Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Man still riding horses at age 101

He started riding at age 80 and he's recently had to buy a new horse because his original is getting too old.

 Original story here

This guy reminds me a lot of my gramma. She doesn't ride horses, but she can still golf 18 holes. When she was 80, she fell in love and got remarried. That was over 10 years ago, and she's not slowed down much. Apparently no one told these people that they weren't supposed to do that kind of thing at their age.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Answer to last week's "Guess the mixed breed"

The father to the litter of puppies I posted last week is a beagle/basset hound mix. He's about 35 lbs.


The mother is (drumroll please) a 1 year old, 10 lb chihuahua. She's like the eighth wonder of the world for being able to give birth naturally to those three puppies, who surpassed her in size and weight before they were 14 weeks old.


I'd be interested in reader's thoughts about the genetics of puppy #1, with all his white specklyness:


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Three Border Collie Faces

From last month.

IMG_4826a Sammy



IMG_4794a BONUS! Sammy. Because we could all use a little extra Sammy in our lives.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Guess the breed mix

Three 14-week-old puppies from the same litter (the chance of multiple dads is very very low).

Hint: they're a mix of three different, well-known breeds. The dam is "purebred" something, the sire is half and half.

I'll post photos of the parents in a few days.




Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Teifa has gone home! (and other updates)

On Sunday, I drove out to Yakima to meet Teifa's adopters. They're a really lovely couple from Seattle who are sending daily updates and being very patient with her skittishness. I'm so happy that this ridiculous dog found a family who deserves her.


What else has been happening, let us see...

(WARNING! Not all these updates are nice, sensitive souls may want to skip the first paragraph below. MJ I'm looking at you)

I took in a day-old bottle baby orphaned by a terrific wind storm. The poor thing died two days later, making it the first casualty under my Fuzz Ball Animal Rescue (unless you count Ranger, the hound dog that had wandered around the countryside for a week after being shot in the head three times and by the time a kind stranger brought him into the vet basically his entire skull was full of infection. Technicaly that happened before I founded the rescue). This was followed by a woman with low-income calling asking for help with her aggressive, outdoor-only-no-way-I-can-keep-him-inside, fight-starting, snotty FeLV-positive cat that she could no longer keep. I paid for his euthanasia over the phone without even meeting the woman or the cat or the vet. I have mixed feelings about this.

Meanwhile, the same storm blew off a third of our roof and broke the front gate and couple of my planters. Now we have a brand-new roof! Yay insurance!


I had four kittens in my bathroom for a couple of weeks. One's been adopted, the other three went to a foster home last night.

I almost had to have eight puppies in my house, but luckily the bosses allowed them to stay at the clinic while I arranged transport to a shelter in a more populated area. Note to people who have an urge to leave their 8 puppies at the back door of a vet clinic in the dead of night: we would have helped you with these puppies anyway. Call first next time.

I currently have one cat in my garage. He was a stray, and supposed to be a "cheap turnaround"; I give him some TLC until he got over his URI; neuter; vaccinate, and then adopt him out for a reasonable fee that covered his costs. So of course he had to have a defective salivary gland that caused saliva to back up into the tissues under his tongue, making a water-balloon the size of my thumb that required surgical removal of the gland to fix. This is pretty much the same thing that happened with Pirate Jane, the calico that needed to have her eye removed. (She's also been adopted, by the way).

On the other hand, I'm finally getting my act together and putting together the paperwork to become an official non-profit. Tax-deductible donations here I come!

I'm also on a roller derby team. Three, two-hour practices per week, and a bout one Saturday each month. And if you read that and had a thought akin to, "hmm, roller derby sounds frivolous compared to other stuff she could be doing", let me assure you that getting aggression out several times a week is worth the time spent, and it's cheaper than a gym membership.

Between a full time job, including working one to two Saturdays per month, rescue, roller derby, bonding with my husband over Diablo III several hours per week, gardening, hiking with the dogs. photography (which I will get up online one of these days), and all the stuff I plan to do, like go fishing, and maybe actually make some art one of these days, and get back into agility with my dogs... I'm a busy lass.

Which is to say, I suppose, sorry I haven't been updating the blog very much.

How has the last four months been for the rest of you?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

State of the garden

I planted my garden last week. Finally finished building the raised beds (from recycled fence boards, like I promised), and spent a veeeery long Saturday filling them with soil/compost/manure. We don't own a wheel barrow, and I didn't want to buy one for just occasional use, so I carried all that dirt from the back of the pickup to the backyard beds in a bucket. Pro tip: if you're in this situation, the head balance method of carrying really is the best. It distributes weight evenly and doesn't strain any one muscle group. Try it sometime. Don't worry about the neighbors staring.

Anyway, like usual, I'm going a bit crazy with plant lust. I can't enter garden departments without getting twitchy and leaving with at least one plant start or package of seeds. It's worse than ever because of the new yard. Last year, with only a north-facing apartment patio, I was forced to have only a single tomato plant. Now, I've filled the raised beds and I've got a huge patio to stick pots on. I just finished  planting my fourth container of peas because I can, dammit.

Being able to grow your own food is powerful, in ways I don't quite have the word-skill to describe. I'm not even growing that much; a mere snack compared to my family's yearly intake. But, still. They're alive, and they're growing, and they're there because I put them there, and I get to eat them.


I have power tools, and I'm not afraid to use them



This is what it took to fill three raised beds that are approximately 4'x5'x1': a pickup bed full of soil, six 60 lb bags of finished compost, and half a pickup bed worth of half-green horse manure I picked up from a friend's pasture. And I did it all myself because Tom was having allergy-induced asthma that weekend.


The underground automatic sprinkler system is an interesting conundrum. One the one hand, they're really nice to have to water such a large yard, and very convenient to use. On the other, I wouldn't have wanted all that water-wasting grass in the first place, and I don't like the lack of control I have for watering the raised beds; I have to water them and that section of lawn at the same time.

I live in a freaking desert. If this were a house we planned to live in for the rest of our lives, I'd probably rip it all out, expand my garden to fill most of the yard, install soaker hoses or drip lines, mulch the dog's play area, and turn the front yard into dry landscaping with native plants. But since we're probably going to be selling the house in a few years, I feel the need to keep all the grass and sprinkler system as a selling point.

 I've got ten strawberry, four tomato, two cucumber, three zucchini, and two cantaloupe.

There are potatoes volunteering in the "failed" compost bins. They're free to do their thing. Perhaps in a few months I will scrub the cat poop off some little potatoes and have them with dinner!

Sweet pepper, miniature pumpkins, a pot of perennial flowers of some kind that came with the house, black-eyed susans, and a freshly-planted pot of thyme, and another one planted with some kind of native lupine seeds I collected from a wild plant, like, six years ago. Who knows if they'll actually germinate.

Cilantro which has already gone to flower (pollinators love them, by the way); Pea plants and future pea plants (I've already been eating peas for the last week); A jade plant on a field trip; future chives; future additional cilantro; parsley.

I think there will be more, later.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


It's the season. I've got food on my mind (even more than usual). Here are some links.

~Ethical meat-eater putting her money where her mouth is (Honey Rock Dawn)
~Then the New York Times chimes in: The Ethics of Eating Meat (denialism blog)
~And of the course, the always-interesting (and one of the few blogs I think I always seem to agree with 100%) Locavore Hunter: Eating invasive species really is a great idea, why aren't more people doing it?
and (you took the words right outta my mouth): Deer meat more ethical than soy burger.
~Centuries of traditional cheese making in Poland (The Big Picture)
~Small-scale agriculture: it's important, yo (Nourishing The Planet)
~What does a cage-free, free range egg look like? (Urban Chickens Network)
~Family farming 2012: cattle round up (The Pioneer Woman)
~Skipping summer gardening to conserve water, what an idea (Ghost Town Farm)
~Another book I want to buy, An Everlasting Meal
~Antibiotic residues in feather meal, (Aetiology)

Lastly, some finds from the always awesome Shorpy Historical Photos
~Family farm portrait, South Carolina, 1908
~Hand-plucking chickens, Iowa, 1936
~Small farm in Georgia, 1935 (free range pigs!)
~Farmer with lamb, Kansas, 1936
~A kid and his calf, Iowa, 1940
~Fresh Thanksgiving turkeys, 1910
~Kansas City livestock exchange, 1906