Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'll Be Back

My suitcase is packed and I'm ready to go.  I cleaned stalls, put wine in the pantry for Brett, wrote out goat feeding instructions, made oatmeal raisin cookies for Brett, and tried to get everything set up for him.  Two weeks isn't an eternity but it feels that way.  We haven't spent more than four days apart in the last -almost 15 years. 

My blog will be dark for two weeks and then I'll be back with pictures and stories.  Tomorrow morning I will try fit in a short ride on Jackson before we head to the airport.  What am I looking forward to the most?  The coffee and croissants.  Breakfast in France is the BEST. 

à bientot -

Ranch Visit with Rose

Yesterday evening, our yoga instructor (Megan) came up for a BBQ with her husband and daughter.   Of course, the main focus of the visit was meeting all the critters.  We wasted no time and immediately headed for the barn.

First we stopped at the chicken pen.  Rose asked if she could try to pet one of the chickens.  I told her if she could catch one, she could pet it.  We have speedy chickens.  They headed into the hen house where the door is too small for cowgirls to follow.

The bunnies were more cooperative.
We moved on to the donkeys.  Jackson wondered why they weren't visiting him. 

Rose took a picture of Jackson while Megan met the donkeys.

Finessa, who is usually very skeptical of new people, instantly loved Megan.

Jackson finally got his turn with Rose.

Flash accepted a carrot but he didn't go for any of that gooshy lovey dovey stuff.

No siree, don't try to kiss my face.  Rose didn't mind. 

And then it was off to meet the goats.  Bella was up first.

Thistle wanted some lap time too.

Meanwhile, Brett and Bella were playing their favorite game: king (queen) of the mountain.

It was a very successful visit.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Clear, sunny and warm...

This morning's early fog burned away by 8:00.  We ended up with blue skies and temps in the low 70s.  Brett was up early to get Flash ready for mounted posse training.  They were gone before 7:00.

I took Sedona back to the vet's barn where her stitches and the tubes were removed.  And she is able to be outside again.  That makes for one very happy dog -- and two very happy people.  She is far to large to be in the house 24/7 and it was driving all of us nuts.  Kersey is beside herself with joy.  Sedona had to growl a bit to quell the puppy's enthusiasm at her return to the dog yard.

After getting Sedona settled, I gave the goats their wormer balls.  Of course, they don't know they are wormer balls since they look and taste like treats (herbs mixed with molasses, formed into balls, and rolled in oats).

Thistle is starting to hold his own ground with the other two.  Initially, he hung back and let them push him around.  Bella, in particular, is very jealous of us.  She won't let anyone else get close.  Typical girl with goat yard drama.  I can't get irritated because she crawls in my lap, tucks her feet under her, lays down, and starts making a purring sound.
Bear hopes that if he stands on the shed shelf, he'll be fed another bottle of milk.  Dream on, kid.

Thistle is a good little eater.  He browses on the weeds and the alfalfa - and is already chewing his cud.
The gardens are going gang busters.
The rhubarb is coming along.  There isn't enough yet for a pie.

Tomatoes and pumpkin.  The tomatoes will ripen while I am gone.  ARGHH!

I love the spicy cinnamon scent of backyard carnations. 

I can't believe poppies are growing in the greenhouse.  It's hot in there now!
Poppies are also still blooming out by the pool.

This agave is named "Jaws"  -- apt name, I'm thinkin'

I'm starting to pack and get ready for our trip.  I throw stuff in the suitcase, think about it, take some out and add different stuff... it's a process.  Camille and I are bringing small suitcases since we will be moving around quite a bit and its a pain lugging a big honkin' suitcase.  I told my friend that we would arrive with small bags.  She doesn't believe me.  She says petit for an American is huge for a French person.
Suitcase and carry on -- pretty petit!

Camille and I already got our pedicures.  These feet are ready for walkin'

Our yoga teacher and her family are coming up later this afternoon for a bbq and to meet the goats.  Kids and goats -- I should have great pictures for tomorrow's post.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Riding Aragon

This morning I rode Jackson.  At least, I thought it was Jackson.  It was the same sweet face diving into his halter, standing at the tie rail to be groomed and tacked up,  and eagerly walking to the arena.  But, when I picked up the contact he immediately rounded underneath me and starting working over his back and reaching for the bit.  I thought to myself "I'm riding Aragon!"  They're both greys, right?  If I had a video of our ride, I would post it but since there were no witnesses you'll have to make do with this. 

Okay, okay.  So we did 20 minutes of trot work with a bit of canter at the end.  Jackson doesn't know anything about collection and he's just learning impulsion.  But he was the most balanced I've ever felt him and he was working so honestly, so correctly, that it made me grin from ear to ear. 

I told him he's better than Aragon.  And I meant it.  He is my kind of Aragon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Meet Thistle!

Last night we picked up Thistle and put him in the shed with Bear and Bella.  Everyone got along just fine.  Thistle wouldn't drink his bottle -- too much exploring and introducing to do!  This morning I managed to get him to drink his bottle - he fought it for awhile, twisting his little goat face this way and that but I managed to get the nipple in his mouth and keep it there - and he went "Oh!  Milk!" and gulped it all down.  Silly little boy!

Here is the handsome boy.  I just love LOVE his coloring!  My little buckskin goat...

And Little Bear has the cutest face ever.  Fortunately, he doesn't mind me kissing on him all the time.

And Bella is so sweet, and such a girl .. not a girlie girl, a tomboy (she loves to climb and she's very brave).

But wait - something has caught their attention.  What could it be?

Ohhhh.... it's a bear, or a wolf, or something vicious outside the fence.

They went closer to investigate with brave Bella in the lead.

Kersey started wagging her tail and jumping and ... well... the goats scattered.  This friendship may take awhile to develop.

In other news, Sedona is on the mend.  She is very happy in the mud room greeting us as we come and go.  The abscess is still draining a lot so we have to keep her on the tile but she has her bed so she's comfortable.  Fortunately, being on the elderly side she isn't getting cabin fever.

The final two goats (Cowboy and Whiskey) will join our herd in early August or late July.  They are not dairy goats so they can stay with their mama until they are weaned.  We won't be bottle feeding them at all.

Camille and I are leaving for France and London next Monday.  We will be gone two weeks and I am not taking my laptop (too heavy!) so my blog will be dark.  I have a very close friend who lives in Normandy and we will be spending our second week with her, exploring Normandy, the landing beaches, and her beautiful little country house in Brittany (my favorite place in France).  We will spend a couple days in Paris when we first arrive and then five days in London.  Any recommendations on "do not miss" sites in London would be very welcome!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sedona Goes Back to the Vet

Warning: this post contains bloody pictures.

This morning when I opened the back door to let the dogs out, it took a few minutes for Sedona to come out of her doghouse.  When she emerged, she was a bloody mess.  After my initial reaction of "holy crap!" I realized she most likely had an abscess that burst.

I raced down to the barn to feed the horses and muck the pasture.  Then I raced back to the house and got the goats their bottles of milk.  Bear and Bella are speed demon drinkers - one bottle, empty, 60 seconds.  Then I loaded Sedona into the car and drove an hour (well, I got there in less than an hour...) to the vet's barn.  I was at his gate at 7:30.  He confirmed that it was an abscess and after cleaning and shaving the area, he saw puppy bites.  I'm guessing they were eating manure, then playing, and Kersey gave Sedona a love bite loaded with bacteria.

I picked up Sedona after work (she had to be sedated, local lidicaine wasn't cutting it for her) and brought her home.  She is recuperating in the mud room and seems pleased with her digs.  We have to keep the area very clean and wait for it to stop draining.  In the meantime, she is on antibiotics and I have to hold a warm compress on the area twice a day.  Fortunately, she loves the warm compresses.  She leans into the wash cloth and closes her eyes.  The drains and stitches will come out on Friday or Saturday.

Poor puppy dog!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Goat video

Here it is -- drum roll -- the goat video!

Regular Posting Will Return...

I took a video of the goats last week that I have to upload and edit -- I promise to get it up in the next few days. 

We have been out of town all weekend at my nephew's graduation Saturday followed by moving my son out of the dorms and into an apartment for the summer.  Tonight when we got home, I discovered a big - grapefruit size - growth on the side of Sedona's face.  It's between her ear and her neck, her lip is involved on that side causing swelling and droopiness.  It isn't sore, it isn't squishy, it's scaring me to death. 

I know I am behind in reading everyone's blogs and posting my own but I just don't have the energy tonight. 

Camille and I leave for France in a week.  I don't want to leave Sedona.  But Camille and I have been planning this trip for a year so of course we will go. 

I'm rambling.  Sorry  -- will write a coherent post soon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bear and Bella Arrive!

This afternoon I drove back out to the Temecula wine country and picked up Bear and Bella.  When I got home, Brett helped me unload them.  Initially, they cautiously poked their way through the shrubs while keeping one eye on us.  Pretty soon they were bounding across their paddock like deer, bouncing off the rocks, tree stumps and us. 
Bella was the braver, curious one.  Bear stuck close behind her.

Cautiously scoping out the territory

Little Bear

Bear: Let's go over there!  Bella: I'm not sure we should go behind the shed.  Let me ponder on this.

Okay, let's go!

This isn't a goat feeder.  This is a toy for Bear.  Obviously.

Brett: What are you guys doing on my rock?

Bear and Bella: We're trying to decide what kind of toy you are.

Bear: Camera?  What's a camera?

Let me take a closer look.  Is it edible?

Bella:  Me too!  I wanna see the camera toy!

Don't they look innocent?   They were playing "Lets Jump On Brett" -- he looks a bit worried, doncha think

Real worried.

I think it's pretty clear who their favorite toy is...  (and vice versa)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sedona collects foxtails

A couple days ago, I was rubbing Sedona's face and when I rubbed her ear she whined.  The next day she yelped.  Then she stopped eating.  She would take a piece of food from my hand with a look that clearly said "just to make you happy, mom", then she'd turn the other way and drop it out of her mouth onto the ground.  Last night she was very grumpy with Kersey and followed me around like a shadow.  This morning I called our vet and left a "what should I do" message.  He called me back at around 2:00 and said it was most likely a foxtail in her ear and to bring her in.  I drove home from work and loaded her in the car.  Our dog and cat vet is a mobile vet - he works out of his truck - but he also has an office at his Friesian ranch.  I took Sedona to him.  Sure enough there was a foxtail in her right ear ...and another one in her left.  They were deep, almost touching the eardrum and her ears were inflamed.  He ended up giving her light sedation because it was just too painful for her to have him digging around in there otherwise.  The cool thing was that I got to assist - cool since I wanted to be a vet when I was a kid.  He pulled out a total of three foxtails.  He's a great big guy and when he was done, he gave her some morphine for pain and then carried her out to the car where he deposited her in the back seat.  She is 80 lbs, and was starting to squirm so I was thankful he was able to carry her.  She snuggled into her bed and happily rode home.  When I pulled into the garage, she wouldn't get out.  I decided to leave the car door open with the door to the dog area open as well so she could get out at her leisure (it had been 1 1/2 hrs since the procedure so the sedation had well worn off).

Kersey and I went off to look at the goat area.  Brett finished up today and he wanted me to see the playground he made:

and the finished interior of the goat shed:

Tomorrow afternoon I will bring home the first two goats: Little Bear and Bella.  We're ready!

After mucking and feeding, I headed back to the house.  Sedona was waiting for me:

Right.  She hadn't moved.  I finally coaxed her out and she headed straight for her dog house where she is currently resting.  Poor thing.  At least I won't have nightmares about her dying tonight.  Last night I didn't sleep.  I knew she didn't have some terminal disease but she is getting older (9 and she's a big dog) so when I turn off the lights to sleep I toss and turn and worry instead.

Foxtails: the price you pay for squirrel hunting when you are a ranch dog.