Friday, September 27, 2019

I'M BACK............AND WE HAVE COWS........!!!

Not sure what the cows are doing.  Suzanne had told us she had seen 3 cows up by the pen area, a few days ago, while we were on our trip.  She said they seemed quite interested in her feed buckets, rather than eating mesquite beans.  I guess they finally found the open gates and decided to see what is going on in here.  She's actually seen them a couple of times, and this morning they were out by the other side of the pens.  Sure had the donkey's attention, especially Mariah, I don't think her neck or ears could get any longer than they were.  

But are they eating beans, that is the big question.  It actually rained quite a bit earlier this week and soaked a lot of the beans enough they are turning black.  But it looks like the ones that are directly under the trees are protected and aren't changing color very quickly, which is really disappointing, the donkeys are starting to complain about having to stay in their pens.

After the rain, Suzanne took pictures of the pens.  We need to get some gravel to fill in the low spots and  John and I never thought of taking pictures.  Once the rain drys up it's not easy to remember where the low spots are. 

Poor little Casper, trying to keep his feet dry

 BlackJack's whole pen was wet, but he managed to find a little bit of ground that was almost dry......!!! LOL

I would imagine Tula is wanting Suzanne to "fix" it

Penny probably won't appreciate having her resting spot filled in

Last time we got gravel we got what the gravel people said all the horse people use in their pens.  But it was smaller and sharper than we want, and it has pretty much disappeared out of the pens.  I've seen a pea gravel, that's about the size of a pea and round, should be more comfortable to lay on.  But I don't know if it is available locally or not.

We had a great time on our trip, drove about 4,000 miles, thru 7 states to John's family reunion in Indiana at his cousin Mark's country home.  What that means is it's far enough out that you can have things like bonfires and fireworks and nobody cares.

I never think of being small, until I'm around John's family........!!! LOL  Years ago, when I was about 20 pounds lighter and built for speed as my daddy said, John's largest uncle who was probably 6'6" or taller and large boned, use to slap me on the back if I couldn't get away, and say "boy you sure can tell you're an in-law".........!!  I use to stand behind a chair, when there was a bunch of them around, so they wouldn't step on me........!! LOL

Cousin Gene, John, me peeking out, and Cousin Mark

We weren't even the farthest travelers, Washington state, Texas, and Florida were all represented.  On the way we stopped in Oklahoma to visit a friend, hadn't seen her in years.  Boy was she surprised when we showed up on her doorstep.............LOL  We had a good visit, talking about old times.  On the way home we stopped in Texas to visit with my BFF.

Lynn and I were thrown in the same yard when we were about 3 years old and haven't seen much of each other over the last 50 years, but we've always kept in touch.  I finally got to meet her daughter.  They live in the country and have a wonderful old farm house.

Monday, September 16, 2019


Especially when the donkeys help.  The donkeys have now been in their pens a month.  They are bored and pretty sure they aren't being treated fairly.  I'm really surprised none of them have figured out how to escape, so far they haven't.

Rosie has always had an affinity for chewing wood, she doesn't crib wood, she eats it.  Recently we had noticed she was gnawing on Link and Turbo's shelter.  She can't chew on hers, it was replaced with metal siding.......because she had eaten most of the old one.

Gigi has learned from the master and she is now helping to destroy the shelters.  

At least they are reasonably tidy in their work.  You will notice there isn't a bunch of pieces laying around.  That's because they are eating what they chew off.   The reason there is metal sheeting on the bottom of the wall is because of earlier chewing. 

John didn't have any pipe laying around and with the 4x4 chewed in to, the roof on the shelter started sagging.  So this morning Suzanne and John scabbed in a 4x4 to keep the roof from collasping, until he can get some more pipe.  They covered the 4x4 with chicken wire to deter the girls, otherwise they would have probably started chewing on the new wood immediately.

One of the planned winter projects is to replace all the uprights in the shelters that are still wood.  A few of them have already been replaced with pipe, because of Rosie and a few of the others practicing beaver behavior.

Got a little bit of rain yesterday, but still not enough to get rid of the tasty beans.  There was a spot water had ran in an area where there were a lot of beans and pushed them into a low place, where  water obviously stood long enough to soak the beans.  I noticed this morning they were already starting to turn black.  But that is just one little low spot, they need to get wet and stay wet for a day or two.

Don't know if it is fall yet or not, but there is a noticeable difference in the amount of flies we have, and the cooler temperatures are really nice.  I raced Saturday night, I finished 5th in my heat and main event and it came home in one piece which is a good thing.  It's only got 2 more races hopefully it will stay together for them.  It's really tired, and certainly isn't going to have a good finish, unless all the other cars don't finish...........LOL  Actually our son won a race one time that way, everyone blew their motors, including Rod.......but.....his motor blew last, so he won. 

It got really cold and windy at the track, miserably cold.  I had my racing uniform which usually I complain about how hot it is...........not Saturday night.  Poor John, hadn't planned on such a weather change, so he dug thru the truck and found one of my jackets.  It was small on him, but he managed to squeeze into it......!! LOL   There were still people roaming around in shorts and t-shirts I know they had to be miserable.

Trip starts tomorrow, should be fun, I always enjoy road trips..............!!


New post after less than 12 hours, busy little helpers aren't they?  Quite frankly I didn't realize they could reach that high.........LOL  John and Suzanne cut some limbs after we got done with evening chores to see if that will keep them busy.  My guess is...........NO...........!!  Suzanne said she will probably put up the chicken wire, they ran out of time today and didn't realize just how important the wire is.........!!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

COOLER DAYS..............YAY......!!

The last couple of days have raised the hope that fall is just around the corner.  The nights are cool enough we are opening the windows rather than use the Fujitsu.  Although our house is very energy efficient and we have no heating or cooling except for a little wood stove and some overhead fans.  

When my mother came to live with us there was no way we could keep her warm enough or cool enough without "real" climate control, in her bedroom, so we had one of the small ductless units made by Fujitsu put in.

I had my doubts about that little thing hanging on the wall, being able to keep the room comfortable for her, but I had to admit, it really did the job.

After she died, we moved back into what had been our bedroom and at first we didn't use the unit at all.  Then we started using it during the monsoon when the nights were really humid and the temperature wouldn't drop, just because it was there.

Didn't take long for us to get in the groove of sleeping in a controlled climate, summer or winter......LOL  We both would rather sleep with the windows open, BUT, obviously we aren't opposed to a little help from Fujitsu...........LOL

Yesterday there was nobody here in the afternoon, so when John and I left we closed the driveway gate, that has been open for days so the cows could come in and hopefully eat some mesquite beans.  We got back before Suzanne and when we pulled in the driveway, the first thing we noticed was a big black Angus cow inside the gate.  She was looking at us like, "who closed this gate".  We had no idea there was a cow in here when we left.  I hope she ate lots of beans while we were gone.

 We have noticed there aren't very many beans still in the trees, which is a good thing.  Unfortunately the ground is still covered with beans than aren't changing color very quickly.  Still haven't had enough rain to help break down the beans, so we're just in a waiting pattern for the foreseeable future.  I really hope by the time the donkeys return from Colorado in less than 3 weeks, the beans are no longer a problem, but I have my doubts, unless we get a lot of rain. 

We were suppose to take the new race car to the track last night for practice.  Since I hadn't driven it except around the driveway, we thought it might be a good idea to take it out on the main road and actually run it at speed. 

Good thing we did.  I took off and John was suppose to follow me in the pickup but never saw John.  Not too long into my run, it started pushing steam out of the overflow tube.  It never got hot, but obviously something wasn't right.  When I got on the straight run to the bridge, I wanted to see what it would do.  The speedometer doesn't work, which is one reason John was suppose to be with me, so we'd know how fast it was going.  It started cutting out and wouldn't run at high speed.  It was still steaming, so I went past the bridge to find a place to turn around. 

Came home, and John is nowhere to be found, so I decided he must have went north.  Sat out by the road to wait for him and he finally showed up.  He said he never saw me either, that he knew I went towards the bridge, but when he got to the bridge and didn't see me, he turned around and thought I'd went north instead.  No, I was past the bridge and around a curve waiting for him...........LOL

I told him about my problems and he thinks the fans aren't coming on soon enough, so he's going to hard wire them to come on with the ignition.  He also thinks what I thought was cutting out, probably is the rev limiter.  Most modern cars have limiters so you won't blow the motor by running it too hard.  I've never ran a car with a rev limiter, so I don't know how they act. 

I am suppose to race tonight, although it looks like it might rain.  We only have 3 more races this season. 

John and I will be leaving Tuesday for a family reunion in Indiana, not sure how long we'll be gone, we are driving.  Road trips are half the fun of going somewhere....!!!  LOL  Suzanne will take care of things, hopefully it won't be like the last time, when the roof leaked.  We are hoping for no problems for her, at least she won't have to round up the donkeys twice a day, since they are staying in their pens.

The excitement is building for the pack burro cross race in Superior the 12th of October.  Twenty per cent of the runners are coming from out of the state.  Suzanne, Lynn and Linda will be up there to help with last minute details for a couple of days prior, John and I will go up the day of the race.

 Levi and his new best friend Amy at the Victor pack burro race in Colorado

 Levi getting some nourishment for the race

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Well maybe brilliant is a little much.  We've had the gate into Burroland open for a couple of weeks, and some of the range cattle have actually gone in and came as far as the big wash.  That wash is actually on the 10 acres where the house and donkeys pens are.  We left the gate between Burroland and this side open just for fun.  

A couple of days ago our neighbor came thru the driveway gate and said there was cows out by the gate when she came in.  John decided to leave the big gate open to see if they would come in.  So far they haven't but I have started making sure the gate into the courtyard is closed just in case.  

John went out at bedtime to tell the donkeys good night last night.  He use to let them out, but since they aren't getting out of their pens because of the beans, he doesn't want them to miss out on getting their treats.  Casper the mini mule usually comes over to the gate, but was standing in the back of his pen.  John actually heard the rattlesnake that was in the front of the pen, for a change.  He hasn't heard a rattlesnake in years, but guess he was pretty close to this one. He backed off, the snake headed for Turbo and Link's pen, and Casper came trotting over to the gate to get his treat.

A few nights ago 3 of the 4 house cats were lined up at the patio door to the courtyard.  I turned on the light and sure enough there was a rattlesnake, coiled up like he was set for the night.  We shined a flashlight on him a couple of times and then he was gone.  John was getting ready to go out for bedtime check of the donkeys, so it was really important to know where the snake went.  Since the way to the pens is thru the courtyard,  John decided to wait a few minutes to give the snake a chance to get somewhere else.

Sure enough the cats went to the back porch as a group, and I heard the rattling, at least we assume it was the same snake.  John didn't see any when he went out later.

We've had 5 donkeys bitten by rattlesnakes over the years and everyone of them was bitten in September.  It's when the snakes are getting ready to hibernate and I guess they spend more time out hunting and get caught away from their usual den or resting spot.

Minda and her friend Stacey got out to see the donkeys as planned a couple of days ago.  Mindy always enjoys the donkeys when she's here and I think Stacey might be a new recruit to donkeys too.  

Stacey visiting with her favorite, Mariah..... Tula watching in the background.

Mindy with the mini girls, Lynn and Cheyenne

Stacey with the girls

BlackJack getting some ear rubs from Staey


Stacey thought Nigel was pretty cool too.  Nigel has never met a stranger


 Our neighbor Jorja is taking care of another neighbor's chickens for 10 days while they go on vacation.  They only have a few chickens and big feeders and waterers, so she only goes over every 3rd day.  She comes over here to pick up poo every morning, John takes her over in the golf cart so she doesn't have to walk. 

 John and Suzanne went down to reconnoiter the feeding routine right after the neighbors left.  John is a city boy and although we had chickens years ago and even roosters, he's not really aware of rooster behavior.  He is now, but he wasn't a few days ago.  LOL

These 2 strangers had the audacity to open the gate and walk into the chicken pen without the rooster's permission.  He flogged John with his spurs and drew blood on John's legs before John knew what was going on.  Suzanne called Jorja, and when Jorja called me, she was laughing so hard she couldn't hardly talk.  Of course I was laughing too, the picture of a man getting beaten to death by a rooster, struck me as hilarious. 

Suzanne brought John home I doctored his wounds and a plan of attack was planned to the next day when Jorja would be part of the team. 

From the story they told it's too bad someone wasn't there with a camera.  Jorja went in ready for battle, John said she had a big heavy stick and when the rooster came at her she whacked him pretty good.  He backed off and came at her again and John said she swung her "bat" took his legs right from under him and he went bouncing to the other side of the pen.  I asked John if the rooster was OK, and he said he was walking around just fine when they left, although on the other side of the pen. 

This morning was feeding time again, so off John and Jorja went.  They came back laughing like hyenas.  They came in the gate, the rooster gathered his girls in the far corner of the pen and got in the middle of them, hiding I guess.  Just stood there and watched John and Jorja, actually I'm sure he was watching Jorja more than John because he knew he could take John...........LOL 

Sunday, September 08, 2019

WE ARE SWIMMING IN BEANS.................

Well, that might be a little bit over the top, but we sure have a bunch of them.  Under the trees is like a blanket of beans.  And forget my grand idea of taking the fatties out if and when the forecasted rain turn the beans black and inedible.

Yesterday Suzanne took Mariah, out on a walk.  Suzanne said Mariah came out of her pen, her head went down and Suzanne almost couldn't get her back in the pen.  She was determined to eat those beans.  SIGH!  If she was being a pig, I'm pretty sure Jasper, Rosie and Bella would be the same.  Of course if we don't get the promised rain, it doesn't matter anyway.   I guess Cisco is just more picky about what he eats.  

We did get a quarter inch of rain yesterday afternoon, but the beans need to stay wet for an extended amount of time and 1/4 inch won't do it, unfortunately the sun came out immediately after the rain and dried everything up.  

Mindy is coming out with a friend today to visit the donkeys.  She's been coming to see the donkeys a few times each year the last 3 or 4 years.  She's got donkey fever...........LOL  She's also going to be volunteering in Superior for the 1st Burro Cross, October 12th.  This race has really seemed to catch the imagination of people, it sounds like it is going to be a big success.  If it is, I would imagine other small mining towns will want to join in the fun, in the future.  Colorado has 8 races a year and I'm sure Arizona can come up with that many.

Yesterday Lynn and Linda and some of our donkeys raced in Victor, CO.  

                                                               Victor, Colorado 6 SEPT 2019 

This is a nice video on the race.  At the start Buttercup the little mini that won the triple crown last month started out in front.  Later on there is video of her along the trail and then coming into the finish first.  Linda said she broke a record but didn't say what for.  Probably quickest finish in history, her little feet sure keep moving.

UPDATE:  Linda saw my blog message and gave us the rest of the story.  Little bitty Buttercup finished the race at Victor about 5 minutes faster than the old record, which was probably set by a standard donkey.  

Thursday, September 05, 2019


The weather people insist on a daily basis, that there will be rain.  Actually areas around us have been getting some rain, but not us.  Next week they are forecasting 40% chance of rain 4 days in a row.  Hmmmm.........we'll see.  

My car did pretty good Saturday night, I ran 2 main events and finished 4th in both of them.  Brought the car home in one piece, which always makes John happy. 

This picture was taken just before what could have been a big mess. 

 Jennifer was passing me, our front fenders touched.

 She started across in front of me, I hit the brakes, she got straightened out and on around the track we went.  I've raced with her since she was about 12 or 13 years old and she's got a lot of hours working out of situations like that.  Good thing, I've already totaled another car of hers this year.  Not my fault, but I'm glad she knew the right thing to do.

Cisco got another bath yesterday for his flaky skin.  The 1st bath seemed to help with the flakes, especially on his back and topline.  But there's areas on his neck, that I'm probably not soaking as good, that are still flaky.  Let's face it, backs are much easier to soak than necks.  No hanging shreds of flaky skin this morning, so I guess it's getting better.  

I don't think getting a bath is Cisco's favorite thing, although as hot as it is these days, I would think it would feel good.  I know I don't mind getting wet, when I bath him. 

I did make an observation, when I was leading him from his pen to where I bath him.  There's some big mesquite trees along the way and when I walked him under them the first time, I almost had to drag him.  His head went down and he started scarfing up beans.  That's only been a few days ago, but this time, he smelled them and only picked up 3 or 4 before I got him to leave them.

My theory is they are starting to not be good to eat because of the sun and what little rain and humidity we've had.  I would imagine the few he ate might have been some that had fallen off the trees in the last couple of days, and hadn't had time to start deteriorating.  Cisco isn't a real good study food isn't life and death to him, like it is to Mariah, Rosie, Jasper and a few of the others.

So, as I said earlier we're suppose to have a good chance of rain early next week.  If we get some rain, and a few more days for the beans to hopefully get less appetizing, we will take the 3 "piggies" mentioned above out on leads and see how they react to the beans on the ground.

If they can take them or leave them, rather than put their heads down and try to vacuum every bean they see, maybe we could start letting everyone out for an hour or so, before evening feeding.   The lack of exercise is starting to be noticeable for Gigi and Bella especially.  Gigi has probably been crippled since birth and has to wear a special shoe.  She does pretty good when she's out and getting exercise.

Bella is taking steroid shots, because she has a hard time getting up after she's laid down, she sits up like a dog and heaves herself up, sometimes it takes her 2 or 3 heaves before she makes it.  Without the shots she lays down a lot and doesn't go far from the pen area.  With the shot, she gets perky and moves all over the place.  Unfortunately the particular steroid she is getting is really hard on the liver, so she is also getting milk thistle everyday to hopefully counteract some of the possible liver damage.

Unfortunately most medicines we use have side effects and it's amazing how cavalier doctors are about handing out prescriptions.  John takes quite a few prescriptions  and recently he was having problems with low blood pressure.  A friend told us to check, a website where you can list all your medications and it will tell you which ones get along with each other and which ones don't.  Boy that was an eye opener, he was taking 3 different meds for high blood pressure, which he doesn't have.  But the meds are for his heart.  I seriously doubt that his body looks at his meds and thinks, this isn't really for high blood pressure.  He checked with his heart doctor and they cut down on those meds and he's feeling much better.  If you are taking more than one prescription drug, go into that web-site and see if your meds are compatible.