Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Change of pace...

Most of my time is spent at home, and that is fine by me.  But sometimes it is nice to do something a little different.  Last week, while scrolling through the local high school's continuing education schedule, an interesting class caught my eye. It was a one night session, teaching participants how to make a simple wreath using burlap.  I thought an hour away from home doing something crafty sounded like a nice diversion.  Rachel hopped right on it and signed me up.

The class was quite full, with two ladies driving over an hour and a half to attend.   The teacher was  young and kind.

She had brought an array of materials for us to work with.
Using a metal wreath frame, a roll of burlap and some string to anchor it to the frame, we learned to fold and tuck and tie the fabric. In no time at all I had created a happy decoration for our door.

A little change of pace is a nice way to spice things up a bit.  Next month?  Sewing class!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Brushes with nature...

One morning last week,after I had spent an hour outside taking care of the animals, I came in for just a moment.  When I opened the door to go back outside there was a fox just a few feet from my door.  It stared at me, then pivoted, and sprinted across the driveway, a red flash.  It even left a calling card of fox poo on the driveway.  With all the poultry I have in my pasture, that little red fox caused me some anxiety.

Then there was this.  For the past week I have noticed an odd smell around the area where the hay is stored.  It was an animal smell, musky and unfamiliar.  I had begun to wonder if I might have company there in the garage. And then Friday morning I went out to find that something had gotten into the trash, dragging full bags a distance and making a huge mess.  The plot thickened. 

This morning, as I was milking Ella goat, all was quiet. The milk hissed against the pail, and Ella crunched her breakfast grain, but everything else was quiet.  Then I heard a rustling behind me.  A little tickle of anticipation ran down my neck. I turned my head very, very slowly. And I was right, I had company. Company that walked right up to me, and sniffed my leg. Then it turned and shuffled away, ducking under the hay. 

There is a skunk. Living in my garage, warm and cozy under the wall of hay. 
We have set up a live trap (using marshmallows and bacon for bait! Apparently skunks like meat and sweets) and hope to catch and relocate the little thing, far, far away.  Nature, up close and personal, right here at FairWinds. 

(Note: these photos are taken from the web, not my own.) 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October Saturday...

This caught my eye when I was doing chores this morning, and stopped me in my tracks.
The morning was shrouded in mist and dewy webs were everywhere.

Bravo and I went to puppy class, and had a fun time.  Afterwards Chris and I ran some errands, took birthday flowers to a friend, and had an excellent lunch out at Home Kitchen.  Lobster taco's... amazing.

We ended the day at Beth's farm stand, one of our favorite spots.  Not only do we love to buy food there, we just love to LOOK at the place. Everything is so beautifully arranged, fresh, bright and colorful. A feast for the eyes.

Yesterday we moved the rabbit family to a roomy new home.
The wee little bunnies are three weeks old now and had left their nest, and this gives them more room to move about.  Now that they are out and about I see that there are 10 of them.  Several in shades of gray, the rest white. All incredibly adorable.  I am smitten.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Embracing ordinary...

My daughter often tells me things that make me think.  Today she told me about an article that she read which stated that people reading their friends and families social media posts may become depressed.  The article said that people tend to only post fabulous or horrible things on their social media. For example, they might post photos of their expensive, shiny new car OR write about how their transmission fell out while they were driving along.  Few post anything in between extremes. And reading about our peers highest highs can make us feel envy, while reading about their lowest lows can make us dip into despair.

I can see that this is true from my own experience on social media.  I never post about a very nice cup of tea I enjoyed, but I might post a photo of a fancy drink I had on an evening out.  I might share if my dog has explosive diarrhea all over the house, but not about the sweet snuggle he gave me.  All this posting of extremes can be misleading.

So here are some exceptionally average things that happened to me today.  I tried to make an omelette for Chris and failed. He ended up with scrambled eggs instead. I started work early to help out a customer so didn't have time to do dishes, and my kitchen was messy all day.
I had a nice smoothie for breakfast.  It was tasty, healthy and filling.
There were good dogs to groom all day. The phone rang with people wanting to make appointments. My friend popped over to visit unexpectedly.  My neighbor brought me 4 beautiful free pumpkins.
Another friend came by with her dog, and that dog and Bravo had a marvelous time running in the pasture. The quiche I made for supper turned out well, and Rachel baked a tasty squash.

Abraham, Bravo, Rachel and I went for a walk. A perfectly ordinary walk. The day was fair, and there were splashes of autumn leaves along the way.  We didn't go very far, but it was pleasant.

It was an ordinary day.  And I embraced it.  I guess that is key, really, embracing the ordinary.  From omelette disasters and messy kitchens to good meals and walks and pumpkins.  It's the inbetween stuff we should focus on.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Donkey antics...

Abraham lives to be with people. I took him for a walk on Friday, and he was just so happy!
Those long, fuzzy ears are an excellent barometer of his mood.  Pricked forward means he is happy and excited.

The sun was low in the sky, and made our legs look very long.  We found an apple tree and he helped himself to several juicy treats.

Donkey's dislike being wet, but LOVE to roll in dusty spots.  He found a patch where there was a good bit of road sand and down he went...
then rolled happily.

 After our walk we shared a tender moment.  This guy really likes kisses.

In the late afternoon he gets a little naughty... chasing chickens, getting pushy with the goats and horse.  But most of the time he is a sweet boy.  And he sure is fun to take for a walk.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Rooster, round two, and more...

I dutifully caught the rooster last night and tucked him back up in his bachelor pad. I felt quite pleased with myself.  Until this morning, when I noticed something large and dark in there. Ella goat, my most mischievous girl.  She had opened the door, and let herself in to dine upon the delicacy of chicken food.  In so doing, the rooster had made yet another escape.  I will try again tonight. Stay tuned.
Despite this minor frustration, the other animals continue to delight. Check out this Silky chick.
It has one funny feather that hangs over it's little head. It reminds me of an angler fish, and cracks me up every time I see it.

Abraham has really settled in well.  He gets along with all of the other animals, but has developed a special bond with Ella. They eat together, graze together, and rub all over one another.  It is totally charming to see them interact.  

Bravo pup is 6 months old now.  He is an awfully good boy.  Every morning he asks to hop up on the grooming table. I brush him all over and he seems to enjoy the attention.  Then, while I am getting ready for the day, I find Bravo sleeping sweetly on the table.  I think it's adorable.
The baby bunnies are a week old.  I have never raised rabbits before. It is astonishing how fast they grow, and they are sensationally cute.  When I check on them, the whole nest erupts in little squeaks and they begin to hop about like very warm little jumping beans.  I have to restrain myself from peering in at them too often.

The mornings and evenings are chilly now, the nip of fall in the air.  Afternoons have been warm and bright and lovely. It's a happy time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Rooster-1, Human- 0...

Our big, handsome, Light Brahma rooster is a gem. The best rooster we have ever had. He calls the hens when he finds a tasty morsel, he defends them from predators, (we saw him tussle with a Red Tailed Hawk, and WIN!) However, he has 3 or 4 hens which are his "special loves," and he loves them so much they have no feathers on their backs.
Exhibit A:
The birds are molting now, so it would be a good time for those feathers to regrow, if he would just leave the girls alone. But he will not. So I devised a plan.  We got a door for the calf hutch that we are not using, and last night put a bag of clean shavings in there, and rigged up a roost for him to sleep on. At dusk, when the birds went into the coop, I picked him up and carried him gently to his new digs.  I thought a little solitary confinement for the boy would give the hens a chance to rest up and let their feathers come in.

This morning, armed with bowls of food and water, I went out to give the unwilling prisoner his breakfast. I cracked the door open and he hit it with every bit of force he had... and blew right past me, crowing in delight.

He proceeded to make whoopie with his favorite hens.  I'll try again tonight.  Hopefully I will be able to outsmart the clucker.