud.) and dangerous (They will chew the insulation off electrical wires.). Oh well, the cats do have fun.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hunting Cat Follies, Part 1

Oh, Mighty Hunting Cat, it is 2-freaking-30 A. M.!

I was comfy in bed, in that state of not really awake, but neither asleep, when I heard "Sproing" from outside on the cat patio. It was the sound of a cat bouncing off the fence of the cat patio. I knew what was to come next, and, sure enough, next came "Thud. Crash. Flapppppp." This was the sound of a cat blasting into the house through the cat flap. Then came the "Yowwwl. YOWL!" as he called me to come and admire him and his catch. I got up, turned on a light, and admired him and his caught mouse. While I am always glad when he catches a rodent coming into or out of the house, I did wish it was not 2:30 in the morning. He then proceeded to play with it for nearly 1/2 hour.
A while back, I read in a book that domestic cats play with their catch because they are not hungry enough to eat it. They have the instinct to hunt, but not the hunger to turn off the hunt instinct and eat it. So they continue to hunt what they have already caught. And that is why they often do not eat it at all or eat only choice parts.
The Mighty Hunting Cat often does not eat his catch. And when he does eat all or part of it, he usually barfs it back up shortly afterwards.
I did get back to sleep, finally, with one less rodent living under the house.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


After she was weaned, she continued to eat sand but I had enough of chasing her in the arena. I got Cloud Dancer, my main riding gelding, got her, and started to pony her. We all survived doing it in the arena so we headed out on the roads. I generally had the roads to myself whenever I rode, so I started to turn her loose once we were away from home. She loved it. She and the dogs were roam around, galloping here & there, while Cloudy & I walked along.
One lovely spring day, early in her yearling year, we headed out during a record migration of Painted Lady Butterflies. We got to the top of a hill, in a meadow setting, and the butterflies were so heavy in numbers that I saw her through a curtain of butterflies. It was one of those shining moments that shall live forever for me.
Sometime during the summer, she stopped eating sand and I was able to put her in the front lot with other horses. More time passed and after doing ground work with her at home, I sent her out for riding training. She arrived there, looked around, found the feed and chased off the other horses & settled right in. Her training went well and while there her person found her from my ads in California Horsetrader. She is still with that person, riding the trails and doing dressage.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Vulture Convention

When I was about 1 1/2 mi out my road the other day, I came across a vulture convention. There were four of them on two different electric poles and another 3 flying about. After a while, another landed on a pole, then they all flew off.
From a good authority (someone who used to work at a wild animal park), I have been told that they have soft "kissable" heads.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Round about 2 months or so, I found that Samantha had become a Sandeater, and ever worse, a Dedicated Sandeater. She would stroll around the arena, taking in large mouthfuls of sand. I tried moving her to a less sandy pen but she just found the sand and continued to devour it. For the night, in desperation, I shut her & Rebecca into a stall that had stall mats. The next day, I had delivered a truck load of more stall mats. The stall had a 10' x 20' pen off of it and I was going to stall mat the entire thing. The barn supply truck stacked up the mats right near the pen's back gate & I went to work, dragging those 100 pound mats into place in the pen. Once done, I opened the stall door and let them out. Samantha promptly checked for a spot with sand but she could not find a weakness to exploit in her hunt.
Since young horses need space to run, I got her & Rebecca out into the arena twice a day, every day for a run. Rebecca had a good roll and Samantha would run--until she ran off some energy then started the search for sand. Then I got to run after her and get her moving again. I had also started spooning psyllium into her mouth to clean out what sand she had already gotten and what she was still managing to get. The results of the first day of that was dramatic. Her poop the next day was the unique charcoll gray color of heavy sand. She did not especially like eating the psyllium, but did not really fight it either and most of what I spooned into her mouth did go down into her.
So we all survived. She was weaned at about 5-6 months and then I had to figure out a new way to exercise her as I was now doing more running then her.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Samantha was the fourth, and the last, of the mating of Clarion and Rebecca. It was a good cross and we had planned to keep doing it, but such was not to be. As the foaling date got closer and Rebecca started to show signs, she was moved to the barn and given free run of the arena. Early one morning, just getting light enough to be able to see outside some, I saw that she had a foal just born. Within 20 minutes the filly was up and nursing heartily. Rebecca happily started eating and all looked well. Later that morning I left for work and asked a friend to keep an eye on the pair. I got home that afternoon to hear from my friend that she felt that something was wrong. There was nothing overt, but Rebecca just seemed a bit dull. The afterbirth had long passed that morning before I had left and she was not showing any actual signs of pain or distress. But something was off. I checked her vital signs and saw that her gums were a bit pale and her heart rate was a bit elevated. So I called my vet.
By the time he arrived, Rebecca was showing signs of pain. After an exam, the vet decided she had experienced an uterine hemmorage. This is usally fatal to the mare. However, he felt that hers had stabilized, likely forming a clot in the ligament and stopping the bleeding. He advised giving her Banamine and keeping her quiet in the stall for 5 days. Poor Samantha had to be locked up in the stall with her mom for her first five days of life.
Finally, on day six, we allowed them into the small pen attached to the stall, and then into the arena where Samantha promptly showed her love of running. Rebecca declined to run with her and was content to watch her from the hay pile. Rebecca went on to be just fine but I was unwilling to risk her life for another foal, so Samantha was the last. Rebecca became my riding horse for a while before moving on to another family to trail ride and ride in parades. Samantha went thru a sand eating stage, but that is another story.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Samantha Flying

SSM C Samantha Ash, foaled 1990 (Clarion of Quietude x Rosemont Rebecca)
Photo taken when she was a late 3 yr old.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cat Duplex

I had put this bench on the bed so I could vacuum. Once I was done, the cats took over.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Flicker Family

There have always been red-headed flickers up here but last year and this year have seen a population explosion of them. Last year, I kept seeing 5 of them at a time, all grouped together, and this year, I have seen as many as 8 together in a group. I had a drippy faucet last year, and they would hang out around it to get drinks. One would sit on the faucet and bend over to catch drips. Another would be hanging onto the side of the riser, waiting his turn. The rest would be swooping from the nearby tree, trying to chivvy the ones on the faucet to hurry up. Sometimes, one of the tree birds would manage to drive off a faucet bird and then take his place. All this would be done with much screeching and raucous chittering. The faucet was replaced last winter so this year's family do not hang out there now. I see them a lot on the electric pole outside the back door. They will be clinging to the side of it, sitting on the cross beam up above the transformer, and flying about from here to there. Eight of them are a lot nosier then five of them. It is rather like a group of teen age boys, each showing off to the others. And shouting non-stop. If this group is like last year's, I'll be enjoying their antics well into the fall.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Raven Family

For the past weeks, I have had company every morning while I feed the horses. A raven family appears every day and hangs around while I toss hay. The two juveniles are only a bit smaller then the parents in height but more noticeably smaller in fullness and girth. However, it is their behavior that gives them away as being youngsters. They spend most of their time bothering their parents for food with their open mouths right in the parents' faces while they make raucous loud noises. The parents try to ignore them but always end up giving in and stuffing their caws with regurgitated, yummy food. Watching this daily morning performance, I have learned that the inside of young ravens' mouths is bright red, likely making it a better target for the parents. The youngsters are absolutely tireless, and never ever give up. They are capable of finding their own food and can do so, but prefer to badger the parents and get the partially digested food from them. Being ravens, they are smart and fearless. They know the horses are no threat and walk around them at will. They are slightly wary of me, having learned that I am no threat to them but since I am a strange being, they retain some wariness and will move if I get to about 3 feet away from them. One of them is starting to figure out that sitting real near a bucket of senior feed while a horse eats, just may garner a reward of spilled good stuff as the horse dribbles some feed about. This could prove to be an interesting development to watch.

They add enjoyment to my early mornings.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I have a grand view of the professional firework display put on by the city of Temecula. From my place up in the hills, I can see it just fine. I have enjoyed the display for many years now. Last night, I got to see two displays. There is a new one east of the Temecula display. It was fun to see two going at once. The fireworks are so bright, that even at the distance of 15 miles or so, it is nearly too bright for my eyes. I could never be close and watch them. In a fine display of how sound travels slower then light, the boom of the fireworks arrived after the lights were visible. I could hear the fireworks from the north, over at the Soboba Indian casino, but the high ridge nearby blocked the view.
Without the hassle of being with a crowd or putting up with traffic, I was able to enjoy the displays.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How to Talk to your Animals by Jean George

The book should be called "How to Listen to Your Animals" as it is really about that. It does a good job of explaining different domestic animals' face expressions, body language, use of ears and tails and what it all means. By paying attention to the different vocalizations of the animal, valuable feedback into the animal's state of mind can be gained. I found the book interesting and a fun read. However, I did find the chapter on horses to be her weakest one. She had some things right on and some things, not so much. The chapter on birds was interesting as those are the ones I know least about. I laughed a lot in the dog and cat chapters as she was so right about their "language". Yep, that's a cat, alright, I kept saying to myself.
All in all, this is a book worth reading.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Autumn Wind, the First Day--July 1996

The mare, Meg, continued to have no signs of impending birth, so I left her out on the back hill lot with the other horses. She wasn't really due for a few days yet, so it was not a surprise that nothing was looking ready yet.
However, it was a surprise, to come out one hot July morning and see her standing by herself with an extra set of legs behind her. Oh, nuts.
I fed the other horses, gathered up a rope and a grain bucket with grain and headed out to her. I caught her and moved her and the colt into the birth pen. Oh well, better late then never. He looked healthy and fine and had been nursing. Meg was ready to eat and settled in with her feed. I went out for a look for the afterbirth and finally found it way over in the other corner of the 2 acre lot. While looking I also found little tiny hoofprints everywhere. It looked like Meg had taken him on a tour of the entire 2 acres, up and down the hills and ravines.
Later that afternoon, despite having shade, the little guy was not feeling so well and was actually panting. A call to my vet got me draping him in cold wet towels and moving him into the shade and keeping him there. He came out of it and his temperature dropped. My vet, who was in a series of emergency calls, decided that since he perked up so quickly, he could wait until the next morning's scheduled foal check appointment.
Once the sun went down, the colt was frisky and happy again. But I decided to move them into the barn the next day for better sun protection. What an epic that turned out to be.

to be continued

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Mighty Hunting Cat Scores Again

So I'm sitting at the table yesterday when a movement on the kitchen counter, seen out of the corner of my eye, gets my attention. I look and see a really large mouse; except that around here something that looks like a really large mouse is not a mouse but a young rat--a teenager rat. Our rats look like huge overgrown mice more then the classic rat. The teenager rats are bold, audacious and lack good judgment. I just hate it when a teenager rat ends up inside the house as they are hard to catch and very persistent. And they will sit there and flip the finger at me. This one ran across the top of the stove-oven unit and down the vents in the back of the oven. Oh grand, a rat in the working parts of the oven. Within a few moments, it was back on the counter again. I made a run and nearly got it by the tail. I heard it coming back up again and this time went and got the Mighty Hunting Cat and put him on the counter. He heard the rat and waited. He watched and made his move but missed in the confusion of the stove top elements. The rat came back and this time headed towards the other direction and ended up on the floor behind the refrigerator. The Mighty Hunting Cat hunkered down in front of the fridge and waited. He took a dinner break and a potty break but returned to his vantage point. When I went to bed at 9 o'clock or so, he was still there waiting.
Shortly after midnight, I was awakened by cat yowling. It was Summer and he was heading towards the bedroom--"yowl. Yowl. YOWL!" I flipped on the light and in he marched with teenager rat in mouth. Another bad piece of judgment for a teenager rat. I did not know a cat could yowl while holding a rat in his mouth. I petted him and praised him and he went off to the living room to play with his prize. Not much later, he joined the rest of us in bed. The next morning I found the uneaten rat on the floor.
Good job, my Mighty Hunting Cat.
And he does this without the use of front claws as his previous owner had him declawed.
Teenager rats--zero; Mighty Hunting Cat--5 (all that have come into the house)

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Peppertree ate the Water Line

Shortly after moving up here, a pepper tree planted itself and grew and grew. We just left it alone and let it grow. The only problem was that it was right near the water line from the pump house to most everywhere else.
Finally, last Thursday I came out of the tack room to see a pond of water with water bubbling up out of the ground near the tree's trunk. It had happened at last. The tree had busted the water line. I turned off the electric to the pump at the circuit breaker box (can be seen on post in the photos) and called Joe, my handyman. We decided it made no sense to just fix the busted part and it was much more sensible to move the water line. I sent him off with some cash and a list of PVC pipe and parts needed.
The next morning he went and rented a walk-behind trencher (Ditch Witch), which can be seen in the one photo along with its own little trailer, and visited Home Depot for the rest of the stuff. My other handyman, Mike, got up here and they went to work while I was at my store. I got home that afternoon to find a dejected Joe. While cutting trench with the Ditch Witch, he had cut the electric line to the well. It was not only in the same trench as the water line, which we both should have figured ahead of time would be the case, but it was right on top of the water line, which is not the optimal way to do things. The new water line was laid and ready but Joe needed some parts to fix the electrical line.
I was just glad, again, that I have a 4,000 gallon tank of back-up water. It is only gravity flow, but it does give bucket water for the house and my 100 foot hose reaches the horse's water troughs.
The next morning, Joe returned the Ditch Witch, which was well needed as the ground was really hard down there, and visited Home Depot again. By the time I was home Saturday afternoon, all was back in place and running. Mike came out this morning to backfill the trenches.
Just another day in the country!

The photos above show the water line eating pepper tree, the trenchs to move the water line around the tree, the pump house in the background, the ditch witch and the work in progress.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sand Colic

Posting on Fugly Horse of the Day blog comments got me to thinking about sand colic. Our ground is sand, de-composed granite and composed granite. Wonderful stuff, except for feeding horses. In the early years here, I fed psyllium but found that did not work. My vet and I worked out a proceedure for tubing psyllium to each horse about once a year. Then, finally, I was able to get stall mats from a local dealer.
These were 4 foot x 6 foot and weighed about 100 pounds. I could pick one up and drag it into place, but could only go a short distance. But drag them I did, one stall after another until all 8 stalls were done and also the "Alcove" which was the first 12 feet of the aisle that opened to the arena and was fenced off to make a stall. I had my handymen do the run-in shelters.
Once the horses were eating off the mats, we had no more sand colic. There was some maintence involved. The mats needed sweeping off periodically to remove the sand the horses tracked onto them. Rodents burrowed under them and so they needed to be pulled every few years and the floor re-leveled. And the ones in the larger run-in shelters would move and had to be reset as needed.
When I am doing some heavy duty maintence on the mats, I just console myself with remembering scary colics of the past.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Top of Sage Road

Here is the view from the top of Sage Road, heading down to Hemet. The two mile grade is known as St. John's Grade and used to be marked as such on old marks, but not anymore. The origin of the name is unknown.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Calico Catatude

My sister, the family cat expert, warned me. Other people warned me. But I went and got a calico cat anyways--and could not be more pleased!
She does indeed have attitude, as promised. She is loving and friendly until I do something she does not like and then she becomes a hissing, spitting, whirling devil who will bite if she feels I am not doing right by her. So far, only rear-end cleaning has caused that reaction; so it is a really good thing that she rarely has poop problems.
She surely has attitude towards the two Maine Coon guys. She does not like them. She does not like them in her house (even though they were here first). She does not like them near her. She will launch unprovoked attacks at them, spitting and hissing and batting them in the face. She will launch provoked attacks at them in the same manner. But we all co-exist anyways.
She can be demanding--"PLAY WITH ME NOW!" She is very fussy about food and will go hungry until something she likes is in her bow. She wants only canned food, chopped small with gravy or sauce, and only the right flavors.
I am sure glad I went and got her and added her to the household.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oh-oh, one of the cats leaked out

The cat patio is fully enclosed with v-mesh wire on the bottom and then chicken wire on top. The guys did a real good job and it is well-secured with no gaps at all. The bottom photo is of Hestia and the v-mesh wire. My bedroom is one wall of the cat patio and if the cats rub on the wire fence at all, it really reverberates in the room.
The other night, it sounded like the cats were having a major rub fest against the fence; and it went on, and on, and on, and still more. Finally, the noise stopped and I went back to sleep. In the morning, I got up and dressed and headed out to feed horses. I stepped outside the back door and there is a cat sitting in the weeds by Cracker's cage. I looked at Sky (top photo)--he looked at me. [[long pause]] He meowed and sauntered up to the door to go back inside. Of course he had gotten into the weed seeds--fillare, needle grass, fox tails and more were firmly wedged into his long hair all over his body.
After several grooming sessions with different tools and a final polish by hand, he was weed seed free.
And how did he get out of the cat patio? That remains a mystery. I cannot find any gaps in the fence anywhere or any of the v-mesh that has been pushed apart. Somehow, he just got through it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garden--coming along

Instead of digging individual holes for each plant, Mike dug out the entire space. Then he lined it with plastic coated chicken wire to keep the gophers out. In this photo, I had done a lay-out of the plants. Then I took them out so Mike could put the dirt back in. My other handyman, Joe, looked at this and said it looked like a backhoe had done it all--yeah, Mike the human backhoe.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

2nd step of the garden--Yikes!, Dikes

All the time I've been up here, I have joked that we have no soil. Our ground consists of granite, decomposed granite and sand. The good part of this ground is that we never have mud. The downside is that it is impossible to dig when dry.
Mike, the handyman, spent the first hour scraping off about 1 inch of the top and making small dikes so we could soak the area. Once this stuff is wet, it digs easily. This photo was taken after the second day's work. There is some more digging to do, so more dikes. And, yes, that corner is higher. That was less decomposed over there and much more composed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

And so it begins... The New Garden

Here is the before photo. This space is off one end of the house and was nothing but hard ground and weeds. A few weeks ago, I decided to make it into a flowering perennial garden.
The fence is used v-mesh wire and left-over t-posts and was put up back in 2006. The gate was a freebie from the person I got the used v-mesh. The old bar-b-que is heading for Salvation Army soon.
First step--have the idea.