1. The blog will be quiet this weekend. My mom's memorial is Saturday. I will be celebrating her life with my family and with her friends. I want to talk about her at the gathering; to share a bit about our relationship and what she meant to me. I want to but I'm not sure I'll make it through. I'm going to give it my best shot though. Wish me strength.
2. We do not plan to put a cover on the chicken run to protect them from hawks. We'll see how it goes. They will have a large oak tree and the hen house for cover. If hawks start raiding our flock, I'm sure Brett will come up with some kind of cover. He is putting chicken wire all along the bottom. We don't need raccoons pulling chicken heads through the fence. Yes, they do that and it's gruesome.
3. There has been some discussion in the comments about Jackson and his metabolic syndrome; about his supplements and about the wisdom of letting him eat grass. We don't believe that he has a metabolic condition after all. We had him tested six ways to Sunday and all the tests came back negative. I did put him on Cushings medication for a year since metabolic conditions can throw false negative lab tests -- it didn't make any difference. Our vet up here thinks Jackson just has crappy feet. His laminitis isn't progressing and he shows no other symptoms of metabolic imbalance. His soles are super thin, they get soft when the ground is wet and voila, abscess city. He gets a vitamin supplement to balance his hay. Other than his feet, he's very healthy. He's got a boot on -- a diaper and epsom salt poultice covered with bandage tape and a duct tape sole.
4. I bought a bird feeder and hung it on a pole in my garden. I can see it from the breakfast table and my kitchen window. I have a pair of binoculars and a book on birds in the Sierras sitting close by. Brett thinks I've gone off the deep end, constantly looking up birds. I saw a mountain bluebird the other day so it must be spring.
5. Sandy called and cancelled my lesson on Winston. It seems he's taken naughty to a whole new level. She felt it best (and I agree) that I not ride him until he gets past this tantrum stage. She likened his behavior to a two year old; I don't want to do it! I don't! I don't! But instead of banging his head on the floor (my little brother excelled at that one), he throws himself around the arena. Sandy rides with a lot of tact and sensitivity so if he's pulling this with her, it's all about him. We don't think its pain related since he's good as gold when the work is easy and only protests when she's asking for a bit more. I'm sure he's sore; boot camp is hard work. That isn't an excuse for bad behavior. I have asked that the body work person give him a treatment (massage, acupressure) and we'll see if she feels anything especially ouchy. In the meantime, I'm very thankful for Sandy and for her working with Winston. She believes he can do the work and he can be a good partner; he just needs to do some growing up in the attitude division first.