Friday, October 30, 2009


• EASY TO LOCATE. She's either off on the horse or out in the barn.
• UPHOLDS THE DOUBLE STANDARD. Smooches with the most bewhiskered beast, but recoils when you need a shave.
• OWNS ONE VACUUM CLEANER and operates it exclusively in the barn.
• A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY, providing the party is given by another horsey wife. Falls asleep in her soup at all other functions.
• ECONOMY MINDED. Won't waste your money on permanents, facials, or manicures.
• A CULINARY PERFECTIONIST. Checks every section of hay for mold but doesn't blink when she petrifies your dinner in the microwave.
• OCCASIONALLY AMOROUS, but never leaves lipstick on your collar, at worst, slight trace of chapstick.
• EASY TO OUTFIT. No need for embarrassing visits to uncomfortable little boutiques. You can find all she wears at your local tackstore.
• FEATURES A SELECTIVE SENSE OF SMELL. Bitterly complains about your sticky-sweet cigar smoke while remaining totally oblivious to the almost visible aroma of her barn boots drying next to the heater.
• UNMISTAKABLE IN A BATHING SUIT. She's the one whose tan starts at the nose, ends at the neck, and picks up again at the wrists
• A DEDICATED CLUB WOMAN, as long as the words "horse" or "riding" appear in its name.
• HAS YOUR LEISURE AT HEART. Eliminates grass cutting by turning every square inch of lawn into pasture which, in turn, converts itself into mud.
• A MASTER AT MULTIPLICATION. She starts with one horse, adds a companion, and if it's a mare, she breeds it.
• KEEPS AN EAGLE EYE ON THE BUDGET. Easily justifies spending six hundred dollars, but croaks when you blow ten on a tie.
• AN ENGAGING CONVERSATIONALIST. Can rattle on endlessly about training.
• SOCIALLY AWARE. Knows that formal occasions call for clean boots.
• A MOVING FORCE IN THE FAMILY. House by house, she'll get you to move closer to horse country (and farther away from your job.)
• EASY TO PLEASE. A new wheelbarrow, custom boots, or even a folding hoof pick will win her heart forever.
• SENTIMENTAL FOOL. Displays a minimum of six 8x10 color photos of the horse in the house and carries a crumpled snapshot of you (taken before you were married) somewhere in the bottom of her purse.
• SHOWS HER AFFECTION IN UNUSUAL WAYS. If she pats you on the neck and says "you're a good boy," believe it or not, she loves you!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Well it made it to 20 degrees last night.........!!! Everyone was up around the hay barn when John went out this morning. You can tell the warmest places on the property, by watching the donkeys. Had to break ice on the water buckets. I keep thinking about one of those underground waterers, that is suppose to not freeze. I don't know if the donkeys would use it or not, but I always worry in the winter about them drinking enough.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Suppose to be as low as 24 degrees tonight. John put the heater in the feed room for the dogs & brought in some firewood for us. We probably won't need it tonight, but if it's cold & dreary tomorrow our passive solar house will start cooling off pretty quick.

Sha'ba & Pepper have their blankies & leg wraps on. Sha'ba chased me into his pen when I was carrying in his blanket. I don't know if he was in a hurry to get it on or what.

John hauled off another skunk this morning, so that's 2 & counting. He didn't set the trap tonight, we have to go to Tucson in the morning & he won't have time to chauffeur one off to a new area.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I guess they are looking for a place to winter. a few nights ago I noticed we had 2 long haired "cats" on the back porch eating dry cat food. One of them chased the other one away. I started to open the door & noticed the one left was rather oddly shaped for a cat, but had the right body shape for a SKUNK......!!! It also had no color on it's body at all, no spots & no stripes, solid black. The tail has stripes on the underneath part, the part that stands up in the air to arm the BIG GUNS.....!!!! John checked & there is no solid black skunks, they all have some white on their bodies. So it must be a mutation of some kind.

We figured since there was one out here, there might be some over in the chicken pen. John set a trap last night & sure enough, caught a little spotted skunk. Hauled him to a new place, I guess John felt bad about dumping 17 or 18 in the same place earlier in the summer. So for the foreseeable future he will be setting the trap in the chicken pen every night. We don't care if they are in the back yard, although Hobo the outdoor cat, probably isn't thrilled. But they seem to have some sort of agreement, the skunk comes in & eats what it wants, & then John puts out more feed for Hobo.

Paladin is really doing good. I noticed last night at feeding time that the halter was rubbing on his cheeks, so we needed to get it off. Although he is bombproof, he's still not into that touchy feely thing. We decided to try one of the corral panel squeezes. We've used it on Tula many times, & he is certainly not as squirrley as she is. So John dragged a corral panel into his pen, & started setting it up. Paladin just stood there & watched the process. When John got it hooked up & opened it up, Paladin went in like that was what he was suppose to do. Which leads me to believe he has been in a chute or something like that. He was a little scared once John closed it up, but certainly not panicked. I started rubbing his neck, which he allowed, but wasn't thrilled about. Then I started trying to get the halter unlatched. I'm not a fan of nylon halters & this one certainly didn't change my mind. I had to work & work to get it loose, & he really stood like a little soldier. Finally got it off & put some thunja zinc oxide on the sores, poor little guy. Destiny showed up to help feed & got to pet him before we let him out of the squeeze. When we opened it, he walked out, like it was no big deal. But as of this morning he's still not touchy feely......!!! (G) His surgery area is still swollen, but it doesn't seem to be bothering him, & it's getting cold enough in the next few days, that any flies that are trying to hang on, should freeze out. The high tomorrow in Tucson is only suppose to be 57 degrees...............brrrr! Tonight is suppose to be in the low 30's in Tucson & we're usually cooler, so I will put Pepper & Sha'ba's blankies on them. John said Sha'ba was all hunched up this morning like he was cold. The only problem is Pepper has to stay in the pens if he has his blanket on, which to him is absolutely horrible. He thinks of himself as a free spirit.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thanks Sandra for the picture

He seems to be doing just fine. He has some swelling, not bad it doesn't seem to bother him. very much. This morning our resident "hussy" Jenny was trying to entice him thru the corral panels. He seemed to think it would be a good idea, & we had a hard time getting her to leave the area & go in her pen to eat. Jenny always welcomes the new boys, & they usually think she's pretty cute. Quilla was very smitten when he came, & even now he is usually with the girls more than the other geldings. He seems to like all the girls, well except for Daisy, they still don't like each other, although their tolerance level has improved.

We've been letting him into the other pens, to give him a chance to move around & get use to the place. Rusty & BlackJack really get upset about him being able to go into Jack's pen. His pen is usually prime real estate, for cleaning up hay. They both know it & they guard the gates to make sure they are in first, when Jack goes out. I thought BlackJack was going to tear the gate off the hinges, when he figured out he wasn't getting in.

Courtney sent me some information today on different types of slow feeders. This is a great way to feed equine that have a problem with weight, or might be insulin resistant. Equines aren't meant to eat 2 or 3 times a day, they are grazers or browsers & should eat constantly, but tiny amounts. Except for my 3 oldest guys, this should work. They say even "piggies" can be fed this way, because they lose the "mealtime" crazies.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Family Portrait, Paladin, Lupe & their baby
Thanks Sandra for the picture
This morning he took treats from John's long as John was outside the pen. That's OK, I am really pleased with how well he's taking all this life style change. The donkeys surrounded his pen this morning, gawking at the new kid on the block. He seemed to think that was OK too. I haven't seen him panic yet. Even when we drive the golf cart & hay trailer thru the middle of his pen. He just goes over in a far corner, stands & watches what's going on.

He's eating & drinking this morning too, so hopefully the worst is over. I can't help but think having two large cuts on a rather tender part of your body, plus all the pulling, tugging & everything else that goes on with a gelding, doesn't feel very good.

He's been trying to reach some of the mesquite trees outside his pen. I would imagine a large part of his diet has been mesquite, & he's probably missing what he's use to.

I'm back to doctoring Quilla & Jenny again. I used the honey to get his legs & her spot under control, & am now using thunja zinc oxide on him & Equ-aide on her. Now that's it's cooling off I hope his legs will get better. His owner said his legs always cleared up in winter.

Everyone else seem to be doing good right now, even old buzzard bait, Pepper is walking around pretty good for him. He was trying to romance Jenny the mammoth the other day. I have to give the old boy credit, he still has a strong interest in life. He's always ready to go out of his pen, & has a routine of places to go & things to do, that keeps his day busy. I hope he has a good winter.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


We went down to Dos Cabezas, Tuesday to pick up the jack. We tried to think of everything, ropes halters, corral panels, & of course treats. Our 4 wranglers showed up on time & off we went. The closer we got the worse the weather got. Windy, cold & even trying to rain a little bit. I called Mae to give her time to get him in the pen. When we got there, he was still out running around, & by now it is actually raining. We sat in the vans till it stopped, & even though it was still cool the wind died down. We could tell right off that he didn't see the pen as a safe area. We also could tell that he knew the acreage much better than we did. Six people spread out over acres & acres wasn't doing much. He finally went up in a corner, where there was lots of poo, which meant he saw that as a safe area. He let me get within about 50 feet of him & wasn't particularly upset with me there.

Joe got the idea that we could bring up the corral panels & slowly make a pen around him. The donkey stood there & watched all of these people build a pen around him. I was amazed. Once we got the pen built, John got the van & stock trailer, & backed it up to an opening in the pen we built. We started making the pen smaller & smaller & all of a sudden he stuck his nose in the trailer, stepped up & went in. Just like that! I think we all were shocked. He seems very gentle, just hasn't been handled.

Yesterday was "G" day. I called the vet clinic to tell them, that he wasn't wild & that we probably wouldn't need the dart gun. Figured they would appreciate not having to dread coming out here so much.

They used the middle gate of the trailer to squeeze him, so Nancy could give him a shot. He wasn't really thrilled with this situation & although he didn't kick at anyone in particular, he did kick out real quick a couple of times. Once the shot started to make him goofy, we opened the back of the trailer & he backed out into the pen. Didn't take long for him to go down, & then the fun started.

I hate gelding them, it such a primitive method, but it has to be done. This was right after he went down & they were getting ready to start the surgery. I have pictures of the actual surgery, but I don't think it's necessary to show them. John won't even stay in the area when the scalpel comes out. (G) As you can tell from the picture below, it doesn't bother the other donkeys at all.

It was rather uneventful, although like many donkeys he took a lot of drugs to keep him out. Which means it takes awhile for him to come out of it. This is a picture of him & Shawn when he was still trying to get his sea legs back.

Today he has been laying down a lot & isn't interested in eating or drinking much. He doesn't have a lot of swelling, so I guess that's good news. I hope by tomorrow he will feel better. I'd like to be able to hose him down, but he's not the least bit interested in me or anyone else getting close to him. I can't blame him at this stage.

On the way home I came up with the name Paladin, a good strong name for a real pretty guy. I think it will fit him just fine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TODAY'S THE DAY.........!!

We got up early this morning to feed, so the old guys would have time to finish their breakfast, before we leave to go wrangle the jack. Our helpers should be here about 10, & we'll hit the road. John was out in the dark last night, moving corral panels from stock trailer to car trailer, & trying to organize 2 vans. We're trying to take anything we might possibly need, ropes, halters (like that's going to happen) & of course treats. That's probably not going to happen either. (G)

There is one little wrinkle, I will be driving the van with the car trailer & corral panels. I have gotten to my advanced age without very much trailer towing. John has "forced" me to drive with an empty trailer a few times, saying I need to know how in case of an emergency. Well this isn't an emergency, but it looks like it's time to upgrade my skills or lack thereof. At least I won't be hauling some poor animal. John tows great, I think you could put a glass of water on top the trailer & it would be there when he got to where he was going. I doubt that I have that skill, I'm more the bonsai type of driver............!!! (G) Maybe I shouldn't tell the helpers that are going to ride with me that I've never towed a trailer much before, what do you think? (G)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Today John loaded corral panels, t-posts, & a "thumper" in the stock trailer & I got all my paperwork lined up to turn ownership of the jack over to us. The corral panels are to make a pathway to the trailer, & the t-posts are to keep him from trying to run thru the panels, if he wants to. We are planning for a worse case scenario, & hope all of our planning won't be necessary.

We also have another couple to go with us, so there will be 6 of us. I hope so many people won't overwhelm him into trying to escape rather than following the path to the trailer. We had planned on leaving the corral panels there until we go back to get the little jack gelded. We won't be able to load him & the corral panels in the trailer at the same time. But since there are so many of us going, we've about decided to take both vans & I'll bring the corral panels home on the car trailer. We'll see how it all plays out, believe me all our plans are very flexible.........!!!!!!

Courtney came to trim today. She was quite pleased with Frijolita's feet & also Jenny's feet are doing much better. She want's me to soak Jenny, & Quilla's feet in Colloidal Silver . I used it to soak Jenny a few weeks ago, & that may be why her feet are doing better. But she has a spot right above one hoof that has never had hair on it. Occasionally it will get bloody, & I've always been able to heal it up with the Equ-aide. This time it isn't working, & I have it wrapped with honey. Courtney seems to think the Colloidal silver might work, she even loaned me a soaking boot, since Jenny can walk out of mine, at will. So we'll give it a try.

Quilla's legs have broken out again. Maybe it's the time of year or something, since both he & Jenny are crashing on me. This morning I cleaned his legs up, & wrapped them with a honey poultice. I'll check on them Wed to see how they are doing, hopefully before the vet gets here to geld the jack.

All in all she trimmed 7 of them, & said they all looked pretty good. That's always good to hear, I'd hate to have her find a case of thrush or something stuck in the bottom of a foot. That would make me feel like a bad mom.

I got a call today to do a talk at a Tucson school about the sanctuary. It's been awhile since I did one, so I'll have to get out my notes & bring them up to date. I'd like to do a slide presentation, in this day & age kids are so use to videos, some old woman standing up there talking, probably isn't going to be too interesting. If I had a video, at least they would have something to look at.........!!! (G)

Friday, October 16, 2009


The dynamics are changing around here. Quilla is following Tula around like he thinks she might care & she looks like she's trying to escape, but it doesn't deter him at all. Oh! well he needs the exercise. He's lost the easy weight, so he's looking a lot better. But both he & Daisy have still got a long way to go. They both have large pones on their sides that might never go away. When he came here, we were told he was crippled & because of his club foot that had overgrown he was walking rather gingerly. But once that was trimmed, he moves just fine, keeps up with Tula when she is trying to get away from him.

Buster & Buddy Brat have been wrestling or fighting. I watched them for quite awhile last night & actually couldn't tell if it was play or real. Buster is really low key, so I'm sure it was play, but it got pretty rough, before I tried to break it up. All they did was run off behind the hay barn & continue the "battle".

Pepper the old buzzard, is still eating good, has put on some weight, & is walking much better than he was earlier this year, thank goodness. Last spring he really looked pathetic, a rack of bones & 3 legged lame. Two vets looked at him & without x-rays couldn't tell exactly where the problem was. The general opinion was he probably had been knocked down or been smashed into a gate & cracked his scrawny hip bone. If that is what happened, I assume it has healed as well as possible. He doesn't have full range of motion, but he toddles along at his old man's gait & gets where he wants to go pretty quick.

For awhile he was eating mush, but over the summer he started eating hay again, & now eats very little mush. The problem is, his teeth aren't good enough to chew up hay, even short stem. But obviously he's getting some food value out of it, because except for his protruding hip bones, he looks pretty good. Both he & Sha'ba will get their "blankies" every night when it starts getting down in the 40's at night.

Next week the dynamics are really going to change when we bring the new guy on the property. I'm sure the girls will think he's an answer to their prayers. I just hope we can get him in the trailer without traumatizing him. From what May had told me, he's not particularly spookie or anti-person. So hopefully he will fairly easy to socialize. Of course if someone forced me in a trailer, left me there all night, didn't feed me the next morning, & someone else came along, put me to sleep & when I woke up found out what had been done to me, I don't think I'd be very social, would you........!!! (G)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Buddy Brat, Lynn & Justin lazying away the afternoon

It looks like we will be picking up the jack next Tuesday & the vet will come out Wednesday to do his "brain" surgery. The vet is going to bring a cowboy friend with her in case we need some expertise. She thinks we might be able to snub him up to the side of the trailer & give him a shot in the neck vein, rather than use the dart gun. But, just in case she's bringing the gun.......!!!

I talked to May tonight & she said he seems just fine with being in the pen to eat, in fact she is feeding him in a shed & he is fine with that. I think instead of being wild, meaning frantic fighting to get away, he is probably just unhandled, which makes him cautious to new experiences in his life. I hope when we drive in with a truck & stock trailer he doesn't decide to panic. Joe & Julie his wife are going with us, which is great. Like I told the vet yesterday, John & I don't mind getting into the fray, but we're too old to be very useful if speed & agility is needed. (G)

I took the "honey" bandages off Quilla yesterday morning. Just like before all the sores were gone after 2 days of being wrapped. I've read up some more on using honey on wounds & it seems like up until WWII i.e. the advent of antibiotics such as penicillin, honey & turpentine were widely used. Farmers use to keep honey & turpentine in their barn in case they needed it for them or their animals. I don't think turpentine would feel very good in a wound for man or beast quite frankly. When I was a kid I remember Merthiolate & that was bad enough. Do they even sell that particular type of torture anymore?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Heard from May this morning & it looks like I will call the vet Monday morning & set up an appointment for the jack's "brain" surgery. Once we know which day the vet can come out, we will go over & get him in the trailer the day before. May said he is comfortable eating in the pen & doesn't mind her being in there with him. It sounds like he might not be wild, just not worked with. Hopefully..........!!!!!

We have a friend that has offered to go with us, if we need more "wranglers". Joe was the one that wrangled Fred the pot bellied pig for us a couple of years ago. He's big & strong & was raised on a farm, all things we aren't............!!! (G) The pen is large enough that John & I couldn't control it by ourselves. We will take corral panels with us to build a chute to aim him towards the trailer, but he probably will look at this as a very suspicious situation & not anything he wants to do.

This morning I wrapped Quilla's front legs with honey, cotton & vet wrap. After doing good for so long for some reason both front legs developed bloody sores again. I had changed over from the thunja zinc oxide to using Equaide because it dries rather than being gooey like the zinc oxide. Unfortunately it didn't do the job, & rather than seeing if the zinc oxide would work, I decided to just go back to square one & start over.

Yesterday Frijolita was limping around. I checked her over & she didn't want her fetlock squeezed. But today she's walking normally so I guess she just stepped wrong. Easy to do especially over in Burroland, where they head as soon as John lets them out at bedtime. Old lounge lizard Pepper is usually the 1st one to the gate. He can just barely walk, I don't know how he gets there so fast. This morning he was posturing at BlackJack, which isn't a real good idea. BJ could knock Pepper over & not even know it. No fool like an old fool I guess........!!!!! I wonder what he was like when he was young. If his personality was anything like it is now, he was a handful.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

BACK HOME AGAIN...........!!!

Some of the burros at Hacienda de Los Milagros

Got back from my trip last night about 8pm. Had a great time, even though it was rather quick. I think we spent more time on the road than we did anything else. Jean seemed to survive my driving without any permanent damage............!!!! (G)

Spent an hour or so at Milagros visiting with the burros. Milagros has always been a sanctuary that did not do adoptions. Over the years the numbers have grown & in the last few months they have began an adoption program to reduce their numbers. This morning I got a call from a woman looking for a buddy for Poncho her new little donkey, so I told her about them. I got an e-mail from her this afternoon & she had already gotten in touch with Milagros. Hope it works out for all involved.

This is a picture of Daisy's old pasture mates. Rosie on the left & Andy on the right. They are really pretty mules, & although Rosie wasn't going to allow me to pet her, Andy loved attention. In fact he likes to mouth your hand & sleeves to make sure you know he's there. He's a pretty big guy, it would be hard to miss him even without the smacking lips. He's one of those gentle giant types.

John had a jeep tour this morning, so I fed by myself. I went out & expected everyone to show how much they missed me. Didn't happen, it was more like, "Oh! there you are, where's breakfast"...............!!

I will call May in the morning & see how the wild jack is doing. She left a message while I was gone, & said she thinks he's about ready. I'd like to think that means that he's following her around & likes to be petted..................BUT I seriously doubt it. I'll have to find out what day the vet can come out & we'll try to go get him the day before. That way he will only have to stay in the trailer one night...........that is IF we can get him IN the trailer.......!!!! (G)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

ON THE ROAD AGAIN........!!!

I'm waiting for my co-pilot Jean to get here in a few minutes, so we can hit the road for Flagstaff.

Heard from May last night. She left a message that she thinks the jack is about ready. I left a message for her last night, but didn't get to talk to her. I'll call her when I get back Thursday & hopefully we can make arrangements with the vet & get this boy's "brain surgery" done soon.

John just heard the weatherman say it is 30 degrees at Flagstaff this morning. So I just prowled thru my closet to find a coat. Might need more than the little light jacket I have in my bag. Hope it doesn't snow while we're up there, I haven't driven in snow for a LONG time.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

ROAD TRIP.....!!!!

I took this picture of Daisy this morning to show her Mom when I see her Wednesday. I'm heading up north to Flagstaff, Chino Valley & Prescott. Since I was going to be in the area, I'll get a chance to see where Daisy use to live.

John is already asking me over & over if I have the feeding schedule up to date. I don't, not yet anyway. Hopefully before I leave Tuesday morning, it will be. I keep telling him the only important things are the meds & those usually stay about the same. He never has a problem, but he sure is a worry wart until I'm off the property........... (G) Well there was that one time when Pepper choked before I was on the road 2 hours & had to go to the vet..........but that was then. Unfortunately John hasn't forgotten it, so he gets a little anxious.

Speaking of Pepper, we were calling him Larry the Lounge Lizard this morning. When it was time for the round-up he decided that Frijolita was what he had been looking for all his life. He tried to show her what a wonderful old guy he is, & she double barrel kicked at him. That seemed to get him all excited, up went the head......well otherwise his head would have been half way across the area. The ears were perky, & the old buzzard looked like he was trying to prance. He can just barely walk, but obviously old memories die hard. Good for him, it certainly keeps him moving, which is good for his arthritis.

I will wrap Quilla's front legs, so John won't have to mess with them while I'm gone. When I unwrapped them this morning some of the bloody places are still bloody. I gave my raw honey with all the wax, pollen, bee parts & whatever else was in it to a friend that has a horse with some bad fence wounds. I tried using regular eating honey, & it looks to me like it doesn't do the job like the raw honey does. I may have to go on mission when I get back, I don't know if Mr. Busby has any more of the raw dirty honey or not.

Friday, October 02, 2009



I guess summer is over..........!!! What's really neat is, you get to sleep under a comforter, get up & by 8am, it's time to shed the long sleeves. I LOVE THE DESERT..........!!!!

Everyone is doing good, although I had to wrap Quilla's front legs this morning. I've been good about keeping his legs covered with thunja zinc oxide, but yesterday I noticed a few little bloody spots & this morning the areas were larger. So I got out the honey & wrapped him up. I'm not sure why, but I still think that these jack sores have something to do with light sensitivity. They sure seem to do better when covered.

The wild jack is now going into the smaller pen to eat & drink. I asked May to up the ante by putting the gate up against the corral close to the opening, so he can "think" about it. Once that is OK, she can attach it to the corral, & then start opening it different directions, wide, narrow, just mix it up, until he gets bored with the game. At least I hope he gets bored with it.... (G)

I think the vet is lined up to come out here & dart him in the trailer. So if we can get him loaded, it should all be downhill from there............well except for that little nagging problem of him being wild. We'll have to work on that.

The junk cars are finally gone. John had to build a pen around them with corral panels to keep the fur kids from shopping for goodies. Can you imagine how nasty the inside of a car with the windows broken out, is after sitting for 15 years? They were pulling out the carpet & finding old mesquite beans to eat & the upholstery got pulled out with the stuffing going everywhere. John kept thinking they would get bored, or he would get enough stuff cleaned out that it wouldn't be interesting. That didn't happen.................!!!!! Glad they're gone...........!!!!!