Tuesday, July 29, 2014


Yesterday on the way to Tucson, we met Michele and picked up a sackful of fly masks she had gotten fixed.  

She decided to try adding fringe to see if that would keep the flies away.  This morning I tried a couple of them on Boaz and Rusty. 

Rusty showing off his mask

You can see the amount of "fixin" she did on Boaz's mask.

We'll see how it goes, I picked 2 habronema out of the side of Boaz's mouth yesterday.  The masks worked pretty good, IF (big if) they stay on.  They don't do much good laying somewhere out on the property.  I don't know exactly who loves to take Boaz's mask off, I've never seen the two kids, Wister and Ruger rough housing with him, BlackJack is the only one that we've seen playing with Boaz.  A couple of his masks have been found hanging on the fence, where he tried to reach thru to the other side. 

Right now we have plenty of flies, it's hot and humid, which seems to really bring them out.  We're using a quart of fly spray every morning.   I just ordered a recommended fly trap, that sits on the ground and is suppose to even catch stable flies.  On the Donkey Yahoo Group, one of the people really talked it up, so we'll see. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

POOR JOHN.......!!!!

 I'm sure there is something timely about donkeys that could be added to this saying.  Any ideas?
* * * * *
When we came in from the races last night, John went out to let everyone out, while I went in on the Internet to see how good or bad the races had been.  

John came in and said I had to help him with Pepper, he was down, barely breathing and limp in his shelter.   This of course is always in the back of our minds with him, when we go out.  

So out we went, stopped by the feed room to turn on the outside lights, so we could see.  Got down to Pepper's pen and there he stood, ears up, looking rather anxious, probably because John had woke him up from his REM sleep and disappeared before letting him out.   He certainly wouldn't want to stay in his pen the rest of the night, considering he'd already been in there hours longer than usual.  

I didn't know if John was going to hug him or strangle him, it was a close call.....!!!! LOL  I made over him and he almost wouldn't take an animal cracker he was so anxious to see that darn gate open.  

John swears there was no movement, very little light shallow breathing and he said he picked up one leg and it was limp.  It didn't take the old buzzard but a couple of minutes, to get on his feet and behave normally, at least what passes for normal for him.  Good thing our hair is already grey I guess.....!!!

The races went pretty good, I finished 2nd in the main event and could put the car on the trailer in one piece........LOL  There is a little body work that John will need to do before we race again the 23rd of August.  The new struts/shock absorbers really helped with the handling.   We do have a problem, one of the new cars is really competitive, which is great.  The driver is confused on Hornet racing though, seems to think it's a demolition derby, which isn't so great.   He tried to slam me off the track, more than once, but one of the first things you need to know when racing is, how to get away from someone that is banging or leaning on you.  I got away from him and I guess he took after the other "mature" woman driver out there and wrecked her.  The flagman sent him to the pits for that one.  After he tried to rough me up, it took me a few seconds to get headed the right direction, but once I did, I was trying to catch him for payback.  John and our son were sitting with other racers in the pit bleachers, and John said the consensus was if I caught him, it wasn't going to be pretty..........!!!  .  But he roughed Becky up before I caught him, or I'd probably have gotten black flagged for rough driving.  Guess I should have thanked him for saving me from myself.............NOT....!!!   LOL

Saturday, July 26, 2014

RACE TIME.........!!

Suppose to race tonight, if the weather cooperates.  Right now it's nice and sunny but the weatherman says 30%  chance of thunderstorms this afternoon.  Of course he usually isn't right, so hopefully his record will hold tonight. 

John had to change the shock absorbers again.  I think Kias were designed to drive the kids to school and go to the grocery store.  They don't stand up well to the pressure of racing on dirt.  There certainly isn't any aftermarket or racing parts made for Kias either.  I'm in 2nd place for end of the year points 35 points behind the 1st place car and 20 points ahead of the 3rd place car.  Of course it's a long time to November, there could be a lot of changes between now and then.  

We had some teenagers come out this morning to do some grooming.  We really appreciate it when someone comes out to groom and most of the donkeys really enjoy it.  John put Gigi in the squeeze, otherwise she wasn't going to cooperate.  Even at that she had a fast right rear foot.  So she got smacked, yelled at and more grooming.  I'm not sure she ever really gave up, but she finally did settle down and just threaten a little bit, rather than a full blown, "I'm going to kick you" mode.  

I think I'm going to change from polo wraps on the legs for fly protection, to men's crew socks for awhile.  One problem with the polo wraps is they shovel up dirt, when the donkeys dust bathe.  The socks fit looser, so if they gather up dirt while rolling, when the donkeys stand up the dirt just falls off.  I had always used men's socks that had been "retired", which means the elastic tops had lost most of their elasticity.  Kathy from Longhopes Donkey Shelter in Colorado sent me some brand new crew socks and they stay up really good.  

Boaz has lost his last remaining crusader fly mask.  John went out this morning looking for it, but it's still out there somewhere.  I'd really like to protect the edge of his mouth, now that it is healed up, but he isn't making it easy. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014


 Wonder what mischief the old buzzard is thinking about

Right now since we actually got a little rain, there is a lot of green stuff trying to come up and become a plant.  "Me thinks" it "ain't" going to happen, with this crew of equids running around eating everything in site.  Actually there is more greenery than they can consume and after a few days of no rain, it is starting to wilt.  But the donkeys are doing their best to eat as much as they can.

Last night at round-up, which is taking longer and longer every time, John finally got almost everyone in their pens.  Of course by the time that happens the good little boys and girls that came in on time have been in their pens for quite some time with no food forthcoming and get pretty vocal about it.  

Finally we were down to Pepper being the only one missing.  SIGH!  Went ahead started feeding the others.  While John parceled out hay, I went over to Burroland to see if I could find the old buzzard.  If he's down he's usually in one of the dust bathing areas, so I hit all those first.  When that didn't work I started following the trails, went all over the 20 acres and didn't see a thing.......well except for a rattlesnake that was slowly moving across an open area.  I got within about 10 feet of him and he never even acknowledged I was there, which was fine with me. 

By that time it was into dusk, headed for dark and John came over to help me look.  We were afraid it was going to get dark and we wouldn't have found him yet.  John went one way, I went the other and we kept crisscrossing paths, but no Pepper.  All of a sudden I heard a rattler and sure enough there was my little buddy, only this time he was coiled up and unhappy that I was about 3 feet from him.  I never saw him until I heard him, when I did a 180 and headed out......!!!!  

Still no Pepper, so we headed back over to the pen area to check down below the house again.  As I got close to the pens.............there was Pepper standing outside his pen, looking very PO'ed because the gate wasn't open.   John neglected to leave it open when he was delivering hay, so the old boy could just saunter in, if he did show up. 

We have no idea where he was, or where he came from, we do know we saw nothing of him after spending probably an hour looking for him.  We have talked about putting a bell on him.  The only way we could do it, would be to use some type of collar that would break-a-way if he got it caught on something.  Maybe something like a bungi.  I wouldn't be surprised if we did figure something out and put a bell on him, he would figure out some way to walk stealthy, so we couldn't track him.......LOL

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


While I was gone to Missouri, Michele was busy fixing fly masks.  She and her husband came by this morning to deliver her work.  She obviously is meticulous, when I took them to her, some of them were probably beyond saving.  

Obviously she loves a challenge, she even wove in the eye area where they like to rub, if they have itchy eyes.  I usually have to throw those away, even if the rest of the mask is good, since the main reason for the masks, is to protect the eyes.  Thank you Michele, now maybe we can make it thru fly season without having to get more new masks.  

Yesterday our grandson married his sweetheart Rebecca.  JR already has a son named Hunter, who is 2 years old.  Rebecca brings Kyler to the family, which is almost the same age as Hunter.  Right now JR is trying to get full custody of Hunter, which would be great if the boys could grow up together full time, rather than Hunter popping in and out.  It looks like it might happen, although you never know what the system will do.  

The donkeys are all doing pretty good, doctoring is down to almost nothing.  Boaz's mouth finally healed, unfortunately his 3 crusader fly masks seem to spend most of their time missing.  John spent most of this morning trying to find at least one.  He did find one, but unfortunately it is in need of Michele's TLC before it can be used.  Sigh!  We're still having some skin issues on Boaz, Coquette, and Cisco, especially.  I'm using Underwood Horse Medicine on them and it's doing the job, IF that's a big IF the flies don't manage to get thru the medicine barrier.  I swear the flies right now are really vicious.  Unfortunately stable flies will not go to the fly traps and of course they are the ones that make bloody legs below the knee.  In the picture of the habronema in the above link, I would never let the larvae get that big, without putting ivermectin on topically and pulling the little dead bodies out with tweezers, vets prefer to debride, which makes a bigger wound area.  

We're doing pretty good with polo wraps and for those that have flies above the knee, men's crew socks.  Penny has to have both hind legs wrapped, which only lasts a day or so, before the wraps come loose and we find her dragging a polo wrap behind her.  She has gotten real good about letting John retrieve the polo wrap off her leg, but still will not let him put a halter on her without being in the squeeze.  Donkeys that have been abused, develop definite ideas on what is allowed and what isn't.  We usually work around their psychosis rather than "make" them do something.  They probably have a good reason for their thoughts on the matter. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

I'M BACK......!!!


Had a good trip, got to visit with what family I have left in the area, and some of my classmates came to the viewing for Mother.  It was really good to see everyone, wish the circumstances could have been different.  Mother would have enjoyed visiting with everyone.

John got along just fine while I was gone.  Even Cisco and Boaz with their on-going skin problems looked good.  There were a couple of polo wraps missing.  He's never learned the ins and outs of putting polo wraps on legs.  Actually neither have I, but he's not willing to put them on and then have to go look for them, or see the donkey trailing a polo wrap behind them.  So he sprayed the legs with fly spray, which works..........well except for Penny.  Penny does not like fly spray and isn't shy about letting you know she doesn't.  He said he chased her around her feeding pen, spraying as he went.  I asked him why he didn't put her in the redneck squeeze?  I got a blank stare........LOL  Said he never thought of it.  Certainly would be a lot easier than trying to hit a moving target, especially one that knows how to use those rear feet in a threatening manner.  

What gets me is if Penny doesn't want you to do something, she will not give up.  But you can put her in the squeeze, and she will stand like a statue.  Actually you don't have to put her in the squeeze, she will go in on her own.  

John groomed on Gigi yesterday morning.  Some of them have slicked out, some haven't and Gigi is one of the non slick ones.  She will let us touch her, well, most of the time in her pen.  Most of the time she will go stand in her "safe" corner which is where the squeeze is.  Not yesterday morning, he had a brush in his hand and she would go stand in her corner, until he tried to come closer.  He opened up the squeeze, she went in and he groomed her.  I guess having the panel between her and him is OK, standing beside the panel isn't.......!!!!  I'm always amazed at how going in the squeeze settles them down, all of them..........even Tula.....!!!

Friday, July 11, 2014


No big surprises as yet, everything seems to be going smoothly.  I've got my plane, my car and my first night motel.  For years I've stayed in the same motel between Grandview and Belton.  Everytime I stayed it was a little less welcoming.  The last time, they were working on about half of it and the room I had looked like it should be next on the list.  

That was almost 4 years ago, so I am assuming the renovations are completed and it should be in pretty good shape.  I only made reservation for one night, just in case. 

I think I've got everything planned, so I can visit with all the family.  One whole family of cousins is coming to the visitation e'mass.  That will be great, some of them I haven't seen since we were kids.

Wednesday night, Rod our son, and JR our grandson came out to see Mother one last time before she flew Thursday morning.  I ordered a cedar casket, my stepfather's casket was maple and my Daddy's was knotty pine.  Knotty pine was available, but the cedar caught my eye.  When we got there, the funeral directer started talking about how beautiful it was..........and he was right.........!!  In fact he had shown me the metal casket that he has chosen for himself, but said he thinks he will change his mind.  

John has been following me around when I'm doctoring, so he can learn the drill.  He will do fine, even though he doesn't like to doctor.  

We have been waiting for Penny to decide we aren't going to eat her, when we want to work with her.  She is very distrustful of ropes and halters and we were hoping that over time she'd decide we were OK.  She's better with John than with me, he is around her more.  She has all 4 legs wrapped in polo wraps for fly control.  They stay on pretty good, but every few days, at least one of them will come loose and have to be rewrapped.  The last few times we've wrapped them, I've had John try to put the halter on her without being in the squeeze.  This morning he finally got it on her before she took off.  She isn't really scared of us, and she knows what cookies are and also knows they are always available for good behavior.  And I'm also pretty sure she knows what we want to do..........BUT........she really doesn't want to give up her independence.  So hopefully this morning will be a break thru.......we'll see.........!!!  

When we get thru messing with her, Gigi will be our next victim, her behavior is almost exactly the same.  We can rub her all over, down in her ears, just about everywhere...........as long as we are outside the pen, and she is inside the pen.  John can actually pet her a little, sometimes when he is in the pen with her, but not always and not for long.  

When I get back from Missouri, we were going to take Frijolita and Daisy to a foster home.  Jodie rents a house with horse property that Mother owned in Tucson, actually next door to our son, on 1 1/4 acres.  She wanted to adopt 2 donkeys, but I didn't have any that I thought would work.  So we decided she could foster, which would cut down on our numbers and she could see if she really wanted to have donkeys.  

Yesterday I got an e-mail about 2 donkeys that needed to be rehomed from a non profit that works with at risk children.  They had horses, goats, donkeys, I don't know what all and are getting rid of the animals, because of a loss of donations.  I called Jody, she went out to see them, and decided to take them.  Didn't help us being over our self imposed limit, but, 2 more donkeys will get a good home.  Jody has kids and does foster care, so these donkeys are already "broke in" for working with kids.  John didn't want Daisy and Frijolita to go anywhere anyway.  Do you know how hard it is to run a rescue, when John wants to run it as a sanctuary only? 

Wednesday, July 09, 2014


I will be flying to Missouri Sunday afternoon.  There will be a visitation Monday evening and burial will be Tuesday morning.  I've already heard from my cousins and some of my classmates that will be there.  

I called an aunt and found out she had fallen the day before and was in the hospital with a concussion.  Called an uncle and found out he has been in rehab over 3 months because of a reaction to anesthetic during hip replacement surgery...............SIGH..........  Hopefully I'll get a chance to see both of them.  I have 2 more aunts to go see, one is in a assisted living place and the other one is still living on her own.    Of course they aren't all in the same area, so hopefully I'll have enough time to see everyone.  Our family never was very big, and it's getting smaller and smaller with the passage of time.  

I'll be coming back late Thursday night, and I'm sure John will be happy to see me.  Four and a half days of doing chores by himself will certainly be getting old by then.  

Yesterday I delivered a bunch of fly masks that probably should be thrown away, but Michele said she would try to fix at least some of them.  I hate to throw a mask away that has been played with, but the face screen over the eyes is still good, so I appreciate her trying to fix them.  

Michele had read my rant about sewing and offered to try to fix them, if I'd bring them to her with some of the material to fix them.  When we got to her home, she said she had actually been out here with a group of women that came for a tour and she really enjoyed visiting with the donkeys. 

Her husband is really interested in mules although he's never had any, so I might have a place for my Western Mule, and Mules and More magazines.  I think most people that enjoy reading have a hard time throwing away reading material, I know I do.  So they pile up until someone comes along that wants to read them. 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

LIFE GOES ON........!!!

Yesterday morning, my Mother who had lived with us for 2 years passed away in her sleep.  She was 90 years old and had told me good-bye 2 nights earlier.  I guess it just took a little while for her body to catch up for her next journey.  

I will be taking her back to Missouri as soon as possible, hopefully this week. I had planned on driving, but since John will be doing chores by himself, I will go ahead and fly, although I'd rather drive.  It would take 4 extra days to drive, and even though he'll have someone to pick up poo, just the feeding and medicating gets old in a hurry for just one person.

What is really interesting is we won't be racing until the 26th of July.  It's almost as if she planned it this way.  She was always interested in how I did and up until a few years ago, went to the races and sat in the bleachers with me yelling and screaming if anyone touched, John, Rod or JR.  Lately when we'd come in from the races at 2am, she always woke up and wanted to know how it went.  She really liked seeing a trophy.  Unfortunately she never got to see me race, well she did 30 some years ago, but not lately.  She had already decided she couldn't climb the bleachers when I started racing again. 

As an only child we were close, certainly not because we were alike.  I think direct opposite would be a description of our personalities.  But she never stood in my way of anything I thought I might want to do or try.  She wasn't a risk taker, but seemed to accept that I was.  I guess you could say I was a Daddy's girl.  She must have liked Daddy's "style", because she remarried him after being divorced for over 35 years, after my stepfather died.  I always said I didn't know how they ever dated, let alone, got married and then did it again.  As the person in the middle, I saw both of them warts and all, and they definitely went thru life on a different track.  She was lucky to find 2 good men to share her life with. 

We had been having a women come and stay with her when we went to Tucson or to the races for quite sometime.  We could tell she was passing into a different phase of life, but Anna was willing to stay with her, so we went racing Friday night.  Anna had taken care of her mother and mother-in-law, and everyone involved agreed us being here wasn't going to change anything.  Anna had instructions of what to do if the worst happened,  get in touch with the Hospice nurse. 

I actually had a good night, finished 4th in the heat race, so had to start back farther than I'd like.  After a couple of incidents of "bumping and grinding" I finally got loose and managed to finish 3rd.  I almost got 2nd, in fact everyone thought I did, but last year's champion pulled me by a couple of inches I guess.  Coming into turn 4 on the last lap, I moved him up on the track a little bit, trying to get under him.  But he's raced long enough he knew how to get out of it.  I told him later I thought he looked like he needed to be running a higher line, so I was trying to help him get up there.  For some reason he didn't believe me, said something about if I did that again, he'd get me.  That's OK I have video of him "nuzzling" my back bumper in earlier races, just not going for the checker flag. 

We were suppose to race again last night, drove thru rain to get to the track, and it was sprinkling when we got there.  That was at 5pm and they were suppose to have fireworks, so they weren't giving up the idea of going ahead with the races, if the clouds would stop dripping water.  At one time they had us on the track trying to get the mud worked in, and it was still raining.  They finally shot off the fireworks and around 9:30 called the night.  Said make up races would be today at noon.  When we got home, about midnight, a friend called and said after we left, they decided to not race today.  So except for the fireworks the night was a total bust.  Management just couldn't seem to make a decision, which isn't all that unusual unfortunately.  Now they have fans and racers all upset and unhappy.  I guess some of the racers from out of town, went and got motel rooms to stay over until today, before the decision was made to cancel.  Doubt if some of those racers will ever come back. 

Luckily the doctoring is down to just Cisco and Boaz, so hopefully John won't have any surprises while I'm gone.  Pepper has hurt his bad knee and isn't getting around too good.  There isn't really anything to do for it, the knee is just worn out.  He still goes out and does his thing, I just saw him a few minutes ago, hobbling up to one of his favorite scratching limbs on a mesquite tree and really getting a good scratch on his neck. 


Friday, July 04, 2014


The other day when I unwrapped Boaz's knee, he had an open sore on the back of his knee.  I guess the bandage had gotten bunched up behind the knee and rubbed.........SIGH.....I really try to make these guys better not worse.  But the place I've been doctoring for 2 1/2 years looked good.  

I had planned on leaving the new bandage on until tomorrow morning.  I slathered it with Animax "ie" Panalog and when the vet does that she says leave it alone for 3 days.  But this morning it had slipped, knees are so much fun......NOT......!!! 

When I cut the bandage off, I was impressed with what 2 days of Animax had done.  It went from open, bloody to smooth and dry.  It looked so good instead of trying to rebandage, I put a crew sock on above the knee to cover all the way to the fetlock.  

This is what the long term place looks like.   It's a little flaky, and I didn't have the guts to pick off the last little spot of "whatever".  It's dry underneath, no scabs or anything, so I assume it is completely closed............!!!! 

 Dec 2011, when he came in. 

It will always be what it is, scar tissue, and will be subject to scraping  and getting banged up when he lays down.  It's on the outside of his knee, so there is really no way to protect it, long term, except with some type of barrier.  Hopefully the sock will be enough. 

We'll be racing tonight and if I can keep the car in one piece, also tomorrow night.  Back to back nights of racing don't sound like as much fun as they use to.........!!!   LOL  John went ahead and got the Toyota ready to go, just in case I don't have a good night tonight.  I'm in 2nd for end of the year points and don't want to miss a night of racing if at all possible.  The Toyota isn't very competitive, but I would get points for getting it into the main event, so the night wouldn't be a total loss.  John says if the Kia is OK after tonight, we'll take the Toyota tomorrow night anyway and he'll race it.  That should be fun, hopefully we'll stay out of each other's way, better than we did in the Winter Extreme in January...........!!!  LOL