Rainy Tuesday

Today in Ohio is rainy…. rain limits outside work, but that has lessened the desire to be outside instead of babysitting today. However, I have still gotten a few things done! Fortunately, the baby has not been very fussy and it has been a mostly pleasant afternoon.

Saturday, I brought home 3 hens, 2 silky roosters and 3 ducks. They rode home in their coop, which I also brought home. They were quite comfortable in their original home for the evening, but Sunday I helped them join the rest of the flock. Sunday night, a friend, AA, helped me unload the smaller coop as well as wrangler chickens and ducks. I could not believe it when I handed him a silky rooster and he took it to the coop. He is not a farmer and does not care much for chickens, but was willing to jump in and get the job done anyhow. Everyone spent the night inside the henhouse, with the exception of the 2 brown ducks…. they have decided to sleep outside underneath the henhouse. I keep the fence locked up for them so they are safe.

I was relieved to see them all getting along relatively well the past couple days. It has been interesting though, my original flock tends to hang together while the new comers tend to hang out among themselves. At night I am still having to gather and put the new ones in the coop, but I am hoping within a couple more days they will go in on their own. The one Guinea was even trying to make friends with several members of the new flock. I was happy to see that because I honestly figured the Guineas would be the most difficult to convince that the new birds were indeed welcome on the farm.

My small project today was washing the small kiddie pool for the ducks. So I cleaned and hosed it out, before moving it to it’s new location near the henhouse. I put some water in it, but am counting on Mother Nature the next few days are all predicted with rain. Hopefully the ducks enjoy their new home and new flockmates.

As a bit of a side note, Pete is settling in some. He has not gone out with the rest of the herd yet, as I am concerned about a few areas of fencing that will be repaired ASAP so that I can trust him to go out into the main field. I have a side lot separated off which he has enjoyed getting to know the rest of the herd while having a safe place to admire them from. He has made at least one buddy which will be good when he is turned out with the others. He also decided that the chickens are ok, and two or three of them spend most of the day in the side lot with him.

Everyday on the farm, I enjoy. Sometimes it is a little more work, but totally worth it! I can not wait to see what the next couple weeks have in store!

Pete!

I got a surprise phone call from my Dad Wednesday when I got off work, he had been at the local auction barn, and it was sale day. I have been looking for a donkey for awhile, in the hopes of keeping coyotes and critters run off the farm and they are just so darn cute!

So, I went back to the sale barn and looked at this donkey. He looked young, and healthy. Those long ears just as cute as can be. I told Dad how much I was willing to spend and we discussed bringing him home. Mind you, I drove dad back to the barn in my little Ford Aspire hatchback. We had not planned to buy a donkey!

The little guy came through the ring, he is 2 years old, not even halter broke, and we brought him home for about 1\3 of what I was expecting. We came home and got the trailer and went back after him.

I could not believe how easily he loaded! He stepped right up on the trailer. Dad was almost disappointed, but I was relieved that it was a quick, easy process.

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A friend of mine, Miss M, as I will call her on here, was so excited when I showed her what I brought. She happened to be out again today, and after generously helping me with the gate as I fed bales of hay, I asked her if she was up for trying to lead the donkey into the barn. Miss M readily agreed and I grabbed a halter, lead and panel to catch him. I used the panel to gently push him against the wall then haltered him.

Getting him out of the trailer went well… after that not so much. I decided it was a good thing he does not like mud, as that is where we stopped, at the edge of a mud puddle. Miss M and I worked together and got him almost into the barn, when he decided he would rather go play in the pasture with my horses. The little guy was small enough, he slid between the barn and the gate, Miss M and me in tow! I could not hold on to the lead rope as he squeezed between the barn and the gate much faster than I did.

It was cute to watch him trot across the field, ears up, braying to these potential friends who were not sure at all what to think of him! To make what could be a really long story, short enough to stay in a single blog post, after running through the white tape fence, and jumping the woven wire, Miss M and I guided him into the barn by using pressure on his flight zones. None of us were harmed, including the donkey.

Miss M came up to the farmhouse with me for a few minutes after we got him put where he belonged. I was talking about names and she suggested Pete, and it has officially stuck. So tomorrow Pete will go out in his little lot, with fence that he can not jump or crawl through. I am looking forward to breaking him and learning about working with long eared animals!

 

Proud of my Millie Girl

Millie and I have had a great few days! I spend the weekend in Tennessee visiting relatives. I meant to post about that experience, but my mind has been filled with other things since getting back. Life happens and tomorrow is another day, another chance.

I was worried about leaving Millie for a couple days, not that my family would not care for her, but that she would change her attitude toward me by the time I returned. We have learned a lot about Millie the past week. Firstly, spray bottles are evil! The vet told me to put iodine on a spot on her belly for 2 days, and she was avoiding me longer than that after it was done.

The thing I am the most proud of the past few days, is she has not even offered to run off. I have taken her out with me at chore time morning and evening, and again when I have been doctoring chickens, and she has stayed right with me! Quite a change from last week. When I take her out to potty, I have not even been using a leash, as when you call her she has been coming right back to where I am.

This change has brought a lot of freedom with her! I hate having to put a dog on a leash, especially out in the country and on a farm. Millie loves to go out to the barn wth me now, even making sure to check on the chickens before we go to bed. She has not chased the chickens, either, since that one day.

I have ordered an invisible fence system, so that when I am not home, there is no worry. However, after the past few days, I do not anticipate her going far.

The other big improvement i noticed last night, was she came to bed all on her own Not only are spray bottles evil, but so are space heaters! My bedroom is at the other end of the house from the wood stove, which is our only heat source outside of space heaters in a couple bedrooms. The stove does a fantastic job, but sometimes at night, the bedrooms get chilly. I fooled her one night, knowing she was afraid of it. I waited until she came to bed to turn it on, and she refused to hardly go in the bedroom for several days. She has decided that the bedroom is no longer scary, but the weather has been warmer and the heater has been off. In time I am sure she will trust me enough to be over her fear of it.

Millie has even enjoyed a road trip yesterday to look at chickens and a chicken coop, which she did very well about listening, and my amazing friends were very patient with her as she ran around the yard some. Regardless of where she was, she always came back to me, and she did not wander very far.

I can not wait to see how her personality develops and comes out over the next few weeks as she becomes more comfortable and adjusts more fully to her new life here on the farm!

Hayrun with Millie

Another week has passed, and its been a great week with Millie! With another passing week, this time of year, means another hay run. Millie had so much fun in the creek last week, I decided to take her to play in it again.

Millie enjoys riding in the truck, so I let her out and when I opened the truck door, she ran and jumped right in. She got right in her spot in the passenger seat and I rolled the window down a couple inches for her. Today has been beautiful and we got to enjoy a little of it together.

When we got to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm Millie was not very happy to meet their dog Roscoe for the second time. Roscoe and her do not get along the best, but Grandma and Grandpa welcome Millie as one of the family already. She rode down to the barn with me and Grandpa and as soon as I opened the truck door, down to the creek she went.

She came back to the barn where Grandpa was airing up the tractor tire, and then rolled in the hay and played in the creek some more. By the time we got the hay loaded, she had been in the hay and creek numerous times and was in his neighbor’s driveway, simply enjoying the day.

I keep a fleece blanket for her in the truck, and I spread it over the seat and as soon as we started back toward home, Millie was curled up in a ball on her blanket. She thoroughly enjoyed the time she got to spend at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm despite not getting along with Roscoe.

Every time I called Millie while at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm, she came quickly! I was so excited that she is learning not only her name, but to come willingly when called. Her trust level with me grew a lot over the past couple days and I look forward to many more days, truck rides, and trips to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm!

Millie Meets Friends

Today when I got home from work, I was glad to learn that some friends would be visiting later today! After a wonderful lunch they played cards with my parents and I did some research about several things, one of which was the swollen feet on my guinea hen. More about that in a few minutes.

Millie did well with the company, she was pretty good and minded most of her manners. She knows her name, and is doing well with house breaking. She also did better about letting me wash the spot on her belly with iodine. It is clearing up and she is settling in nicely.

The best guess I can find, with what I found, is that she had a cut on her foot that has gotten infected. So now to treat her…. First I have to catch her, and fortunately for me, it was the most tame of the 4.Catching her was still a chore, and took several minutes, an old towel and cat like reflexes lol

Once I got her caught and wrapped in the towel, she did squwak. Let out a few loud beeps and then let my friend spray the medicine on her feet. In the process of catching her, one of the other Guineas got excited and knocked the light down in the coop and in her haste of running away from me, cut her foot. Now I had to catch her.

I tried and tried, but she was just running around the yard, so I let her be until she went in to roost tonight. Catching her was even harder than catching the first one. Mom was nice enough to help me once I got her wrapped in the towel. If I thought the first one was loud, this one was even louder as I carried her to the coop door and held her for Mom to spray. It was an exciting few minutes catching the girls, but with any luck handling them a little will tame them enough that next time this process will be easier.

When I took Millie out to potty after supper, she walked straight to the chicken run and made sure everything was ok, before going directly to the barn and asking to go in. A couple days ago, she wanted nothing to do with going in the barn. She has made leaps and bounds in trusting me and learning the routine here on the farm. I enjoy  having her so so much! She stil has manners to learn, but we make progress everyday!

Millie’s First Roadtrip

Today, I had to haul hay, and Millie enjoyed the trip to town so much yesterday, I took her with me again today. She jumped right up in the truck and took her place in the passenger’s seat. The weather here today was very nice, high 50’s I believe, so I left her window down about 2 inches for her.

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She rides very quietly in the truck. I have not heard her bark even once since I picked her up. She seems to enjoy spending time with me and sofar has eagerly jumped in the truck.

Millie got to meet my grandparent’s dog Roscoe today. He is part chow and something else. They did pretty well for the few minutes they spent together in the yard. She also met my grandparent’s, which of course she liked almost instantly.

I let her out of the truck while grandpa loaded round bales for me. I watched her run behind the truck, and when she didn’t reappear, I walked around to look for her. She was coming up out of the creek! She had been playing in the water that was deeper than her belly! When she saw me coming towards her, she ran around the front of the truck and into the barn loft area. She surprised me by jumping down from there and running back around the truck again. I finished helping grandpa only to find her in the creek again. I tried to dry her off before she got back in the truck, but it wasn’t much use!

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The important thing, was that Millie had fun. There was nothing wrong with her enjoying a few minutes in the creek, I just wish she would have picked another day to explore it. Now I know to expect Millie to go swimming when we go to Grandma’s house! After her not wanting to take a bath, the fact that she likes playing in the creek was quite shocking. I enjoyed watching her play, even if my truck probably smells like wet creek dog! Lol

I thoroughly enjoyed my first road trip with my little girl!I look forward to many more in the future!

Millie and Me

Yesterday I brought a new member into the farm family! I picked up a 6ish year old Australian Shepherd and Blue Heeler cross. She is settling in nicely so far and I am so happy to have her.

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Millie has experienced several firsts since I picked her up yesterday afternoon! She had been a strictly outside dog, not anymore. She has quickly become part of the family!

Yesterday, Millie, got her first bath which was quite an experience! Millie had a bath, I had a bath and I think most of the bathroom got a bath! But, she smells better and her fur is so much softer.

She enjoyed the truck ride so much yesterday, that I took her to town with me today. We went through the bank drive through, stopped at the gas station and our local rural king! She did excellent walking on the leash and riding in the truck.

Millie originally came from a farm, and I am glad to say I think she will make a wonderful farm dog here. She checked on the chickens yesterday, but did not startle them or chase them. She simply looked in on them an continued looking over the yard.

I was a little concerned about her being housebroken, but she has done well without any messes in the house. I am very proud of her in that area. Today she even went to the door so that I would take her out again.

This evening she went out with me to do chores. I let her loose in the barn when I dropped grain and then I put her in the tack room for the few minutes it took everything to bring horses in. She did not like being in the tack room while I was not in there too. She also went with me to put the chickens in and she did very well about staying with me, on a leash, and again did not startle the chickens. It is nice having a dog that doesn’t chase them.

Millie just enjoys sitting and getting her head rubbed and her ears scratched. She has such a pleasant personality and is easy to be around. I am looking forward to many memories with her in the future!

Project: Concrete slab

Southern Ohio has seen a lot of rain recently. My temporary landscape timber keeping the water tank level was almost totally washed out. This created a slight dilema as the more rain that comes, the more dirt and soil are going to wash away, a never ending cycle. A more permanet solution was needed, and preferrably before the rain came Tuesday. Since Monday was my day off… time to jump into a solution.

After talking with my Dad, receiving some much needed and appreciated instructions, I took a trip to town to get supplies. I purchased gravel, #57s, 3 bags of sackrete, 2 2x4s and 10 stakes to support my frame. This is one of the largest projects I ever tried to tackle on my own, but no better time like the present to give it a whirl.

I took a square shovel and dug where the stock tank currently sits. I got it as level as I could. Next I measured and cut my 2x4s to make a frame 3 1/2 feet  by 2 ft. Since the front of the frame was sitting lower than the back from where that much of the dirt had washed away, I used the landscape timber as well as a 2×4 piece to help even up the frame. Once I had the frame set in place as I wanted it, I drove 2 stakes on each side to hold the boards in place.

Once I had it right, I shoveled gravel into the frame until the bottom 2×4 was covered.  It probably took a couple hundred pounds give or take. Next was the concrete.

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I did not have a wheelbarrel etc that I could use, and I had successfully mixed concrete where I was going to use it before, so I grabbed a piece of chicken wire and a bag of sackrete. I poured the bag of sackrete over the gravel and dumped the water directly on top of it, mixing it with a stick until I saw no dry sackrete wherever I turned, stirred etc.

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My one piece of the frame slipped after I started adding the concrete, but I think it will be ok. Being almot level is still a big improvement over what it has been.

I was warned that the concrete may crack, but for the time being it is a big improvement over what I had. I was worried since it started raining Monday night, but I was blessed that the sackrete was set up enough that it held. There is a liitle bit of the pea gravel that was washed out, but so far, so good. The frame is still around the form, even with the stocktank replaced where it belongs. I am going to make suret he concrete is set up before I think about removing the form or stakes.

Short Story: Tremble

The ride from the airport had been short. The taxi driver skillfully navigated the streets and roads that were unfamiliar to her. She was grateful to him for easily moving the car through the busy bustling streets.

“Here we are,” the driver said to her as he pulled up in front of a hospital.

She paid and thanked him before grabbing her bags and stepping onto the curb.

She easily carried her two bags into the large building and stopped at the front desk where she was given his room number and directions to the elevator. She thanked the nice receptionist and made her way to the elevator. When the doors opened, she followed the signs down several hallways.

When she finally made it to his small room, her nerves caught up with her. He was sleeping, so she set her bags as quietly as she could in the corner. She noticed her hand trembling as she released the handles. Pull it together, she told herself.

She took a deep breath and sat in a chair along the wall. She folded her hands in her lap and waited. She knew it would not be long before he woke up. As she sat there for a  few minutes in the quiet, the happenings of the previous few days hit her with full force and she felt exhausted.

She was startled several minutes later.

“You came!” he said to her from across the room.

“Of course I came. How could I not come?” She answered gently.

“I am so very glad you did!” he said as a smile lit up his whole face.

She slowly stood and walked towards the hospital bed as the nurse came in.

After brief introductions, the nurse took his vitals and started a new IV bag, filling her in while her hands tended to him.

“He came in with a pretty bad concussion,” the nurse said recording the medication on his chart. “So far his recovery from that is very good, but this leg….” the nurse continued as she lifted the thin blanket away.

The color drained from her face as her eyes fell on his calf that was swollen to nearly twice it’s size and a deep infected gash running along his shin bone for at least 6 inches.

“The infecion is responding to the antibiotcs, it just takes time,” the nurse assured her before leaving the room.

He reached out and took her trembling hand in his. “I am healing more everyday,” he said trying to reassure her with a smile.

via Daily Prompt: Tremble

Short Story: Recognize

Finally, she thought as she leaned back against the seat. She was on her way. Her bag checked in, her carry on stowed above her, tickets taken care of, everything was in order. She tried to relax at the thought. The thoughts that nagged at her mind would not let relaxation come in entirety.

What if it is different between us? What if he does not even want to see me? What if he does not even want to come back to this life? What if? What if?

She forced herself to stop. Those thoughts were not going to get her anywhere. She had a job to do first, and that was to get him home safely. His injuries had not been described in the phone call, but only time would tell how extensive they were.

She sighed as she allowed her thoughts to drift back to the memories they made before he left. She smiled as she rembered the trail rides through the woods, laughing, joking, teasing each other. She could only hope to make more memories like those.

The flight was not easy on her, try as she might to sleep, her mind was on over drive. Sleep evaded her as she tried to problem solve and trouble shoot for her arrival. She soon realized these thoughts were getting her no where either, but she could not help it.

Their descent to their final destination was sounded throughout the plane and she clipped her seatbelt for the landing. The pilot was skilled and set the plane easily down on the runway. She was relieved. The part of the trip she was dreading the most was over. She knew all would be worth it when she saw him.

She collected her carryon and followed the instructions of the stewardess to exit the plane. She followed the other passengers as they made their way into the terminal and collected various pieces of luggage. She located her single bag and shouldered it before making her way further into the airport.

The young lady started scanning the crowd, looking for someone she recognized, or someone to recognize her. A knot formed in her stomach as she scanned again, looking for something, anything, to let her know someone was waiting for her.

Finally, she saw the raised sign with her name on it.She took a deep breath and stepped up to the man who would take her to him. She introduced herself and prepared for her adventure in this new city.

 

via Daily Prompt: Recognize