Thursday, July 21, 2016

Yep, new arrivals on their way!

...but first, let me satisfy you cat-fans out there!
Annuk was helping Gordon read the news on his iPhone last night...

She is such a tiny, wild thing. You may recall she is one of four siblings I brought home from Syros, Greece in April 2015. I managed to adopt out two of those cats, but Archie and Annuk have stayed. Annuk took a while to get cuddly! She runs around meowing like a maniac sometimes, the most pitiful "I haven't eaten for weeks!" kind of sound. She's incredibly lithe and fast, and I love her markings. I'm really glad she stayed.

Meanwhile, our horses should be moving home by the end of this month.

This is me and my boyfriend Roo. :)

And Gordon and the "other woman" Sandy. We've both been getting much better at cantering in our lessons, and last night was a first. After we finished our lesson in the covered  sand ring, our instructor let us go out and ride down to the end of the road and back on our own! This was a huge thing as there was a time when I thought I'd never have the confidence to ride without a guide or instructor. But it all went just fine last night. I have really developed a good seat for riding and have progressed quite a bit this year, as has Gordon. It's pretty exciting. I even accidentally did a tiny jump with Roo a couple of weeks ago... we were supposed to be trotting over some raised polls but instead he did a jump. And I was just fine, not even a scream.

Last night he tripped while I was cantering and I didn't even blink. I remember a time when I wondered how I would ever know how to put on a saddle and bridle by myself!  We are really looking forward to having the horses at home. We will be borrowing a friend's trailer to take them to lessons every week. Our new sand ring here is nearly finished and will be a ton of fun to ride in.

And we are getting some new additions this weekend, including this two Runner-duck crosses:

And on Sunday, we are taking in a pig named Patrick and a 6-week old goat kid, both from the animal shelter in Sherbrooke, Quebec. We were nearly going to take in two goat kids, but one of them sadly died yesterday. The pair of kids were dumped at the shelter when one was a day old, and the other a week old. The little one still had his umbilical cord, and they were both in very poor shape. The wonderful vet at the shelter took them home and fostered them, and managed to restore them to good health, but for some reason the little one passed away yesterday. Given all the challenges he had to overcome, it's not entirely surprising. Among other things, the foster goat mama wouldn't let him nurse, but did allow the older kid to do so.

So what I really wish is that I could find another goat kid in need of adoption to keep this new little one company, because he is too small right now to put out with the big goats. I'm working out what to do.

And the pig is a sweet little 1-year-old pot-belly. He was taken home by one of the shelter's volunteers and has been there for a year. She approached me last year about adopting but we were about to take in Henry at the time and I couldn't manage it. Patrick has been shunned by her other three pigs, so she asked me again if I would take him, since she is also bringing us the little goat kid. So we said yes! We're hoping he'll fit in better here with a bigger herd and more space. I'm kind of hoping Henry will befriend him but we'll see.  Pictures to follow!

And here's Alex looking very proud of himself for scoring a spot on the forbidden guest bed...

And here is out lovely donkey Saul...

...the new guy, Jimmy (a blue roan Shetland pony)...

...and Finney and Esme!

Jimmy has really fit in spectacularly well. I'm surprised at how easy his integration was. He really is a lovely little pony. He came with a cart and saddle and supposedly is broke to ride and drive. Once the sand ring is finished, we'll hook him up to the cart and see how he does. He is still packing some extra weight (as is Finney, oops!) so he could do with regular exercise.

And here's a hollyhock from our garden...

That's all for now. Enjoy your Thursday!

PS If you want to learn a bit about Pip and Mootie, two cats we adopted in October 2014, check out this old post from my friend Deb's blog. I never guessed at the time that before long, these two cats would join our family!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Welcome Jimmy!

I seem to recall myself saying, "No more equines!"

Baaaaahahahahahhahahaha Oh I slay myself!
Meet Jimmy the Shetland pony. He is 15 years old and badly needed a forever home. So he's come to live here, even though it means we have to build another damn box stall before winter.

He is super cute, and rides and drives. He came with a saddle and cart. May be a bit rusty at it, but we will tune him up and get him going in the new sand ring that's nearly finished!

(Before the sand was added over the gravel layer)

Jimmy arrived today and the introductions have gone well. First he met Esme. No problems there...

Then we put him with Saul and Finney over in the pasture/sand ring area. There was some screeching, kicking and chasing...

... but things settled down pretty quickly.

Finney chasing Jimmy chasing Saul.

Saul's opinion of it all is HELL NO. But I think Finney and Jimmy will be buddies...

Jimmy soon felt comfortable enough to roll on the ground next to Finney...

...who soon felt comfortable enough to roll on the ground next to Jimmy!

Yes, I think all will be well! :)

My Dad's name was Jim so I took it as a sign that this pony is named Jimmy!

Hope you are all having a great weekend.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Happy Weekend!!

Hi faithful blog followers! First, here are some cats to satisfy my feline-loving friends.

Guess who apparently met up with a skunk last night?

Peeyuw! No way am I giving Keaton a bath! Good thing he's a barn cat. 

And here are the two terrible tabbies...

...stealing a dog bed again. And completely unrepentant! Pip and Alex have taken to snuggling together. I wonder if it's because brown tabbies are drawn to brown tabbies? :)

And I took some goat pics the other day...

Little Pierre is super sweet!

Do you like my new hat?

Monty is doing GREAT!

Ophelia quite likes him!

This dog is SCARY smart. I have been clicker-training and oh my Dog, he learns stuff SO fast. I am really impressed with him. He has a lovely personality on top of it all, and is already showing great instincts with his herd.

And he's getting better with the cats. too. Buttercup actually dared to come up to the fence while I was sitting on the other side from Monty.

Monty is much calmer now around the felines, although he has to interact with them a bit more before they all declare themselves friends.

He is a REALLY good boy. Almost five months old, and already huge.

Back to goats... 

Bambi and Emmeline (Pierre's sister)

Oh wait, here's muddy Monty again!

Oh yeah...

...I pity the poor coyote who takes on this killer!

He's too cute, and he knows it.

And I got this sticker FOUR YEARS ago but never got it on my vehicle. I think it was waiting for my new pick-up truck. I finally put the sticker on today...

I never put bumper stickers or anything on my vehicles, but this one spoke to me.

 Yesterday reporter Dave Brown and his crew from Accessible Media Inc. came to the farm to film a segment for AMI This Week, which broadcasts nationally.  So exciting!

 What a fun day. Dave used to be the traffic reporter for the CBC Ottawa morning show and I listened to him for years, and now he has this TV gig. He has a great sense of humour, and did really well for a city boy on the farm. The crew was here filming for about 2-1/2 hours, and I found the whole process so interesting. Producer Lisa Nault was great, really kind and easy to talk to, as was the camera man Lionel Goddard. I gave the three of them each a dozen eggs and some cookies to take home when they left. I'd love to see them back here some day.

When the show is up, I will post a link for your viewing pleasure. Fingers crossed I didn't say anything cringe-worthy.

You know I've always loved animals, and Gordon and I are both committed to rescuing animals. It all just seems pretty normal and average to me. But all of sudden, people are taking notice of what's going on here, and it's very touching and a little surprising. Dave Brown asked me some great questions yesterday, which got me thinking about a lot of things. People often ask why we do this, and how it started. Sometimes I find it hard to put into words how much animals mean to me, and how much I want to help them. I experienced quite a lot of trauma in the first half of my life, most of which I have never discussed with anyone outside of a handful of people very close to me. Since I was very small, I've always turned to animals for comfort. At some of the worst times in my life, they have been there for me. They make me smile, they make me laugh, and they don't complain when I cry in their fur (or wipe my snotty nose in their manes!) So whatever I can do to help animals in need, I'll do. 

But most of all, being with them makes me (and Gordon!) happy, and it's amazing when others visit and interact with the animals, and can share in that happiness. So I have lots to think about... I still want to write a memoir, but I'm still focussing on writing poetry at the moment, plus I haven't done any art in way too long, and my piano needs tuning. Gotta get a move on; I ain't gettin' any younger!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Dave Brown and his admirer Annabelle. Photo by Lisa Nault. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The cats have demanded airtime!

Sorry for the lack of posts! I've been busy, exhausted, and am still cleaning up from Homes with Woofs, which was such a great success.

The cats have told me they are tired of goats and puppies getting more time on the blog than them, so I promised them that today, there would be a cat-only blog post!

Archie doesn't seem to know how to relax! ;)

Thank you, Daisy and Mootie. I will now be re-washing that black coat!

Speaking of black...

...have I mentioned lately how much I adore Mimi?

She is the sweetest cat EVER. Not a mean bone in her body.

Plus she's gorgeous and I love having a house-panther!


Naomi and Alex are appalled by Daisy's presence on our bed.

And I used to think a king-size bed was plenty big! BAHAHAHAHAHA!

But as long as the cats are happy (particularly Daisy!) then I'm happy. 

Speaking of Daisy...

...she sure knows how to  clog up a cat tunnel!

And yesterday, we had 180 bales of hay delivered. There's $1080 gone for about three months' worth of hay (this cost a bit more because they delivered it and unloaded it!) Hay is going to be expensive this year because we have been in a slight drought. They think they may not even get a second cut of hay. Last year, some people got three cuts of hay!

Missy LOVES it when there's a hay delivery...

Queen of all she surveys!

Meanwhile, Archie's sister Annuk has mastered the art of kitty relaxation...

...and did I say this post would be all cats?

I lied! :) Monty is doing great.