Monday, June 19, 2017

HOW HOT IS HOT........????

June is usually our hottest month in the desert and I guess this one is no exception.  The thermometer on the back porch read 117.4* at one time this afternoon.  I don't think it was that hot, at least I hope not.  The thermometer is hanging on the back side of an upright post, to protect it from the sun.  But when it gets that hot I doubt that the post makes much difference.  We had wind and a dust storm, and clouds and late this afternoon a few sprinkles.  It's so hot they didn't last long. The humidity is rising, as we head into the monsoon season.  Hopefully we'll have a good one this year, the last 10 years or so have been pretty disappointing for the most part.  Our poor prickly pear cactus, look like survivors of a concentration camp.  It wouldn't take much to kill the pads completely, but if and when they get rain, they will come out from the roots, if that happened.  They are survivors. 

I raced Saturday night as planned, and thankfully when the sun went down it cooled off enough to be fairly comfortable.  I finished 2nd in the heat race and 4th in the main event.  Unfortunately the guy that "won" was suppose to have 50 pounds of lead added to his car, because he had won 2 races in a row.  He was 4 pounds shy on his weight, so he got disqualified and we all moved up a spot, so I got points for 3rd.  The positions were posted today and one of the guys is tied with me for 1st place.  We race again the 1st of July and he'll probably surge ahead.  He was only 11 points behind me, so I surprised he didn't at least get a point or two ahead of me.  So I can bask in being in 1st place for a little while longer............LOL

When it's this hot, the donkeys don't want to do anything.  They actually spend quite a bit of time laying down, which I find odd.  I don't know if being in contact with the ground is cooler than standing and having the hot air circulating around, but we'll look out and there will be 6 or 7 of them laying out by the driveway, in the sun.  We went to town today to get a camo net to make shade.  Guess they don't sell them anymore, so we ended up buying a 18x24 tarp.  John is going to hang it in the trees in one of their favorite places to lay for shade, so they will probably go find someplace else to lay in the sun......!!!  

Coquette, my little skin problem queen, finally broke out today with a sore on her leg.  She is wearing men's crew socks on her legs and has been doing good, but for some reason it is difficult to keep  socks way up on her legs.  We all pull them up all day when we see her, but obviously today she had them down for awhile.  Luckily it's above her knee, in a place I can actually bandage, so if her socks slip down, at least it will stay covered..............I hope.....!!  So far the others are "sore" free, even Rosie and her ventral dermatitis is doing real good, in fact this morning was the 1st time she hasn't had scabs on her belly since probably March.  I put Cortizone10 on her belly every morning and it seems to be doing the job.  Every year I have fought the good fight, with just about everything available up to and including Dex shots, which did absolutely nothing. 

This last week-end was Saddik's 1st race with Lynn in Colorado.  Linda said he did great, I guess so, as a team, he a Lynn finished 1st in Lynn's age group, and 3rd overall.  I guess she and Lennon finished at their own speed, she didn't say, although she did say Lynn and Saddik were headed down the mountain, when they were going up the mountain and Saddik wanted to go back up with them..........LOL   Guess he wasn't ready to quit. 


Saddik showing off his medal


Linda and Lennon, planning their strategy



Boaz and Turbo helping with chores


We had planned on taking BlackJack and probably Buddy Brat to Tombstone this Saturday for a parade to salute the Buffalo Soldiers that were stationed at Ft. Huachuca in the 1880's.  They have a horse mounted group that dress in period costume and ride in many of the parades in Texas, and Arizona.  Maybe other states too, I don't know for sure.

It would have been fun, BUT..........this heat is suppose to last at least another week.  When it's like this donkeys don't want to move around, and probably don't want to put on a pack saddle or a blanket, not to mention walk 4 blocks on asphalt at high noon.  I don't think John was looking forward to dressing up in his miner's outfit, complete with red union suit and knee high boots either.  So I sent our regrets to Bronco Billy this morning.  I don't know why they are having it in the summer, maybe it's a special day or something.



Not sure what type of outfit this is, doesn't look like a miner.  This was a few years ago, when John, BlackJack and Cisco were in a movie being shot up at Gammon's Gulch the movie site that is just up the road from us.  John had to go to "wardrobe" and they dressed him. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

THE GIRLS WENT HOME TODAY

Krista called this afternoon and although the pre-evacuation hasn't officially been lifted, the fire has disappeared over the Dragoon mountains to the east.  So unless something really strange occurs, like the fire to do a 180 and come back thru burned areas, it should be over on this side of the mountains.  

It was kinda fun having horses around.  It makes you realize just how different horse and donkey behavior is.  So many people think of donkeys as little horses, and nothing could be further from the truth.  

Doug and John are still filling water buckets by hand twice a day.  The Clorox smell is almost gone from the water coming from the storage tank, but it is still foaming straight out of the faucet.  So they will continue doing it this way for a few days, just to make sure, the donkeys find it drinkable.  

The temperature is rising daily, this week-end is suppose to be 109-114* and they are saying it might get to 122* in Phoenix.  I guess the high temperature is necessary for us to have a chance at a decent monsoon season, but it sure makes being outside miserable.

When it's hot like this the donkeys don't move around much.  Of course they insist on going out of their pens, you'd think their pens were the most miserable place on the planet once they finish eating.  But they usually find a nice shady tree and stand in the shade until it's time to go back in the pens to eat again.  They do move around a little more at night after John lets them out at bedtime.

Heard from Lynn and Linda about the race at Creede, Colorado last week-end.  Leddy and Linda finished ahead of Lynn and Turbo.  Turbo decided racing 10 miles wasn't what he had planned for the day, and it sounded like Lynn was determined enough to finish, even if he had to carry Turbo.....LOL  But they had fun anyway from what Linda said, although I'm sure Lynn was disappointed.


Looks like Turbo and Leddy were planning the race

This must have been before Turbo decided to take his time.......LOL
Linda and Leddy ready to race.......!!!

This week-end they will be racing in a people race that also lets dogs run.  Linda will be running with Lennon, and Lynn will be running with Saddik.  This will be Saddik's 1st chance to show what he can do.  He loves to run, so I don't think Lynn will have a problem with him.  


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

GOT THE FINAL BILL

Like all things, it could have been worse, but it was bad enough........LOL  I'm just glad we have a good well, and won't have to worry about it in the future.  At least I hope not.  

John and Doug are still toting water to fill the buckets for all the equine.  By the time they get it down to a science, the fire will hopefully be over.  Last I heard I think they said 62% contained and today is calm, so hopefully they can get it out and people can go back to their lives.  

We know we always have skunks and raccoons in the area.  John puts out dry cat food for Julius, the indoor/outdoor cat and the critters check it out every night.  We had some eggs that had gotten forgotten in the frig, for some reason.  I put them in water and they almost jumped over the side.  So I broke one just for fun, and it was pretty dried up.  We had 7, so John decided to put 3 out after dark to see what would happen.  The 1st night, they ate one, left one and took one with them.  I think there must have only been one, unknown type of critter.  Last night he put out 3, they ate one and the other 2 were missing.  I guess the first one told a friend, I don't think a skunk or raccoon could carry off 2 eggs.  Tonight will be the last two eggs, if there is two critters, I bet they will carry them off, rather than eat them here.  It's always fun to try to figure out what they will do.

The horses have settled into our routine and seem to be fine, except when Casper comes to visit with his girlfriend Apache.  That sends Mel into hypermode, which triggers him into murder mode.  I swear, it's a good thing he isn't 1000 pounds, he'd really be a problem.  He's also quick as greased lightening.  You can run him off pretty easy and Mel quits as soon as he is away from the pen.  I think Apache rolls her eyes, and thinks, "whatever", she is really mellow, thank goodness..........LOL


Isn't he cute?   LOL

Yesterday our neighbor came over to help John put the roof back on the well house.  That's her standing by the gravel pile.  If you look closely you will see her Gator behind the gravel on the left and one of her dogs is in it.  That is the reason for the herd gathering, they'd like to stomp the dog.  The dog is a working cattle dog, and wasn't about to take any nonsense from this rag tag bunch of equine.  There's actually two dogs in the Gator, so he had backup.



 The closer they got the more he barked and the more he barked the closer they got.  When they got closer than he thought they should, he would try to bite their noses and would have if they had misjudged their distance. 




They finally had enough, and started to wonder off.  You'll notice a little white butt, on the right in the middle, that is Casper, right in the thick of things.........!!!

They do the same thing when people come out for a tour and have their dog or dogs in the car.  They will completely surround the car which really  upsets city dogs that have no idea what they are and why there are so many of them........!!!  Jorgia's dog wasn't upset, he was ready to rumble if they were..........LOL 

It's suppose to be around 110* in Tucson Saturday, hopefully when the sun goes down it will cool off.  This morning it was so cool when I got up, I put on long sleeves for about half an hour.  I'm wishing for that kind of night Saturday..........!!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

UPDATE ON FIRE AND OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS



Boaz begging and Quilla having a snack.  I think they like Colorado

The Lizard fire is 40% contained, they are fighting it, but between the dry hot conditions and wind it's not easy.  They've evacuated some of the areas, to allow for free movement of the fire fighters.  Not sure how I feel about that, people's lives are disrupted enough without having to find a place to stay, especially if they have animals.  The firefighters are feeding and watering animals left by their owners from what we've heard, but doesn't that take away from their job of fighting fires?  That's OK, I get cranky about the police shutting down the road or highway when there's been an accident, so they can investigate, too.  If there are other roads in the area it's not that bad, but in the case of I-10 to Tucson, there are 2 detours of about 60 miles that you can take.  But........what if you have already passed the turn off before you find out the road is closed?  If we have appointments we always make sure to take the phone number with us, just in case.  I've also been known to cross thru the median making a u-turn, when I hoped no one that could give me a ticket was looking...........LOL  

The water in the holding tank is still brown and still smells like Clorox, although it's getting better.  The equine, (I'm using generic, since we have a mule and 2 horses besides the donkeys) have been drinking water, but not as much as I'd like.  John put on his thinking cap today and said he thought he could rig up a hose directly from the well, before it goes into the tank.  We went to Benson this afternoon, he got his "toys" and within 15 minutes it was ready to fill buckets.  He put two 18 gallon buckets in the back of the golf cart and it sure doesn't take long to fill them up with a 1 1/2 inch hose.  I went around and emptied and cleaned all the buckets in the pens, and Doug and John came behind me with the golf cart and delivered water.  If I counted correctly there are 18 buckets and the 75 gallon Rubbermaid by the well house.    We'll fill the buckets like this until the smell is gone, it's just too hot and dry to take a chance on them not drinking enough.  

Krista came out night before last to reassure Mel and Apache that they hadn't been deserted.  They really seemed to enjoy her visit and Mel started eating, which she had just been picking at her hay and pellets.  Krista was worried because I guess Mel likes to eat..............a lot....!!!  Krista is still in a pre-evacuation area, so the girls will stay here until she gets an all clear.  

Casper is still behaving himself for the most part.  He and Mel really don't like each other, I think it's a control thing, they both want to be in charge.   Casper will come thru to visit with Apache, he seems to think she's pretty cute, which really upsets Mel.  So Mel starts threatening him thru the panels and of course he isn't going to let her get away with that.  So they yell and scream and lunge at each other for awhile, with Apache pretty much ignoring both of them.  At least with mares he goes off and actually spends most of his time with the donkeys.  When Gizmo the mini mule was here, Casper spent a lot of time, threatening him thru the fence, and I assume that's what he does with horses that are geldings.

A magazine writer was out yesterday to get information and take pictures for an article she is writing about donkeys.  She did an article last month on the donkeys that was in  Edible Baja Arizona magazine, and decided to do another one on roping donkeys.  The donkeys always come up to people when they come for a tour and they showed up when we went out looking for picture subjects.  Casper was with them, and we warned her he probably wouldn't come close.  Not only did he come close he actually let her touch his nose.  These animals never fail to surprise me, which is what makes them such fun to be around. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

FIRE IS GROWING, WITH LITTLE CONTAINMENT



This is what some of the people in Cochise county are seeing from their homes. Scary stuff, I guess it made a turn yesterday afternoon and was headed for the little settlement of Dragoon, haven't heard an update, although we did hear they were evacuating that area.

Today is going to be another windy day, which they really don't need.  Besides helping the fire to move along, it interferes with the slurry planes and helicopters being able to fly.  I read this morning that it is about 14 miles from Tombstone, whatever that means.  

I have a bone to pick with the coverage of this fire and also the one earlier in the spring.  For one thing with so many people's lives being disrupted, is it too much to ask for official updates at least every 12 hours?  Let's see, 14 miles from Tombstone, north, east, south or west, moving in which direction, information that might be helpful.  I'm sure the people in Tombstone are aware of where and which direction, but it just seems like sloppy journalism to not give specifics to a story.  

Mel and Apache seem to be doing just fine, and Casper isn't really hanging around the pens, after the 1st day or so.  He's back to hanging with the donkeys.  Wonder what he would do if they were out of the pens?  I'm not curious enough to find out............LOL  

We do have a slight problem, I hope is over quickly.  We had our new well water tested and the test for e-coli came back negative, but coliform was positive.  For those of you like me, that don't have a clue, that is a basic catch all name for bacteria.  Can be a lot of reasons, external bacteria when taking the water sample, for one.  I'm pretty sure that water from 605 feet is probably less apt to have bacteria than the surface water we've been using for years.  So what do you do for this problem? 

Our son is a state certified water person, so we called him and he said to put 1tsp Clorox per gallon in the holding tank.  Doesn't sound like much does it?  Well, it's cleaning all the gunk out of the existing pipes, which makes for interesting water color, rather rusty brown.  And even that little bit has a chlorine smell.............which the equine don't appreciate.  They are drinking, but they go around checking all the water sources before they finally drink.   I washed clothes yesterday to try to use it up, as soon as possible...........LOL  But it will take awhile to use up 2000 gallons I'm afraid.  Not sure I wouldn't rather have the bacteria. We'll wait a month or so and test it again, hopefully it will be good and we won't have to do this again.  We haven't gotten all the other test results back yet, I guess the local water testing place sends it out.  They test for about 50 things, I'm sure it will be very informative, hopefully I can understand it.  

Next Saturday is our 56th wedding anniversay, what to do to celebrate.....???  We're going racing.........LOL  It's been about 6 weeks since my last race, and there's nothing we'd rather be doing.  John's got the car ready to go and this will be the 1st time we've taken the quad into the pits, so we don't have to walk so much.  I'm still in 1st place for the Hornet Division, but probably won't be after that race night.  There's 2 guys right behind me in points that a couple of bad races early in the season, but have been doing really good since.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. 

Friday, June 09, 2017

WE HAVE GUESTS........!!!



This is Apache and Mel, Christa's girls.  She brought them while I was in Benson this afternoon.  By the time I got home, they were in their pens and snacking on hay.

Haven't heard much updates this afternoon on whether it's getting better or worse, maybe they will have more information on the news tonight.  Did read the Lizard fire is about double what it was yesterday, which isn't good.  

The Benson school is going to be open if people need a place to stay and the local auction barn is open to take animals in if necessary,so the community is stepping up to the plate if needed.

I guess Casper the little problem child is smitten with Apache.  John said he checked them out, rubbed noses and didn't behave like he usually does around geldings.  When I got home he was off someplace else, but has passed thru a couple of times to look them over again.

So they are safe and we will keep them until the fire fighters drop the pre-evacuation orders.  When I was in town there were quite a few stock trailers on the road, one was "stuffed" with cattle.

JUST WHAT WE NEED,MORE FIRES.............!!!



http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/35616542/ccso-lizard-fire-causes-evacuations-in-dragoon

According to the reports there are 15 files burning in Arizona right now, and 4 in New Mexico.  There was quite a bit of lightening a couple of days ago, and it's been awhile since we've had any rain, except for a couple of drops.  

One area fire is behind the Little Rincon mountains between us and Tucson to our west.  There is also one in the Dragoon area about 12-15 miles south of I-10.  That area is under pre-evacuation orders and we just got a call from a friend with 2 horses that is in the line of fire.  John and Doug are out fixing pens, so when Krista gets here with her horses, the pens will be ready for them.  She's under pre-evacuate orders, which if you have yourself to get out it's OK to wait until the last minute.  But not if you have animals. We heard of someone else that left their horses overnight while they went to a motel and the firemen are caring for the horses.  I'm sorry, but that is sad.

Having to do some pen shifting, I think Frijolita is the only one getting moved, so the 2 horses can share a fence.  There is one "slight" problem to think about, Casper, the little mini mule........!!!!   His history with horses isn't good, which is why we ended up with him.  He gets along just fine with donkeys, even tries to "blend" in with the herd with his little short ears.  He's been up here a couple of weeks and hasn't offered to crawl under the fence, so maybe he's mellowing, hopefully.....!!!! LOL  I think both of her horses are mares, which was one of the things we had wanted to try, to see if he gets along OK with mares and just has a problem with geldings.  

If he still wants to be a little monster, we have 2 options, he can either go back over to Vic's for a few days........or............ he can go in the dog pen.....!!!  LOL  It's empty and would be a good place to keep him corralled if necessary.  Although he's only about as tall as Saddik is, I don't think he's little enough to get thru the doggie door into the feed room, at least I hope not, that would certainly be a surprise to walk in and have a mule in the feed room...........LOL

Lynn and Linda will be in their 2nd burro pack race, with Turbo and Leddy this week-end, I'm sure they are excited and will have a better idea this time of how it works.

I got a call from Bronco Billy, I think his name is in Tombstone.  He is one of the parade coordinators, it seems like Tombstone has quite a few parades every year.  The 24th of June they are having a salute to the Buffalo Soldiers, that were stationed at Ft. Huachuca in the 1880's and invited us to participate.  WHERE'S LINDA WHEN YOU NEED HER.........LOL  I e-mailed her with a help request.  She wants me to get a period costume, but I keep thinking how hot it's going to be, parade starts at 11am......!!!  John, bless his heart is ready to dress up in his miner "duds" with his old friend BlackJack as his loyal miner donkey, guess it doesn't matter how hot it is.

But who am I going to lead?  We'll put one of the blankets with Forever Home Donkey Rescue on it on my victim. So far I'm thinking about either Frijolita or Buddy Brat.  Neither of them have been off the property for awhile, so they might enjoy the outing............as long as they didn't enjoy it too much and decide to take off, like Quilla did, Lynn isn't here to run down a wayward donkey...!!

So it will be a simple parade "unit".  Me and my victim,  John and BlackJack and we'll do our thing.  Unless anyone in the neighborhood, would like to join us.......!!!!

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

STILL NO BILL..........lol

I really pretty sure it is on it's way, but we're enjoying the abundant water for free...........so far......!!!  It takes so little to amuse me sometimes......!!! 

It's really warmed up the last week or so and we're going into June really hot and dry, humidity about 5%.  Although 2 of my worst skin problems went to Colorado with Lynn and Linda, I've still got 4 here that take daily care.  Yesterday I noticed even though Coquette has had stockings on her legs, her skin is starting to break down.  We pull up the stockings when we see them down, so I don't know if the sores are because of the socks being down, or if it's happening in spite of the socks.  It's not as bad as it could be, at least so far. 

Still doctoring Cisco's ears even though they've dried up, I'll doctor for the maximum 14 days, so hopefully we won't have to do this again.  His legs are good so far, but I'm having to doctor behind his sheath.  I think Cisco was probably gelded with a pocket knife, cowboys usually do their jobs with whatever tools they have on hand.  Cisco also has 5 cuts in his ears to brand him which were probably done with a pocket knife.  He always has skin problems in the summer where his scrotum would be, it's rather ragged and gets really messy if I don't catch it early.  So far we are managing to keep it from getting bloody from him scooting, which is a good thing.

Not much going on around here, once it gets as hot as it is, life slows down to a crawl, the donkeys hang around in the shade and I try to stay indoors.

We took both of my race cars to the asphalt track from practice Friday.  The dirt car had never been anywhere except around the driveway, since it was built.  So John wanted to see if it was OK.  It ran OK, but started smoking and they black flagged me off the track.  John has checked about everything he can, so far hasn't found a reason.  That is a brand new rebuilt motor, and about all he has left to check is the compression to see if it busted a ring.  If so, I might not have a dirt car after all...........LOL

Linda sent a lot of pictures to bring us up to date on what they've been doing.  It makes me tired just to read about their adventures.  They are getting ready for the next burro race this week-end in Creede. They are also practicing for a people/dog race later this month.  This will be Saddik's 1st opportunity to show what he can do in a race.  If all it takes is speed he should do great.  If it takes concentration and focus......maybe not....!!!   He's a overgrown puppy, that just wants to have fun and probably play with all the other dogs. 



I doubt that Saddik misses many trips


Quilla and Boaz entertaining admirers

 
Quilla enjoying the cooler weather..........no socks on his legs....!!!

Out for a training run, looks like Leddy is after a peppermint.....!!

They saw this BIG horse at an Amish auction they went to..........



He's HUGE.......!!!!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

WAITING FOR THE FINAL BILL

The well people came out, and destroyed our old well as per state law.  They pulled the pump, filled the pipe up with gravel, and capped it off with a lot of concrete.  The state says we can have one well, but we can't have two.  John's got all the paperwork filled out to send in, we picked up testing material in Tucson yesterday, so now all we are missing is the final bill.....!!!  Ha!  Not looking forward to that, but it sure is nice to have water and not have to worry about it.  

Haven't heard from Linda in a couple of days, I'm sure by now Lynn is cutting firewood to sell and mowing yards.  He has a whole group of homes in a retirement area that were calling him while they were still down here to make sure he was going to take care of their yards again this summer.  Hopefully they'll have time to play going out to run with the dogs and donkeys too.  


Everybody getting lined up and ready to go

Linda and Leddy having a pep talk before the start

Great picture of Leddy, I assume this was during the race, Linda didn't say.  Those white specks are SNOW....!!  UGH..!!

Everything is going pretty good here, I've started covering up legs with crew socks, to thwart the stable flies.  They had started chewing on the hair, once that's gone they can get to the good stuff.  Cisco has his annual ear infection.  I'm not sure if it is an infection or what, his ears itch and he will find a limb the right height, run it down his ear and scratch away.  You can imagine what that does to the inside of his ear.  This year I caught it early and after 3 days of putting stuff down his ear, the black gooey gunk is drying up.  He doesn't mind making his ear bloody with a limb, but sees me coming with the ear stuff and tried to escape, so John has to hold him.  Usually I can do anything with Cisco, but not his ears.........LOL


This is a picture Linda took of Cisco before she left.  I didn't realize how white his face was getting.

Just got a call from Vic the neighbor that had been fostering Casper the little  mule to see how he was getting along.  I must say, I'm impressed, with the little devil.  He's hanging with the herd, hasn't shown any inclination to go under the fence and is even going into his pen at feeding time without a lot of drama.  The first few days there was a LOT of drama....!!!  LOL  He seems to have settled in nicely, so I told Vic I think he's lost his mule.  Unless we get in a horse or another mule and he tries to attack them.  We might get in a little mini mare horse, who knows maybe he'll fall in love and forget about fighting......!!!